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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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One for all the SuperMum’s

Mid Morning Mum’s entering in droves with what looks like and endless amount of strollers, buggies and prams.
 
It’s like watching vultures circle as they scope out the coffee shop for a table 😂
 
They might be smiling, however it’s not a smile that says –
 
“Hey, how are you.”.
 
It’s closer to one that says –
 
“Oh, hi, I see you’re finished with tis table even though you’re not. K, thanks, bye.”
 
And now the kids are kicking off crying…. 🤦‍♀️
 
Mum’s truly are superhero’s doing everything they do.
 
I’ve literally just watched one do to much count, 11 things simultaneously, it was very impressive and if I’m honest a little scary.
 
I can barely pee without missing if my concentration drifts, let alone do that many things at once.
 
Mum’s, we salute you.
 
Speaking of these glorious warriors, one topic I often end up engrossed in conversation with them about is getting their pre-baby body back.
 
^^ While not a goal for all of them, it’s a really common one.
 
First things first, having a baby is quite the strenuous experience on the body and utilises a considerable amount of ones resources.
 
True enough some come out fairing better than others, however that’s more a case of individual difference, prior exercise/fitness levels and overall health so if you don’t bounce back straight away don’t stress, it’s okay to take several months to no longer feel like you’ve had your ass kicked.
 
So, how long can ‘getting back’ take?
 
The truth is you can’t get that body back, it’s gone and trying to go backwards just isn’t possible because of the one obvious truth many forget, they’ve just had a baby.
 
The only way to get the body you had back would be to go back in time.
 
So instead of thinking “I need to get back to this.”, think instead about moving forwards to something new and improved 🤗
 
Many will think about going backwards.
 
While an understandable mindset it’s not a healthy one because some end up linking their identity, worth, confidence and overall sense of self to what they were before the little bundle of joy came along.
 
I get it you know, why this train of thought occurs.
 
Tis’ simply because many don’t know any different, and that’s okay however some re-education is needed.
 
Personally I’d always advise hiring someone who specialises in the pre/post-natal field so that you can get the most current, useful and relevant information based on YOUR specific needs and situation.
 
^^ Some have more separation than other, or major hormone disruption, perhaps even joint dislocation and prolonged elevated levels of relaxin, so you’d do well to consult a professional.
 
Another key element to keep in mind is that there’s no need to rush back to a new physical peak.
 
True enough some seem to get there within 8 week post baby, it happens and unless it’s you then you’d do well not to compare yourself to an entirely different human being.
 
So just keep that in mind.
 
From experience there is also not a lot of time for some people, this can lead to all sorts of unwanted stress and is why it’s worth knowing that there is no rush to move forwards.
 
The gym/training mentality if that you NEED to do 60min.
 
Rubbish.
 
You’d be far better off doing 20min sessions daily (you can them mix CV work one day, Strength work another, Movement capability the next and so on).
 
Moving away from conventional wisdom is key here.
 
Just like the little one taking baby steps to build up ones health, strength and fitness is the most optimal way forwards.
 
Doing so will be incredibly manageable and therefore far easier to sustain consistently because even the busiest Super-Mum can find 20min a day for herself to train.
 
Oh, alos as tempting as the glass of wine might be at the end of the say of when babe is asleep, if you’re looking to move forwards a daily glass (or bottle) could be quit ehe heavy anchor dragging behind you, just something worth remembering.
 
^^Same is true for delicious foods, by all means have them, however just remember the more that is consumed the heavier that anchor behind you becomes.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Which is better for progress?

– Training until momentary muscular failure

– Leaving 1-2 reps in the tank and doing more sets

– Not going anywhere near failure staying at <% set efforts

*Progress typically being strength, hypertrophy, performance related for the context of this post and those who asked.

In truth they’re all viable, in fact you’d probably do well to cycle through phases of doing each in a periodised fashion or you could link them all together in a holistic approach.

Honestly at the stage of lifting most people are at they just need to get their reps in for the most part.

Also before you say it might be dangerous that is only if form is bad, if for is good there’s no real issue.

Let us look at each of the above and see who we can optimally use them.

– Training until momentary muscular failure –

A lot of solid research has been conducted based on the idea that it’s the last few reps (we’ll say the last 2-5) that really give you that much needed hit of adaptive stimulus to grow and every prior rep was just there.

^^ This is relevant for each method in this post.

Now some people would then be lead to think that doing lower rep set would bypass this and go straight to the stimulus.

Fair enough, however it doesn’t work like that.

The above is based on the accumulation of fatigue in the formative reps (depletion of energy system reserves etc) and depending on the rep ranges you use will then link in to the gains you get.

6-20 being said as optimal for hypertrophy.

