Tag Archives: consistency

A little knowledge is dangerous, and a lot will leave you paralysed

Squats & press behind the neck, 2-3days per week.
 
That was the recommendation of Perry Rader in regards to abbreviated training (from reading Dinosaur Strength Training, by Brooks Kubik).
 
Just two simple movements.
 
Coming from a weightlifting bias you can see the logic.
 
Other people of that era also used to do very little, for example Bob Peoples would put in a lot of time deadlifting (many days per week).
 
Another chap, who’s name current escapes me, did pull ups everyday, even getting to the point of hammering out 200+ in single sets.
 
It wasn’t uncommon either for people to pick one lift and specialise in it for several weeks/months until they hit a new personal record with it, then move on to something else.
 
Being spoilt for choice with our training options, and training information seems to have left many people frustrated and lacking direction.
 
Even if they are to stumble across something that will work provided they’re consistent in their application of said protocol, many give up within a couple of weeks.
 
Often drawn in by something flashy and new.
 
I get it though, the allure of flitting from one thing to the next.
 
It keeps people interested, yet such an attitude also keeps them in the same place physically, and while some might be happy miring in the mud, it’s nothing more than a waste of time for most of us.
 
How long do you stick with a training program?
 
4 weeks or maybe even 12?
 
You could be one of the few who changes things daily due to getting bored too quickly.
 
The attitude of ‘something is better than nothing’ has been around for a long time, however that has been born form the modern working world where staff would rathe robe seen as simply being ‘busy’ than being productive.
 
Middle management with inferiority complexes pounce on staff that have stopped for even the briefest of moments.
 
Usually spouting some bullshit such as – “I can find something for you to do.”, good old micromanagement.
 
Well obviously, we can always find something to do however that doesn’t mean it’s productive, and in that case doing something is not better than doing nothing because it will often be done with a half assed attitude.
 
In fitness the above attitude leads people to treating themselves at night after they’ve successfully ‘done something’.
 
These are the same people who wonder why nothing ever seems to change and mentally they’re still stuck and unhappy.
 
A little consistency, dedication and mental toughness to stick with something will go a long way.
 
Dear readers, or those who’ve made it this far.
 
Does your training cover these three key elements:
 
– It is Consistent
– Has Progressive Overload Planned
– Enjoyment
 
While the first two are crucial, they’re often going to fall by the wayside if the last one isn’t present.
 
Do share your current training (and current training thoughts/philosophies) below.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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The House of Lean

Cardio isn’t covered too frequently on here, yet that doesn’t mean it’s not important or in fact trained by this strength loving lifter.
 
When it comes to conditioning here is what happens:
 
– Sparring (stand up, grappling etc)
– Kettlebell work
– Walking briskly
 
From a personal perspective, I tend to keep the rest periods down and just crack out some decent volume in a short period of time with the kettlebells (high density/work capacity).
 
This may sound like HIIT, it’s not.
 
Many think they do HIIT and they don’t, just putting that out there.
 
These days I have to admit I don’t track heart rate, I go on a feeling of fatigue, power in movements and keep my breathing regulated, rest is taken when needed and kept to the minimum amount required before I can go again.
 
Is this optimal?
 
Not especially, however, the aim is to build an overall level of work that can be repeated and progression comes in the form of heavier kettlebells or harder sparring rounds.
 
As for the walking, well when you can cover 6miles (my average walk) in 45min on average you know your pace is good – yet I really do walk that fast, it’s a slow jog to most people (blowing my own trumpet here).
 
For most people, though there is a far more optimal way of adding in some conditioning that takes them away from the monotony of running or classic CV kit in the gym.
 
– Loaded Carries
– Agility Ladder Drills
– Movement Patterns
 
^^ You can do these individually or combine them.
 
All you need to it set a block of time 10-30min and two HRR targets.
 
For most people, these tend to be the sweet spot:
 
Minimum THRR – 120bpm
Maximum THRR – 170-175bpm
 
You pick your poison and start moving, once you hit the higher target you sustain it as long as you can, don’t go above, simply sustain that number (this teaches you how to regulate/control your body), when you feel fatigued and the rate drops a few beats you rest.
 
Some active recovery (corrective drills like foam rolling etc) will be done until you end up near the minimum target, that means you’re recovered-ish, so you no go again.
 
Repeating this for 10-30min is quite the challenge.
 
Now some of you will probably be thinking “My HR is way higher than 170 and I hold that for ages” – this is more than likely the case however the chances are is that you’re then ticking over.
 
