How to Achieve More from Your Training with Less

When it comes to achieving your fitness goals most of us have been taught that more is better,  it’s the make more money by working more hours mindset.  We do things like join more fitness classes, spend more time doing cardio, purchase more nutritional supplements… more, more, more.  Sometimes it works for a short while, but then our bodies adapt and we become so efficient at our routines that the results we seek stop coming.  

When things stop working, don’t get fed up because you don’t have the time to do more, instead start finding ways to achieve more by doing less. 

“Prior to taking Mr. Steven’s kettlebell class, I was maintaining my weight with running and weightlifting 1.5 hours 5 days/week. I was bored and in need of something new. I then began doing kettlebell 1 hour 3 times a week. Not only did I maintain my weight with less than half the time spent at the gym, but I saw added muscle definition as well. When I decided I wanted to lose some weight, Scott encouraged me to keep a food journal and we upped the intensity of some of my workouts. I quickly lost 12 lbs and am on my way to losing more. Thanks to Scott’s fun and challenging class I enjoy working out and am in the best shape of my life. For the first time ever I feel like an athlete. It is a very professional class- he is very knowledgeable and always makes sure we are doing the movements safely and explains why this is important. There are people of all ages and walks of life in our class and we are all very addicted to kettlebell.”-Janae Henry

While there is a limit to how busy you can be, there is no limit to how skilled you can become. The art of achieving more by doing less comes down to skill. The more skilled you are with the tools you have the more you can accomplish in less time. 
When it comes to fitness, the more skilled you are with your body, the less techniques, the less equipment and the less total training time you will need to achieve results that are superior compared to someone who is less skilled.  As you become stronger, you will develop the skill of contracting your muscles harder.  Contracting your muscles harder not only takes more energy to do, but it takes more energy to recover from as well.  The more skills you can internalize, the more advanced skills you can learn, allowing you to squeeze more and more transformational potential out of every repetition. 
As an example, when I first learned to the perform the kettlebell swing there were no instructors in Nebraska at the time, so I was forced to teach myself from a book. I trained hard and got to the point where I could swing a 62lb kettlebell at 40 reps minutes for 12 minutes non-stop and I thought that I was pretty awesome…., as it turned out I was making some novice mistakes such as trying to conserve energy instead of maximizing force production. When I finally had my first real instruction from Master StrongFirst Instructor Jon Engum it took me only ten reps with a 35lb kettlebell and I was feeling muscles I never felt before.  You see, when I improved my technique I was able to achieve superior results and be more challenged with 1/48th the reps and 57% of the weight. Ever since that day I’ve been fascinated with the less is more approach to strength training. 
In the book “The 4-Hour Body” author Timothy Ferris, SFGII describes how Tracy Reifkind, SFG was able to lose 100lbs of body-fat and keep it off by only doing 20-minutes of kettlebell swings 3 days per week for a total of 4-hours a month.  Tracy’s husband happens to be Master StrongFirst Kettlebell Instructor Mark Reifkind, so you can be assured that her technique is dialed in. 
In a 2009 study* performed by Chad Schnettler, M.S., John Porcari, Ph.D., and Carl Foster, Ph.D., the exact kettlebell snatch technique we teach in our group classes was proven to burn at least 20.2 calories per minute for the average participant and that does not include calories burned afterward during recovery.   In fact, in 2010 using this very protocol I conducted my own personal experiment and found that I was able to burn 26+ calories per minute and I was able to lower my resting heart from the mid 70’s to the 44bpm in just 5 workouts and less than 2 cumulative hours in 5 weeks. 
One of the most brilliant coaches I’ve had the honor to meet and learn from is Master StrongFirst Instructor Dan John. On more than one occasion he would talk about how some of his workouts consisted of a little as 6-reps. On his first rep he’d snatch 225 lbs or more overhead, then add weight to the bar and repeat this process 5 more times building up to a near all out effort.  
If you value your time and believe in treating strength as a skill then you’ll feel at home with our Omaha Elite Kettlebell classes. We will find ways to keep you challenged by making you more skilled at becoming stronger not busier.

Leave a Reply