Recently this occurred with my handstand practice. It's something that I've been working on the past year or two on and off, but more heavily recently. I've made some great strides, but the past week or two I've had a number of things distract me from my normal practice.
Jumping back into it this past week, I've found my balance and strength is or order of magnitude better.
This is only a single anecdote - but I've felt it rings true every time.
I realized that the pace was very different from the classes I had been during my student years: classes were boring, so I had time to think about stuff.
The rhythm that I found worked really well for such information-dense subjects was 1:1 breaks. One hour of classes. One hour to think about it (usually I would go for a walk)
Internet taught us to drink from a firehose, but our brain needs some time to process the information. It can't accumulate information and digest it at the same time.
You just learned about drop-out layers or the drawbacks of softmax? Don't feel bad about switching off the computer and think about it. No one is judging that you are "doing nothing".
I remember that on my last corporate job, I used to go for a break/walk when stuck on a nasty bug and would often come back with the solution. My colleagues frowned a bit upon that but luckily my boss, a former researcher, totally approved of the method.
The learning ones are to think about it though.
But it is pure speculation.
Recently I've been trying to learn electrochemistry and electromechanics, by copying youtube videos, which is different from doing it in real life (the consequences can be lethal at times). And I've noticed an amplified version of the music pause-improvement. When I'm stuck on a project, 6 monthes later I wake up one morning and feel 1) confident, 2) motivated, 3) sure about some ideas I didn't really see before
Again, nothing but time away from the task and again, very odd.
Got me thinking about progress and time. You can clearly see the steps taken by people or groups in lifting up their lives. You do a bit, live this way, wait, and one day you make a new step. There's a natural rhythm. Except for the illuminated that can skip gaps over the average person of course.
I find it to be mostly useless for things I don't really know though, since I find myself needing to look up details I don't remember. It can be great for knowing what you don't remember though. Kind of like trying to explain the topic to someone else.
For where it sounds like you're at, I totally recommend Yuri Marmerstein's Vimeo series here: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/handstandbalance/249766384. Not free but cheap and very good. The basic requirements are being comfortable bailing, and being able to hold a half-decent chest to wall handstand.
re: body tension, it depends what you're planning to achieve. For just handbalancing you actually don't need a lot of tension, just enough that you're not flopping around all over the place. Most of the information online that talks about buns & core of steel comes from gymnastics, where the tension is used to generate force when tumbling. Most people from a handbalancing background no longer recommend tons of ab work (i.e. dish/hollow body) since it's not really required. You will need tons of trapezius and forearm strength though, working those was really a game changer for me.
They have a whole wiki section for handstands
I've found handbalancing in general to be very frustrating in that sometimes it will go really well, and other times I will totally suck, and there's no obvious reason why. i.e. I slept ok, I ate breakfast, I'm not particularly stressed or unfocused, but it just won't work at all. And then the next day will be fine.
I've been to a few gamedev conferences and some of the monetization lectures sound like taken straight from a movie villain. They calculate the perfect intervals to invoke the skinner box response, and to milk it for the most microtransactions money.
I’ve experienced this first hand, almost like a tangible thing, while learning a language.
Whenever I came back to it after a break, sometimes after months of no exposure to the language, I was sometimes surprised to find myself being able to understand some new dialogue without looking at subtitles etc.
As someone living in one European country where English is less frequently spoken and occasionally traveling for work to others where English is more prevalent, I always felt that I could notice a real improvement in my second language upon returning "home" after speaking English for three or four days.
Incidentally, those same breaks usually resulted in improvements in rock- climbing (which are a bit easier to measure objectively because of the grading system), but I tended to attribute that to a full recovery / perhaps I was over-training.
Thinking about it now, maybe it's odd that I always accepted that the stenuous physical activities naturally needed a recovery period while assuming that I could just keep hammering at the mentally taxing skills day after day.
It's... not always encouraging, as at times it's very hard to say what has improved it and whether practice is all that useful.
When I was working through a song, getting the next few bars in my fingers lets say. If I got it right without mistake I had to stop immediately. lift my hands of the keyboard, and reward myself with a little breath - and tell my subconscious that was it.
Before that I would just practice the loop over and over.
Part of the art is recognizing when the animal isn't into it anymore. If that happens, and you go into another repetition, the last rep is frustrating and/or unsuccessful and it's hard to end on a satisfying success... which is counterproductive. Much better to skip that last rep and get the optimal reinforcement.
It occurs to me that whether training an animal or yourself, this needs to be a conscious plan. It's more natural to continue when things go well and quit when they stop.
