Monthly Archives: August 2018

Another Arbitrary 5×5 Variation

No real science behind this, it’s just something that takes away all the guess work and allows some good old fashion guidance for those who need something to follow.

So, 5×5, in this variation it has 5 principle guidelines to follow.

  • 5 sets of 5 reps
  • 5min rest in-between each set
  • 5 days a week of lifting (your choice of days)
  • 5 lifts in total (one or two per day works well)
  • 5 x5 week blocks, take an easy week of 1×5 after the 5th week of each block

This is not fancy, nor suited to a bodybuilding goal. It is however good for people who want to bring up their base levels of strength and keep t things nice and simple.

Here is what a weeks worth of sessions might look like, meaning you will have a frequency of hitting each muscle group at least twice per week:

Day 1
W/U – Squats/Chins, 5 reps per set until working weight
A1 – Squat 5×5
A2 – Weighted Pull Up 5×5
C/D – Stretching and trigger point release work.

Day 2
W/U – Presses, 5 reps per set until working weight
A1 – Bench Press 5×5
C/D – Stretching and trigger point release work.

Day 3
W/U – Deadlift, 5 reps per set until working weight
A1 – Deadlift 5×5
C/D – Stretching and trigger point release work.

Day 4
W/U – Presses, 5 reps per set until working weight
A1 – Press 5×5
C/D – Stretching and trigger point release work.

Day 5
W/U – Squats/Chins, 5 reps per set until working weight
A1 – Squat 5×5
A2 – Weighted Pull Up 5×5
C/D – Stretching and trigger point release work.

You’d perform the above like this:

A1 – Rest 5min
A2 – Rest 5min
A1 – Rest 5min
A2 – Rest 5min
Until you’ve done all 5 sets of 5, or just rest 5min if you only have one movement, however on those days you may wish to do some postural work, gentle mobility drills and so on so that you maximise your time in the gym.

Why so much rest?

Well, you will want to apply sherrington’s law of irradiation (generation maximum tension throughout the body), along with the thought process of instead of an eccentric in terms of lowering the weight you are actively ‘pulling’ the weight back to the starting position.

Essentially with all the tension and focus on form your body and mind will need the 5min rest, or 10min if you’re utilising the A1-A2 suggestion.

As for progress you add weight when you can successfully hit all 5 sets of 5 with good form, once you milk a lift you can feel free to change it to another variation, just keep in mind the ones suggested above are just suggestions, so long as there is a Squat-Hinge-Push-Pull in the mix you’ll be fine, from a personal perspective I’d also say that having a full body lift such as a clean & jerk, along with a loaded carry such as a farmers walk are also nice to have in there.

I shall leave the movement choices in your capable hands

How majestically minimalistic, right?

If you just can’t follow the above and feel you need more, then the above isn’t for you as this is an exercise in fatiguing yourself, it’s one of patience and getting the most out of each training session.

Enjoy,
Ross

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Little Miss & Mr Stress

How stressed are you on a scale of 1-a large glass of wine please, and leave the bottle.
 
Morning All,
 
When it comes to stress it’s easy to get caught up in it, to find ourselves dragged out to sea by the tide of our own drama.
 
While stress will inevitably be there, how we react and deal with that stress is down to us, really, it is.
 
Take this for example.
 
You receive bad news, as such you can,
 
A – get angry and put your fist through a door, thus making yourself more stressed.
 
B – take a deep breath, walk away form it and come back to deal with it when you’ve calmed down.
 
In both instances the stressor hasn’t disappeared, it hasn’t changed, however what has changed is how YOU decided to react to it.
 
One piles more stress on top and doesn’t get you anywhere, the other gives you time to think and perhaps the thought capacity to find a solution and realise it’s not as bad as you initially thought.
 
The above (point A) is a real life example of an old client who had been training consistently and not made any progress on the scales, that was down t their poor eating habits by the way.
 
Their reaction did them no favours apart from stressing them out further, it took quite a while before they eventually calmed down enough (several days later) to have a logical conversation and start to address some lifestyle habits that were perhaps not the most conducive to success.
 
We did have to overcome the denial, and blatant diversion of responsibility first before they accepted their own fault in the lack of progress, however we got there in the end.
 
It is human nature to quickly justify their poor choices, habits or reactions, we all go through it at times and what separates those who move on from those who don’t is their ability to acknowledge a stressor for what it is and take control of it, instead of letting it take control of them.
 
