Tag Archives: fat loss

A less then appealing hybrid

A random workout protocol that came to mind.
You might find it useful.
You might not.
The only way to know is to try it.
Morning All,
This culmination of the Bear & GVT for some reason came out of the ether, not sure who would ever want to do it, it’s a short term thing, I doubt many could do it much longer than what will be suggested, I could be wrong though.
I’ve written about the Russian Bear Protocol before, GVT as well.
Here is a hybrid of the two.
– 4 days per week
– 3 main lifts
– 1 accessory movement of your choice per session
– Eat plenty of nutritious foods
Once you pick your variations you stick with them for the foreseeable (until the end of the entire program)
Day 1 & 3 – Monday & Thursday
A1 – Deadlift Variation 3×3 (heavy yet manageable)
B1 – Press Variation 2×5 – take 80% of last 5 & repeat sets of 5 until you lose good form
B2 – Chin Up x3-5
30 between seconds rest between B1-B2 only
C1 – Accessory lift of your choice 50 reps in as few sets as possible
Day 2 – Tuesday
A1 – Press Variation as day 1 5×2
A2 – Chin as day 1 x3-5
B1 – Deadlift Variation as day 1 – 2×5 – take 80% of last 5 & repeat sets of 5 until you lose good form, rest no longer than 60 seconds
C1 – Accessory lift of your choice 50 reps in as few sets as possible
Day 4 – Saturday
A1 – Squat Variation 10×10*
A2 – Hamsting Variation 10×10
Rest 60 seconds between each set – A1/Rest/A2/Rest/A1Rest etc
*the GVT action is set in two week repeats (so do 10×10 twice then move on) – first 10×10, then 10×8, then 10×6, last 10×4, the DL/Press stays as is.
Nothing magical, just something to consider if you’re feeling a bit lost and want something to follow.

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3 protocol that will force progress, regardless if you want to progress of not.

Morning All,
We all want progress, however it can be hard to get an idea of how to set up a session to achieve it.
Below are three protocols that you can use in the sam session or as stand alone ones to achieve, strength, strength endurance & conditioning (fat loss).
There will be some example lifts/workouts as well as the protocol.
The Strength Protocol:
The Protocol: 3-5x 1-2-3
– 1 rep, rest, 2 reps, rest, 3 reps, rest, add weight, repeat.
– Works well stand alone or as A1-A2 pairing
The lift(s): Deadlift & Press (any compound lift)
The Kit: 2 Barbells
A1 – Press 1-2-3
A2 – Deadlift 1-2-3
^^ Do 1 press, then one deadlift, 2 presses, 2 deadlifts, 3 presses, three deadlifts, rest, add weight, repeat for a total of 3-5 sets.
Aim to be done within 20-30min.
Easy on paper, however it’s quite the workout.
Strength Endurance Protocol:
The Protocol: 3x3min
The lift: Clean & Jerk
The Kit: 3 pairs of kettlebells (H-M-L)
3min C&J 2x32kg
Rest 2min
3min C&J 2x24kg
Rest 1min
3min C&J 2x16kg
^^ You could stick wth the same weight, I wouldn’t it’s just brutal. If you want this as a stand alone you rest 5min after the first 3×3, then repeat twice more with either the same of different kettlebell exercise, say swings or snatches.
The Conditioning Protocol:
The Protocol: 400m Repeats for 20min
The lift(s): Sprinting, Rowing, Loaded Carries – anything you can track distance
The Kit: Rower, Bike, Running Track, Prowler, Sand Bags, Barbells, Kettlebells
400m Sprint – note time (60seconds), aim to match or finish within 15% of that time (no slower than 9 seconds on top of first or fastest 400m time). Rest as needed. Repeat for 20min.
If done with loaded carries it might take you the entire 20min to do 1x400m total distance, if you miss the goal note how far you went and aim to beat that next time.
I’ve personally found a double kettlebell overhead walk for 400m is amazing for shoulder strength, stability and health, it’s just horridly hard.
As you can see from the above all three added together (1x strength, 1x strength endurance, 1x conditioning), you’d have a session just over 50min, with warm up and could down that would be about an hour in total.
Just lovely 🤗
Alternatively you can do them individually as well.
Take some time and try applying them.
You won’t regret it with the results they produce.

