In the 1900s, Italian economists named Vilfredo Pareto became famous for popularizing the “80/20 rule” later abbreviate the Pareto Principle. In his research findings, he noted an interesting relationship between cause and effect. Specifically, he noticed that 80% of all land in Italy was owned by 20% of the people. He was later able to extend his general observation that 80% of all effects/outcomes come from only 20% of causes.
Although this was originally noticed as an economic principle it would later be extended into all industries including strength and conditioning.
So if that’s the case what is the 20% of things we can do for ourselves health wise to produce 80% of the results?
From my own personal experience and observations here are the 3 things I have noticed which produce 80% of my results of looking better and feeling better. I call it bringing sexy back.
Consistent Nutrition Habits
In the past four months I’ve gotten myself back in the best shape I’ve been in in the past three years. Even though I didn’t exercise any more than I was when I was overweight I did completely transform what and how much of what I ate. I eliminated wheat and gluten from my diet. I threw out all the bread, rice, pasta, and bagels that had accumulated in our pantry. I began eating more vegetables, cooking with less fat, and tracking all my daily calories. By doing so I was able to lose 20lbs in four months.
Consistent Exercise Habits
You would think that being a gym owner that I can workout whenever I want. If you are a gym owner you know that is hardly the case. These days working out using 20-minute H.I.I.T. circuits in between clients or back-end office work is the most I can commit to exercising.
One of the things I did implement was being more strategic with my workouts. I made a promise that I would always attend a Monday CrossFit group class and complete two 20-minute HIIT circuits throughout the week. These three workouts were the most I knew I could consistently given my current schedule. Not only was this goal reasonable I didn’t have to completely change my lifestyle to remain consistent and still have fun doing it.
Consistent Sleep Habits
I know how silly it sounds to talk about the importance of sleep. Our bodies already have a built-in circadian rhythm that forces us to sleep whether we want to or not. I just don’t think we realize how detrimental a lack of sleep is until you lose sleep indefinitely. I call it having two kids under two years old! It’s no joke. Unlike our younger days when we would go out and party late night and sleep in the next day that convenience doesn’t exist with new parents.
Recognizing how important sleep is for our mental sanity and muscle recovery my wife and I set out a plan in which we would share nightly feeding responsibilities. We would alternate feedings with our newborn so we would both get at least get 6 hours of sleep. For instance, If we went to bed at 10 pm and Dawson (my newborn) got up at 1 am my wife would get up with him but when he got up again at 4 am then I would get up with him. By alternating this schedule we were able to build a consistent sleep schedule. And as we all married couples know, “a happy wife is a happy life”!
I’m not going to lie, at first setting my original goal of losing 20lbs was very daunting. Which is why I knew if I was going to succeed I needed something like the Pareto Principle to ease my anxiety. I didn’t try to add all these knew habits into my life which would only cause me more stress.
All I did was become more consistent with these 3 habits and it produced amazing results for me. I hope it does the same for you