When it comes to working out, less is more.
It’s not the first time you’ve heard it, and it certainly won’t be the last.
“Less is more.”
This catchy slogan has become the battle cry for those seeking more peace, clarity, simplicity in their lives.
The concept itself is pretty straightforward:
A small amount
of something is much more effective than a large amount or too much of it.
This basically means that…
- Less stuff = more space
- Less spending = more money
- Less unnecessary activities = more time for things you love
It’s pretty clear to understand why this lifestyle approach has become so popular. With less clutter and more clarity, we are free to think about and work on more meaningful, fulfilling activities and projects.
However, despite the easy-to-understand logic, this code of living seems to have become a distant memory.
We live in a world today where more is better. While some people preach “less is more” most people act with a “more is more” mentality.
More money. More houses. More cars. More vacation time.
More, more, more.
This concept of “more is more” has overflowed into every aspect of our lives. From the normal 9–5 expanding to 8–5, to “keeping up with the Kardashians,” and even how to lose weight and get healthier.
This concept of “more is more” has diluted and eroded every aspect of our lives — especially our health.
The Truth to Getting in Better Shape
When I come back from a run, sweaty and smiling, I usually hear one of the below questions from my friends:
- “How far did you run today?”
- “How long did you run?”
While I appreciate their curiosity, it’s slightly misdirected. Their questions of distance or time only focus on the quantity of my run, whereas the quality is what’s really important.
Without quality, the quantity of exercise is unimportant.
This focus on quantity instead of quality is a result of the “more is more” mindset. With nearly every fitness “expert” preaching different ways to lose weight, get a six-pack, or feel better, it’s confusing to know where to start.
Flooded with too many options, many people are left to assume that the more you work out, the better — “more is more.”
However, this concept of "more is more" has blurred the lines between what will actually help us get in shape and what won't.
Quality exercise will help you get in better shape. More time exercising won’t always do the same.
Time is one of the most misunderstood concepts in the health and fitness industry.
A lot of people think that you have to work out for several hours a day to get in shape. That’s just not true.
In all honesty, it doesn’t take much more than 30 minutes a day to get in shape. However, what it does take is the consistency to workout 30 minutes a day over a long period of time.
Progress isn’t made overnight. Instead, it’s made with small, consistent changes over time.
Progress = Incremental Change (30 minutes/day) X Consistency (long period of time)
No one understands this better than Joe Rogan.
As one of the most popular podcast hosts in the world, Joe has dissected the brains of the world’s elite athletes and most knowledgable health experts. His guests include Mike Tyson, David Goggins, Lance Armstrong, Sam Harris, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ben Greenfield, and many more.
In addition, he’s a stand-up comedian, a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and looks more like an MMA fighter than the MMA commentator that he is.
Needless to say, Joe knows a thing or two about what’s required to get in better shape…
“You don't need 2.5 hours. You can get a great workout in 40 minutes and that's all you need for the whole day. 100%.
You could work out in a bullshit manner for 2 hours and not get nearly as much done as you can for a half-hour hard, just running.”— Joe Rogan
As Joe alludes to, the concept of putting in more time to get in shape isn’t always the best approach.
You can get just as good, or even better, results in half the time if you focus instead on the quality of the workout.
This concept of “how much time did you put in today?” is completely backward and is confusing the things that will actually get us closer to our health and fitness goals.
Rather than focusing on “how much” — time or distance — we should instead focus on “how consistent” we’ve been. Because consistency is where real progress is made.
So don’t get caught up in the “more is more” approach to getting in better shape. The more you workout does not always equate to better results. Instead, focusing on staying consistent over a long period of time, and the results will come, I promise.