Tag Archives: fatloss

Periodising cardio.

Usually the average person will do this without any rhyme or reason, they just do it.

No consideration for heart rate targets or what they’re actually trying to achieve.

Keeping it simple you’ve got 3 main types of CV to program:

Steady State – Long Run
Interval – Planned Sprints
Fartlek – Mixture of sprinting, jogging, walking

Nothing spectacularly new, although you can also hit the old heart muscle by a combination method that is lifting related CV.

Think complexes with dumbbells, bars, bell, bags, etc.

One of the ideas behind the hybrid of weight/CV is to have a change in the muscle composition and gain more mitochondria as a result and this would happen in by playing with density, sustained effort/repeated muscular contractions with a suitable load to really create the desired oxygen debt.

All good for fat-loss too, provided you do some basic maths & tracking.

Any of these methods are great for establishing your heart rate targets:

Old Faithful: 220 – Age
Karvonen Formula: 206.9-(age *.67)-RHR * %Effort+RHR
MAF Method: 180 – Age
Any Online Calculator

Once you’ve gotten the numbers you can begin programming whichever out of the cardio above that suits you.

It is worth remembering that while you may enjoy the more higher intensity/impact, this may not quite be the most optimal if you also plan on achieving other goals such as strength, for example.

Many forget to account for the additional fatigue.

It’s why many can program in lower intensity work, or the Steady State side of things far more easily because they’re not that drawing on the nervous system and don’t always create too much fatigue, provided you’re monitoring your heart rate and don’t turn it into slugfest.

You see that is the common issue, people turn everything into a battle.

Keeping this in mind we can look at the programming using this classic principle: FITT

Frequency – 3 days per week
Intensity – 60% HRR
Time – 20min
Type – Steady State (varied: walk, bike, skip etc)

In the light of knowing about basic and time honoured linear periodisation, you may end up with something like this (for say health/fat loss goal that is).

Say we have someone who is very deconditioned –

Week 1 – x3p/w, 60%HRR, 20min
Week 2 – x3p/w, 60%HRR, 25min
Week 3 – x4p/w, 60%HRR, 22min
Week 4 – x4p/w, 60%HRR, 27min
Week 5 – x5p/w, 60%HRR, 24min
Week 6 – x5p/w, 60%HRR, 29min
Week 7 – x6p/w, 60%HRR, 26min
Week 8 – x6p/w, 60%HRR, 31min
Week 9 – x7p/w, 60%HRR, 28min
Week 10 – x7p/w, 60%HRR, 33min

At this point you may choose to tweak things in block2:

Week 1 – x3p/w, 62%HRR, 30min
Week 2 – x3p/w, 62%HRR, 30min
Week 3 – x4p/w, 64%HRR, 30min
Week 4 – x4p/w, 64%HRR, 30min
Week 5 – x5p/w, 66%HRR, 30min
Week 6 – x5p/w, 66%HRR, 30min
Week 7 – x6p/w, 68%HRR, 30min
Week 8 – x6p/w, 68%HRR, 30min
Week 9 – x7p/w, 70%HRR, 30min
Week 10 – x7p/w, 70%HRR, 30min

^ You can laso use other equations calculate how many potnteial calories you burn in each session, just take it with a pinch of salt, as they’re often a guide, not a gospel.

Chances are you can see the pattern here, after this block the intensity might perhaps stay at 70%, then you may look at increasing the time again, perhaps working towards 45min, 7xp/w with 70%HRR, at which point you may opt for starting to add in some more intense forms of CV.

That is provided the base level health & fitness/conditioning goals have been hit (drop in body fat, lowering of resting heart rate, etc).

Of course the cardio is only one element, you’d also do well to have people in making nutritional improvements in regards to the quality of their foods, a small caloric deficit (if they’re carrying too much excess body fat) and in addition to that overall behaviour/habit change.

The comes the age old question.

Do we do this before or after weights?

Personal preference is as follows:

After or at a completely different time.

In an ideal world where people actually stuck to their word and make the positive lifestyle improvements they speak of doing, they’d do this light CV in the AM upon waking.

Combining that with turning off all electronics at say 9pm, and getting to bed before 11pm, and then starting the day at say 5:30-6am for some quick and rewarding CV will not be too hard.

You can delve into the literature, however this sets people up for the day with various cognitive benefits, more perceived energy and also leads to potentially beneficial habit changes in their attitude/personality (more confident, etc).

