Monthly Archives: February 2016

Missed Moments

“If you were looking for the opportune moment… that was it.” – Captain Jack Sparrow

One of my favourite quotes of all time, seriously, it really is. It sums up life perfectly and I will tell you why.

Will loses the apple of his affection, the reason he gets up everyday, his love. This prompts him to take action and with the hilarity and help of Captain Jack he find his way to a hidden island and eventually rescues his hearts desire. Once the action has subsided they share a brief and moment that was only possible because Will took action. This is the moment they have both been waiting for and guess what he does… Yep, he bottles it. This immediately followed by the sage words of Captain Jack. However upon returning to their safe haven Will decided to take action once again and not only saves Jack from he gallows but he gets the girl too. Thus a happy ending for all.

What does that have to do with real life?

A great many people spend their life waiting for the right moment to do XY or Z. Often they will say “I am just waiting for it to feel right” or “I will do this first then XYZ” this is procrastination at its finest. Too many waste their time waiting for a miracle or the right moment when in reality you have to create those small miracles and perfect moments. If you don’t someone else will and you’ll be forever kicking yourself, trust me on that.

So the next time you find yourself making an excuse to justify waiting for the opportune moment to make the magic of change happen, I suggest you slap yourself in the face and remember that the only opportune moments are the ones YOU create.

You can waste your money, your resources and even your health and eventually get them back one way or another, but once you waste your time it’s forever gone. Remember that.

Enjoy, Ross

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More for Less

The more knowledgeable people become the more they start to understand the importance of increasing training session volume each time they venture to the gym, this is so that they can keep progressing.

 
Keeping this in mind there are several ways to add that little extra to your workouts so that you ensure some positive adaptation, the obvious ones are to add one of the following 3:
 
– More Set
– More Reps
– More Weight
 
If you are not constrained by time then these three are quite viable options. You would potentially spend more time in the gym while you accumulate more total volume, however this would eventually reduce when you come to a much needed deload, then this process will be repeated until you either stop making progress or get bored of lifting weights.
 
What happens if you don’t have the luxury of spending extra time in the gym due to work, family or other time constraints? Simple, you do some density work or as it’s otherwise know Escalating Density Training.
 
What is EDT?
 
EDT is the process where by you select a perform an exercise in a certain time frame with appropriate loading and get out as many reps as you possibly can. Depending on what your overall training style is you can add anywhere from up to an extra 50% (possibly more) to your overall workout total. If you’re unsure of what this means take a look at the example below.
 
Pressing Day –
 
Bench Press 5x5x100
Flies 3x12x20
Dips 3x12xBW – 75kg
 
5920kg total volume
 
Now lets say you had a 45min window to workout and that took you 35min leaving you 10min spare, this is where adding in a density set will help boost that volume.
 
10min – Press Ups – BW 40kg (because you don’t use as much as you think) – If you achieved 100 in time limit that would give you an extra 4000kg of volume, almost as much as the session. Not a bad little addition for 10min of work is it.
 
Using this technique can help you provide some more stimulus in the same time period. For upper body days press ups, pull ups or any body weight exercise are a great addition to finish your workout, when it comes to leg day there is another option you can use, it involves loading the bar with 80% of your top weight for the day and doing one of the following – As many reps as many as possible in a specific time limit while resting as necessary or using that same load and setting a rep target such as 50 for example. You can do this for upper body days if you want to as well.
 
*Always regulate your weight based on your top set(s) of the day. You can lower the amount of time you have once you hit a specific rep goal, this will help you further increase your density of work and overall work capacity. The variations are endless truth be told.
 
It’s actually quite easy when you think about it, isn’t it. There are a lot more methods of EDT, but they all adhere to the same principle which is to help you increase your overall work capacity.
 
A word of warning however, be sure to keep a track of all your volume and how you’re recovering from it all. Everyone has a limit, once it’s hit you can push it for a touch more but then you will need to take your foot off the gas and deload, if you don;t you may just burn out, go backward and even get injured.
 
Try adding some EDT your workouts and break through your plateaus.
 
Enjoy
Ross

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The End

Morning Guys,
 
How do you set your goals?
 
Most people wake up one day and think to themselves “I want to achieve XYZ.” shortly followed by a crushing realisation of they have no idea where to start, but they still try to start anyway – this isn’t a bad thing, however it does mean that many a goal goes unachieved.
 
