Recently, lets say over the past 10 years or so…American workout culture is rooted in people “giving their all” and leaving “everything on the field”.

You must give it everything you’ve got.

What has manifested in the fitness world as a result of this mindset?

A lot of very difficult workout regimens that leave people broken mentally, physically, or both.

When I walk by many group fitness workouts (whether at a local park or in a gym), I’m awestruck by some normal people looking like they’re really hurting themselves.

They have very painful looks on their faces. They are just pushing and pushing and pushing past the point of control.

Challenging yourself and going outside your comfort zone has many benefits. But pushing yourself to the max day in and day out is unsustainable.

Here’s what inevitably happens to people who push 100% every workout:

  1. Injury
  2. Burnout
  3. Inconsistency

You don’t need to kill yourself every workout to get incredible results! In fact, doing so is highly unwise.

A gradual approach to increasing strength and conditioning is the most effective. And just showing up is the most important thing.

For example, if you started doing just 1 pull up a week, then added 1 pull up each week, how many pull ups would you be doing each week in one year?

52 of course…if it’s not a leap year.

Elite athletes do not push to the max every workout. Far from it. They plan and prepare their training so they peak in season.

Apply the wisdom of elite athletes to your own training and you’ll achieve better results with a lot less frustration and inconsistency.

Here is a portion from the book, Never Let Go, written by Dan John….is an elite-level strength and weightlifting coach. He is also an All-American discus thrower, holds the American record in the Weight Pentathlon, and has competed at the highest levels of Olympic lifting and Highland Games.

I have a little formula concerning workouts that I call the Rule of Five.


In a group of five workouts, I tend to have one great workout, the kind of workout that makes me think in just a few weeks I could be an Olympic champion, plus maybe Mr. Olympia.  Then, I have one workout that’s so awful that the mere fact I continue to exist as a somewhat higher form of life is a miracle.  Finally, the other three workouts are the punch-the-clock-workouts: I go in, work out, and walk out.  Most people experience this.


In a hundred workouts, I’ll have twenty great workouts.  Of that twenty, a couple will be flat-out amazing.  And in a thousand workouts, one is worthy of an article, or bragging to my buddies about.  Once a decade, if I’m lucky.  I have that workout.

….so say again…take it from even one of the world foremost experts in elite training….

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