Tag Archives: body image

Harsh Words

You lost a lot of weight.
 
All of the admiration, adulation and applause were yours.
 
It lasted for a while, then slowly over time it faded.
 
Frustration began to set in.
 
Why were people not still kissing your ass like they should be, it’s heresy!
 
What was once exceptional had now become your new standard, to be maintained moving forwards, forever.
 
Given this new stature and pressuring requirement, there was only one thing you could do.
 
Rebellion against the cause.
 
You rebelled so hard and so triumphantly that you ended up right back where you started, only worse.
 
Weaker, fatter, more depressed and filled with self loathing because you ‘let it all go’.
 
It didn’t stop there though, oh no.
 
You continued to eat your emotions and slide further down the hill you’d strived so hard to climb.
 
Excuses were made left right and centre because it wasn’t your fault, it was everyone else’s, they were the problem, if only they’d been more supportive if only they’d been more appreciative of all the hard work you put in to achieve what you did, if only they cared…
 
Now writhing in your own self pity fuelled bullshit, you blame everyone except the one who matters.
 
You.
 
Don’t worry though.
 
I get it.
 
The pressure of having to stay at your new peak, to hold a new standard, to truly move forwards and leave all of ‘that’ behind.
 
It’s hard.
 
Without our past who are we?
 
People even stat to mention how you used to be, after you made you change and before you had your fall, that place they saw you as more than just a mere human.
 
Now you’ve come to the point where it’s time to reclaim what was yours, to get back to where you were.
 
Fanfares, supportive friends and all the motivation is once again yours.
 
Oh my dear, struggling so valiantly to get back to that place, that place where people adore you, it is what drives you.
 
Gloriously you claw your way back to the peak and the precipice, to once again bask in glory.
 
All of the admiration, adulation and applause that were yours are so once again.
 
Now it is only a matter of time before you repeat the same cycle, again and again and again because you never really do it for you, it’s all for them, always for them.
 
If it wasn’t you’d keep climbing, even when the crowds are deafeningly silent, you’d struggle on to become ‘the best version of you’ that you claim in your motivations rants to want to be.
 
I get it.
 
You don’t really want to be the best you, you want to be seen as the bet you by other people, to be constantly reminded of how great you are or well you’ve done and it’s okay to want that.
 
Just be honest about it.
 
Otherwise you’ll keep climbing to the same rocks and willingly falling off them each time things get hard and you can no longer seen the line.
 
No go, do it for you.
 
I truly hope you prove me wrong on the above.
 
Enjoy,
Ross
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To look good all year or not to look good, that is the question.

Looking good all year round is not something everyone wants to achieve.
 
However if that is your goal then here are my top 6 tips for doing it.
 
1 – Accept that it’s a lifestyle
2 – Train for strength
3 – Eat for health
4 – Live for enjoyment and don’t be neurotic
5 – Understand there will be peaks & troff’s in your look
6 – Establish what ‘looking good’ means to you
 
The above are quite vague, so I will expand on them 🙂
 
1 – The hard part for many is accepting that holding a certain aesthetic all year will involve some potential changes to their life and may even mean there are certain things that might not be worth their while doing due to their self imposed mental repercussions (see points 4/5/6).
 
2 – Training for strength is paramount in maintaining youth, especially in your posterior chain. This means you will spend more time training the following:
 
– Deadlifts
– Pulls
– Carries
– Cleans/Snatches (barbell or variations)
– Pressing Overhead
– Essentially train movements/movement patterns, not muscles
 
Mirror muscles are secondary in your training, avoid majoring in the minors and you’ll carve a body that Michelangelo would be proud of.
 
3 – This one shouldn’t really take much explaining so I will be brief.
 
– High quality meats
– High quality veggies
– Drink plenty of water
– A good multivitamin supplement can be useful
 
Essentially don’t eat like a child – sweets, cakes, crisps, snack foods etc.
 
4 – You may feel that point number three means you will never again be able to enjoy a food that you just want, this is a false logic, of course you can enjoy the food, you can even go overboard on it from time to time just don’t be too hard on yourself when that happens.
 