^^ You can use compound movements however I’d say stick with lifts that have a lower potential for injury until you’re what the books consider an experienced lifter (2 years of solid lifting 3+ times per week).

It’s easier to get close to that momentary failure being meaningful with reps at 8+ I’ve found, less while personally I enjoy is just not viable for people who are not experienced lifters.

While finding the right weight and reps can be a bit of a tricky element (downside), the massive benefit is that you’ll only need a few sets per movement (upside).

Next time you train try this: 3-4 x fail on accessory lifts.

– Leaving 1-2 reps in the tank (RPE work) –

Favoured by many a lifter and great for all movement be those compound, supplementary or isolation.

In short yo’d be going to the point where you feel a bit of a grind beginning to happen. It is at this point over time you’ll learn that you’ve only got 1-2 reps left.

One problem with this though is that people will stop short.

They think they’ve got 1-2 reps left when in reality it’s more like 6-10.

Yes I’m being serious.

The danger here is that people will be leaving gains on the table because for lack of a better term they’re being a little bit soft.

As such this is where in the beginner days having them utilise the ‘going until failure’ is useful (provided they have good form) because they won’t be lifting that heavy so it will be more viable.

Once they’ve learned their limits using more weight and stopping short of failure becomes useful because it then allows more total volume as going to failure with heavier loads causes more overall damage and need more recovery time.

I’m not sorry to say that heavy isn’t relative, heavy is heavy.

Regardless of if you personally feel you lifting say 70kg x5 is the same as someone lifting 250kg x5 it’s not, apples & oranges as they say.

Leaving 1-2 reps in the tank is a great way for the more experience and stronger people to progress because they can add more total volume and build up fatigue over multiple sets.

It means that say 4 of your 6 sets might be the ones that are just there and the last two sets that have reps that are money makers.

^^ All of this is linked in to RPE (rate of perceived exertion), so the next time you train after each set write down on a scale of 1-10 how hard the set was, most of yours will want to be 8/9 on the scale (look up Reactive Training Systems – Mike Tuscherer).

That bring us to the last one.

-Not going anywhere near failure staying at <% set efforts-

A Russian weightlifting favourite because I do love the Russians.

This is a great method however it requires people to have been hitting some solid progress for a few years as it will be largely based on low reps and endless sets.

So what is set effort precisely?

Put simply, say your 6RM (rep max) is 100kg meaning you can do 1 set of 6 at 100kg and no more, yet you want to, how can this be done?

Easy, 6RM is 100% set effort, so if you work at 50% efforts you’d be doing sets of 3 reps.

This means you might be able to do 3,4,5,6, or perhaps 20 sets of 3 with your 6RM as opposed to just one set of 6 with your 6RM.

Make sense?

An epic way to train that will leave you feeling fresh at the end of most if not all of your sessions and that’s the dangerous part.

People chase fatigue so as valuable as this method is it doesn’t hit their emotional/cognitive bias and as such they’d end up doing more and burning out.

You’d also have to be well versed in what is known as CAT (compensatory acceleration training) – you lift each rep with everything you’ve got, basically.

*Using CAT on your sets of 3 you’d go until you feel speed of reps is lost, which could be as mentioned above, 3 sets or 23 sets. When speed is lost it means you’ve hit your stills for the day, even if you don’t feel fatigued you are, trust me.

It is this that would provide the stimulus we’ve touched on above.

^^ Fred Hatfield is the man to look up for CAT.

So, which is best?

Based on how long you’ve been lifting:

<2 years: Training until momentary muscular failure

2-4 years: Leaving 1-2 reps in the tank and doing more sets

4 years +: Not going anywhere near failure staying at <% set efforts

Not everyone will like this answer and while for some rare exceptions it’s the right answer for the average person.

If like me you’re just an average person then don’t fear doing the simple things.

These days we live in an age where everyone is trying to keep up with everyone else and unless you’re doing HIIT, or some sort of ‘Ultra-Mega-Oblivion Set’ you’re some kind of lesser human.

Yea that’s complete bollocks.

It’s only the highly insecure that feel the need to make their training look more complicated or fancier than is it.

Remember this.

Enjoy,
Ross

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DNA, going beyond your excuses

Last night sported a rather good conversation among some of my fellow training partners.
 
The subject drifted to nutrition and the classic ‘find what works for you.’.
 
Did you know you don’t have to find out via trial and error, you can take a test based on your DNA and find out exactly what your body best responds to and depending how much you’re willing to invest potentially sensitivities and a whole dos too other information as well.
 
We live in a truly amazing world.
 
When in history has someone literally starting out of a journey of health improvement had access to such information?
 
Never is the answer.
 
Before people bitch about cost, it will be between £90-250.
 
