Tag Archives: behaviour

What’s harder?

What’s harder, training or nutrition?
 
Now this is a common question and the answer for most is almost always the nutrition.
 
The funny thing is nutrition isn’t really that hard, you either need to be in a calorie surplus or deficit (depending on your goal), from there you will do well to keep a nutrition diary and record your foods, calories/macros too if you’re that focused.
 
Next you will do well to opt to eat mostly whole foods, however this is not a necessity although it is preferable for health and performance purposes.
 
This again isn’t hard, yet people will makes excuses, piss wings and moan that is it because of the following REAL reason; they don’t want to have to change bad habits.
 
Might sound harsh, however that doesn’t stop it being true.
 
Now as written above, you don’t HAVE to change the foods you eat, provided your calories/macros are set correctly and you hit them you can choose the foods sources, so the excuse of “Good nutrition is too restrictive and hard to stick to” gets thrown out of the window, now it’s just a case of you hitting the number you need to.
 
This is where tracking your calories etc becomes important, again though, you don’t have to, just don’t expect much in the way of progress if yo don’t know what you’re eating calorie wise.
 
Some will chuck in the barrier or “Well I don’t know who to work this out” which again is a redundant excuse considering all the calculators that are available to people, not to mention you can also speak to a respected of successful trainer/coach and have them do it for you.
 
My suggestion would be Eric Helms and his work, or look up the Harris-Benedict calorie calculation formula, boom no more barriers or confusion.
 
Everyone, I don’t mean to sound cynical or jaded, yet I am, this is because over the years I have developed less and less patience for people poor excuses and lack of drive to achieve a result.
 
You have two options really, you either want to make a change, in which case myself and many other people in this industry will bend over backwards to help you. OR, you don’t really want to change in which case we wish you all the best and we can end our conversations promptly.
 
Now as people who want to help we can give you all the tools, help you stay accountable, speak to you daily to make sure you have all the support you need, however if you don’t want to change no amount of help from us or anyone else will make you want to change, that decision has to come from you, from your heart.
 
The knowledge of knowing what will help you in getting results isn’t hard, it’s not the training or the nutrition that is hard, it’s making the conscious choice to change.
 
We, I want to help you, however the real question is do you want to help yourself?
 
Give it some thought.
 
Enjoy,
Ross
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How doing less helped me progress.

Yesterday we touched on who doing too much can hold people back, today we shall look at how the opposite can help you being to once again make headway.
 
MED, remember that?
 
Minimum effective dose.
 
Find what the bare minimum you can do and make progress form and do that until you no longer make progress, then perhaps add the next smallest amount and progress once again.
 
A simple thought that still adheres to the GAS/SAID principle.
 
It will allow you more time to recover, spend time doing other things you enjoy and for the average person, give you results while also having a life.
 
Sounds perfect, right?
 
That being the case, why don’t people do it?
 
Because as we discussed yesterday, too many think more is better and even more than that must mean even better still, not always true, sadly.
 
You will also find that when you take down how much you’ve been doing, you recover and allow the super-compensation element of GAS to happen, meaning gains.
 
Keeping in mind MED, how many times per week do you need to train to make progress?
 
Twice, that’s a great start.
 
Both sessions would follow a full body approach with limited moves that will give you the best bang for your buck.
 
Day 1 – Monday
 
A1 – Front Squat or Squat 10×5
A2 – DB Row 10×6
B1 – Press 8×6
B2 – Chin 8×6
C1 – Dip 50 reps in as few sets as possible
D1 – Loaded Carry 10min x Total Distance (famers walk, etc)
 
Day 2 – Thursday
 
A1 – Deficit Deadlift (any grip) 10×5
A2 – DB Press 10×6-8
B1 – Bench Press or Incline 6×6-8
B2 – BB Row 6×6-8
C1 – Curl 50 rep goal in as few sets as possible
D1 – Prowler or Sprints 10min x total Distance
 
Combine this with solid nutrition (plenty of whole foods and a calorie deficit or surplus depending on your goal) and three simple factors to progress and you’ll be laughing at the gains you make.
 
How to progress:
 
– Add weight where possible (fractional plates are good)
– If you can’t add weight, reduce rest
– Rest at it’s lowest, increase TUT (time under tension) with a slower negative portion of the lift
 
In each session aim to keep a good pace and finish within 45-75min, you’ll find the less you faff the better the workout you get.
 
