The Weight Loss Research Explained podcast was one of our best yet from a content/eye opening perspective I’d say. So, in the spirit of extending the conversion beyond what we covered in that podcast, I want to expand on something that we touched on briefly.
Focusing on local optimums.
Or in other words, trying to maximize one specific part of your weight loss or muscle building system regardless of it’s effects on your “throughput” or productivity as a whole.
Sounds like high tech mumbo jumbo doesn’t it?
It’s really not.
Let me ask you this.
How many times have you attempted to improve one specific area of your life… and you improve it… only to have it NOT have a profound effect on your life AS A WHOLE?
I know I’ve done it a bunch of times myself.
I’ve tried the eating 6 meals a day to “optimize” my energy and insulin levels.
I’ve done the bouts of interval training to “optimize” my fat burning potential.
I’ve pounded out squats and deads to “optimize” my muscle building hormone profile.
Heck, I’ve even pounded a 6 pack of beer to “optimize” my perceived communication abilities with the ladies… HAHA! (tell me you haven’t).
But guess what?
Not one of these optimizations have gotten me the results I wanted and in fact, once I STOPPED focusing on these local optimums and started to understand what the real goal and the real measurement of that goal was, did I understand exactly WHY I wasn’t getting the results I wanted.
There is a difference in a “controlled” environment and a “free range” environment… and almost all of us operate in a “free range” environment – yet almost all of the advice given in health and fitness today is based on a result from a “controlled” environment
And, it’s tough to translate a result that someone gets in a study… or even with supervised training… which in essence holds one or more important variables in check… when you couple that with the fact that the makeup of YOUR life is completely different than everyone else’s.
All of the variables are different. (notice I said LIFE and not body)
But even personal trainers have a tough time getting people results a lot of the time.
It’s simple. The trainer or coach only has access or control of 2-4 hours of a person’s time per WEEK. So no matter how optimized the training protocol, which is the area that the trainer has full control over… unless there’s some sort of strategy that addresses all of the other compensating effects, all of the OTHER important variables… then the person being trained may only achieve certain performance improvements, but not the “looks” improvements that they desire.
Here’s an example:
5 or 6 years ago when I was in the health club game, I set up a program with our trainers that was COMPLETELY HARDCORE. It was group training and used a lot of the principles you hear about on most of the fitness blogs out there today.
– bodyweight exercises
… but, after 8 weeks, there was one woman that just wasn’t getting ANY results.
(And this was the start of me REALLY starting to understand local optimums.)
Why was it that given the SAME workout protocol, could some people get great results, and others get none?
Naturally, I found out my answer as one of my trainers escorted this woman out to her car to get her check for the next months installment of training… and when our client opened the door to her car… imagine my surprise when a floorboard full of McDonald’s wrappers fell out of the car.
Now, of course, you’re probably thinking to yourself “Well duh, no wonder she wasn’t getting results” – and you’d be right.
But that’s not the point.
The point is that this woman was convinced that all she needed to do was participate and make sure her “workouts” were “optimized” and the fat would just drip off of her. This is the primary danger of focusing on local optimums. You lose sight of what the “primary driver” of your results really is.
It’s like John pointed out in the podcast. There’s more to the puzzle than just saying something is “best”.
“Best” for who?
“Best” in what situation?
And, what makes it even more difficult is when you allow people to make their own assumptions based on the advice you give, where the biggest assumption is ALWAYS more is better.
If I say one interval session is good… you’ll do 3.
Again, in an effort to maximize this local optimum.
So what’s the real answer?
You have to maximize the productivity of the ENTIRE SYSTEM AS A WHOLE!
Here’s a secret:
Maximizing the entire system MAY NOT require you to run ANYTHING at a local optimum!
It’s about CONSISTENCY and COMPETENCE.
Look, we’ve been through 6 iterations of the Adonis Index Systems, and each time, we adjust something due to “free range” conditions.
And because of it, a higher percentage of people are seeing awesome results.
It’s all based on giving you the TOOLS to maximize the productivity of the ENTIRE SYSTEM… not local optimums.
But only YOU can truly do the maximizing… and it’s NOT by us… OR YOU… focusing on running one little teeny part of your life at 100% efficiency.
After all, it’s about building a better life for yourself… and if that’s not the overall end goal, then none of this truly matters.