Tag Archives: fun

Train or Workout?

There is so much to do in this world.
 
Alas we stick doing the same as we have always done, all while claiming we want a different result, yet secretly thinking that if that happened life couldn’t be any worse.
 
Essentially people want to find their comfort zone.
 
Or as someone recently said to me, content.
 
People want to find that which they are content with, that place of peaceful happiness and while a worthy goal I can tell you this for nothing – you’ll get bored there.
 
How do I know this?
 
I don’t, I’m simply guessing and in all honesty I’m probably wrong because this is only based off of my own narrow view of the world.
 
In the wonderful world of fitness we can workout or we can train.
 
Working out is done simply for the sake of it.
 
Training has a deeper purpose and level of focus.
 
One you tick boxes and simply get in & out, the other you do what you need to do regardless of how you feel because the goal is bigger than your excuses.
 
Here is something to toy with for your ‘workouts’ –
 
Go in and do your thing only 3 days per week.
 
Why only three?
 
Well that is because it will have you focus a little more so that you don’t simply waste time workout out, you’re still somewhat productive.
 
Now you can do more if it’s simply about the social element for you and being with people you know, however you could also see those people bygone for coffee or for a walk, or climbing, or some other activity (just food for thought).
 
Gym/lifting wise try one of the following three options:
 
– 1 lift 3xP/W, waviness of volume/load, 45min per session
– Classic lifts 1st day, carries on 2nd, & movement on 3rd
– Rotate 5 sessions over 3days (2 lifts per session)
 
You’d be amazed at how something this simple can provide a lot of bang for your buck, using the three suggestions above I’ve found these to work very well.
 
– Kettlebell Single Arm Swings or Snatches
– SQ/B/DL > Sandbag Hear Hug > Crawl/Climb/Tumble
– DL/P, SQ/PL, Carries, Sprints/Stretch, Climbing/Stretch
 
Give the above some consideration by a sling yourself this question –
 
Why do I do it?
 
You may just surpise yourself with the answer.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Training programs on the internet are a dime a dozen

There are two types of people in the fitness world.
 
Well, there is actually a lot more however for the purpose of this post I’m saying there is two because the premise demands it to be so 😂
 
You have those who wish to train every day and those who don’t.
 
Both can utilise what I will share below.
 
You might have seen I’m on a bit of a thing with planned randomisation lately.
 
I know, it’s an impressive oxymoron.
 
As such we shall be call in on our friend the coin, once again utilising the wisdom of Harvey Dent and letting fate decide.
 
You will have two options for training:
 
Session Type:
Heads = Strength
Tails = Cardio
 
Strength Sessions:
Heads = Push, Hinge, Loaded Carry
Tails = Pull Squat, Movement
 
Strength Session Rep/Set Structure:
Heads = 1-2-3-4-5, Up to 5 total set
Tails = 3-5min per lift (constant lifting), 2-3 sets
 
^ Progress can be down to you going on feel or mastery of the loads you’re using.
 
^^ Pick any lift your feel fits the movement pattern, I’d say to stick with that movement for 4-6 sessions in total.
 
Cardio Sessions:
Heads = Intervals
Tails = Steady State
 
Cardio Session Structure: Intervals
Heads = Burst Cardio: 20-30min total, HR Zones 70-95%*
Tails = 30on/90off x5-15 sets
 
*You work until you hit 95% of your max heart rate, then slow down and stop to recover, focus on on breathing and lowering your HR, once it’s back at 70% you sprint again, repeating this for the desired time.
 
Cardio Session Structure: Steady State
Heads = 45min, HR Zones 60-70% MHR
Tails = 30min HR 70-80% MHR
 
^ You can choose any method to get your CV needs met.
 
^^ This also means things like kettlebell swings, snatches etc.
 
There you have it, a simple and planned structure that is also random, ish 😂
 
Oh yea, for those who don’t want to train all that often you flip the coin to decide if your’e training that day or not.
 
Heads = Training
Tails = Not Training
 
Please be aware that they above is just something novel.
 
You may love this idea, or you might think it’s terrible, either way who you train is your own choice.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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We’ll let fate decide

Harvey Dent, he was on to something. 

