Scalpel or Shotgun?

I make more money by taking the brand position of encouraging you to come to the gym everyday, and that your results depend on your ability to be consistent every single day with working on your fitness. They don’t. You don’t need us everyday of your life, and I’d never sell that.¬†Instead, I’d like to offer some perspective on what fitness is: a stimulus. A very, very productive and effective stimulus, but one where the dose matters.

At the risk of oversimplifying, I find that many people use one of two approaches when it comes to the gym (assuming that you attend with regularity in the first place): a scalpel or a shotgun.

Those who use a scalpel are much more thoughtful in their attendance, making deliberate choices and focusing on productivity instead of activity. Those who use a shotgun just point and spray without much consideration for any targets. A volume approach.

Everyday you come to the gym, you are wielding a coin with two sides. On one side of the coin is development, the adaptations our bodies make when exposed to progressively increasing levels of stimulus. We get leaner, stronger, bigger, faster, better. We burn fat, improve our athletic ability, and strengthen muscle. On the other side of the coin, we have an opposing blade that will yield destruction. The chronic tax on on the body, the overdose of stress on our systems, the degradation of our connective tissue and joints through chronic overuse.

The reason you may be able to attend other programs daily is simple: they aren’t taxing, thus, they aren’t effective. Sure, they maybe wind you in the moment and keep you reaching for your knees, but they aren’t taxing on the physiological components on the body to enough of a degree to create change. This is why weight training is a lot different than treadmills, folks. It taxes soft tissue in a way that cardio doesn’t.¬†The only possible way that we can have any long term success with an S&C program is to understand the duality of those opposing sides, and how to access the correct side of the coin.

I can tell you that in my personal opinion, the towing of the line begins as soon as your frequency increases beyond four days per week. It doesn’t matter where you are in your progress. While our program is designed with the ability to follow it daily, that doesn’t mean it’s designed with the intent that you should, or need to follow it daily. Results are most effectively manipulated by intensity, not frequency, and four days will serve any fitness purpose assuming that your diet, the real driving force in health change, is where it needs to be.

There is never enough stimulus to feed any addiction, even the ones that we perceive as healthy. For some, if there were nine days in a week they would be in the gym for all of them and no doubt constantly reloading their shotgun. The difficulty is in getting hard chargers to exchange their shotgun for a scalpel, to be a bit more deliberate with frequency.

Which do you find yourself using more?


Wednesday, 9.22.20


First, 14′ EMOM
A: 5 Chin-Ups + 5/s Goblet BSS
B: 10 BB Row + 5 Front Squats

6 DB Front Squats
8 SA Hang Snatch
10 LP Reaches
100m Run E.O.R
(x16 Min)