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Reason #1 You Aren't Getting Better: You Aren't Doing Enough

There are many reasons why you are still in pain. You are doing too much, you aren't resting enough, you haven't removed the painful triggers, you haven't given it enough time... But in this post, we will be discussing a very under-appreciated reason for your pain and continued dysfunction...doing too little.

When we consider analogous stories this concept becomes very easy to understand.

Do you think the salesperson who does 500 cold calls a day will get more customers than the salesperson who calls 50? Will the bodybuilder who trains hard 5 days a week outperform the person doing 1 day a week? If you practice the guitar for 3-4 hours a day, would it be unreasonable to assume you would be much farther along a year from now than if you only did 30 minutes a day?

These questions have very obvious answers. And yet, for some reason when we apply tactics to our own aspirations, we tend to fall on the other side of the curve, of those not doing enough.

*to be honest it applies across most aspects of our lives (finances, skill acquisition, relationships, body composition, etc...)

A loooooong time ago, when I was at University I used to work for the US supplement store GNC. Almost every day I would get the same kind of teenager who would walk in, look around for a bit before asking:

"What can I get to bulk up? I want to put on weight and muscle for X (football, wrestling, basketball, for looks, etc...) and I just can't seem to get bigger no matter how hard I try!"

Not being the best GNC salesperson but rather just an honest enthusiastic exercise hobbyist at the time. I would inevitably ask the follow-up:

"Well, can you first tell me how you are training? And also, what are you eating every day?"

In other words: What are you currently doing?

And without fail, the aspiring teens would go on to tell me how they eat barely enough calories to maintain their weight, much less grow. I would add up their macros and see they hardly had anything like enough protein, and finally, they would have so little gym volume it was OBVIOUS why they were making so little progress. Too few calories, too little protein, not enough training stimulus.

I would have to literally sit them down and explain: "Look, you need another 1000 calories at least and you need most of those calories to come from protein because you eat cereal for breakfast and pathetic school lunches. Then I need you to triple your training volume and stick to that for a few months. Only THEN should you come back in here and ask what supplements can hopefully give you a 5% boost?"

Unfortunately, most of the time the kid would look at me like I was an Alien, leave, and never be seen by me again.

But the most rewarding times were when they actually listened and came back into the store jacked (double meaning) to come in to show me their results...usually not even buying anything once again!

Look I know it sucks. I often want to take a pill to raise my VO2 max instead of those soul-sucking intervals I do. I know stretching can sometimes be more boring than listening to your Uncle's story about how back in his day...that you have heard for the 100th time.

But here is the truth in most cases (IMEO): More volume = Better Results.

Now in this post, I am not talking about those crackhead Ultra runners that won't take a day off even if their shins are bleeding internally, or the meathead who bench presses every day without fail...usually at the same strength as they were a year ago...

But for everyone else. Those 2 sets of 10 air squats once or twice a week aren't going to do a damn thing for that knee pain. Neither is that 30-second stretch after your run. You are trying to put out a forest fire with a garden hose!

What I would highly recommend is to raise the volume and variety of training up to the point where you barely notice some kind of adverse reaction and then back off slightly.

You will know when you are doing too much.

It will begin to hurt more. You'll be more sore the following day. You will feel like you are taking steps backward. Until then, you are most likely not doing enough.

Try this: attack your injury or chronic pain like you would a personal selfish goal like running your first marathon, bench pressing 250 pounds, or losing 25 kilograms.

Instead of 2 sets of 10 twice per week. Try 2 sets of 20 every day. Instead of one exercise for the quads, try 2-3. Instead of doing one walk per day to relax your low-back pain, try 3-4 short walks per day. Instead of sitting all day, try to stand as much as you can. Try stretching for 30 minutes per day, not 30 seconds.

If that sounds too hard, then enjoy your pain. Those kids who never added a tuna sandwich between all of their meals or trained harder in the gym never saw the vision they had for themselves. The ones who did, are probably staring at themselves in the mirror right now ;)

For those of you who need to hear this, you know who you are:

Step it up.

NEED MORE DIRECTION? MORE INSTRUCTION? Try Stretch Club or see our Rehab Programs!


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