The 80/20 Principle – Read This First


The Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule, the law of the vital few, or the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes

SImply speaking, the 80/20 principle states that 80 percent of your results will come from focusing on 20 percent of the work. This principle holds true to fitness as well.

From Wikipedia
The Pareto principle (also known as thee 80/20 principle) has been applied to training, where roughly 20% of the exercises and habits have 80% of the impact and the trainee should not focus so much on a varied training. This does not necessarily mean eating healthy or going to the gym are not important, just that they are not as significant as the key activities.

You should understand this, it’s not just a theory, the 80/20 principle has been tested in varied disciplines & industries.

In fact, in some environments & fields, the skew can be as much as 95/5

If you can figure out the 20% of your diet & training which gives you 80% of the results, your workouts will become shorter & more productive than ever, while at the same time giving you better results.


Even looking at this list is overwhelming. You don’t need 40 different ab exercises to get a 6-pack. You need just 1 or possibly 2

Weight loss

When it comes to weight loss , if you can eliminate 20% of the foods which are causing 80% of your fat gain, you will make huge changes in body composition simply from focusing on the few key habits that matter while safely ignoring the rest.
20% of the habit changes will give you 80% of your results. You just have to (and that’s the challenge) figure out that 20% .


Muscle gain

When it comes to troubleshooting muscle gain, you just have to figure out 20% of the causes killing 80% of your muscle gain & recovery & fix them. And that 20% usually does not include taking more whey protein.

Focusing on 20% of the exercises (heavy compound lifting) will net you 80% of your muscle gains.

This advice also applies to figuring out set & rep schemes & training volume.

The Minimum Effective Dose (MED) & Parkinson’s law

Parkinson’s Law dictates that a task will swell in (perceived) importance and complexity in relation to the time allotted for its completion. It is the magic of the immediate deadline … The end product of a shorter deadline is almost inevitably of equal or higher quality due to greater focus.”

The minimum effective dose (MED) is defined simply: the smallest dose that will produce a desired outcome. Anything beyond the MED is wasteful.

For example, to boil water, the MED is 100°C at sea level. Higher temperatures will not make it more boiled.

If you need 15 minutes in the sun to trigger a response to generate Vitamin D, 15 minutes is your MED for getting some sun. More than 15 minutes will be redundant and will just result in excessive tanning or burning.

Two fundamental MEDs to keep in mind:
1. To remove stored fat, do the least necessary to trigger a fat-loss cascade of specific hormones.


2. To add muscle, do the least necessary to trigger local (specific muscles) and systemic (hormonal) growth mechanisms.


So what do you get when you put together the Pareto Principle & Parkinson’s Law?


A hyper-abbreviated routine that you can easily integrate into your daily life & still get amazing results.


‘How much volume is too much?’ is the wrong question to ask. What you should be asking is, ‘How little volume can I get away with?’


Pavel Tsatsouline’s Simple & Sinister kettlebell program is one of the best examples of these principles applied to training.



The Master of Pain himself


If you have any questions, or want me to cover a particular topic, please feel free to leave a comment or to reach out.

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