Another personal preference is to not eat post CV, just because it’s rarely needed and many will overdo their calorie consumption, so waiting for an hour or two post gentle CV as descried above would be ideal.

Before you panic and think you’ll lose all your gains.

Chances are you won’t, in all fairness you’ll probably gain far more benefits to your current progress due to increase conditioning, better & faster recovery due to improved circulation and a whole host of other benefits too.

So dear people, how much thought do you give to your cardio programming?

I know some of you are keen endurance practitioners & athletes, so sharing your knowledge would make for great reading for everyone.

Please do leave your musings below.

Enjoy, Ross

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Another blast from the past today, Giant Sets.

Yet another classic training method that lost favour in the realms of commercial gyms 😱

Incase you’ve not heard of this before you will pick one muscle group to work, say Back, then hit it with 4+ movements that provide the most bang for your buck in regards to stimulus to fatigue 💪

1-2 giant sets are usually neigh for most mortals, some inhuman people can manage 3 working sets and anyone who claims they do more in my experience is doing something wrong 🤔

A brief home example

A1 – Wide Grip Pull Up x4-6
A2 – Chin Up x4-8
A3 – Inverted Row (pronated) x6-10
A4 – Inverted Row (supinated x6-10
A5 – Banded Straight Arm Pull Down x12-20
A6 – Banded Row x12-20
A7 – Banded Face Pull x15-25
A8 – Banded Reverse Fly x15-25
A9 – Drag Curl Carry x30-60seconds
Rest 5min, repeat for 1-2 more sets.

👆 all of this can be done at home in some fashion.

The you’d finish with some arms for good measure 😋

In regards to the method above and discussing it with many people, you’ll find it can come in some different variations, however the one above it what you’d find considered a ‘true giant set’ based on the first incarnations of it.

If you know of any different variations please share them below.

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What’s your doctrine?

In fitness you’ll find many tomes.

Each has its own unique benefits, limitations and place in the realm known as physical culture.

You can probably guess I’ve followed a few over the years.

Becoming embroiled in one thought process is easily done, especially if it’s spoken with enough conviction. In the 70’s we had body building, the 80’s had step, the 90’s was functions training and the last couple of decades brought us CrossFit & HIIT and more recently Movement Culture.

As mentioned above, all have their good points and in truth once you find one that keeps you consistently training you’ll feel great, or at least a part of something bigger than yourself.

I’ve personally been in the industry a fair while now, a literal lifetime when compared to the age of some young adults just stepping in to the field.

In this span I’ve seen trends come and go.

Plus there are a few things that have stayed and will always remain important.

  • Strength
  • Mobility & Movement
  • Health
  • Enjoyment (purpose)

You might love running, if so cool you go run just be aware of what running is lacking from the above (strength).

Perhaps you’re a powerlifter, great just be sure to fill in the missing gaps (health, mobility & movement).

I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this.

On a personal note I don’t really care what people do so long as they are doing it for the right reasons, that being it means something to them that is at the live of their very soul, none of this superficial bullshit, got no time for such pointless things.

Do you love what you do?

No, really, can you say without any doubt you love what you do (in the gym, this kinda applies for life as well – just saying).

If you have any hesitation or have to justify your answer then somethings not right.

You’ll find many a doctrine in fitness, ideal if you find one that have the elements mentioned above that’s the most optimal one, however it’s also rare.


Oh, before I forget, it’s okay to create your own style you know. Learn from all the single views of the big picture and eventually you’ll have quite the impressive view to which you can then give back to the realm of fitness by creating something of your own.

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My KGB Training Method – Part 1

