Monthly Archives: June 2016

The First Rule of Lifting Club

Morning Guys,
 
Do you know the first rule of lifting club?
 
No Moaning, head down and LIFT!
 
You will often see the guy/gals in the gym that everybody else admires, this people all have one thing in common, they didn’t like the way they looked so they decided to do something about it and stop being a victim of circumstance.
 
Most people will do a set of 12 with their 15rep load where as the successful ones will strive and struggle to do a set of 12 with a 10rm load because they know that’s what it takes to get better.
 
Everyone has a select method that works for them but the only way they find it is through years of trial and error. In that time they find things that work well and some that work better, they also find things that were a complete waste of time but they needed to do these things so they could find their own personal Holy Grail, make sense? You need to do the same through learning as well.
 
Speak to successful people, success leaves clues after all, attend seminars, listen to podcasts, read books, hire a coach, do everything you can to learn and understand. Don’t be a fish caught in the tide, be the mighty salmon that strives to fight it’s way up stream and go against the current because that’s where what you want will be found.
 
So stop moaning ans start working hard.
 
Enjoy,
Ross
Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

The Reason

Morning Guys,

Let’s talk about the reason, you know, the reason we do what we do. Everyone has a reason, usually they are linked in with emotion and feeling, even if people won’t admit it.

I would like you to ask yourself this questions:

“Currently I feel…. Because of….”
“What would make me happy is….”
“Achieving my goal would make me feel….”
“To achieve my goal I must….”

What is the last word? Happy, Accomplished, Proud, Worthy? What ever it will be it’s not a bad thing because it will give you purpose. I have found over the years that people don’t want to be honest about why they want to achieve their goal. They tell people what they think they want to hear for the fear of being judged, or that it is wrong to selfishly want something. It isn’t, so long as what you want doesn’t involve causing other people pain or suffering.

Once you’ve asked those questions sit down and write your goals and what behaviour you need to do to achieve said goal, along with how you will feel once you achieve it and how you currently feel. Do this in 300 words or less and put it it a place you will see it everyday to help keep you on track.

Understand how you feel, be honest and gain purpose, focus, perspective and the motivation you need.

Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

The One Thing You’re Not Doing.

Morning Guys,
 
A short post toady with some logical advise that many people will fail to adhere to.
 
You ready?
 
“If a muscle isn’t growing you’re either at your genetic limit or more likely not hitting the required overload/intensity.”
 
What does this mean? Simply that you need to train all of your muscles with the correct stimulus and intensity to create the required metallic disturbance for them to adapt and grow bigger/stronger. If you’re not doing that you won’t grow, it’s that simple. A caloric surplus of 350-500cals per day over your TDEE will help as well, but the most important part is the stimulus.
 
Overload is king.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Bin The Burden

Ditch the digits, the do nothing but hold you back and subject you to a false logic of societal acceptance which is purely subjective to an individual persons bias.
 
    Don’t confuse someones personal bias with the truth, they are two very different things.
 
    The days of constant weighing of ones self use to be a trait mostly held by woman but it seems that it has also taken hold of its fair share of men in this modern world too. Woman want to have smaller numbers on the scales and men want to have higher ones, yet both don’t do what they need to do to appease this mental barrier.
 
    Medical issues aside, men typically say they can’t gain weight, this usually means they don’t eat enough, for woman it’s the opposite, t hey can’t lose weight because they eat too much, sorry to say it but the blame lies with you on that one, however… A number on the scale means very little if your goal is to look better, it just seems that by backwards logic people have unfortunately created an emotional anchor to achieving a certain number on the scales and until they hit it they won’t be happy.
 
    What madness.
 
    I will tell you what happens when you do hit the ‘magic’ number, nothing. You still feel empty and that something is missing because 9/10 times people don’t look good because a number does not equate to health, strength or aesthetics. This is truth. Unless you’re a competitive athlete who competes in weight restricted categories there is no need to be neurotic with the numbers on the scale.
 
