The Bell curve is a mathematical model of probable distribution.

Explained in simple terms – it basically shows the “average” distribution of pretty much anything. The high point of the bell curve is the mean — the average response — and the large majority of subjects are within “one standard deviation” of the average – 68% in fact – most subjects fall within two standard deviations of the mean (95%) and almost all (99%) fall within three standard deviations.

So when I’m talking about training and I say:

“Probably around 80-90% of the population, 80-90% of the time, will respond best to total body workouts. And I’d say that maybe 90-95% of the population, 90-95% of the time, will respond best to either total body or an upper and lower split.”

I’m referring to the bell curve. That’s who most of us are – and that’s who most of us work with.

Looking at a professional bodybuilder’s approach to fat loss training — and as you can see – those guys lie in the very outlying o.1% — is the same as looking at a fat loss program for a 400lbs asthmatic with a hip replacement. It’s looking at the exceptions – the outlying percentages of the bell curve.

So while it might be interesting — it’s just not applicable information for most.

Think about it — you wouldn’t use the fat loss program provided for a 400lb asthmatic with a hip replacement, if you’re a 32 year old female who needs to lose 15lbs right? — so why do we look at professional bodybuilders, or pro athletes, or fitness models (the other end of the curve) and think that the information that works for them will apply?

Don’t model your training on the outlying minute percentage — it’s unlikely to work. The program that would work for a pro bodybuilder, won’t work for a 400lb asthmatic, and is unlikely to work for you.