High vs. Low Utility Training Methods

There’s one and only one caveat to the following message. Here it is: if you truly enjoy a training method for its own sake, then do it as a pastime. Period. Does running very slow for incredibly long distances bring you joy? Jog it out! Do low integrity squats under neon lights while listening to EDM make you happy (beyond the obvious dopamine cocktail that’s built in)? Then, by all means, party on. 

If you’re training for something other than its own sake, continue reading. 

There are many ways to induce the bodily secretion of sweat. In fact, there are exactly as many ways to induce sweat as there are to pay someone for an hour of “fitness” these days. Only some training methods have utility beyond its own sake and considering the alternative, it seems best to choose a method that brings value beyond its own sake.

What do I mean? Boxing is a perfect example of a traditional fitness modality that can be either low or high utility. A boxing class is brutally hard no matter how you slice it. You will sweat your ass off. If you’re taking boxing classes for sweat, but aren’t learning how to box, I’d offer that’s a low utility way to spend your time. If you’re training boxing, breaking a great sweat, building cardiovascular capacity, and you won’t get your ass kicked in the Whole Foods parking lot, now we’re talking about utility. 

If you’re curious about the utility of your training, ask yourself what else you can do because of your training. If you’re not more useful, a better beginner on a surfboard, or tougher to kill because of your training, I’m confident you can spend the exact same amount of time and effort more efficiently. 

Think about it.