This post from Ross Enamait reminded me of this.
couple of years ago, I got fascinated by the concept of minimalism.
Read a few books, did a bunch of decluttering (it's probably time to do
some again). It was interesting, and kind of useful, up to a point.
After that point, however, I think it's a bit of a dead end.
definition of minimalism I found most useful was that of doing or having
"enough". No more, no less. For managing "stuff" (physical goods), I still
find it a very useful concept, and one that has helped me break out of
some unhelpful or unproductive habits.
For training, I think it can have it's uses, but ultimately, it's limiting.
Minimalist training to me makes sense when you have things competing for your time. When my son was first born, a minimalist routine made sense (calling what I did a "routine" is probably generous, but you get the point). If you are constrained to doing no more than 30 minutes of training, three days a week, you better get very efficient about how you use that time.
But no one ever got really, really good at something by putting an hour and half a week into it.
This is what I mean by a dead-end. There's a point where "enough" may not be "enough". I suppose you could argue that if your goal is to be a world champion, then the amount of work it takes to get there is "enough", but that just seems like hiding behind a tautology. If the amount of time I spend on something is "enough" no matter what, then I'm always a minimalist.
I think the act of removing the unnecessary from your life is a worthwhile one, but at some point, it's worth asking what you're making space for. Is it just to have space? Are you freeing up time just to have free time, or are you freeing up time to do something with it?
Coming at this another way: people seem to be fond of trying to apply the Pareto Principle to damn near everything (I am not entirely convinced this is a valid approach). For those not familiar, this is semi-infamous "80/20 rule". People make the argument that if you get eighty percent of the results from twenty percent of your training, you can just do the twenty percent, and still get that eighty percent mark.
Which might be true, but if you want 100% of the results, you need to 100% of the work. Greatness doesn't come from doing "just enough".
[Side note: as Maija observed recently, you cannot be great at everything. The utility of a minimalist training approach is probably here. You can't be a world champion powerlifter, marathon runner, and MMA fighter all at once. Something's got to give.]