Below is one short sentence that might seem obvious but it’s quite rare that people utilise it.
 
“Start with the end in mind.”
 
It might seem like common sense to look at your goal and start with the ned result firmly encroached in your head, however that’s not enough. What starting with the end in mind means is to reverse engineer a path to that goal.
 
If you’re not sure what that means, keep reading.
 
Lets say our goal is to lose 24lbs. That’s the end, now we need to know by when – we shall say 12 weeks. By taking logical look at the goal that makes it a 2 lbs weight loss per week, which isn’t unachievable for people (especially the unconditioned). Next up would be the process of working out how to get to the goal – Logically you would start exercising 3 times per week and create a caloric deficit through your nutrition as well. There will be some other nuances, however those are the main things to worry about.
 
Simple right?
 
Almost but not quite. Setting the goal of just losing weight is okay, however it’s not the best goal. Why not workout how much of your current weight that is and relate it to a loss in body fat %? This way if the scales stop moving but your body fat keeps going down you know you’re still progressing and will avoid the dreaded termination due to a lack of progress. You can also measure you inches too, that way you will also have more ways to show that you;re still progressing.
 
Setting a goal is a lot like plotting a course on a map. You first need the map, second the destination and finally you workout how you will get there and what way is best. You wouldn’t set out traveling without first doing this would you?
 
If you’re not planning to succeed then you’re planning to fail.
 
Keep this in mind before you start telling the world about your plans and always start with the end in mind. I also suggest reading the 7 Habit of Highly Successful people, just trust me on this one. 
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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The Missing Link

Morning Guys,
 
The clean and press is a great exercise.
 
Do you have it in your program?
 
I find it is something that has fallen in to the shadows in recent times. That is unless you compete in Weightlifting or Strongman then this movement will not be the common.
 
Why should you invest some time in to learning this movement you ask?
 
There are many reasons ranging from the sheer amount of muscles used in the movement (pretty much the whole body), the strength you will gain by lifting a heavy weight from he floor and putting it over your head and not to mention the respect of many lifters. Just think about the impressive back and shoulders you will build from this simple movement.
 
It’s easy to look at the barbell variations of this lift and see how technically demanding the lift actually is, therefore for most people a good place to start is the double dumbbell clean and press. It’s easier to perform the clean and also forces your body to perform synchronised unilateral work, which also means that both sides of your body are forced to coordinate and become better activated and more involved than with a barbell. The range of motion is slightly greater than with a barbell and more ROM generally means more work, which means more results.
 
The dumbbell clean and press was also a very popular movement in the early days of weight lifting. Many of the founding fathers (Sandow, Park, Reeves, Stank, Grimek to name a few) used this movement with great success.
 
I’m not going to give you an in-depth guide on how to clean and press dumbbells because you can easily find such videos on youtube. In fact, here is one of them:
 
 
Is there a gold standard you want to be aiming for? Well yes there is, in the old days if you could do 12 reps (each rep starts from the floor) with 2x75lbs dumbbells (35kg) you were considered a true warrior of the iron. I’m not suggesting you start out with those, pick a weigh that allows you to hit the desired reps and start working on building your strength.
 
Try this:
 
Warm Up Sets x2 – Clean & Press
Working Sets – 3×8-12, once you hit 3×12 add weight. Add in a set of pull ups in between each set too.
Finisher – Dips – Weighted or BW 3-5x fail
 
You can have this as a stand alone workout with some assistance work added in or you can do it more frequently if you wish, however you will do well to lay off Bench Press for a while and instead substitute Dips as a finisher (like above).
 
Now go and conquer the dumbbell clean and press.
 
Enjoy,
Ross
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Deceivingly Dense

Are you aware that some things in this world are deceivingly dense?

Sometimes is what we can’t see or forget to look for that can cause us to hit plateaus or go the wrong way.

We all enjoy a flavor filled beverage, but is the treat worth the excessive amount of calories, that is the really question.

Hell, Are you even aware of how many calories each one of your favorites potentially holds?

Let’s take a look (on average) at each of the most common ones and what calories you will find in them.

12 ounce glass of Orange Juice with breakfast: 170 calories
16 ounce Café Latte with milk for mid-morning snack: 260 calories
16 ounce sweetened Iced Tea with lunch: 120 calories
12 ounce Fruit Smoothie for afternoon snack: 350 calories
8 ounce glass of Red Wine with dinner: 170 calories
Total hidden calories: 1,070 calories!