We are a curious animal that will always want more of what we can’t have or a told we are not to have, thus there is nothing you can’t eat, drink or do, it’s your choice, just accept that there will be some potential consequence, then get over it and don’t stress.
 
5 – Relating to point four & three, you will have times where you are super inclined to eat all the meat, veg and truing consistently (the stars align and life is good), as a result you look, feel and perform amazingly, understanding that this won’t last if as mentioned in point four you take your foot of the gas pedal and just enjoy life, be that going out for birthdays, having a hilly or wedding etc, it will happen and then a troff will occur.
 
This is okay you know, the chicness are you will still look, feel and perform well, the secret is not to panic and feel yourself a failure for ‘losing’ all your hard earned results, that is just rubbish and very negative to think, you had epic focus, then you had epic fun, it’s a state of flow so just let it happen and learn to enjoy the good times and buckle down when it’s needed.
 
Simple.
 
6 – This last one is the hard part, what does looking good mean to you?
 
If that is being lean, highly muscled, super strong and essentially a movie star or stage ready then you will need to accept that your good times will be perhaps of a limited amount each year (the all out parties we mentioned above).
 
Say that looking good to you is just being confident enough to have sex with the lights on, well you may have more leeway and more frivolous times in the year, this is not a dogmatic view of things, it’s just common sense.
 
Think of the classic car example.
 
If you own a Ferrari you can drive it everyday, however it will take a lot of maintenance and it might be worth it to you, however it’s a lot of time, effort and attention that will be required as opposed to having perhaps an Audi A4 that can be driven daily and kept in good nick with a lot less effort. It’s still a solid car that will be admired, however it’s no Ferrari, and that’s okay because it doesn’t need to be if it’s not what you want.
 
This example is the same for your body, the ‘better’ you want to look the more effort and attention to detail you need to put in, simple.
 
Does that make sense?
 
All of the above are simple points that if you really take the time to think over will provide you will some clarity as to what you really desire and what it will take to sustain it.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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It’s only packaging, it doesn’t matter that much, right?

Three things you should ask yourself before asking everyone else for the world best training program.
 
1 – What is MY goal? No, really, what is it?
 
2 – Is this actually what I want?
 
3 – How will this benefit me & is it sustainable?
 
With the modern world being in a rush for quick fixes, instant results and everything else under the sun, many forget to ask; why is this important to me?
 
A common goal – lose fat, tone up, not feel terrible for once.
 
Don’t get me wrong, having a rocking body does make life better for you.
 
You get more attention and people treat you more favourably.
 
You feel more confident.
 
You increase your self worth and appreciation.
 
There are a myriad of benefits to improve your self image, anyone who says differently is wrong, sorry, that’s just how we work as a species, we are shallow and always like the pretty things.
 
Now this doesn’t mean everyone needs to be models or at the peak of physical condition, however trying to climb your own mountain of potential will be to your benefit.
 
Remember though it’s a choice.
 
If you want to achieve such things, go for it, however if you’re truly happy as you are then that’s also great.
 
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for acceptance of all, however no matter how much society would like you to believe how everything is on a level playing field, its not.
 
I have yet to meet a person (when inebriated) who when asked this one simple question doesn’t answer with yes.
 
The question?
 
“If you have a magic wand that would transform the way you look to your ideal, with no side effects of consequence, would you use it?”
 
As I said above, not everyone wants to be cover model ready, however everyone does have some desire to look better, be that in their eyes or in someone else’s.
 
The sad part is we’ve been taught as a society that trying to improve your image is vain and makes you a bad person, so it’s okay to not look great. Then on the other side of that coin those same people will make passive comments about how you look or dress if it is not to their liking.
 
*Face palm.
 
We are a culture that is heavily influence by aesthetics.
 
Don’t believe me?
 
Give this some thought.
 
Which of the two would you buy:
 
1 – A food item that has packaging that is heavily damaged
2 – The same food item with no packing damage, that just so happened to be sat right next to the damaged one.
Obviously the goods are still equal in value, taste and awesomeness, so the external appearance and state of the packaging doesn’t matter, right?
Surely no one would be influenced by the way something looks in our modern world of acceptance of all.
 
Take you time with your answer, I’ll wait.
 
