With so much going on in our daily lives, wasting time and effort in the gym is simply unacceptable. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to get the most out of the resources you budget for health and fitness.
I’m a big fan of Pareto’s Principle or the 80/20 rule, and you should be too. This is the simple idea that 20% of a given input will yield 80% of an output.
20% of employees doing 80% of the work is a common example. The phenomenon is found almost everywhere, even in your diet and exercise plan.
If you’re on the internet for more than 3 minutes a day, you probably have information overload. Opinions run hot in the fitness industry, making it difficult to discern the gold from the garbage. Further complicating matters is the fact that everyone’s advice is correct, in certain circumstances. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.
Personal training filters the noise and delivers only what you want. You face a million options when walking into the gym, but there are only a handful of things you need.
Invest in these “20%-ers” and enjoy the results.
For nearly all your goals, deadlifts offer a lot. In fact, it may be the most “functional” exercise ever. It’s just picking something off the ground. Simple, yet the proper application has value for strength and fat-loss goals for everyone from the young athlete to grandma. Ladies and gentlemen – Think it might help your physique?
Like the other examples here, a good pushup is truly a full-body exercise. It requires not only upper body strength and stability, but linkage through the core to the legs. Most guys need more work on their pushups over the bench press.
Numerous varieties, progressions and regressions make this old school calisthenic a winner.
Squatting is a fundamental, primal human movement. Unfortunately, years of sitting have wrecked people’s ability to squat naturally. A strong squat lays the foundation for better posture. Squatting activates nearly every muscle in the mid to low body and is far superior to the “in-and-out” hip machines. Front squats, back squats, with barbells or kettlebells or nothing at all – squats rule.
The kettlebell swing offers many of the same benefits of the deadlift with the added bonus of metabolic disturbance… or jacking the heart rate and burning the fatz.
The pushup’s evil brother. The pull-up is the entry level badass exercise. While the fairer sex are capable of putting up some impressive reps, the move is bias towards the boys. Even still, it’s the movement that is most important – the synchronization of hands, elbows, biceps, shoulders, lats, and core to pull the body towards the bar.
The TGU is the pinnacle of the total-body exercises. It’s part yoga, part pure strength, and looks straight out of the circus. Like the rest of the list, it works just about everything. I had a client go from barely being able to stand up from a chair without pain, to popping out of bed in the morning. Guess what he practiced everyday?
Sprinting is the ultimate form of high intensity interval training. Sprints breed athleticism and an athletic body in no time. With good running form, they are quite safe and hill sprints are just behind squats for best leg exercise.
Ok, that takes care of the movement side of things. Now let’s take a look at nutrition. Obviously I’m skirting around a ton of gray area here due to the extremely personal nature of diet. These are simple suggestions that work best for the most number of people.
See this article I wrote for LifeTime – Food vs. “Food” Bottom line – if man made it, you probably shouldn’t eat it.
Start with Plants
Vegetables should find their way into every meal of the day. If this is new to you, find a vegetable that you like (or at least don’t mind) and try to get it into as many meals as possible. Personally, I started this habit by eating a handful of spinach leaves and a dollop of salsa under a few eggs for breakfast.
Add Quality Protein
This one is wide open. Chicken, beef, fish, eggs, pork. As long as it isn’t covered in an inch of fried breading, I’m probably ok with it.
Fish Oil, Vitamin D, Multivitamin are the big three. Depending on goals and diet, other core supplementation includes probiotics, whey protein, creatine monohydrate, calcium, and magnesium.
Drink more of it.
This list represents the core of things that work. They are potent fat burners, muscle builders, and body shapers. Don’t get bogged down in details.