Published on April 24, 2023

Building New Skills with Neuroplasticity

Neuroplasticity is the ability of networks in the brain to change through growth and reorganization. While this is especially important after injuries, it can also increase your ability to learn new things and enhance cognitive abilities. Jay Vitt, Exercise and Wellness Specialist at Servus Place, shares how to build new skills in your health and fitness journey by utilizing neuroplasticity.

“Me lose brain? Uh-oh!” - Homer Simpson

man re-racking weights at gymHow many of us have felt like this throughout our life, or even multiple times in our day? There have been many recent discoveries related to neuroplasticity including how to utilize and benefit from it. Huberman Labs’ Neuroplasticity Super-Protocol connects these discoveries to behavior tools that can be easily adopted into your daily life. Doing so enables you to learn new skills more effectively, refine old skills and stay sharper throughout the day. Many of these same principles can be used when teaching class participants. 

Be Mindful of Your Mindset

Being present and alert is important for learning any new skill. There are times throughout the day when individuals are most alert, specifically when the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is working at its peak. Many things can influence the SNS like sleep schedule, stress, fatigue, time of day, etc. Becoming aware of your state of mind as a participant helps you realize when it is most ideal to learn or practice a new skill. Sharing this with your instructor or trainer allows them to tailor the physical and psychological load for you. There are many ways we can encourage alertness such as mobility, breathing drills and mentally preparing for the work that is to be completed.      

Practice for Progress

Quality practice is based on quality repetition. Repeating a skill set (or components of a skill set) is necessary to learn and refine it. There will be mistakes and possible failures, and both are necessary to the learning process. The quickest way to slow down your progress is to try to speed it up. Work through the process and learn what you can about yourself in the meantime. Taking time to understand what the desired outcome is important to your overall focus so if you are unsure or it was never explained, make sure to ask. Small breaks between repetitions is also very important. Your body may be primed for more work, but the neural pathways responsible for establishing new connections need time to absorb information. If appropriate rest has been taken, 60 to 90-minute sessions are ideal for skill development. 

Man lifting kettlebells on track   Using squat rack to lift weights

Of course, like anything physical or psychological, the majority of adaptation happens while sleeping. So make sure to get plenty of it! A 20- to 60-minute nap after a training session is ideal to solidify your progress. Think of sleeping as your ‘save game’.

Whether you are learning to lift, cycle, run, or dance, everything you attempt in life requires a certain amount of skill. Follow these guidelines to set yourself on a path of enlightenment, and empowerment in your given activity. Confidence in ones’ abilities aids in the mastery of the mind and body.

Put your neuroplasticity to the test at Servus Place by taking a new class! Join Jay in classes like Bars & Bells, Powerlifting, Metabolic Training and Better Together. Missed a program start date? Many fitness programs accept later registrations with a pro-rated fee!

Annual members at Servus Place gain access to more than 50 drop-in classes at no additional cost and receive a 15% discount on all registered programs and personal trainers. Learn more about the benefits of an annual membership and get started on your fitness and wellness journey today!

Teach & Learn Better With A "Neuroplasticity Super Protocol" 
Andrew Huberman, Huberman Labs

Last edited: April 24, 2023