We talk a lot at TFN about the best ways to teach beginners how to resistance train. There are basic concepts to get across, that are important to understand, but there is an inherent disconnect with any beginner trying to learn an applied science. Education in any field often consists of two major aspects, academic knowledge and experiential knowledge. The academic knowledge can be acquired while sitting down, and all it requires is paying attention to the right things; like these. It is the experiential knowledge that is the hard part. People who have been applying an applied science have learned from mistakes and successes and developed their own opinions about what to notice and what to ignore in the pursuit, in this case, of strength and fitness.
We've developed a phrase at TFN to talk about the experiential knowledge that beginners need to acquire, but also the ever present fact that a beginner doesn't have this experience yet.
What does Milk taste like?
Think about it. Can you explain to someone who has never tasted milk exactly what it's like? It's pretty hard. If you've tasted it, there is a wordless description that develops, and you can reference back to your experience. Two people who have had milk can both talk about its uses and their preferences. But a beginner (someone who has never had milk) can't even be involved in this discussion because they do not have this experiential knowledge.
We use this phrase often to talk about exercise technique. We use cues like 'knees out, and 'break the bar', but often times a beginner doesn't know what this is supposed to feel like in their body. After hearing the cue for a while, or trying and failing a couple things, sometimes it all comes together and ohhhhh, "That's what it's supposed to feel like!" It is these wonderful Ah-ha! moments that keep us going, and are so fun to share. When it happens we'll gather around and brag that so-and-so is Tasting the Milk. They are gaining the experiential knowledge, that is so necessary to further development in strength and fitness.
It's a wonderful thing to see a beginner start down that path. Those who are farther down the path can only talk about it, and describe it. It is these moments of feeling that make the difference in someone else moving down the path as well.
So hit the gym hard, and enjoy a cool glass of milk....I mean....experiential knowledge.