Do you see this picture above? That is Aleksandr Karelin, one of the greatest wrestlers ever and in my opinion one of the greatest athletes. That is the face of pure, unbridled, savage intensity and that intensity always wins. That is the face of focus and effort directed towards doing what needs to be done. In this case it’s throwing a guy through the air. He was so good at what he did, and everyone knew what he was going to do, but they could not stop it from happening. That same savage intensity that he had in competition, he put into his training. That is why he was such a dominant force in Greco-Roman wrestling. It takes an intense focus and belief to go jogging in the middle of winter in middle of nowhere in Russia. That is challenging your comfort zone.
I talk a lot about longevity and training smart and doing what’s necessary and not excessive, but this is should not be at the expense of intensity. Yes you should train smart, but train smart with intensity. The greatest difference maker to the work that you do is the intensity of what and how you do it. Intensity comes in various forms. Intensity of focus, intensity of effort are the two main forms in a training context.
Some things you do might not have a high intensity of effort, but the intensity lies in your focus on doing quality, precise movement or focusing on building awareness in your body. Sometimes though it’s all out insanity pushing your limits and boundaries of what you do. We can’t be intense all the time though, we need to know when to turn it on. Some things must be mindless and lack intensity, so that we have intensity to spare for when it counts. The key is knowing when.
What are your goals? What are they key things in life and training that you need to focus on to reach your goals? Put intense focused effort into those.
To paraphrase General George Patton, A well thought out plan executed badly will never beat a poor plan executed violently … I.e with intensity. People get results with shitty programs because they put effort into what they are doing. Then you get people with the best programming and resources and they get nothing. Why? No fucking intensity! We have the internet, we have tons of resources and endless information. Which is part of the problem. There’s too much information to filter through and not enough intensity and hard work.
Get a plan. Does it make sense? Yes. Do it with intensity. Stick with it long enough and put in the work. Fitness magazines gives us this false sense of time about getting results. It doesn’t take 4 – 12 weeks. It takes months to years of consistent effort. Not what you want to hear, but true. Yes we will see some progress in weeks but lasting results takes time and effort. It takes intensity!