Give the above some thought, perhaps even write down some times you’ve overreacted, knowledge your fault in it all, then let it go, move on and continue with your life.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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How to EMOM effectively

EMOM, perhaps you’ve heard of it?
 
Every minute on the minute you perform a select amount of exercises for a specified amount of reps.
 
It is a popular training method, which was actually developed in the S&C realm and meant to function as a weight based interval.
 
So for example utilising a 1-3, 1-2 or hard 1-1 work to rest ratio.
 
Typically a good EMOM will have about 15-20 seconds of solid work then 40-45seconds of rest (1-3 work to rest ratio).
 
This would allow for maximal effort each minute and the most bang for ones buck, or at least it always used to because as with any method people got a hold of it and decided to bastardise it, sadly.
 
You know, some is good, more is better, so 50 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest kinda stuff, foolishness really for any long term progress.
 
Ideally the working section of an EMOM will last at the longest 30 seconds, once you go beyond this you start to severely sacrifice your performance and increase the potential risk of injury.
 
Not what many of the fatigue chasing people want to hear these days, however it’s still worth saying.
 
Here are a few to try that will start off each and then slowly start to kick you in the ass.
 
1 – Thrusters x3-5 (start at 3, don’t be a hero) x10-20min
2 – Snatches x2-3 x10-20min
3 – Kettlebell Swings x10 x20min
4 – Sprints 30-50m x10min
5 – Clean & Push Press (or Jerk) x2-3 x10-20min
 
Now for a tricky one:
 
6 – Exercise Complex of 4-6 movements, 1-2 reps per move x10min
 
Example: RDL, Power Clean, Front Squat, Push Press, Penally Row.
 
Just adding one of those as a finisher will improve your conditioning to no end just keep an eye on how long each one takes, good ones last as mentioned about 15-20 seconds as this gives some buffer time as you start to fatigue in the later sets.
Aim to pick movements that offer a large return on investment and keep the reps low (manageable), you can always increase the load if you wish to make things challenging.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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A tricky question indeed.

“Why is it easier for men to lose weight faster than women?”

A solid question, the answers are a mixture of common sense, physiology and behaviours/habits.

Here are a few reasons:

Men tend to be less emotional and more focused on their goal, not always just often.

Typically men have more LBM (muscle) initially than women and enjoy lifting weights and building more LBM, not always just typically, this helps in fat loss.

The majority of men don’t have an emotional attachment to food, some do however it’s often far less than the ladies.

When it comes to making a concerted effort to make change they tend to stick to their guns and stay the course due to knowing that if they slip they won’t have the will power to get back on track (essentially avoid emotional eating and excess snacking).

The list could go on and while both will potentially come up against the same barriers it is in how they are handled that will determine if change truly happens.

Of course it’s not gospel, however if you spend enough time in a gym you will see the common trends.

Men hit the weights, ladies hit cardio machines, again not always just often.

You might call them gym stereotypes, which is not an issue as they exist for a reason (because they’re true).

When it comes to shifting weight there are some simple guidelines to keep in mind, regardless of which gender applies them.

– Consistency/adherence to the goal
– A calorie deficit is required for weight/fat loss
– Building more muscle
– Consistency/adherence to the goal
– Creating sustainable eating habits
– Becoming aware of any emotional eating or food related crutches they have in their life currently
– Consistency/adherence to the goal

Everyone has the capability to do well and achieve many a varied goal, one of the main factors that separates the successful from the not so successful is their overall desire to succeed.

Is something is important enough people will do what it takes, if it’s not really that important they will make excuses and fall back in to old habits/behaviours.

Taking the above in to consideration, what current behaviours do you have that are less than conducive to progress in the direction you desire and how can you make small sustainable changes in these to help aid your journey towards your goal?

Give it some thought.

Enjoy,
Ross

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You Run Like Shit.

How well do you run?

Morning All,

After being in the industry for a fair while it’s become apparent that for some reason everyone assumes they can run correctly.

A foolish notion as many can’t.

Why do you think a lot of people who run have a bad knee, ankle, hip, lower back and so on. Poor movement equals poor overall body health, remember that.

It is a logical thought because we’re never really taught how to run, we just do it and have done since childhood, however just because we’ve always done something one way it doesn’t mean we are doing it the correct way.

Now before you worry and think I’m telling you to give up running, calm down, I’m not.

