Tag Archives: fat loss

A Training Protocol too simple to hurt as much as it does.

Morning Y’all,
 
Being a little bit of a nerd I personally enjoy the principles behind things not everyone wants that, so why not just get straight to the good stuff 💪
 
Protocol 1 – 6-12-25
 
A classic from Charles Poliquin.
 
Choose three movements.
 
Do a set of 6 for the first, 12 for the second & 25 for the third to fully decimate a muscle group/area.
 
Examples for each movement pattern:
 
Do 2-3 sets of the following with 2-4min rest after A3.
 
Push –
A1 – Weighted Dip x6
A2 – Close Grip Canadian Press x12
A3 – TRX Tiger-Bend x25
 
Pull –
A1 – Weighted Ring Chin Up x6
A2 – T-bar Row x12
A3 – Face Pull x25
 
Squat –
A1 – Front Squat x6
A2 – Squat (close stance, heels raised – cyclist squat) x12
A3 – Duck Stance Leg Press x25
 
Hinge –
A1 – Snatch Grip Deficit Deadlift x6
A2 – RDL x12
A3 – Prone Hamstring Curl (neutral feet) x25
 
If you do this correctly you will find a drop of in loading % of each set after 2, this usually because at our top weights we’ve got 1-2 good sets in us, then things start to fatigue so a reduction in load of 5-10% is sensible.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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The 1 Superpower Y’all Really Want

In my experience if there is one superpower that most women would want it’d be this:
 
To eat /drink as much as they like and never get fat.
 
Which to be fair could be a something most people want.
 
Did you know though that this could be a reality, oh yes, you could have this superpower.
 
Chances are you’ve heard of it in its alias.
 
This is it – Strength & Conditioning.
 
Believe it or not when you train properly and give it a truly worthy effort good things tend to happen.
 
Moving starts to become easier, aches/pains begin to reside and your mentality improves too.
 
Your nutrition improves due to your body demanding higher qualities of nutrient sources.
 
Muscle mass increases as your strength does, this then in tern leads to high force/power outputs and when combined with legitimate aerobic work that build a formidable work capacity you’ve got a near perfect storm for longevity.
 
The price you’d need to pay for this would merely be effort and consistency.
 
You see when you get some solid years of training under your belt that takes you physically to decent levels of physical strength & work capacity, you will have created a massive reserve in your body for the consumption of calories.
 
While it’s true your body will send you after higher quality ones first and foremost, you will find that when you do suddenly fancy a cake or few cheeky beverages of an alcoholic nature they don’t even make a dent anymore, in fact they’d barely register.
 
Yet the biggest things you’d notice is that the cravings for the poorer quality food/drink would diminish.
 
Habits would change as your health improves,both physical and mental.
 
Remember though, effort and consistency would be required.
 
Now you’ve had this knowledge exposed what will you do with it?
 
Do you want to be what many would consider to be a physical superhero, or do you perhaps want something else?
 
You should investigate this thoroughly.
 
While you do that here are two simple sessions that you can rotate in a 3 day per week training system.

300-200-100:
 
You can rotate these for added spice, be warned though, it can be brutal.
 
Session 1 – Swings x300, Hill Sprints x200 seconds, Dips x100

Session 2 – Squat x300, Loaded Carries x200 seconds, Pull Ups x100

Session 3 – Swings x200, Hill Sprints x100 seconds, Dips x300
Session 4- Squat x200, Loaded Carries x100 seconds, Pull Ups x300

Session 5 – Swings x100, Hill Sprints x300 seconds, Dips x200

Session 6- Squat x100, Loaded Carries x300 seconds, Pull Ups x200


 
*Higher rep targets (200-300) can have substitutes.
 
Try and do 50 of these sessions in total if you need somewhere to start (feel free to change up the movement variations as you see fit). .
 
Now this would be very basic S&C, literally scratching the surface however training more productive than what the majority of people are currently doing.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Productive or Destructive?

Chances are you’re aware of the evolution of how many training days I will now suggest most people do per week.
 
2-4 works well for many, with 3 splitting the difference 😂
 
While it is true that this attitude comes from years of making mistakes and doing too much it is not without some aspects of the past.
 
You see training less, or doing less better doesn’t mean pissing about.
 
Your sessions still want to be worth your time.
 
This will mean putting in a decent amount of intensity/effort each time you step foot in the gym, that doesn’t mean killing yourself for the sake of it.
 
There is a big difference between intense training that is productive and and intense one that is destructive.
 
