Statics, dynamics and dopamine

Do not laugh, but once upon a time, I worked part-time as a trainer of jocks. A gym was opened in the village, but the coach did not have time to come to one children’s group, and asked me to “sit” with them. I was so flattered that I read everything about bodybuilding that I found in the village library.

But not the point. Oddly enough, you can learn a lot from jocks. Not with the jocks themselves, but with the approaches to their training. The jocks themselves, by the way, do not know these approaches – they see only ready-made “programs” in several versions, for different situations. Isn’t it like us using Scrum, Lean or DevOps “frameworks” without understanding the principles behind them? Anyway.

The jocks have such a wonderful thing as static exercises, or static exercises.

Ordinary exercises are those in which you can achieve some result, Do them. Raise the bar, crouch and stand, jump and land, etc. The purpose of such exercises is to drive the muscle through a full cycle, i.e. contract and stretch, causing the muscle to “clog”.

In static exercises, by default, the result cannot be achieved. They cannot be made, they can only be done. Examples: pushing a wall, bending a bar in half, pushing a doorway, etc. The goal, as a rule, is to strengthen the ligaments. If interested, try pushing the doorway with your hands, with maximum effort. Only when you get bored, ease up slowly, otherwise it will be terribly unpleasant. It is in the joints, because the load is damn unusual.

Why do we need this bullshit? Because we are too addicted to the result, which brings, albeit light, but the release of dopamine. All methods of increasing personal efficiency are designed for this dopamine. Break the task into small pieces so that there is something to cross out of the plan. Smart. Group into sprints. Define the task in terms of the result to be achieved. Write in the plan is not an action, but the result achieved. Etc.

In terms of instant efficiency, this is normal. In terms of long-term development, people turn into dopamine addicts, unable to do without the next dose.

Any difficult task, any long process plunges a person into despondency, because it is not clear where and when it will be possible to get a dose for the next “achievement”. This is especially true for the younger generation, accustomed to living in the shortest possible sprints. A more well-known definition is clip thinking, i.e. the ability to concentrate for a maximum of a few minutes, whether it is learning new material or completing a work task.

Dopamine is also given for “static”, you just need to learn how to wait for it, sometimes for years. The result – pumping the skill to solve unsolvable (in terms of dopamine addicts) tasks. Lack of fear of long and, most importantly, uncertain tasks.

Again, this does not mean that static is better than dynamic. Both are important. And achieve results with a minimum of effort (efficiency), and make efforts without achieving any result.

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