This is an excerpt from the book, Mountain Fit: The Hunter's Fitness Solution. You can find the book by clicking here.
The foundation of this book is Pareto’s Principle, otherwise known as the 80/20 rule. I’ll give you a brief rundown and a mini history lesson.
The 80/20 Principle is simple, from Wikipedia.
“The Pareto principle (also known as the 80–20 rule, 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.”
Back in 1906, Italian Economist Vilfredo Pareto observed that that 20% of the pea pods in his garden accounted for 80% of the peas. He then noticed that of 80% of land in Italy was owned by 20% of the people. He compared this land distribution to other countries and found it to be a constant phenomenon in most places.
In, Living the 80/20 Way, author Richard Koch noted that,
“80% of problems can be attributed to 20% of causes.
80% of a company's profits come from 20% of its customers.
80% of a company's complaints come from 20% of its customers.
80% of a company's profits come from 20% of the time its staff spends.
80% of a company's sales come from 20% of its products.
80% of a company's sales are made by 20% of its sales staff."
I've applied the rule to hunter's that are trying to get back in shape but only have so much time and energy to dedicate.
Many people get a spark of motivation and want to go all in with extreme fitness. This results in one of a few possible outcomes:
- They are part of the 1% that is able to maintain it for a few years and successfully change their lifestyle.
- They are part of the 5% or so that maintain it for a few months, accomplish their goals and then end up back where they started after losing motivation.
- They are part of the 94% that can't manage all the changes and quit within a few weeks.
My job as a coach and author of this book is to identify the minimum effective dose that will achieve the maximum results; the 20% of actions that will lead to 80% of the results. By following the program in this book, you will leave with easy nutrition habits that will stick with you for the rest of your life. This program isn't just designed to get you in great shape for a couple of months; it's designed to give you tools that you can use to sustain a high-level of fitness for the rest of your life.
The biggest problem with the fitness industry is the focus on the 80% of fluff that only account for 20% of results. This includes unstable surface training, mastering the kipping pull-up, and taking 20 different kinds of supplements.
In an effort to distinguish themselves from the rest of the pack, many trainers have turned to focusing on the 80%. The truth is, this fluff takes a ton of time and effort and produces little success. If you are balancing a busy family and professional life, you simply don't have the time for this. This program is about what you need, not what I want or enjoy.
Below, I’m going to give a brief outline of the essential 20% in strength and conditioning for hunters. This 20% will make up the rest of this book and the training/nutrition program.
Relating the 80/20 Rule to Fitness for Hunters
The foundation for any fitness program is movement quality. It makes little sense to focus on getting really good at doing things wrong. Over time, this will just lead to inefficiency and injuries.
Think of it this way. Two guys are going on a long and difficult hunt. It will take a full day for the hike in.
Hunter 1 throws everything in his pack as fast as possible and takes off running.
Hunter 2 takes 20 minutes to make sure everything in his pack is organized and well-balanced. Then he takes another 10 minutes to check his map. He finds there is a shorter path that doesn't require as much elevation change and will knock a couple of hours off his hike. In this book, you will learn how to apply Hunter 2's approach to fitness.
I will introduce you to assessments that you can perform on yourself that will identify the three most common movement problems and postural deficiencies. Each of these will be accompanied by a short corrective exercise program designed to fix the issue.
I've also prepared a video course for you called The Fundamentals of Midline Stability. I've condensed thousands of hours of coaching into this short 12-minute course. This is an even more extreme version of Pareto's Principle. When it comes to using proper technique, 90% of people make the same 10% of mistakes. This course will teach you the fundamentals to avoid those mistakes.
Going to the gym every day takes a big time commitment and isn't necessary for 99% of hunter's goals. We won't train every day. Instead, we’ll hit the weights hard twice a week with lots of compound "bang for your buck" exercises. We will add one core/interval day that you can do from home. On top of this, we’ll add 1-2 days of ruck marches. Our training will focus on:
Leg Strength/Power - Strong legs are your foundation. They will allow you to strap 100 pounds on your back and hike through rough and steep terrain.
High-Intensity Interval Training - This allows you to get a killer workout in with huge metabolic and cardiovascular benefits in less than 15 minutes. It can also be done at home with minimal equipment.
Core strength - We will focus on training the core to mimic its natural function of creating stability and rotational force. We will ditch flexion based exercise like sit ups and crunches in favor of exercises like planks, shoulder taps, and pallof presses. These will teach your body how to resist rotation and extension - where most injuries occur. These will pay off significantly when you have a pack full of meat, and you need a strong core to stay on your feet.
Hunting Specific Conditioning- We will spend 1-2 days per week doing hunting specific conditioning like hiking with a weighted pack. This program will not require you to bring your pack with you to the gym and walk on a treadmill. This would embarrass many people and lead to them not doing it. We will try to make this more enjoyable by incorporating scouting and shed hunting when possible.
Active Recovery - On our days off, we will do active recovery. To be as efficient as possible, we will work on low-intensity cardio while also working on movement efficiency. This will give us all the cardiovascular benefits of jogging but instead of being hard on the body, we will be improving quality of movement at the same time.
No meal plans; no math; no calorie counting; and no macro splits - You can thank me later, when you are getting way better results than the people that are wasting their time with these (Note: This may come into play when you graduate to individualized coaching. If you want to be an elite athlete, this stuff becomes important).
Nutrition Habits - I've created 10 habits that you will be able to choose from. These will be the 20% of changes that will achieve 80% of your results. They are designed to be simple and to build on one another over time. You will work on one habit at a time. As soon as you master it, you can move on to a new one. I generally recommend two weeks per habit.
'My Plate' Guidelines - You will also get an outline of two sample plates- one is what an average meal should look like; the other what a post-workout meal should look like.
You will also learn how to measure serving sizes with your hands. This will allow you to make smart food choices without much effort.
Supplements - I am not affiliated with any supplement company, so I'm not going to push a bunch of supplements on you. This is one of the biggest problems in the fitness industry. It seems that every fitness professional and celebrity is in cahoots with a brand of supplements. Not me.
I will only recommend supplements to supplement holes in your diet. I will give you the tools to identify what supplements you need. The most common: omega 3 fatty acids (fish oil), multivitamins, and protein. No bullshit. I won't sell you supplements and claim that they are better because they say outdoors on them. Maintaining your trust is more important to me than earning a few extra bucks on the side.
Can you apply the 80/20 rule to other areas of your life?
I encourage you to consider what other areas of your life you can apply the Pareto Principle. By eliminating the aspects of your life that take up a lot of your time but have little return on investment, you can free up more time for your fitness, family, and hunting.
I've spent many years deciphering between the 80% and the 20% in terms of fitness. Everything in this short book is the 20%. If it's not in here, it's probably not that important.
Comment your ideas for applying Pareto's Law to your fitness or life in general.
You can learn more about the Mountain Fit Program by clicking here. It closes on Friday, June 10th at 11:59 EST and won't open again until next year.