Monthly Archives: February 2020

Consistency, not all it’s cracked up to be

Being consistent is said to be the most important element of making any headway in regards to training/progress.
 
Now this isn’t untrue, yet it’s merely a part of the equation.
 
You’ve also got to keep these elements in mind too:
 
– Optimal Training
– Appropriate Nutrition
– Clear Goal(s)
– Patience
 
There are plenty of consistent people in life, diligently doing their thing with little to show for it.

You’ll also find people that are inconsistent and yet get great results that stick around (due to nailing the other three of the four elements mentioned above), this frustrates many, yet it holds a valuable lesson – right is right. 

 
Fair enough some are not interested in the tangible side of progression and do it purely for the mental/social benefits, this is cool yet that’s not who we’re talking about here.
 
Think about it for a second, how many years have you been consistent?
 
Did it pay off as you’d hoped or was the end result now what you expected because mentally it just wasn’t really the right goal for you, or was something else off because knowing can help you move forwards.
 
Once you’ve achieved a goal it’d a good idea to sit and reflect on it.
 
Make a list of the things you learned.
 
What was good, great or went better than expected.
 
How many times did you find it getting hard and not really worth the effort that caused you to slip a little or have a wobble or two, because that happens and provides some valuable insight.
 
Learning to not only love the process, learning how to break it down is also crucial.
 
Honest introspection can reveal many things.
 
Was the training optimal, did you have the right nutrition for the task or did you find you’d put yourself under too much pressure to achieve something far faster than is actually possible?
 
All questions to ask yourself.
 
Essentially you’re doing an After Action Report.
 
Although after-action reports may vary, here are the main components you need to be sure to include:
 
Overview​.
Analysis.
Recommendations.
Improvement/action plan.
Conclusion.
 
You can hop on google for more detail on AAR’s.
 
To share some experience of my training and one key thing learned, consistency & patience have never been the issues my end personally.
 
The issue could be found in training, nutrition or the goal.
 
My common issues –
 
Training: doing too much and not willing to apply the appropriate methods for the proclaimed goal (fear or regression).
 
Nutrition: simply didn’t eat enough, always the issue.
 
Goal(s): rarely being sure what it was I actually wanted and letting ego dictate based on the opinions of others and what I thought I wanted, rather than sitting down and thinking about it properly.
 
^ The last one being the real element. A lot of us will pick goals that are not a representation of what we really desire, we simply pick them because other people have advised it, or it’s just a popular trend to follow.
 
It’d be great if you can share some of your reflections.
 
You can be the most consistent person in the world, yet constantly walking in the wrong direction is still walking in the right direction no matter which way you slice it.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Did you say volume?

A little training protocol that is nothing magic, it’s just something that sprung to mind ad thought I’d share it before the ether claims it.

Day 1 – Max Effort Volume in 45min
Day 2 – 40% Volume of Day 1
Day 3 – 70% Volume of Day 1

You’d do well to perhaps pick one movement to focus on for this.

Some rare individuals can perhaps many two (maybe splitting the sessions to AM/PM), yet for most just one will be better, and any extra work you decide to do on the 3 days would be in the form of simple maintenance – 3×8 & 1min rest betweens sets.

That’s it really, nothing too fancy just good old fashioned work.

As a recommendation I’d suggest the lift you pick will do well to be loaded at 70% of your current max, from here you’d need a total volume target that when achieved you can increase the total load and work towards hitting that volume target with a max of 85% of that lifts max.

Example:

  • Squat – Current 1RM 100kg – Starting load 70kg
  • Total volume goal in 45min – 225 reps (or more, your choice)
  • Load increase each time total volume hit +5-10%
  • Reps per set – chosen at your discretion (5’s, 8’s, 10’s, a combination, all are acceptable)

Here is what a training week may look like:

Day 1 –
W/U – General Flow Work
A1 – Squat – 45min timer – 70kg – reps achieved (make note, we shall say 160 for the purpose of this example)
B1 – Dip 3×8
B2 – Chin Up 3×8
B3 – Reverse Fly 3×8
C/D – Genreal Stretch

Day 2 – (3 days later)
W/U – General Flow Work
A1 – Squat – 45min timer – 70kg – reps 40% Day 1 (40% of 160 = 64 total reps)
B1 – Z Press 3×8
B2 – Pendlay Row  3×8
B3 – Curl 3×8
C/D – Genreal Stretch

Day 3 – (2 days later)
W/U – General Flow Work
A1 – Squat – 45min timer – 70kg – reps 70% Day 1 (70% of day 1 = 112 total reps)
B1 – Incline Press 3×8
B2 – V Handle Row  3×8
B3 – Skull Crusher 3×8
C/D – Genreal Stretch

^ The above would be a Monday-Thursday-Saturday training week.

