After a long, hard day, how often do you find yourself craving couch time for a favorite show or browsing through your Instagram feed? Then take that and compound it over a few weeks, months, and years, and that time will compound, resulting in a big problem with your body and health.
David Weck, founder of the Bosu and innovator at WeckMethod, says it best: “The end game of health and everything we are meant to do with our health is to be efficient.” That means when you choose a workout, an exercise, a food, a diet, or a supplement, it must reinforce efficiency of the body and health. If you cannot reinforce it with your plan, then you need a new plan.
Below are my guidelines in testing for efficiency, and then how to build an efficient plan.
Step 1: How To Test For Body Efficiency
To test for health efficiency, you need examples to cross-reference your level of efficiency to that of another who is already highly efficient. Your two options are a pro athlete without an injury history or a healthy 18-24 month year baby.
Your non-injured, pro athlete will move lightly, be noticeably better than the competition, and not look tired in times of game stress. More importantly, off the court, they will be quiet, cool, and calm. This is efficient.
Take former NFL running back Eddie George, for example. He had just scrapes when it came to injuries, and moved like a ballerina on the field. Interestingly enough, he was extremely flexible and noted the importance of stretching in his program to help his efficiency.
On the other hand, babies have no bad movement habits. Look at an 18-month-old’s deep squat. It’s natural, unrestricted and smooth. If you don’t reinforce that at a young age, then you lose it over time.
Compare your squat and overall movement against a toddler to see how efficient you’re moving.
Step 2: How To Build A Health Efficiency Plan
Efficiency creates the illusion of needing to be fast or speedy. Going fast doesn’t mean being efficient. It’s actually the opposite. Want to prove me wrong? Build a multi-level house out of playing cards in 10 seconds. It just won’t happen. In order for that house to stand, it has to be efficient in its design, and this starts with structure and pace.
For example, Eddie George had a focus on structure, which was putting his health and body first. Then his system included his training plans, recovery plans, and nutrition plans. The results spoke for themselves; he was efficient.
So when you build your own plan, you need to put your health first. You must be able to answer this question – If I do X, where am I going with this and how will it affect my health over time?
So if you’re tired before a workout, ask yourself if doing that workout will help. If you’re out for dinner, ask yourself if what you eat and drink will help or hurt your health.
To complete your health efficiency plan, you must address the following:
- How fast is your plan making your body operate?
- How big are the steps you take towards program results?
- How is your movement?
- How is your alignment?
How fast is your plan making your body operate?
“Lots of HIIT, classes, and yoga.”
My advice would be if you’re imbalanced with your work to rest ratio, then you will burn out soon and you won’t see results. You need more recovery methods.
How big are the steps you take towards program results?
“Average eating habits and then trying a diet here and there. I do this back and forth”.
These “average” habits to highly focused diets make you take big steps, which means big risk. Big risk means a lesser percentage of consistency. In other words, you can’t hit home runs every time. Further, it will mean less consistency with your results.
How is your movement?
Size up your movement compared to a pro athlete with a clean injury history or watch how well a toddler moves around and squats down. Do you look like that when you move?
How is your alignment?
Are there areas of your body that are notoriously tight compared to the rest of the body? Or worse, do you know you have poor posture? This means your alignment is off and you’re burning more “body MPG” or extra energy that would otherwise be helpful during workouts or other activities, like sleeping.
About Will Maloney
Will Maloney is a former strength and conditioning coach for Stanford, nationally ranked trainer for Equinox, and body and health efficiency contributor for multiple health journals. If you want to get more information on setting up your own plan, you can contact Will here.