How To Train For a Fast Memory Championship (I)

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Training for a memory championship is one of the best things you can do in order to improve your brain. The training for a championship will make you master the memory techniques. But on top of that, training for a championship will stretch your brain, challenging it. And as you know, this blog is about challenging the brain.

The (good) stress that you will suffer, will bring your brain to its limits. Additionally, you will have to socialize with all the other contestants. All benefits, no drawbacks… except that you will have to train extra… want to try?

The Championship

There are many memory championships around the world in which you can participate. The one I am going to describe in this post is the Fast Memory Championship. This contest was created in 2017 by the Escuela de la Memoria, Nueces y Neuronas and Insanity Mind.

The contest differs from others in the sense that the championship tests are made at amazing speed. Instead of having to memorize stuff for hours, the Fast Memory Championship is about memorizing in the term of a few seconds seconds. It is a competition where the important thing is to memorize fast instead of memorizing a lot.

 

Memorizando 14 decimales en 0'1 s

For the championship, every contestant uses the same software program, the Fast Memory Simulator, which runs on Windows platforms. The same simulator can be used at home for training for the contest. This is an amazing piece of software made by Jose Mª Bea, and that you can download  for free at any time from this link.

Every year there is one International Competition, but the World Championship is only once every two years.  During the competitions, either the International ones or the World Championships, contestants can get memory titles, based on their score (a list of the titles and scores needed here). However, the title of World Champion can only be obtained during a World Championship.

Next Championship will be held in Barcelona in 2018. If you want to participate, this is the place where to start.

The Tests

The Fast Memory competition is composed of 6 different tests

Decimal numbers in 1 second

In this test, you have to memorize as many decimal numbers as possible in 1 second. The numbers are shown along 1 second and then you have to recall them and write them down. For this purpose you need to train your eidetic memory, your working memory, and your skills converting numbers to words.

Decimal numbers in 4 seconds

The same as the previous test but in 4 seconds. By increasing the time from 1 seconds to 4 seconds, this test requires the use of an additional memory skill, where you will need to produce visualizations in your mind for them to stick longer.

Binary numbers in 1 second

Works the same way as the decimal numbers in 1 second, but now the numbers are binary, that is, they are only 0s or 1s. Same techniques as for decimal numbers apply.

Binary numbers in 4 seconds

The same as decimals in 4 seconds, but with binary numbers.

Figures

In this test, a sequence of 14 figures appear on the screen and you have to remember the sequence. Each figure has a shape and a color. You have to remember the shape and color of each figure and its place on the sequence.

Matrices

Matrices are squared structures of NxM cells. The most common structure is of 3×4 cells (like in the figure). At each time step a matrix is shown on the screen, containing some of its cells a blue dot. You have to memorize 12 matrices that appear on screen one after another. The size of the cell is selected by the user. The larger, the more points.

Memorizing a deck of cards

In this test, contestants have to memorize a whole deck of cards in the shortest amount of time possible.

The Training

How can anyone be able to memorize anything of the above? Very simple, by using very ancient memory techniques. I already explained the tecnique for decimal numbers on my previous post, Creating the basis of a perfect memory.

Basically it consists of learning a table that converts decimal numbers to words. You have to learn that table by rote memory. Then, everytime a number pops up, you convert it into the corresponding word, and create an image in your mind. When several numbers appear, you visualize in your mind a story, that connects one word with the next. Read the previous post for more details.

Another table exists for binary numbers, and two other tables for figures and for matrices. Hence, the first thing you need to do is to learn the tables that convert from numbers/figures/matrices to images.

The tables are available in the following documents:

  1. Document with the table for decimal numbers
  2. Document with the tables for binary numbers, figures and matrices.

So your first task, is to download the tables and learn them by rote memory. For the figures, binaries and matrices, the tables just contain the associated letters to each figure shape, figure color, group of 3 binaries and group of 3 matrix squares. You need to create your own words for each combination of figure_shape+figure_color, group of 6 binaries, group of 6 matrix square.

For example:

  • The triangle-in-red will have the letters m-n. Then you may create the word moon.
  • If you have the following binary:

100

010

    • This corresponds to the letters c-f. Then you may create the word chef.
  • If you have the following matrix:

Screen Shot 2014-08-26 at 20.43.39

    • This corresponds to the letters t-s. Then you may create the word tissue.

