Monthly Archives: November 2017

Same yet Different, Part 3

You’ve been given movement patterns and correlated lifts.

Potential rep goals with varied rep ranges/protocols.

Today it’s time for the third piece of the puzzle that is –

Same yet different.

Morning All,

If you’ve been taking the time to write down each element as requested to, you should find that things are starting to form what some call a ‘matrix’ where you can select from and create multiple variations of this lifting philosophy.

The third and final part, it’s easy yet hard.

You must listen to your body and be honest with yourself.

The matrix you’ve now cerated will provide all the potential variation you need.

Unfortunately the tricky part will be consistency and allowing yourself to enjoy the training.

This is one common flaw I see in a lot of programs.

People just don’t like them.

Many will assume that doing the latest fad, or copying someone else will work just as well for them, and sometimes it does until it doesn’t.

Making progress isn’t easy.

It’s even harder if you loath your training.

The premise behind ‘same yet different’ is simply to let you know that there’s options and if you don’t enjoy something you can change it if you truly feel you need to.

Nothing is set it stone, even Caliburn.

You might think that everything you’ve read so far just doesn’t gel with you and that’s great if you do.

Just be honest with yourself, your goal and your training.

Of course if you give the above a fair chance you’ll find it works rather well and gives you plenty of opportunity to progress.

The choice is yours.


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Same yet Different, Part 2

Morning All,
We started looking at a little lifting philosophy a couple of days ago.
Same yet Different
Remember that this isn’t just a throwaway thought process, it’s one that will require some attention, however once you know it all you can choose to apply it or not.
If you take the time to truly grasp the philosophy you’ll see that you can use this for the rest of your lifting career and make some great progress form it, just be sure to take in each part and write each part down as described.
We looked at picking exercises, now it’s time for rep ranges.
This is a lot simpler than people think.
The purpose will be to allow the use of heavy-medium-light days, to this effect you have a the option of letting the reps dictate the weight.
The suggested rep goals are as follows:
H – 15-25
M – 25-50
L – 50-75
^^ You can pick your own rep ranges, I suggest toys write down three, like the example above.
This is per movement, meaning if you may have something like this for each rep goal day:
H –
A1 – Deadlift 3-2-1×3
B1 – Weighted Chin Up 4×6
B2 – Supinated Grip Row 4×6
C1 – Barbell Curl 3×8
M –
A1 – Snatch Grip DL 5×5
B1 – Single Arm Dumbbell Row 5×10
B2 – Straight Arm Pull Down 5×10
C1 – Dumbbell Curl 4×12
L –
A1 – Box DL 10×5
B1 – Cable Row 8×8
B2 – Reverse Fly 8×8-10
C1 – Cable Curls 5×10-12
You an see this is al with straight sets or super sets, not drop sets of other training methods which can be added in to make things more interesting.
Alos let the reps dictate the weight used –  you’ll need to keep a training log.
The rep goal will keep you from going too heavy, while for example your 8RM might be quite high, to be able to do it for 8×8, it will need to be closer to your 10-12rm to make sure you hit each set with solid form.
You can apply this to each workout individually, meaning you can stick with the same movements and vary the rep ranges each session, or change the lifts and keep the reps the same.
It fits nicely with the flow of ‘same yet different’.
It may look like this:
Movement sessions (we’ll say you have 3 for each) 1-2-3-1a-2a-3a-1b-2b-3b
Session 1 – rep goal 15-25
Session 2 – rep goal 15-25
Session 3 – rep goal 15-25
Session 1 – rep goal 25-50
Session 2 – rep goal 25-50
Session 3 – rep goal 25-50
Session 1 – rep goal 50-75
Session 2 – rep goal 50-75
Session 3 – rep goal 50-75
Session 1a – rep goal 15-25
Session 2a – rep goal 15-25
Session 3a – rep goal 15-25
Session 1 – rep goal 15-25
Session 2 – rep goal 15-25
Session 3 – rep goal 15-25
Session 1a – rep goal 15-25
Session 2a – rep goal 15-25
Session 3a – rep goal 15-25
Session 1 – rep goal 15-25
Session 2 – rep goal 25-50
Session 3 – rep goal 50-75
Session 1 – rep goal 50-75
Session 2 – rep goal 15-25
Session 3 – rep goal 25-50
Session 1 – rep goal 25-50
Session 2 – rep goal 50-75
Session 3 – rep goal 15-25
You can see all the possibilities.
Once you have your ranges, you can write then next to the movements you did from last time and start to build a structure from day to day based on the above.
It will take time, however it will be worth it.
This philosophy will take some careful thought, however once you’ve gotten all the parts and written out your matrix you’ll see it all fits together.

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Same yet Different, Part 1

We like to do more & all, however it’s not always best to struggle & crawl.
Morning all,
There are so many training options, we’ve spoken about several and shared them on here, however I’d like to give you something.
Something a little more akin to a concept or a philosophy.
It’s based on the basics, the tried and tested principles.
I’ve used it, my clients have used it.
Now I want to give it to you, use it or not, I do not care it’s just a simple share.
It will come in several parts.
When you put them all together you” understand the concept and philosophy of ‘Same yet Different’.
Here is the first :
Same yet Different – Movement Patterns
First you want a list of movements:
– Push
– Pull
– Hinge
– Squat
– Locomotion
Now start off by picking 3 main movements for each category, I will give you an example:
– Press, Incline Press, Close Grip Bench
– Pull Up, Row, High Pull
– Deadlift, Power Clean/Snatch, Kettlebell Swing
– Front Squat, Squat, Zecher Squat
– Farmers Walk, Sand Bag Carry, Waiter Walk
From here you will also want 1-2 accessory movements for each category (meaning an extra 3-6 exercises per movement pattern).
The idea is that you now have a pool of exercises to pick from and rotate through to help you achieve constant progression by utilising the main principle of this philosophy by keeping this ‘the same, yet different’.
Let’s continue on the first part.
Once this is done you can organise your training sessions, here is an option or several:
– Full Body
– Upper Day, Lower Day
– Pull Day, Push Day, Leg day
– Anterior Day, Posterior Day
– Strength Day, Power Day, Accessory Day
I will expand on one of them:
Pull Day –
A1 – Deadlift
B1 – Chin Up
B2 – Farmers Walk
C1 – Curls
Push Day –
A1 – Barbell Press
A2 – Dumbbell Press
A3 – Handstand Press or Handstand Hold
B1 – Dips
Leg Day –
A1 – Front Squat
B1 – Lunge
B2 – RDL
C1 – Calf Raise
How might one of these be adapted once a plateau has been hit?
How can it be ‘same yet different’?
Like this:
Pull Day –
A1 – Power Clean
B1 – Pull Up
B2 – Waiter Walk
C1 – Hammer Curl
Similar movements, yet not exactly the same.
Now you’ve got this first part you’ll do well to go and put it in to practice.
– 5 movement patterns
– 3 main lifts per movement pattern (minimum)
– 1-2 accessory lifts per movement pattern
– Pick a training split (full body, upper/lower etc)
Part two coming soon.

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I’ve said it before, I will say it again, and again and again, until someone listens.

Realistic Reps.
A set of classic recommendations by Dan John.
– The Rule of 10
– Half Body 15-25
– Explosive Full Body 100+
If you need further information on these look up the book
Or this quick video to wet your appetite:
You can also find some little gems that also adhere to similar principles by downloading and reading this document:
The world of lifting isn’t a complicated one, not for those of use that still have so much more to eek out of conventional training (5×5, compound lifts etc).
Many don’t need the following:
– Ultra focused isolation work
– Fancy body part split routines
– Multiple intensity techniques
– Anything other than the basics
A lot of people would burn me at the steak for such heresy.
However that doesn’t change the fact that a lot of people are weak and as such have no real necessity for advanced training methods.
In life people will always speak about and advocate mastering the basics before ever even thinking about moving on, yet when it comes to the gym this thought process flies out of the window because ‘everyone a special snowflake’ and needs individualisation.
Not quite.
We need the basics and a mastery of them.
Give the above a look in to, I promise you that it won’t disappoint.

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Not your normal week

If you’re not bound by the standard working week, work in 5 day blocks.
Most people fit their training around their life, which is totally cool, however if you have the luxury or not being bound by such then you’d do well to follow this advice.
Or you can take the initiative and make this work :).
Working in 5 day blocks will increase your rate of progress.
Exponentially so.
Out of those 5 days you will want to train 3 of them.
You could go for a simple Pull-Push-Legs or a 2 body part per workout split, well you can do what you choose really.
When you train 3 out of 5 days it gives you the following:
– Increased frequency (hits each muscle every 3-5 days)
– Better recovery
– More variety
– Faster progression
– Improved adherence
Here is who it might look:
Day 1 – Pull Day
Day 2 – Push Day
Day 3 – Off
Day 4 – Legs Day
Day 5 – Off
Alternatively you might enjoy something along these lines:
Day 1 – Chest & Back
Day 2 – Legs
Day 3 – Off
Day 4 – Shoulders & Back (Deadlift on this day)
Day 5 – Off
There are a lot of variations and options.
To get the most out of these I would follow one of the following two loading parameters –
– Accumulation & Intensification
– Heavy (Intensity), Light (Recovery), Medium (Volume)
The former will work in the follow constituent:
20 days (4mini blocks) of Acc – 4x12x70%
20 days of Int – 4x6x80%
Acc – 5x10x72%
Int – 5x5x82%
Acc – 6x8x75%
Int – 6x4x85%
Acc – 8x6x77%
Int – 8x3x87%
Optional deload*
Acc – 2x12x70% – original weight
New block –
Acc – 4x12x72%
Int – 4x6x82%
And so on.
The other is similar yet different.
Heavy = 8×2
Light = 5×10
Medium = 6×4-6
You’d find the blocks may look like this:
D1 – H, D2 – L, D3 – Off, D4 – M, D5 – Off
D1 – L, D2 – M, D3 – Off, D4 – H, D5 – Off
D1 – M, D2 – H, D3 – Off, D4 – L, D5 – Off
Then you’re back to the start, so this is a 15day rotation.
The rep options can change depending on your goal, nothing is set in stone, just make sure you have a clear goal.
Again, just options for you if you’re lucky enough to not need to bow to the routine of the working week. .