You get the point.
 
So let me ask you again, what is YOUR goal and WHY is it important to you?
 
Think about it.
 
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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Bin The Burden

Ditch the digits, the do nothing but hold you back and subject you to a false logic of societal acceptance which is purely subjective to an individual persons bias.
 
    Don’t confuse someones personal bias with the truth, they are two very different things.
 
    The days of constant weighing of ones self use to be a trait mostly held by woman but it seems that it has also taken hold of its fair share of men in this modern world too. Woman want to have smaller numbers on the scales and men want to have higher ones, yet both don’t do what they need to do to appease this mental barrier.
 
    Medical issues aside, men typically say they can’t gain weight, this usually means they don’t eat enough, for woman it’s the opposite, t hey can’t lose weight because they eat too much, sorry to say it but the blame lies with you on that one, however… A number on the scale means very little if your goal is to look better, it just seems that by backwards logic people have unfortunately created an emotional anchor to achieving a certain number on the scales and until they hit it they won’t be happy.
 
    What madness.
 
    I will tell you what happens when you do hit the ‘magic’ number, nothing. You still feel empty and that something is missing because 9/10 times people don’t look good because a number does not equate to health, strength or aesthetics. This is truth. Unless you’re a competitive athlete who competes in weight restricted categories there is no need to be neurotic with the numbers on the scale.
 
    While tracking numbers is a great way to show progress it can lead to problems, for most people before and after pictures are a far better avenue to go down. There is nothing more frustrating than people who make progress then have a spaz attack because they’ve gains a few lbs on the scales (usually lean tissue, which is good), despite perhaps losing a dress size or revealing their abs, they still run to the treadmill scared they will get fat.
 
    Get a grip people! You’re more than a number and I can tel you from experience that no number on the scale will every really make you happy, only looking how you want to look and feeling happy about how you look will do that. Low or high numbers on the scales mean nothing if you have poor body composition.
 
    I have something I want you to do now, it will be very hard but one day you will thank me. Are you ready for the life changing task I am about to give you? Okay, here we go…
 
    BIN YOUR SCALES!
 
    Focus on inches lost, muscle gained and how you look, not how much you weigh.
 
 
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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3 Keys to More Muscle