You thought we could be decent men, in an indecent time! But you were wrong. The world is cruel, and the only morality in a cruel world is chance. Unbiased, unprejudiced… fair. His son’s got the same chance she had. Fifty-fifty.” *Holding two-headed coin*

In the past you’ve probably seen a post of five about how to use a dice to decide your training.

Today we’re going to go even further down the rabbit hole of randomness and find out the secrets of the humble coin. 

Admittedly you will end up with some very minimalistic training, however it will take any excess thought away from you.

This is ideal for those who claim to get lost with training or are unsure of what to do.

One simply has to have faith in the coin and follow the pattern it leaves. 

Here is how you can apply it to your training, be warned though, this is also an exercise in faith, do you have the courage to do what they coin dictates or not?

Okay, to decide if you are training today or not grab a coin and flip it. 

Heads = Training Today 

Tails = No Training Today 

Now for the interesting part, if you’re training today it’s time to find out how.

Heads = Strength 

Tails = Conditioning 

This is where you can play with all the nuance.

Say you got strength, here are some options once you flip the coin again:

Heads = Push, Hinge, Loaded Carry 

Tails = Pull, Squat, Loaded Carry 

Now for some reps/sets:

Heads = 5-3-2-5-3-2-5-3-2

Tails = 6-1-1–1-1-20

There you go, training for the day. 

If you got tails for conditioning this might be your menu.

Heads = Fartlek at 70%> MHR 

Tails = Steady State at <70% MHR

^^ You choose whichever modality you feel like. 

One thing you’ll find with the above is that the less chose the better, however there is another reason for it. 

You will suddenly find out that you know exactly what you want to be doing, you were just being a bit lazy in making a choice because if you really want a strength day and end up with a conditioning one it soon makes you realise your goals. 

Same is true for a day you want to train and end up having the coin tell you not to.

Flip 1 –

Heads = Training Today 

Tails = No Training Today 

Flip 2 – 

Heads = Strength = 10x TGU (5 per arm) 

Tails = Conditioning = 100 Single Arm Swings (50 each arm) 

Super simple, super effective. 

This concept isn’t new, however the unpredictability just makes for some interesting times. 

How would you progress?

Who knows, perhaps if you use the TGU above you could keep doing that until you hit a half-bodyweight get up for all the reps with ease, the options are many, power if you only train for fun like you claim then just pick a random target and see what happens.

Personally I prefer the dice, yet can apply the train/don’t train to the dice by say 1-3 = train and 4-5 = don’t train, then go from there. 

In a world where there is so much confusion, stress and uncertainty leaving your training in the hands of fate can make for quite the change. 

I’ve found that things like the coin/dice and total randomness of training days makes you appreciate the days you do train and you also put in more effort because from experience those who train with intent & heart, even if infrequently, tend to get more progress than some of the workout-warriors who do 2-3 hours in the gym each day. 

^^ When applied to the gen-pop.

All in all it’s just bit of fun, which is what you said you wanted, right?

Or perhaps now seeing this you know it’s not fun you want, it’s emoting else entirely.

Give it some thought. 

Enjoy, 

Ross 

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Anime Strong

100 push ups, 100 squat, 100 sit-ups & a 10k run, everyday for 3 years.

^^ That is what Saitama did to become the worlds strongest man, if only it was that easy in real life.

In most anime shows you’ll find that training is consistent, with purpose and drive.

Now training daily is something you can indeed do, either by picking one movement per day or setting up some sort of rotating split, all are viable however I’m going to give you a challenge and only the most committed and willing will be able to do it.

You’ll have 7 main movements to practice daily (pick one or two of them).

You will never do them to fatigue, the aim is to get better with every set, stronger with every rep and then once ever 10th session of the given movement you go all out and either hit a new max effort, top end weight, total about of reps or time under tension.

There is then the additional option of doing a sport, martial art or some form of fun hobby/endeavour with the rest of your time.

1 – Hand Balancing (2 hands, single hand etc)
2 – Rope Climbing
3 – Sprinting
4 – Deadlift
5 – Pistol Squats
6 – Movement Flows (crawling, climbing, loaded carries, jump sequences etc)
7 – Explosively Throwing

You’d simply pick one or two of the above to practice each day (two is my choice).

Okay, now for the interesting bit, how to program it all, you will have three options.

