Someone once told me, “God can do a lot with a little.” Fact is, so can you!
Maybe this is the point of the story of David and Goliath.
Where can you get the most results for the least among of struggle?
No one likes climbing stairs, lifting weights, or doing hours of cardio.
If you have never heard of the 80/20 rule then you are in for a treat.
An Italian economist more than 100 years ago noticed that when viewing any given set of numbers, it seemed that 20% of the actions led to 80% of the results.Conversely, 80% of activity often leads to 20% of results.
The Pareto principle (also known as the 80-20 rule, the law of the vital few, and the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.
Business-management consultant Joseph M. Juran suggested the principle and named it after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who observed in 1906 that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population; he developed the principle by observing that 20% of the pea pods in his garden contained 80% of the peas.
For example, in your 8 – 10 hours of work a day, you may actually get the most results from any given 1.5 – 2 hour period. High yield activities. Of course the %’s are approximate, in some cases 5% of activity leads to 95% of results. That’s even better! If you can identify which actions lead to the best results, then concentrate on them. That’s the plan and concept behind the 4 Hour Body with respect to diet, fat loss and fitness in general.
Tim Ferriss’s contention is that the 80/20 rule applies to fitness and exercise. You don’t need 12 hours in the gym to get results. In fact, he says, you can get the body you have always dreamed of in 30 minutes of exercise a week.
Of course, he would know. Tim has recorded every workout he has done since he was 18! That’s tenacity for you! Measure it!
Let’s say you are doing leg presses. Leg exercises give you the biggest bang for your calorie buck because this is the largest group of muscles in your body. By exercising the leg muscles to fatigue you are raising your natural growth hormone. So let’s ask this question: Which is better: Less weight more reps? Or more weight less reps? Where do you get the biggest bang?
Answer: More weight, less reps. If you set up to do 10 reps and you can barely get to the 8th rep and you fail to complete, you have arrived at the golden moment. Stay with the struggle of your muscles failing for just a few more seconds. In those few seconds, you are maximizing your output in that brief struggle. That few seconds of extraordinary effort leads to the maximum benefit. If you lessen the weight, you increase the time needed exponentially. Short bursts of exercise, wear out quick, and be done!
Warning: Be safe. Work with a partner. Spot one another and don’t hurt yourself.
At home, you can get away with 2 exercises and zero equipment.
1. Air Squats, 2. Wall push ups.
Air squats or deep knee bends will fire up the leg muscles. Work to muscle fatigue and squeeze just one more.
Wall pushups can be done standing up. Find a wall, and pretend like you are doing pushups, isometrically engage the shoulder girdle, biceps, triceps, lats and deltoids. Do them slowly and once you start feeling the burn, stick with it til muscle fatigue.
If you can do these two exercises 15 minutes before each meal and 30 minutes after each meal, ten minutes a day is probably all you need. Beats running marathons. One trainer showed me, “Look around the gym, fat people do cardio, trim people lift weights.”
Of course, you have to use your 80/20 filter to see this, but somehow it proves true. By way of example, eat one chocolate chip cookie. If you are a 220 lb male, you would have to climb 27 flights of stairs to burn off those calories. Lifting weights will burn off calories faster, much faster. Again, reps til the point of exhaustion, then squeeze one more til you just can’t make it. Now, you’ve won!