For most of us, it is true that we tend to avoid the things that cause us undue pain and aggravation. This is a very normal and natural adaptation that helps keep us and all animals alive and well. But, sometimes we need to shut off this self preservation mode to get out of our comfort zone to a place where we can improve and become more capable and durable through our struggle.
Double unders are well within this scope of sadistic self improvement. Yes it hurts to whip your arms, legs, butt and even sometimes your face! The path to improvement is both mentally and physically daunting. But the result! Well, let me tell you! The result of mastering this skill is empowerment! Getting past the frustration and the whip marks to a place where the cloud of dread no longer hangs above the whiteboard will show you that you are capable of more! Being able to pick up a rope and confidently put together sets of 5, 10, 20, 50! These achievements are fully possible! They simply take a positive attitude and some deliberate practice to achieve.
Deliberate practice for double unders?
1. Do a little bit each day!
We don’t improve consistently with scattered attempts and mediocre focus. We need to sit down and strap ourselves on our “try hard” helmets and assert that this is a necessity more than it is an option. Daily practice will engrain the movement patterns into your system, and this will help them become more natural and less forced.
2. Achieve goals along the way!
Building volume with this movement, it helps to have some small victories along the way. So, set some goals! Start with a goal to get 5 unbroken. Once you achieve that, raise your sights to 10, then 20… Soon enough you will surprise yourself on how far you’ve come.
4. Build consistency in volume!
It’s good to do big sets of double unders, but getting there it’s best to gain consistency at smaller volumes. The double under plan that I recommend is:
Start with sets of 5. Complete 10 to 20 sets of 5 really focusing on 5 unbroken reps. Include enough rest to fully recover between attempts. Once you can complete all the attempted sets of 5 without missing any along the way, then increase to sets of 10. Do the same thing. Working to be consistent at hitting 10 unbroken. Then increase again to 15 or 20… continue doing this until you have built the ability to consistently hit sets of 30-50. At this point it’s good to begin reducing recovery while trying to maintain consistency: 5×30-100 double unders with 1 minute rest between. Increase the volume of these working sets as you are consistently able to complete them unbroken. If you progress to the point where you are able to hit 5×100 with one minute rest, it’s safe to say that you’ve got this licked!
5. Attempt max sets from time to time!
Working on max volume sets to see how many you can get is a good way to see your progress. Remember that nothing has changed! It’s still just a double under! Rely on what you’ve practiced and relax… you can do this!