You’ll find that keeping a focus on solid form, tension, and what Dr Hatfield coined as Compensatory Acceleration will have you making a lot of progress.

For accessory lifts (the 3×8 with 1min rest between sets), you can choose as you please, the main focus of this protocol is the volume lift.

There you have it, something simple and just good fun.

Enjoy,
Ross

P.S – my choice of lifts for this would be Kettlebell Swings in the AM & Press Ups in the PM.

Accessory work, if fancied would simply be alternating Pull Ups, Pistols & Ab Roll-Outs in a GTG fashion through the day (every day, 3-5 reps), however that’s just me.

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You can be anything, so why choose to be weak?

“I’m not saying you’re physically weak, the numbers are.”
 
🤭🤭🤭
 
Yep, I’ve said this to people.
 
Nope, I’m not even a little bit sorry.
 
You see strength in a physical sense isn’t this mythically subjective thing, it’s objective and based on moving an arbitrary thing from point A to point B.
 
Absolute strength is well, absolute.
 
It’s much like athletics in the sense of you either do or you don’t.
 
Did you win the race = yes or no.
 
No fuss, no politics, you either crossed the line first, threw the furthest, jumped the highest or lifted the most load.
 
Truly excellent that is.
 
While we can come up with excuses, justifications, rational and perhaps even the classic – “They’re on PED’s. That i why they won.”
 
^ Well in that case it’s a good thing no one else is on PED’s and they’re the only reason said person won because I’d hate to think that everyone was on them and that even with help some people still weren’t good enough.
 
🤔
 
There is no universal rule that you have to be strong.
 
If being weak, frail and incapable of performing certain tasks is what you want out of life, great, I’m happy for you.
 
Disappointed that you don’t want more or better for yourself, yet still happy that you’re happy.
 
On this page we’ve looked at various strength standards before, they’re largely arbitrary.
 
In full candour, it doesn’t matter how strong you really are.
 
My message for people is simply that they’d be far better off in life by not being weak.
 
What do I personally/professionally consider weak?
 
Here is a list:
 
– Can’t do 5 chin ups (10 for men)
– Unable to smily stand up off the floor without help
– Struggle to lift an object weight their own total BW
 
Don’t think its your fault about being weak though, it’s not.
 
That we can attribute to society and how we’ve become more technologically advanced and life has gotten easier than what it once was.
 
Simply meaning physical or labouring jobs are not the bread and butter anymore, so the average level of strength is lower, totally not your fault.
 
What is your fault though is choosing to stay that way.
 
Choosing to stay physically weak, 100% on you.
 
Luckily for you though we no longer live in a world where ‘might is right’, kinda.
 
That being said, how would you feel to be physically overpowered by someone else?
 
Seriously think about it, how would that make you feel being completely helpless and at the mercy of someone purely because you weren’t strong enough to escape?
 
You don’t have to choose strength because I’ve said so.
 
Just give it some consideration.
 
Here is one simple test, if you can do this you’ve probably got enough strength to do oaky in life:
 
Awkward object clean & press, 1 rep x your bodyweight.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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All the best ideas come at night

While staring up at the ceiling last night this little protocol came to me.
 
It’s nothing spectacular, however it is a nice framework.
 
3min work > 90sec rest > repeat 10 times
 
This would provide a 45min total bout of work.
 
While easy on paper it’d easily build up.
 
Alternating two movements will work well, that way you can give a decent effort each work set of 3min to the specific movements as you’d have four and a half minutes rest between each.
 
True enough you can also use one movement, just be warned as that gets hard rather quickly.
 
Say one movement is your chosen poison, the best way to apply the above would be to have multiple loads you alternate between.
 
Example:
 
Kettlebell Swing: 24kg, 32kg, 40kg & 48kg bells.
 
Each set you’d use a different load, not repeating the same load two sets in a row.
 
Perhaps you wish to use other movements, I’d suggest these:
 
Push: KB Jerk, Push Press, Dip, Press Ups
Pull: Rope Climb, Inverted Row, Pull Ups, DB Row
Squat: Back SQ, Lunge, Zercher, Sandbag
Hinge: Swing, RDL, Hamstring Curl, Pull Through
Loaded Carry: Bear Hug, Sled Push/Pull, Famers Walk
Movement: Flows*
 
The above would include the warm up sets as well.
 
You’d start your timer off and do some simple mobility/movement drills to RAMP for 90 seconds (basically doing the rest first), plus you can set up whatever it is you’re doing in this time as well.
 
Then at your first 3min round you start.
 
Alternatively you can go strait in at 3min and do a ‘light rounds’ or two, then use the last 90seconds rest before 45min time is up to do some cool down bits.
 
