Monthly Archives: October 2015

Single? That’s Not A Bad Thing

Morning Guys,

There is a lost training art that not only helps add a fair amount of lean tissue over a typical training cycle, it also yields some pretty impressive strength gains too.
This training method is not for the weak minded. Many will fail before they’ve even started it.
In my experience of training clients I have found a lot of men who try this just can’t hack it, but the woman… Now that’s a different subject, they seem to nail this style of training and get great results from it.
What is the training method I speak of?
Rest Pause Training.
There are various different variations of doing this style of training, I personally use two methods which are as follows:
1 – Re-Racking/Pausing with the weight – 20-25 rep goal at 70-80%1RM
2 – 15-25 Single Reps at 80-90% with 15-30 seconds rest between each rep (the less rest the better)
I have found these two variations can help the person in question push through the required reps with the correct intensity. As you can see this style of training has a fairly heavy weight lifted for a lot of reps, there is some accessory work involves too but the mains lifts are what give you the biggest bang for your buck.
If you haven’t done this style of training before then it’s wroth building up your strength base with some heavy triples, that way when you begin the transition to singles your body will have a better foundation to being with.
Lets say that you are going to start with the 15-25 singles method using 80% of your 1RM, that wouldn’t be a bad choice. You workout might look something like this:
Day 1 – Lower Body
A1 – Front Squat
B1 – Snatch Grip Deadlift
C1 – Walking Lunge 1x200m
Day 2 – Upper Boody
A1 – Overhead Press
A2 – Pull Up*
B1 – Dip
B2 – Bent Over Row*
C1 – Ego Movement or Postural Movement 3×8 or 2×12
*Only rest 15-30 seconds after second movement, no rest between movements.
Day 3 – Off or Light CV
Repeat Process.
The above is a standard upper/lower split done on a 2 on 1 off rotation. You may choose to add just one rep each workout to each lift until you hit 25 reps and then drop the reps back to 15 and add some weight to the bar. This may seem like long process when it comes to progression but let me tell you from experience it works, but yes it can be boring.
Perhaps you only have set days a week you can workout such as Monday – Wednesday – Friday, if that is the case then this workout might be better for you:
We shall set a 20 rep goal using the rest/re-rack method (pause for a couple of deep breaths and try for a couple more reps or re-rack the weight shake it off for 20-30 seconds and then continue until you hit your 20 rep goal).
Workout A –
A1 – Squat 1×20 @ 75% 1RM
B1 – Dip 1×20 – Weighted to suit your needs
C1 – Bent Over Row 1×20 @ 75% 1RM
D1 – Ego Movement or Postural Movement 3×8 or 2×12
Workout B –
A1 – Deadlift 1×20 @ 75% 1RM
B1 – Overhead Press 1×20 @ 75% 1RM
C1 – Pull Up 1×20 – Weighted to suit your needs
D1 – Ego Movement or Postural Movement 3×8 or 2×12
You will alternate the workouts A/B/A one week then B/A/B and keep repeating this.
Once you can hit all 20 reps without re-racking the weight (pausing with the weight on your back while squatting or in your hands if pressing) then add some weight to the bar.
If you;re unsure of how much weigh to add I suggest 2.5kg total to upper body movements and 5kg total to lower body movements.
These workouts look easy on paper but they’re not. You will need not only strong muscles but a strong mental attitude too, but if you can make it through these workouts then you will find some great results await you.

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The Pen Is Mightier Than The Bar

Morning Guys,

If at first you don’t succeed, look back through your training/nutrition diary and find out why.

Tracking your progress, be it for nutrition or training is a laborious task.

Seriously… It’s a proper pain in the face but a necessary one if you want to succeed.

It’s true there will be some people who don’t track a single thing and go mostly on feel and intuition, but you’re not ‘some people’ you’re you and if you’re reading my humble posts than you need to be tracking what you’re doing.

