Consistency vs Intensity

Sam Stephens

December 2019

Creating a sustainable exercise routine by implementing appropriate levels of effort and setting realistic expectations.

Go hard or go home.

No pain, no gain. 

Popular sayings like these and the mindsets associated with them are common in many exercise circles but they’re more counter-productive to long term fitness success than most people realize. 

Whether you’re trying to lose a little weight, build some muscle, or set a new personal best, your overall progress is largely dependent on the sustainability of your routine, not the difficulty of any one session. 

When debating between workout intensity and consistency, consistency wins every single time as the top priority for longevity. No question. 

One of the biggest mistakes I see novice/inexperienced exercisers make relates to a simple misunderstanding of the effort/discipline required to see results. Many people dive into a new routine at full speed, punish their bodies with brutal daily workouts, severely restrict their diet, but actually do see some results for the ~2-3 months they’re able to maintain this unrealistic and crazy lifestyle. However, most of them inevitably stop exercising, abandon the ‘no fun’ diet, and end up back where they started.

If you can’t sustain something, it’s ultimately not effective. 

As we roll into the new year and many of you contemplate getting more serious about fitness/nutrition, be honest with yourself about realistic behavior changes. 

Are you really going to get up every day at 5 am to go to the gym? Will you be able to eliminate all unnecessary foods from your diet? Is a 100% session attendance record feasible with your current work/life schedule? For most people, the answer to these questions is ‘No,’ and that’s totally fine. You don’t have to be perfect, you just need to be consistent. Find what’s sustainable and do that. 

Work hard, but don’t punish yourself. We don’t build massive guns, lose all the weight, or double our squat max in any single session – we smash our goals by accumulating small, incremental daily victories over long periods of time.

Balance intensity with consistency and make exercise a forever habit. 

If you need help with exercise or diet stuff, check out the free workout programs and guides here on or shoot me a message. I’d love to help you get set up for 2020.