Is it any wonder people struggle to shift excess weight? Without knowing it a great many people are getting in too many calories from things they forgot to take in to account.

This is only a short post today to help you remember to think about your food/drink choices. By all means have what ever you desire, there is no need to restrict yourself, just keep in mind your overall energy balance and needs (track with MY Fitness Pal or a similar app) otherwise you will end up going down a slippery slope indeed.

Enjoy, Ross

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RPE Training Method

Last week I shared several posts about progression and some other training methodologies as well. This prompted some questions regarding RPE based training, it seems that this is becoming popular among the more advanced lifters and those who are looking deeper in to their training (especially fatigue management).

 

Today we will cover this topic together so that all the people who would like something a little different and not just the standard 4×12, 5×6-8 or 3-5×8-12 can have something to play with.

 

You ready because we have some basics to cover first, starting with what RPE actually is.

 

RPE = Rate of Perceived Exertion.

 

The typical scale RPE is measured on is 1-10. One being sat watching Netflix (no chill though) and 10 being balls to the wall maximum effort or muscular failure with any exercise and load, this is not limited to 1RM lifts but that’s usually what people say is an RPE of 10, however we are going to use the scale itself and not just do the standard 10=1rm, 9=3rm, 8=5rm etc. Oh no, we are going to use it in the more effective of ways and measure your intensity and effort on each set by setting a desired RPE to be achieved (basically how it was meant to be used).

 

Now there is nothing wrong with going to a 1RM at an RPE of 10 multiple times per week except for the fact you will start to amass some serious fatigue (both physical and neurological) and end up crashing. Not to mention you won’t build much volume training this way either. I will give you an example of how you can program this correctly soon, first we need to talk about fatigue management.

 

Managing fatigue is almost always forgotten. Have you ever found yourself making excellent progress on a program only to suddenly hit a brick wall without warning? I certainly have and it was all down to the simple fact that I wasn’t aware of the overall fatigue I was building up through my total volume (yes, this again. You still need to track this you know). RPE is a great way to help you understand your body, especially when you find that in a previous week 100kg for 8 felt like and RPE 6 (minimal easy effort) now feels like and RPE 9 (almost but not quite failing), thus meaning you’ve done too much and need to do one of the following: Eat More, Sleep More or Rest a Whole Week.

 

The above can also be known as Auto-Regulation by the way.

 

So how can you program this so that you make progress (move total volume) and manage fatigue? By using your own knowledge of your body and tracked volume of course. Here is an example:

 

Squat Day –

Ramping Sets – Ramp up to an 8RM (this will mean that is your 8 rep load that makes your RPE feel like a 10 for example, you couldn’t possibly get another rep out – you don’t need to got to a 10RPE, you can go to an 8 or 9, that’s up to you, so long as you match in in the subsequent sets you’ll be one the right path).

 

Back Off Sets – This is the interesting part because depending on your level of fatigue the amount of weight reduction will differ. A low weight reduction if highly fatigued will be used and a high weight reduction if fatigue is low. I know that might not make much sense, but this will clear that up:

 

8RM @ RPE10 = 100kg

 

Low Fatigue Session (meaning you want to use less volume to reduce fatigue) = 95kg x8 – As many sets as needed so that the RPE on 95kg feels like 10, this may take literally one set.

 

High Fatigue Session (meaning you want to increase volume to increase fatigue) = 80kg x8- As many sets as needed so that the RPE on 80kg feels like 10, this will take several sets.

 

Can you see how it works?

 

When you’re trying to increase your fatigue you will take a decent weight reduction (perhaps 15-20% for example), after you initially reduce the weight your RPE might feel like a 6, this means that you will require more sets to bring the RPE back up to its desired level, which will help increase the fatigue and overall volume providing a decent amount of stimulus to promote/force the body to a place where it needs to become stronger to keep going, however that will only happen if you add in the second part of the puzzle. A low fatigue session.

 

In a session where you want to reduce your fatigue you will only lower the weight slightly from your top set, thus meaning you can only perform 1 or 2 sets which reduces your overall volume and will help you aid fatigue management while also providing a decent stimulus that allows you to recover and adapt from the previous high fatigue sessions. There are numerous variations of this style of training, however the basic principles are still the same (Overload, SRA, Fatigue Management) and as a result it helps to produce some great results. It’s also a good method of training for those who are not fans of high reps to build not only a good base of strength but also lots of lean muscle too.