Morning Guys,

There are a few different ways you can build lean muscle, three in particular come to mind:
– Heavy Lifting
– Constant Tension
– Volume/Cumulative Fatigue
Each method will help you build muscle, along with strength but they do it through different pathways and depending on your overall goal or bias you might be better suited to one over another. Lets take a look at the differences in how each method works and what style of training is involved in each of them.
Heavy Lifting –
When you undergo a program that is largely focused on lifting heavy sub maximal loads you stimulate muscle grow because of the micro trauma (basically a high force output leads to a large amount of protein degradation in the muscle), neurological stimulation factors (more recruitment and fatigue of high threshold motor units) and hormonal factors (increase in free testosterone).
This becomes even more true when you are logically following a progressive overload where by you are trying to increase the subsequent load over X-amount of weeks. This is because it forces the muscle to adapt and become stronger so that it can continue to recruit the maximal amount of fast twitch fibers and motor units to continue it’s required performance.
An added bonus with this style of training is that it ‘wakes up’ the rest of the body neurologically and allows for more fast twitch recruitment in the following exercises.
Training in this way (heavy lifting) has a great effect on increasing muscle density and myogenic tone (basically the muscle looks ‘harder’ at rest, meaning you look as strong as your likely are), however the danger with this style of training is people will want to chase 1RM’s all the time which can be very draining on their CNS and lead to a drop in performance which is not what we want. Depending on a persons training level they will be best of using the following recommendations for this style of training:
Beginners – Intermediates: 80-85% 1RM using the 6-8 rep range in a ramping fashion
Advanced: 90% 1RM using a 3-5 rep range in a ramping fashion
*Ramping is where you add 5-10% until you reach your maximal weight with good/smooth form, you would then stay there for anywhere from 3-8 sets depending on your % of 1RM used.
Constant Tension –
As the name suggests this style of training is all about keeping the muscle in a contracted state and will certainly generate a massive pump. This style of training utilises drop sets, partial reps, isometric contractions, EQIC and any other methods to keep the muscle filled with blood and tension because the second you ease off the gas and the muscle gets a chance to relax you will lose some of the effectiveness of the set.
The weights used int his style of training are normally on the lighter side of the scale, especially when compared tot he first method described above.
This style of training is very effective because when the muscle is severely deprived of oxygen several things start to happen; unfortunately lactate production increases making it very hard both physically and mentally but if you can keep pushing through the burn you will also have a dramatic increase in hGH and IGF-1 which are two highly anabolic hormones, there is also some evidence to show that as the fatigue increases so does the activation/recruitment of some deeper fast twitch muscle fibers which lead to increases in strength along with size. It’s worth pushing through each set to reap the rewards of this training style.
How long does each set need to be?
40-70 seconds is ideal, this would be a tempo of 4-0-2-0 and will work best with isolation exercises or variations of compound lifts (dumbbell pressing, single arm rowing, leg press etc).
Volume/Cumulative Fatigue –
In the hefty book that is known as Super Training by Siff & Zatsiorsky wrote that muscle fibers not only need to be recruited but also fatigued to stimulate optimal growth. This is why those who only ever train in one style are missing out because invariably there will be some fibers that aren’t stimulated because of the one dimensional training style.
When you start adding volume work in to the mix you can certainly increase the number of muscle fiber being recruited because of the cumulative fatigue effect. Typically the added volume is better for a hypertrophy bias because the loads used will be light to moderate, I don’t know if you’ve ever tried high volume with sub maximal weights but it’s brutal and leaves you destroyed for days.
To achieve maximal benefit from this style of training you will find reps int he range of 8-12 (upper body) and 15-20 (lower body) with short rest periods (30-60 seconds) are quite effective, something like Vince Gironda’s 8×8 falls in to this style of training perfectly and he looked awesome!
If you’re a more advanced lifter then the use of Super Sets, Pre/Post Fatigue, Drop Sets, One and a Half Reps Sets and alike are great methods to help you amass some rather taste volume amounts. The reason this method works so well is that is enables you to fatigue every last fiber and squeeze almost everything you can out of the muscle in one session.
Now you know about three great methods of training the trick part is being able to apply them to a workout. Is it best to do them separately or all together? Personally I would say for the best possible results you would do well to use all three in one session but you would need to understand come principles/rules on how to apply them first.
Take a read of these:
1 – Heavy movements first (larger more CNS demanding)
2 – Intermediate movements or as some call the assistance work (8-12 & 15-20 reps respectively with moderate loads)
3 – Isolation movements (constant tension lasting between 40-70 seconds)
How might that look in a workout?
A1 – Compound Lift – 5×3 – ramping to 90%
B1 – Assistance Lift 1 – 4×12 –  (aim for 40-70 sec TUT)
C1 – Assistance Lift 2 – 4×12 –  (aim for 40-70 sec TUT)
D1 – Isolation Lift 1 – 8×8 (light/moderate load with 30 seconds rest between sets)
The above will help you not only build a body that looks good but one that is also strong too.
Enjoy,
Ross

