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Quality Over Quantity: Fitness

It’s Friday, the end of the week.  Time to dial it in, take it easy, and relax a little.  You will get in one more workout this week because 5 days will make you feel better mentally, even if you aren’t giving it your all.  It’s better to show up and give it a half effort than not show up at all, right?  Well, when we are talking about the importance of Quality over Quantity, the answer isn’t so cut and dry.

Quality is About Intention

Those who come to Industrial Athletics for fitness are used to QUALITY days.  These are workouts that may be a little slower in pace, but with an emphasis on movement quality.  We are trying to move perfectly, not move super fast or finish tons of rounds.  That doesn’t mean quantity isn’t important.  The number of times you workout in a given week is important for forming a healthy consistent habit and producing long term results.  However, lots of workouts with a half-hearted attempt won’t get us anywhere in the end.  Thus, for the following reasons, when considering the two, focus on quality first:

  1. The founder of CrossFit always said he found intensity more impressive than volume.  He meant that it was better to see someone leave the gym exhausted because they tried as hard as possible for ten minutes, as opposed to seeing someone complete a twenty minute workout looking like they were bored.  Quality means putting your heart and soul into what you are doing and moving with intention.
  2. Quality means proper form and proper range of motion.  It should not come as a surprise that there is a safe way to deadlift and an unsafe way to deadlift.  If you want to see long term results from your fitness program, it is better to focus on your movement quality than your movement quantity.  Movement mechanics first, then repeat over and over again, then add volume.  
  3. Train smarter, not harder.  You have your fitness goals.  Your workouts should help you achieve those fitness goals.  If you want to deadlift 400lbs, you won’t get there following a fitness program for a marathon runner.  Higher quality workouts for you help you reach your goals faster.  

In some ways, quality is synonymous with value.  Similar to the food we eat, the higher quality fitness comes at a higher value to you.  Why do people at regular gyms struggle so much to see results?  Because those gyms focus on quantity, not quality.  Their goal is to get as many people in the door paying $25/mn.  They don’t care about the quality of anyone’s experience.  It’s like going to an All You Can Eat buffet.  

On the other hand, when you attend a gym focus on you, the quality of your experience, and the value to you, goes way up.