In the rest periods of the 90 seconds I’d personally advise some corrective work, usually in the form of upper thoracic mobility work, gentle trigger point release (not on areas wing worked) and so on, that way you’re resting and also being productive.
 
You may wonder how many days per week you are looking to do this, the answer is a minimum of 3, and the maximum is up to you.
 
Follow this rotation and you can even do it daily with little to no issue:
 
– Strength
– Conditioning
– Restoration – Stretching, foam rolling etc
– Flow State (nasal breathing only, no exceptions)
 
Worth some investigation.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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6 Reasons why you don’t have to please everyone.

In our modern world where everyone folds faster than a poor hand at poker trying to gain a modicum of approval from the masses, here are some reasons not to bother.

Be warned, they’re quite logical and my offend the weak minded.

1 – Some people are idiots.

Yep, some people are just not worth wasting time with because they’re idiots and won’t ever get it.

2 – Pleasing everyone is far too draining.

Take away the facet of the ‘energy vampires’ of the world and you’ll still find i’s exhausting trying to make everyone happy, so just don’t bother.

3 – It often goes unappreciated.

Many these days are far too expectant, as such they feel entitled to be made to feel all warm and fuzzy.

A foolish thought, like respect and many other things we’d do well to remember that we must earn good things in this life because we’re not entitled to anything.

4 – You waste your time.

Instead of trying to gain scraps from people that don’t matter in the grand scheme of things, try focusing on helping those tho really need your valuable time.

5 – Self respect.

I’ve seen many a person sink rather low to please others, dragging down their standards, abilities and gifts to make others feel better.

Stop it, by all means bring others up and extend a helping hand, however don’t lower yourself just to make someone else feel less shit about the results of their poor life choices.

6 – Some people are idiots.

Since many forget this one it warranted a second mention.

💪💪💪

Enjoy,
Ross

The real number 6 –

People pleasers are just irritating humans in general and come across as desperate, don’t be one of them.

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Wait, you don’t want to be stronger?

“I’m not really interesting in getting strong or building much muscle, I just want to be a bit fitter and more toned.”
 
Usually when I hear those words I like to add in this –
 
“Ah, your a prime candidate for a darwin award then.”
 
While it’s fair that people may not wish to train to build strength and enhance their lean body mass, those people are stupid.
 
Yep you read that correctly.
 
Now unless said person is competing in a weight category based sport or has literally made out their genetic potential for strength that helps in their sports, those are the exceptions.
 
For everyone else in this world you’d do well to get stronger & build lean mass.
 
Apart from the numerous benefits to health, life and overall mental wellbeing you gain from the two things above, you’re also able to have more overall freedom in your life too.
 
Not needed to call on people for help moving things.
 
Being more robust so that injuries due to impact of accidents are reduced.
 
Maintaining your ability to move as you did in your formative years, all great additional benefits.
 
It always bothers me when people claim they don’t wish to get stronger or add lean body mass, like why wouldn’t you want those things?
 
Why wouldn’t you want to be better than you currently are?
 
Yes, again I just said something that would be considered offensive because it insinuates that people are not good enough as they are, which in a physical/health sense they usually aren’t.
 
Besides, being weak and skinny fat sucks major balls.
 
You may look acceptable in clothing yet strip that away and behold, Mumm Ra.
 
If you are one of these people I truly would love for you to share you opinions and views as to why you feel as you do.
 
Not to berate or bring you down, it’s to understand because in my narrow view of the world strength/LBM makes everything better and why someone wouldn’t want that is truly baffling.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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BULLSHIT!

Have you ever said you don’t have the spare cash to invest in your health?
I’m calling bullshit.
Yep, bull shit.
What you might mean to say is that it’s not really a worthy investment or a priority for you.
Guess what, that’s cool you know, you don’t need to put aside money each month for a membership to a fitness establishment, training, or a sports club.
Honesty that’s entirely your choice not to care.
Just don’t give me some rubbish about not having the money to afford it because after spending any years working in the industry and sitting down with people to see where their money is being spent, they’ve always got the fund.
Money is rarely the issue, it’s priority.
Don’t believe me?
Be sure you’re sitting down for this.
Option 1 –
Buy 3 kettlebells* >Average cost £100-200, on off payment
With these three bells you can change your life, become fitter, stronger, healthier and happier, even if it takes 6 months of saving £5 here and there.
*Or a barbell set with up to 150kg of load.
Option 2 –
Don’t buy anything from convenience stores (lunch, snacks, etc).
You’ll easily find up to £30 a month by managing your sending habits/compulsions, more than enough for a gym membership.
Option 3 –
Go cold turkey on smoking, drinking, needless clothes shopping, or whatever your chosen poison is.
^ This can literally save people hundreds per month and thousands a year.
Try to be honest with yourself.
Unless you’re in a truly dire situation financially (barely paying the mortgage/rent/bills/food) you’ve got disposable income, you simply choose to waste it on crap you don’t need you merely want to satisfy a whim.
Of course this is your choice entirely, just be aware that pretty much everyone knows the excuse of “I can’t afford it.” is usually bollocks, they’re just too polite to say anything, or they don’t care enough to.
So my dear reader, will you continue to make that excuse?
Or will you choose a better path?
You should investigate this thoroughly.
Enjoy,
Ross

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Break the training split mould

You don’t need to train based on a 7 day week.
 
