Received this question last week:
I was just reading you blog article, ‘The Value of Abbreviated Training’… I don’t understand. You said you have kept basically the same body weight and measurements in the last 5 years. So are you saying you’ve trained all this time, but it isn’t doing anything for you? Why would that be? – Ricky
First I’ll give my response and then expand on it briefly (after which I’ll reduce it excessively):
The short answer: I’ve been training for 18+ years. I have no specific goals that my training would address that I’m not already doing “well” in, relative to where I started. I gained a lot of muscle early and have largely maintained it or modestly increased it since, save for a couple forays into powerlifting where I was much larger*.
Certainly in the past 5 years there have been performance goals** that I’ve achieved, like the ability to do a slow, clean muscle up, or hold a 1 minute handstand (to name 2), but they have not resulted in changes in body composition.
For where I am in my life, my training gives me the ability to do everything I want, perform well enough in competitive environments (e.g. 5k/10k) given the time invested. ***
*There is good literature to suggest that one can maintain a higher fat-free mass with more total body fat, this isn’t something that I would consider healthful. There is also clearly a lean body mass baseline that different people gravitate to (lol somatype) and different people have different range permissiveness around their somatype. Which is to say, when I stopped trying to take up as much space as possible, where I was nearly 50lbs larger than I am now, I came back down pretty fast to be within 10-15lbs of where I am now
**There are also goals I did not achieve that, because of the graveyard effect, you’ll never see.
***I mean really: I strength train 1 day per week, more often than not in my garage, get lots of good and varied movement & play, and 1 day per week my wife and I run ~3.5 miles at town lake while I push a heavy stroller. It’s an approximate time trial where if we’re feeling like our children have let us sleep we can really push and if not we expect to go a few minutes slower.
As a result, I TRAIN ~ 1 hour per week (unless you consider the Saturday run just mobile masturbation, then it’s ~20 minutes of training per week), but do lots of “yummy nutritious movement” every day. Depth & breadth, rinse & repeat.
Biological organisms do not adapt to infinity. My workout is sufficient for my life right now.