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“Consistency is king, and moderation is queen. You need both to make lasting change.”

February 15, 2021
Written in conjunction with Strength Coach Podcast Ep. 305

People who are healthy, strong and successful got that way by making decisions that helped them get 1% better each day. Their health, strength and success was not the result of one singular workout or meal, it is the result of consistent decisions that created them.

Consistent inputs, compounded over time. 

When asked what the best rep scheme was for building muscle and losing fat, my good friend and trainer Charlie Reid said “3 x 52 = train hard 3 times per week, 52 weeks per year and you’ll reach any goal you have”

Again, Consistent inputs, compounded over time. What might those inputs be?

  • Consistently showing up to workouts.
  • Prepping your meals each week.
  • Planning and journaling your workouts.
  • Maintaining quality sleep habits.
  • Proactively managing stress.

These may seem trivial, but they anchor you to your goals and build equity in your health.

Equity in your health works like equity in your house. You want to get as much equity in your health as you can when it’s easy to do so – when you’re feeling good, you’re not swamped with work, you’re in a routine at home.

Because at some point, you’re going to need to draw on that equity. When the holidays roll around and you’re sleeping less and eating more, when you’re traveling and not able to maintain your health routines, or when you’re overwhelmed with stress. In these moments, you need something ‘extra’ to draw on. That ‘extra’ comes from the equity you put in your health while things were more relaxed and you were in a consistent routine.

Small diversions from the norm won’t throw you off track if you have consistent healthy patterns to support you – come back to. Batting .800 is pretty damn good. The key is to continually make deposits. No one is perfect all the time, but by and large the successful ones have been investing in their position for years and will continue to through all seasons.

Consistency is King, and moderation is queen.

What do I mean by “moderation”? More is NOT better. Stress is good, until it’s not. If you pile on too much of anything, at some point you’ll experience diminishing returns.

Overly aggressive, unplanned and dysfunctional exercise can be equally as damaging as not exercising at all.

Moderation makes consistency easy. It’s hard to be consistent if you’re doing workouts at 120% effort each time you step into the gym. It’s hard to be consistent when you only allow yourself to eat chicken and rice and nothing else. We’re humans. We can be consistent within a range, but it’s nearly impossible to be consistent at one set point, an extreme.

When it comes to exercise, focus on moderately progressive exercise that prioritizes quality of movement.

When it comes to nutrition, focus your eating around whole, minimally processed foods while allowing yourself to enjoy the simple pleasures of comfort food and sweet treats every once and awhile.

Consistent exercise done in moderation, combined with eating habits rooted in whole, minimally processed foods has been shown to:

  1. Reduce All-Cause Mortality⠀⠀
  2. Reduce Depression & Anxiety Symptoms
  3. Improve Activities of Daily Living & Reduce Functional Limitations with Aging.
  4. Improve Insulin Sensitivity ⠀⠀
  5. Reduce Heart Disease & CVD related Death
  6. Reduce Risk of Sports Related Injury
  7. Reduce Blood Pressure
  8. Improve Immune System Function
  9. Improve Neuroplasticity & Release of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Growth Factor
  10. Reduce Systemic Inflammatory Markers

The message we need to hear and we need to remind our clients of is:

“Consistency is king, and moderation is queen. You need both to make lasting change.”


Benefits of System Exercise

  • 100 benefits of exercise. (n.d.). Retrieved February 15, 2021, from https://www.sleeplikethedead.com/exer-100benefits.html
  • Janssen I, Leblanc AG. Systematic review of the health benefits of physical activity and fitness in school-aged children and youth. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2010;7:40. Published 2010 May 11. doi:10.1186/1479-5868-7-40
  • John S. Y. Chan, Guanmin Liu, Danxia Liang, Kanfeng Deng, Jiamin Wu & Jin H. Yan (2019) Special Issue – Therapeutic Benefits of Physical Activity for Mood: A Systematic Review on the Effects of Exercise Intensity, Duration, and Modality, The Journal of Psychology, 153:1, 102-125, DOI: 10.1080/00223980.2018.1470487
  • Milanović Z, Pantelić S, Čović N, et alBroad-spectrum physical fitness benefits of recreational football: a systematic review and meta-analysisBritish Journal of Sports Medicine 2019;53:926-939.
  • Shekelle, Paul G., Margaret A. Maglione, Walter Mojica, Sally C. Morton, Marika Booth, Wenli Tu, Elizabeth Roth, Lara Hilton, Shannon Rhodes, Shin-Yi Wu, Laurence Rubenstein, Grant Etnyre, Donna Mead, and Pauline Lapin, Exercise Programs for Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Care Financing Administration, 2003. https://www.rand.org/pubs/reprints/RP1257.html.
  • Warburton DER, Bredin SSD. Health benefits of physical activity: a systematic review of current systematic reviews. Curr Opin Cardiol. 2017 Sep;32(5):541-556. doi: 10.1097/HCO.0000000000000437. PMID: 28708630.

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