Tag Archives: challenge

Merry Christmas Everyone

My gift to you is this challenge; 100 reps a day for 100 days as of January the 1st.

Pick one different lift to do each day, or just do one lift for all 100 if you are so inclined, however if it is a loaded movement I’d suggest waving the load each day o r perhaps each set (vary the reps too) ].

This is a variation of the 10,000 rep swing workout, so doing it with just one lift would be quite good fun.

Merry Christmas,
Ross

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One move to rule them all

The kettlebell snatch, what a great move.
 
Do you know if there was only time and space enough to do one movement several times a week this would be a high contender.
 
Here is why:
 
– Epic cardiovascular hit
– A true test of mental fortitude
– Power, Strength, Endurance & Muscle is the consequence
– Nothing in the posterior chain gets missed
– Posture, core and grip strength are built
– It’s fun, plus you can get in some quality work in sub 5min
 
What is not to like about a movement that can do all of that in such a short space of time.
 
You will also find that depending on the style of technique used it can affect the results you get, commonly you will find two main styles.
 
 
 
The first will yield slightly more strength, the second more CV due to it being a movement of efficiency.
 
Personally I’d advise you utilise both.
 
If you have never done this before than I would suggest you hire a coach to teach you, someone from StrongFirst (or RKC) or an active Kettlebell Sport competitor would be my recommendations for a high quality of instructor.
 
For the sake of thought theory, let us say that you’re going to do the above movement because you life dictates that all you can do for a period of time, say 50 days straight.
 
Yes, I said 50 days straight.
 
How can you train everyday and not tear up your hands or injure yourself?
 
That’s easy, you wave the volume of each session along with the length and you may also do well to see each day as a practice rather than a ‘workout’ because people seem to link the latter word with killing themselves; this is not conducive to long term progress.
 
Here is how you can structure a short cycle of days that repeat.
 
Day 1 – Long Session, 45min, light bell, aim for 200+ reps
Day 2 – Short Intense practice – 5min, AMRAP
Day 3 – 30min session, heavy kettlebell ladders 1-2-3-4-5
Day 4 – Short Intense practice – 10min, AMRAP
Day 5 – 20min Session – medium weight/volume (tech work)
Repeat
 
Also, don’t be afraid to have a session that consists of singles and perhaps doesn’t go beyond 25 reps each arm, it’s okay, technical sessions such as that allow a great amount of recovery while still keeping your body in the groove.
 
You don’t have to kill yourself each time you go in the gym, maybe once or twice a week going hell for leather is good, any more might not be conducive to long term health of performance.
 
Essentially you auto-regulate the training and go by feel.
 
Can you periodise it, yep, that will take some planning though and while that is my person approach some people don’t have the inclination to do such things. As such you’d do well to have a training diary and simply track what you’re doing.
 
Follow a Heavy-Light-Medium-LIght-Repeat approach.
 
Try the above for 50days, trust me, it will be worth it.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Basic Mastery, Baby Steps.

“Progress is steeped in a mastery of the basics.”

Let’s face it, it’s true not matter which way you cut it.

Here, an example for you:

When you were born did you have the ability to walk straight away?

No, no you didn’t. You first had to master gaining conscious control and awareness of your limbs instead of look at your foot and thinking “What is this, can I eat it?” before sticking it in your mouth as babies do.

Next up was perhaps rolling over and pushing yourself off the floor, swiftly followed by flailing all your limbs around like a fish stranded on dry land, then on to sitting up by yourself along with other various nuances. Eventually that combination gave you the skill required to crawl.

After getting used to crawling around you start to grab on to anything to lift yourself up and stand, not long after this with some unsteady first steps where you fall down, then you get back up and try again, you keep trying, never giving up – funny how the only thing you lose as you age is the desire not to give up, ironic really, what helps you survive as a child is the very thing you hide from as an adult; effort and preserving at a given task until you succeed.

Could you imagine if babies had the attitude of most adults? They would never walk, ever.

Eventually, after many a failed attempt, SUCCESS!

You can now walk and from that day you were unstoppable, except for doors and other such baby restricting implements.

The point is this, without mastering the basics as a child you’d not be walking now, the same goes for achieving results in the way of fitness, health and aesthetics. You must first master the basics of nutrition and weight lifting form, you must also have the enthusiasm and determination of a child striving to walk. If you have those 4 elements then you’ll find you leave plenty of people in the dust with the outstanding results you achieve.

