“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.”
~ Napoleon Hill
As you probably know by now, I am a huge advocate of taking a multi-disciplinary approach to reach your goals. However, when I get asked about the most important aspect of success, I always answer with “Consistency!” Without consistency, the seeds we plant will not flourish. They need to be nurtured regularly before they bear any fruit. If you want to build a lean, muscular and strong physique, you need to exercise and eat healthy regularly for several weeks, months or years depending on how far off you are from this goal. Overall, I have found that people who exercise all year round at just once per week get better results than people who workout 3-4 times per week only 2 months out of the year.
In order to maintain this type of long-term consistency, you have to maintain a certain mindset I call – consistency over progress. What does this mean exactly? Every day is a different day. Some days you will feel great and other days lousy. On the days you feel great, you will smash your workouts. You may hit PRs (personal records) in several movements. You will feel like you are progressing to a whole new level and get highly motivated by it.
Other days, you feel terrible. Even your warm-up weight feels somewhat challenging. You are sure that you will not do as well as your previous workout session. What do you do? Should you just skip the workout and come back another day when you are fresh? This is where the consistency over progress mindset comes in. Yes, you still do your workout. Just do less. Whether it it’s intensity or volume, cut it down. In other words, go lighter or do less reps and focus on perfecting technique.
Notice how I said do less. Don’t make the mistake of trying to do as much as you did in the previous workout when you were feeling really good. This will put you at risk of injuring yourself. I have seen this many times where people push through their workouts in a fatigued state only to hurt themselves. Remember, when you are fatigued the first thing to breakdown is technique. Therefore, you need to learn how to work with what you have.
For some reason, many people tend to underestimate the power and value of lighter workouts. In their mind, if it’s not a high-octane, shirt-ripping, vain-popping workout then there is no point. This idea is flawed. Actually, I have found on several occasions that I feel more soreness the next day when I go lighter during my workouts. Whether it’s because I increase the range of motion, time under tension or sharpness of the technique, I feel great the following day. There is always tremendous value and upside to doing lighter workouts. The next time you feel lousy and think it’s better to skip your workout, don’t fall for it. There is a better option. Modify your exercise variables and do a lighter workout. This will ensure that you keep a higher amount of consistency throughout the year which will lead to greater results and success.
Your V10 Health Coach,
P.S. If you are interested, I also make a coaching video for each of these posts on YouTube. You can subscribe to my YouTube channel so you do not miss out on any of the valuable content I share. Here is the link for this post: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0B4OcmjdIs