Tired of constantly being sore and dreading that trip to the gym? Well maybe you’re exercising too much or too hard. Over time, volume and consistency can have a much more sustainable effect on long-term development, rather than short-term intensity. Follow this approach for rewarding, pain-free, and enjoyable exercise.
Compounded Results over Time
You don’t always need to reach your max in order for it to be considered a good workout. Instead, do just enough so that you can set yourself up train harder the next day. Say you can do 10 pull-ups at your absolute best, at most 3 days a week; that’s 30 pull-ups in one week. Now let’s say you set the bar low and start off with 5 pull-ups for the first 2 days. Soon that will get pretty easy so you bump it up to 6, 7, and so on. In 7 days your compounded volume would have surpassed well over 30 pull-ups without overexerting yourself.
Go With the Flow
If a challenge is too high you meet anxiety, if it’s too low you hit boredom. Pushing yourself towards maximum intensity takes so much mental stress that it becomes a pain to do it and you need to rest in order to train again. Keep yourself in a balanced state of flow everyday so that you make small, consistent results over time and become eager to train the next day.
There is a time and place for intensity. It’s something that you should work towards slowly over time when your body is ready. Take a more playful approach towards exercising and the results will shock you. Keep your intensity around 70%, but do it frequently, and you will spike your metabolism more often, your energy levels will increase, and training will be more addictive.
Written by GUADS intern Joe, with contributions from Firas Zahabi.