Monthly Archives: November 2019

💪A novel take on Gironde’s 8×8💪

Over in the Gains Central group I shared a post yesterday regarding the much coveted 8×8 method.
Beginner – 8x8x60-70% 8RM
Advanced – 8x8x80-95% 8RM
In the reps/sets above you get only 30 seconds rest between them, you’d also do 3-4 movements per muscle group and 2-3 muscle groups per sessions.
Truly a high density program.
One worth investing a good 3-4months of training into, so long as you stick to it.
Now while you will get a lot of volume, of most people they will not stay on it long enough to progress and get strong from it.
Over the years you’ll find this works well on muscles that are more suited to being under constant tension.
– Quads
– Calves
– Lats
– Biceps
– Pecs
You’ll notice this is mostly anterior chain dominant.
While you can bring in hamstrings and other various posterior chain movements/lifts, it’s often a struggle for many and they just don’t get the stimulus needed.
That being said, if you did some heavy deadlifts for say 6×4, follow by stiff legs at 4×6 and then did some metabolite production work at the end in the form of Gironde’s 8×8 on 1-3 hamstring isolation variations, well now we’re talking 💪
From experience this is where the 8×8 method truly shines.
Building a high work capacity is equally as important as training being simply high in density.
This happens when you get stronger and lift heavier loads, essentially.
Using it in the accessory/isolation movements yields quite the favourable result, while compound movements such as squats also work well, they are incredibly fatiguing both mentally and physically.
Remember one of the main aims in training is to elicit and positive adpative stimulus, not just rep ourselves to death.
As such here is a novel approach you can utilise in combination with the above.
Main Lift – 5-5-3-3-2-2-2, 3-5min rest
Secondary lift – 6×6, 2-3min rest
Accessory Lift (s) – 8×8 (as above)
***You can use the concept of the 30seconds rest with many other rep ranges too, such as 5×5, 6×6, 8×4, 6×4, etc.
The premise is a high amount of work (volume) in a short amount of time (density), just be sure that you aim at progressing the loads (intensity) to build up your overall work capacity (the ability to repeat high quality efforts).

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5-4-3-2-1 an odd take on an old system

No long monologues today or musings on how the modern world has gone batshit crazy, just a simple training concept you can apply immediately.

5 = Number of days between lifting (e.g you train once every 5 days)

4 = The number of main movements patterns to cover each session (push, pull, squat, hinge)

3 = Total amount of working sets for all your movements

2 = Minimum amount of minuets rest between sets (rest in minutes can be as high as you like, not less than 2)

1 = The only lift you will be pushing the envelope on, the other three will be easy

Now you have the overall idea, here is what you might end up with training wise:

Weeks 1-6
W/U – Front Squat x5-3-2 & *Ab Roll Out x2-2-2
Main Lift – DL Ramp to 6RM (as many sets as needed) + two more working sets 5%@less.
Accessory Lifts – Clean & Press 5×2 + Weighted Pull Up 2×5

*Not necessary however it’s just nice to have in.

Easy on paper yet pretty effective. I’d stick with the same set of movements for about 6 weeks, then change the focus. In fact here is 24weeks of training (the first 6 being the example above).

Week 7-12
W/U – Kettlebell Swing x50-30-20 & Inch Worm x5-3-2
Main Lift – Bench Press Ramp to 6RM (as many sets as needed) + two more working sets 5%@less.
Accessory Lifts – Rope Climb 5×1 (arm only ascend/descend) + Zercher Squat x4-2-4

Week 13-18
W/U – Ring Dip 2×5 & Ab Roll Out 2×5
Main Lift – Power Clean Ramp to 4RM (as many sets as needed) + two more working sets 5%@less.
Accessory Lifts – Overhead Squat 2-3-5  + Bear Hug Loaded Carry 5x20m

Week 19-24
W/U – Rope Climb 5×2 (arm & leg) + No Leg eccentric lower on single arm
Main Lift – Front Squat to 7RM (as many sets as needed) + two more working sets 5%@less.
Accessory Lifts – Sumo DL 5-3-2 + Push Press 3×3



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☯️Public Service Announcement☯️

Despite the popular belief surrounding this notion.

You can’t out-train consistently bad nutritional choices.