 

Hopefully this makes sense.

 

One thing to remember with this style of training is that it is best suited to those who have been training for several years and know their body well. If used properly you can make some great progress, but if used irresponsibly you can cause yourself a mischief.

 

Enjoy, Ross

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The Evolution of Reps

Recently I have been asked what progression methods are suitable for differing levels of fitness. While there are lots of varied ways to progress the foundations come from either a Single, Double or Triple Progression Method.
 
If you’re unsure of what each of those is fear not, I will cover them all today and give you some useful examples that can be applied to your current workout routines.
 
Single Progression –
 
The most common form of progression used by beginners and even some intermediates/advanced lifters, typically revolves around you picking a set reps scheme such as 3×8, 5×5, 4×12 etc and adding weight every session. As you get stronger the weight may decrease from 5kg each to 2.5kg or less but you will be simply adding weight each session.
 
This style of progression might last for 3 to 7 (or longer) weeks followed by 1 de-load week. Once the de-load week is upon you all you need do is simply drop the weight back to its original starting point, this is because the overall volume will be less than what you’ve built up to. After the week of lowered volume (this allows for some nice recovery) you will start back again at a higher weight than the one you did last time, thus allowing more progression.
 
It might look like this:
 
Week 1: 3x8x100kg
Week 2: 3x8x105kg
Week 3: 3x8x110kg
Week 4: Deload 3x8x100kg
Week 5: 3x8x102.5kg
Week 6: 3x8x107.5kg
And so on.
 
Out of all the progression methods this is the simplest, however you can only add weight to the bar for so long before you eventually stall. You can run this for perhaps 6-12 months, maybe 18 if you’re lucky and then, once you’ve squeezed every ounce of weight out of the various different rep ranges and stalled on all of them then you will be ready to ascend to double progression.
 
Double Progression –
 
As you might guess there is an added element to this style of progression. In the first instance you kept the reps the same and focused on adding weight, now you will keep the weight the same and focus on adding reps before adding weight.
 
If we took our 3×8 once again and found we had stalled at 140kg, the next logical step in progression is to focus on building the reps to a higher number (lets say to 12) before even thinking about adding any extra weight. Essentially you will plan a program that will have you doing 3×8-12 meaning that you must hit 3×12 before adding weight.
 
It may look like this:
 
Week 1: 3×8-12x140kg – 10,9,8
Week 2: 3×8-12x140kg – 11,10,10
Week 3: 3×8-12x140kg – 12,12,10
Week 4: 3×8-12x140kg – 12,12,12
Week 5: 3×8-12x145kg – 8,8,8
And so on.
 
You can use a de-load method in this as you did with the single progression but you will find it will take longer to reach the point where you need one because you will be constantly changing the reps you’re doing and the volume will take a natural de-load/decease.
 
Confused?
 
Using our example lets do some simple maths. We calculate volume with the equation Weight x Sets x Reps.
 
Week 4 – 140x12x3 or 140×36 = 5040kg
Week 5 – 145x8x8 or 145×24 = 3480kg
 
Hopefully that clears things up. This is a more intermediate style of progression and for some is all they will ever really need, however for those who truly break through their barriers and hit plateaus beyond us mere mortals, an even more advanced protocol will be needed that throws in one more element to make it a triple threat.
 
Triple Progression –
 
So single progression keeps the sets & reps the same while adding weight. Double progression keeps the sets the same and builds the reps before adding weight.
 
Can you guess where triple progression is going now?
 
Yep, you now add more sets in to the mix as well. If we take the 3×8 that had evolved in to the 3×8-12, it now takes on another evolution to become a top tier training method and it looks like this – 3-5×8-12.
 
How does it work?
 
It’s quite simple really. You will initially start by trying to build 3×12 and once you hit this you add a set and start back at 4×8-12 and when those become 4×12 you can work your way up to the golden fleece that is 5×12 and the finally add some weigh tot the bar.
 
