Perseverance vs. Persistence | Erin Stern

October 19, 2017

Would you describe yourself as persistent or perseverant? 

These two words are often used interchangeably, but have subtle differences. I think these subtle differences can create a shift towards success or cause a stall in progress. Let’s look at the definitions first, and then I’ll explain why. Here are the definitions:

Persistence: Firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.

Perseverance: Steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.

Both terms imply that strength and tenacity are needed. In this sense, it’s good to be both persistent and perseverant.  But, in terms of success and achieving goals – often, the path forward is not a linear one. If a training or meal plan no longer works, it doesn’t make sense to stick with it. I think of persistence as rigid, or stubborn. People often persist in doing the same routine and hoping for different results. The body is amazingly adaptive, and can get used to a variety of training styles. Persisting with just one or two styles can create a plateau in progress. This is especially true for those who are in the process of losing body fat and/or gaining muscle. Plans need to be fluid in order to provide the stimulus necessary for change. 

Perseverance provides fluidity. The objective is success. The emphasis is on achieving the goal, and pushing through until you achieve it. Perseverance means that you change your workouts, you learn new techniques, and you don’t lose sight of where you ultimately want to be. It may take longer and be much harder than you expected, but you continue, knowing that you’ll get there with your Plan B, C, or Z!

So, which one will you be persistent or perseverant? 

I know that even when my path changes, some things remain the same. I still take BetaTOR every day. I’m the strongest I have ever been, and stay strong when I lean down!

Thank you for reading! Until next time, train hard, y’all!

  Erin Stern
, 2x Ms. Figure Olympia



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