When it comes to coffee, my favorite drink for years has been espresso. No milk, no sugar. To me and others, espresso represents coffee at its ultimate potential. When I’m hosting an event for the Coffee Club of Seattle, I will occasionally get a comment that my drink selection was too small and that had I gotten something other than espresso, I’d still be sipping on and enjoying my beverage. I correct my critics by stating that I am still enjoying the beverage, as the memory persists.
My love for espresso has helped me really appreciate High Intensity Training. Less can be absolutely be more. Going to the gym every 5th day and engaging in an all-out brutally tough, albeit safe workout, is now yielding me greater results than I was getting with High Volume training. When my daily coffee drink switched from french press to espresso, my caffeine intake dropped and my appreciation for the beverage increased. I began sleeping better, even though my flavor stimulus was greater.
In the book The New High Intensity Training, author Ellington Darden states that HIT training has lost popularity in the past 25 years. I believe it. As far as I can see, I am the only person at my Glitter Gym doing HIT. In fact, I can’t recall a single person doing HIT at any of my previous gyms. That isn’t concerning to me, since I look for results and am uninterested in what is popular at the moment.
When I visit coffee shops across Seattle, I also noticed that the espresso is a minority drink. Most patrons want to stretch out the experience by adding water, milk or some form of frozen sugar sludge. Back at the Glitter Gym, I see patrons stretching out the experience by adding more sets, working out more days and choosing ridiculous exercises that favor injury over muscle growth. They remind me of the guy who repeatedly hits the crosswalk button until the light changes.
The biggest criticism I’ve read about High Intensity Training is that some people will lose motivation if they only go to the gym 1 to 2 times per week for highly brief workouts. I’m only 7 months into my HIT journey, so I am far from an expert, but all I can say is that like espresso, the memory persists. I don’t dilute my espresso and I don’t dilute my workouts.
The economic forces in fitness are always geared towards more. More sets, more workouts, more gear and more supplements. What I’ve learned from my study into evolutionary health is that the economic patterns of nature are not geared towards more. Nature rewards efficiency. The “go big or go home” nonsense is energy foolish and may actually keep you from achieving your fitness goals.