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Three things you don’t do that you should

Been away for a few days.
Did you all miss me?
Of course you didn’t hardly anyone reads these posts anyway 😂
Morning All,
There are a lot of underrated exercises out there.
The reason most people won’t do them is because they’re hard, put simply.
Not to mention everyone is caught up in doing all the standard isolation/mirror muscle work.
3 such movements that will literally change how your feel and perform are:
– Kettlebell Swings (Kettlebell snatch when you know it)
– Turkish Get Ups
– Loaded Carries
Let us take at look at all three, their benefits and how you can apply them in to your training.
Kettlebell Swings –
If you know me you’ll know I love these because they load your posterior chain, teach you how to hinge, improve your grip strength, VO2 max and are great for posture too.
Once you have the adequate skill requirements I would advise moving on to the kettlebell snatch, it offers all the same benefits with the added bonus of anti-rotation and shoulder stability/strength/ROM+Health.
They’re not easy when done properly.
That said, you should have them in your workouts, especially if you work at a desk.
10-20min per day will be enough to literally change your life.
Turkish Get Ups (TGU’s) –
A great way to warm up and start your workouts because they will mobilise and activate pretty much every muscle in your body.
They’re easy enough on paper, however once you start doing them and progressing to a heavier weight you’ll find this soon changes.
Balance, core strength, coordination, mobility, strength and most of all fun, that’s what TGU’s will be to you.
You might think that simply standing up and then reversing that movement is easy, you’re welcome to think that, even if it is incorrect, 😁
On a serious note, 10min of alternating side TGU’s as a warm ups will change how your workouts feel and make your body feel 10times better, or at least 7 times better.
If you want challenge in the 10min block aim to do 3 TGU’s consecutively before swapping arms.
Lastly we have a favoured movement of Strongmen the world over.
Loaded Carries –
Want to strip fat? Loaded Carries.
Want to build some muscle and an impressive back with an iron clad grip and legs that won’t buckle when the going gets tough? Loaded Carries.
Want to build mental resilience? Loaded Carries.
These are literally one of the most under utilised movements and it shows.
In daily life we are always having to pick things up and having to take them from point A to B, yet when people go to the gym the sit or lay down to move things.
Did you know that in an idea world you should be able to carry your own bodyweight at least 100m?
^^ Okay, that’s not an absolute thing, however it’s a good test of your strength.
Picking things up and wandering around with them is primal and one of, if not the most effective movement/exercise you can do, especially if you’re short on time.
You have many various of loaded carries, you can hold something close to you, by your sides, over your head, one by your side one over head, with bars, bags, dumbbells, plates, anything, just pick it up ann move with it.
If you want to make yourself robust and strip fat, try doing 10-20min of carries at the end of your usual workout, trust me, you won’t regret it.
If you don’t do these three things, you should.
They will make you feel healthier and help protect your from injury.
If all you did was Swings (or snatches), TGU’s and a variety of Loaded Carries, you’d be strong, conditioned and look pretty dam awesome too.
Give it some thought.

