Saturday, April 20, 2013


This week's topic is how the 80/20 Rule applies to exercising.
And I have to admit that this is my biggest stumbling block. I just don't get it, lol. Ask Al, he'll tell you that we've had many discussions on this subject.
The theory must rest your body...take a break from workouts...or you won't see any results.
It's kinda confusing for me, so if you've got any input, please feel free to help me understand fully.
The way I understand it is that when your muscles recoup from a workout your body has to burn something to do it and if you have a low enough amount of incoming calories, it must burn fat to do it.

If you don't rest, your muscles don't completely heal.

When you rest every several weeks, it finally has this chance, and you see some weight loss. But, you're probably wasting a lot of the fat burning you could be reaping from your workouts. It would be far more optimal to work out just three of four days a week. That way you wouldn't have just one healing/burning period per month but one per week.

My confusion comes with my quest for weight loss. I feel the need to exercise after every meal to get rid of some of the calories I just ate. So, following that logic, I exercise 3 times every day. Of course there have been times when that just wasn't I guess that's another 80/20 scenario I hadn't realized.

Oh, what a coincidence! During the writing of this week's blog post, I did myself an injury,lol, that's karma for you! Now I see first hand how important it is to give your muscles time to adjust. case you are wondering what I did to myself...I had doubled up my workouts at the beginning of April because I hadn't seen any significant weight loss for the first three months of the year. I started getting twinges of pain in my belly. LOL...I was hoping that it was the muscles churning away at my belly fat but it most likely was them screaming for a break!

Although I now understand more about taking a break, part of me still wants to exercise after every meal. So I am working on a compromise that I can be comfortable with :)


1. Are you already using the 80/20 principle in your workout routine? If so, do you take a monthly or weekly break? Do you see any weight loss as a result?

2. If you aren't currently following the 80/20 rule for exercising...will you join me in giving it a try?

or this challenge, I am going to try both methods. First I will try taking a break once a week and see if there are any results at the end of a month. Then I will try the other method by only taking a break at the end of the month and seeing what results ensue. Perhaps there will be no weight loss at all...but at least I will know I have healthy muscles :)

NEXT WEEK'S BLOG: Beach Body Challenge!


DISCLAIMER: Whenever I use the word DIET in my blog posts I am in no way suggesting that I have invented/discovered some miracle system to lose weight. Whenever I use the word DIET, I am simply substituting a single word to replace the longer phrase EATING HEALTHIER THAN IN THE PAST.


  1. I have two things to say here...

    1. Anthony likes to take days off because he is sore but I don't like to stop because I find if I take a break day I end up getting lazy and won't go for the rest of the week!

    2. I have not been experiencing any weight loss no matter what. I am getting frustrated!

    Also I am intrigued for next weeks blog :)

    1. I'm afraid that if I take days off, I'll gain weight :(

      Aha, next week will be interesting, there is a prize involved :)

  2. I hope your Abs have stopped screaming Cheryl.

    I have heard of the 80/20 rule but thought it pertained only to eating. Still, I do have some comments about exercise and weight loss.

    As you know, some years back I used the gym as part of my own journey to fitness and a healthy weight and lost 99 pounds en route. I am now in the process of trying the trip, albeit about 45 pounds less, again and have just re-joined a gym.

    I had the extreme good fortune to train with Freddy Palmer who is a body builder and former Mr. Ottawa as well as a great personal trainer.

    From him I obtained, in the long run, a total of 15 days worth of exercises. Each day I was to work two different muscles groups, and only those muscle groups. For example, Wednesday I work several different Ab muscles followed by several different chest muscles. On Friday I work only Hamstrings and the thigh muscles and so on. Freddy emphasized more sets and sometimes more reps per set than I have seen with other training programs. He told me the point is to exhaust the particular muscle groups so that they have more repair to do. But I would work ONLY those muscles, even if I worked out EVERY day, no more than every 5 days. He also emphasized warming up, first the entire body with some light aerobic work for 10 minutes and then the specific muscle groups before stressing them, sometimes with no or light weight reps or with other exercises designed for that purpose. For example, I have six different routines with no weights prior to lifting anything related to the chest. Oddly, as I type this I realize that his principle would come close to your 80/20 rule

    As the exercises became easier for me to perform I was to up the weight and/or the reps, do a type of interval training between the two muscle groups and/or and speed up the time taken to do them-a form of aerobic exercise now becoming involved with the strength training. But no matter how quickly I was to perform each exercise the form must be correct. That is also why I went back to him for two further programs, to learn more exercises that were more challenging.

    I have both tried and watched other trainers at work in a couple of gyms and they seem so much less knowledgeable than Freddy; often having their clients doing exercises without warming up the muscles and even showing the wrong things-the other day I saw a trainer teaching dumbbell flys with the dumbbell held in the press position, and the programs do not seem more than simply "Here are some exercise you can do" attitude.

    So, a long-winded response to your question. I think the muscle groups do require rest but that does not mean YOU have to rest-lol. And remember, plateau will happen at some point-it is the body adapting to and resisting the changes you are forcing upon it. So when it happens, you change up the exercise, such as if you always do chest presses with a bar-use free weights and so on. That includes even what you do aerobically. For instance if you are always on the treadmill switch to the rowing machine.

    I am following your progress with great enthusiasm as I know what a 'trip' it can be and wish you every success!

    1. Thanks so much for this info Elizabeth! I'm happy to see that I am doing things right...I warm up and I switch my workouts so the same muscles aren't overused. Good luck on your's a rough one but well worth it :)

  3. I take Wednesdays off give my muscles a rest and I look forward to it.

    1. I thought of taking Wednesdays off too Pam...midweek sounds best...weekends you never know what will be going on here with Al home from work :)