Body Hacking Using the 80/20 Principle

Fitness & Training Tips
By Dan

About Dan

I’m one of our resident Exercise Physiologists, and also an accredited Strength and Conditioning Coach, Personal Trainer and Level 1 Weightlifting Instructor. Outside of the gym, I tend to go in search of good food and great coffee. And yes, Dan’s Shoulder Stretch is mine.
Plenty of people are familiar with The 80/20 Principle or Otherwise know as the Pareto Principle.
In a nutshell, the principle suggests that 80% of your results come from 20% of your time and effort. Phrased differently, you could work 20% of the time for 80% of the current business revenue.
What many people don’t realise is that the 80/20 principle can be applied to nearly EVERYTHING!
Tech giant Apple is famous for it’s application of the 80/20 principle. Apple worked out early that if the average consumer only uses 20% of a computer’s features, why even have the remaining 80%? Make the 20% ridiculously user friendly and most consumers will chomp at the bit to get hold of Apple products.
Why does the 80/20 principle work so well?
Simplicity. We may want to think we’re the masters of multitasking, but the reality is we’re not. In fact we’re a very long way from it. Humans just don’t do well when we have too much to focus on. (Try writing a text message while driving…actually, don’t.)
Simple, actionable, goal driven tasks work best for productivity and long-term success.
We have been told that “the 80/20 principle is one of the best ways of dealing with and transcending the pressures of modern life.” Because it simplifies our processes.
What if we could apply the 80/20 principle to transforming your body?
What if we could simplify the process, so that you saw 80% of the change, with only 20% of the time investment?
Well, you can.
The 80/20 Principle and YOUR Body
First things first – set yourself a CLEARLY DEFINED goal.
I can’t emphasise that enough. “Get fit” is not a goal. “Get toned” is not a goal. You need to be able to objectively measure it. You need to objectively know that you have a achieved it.
Secondly, what is the ONE thing that will make the biggest difference? Where are you going to invest your 20% effort?
Find the elephant in the room and do something about it.
You may need the help of someone else here. In fact I encourage it.
Often the reason we aren’t doing one thing that will make the biggest difference is because we don’t want to face it. We’re scared, or it seems to hard.
So ask someone who you respect and trust, (not someone who might want to sell you something) who knows more than you about exercise and nutrition. Ask them what they think the one thing is that will make the biggest difference and see what comes back.


I’m going to give you a few examples here or the stuff I see more often than not (I’ve used all of these with REAL clients and got RAPID results).


To lose body fat: The most important thing is to reduce excess calories. So, identify where most of your superfluous calories are coming from. More often than not, the culprit is ALCOHOL. Make it your mission to reduce (1 bottle to 1 glass), replace (change beer to vodka soda) or eliminate (I’m not going to drink…).
[I’ve seen over 5kg of fat loss in one month from this alone. Be honest with yourself and apply your effort to where it matters most.]
To gain muscle: Simply put, all the training in the world won’t make you big. You need to be in a calorie surplus. What can you eat that’s healthy, easy to eat and provides high-density calories? Macadamias! Add one big handful (about 40 grams) to your normal daily food. That’s nearly 300 extra calories per day, and takes one minute to do. Big reward, short time.
[Most of my bigger guys have macadamias/almonds/nut butter as a mainstay of their diet. You can’t refute thermodynamics.]
The Time To Act Is Now!
Step 1: CLEARLY define your goal. Note down HOW you measure it, and WHEN you measure/re-measure it.
Step 2: Find the ONE thing that’s going to make the difference, and invest your 20% there. Single focus. Don’t complicate it. 80% of your improvements depend on it.
This doesn’t take long to do…at all!
In fact, the above examples don’t take any EXTRA time out of your day, and have huge potential to change.