Monthly Archives: March 2017

5 Step Starting Process

Calories in,
Calories out,
That’s what Fat Loss is all about.
 
^^ Essentially this is how you lose fat or gain it.
 
There are plenty of ways you can approach nutrition, however experience has shown that the simpler you keep it the more chance for success you will have.
 
If you follow these 5 steps you’ll be off to a great start.
 
1 – Buy a diary to track what you eat daily
2 – Write down everything you eat/drink
3 – Honestly assess the amount/quality of what you consume
4 – Pick one element to start changing – EG: smaller portions
5 – Stick with this change for 3 weeks then add the next change
 
Chaining your nutritional habits requires a commitment and most importantly a lifestyle change. If you break this down in to small manageable chunks you’ll find they are easier to stick with.
 
Can you ever go back to the nutrition you had?
 
Yes you can, you will also find your health/body back in the same place it was as too, keep that in mind.
 
Enjoy,
Ross
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6.30am, why it’s the perfect time to train for average people.

Morning All,
 
If you say to some people that you’re planning on training at 6.30am they will call you mad, others will call you a champion.
 
Training early in the morning is better from a hormonal stand point and also in regards to your circadian rhythm – bead at 10pm up at 6am, however that is not the biggest reason it is the best time to train (unless you start work at that time, that is).
 
The reason 6.30am is the best training time is simple; it requires a commitment and a lifestyle change. Those willing to get up early and train if they don’t have to are the ones whoa re more likely to stick to a good nutrition protocol and actually achieve results.
 
You might say you’re too tired, don’t have the energy in the AM or any other such excuse, that will change the more you get in to the early morning training, at which point your excuses will be nothing more than distant memories.
 
You’ll often find the people that achieve the best results are the ones who train at this time in the morning.
 
Time to make a change, get up and train at 6.30am.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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A little bit about the split.

Morning All,
 
A lot of people use the term ‘split training’ but it doesn’t mean hat they think it means, or at least in the context of the way they set up their training. Obviously plenty of you know how splits are meant to be applied, however some don’t so it makes it a god topic of conversation.
 
Did you know that optimally you’ll hit each muscle group or movement every 3-5 days (so 2-3x per week).
 
 
 
^^ Some reading on the topic.
 
For example, if someone says to me that they’re doing a 5 day split, my mind will come up with one of these options, logical:
 
Day 1 – Chest/Back
Day 2 – Legs/Abs
Day 3 – Off
Day 4 – Shoulders/Back
Day 5 – Off
Day 6 – Repeat day 1 to start 5 day split again.
 
Or perhaps
 
Day 1 – Chest/Back
Day 2 – Legs – Quad focus
Day 3 – Shoulders/back
Day 4 – Legs – Hamstring Focus
Day 5 – Off
Day 6 – Repeat day 1 to start 5 day split again.
 
Here is what most people mean:
 
Day 1 – Chest
Day 2 – Back
Day 3 – Legs, maybe
Day 4 – Shoulders
Day 5 – Arms
Day 6 – Off
Day 7 – Off
Repeat bro split, for additional results starting sipping at the tren bottle, it’s the flavour of the month.
 
As you can see what they actually do is a 7day split, as the routine repeat every 7 days, where as the 5 day split examples above repeat every 5, thus allowing for more frequency of training, the whole idea of splits.
 
You also find Upper/Lower Splits also run over a typical 7day split, they usually look like this:
 
Day 1 – Upper
Day 2 – Lower
Day 3 – Off
Day 4 – Upper
Day 5 – Lower
Day 6 – Off
Day 7 – Off
 
Or
 
Day 1 – Upper
Day 2 – Lower
Day 3 – Off
Day 4 – Upper
Day 5 – Off
Day 6 – Lower
Day 7 – Off
 
Make sense?
 
You have a lot of different training splits ranging from Full Body to Pull-Push-Legs, Push-Pull- Events or just a simple Push-Pull and so on. Them main take home from this this post is what the premise behind a ‘split’ actually is in terms of increasing the frequency of your lifts.
 
