Therapy vs. Competition

When in the gym you’ll see many people with hundreds of different goals and intensity levels. Some just want to lose a couple pounds, some want to gain a bit of muscle, or even lose a lot of weight or put on a lot of muscle. Some other people are there and want to compete in anything from triathlons to bodybuilding shows. Then the last group is filled with people that are there everyday lifting, running, and you see them all the time. There is a drastic difference between the group that competes and the group that is there all the time. If you go to the gym and have 2-hour workouts every single day, there’s a good chance that you’re doing too much.

Spending tons of time in the gym is great if you’re using it as therapy, and you go because you enjoy it so much, then great, do that. If you do it because you think that more work always yields great results, then you’re setting yourself up for failure.


Going to the gym can be a great stress relief for daily life and yield great mental benefits. If you enjoy lifting or running, and it makes you happy, there’s no reason not to do it all the time. It would be smart to plan out your workouts to make sure that your body is able to recover the best you can. Light workouts 6 days a week will probably be just fine.

Pushing yourself every single day to your limits probably won’t yield you results in the long run, although it may be plenty fun. A challenge is great and if you’re happy, then there’s no issue. However, in the words of Dr. Mike Israetel puts it, “Enjoy your 2nd place medals”.


If you’re competing, there’s a good chance that you already have a coach for both nutrition and training. They have you on a program, eating the right amount of food, and dialed in on recovery. There is no reason you should be in the gym grinding out extra sets of squats or deadlifts. When your coach optimizes your training for your level and body, then you follow it. It likely isn’t 6 days per week, but usually 4 or 5. There is no extra volume need because they are giving you all you need.

It is not about how you feel every day, but more about how you will be your best. The coach is there to make you the best they can, why in the world would the sabotage you? When going for a competition, overworking yourself can lead to failure. American culture tends to be “Push, push, push, out train everyone, outwork everyone”. That just is not a smart idea. Train optimized, train like a machine, and don’t overwork it.

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