Monthly Archives: August 2015

Why You Don’t Get Results, Part 3.

You expect too much too soon.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to see some results so that you know you’re on the right path, but from my experience it takes a good 3 months to make a real difference. There may  be some small change after 4 weeks but it’s round week 12 you will actually realise how things have changed and start to see some real progress.

12 weeks isn’t a long time in the grand scheme of things but for those wanting to get a beach body or be holiday ready it can seem like an eternity. However, this feeling can be avoided by simply starting your quest sooner rather than later. Putting off going to the gym or starting because of some flimsy excuses just won’t cut it with me I’m afraid.

If you don’t achieve your goal then you probably didn’t start training for it soon enough.

I will be honest and say that for most people who are untrained the minimum amount of time you will want to allow yourself is 12 weeks, any less and you better expect to work dam hard or accept that you might not achieve your goal.

Starting sooner rather than later really is thefts way to go.

Enjoy

Ross

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Why You Don’t Get Results, Part 2.

You stupidly do your own programming and you wonder why it doesn’t work.

It’s because it’s not right for what you want to achieve, simple.

I remember an old saying that stuck with me, I believe it was said by Dan John on a seminar I attended.

“A man who programs his own workouts has a fool for a coach.”

It’s true, I’ve fallen victim to this myself and while I luckily didn’t lose anything I most certainly didn’t make any progress either. This was because the programming lacked consistency and progression, two of the most important things that lead to the end goal.

We all want to achieve our goals yesterday, but it doesn’t work like that. We know it doesn’t work like that but we still believe we’re the exception to the rule when in actual fact we are not, we are the rule.

Anything will work, provided you stick at it long enough, a great example is the Climbing Rep System, it’s simple and progressive but you nail need at least 6 months of doing it to see any form of decent results.

Here it is for your consideration:

Goal = 8×3 on specified weight.

Starting point = 1×3 & 7×2.

Workout Structure = 2 workouts, A – Squat/Bench Press (Dumbbell or Bar), B – Deadlift/Over Head Press (Dumbbell or Bar).

Assistance Work Structure 1 Adding Lean Muscle = As many reps as possible on each move in 8-10min with 60-80% of the weight you lifted for that day, once you hit 50 reps int hat time increase the weight.

Assistance Work Structure 2 Strip Fat = 10min of kettle bell swings, snatches, loaded carried (farmers walk) or shifting awkward objects will help strip. You can set rep targets of 250+ for the swings before eye increase the weights, 100-200 for the snatches and a distance with the loaded carries.

Path of Progression = Add 1 rep every workout to your main lift until you hit 8×3, then add weight and start again.

Simple, effective and great for adding lean tissue and/or stripping away fat.

It’s boring but effective as long as you’re consistent, remember consistency is the key to achieving anything. Alternatively you can hire someone to do it all for you.

Enjoy
Ross

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Why You Don’t Get Results, Part 1.

Morning Guys,

I willing to bet that a lot of you are not getting the results you want, but you don’t know why.

I do, would you like to know?

You lack consistency, patience and you just don’t train properly.

Harsh but true for the majority of the population, if it wasn’t true PT’s all over the world wouldn’t have a career.

There are many who train for the short term purely for their holiday, wedding, social event or summer season. This inconsistency leads to a constant search for magic pills and quick fixes which is why you won’t achieve any real results.

We all know about setting goals, but very few people set *long term goals, they only focus on what they an achieve quickly because facing the fact of reality and how long some goals will take is too much effort.

*Short term goals are vital, but they should not be the overall goal, they should only be the stepping stones to something bigger.

The patience to stick at something for the long term will help you form positive lifestyle changes, learn to look beyond months and start planning in years.

Now for the interesting bit, the training.

If you want to add muscle size, strength, or points to your VO2 Max then you need to program accordingly. This will often mean doing plenty of things you don’t like mixed in with a lot you enjoy, you must resist the temptation to stray from the program no matter how ‘bored’ you get.

Does it matter if it’s boring if you get the results you want?

If you want results the best piece of advice I can give you is to hire a decent trainer/coach and let them take control. You will stress less and have a structure to follow, trust me, it will be worth every penny.

Part 2 tomorrow.

Enjoy
Ross

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PEDs in sport?

Drugs in sport are nothing new.

PED’s (performance enhancing drugs) have been in sports for a very long time, and almost all top athletes are using them.

Time to stop being naive.

The reason PED’s will help your performance so dramatically is because they allow your body to recover faster than you naturally can, steroids are a medicinal thing after all. This allows you to train harder, more frequently and achieve levels beyond that of even the most genetically gifted people.

It’s advised that you stay away from taking such substances, you’re not an endocrinologist and you will cause yourself problems. There are plenty of ways you can increase your performance without taking PED’s, you just have to be prepared to put in some times and effort to achieve the results you desire.