1 – Do 30-90min once per day – vary the reps/time/distance etc every set
2 – Multiple 10min sessions during the day (minimum of 3)
3 – Perform one set of say no more than 2-3reps for 2-3sets (or 2-3 sets of  10-30 seconds for balances/carries/flows etc) every hour you’re awake.

Easy enough to do, however the trick is to be consistent, patient and see each day/movement as practice, plus just have some fun with it.

Try it for 100 days if you feel that being anime strong is a title you’d not mind having.

Enjoy,
Ross

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Trusty Rusty

A man and his kettlebell.
 
Because no dogs were available at the time.
 
Have you ever thrown around the aforementioned cannonball with a handle?
 
They offer a plethora of benefits.
 
Strength, mobility, CV, power and much more.
 
Their beauty comes from their simplicity because you don’t need much to accomplish a lot, provided you don’t have a kettlebell that is little more than a door stop in regards to total weight.
 
I’m sure many will disagree with this.
 
Oh well never mind.
 
What will transpire below is not for the very de-conditioned although it can be adapted for such.
 
Here is what weight I’d recommend for you have as an essential starting out:
 
Gentlemen – 24kg
 
Lady – 16kg
 
With such limited choice you’ll have to be clever with training and keep things simple yet effective.
 
Try this short 26 week protocol –
 
Weeks 1-6 – Get Up & Single Arm Swings
 
– Up to 10 total get ups per day
– 75-250 single arm swings per day
 
Weeks 7-12 – Clean & Press (or push press, or jerk)
 
– Clean ladder 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 with 1 Press
– Press ladder 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,19 with 1 Clean
– Alternate between the above per day
 
Weeks 13 – 18 – Single Arm Swings & Squats/Push Ups*
 
*can be pistols/single arm push ups*
 
– Single arm Swings 75-250 per day
– Goblet Squat or Push Up* ladder 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10
– Alternate SQ/PU each day
 
Weeks 19-24 – Single Arm Swing, Clean, Press, Squat
 
– Complex ladder 1,2,3,4,5
– Perform up to 5 ladders each say (one at a minimum)
 
This isn’t fancy, however it is effective as you can tweak movement variations to your hearts content and add in some GTG (grease the groove) work if you feel strong enough.
 
^^ I’ve found a pulling movement works well for GTG.
I’ve personally done the above with a 32kg and found limiting the choice was a great way to give myself a much needed kick up the arse.
Give it a go and as always –
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Nice Snatch

The kettlebell snatch is one of my favourite movements.
 
While there are many subtle tweaks you can apply in your form they all stem from two styles of snatch with a kettlebell:
 
1 – Hard Style
2 – Sport Style
 
The first is meant to generate more ‘power’ and make you stronger overall while still getting a good solid amount of volume in and increasing your work capacity.
 
The second is all about efficiency of movement so that you can get the most reps in a given time period (typically 10min in the snatch section of the Biathlon, only one hand change is allowed).
 
You might want to know which is better.
 
The classic answer is this; it depends on the goal.
 
While this is indeed the case it’s a cop out answer for people who don’t want to state a preference. Over the years I’ve done both many times and these days I lean towards doing the sport variation more.
 
Why you ask?
 
Because it feels more comfortable with the sport bells.
 
When I grab my cast iron ones I will often opt for the hard style snatch as the handles and dimensions are more forgiving for it.
 
Here are the two in action side by side:
 
 
Notice how the sport style on the left emphasises fluidity and pacing which the hard style is more about oomph.
 
Both are good, both have pros & cons, you simply have to decide which is better for you and your goal.
 
Snatching works well in many ways.
 
– Ladders: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 both arms
– Time Blocks 5-20min
– Intervals 30/30-60rest
– Straight Sets 10×20 per arm
– Pacing per min: 60 seconds for 15 reps L/R x10min
 
The options are endless.
Snatches work best when largely focused on density in training.
 
One things both can agree is that there will be a great benefit to your shoulder health, strength, conditioning, body composition and overall athleticism when this glorious movement is added to your training.
 
Hitting some snatch work 2-3 times per week will truly be a massive benefit.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Superhero System – Stage 1 – Before The Call

So you want to look like a superhero.

Who doesn’t right?

They are everything we wish we could be and more, always doing the right thing and never having to sacrifice anything, they always find a way to save everyone.