People waste that kind of money on Skinny Tea, C9, and a lot of other bullshit, so investing it in a DNA/genetics related test for your health is well worth it.
 
The funny thing is while discussing it I could already hear all the responses people would have.
 
By responses I mean childish moaning and excuses.
 
Let me expand for a second.
 
Say you take said genetic test to know your optimal nutrition protocol (you’d also work with someone to really dial it in), one of the results says that you’re not very tolerant to one of your favourite foods and realistically you might want to curb your enthusiasm for indulging in it as you do.
 
“But…. But… I can’t live without it. Blah Blah Blah.”
 
*Face Palm.
 
The point is you can literally have something written on paper for a specific individual that is 99% what works for them and if it goes against what they WANT to hear/be told they will oppose it, make excuses and act like a child.
 
So these days I just sit and think –
 
“Do you know what, fuck it. You’re not going to listen so I’m not going to waste my time with you because I’m just too tired for the bullshit now.”
 
You see no matter what you can prove to people or how good your intentions are to help them, unless it fits what they want they won’t listen or be willing to make a change.
 
Such madness.
 
Yet that is something that you’re 100% entitled to.
 
So my good people who stick out and read my ramblings (I really do appreciate it you know), if you could have every answer for the questions you want to ask would you really want them?
 
Your clients and people you work with will only want the answers they want (of the most part), just keep this in mind.
 
Anyway I’m off rolling.
 
Enjoy,
Ross
 
***If you want to delve in to the DNA stuff look up these guys: https://www.dnafit.com
 
^^What you get is very eye opening and actually spot on, even if you don’t want it to be, it really is.
 
(I speak from experience on this one as I did it just to see and by jove it was all correct – years of medicals and hospital trips to back it up so I can confirm the info is solid).

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To become a Giant, Giant Sets are the answer.

***Old School Wisdom***
 
“You can train hard or long, not both.”
 
This is pretty much true for the majority of people.
 
You might find some genetic freak beasts that can do both however for the rest of us mortals we need to make the choice between putting in a gargantuan effort or a marathon time.
 
Personally I’d pick intensity.
 
Just because you’ll find that often those who are forced to do less better tend to be those who you aspire to be like.
 
As such I’ve got a little gem of training advice for you.
 
Giant Sets.
 
Defined as 4+ exercises for the same muscle group with no rest in-between each movement/exercise until you’ve finished all of them.
 
Here is an example:
 
A1 – Sumo DL x4-6
A2 – Weighted Pull Up x4-6
A3 – RDL x6-8
A4 – Pull Up x6-8
A5 – Rope Pull Through x8-12
A6 – Neutral Grip Pull Up x8-12
A7 – Reverse Fly to failure
A8 – DB Curl to failure
Rest 3-5 min, repeat 2-3 more times.
 
Just lovely.
 
Brutally hard, however lovely all the same.
 
Say this was going to be in a training session I might suggest that someone warms up by doing some barbell cleans and movement flow work.
 
Cleans might ramp up to say a heavy double or triple, perhaps 6-8 total sets and have some crawling pattering after each set.
 
Once that is done (say 15min) you go on to the giant set.
 
They are great time savers and they allow you to work a multitude of rep ranges and according to some (Dr Hatfield & cohorts) it allows you to tax each muscle fibre sufficiently for maximal progress.
 
Personally while I do like that style I’d say in the early days of applying this perhaps stick with a gaol based rep range.
 
Strength = <6 reps, so sets of 2-3, 3-4, 3-5, 4-6 etc.
Hypertrophy = 6-20 reps
Endurance = 15> reps
 
That way the metabolic effect will be largely focused on the same energy system and overall outcome.
 
Once you play with this for a while you will know what rep ranges you can combine based on the movements you use.
 
A good split to follow would be as follows:
 
Day 1 – Pressing
Day 2 – Posterior Chain
Day off
Day 3 – Legs
Day off
Repeat Day 1.
 
You can also set up two giant sets per training session however I’d then limit the total amount of giant sets to 2-3 and perhaps the amount of movements to say 6.
 
Give it some thought.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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TUT for more progress

If there is one thing you can do to immediately get more results it’s to spend more time under the bar, literally.
 
TUT (time under tension) is a key element in gains.
 
Classic tempo prescription is 4-1-1-0 (eccentric, pause at bottom of lift, concentric, pause at top of lift).
 
The first three are of great importance, the last one can be seen by some as a time for potential rest.
 
In regards to the eccentric portion 2-10 seconds lowering range is good for most people, this can help them start to feel what’s doing on (obviously it will be harder in some lifts vs others).
 
Stopping at the end ROM is where you’ll find people can do ‘Pause Reps’ and anything less than 4 seconds is just to create some control (if they dive bomb a lift).
 
