Workout of the Day

Stopwatches vs. Calendars


I can’t remember where I first heard the advice to measure your progress using a calendar, not a stopwatch, but it’s a reminder that bears repeating. It’s easy to get caught up in what you and everyone else is capable of right at this moment, and hard to see everything that got you all to your current position. We wonder why we can’t do this movement yet, why she can lift that much more weight than you can, why he makes that look so easy and you struggle so much. Honestly, these aren’t bad questions. The problem is that the answer often isn’t what we were hoping for.

In my experience, the people who ask why “everyone else” seems to be so capable are also the people who haven’t been working on themselves for very long. Been at it for 3 months? That puts you maybe a few footsteps into your journey. 1 year? Congratulations, you’ve officially started. The answer to the above questions (“why can they do X and I can’t?”) is usually a pretty simple one: time and effort. Notice the use of “and.” This isn’t a 'choose your own adventure' of time OR effort. Both are necessary, and neither is sufficient on its own.

We are eager to praise effort and enthusiasm, but we often forget to emphasize and praise the “time” piece of the equation. The greatest effort in the world won’t do you much good if it only lasts a week. We can blame this on the “gotta have it now” attitude propagated by consumerism or the spurious claims we’re fed in infomercials and fitness sales pitches or any other of a host of scapegoats, but really it comes back to you. It comes back to what you’re looking for. There are plenty of worms dangling out there, but ultimately you're the one that decides to bite. Are you looking to be handed a quick fix? An easy solution? Then you’re going to keep looking for it—keep jumping from one unsuccessful jaunt with fitness to the next—until you come to terms with the fact that there is no shortcut.

The “journey not a destination” idea is clichéd, but like any good cliché, it’s full of truth.

If you’re to the point that you count your fitness journey in decades rather than months, consider this a commendation, a celebration of you. Keep at it.

If you’re still in your first few years, or if you find yourself asking why everyone else seems so much better than you, consider this a reminder that you won’t be getting there by tomorrow, or next week, or even next month, and that’s okay. You’re in this for the long haul, so buckle up, put down the stopwatch, and enjoy.

- Preston Sprimont


  • Close grip bench press - 3x5

  • 4 rounds for reps, in :60 complete:

    • 3 deadlifts (315/215)

    • 100’ sled sprint (1 plate/empty sled)

    • Max rep burpees

  • Rest 3 mins

*score for each round is the number of burpees completed

*record sum of all four rounds