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Build A New Body: Part 1

There are a great deal of programs floating around on the internet and today i’m going to give you another one to consider.
This will be one of several programs I will be writing for you that will help create a 12 week training cycle to help you add lean mass, strength, strip fat and feel much more confident because of the results you will achieve.
Today’s program will consist on what you will ideally be looking to do for the first 3 weeks of your training block. It will help you build a good foundation of lean mass while starting to bring up your base strength in preparation for the next 3 week block, here is what the basic outline of what the primary goals of each will look like:
Weeks 1-3 – Hypertrophy/Strength
Weeks 4-6 – Hypertrophy/Strength
Weeks 7-9 – Strength/Conditioning
Weeks 10-12 – Strength/Conditioning
The first 6 weeks is based on building the foundation, then the second 6 weeks will be about utilising/realising the strength you’ve gained from your newly built muscle to it’s full potential while also adding in some conditioning style work to help keep you lean and feeling ‘fit’ don’t worry if you think they will contradict each other, they won’t if programmed properly and the correct volume/approach is used.
So now you’ve got the basic idea shall we get started?
4-4-4 is the first method you will be using is based around the following:
– 4 Workout days per week
– 4 Exercises per workout
– 4 Sets with varying rep ranges
The days you workout are down to you, that could be Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday or whatever.
As for exercises you will want to cover the full body in as little movements as possible, I will give you two guideline workouts A/B where you will hit all the major muscle groups, here they are:
Workout A –
– Front Squat
– Snatch Grip Deadlift
– Bent Over Row
– Supinated Grip Pull Up
Workout B –
– Press – Shoulder Width
– Bench Press – Medium (narrow is you want more triceps, wider if you want more chest)
– Dip
– Face Pull – Pronated Grip W/Thumbs Facing You (think you’re hitting a double bicep pose when pull to your face)
*You can do which ever day you want first, it’s down to personal preference.
Now it’s time for the rep/set scheme I will recommend for you.
– 12,10,8,6
– Use a 4-1-1-1 tempo (4 second eccentric, 1 second pause, 1 second concentric, 1 second pause)
Suggested loading:
– 12 – 65%
– 10 – 70%
– 8 – 75%
– 6 – 80%
A very simple descending pyramid that will help you begin to build a base. As for a warm up I would advice doing what you need to do so that you feel mobile and ready, remember a good mobility routine will help you stay injury free and improve your performance and overall life for that matter (There are lots of options on YouTube, you’ve got a great book called Becoming a Supple Leopard and much more to get ideas from).
I can’t tell you your weights but the suggestion I have given will be a good starting point, but remember the stronger you get the higher these numbers will go, not only % wise but also because you will be able to lift more. Start off light so you have somewhere to go, if you start too heavy you will stagnate and can even get hurt if you’re not careful.
The above program is designed to be followed for 3 weeks, then you will move on to the second 3 week block which I will get uploaded in due course.
You will obviously need to know about nutrition as well, here is a good starting point for you:
LBMx 17-19 = Muscle Gain Caloric Range
Protein – LBM x1 = Grams per day, multiply this by 4 to get calories of protein for the day.
Carbs – Protein x1-3 = Grams per day (depending on style of training/overall daily activity, desk jockeys use x1, site workers use x3 and people in the middle use 1.5 or 2), multiply this by 4 to get calories of carbs for the day.
Fat – What ever calories are left divide them by 9 to get your fat in grams for the day.
Example Equation:
175lbs x 19 = 3325 total cals
175lbs x 1 = protein 175g x4 = 700 cals
175g x 2 = carbs 350g x 4 = 1400 cals
3325 – (700 + 1400) = 1225 cals
1225/9 = 136g fat
So these example calories/macros would be:
3225 Total Cal
175g Protein
350g Carbs
136g Fat
Get the idea?
*Eat mostly single ingredient whole foods to get the bulk of your calories, doing this will sort out your micronutrients without you having to worry too much. think 80/20 – 80% single ingredient foods 20% what ever you fancy. Just keep the callers correct and the overall macronutrient ratio sold and you can’t go far wrong.
Breakfast/AM – Fat/Protein
Snack/AM – Fat/Protein
Lunch/PM – Complex Carbs/Protein
Snack/PM – Complex Carbs/Protein
Dinner/PM – Complex Carbs/Protein
Post Workout Protein/Simple Carbs – regardless on time of day.
This will be a good place to start, you can make adjustments according to your own persona needs as you see fit.
You now have the first 3 weeks and some basic ideas for nutrition, it’s time to get in to the gym and start working (Y).
Enjoy,
Ross

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Yesterdays Results

Morning Guys,

Building is the aim, but with all the set and rep ranges out there which one should you use?

There was the famous 6×6 & 8×8 that was used by Vince Gironda

Or the hugely successful 7-5-3 Wave Loading System found under the tutelage of Charles Poliquin

You even heard stories of how well people did on Dorian Yates’ ‘Blood & Guts One Set to Faliure’

Some even did phenomenally well on the very simple 4×8-12

But the truth is that all of the systems work, lets be honest and accept that if they didn’t work they wouldn’t be spoken about.

