Applying the 80/20 Rule to P90X and Insanity
I’d like to show you how to go about applying the 80/20 Rule to P90X and Insanity.
There’s no question that the P90X and Insanity workouts are intense. A lot of people want to know how to get the most out of these programs when they have busy schedules. Let’s face it, I have a lot more time to devote to my fitness than most people do. I totally get that and that’s what’s behind this post.
The 80/20 Rule has been applied in a number of circumstances. In business, it essentially means that 80% of your results come from 20% of your activity. It is a way to get people to focus on what they are doing that actually works and stop wasting time. The rule has slightly different applications in fitness and nutrition, so let’s break each down.
Applying the 80/20 Rule to FITNESS
If you hit 100% of your P90X and Insanity workouts and follow a solid nutrition program, you’ll have outstanding results. If you can do that, then by all means do it. But, for many people, this is an unattainable goal.
If I have limited time and it comes down to my workout or an event for one of my kids, the kids are winning that battle every time. So, does that mean I shouldn’t even bother to unwrap my P90X DVDs? Does it mean I should give up on Insanity on Day 5 because I missed a workout? No, absolutely not. We have to be reasonable with our time and with ourselves.
When applied to fitness, the 80/20 Rule essentially means that we need to make sure we get in 80% of our scheduled workouts, as an absolute minimum. Over the 90 days of P90X, you have 78 scheduled workouts [and 12 rest days]. If you hit 80% of those workouts, that would be about 63 workouts in 90 days [or a total of 27 rest days]. Compare that to your current level of activity. If you’re doing more than that, then set your bar at 90/10. If you’re not, and you’re trying to make this work in a busy schedule, then go for 80/20 and get in as many as you can. (Contact us for ways to modify, if you are thinking of changing the schedule.)
Am I telling you to slack off? No. Am I saying that you’ll get the same results as someone that does 100% of the workouts? No. Am I trying to give you a strategy to set yourself up for success with a program that can set in motion changes that will stick with you not just for 90 days, but for the rest of your life? Absolutely.
P90X is not a 90 days or die program. It is really “Fitness 101.” It will teach you how to train, how to eat, and what level of activity works for you. Don’t rob yourself of that opportunity because you might miss a few days.
Applying the 80/20 Rule to NUTRITION
The 80/20 Rule with nutrition is simple…80% of what you eat needs to be healthy whole foods that fall within the macronutrient ratios that you’ve set for yourself [e.g. 40% protein, 30% carbs, 30% fat or whatever you determine works] and 20% can be outside of that range. The farther you get away from healthy whole foods with your nutrition, the more you’ll regret those decisions. But, again, set yourself up for success. Very few people can eat 100% clean. The ones that can are easy to spot. If you’re not one of them, just shoot for the 80/20 Rule.
The 80% Foods
This is where you want to spend most of your time!
Fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, eggs [and/or egg whites depending on your preference], fish [preferably cold water, avoid farmed fish opting for the wild stuff instead], flaxseed, garlic, nonfat milk [if you do dairy] and/or almond milk, oatmeal, wild rice, fresh salsa [WITHOUT added sugars or preservatives], black or green tea, tempeh and tofu, tomato sauce [without sugar], vinegar, WATER, non-fat yogurt [with no added sugar], nonfat cheese, chicken [skinless and organic], hummus, Shakeology, nuts [especially almonds], whole wheat breads and tortillas, turkey breast [NO deli meats with additives and/or sugar], veggie burgers, and anything else listed on the P90X Nutrition Guide. (Source: Michi’s Ladder Tier 1 and 2)
The 20% Foods
Stay out of this neighborhood as much as possible!
Alcohol, fatty meats, candy, anything with heavy sauces, chips, junk food (like doughnuts, french fries, etc.), FAST FOOD [avoid completely], pizza, onion rings, chicken wings, fried foods, and anything else you can find at a sports bar [including that Caesar Salad]. (Source: Michi’s Ladder Tier 5).
This list is less than exhaustive, of course. It’s pretty obvious what foods are not good for you. While fast food appears in the 20% section, I would strongly encourage you to avoid it completely…for the rest of your life, if possible. I think we can all commit to avoiding fast food for 90 days. If you do this, you’ll create a habit that will serve you well for the rest of your life. There are far too many reasons to do this than I can list here.
Understand the goal here. We’re not saying that you shouldn’t strive for 100% of your workouts and an absolutely perfect nutrition plan. We’re not saying that you’ll get the very best results with P90X or Insanity if you do less than 100%. What we’re doing is trying to give you a way to be successful. For many people, doing 63 workouts in 90 days and eating 80% whole foods will constitute a huge life change. We do not view P90X as a 90 day program….we view it as a lifestyle. We view it as a lifestyle that’s essential to reversing the obesity trend in the U.S. If you can complete 90 days of P90X and follow the 80/20 Rule, you’re going to make huge strides towards adopting that lifestyle.
If you want help with any of these programs or just have general questions, please feel free to contact us. And, check out this info: