I’ve been playing around with kettlebells for a few months now with varying amounts of conviction. During a recent workout, I decided to actually follow the instructions and rest only for short periods between sets (which involved working out the entire body).

It was a different workout.

Usually I’ll rest for too long between sets, taking the time to make coffee, return a few emails, or go on vacation before returning to the punishment. After doing the workout as it was intended this time however, I was exhausted.

This reminded me of the sustained high-output effort it takes to make progress on anything worthwhile. Intermittent bursts of progress here and there are ok, but a consistent push is required to realize meaningful progress.