Tag Archives: change

Three easy steps to fining the right training system for you.

Step 1 – Pick a system.
Step 2 – Follow the system to compete/desired outcome.
Step 3 – Reflect/breakdown what you learned & start again.
 
Essentially that is it.
Just repeat the above for a couple of decades and you’ll find ‘what works for you’.
 
You simply need to establish the overall goal you have.
 
Now this could be performance/health related (objective) or mental (subjective), the difference in the two is being able to track tangible data.
 
How long you stick to the chosen system will depend on your goal, or what you’re using it for.
 
There is sadly no magic length of time you must do this for.
 
It may be 6 months, it could be 3 years, who knows.
 
Your main consideration is that what you do you must stick to for some decent length of time to establish if it is or has been effective or not.
 
^People of advanced training status – near their genetic limit are exempt and probably know what works for the anyway.
 
In the early days pretty much everything works, that’s why we get a phase called ‘beginners gains’.
 
This lasts 1-3 years if your training is progressive and logically programmed for your goal, past this point all the dramatic changes are pretty much done, time to embrace consistency.
 
One piece of advise you’d do well to take away from this is that you’ll get better results if you pick just ONE GOAL.
 
Yep, just one, not multiple.
 
Wether you train for something tangible or just to feel good, it doesn’t matter, the only thing I know is that you need to stick with whatever it is your doing long enough for it to yield a result of any kind.
 
Don’t be too quick to abandon things.
 
Tempting as it may be, nothing worth while happens overnight, it takes time so instead of seeking and thinking about what a training system can do for you now, think what it is you can give the training system so that in the future it returns your investment with something worthwhile.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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McFly wasn’t the only one lacking it…

There is something that all those who give up have in common. 

They lack discipline.

When training is no longer fun, the initial wave of motivation has worn off and they realise their trainer was entertaining them instead of actually training them it can leave many deflated.

Sadly there can be no lessons without a cost. 

Well, unless you heed the words above in which case you’ll save a lot of money and wasted time. 

The shine of training wears off in anywhere from 1-3 years.

Believe it or not this isn’t hyperbole, it’s the truth. 

As such you need to create the habit of discipline.

Like anything it’s a skill and need practice to master. 

Stephen king used to set aside 4 hours to write according to a little book I read based on how he writes. 

Initially this wasn’t his natural ‘flow’ time because such a thing doesn’t just happen on a whim, it’s created. 

There was conscious sacrifice and the reward was skill. 

You see success is about how much you’re willing to give (of yourself) and what you’re willing to give away (creature comforts). 

There is always a price to pay, the question is a can you afford it?

Rather can you afford not to pay it if you truly want to become something more than you currently are, that is the real question here. 

How many times have you given up on something, not because of any cosmic catastrophe or unforeseen circumstance, just because you gave in to the weight of it?

^^ Give this some thought. 

You don’t have to want anything in life, yet if you do then you’ll find having an iron clad discipline will come in handy. 

Enjoy, 

Ross 

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3 Program Tweaks for 2020

What you will find below may frighten many of you.

The simple tweaks for programming are based around doing more with less and getting the most out of your training.

Be warned though, for this to work you will have to give yourself to the process fully.

You ready?

1 – Train Monday – Friday – Wednesday.

^^ You read that right, Monday/Friday one week and then Wednesday the next.

2 – Utilise RM Goals

For the above I would suggest the following:

> Ramp Warm Up (main lift/s) 6-10×1 – add load each set to a head daily single
> Pick 2 Main Lifts for a *36 total rep goal
> Secondary/Accessory lifts **50 total rep goal

*6x6RM working sets, yep, that means you use your 6RM for 6 sets. You won’t hit this first time around, you might get 6-5-5-3-3-2, then the next session you use that same weight which might be 6-6-5-4-3-3, keep going until you hit 6×6, then change the movement variation

**You have 2-4 sets to hit your 50 rep target depending on your preference.

3 – Roll a Pair of Dice Daily

This is for a little bit of fun, you roll a pair of dice and get either 2 or 12, this is the minutes you’d be working for. You could skip, hit a bar, perform loaded carries, swings, shuttle runs, bear crawls, movement or whatever, however this is optional.

Try to make 2020 a year where you don’t live in the gym, however when you are in there you put your effort in.