Once the body hits a certain point it decides to become very efficient in what it’s doing, hence why playing with the HR can yield a more favourable result because you’re forcing it to become not only adaptive but also responsive.
 
This is a very inefficient way of training and that’s exactly why it works.
 
We make the most progress in working inefficiently because our body has to adapt to survive and become better.
 
Don’t get me wrong, there is a time for working efficiently, and that is crucial if you play a sport, however, if your goal if overall fitness, fat loss and conditioning then the former is what you need.
 
Try the above with a sandbag weight half of what you do and do the following:
 
– Pick it up and throw it over your shoulder 10 times (5R/5L)
– Now carry it 20-50m
– Follow the HRR targets
– Repeat for 10-30min
– Slowly embrace the crippling expanse of the void
– Enjoy
 
Conditioning comes in many forms.
 
The above is but one example, the biggest thing to remember is this – find something that works.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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An odd little protocol that’s good for strength & conditioning.

If general physical fitness is your goal then you’ll like this.
W/U – Antagonist to your main lift
A1 – Main lift
C/D – Movement Flow
Yep, just three things to do.
You can have a super set of A1/A2 if you like as that also works well.
Here is a little example based on something I did recently with the above.
W/U – Kettlebell Clean & Press – 3-5 reps, 10min
A1 – Deadlift x 5,5,5,5,5,3,3,3,2,2, 20min
C/D – Sandbag Carry & Lizard Crawl (10-20m each), 10min
^^ I tend to stretch or do corrective work while listening to a podcast/watching a seminar in dead time.
You might be wandering what this is all about: 5,5,5,5,5,3,3,3,2,2.
Put simply it is working up to a heavy double with a wavy loading scheme, here is how mine looked doing double overhand sumo DL the other day.
All in KG – 100,130,110,140,120,150,130,160,140,170
Rest was not timed just enough to feel ready and change the plates around.
The W/U & C/D served as extra volume and covered the rest of the body movement wise.
You could run the above 3-5 days per week, I’d go for 3 starting out because you’re training full body each session when you look at it.
The main lift will have a top set of 5-3-2 so pick some lifts you want to improve on, oh and you can keep it the same each time if you wish, I plan on having DL be the main lift each time due to a knee injury and inability to squat without pain.
Try to have some fun with your training, you’l find it’s easier to stay consistent that way.
Enjoy,
Ross

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2 Gems of Wisdom

I was reading ‘can you go’ by Dan John last night.
 
It’s not a bad read, some nice simple advice and it also gives you a way to see things in a broader perspective when it comes to fitness/nutrition and goal setting.
 
Two things in particular have stood from the pages turned last night.
 
The first point:
 
– If you only had 3 slots of 15min to work out each week to help you achieve your goal, what would you do?
 
A very interesting point to make.
 
The premise behind it was to help people see what was not only necessary but more importantly essential to achieving success.
 
Now you will get a lot of people who immediately jump up and down saying things like “I can;t even warm up in that time.” or “I’d do nothing, it wouldn’t be worth it.” – both of which are actually valid points, however that’s not the purpose of the question.
 
The purpose is one of gaining clarity and prioritising what a person NEEDS to do sos that they actually improve, over what they WANT to do.
 
So who would you use those three 15min slots?
 
For me it would be something like this:
 
Workout 1:
A1 – Squat
A2 – Kettlebell Clean & Press with Load Carry walk
 
Workout 2:
A1 – Deadlift
A2 – Weighted Dip
 
 
Workout 3:
A1 – Clean & Jerk
A2 – Weighted Pull Up
 
1-6 reps depending on the how I felt and crack out as many rounds of each pairing as possible in those 15min.
 
A follow-up from the above.
 
Given what you have just written down, are you doing those things and if not, why not?
 
Surely you should be doing them if they are that important, right…
 
The second point is a nice simple one.
 
– The first step to success is showing up. The second is continuing to show up.
 
A humble lesson in consistency.
 
Let’s say, like above, you can only do 3x15min sessions, if you kept showing up for all of them for an extended period of time you’d get better results in the long run than someone who train intermittently and you’d immediately get better results than those who never start.
 
As a species we are actually quite lazy, don’t worry though, it’s a survival mechanism. We always look to find an easier more productive way to do something, so it’s not all bad because it’s helped us survive over the years.
 
When it comes to the journey of lifting, life & nutrition however, you need to have absolute adherence and plan the coming days accordingly.
 
So tell me, what would you do in your 3x15min sessions a week?
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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