Which would you rather – Productive or Destructive?
 
Many think that the training they do is the former when in reality it’s the latter and because of this they struggle to make progress.
 
When you delve into the training literature you’ll find that volume & intensity are not as inversely related as you might think.
 
True enough you still need to wave the loading and play with the volume* levels however many can work far harder than they realise and the result of not doing so is progress/gains being left on the gym floor.
 
*A volume reduction every third or fifth session by 40-60% is a good way to not burn out, intensity can be kept in the 70-85% 1RM range by doing this.
 
**If you venture in to the 90%+ realms you will last about three weeks as this level, then you may need to back off for 6-9weeks before going back to this height again.
 
Many are becoming more aware of this though.
 
The introduction of ‘Effective Reps’ lately has helped many.
 
You will find the common theme is that you need to have 15-35 effective reps per movement to make progress.
 
Say you do 5 sets of 5 with 90% of your 5RM, fresh yo will find the first 2 sets of 5 may have no real effective reps due to the muscle recruitment needed, set 3 you might get 2, then 3 on set 4 and perhaps 4 on set 5, yielding 9 total effective reps.
 
This is not new information.
 
I remember writing about this back in 2010 (the muscle fibre recruitment side of things and how more sets lead to greater fatigue and thus great muscular recruitment), I shall try and dig it up.
 
You see often 5×5 isn’t 5×5, it’s actually 2×5.
 
The first three sets while they are ‘working sets’ they’re not ‘WORKING SETS’ due to the bodies neurological firing/ramping processes.
 
It is at times like these where knowing how the numbers work can make all the difference.
 
Here is a short version that you can apply literally today:
 
– Lifting sub max RM loads you’d do well to add 2-3 extra sets (7×5 instead of 5×5)
 
– Using 100% RM loads you’d do well to do 2-3reps less than the RM load (sets of 8 with 10RM load)
 
– TUL is important, you want to create as much tension from rep 1 as possible and aim to keep this throughout the entire set (or ideally generate more tension if possible)
 
A nifty way to apply this in training without needing to know the numbers though is as follows – Ramping.
 
Ramping:
 
– Pick a rep range (6)
– Do sets of 6 adding weight until you hit the 6RM for the day.
 
Next Options:
 
– Drop down 10% and rep sets of 6 until you lose a rep, then drop another 5% and repeat.
 
Looks like this – 6RM = 100kg, -10% to 90kg 6,6,6,6,5, -5% to 85kg 6,6,6,4 – finished for the day on lift movement.
 
Alternatively:
– Hit the top 6, rest 5min and repeat the same load, do this as many times as possible with good form.
 
Looks like this – 6RM = 100kg, rest 6, rest 6, rest, 6 rest, 4 now done for the day.
 
Finally:
– Hit the top 6, drop 20% off the load and re-ramp, repeat this from the original 20% drop until speed/tension/form can no longer be maintained.
 
Looks like this – 6RM = 100kg, -20%, 80kg re-ramp>97kg, -20%, 80kg re-ramp>90kg, -20% 80kg re-ramp>85kg – a good place to stop for the day.
 
While simple they are effective ways of getting in more quality work.
 
Remember that you don’t need to spend hours training.
 
You do however how to train with intent, otherwise you’re merely there for the sake of being there and while people may say that you doing something is better than nothing I can tell you without any hesitation it’s not.
 
Something isn’t better than nothing.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Playing with Time

After writing a small piece on Gains Central the idea of ‘Timed Sets’ got touched on.
 
Given these are great little tools for giving people a variable shock and devotion from the norm they’re worth sharing here too.
 
As the name suggests you’re performing a set based on a length of time and not just a number of reps.
 
These are great for 3 reasons:
 
– Overload
– Mental Toughness
– Easy to Program
 
Here is an example of how you might utilise a timed set.
 
A1 – Squat x2min x4 sets
 
Pretty simple right?
 
Now you don’t need to have the time being a static thing, it can change set to set if required, this can allow for harder sets first or hard-easy sets.
 
A1 Squat –
Set 1 x120sec
Set 2 x90sec
Set 3 x60sec
Set 4 x30sec
 
Alternatively
 
A1 Squat –
Set 1 x30Sec
Set 2 x120sec
Set 3 x60sec
Set 4 x90sec
 
Honestly these are very enjoyable and also great for people who are short on time in their training because it will allow for accurate planning so that an effective session can be squeezed into very little spare time.
 