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Same yet Different, Part 2

Morning All,
We started looking at a little lifting philosophy a couple of days ago.
Same yet Different
Remember that this isn’t just a throwaway thought process, it’s one that will require some attention, however once you know it all you can choose to apply it or not.
If you take the time to truly grasp the philosophy you’ll see that you can use this for the rest of your lifting career and make some great progress form it, just be sure to take in each part and write each part down as described.
We looked at picking exercises, now it’s time for rep ranges.
This is a lot simpler than people think.
The purpose will be to allow the use of heavy-medium-light days, to this effect you have a the option of letting the reps dictate the weight.
The suggested rep goals are as follows:
H – 15-25
M – 25-50
L – 50-75
^^ You can pick your own rep ranges, I suggest toys write down three, like the example above.
This is per movement, meaning if you may have something like this for each rep goal day:
H –
A1 – Deadlift 3-2-1×3
B1 – Weighted Chin Up 4×6
B2 – Supinated Grip Row 4×6
C1 – Barbell Curl 3×8
M –
A1 – Snatch Grip DL 5×5
B1 – Single Arm Dumbbell Row 5×10
B2 – Straight Arm Pull Down 5×10
C1 – Dumbbell Curl 4×12
L –
A1 – Box DL 10×5
B1 – Cable Row 8×8
B2 – Reverse Fly 8×8-10
C1 – Cable Curls 5×10-12
You an see this is al with straight sets or super sets, not drop sets of other training methods which can be added in to make things more interesting.
Alos let the reps dictate the weight used –  you’ll need to keep a training log.
The rep goal will keep you from going too heavy, while for example your 8RM might be quite high, to be able to do it for 8×8, it will need to be closer to your 10-12rm to make sure you hit each set with solid form.
You can apply this to each workout individually, meaning you can stick with the same movements and vary the rep ranges each session, or change the lifts and keep the reps the same.
It fits nicely with the flow of ‘same yet different’.
It may look like this:
Movement sessions (we’ll say you have 3 for each) 1-2-3-1a-2a-3a-1b-2b-3b
Session 1 – rep goal 15-25
Session 2 – rep goal 15-25
Session 3 – rep goal 15-25
Session 1 – rep goal 25-50
Session 2 – rep goal 25-50
Session 3 – rep goal 25-50
Session 1 – rep goal 50-75
Session 2 – rep goal 50-75
Session 3 – rep goal 50-75
Session 1a – rep goal 15-25
Session 2a – rep goal 15-25
Session 3a – rep goal 15-25
Session 1 – rep goal 15-25
Session 2 – rep goal 15-25
Session 3 – rep goal 15-25
Session 1a – rep goal 15-25
Session 2a – rep goal 15-25
Session 3a – rep goal 15-25
Session 1 – rep goal 15-25
Session 2 – rep goal 25-50
Session 3 – rep goal 50-75
Session 1 – rep goal 50-75
Session 2 – rep goal 15-25
Session 3 – rep goal 25-50
Session 1 – rep goal 25-50
Session 2 – rep goal 50-75
Session 3 – rep goal 15-25
You can see all the possibilities.
Once you have your ranges, you can write then next to the movements you did from last time and start to build a structure from day to day based on the above.
It will take time, however it will be worth it.
This philosophy will take some careful thought, however once you’ve gotten all the parts and written out your matrix you’ll see it all fits together.

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Same yet Different, Part 1

We like to do more & all, however it’s not always best to struggle & crawl.
Morning all,
There are so many training options, we’ve spoken about several and shared them on here, however I’d like to give you something.
Something a little more akin to a concept or a philosophy.
It’s based on the basics, the tried and tested principles.
I’ve used it, my clients have used it.
Now I want to give it to you, use it or not, I do not care it’s just a simple share.
It will come in several parts.
When you put them all together you” understand the concept and philosophy of ‘Same yet Different’.
Here is the first :
Same yet Different – Movement Patterns
First you want a list of movements:
– Push
– Pull
– Hinge
– Squat
– Locomotion
Now start off by picking 3 main movements for each category, I will give you an example:
– Press, Incline Press, Close Grip Bench
– Pull Up, Row, High Pull
– Deadlift, Power Clean/Snatch, Kettlebell Swing
– Front Squat, Squat, Zecher Squat
– Farmers Walk, Sand Bag Carry, Waiter Walk
From here you will also want 1-2 accessory movements for each category (meaning an extra 3-6 exercises per movement pattern).
The idea is that you now have a pool of exercises to pick from and rotate through to help you achieve constant progression by utilising the main principle of this philosophy by keeping this ‘the same, yet different’.
Let’s continue on the first part.
Once this is done you can organise your training sessions, here is an option or several:
– Full Body
– Upper Day, Lower Day
– Pull Day, Push Day, Leg day
– Anterior Day, Posterior Day
– Strength Day, Power Day, Accessory Day
I will expand on one of them:
Pull Day –
A1 – Deadlift
B1 – Chin Up
B2 – Farmers Walk
C1 – Curls
Push Day –
A1 – Barbell Press
A2 – Dumbbell Press
A3 – Handstand Press or Handstand Hold
B1 – Dips
Leg Day –
A1 – Front Squat
B1 – Lunge
B2 – RDL
C1 – Calf Raise
How might one of these be adapted once a plateau has been hit?
How can it be ‘same yet different’?
Like this:
Pull Day –
A1 – Power Clean
B1 – Pull Up
B2 – Waiter Walk
C1 – Hammer Curl
Similar movements, yet not exactly the same.
Now you’ve got this first part you’ll do well to go and put it in to practice.
– 5 movement patterns
– 3 main lifts per movement pattern (minimum)
– 1-2 accessory lifts per movement pattern
– Pick a training split (full body, upper/lower etc)
Part two coming soon.