While in this life we might not be able to achieve such heroism we can more than give it a good go. Failing that at least their aesthetic is something achievable for us.

Yep, the majority of people can look like a true hero with the right training.

*Please note this is a guide and there will of course be specific needs to each individual, however this will help get you started on the right path.

When we first meet our hero in any story they have a decent base.

Keeping this in mind we must ourselves create a solid foundation from which we can build something truly awe-inspiring. To do this we shall carve out the pre-mentored hero in 4 weeks of training at least 3 days per week that while effect, is unguided.

Day 1 –

W/U – Farmers Walk x10min
A1 – Squats 20reps, as many sets as possible in 20min
B1 – Clean & Press x10, as many set as possible in 20min
C/D – Stretching x10min

Day 2 –

W/U – Rowing, as far as possible in 20min
A1 – Presses 10reps, as many sets as possible in 15min
B1 – Bent Over Row 10 reps, as many sets as possible in 15min
C/D – Stretching x10min

Day 3 –

W/U – Hill Running x10min
A1 – Romanian Deadlift x10reps, as many sets a possible in 20min
B1 – Bear Crawling for 10-20m, as many set as possible in 20min
C/D – C/D – Stretching x10min

Our would-be hero has no real reason behind what they do, they just do it because it’s all the know.

The above will be a great place to start building your base of strength, conditioning, movement skill and mental toughness.

Soon enough though this base will be put to the test.

Enjoy,
Ross

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5×5, just not as you know it.

A great little protocol that will be good for fat loss, hypertrophy, strength endurance and fun.
 
I had this little training program come to me while walking last night.
 
This it by no means anything groundbreaking.
 
Keeping that in mind, I reckon it will humble a fair few if the proper effort level is given.
 
The basic set up –
 
– Pick 1-5 movements
– 5 sets total
– Each set is a 5min time block
– No Sloppy Reps
– Rest 3-5min between each set
– Train 2-3 days per week
– Enjoy for 6-12 weeks
 
A 5min block of time where you simply perform only one lift, sounds easy on paper, not so much in reality, especially if you don’t put down whatever it is you’re lifting.
 
Keeping a hold of a bar or piece of kit for 5min is quite the challenge both physically and mentally.
 
Of course in some instances it won’t be possible.
 
This is where the beauty of he above comes in to play and helps you regulate the intensity.
 
You don’t have to keep a hold of whatever kit you’re using or keep moving if it’s a bodyweight exercise you’ve chosen, you can stop an rest.
 
The main focus is on training density & work capacity.
 
You simply not what weight you used, how many reps you got an aim to beat that next session, simple.
 
I’d personally stay with the same movements for 3 week blocks, you can either repeat the same session for each of your 2-3 days or change the lifts each time, that’s up to you, just keep that the same for the suggested block.
 
Example 3 days –
 
*The warm up of the rest will be int he first 5min set, doesn’t have to be, it just saves time.
 
Day 1:
Set 1 – Kettlebell Snatch (don’t put down)
Set 2 – Farmers Walk
Set 3 – Kettlebell Push Press (don’t put down)
Set 4 – Pull Up – any variation
Set 5 – Kettlebell Double Racked Squat (don’t put down)
 
Day 2:
Set 1 – Sandbag Clean & Carry
Set 2 – Thruster BB (don’t put down)
Set 3 – BB Row
Set 4 – Kettlebell Single Arm Swing (don’t put down)
Set 5 – Press Up – any variation
 
Day 3:
Set 1 – The Bear Complex
Set 2 – Squat – any variation (don’t put down)
Set 3 – Power Snatch
Set 4 – Ring Dip
Set 5 – Power Clean
 
*Warm down with a good old stretch and marvel in all the good effort you put in.
 
^^ One thing to keep in mind with the above is there needs to be a focus on quality reps.
 
(Now imagine trying to do this with just one movement for all 5 sets of 5min….. Brutal)
 
Even though in the example I’ve said in some cases not to put the kit down, if your form is going to pot then don’t be a hero, put it down, grab some rest and try for a few more reps.
 
There will always be next session to try and make the full time.
 
Feel free to add in smaller movements as well, thing such as face pulls, reverse flies, bicep curls, skull crushers and so on.
 
