If I told you that you could get the same results from 17 MINUTES of training versus 5 HOURS of training, you might call me crazy or accuse me of watching too many infomercials. However, you absolutely can get better results from training and preparation with the right program applied with the right level of intensity. This principle applies to all domains and fields. Do not equate time spent with progress. While there is always a minimum amount of time to develop mastery, intensity is the variable that determines whether you will ever get there.

Let’s say you are a relatively healthy adult and ran a 5K (3.1 mile) race. I would be impressed! However, if you told me you completed it in 8 hours, I may not recommend you for a trophy. Someone that completes it in under 20 minutes is going to get a standing ovation from me. Same distance, different intensity. Using the same example, if you wanted to get faster for your next 5K but ran the same speed, in the same manner for the same distance during training, would you expect a better result? If you believe that putting in the time makes you better at something, you would have to say yes. But, I think most people know that this doesn’t make sense.

This principle applies to your career, pastimes and other areas of achievement. Playing the same song every day on the piano for 10 years doesn’t make you a great pianist. Shuffling on the treadmill for 60 minutes a day will not make you a threat to the Kenyans at the NYC marathon. Going through the motions on training activities for a set amount of time at your business doesn’t make you a superstar. For those of us with extreme time constraints, the concept of training with intensity becomes even more important. You simply cannot afford to waste time on activities that reinforce your current status instead of fostering continuous improvement.

If you are putting in time and not improving your performance, it is most likely a question of intensity. Listen to this edition of the HighPer 7 podcast to learn more. Don’t forget to subscribe to HighPer 7 on iTunes (and tell a friend)!