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Not your normal week

If you’re not bound by the standard working week, work in 5 day blocks.
Most people fit their training around their life, which is totally cool, however if you have the luxury or not being bound by such then you’d do well to follow this advice.
Or you can take the initiative and make this work :).
Working in 5 day blocks will increase your rate of progress.
Exponentially so.
Out of those 5 days you will want to train 3 of them.
You could go for a simple Pull-Push-Legs or a 2 body part per workout split, well you can do what you choose really.
When you train 3 out of 5 days it gives you the following:
– Increased frequency (hits each muscle every 3-5 days)
– Better recovery
– More variety
– Faster progression
– Improved adherence
Here is who it might look:
Day 1 – Pull Day
Day 2 – Push Day
Day 3 – Off
Day 4 – Legs Day
Day 5 – Off
Alternatively you might enjoy something along these lines:
Day 1 – Chest & Back
Day 2 – Legs
Day 3 – Off
Day 4 – Shoulders & Back (Deadlift on this day)
Day 5 – Off
There are a lot of variations and options.
To get the most out of these I would follow one of the following two loading parameters –
– Accumulation & Intensification
– Heavy (Intensity), Light (Recovery), Medium (Volume)
The former will work in the follow constituent:
20 days (4mini blocks) of Acc – 4x12x70%
20 days of Int – 4x6x80%
Acc – 5x10x72%
Int – 5x5x82%
Acc – 6x8x75%
Int – 6x4x85%
Acc – 8x6x77%
Int – 8x3x87%
Optional deload*
Acc – 2x12x70% – original weight
New block –
Acc – 4x12x72%
Int – 4x6x82%
And so on.
The other is similar yet different.
Heavy = 8×2
Light = 5×10
Medium = 6×4-6
You’d find the blocks may look like this:
D1 – H, D2 – L, D3 – Off, D4 – M, D5 – Off
D1 – L, D2 – M, D3 – Off, D4 – H, D5 – Off
D1 – M, D2 – H, D3 – Off, D4 – L, D5 – Off
Then you’re back to the start, so this is a 15day rotation.
The rep options can change depending on your goal, nothing is set in stone, just make sure you have a clear goal.
Again, just options for you if you’re lucky enough to not need to bow to the routine of the working week. .

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A complex situation.

We’ve discussed the benefits of complexes before.

Linking several exercises together without rest forces a great metabolic demand on the body, not to mention it ramps up the oxygen debt you get overall.

They are also useful for putting on slabs of muscle due to their amount of TUT that is required to complete them, think metabolic stress/mechanical tension hypertrophy triggers.

So if they are so great, why don’t people do them?

A great question, with a simple answer.

They’re horrible.

Soul crushingly horrible.

Take for example this humble barbell variation:

A1 – Squat
A2 – Push Press
A3 – Row
A4 – RDL
A5 – Shrug* Optional

– 6-8 reps of each movement
– 120-180 seconds rest after each round
– repeat 3-5 times

Or this one with dumbbells:

A1 – Renegade Row
A2 – Clean & Press
A3 – Squat
A4 – Lunge
A5 – Shrug* Optional

You see, horrid.

They will often leave you gasping for breath, burning from head to toe and wishing that wasn’t the first set.

If your training has become dull then an infusion of these can make all the difference.

You can plan full body complexes or focus them on specific movement patterns –

– Push
– Pull
– Hinge
– Squat
– Carries

A pushing one might look like this:

Double Kettlebell – 3-5 reps, 3-5 rounds.

