Posted by: Street | October 13, 2011


If you research the 80-20 rule extensively, you’ll find that it applies nearly everywhere. According to Wikipedia the 80-20 rule, or otherwise known as the Pareto principle,  the law of the vital few, and the principle of factor sparsity, states that for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

Here are some interesting cases where the 80-20 rule applies:

  • In health care in the United States, it has been found that 20% of patients use 80% of health care resources.
  • Several criminology studies have found that 80% of crimes are committed by 20% of criminals.
  • Distribution of world GDP, 1989[8]
    Quintile of population Income
    Richest 20% 82.70%
    Second 20% 11.75%
    Third 20% 2.30%
    Fourth 20% 1.85%
    Poorest 20% 1.40%

 Of course there is a health and fitness twist on the 80-20 rule, and it just wouldn’t be right if I didn’t mention health and fitness in one of my blogs right?

With your health and fitness goals it is well-accepted by health and fitness professionals, strength and conditioning coaches, nutritionists, and dieticians that 80% of your results comes from your nutrition habits and 20% comes from the actual exercise program you are participating in. The problem with this is, 80% of people’s efforts come in the form of exercise and they only use 20% of their effort towards their nutritional habits. It becomes quite apparent why so many people get frustrated with the lack of their results. 20% of the population understands how to do it right, while 80% keep failing.

So the answer is simple, figure out your nutrition first. Or at least spend more time nailing that component down and then focus your energy on getting in some intense exercise. Once you harness your nutrition and it becomes second nature, focusing on the exercise becomes enjoyable, because you get to see the fruits of your labor. You know, the cuts, the shape, the abs, the smaller jeans, etc…all get their chance to shine, whereas when the 80-20 rule is applied in the wrong components, the fruits of your labor show in the form of spare tires, double chins, saddle bags, and cankles (or “snowpant legs” as a friend of mine once called them).


Use your time, energy, and money wisely when it comes to your health, or you will pay more in the end.



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