Working out all the time and still not getting results? Karly will show you what you're doing wrong

Below is a guest post by one of our resident badasses, Karly. She has grown immensely not only in strength, endurance, and being pain free but also in her mental state. 

We've all gone through the mentality of feeling like we need to workout MORE because that's what we thin will give us better results. 

In reality, it's the reverse. It's about doing the RIGHT dose of exercise to get the desired result. 

I'll let Karly take it away!


One thing I greatly appreciate about SJBB is the ways in which the coaches guide students in shifting their mindset. Prior to working out at SJBB, I was someone who would do two workouts per day and often go and go until I crashed energetically.

As a new student at SJBB, I quickly learned that three to four days per week were enough workouts to reach my goals.

I have really enjoyed that routine because it gives me a break from the gym so that when I return, I'm excited and want to go back. I also relish my mornings off and don't feel as guilty about not working out everyday.

In the evenings, instead of returning to the gym for another work out, I can socialize or invest my time in other hobbies because I already put work in that morning.

A recent lesson that I gained involves working at 80%.

I had practiced this mentality in the past and it felt good. For me, conditioning days are easier than strength days, so I can stay around the 80% range, enjoy myself, and still get a good workout in.

What I've been struggling to figure out in the past few weeks, however, is how to maintain a cap of 80% effort and still make progress on my strength gains. I've been tracking my workouts for about 6 months now, aiming to increase my volume (the pounds you lift over a workout).

I am also working to understand the practical differences between volume, density (the time it takes you to move a certain amount of weight), and intensity (the weight you are lifting).

Overall I get the concept of these three aspects of strength, but in practice I find them overlapping and looking pretty similar at times. In my efforts to reach ever higher numbers each week, either in lifting heavier weights, or doing more sets with the same weight, I find myself pushing way beyond 80%.

It is exhausting and I see myself losing motivation to go to the gym for strength days. When I read Ranbir's email about staying within 80% so that workouts are fun and not a total chore, I realized that was what was happening to me.

I wanted gains each week, which meant pushing myself harder and harder, and it was not as fun anymore.

With additional support and contact with the coaches, I'm now working to find the sweet spot: how little work must I do and still make gains?

Decrease weight, decrease sets, decrease time, etc , so that the workout is manageable and fun. I have a newfound motivation for going to the gym with the challenge of "Pushing myself as little as I can, while continuing to get stronger."

I'm on week 2 of this mindset shift, and I'm pleasantly surprised with how energetic and stoked I am to get back in the dojo on Mondays and Fridays!