How long you decide to have the time of each set can be to your discretion, you might even choose to do 5min of non-stop squatting, tough yet 2 sets of that will be a good session for the day.
 
Here are two sessions I’ve personally alternated in the past when time has been tight, please be aware there was no specific warm up and I’d often use the first timed set as the warm up.
 
Session 1 – Kettlebells
A1 – Clean & Press x2min x3sets
B1 – Swings x5min x2sets
60 seconds rest
 
Session 2 –
A1 – Inverted Rows* x 2min x3sets
B1 – Squats** x5min x2set
60 seconds rest***
 
*Or renegade rows, or pull ups depending on gym kit
**Or kettlbell, barbell, sandbag, depending on gym kit
***Variable depending on what time I had, most session ended up being 20-25min only.
 
Very minimalistic, very effective.
 
If you’ve never tried timed sets before add them in as accessory work on smaller isolation lifts first because they catch a lot of people out because they’re easier on paper than they are in reality.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Dial in, and die.

Or is it dice now?

Once upon a time die was considered the singular term and dice was plural, however I think now it might just be dice for both singular and plural.

Anyway, this nifty little tool can provide some great training sessions.

All you need to is have one (you can use two, or you just roll one multiple times like a logical person would).

^^ Personally I quite like having two though as there’s nothing better than rolling two of them and getting a double 6.

If you are a person who needs structure yet finds it hard to stick to said structure then this will be a great tool for you.

Simply follow the below:

Set up 6 sessions for each of numbers on the dice.

Example:
1 – Clean & Push Press > Pull Up: Super Set
2 – Sprints (any kit)
3 – Deadlift > Kettlebell Swing >Farmers Walk> Floor Press: Giant-set
4 – Slams (any kit – think ropes, med balls, sand bags, etc)
5 – Squats
6 – Front Squat > Squat > Lunge: Ti-set

Next for the sets and reps, as an example.

On the lifting rolls form the above:
First roll (one dice) = reps you will do (1-6)
Second roll (two dice) = sets you will do (2-12)

That’s it, you may get a very easy day, or a very hard one, these don’t include warm ups though.

On the CV option from above:
First roll (one dice) = seconds of work (10-60 seconds)
Second roll (one dice) = seconds of rest (10-60 seconds)
Third roll (two dice) = total amount of rounds (2-12)

Personally I’d only preform one of the example sessions, even if it ended up being something like this:

Squats – 2 sets of 1 rep.

See it as a gift for a low volume session, the temptation would be to avoid doing more because when I’ve prescribed this in the past people have thought they’ve known better and make what would have been a very easy session stupidly hard by doing extra because of ego, then when the dice cast gave them a hard session they couldn’t perform.

Poor performance apparently happens to 1 in 5 you know.

Don’t give in to your ego, train once per day, if you have an easy session today, then train again tomorrow, if that is again super easy, train the day after that as well and keep repeating this until you get a session that takes a lot of effort and then you HAVE to rest for one or two days.

It’s a nice was to have some structure and yet still a good amount of variety because you don’t know what you will roll (unless the dice are weighted), so you could end upsetting the same session a couple of times in a row, unlikely however it might happen.

As you can see the above is super easy to plan/program.

My main advice for you would be this though; have 4 numbers with things you don’t do often and really need to be doing more of, and two that you like doing, this sill help your overall progress because we get better by doing the things we need to do (or don’t do), not what we want to do.

So go grab a die, or dice and have some fun.

Enjoy,
Ross

P.S – if you’re really sadistic you can use D&D dice.

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One move to almost rule them all

The clean & press (push press/jerk) is a great movement.

Whether you do it with a barbell, dumbbells, kettlebells, odd objects or people, it yields some great results.

As far as looking for a movement that covers everything, this is pretty damn close to being perfect.

I say close to because you can’t get maximal speed/power like you could with a snatch, nor the raw pressing strength like that of a bench press, or even the leg strength from a squat, you get the idea.

That being said, it’s still epic.

If you have any of these in your list of goals:

– Strength
– Increase LBM
– Lose Fat
– Increase Athleticism
– Look Cool

Then this is a movement you should be doing in abundance.

These days we have a lot of choice when it comes to training, and while this is great it’s also a problem because the level of results based on the average gym goer have gone down over the years.

Having too many options is the devil.

Back in an almost forgotten time when I would teach classes (well, small groups), the training would be simple, so much so that some used to complain and not come back.

I didn’t miss them, they didn’t have faith int he process and just wanted to have their bis appealed to and their ego stroked.

