M2M Day 302: A new kind of intensity

This post is part of Month to Master, a 12-month accelerated learning project. For August, my goal is to complete one continuous set of 40 pull-ups.

Tomorrow, I will try one last time to break past 40 pull-ups, which I should be able to do if all the conditions are right (I’m energized, my body is feeling good, etc.). If the conditions aren’t quite right, it’s going to be a fight.

Regardless of what happens though, this has been a fascinating month: I discovered a whole new level of workout intensity.

In the past, I’ve never worked out with a specific goal in mind (other than to just get stronger and healthier), and, as a result, I’ve never had the need to dig quite as deep and push my body to absolute failure while exercising.

Since the body makes the most gains during this final “at failure” rep, my pace of progress this month (both in terms of my strength and the transformation of my body) has been surprising and welcomed.

Working out with a specific goal has given me a reason to push myself into this higher intensity zone, and I plan to continue training with this goal-oriented mindset even once August is finished. Of course, it’s important to mention that this is not about pushing myself into unsafe territory, but about eking out a few more reps when my body would normally decide it’s done.

One argument against this approach is that I’m converting my meditative and mentally relaxing practice of exercising and turning into a competitive, numerically-driven, less enjoyable experience. But I would disagree…

There is no greater feeling of peace and accomplishment than the cozy tiredness after an amazing workout.

If I complete 40 pull-up tomorrow or not, this approach to training has been a welcomed change, and, through a month of consistency, has been solidified as a habit I look forward to keeping up…

Read the next post. Read the previous post.

Max Deutsch is a product manager at Intuit, the creator of Somebody.io and Rightspeed, and the guinea pig for Month to Master.

If you want to follow along with Max’s year-long accelerated learning project, make sure to follow this Medium account.