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3x3 Can't break 1 minute

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Oct 12, 2016
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Thread starter #1
Hi,

I've been cubing for 3-4 years now (on and off) and I just can't seem to break the 3x3 1 minute mark. I've watched so many videos and yes, they are very helpful, I just can't seem to work out a routine to improve. Cubeskills is an incredible resource and I'd have to say I've learned the most from that and J-Perms videos on youtube. But with all that aside, I just never see any improvement. It takes me forever to figure out a cross and my F2L is incredibly sloppy. Pauses all over the place, panic, rotations, etc. I have 2 look OLL and PLL down pretty well, with solid recognition. But Cross & F2L are still terrible for me.

I've tried metronome solving, intuitive F2L, Algorithms, rotation less solving, using an unstickered cross cube, and I just don't see much improvement.

Any tips would be really appreciated. I'm a quick learner, but it just hasn't clicked yet. Does anyone have a practice routine they use that has been effective for you? I'd really love to get into a schedule where I start seeing some improvement.

Thanks!
 

Mike Hughey

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#2
Do an average of 5 full solves on video and calculate your splits - how long it takes to do cross, how long it takes to do F2L, how long it takes to do OLL, how long it takes to do PLL, and post them here. Or even better, post the video.

From that, people will probably be able to figure out quickly what is holding you back.

Posting the actual video would really be far and away the best - it would probably show us exactly where the problem is.
 
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Thread starter #3
Do an average of 5 full solves on video and calculate your splits - how long it takes to do cross, how long it takes to do F2L, how long it takes to do OLL, how long it takes to do PLL, and post them here. Or even better, post the video.

From that, people will probably be able to figure out quickly what is holding you back.

Posting the actual video would really be far and away the best - it would probably show us exactly where the problem is.
I'd be too embarrassed to post a video. Sometimes it takes me 20+ seconds to even figure out the cross haha.

I've only been about "speed" for a short while. Just being able to solve it for fun has always been my mindset.
 
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#4
I'd be too embarrassed to post a video. Sometimes it takes me 20+ seconds to even figure out the cross haha.

I've only been about "speed" for a short while. Just being able to solve it for fun has always been my mindset.
lol no one's going to judge you, we all started off slow.

If you post a video or at least give us something to work with, we can help. Otherwise, sub-1 is doable even with a really bad method, doing nothing but practice (has to be more persistent than just once in a while) will probably get you down to around 50. Sounds like you need work on the cross though. There are lots of ways to get better, search around YouTube and something will help. Everyone learns differently so not every video will make much sense.
 
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#5
There's a big difference in mindset between solving for speed and solving for fun.

If you're solving "for fun", the fact that you can solve the cube at all should be much more important than how fast you are. Takes you ten minutes to solve a 3×3×3? Hey, that's cool, you're still better at it than the millions of people who don't even know how to solve one.

If you're solving "for speed", you need to be prepared to set aside hours to practice on a regular-ish schedule. Ideal would be 1-2 hours a day, although might not be an option depending on how busy you are. The "stupid" training technique of just doing a ton of solves actually helps in recognising patterns of pieces, and the more you see these patterns, the easier it'll get to recognise and distinguish them.

Other than that, just to echo the above posts, if you have a video of a few typical solves (i.e. ones that are neither exceptionally fast nor exceptionally slow), we might be able to point out more specific flaws or areas to improve.
 
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#6
If you don't do cross on bottom, I recommend you do. Making x-crosses can also help. I'm currently learning full pll (6 morer to go!), so learning pllwould be good. Hope this helps!
 
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#7
Well, it sounds like you weren't practicing super hard during those 3-4 on and off years-just casual, fun solving. That's cool, but don't expect that to have helped a ton if you're trying to get faster.

I've tried metronome solving, intuitive F2L, Algorithms, rotation less solving, using an unstickered cross cube, and I just don't see much improvement.
Well, I personally don't like metronome solving. I think it can help, but not very much-it's too stressful.
Intuitive F2L is a long slow process. Often what happens is people learn it, and their times skyrocket. You need at least a week or two to get back to your previous times, much less improve. And thats if you're doing at least a dozen or so solves a day.
2look OLL (10 algorithms) and 2look PLL (7 algorithms) should be sufficient for sub60 (and basically all the way down to 30 if you push it).
Rotationless solving comes much later, more like pushing sub15 or sub20. Just try to keep rotations below 2 per F2L pair. Don't rotate to find stuff, keep your hands on the cube and tilt it so you can see different sides without letting go.
Unstickered cross cubes are great. Cross can always be solved in 8 moves or less, but for now, I'd say just stay under 10.

Improvement is slow. Don't expect your times to drop after learning something in an afternoon. It will take weeks and months for improvement to happen.
 
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#8
What I would use to improve is inspecting for as long as you have to to find cross and use at the most 8 moves. If you keep working at it, you should be able to get under 15 seconds to find a cross. As for f2l, do really slow solves so you don't pause at all, and slowly increase your speed. It may take a while, but try not to get discouraged, we have all been there at some point. It would really help if you put up a video too, but if you don't want to I understand.
 
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Thread starter #9
Well, it sounds like you weren't practicing super hard during those 3-4 on and off years-just casual, fun solving. That's cool, but don't expect that to have helped a ton if you're trying to get faster.