    While tracking numbers is a great way to show progress it can lead to problems, for most people before and after pictures are a far better avenue to go down. There is nothing more frustrating than people who make progress then have a spaz attack because they’ve gains a few lbs on the scales (usually lean tissue, which is good), despite perhaps losing a dress size or revealing their abs, they still run to the treadmill scared they will get fat.
 
    Get a grip people! You’re more than a number and I can tel you from experience that no number on the scale will every really make you happy, only looking how you want to look and feeling happy about how you look will do that. Low or high numbers on the scales mean nothing if you have poor body composition.
 
    I have something I want you to do now, it will be very hard but one day you will thank me. Are you ready for the life changing task I am about to give you? Okay, here we go…
 
    BIN YOUR SCALES!
 
    Focus on inches lost, muscle gained and how you look, not how much you weigh.
 
 
Enjoy, Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Rest for Gains

Rest periods, how long do you take and how does it effect your gains?
    The question of how long to rest between sets has been around for years, I feel it will be around for many more years to come as well. While the rational answers are easily concluded by common sense (short rest periods if hypertrophy is the goal due to low % of 1RM, where as up to 5min in maximal strength/power training), however the amount of rest taken can have a rather interesting effect on hormonal responses.
    I remember reading about the influence on hormones that rest periods had and dig a fair bit of digging, while this was some time ago I thought it would be good to share some of this info as I was chatting about this topic with a young lady who lifts earlier today and it was new info to her.
    Here is the simple breakdown of what I’ve concluded according to the data I have looked at.
– Rest Under 60 Seconds = More increase in GH production.
– Rest 90-120 Seconds = More increase in T (more so than <60, though there was an increase in that rest time as well in terms of T, just not as much).
– Rest >120 Seconds = Less cortisol produced.

Men – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20555276

    What are your rest periods?
Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Do You Listen?

Morning Guys,

Have you ever really listened to your body? I mean really listened to it? Do you even know what it’s saying?

The skill of listening to your body is not an easy one to master, it takes time, effort and most of all patience to learn your own language. If you really listen you will know if you really do have that extra rep or if you need a de-load, perhaps it’s a case of some more sleep. Whichever it is, listening t your body will reveal all.

    How can you learn what your body is really telling you? Unfortunately there is no easy answer, it simply takes time and practice. A great way would be to meditate, to become aware of all your thoughts and deal with them one at a time, then, once you have control over the mind, or at least acceptance of your thoughts you can start to listen to your body and how it feels.

The best way to start meditation is to find a place outside you can go alone and start to focus on your thoughts and absorbing everything around you and become aware. After you become aware you can start to hear what your body has to say, you might find out you’re not fatigued from too much training but rather not enough sleep because of a mineral deficiency. As crazy as that sounds it’s more true than many would ever want to believe.

Try this for me today. Take 5min and simply sit and try to see what your body is feeling, the little aches it has, the stiffness, the hunger for certain foods (not ego craving, actually craving). It will take time but once you start being able to listen to your body you will find you now just when to go all out and when to back off, thus finding yourself imbued with a new sense of self.

Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Sunken Cost

Morning Guys,
 
    Do you fall victim to the time you’ve invested in something? You know, like a personal project, business acquisition, unprogressive exercise program or expensive fad diet?
 
    I have, as have many others like me and it took a while to admit it but once that step was taken there was nowhere left to hide and accepting the mistake of investing too much time in something that is going nowhere.
 
    It’s common place to see people cling on to things they’ve invested time, effort, money and emotion in because to let such a thing go would cause the ego to receive a fairly hefty blow, but sometimes you need to let go of things that are doomed. After all, how many times have you, yourself, invested in something that has failed dramatically and refused to let it go? More than once I am willing to bet.
 
    The technical term for this is ‘Sunken Cost Fallacy’ and if you look around you will see it claims many a victim because of ego & pride. I am not saying you shouldn’t give new ventures, workouts or nutrition protocols a chance, far from it. I am saying you will simply need to be ready and willing to let one of them go if they are yielding demonising returns, which you should be able to see by the tracking systems you have in places to monitor your progression, obviously.
 