A1 – Press
A2 – Push Press
A3 – Push Jerk
A4 – Waiter Walk
A5 – Farmers Walk* Optional

(if single kettlebell do all on one arm and replace farmers walk with turkish get up, then rest, then swap arms)

Simple, yet, horrid.

If your overall goal isn’t one of a pure aesthetic endeavour then I wouldn’t waste your time with too much isolation work, 1-2 movements per workout is enough for that.

Training, a complex situation indeed.


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Volume & Intensity with a twist.

Lift a lot while also lifting heavy too.

Morning All,

I had a random thought last night while staring out of the window after reading some rather interesting information about knee alignment.

They had nothing to do with knees.

The thoughts were of a potential protocol for you to consider if you’re looking for something a little different than incorporates both volume & intensity.

Here is the premise:

– 2-4 exercises per session (2 compound, 1-2 accessory*)
– Compound focus
– *1-2 Accessory lifts (isolation), time providing

Rep/Loading Schemes
– 5-3-2 x75%
– 1-1-1 x85%

– None between rep sets: 5-1-3-1-2-1-rest
– 3-5min after each fully complete set
– Repeat for 5 rounds

You will find this gives you 50 reps at 75% 1RM on one lift and a solid 15 at 85% on the other.

It will seem easy on paper, however it’s not.

The overall idea is to progress and you can do so in the following ways on the main two lifts:

– Add in extra waves (volume progression)
– Increase load (intensity progression)
– Reduce rest periods (density progression)

Just ensure progress is being made

There is nothing unique or special about this, it’s just playing with intensity ranges on the single rep lift.

You might set something up along these lines (based on typically week):

Day 1 –
A1 – Squat 5×5-3-2×75%
A2 – Press 5×1-1-1×85%
B1 – Chin 6×6-8
B2 – Lateral Raise 6×10-12

Day 2 –
A1 – Bench 5×5-3-2×75%
A2 – DL 5×1-1-1×85%
B1 – Barbell Row 5×10
B2 – Hamstring Curl 5×12

Day 3 – Off

Day 4 –
A1 – Press 5×5-3-2×75%
A2 – Squat 5×1-1-1×85%
B1 – Pull Up 6×6-8
B2 – Lunge 6×10-12

Day 5 – Off

Day 6 –
A1 – DL 5×5-3-2×75%
A2 – Bench 5×1-1-1×85%
B1 – Barbell Row 5×10
B2 – Dips 5×12

Day 7 – Off

If you didn’t have time to do the accessory lifts you may end up with the following acceptable tweaks:

Day X – Option 1
A1 – Squat 5×5-3-2×75%
A2 – Press 5×1-1-1×85%

Day X – Option 2
A1 – Squat 5×5-3-2×75%
A2 – Press 5×1-1-1×85%
A3 – Accessory Lift – reps between 4-6

Of course you don’t have to use the lifts above, you can use any variation of the lift, instead of deadlift you might use Snatch Grip Deficit Deadlift, instead of Bench you might use Incline Press, and so on.

You get the idea.

Something worth remembering is that the single reps lifts all want to be done with crisp form, there is no sense in being a hero.

My advise would be to pick your lifts and milk them as long as you possibly can, or stick with them for at least 8-12week minimum.

As you can see there is plenty of scope for progression.

If it’s not for you then that’s cool, if you fancy giving it a go, just be sure to stick with it for the prescribed time above, ideally longer.


