The Professional Approach to Training: Consistency over Intensity

Many of us have experienced the cycle of setting ambitious goals, pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones, and striving for improvement. However, after a few months, weariness, injury, or burnout often take over, and we give up. It’s time to learn from the professionals and adopt a different mindset.

Have you ever wondered how professionals manage to excel in their fields without succumbing to exhaustion or burnout? Researchers studying Olympic skiers have shed light on their training methods, providing valuable insights for all of us.

The Three Types of Training Intensity

Training sessions can be classified into three intensity levels:

  • High Intensity: This involves training at an intensity where the heart beats faster than 87% of the maximum heart rate (MHR)*.
  • Medium Intensity: Moderate training, with the heart beating at about 82-87% of the MHR.
  • Low Intensity: Light training, with the heart rate ranging from 60-82% of the MHR.

When examining the training data of these Olympic skiers throughout the year, an interesting pattern emerged:

  • 89% of their training time was spent at a low intensity.
  • 6% was dedicated to medium-intensity training.
  • Only 5% was allocated to high-intensity training.

It’s not just skiers; runners, cyclists, rowers, and professional swimmers exhibit similar training patterns. They invest the majority of their time training at low intensity levels.

Contrary to Popular Belief

These findings contradict the belief held by many amateurs, who assume that professionals push themselves to their limits during training.

The reality is that most professionals intentionally train at intensities below their maximum capabilities. Coaches and athletes understand that excessively intense training without sufficient recovery time can lead to injuries and setbacks.

Therefore, the key lies in consistent practice rather than constantly pushing oneself to the limit. By adopting a more balanced approach and allowing for adequate recovery, professionals optimize their performance and reduce the risk of burnout or injury.

Applying the Principle Beyond Sports

While the example used here focuses on sports, this principle applies to various aspects of life. Whether you’re practicing music, creating content, working, or engaging in prayer, the key is consistency over intensity.

While seriousness and dedication are important, it’s crucial to strike a balance and avoid pushing yourself beyond reasonable limits. By maintaining a consistent and sustainable practice routine, you can achieve long-term growth and success.

So, let’s learn from the professionals and embrace the power of consistency in our pursuits.