The 80/20 Rule of Fitness: How should I apply it?

Let’s put it this way: would you believe it if someone told you it was possible to boost your fitness progress by applying an economic principle? Well, whether or not you’d believe them, this is TRUE!

5 min read - 13 June 2021 Young woman doing sit ups on a gym mat

It’s human nature to choose the path that requires less effort in all our actions. But a method has emerged in response to this tendency, which allows people to achieve greater efficiency by doing less work. This method, called the "80/20 Rule", is actually an economic technique and is also known as the "Pareto Principle". It has been used to increase productivity for over 200 years.

The 80/20 Rule is based on the fact that 80% of success comes from 20% of your efforts. The rule can be used to increase economic efficiency as well as to increase fitness training efficiency. This means that pushing yourself too hard may not be a good strategy for reaching your fitness goals. According to the 80/20 Rule, 80% of the results (like losing weight, growing your muscles) that you achieve through your workouts come from 20% of the time (effort) you devote to training.

By paying attention to the following tips, you can get greater efficiency from your workouts in a shorter time:

1) Take control of your workout schedule: reduce time, increase efficiency

Here’s a hard pill to swallow: time in the gym isn’t an indicator of success. It simply isn’t. Results prove results, not time! You can increase your workout efficiency by finding your optimal training time, because this can vary according to age and sports background. For example, if you’re too tired to even walk the day after your workout, it’s probably too much for you. Find out how much rest you need and minimize that too. Time is everything!

2) Increase intensity and focus

When you shorten your training sessions as suggested above, you need to maximize efficiency. During every rep, every second of your workout, you need to be focused mentally. That's why you need to make sure you give your full attention to the workout you're doing. Lose the cell phone, cut the chit-chat, stop scrolling down your social media feed…FOCUS and be intense.

3) Examine your diet

Now, let’s examine your diet. Which foods make you feel full but light? Add more of these foods, like legumes and leafy greens to your diet. Which foods make you feel tired after you consume them? Reduce them. For example, eat less refined sugar. A small amount of refined sugar can trigger your body to store more fat and crave more sugar afterward. As you make small changes to your actions and they become habits, you’ll make great progress.

4) Get more out of your sleep

Sometimes what you need is not more sleep, but better quality sleep. Be sure to move your body throughout the day. Take a brisk walk, follow the workout Journey that Kompanion has customized for you, or if you can't find time for these, do some stretching before you sleep. As your body gets tired, you will sleep better at night. When you sleep better, you will work out more efficiently during the following day. Taking short naps during the day will also help you restore the energy you need. Thus, you can do more intense and effective workouts in a shorter time.

The 80/20 rule is a method worth trying in terms of the efficiency it promises. Will you give 80/20 rule a chance when working out with Kompanion?

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