Here are some simple steps to help improve your recovery, boost your performance and take you to the next level NATURALLY.

– Eat more nutritious whole foods. This will promote an anabolic state in the body providing your calories are in a surplus.

– Stress less, meditate more. Lowering cortisol levels will help you recover much faster, remember cortisol is inflammatory and you need to bring this down asap.

– Have regular massages, or at least foam roll. This will help release some tension in the fascia and break down some unwanted muscle knots, allowing for increase blood flow which means more nutrients to the muscles to help them recover.

– Sleep in a completely dark room. This means no lights, no electrical devices, essentially nothing int he room that can disturb your sleep. The deep your sleep the better you will recover.

– Train Less. This might seem counterintuitive but there is a difference between chasing performance and facing fatigue. People want to feel demolished, but that doesn’t always mean that they will be getting results or progressing, these people are chasing fatigue and not performance. The best way to ascertain this is to always aim to increase either your reps, weight on exercises, increase time under tension or decrease rest periods. If you can’t achieve at lest one of these and progressively improve then it might be time to take a step back and bring down the volume, but keep the weights the same (3×3 @ 85% 1RM instead of 8×3 for example).

– Supplement. Supplements are not a substitute for real foods, but they can help aid in your recovery by providing precious extra nutrients, vitamins and calories.

Follow the advice above and always chase performance, not fatigue.

Enjoy

Ross

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I Have NO LIMITS! Except The Genetic Ones :(

Morning Guys,

How much muscle can you genetically build,

Drug free and only through hard training, ample recovery and solid nutrition,

Lets find out….

When it comes to building muscle ewe always want more, but exactly how much lean tissue (muscle) are we meant to have on our frame anyway, 170lbs, 200lbs more perhaps, lets delve int o this subject further.

There are some rather good writings by a Dr Casey Butt (google him to find his work if you want a more in depth look) and how much muscle you can build NATURALLY. He research was done on around 300 natural athletes ranked professional (body builders & strength athletes comprised the group) from he years of 1947-2010 if memory serves me correctly, and brings up some rather compelling points it has to be said.

The amount of mass you can amount if limited genetically by not only your general heigh/build but by your naturally occurring hormone levels too. True there might be the occasional genetic beast lobster who can break this rule, there are always exceptions, but to avoid disappointment just assume you’re not one of them for now.

There is a rather scientific equation he came up with that I shall link to below. But for those who don’t want to go trawling through the internet to find out more here is a a very basic and quick reference to his findings you can use as a guide.

If we were to take the average height of a male being 5,10′ then his alleged total lean mass genetic potential would be around 178-180lbs, if you were 10% body fat then your total weight would be roughly 200lbs.

If you’re not the average height then it is easy to know how you will establish where your lean mass potential, for each inch height increase or decrease you will simply take the base number above and add or subtracts 4-5lbs from it.

So for example a man at the height of 5,6′ would have a lean mass potential of 160lbs and a potential total weight of 176-80 at 10% body fat. Now a taller guy who hits the 6 foot mark would add 10lbs tot he guide and have a potential LBM of 190lbs.

If you were 10% body fat and you had pretty much filled out your genetic potential you would look pretty huge.

With the info above you can workout your genetic LBM total and then go and get some body fat reading done. The most accurate tests are stupidly expensive, but if you find a decent Strength & Conditioning coach they should be able to give you ar reading this is pretty much spot on the money.

Now go and grow to your potential.

http://www.weightrainer.net/potential.html

Enjoy
Ross

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Drop it Like a Squat

Afternoon Guys,

It’s no secret that squats are an essential part of life, in fact they are so important they’re one of the first things you learn how to do as a child but as we age the years of sedentary life cause us to lose our movement pattern, resulting in poor or no squats as we age.

This is saddening.

There are several ways in which you can get back your lost squatting talent, all it takes is a couple of simple drills done int he AM/PM and you’ll be good to go, no weight is required for the drills, only yourself, a wall and a box.

Drill 1 – Box Squat – AM

Find yourself a box that is around 1foot tall (or at least under your knee joint level). Take a comfortable stance and descend to the box , initiating the movement by gently pushing your hips back and opening your hips until you rest not he box. Once down stay tight and pause for 1-2seconds then drive straight back up and repeat.

12-20 reps for 1-3 sets daily will help you start to groove your movement again.

Drill 2 – Deep Squat Sit – PM

This is a common practice in several countries around the world and you can do it in front of your favourite soap or box set. Take a hip width stance and squat all the way down (Hold your hands out in front for balance, or hold on to something for the first few attempts.), aim to stay there for 5min initially and try to build up to 10. Feel free to shuffle your feet around to find a comfortable position that allows you to open your hips and keep your upper thoracic extended – your upper back.

