30 Day Challenges
Updated: Dec 10, 2018
It is very common to read something (on the internet), or hear a statement (at an event), and then accept and regurgitate it as truth.
For some time now, there have been various versions of '30 Day Challenges' being put out there, both via the internet, and by speakers, to motivate people to get started on something!
Although it sounds wonderful that all it takes is 30 days to transform something, this statement is not true and using it as such can set you back with an inevitable failure.
Phillipa Lally, ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow, performed studies and found that it takes an average of 66 days for a habit to form (National Center for Biotechnical Information-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3505409/). The time periods are typically 2-8 months.
That is over double the '30 Days Challenge' time period, popularly touted in programs and apps promising to change your life. This isn't enough time for a habit to truly form, and can set the stage for failure. This can make some people give up completely with the proof in their minds that trying to workout or diet, etc, is useless because they tried it and it didn't work.
There is no 30 day challenge that will change your habits successfully. Actually, many of these apps and online 30 day workout programs can be enough to make your muscles form bad engrams that will impede you further. Engrams are 'Memorized motor patterns used to perform a movement or skill, that are stored in the motor area of the brain.' (http://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803199212518.)
It takes about 300-350 repetitions to form a motor engram.
When I train people, I focus intently on positioning them so they can actually feel and engage the targeted muscle groups, as well as teach them how to constantly engage their core through all actions. These are paramount for injury prevention and for activating the correct muscle groups they are training.
If someone is training twice a week, and they are doing a common circuit of 15 reps, 12 reps, 10 reps for a muscle group, like bicep curls for biceps, they would have performed 37 reps in one session. In about 30 days, which can be almost 4 1/2 weeks, performing 37 reps twice a week comes to about 9 times or 333 reps, which is within the time range for a motor engram to form. If that motor engram formed a bad position, you've just created a new problem.
Successes come from visions that extend throughout our lifespan, and not 30 days. Training must become an inherent part of you just like sleeping, breathing, and eating. If you're going to do it, do it right so you succeed.
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