Keep'er Fit

Gary Wallace

The 80/10/10 rule is the new 80/20

I have previously written about the 80/20 rule, but have since listened to strength and fitness guru Dan John who has broken the rule down to 80/10/10.

Most of us have heard by now that’s it’s 80-per-cent nutrition and 20-per-cent exercise to reach your health and fitness goals but we can break this down even further.

In his book Intervention Dan John uses the example of spending 40 hours per week on your health and fitness goal and breaking it into 80 per-cent, 10 per-cent and 10 per-cent.

So let’s start with the 80 per-cent which works out at 32 hours per week. This will be time dedicated to eating, cooking, preparing, researching and shopping. If we start with eating and you give yourself two hours a day just to consume food. That’s 14 hours in the week gone, leaving you with 18 hours left. Three hours of that will be spent on shopping – roughly two ‘big’ shops and heading to the local shop for the daily essentials.  From the remaining 15 hours you can use that to cook, meal prep, research new recipes and further educate yourself on nutrition. You can break this down as you see fit.

Then we move onto the first 10 per-cent or four hours. This will be the main bulk of your physical activity. Depending on your goal this will dictate the type and intensity of your workout, but I would highly recommend some form of strength training. This would be better split into four one hour blocks or if you would rather, roughly one hour 15 minutes of exercise three times a week. Either way keeping it within four hours is a good time frame.

The last 10 per-cent  is all the extra work that we never seem to fit in. These include stretching, yoga, leisurely walks, meditation or just switching off. Scheduling these four hours per week into your diary will do wonders for your physical and mental health and help you smash your overall goal.

From a sporting point of view the 80/10/10 rule will look something like this: 80 per-cent should be spent on your sporting activity including the hours you spend team training. But you will have to put in the extra work to be the best.


If you play football train with the football, if you run then run, if you cycle…well you get the point.

Some sports performers, even at the top level, neglect this and seem to think that getting bigger in the gym will be better for their sporting performance. The only thing they are developing is their own ego. Get on the pitch, road or wherever you can and work on the technical aspects of your game. Some hours may also be spent on video analysis, going over set plays or team meetings.

The first 10 per-cent is again gym work but this time you need to work on the big movements that will improve your sporting performance. Make sure you have some form of the big five movements which are push, pull, squat, hinge and loaded carry.

Type, volume and intensity will all depend on where you are with the season and your own fitness levels.

The final 10 per-cent  will be time spend on the things any sports performer doesn’t want to do.

These include all your corrective work, rehab plans given to you by the physio, recovery sessions, meditation and any other ways you can relax and recover the body before your next session.

You will notice I didn’t mention nutrition in the 80/10/10 rule for sporting performance as your diet/fuel is an extra 100-per-cent that you need to get right in order to excellence at the highest level.


We will leave this topic for another day, until then try implementing the 80/10/10 rule towards your goals.

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