It’s not as complicated as it sounds, take a gander at the example below:
 
Week 1: 3-5×8-12x160kg – 12,10,9
Week 2: 3-5×8-12x160kg – 12,11,10
Week 3: 3-5×8-12x160kg – 12,12,12
Week 4: 3-5×8-12x160kg – 12,12,11,8
Week 5: 3-5×8-12x160kg – 12,12,12,10
Week 6: 3-5×8-12x160kg – 12,12,12,11
Week 7: 3-5×8-12x160kg – 12,12,12,12
Week 8: 3-5×8-12x160kg – 12,12,12,10,8
Week 9: 3-5×8-12x160kg – 12,12,12,12,10
Week 10: 3-5×8-12x160kg – 12,12,12,12,11
Week 11: 3-5×8-12x160kg – 12,12,12,12,12 – Hazar!!! Success!
Week 12: 3-5×8-12x165kg – 12,10,9
And so on.
 
As with the double progression there will be a natural de-load of volume, however a week off might not be a bad idea because of the amount of fatigue you will have amassed during this cycle. If you feel strong the please keep going, but be sure to listen to your body on this one.
 
Written above are the foundations of how many a great program are created. There are obviously other elements you can play with such as Rest, Tempo along with a great many other fancy protocols for Potentiation and Activation to allow you to lift more by stimulating the nervous system but those are some seriously advanced protocols and will honestly serve no other purpose than to confuse you.
 
Stick with the basics as long as you can milk them for all they’re worth.
 
Now go, progress and my the gains be with you.
 
Enjoy,
Ross
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10×10 Legendary or Foolish?

Morning Guys,

I had a short conversation about 10 Set Training with a devilishly handsome young man today. He wanted to know how he could apply it to his training in the future once he had finished his current block.

There are several ways in which you can apply the 10 Set (German Volume Training as some call it) to your workouts, however it will require you to sit down and plan a strategic course of action.

This style of training is a great way to increase the amount of volume you’re doing, not to mention it will help groove a better movement pattern (solid from used that is).

Lets run over the different possibilities shall we.

Standard GVT –

The most common method is the 10×10, most notably popularised by Charles Poliquin. This involves loading 60% of your 1RM and performing 10 sets of 10 reps with only 60 seconds rest in-between each set. Ideally you will use a 4-0-1-0 tempo for the most optimal (brutal) workout.

You may not hit all 10×10 on the first attempt, don’t worry because that means you’ve picked the right weight. DO NOT add more rest or adjust the weight, keep going until all of your sets are done, just log each set down. The first workout may look like this – 10,10,10,10,9,9,7,7,6,5 and if if did I would be proud. Stick with that weight and aim for more reps next time, once you hit every rep with good form you can increase the weight (2.5kg for upper body movements, 5kg for lower body movements).

I wouldn’t advise this on deadlift because well, bye bye lower back. Instead you can use a variation of 10×10 (10×5, 10×3 etc), but more on that next.

10 Set Training –

Similar to 10×10 yet different. In this variation of the concept you will do 10 sets of X-reps. You could do 10×8, 10×6,10×4 or any number of reps you like, all you would need to do is adjust the loading accordingly. Personally I would adjust the loading as follows:

10×10 – Base starting point – 60% 1RM
10×8 – 65% 1RM
10×6 – 70% 1RM
10×4 – 75% 1RM
10×2 – 80% 1RM

You usually lose 1 rep rep 7% weight increase, just something worth remembering. I have gone with 5% jumps because it’s easier on the maths and over 10 sets you’ll thank me

Keep the rest periods and the tempo the same if you’re looking for a good mix of hypertrophy and strength.

Super Set 10×10 –

As it sounds, you will be using and A1-A2 methodology. This means you do one exercise followed immediately by another and then rest 60 seconds only.

When looking to super set exercises you can do an antagonist pairing (push/pull, squat/hinge etc) or an upper/lower – recommended.

I would opt for an upper/lower pairing because it is slightly easier and more achievable for most people. That would be a squat with a press for example. This isn’t limited to compounds either, you could have a squat S/S with a lateral raise if you felt you wanted some weak point training, this is a great way to get in some extra volume on lagging body parts.

When planning your super sets you can do them how ever you choose, just remember the overall fatigue you will experience. This is why a compound movement + a weak point movement works very well. As above rest/tempo stays the same, unless YOU want to change it which is fine.

Jump Sets 10×10 –

These are not often spoken about by fit-pros these days which is sad, they are a great way to train and ideal for those who want a nice simple workout that can be done in less than 40min.