Obviously over time you will potentially need to add more frequency taking training to 3 days per week, but the longer you can progress on 2 the better.
 
Funnily enough you will find that most elite lifters seem to find 4xP/W is their optimal limit because in each session they train HARD and create a deep ‘in road’ meaning they’ve stimulated growth, you need to do this too.
 
Remember, doing less can help your progress.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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The problem with simple advice is the fact that it works.

Don’t you find it interesting that people are quick to discount simple advice because it sounds to easy. They’d much rather something with super complicated, typically because when something is complicated there can be a ‘logical’ reason for them failing: such as “It was too complex.”.
 
When you get a few wise words it seems too good to be true.
 
The problem can be found in the fact that short and simple advice is seen as too easy, however when applied it soon becomes clear that simple and easy are not two things that correlate very often.
 
Just because something is simple doesn’t mean it is easy.
 
Take this for example:
 
“To build muscle and get stronger you need to lift weights, pick 5-8 exercises to cover the whole body and add sets or reps where you can and when you’re doing multiple sets/reps with ease you add weight and repeat the process.”
 
^^ Nothing fancy, but very hard and people will give up.
 
A lot of people find a degree of embarrassment when they fail, especially when the advice given wasn’t super complex. It’s common for a bystander to say something like “Is that all you had to do?” which essentially means – how on earth did you fail at doing that…
 
Failing hurts the ego, especially when something isn’t hard on paper.
 
Nutrition is another prime example.
 
“To lose fat you’ll be looking for a calorie deficit (eating less than you’re burning), doing some weightlifting and sprint work will also help. Try to eat mostly whole foods and how a little of what you like now and again to keep you sane.”
 
Such wisdom will be kicked to the curb because it’s not a mind-boggling batch of numbers and percentages.
 
Give someone the above and they think you’re taking the piss.
 
Give them ‘Eat 1g or preteen per lean Lbs of body weight, 2g of carbs per lean lbs and 0.5g of fat per lean lbs’ and their eyes light up because it sounds technical, therefore it must be right when in all honesty it is not the sort of thing a beginner needs to focus on.
 
People starting out should be aware that the simple stuff is around for a reason, it works.
 
A lot of experienced people tell you simple things because they have found through trial and error that success requires very little deviation.
 
If you are a beginner keeping things as basic as possible will achieve a few things:
 
– Consistency
– Good habits
– Behaviour change
 
All three are needed for long term progress.
 
Once you get 3-5 years of training down the line you can start looking in to the more complex things, before that you’d do well to remember the good old rule of KISS.
 
Keep
It
Simple
Savvy?
 
Bit of a change to what you might expect the last S to stand for, but it think it sounds nicer because people aren’t necessarily stupid, just misguided and lead astray by too much bad information.
 
Go to a place filled with people who have succeeded in what you’re looking to do and ask 10 of them for some advice, ask them to give it to you in the simplest way possible and you’ll find there is very little difference in what they might say. A common theme will become apparent, trust me.
 
Now go, seek a simple start and then expand from there.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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How to overcome a barrier in 3 easy steps.

Morning All,
 
You’ll find that there is always something that gets in the way or progress, it’s just an inevitable part of life.
 
How you deal with the obstacles in your way will largely depend on the approach you take. If it’s one of panic and ‘Woe is me, all is for naught’ then you might struggle, however if you follow these simple steps you’ll find what is in your way is dealt with swiftly and easily.
 
You’ll need a pen and paper.
 
1 – Write down the barrier
 
2 – Write down what behaviours you need to rectify this situation
 
3 – Apply the behaviours
 
You will often find plenty of people know what to do, but very few do what they know. The secret is in the last part, applying the correct behaviours.
 
Let’s look at a quick example, we’ll use working out in the gym and restricted time:
 
1 – Work needs to work until 8pm in stead of finishing at 5pm from now on. Thus disrupting your 5.30pm daily workout
 
2 – Get to the gym in the Am. Go at 8.30pm. Buy some Equipment for home. There might be other behaviours you can apply, use your brilliant mind to think of them.
 
3 – Pick one of the above.
 
Simple, right?
 
Often times you’ll find you have the answers you seek, if you don’t then ask for someones help.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Failure Mindset

Morning Guys,
 
Do you live with the failure mindset?
 