The idea behind this little protocol is to get you focusing on achieving a decent amount of quality work.
 
Give it a try and let me know how you get on.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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9 Reasons Bottoms Up (BU) Kettlebell Work is Awesome

*You’d do well to use a bell at least one size lighter than normal for your strict press (ideally 12-16kg for all, if this is too heavy for you then avoid BU work for the time being and just get stronger)
 
1 – It teaches you tension throughout your entire body.
 
2 – You need to mater the weight, the balance, the feel and connecting your body as a unit before you can even move a single step or attempt a press.
 
3 – The positive crossover to your pressing form is well worth the ego check.
 
4 – Hitting some solid reps in either the clean, press, rack walk (BU) waiters walk, windmill, TGU etc, all look pretty cool.
 
5 – Strengthens grip-glutes-core better than most other movements.
 
6 – Perfect for GTG and deload work.
 
7 – You will learn which arm is your weaker one, as such you lift with that one first and then match the reps you achieve with the strong arm.
 
8 – It allows you to get in a good session even if you’ve got limited weights (KB’s).
 
9 – Apart from all the strength, stability and coordination gains you’ll get, this way of lifting is good fun.
 
Here is are a few little complexes to try 2-3 times per week.
 
Complex 1 – Ladder set 1,2,3,4,5 – repeat 3-5 times each arm
 
A1 – BU Clean
A2 – BU Press
A3 – BU Squat
A4 – BU Rack Walk
 
^^ You can progress this one to using two bells.
 
Complex 2 – 2-3 reps per arm – 20-40min total
 
A1 – BU Clean
A2 – BU Press
A3 – BU Windmill
A4 – BU Waiter Walk
 
Complex 3 – 1 rep per arm – static hold each position for 10 seconds tops – 20-30min total
 
A1 – BU Clean to Rack Hold
A2 – BU 1/4 Press Position
A3 – BU 1/2 Press Position
A4 – BU 3/4 Press Position
A5 – BU Press Lock Out Hold
A6 – BU 3/4 Press Position
A7 – BU 1/2 Press Position
A8 – BU 1/4 Press Position
A9 – BU Rack Hold
 
*Finish with some swings or snatches each session 100-200 reps.
 
**You’d also do well to think about ‘pulling’ the weight down in the lowering element of the press, squats and windmills.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Reps for days

It isn’t uncommon for people to ask – “What sets/reps should I be doing?”

While perhaps not that exactly, it will be something along those lines, as such I’ve found that cycling them based on a classic Heavy-Light-Medium rotation applied to a Pull-Push-Legs split.

One element to remember is that Heavy doesn’t mean hard and light doesn’t mean easy, however that is a topic for another day, for now I will give you something you can apply immediately.

Rep/Set Schemes:

  • Heavy  – 5-3-2-5-3-2-5-3-2 (heavy yet not hard)
  • Light – 20-15-10-20-15-10 (light yet not easy)
  • Medium – 5-8×1 + 1×20 – ramp to heavy single for the day, then take 60-70% of that and do one set of 20 reps

Split Options: 4 day split examples

  • Pull-Push-Legs-Off-Repeat
  • Lower-Upper-Posterior-Off-Repeat
  • Strength-Conditioning-Mobility(restorative)-Off-Repeat

^^ 2-4 lifts per day is often sufficient, 1 main with the rep/set scheme, the rest can be 2-3×10-15 or 4×6, your choice.

If we take the PPL and apply the rep schemes over a small cycle.

No change in lifts, only reps.

Day 1 – Pull – Heavy
Day 2 – Push – Light
Day 3 – Legs – Medium
Day 4 – Off
Day 5 – Pull – Light
Day 6 – Push – Medium
Day 7 – Legs – Heavy
Day 8 – Off
Day 9 – Pull – Medium
Day 10 – Push – Heavy
Day 11 – Legs – Light
Day 12 – Off

Many will then say – “What now?”

Once you’ve gone through this you’ll find you’re back at the heavy day being for pull, you can choose to keep the lifts the same and try to hit a higher load or you can perhaps change the lifts, pick your poison.

This allows for a constant rotation of days and keeps things interesting, if you are constrained be the working week and days you can train then you may need something a little different, in which case all you need do it ask for the answer.

Enjoy,
Ross

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