Monthly Archives: August 2017

Three things you need to stop immediately.

If you do I can guarantee you will feel much better.
 
1 – Worrying about he number on the scales.
 
In fact throw them out, literally. They serve no purpose other than to keep you in a narrow mindset and hold you back, remember a low umber on the scale doesn’t mean happens or health (physically, mentally & emotionally) it can often mean the opposite, sadly.
 
2 – Stressing over what you think other people are thinking.
 
I have some news for you, you don’t know what is going through other peoples heads, no, really, you don’t, so stop stressing yourself out about it.
 
Chances are they’re not looking at you, it’s just something you’ve conditioned yourself in to thinking.
 
How do I know this? Talk about irony.
 
I used to do it and in fact I still do it from time to time, trust me, people are rarely thinking about what you think they’re thinking about.
 
3 – Changing for everyone else.
 
It’s human nature to want to please others, however it’s not something that should cause you internal strife.
 
A lot of people want to change, which is not necessarily a bad thing, however it’s the reasons they want to change that could be very questionable.
 
Changing for reasons other than your own is a sure way to failure because the changes may not be something you want.
 
Take for example fat loss. Good for health, potentially yes, good to do so that others accept you or you attract that certain special someone, no, 100% a terrible idea.
 
Social pressure is a massive influence on people these days and the more you try to fit in with the crowds externally, the worse you end up feeling internally, then you look back when you’re a little wiser and realise it wasn’t worth it.
 
Make changes for your own personal reasons and you’ll be far happier for it.
 
There you have it.
 
Three things to stop doing.
 
Will this happen immediately?
 
No, probably not, however the first step in changing a behaviour (if it’s what you want to do), it acknowledging it, then accepting it, once they are achieved you can start towards the pace you want to be in, physically, mentally and emotionally.
 
Enjoy,
Ross
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7 Things Coaches & Trainers won’t tell you.

– It is your fault and only you can change it

– 4 week ‘programs’ aren’t a real program, it’s just a series of simper workouts to keep your mind occupied and any results that come from it will only be significant if you’re a pure beginner.

– To see significant results you’ll need to invest in a minimum of 3-6months of personal training.

– Their social media is largely a lie geared towards selling you their product.

– You’ll never hear about the clients that didn’t get results and why it happened, here’s a hint (both parties are to blame, however the coach takes the majority of this one as it’s often down to poor communication/coaching from the coach).

– Your excuse, no matter how logical, is still an excuse.

– This is their lively hood and all the time you dick about, slack off in training, forego behaviour change and don’t do what you NEED to be doing, the worse it looks for their reputation.

After being in the industry for many a year now, I can say with a clear conscious that I no longer have time for people who don’t want to help themselves.

Sound harsh?

I really don’t care.

A lot of coaches/trainers will literally bend over backwards to help you, however if you’re not willing to help yourself then why should anyone else?

When someone newly qualifies in to the fitness industry they’re told to be motivational, inspirational, caring, empathetic and selfless, however this can often cause them personal strife and this shouldn’t be the case.

In your current job would you accept a member of staff who wasn’t pulling their weight?

No, you’d give them a reprimand and if it continued to happen you’d sack them.

You wouldn’t accept a poor attitude or behaviour, keeping this in mind, why should trainers/coaches be any different?

Nothing more than a rant today.

Enjoy,
Ross

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Recovery & Self-worth

“It’s not about how much you can do, it’s about how much you can do and still recover from.”
 
This may seem obvious, however a lot of people think they can do that little bit more to get the upper hand, and for a short time they might indeed achieve this, however if it is prolonged a great many will go past the point of which they are recovering and eventually burn out.
 
If you look at training you need to have planned phases of overreaching, this means dipping in to the bodies energy reserves and even having them below a homeostatic level for a period of time, then you back off and allow your body to recover, thus achieving super-compensation.
 
That means you train hard, get tired, push a bit more, rest/recover and come back stronger than before.
 
Pretty simple.
 
However….
 
A lot of people do this and then try to do more on top, this goes from overreaching to potential overtraining, or worse, they simply do more at a less intense level and never make any progress what so ever.
 
You can train hard or you can train long, not both.
 
The idea of training is to push past your limits, then back off and let your body recover so what used to be your old limit it now closer to your current norm.
 
Sadly the culture we live in leaves people wanting it all yesterday, not to mention they then become addicted to outdoing everyone else which can leave them frustrated.
 
Yep, frustrated.
 