Convenience is often why 7 day splits are created.
 
For clarity, a 7 days spit is a training routine that repeats every 7 days.
 
A 5 day split would therefore not be training Monday to Friday with sat/sun off to start again Monday, that’s a 7 day split.
 
The aforementioned 5 day split would be perhaps train Monday/Tuesday/Recovery-Wed/Thursday/Friday-Off & repeat, so not adhering to the same training days each week.
 
Feeling the need to train on specific days each week can lead to some poor behaviours.
 
Skipping social events.
 
Binning off family to train.
 
Getting stressed when you miss a day.
 
Plus a whole host of other things as well, all of which lead you to stagnation, self loathing, little progress and eventual burnout.
 
Here are some different options to consider:
 
3 day splits – two days on, one off, repeat
Train every 3rd day after strength, 5th day after volume
Roll a dice to see how many sessions you do this week
Flip a coin to decide if you’re training or resting
Train 2 days one week, three the next, 4 after, then 2 again
Lift 3 times in 10 days, or 5 times in 14 days
 
The options are endless
 
Basically break the mould, especially if you say you like different things or variety.
 
Nothing is more different than rolling a dice to see if you’re training or flipping a coin.
 
Give the compulsive habit away willingly.
 
You’ll be amazed how your life improves and your stress levels reduce when you do,plus you’ll probably start getting better results as well due to not simply running through the motions in the gym.
 
You should investigate this thoroughly.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Time to Succeed

Years, that’s usually how long it takes.
 
What precisely does ‘it’ stand for?
 
No idea, however anything worthwhile often takes a variable lifetime to achieve.
 
Sadly in the world of instant gratification, false lives and bullshit many are lead astray.
 
In fact many would rather live some pseudo variation of what they truly desire than put in the time/effort to live to their full potential and have a dream realised.
 
It’s quite sad really.
 
I’m not free from this you know, I’ve had it happen a couple of times, yet the folly was seen quickly and given to the void because it was no longer serving a purpose.
 
How many things have you achieved that could be so much more?
 
Then for the big question, why do you want them to be more?
 
Speaking from my own mind it’s often out of an immature sense of not desiring any more responsibility, and just an easy life.
 
Happy to fade into the shadows because stepping into the light brings with it it’s own set of issues.
 
That’s the part about success, being better or doing well that people don’t tell you.
 
It puts half of the world against you, half of that in addition will actively try to bring you down out of jealousy and spite and finally half of them will go above and beyond to make your life difficult.
 
Knowing this, how far up the mountain do you wish to climb?
 
Are you willing to put in the time?
 
The only thing we have is time after all, so we might as well use it.
 
Give it some thought.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Pet Health VS Your Health

You’d spend thousands on your pets to ensure they have the best health, quality of food and quality of life.

Why on earth won’t you invest that same amount on yourself?

People are truly weird in that regard.

Now I can understand that for some their pets are like their children, or as many say “They’re my babies.”.

Our human need for unconditional love and something to depend on/need us to provide a sense of purpose is quite the interesting trait.

You’ll easily find people who willingly and without hesitation spend more money on they pets than themselves.

While we can of course invest our hard earned cash however we choose why not invest it in our own longevity?

Being brutally honest, pets will die long before you do.

Well, unless you have a turtle or a parrot, they seem to live forever.

Knowing this you’d do well to put at least a matched effort in to your own wellbeing as you would theirs.

Take this for example –

Your pet gets fat, what do you do?

Go to the vet and have them advise you to feed the animal less, exercise it more and get it’s health markers back to normal.

You do this with unquestioning resolve.

Have a human Dr say the same to you and you get butt hurt because they fat shamed you and just because your BMI is over where it should be that doesn’t mean you’re not healthy.

*Face palm.

While that is potentially true, elevated BMI’s are still a warning, regardless is yours is due to excessive body fat or muscle.

You see in regards to your build you can only support so much weight on your frame before it becomes an issue, regardless.

Back to the point, put in as much effort to keeping yourself in tip top shape as you would your beloved pets.

Or don’t because at this stage in my life I’ve honestly had enough of the general idiocy of the world and feel that if people wish to lead a life that shortens their time here then they can fill their boots.

Enjoy,
Ross

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