Forgive me for the slightly deceptive title. Although, If you are reading this then it must have worked.
I bet you’re wondering what the M.E.D stands for in M.E.Dication.
M.E.D is something I always look for when planning someone’s training, nutrition and lifestyle protocols for best results.
M.E.D stands for ‘Minimum Effective Dose’. As the name suggests, it refers to the minimum amount of something we need to get an effective result. As a disclaimer, I am referencing this purely to training, food and lifestyle related practices and NOT for actual medication.
We can apply this M.E.D principle to all aspects of our programming. The amount of exercises, sets, reps, training sessions, calories we consume, carbs, fats, proteins etc we do can be hard to gauge at times.
How much is too much?
How much is too little?
The key is to find the amount that has us doing as little work as possible but still seeing the results we are after. If I know someone can lose body fat by eating more food, then I’ll take that approach. If I know someone can drop body fat with 4 training sessions per week, then I won’t start with any more than that.
There are many key benefits to using this approach, especially if you are a general population person with a full time job, kids and responsibilities. If this is you then time can become precious, far more precious than money. As a trainer, it is my job to help you get the best results possible and I know that time is often a constraint for most people. This is where the M.E.D approach works best. The more efficient I can make your workouts and the better I can structure your nutrition to fit your lifestyle, the more time you will save and the easier the process will be. This is not to mention the stress management benefits and recovery that will come along with this.
It’s all about finding the ‘best bang for your buck’. Better workouts, better foods, better sleep.
The other main benefit of planning this way is that it becomes easier to progress towards results. Inevitably your body will adapt to whatever you do to it. Over time your body will adapt to a calorie deficit or the training style you are performing. Over time, we need to ramp things up progressively to continue to adapt, but how we do this is important.
If we start by cutting calories excessively to begin with, what do we do once we plateau? Drop them even further? We have started too aggressive and cut ourselves short of long term results. If we go from not training at all to training 8 times per week, could we have started with half that amount of effort and still seen results? Absolutely. We would have also had the chance to gradually build up to 8 sessions per week and possibly seen greater results by doing so.
Like everything, there will be those who may need to fast forward the process somewhat. If you need quick, short term improvements then being aggressive will do that. Also, using Undulating programs can allow you to be slightly more aggressive in each phase as you will be changing things more drastically from phase to phase.
For the average person though who is starting in the gym, the goal is to start small and build your way up. This is where the M.E.D approach works fantastically. It also prevents a lot of the negatives that can occur when dieting or training hard.