Here is an example protocol to get you started in January:

W/U – Ramp 6×1: Press
A1 – Press 6x6RM Target
Re-Ramp 3-6×1: DL
B1 – DL 6x6RM Target
C1 – Dips x50 rep target
C2 – Chin Up x50 rep target
C/D – Stretching for problem areas

Daily Dice Roll – Rotate these three movements – Sprints, Pistol Squats, Loaded Carry (any awkward heavy object).

Why not make 2020 the year of being different, you never know, doing less you might just gain more than you ever have before.

Enjoy,
Ross

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2020 vs 2019

You suffer because you make bad choices.
 
Typically when shit hits the fan we can trace things back to that exact moment it all began, which is usually of our own doing.
 
As Christmas day approaches many are gearing up for a feast.
 
Gluttony will rule the day.
 
Don’t get me wrong, eat, drink, be merry, just be mindful as well.
 
It’s not uncommon that over the month of December 2019 to perhaps even mid Jan 2020 (when most people go back to work) the ‘rules’ go out of the window.
 
This can lead to people gaining up to 2 stone in weight, most of which is usually fat, not good.
 
It’s oaky though because in the new year they will become later focused and mike next year their bitch.
 
😂😂😂
 
Um, yea, no, no you won’t because you said that about 2019 and found every excuse imaginable to maintain the string of successive failures that have been accumulated over the last decade or more.
 
I guess at least in that way people are consistent.
 
It’s why new years resolutions are bullshit for the most part.
 
If someone truly wanted changed they’d already be well anther way to making it happen, as opposed to talking about it, making all the grandiose plans and then royally ballsing it ups within the first three weeks of the new year.
 
People just don’t want change, and that’s okay.
 
What gets me is who everyone talks about it, pats each other on the back and indulges one another bullshit.
 
Just stop it.
 
Please.
 
You know as well as I do that you’ll do nothing, simply because you don’t really want to and with the modern narrative of body positivity, accepting every flaw in a person (so long as it fits the social, economical, political narratives of the day) and generally pretending everything is great we are encouraged to do so.
 
True you don’t need to change, yet you should want to.
 
What is the sense in remaining as we are when there is so much to gain in experience, enjoyment and a sense of purpose/achievement from making the conscious choice to become more than what we are?
 
I don’t know, maybe it’s just me.
 
After stagnating for so long, making all the excuses and avoiding the future I’ve finally become too tired to entertain my own bullshit anymore, much less anyone else’s.
 
Take a look back at all the NYR that you’ve not hit.
 
Now ask yourself why you didn’t achieve them.
 
Finally make a choice, you want to change or you don’t.
 
Simple really.
 
Don’t get suckered in by enjoying failure and what is brings (sympathy, people being nice, an excuse to be weak), choose change, choose to struggle to succeed and embrace all the negative shit that comes with it.
 
In the end it will be worth far more to you than you realise.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Mind, Yourself

Your mind often gives out before your body.
Mental toughness or resilience is a desirable attribute.
You can build up this skill and reserves of will-power of many years of deliberate practice and mindfulness.
While some people are just born tougher than others, it is a trait that can be learned, if it matters enough to you.
Digging deep as it’s know can be rather uncomfortable.
You see this is the crossroads for many because we greatly dislike being uncomfortable because, well, it’s not a nice feeling.
Stress (positive & negative) is an integral part of life.
Learning to embrace it, accept it and finally master it.
This is what will take your levels of performance in all aspects of life to the next level, provided this is something you desire.
One way you can begin to gain this is to practice it.
The gym is a great place to apply this thought process because the next time you’re lifting just see how many reps you can do with a certain weight before you have to stop, and then keep going 😂
In all seriousness you’d find you’ve probably got more in the tank.
When we hit our rep limit because everything is burning and our mind is screaming at us to stop, we often find there is actually way more left in the tank.
You have a lot of reserves, you just don’t sue them because it’s uncomfortable to do so.
True story.
^^Obviously you don’t let your form in lifting go to shit when trying this as that will lead to injury.
The common name for the above is RIR – Reps in Reserve.
Many of us have way more to give than we actually do, yet we still wonder why we’re not getting the progress we perhaps feel we should (hint…. it’s because we’ve still got more to give).
You can apply this to your nutrition as well.
Do you need to give in to your cravings/addictions or is that something you do simply because you’re not resilient enough?
Business has a similar vein, those who tough things out often reap the rewards those who dropped out early on wish they’d stuck around to gain in the end.
Living in our world of instant gratification has made us weak.
Mentally, physically and emotionally.
Worry not though, you can regain that which has become dulled over the years. You’d simply need to spend some time sharpening these skills again and before you know it you’ll be the one people come to asking –
“How did you do it, can I do that too?”
Be warned though, this isn’t a comfortable experience.
Change never is.
In the end it will be worth it because you will have elevated yourself and with that you’ll be able to help bring those who matter to you up as well.
Success breed success after all.
You should investigate this thoroughly.
Enjoy,
Ross

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Tackling walls head first

The longer you spend in fitness the more it seems as if you’re banging your head against a brick wall.