    Take a look at your current lifestyle and see if you can spot any particular endeavours that need to be removed from the fray and get rid of them for something more lucrative. I promise you will become more productive and far less stressed if you do.
 
Enjoy, Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

3 Tips to Squatting Success

 

    A good squat is the measure of mental strength, getting under a bar and completing  comfortably full ROM for each individual followed by standing back up is tough, especially when the weight is heavy.

Tip 1 – Front Squat First
    The front squat is seen as hard by a lot of people because of how they struggle to get in to the rack position to hold the bar (bar in fingers resting on front delts with elbows parallel to the floor). This style of squat is also an ego limiting movement because of how much upper thoracic strength you need to keep the bar in place, which many lack.
    Another benefit to learning the front squat first is because of the positive effect it has on your form due to the bar placement. You will squat in the correct way (movement pattern) otherwise you won’t be able to do it, it’s that simple. The cross over to the back squat (high & low bar position) is well worth the time you will invest in to learning/grooving this movement and it’s also worth remembering that you never see a weak person with a good front squat.
Tip 2 – Belly Breathing
    Belly breathing, or using you diaphragm correctly is a guaranteed way to increase your squat pretty much instantly because of the extra stability you will gain through inter-abdominal pressure. Think of a balloon inside a box that is then pumped up to the max, without the balloon the box is easily crushed, with the balloon it becomes much more resilient.
    Apart from the use of meditation to practice this technique (look up valsalva maneuver for more info on this) , you can also do lots of static ab training such as planks (10 second bouts of maximal tension), ab wheel roll outs etc to get used to staying tight much like you would need to in the squat. A quick drill you can do for 5min each day is to simply lay on the floor with a shoe on your belly, breath in and aim to make the shoe rise WITHOUT sticking your belly out! It must come solely from your deep breathing.
Tip 3 – Pause Purposefully
    Rushing the squat is common, people drop down in the hope they will get the benefit of stretch reflex to help them come back out of the hole (bottom of the squat), however this often leads to sloppy form, a loss of tension and in some cases injury. The inclusion of pause squats will help you not only in form but also staying tight in the bottom position and also improve your strength too. You will find that in the pause squat you need to have a solid form each rep and if your form isn’t solid yo will know about it because you will be able to feel what’s going on and avoid any sloppiness.
    I would advise pause length of 3,5 or 7 seconds at 60,55 and 50% of your 1RM respectively to start off with. 6-10 sets of doubles and triples work very well.
    Take these tips and apply them to your training for squatting success.
Bonus Tip – Squat a Lot
    To squat a lot you need to squat a lot and often. The squat is a movement that can be trained fairly frequently, everyday in fact (provided loading is programmed correctly). Instead of having one 2 hour long session on legs (if you’re brave enough) split the volume of that session up over say 3 days before adding more. The more frequent exposure will allow for greater muscle stimulation and also increased protein synthesis.
Enjoy,
Ross
    A good squat is the measure of mental strength, getting under a bar and completing  comfortably full ROM for each individual followed by standing back up is tough, especially when the weight is heavy.