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Becoming a Bear

The Russian Bear!
A simple yet sinister protocol.
Doing it you will achieve the following:
– Strength
– Lean mass gain (nutrition provided)
– Mental fortitude
– Movement skill (good form providing)
– A lesson in humility
This was something I found many years ago while reading the book Power to the People – Pavel Tsatsouline.
His protocol recommendation is picking two lifts to focus on and doing 2 sets of 5 (*1x5x100%, 1x5x90%),5 days per week, the workouts take 25-35min tops.
*It is suggested that you start off at 80% of your 5RM and add weight in a linear fashion, there’s no sense in going too hard too soon. Build up over time.
It’s a strength focused work ethic.
I’ve run it several times over the years and do more than two moves, putting in squats, chins and so on. I found 5 lifts was about right for me when done 5 days per week.
Over that time I also found that aiming for 10 total working reps was good as well. This allowed for my bodies natural ebb & flow.
Some days would be 2×5 as above, others would be 3×3, some 4-3-2-1 or 5-3-2, it added some variety.
However all in the name of maintaining and/or increasing strength while I trained for other things (combative sports).
If your goal is pure strength, give that a go, however if you want or need to add some serious slabs of muscle and overall weight to your frame then the Russian Bear is for you.
Here’s how it works:
Pick two lifts – my recommendations are the Deadlift & Military Press.
They are both test of strength where you need to overcome the initial inertia to get the weight moving, not to mention you can pause each rep at the bottom of the lift for even more strength progress.
Once you pick your two lifts to focus on you do the following:
– 2×5: 1x5x100%, 1x5x90%
– As many set as possible of 5×80% of first set of 5.
– Aim to hit 15-25 total back off sets
– Rest 30-90 seconds per set
– Always have 1-2 reps in the tank, don;t go to absolute fail
– When form starts to go, stop
– Train 3x per week
The benefit of this style of protocol is in it’s massive amount of volume.
It seems easy on paper, don’t be fooled though.
Once you hit the top end back off sets (25), you could change the lifts or increase the weight – I recommend a deload or week off before starting it again though.
You might be tempted to do all 3 days per week using this protocol for both lifts, you can however it’s potentially not smart.
Here is my recommendation for it:
Day 1 – Deadlift 2×5 (PTTP style), Press 2×5+AMSAPx80%
Day 2 – Press 2×5 (PTTP style), DL 2×5+AMSAPx80%
Day 3 – Deadlift 2×5 (PTTP style), Press 2×5+AMSAPx80%
This will be more than enough for most people.
Should take between 45-90min to complete
Over time you can build up by adding weight and sticking with the above suggestion or start doing bear deadlifts 2xper week.
Day 1 – Deadlift 2×5+AMSAPx80%, Press 2×5+AMSAPx80%
Day 2 – Press 2×5 (PTTP style), DL 2×5 (PTTP style)
Day 3 – Deadlift 2×5+AMSAPx80%, Press 2×5+AMSAPx80%
Eventually working to all three days being volume ones.
^^ If you did that I’d be tempted to stick with the same loading, not gospel, just sensible. The first option is preferable as once you hit the max back off work you can increase the overall load.
Many will not like this due to it only having two lifts, adding in one extra accessory lift for some token reps isa acceptable, however it’s up to you.
Just something to consider.

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Specialise much?

A short post on specialisation.
It’s all about picking something you want to focus on.
If you are looking at your gym lifts for example, here’d be some sensible guidelines for the average gym goer.
If lifting related:
– Pick 1-2 lifts to focus on
– Increase the frequency: 2-3+ times per week
– Use the appropriate loading/rep schemes for the goal
– Set other training at a maintenance level
– Watch out for interference from other exercises
– Set a clear goal
If body part or aesthetically related:
– Pick one lagging body part
– Increase the frequency: 2-3 times per week
– Use the appropriate loading/rep schemes for the goal
– Set other training at a maintenance level
– Watch out for interference from other exercises
– Set a clear goal
As you can see the guidelines are essentially the same because it’s just common sense.
One thing people do when they specialise is to pick multiple things at once, often those things interfere with each other and little to no overall progress is made.
Sadly you can’t excel at everything at the same time.
If you try to be good at everything you end up being average.
It’s not uncommon for people to want to increase strength & cardiovascular performance in tandem, now if correctly planned it’s possible, however most people get it very wrong.
Training for multiple goals that may have some conflicting factors – energy system usage, global fatigue etc, is an art and this process is called concurrent training.
We won’t be covering that today.
This is a large topic to cover, as such here are some good places to start:
So some thing to consider if you want to bring up something that’s lagging.
If you want to focus on making something better, limit what you want to focus on.
You won’t lose your other gains if you set other training at a decent maintenance level.

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