Well, I personally don't like metronome solving. I think it can help, but not very much-it's too stressful.
Intuitive F2L is a long slow process. Often what happens is people learn it, and their times skyrocket. You need at least a week or two to get back to your previous times, much less improve. And thats if you're doing at least a dozen or so solves a day.
2look OLL (10 algorithms) and 2look PLL (7 algorithms) should be sufficient for sub60 (and basically all the way down to 30 if you push it).
Rotationless solving comes much later, more like pushing sub15 or sub20. Just try to keep rotations below 2 per F2L pair. Don't rotate to find stuff, keep your hands on the cube and tilt it so you can see different sides without letting go.
Unstickered cross cubes are great. Cross can always be solved in 8 moves or less, but for now, I'd say just stay under 10.

Improvement is slow. Don't expect your times to drop after learning something in an afternoon. It will take weeks and months for improvement to happen.
Yeah I wasn't practicing super hard at all. Just recently have I been practicing a lot more to get faster (maybe 2 months).

Thanks for all the tips so far guys, I appreciate it.
 

Tabe

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#12
All of the above are fantastic suggestions. Let me add another:

Have a cube with you all the time when you're not "cubing". Sitting there watching TV? Do turns on the cube. Just work on improving your comfort level with turning the cube and controlling it.

Also, you didn't mention it, but make sure you're doing fingertricks rather than full wrist/hand turns to do moves. If you're not, just switching to those will reduce your times.
 
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Thread starter #13
All of the above are fantastic suggestions. Let me add another:

Have a cube with you all the time when you're not "cubing". Sitting there watching TV? Do turns on the cube. Just work on improving your comfort level with turning the cube and controlling it.

Also, you didn't mention it, but make sure you're doing fingertricks rather than full wrist/hand turns to do moves. If you're not, just switching to those will reduce your times.
I generally do, for the most part. And yes, I do fingertricks. My biggest problem areas are the cross and pausing during F2L.
 
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#14
As I see it, pauses during F2L can be caused by two things: finding the pieces you want to solve, and recognizing the case you have or getting it to a recognizable case. Both of these things can be reduced to a time of zero seconds by looking ahead, but that isn't necessary or worth your time when trying to get sub-1. To get sub 1 minute, I think the most important thing to work on is recognizing what case you have and knowing exactly how to solve it. Your ability to find pieces and decide which ones to solve will improve over time. You should make a goal of being able to find the two pieces of an F2L pair and know exactly what moves you need to do to solve that pair into its correct slot. Practice this by doing casual solves without a timer. First find the two pieces you want to solve, then imagine in your head yourself solving it. Try to see the entire path from where they are now to when they are solved. If you want, you can close your eyes try to solve the pair, or just do the first few moves then figure it out from there, close your eyes and do some more moves. Mess ups are welcome, they push your limits.
 
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Thread starter #15
Do an average of 5 full solves on video and calculate your splits - how long it takes to do cross, how long it takes to do F2L, how long it takes to do OLL, how long it takes to do PLL, and post them here. Or even better, post the video.

From that, people will probably be able to figure out quickly what is holding you back.

Posting the actual video would really be far and away the best - it would probably show us exactly where the problem is.
Did these on my lunch.

Here is a typical solve:

SOLVE #1: (Holding blue in the front to solve the cross)
Scramble: B' R' U' F D B' L' B' F' R L2 B2 U F2 L2 U R2 D F2 R2 D

Inspection: 36 seconds
Cross: 6 seconds
F2L: 1:22 seconds (about 20 seconds per pair)
OLL: 6 seconds
PLL: 5 seconds

Now here's the off chance (very lucky) I can recognize things a bit more quickly.

SOLVE #2: (Holding red in front to solve the cross)
Scramble: F' D B2 R' F' L' U L2 D L2 F' R2 F L2 F U2 F U2 L2 F

Inspection: 17 seconds
Cross: 4 seconds
F2L: 34 seconds
OLL: 5 seconds
PLL: 4 seconds
 
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#16
I had the same problem as you, up until about two weeks ago. I practiced nothing but intuitive F2L for about a week straight, and although it was really boring, it got be down from an average of 45 seconds to 25. That seems to be your only issue for now, so try practicing that.
 

Mike Hughey

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#17
It's really true! If those solves are typical, your cross times are just fine for getting sub-minute, as are your OLL and PLL times. You just need to drill F2L. Do a bunch of solves where you stop after F2L - don't bother with last layer. You should get faster pretty quickly.

Your OLL/PLL times are pretty great for someone at your level - I'd say that shows your fingertricks are okay. It's all about learning how to do F2L quickly, which is mainly about practice so you recognize things quickly.
 
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Thread starter #18
I had the same problem as you, up until about two weeks ago. I practiced nothing but intuitive F2L for about a week straight, and although it was really boring, it got be down from an average of 45 seconds to 25. That seems to be your only issue for now, so try practicing that.
How many solves would you say you did per day, during that week?

It's really true! If those solves are typical, your cross times are just fine for getting sub-minute, as are your OLL and PLL times. You just need to drill F2L. Do a bunch of solves where you stop after F2L - don't bother with last layer. You should get faster pretty quickly.

Your OLL/PLL times are pretty great for someone at your level - I'd say that shows your fingertricks are okay. It's all about learning how to do F2L quickly, which is mainly about practice so you recognize things quickly.
Yeah, I think the only reason why I'm so slow is because cross and F2L just don't click yet. There's nothing too difficult about recognizing and solving the few OLL & PLL cases that are required for 4LLL for me.

I do remember drilling F2L for weeks and still not really getting anywhere. My brain just wants me to move as fast as I can during F2L.. even when I try to go slow I can feel myself wanting to speed up lol.
 
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