***The how, what & why***
Before you think it, this isn’t related to the Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti.
In this particular incarnation of those letters they mean the following:
Three different days.
Three different focuses.
Three different outcomes.
You might just find this the refreshing change up in your truing that you need.
*3on-1off or 2on-1off-1on-1off works the best I’ve found, however you can work this in to however many training days you have per week.
Kettlebell Day –
3 bells are chosen (4kg difference each bell, ideally 8kg) a light-medium-heavy set as it were.
You might choose 24kg, 32kg & 40kg, you will alternate between those based on feel, once you choose your bells you’re stuck with them for the session or until you’ve mastered the heaviest one, at which point you go up a bell size, using the above 32,40,48kg would be the new set.
The aim of the day is to build strength, power, endurance and general fortitude (LBM).
You’ll find your grip, glutes & core gain quite the benefit from this style of work.
Grappling Day –
Don’t worry if you don’t grapple, it’s the principle that matters and it is this:
– Pick things up with your hands, carry, load, throw, push or drag them.
This is a day for things such as sandbag carries, follow day cleaning the weight on to a block.
Ideally you’ll be working with bodyweight as a baseline, then you can have a heavier/lighter option in the form of more bags of different/awkward objects.
Clubbells, Indian Clubs, Maces, Hammers, Bars and all the other good stuff like these fall in to this day.
This day serves as a dual purpose strength & conditioning tool, plus it will have a great crossover to daily life and making you anti-fragile.
Plus if you grapple it will also help that as well.
You’ll build a solid set of mittens, glorious glutes & mighty abs.
Bodyweight Day –
Learning how to get the most out of the least is truly a skill the frugal possess.
A skill we should look to bring to our training as well.
Mastering basic skills such as running, jumping, crawling, claiming, bridges, planks, hanging around and how to move well is something EVERYONE can benefit from, literally.
The purpose of this day is to help you develop at the very minimum the infant form of gymnastic abilities.
Once you master ‘feeling’ your body and working with it instead of against it you’ll find your overall awareness goes through the roof, not to mention improvements in posture, grip, glutes and core.
There we have it, the first part of this simple yet surprisingly effective method.
Now you know how the days are set, and what to expect (well, a taste of it), you must understand why.
Knowing the why is the most important part.
If my why, the why of this little system fits your why then you’ll achieve great things from it.
Say they don’t match, that’s cool because you have plenty of other options out here.
On this occasion at this time we just don’t see eye to eye this time around, perhaps in another life 💪💪
Okay, the reason why this got put together was simple.
It’s about improving quality of life for the long term.
Helping you become strong, move well and able to face almost every daily task without a second thought.
You’ll also find this is great as you can do it anywhere, you don’t need a gym, you can have all the kit on your own or amongst a group of friends.
Your progress is on your hands.
Part 2 to follow.

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An old forgotten post from the drafts – New Year Pitfalls

Morning Guys,

With the new year in full swing there will be some common pitfalls ready to ensnare young hopefuls, to help you understand what they are and how to avoid them to the best of your abilities we will cover the 4 most common.
1 – Too Much Too Soon.
You’ve spent the best part of 2015 living on convenience foods and building forts on the sofa, but 2016 is where that will all change. In the first week of the new year there will be the familiar sight of hoards of newbies hitting the gym EVERYDAY, going hell for leather and literally pushing themselves to the point of feeling sick, just short of collapsing. It’s okay though, it’s meant to be like this, right?
After doing this for a week, maybe two a gym virgin will be utterly ruined. Walking normally will be a distant dream, sitting on the toilet will be like harder than climbing Everest, you get the idea.
Starting down the path of self improvement is great and I fully support those who want to make a change, what you need to remember is that doing too much won’t get you results faster. It will however leave you sore, frustrated and demotivated, all of which can cause a person to quite their endeavor and we don’t want that.
My advice for gym new comers would be to join a couple of classes 2-3 per week will be sufficient to get you progressing, enjoy your workouts and also making some new friends too. If you can afford it hire a trainer/coach as they will be able to teach you a lot of the things you need to know, not to mention correct exercise form.
Don’t rush, take your time and avoid doing too much too soon.
2 – No Patience.
Everyone wants to get results, the biggest issue is the fact that everyone wants their results by yesterday. This is a major problem. Results take time to achieve, occasionally a very long time and this can be frustrating for people.
In the modern world of health/fitness there are some unrealistic expectations of what is achievable, this is largely down to rampant PED (performance enhancing drugs) use and a reluctance to accept that the people many often admire have been training for a great number of years – 10+ in most cases.
Is it possible to lose 30lbs of fat in 12 weeks? Yes, however it would require extreme focus and dedication and sadly a lot of people don’t have that. This means you will be realistically looking at more like 24 weeks to achieve that goal, this for some people is too long to wait.
Results take time, learn some patience and don’t give up when you don’t have abs or are a size 8 after only one week in the gym.
3 – Your Nutrition is Wrong.
A simple subject made complex. Here is the basics of nutrition:
To gain weight – Eat more calories than you burn.
To lose weight – Eat less calories than you burn.
Simple right? So that being the case why do so many people struggle? The answer is obvious really… You are either eating too much or not enough. Seriously, for the majority of people that is the honest truth.
Okay, now for the slightly more interesting part.
Establishing how many calories to eat. There are literally hundreds of formulas/websites on the internet that will give you a rough estimate, with one of the best being the Harris-Benedict formula (I’m not writing this one down as it’s rather long and complicated). If you’re looking for a quick guide way to establish your potential daily calorie needs then use this *equation:
Weight Loss – Weight in Lbs (ideally your LBM-Lean body mass, meaning what portion of you isn’t fat) multiplied by 11-13. So, LBM in Lbs x 11-13 = calories for weight loss.