How you or do you know anyone, who trains ‘hard’ all the time yet struggles to get results or progress and then becomes jealous of someone else who does half of what they do and gets better results, I’m sure you have.
 
When this happens all the excuses come out – “Oh, they have better genetics than I do.” or “It’s easy for them I have XYZ condition.”.
 
You get the idea.
 
What gives me the right to say this you ask?
 
I’ve been that person, I did too much and blamed everyone else for my lack of progress when it was all on my because I was doing too much, I was addicted to exercise and drove myself in to the ground because I thought I knew better and I didn’t, don’t be an idiot like me.
 
I have something to tell you.
 
Training doesn’t have to consume your life unless you’re a professional athlete.
 
If you work the 9-5, have kids and a life, you can look great training 3-4 times per week, in some or most cases 2-3 is more than enough, especially when combined with optimal (sensible) nutrition.
 
Mostly peoples mindset comes down to them trying to impress someone or impress others, why though?
 
Doe sit matter if you impress other people, seriously, does it matter to you that much? Really, does it?
 
There is a reason that the older people get the more you hear them say things such as “It doesn’t matter what people think.” – it’s true, it doesn’t, not really.
 
While we all have peers and people we want the approval of, seeking that validation shouldn’t rule our lives because its not healthy if it does.
 
It’s true that the praise of others is nice, it makes us feel good about ourselves, however there is something far more gratifying, self-worth. If you have that you’ll find you’re not only a lot happier but life is a lot easier.
 
Learn to be proud of yourself, if you always rely on others you will always be unhappy and wanting more, not to mention subject to their judgment and trying to keep everyone happy will drain you mentally, it’s not worth it.
 
Pick a select few who’s opinions are worth something and aim to gain self value, you’ll be much happier for it.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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50/50

50/50
 
A no nonsense approach to making gains, stripping fat, improving movement and getting strong.
 
Morning All,
 
I try to keep some training ideas popping up for you so that you have some options, as with most of the recommendations they’re simple and would do well to be done for 3month at a minimum.
 
So what is 50/50?
 
Well if you were born in the 90’s it was a game show, if not then perhaps you know it as nothing more than a statistic or BJJ set up.
 
If we look at applying this to a training program this is the result:
 
– Two exercises
– 50 reps each
– Done in as few sets as possible
– Rest as needed
 
Progression options are interesting, however here are my recommendations:
 
Strength – increase weight when you hit 50 reps in less than 6 sets – rep options 5-10
 
Hypertrophy – increase weight when you hit 50 reps in less than 4 sets – rep options 8-12
 
Fat loss – Increase weight when you can hit 50 reps in less than 2 sets – rep options 10+
 
Now these are not set in stone, they’re just a guide to give you something to go on, provided you’re nutrition is appropriate for your goal you can use which ever of the above you enjoy the most.
 
As with most recommendations you’ll do well to have mostly compound movements to cover the full body filling your workout roster, training anywhere from 2-5 days per week will do you.
 
For example, your training days might look like this:
 
Day 1 – Squats/ Rows
Day 2 – Presses/Loaded Carries (10-20m is one rep)
Day 3 – Trap Bar DL/Dips
Off
Day 4 – Pull Ups/Prowler (10-20m is one rep)
Day 5 – Squats/Curls – because curls (Y)
Off
 
I jest, the last day would be Squats/Dumbbell Clean & Press.
 
You get the idea, you can put in any movements you like, just cover the full body with a frequency of each muscle group or movement of twice per week.
 
Depending on the progression option you take and the reps you use, you’ll find you can make some rather large jumps in weight to the bar, perhaps 5kg for upper body lifts and 10kg for lower body ones. The choice is yours.
 
As mentioned above, you can pick the rep ranges you enjoy and go from there. If you like doing 5’s, great start there, once you are doing say 5×10 instead of the 10×5 you started with then add weight.
 
If you like 10’s then start off with 5×10 and perhaps work towards 2×25, or some other ludicrous amount of reps, just do what you enjoy rep/set wise and pick things that will help keep your adherence up, once you get through the initial place of creating the routine and consistency, the results will come and at that point you’ll start doing what you need to do more often.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Do what it is you do

Morning All,
 
Over the years I’ve spoken about rep goals, loading options, progression methods and much more.
 
The chances are that together we have gone through all the major points, you will also find that this simple page is one of a great many places where you can find information, it’s nothing special.
 
Keeping all of this in mind it’s time to take a look at something a great many people skirt around, stagnation.
 
