Exercise - The Minimum Effective Dose

Monday, July 15, 2013
I've been filming and editing for the past few weeks. It’s been great to work with Mitchell Macrae again. Mitch worked full time at iKiFit  for 4 years and has done project work for the past 5.

He and business partner, Benji Wales have been working seriously for the past few years on becoming real film makers and during our recent “shoot” it struck me there is a perfect analogy between film and fitness.

Because we were striving for a professional result, each scene took hours to set up, and we did multiple - I do mean MULTIPLE, takes. And if we were able to, we would have had ten times the crew, with make- up, caterers, PR's and our very own trailers!!! Much like professional athletes.

Most of us can make a video - just as most of us can play a game of basketball, footie, tennis, go for a run, surf, or whatever takes our fancy. But the difference between playing at home or in the local club is the same world apart as doing a home video or a movie for the cinema, or for professional use.

Exercise is the same - If we want to be at an elite level we need to do hours of preparation every day, and have trainers, masseurs, psychologists, the lot. But it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that in practical terms elite athletes are really only performing around 5% better than amateurs who put in a fraction of the time in training and preparation. Just like we can get heaps of personal satisfaction from a simple, self made video we can get great health and fitness results with a Minimum Effective Dose. This article from Gizmodo "4-Hour Body - The Principle of the Minimum Effective Dose" supports this notion perfectly.

Recognising this can be incredibly empowering, because it means that we can actually achieve great functional fitness, skill, and let’s not forget fun, easier than we think.

We can get a powerful outcome by doing as little as 10 minutes of focussed training a day. Take a moment to have a look at the 4 hour body (meaning 4 hours a month).

To understand why this is so important we need to touch on a bit of sports science history. In a nutshell, most of the science we have using for years was based on athletes, by elite trainers, for elite athletes. The ultimate focus was on achieving that 1% extra needed to beat  other elite athletes. What this meant in practise was that much sports science focuses around top end performance improvement, not on base fitness.

If you struggle to make enough time to give yourself that Minimum effective dose of training, can you budget 4 hours a month. That is 10 mins a day? ikiEnergisers are free dudes!

Do an energiser. DUDE.

The cool thing is we can be easily 80% as fit as the professionals at what they do. The extra 20% is entirely necessary at their level...but for us it doesn’t matter much at all - and we get to be able to do the things we want to do.