A possible exercise?

A long time ago there was mention of a speed-building practice in a thread on the blog:


(Note: Link to the _Factors of Shorthand Speed_ document now kaputt!)

The idea was practicing for a long time without breaks to force the fatiguing muscles to learn how do the work with minimal effort. 

I am wondering if it would be possible to do something similar, but in a shorter time — what would happen if a person were to practice with a weighted pen?  Something wrapped around the barrel, or attached to the top, perhaps. Has anyone ever heard of such an experiment? What would happen?

4 comments Add yours
  1. Weighted pen? I don't think that's going to work for speed building.

    I believe it's the brain which needs the fatigue, not the actual muscles. The brain fatigues quickly supplying outlines as rapidly as it can and it's the brain which needs to break through that ceiling to reach higher speeds.

  2. A weighted pen would be bad. It would strengthen the wrong muscles.

    My son insisted on using a squishy barrel around his pen, and now he can't write well at all. Not sure if that's due to the squishy barrel, or if he'd have the problem even if we had been able to get him to use a firm pad. (It was a choice between homework or barrel type.)

    A firm barrel, though, would help if it makes it easier to hold — but you'd train different muscles. Not a problem if you always use it.

    I wouldn't write past fatigue. Once the little control muscles tire out, all you're doing is strengthening the big ones, and the little ones learn they don't have to report for work at all. (Half of physio seems to be strange exercises that you can't do unless the lazy muscles report for work, so the brain remembers they exist.) Of course, if your goal is to strengthen a group of big muscles, then yes, train until each one has worked to exhaustion and passed the job to the next.

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