Pat: The following is a guest contribution from Molly Galbraith, of Girls Gone Strong. She wants to talk to you on how to use the Minimum Effective Dose, so you can get the best results with no wasted effort. I’m a minimalist, so I love this stuff. Also Molly has a wonderful new program out, now, and it’s called The Modern Woman’s Guide to Strength Training. More info about that at the bottom.
Enter Molly Galbraith:
“That two hour cardio session was so fun! Let’s do it again tomorrow.” – No one
OK, so maybe if it were a really beautiful two hour hike through the mountains, or bike ride through Tuscany on your way to winery… maybe. Maybe.
But let’s be honest. The majority of people don’t want to do cardio for two hours a day, nor do they have the time or patience for it.
And most importantly? It’s not necessary.
How do I know? Because I’ve been there and done that. I’ve trained 8-12 hours a week in the hopes that I would finally get the body and health I desired.
And you know what I’ve found? I’ve found that when I do less, I get so much more out of it.
*The polka dot bikini picture was taken 5 weeks ago, and I’ve been following the MED method of training for almost 2 years. The other picture is from 2004 and is my “official before photo.” I am simply including it to show you that I wasn’t blessed with “lean, fit genes.”
I’ve found that doing the Minimal Effective Dose of training each week is what yields the absolute best results for myself, and my clients. (Assuming that our goals are simply to look better, feel better, and feel strong and capable. If you have other goals, you might need more training – but those goals sound pretty awesome to me!)
Because you are an avid reader of Pat’s blog, I trust that you’re familiar with Minimal Effective Dose. On the off chance that you’re not – I’ll explain. MED is the minimum amount of utils required to get the necessary effect you desire. The utils could be work, time, money, etc.
Here’s a good example:
If you have a headache and 200 mg of ibuprofen would get rid of it, why would you take 800 mg? Sounds insane, and even dangerous, right?
Yet that’s what so many people (especially women) do with exercise. They do entirely too much, and in fact, they often end up grinding themselves to an absolute pulp all in the name of health and a fit physique. I know I did.
Why? Because that’s the BS they’ve been sold by the mainstream media.
No days off.
Its complete crap, and it’s part of the reason that my personal mission is to:
“Help women discover what their best body looks and feels like with minimal time and effort, and once they discover that, help them have grace and compassion about it.”
Which is what I’m here to do. But first, let me explain why the MED principle gets women better results.
1. Removes workout clutter
As THE infamous Pat Flynn has stated, “Clutter is the disease of fitness.”
It’s so true. I can’t tell you how many women I see spending over 90 minutes daily in the gym! They do a 60 minutes kickboxing class, a 30 minute Butts ‘n Guts class, and then dink around in the weight room for another 15 – 20 minutes doing Triceps Kickbacks, Biceps Curls, and other exercises that they shouldn’t be wasting their time doing.
Why? Because they think they have to spend 2 hours in the gym to “see results.”
I’m here to tell you – if you spend 10-15 minutes doing a solid warm-up and then you actually train hard (not “work out” but TRAIN) for 30-45 minutes, I can promise you that you’ll be more than ready to leave the gym after that.
Fill your workout with exercises like squats, deadlifts, presses, rows, carries, prowler pushes, sled drags, and rope slams and 30-45 minutes will be more than enough for you to see incredible results, and still have a life outside of the gym.
2. Allows for better recovery
You may have heard the saying, “You don’t get better when you’re in the gym. You get better when you recover from what you do in the gym.”
You see, when you hack away at the inessentials, the majority of your program will be strength training based. To be clear, strength training isn’t necessarily just lifting weights. Strength training is any type of movement or exercise that imposes an increasing demand on your muscles and/or central nervous system, causing an adaptation.
So basically, you apply a stress your muscles and/or your central nervous system, and then your body tears down muscle tissue and rebuilds it bigger and stronger than before, or it increases the efficiency of your neural pathways so you can recruit more muscle fibers more effectively in the future. Simply put, your body figures out how to make the task you just performed easier in case you have to perform it again in the future.
However, in order to recover and adapt, your body has to have the resources to put towards that recovery and adaptation.
A quick lesson: your body doesn’t know the difference between running from a bear, overdrawing your bank account, fighting with your spouse, and doing a 90 minute spin class. The stress response is the same. So if you’re overly stressed from excessive exercise, job stress, life stress, kid stress, marital stress, financial stress, and more – your body literally thinks it’s running from a bear all day long. And training too much can make it even worse.
If you engage in the MED of training, not only are you exposing your body to less stress from exercise, but you have more time outside of the gym to engage in restorative, parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) dominant activities like walking, Epsom salt baths, massages, sleep, and positive interactions with friends and family.
3. Ensures consistency over the long haul
How many women do you know that start and stop exercise routines and new diets every other month? They are constantly talking about, “getting back on the wagon,” or they’re always saying, “when xyz happens, I’ll make time to get back to the gym.”
Sure, some of these women are just making excuses and have no intentions of sticking to a program. But for many women, they simply set unrealistic expectations of how often they should be working out to get the results they desire, and when they can’t comply with that expectation 100%, they give up altogether. They think they should be in the gym 6 days a week for 1 ½ to 2 hours, and when they miss that first or second gym session, they throw in the towel and give it all up.
That’s another reason why MED is so powerful. It allows people to be consistent over the long haul. If you convince a woman that all she needs is 45-60 minutes of training 2-3 days a week, she is infinitely more likely to stick with that plan because it’s sustainable, and it enhances her life instead of becoming her life.
I love this quote by Mike Tuchscherer: “Think of your training not in days and weeks, but in months and years.”
Who cares if you miss a training session one week? What’s more important is, are you still going to be training 6 months from now? 5 years from now? 20 years from now?
MED encourages this long-term consistency, which we know, is what ultimately leads to the best results.
There you have it ladies (and gents… I mean come on, there’s a bikini picture included. You know dudes are reading this) 3 reasons why Minimal Effective Dose gets women better results. Hopefully you’ll take my advice and experiences to heart and leave the unnecessary junk behind and focus on only what you need to do to get awesome results.
The Modern Woman’s Guide to Strength Training
Pat: I can’t stand cheesy sales pitches, so here’s the thing.
Molly has put out the most comprehensive guide to strength training for women I’ve ever seen.
So if you’re a woman, and are looking for a simple and straightforward approach to strength and fat loss, I think you should have this program.
Because I really and truly believe that Molly’s minimalist approach to strength, conditioning, and fat loss will help you reach your goals quicker and easier than you could on your own, and because I think you’ll find all the information inside (particularly the exercise tutorials) incredibly helpful.
What’s great about this program is that Molly uses STRENGTH training for fat loss, which is exactly how it should be done.
And she gives you the “minimum effective dose” so you can get the best results with no wasted effort.
Again, I think you should have this program, because I think it will really help you out.
So if this sounds like something you’d be interested in, you can get it here, and at a discount too.
CLICK HERE to check it out now.
Molly Galbraith is co-founder of Girls Gone Strong, a movement dedicated to helping women improve their physical strength, mental strength, and strength of character through strength training.
She is also co-founder J&M Strength and Conditioning, a private studio gym in Lexington, Kentucky.
Her mission is to, ”Help women discover and accept what their best body looks and feels like, with minimal time and effort, and once they discover that, help them have grace and compassion about it.”