Plenty of people live with the attitude of:
 
“That person is … Bigger, Stronger, Leaner, Fitter etc… than me because of … Genetics, Money/Born with a Silver Spoon, Steroids and so on…. I will never be like that.”
 
This is the failure mindset and all it serves to do is hold you back because you’re expecting to fail. I’ve said it plenty of times before, too many people make their excuses as to why they won’t achieve XYZ and as a result never achieve anything.
 
Sadly I feel the failure mindset is actually something that our culture is feeding these days, what with all the ‘safe spaces’ the ‘words hurt’ and ‘You all deserve nice things’ campaigns people are becoming mentally weaker by the day. Don’t get me wrong, some things people say really do hurt and there is no need for them but most of the time people need to simply grow a thicker skin and crack on with life.
 
If you’re wondering what’s prompted this post today, the answer is simple. I’ve been in the failure mindset for a while, mainly due to not feeling that I was reaping the rewards for the effort I was putting in, when in reality I was missing certain elements that would allow success. The fault was mine because of my mindset, I stopped training as hard as I should have, I wasn’t eating enough and as a result make slow and lack lustre progress. It sucks but we reap what we sow so it’s time to kick myself up the ass and get back to the righteous path of the iron.
 
I have made plenty of mistakes, this mindset being one of them. It’s time to learn from that mistake and do what needs to be done.
 
Do you live in the failure mindset?
 
Sit down and write a list of all the things you are meant to be doing to achieve your goal, then write down every excuse you use to avoid doing what needs to be done. Once you’ve done this take a moment to change those excuses in to behaviours that will allow you to succeed and break free of the failure mindset.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Start Behaving

Morning All, 
 
If you want to make a change then the first thing you need to do is look at what behaviour caused to to be in your current situation and sort that first.
 
Behaviour is a key component of change, in fact having the right behaviour will make all the difference because without it you’re essentially wasting your time.
 
If we were to say that your goal is to become accomplished in bouldering, how would you do it? It’s pretty obvious, you would start learning the skills required and begin practicing several times per week perhaps building up to even a daily basis. Why would you do this? That’s easy, without practice you wouldn’t get any better.
 
The same it true for building towards a promotion at work, you will do more of what you need to do so that you can succeed. Given that simple logic, why isn’t fitness/heath seen the same way?
 
Baffling, ins’t it.
 
The secret to achieving anything isn’t really a secret, it’s common sense. Change the way you behave and you will change the results you get. Simple.
 
Now you know what to do, grab a piece of paper and write in 250 words or less what behaviour you NEED to help you achieve your goal and how you will make the necessary changes required.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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More Truth

Fad Diets.
 
Magic Pills.
 
Quick Fixes.
 
Do they work?
 
Well some of them actually do, but the results never last. It’s like drinking coffee to perk yourself up, the effect is often immediate and skyrockets but it only lasts so long and the crash is just as fast, as is the rebound back to the starting point.
 
The sad truth is that to achieve anything it will take time, effort and consistency, which, people do not like to put in.
 
Now it’s worth understanding that some fad diets and magic pills can actually give people the kick start they need to get not he right track, so taking that in to account they don have a place but the main thing to remember is that THEY’RE NOT SUSTAINABLE, and for lasting results sustainability is the key to it all.
 
When people ask – “What edit should I be on?” – or something of a similar ilk, the honest answer is the one that you can stay on indefinitely. This is why the rise of IIFYM & Flexible Dieting took off. There are a few reasons such as:
 
– They are based on your BMR/TDEE (basal metabolic rate & total daily energy expenditure).
– They break down the barriers and misconceptions of Good & Bad Foods and help people understand that there is not really good or bad, just too much.
– They also help you understand macronutrients and how to proportion yours appropriately for your goal.
– No food restriction (unless you have a specific intolerance).
– Freedom to hit Calories/Macros accordingly, with foods for health and also foods for indulgence.
 
Obviously some foods are better for health than others (more whole foods as opposed to processed ones), but that’s another topic all together.
 
The only downside to those is the fact act not everyone likes to be neurotic and track all their food, but all in all they are the way to go if you want lasting results and a ‘diet’ that you can stay on indefinitely.
 