Some will listen, some won’t and when some do they end up tweaking and changing things to fit wha they want to be, rather than how it ought to be.

Given the almost endless amount of information we have access to, finding patters of what work is easy.

The hard part is having people stick to them.

You see most things will work provided you give them a fair crack at the whip.

Does it mean it’s the ‘perfect’ method for you?

Absolutely not, you might be better off doing something else, however unless you give a good amount of time to anything then nothing will ever work.

How long do we need to stay with something?

That’s the million dollar question and I don’t have a good answer for it.

6 weeks?
12 weeks?
26 weeks?

As with a lot of things it will come down to the ever classic fallback of – it depends.

One thing may work for you for 3 weeks only, something else might work for 3 years, it’s truly a pain in the ass to know, however you simply need to take that chance and give something a go.

If you find it isn’t doing anything, then go back to what you were doing.

The tricky part is actually having the courage to try something new and the faith to stick at it for a while.

You’ve probably heard of the old sayings surrounding change taking time, that results (whatever they are to you) will be less a straight line and more like and spirograph.

I truly wish I could tell you exactly what YOU needed to hear.

I can’t and anyone who claims to is either a tad naive or is trying to sell you something.

Giving general advice however, well, stick with something for at least 6months, if nothing happened then chances are it’s not the right thing for you to be doing.

Say you are getting results and they seem consistent, great, keep going.

Simple really.

Enjoy,
Ross

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A little spice perhaps?

Take a look around your gym or current place you train.

Now ask yourself, why are you there?

What emotions are driving you to become better than you currently are, if that is intact the case.

After spending one lifetime in the gym, a lot has been seen.

So many failures, stagnations and regressions.

Most people hit their initial goal, they have their first and seemingly last hoorah, only then to spend any further time after they let their starting success slip by trying to get back to ‘where they were’.

A nobel notion, yet it’s still a foolish one.

Speaking from experience, trying to achieve or relive past glories just isn’t wise because everything is different now.

What you did won’t happen in the same way again, you can than the law of accommodation and GAS (general adaptation syndrome) for that.

You see our bodies remember what we did, they adapt and make is so that if we end up doing the sam things again it is less metabolically costly, meaning the results won’t be on the same standard as they were before.

None of this finding what works for you gubbins because what works for you is simply what works RIGHT NOW.

Thing stop working for a reason.

That reason is noted above, you adapted.

While you might really enjoy something if it yields not further result then it’s largely if not entirely a waste of time.

You’d have no hesitation in telling a child that once all their juice is gone from the carton that continue to suckle on it won’t magically produce more juice, same is true for your training, the only difference is that because you’re an adult you seem to have forgotten that the rules of life apply to you.

Another pitfall in doing what we did before, training or nutrition wise, is that we remember how it was and if it’s not up to par we mentally berate ourselves.

This also gives us a reason to fail as well.

Hours then get put into finding all the excuses as to ‘why’ progress can no longer happen, essentially we chase sympathy and pity from others, rather than dragging ourselves forwards out of the mud.

Mud is warm in some cases I suppose, so the appeal is logical.

If the above resonates with you then instead of going back to do what you did before, bin it all off and take another route entirely.

No excuses, no bullshit, just action.

Ask yourself, why am I doing this?

For what reasons emotionally do I want to progress?

Why do I need to be better?

Fond memories of the past should remain as exactly that, memories.

You’re not writing a new chapter because that book is done and now up on a shelf somewhere, it’s time to write a new story instead of repeating and rehashing the same sad old one.

If variety is the spice of life then why not seek change.

Enjoy,
Ross

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Calories & Your Mind

A friend of mine brought up a great point yesterday in a conversation.
 
‘If people know what they need to do to lose fat or achieve a gym based goal, and essentially how easy it is why is it they struggle? I feel it’s more the mental side of things that need addressing than the fact of calories in/calories out.’
 
^^ I’m paraphrasing, however that is the overall gist.
 
Solid point, right?
 
