We've all seen training and nutrition principles put into a form of a pyramid before (some examples below), but why a pyramid? Why not a pie chart or a flow chart? Let's discuss.
The pyramid works well in the fitness industry because it takes into account priorities, and base building. In an industry where the flashiest and most "advanced" training and dieting programs are being pushed down the throat of the consumers, educating beginner trainees on the importance of simplicity is crucial.
Everything you do in your training and nutrition should be effective and time efficient. Using a pyramid really illustrates what aspects of your training and diet needs the most focus on, and which aspects will give you the most bang for you buck.
Let's take the nutrition & fat loss pyramid for example: 90% of your bodyweight goals will come from just paying attention to calorie intake. Eating less calories than you burn will result in weight loss. However if you're concerned with keeping the most muscle mass as you can for aesthetic, or performance reasons, this is where we move up the pyramid and take into account macro-nutrient distribution (in this case, adequate protein intake), making sure you're hitting your micro-nutrient and fibre needs for good health.
Too many people, too often, major in the minors. Instead of spending the time to count calories, they'll go to the nearest GNC store to find a fat burning supplement that just simply won't work. Again, using pyramids helps you pin point which areas of training or diet to focus on, and which areas are details.
Building a base
The bigger base you build, the higher potential peak you can have. This holds true for performance training and performance nutrition. Athletes and trainees are often impatient and believe they'll progress faster than everyone else. They'll use professional athletes as examples of why to follow the most-intense training program, why they should specialize in their sport early on into their athletic career, and why they should use the most advanced training methods.
Professionals and high-performers often do NOT specialize early (they play multiple sports growing up and dabble in many different types of training methodologies) and they MASTER THE FUNDAMENTALS!
Using the strength training pyramid for example: trainees make the mistake of spending their energy on intensity, volume and frequency before they develop proper movement quality. Improving technique and movement quality will make everything upstream more effective.
Good movement quality will open you up to a wider array of exercise selections, create consistency and accuracy in your periodized program, as well as set you up for proper strength progressions and ultimately, more advanced training methods.
started from the bottom now we're here
Don't forget about the basics, master the fundamentals and you'll achieve more results than you originally expected, I promise. There's nothing wrong with learning about advanced training or dieting methods, however, if you're a beginner or intermediate trainee, keep things simple and practical.