There are a vast number of easy things in this world that also happen to be valuable.
As a culture, we tend to fixate on the most gruelling aspects of training – probably because they’re the most dramatic and we’ve all seen too many movies for our collective good.
If you’re not sure what I’m talking about check out any Rocky Montage. I recommend IV.
The truth is there has to be a careful balance. Too little work will obviously not yield results. But too much work will overwhelm the organism (AKA “you”) and cause you to regress or fall away from your training program altogether.
There’s got to be a balance between Yin and Yang. However – on both sides of the coin – our enjoyment of a good story line sometimes misleads us into taking a thing that is just a thing and trying to turn it into a Thing.
You heard me: We take a thing that is a thing and try to turn it into a Thing.
I suspect there’s a clearer way to say this so let’s try again.
On the Yin (soft) side, this can mean something like eating more vegetables (a good idea in general) or taking a few minutes every day to close your eyes and slow things down to a heart beat (something all of us could benefit from).
The value of these activities doesn’t mean you should become a raw vegan, taking nourishment only from the morning dew or spend every waking hour in full-lotus position. These changes might be invigorating in the short-term but they will obliterate your lean body mass and make you weak in the long-term.
On the Yang (hard) side, this can mean using valuable training methods, such as Olympic lifting (generally awesome) and high-intensity intervals (a powerful tool) to train.
The value of these things does not mean that you should frequently perform Olympic lifts for as many reps as possible or run hard intervals daily. These changes might be invigorating in the short-term but they will obliterate your lean body mass and make you weak in the long-term.
There’s a pattern here.
The fact that kettlebells are a great tool does not mean we’re going to open up a kettlebell-only gym. The fact that plentiful sleep is important does not mean we’re going to induce a coma in anyone.
Remember that most tools are not valuable in and of themselves. If you enjoyed sudden and dramatic improvements because of something new, it was probably because its novelty disrupted the homeostatic process.
It’s not the tool; it’s the novelty of the tool. Don’t get suckered into thinking otherwise this article.
Once the novelty has been exhausted, you can either up the amount of work you’re doing compared to last month (something impossible to do forever) or change tools.
There is no magical method or tool that will yield everlasting results. Instead, try to use your primary goal as a compass point and then vary methods as much as possible without taking you off-course.
Heed this advice and you too may find that you’ve evolved from . . .
Into a Thing: