Monthly Archives: July 2018
“Everyone is different, what works for you might not work for me.”
I’m getting so sick of hearing that, honestly, it’s maddening because it is being used as an excuse for people to flounder about in regards to their training & nutrition.
While life is indeed not so black and white as we might like it, the large majority of things that work will work for the large majority of people, that’s fact and those who bring up the above sentence are among those who will potentially live a life forever being unfulfilled in regards to ‘becoming the best version of me’ as many chime, another piece of modern bullshit to protect peoples poor life choices and habits.
If you’re reading this and thinking to yourself that this seems to be the words of a tired and bitter trainer, you’d be right.
Once you’ve spent a great many years trying to help people and they still insist that they’re the unique exception you just don’t have time for it because like many before them they want to be given the right to fail and that it’s okay to do so. Which of course it is.
One reason people hit a goal and revert is simply because they lack the desire to be anything more than they are, not because they’re happy though, it’s because they are indifferent and that to people of my ilk is a meaningless place to be in.
I’m sure you’ve got that one friend or family member who always talks about moving forwards, then never does, they repeat the same drivel at every encounter, just take a second to think of that person, now take their attitude and imagine having to deal with that everyday because that is largely what the fitness industry has become.
You may be thinking that we need more empathy, and I’d agree, however there is another element needed, responsibility of the self. No one can do what you need to do for you except you, so why won’ you do it? What are you so afraid of?
It is the lack of taking charge that will have people fester in their current life situation because at least they know what to expect in terms of judgement from others and they can prepare themselves for it where as to move to a different place, perhaps a better place, the unknown is too much for them.
As someone who works with a lot of people there is one underlying curiosity that very few ever answer; admitting why they feel the way they do to help one understand them.
Without this key bit of information it’s like trying to put a jigsaw together with a blindfold on, not impossible just very difficult and time consuming.
What reasons keep you in the place you are, do you know them?
Take some time to think about this and write down your answer, you don’t need to share it with anyone because your problems are your own and no one will feel as you do about them, however one way or another to move forwards you’re going to have to face your demons surrounding fitness, lifestyle change and decide a plan of action. That plan of action might be the same as what other people have done in the past, if so just run with it, give it time to work before you start playing the ‘unique individual’ card.
Do you linger in the gym longer than you perhaps should?
How much time do you waste faffing about in the gym?
What ever the answers here are two little gems to help you focus, improve your productivity and perhaps start making progress once again.
1 – Set up a timer for 20-45min, start it the second you step foot in the gym and you will leave once it hits zero.
2 – Pick one or two lifts, sets/reps/load are at your discretion.
Try these pairs:
– Not 100% set in stone, manipulate the pairs with each other as you see fit.
Working to a time limit in a super set fashion will keep you from dillydallying and might even shift your gears enough to get you closer to your goals.
This is highly focused on the principle of escalating density in your training so get in, get focused and get results.
1 – Keep a food diary (write down everything that passes your lips, EVERYTHING).
This will give you some perspective and control over your self, if you’re willing to accept responsibility.
2 – Walk 30 minutes every day
Its good for the mind and the soul.
3 – Read more real books, you know of the paper variety
Spending less time in front of a screen has been said to help reduce stress, anxiety and other such modern day issues.
Ironic you jus tread that one via an online blog.
4 – Buy a Kettlebell(s)
Some people don’t like the gym, this little piece of kit is known for being a ‘gym in the palm of your hand’. Doing 20-45min a day of things such as Swings, Get Ups, Snatches, Presses, Carries, Loaded Stretches, Mobility or movement patterns. These will not only help change your body, it will help your mind as well.
5 – Ensure most, if not all of your meals are meat & veg
You’d be surprised what eating ‘whole foods’ will do for your health and your waistline.
6 – Each year aim to learn a new skill, or invest a good chunk of time in to mastering one
Perhaps you always wanted to learn a language, or how to paint, maybe it was knitting related, whatever it was set aside perhaps one or two hours or so a week to learning and acquiring this.
It’s not selfish to want time for yourself.
In the long run you’ll lead a much fuller life if you devote some time to adding strings to your body, not to mention it can are a great way to relieve stress.
Do you have any idea how to progress your training across the variables?
It’s quite easy really, as such here is an example for each that can be used for several weeks or months if you have the courage to stay the course.
Ladders, one of my favourites.
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 or 2,3,5,10, or 1,2,3,4,5
There are a lot of choices, for adding extra volume in the form of reps, the most effective being 1-10, and you will only add weight once you can go 1-10 unbroken.
Example (works best as a super set):
A1 – Pull Up
A2 – Close Grip Bench Press
Let us say that you’re a creature of habit who likes doing the same sets and reps, this is cool however progressing can be a tad tricky, therefor this is the solution:
Small 0.25kg (or lighter) plates, all you need do is hit your desired reps then add another 0.25kg and aim to do the same next time.
Personally I’ve found that doing 3-5×3-5 works well as it gives you some room to adapt to the gradual increases. Once you hit 5×5 with good form, adding another fraction plate is easy, it might may you only be able to do 3×3, that’s okay keep grinding until it’s 5×5 and progress from there.
Perhaps you’re already one strong hombre and adding weight or reps is becoming tricky, fear not, you have two options to progress.
1 – Set a time limit to hit your rep goal.
Example; 50 reps in 15min with 140kg in the squat.
Once you hit it you add weight.
2 – Reduce your rest periods.
Say you’ve started with 5min rest, knock off 15 seconds at the next session, if you hit all your reps then knock off another 15 next time, repeat this until you are perhaps at 3min rest, or lower, that is up to you.
Once you hit your desired point of ‘low rest’ add weight and take the rest back up to 5min per set and so on.
The easiest to manipulate, al you do is add an extra bout of reps or an extra session.
Say you train your squat once per week, bump it up to twice, if you already do two squat sessions do three, you can spread the reps out and build them up from there, example:
1 squat session a week = 5×10
2 squat session = 3×10 per session (10 more total reps)
Adding weight or reps can be applied from the other example above.
The little tips of today are very basic, there is a lot more that can go in to this, however these will be enough to tweak your current training and perhaps get you over the plateau.
Personal Trainers, Strength Coaches, Fit Pros, Instagram Fitness Personalities.
All seem invincible, yet many are just like everyone else.
Each has their own insecurities, their own body confidence issues, their own unrealistic expectations of what they should achieve.
Essentially they are human to.
It’s easy to get caught in the hype and admiration of these people, yet just like many ‘average people’ they use filters, good lighting, posing, photo shop and any other tools at their disposal to keep up appearances.
In a world where we all claim to be a non-judgemental bunch, we’re very quick to hate, bring people down at the slightest slip and pounce instantly our peers don’t keep up appearances.
All of this serves as quite the lesson, well two in fact.
1 – Professionals are people too.
2- Because they are people it means that what they have achieved is also potentially achievable to you as well.
Just because someone is currently at the peak of the mountain while you look up it doesn’t mean you can’t get there as well, remember that.
The next time you see someone with a body you lust for, take a look at the life they lead, can you do similar?
If you can then those people you see as untouchable, with unattainable look suddenly doesn’t seem to far from he realms of reality.