What is your current split?
 
Is it 3 day, 4 day, 5 day or 7 day?
 
Take a look and make sure it’s optimal for your goal.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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A simple way to size.

Morning All,

Gaming mass can seem tricky, however if you eat sufficient amounts (multiply your LBM by 17-19 for a calorie range) and get in enough volume and add weight where possible, then you should make progress over time.

This simple, tried and tested method will get you the extra muscle you desire.

The workout:

Main Lift: Ramp to a heavy 2, 3 or 5RM for the day
Main Lift: 10×10 at 60% 1RM
Accessory Lift: 3×8-12
Accessory Lift: 3×8-12

Done

If you were looking at how this might translate to a workout based on a 4 day split of Legs-Push-Pull-Off, here is an example.

*Example 1RMs of 100kg

Legs:
A1 – Squat Ramp to 2, 3 or 5RM
B1 – Squat 10x10x60kg
C1 – RDL 3×8-12
C2 – Hamstring Curl 3×8-12

Push:
A1 – Press Ramp to 2, 3 or 5RM
B1 – Press 10x10x60kg
C1 – Close Grip Bench 3×8-12
C2 – Dips 3×8-12

Pull:
A1 – Deadlift Ramp to 2, 3 or 5RM*
B1 – Bent Over Row 10x10x60kg
C1 – Chin Up 3×8-12
C2 – Face Pull 3×8-12

*Deadlift is the only lift where you don’t do it as the 10×10 due to it would be hard, the use of bent over row is a good alternative.

You might not hit the 10×10 straight away, fear not because that means you’ve picked the right weight, work until you hit 10×10, then take a deload week (just doing the ramp and accessory lifts), after this do either another block of 10×10 with more weight or 10×6 with 75% 1RM and feel the progress. You can then alternate between the two.

Enjoy,
Ross

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Two ways to look after your mental health.

Physical healths popularity and importance has taken a sharp rise over the years. A lot of people are now more aware of how staying strong and conditioned is important for longevity, however there is a lag with the importance of mental health.

Keeping a strong mind is just as important as keeping a strong body, potentially more important because the body can’t live without the mind.

Let’s look at two simple ways you can immediately improve your mental strength.

1 – Learn to meditate.

You might picture a zen master sat in the arch of his pagoda, or perhaps sitting under the crashing waters of a waterfall but worry not, you don’t need to go to those extremes. Simply set aside 2-3 5-10min blocks of time each day to meditate.

People think meditation is the art of purging thought when intact it’s not, it’s about being able to see all your thoughts, slow them down, purge the negative ones and achieve a calm amongst the storm that is your mind. You won’t ever be absent of thought, merely more aware of them, or at least that’s the first steps.

As a mental image think of it like this; see each though as a car driving past, then try to slow them down to see the brand of car, then the people in the car, what they’re wearing and so on. This will help you calm your mind and learn focus. You might even find a thought you never knew you had and have an epiphany.

2 – Take a walk and surround yourself by nature.

Yep, nature. Trees, rivers, foliage, animals, the works. Getting away from the modern concrete jungles and stepping in to a place removed from it all will help you relief see undated stress. Try and have at least one walk like this every day.

Both of the above will help you reduce stress levels (lowering cortisol), this will not only help you mental health but also your physical health as well.

Enjoy,
Ross

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5 Reasons you’re getting in your own way.

Morning All,
 
When it comes to progress in any aspect of life, you’ll often find that people in general do quite well when it comes to stopping their own progress long before legitimate barriers/problems appear.
 
Here are 5 of the most common ways you’re getting the the way of your own success.
 
1 – You’re failing to plan/set goals.
 
2 – You confuse being busy with being productive.
 
3 – You don’t ask for help when you need it.
 
4 – You’re easily distracted because you like to procrastinate.
 
5 – You’re scared of failing so you never really start.
 
Now a for 5 ways to over come these.
 
