Let’s set a scene — one that’s been recurring in my at-home workouts for a few weeks now. There’s only three seconds left of a superchallenging exercise — the kind that makes you dig down deep for willpower. But, instead of holding on until the countdown clock hits zero, I ease off and quit.
Pushing myself through the end of a hard exercise has been a struggle, and I’ve been making excuses for my actions, saying it’s no big deal because three seconds is basically no time at all, and I did perform a majority of the move. The reality is, I know working through the last few seconds of an exercise actually matters at a lot — and I got Peloton Trainer and NASM-cerfied personal trainer Olivia Amato’s confirmation on that, too.
“I like to think that how I do anything is how I do everything,” Amato said. “I would never quit anything early, so why would I quit an exercise or workout three seconds early? In reality, the only person I am negatively affecting if I quit early is me.”
As for my excuse about it only being three seconds? Amato said it’s actually is a good chunk of time, and it definitely adds up. When I think back to how many three-second intervals I’ve just spent standing, waiting for my instructor to finish up, it probably amounts to a few full workouts. “I also think that the magic happens when you push through that uncomfortable feeling — if you are used to giving up early, dig deeper, and push through and see what happens!” Amato said.