There’s a common theme running through the fitness industry – “How can we do the least possible work?”
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – training optimally can reduce injury risk and maintain energy levels. Why do 5 sets when you could do 3 and get the same result?
But that constant notion of “what’s the shortcut… what’s the least I can do… how can I hack this?” is the wrong frame of mind. In the end, you’re going to have to do more work than you have in the past (progressive overload)
You need to do more.
It’s probably going to be a little bit uncomfortable – most things worth doing are.
You’re not going to hack your way to peak performance with little tricks. You have to dig, and strain, and work to make headway. You’re going to have get a little uncomfortable in order to get better.
People are making exercise more comfortable and more convenient every day. Before you know it, you’re walking on a treadmill, watching Netflix, with your headphones on, in a nice warm gym. God forbid you do exercise without technology or out in the environment where you might have to deal with a little cold weather.
I’m not saying throw the science out and flog yourself every day at some sort of bootcamp – we all know how that ends. But don’t be afraid to get a little uncomfortable and dig a little deeper than you ‘have to’. Mental resiliency is important. Yet most people don’t include it in the equation.
Yes, you may get the same benefits from 10 minutes of high-intensity sprints as you do from an hour of running. Yes, we want to be efficient with our training. Yes, we want to minimise injury risk – this kind of thinking helps simplify and cut the fat from a program.
But constantly looking for shortcuts and trying to put in the least amount of effort sends the wrong message.
Stop trying to shorten everything in fitness down to the minimal effective dose. Stop asking “what’s the least amount of work I can do?” Don’t be scared of discomfort.
Eventually you will have to do more work.