Econ 101 for Training and Life

They say you vote with your dollars, but really you vote with your hours.

For our purposes, let’s call Opportunity Cost the potential of everything else you could do with your time (or resources). 10 sets of squats could be 10 sets of deadlifts–or 20 minutes of playing video games. Buying a car, the opportunity cost is investing that money, and so on.

If we look at a 24 hour day, every hour you spend on one thing, you can’t spend on anything else (you already know this!) — With training we also have a 100% energy level that is diminished with all training. So we want to focus on things that have a low energy cost but high returns.

When we apply this rule to training we can look at two different ideals:
A) I’m just really happy to be moving around
B) I want to be as effective as possible, only choosing the BEST ways to spend time/energy

Now, let’s look at individual body parts/movements:
If you do a lot of pull-ups, hanging leg raises, and farmers carries, (all grip intensive) you probably won’t also be able to do a lot of deadlifts because your grip will be shot. You have to plan ahead to give your goals the best chance of coming to fruition.

This understanding can help us figure out the logistics to structure our training (and our lives) more effectively.

Try this real quick:
1) Write down your goals (you can have up to 3)
2) Make a pie chart with how you spend your hours in the day
(Here’s a cool tool to use:

How big are your goal producing slices?

I would imagine that for most people it will look like the chart below:

Daily Time Investments









So all of these slices hold potential to redirect your time into your goal-producing behavior.

You can do the same thing for your workout:
1) Goals
2) How you spend your time in the session

This is pretty close to how my sessions pan out, probably more mobility work than that, but you get the idea:
Training Time Investments








Now take a look at your two charts, the second chart is a representation of your Exercise sliver from the first chart–So you can see exactly what your total investment is in each area–and how to fix it, if needed.

Remember that everything you do carries opportunity cost–make sure you’re truly emphasizing the things you want.

You vote with your hours.


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