Quality over Quantity

Quantity seems to be the aim of the gain but is it the right direction to head in?


  • Does quantity beat quality

  • Why quality matters

  • Weighing up the differences

Do you Prefer Quality or Quantity?

I think wanting more can be very positive. If we were content to stick with what we had, so called progress might be slower. Fewer developments in medicine and science. But is more always better? Do more options result in better choices, for example?

Quantity in Exercise

If you look at most exercises, quality will beat quantity. In fact, if you opt for quantity over quality it can actually cause injury and be worse for you in more ways than one. If you look at a sport like Crossfit, where it’s supposed to be quality and quantity, quite often you’ll see people prepared to sacrifice quality for quantity.

We’ve never had so much choice of gyms, workout routines and diets in the world or the level of free access to it. But this doesn’t seem to have resulted in more people being in great shape.

Quantity in the Weights Room

Many guys will try to increase the weight that they lift as much as possible in order to gain more muscle. This makes sense, logically, but in reality if you aren’t doing the exercises properly you’ll find that you don’t develop the muscle fully anyway.

Half-reps of squats and bench press are obvious to spot and result in a range of motion that is much shorter than you want to get the biggest gains. It’s ironic that the result these people are trying to achieve is actually less likely to be achieved with poor form and higher quantity of weight before they have the quality of move sorted.

Quantity of Information

It’s amazing to know that you can go on Google and search for almost anything and find the answer to your question in a matter of seconds. But has this resulted in a more educated popualation or the ability for people to put forward their ideas and beliefs without any evidence and have a large number of people believe it to be true.

Quantity When Training

Over training is often the case with dedicated amateur athletes. Pushing themselves hard and often is normal for them and resting seems like a waste of time so they go out and push some more, often to the detriment of their health.

The fact is that recovery is just as important as the workout. Without the rest you cannot expect your body to recover properly and function well. Quality workouts are key.

Think about if you went for a workout and only gave 70% because you were still aching from the last workout. You’re not giving 100% effort so you won’t achieve your goals as quickly and your body is telling you that you need to rest. It’s better to give 100% effort and fewer workouts than more workouts only giving 70% each time.

Not only that but if you workout less and you’re fully recovered before your next session, you will be hungrier for it. You’ll enjoy it more and not dread going. Which will keep you more motivated. Win win!

Quantity in Technology

We have always come to expect more from our technology. Just one example is the phone. We can do so much with it now, it’s really useful and helpful. But there are also downsides. Ever had the temptation to check your work emails while out with your friends or on holiday? It can lead to an inability to switch off and focus your attention on the here and now rather than the ifs and buts of work.

The same can be said for social media. It’s so good in the way that you can keep in contact with people, share photos and information. But it also means that quite often people are using it when out socialising so they’re more interested in what’s happening in their virtual world than in the real world. Good or bad, that’s up to you to decide.

Quantity at Work

More hours mean more work completed, right? Not necessarily. Ever had an experience where you have a short amount of time to get a lot done but you get it all finished? You work harder and smarter, more efficiently and it’s completed quickly.

The opposite is also true. When you have an easy deadline to hit that piece of work seems to take a long time to get done. More hours does not always result in more work achieved.

Quantity in Bed

Sleep…Is very important for health. If you have sugar, caffeine or alcohol too close to your bedtime it may affect your sleep meaning you get up or wake regularly. You might be in bed for 9-10 hours but that quality of sleep is poor. I’ve always said it’s about quality over quantity….

Quantity of Food

There is no doubt that we have a problem with the food we eat. Highly processed, incredibly calorie dense foods are what most people eat each day. The quantity has increased with unhealthy snacks but the quality has gone way down.

Quantity of Purchases

We consume so much now. We buy stuff we don’t even need just because we can. Our over consumption leads to a lot of waste

Quantity of Money

Not all, but a lot are driven by the idea of earning more money. More money will result in more happiness, right? Which also means we can have more holidays, more clothes, more things…We want more of everything.

The Paradox of Choice

There is one idea out there that the more choices we have, the less likely we are to make a choice. And that if we make a choice, sometimes we look back at that decision and regret it when we think about the other choices we could have made. Think about seeing someone else’s dessert at a restaurant and wishing you’d chosen that one…Great TED talk here. I don’t personally agree with all of it, but it’s definitely worth considering.

The Conclusion

As a society we are consumed with more. More, logically, seems to be better. But in reality more is not always better. Quality trumps quantity most of the time.

Massive quantity of information but not necessarily meaning that we have used it to our maximum advantage. You could say that our minds have become overloaded with information. We’re not able to process all of the options and choices so we end up taking a little bit of everything and not committing to one way and seeing it through until completion.