In the beginning everyone gets results, then they slow down, shortly after this nothing seems to happen and it is at this point that people will slowly start to slip back in to old habits instead of potentially making the choice to have that little bit more focus.
 
Now, if you’ve reached a point you’re happy with then you really have no need to progress any further, honestly.
 
Once you go past the stage of beginner and end up in the realms of intermediate it’s not hard to maintain the place you’re in, however moving forwards might be, just remember that you’re under no obligation to do keep moving forwards.
 
Ask yourself this question:
 
What’s most important to me right now?
 
Be honest in your answer, you won’t be judged if it’s not fitness or aesthetically related, if anything I’d give you props because you’re making your own choice, rather than following the crowd of doing what you think others want you to do.
 
All in all you want to find what makes you happy, then continue to do what ever it is you’re doing that gives you that feeling, simple.
 
In a world where everyone, or at least most people are going to judged you regardless of what it is you do and give you THEIR opinion on how you should live your life, it’s important that you do what’s best for you.
 
As I’ve grown older it has become very apparent that being mentally stable and covent is what really matters because once you achieve that everything else falls in to place.
 
However that’s my opinion, it’s not fact, you can make up your own mind as to what’s important to you, it’s not my place of my interest to tell you what will make you happy.
 
So, ask yourself, what is most important to me right now?
 
Once you have the answer, focus on it.
 
Enjoy life while it’s here, you only get one after all.
 
Ross

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Something to strip fat, get fit and strong as well

Litvinov Sprints.
 
They’re horrible.
 
Well, they’re good, but they’re horrible too.
 
Sergey Litvinov was a hammer thrower, one of the best ever you could say and was renowned for his training and his ability to train on the nerve.
 
The training protocol of his namesake was a simple Front Squat & 400m Sprint pairing, now it sounds easy, however here is what he used to do it with:
 
Eight reps of front squats with 405 pounds, immediately followed by a 75-second 400-meter run. He repeated this little combination for a total of three times according to the history books.
 
Oh, he was also only a 196-pound man, who front squatted 405… eight times, you know, no big.
 
*Barry Ross would also do similar with his athletes, lots like great minds think alike.
 
He would do this with various other lifts but the run would typically stay the same. 400m is great for power output and improving VO2 Max.
 
Now the big take home from this little anaerobic concoction is that you want to have a large compound movement followed by ann all out sprint, repeated 3 times.
 
Easy on paper, yet it will yield untold benefits in terms of strength, power, conditioning and mental grit, trust me, after the first one you don’t want to do it again, however you must because that’s how champions are made, that’s how winning is done.
 
Here are some example of compound lifts you may use:
– Cleans
– Clean & Press
– Clean & Jerk
– Push Press
– Push Jerk
– Jerk
– Deadlift
– Front Squat
– Squat
– Overhead Squat
– Snatch
 
The do a 400m sprint, rest as needed and repeat 2 more times.
 
The sprint is best left as a running sprint for most people, you can change it to say a sled push/drag, however you’ll then start to move away from the classic Litvinov ethos and create something different.
 
Try it for a couple of months 2-3 times per week, you’ll welcome the results.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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5 Reasons people need a framework to succeed –

1 – Most don’t know what they need to do and as such need it clearly signposted

2 – It helps people feel less pressure, basically they can blame the structure for failure rather than themselves

3 – Things such as accountability and more responsibility become easier to administer

4 – Recorded data makes for a great confidence booster to show them how far they’ve come

5 – It teaches them how to achieve success on their own

Now there are those rare people who don’t need a framework to make their own success, if you’re one of them then we’ll see each other at the top. If that’s not you it’s not a problem, just ask for help and it will be yours.

Short & simple today.

Enjoy,
Ross

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What’s harder?

What’s harder, training or nutrition?
 
Now this is a common question and the answer for most is almost always the nutrition.
 
The funny thing is nutrition isn’t really that hard, you either need to be in a calorie surplus or deficit (depending on your goal), from there you will do well to keep a nutrition diary and record your foods, calories/macros too if you’re that focused.
 
Next you will do well to opt to eat mostly whole foods, however this is not a necessity although it is preferable for health and performance purposes.
 
This again isn’t hard, yet people will makes excuses, piss wings and moan that is it because of the following REAL reason; they don’t want to have to change bad habits.
 
Might sound harsh, however that doesn’t stop it being true.
 
Now as written above, you don’t HAVE to change the foods you eat, provided your calories/macros are set correctly and you hit them you can choose the foods sources, so the excuse of “Good nutrition is too restrictive and hard to stick to” gets thrown out of the window, now it’s just a case of you hitting the number you need to.
 
