Give Up or Try Harder – The Key To Results

The Two Choices

We all find ourselves at this all too familiar crossroad what seems like to be all too often.  The crossroad I’m referring to being a decision point – a point from which the rest of our day, and sometimes our life, starts.

At this crossroad you have two choices;

1. You could give up, or

2. You could try harder!

These two choices can apply to almost every crossroad we come to in life – we can either stop what we’re doing or we can throw a bit more effort into it.

For this specific post I’ll be (specifically) referring to exercise but keep in mind that the message in this post most certainly applies to all parts of our lives…especially the more important ones.


The Crossroads

There comes a time in every workout we all have to stop, but far too often too many people stop way before we should.  I am not talking about stopping because you’re about to pass out or because an exercise move is causing us unintended pain.  I am talking about those times when we know the end is coming and instead of going all out we decide to back off or all together stop.  These moments are the crossroads I am referring to…and these moments are the difference between results and plateaus, the difference between excelling or just “going through the motions.”


Giving Up

When most of us reach these crossroads we, almost every time, just give up!

Think about it.

When we’re coming to the end of our run what do we do?

Most of us turn down the intensity those last 15 or so yards.

What do we do when the 10 second count down starts?

We either pull back the intensity or flat out give up before the countdown reaches blast off.

You see, it is just sooooooo easy to give up…about as easy as doing nothing at all.

I mean we’re already in pain, we’re already exhausted, we’ve already done sooooo much…we deserve a break right? 

Yeah, we deserve a break…BUT NOT BEFORE THE BREAK HAPPENS!  We’ll get our break…BUT WE HAVE TO EARN IT!  DON’T BREAK BEFORE THE BREAK…man, I am like Confucius in this post!


Turning Down The Intensity Is Not A Break

Nothing more to say here than – YES, yes it is.  Turning down the intensity IS a break….and, believe it or not, will help us plateau way before it helps us progress.


Going Harder

If we want to continue to progress and see results, we have to continue to turn up the volume…especially when it’s almost quitting time!

Those last few minutes of every run, those last few seconds of every sprint, or those last few reps of every set are, as Tony Horton says, “where the magic” happens.

And, what is truly magical is that once you actually make the decision to go harder you’ll find it much easier and more rewarding than giving up.


Going Harder is Easier Than Giving Up…?

It may sound a bit counterintuitive but it makes much more sense than you think.

You see, towards the end of a workout we all find ourselves doing one of few things.

We are either;

  1. Focusing on our tiredness,
  2. Focused on the time left, or
  3. Mindlessly just “going through the motions.”


But, if we are focused on going harder we will be:

  1. Much more focused on the workout rather than our tiredness,
  2. Focused on the entire set instead of just quitting, and
  3. Completely in tune with the workout as we get ready to go all out towards its end.


The Key To Results

Whether or not you are sold on the fact that Going Harder can be easier than Giving Up, you should know this one fact – Going Harder is THE KEY TO RESULTS.  I’ve been working out for almost 20 years and if there is one surefire way of getting results it is to simply GO HARDER!  Always turn up the intensity – don’t welcome the plateau!


Go Harder…Not Stupider

Now, it is of upmost importance to note that Going Harder DOES NOT mean to Go Stupid!  You need to be smart about pushing yourself but not foolish.  Go as hard as you can without going too far.

How Do You Know If You’ve Gone Too Far?

It’s pretty simple really.  You’ll know because you’ll pull, strain, or tweak something – you’ll know because you’ll have injured yourself.

So BE SMART about Going Hard.

The point of this post is to encourage us to not just go through the motions, to not give up before the workout’s done, but instead to GO HARD THE ENTIRE TIME AND HARDER AT THE END…not to cause us injuries due to foolish training.

I guarantee that if just 90% of the time you focus on Going Harder at the end of every move and training session YOU’LL GET BETTER, RESULTS WILL FOLLOW, AND YOU’LL STOP QUITTING A LOT MORE OFTEN!