1 – Write down your goals and share them with people you trust to help keep you accountable.
 
2 – Don’t waste time, set up a list of things to do, then a timer for 33min and hammer out what you NEED to be doing first not he list, then take a 10min break and move on to the next thing. Learn to focus and stay sharp.
 
3 – Don’t let pride/ego get in the way, ask for help.
 
4 – Turn off your phone or leave it in another room, block Facebook and other distracting social media from your computer. Essentially remove your distractions.
 
5 – Accept there is a 98% chance you will fail at something, then take the feedback from this lesson and keep moving forwards, always forwards.
 
Success is never easy, it takes hard graft and you have got what it takes to do it, now get out of your own way and start moving forwards.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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How to overcome a barrier in 3 easy steps.

Morning All,
 
You’ll find that there is always something that gets in the way or progress, it’s just an inevitable part of life.
 
How you deal with the obstacles in your way will largely depend on the approach you take. If it’s one of panic and ‘Woe is me, all is for naught’ then you might struggle, however if you follow these simple steps you’ll find what is in your way is dealt with swiftly and easily.
 
You’ll need a pen and paper.
 
1 – Write down the barrier
 
2 – Write down what behaviours you need to rectify this situation
 
3 – Apply the behaviours
 
You will often find plenty of people know what to do, but very few do what they know. The secret is in the last part, applying the correct behaviours.
 
Let’s look at a quick example, we’ll use working out in the gym and restricted time:
 
1 – Work needs to work until 8pm in stead of finishing at 5pm from now on. Thus disrupting your 5.30pm daily workout
 
2 – Get to the gym in the Am. Go at 8.30pm. Buy some Equipment for home. There might be other behaviours you can apply, use your brilliant mind to think of them.
 
3 – Pick one of the above.
 
Simple, right?
 
Often times you’ll find you have the answers you seek, if you don’t then ask for someones help.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Is this really the most important meal of the day?

Breakfast.
 
Is it really as important as you’ve been lead to believe?
 
Yes & no.
 
When it comes to you first meal of the day you will do well to think of it as setting up your mindset because typically if you have a quick and convenient meal to start you off, you will follow suit for the rest of the day.
 
What does that mean?
 
When people typically grab something quick and easy because they ‘don’t have much time in the morning’ meaning it’s often filled with empty calories, lots of sugar and potentially not the best choice to help them achieve a goal such as fat loss for example. Essentially they’re just being lazy and not making an effort. 
 
Once you start on this path you tend to stick wth it for the day because of the weak mindset of “Well I’ve started this way so I will have today as a cheat day”, this then turns in to a cheat week, then a cheat life and before you know it you’re 100lbs overweight and depressed.
 
Might sound harsh but it happens.
 
Try starting you day off with wholesome food, perhaps eggs, spinach and some salmon for example. 
 
The take home massage is to breakfast is important because it will set the standard for the day, be sure to set it high. See it as a chance to make a behaviour change by getting up earlier and making a decent meal, you’re an adult after all which means you’re in charge of looking after yourself and your own health.  
Your results are largely determined on your overall behaviour, make the change you need, starting with breakfast.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Towards or Away?

What do you see when you look in the mirror?
 
Have you achieved what you desired or is it sorely lacking?
 
Being what we are, typically we’re prone to burst of motivation that burn brightly but fade within the blink of an eye. The hard part is understanding that motivation itself is merely an illusion, confused?
Let’s look at what motivation really is.
 
What people think motivation is: Being inspired to do something to better yourself and receive a reward.
 
What motivation actually is: Keeping you out of trouble and getting away from painful situations.
 
Quite bleak when you look at it and while not true for everyone, it applies to the larger majority. This is why motivation, or at least motivation towards something doesn’t last as long as you’d hope and is easily deterred the second hardship is found or times get tough.
 
As a people we want to do what what it easiest, it’s in our nature, there are very few people who actively seek a tough pursuit for the single purpose of enjoyment, they usually do it because they have no other choice.
 