You can start now building your words for figures, binaries and matrices, and learning the tables right now!

Once you have learnt the tables, you need to practice them in order to get the basic handling of them in your mind. In this post, I’m going to indicate you the required workouts to get this basic handling. Later posts will show you how to improve even better and train the tests themselves.

To keep a control of your training, you can download the Training Control Sheet, and use it to record your improvements. Highly recommendable if you wan to improve fast.

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Basic Workouts

What follows is a series of basic workouts that will allow you handle the basic usage of the tables. Repeat the following workouts once every day until you reach the goals stated on the workouts.

 Decimal Numbers Memory Workout

  • Open the Speed Memory program and select the option Training. Then press OK.
  • On the screen that will appear, select 180 digits and 50 seconds.
  • Activate the Fast Mode option (to maximise your training time).
  • When you are ready, press the Start button. There will appear 180 numbers on the screen in groups of 2 digits. Your training goal is to recognize the words associated to each of the 2 digits (as defined in the conversion table), in the 50 seconds.
  • It is very likely you won’t be able to recognize the words for the 180 numbers in the allocated time. Take note of the maximum number of digits recognized.
  • Repeat the exercise for 8 times.
  • Write down on the training sheet your maximum number of digits achieved. Try to beat your that number the next day.

Binary Numbers Memory Workout

  • Open the Speed Memory program and select the option Training. Then press OK.
  • On the screen that will appear, select Binary.
  • On the screen that will appear, select 126 binary digits and 15 seconds.
  • Activate the Fast Mode option (to maximise your training time).
  • When you are ready, press the Start button. There will appear 126 binary numbers on the screen in groups of 6 digits. Your training goal is to recognize the words associated to each of the 6 digits (as defined in the conversion table), in the 15 seconds.
  • It is very likely you won’t be able to recognize the words for the 126 numbers in the allocated time. Take note of the maximum number of digits recognized.
  • Repeat the exercise for 8 times.
  • Write down on the training sheet your maximum number of digits achieved. Try to beat your that number the next day.

Figures Memory Workout

  • Open the Speed Memory program and select the option Training. Then press OK.
  • On the screen that will appear, click at the figures icon.
  • Select a Blank Time of 1.25 seconds.
  • Where it says Seconds, select 1.75.
  • Activate the Constant Time option.
  • When you are ready, press the Start button. There will appear colored figures up to a number of 15. Your work consists of identifying the corresponding word to each colored figure (as defined in your conversion table).
  • It is very likely you won’t be able to identify the words for the 15 figures. Take note of the maximum number of figures you identified.
  • Repeat the exercise for 8 times.
  • Write down on the training sheet your maximum number of figures achieved. Try to beat your that number the next day.
Matrices Memory Workout

  • Open the Speed Memory program and select the option Training. Then press OK.
  • On the screen that will appear, click at the matrices icon.
  • Select a Blank Time of 0.25 seconds.
  • Where it says Showtime, select 3 seconds.
  • Activate the Constant Time option.
  • When you are ready, press the Start button. There will appear 3×4 matrices up to a number of 12. Your work consists of identifying the corresponding word to each 3×2 matrix figure (as defined in your conversion table). Take into account that there are two 3×2 of those matrices on each matrix shown on the screen.
  • It is very likely you won’t be able to identify the words for the 12 matrices. Take note of the maximum number of matrices you identified.
  • Repeat the exercise for 8 times.
  • Write down on the training sheet your maximum number of matrices achieved. Try to beat your that number the next day.

These are the basic workouts for anybody who starts from scratch. Once you achieve the goals of the workouts, you will have to perform some more complex. Those will be explained in further posts.

 

The Fast Memory Training Camp

If you feel like you cannot wait for more posts about how to train for the championship, you can join the Speed Memory Training Camp and be part of the Insanity Mind Team.

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Enrolling the training camp, is free, and provides you personal training, follow up and group Internet training, as well as a friendship team environment. You can enrol by subscribing you in the following form.

 

What are you waiting for?

Join us and change the course of the whole speed memory world!

 

 

2 Responses to How To Train For a Fast Memory Championship (I)

  1. Michael 27/04/2017 at 4:31 #

    I would like to download the speed memory program but the link seems to have changed. Can yo u help?

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