Tip 1 – Front Squat First
    The front squat is seen as hard by a lot of people because of how they struggle to get in to the rack position to hold the bar (bar in fingers resting on front delts with elbows parallel to the floor). This style of squat is also an ego limiting movement because of how much upper thoracic strength you need to keep the bar in place, which many lack.
    Another benefit to learning the front squat first is because of the positive effect it has on your form due to the bar placement. You will squat in the correct way (movement pattern) otherwise you won’t be able to do it, it’s that simple. The cross over to the back squat (high & low bar position) is well worth the time you will invest in to learning/grooving this movement and it’s also worth remembering that you never see a weak person with a good front squat.
Tip 2 – Belly Breathing
    Belly breathing, or using you diaphragm correctly is a guaranteed way to increase your squat pretty much instantly because of the extra stability you will gain through inter-abdominal pressure. Think of a balloon inside a box that is then pumped up to the max, without the balloon the box is easily crushed, with the balloon it becomes much more resilient.
    Apart from the use of meditation to practice this technique (look up valsalva maneuver for more info on this) , you can also do lots of static ab training such as planks (10 second bouts of maximal tension), ab wheel roll outs etc to get used to staying tight much like you would need to in the squat. A quick drill you can do for 5min each day is to simply lay on the floor with a shoe on your belly, breath in and aim to make the shoe rise WITHOUT sticking your belly out! It must come solely from your deep breathing.
Tip 3 – Pause Purposefully
    Rushing the squat is common, people drop down in the hope they will get the benefit of stretch reflex to help them come back out of the hole (bottom of the squat), however this often leads to sloppy form, a loss of tension and in some cases injury. The inclusion of pause squats will help you not only in form but also staying tight in the bottom position and also improve your strength too. You will find that in the pause squat you need to have a solid form each rep and if your form isn’t solid yo will know about it because you will be able to feel what’s going on and avoid any sloppiness.
    I would advise pause length of 3,5 or 7 seconds at 60,55 and 50% of your 1RM respectively to start off with. 6-10 sets of doubles and triples work very well.
    Take these tips and apply them to your training for squatting success.
Bonus Tip – Squat a Lot
    To squat a lot you need to squat a lot and often. The squat is a movement that can be trained fairly frequently, everyday in fact (provided loading is programmed correctly). Instead of having one 2 hour long session on legs (if you’re brave enough) split the volume of that session up over say 3 days before adding more. The more frequent exposure will allow for greater muscle stimulation and also increased protein synthesis.
Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

3 Tips to Dominate Deadlifts

Morning Guys,

The other day I gave wrote three tips for improving one’s bench press, today it will be the deadlift, after all, there is nothing more impressive than loading up 5 plates a side for reps.

Tip 1 – Pull Out The Slack

    If you’ve watched any top deadlift champion you will noticed they all seem to pull against the bar first, some do it with straight legs, other do it in a rock bottom position. It doesn’t matter which they do because they are all doing it to achieve the same thing, taking the slack out of the bar.

When you pull the bar off the floor it typically bends, every bar has some give in it, you must pull this out and stay tense to get it off the floor, if you don’t it will feel like the bar isn’t moving because you’ve not initiated the first pull correctly. Practice by getting tense and pulling agains the bar to feel the slack come out, once it is it’s time to drive the floor away and get your hips through as fast as possible and lock out a new PB.

Tip 2 – Keep Your Head Neutral

It’s fairly common for people to crank their neck back and ‘look up’ and while in theory this will help keep your back straight, in practice it doesn’t work so well. When you set up you want to keep your head neutral and slightly tuck your chin. That doesn’t mean looking down, your eyes can look up while your head remains neutral you know.

By keeping a neutral head position you will in effect lengthen your spine, this will help prevent rounding of the lower back and also allow a stronger neural connection, meaning you can lift more once you get this technique down.

Tip 3 – Lots of Single Arm Rows

A great many people will complain about their grip being the limiting factor, now while they are not necessarily wrong, they are not really sure of why their grip gives in. They think it’s because the grip is weak when more often than not it’s actually their upper back that is weak and as a result the brain says “Wait… we have a weak upper back… we can’t really lift this I don’t think. Better loosen the grip to prevent the stronger muscles lifting it and safe myself from injury.”.

The single arm row, or the Kroc Row is a great way of building an impressive upper back and as a result increasing your overall deadlift because your brain will now allow your to grip harder than before.

Use those three tips to improve your deadlift and start breaking your old PB’s.

Bonus Tip – Front Squat Crossover

Deadlifts can be very taxing to the body. Even reduced weight speed reps can take their toll. The front squat is a great exercise not only for building legs but also upper back strength and postural strength (through the upper thoracic). This is a must do accessory movement to your deadlift. The front squat also has a lot of crossover to your back squat and even your pressing movements as it teaches you to stay tight and breath in to your diaphragm properly.

Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health