Many will disagree with this, yet upon careful observation of their health, performance and finally aesthetic we can often come to some striking conclusions.

The main one being that they’re steeped in cognitive dissonance.

This doesn’t mean you need to be some sort of nutrition monk, there is still plenty of wiggle room, however you’ll rarely find people at the top of their game who eat terrible quality foods.

Teenagers and the genetically super-elite seem to mystify many.

They seem to circumvent this idea that poor nutrition leads to poor performance, obesity and generally bad health.

Until they’re about 26 that is.

Quality of food matters, if someone says it doesn’t, run.

Run away as fast as you can because they’re clearly infected with some form of madness because no logically sane person would believe otherwise.

Unless they want to because of deep emotional needs.

You see most people are emotionally attached to their food.

Unwilling to give any poor choices away, they fight tooth and nail for their creature comforts and mental crutches, even if detrimental to long term heath, many won’t be told.

Personally I think that’s fair enough, we can leave them to it.

We can try hard to help people, to educate and inspire, however some just don’t want to change.

They’d rather weight until the wheels have fallen off the wagon completely – diabetes, obesity, or plenty of other health issues linked with poor nutrition and excess body fat, you take your pick.

While body positive mantra that everyone is beautiful is one to support 100%, there is no compromise to condone or support that which leads to poor health.

You’d be hard pressed to find many people at 300lbs with a fat mass percentage of 40%+ that is the paragon of health.

Now this is not to say being super lean or addicted to fitness and your aesthetic does much for your health either.

Many sacrifice their health for how they look, on either rend of the scale.

For a society of people who talk about health, we’re a poor example of it.

Get ill?

Go to the Dr’s and get drugs, it’s easier than lifestyle change.

Here are a couple of simple things to remember:

– Excess body fat means you have a calorie surplus problem
– Poor health often follows poor quality food choices
– Too late is too late, once some damage is done it can’t be fixed

Not what many want to hear.

I’m sure all the excuses about medical conditions, a hard life and the kitchen sink will come out, however that’s little more than a crutch to lean on.

Like it or not, your health is in your hands.


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Do we even need standards?

How fit & strong are fit & strong enough?

Well the answer to that would be along the lines of; it depends. 

Personally I loath this as an answer because it doesn’t ever add anything to a conversation.

True enough we need context to be more accurate with our answers, so why don’t more people simply say; in what context?

As opposed to, it depends. 

Accountability, that’s why. If you take a leap and say anything these days someone will hold you accountable/responsible for their failure, injury or misfortune because they’re not mature enough to realise that 99% of the time the reason they’re in the shit is  because other own doing. 

It’s easy to blame someone, something or in fact anything else.

Also drawing a line in the sand as putting some form of minimum standard offends those why can’t achieve it. 

None of the offended ever ask why they can’t achieve a standard, instead the bitch whinge piss and moan until it’s lowered to the point where it’s not even a standard worth even attempting to achieve anymore. You can see this happening in the services/forces, they’re lowering ht barriers to entry to make things more inclusive and fair, very dangerous if you ask me. 

In the average persons life there are three kinds of strength that are needed:

  • Lifting things from the floor 
  • Carrying things for distance/time
  • Getting up from the floor

As for cardio these are the types we use in life:

  • Having the ability to sprint after a bus, up some stairs or away forms something without getting winded
  • Being able to walk for hour upon hours at a time without break 

Those for the majority of daily life needs when equated to fitness speak. 

To give some numbers to those based on lifts that the majority of people can do we get the following:

  • Deadlift  your BW at a minimum (ideally 2xBW)
  • Loaded Carry your BW for 60 seconds 
  • TGU with additional weight (ideally 25% BW, gold standard 50% BW)
  • Sprint 400m (ideally having a 3-5min high effort tank would be very useful)
  • Walk an hour easily without needing to stop 

Obviously these are arbitrary statistics, however being strong enough to shift your own body weight and ideally a little more on top will prove most useful in all aspects of daily life, and being able to move quickly every now and again won’t hurt either. As for low level activity without getting tired, well if you can do that then you’d probably do well to go see a Dr, ASAP.

What would you say can be considered fair as minimum strength/fitness standards for daily life?



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