Just remember, once upon a time you didn’t give up, you didn’t let yourself get defeated or fall victim to the thought of “I can’t do it” you simply mastered the basics and kept going, if you approach you life with this attitude you will find it’s a far more successful one and by logic a happier one too.

Enjoy,

Ross

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The Gift of Glutes & Gains

The Gift of Glutes & Gains
 
We are in the time of giving and because of this I would like to give you a nice little set of tips to fire up your glutes before squats and then I have a challenge for you.
 
Glute activation:
1 – Band Crab Walks
 
Wrap a band around your ankles and shuffle from side to side (3-5 sets each way, repeat 3-5 times).
 
2 – Kettlebell Swings
 
Max effort swing, make sure you dive your hips through and really pinch those glutes hard. Do 3-5 reps for 3-5 sets.
 
Challenge:
 
– Load a barbell with your bodyweight (you can try 1.5xBW if you consider yourself strong or 0.75xBW if you think BW will be too hard).
– Set a timer for 5min.
– Perform as many squats as possible in the time limit, ideally without putting the bar back in the rack. You can hold the weight at the top as long as you need, just don’t rack it until the time is over or you die (figuratively speaking that is, not literally).
 
The simple activation exercises will have your glutes screaming by the end of this, not to mention you will create a massive hormonal disturbance (increasing testosterone, GH, etc) but also a massive EPOC (excessive post-exercise oxygen consumption). Chuck in some pressing/pulling movements and you will get a great workout with great results.
 
Basically you will get all the gains for Christmas this year if you do this 2-3x per week.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Got 90 Days?

How long should you try something before you change it?

Personally I would say 90 days.

This length of time will allow you to see a positive adaptation to what ever minor or major changes you have implemented. It is also useful because 4 blocks of 90 days is a great way of breaking down a whole year, this will allow you to progress steadily and safely.

There is no need to rush for results.

Here are 4 different 90 day challenges that you can try:

1 – Tracking your calories & required macro nutrients – This will help you understand what YOU need to lose fat or gain muscle.

2 – A new workout plan – A 12 week plan (4 days per week) will prove useful and yield many results.

3 – Starting a sport or martial art – You will find you enthusiasm for exercise increases.

4 – Writing – Write down how you will achieve your goal everyday. Keeping it fresh in your mind will help you achieve it and feel more motivated.

Pick one and stick with it. Build some mental toughness and achieve!

Enjoy
Ross

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Got 40 Days?

I was reading through some of my older strength and conditioning books over the weekend and found some interesting articles, in particular the ’40 Day Strength Program’ that was talked about by Dan John & Pavel Tsatsouline.

The program is based around high frequency strength training and ‘Greasing the Groove’ of your movements, essentially practicing your strength skill.

What is the goal of this program? You are aiming to improve a PB on either a specific lift or a version of that lift.

It’s simple, effective and progressive.

To learn this miracle routine for breaking some plateaus read on.

The routine might be called the ’40 Day Strength Program’ but if you hit your goals before that 40day mark then you don’t have to continue, thus opting for a new program.

How do you do this program?

Follow this check list before you get started:

The Exercises –
• A large posterior chain movement (the deadlift is the right answer)
• Upper body push (bench press, incline bench press, military press)
• Upper body pull (pull-ups, rows, single arm rows)
• A simple full-body explosive move (kettle bell swings, snatches, or an olympic lift variation)
• An “anterior chain” move (an abdominal exercise). Ab wheel rollouts are the best choice for most people.

The Reps –
• Only do 10 reps per workout for the posterior chain and push/pull exercises (I would advise one warm up set of 5 first), you can use which ever rep scheme you like to hit the 10 rep target – 2×5, 5×2, 5-3-2, 3-2-1-2-3 or even 10×1 the choice is yours.
• One set of 20 to 50reps for the explosive move.
• Do a solid single set of five reps for the abs (If you opt fro the ab roller then has a 2-5second pause at the peak contraction of the movement).

The Weight –
• Never plan or worry about the weight or the load. Always stay within yourself and go heavy “naturally.” – Pavel.

*You are trying to hit a PB effortlessly and progressively over time, there is no need to scream the gym down to get people attention. Focus on your lift and executing it with perfect technique.

The Days –
You will do this workout everyday, potentially for 40day straight, remember that you;re not trying to kill yourself in the gym, you’re trying to hit an effortless PB and improve your movement patterns.
The Result –

PB’S!

I have always been a fan of trying to hit a rep based PB (3’s or 5’s etc) they are often safer, promote better form and they leave your ego and potential for injury at the door.

If you’re looking for a nice simple change then this workout is for you.

Enjoy
Ross

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