A jump set is similar to a super set, however in stead of the recommended Compound + Weak Point above, for this I would encourage the use of two compound movements so that you ge the best bang for you buck in the shortest amount of time possible.

How does it work?

A1 – Squat – 1st set x10
Rest 60sec
B1 – Press – 1st set x10
Rest 60sec
A1 – Squat – 2nd set x10
And so on until you’ve done all 10 sets of each exercise.

Using the jump set principle you are able to get in more rest between each compound lifts set, thus allowing you to still push hard on each exercise. An upper/lower or antagonist split works very well for this. Again, the 4-0-1-0 tempo s advised.

Squat & Press, Rows & Dips are a cracking pair, then all you need to do is put in some pull ups or rows (or do Squat + Pull Up instead) and you;ve got a great workout (Y).

10 Set Training & The Deadlift –

Now many call the deadlift the King of exercises. It hits pretty much every muscle in your body (if done correctly) and can become very taxing. High rep deadlift do have their place but it’s rare you will ever see stronger lifters doing 10×10 on them because of the extraordinary amount of stress it puts on the body (lower back especially).

If you were to do rack pulls, block pulls of a variation of the deadlift you may survive 10×10 but I am not sure at what cost. I did it once and had DOMS for literally 3 weeks, this impaired my other training and I decided it wasn’t worth it in the end.

Deadlifts typically work well in 1,2,3,4 or 5 rep ranges, I would use the loading below s a starting guide (you can adapt it yourself from there):

10×5 – 60%
10×4 – 65%
10×3 – 70%
10×2 – 75%
10×1 – 80%

Remember you will want to keep to the 60 second rest period. You can even make this nice and hard by using the 4-0-1-0 tempo (or even a 5-0-1-0 tempo).

Unlike the Squat, Press and Pulling movements I wouldn’t do this more than once per week. If you use the above reps you could do a 5 week loading phase followed by a week off of the DL and then start again at a slightly higher 10×5 weight (1st time around 10×5 at 100kg, 2nd time 10×5 at 105kg for example).

Summary –

All of the methods above have their merits and uses. Depending on you goal some will work better than others. What i have given you above are basic guidelines and they can be tweaked to your need. If you want to change the tempo then go for it, the same goes for the weight increases and the reps, the only thing that must stay consistent is the rest.

Squats/Press/Pulls can be done 1-3 times per week depending on your schedule, deadlift I would only do once per week. Keep in mind this is a lot of volume and will be very taxing, you must make sure you’re eating the correct amount of calories for your goal and recovering properly. This is where tracking your workouts and using auto-regulation (feel) will be key to progressing.

An example week could be as follows:

Day 1 – Front Squat 10×10 + 2 Assistance Movements – Posterior
Day 2 – Press OH 10×10 + 2 Assistance Movements – Pulling
Day 3 – Deadlift 10×5 + 2 Assistance Movements – If alive are 10×5
Day 4 – Bench Press 10×10 + 2 Assistance Movements – Pulling
Day 5 – Back Squat 10×10 + 2 Assistance Movements – Posterior

Use what is written above word for word if you wish, or adapt it to what you think you need. Remember the key to progress is progress and experimentation.

Enjoy,
Ross

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Twice a Day?

Morning Guys,
 
Some of us have the luxury of training twice per day, in fact most people have that luxury IF they were but to plan their day accordingly and make the required effort.
 
It’s not unusual for people to spend over 2 hours in the gym, normally in the form of a Body Pump Class followed by a Spin (or two) then finally for some Yoga because yoga pants (Y).
 
Now when you look at how much time people either spend in the gym doing classes or possibly sat at home watching TV you will start to see how much time they actually have at their disposal.
 
Lets say for the average person a working day starts at 8am, you can get to the gym (hopefully local to work) for 6.30am and workout until 7:15/30 depending on how close you are to your work. You’d be able to have a shower and get to the office with time to spare, all while enjoying a nice post-workout shake, you’d also find the happy benefit of feeling fired up and focused for the entire day.
 
If this hypothetical person finished at 5pm or maybe even 6pm they can then pop back to the gym for perhaps 6.30pm and do another 45min workout and get home for for just after 7.30pm, plenty of time to do what ever else needs doing before going to bed at 10pm.
 
I’m aware sometimes life doesn’t quite go that way, however there are plenty of ways that you could manage 2 sessions a day if you really wanted; some can even make a lunchtime workout part too their routine. There are also some great benefits to training twice per day (more volume, frequency and potential for progression to name a few).
 