When it comes to the mental state of the masses I have one thing to say on the topic.
 
You, me and everyone else are broken.
 
Yep, many come from similar backgrounds of dysfunctional families, emotional traumas, social compromises and much more.
 
Those few that have their shit together are rare.
 
Essentially they’re the unicorns of the world, much like kids who grow up with both parents happily married, a loving pair of siblings and they house with a white picket fence.
 
Mental health has been given far more of the spotlight over these last few years, for good reason too.
 
It can play a large role in how a person progresses through life, yet many will not ever want to delve in to their own psyche, at least not until they’re ready, which might be never.
 
You’d be amazed how many would rather live shrouded by indifference than step out in to clarity.
 
Then we have people that will fall back on their mental health issues to keep themselves protected and firmly routed in the place they currently reside.
 
Stack all of this up and then try to throw in a body composition related goal such as fat loss or LBM gain and you’ve got quite the recipe for struggle.
 
While achieving goals is often simple, it’s rarely easy.
 
Take for example someone who gets dumped due to putting on a hefty amount of comfort weight in a relationship.
 
Once it happens the person decides to make a change, and often succeed.
 
The find a new partner, a better one, kinda.
 
Once again they begin putting their lost comfort weight back on and the cycle repeats, perhaps for their entire life and many won’t ever stop to ask why.
 
This is where knowing a little about your own mental pitfalls can be rather advantageous.
 
In regards to the example above, food is often linked to our emotions or rather a missed emotional need that isn’t being met, as such we get that need which our partner/significant other isn’t attending to filled by food.
 
One thing to remember is that when something is missing from our lives we will often find ways to plug that hole.
 
It can be in the form of food, fornication with people other than our other half, drugs or something else entirely.
 
Emotional leakage you might call it.
 
Then what we use to plug that hole is nothing more than a low quality band aid, which will of course come off and need replacing, I guess it’s back to the fridge then.
 
Being completely at peace with who you are is rare.
 
In fact some people never achieve it.
 
This can cause many to think there is something wrong with them, when that could’t be further from the truth because the majority of everyone else is int he exact same place.
 
Of course it doesn’t help that people life their ‘fantasy’ life on social media which gives off the image they’ve got all their shit together, which they haven’t.
 
If they had they wouldn’t be needed to share it every 5minutes via their mobile apps.
 
So, in regards to what my friend said, mental health is a massive factor because unless you’ve got the courage to step in to the unknown part of your own self, then even something as simple as losing some excess body fat can become an insurmountable task.
 
How well do you know yourself?
 
Ask yourself the questions that you haven’t yet dared to, it might just be the first step you need.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Totally Addicted to Pain

You like feeling sore post training, don’t you.
 
Leaving the gym absolutely destroyed.
 
Hurting the same and even the next or next few days, that’s what it’s all about, right?
 
You’re addicted to pain is seems.
 
I was like you once.
 
While you can indeed live for this style of training it doesn’t do much.
 
Just because you’re sore that doesn’t mean you’ve made progress, it just means your sore.
 
If your level of discomfort/pain post external stressor/stimulus was the main factor in how many gains you made then everyone who had a major accident, such as –
 
Car crashes, falling down man holes, getting jumped and beaten to a pulp or tearing a muscle(s) falling down stairs.
 
Well they’d all be jacked by that logic.
 
Yea, sounds a little absurd, that’s because it is.
 
While this is indeed a logical fallacy, it helps people understand a simple point, you don’t need to kill yourself and if you’re seeking certain feelings from training then that says more about your psychology than anything else.
 
I can personally understand wanting to leave a session feeling accomplished.
 
In the past I was even caught in the trap of not being happy unless post training I felt demolished.
 
While it was good for the ego, it did little in the way of achieving progress.
 
It’s funny really.
 
I’ve had clients where we’ve reduced their training amount by as much as three quarters, they’ve ended up making more in the way of results in 3 months following this change than they did in their last 5 years of training the way they like.
 
The saddest part is that even though they could see and admitted they were getting the best results of their life for a long time, they didn’t like the training.
 
They wanted to do more because they felt they needed to.
 
Even in the face of strong evidence to that thought.
 
People are strange creatures.
 
We want to do what we want, even if it doesn’t get us to the goal or any progress what so ever, the cognitive dissonance is frightening.
 
Mellow as I have become over the years I still want to shake some people and tell them to stop being fools.
 
I of course put myself in this camp as well.
 
Let me as you this, why wouldn’t you want to change your training to get results?
 
