More Isn’t Always More

As January is coming to a close, I’ve been seeing lots of posts on social media, blogs, etc. about what everyone is going to “do” after their 30-day challenges for whatever are over. Some talk about getting back to normal, some talk about stuffing their face with ice cream (#teamicecream for life) and then getting on with their day, but I’ve also noticed a fairly interesting thing – people seem to want to make things MORE complicated.

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For example, if someone is seeking to lose fat, they may be embarking on a carb back/front/side loading-strict paleo-if it fits your macros-vegan nutrition plan with “cheats” every 4.5 days and 27 workouts a week cycling between high, low, medium intensity days with weights, unicorn lifting, and swimming. I’m exaggerating (obviously – but, I’m just saying..unicorn lifting, it’d be fun) but you get the idea. There is the notion that somehow MORE is better – more restriction, more complication, more this, more that is going to lead to this magical place where suddenly everything works. OR if you have to eliminate a food (like gluten) for some reason, it’s very tempting to just pack MORE substitutes for things like bread, pasta, and cereal into your day. Trying to find something to “make up” for what you feel you’re missing is plain exhausting. Simplify instead.

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Another example, a relative strength training novice wants to increase their squat (awesome!), and decides they are going to run a Russian squat program with Westside undertones, with bands, chains, box squats, pause squats, 1 1/4 pause squats, and oh yeah, pause box squats with a bamboo bar and chains. That all sounds super sexycoolawesome but really, what’s probably going to raise your squat, is just squatting. (P.S. I’m no expert by any means, just my thoughts). But squatting 5×5 doesn’t sound nearly as cool as squatting 2x7x94.3 with 87# of chains to a high box. Sure, some complex squat program with accessories may be appropriate for someone – but my guess is that if you haven’t been training for a long time, it ain’t you.

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Somewhere along the way, everyone got obsessed with doing more. “More” became desirable, it became sexy, and it became what everyone felt like they should be doing. But more isn’t always more. More restriction, more complication, more deprivation is only going to give you one thing – MORE STRESS. And more stress is something that NO one needs. But “more” is so shiny and new and attractive that it’s often times hard to resist. This isn’t limited to food and barbells, either.

Society, as a whole, values and glorifies “more”. We are constantly supposed to be doing more things and that’s just plain stressful. It has taken me a long (very, very long) time to realize that I don’t have to pack every.single.hour of my day with something – it’s okay to relax, to do nothing even, and to take time to do something besides work. That shift has carried over into almost every single activity/aspect of my day – whether it’s food, planning, working, or training. Doing more for more’s sake isn’t productive – it’s just straight up exhausting.

Moral of the story? Simplicity isn’t sexy but it works.

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Comments: 8

  1. Courtney @ Journey of a Dreamer January 31, 2014 at 10:30 am Reply

    you’re my favorite.

    this is a truth i was SO many of our clients would understand. doing 1093843 abmat situps won’t give you abs.

    #justsayin

    • gabbysgfree January 31, 2014 at 10:39 am Reply

      I’m sure as an affiliate owner you deal with this ALL.THE.TIME. I feel like, unfortunately, most people don’t embrace simplicity and not doing all the things all the time until they learn the hard way (get injured).

  2. Sarah Kay Hoffman January 31, 2014 at 10:57 am Reply

    Exactly the concept I wrote about earlier this week. Great post, Gabby!

  3. Jacki Hayes January 31, 2014 at 2:53 pm Reply

    Oh, for years I was packing my schedule full and never had enough time to relax on my own or with friends and family. Now I specifically schedule that time so I don’t lose it to all the things that supposedly I have to do.

    For instance, I haven’t gone to a Saturday WOD in weeks. And while I miss seeing everyone, I have really enjoyed my lazy Saturday mornings. Yeah, I’m sure I’ll do a Saturday WOD again, but only because I’m in the mood, not because I “have” to.

  4. Samantha Angela January 31, 2014 at 3:54 pm Reply

    Staying simpler is better, that’s for damn sure.

  5. Meg @ A Dash of Meg February 2, 2014 at 9:33 pm Reply

    girl, i adore you. i so would LOVE to sit down with you and chat some day. you’re so cool and have such a great outlook. i agree with this all. love you

  6. Annie Heiss February 4, 2014 at 6:42 pm Reply

    IN LOVE WITH THIS POST. So true. I’m no expert either, but I’d say that a good way to build a squat would be to…squat more. Such a refreshing reminder. We all get caught up in the complex fitness game time and again.

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