Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Duration is more important than intensity

Given the choice, I would rather exercise steadily for sixty minutes than strenuously for ten. 

In my experience, it’s duration, not intensity, which allows me to break a better sweat, keep my heart rate elevated, lock into flow state and have a more meditative, meaningful experience. 

That’s the way I’m wired. Pure marathon mindset. I’m not playing to win, I’m playing to keep the game going. Of course, countless doctors and fitness instructors and personal trainers and health professionals would disagree with me. Throw a rock and you’ll find yet another ten year longitudinal study that found training at higher intensities was more effective than increased volume for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. 

Fine. I’m not a doctor. But what if this wasn’t about exercise? What if duration over intensity was more of a conceptual framework for achieving greatness? 

Mclean wrote one of the great hit songs in music history. But it’s also his only song. Nobody remembers anything else he ever did. Ever. That’s intensity. Good for him.

Morrison, on the other hand, has released more than thirty records and won dozens of prestigious awards and continues to put out great work every year for millions of fans who love him. That’s duration. 

Whose career would you rather have? The flash in the pan one hit wonder who made a splash and then disappeared from the music scene forever, or the steady and solid and consistently working musician who did his art better and better every day until he dies? 

Lefsetz was right when said, momentary blips are not stars, they’re comets. If you don’t last, especially in today’s overloaded, evanescent world, you’re irrelevant. 

Consistency is far better than rare moments of greatness. 

Are you aiming for duration or intensity?

For a copy of the list called, "23 Boundary Questions to Help You Draw the Line," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
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