I use compounding as a model, where I evaluate the risk of pushing past comfort level based on whether I have the ability to return to a calm high note ending if my gambit goes sideways.
Regular small improvement yields a higher and more reliable trajectory than grinding toward inconsistent leaps that exhaust a lot of wasted effort. I'm learning there is a cargo cult around work and effort in that it is a substitute for the tact and intelligence you get with a lighter approach.
Like managers who think they are getting results by having staff work through suffering, and point to how hard people are working as an indicator of their ability to lead. Whether it's horses or people, it's always a disgusting spectacle.
My trainer likes to say, "go slow, I'm in a hurry."
> “Our results suggest that it may be important to optimize the timing and configuration of rest intervals when implementing rehabilitative treatments in stroke patients or when learning to play the piano in normal volunteers,” said Dr. Cohen. “Whether these results apply to other forms of learning and memory formation remains an open question.”
says projektir, checking HN as a break from typing practice
says projektir, typing as a break from typing practice
I have learnt to race cars over the past 5 years. I can lap and lap and lap, but the greatest improvement comes from the breaks between sessions, which can be minutes, hours, days or weeks. I stumbled upon the most effective strategy the other week when training in my simulator: I was doing a small number of laps, say between 7 and 10 then returning to the pits. I'd reflect on how the "stint" felt for a couple of minutes and then have a look at the telemetry, comparing laps and correlating my memory of the on-track experience with the sensor outputs that I could see in the telemetry. After doing this for 20 minutes, decide on some small setup tweaks and jump back in for another 7-10 lap stint, rinse and repeat.
I spent maybe 3 hours doing it and drove maybe 50 laps during that time (I could have done over twice that number if I hadn't taken my approach), but the improvement I got from it by the end was far and above anything I've tried before.
I can also relate it to another time in a real car where I was learning a new track and car in a short 20 minute session. I had done ~15 minutes on track and the session was stopped. I got back to the pits and sat in the car. I asked my engineer about the time I'd done in relation to other drivers and just sat there in the car thinking through my laps and where I could be "better". I went back out on track for the final 5 minutes and made a huge improvement, finishing top. It wouldn't have happened without that brief period of reflection.
Do what you're doing for the shortest meaningful period of time. Stop and reflect on what you've been doing and what you could do differently/try/better. Let your mind relax whilst you're doing this - it shouldn't be an intense process. The go back in and put your reflection into action.
It's important that you try to make adjustments to your performance, even if they fail. If you just do the same thing over and over again, you're missing the opportunity to diverge from your current behaviour, which is probably suboptimal given your experience.
If we stick with the racing analogy I think what the article talks about is that you would've seen solid gains if you had tried to run a single lap perfectly, stopped, stayed in your car, and just relaxed while your subconscious got some time to process everything that just happened, without your bombarding it with new information. If you were to follow the instructions to the letter you'd hang out for a time equivalent to your lap time, but they left it as an open question if this mechanic scales beyond the 10s repetitions used in the study.
I hope they do more of the studies because the required time of rest could plausibly scale in different ways:
1. Your subconscious can only remember so much stuff to replay and learn from while resting so a break beyond X isn't beneficial.
2. The rest time needed is linear with the stimulus.
3. Long action sequences are such a rich source that the subconscious can mine them for a long time. Beneficial rest time scales exponentially.
The thought of holding off, even closing my eyes for 10 seconds, is pretty alien to my practice style.
> Your kidneys can eliminate about 5.3-7.4 gallons (20-28 liters) of water a day, but they can't get rid of more than 27-33 ounces (0.8-1.0 liters) per hour.
Also, you don't need 8 glass of water a day, that is a myth, you should listen to your body.
Try this: weight yourself before and after sleep.
Yes, the statement is about kidneys. It is only about kidneys, though, and includes all of the information.
No, it has nothing to do with breathing or any other method of eliminating water. The statement says that kidneys max out at 1.0 liters per hour, and 28 liters per day. One of those 2 is obviously wrong, unless we aren't talking about Earth.
edit: seriously though I'm pretty sure that's not good for you. That sounds actually being in the ballpark of water poisoning.
Seriously, how do you get any work done? Thats like a sip every 30 seconds.
So, its not really sipping but massive gulps every 10/20 mins or so.
There might be microbes (bacteria) in your gut (intestines, etc) that produce toxins that dull your thinking when they have food.
I am always careful to avoid carbohydrates when I am starting work that is concentration heavy.
If I have more than a small amount of carbs in one sitting, my mind will get hazy and I'll get really sleepy an hour or so later.