One thing with training is often the most effective stuff (once you’re past the point of beginner gains) is often a little dull and very repetitive.

To add in all the fancy and flamboyant stuff requires skill.

Not skill in coaching, although that is a necessity in my eyes, it requires skill from the participants in said training because if they can’t keep up then they need to take a step back and start at a level appropriate for them, less the don’t progress.

Anyone who’s worked with large groups will be able to give you lists of what works well and what requires some extra time/attention.

Anywho, back to the C&P.

Here is how you might apply this glorious movement to a three day per week training protocol.

This would yield Fat Loss as the primary function, LBM would be secondary and Strength as a by product.

All C/P variations done with a bar.

Day 1 –
W/U – Kettlebell Swing x15min (5/15 interval)
A1 – Clean & P/P x5-3-2-5-3-2-5-3-2
B1 – Front Squat x10-8-6-8-10
C/D – Stretching

Day 2 –
W/U – Bear Complex 3-5reps x15min (vary load as needed)
A1 – Clean & Press x1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10
A2 – Bent Over Row or Pull Up x6-8
C/D – Stretching

Day 3 –
W/U – Loaded Carry (hug & shoulder, alternate) 20m x15min
A1 – Clean & Jerk x3-2-1-3-2-1-3-2-1-3-2-1-3-2-1
B1 – Floor Press x4-6×4-6
C/D – Stretching

Rest periods can be kept int he 60-120second mark after each wave, rest only long enough to change the weights int he way or briefly if you are going to keep the load static in a wave.

Example:

– 5 > add load, 3 > add load, 2 > add load > rest 120sec
– 5 > 20sec, 3 > 20 sec, 2 > 20sec > add load and rest 90sec

You get the idea.

This is one example, there are many more.

Enjoy,
Ross

P.S –

There are endless videos on how to do this, here is one decent one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcCGLoNqN2U

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This IS the problem.

Losing weight isn’t the hard part.
 
That comes later.
 
In the initial stages of a ‘weight loss’ journey.
 
I dislike that term as it’s really fat loss people are after because if you just wanted to lose weight you could chop off a leg and you’d see a reducing on your scale weight.
 
Fat loss my friends, that’s what people want.
 
With that fat loss they also desire to gain lean muscle, what many called ‘toned’.
 
You can’t have tone without muscle, and you can’t have muscle without accepting you need to get stronger.
 
Anyway, I’m rambling.
 
Having your numbers take a downward trend on the scales is very easy, millions of people achieve weight loss every year, consistently too.
 
Their issue isn’t dropping calories, or finding the diet that works for them, which is one that is plentiful in meat, veg, fruits, you know, not highly processed rubbish bought in a layer pf packets (if you’re an omnivore that is).
 
Their issue is keeping the weight off and the reason is simple.
 
Desire.
 
Harsh as it sounds a great many people don’t desire long term change and struggle to accept that to live life a certain way, they need to live life a certain way.
 
Sacrifices will be made.
 
That one or four bottles of wine you have each night, gone.
 
Convenience foods, reduces or removed due to the irritation they give your gut, all replaced with wholesome veg and high quality protein sources.
 
Many will have to address the pink elephant in the room though before they can make any progress with any of the above.
 
Their mental association with who they are.
 
You see as a person e’re largely a collection of habits, both known, unknown and even unexpected at times.
 
These keep is safe, they provide stability, as such our minds switch off (well, not off, they go on auto-pilot) and we simply run through the motions never really give much consideration to a lot of what we do.
 
Being more mindful is not easy, in fact it’s very draining.
 
This is due to how much we leave to our habits, now that’s faith if you ask me.
 
Are you someone who has lost a substantial amount of fat and made progress not only physically but mentally as well?
 
If so please share your story and more importantly, why you made the change and decides to stick with it.
 
In the end some change comes from necessity, however most comes from choice.
 
You should investigate this thoroughly.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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7 Interesting Intervals.

Sadly we live in a world where the larger majority of people don’t wish to know ‘why’ something works, they just want something that works.

Now, what works will largely depend on these following factors:

– Training age
– Chronological age
– Health status
– Physical status
– Individual difference (genetics)

We can throw in a few more however those are some pretty notable ones people tend to miss along with this one:

– What is the desired outcome/goal

It’s fair to say not everyone wants to know how things work.

This is cool, however that means that said people should do as they’re told because if they don’t wish to know more than they don’t get to sit at the big table.

A fair compromise, wouldn’t you agree?

Well here are the intervals for you, no further detail, just protocols you can use, then reuse time and again.