If running is something you enjoy then you must do it because it’s your right to, however you’d do well to actually learn how to run correctly, not only because it’s best practice, it will help reduce the risk of injury and improve longevity.

To run effectively you not only need good patterns, you also need a solid base of strength. Yep, lifting weights can help make you a faster and more effective runner, counter to many popular beliefs.

Personally I’m by no means an avid runner, it’s just too boring for me. As such here is a nice little resource to get you started –

https://www.runnersworld.com/…/a2081…/proper-running-form-0/

If you want my best advice though it is this; hire a running coach (ideally one with a solid reputation).

Enjoy pounding the pavements,
Ross

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60 Days of DIY

Ladies & Gentlemen,
 
I have a challenge for you.
 
If your goal is fat loss, conditioning, adding some lean mass and generally feeling like you’ve done something in a session then this is for you.
 
’60days of Loaded Carries’
 
Or perhaps I should say Loaded Movements.
 
Yep, you will do ONE loaded carry a day for 60 days, it’s that simple.
 
Here is a step by step breakdown:
 
– Pick a carry
– Set a timer for 45min
– Pick up, carry, put down, repeat until the time is up
 
That’s it.
 
Now a carry can be many things, for example a farmers walk with a sand bag, a turkish get up followed by a waiters walk, a Zecher DL followed by a Zecher carry, essentially any awkward object to carry will do.
 
How you choose to pick up, hold and carry said object is up to you, just pick something different each day to keep things interesting and avoid too much crossover and fatigue in identical movement patterns.
 
Here is what 7 days might look like:
 
Day 1 – Farmers Walk (2 dumbbells)
Day 2 – TGU+Waiter Walk (1 KB, swap hands each set)
Day 3 – Sand Bag Clean & Bear Hug Carry
Day 4 – Prowler Pushing
Day 5 – Zecher DL+Zecher Carry
Day 6 – Sled Dragging
Day 7 – Sand Bag Floor to Shoulder Clean & Carry (swap sides each set)
 
Make sense?
 
The premise of this is to force you to train inefficiently, please note this does not mean unsafe, it merely means making your body coordinate in a manor that it is not used to doing so that you will burn more energy (calories) along with adding some slabs of lean muscle.
 
Essentially what old school labourers used to do day in day out, which is a good point, why to load up a wheel barrow and shift that bad boy around for 45min, most challenging.
 
When performing each movement go until about an RPE 8/9, don’t try and fail, stop short, the aim is to get in as much overall workload (volume) as possible.
 
Select weights that are challenging, not impossible.
 
This is an endeavour of endurance not ego.
 
Be sure to take before and after photos, also, if you want some guidelines for calories then this will be a quick guide to help you:
 
– Fat loss = your total bodyweight x 11-13
– Mass gain = your total bodyweight x 17-19
 
Ideally you will be eating plenty of ‘whole foods’ as in not junk food if you want some decent progress.
 
Let me know how you get on.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Boring but Brilliant

Want to gain some strength & size?
 
Need a protocol to follow?
 
This simple little suggestion will help you.
 
– Hit a movement every 3-5 days
– Work up to a heavy-ish 3, 5 or 7TRM (no poor form)
– 3 movements per session (Main, Accessory, Isolation)
– After you’ve hit a top set back off to 70% of that.
– With the 70% do 50 reps in as few sets as possible
– Track your numbers in a training diary
– Repeat for at least 6 months and enjoy the gains.
 
Here is how you might set up the days like.
 
Day 1 – Hinging/Pulling Patterns
Day 2 – Pressings Patterns
Day 3 – Off
Day 4 – Squatting Patterns
Day 5 – Off
Repeat the above 5 days cycle.
 
Now for the TRM’s based on the above days.
 
Day 1 – Hinging/Pulling Patterns 5TRM
Day 2 – Pressings Patterns 3TRM
Day 3 – Off
Day 4 – Squatting Patterns 7TRM
Day 5 – Off
Day 1 – Hinging/Pulling Patterns 3TRM
Day 2 – Pressings Patterns 7TRM
Day 3 – Off
Day 4 – Squatting Patterns 5TRM
Day 5 – Off
Day 1 – Hinging/Pulling Patterns 7TRM
Day 2 – Pressings Patterns 5TRM
Day 3 – Off
Day 4 – Squatting Patterns 3TRM
Day 5 – Off
 
Repeat the above 15 day intensity waving cycle and aim for either a slightly higher TRM or hit the same TRM weight you did before and try to hit the 70% back off of 50reps in less sets.
 