This is where tracking your calories etc becomes important, again though, you don’t have to, just don’t expect much in the way of progress if yo don’t know what you’re eating calorie wise.
 
Some will chuck in the barrier or “Well I don’t know who to work this out” which again is a redundant excuse considering all the calculators that are available to people, not to mention you can also speak to a respected of successful trainer/coach and have them do it for you.
 
My suggestion would be Eric Helms and his work, or look up the Harris-Benedict calorie calculation formula, boom no more barriers or confusion.
 
Everyone, I don’t mean to sound cynical or jaded, yet I am, this is because over the years I have developed less and less patience for people poor excuses and lack of drive to achieve a result.
 
You have two options really, you either want to make a change, in which case myself and many other people in this industry will bend over backwards to help you. OR, you don’t really want to change in which case we wish you all the best and we can end our conversations promptly.
 
Now as people who want to help we can give you all the tools, help you stay accountable, speak to you daily to make sure you have all the support you need, however if you don’t want to change no amount of help from us or anyone else will make you want to change, that decision has to come from you, from your heart.
 
The knowledge of knowing what will help you in getting results isn’t hard, it’s not the training or the nutrition that is hard, it’s making the conscious choice to change.
 
We, I want to help you, however the real question is do you want to help yourself?
 
Give it some thought.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Pushing your sets all the way

Working out is easy, it’s training that’s hard.
 
When it comes to the mental aspect of lifting weights we’d all like to think that we’re putting in the effort we require and while some certainly do, most don’t.
 
You can tell by the results people achieve.
 
Let’s take for example the classic 5×5, if you look back at its inception the idea was to either do 3-4 warm up sets where you start working towards a top set for the day, some would even do 2 top sets after 3 progressively heavier warm ups, this would actually be quite hard.
 
To push a set of say 5 for everything you had, with good form of course, is quite draining and very few people will ever really do it. Most will lift a weight for 5 that they could have really don for 7, maybe 8 if they’re honest.
 
This is one reason a lot of us don’t get the progress we really want.
 
I’m guilty of this that’s for sure.
 
Now this isn’t to say that people don’t ‘work hard’, rather it’s just pointing out that many haven’t quite grasped the concept of really pushing a set to it’s limit. if they did they’d find training say 3 days per week is more than enough to make progress, rather than their standard 6 with back to back classes and AM/PM runs.
 
Good old fashioned honest hard graft isn’t pleasant, it’s tough, however it’s what produces results, especially when combined with solid nutrition and plenty of recovery.
 
Try doing 5×5 and having 3-4 of those sets being warm ups, then really go all out on the last set, you should feel sufficiently worked, you may have one more set of 5 at that weight, if you do then go for it, however if you get it right that one hard set of 5 will be enough.
 
The loading might look like this:
 
5x60kg
5x100kg
5x140kg
5x180kg
5x200kg
 
Done, move on to the next exercise and repeat the same process.
 
Just something to think about.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Memories

Having measurable data is a great way to assess your progress, so why don’t you have any?
 
Fitness testing, body measurements, lifting records are all great ways to see how you are improving and also what you may need to be doing in order to continue to make headway if it is starting to slow down.
 
There are a lot of people who claim they never need to record things, they just remember it all and while they may indeed remember the highlights it’s very hard to keep everything in your head.
 
Typically once we get past a certain point we might as well be exposed to white noise.
 
According to a lot of research in to the field of memory, the average person can retain 7 pieces, plus or minus 2, given you a top limit of 9 and a lower one of 5; obviously there will be exceptions that can remember more just as there will be people who remember far less, it’s just a part of being on the bellcurve.
 
Writing things down and recording the specifics will take the pressure ands stress away from you having to remember each detail. Don’t get me wrong, having good ball park memory is great, however that won’t help you highlight weak areas that need work, specifically.
 
Personally I’m a big fan of making notes and writing things down, not matter who big or small it is, there’s a record. This little habit has saved many a hassle when it comes to wiring future goals for myself or clients, not to mention it give an honest overview of how everything has proceeded, no hiding behind white lies to protect the ego.
 
This is nothing more than simper advice for you, there’s no need for you to take it, honestly, there isn’t.
 
Before we finish I just want to ask you two questions;
 
1 – What sets and reps were you hitting on this day 3 years ago and how do they compete to now?
 
2 – What was your VO2 Max on the date of 22-6-13 and how has it improved?
 
I’m sure you can answer those from memory 🙂 for me.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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