If you were to train two times in a day then doing your High Threshold (strength, power etc) work in the AM when your hormones should be most optimal is best advised and then you hammer your body with Volume work in the PM (hypertrophy style, or even some conditioning work), now that isn’t gospel however it is what often works well from a performance standpoint.
 
Here is an example 3 day split:
 
Day 1 Legs – AM
 
A1 – Front Squat 5×2
B1 – Front Squat 5×5
B2 – RDL 5×6-8
 
Day 1 Legs – PM
 
A1 – Squat 10×10
A2 – Hamstring Curl 10×10
B1 – Calf Raise 3x Fail
 
Day 2 Push – AM
 
A1 – Press 8×3
A2 – Pull Up 8×5
B1 – Bench Press 5×3-5
B2 – Bent Over Row 5×5
 
Day 2 Push – PM
 
A1 – Incline Press (DB) 8×8
A2 – Dumbbell Row 8×8
B1 – Lateral Raise 10×10
B2 – Reverse Fly 10×10
C1 – Dips 3-5xFail
 
Day 3 Pull – AM
 
A1 – Snatch Grip Deficit Deadlift 10×3-5
B1 – Wide Grip Pull Up 6×6
 
Day 3 Pull – PM
 
A1 – Chin Up 6xFail
B1 – Seated Row 4×6-8
B2 – Face Pull 4×8-12
B3 – Reverse Fly 4×12-15
C1 – Curls 12,10,8,6,20
 
The above is merely an example, however you can see that you’d be getting the majority of your volume in the evening. From a personal standpoint I would advise working to an RPE of at least 8-8.5 (maybe 9 for advanced lifters) in the AM, always leave a good rep in the bag and practice solid form. IN the PM you want to work towards momentary muscular failure, so an RPE of 9-10 and try to stimulate as many fibres as possible.
 
AM = Activation/Potentiation of all fibres
PM = Maximal Stimulation and fatigue of all fibres.
 
Doing this 3x per week (Mon, Wed, Fri) will help you progress towards your goals, however doing it in a 2 days on, one day off, one day on, one day off repeat will work even better. Have a play and see what best suits you. You an tweak this so suit many goals, not just he strength/hypertrophy example I’ve given. 
 
Enjoy,
Ross
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Think or Feel

 
It is common that when people search the internet for a program and stumble across one with lots of % of 1RM they become confused because they are not entirely sure of what their 1RM actually is, but fear not, there are a couple of ways around this.
 
1 – RM Estimator
 
You can use an online calculator to estimate your 1RM or this simple formula:
 
Weight x Reps x 0.0333 + Weight = 1RM
 
You will find this isn’t far off your true 1RM. This then makes the programs with all of those confusing looking % much easier to tackle. Therefore when you see an article or post act has something like Deadlift 5x5x85% + Back Off Set x 60% AMRAP you won’t be like a rabbit in the headlights.
 
What if you don’t want to do the maths? Option 1 is for you.
 
2 – Let the reps dictate the weight.
 
This is a much easier approach for some and allows for an individual to gain a greater feel on what weights they can actually push, while stopping just short of total concentric failure (1-2 reps short). It’s quite easy to use this ideology, if you’re honest with yourself that is.
 
Say you had to do 6×8 on the squat with a 3-1-1-1 tempo. During your warm up I would suggest doing perhaps 2-4 sets of 8 until you find a weight where the 8th rep feels tough yet manageable, then take that as your first set. Each further set after this one will create some fatigue and strength deficit which will leave the 8th rep feeling pretty hard by set 4 and possibly unachievable by sets 7/8, if that is the case then you’ve picked the right weight and will simply repeat it the next workout and hopefully hit all 6×8 and then increase the overall load.
 
Now those are only two ways you can establish what weights to use, one for the more analytical amongst you and one for the more kinaesthetic.
 
Both have their benefits and their downsides.
 
The first option has the benefit of you knowing what you need to do from the get go, while second has the downside that requires more time to establish what you need. However, the second method give more benefit in the way of feedback and learning ‘feel’ so that you know how far you can push your body, unlike the first method that has the downside of set theoretical numbers which you may or may not hit.
 
Play around with both and see which one you prefer. Learning is all a part of the process and a vital one at that.
 
Enjoy,
Ross
 
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