Tag Archives: experience

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.
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.

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Methods for more freedom.

Morning Guys,

The amount of training knowledge/resources that have become available over the last decade are absolutely outstanding, however knowing which ones to read and then apply for you can be difficult.

Here is a quick guide to the types of methods that will work well deepening on a persons experience levels. Obviously that is not to say that the methods can’t be used in any level, this is just a frame/guide for the most optimal use of them from my experience.

Beginners – Less than 2 years training experience

– Linear Progression (think 5×5)
– The Hepburn Method (think double/triple progression)

Intermediate – Between 2-4 years training experience

– Block Periodisation (think 1-3month strength, hypertrophy, cutting)
– RPE Based Programming (look up reactive training systems)

Advanced – 4+ years training experience

– DUP/WUP (weekly or daily undulating periodisation, this would be a heavy-light-medium rotation on either daily or weekly sessions)
– Daily Maxing & Back Off Sets (working to a heavy rep range then backing off for volume, look up auto-regulation)

Now all of these methods can be used at any level, however you will notice that the more advanced the lifer becomes in terms of training age the more intuitive the workouts become, this is because they will have gained a sense of how their body works and how hard to push themselves, something some intermediates have but a form of training beginners should not go near quite yet.

You will find that some top level athletes use block periodisation and have a very structured program because that’s how they work best, there is technically no ‘best’ training method, however there are ones that are better suited depending on a persons level of experience.

Take the tips in this post and look objectively at the information you seek so that you can find what is best for you at this current stage. Once you find something that you want to put in to action I suggest you do it for at least 3 months, perhaps 6 because only then will you know if it’s working for you.

As Captain Barbossa once said “They’re more like guidelines than actually rules.”



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Almost the same, but not quite.

This week I made my way through a several books, some on philosophy and others training related. Two in particular were the Science & Development of Muscle Hypertrophy, and The Muscle & Strength Training Pyramid, both had good information that covered the same topic from two different view points, with the most interesting part being that they both covered similar studies but their recommendations for achieving optimal hypertrophy were not identical in every aspect.
The M&S Pyramid had the following to day:
– Frequency: train each muscle group 2-3xP/W.
– Total volume: 40-70reps per muscle group P/S (80-210P/W).
– Intensity: 1-15RM – 3/4 total volume in 6+ rep range & 1/4 in 1-6 rep range, RPE based.
– Exercise Recommendation: 1-2 compound and 1-3 isolation per muscle group.
– Rest: 90-180seconds rest (90-isolation, 180-compound)
– Tempo: Nothing too fancy, stay controlled and safe but make sure that the tempo doesn’t become too slow that it compromises the weights being lifted and lowers the overall intensity.
Some pretty solid recommendations based on a nice blend of science and experience.
Here is what the S&D of Muscle Hypertrophy have to say:
– Frequency: train each muscle group 2-3xP/W.
– Total volume: 40-70reps P/S (no mention of weekly volume but far more in protein synthesis elevation and how it correlates to growth).
– Intensity: 1-20+ reps with the load determining the rep range, 6RM-12RM most mentioned while also hitting momentary muscle failure.
– Exercise Recommendation: Had a section on muscle actions/mechanics with some examples but nothing specific, basically compound with isolation mixed in.
– Rest: 90-120seconds rest (90-isolation, 120-compound)
– Tempo: 30second minimum TUT per set.
All in all pretty similar, all be it with a couple of differences in terms of overall recommendations. This is why it’s worth gathering information from various sources so that you can compare and make your own informed decisions about what you know.

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