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A complex situation.

We’ve discussed the benefits of complexes before.

Linking several exercises together without rest forces a great metabolic demand on the body, not to mention it ramps up the oxygen debt you get overall.

They are also useful for putting on slabs of muscle due to their amount of TUT that is required to complete them, think metabolic stress/mechanical tension hypertrophy triggers.

So if they are so great, why don’t people do them?

A great question, with a simple answer.

They’re horrible.

Soul crushingly horrible.

Take for example this humble barbell variation:

A1 – Squat
A2 – Push Press
A3 – Row
A4 – RDL
A5 – Shrug* Optional

– 6-8 reps of each movement
– 120-180 seconds rest after each round
– repeat 3-5 times

Or this one with dumbbells:

A1 – Renegade Row
A2 – Clean & Press
A3 – Squat
A4 – Lunge
A5 – Shrug* Optional

You see, horrid.

They will often leave you gasping for breath, burning from head to toe and wishing that wasn’t the first set.

If your training has become dull then an infusion of these can make all the difference.

You can plan full body complexes or focus them on specific movement patterns –

– Push
– Pull
– Hinge
– Squat
– Carries

A pushing one might look like this:

Double Kettlebell – 3-5 reps, 3-5 rounds.

A1 – Press
A2 – Push Press
A3 – Push Jerk
A4 – Waiter Walk
A5 – Farmers Walk* Optional

(if single kettlebell do all on one arm and replace farmers walk with turkish get up, then rest, then swap arms)

Simple, yet, horrid.

If your overall goal isn’t one of a pure aesthetic endeavour then I wouldn’t waste your time with too much isolation work, 1-2 movements per workout is enough for that.

Training, a complex situation indeed.


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The beauty of the ‘3-5’

Morning All,

Over the years I’ve encountered many a confused lifter.

Often all seeking the holy grail of programs.

You know the one, it is fun, constantly appealing to their ever changing whimsical attitude and allows them to live/eat the way they always have and get the results they desire.

Sadly like the real grail on the pure can attain this.

For the rest of us, the ‘3-5’ can and often is enough.

What is it?

Something adapted from years of old and is the brain child of experience, anecdotal, evidence and application.

All you need do is…

– Train 3-5 days per week
– 3-5 sets of 3-5 rep
– Using 3-5RM
– Resting 3-5min between
– Hitting 3-5 exercises each session
– With a body part frequency of every 3-5 days

Progression is very easy too, here is an example:

– Session 1 = 3x3x5RM
– Add 1 rep each session until you hit 3×5
– After this add 1 set and do 4×3
– Build to 4×5
– Repeat until you hit 5×5, then add weight to the bar and start over at 3×3

You can do this until 5×5 isn’t sustainable on that lift, then simply change the lift variation and begin again, simple.

You’ve also got the progression options of

– Reducing rest
– Adding a day (if you’re doing 3xPW, which is where you soul start)
– You can do 3 days on 1 day off and build up to 5 days on 1 day off (changing your training split).
– Changing the specificity of your training

The idea of ‘3-5’ is to show you just how easy training can be.

You could choose to do the 3×3 progression described above for a 3 lifts and have the other set at 5×5 for accessory work, there is so much variation and potential.

EG: 3×3 Prog = Front Squat, Push Press, Snatch Grip Deadlift

^^ Those might be in a Pull-Push-Legs rotation, meaning you’ve got 2-4 other lifts you can do on those days using 5×5 for accessory lift, if we took the DL day you might do the following:

DL – 3×3 prog
Chin Up 5×5
Barbell Curl 5×5

^^ The 5×5 can change session to session IF the deadlift is the main focus, be bold of the same exercises no more!

This is something so simple and effective that people will ignore it.

It is of course not the only training method in the world, there are literally thousands and they all work.

I could go on however I feel I may end up leaving some more confused, I apologise for my rambling.

If you’ve got any questions on this pop them below, I’d love to answer them.


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