I did a blood test recently and everything was OK, so I'm really not sure what the problem is.
And funny thing is that I don't seem to have this problem with quick sugars. I could have ice cream and chocolate and not crash at all.
Same thing with salted + carb heavy food, as the body starts putting on water (dry mouth, drinking loads, puffy + tired)
A key for me is to keep snacks on hand that aren't too bad for my health.
This stuff works. I've used it to study Japanese and Chinese with great success.
I'd love to see more studies as to why. If we understand the biochemistry, perhaps we can enhance it.
As it turns out, most of my cards are either Cloze deletions from known-good texts or reciting declension tables.
For the declension tables, I have one card for each row and column. That’s a lot of work, so I only have these for irregular words and a few representatives of each regular patterns.
For the Cloze deletions, I’ll read an article or a book chapter straight through without stopping to look anything up, and highlight 1 or 2 sentences on each page that seem interesting and come back to make flash cards out of them (and look up words I don’t know) after I’m done reading. Sometimes I’ll delete entire words, sometimes everything except the first letter, and sometimes drop the dictionary form in place of the declined one - The goal is to get my brain trained to choose the right word or word form without me having to think about it consciously.
For new words that aren’t obvious in context, I’ll look them up in a native-language dictionary. If I can understand the entry, I’ll make a Cloze card from that as well, usually just deleting any form of the word (especially the heading itself). In my dictionary, there’s generally an example sentence and I’ll transform key words there into dictionary form so that I have to remember which case, gender, etc I have to use.
(1) For learning Icelandic, not Korean or Japanese, but I suspect the concepts will transfer.
How does muscle memory work?
Does space out activity work the same way that spacing out studying work?
Especially since muscle fatigue is a real limit on athletic training.
I wonder what could be done trying to optimize sports practice schedules around this idea.
Practice until you start to see diminishing returns, take a short break, and then return to practicing. You’ll notice you’re slightly better than you were before taking a break.
I went to a group rhythm workshop in San Francisco called TaKeTiNa wherein a group of 50 of us learned, over the course of a few hours, to perform a stomp/clap polyrhythm (that is, a sequence that is really the combination of two sequences with different time signatures) that I wouldn't have guessed we could learn in a single session. The facilitator guided us through by starting with an approachable subunit of the pattern, added to it piece by piece over a few minutes until we fell apart, and then gave us a few minutes of laying-down closed-eye rest time. When we came back, the previous segment seemed relatively easy, and we moved into further complexity. By the end, I was both exhausted and impressed at how much we had learned.
I played lacrosse in high school (West coast, believe it or not). Several times we were in a rut a few days before a big game, and our coach would cancel the intervening practices. We'd show up to the game and be astonished at how well we played. (I realize this is a very different time scale of effect, and is perhaps better explained by higher level psychological factors rather than a lower level neurological/memory-formation mechanism, but, then again, maybe it applies at multiple scales.)
>take a 10 second break
I guess that's the next browser plugin, instead of blocking Reddit/HN/Facebook/Twitter, limit them to 10 second bursts.
All conjecture but it plays well for me when I’m using pomodoro to get up, move, get water, do a dish, look out the window; as opposed to when I check reddit or hacker news for whatever new information has come out in the last two hours or whatever.
No clue if this would actually be beneficial for me, but I'd love to try an extension like this.
I guess we finally have a sensible argument in favour of website bloat.
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desirable_difficulty
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spacing_effect
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spaced_repetition
 - https://www.supermemo.com/en/archives1990-2015/english/ol/sm...
It is not at all the same as taking a "resting" break, as described in the article.
I actually have some experience here, as I have for several years played the same video game on my phone every time I go on break at work and, anecdotally, actually feel it has not helped me in this area.
I've recently decided to avoid the game except on my longer lunch breaks, and attempt to have 'restful' breaks instead. We shall see how it goes :-)
IMO, it all about the ability to keep oneself concentrated. I’ve heard that some people can stay concentrated for a very long time, like several hours, and I’m not this type of person although I once experienced this state for two days and lost it forever. And I get exhausted more quickly when I am less concentrated than I am.
James Clear has a nice summary here:
Wonder why every CEO's boasting 4 hour nightly sleeping schedules?
And needing less sleep could be an explanation to why they reach these levels?
Although I find science fascinating and would want this to be true, stuff like this is what leads people to disbelieve in legitimate science.
If someone can say that breaks improve memory, for sure, 100%, definitely (but actually only, you know, maybe), then someone else could say that vaccines cause cancer, and that would be totally believable. Game over.