1000 Reps for Mastery

1000 Reps for Mastery

The past couple days we’ve talked about the 10 rep rule for testing and how 100 reps builds momentum and confidence. After 100 videos I had hit on my niche for bullet journaling and productivity. YouTuber MKBHD had found his niche in tech reviews and has since grown his channel to over 13 million subscribers. What can we learn from his exponential growth?

What I find even more interesting is there seems to be a tight correlation between his subscriber count, number of videos published, and years producing content. If you look deeper MKBHD has been creating content for nearly 13 years and published over 1,300 videos on YouTube.

13 million - 1,300 videos - 13 years active

In those 13 years he’s hit the 1,000 rep milestone for mastery. Anyone watching his videos sees the undeniable grasp of the YouTube form and style needed to succeed on the platform. But part of what I find fascinating is that Marques is (partially) responsible for the type of videos YouTube seems to promote. He’s helped craft it through his consistency and not through a couple viral videos or big ad spend.

If we look one layer deeper we can see another 10X connection between 1,000 reps and content creation. Let’s assume that each video takes an average of 10 hours to shoot and edit (though it’s likely more). That gives the 1,000 rep master roughly 10,000 hours of focused practice - the number of hours needed to become a true master of any craft (1).

I’m around 200 videos now and believe the only difference between a master like Marques or Casey Neistat (also over 1,000 videos on YouTube) is 800 videos. Mastery is only a matter of consistency, focus, and time.

Let’s zoom back in because 1,000 reps is a lot. That’s why you want to try something 10 times to see if it’s a fit for you - making videos, working out, meditating. Find the right practice for you then get to 100 reps to really build momentum and confidence.

Then it’s only a matter of consistent practice to hit those 1,000 reps for mastery. It’s a long journey but the path is simple. Will you join me?

1 - the 10,000 hour theory was first presented by Anders Ericsson and popularized by Malcom Gladwell in his book Outliers. There have been several studies since that seek to debunk the theory.

While it’s true that 10,000 hours is a flexible measurement, possibly misinterpreted, I believe most of the challenger studies miss the point that mastery takes a long time and a lot of work. Ericsson wrote his own book Peak, on the subject of expertise and it’s certainly worth a read.