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Doing Less is More

To do more, or not to do more. That is the question.

Look, I have been there. Stuck in a plateau or frustrated that results are not happening fast enough. Quite frankly, it sucks. You feel like you are not doing enough, so you want to do more.

More workouts, more steps, more dialed in with food, etc.

That might be the answer, but if I were to put my money on it, probably not.

If anything, doing less actually might be the answer.

But I won’t go into that now. Rather, let’s look at the question posed above.

To do more, or not to do more. That is the question.

It is tempting. More is better, yeah? Well, let's dive into that.

Before adding more to your program or current routine: ask yourself these two questions:

  1. Am I doing everything in my power currently to make the most out of what I am doing now?

  2. Can I recover from what I want to add in?

The former question is a pretty straight forward yes or no. Is the effort there? No, that does not mean a yes or no to whether you are leaving the gym sweating, unable to do anything the rest of the day. Rather, it means asking “am I bringing the required energy and focus to the session rather than going through the motions?” . If the answer to 1 is no, start there.

Start really following your program or giving that 100% required effort when you are working out along or with a trainer.

The latter of the questions is a bit more in depth.

So what do I mean by recovery? Well, it means being able to adapt from the session you do. In simple terms: make the progress you want to make.

Things that influence recovery are sleep, nutrition, hydration, and stress levels. If those are not in check with what you are currently doing, maybe it is not the best idea.

Think of recovery like the money you have vs. the bills you have to pay. The more stress (workouts, dealing with kids, career etc.), AKA the bills in this analogy, that pile up, the less and less money you have to spend on things you enjoy. And if you are not replenishing your money through sleep, nutrition, hydration, and stress management, you will find yourself in the negative, owing more than you have in your account.

So, in a situation where you find yourself wanting to do more, but not sure if you can recover (or aren’t recovering from what you are doing now: AKA plateauing) from what you want to add to your workouts, take that energy you would have dedicated to that new workout and put it towards a recovery modality.

Get more sleep. Take that time and meal prep instead. Put energy into drinking water. Take that spare time and blow off some steam (no the gym is not that).

If that stuff is in check and on point. Add more (but add it slowly- an extra rep. Extra Minute. Extra Set.).

All in all, the point I am getting at here is that more is not always better. It can be, but not always. Instead of looking to add more, seek to be better. Better, not more, is progress. Dial things in, then if you still want to do more, reassess.

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