The same is true for exercise programs. While you need to keep progressing to achieve results you also need to enjoy it, this will help ensure that you’re going to be consistent. A good example is CrossFfit, it creates a community in each individual Box that is part of something bigger and people always enjoy it, hence why it’s so popular. Provided you have decent coaches that understand programming and can teach correct form CrossFit is actually one of the best forms of training. Strongman is also great fun too.
 
What’s the point of this post?
 
To help you understand that there is no quick fix and you will need to put in thousands of hours of hard graft, however it doesn’t have to be super strict in terms of diet, you simple have to adhere to your daily calories and get your idea macro ration and when it comes to exercise you want something that will specifically be relevant for you goal but also FUN so that you want to do more of it.
 
Pretty simple really.
 
Enjoy,
Ross
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Do You Really Need That Specialist Exercise?

Walkouts, Partial Reps, Banded Moments, Movements with Chains, Lockout Reps, Board Pressing, the list of specialist exercises is numerous but do you really need them?

Too many people get caught up in doing things they have no real need for. I am guilty of this on the odd occasion but found that it only severed to hinder my progress in the long run because there was no need for the specialist movements.
You will find these types of exercises common for high level power lifters but they serve little purpose for us normal folk. If I had to give people some variations of lets say the big 3 I would suggest the following:
– Pause Squats
– Front Squats
– Box Squats
– Paused Bench
– Narrow Grip Bench
– Pressing Overhead or High Incline
– 1/2 – 1 inch Deficit Deadlifts
– 2-4 inch Block Pulls
– Snatch Grip Deadlift
– Overhand Deadlift
That’s pretty much it. While it’s nice and quite fun to try some of the specialist exercises there is little to no need unless you’re squatting/deadlifting 3xbw and benching 2xbw. The variations I’ve suggested will be more than enough to help keep you busy for months if you rotate them properly.
Do you need some guidance on a program too?
Warm Up Sets x4 at 3-5 reps (40,60,70,77%)
Week 1 – 10×1 + 70-80% back off AMRAP set -10min
Week 2 – 5×2 + 70-80% back off AMRAP set -10min
Week 3 – 3×3 + 70-80% back off AMRAP set -10min
Week 4 – 2×5 + 70-80% back off AMRAP set -10min
*increase weight and start over.
*2 lifts per day – EG Squat/Row, Deadlift/Press
*Lower body would work better with this programs set rep progression.
*Upper body = Volume or Ramping, try 8×8 on the volume with only 30 seconds rest on upper body pressing/pulling movements or Ramp up to a 3-5RM (meaning you do 3-5 reps and add weight each set until you hit technical failure, then you’re done).
An example day might be as follows:
Workout 1 – Squat/Pull Up
Warm Up Sets – Paused Squat x4 at 3-5 reps (40,60,70,77%)
A1 – Paused Squat – 10×1 – 100kg + 80kg AMRAP (10min time limit)
B1 – Pull Up – 8×8 – Wide Grip Body Weight/Weighted or Pull Down
*Optional C1 – Ab Roll Out – 1×12
Workout 2 – Deadlift/Press
Warm Up Sets – Overhand Deadlift x4 at 3-5 reps (40,60,70,77%)
A1 – Overhand Deadlift – 10×1 – 100kg + 80kg AMRAP (10min time limit)
B1 – Press – 5RM Ramp Start with Overhead Press and hit 5RM (You can alternate your Pressing movement to your own personal desire, one day might be overhead press, the next time around it might be bench and so on.)
*Optional C1 – Ab Roll Out – 1×12
A weeks training might look like this:
Monday – Workout 1
Tuesday – Workout 2
Wednesday – Off
Thursday – Workout 1 – Front Squat/Pull Down Neutral Close Grip
Friday – Workout 2 – Snatch Grip Deadlift/Incline Press
Saturday – Off
Sunday – Off
Repeat last weeks exercise selection, keep weights the same on SQ/DL but move on to week 2’s reps (5×2).
There is nothing stopping you from adding in a sprint day on Saturday or some CV just regulate the intensity so that is doesn’t disrupt your recovery and adaptation phases.
In the world of lifting it’s best not to try and run before you can walk. Learn the basic movements and learn then well, then once you’ve started to hit the upper limits of your natural strength (around 3xBW SQ/DL & 2xBW Bench) then it will be worth adding in some specialist exercises to help you past your sticking points.
Enjoy,
Ross

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