Here are some principles I’ve picked up from various strength coaches throughout the years that could be applied to most individuals training and nutrition. Heck, some of these principles could even be applied to every day living.
K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid): Most people tend to over complicate their training and nutrition. They make it harder on themselves than it actually needs to be. Let’s get real here. Unless you are a professional or college athlete or have been training for ten or more years you are not advanced and do not need advanced methods. Even if you are a professional athlete or have been training for ten plus years you still may not need advanced training methods. Most people would be better off sticking to the basics: (squat, lunge, deadlift, push ups, eat protein at every meal, displace calorie containing beverages, etc.), especially when they are not even doing the basics.
Pareto Principle (80/20): Back in the early 1900’s Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto noticed that 80 % of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. This principle then was applied applied to different parts of business, such as 80% of your profits will come from 20% of your clients or 80% of your sales will come from 20% of your products. If we apply this principle to your training, 80% of your results are going to come from the most important 20% of your training. The 20% of your training that is going to deliver the most results are your key exercises in your training program such as squats, deadlifts, chin ups and mobility work. All that other stuff you throw on top of those exercises are referred to as assistance work for a reason. They will assist with results, but will not be the big difference makers in getting results.
180 Degree principle: I first heard this principle from strength coach Charles Staley. Basically, do the complete opposite of the norm or what most people doing, because what people are doing is not working. Go into a commercial gym and most people are doing slow steady cardio on the elliptical. Do the opposite and strength train or do some high intensity intervals. Most people when they do strength train are using the old “low weight, high rep” method. Do the opposite and pick up some heavy weights and train with lower reps. Most people are flexing, extending and twisting their spine for their core work Focus the majority of your core work on spinal stabilization exercises. Most people are afraid of fat in their diets. Don’t be afraid of fat in your diet. We could keep going on and on with this principle. Hopefully you get the idea. Do the opposite of the norm unless you want to be the norm.
The Shit Test: If it looks like shit, it probably is shit. If you’re doing an exercise and feel like your technique looks pretty shitty, it probably is. Regress the exercise or clean up your movement patterns until you are ready for that particular exercise. If a program that you found in some news stand magazine looks too advanced for you and is going to beat the crap out of you. it probably will. Find a program that fits with your needs and goals. If some new diet looks too good to be true because you can eat all the cookies you want as long as they are after 9pm, it definitely is too good to be true. Get some basic, good nutrition in place first such as cutting back on cookie at all times. Sometimes there is no need to smell shit in order to find out if it is shit. Sometimes all you need to do is look.