Grab your cheat sheet
So you’re mainly focussing on your training, paying attention to your diet and heading in the right direction.
But what if I told you there’s a rule that suggests that most of your focus should be on what you’re consuming and that exercise plays only a small part in your progression?
You’d probably think I was crazy, but the 80/20 rule is being adhered to by many athletes who claim that diet is, by far and away, the most significant part of their overall strength progression.
What is the 80/20 Rule Diet?
To put it simply, the 80/20 rule says that if you want to achieve super fitness, 80% of your focus should be on your diet and 20% on your exercise.
This applies if you wish to lose weight, add to your strength and endurance, or get totally ripped.
Before you cancel your gym membership and start amending your shopping list, let’s take a deeper look to see how accurate this rule is.
Can it be that we’ve all been focussing on the wrong area for so long?
Let’s break it down and see exactly how important each area of the rules is.
Nutrition and exercise are both essential parts of losing weight and gaining strength. We tend to focus primarily on our training while, at the same time, keeping an eye on what we’re consuming to make sure it contains an adequate amount of protein.
We know we want to get fitter and stronger and reach our targets as quickly as possible, so it’s important to know we are doing it right.
The importance of your diet
We also know the importance of making the correct nutritional choices when working out. Consuming the right amount of nutrients is essential to have the energy to work out and for post-workout recovery.
A well-balanced diet of carbs, protein, and essential vitamins and minerals is the backbone of pushing yourself to the next level. If you’re following a diet, you must know whether it will work for you. What works for some people might not work for others.
If you’re packing in the proper nutrients, you can concentrate on your training, regardless of the diet/exercise ratio.
The importance of exercise
Cardio and resistance training are integral to regular workouts and the overall approach to achieving your goals.
Cardio is essential for improving your cardiovascular system, and it will help you breathe more comfortably and improve your blood flow. Resistance training enables you to maintain and build muscle mass and strengthens bones.
The idea that you mostly “eat your way to success” required a stretch of the imagination as, without proper training, you’ll be unable to put the nutrients to good use and pack on muscle.
Exercise is, therefore, a fundamental part of your progression and at least of equal value to your diet.
Are there other factors to consider?
Diet and exercise are undoubtedly the key factors in progression, but there are other things to consider if you feel that you aren’t progressing as quickly as you would like.
One factor to consider is your body type. If you are an ectomorph (thin), gaining weight and adding muscle can take more work due to your higher metabolism.
At the other end of the scale, an endomorph body type will store fat more efficiently and while gaining weight and muscle may be more accessible, diet will be essential to ensure that you aren’t gaining too much weight.
Genetics also affects how much you need to adjust the diet/exercise ratio. If you have a family history of obesity, for example, you may be more likely to gain weight more quickly. We often try to work against our genes in many ways, but this is easier. Again, it just means adjusting the ratio.
Another example of how other factors come into play is considering how much sleep and stress we have. Both will affect our hormone levels, and they’ll have a knock-on effect on our diet and exercise habits.
Should you focus on diet or training?
One of the big grey areas concerning the 80/20 rules is how we define “focus”.
What does 80/20 focus mean exactly?
As mentioned before, stress and sleep can affect your diet and training. Therefore, making the proper lifestyle changes can help you reach your goals faster in addition to your exercise and nutrition.
The goal is to strike the right balance that works for you. One that ensures you enjoy your food while getting the nutrients your body needs alongside a workout designed to push you to your next fitness level.
A good idea is to make a checklist for yourself, including your diet, sleeping patterns, stress levels and workout plans. Instead of thinking of a ratio of 80/20, it might be better just to make sure all the boxes are ticked instead.
To take your body to the next level, ensure you’ve got all boxes ticked; get topped up with Crazybulk supplements.
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