20% of your work creates 80% of your results.

Also known as “The Law of the Vital Few”, the Pareto Principle applies to economics (20% of the world’s population, including you, hold 80% of the world’s wealth), math (see Pareto Distribution), pea pods and fitness.

Why has CrossFit been so successful at Catalyst? Because we choose exercises, reps, weight and intensity based on the 80/20 rule.

The question we ask every day is, “What’s the least amount of effort required to achieve the largest possible result?” The programming in our CrossFit classes is designed to produce elite-level fitness in less time than most spend at the gym. We use functional movements, like squats and pull-ups, in a constantly-varied approach. Maximal adaptation happens when your body doesn’t know what’s coming next.

For the general population of exercisers, CrossFit is the best option. And I think Catalyst is the best local combination of coaching, programming and atmosphere.

For example, the benefits of a barbell squat are greater than the total benefit of the leg extension machine plus the leg curl machine plus the adductor machine plus the abductor machine plus the leg press. You can spend 60 minutes doing a machine circuit–or twelve minutes doing a squat to achieve a greater benefit.

We build our programming around barbells, then kettlebells and dumbbells, then bodyweight exercises. We minimize rest to enhance our aerobic capacity. This is how we can achieve more in 3-4 hours per week than most people can in twice that time at a “normal” gym.

The same is true for nutrition: instead of cycling through fads, like Keto and caloric restriction, focusing on controlling your blood sugar will make you more alert, keep you happier, and make you lighter. More to come on that topic tomorrow.

Our ID program, now six months old, is how we build YOUR Pareto Plan: optimal results on minimal time. And the second phase starts in January: customized group training plans to get you the biggest return on your effort.

More isn’t better; better is better. Optimize, don’t maximize.