If you know me, then you'll know that I'm into the whole minimalist movement (read more about that HERE).
I've cut my wardrobe down to 3 pairs of shoes, 2 pairs of jeans, a few t shirts, 2 pairs of training shorts, underwear, socks and bare essentials.
I sold my 2nd car (my VW Golf – man I loved that car, but really didn't NEED it) and now ride a bike throughout the city.
I'm constantly purging and ruthlessly throwing away things we don't need.
But the only area where I'm not a practicing minimalism is parenting – seeing as Rozanne and I have 2.5 more kids than the average family 🙂
That's why we're minimalists – imagine a house where everyone has 5 pairs of shoes. Well in our house, that's 35 pairs! And if you're not careful, everything starts smelling like feet 😉
So instead of having a lot of stuff, we focus on the quality of stuff that we do have.
I bought a waterproof jacket for a pretty penny a couple of years ago. I use it almost every day – even in the winter. It's black, it's tailor fitted, it has air vents (it's actually a cycling jacket) and it's very stylish (I can wear it with jeans when I go out to dinner with my wife, to the gym with a pair of track pants and I wear it riding my bike everyday).
It's a high quality jacket and has taken the place of 4 other pieces of clothing in my closet. It’s minimalist.
Here's another example…
With my training, I've narrowed everything down to 10 exercises TOTAL.
In fact, the program that Geoff has me on right now only has 3 exercises – presses, chin-ups and swings.
But get this: my training time is only 30 minutes per day, 4 days per week.
What blows my mind is that I'm doing less, but I'm getting stronger and leaner.
How ‘s that possible?!
Isn't the goal to do MORE work?
Doesn't more work = more results?
Which brings me to the point of Geoff's Article Today…
NO BS PERPETUAL SUCCESS PRINCIPLE #2: Focus On Quality NOT Quantity
Have you noticed that the more apps you have on your iPhone the less you can use it for the things you really want?
Like taking videos of your toddler to send to your family. (Ahem…)
All those apps take up valuable memory that could be used for video storage.
The same is true with your KB workouts – so many of us focus on the wrong things.
1. Doing more reps come hell or high-water
If you're into chasing numbers, it's easy to let your form go to pot.
When that happens, the wrong muscles start working, and you start training a faulty movement which leads to injury, frustration, and failure.
Slow down and focus on your technique – make each rep feel the same. You'll get stronger faster and actually reach your goals – whatever they are – sooner.
Cause when you train your body to do the movement the same way every time, you no longer have to think about it. You can focus your attention on other things – like using more weight – and getting kettlebell strong.
2. Cramming a bunch of exercises into your workouts
There’s no specific rule about how many exercises should be in your workout. Unlike the popular fitness workouts that say you should have X, Y, and Z in your workouts, kettlebells afford you the luxury of efficiency.
Shoot, you could “just” do ONE exercise, like the Swing, and see AMAZING results.
That's the beauty of KB training.
You literally can get more done in less time IF you focus on the right things – like mastering tension – which we talked about yesterday.
Focus on doing one or two things REALLY well and notice that it transfers over to everything else you do.
3. Working out too many times a week
Who hasn't fallen into this trap before?
Because of life's stresses, you only have a limited capacity to recover.
That means if you can't recover, you won't see the results you're looking for.
So if you're not getting the results you expect from your KB workouts then you need to be honest with yourself –
Are you screwing off not doing the things you know you should, or are you actually doing too much?
Only you know the answer, but if it's the second, and you feel you absolutely must work out every day, cut your workouts in half and do the second half the next day.
Not only will you feel more refreshed, but you'll be able to focus on the quality of each rep which will help you produce more force and help you get stronger or burn more calories – whichever you goal is.
4. Working out too long in each workout session
There's an inverse relationship between quality of your workout and its length.
There's also an inverse relationship between the effort you put forth and the length.
You can't go ballz-to-the-wall (‘scuse me ladies) for an hour and expect your work to count for much. This would be more of a test, rather than training.
For example, how many Snatch Tests (100 KB snatches in 5 minutes) could you do in a row per day before your hands looked like you ran them over a cheese grater and you torched your lower back because your grip was shot?
So the harder you plan on working out, the shorter your workout should be.
Putting This Into Practice
Of course, this all assumes you know how to perform your KB exercises with great technique – especially the advanced ones.
Here's a challenge for you – if you really want a “great workout” – try this:
Pick an exercise and do just that ONE exercise.
But here's “the rub” (to quote Shakespeare) – focus only on making your technique spot on.
Do all that you know you should instead of just getting the reps in.
- Make sure your set up is perfect.
- Make sure the start is perfect.
- Hold each position for just a moment longer (where applicable).
Do this and see how great your workout is… how much less of a workout you need.
Speaking of, there's one modification of the ballistic exercises that you can do which will give you one heckuva workout and clean up your technique to boot.
Maybe we'll talk about that next time…
Great stuff, Coach!
Can't wait for the next article.
Have an awesome weekend,