If you practice these two drills you will find not only your squat will improve but also your mobility in moving around generally.

Enjoy
Ross

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Exercising When Ill

Back in the days of old, before every high street store sold over the counter medicine, if you got ill your parents would tell you to go outside, play and sweat it out because the fresh air and exercise would do you good. Were these parents of yesteryear on to something or was it just an old wives tale. Does exercising help of hinder you when you have a cold or bug?

Lets find out by going in to what our immune system and how it works first.

*If you just want a short answer to this question you can skip to the bottom of the page to find the short answer guide.

We all know that the human body has its very own immune system to help prevent such problems like:

•colds,

•coughs,

•influenza,

•sinusitis,

•tonsillitis,

•throat infections, and

•middle ear infections.

In fact without our immune system we would find ourselves in a rather large spot of bother.

Our innate (natural) immune system is our non-specific first line of defence.

It includes:

•physical/structural barriers (like the mucous lining in nasal passages),

•chemical barriers (like our stomach acids), and

•protective cells (like our natural killer ‘NK’ cells, white blood cells that can destroy harmful invaders).

However this stops developing while you’re young, which is why playing in the mud and getting dirty as a child is essential for future health. Without those early exposures such small illnesses could be catastrophic.

Then there’s the adaptive (acquired) immune system. This is a more sophisticated system composed of highly specialised cells & processes. It kicks in when the innate immune system is overcome by something more troublesome than just a common cold.

The adaptive immune system helps us fight infections by preventing pathogens from colonising and also by destroying microorganisms like viruses and bacteria before they get a chance to become to comfortable in their new home. This is the role of T & B cells (Think of them like bouncers at the club), these specialised white blood cells mature in the thymus and bone marrow, respectively. They actually have a kind of memory too which is helpful for future invasions from similar nasties.

It’s this memory that makes them so effective. Once they “recognise” a specific pathogen, they mobilise more quickly and effectively to fight it. This is what we mean when we talk about “building immunity.”.

Ever wondered why kids get sick with viruses more often than adults?

It’s because they haven’t had as much exposure so their adaptive immune systems are less mature, again this is why you want your children to go play in the mud when they are young because keeping them in a completely sanitised area will only serve to make their immune system less effective.

Chicken Pox party anyone?

What’s more, the acquired immune response is the basis for vaccination, you know, when you go to the docs before an holiday. The docs subject your body to a tiny dose of a pathogen, and it will know what to do when confronted with a bigger dose, it’s pretty clever how the body works isn’t it.

Now back to the bigger question, should you train/exercise when ill?

There is a difference between exercising and Training.

Exercise can be classed as something light such as a 30min walk, Tai Chi, basically anything that is a moderate to low intensity with very little impact or stress caused to the body.

Training can be classed as prolonged vigorous activity like weight lifting or fast paced running, both of which cause a larger stress to be imposed.

Now if you’re ill then your body is already under a certain amount of stress, therefore adding an excessive amount of vigorous activity to it could dampen your immune system/recovery ability against said illness. So considering that being ill causes stress and so does training it would make sense to stay away from it right?

For major illness and issues then yes is the answer, but for minor colds there is no significant reason to forgo the gym as training.

Regardless of the strength of the bug you have it’s advised that you do some low level activity or ‘exercise’ as this will help increase blood flow meaning you’re body will transport nutrients, proteins and other essential goodies to where they are needed and promote a faster overall recovery.

It’s worth also keeping in mind that Age, Living Conditions, Sleep, Working Hours, Travel Hours and Weight also have a big part to play in how hard you’re hit but a cold or something of that ilk. You will find that people who are largely sedentary, smoke and eat extremely poor food choices are more likely to get ill, this is due the the large amount of stress already imposed on the body from their general life.

Unfortunately there is no definitive answer to the question because people al respond so differently, but in my opinion unless you’re suffering from a life threatening illness or severe auto-immune disease then Training isn’t and issue. You have to learn to listen to your body, it will tell you when it’s had enough or when it can’t do anymore. For example if you’re feeling drained then a walk or nice bike will be sufficient to help get your juices flowing, aiding your recovery.

Enjoy

Ross

*Short Answer Guide:

Colds & Minor Illness = Fine to Train/Exercise at varied intensities.

Moderate Fever & Lack of Energy = Light to Moderate Training/Exercise, listen to your body.

Sever Illness & Auto Immune Issues = Put down the dumbbell and seek medical advice ASAP!

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Obsessed With Numbers?

Morning Guys,

There are those among us who have shall we say neurotic tendencies, which if not kept in check can lead to obsessing over weight not he scales, calories, foods, time spent in the gym (or on CV kit), weights lifted week in week out, total overload achieved, your routine along with much more, if such things are stressed over too much it can start to be obsession and this can lead to some sever anxiety when things don’t go according to plan.

