More Isn't Better


"More isn't better. Better is better."

This is one of my all-time favorite sayings in training, coaching, and programming. And even outside of the walls of the gym this axiom carries over with tremendous power. MORE ISN'T BETTER...BETTER IS BETTER. Think about that for a minute. When someone asks you- "How do I get stronger?" Is your knee jerk reaction "to do more"? When someone asks you about why a workout only is 15 minutes, is the first thing you do to pack more, more, more into the day? When you are explaining a movement to the class, are you constantly trying to say more, more, more? This desire for more bleeds outside of the gym as well. You've got a big test coming up but instead of setting up reasonable blocks of uninterrupted time to study...we allot 5 hours to "study time" with a million breaks and distractions.

Too often instead of focusing on the quality of our efforts we have this insane desire to just do more. But is that really the answer?

No. I am a firm believer that more is often not the answer. And furthermore, more many times may be the last thing that is needed. Let's stay focused on training and coaching for the purposes of this discussion. In particular, let's focus on an individual's training and the implementation of an effective and full class from a coaching perspective. In both of these cases, there is a consistent sentiment that more is the answer. "I need to train more" or "We need to be programming more". In my experience, rarely is this ever the case. From a training perspective, the average gym-goers would benefit much more from the intentional practice of skills, focused efforts on their current work, and the appropriate amount of intensity added. Most people aren't giving enough to what they are currently why add more? What's better...a disproportionate amount of work at a lax effort OR your full effort given to an appropriate amount of work. When it's broken down like that...the answer is obvious.

Just train better.

From a coaching & programming perspective, there's an equal amount of lust for MORE. When I'm looking at a lot of the programs out there, they are just jam-packed with stuff from minute 0 to minute 60. And I'm not talking an appropriate amount of stuff or a class that's well-planned, well-executed, and full from start to finish. I'm talking about a ridiculous and reckless approach to volume. "Ok, the workout today is only 20 mins with muscle-ups, moderate loading, and a simple movement...doesn't seem like enough, let's add a 1RM Back Squat then some barbell cycling and maybe finish off with some interval sprints." BRO. CHILL. When you take this approach to "more" you are missing out on so much of the nuance of a great class...a full and proper warm-up, teaching, skill work, appropriate workout, and community building. Not everyday needs to be an "OMG I can't walk for three days" type of deal. In fact, that would be a one-way ticket to snap-city.

Sometimes more is merited but in my experience, these cases are in the minority. At the end of the day, we are all here to do what's best for our own training and the training of our clients. That takes some deep thought and consideration.

So, when you're considering how to improve the training experience or results, take a step back and think. And before you prescribe more...ask yourself is more is really better or is better, better?



Chief Fitness Officer at NCFIT. All about coaching, hustle, black coffee, and American Traditional tattoos.

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1 comment
  • Amazing text, thanks for sharing all your experience and help me and for sure other coaches to be better with their members and athletes.

    Gabriel Santos on

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