Weight Gain – LBM in Lbs x 17-19 = Calories for weight (muscle gain).

*Disclaimer – this is a rough guide, if you want a more accurate number hire a trainer/coach to do all of this for you.
The next part from here will be establishing your Macro-nutrient ratios (protein/carbs/fat) Ideally this is based off of your LBM. There are a specific amount of calories in each macro-nutrient:
Protein – 4cals per gram
Carbohydrate – 4cals per gram
Fat – 9 Calories per gram
Grams of Protein = 1xLBM – of you weigh 150lbs of lean mass then you need 150g of protein.
Grams of Carbs = 1xGrams of Protein – 1×150=150g carbs (25-40g of this number should be fiber).
Grams of Fat = Add the calories from protein/carbs together then take it away from your established number of daily calories. What ever number that is divide it by 9 for your grams of fat, for example: 900cals remaining / 9 = 100g fat for the day.
In recent times you will hear people say that your choice of food doesn’t matter. Yep, you read that right. Provided you hit your macros/calories you can eat what ever you want, in theory… Would I personally advise this? No. Personally I would prefer people eat mostly whole foods (meat/veg, basically what is considered adult food, not sweets, cakes and convenience foods) this is for better for overall in health in my experience. True you will find people who throw science/theory at your proving it doesn’t matter but if I’ve learnt one thing it’s that everything works in theory but that’s about it.
The real secret to nutrition is to enjoy what you eat, don’t restrict yourself but don’t gorge either. Aim for the classic 80/20 split of whole foods to indulgence, hit your calories/macros and you will find you don’t go far wrong.
4 – You Don’t Put in Enough Effort (Mentally).
I am not going to sugar coat this fact.
The main pitfall that leads to people giving up is their mind is weak. The difference between fantasy and reality is purely desire, well, most of the time in the things we can control anyway.
Try to remember that you are in charge of your life. You control your actions, no one made you eat that cake, you wanted to eat it. Is that a bad thing? Hell no! If you want some cake then have some, just don’t eat the entire cake and feel guilty or blame someone else for eating it. So what if you were at a child’s birthday party? You didn’t have to eat it, you wanted to eat it. Accept your decisions and move one swiftly from the bad ones.
Everyone has the potential to achieve their goals, what most people lack is the patience, dedication and mental fortitude to keep going when it gets tough. There is no quick fix, the only way to get lasting results is to make a life long change. Remember that.
Have faith in yourself, I know you can do it.

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Something for the Bored

6 movements, 6 varied rep schemes, 6 months of training.

Behold, the 6-6-6 you’ve been waiting for. 

Well, I have no idea if you were waiting to be fair, there was just a passing thought that is sounded cool, however now after reading it that might not be the case. 

Never mind, we must press on. 

Morning All, 

This came to mind in the early afternoon yesterday while in the midst of loaded carries. 

The overall aim of the above is to give people the following:

– 6 months of training to follow

– A test in mental toughness and consistency 

– Results because the first lot of lifts are done by few

You will also find it’s quite fun as well. 

First up, the movements. 

Push – Incline Press

Pull – Pull Up (weighted or unweighted, grip may vary)

Squat – Uhh, well, yea… Squats 🙂 (high bar)

Hinge – Deficit Deadlift (1-3inch block or whats available)

Loaded Carry – Farmers Walk*

Full Body Lift – Clean & Jerk

Now the rep schemes.

These will be progressed in a simple linear fashion (added weight where you can) once you are hitting each set comfortably. 

Medium – 1,2,3,4,5,4,3,2,1 

Medium – 2,3,5,2,3,5,2,3,5

Heavy – 1,2,3,1,2,3,1,2,3

Light – 3,5,7,3,5,7,3,5,7

Light – 2,4,6,2,4,6,2,4,6

Heavy – 1,1,1,1,1,1

^^^ with all you will rest as needed. 

