Expand Your Fitness Knowledge: The Power of Two Types of Learning

by Dr. Mike Israetel, Co-founder and Chief Sport Scientist | Aug 14, 2023

When it comes to expanding your knowledge, it's crucial to recognize that there are not one but two types of learning that contribute to a deeper understanding. Familiarizing yourself with both types and incorporating them into your learning routine is critical. Why? Let's delve into it!

First Type of Learning

The first type of learning is the most apparent one: exploring beyond your current understanding to uncover new facts and relationships. This involves diving into various resources such as studies, literature reviews, books, articles, and even informative blog posts like this one.

This type of learning holds utmost importance because we cannot truly expand our wisdom without exposure to new information about the world around us.

Second Type of Learning

The second type of learning is less obvious but equally crucial: introspection. By thoughtfully reflecting on the information you already know or have recently acquired, something transformative happens.

As you engage in deep thinking, you allow the assimilation of knowledge into meaningful relationships that can be applied in real-world scenarios. This process helps you gain an edge and ensures that your acquired knowledge is practical and applicable.

Putting It Into Perspective

To illustrate how these two types of learning work together, consider this scenario: Have you ever absorbed a wealth of information and felt like you were making significant progress in your understanding? But then, a friend poses a question related to the topic you've been studying, and suddenly, you're stumped.

For instance, let's say you've recently read a couple of articles on maximal recoverable volume (MRV), understanding that training around your MRV yields optimal results. A few weeks ago, you also delved into articles discussing the impact of low-calorie diets on fatigue and recovery—revealing that fewer calories per day hinder recovery ability.

Now, imagine your friend asking you how much they should train during a fat-loss phase versus a muscle-gaining phase. Suddenly, you feel a sense of bewilderment. Without a coherent integration of concepts, even seemingly simple questions just outside the scope of your direct knowledge can become enigmatic.

However, by dedicating time to ponder the concepts you've learned, you'll be able to gain a deeper understanding of how they interrelate and, in turn, assist your friend. This process of introspection is the bridge that connects acquired knowledge and its practical application.

Unifying the Two Types of Learning

Once you achieve this integration of learning—combining the two types—we begin to unravel a world where answers to questions make sense within their context and intertwine with other related concepts in a logical and even beautiful manner.

In our example, you can establish a connection: during a fat loss phase, an individual should indeed train around their MRV. However, due to the diminished recovery ability in this phase, their overall training volume should be adjusted lower to account for this discrepancy.

By acknowledging the importance of acquiring new knowledge and taking the time to understand and discover the relationships between concepts, you position yourself ahead of the game significantly.

At Renaissance Periodization (RP), we are all about learning! If you'd like to embark on your own educational journey, we encourage you to read our ebooks written by experts in their field.

The Renaissance Periodization's Diet 2.0 eBook is a great resource; it provides the ultimate guide to effective and efficient diet structuring for maximizing performance and achieving your dream physique.

On the training front, the Scientific Principles of Hypertrophy Training eBook meticulously dissects every facet of hypertrophy training. It offers guidance for constructing hypertrophy programs, injury workaround strategies, and application of hypertrophy training to other sports. 

But always recognize the importance of the second type of learning. It requires introspection, deep thinking, and the exploration of concepts beyond the pages.