The hardest part isn’t finding a set/rep scheme that works, it’s finding one YOU can stick with for the long haul, in our society of quick fixes and instant gratification we want to add 30lbs of lean muscles, drop 50lbs of body fat and look akin to a Greek God all by last week.

Sadly life doesn’t work that way. If you want to build some decent lean muscle you will need to be prepared to put in the hard work, eat adequately and have everything pretty much on point. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a life but you must understand that the more effort you put in and the more sacrifice you’re willing to make the faster and less time you will need you will achieve your results (which could still be in the years in most cases).

Now the obvious points are out of the way it’s time to give you some options to help you on your way to a better you.

The rotation of set/rep schemes will be set using a 3 days on 1 day off rotation until you have done the particular set/rep scheme 4/5 times (this will last mean each set/rep system will last around 3 weeks or so) with a total of 4 different rep/set options to go though. The main exercises will stay the same for all 4 mini blocks, as for assistance work you can add in some DT (Density Training) that should take no more than 10min and the chosen assistance movements can change every 3/4 workouts if you feel the need, but remember a change is only needed if you have become stagnant on that particular exercise.

Parameters for the mains lifts:

First 5 Workouts (weeks 1-3):
Reps/Sets: 10,8,6,20
Loading % of 1RM: 70%,75%,80%,60%
Tempo: 6-1-1-1 and 2-1-1-1 for the 20 rep set
Rest: 90 Seconds

Second 5 Workouts (weeks 4-6)
Rep/Sets: 6×6
Loading % of 1RM: 75-80%
Tempo: 4-1-1-1
Rest: 30 Seconds

Third 5 Workouts (weeks 7-9)
Rep/Sets: 5×5
Loading % of 1RM: 80-85%
Tempo: 3-1-1-1
Rest: 90-120 Seconds

Forth 5 Workouts (weeks 10-12)
Rep/Sets: 5,4,3,2,1
Loading % of 1RM: 82,85,87,90,92%
Tempo: 2-1-1-1
Rest: 120 Seconds or as needed

The main lifts will be comprised of the following:

– Squat (Front or Back)
– Bench Press (Incline of Flat)
– Deadlift (Overhand only)
– Bent Over Row (Supinated Grip)
– Press (Military or Behind Neck)
– Pull Up (Weighted or Body Weight)

Now it’s time for the interesting part, the workouts themselves.

Based on 3 working days you will only be required to do 2 movements per workout, plus 1-2 assistance movements if you feel the need.

Day 1:
A1 – Squat
B1 – Pull Up
C1 – Dumbbell Curl (5-10min on timer, do as many reps as possible in the time limit)

Day 2:
A1 – Bench Press
B1 – Bent Over Row
C1 – Skull Crusher (5-10min on timer, do as many reps as possible in the time limit)

Day 3:
A1 – Deadlift
B1 – Press
C1 – Lateral Raise – Do one set of C1 followed by C2, minimal rest between transitions.
C2 – Face Pull or Reverse Fly (5-10min on timer, do as many reps as possible in the time limit)

Day 4: Off

Repeat.

The above is a very simple progression that will help you build some quality lean muscle tissue while keeping things fresh and interesting. as I mentioned above you can change your assistance exercises as you see fit but try to keep the main movements the same as this will help with the accumulation f overload stimulus.

One benefit of these workouts is that they won’t take long to complete, perhaps 40min tops meaning that you will have lots more free time to spend with friends and family, eat lots of good foods and because the workouts are so short you will look forward to your next one, unlike some other extreme training programs that kill your motivation to train.

You will also need to make sure you’re eating enough, if you want my opinion on how to make a educated guess then do the following:

LBM (Lean Body Mass) x 17-19 = Daily Calories

LBM x 1-1.2 = Protein in Grams for the day x4 = calories from protein.
Protein x 1.5-3 = Carbs for the day (1 if you’re a desk jockey. Use 2 if you’re somewhat active at work and 3 if you’re job is very physical) x4 = Calories from carbohydrates.

Daily Calories – (Protein Calories + Carb Calories) = Calories of Fat per day, divide this number by 9 to get your daily grams of fat.

Now go and make some progress.

Enjoy,
Ross

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