*Loaded carry schemes 

– 30second on, 30second off = one round, 10-30 rounds

– 10min time limit to cover as much distance as possible

– 3min on, 1min off, 3min on 

– Tabata x1-3 (20 on, 10 off x8rounds)

– 20m carry EMOM (ever min on the min)

– +10m EMOM, so 1st min = 10m, 2nd = 20m, 3rd = 30m until you can’t keep up the pace/distance

The above will work on a H-L-M rotation, essentially you have the ability to let the weight dictated the reps, however once you pick a rep scheme from the day you stick with it. 

Time to put these together in a logical training schedule, I will give you several options, pick the one that best suits your training availability.

Option 1 –

Day 1 – Squat, Pull

Day 2 – Hinge, Push 

Day 3 – Full Body Lift, Loaded Carry 

Day 4 – Rest

Day 5 – Repeat 

Option 2 –

Day 1 – Squat, Pull

Day 2 – Hinge, Push

Day 3 – Off 

Day 4 – Hinge, Push, Loaded Carry 

Day 5 – Off 

Day 6 – Repeat 

Option 3 –

Day 1 – Squat

Day 2 – Push

Day 3 – Hinge 

Day 4 – Pull

Day 5 – Full Body Lift 

Day 6 – Loaded Carry

Day 7 – Off

Day 8 – Repeat 

Option 4 – 

Day 1 – Squat, Pull, Loaded Carry 

Day 2 – Off

Day 3 – Off

Day 4 – Hinge, Press, Loaded Carry

Day 5 – Off

Day 6 – Off 

Day 7 – Full Body Lift, Loaded Carry 

Day 8 – Off

Day 9 – Off

Day 10 – Repeat 

Option 5 – 

Day 1 – Squat, Push, Loaded Carry

Day 2 – Off

Day 3 – Off

Day 4 – Off 

Day 5 – Full Body Lift, Hinge, Pull 

Day 6 – Off 

Day 7 – Off  

Day 8 – Repeat 

Option 6 – 

Day 1 – Squat, Pull, Loaded Carry 

Day 2 – Hinge, Push, Loaded Carry 

Day 3 – Off 

Day 4 – Hinge, Push, Loaded Carry 

Day 5 – Off 

Day 6 – Repeat  

You have a lot of choice, optimally you want to train each movement every 3-5days. 

This overall protocol gives you some autonomy to pick and choose your training for the day to either be heavy, light or medium, the main aim is that after sticking with the same movements for the entire 6months you will have added some decent weight to each lift. 

Push hard when you feel strong and back off when you don’t. 

My advise would be as follows: in every 6 workouts 1 is heavy, 1 is light and 4 are medium.

The above plays in to the realms of ‘inch wide, mile deep’ & ‘Easy Strength’. While you may leave sessions feeling strong and that you could do more you’d be wise not to be tempted too. 

That being said, if you wish to add in one ‘pet lift’ such as bicep curls, tricep extensions, calve raises, reverse flies etc for either aesthetics or postural reasons then feel free, the volume can be up to you, I’d recommend 50-100 total reps with the isolation lift IF you choose to put one in at the end of a session.

The same goes for core work, some added planks are welcome, as are 1-2 solid sets of 5 in the Ab Roll Out. You may also add some movements such as the windmill, TGU etc in your warm up too. 

A session itself may look like this all in all:


– TGU to Windmill: 3-5x-3-5 (each arm)

– 2×3-5 on the lift you’re about to do x 50% & 75% work load


A1 – Deficit DL 1-2-3-4-5 (all at 160kg) -4-3-2-1+5kg per set.

A2 – Incline Press 2-3-5-2-3-5-2-3-5 all at 80kg

Conditioner/ *Optional Isolation:

B1 – Farmers Walk Tabata x3 @ 50%BW in each hand

*C1 – Curls 5×10

*C2 – Ab Roll Out 2×5, 2x Side Planks, 1x L-Sit


– Foam Rolling/Static Stretching: Full Body 

One thing to remember is that the above is just a set of guidelines, it’s not set in stone. You may also find adding in 1-2 session a week of gentle CV work to your liking, however you need to remember that more isn’t always better and that you can only progress as much as you can recover. 

Chase performance, not fatigue, always. 