Does this mean you should give up? Of course not, what it does mean however is to educate yourself and look at all the pieces of the puzzle and ask yourself this question (based on your past experiences).
 
– When you succeed at X, what was the reason you stayed focused and did it involve moving towards pleasure or any from pain?
 
Th key is to understanding, if the perceived pain is greater than that which we would meet staying in our current situation, chains are we won’t really work that hard to achieve the goal. As silly as it might sound, give it some thought.
 
Okay, so how do you stay motivated?
 
That’s easy, you have two options:
 
1 – Find things that will cause pain and move away form them.
 
2 – Change your mindset and learn to focus on the bigger picture and place perceived pain in to the right context. Remember it’s only perceived pain, it might not be as bad as you think it will be, so don’t give up at the first hurdle.
 
If you would like more information on this thought process, take a look at ‘Awaken the Giant Within’ by Tony Robbins.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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The best workout you’ll never do

Morning All,

There are endless workout options on the interwebs, this one is just one of many however it will give you a nice balance between lifting heavy, getting in your volume and easy planning.

Ideally you will work it as a 3 on 1 off rotation, this is because it makes it easier to track.

You will be using the Heavy-Light-Medium System which gives you a max effort day, a high volume day for pump/restoration and then a moderate volume day with a decent weight.

Here are the rep ranges you’ll be hitting per workout:

  • Heavy – 25 reps at 85%+ of 1RM
  • Light – 100 reps at 60% of 1RM
  • Medium – 50 reps at 70-80% of 1RM

Those are the rep goals you will go for on your main/accessory lifts, you can hit them with what ever rep/set parameters you choose (more on this later) – deadlift is a bit different due to it’s taxing nature at the suggested loads above, the guide is as follows:

  • Heavy DL – 6 reps
  • Light DL – 24 reps
  • Medium DL – 12 reps

You will break the workouts in to  A Pull-Push-Legs Split and hit 3 movements per workout, you’ll see why only three shortly.

The rotation of the 3-1 is where you change the rep scheme for the day, here is how it looks based on days:

  1. Deadlift – Heavy
  2. Press – Light
  3. Squat – Medium
  4. Off
  5. Deadlift – Light
  6. Press – Medium
  7. Squat – Heavy
  8. Off
  9. Deadlift – Medium
  10. Press – Heavy
  11. Squat – Light
  12. Off
  13. Cycle repeats at least once more before potentially changing exercises

As shown this is a 12 day cycle, so you will go through all the rep ranges for each lift within two weeks. If we take DL as the example, the first heavy day might be 200x6x1 and then 12 days later you would add some weight (any amount is good, from a fractional plate to a pair of 2.5kgs, just add some weight) it would be 205x6x1 and so on. The aim is to add a little bit of weight where ever you can.

If we look at the rep goals it begs the question, is that for one lift or all of them?

The answer is all of them for that day. So if you’ve got a 100 rep target that’s what you do on each lift, same goes for 25 and 50 reps – with the deadlift itself being less while it’s accessory movements follow the prescribed rep goal.

Here is how the workouts might look as an example based on the first three days listed above (keep the same movements for at least 2 cycles – 4 weeks – then you can change if you feel the need):

Pull Day: Heavy 25rep goal (6 on DL)

  • Deadlift: 6x1x95%
  • Bent Over Row: 5x5x85%
  • Supinated Chin: 8x3x90%

Push Day: Light 100rep goal

  • Close Grip Bench: 10x10x60%
  • Overhead DB Press: 10x10x60%
  • Dips: 5x20x60%

Leg Day: Medium 50rep goal

  • Squat: 10x5x80%
  • RDL: 10x5x75%
  • Hamstring Curl: 5x10x70%

Get the idea?

All you need do is change the rep goal of the day and hey-presto, you have something easy to follow. Obviously you don’t need to use the example exercises or rep/set schemes above they’re just examples.

The main take away is the concept. Give it a go for 3 months and watch the progress happen.

Enjoy,

Ross

 

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