You may have a session that looks like similar to this one.
 
A1 – Deadlift (main)
B1 – Pull Up (accessory)
C1 – Barbell Curl (isolation)
 
Personally I’d recommend keeping the main movements until you find progress stalling, the accessory.isolation lift would do well to stay for 3-6 sessions then change them up a tad.
 
None of the above is rocket science, however it is effective if you give it enough time and have faith in the process.
 
One key element is to record what you’re doing as that will allow you to see progression.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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If you’re easily offended don’t read this. No, seriously don’t.

“I’m such a foodie, lolz.”
 
If you ever say this with in my earshot I’d like you to know that I now think you’re an absolute belled.
 
Yep, bellend.
 
Everyone likes food you know, that doesn’t make the world foodies, it makes them normal human beings who are trying to sustain that fragile thing called life.
 
Once upon a time that was something quite endearing and perhaps a little funny to hear, now it screams out that the person saying it has little to know metal strength and is in actual fact a bit gluttonous.
 
I know, such a mean thing to say however it’s often true.
 
These sorts of things are said by people who often live in the first world, making it the embodiment of a first world problem.
 
The same goes for people who claim they get ‘Hangry’.
 
So you can’t go for more than 5 minutes without stuffing your face and getting your fix otherwise you will turn in to a grumpy shit?
 
Seriously, stop being such an entitled little bitch because no one cares if you get hangry, so toughen up and get over yourself.
 
Of course you don’t need to care about my views however I felt it was fair to let you know them because that’s what the internet if for 🤗
 
Rant over.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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I have a short message for you.

It’s okay not to be so serious about your training, you can have a life as well you know.
 
Getting sucked in and slightly obsessed is easily done, people start to develop their lifting identity yet instead of it becoming a small part of who they are it ends up becoming everything that they are.
 
Many many fall victim to this, usually because in their lives they’ve never really had anything that was solely theirs, or at least something that they were overly good at, as such they find training, get some adulation for their efforts/results and then get swallowed up by the training bug.
 
Neurosis begins to spread.
 
They stay in their training routine too afraid to break it or let it grow because if they do that they’ll have to face the Mother Dragon Tiamat, or as we know it, the great unknown.
 
It is in this place they may no longer be the big fish in a small pound. Suddenly, painfully, they’re back to being nobody, like before.
 
A lot can’t go back to this, they won’t go back to nothing, to being no one, as such training becomes their life, it becomes them.
 
The all consuming addiction fitness addiction.
 
This is not just limited to fitness by the way.
 
Don’t believe me?
 
Go to another social idea account, scroll down for 7 seconds, click on a random profile and look at all of their pictures, I’m will to wager they will be very similar all the way through, if not exactly the same because that is who they are now, that is their avatar to be sustained, less they return to the void.
 
Why can someone as lowly as me say this you might ask, well if you’re astute with some deductive capability then you’ll see the words of someone who’s been there.
 
So my friends, don’t be so serious all the time, live a little.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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“The art of conditioning without conditioning.”

Morning all,
 
Traditionally many will have some fairly high-octane methods for really getting their conditioning fix, and it’s a viable way to train and provides some great results however it’s not the only way.
 
In this day and age not everyone is capable of the more exciting training methods, this could be due to injury, age, lifestyle choices and more. As such different conditioning methods are needed.
 
Here are three low impact alternatives that will ramp up your conditioning without falling in to the traditional guise.
 
1 – Climbing Stairs Two at a Time
 
In the initial stages hitting two steps at a time with a medium pace will be sufficient for a lot of people to get some VO2 benefit, once fitness levels improve you can take on the challenge of stair running for next level heart, lungs & legs.
 
2 – Kettlebell Swings
 
You knew these would be in here, they’re great. If you can build up to single arm swings you can then build up to snatches and those my friends are the Czar of all movements for forging a body to last and a posterior chain the gods themselves would be envious of.
 
3 – Swimming
 
You’d be surprised how many people forget about this pastime, it’s one of the best things you can do, in freshwater or the sea. If you have an ailing body then taking a dip will be one of the best things for you as it will also help bring up your overall strength as well.
 
Some easy options to help you get fit that don’t fall in to the norm of the modern world.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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