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Optimal Frequency = Every 3-5

According to the research you’d do well to hit a lift every 3-5 days.

This is of course under the proviso that you hit it with the necessary stimulus to trigger and adaptive response, or at least start to build towards creating one in a long term periodised protocol.

One way of looking at programming this frequency is to work in 5 days microcycles, one option would be as follows:

  • Day 1 – Chest & Back
  • Day 2 – Legs
  • Day 3 – off
  • Day 4 -Shoulders & Back
  • Day 5 – Off
  • The cycle then repeats back to day one after this.

If that was your chosen plan You’d find Charles Poliquin quite happy, as that is one of his most recommended and it works rather well, hence why it is the first example. Repeat that cycle 4-8 times depending on your level of ability and progress you make.

The above is good if you have no restriction on the days you can train, however if you are bound by the working week then you may have an issue, as such here is an example that fits that frequency of hitting each lift every 3-5 days.

  • Monday – Anterior Chain Movements
  • Tuesday – Off
  • Wednesday Off
  • Thursday – Posterior Chain Movements
  • Friday – Off
  • Saturday – Anterior Chain Movements
  • Sunday – Off
  • Monday – Posterior Chain Movements
  • As you can see you alternate Anterior/Posterior days

The above puts your lifting frequency at ever 4-5 days, a nice spacing for you to really give each day a good hammering.

If you’re wondering what would fall in to each day, here is a brief example:

Anterior Chain – Presses, Squats, Ab Roll outs (or think pushing muscles)

Posterior Chain – Pulls, Deadlifts, Loaded Carries (or think pulling muscles)

You might even go for Upper Body, Lower Body, the options are many.

So long as you covered every movement pattern/or muscle over the two days you’d have no issues in terms of making progress, however I would advise picking exercises that would give you the most bang for you buck, such as Snatch Grip Deficit Deadlifts, Clean & press, Chins for example.

Over the years if there is one thing I’ve noticed it is this – people are way too focused on doing everything under the in a session, bodybuilder style, even if this is not the most optimal style of training for them, as a result they often end up with unbalanced training protocols that are sub standard for progress.

Speaking of which, this bring the question to “What sets & reps should be used?” – Always something asked, and as per the norm many will say “It depends” which is fair, however what people are really asking for is a starting point or at least some direction.

For this I like the ‘rule of 15-25’ meaning that your main lifts will contain 15 to 35 working reps, this has been shown to allow progress (look up PRE by Delorme & Watkins), you can use many loading schemes, it might be any of the following:

  • 1x5x50%, 1x5x75%, 3x5x100% – all % are of 5RM
  • 1x10x50%, 1x10x75%, 1x10x100% – all % are of 10RM

The options are endless,s however I;d recommend starting with one of those two for your main ‘heavy lifts’ and for accessory work (smaller muscles or isolation work), doing 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps, hitting momentary muscular failure at the end of each set – however this doesn’t mean your form goes to pot, all of your from must be as close to ‘perfect’ as possible, if its not, lower the weight and focus on using a slower cadence, say 4 seconds down, 1 second pause at bottom of lift, then 1-2 second concentric and repeat for all desired reps.

All fairly simple, perhaps even boring, however it will work, trust me.

There you go, some info/options to get you started.



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1/2 a kilo per session = long term progression

Half a kilo each session.
That’s all you need to add to the main lifts.
Devilishly simple, some may even say dull, yet super effective.
It give your body plenty of time to master the weight.
You will not miss any reps (well, you shouldn’t if you start at the correct load).
Here is how it’s laid out:
Main lift:
– Working set/rep options 2×5, 3×3, 5×2
– Warm up sets are as needed
– Pick a large compound movement e.g: Squat, Press, Deadlift, Chin etc
– Rest 3-5min
Loading & Progression:
– 2x5x70%, 3x3x75%, 5x2x80%
– Add half a kilo to the main lift each session without fail, hence the low starting weights.
Accessory work:
– 1-3 lifts depending on your time available
– 2-3 sets
– 6-25 reps
– Loading will be dictated but the reps chosen
– Rest 1-2min
– Legs/Push/Pull
– Hit each every 3-5 days ideally
This can last for months and months and months, I’d change up the accessory lifts every 2-3 weeks to keep things interesting, however the main lifts can be milked for all they are worth as it will take 20sessions to add 10kg to the weight you’re starting at.
Avoid the temptation to rush.
That’s it.
Nothing fancy, however it works very well for developing strength skill, your accessory work will give you either a bolster on strength, hypertrophy, fat loss etc depending on how you plan those.

