Health, fitness and the 80:20 principle

What is 80:20?

The 80:20 principle has been around a while now, but it’still amazing how many times it’s relevant.   It refers to percentages and can be applied to pretty much anything.    Globally around 80% of the worlds wealth is owned by 20% of the worlds people. 80% of our happiness comes from 20% of what we do.  Importantly in most things in life..

80% of our results come from 20% of the work we put in. 

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80:20 in fitness

In fitness it would be outlined as 80% of what we achieve (results) is produced by 20% of our training.  So basically comes down to efficiency and the need to train specifically. As an example, if you want to train for fitness the old method of plodding away on a treadmill for 60 minutes will improve your fitness. But 15-20 minutes of high quality intervals will do as good a job, if not better.

So what we need to be doing is looking for the exercises and methods that give us the greatest gains. Try some of the following:


  • Buy a heart rate monitor and use heart rate training to train by heart zone rather than feel.
  • Weight training – find what are you looking for, drill it down. Do you need strength, condition, tone? I guarantee you can do more in less time by lifting with more form, range or even less rest.
  • Break 60 minute sessions down to at most 45 minutes. It’s amazing what you’ll get done.

80:20 in nutrition

This same principle can be applied in relation to dietary habits.

  • Fat loss for many is 80% dietary, 20% fitness training and genetics. It’s very tough to drop body fat on a good training routine but a bad eating plan.  What we eat is key to losing weight.
  • Eating 80% clean and 20% what you will is a great long term strategy.


Keep looking..

Both nutrition and training tend to need regular attention to keep the progress and using the 80:20 rule is a good way of doing this.  Look at your plan and work out where that 20% is coming from in order to spend the time wisely and see the greatest gains.


Looking to apply that 80:20 principle?  Come and see us for a FREE consultation by visiting the website.