Culturally, as Americans, we seem to view our training efforts in the context of an acute struggle, a Rocky Balboa esque surge of willpower. We are highly cinematic. Every effort is life or death, win or lose.
Physiological change doesn't work that way. Our bodies are more inclined to reward habitual behavior than they are the sporadic. An approach to training is best cultivated with the prioritization of macro lifestyle factors and a mindset favoring habitual change. The role of consistency in the training process cannot be overstated.
Adaptation takes place in the recovery from stimulus, a stimulus which is best applied at consistent intervals for perpetual adaptation. Cranking the intensity to extremes can take away from overall work volumes and leave gains on the table. Pure consistency will always beat pure intensity when it comes to training results.
In de-conditioned individuals, the stimuli required to promote positive adaptations are not particularly high. Neural pathways and mechanical patterns are ripe for the strengthening, and week to week percentage gains are disproportionately high in comparison to the diminishing returns experienced by a more conditioned athlete.
While intensity will never be a shortcut to long term growth and development, it is certainly a factor. Consistency and intensity are at constant interplay within the currents of physiological stress response. Conditioning is a game of risk-to-reward ratios. Since consistency delivers such high rewards with little to no risk, it holds more weight in our priority pyramid. The high intensity, higher risk protocols should be pursued once baseline consistency has been established.
Fitness is a journey worthy of enjoyment, it is a rewarding experience. Don't be afraid to look around and enjoy the moment. Patience is an ally, so smell the roses and don't look too far ahead of a solid days work. Your mindset and your effort are the only thing under your control anyway, so don't lose sight of your macro vision. The interconnectedness of your physical training and mental discipline, while intangible, is one of the most useful adaptations to become the strongest version of yourself.