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How to make progress: Part 5 – Variation

“You must change exercises frequently in your workouts to avoid stagnation, confuse your muscles!”
Well yes and no.
To adapt and overcome you need to have frequent exposure to a stimulus, the same stimulus in fact. that way your body will have time to fatigue, react and adapt, if you chop and change what you do too often then you won’t actually create the stress you need and as such not progress in the most optimal way.
Exercise variation is not a bad thing by any means, however you’ll find the most successful programs are the most boring because they don’t have too much variation, and the variation they do have has a direct correlation/crossover to their main/staple workout.
Let’s say you’re wanting bigger legs, how can you achieve this?
Squats would be the correct answer.
Lot’s of squats.
Now, what you will find is that your accessory movements (the ones you do after the meat and potatoes – squat) can have some variance to allow you to stave off boredom, however these would probably change every 3-6 weeks depending on your personality.
For example;
Lunges with a parrot dumbbells could become pistol squats with a kettlebell or even a split squat, so a similar movement patter with a different emphasis on the loading perimeters.
The main lift would stay the same because to cage that too often would cause lacklustre results.
It’s a common problem that people want novelty in their training all the time, and while there is nothing wrong with this it offers little to no results for the majority of people. Chances are you may know a person who does different things all the time and looks great, well you’re not them, they’re there exception and you don’t want to base how YOU respond on them because you’re not them, no matter how much you want to be.
Consistency is the key to progress, don;t change too much and if you have to make changes try to do so under the guise of ‘Same but different’ – this means a similar movement patter with perhaps a variant on loading, position of the bar, tempo etc.

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40+ Lifting

The ravages of time effect us all, it’s something none of us can deny.

Eventually the days of working all the hours under the sun followed by a hard night of partying and then getting up at the crack of dawn and crushing a workout can only last so long.

In the end the body says “Nope, just no.”

So why does this happen?

Let’s look at what we know:

– Hormonal profiles are less optimal
– Your ability to recover declines as you age
– Sleep becomes paramount
– Tolerance to alcohol, highly processed foods declines
– You can actually train harder as you age due to better and more mature/developed neurological connections that create more in-road each session (plus you might have made strength gains from your early days, hopefully)
– Basically you’re no spring chicken anymore

Some people think raging is a bad thing, it’s not, it’s simply a process of life however if you plan your training correctly you can make plenty of progress in your later years, and for some people even make the best progress they’ve ever made.

Personally I’ve had clients who go on to outdo themselves ten-fold from their youth because as an adult they possess the following quality that only come with time:

– Wisdom
– Patience
– Accountability
– Common sense

A typical younger version of yourself might train 5-6 days per week and hit a combination of weights/cardio, not a bad thing, however from experience the attitude of most is that of this “I’m maintaining what I’ve got.” whereas as you age the attitude becomes “I’m looking to become stronger and improve what I have to prevent further decline.” – obviously note true for everyone, just most people.

As youths we truly are ignorant and take what we have for granted. If we had known that the foundations we lay in the early years will serve use to help keep our youth for longer more people would put in a conscious effort to train for strength/progress rather than just aesthetics and maintaining what we have.

^^ Always train for strength, performance and progress, that’s the bottom line. If you do aesthetics will come regardless of age.

Below is a winning formula I have used for people over the age of 40 who have become more invested mentally in their training.

– Train 2-4 times per week (more isn’t necessary)
– Focus on strengthening your posterior chain
– Focus on stretching your anterior chain
– 2-6 movements per session is great
– Conditioning is important (use 1 session to hit CV 80%+ HRR)
– Lower reps with more sets trumps all
– Average intensity will be around 80% 1RM
– 2-3 weeks of hard training followed by 1 week easy is king
– Take 4 total rest weeks of a year (12 week mesocycles)
– Food is fuel, eat mostly whole foods
– Enjoy life, if you want to eat loose do it, just don’t go nuts to often

If you’re new to lifting I advise you hire a coach to help you with the below. Kettlebells are a great tool, however they require practice so leave your ego at the door, focus on longevity.


You’ll improve strength/conditioning/mobility/flexibility with kettlebells, they’re the perfect tool as we find ourselves hitting the later years. If you have never used them I suggest hiring a coach to help teach you their ways.


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