In fact why wouldn’t you want to get results?
 
Are you one of the few who trains multiple times a day (or for 2 hours sessions of back to back classes) and gets no results?
 
If that is you then perhaps you need to reevaluate.
 
Then ask yourself this; What is training to me?
 
Now some will spend that long in the gym for deeper psychological reasons, this is worth discussion.
 
That being said, the aim of the game is to make progress because the body doesn’t really ever stay stagnant for too long.
 
You’re either making progress or regressing.
 
Maintaining balance is an illusion.
 
Often one championed by the mediocrity who achieve some basic results and are then ‘happy’ with where they are.
 
Those are the same people who end up putting on almost all of the weight they lost or regressing back to before they started training.
 
They repeat this cycle for many years.
 
All just to look, okay, average, mediocre.
 
I sincerely doubt anyone ever wakes up as a child and thinks –
 
“Oh boy, I hope when I grow up that I’m perfectly average.”
 
Would you do me a kindness?
 
Please leave what the gym means to you in the comments section, along with the last time you achieved any notable results.
 
Be honest.
 
I didn’t make any in the time period of 2010-2014, while I gained strength nothing else changed, wasted time that I will never get back.
 
These days I train in the gym as I did when I was in my competitive fields, for performance, to become a better human.
 
I don’t personally need the gym for respite or mental reprieve, for that I have places to go and write, people to share and have deep conversations with because I learn a long time ago that the gym can only change how I look, not how I feel about myself, not really.
 
Any mental fortitude from the gym is fleeting at best.
 
Don’t believe me, just speak to any physique competitor, most are chronically depressed because no matter how good we can make ourselves look on the outside that won’t change what, who we are on the inside.
 
In our heart we will always be the fat kid who was bullied at school and the only way to change that is not by working out, it’s by working in.
 
The gym is a tool, that all, a tool.
 
That’s me though, I know me, what I’m really interested in is getting to know more about you.
 
I look forwards to reading your comments below.
 
Ross

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Calories & creatures of habit.

Are you obsessed with the first while also being caught in the vicious cycle of the second?
 
Many are because loosening the reigns it too scary.
 
Did you know that on average people eat between only 15-20 different foods per week.
 
It’s not a great amount of variety, yet I know why many do it.
 
Safety, familiarity and all that other good stuff synonymous with the comfort zone.
 
From a calorie tracking perspective this makes things easy, yet it also means there might not be much change physically.
 
When you eat the same foods again and again the body will become better accustomed to processing them, in another word more efficient.
 
This will potentially lower the TEF a tad.
 
You’d also be surprised as o how devoid of certain nutrients you may actually be, a common consequence of lacking variety of foods.
 
Now many might say it’s because they don’t like certain foods, which might be true, however more often than not they’re just being fussy because their parents allowed them to be that way in their youth.
 
There is also the potential case that they’re being lazy.
 
We are not talking about preparing 5 star gourmet every day, however a little change will do you the world of good.
 
Sticking with the same foods all the time,while not only dull, will also lead to anxiety when you can’t get your fix because you feel your control slipping away from you.
 
I’ve seen it happen time and again.
 
Being the intelligent individuals you are, I’m sure you can understand that without change there will often be no change.
 
This applies to your nutrition as well.
 
Opting for more variety in what you eat can help you start to make that much sought after progress you desire, honestly.
 
You can keep the calories at whatever level they need to be for your desired goal while changing the food choices.
 
^^ On a calorie laden note, you can have higher days and lower days so long as the total amount of calories across the longer term tracking (say 1 year) is in sync with your goal – surplus for gain, deficit for loss.
 
^^ You don’t need to eat the same calories day in day you, you wouldn’t do it for training volume/intensity so remember you don’t have to do it for food either.
 
Do me a favour, keep a food diary for 2 weeks.
 
Sit down and take a look at those two weeks and see how many foods you eat on average, I’m willing to bet it falls in to the above (15-20).
 
*Of course i am bias towards a more whole foods approach to nutrition from a health stand point, however if on any given day you want cake then have the damn cake, enjoy it, don’t lament it, then adjust your foods the next day and carry on with life.
 
Once you’ve done this take a look at all the other foods you can add in, swap/substitute and enjoy.
 
Most ironic of all is all the people that call themselves ‘foodies’ are of the aforementioned ilk.
 
Give the above some thought.
 
Loosen the reigns and break the cycle of being the same.
 
Enjoy
Ross

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