While I personally feel tracking is important for continued progress and people who compete in sports it isn’t necessary for everyone, not all personalities will respond well to having to track everything. Luckily there is an alternative methods that you can use to help avoid falling in to this trap or numbers, if you lean towards to light of obsession that is.

The tool that can help you overcome the need for numbers is to use your own instinct and  how you feel (internally, good energy etc), how you perform (lifting more, running faster etc) and how you look (what you see in the mirror and in the photos you take).

How many photos will you need? One per week is normally enough to help you see a progression over a period of time and it can give you feedback as to how your body is responding to a dietary change or bout of increased intensity in the gym.

For example you might have started a more ketogenic style diet where you’re brining your carbs down to what is considered low. Seeing how your body reacts through photos is a good way to see if you’re shedding excess fat, and attempting to go for that extra rep in the gym will show you who your performing along with how you feel internally.

If you look good, feel good and are lifting/exercising well then stick with it until you start to see stagnation in any of these areas.

When the time comes and if you are beginning to see a plateau you have several options available to you.

For example:

First you could add back some complex carbs and see how your body reacts, perhaps you will get leaner or even more muscular as a result. If thats the case then you can stick with it until such a time as you begin to look a little soft around the edges. Or you can opt for another nutrition or training tweak, but I would advice the carbs first.

The real point of this post is to tell you that you don’t need to track absolutely everything. Athletes and competitive sport men & woman are the exception, they need to know what’s going on, but for the average person it’s far better to worry less and just go by who you look, feel and perform.

Go by feel not by numbers. Your body will tell you what it needs if you will but listen.

Enjoy

Ross

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What People Don’t Tell you…

If there is one universal truth that I’ve learnt over the years it’s the fact that Trainers/Coaches never tell you how hard things really are because they don’t want you to think their clients ever struggled to achieve their goals.

Let me tell you that all the photos you see of success have been achieved by one of two methods:

  • PhotoShop
  • Hard Work

Normally the latter is true for the average person, but this is something nobody wants to admit because it’s not the ‘quick fix’ or ‘magic pill’ they were after.

When you knuckle down and start putting in the graft of accumulating hours in the gym, eating more optimally (people are bashing ‘clean eating’ recently but it works and it is sustainable if you have common sense) and limit the amount of questionable nutrition choices in your life then you will achieve results, but it takes time.

There have been lots of movements pop up in the last year regarding new exercises methods and ways of eating, but they’re not really new… They’ve been around for decades they just didn’t have a fancy name like the do now.

Back to the point, sorry i want off slightly there.

If someone was to tell you that getting what you want was hard would you still ant it as much? Probably not is the answer for some, but the overall fact of that matter is that what ever you hear is normally a half truth and you can expect something different when you start down the same path as your idols.

Here is the truth in a few short words:

Success required hard work. More work than you’ve ever done so far, if you had worked harder you wouldn’t be where you are you would be further up the ladder, but even if you were there there’s plenty more hard work still to come to climb even higher. It’s a fact of life the more effort you put in the more you get out, there is no quick fix that will ever out last hard work and commitment.

Enjoy

Ross

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The Worlds Cheapest Office.

Overheads can be a daunting thing when you’re self employed. Keeping costs to a bare minimum is essential to allow growth in those early days, but low costs can also be very helpful not matter who experienced you are.

Today i will give you the location of the worlds CHEAPEST office and also some other helpful tips on saving much needed funds that can be put to better use to help your business grow.

Now you might be thinking what might the worlds cheapest office  have to offer, well here is a short list:

  • A Roof Over Your Head
  • Free WiFi
  • Free Meeting Room
  • Heating/Aircon
  • Office Furniture (desks/chairs)
  • Power Sockets
  • Friendly Staff
  • Central Location
  • Free Filtered/Chilled Water

All of this will cost you under £10 per day, would like to know where this magical place is?

You local Coffee Shop.

Costa, Starbucks, Coffee 1 and many more offer all of the above and all you need to do is by a couple of coffees of teas per day to remain happily seated in their establishment.

Some other great tips for lowering your outgoings are simple one such as keeping electronic records of everything (Tax, Outgoings, Client Profiles, Contracts etc) the initial outlay might be the cost of an iPad or tablet but int he end it will be worth it. The same goes for training clients, it’s ideal to find a gym where you can trade time for rent fees until you’re able to cover the cost of their rent (this free us the hours you were doing for them). Alternatively you could train people in their homes or outside, though carrying the equipment around can be a slight pain.

There you have it, the worlds cheapest office was right on your door step all along.

Enjoy

Ross

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