The key to progression is more often than not hidden in the numbers. Lets take strength training as the example, your number are going up and then they stall but because you’ve been tracking them you know your overall volume and total loading you’ve achieved so far (this allows you to plan a de-load and then start building up again to get past this current total load).

Okay, you might not be able to add more weight, or even more sets/reps for the moment but you could always increase your TUT (time under tension) provided you tracked your tempo (4-0-1-0 for example) you will be able to workout how much overall TUT you achieve each workout, thus allowing you the ability to increase it, meaning your overall volume is increased too.

Simple right?

Without all of your diligent tracking you will not know where you can improve your workouts, or what possible strategies you could use, but it it’s written down in front of you it means you can manipulate it to keep progressing.

Remember, progress isn’t only measured in one way.

The moral of this post is to try and help you form a good habit and start tracking what you’re doing. If you ran a business you wouldn’t guess what you were earning each year would you? No, I didn’t think so.

A Pen and Paper will be two of the most valuable tools in your journey, go out and buy them NOW!.


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Oly Oly Oly… Three White LIGHTS

Morning Guys,

In recent times the popularity of Olympic Weightlifting has come to the forefront, propelled their by the likes of CrossFit and the Russian man mountain known as Klokov and other such greats have helped inspire lots of young people to start to venture down the route of the Quick Lifts as they were once known.

Weightlifting has been called many things, but the one I feel that describes it best is ‘Gymnastics with a bar in your hands” why that dictation? Because you have to be explosive, powerful, strong and most importantly mobile to achieve decent form in both lifts.

One of the nice things about weightlifting is that you have two major lift to specialise in (okay, technically 3 as it’s a Clean and Jerk, but they are done once after the other making them only one lift in competition). This give you, in my opinion, one of the simplest plans to stick with – Improve those two lifts or as I would rather say: Chase Performance.

By specialising in only two lifts this means all of your assistance work and training will be centred around improving their performance and building a balanced physique that is, for lack of a better word, ‘functional’ because you need to be pretty dynamic to be good at both of the Olympic Lifts.

You will often find a program designed around these lifts will be very simple and specifically tailored to improve your performance and ironing out any weak areas in those lifts.

If you fancy giving these a try I would suggest you find yourself a decent Coach or Weightlifting club, trust me, being self taught in these lifts will not get you to the places you want to go, but a coach or a club will. While a program involving the lifts wouldn’t make much sense for you right now there is plenty you can do to help you start to strengthen the areas you need, here is a nice basic example for your consideration.

Based on 2 days on 1 day off template.

Day 1 – Pushing –

W/U – Mobility and 3-5 sets of FS as needed
A1 – Front Squat 6 sets of 6 – working up to a 6RM (don’t start too heavy)
A2 – Vertical Jump x3-5 (reset after each jump and jump as high as possible)
B1 – Overhead Squat 3×12 (Use light weight and groove the movement)
C1 – Push Press 6×6 – working up to a 6RM (don’t start too heavy)
C2 – Wide Grip Behind Neck Press x8 (very light weights)
D1 – Dips Weighted or Unweighted 3-5x max reps
Day 2 – Pulling
W/U Mobility and 3-5 sets of Snatch Grip Overhand Deadlift (No straps)
A1 – Snatch Grip Deadlift 5×5 (Use 8RM, build up to 10×5 over progressive weeks)
B1 – Overhand Deadlift With Shrug 4×6
B2 – Jumping Shrug With Dumbbels x8-12 (don’t go nuts, perform a slight bend int he knees and the a light jump followed by a shrug – aim to get your shoulders by your ears)
C1 – Barbell Bent Over Row 4×8-12
C2 – Reverse Fly x12
D1 – Medial Grip Pull Up 3-5x Max Reps
Feel free to add in some ab roll outs, planks, hanging leg raises if you so wish.
This simple program will help you start to find a groove for the early steps of learning the Olympic Lifts, you may even find one day this program looks a lot like the assistance work you might be doing.

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