1 – 30/30/30 –

Pick on lift and do 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for 30 rounds.

2 – 12/8 x20min –

12 seconds all out sprint, 8 seconds recovery, repeat for 20min. Use a watt bike or erg for the ability to track power output (make sure it stays high/consistent).

3 – 30/60 x30min –

Pick one movement/activity and do 30seconds work, 60 seconds rest, repeat for 30min.

4 – 1/2/3/4/5 –

An accumulation of work. You start off doing an interval of 60 seconds, then rest 60 seconds. Next do 2min of work and rest the same 60 seconds, then 3min of work and so on, all the way up to 5min. Hill sprints are nice here.

5 – 20/20/20 –

Pick two opposing movements/activities.

Perform the first for 20 seconds, rest 20 to change moves, perform the second for 20 seconds, repeat for 10-30min.

This works well with classic lifting movements.

6 – 5/15 x10min –

5 seconds on, 15 seconds off for 10min, best served with power related movements, such as medicine ball slams, rope slams, etc.

7 – 5/2.30 x30min –

5 min on, two and a half off. A classic aerobic interval.

Try this with loaded carries of 30-50% body weight, by the end of 30min (4 rounds) you will know its benefit.

There could be many more options.

In truth the original title of this was 17 Interesting Intervals.

Why did I chop it down to 7?

Put simply it’s because simply copying protocols won’t get you anywhere because you will always lack that deeper understanding of why you are doing what you’re doing.

While I may know the reasons for the above, you still don’t and that won’t help you become better, either as a coach/trainer or a person who enjoys training.

My real advise is as follows:

Learn how to program based on correct work to rest ratios for performance.

This is instead of doing what every other jackass does just to make people tired.

If tired is how you want to feel then go run marathon, do 1000 burpees, or 20 3min rounds on the bags, you will feel nice and dead however you might not get any benefit from it.

Go away an learn about interval programming, what true HIIT actually is, for the love of all that is holy do better because you owe it to yourself.

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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You can do a lot with one plate

Cheeky Challenge that came up in discussion last night:
 
Load a barbell with 1 plate (20 or 25kg), pick one movement and proceed to repeat it for 45min (use a timer).
 
Tally up your total reps, and you can thank me for the DOMS later.
 
I know what some of you may be thinking.
 
“1 plate will be too light on some movements and too heavy on others.”
 
Just so you know, you are 100% correct, especially for strong/advanced lifters.
 
However, for the average gym participant, this provides ample difficulty 🤗
 
Here are a couple of my favourites –
 
– Squat (any variation, FS, OHS are brutal though)
– Floor Press, Push Press, Push Jerk
– Strict Press (if possible)
– Bent-Over Row
– Upright Row
– Power Clean or Power Snatch
– RDL, Stiff Leg DL on Box and Suitcase DL
– Barbell Curl (if you’re a monster)
 
You get the idea.
 
The beauty of this is found in its simplicity.
 
Personally, I would also say that if you feel the need then in the last 15min (if you wish to train for 60min) you can do some isolation work on minor muscles, or you can just go home.
 
The common resistance to this style of lifting meets is that of “Won’t it be boring?”.
 
Usually said by the same people who watch things like Love Island, thus my answer is this; maybe, you’ll just have to try it and find out.
 
An alternative option I quite enjoy, still loading up one plate, is to pick two movements and pair them in a classic antagonist super-set.
 
^^ This gets an epic pump going and feels great.
 
One thing to remember guys is that this is not a magic program or something that will revolutionise training because it’s not meant for that.
 
It is meant to strip away your bullshit and force you to do some good old fashion work.
 
(High work capacity/density)
 
Unless you’re a professional lifter it’s worth remembering that a key element in training is to make it fun, next is to not take it too seriously and thirdly, it’s largely arbitrary.
 
The love of training runs deep in me, yet I am under no illusion that unless you get paid to lift it’s a hobby and nothing more.
 
By all means, enjoy it, have some focus, drive and goals in mind just don’t let them take over your life. Doing so will lead to anxiety and one clue to this is a destination in the upper abdomen with excess fat storage in the lower.
 
Seriously, look at people who take training way too seriously and you’ll see it in all of them.
 
They’re lean, muscular, fit and yet seem a little bloated and have that small fat pocket they just can’t seem to shift.
 
^^ A topic for another day because I’ve waffled.
 
Yea, try the 1 plate challenge, maybe for say 50 sessions.
 
Why 50?
 
Why not 😂
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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