You’ll find that really you’d want to pause for at least 4 seconds to allow the stretch (myotatic) reflex to dissipate. Yep your muscles store that good old potential genetic energy for that long.
 
^^ Have someone else time or put a timer in front of you because no one ever counts their pauses correctly, what they feel is say 4 seconds is actually 1, and what they think is 10 seconds is more like 4 😂
 
In regards to the concentric you’ll find this is typically written as a 1 second movement or an X – this means be as explosive as possible.
 
Top end of the lift is where you simply chill out, re-brace and then do more reps.
 
You can periodise TUT like any other element of training, here are a couple of options I’ve used in the past.
 
Sets & Reps – 4-6×4-6, if all reps hit add 1-2% load
 
Tempo periodisation: Goal – Hypertrophy
 
Weeks 1-3: 8-0-X-0
Weeks 4-6: 6-0-X-0
Weeks 7-9: 4-0-X-0
Week 10 – Deload – 2-0-X-0
Repeat with added load or different rep range
 
You could also play with the pause at the bottom.
 
Sets & Reps – 3-5×3-5, if all reps hit add 1-2% load
 
Tempo periodisation: Goal – Strength
 
Weeks 1-3: 2-4-X-0
Weeks 4-6: 2-6-X-0
Weeks 7-9: 2-8-X-0
Week 10 – Deload – 2-0-X-0
Repeat with added load or different rep range
 
In short, having your body create more tension and spend more time in that state is a good way to progress.
 
Go lighter than you think you should.
 
Like at least 25% off of what you think you can handle because there is always room to add more weight in a cycle.
 
Trying to be a hero and starting off too heavy doesn’t do you any favours.
 
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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Your Personal Fountain of Youth

The fountain of eternal youth really does exist.
 
It just might not be what you think it is though.
 
Many picture it as some grand structure with overflowing waters that are of the purest quality.
 
Some see it as something small, humble and little more than a tiny water flow in something akin to a birds drinking fountain.
 
Both are admirable visions, however here is what it really looks like –
 
Your Posterior chain 🍑
 
Yep, all the muscles that cover the back of your body (the ones you can’t see standing head on in the mirror).
 
A strong posterior chain is responsible for solid structure, stability, strength power and it trained well will often covet this phrase for both ladies & gents:
 
“Look at that ass” 🤤🤤🤤
 
If you take a look at anyone in their more senior years you’ll notice that have poor posture, struggle to move quickly and pretty much everything is sagging.
 
Let’s be honest for a second and admit that no one wants this to happen to themselves.
 
It’s not shallow to value your physique, your overall health and want to retain a youthful stature well in to your 70’s.
 
Well maybe you do think it’s shallow however that’s your choice.
 
Personally I’d rather keep as much muscle (especially in my posterior chain) as I can for as long as possible, not only because of aesthetic reasons, for health and longevity reasons too.
 
Ask yourself, why does it change from:
 
“They fell over.” to “They had a fall.”
 
If you are weak and old then a fall can literally mean death for you, perhaps not from the fall itself, rather from your inability to recover because you’re just too weak.
 
This is where as strong posterior chain will help.
 
Think about all the muscles in the back of your body.
 
Lats, spinal erectors, QL, glutes, hamstrings, calves, triceps, traps, rear delts and just how having them be as strong as possible will mean good things for you.
 
There are plenty of movements you can use to train the PC.
 
My top ones for you are as follows:
 
– Loaded Carries (variations)
– Clean & Presses
– Swings
– Snatch (variations)
– Sprinting
– Rowing
– Climbing
– Rows, Face Pulls, etc
– Levers
– Pull Ups (variations)
– Deadlifts (variations)
– Squats because they’re awesome
 
The list could go on, however what you’ll find is that most of the best posterior chain movements also hit many other elements/parts of the body as well.
 
You’d do well to have a bias towards this in your training.
 
Think along these lines and you’ll never go far wrong, that is if you have no ultra specific goal that you’re training for; if you do then train for that and just accept there will be a price to pay for it.
 
Set up your training sessions like this:
 
1 x anterior chain movement
2-4 x posterior chain movements
 
Done.
 
Doing 2-3 times the amount of work on your posterior chain will serve you well you might have a session like this:
 
A1 – Weighted Dip 6×8-10 x10RM
A2 – Rope Climb x 10-20M
 
B1 – Deadlift 6-4-2-6-4-2-6-4-2
 
C1 – Farmers Walks 10x20m
C2 – Bodyweight Skull Crusher*
 
*yes triceps are posterior chain and a BW-SC will force total body tension and engage your lats massively if done well.
 
There you have it my good people of the world.
 
Your fountain of youth.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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