Tag Archives: gains

The 30 set workout structure.

An easy to follow method for those who don’t have time to workout out the exact weights they need for every set.
 
This is based on using auto-regulation and going by feel, it’s also a great way to progress provided you have a training diary and track what you’re doing.
 
Here is what you do:
 
– Train 2-3 times per week
– Pick 3 exercises per workout (10 sets per exercise)
– Stay in the 5-10 rep range
– Use which ever training split you feel is most appropriate*
– Warm ups are included in your sets
– You may use Straight Sets (A1, B1, C1), Superset (A1/A2) or Tri-Set (A1/A2/A3) movements if you choose
– Rest as needed
– Track weights/reps achieved
– Aim to keep sessions between 45-60min
– Repeat for 3-6months and make all the progress
 
*Upper/Lower, Push/Pull, Pull-Push-Legs, Full Body
 
This is what one exercises might look like on paper:
 
Deadlift:
 
Set 1 5x bar 20kg
Set 2 5x 60kg
Set 3 5x 80kg
Set 4 5x 100kg
Set 5 5x 120kg
Set 6 5x 140kg
Set 7 5x 140kg
Set 8 5x 140kg
Set 9 5x 140kg
Set 10 5x 130kg
 
^^ Calculate total volume – Sets X Reps X Weight
 
10x5x1070 = 53,500kg total volume lifted in the session.
 
You’d make a note and aim to lift more total volume next week.
 
The stronger you get you’ll find you may nee dress warm up sets or that they stay the same and you can lift more in your later sets to increase your volume. 
Make sure you’re eating correct for your goal, if you need to establish your calories then check out this page for those answers:
 
There is no right or wrong as to how many warm ups you need, just do what you feel is adequate so that your form feels grooved and the speed on the bar is moving nice and fast.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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How nutrition is a lot like moving house.

A simple analogy for nutrition that will change the way you think.
 
If you’re driving to a certain destination for let’s say a permanent house move, you know, moving from a 2 bed semi to a 3 bed detached, how do you get there?
 
Easy, by planning a route and continuing to drive towards said destination.
 
If you stop, you don’t get any closer to it.
 
If you turn around and go back to your previous one (the 3 bed semi) you have gone backwards to where you were before in stead of going to your new home (3 bed detached), obviously, which seems silly, doesn’t it.
 
Now apply that to nutrition.
 
You pick a goal.
You move towards your goal by making small sustainable lifestyle.
If you stop making the changes you stop processing.
If you go back to old habits you end up back where you started.
 
^^ How is this hard for people to understand?
 
If you want lasting results you need to make a lasting change.
 
Much like moving home, you don’t upgrade a house and then go back to living in your old one, you change, yet it seems many people think nutrition is an exception to this rule. They make a change, get results and then expect to keep that change by eating as they used to (excessively).
 
Madness.
 
Give the analogy some thought.
 
Do you want to move forwards or stay where you are, because once you go forwards there are then only three options after that.
 
1 – Keep moving forwards, on to a 4 bed (optimal)
2 – Stay where you are because you’re happy, in your 3 bed
3 – Go backwards, returning to your 2 bed semi
 
Your choice.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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How doing less helped me progress.

Yesterday we touched on who doing too much can hold people back, today we shall look at how the opposite can help you being to once again make headway.
 
MED, remember that?
 
Minimum effective dose.
 
Find what the bare minimum you can do and make progress form and do that until you no longer make progress, then perhaps add the next smallest amount and progress once again.
 
A simple thought that still adheres to the GAS/SAID principle.
 
It will allow you more time to recover, spend time doing other things you enjoy and for the average person, give you results while also having a life.
 
Sounds perfect, right?
 
That being the case, why don’t people do it?
 
Because as we discussed yesterday, too many think more is better and even more than that must mean even better still, not always true, sadly.
 
You will also find that when you take down how much you’ve been doing, you recover and allow the super-compensation element of GAS to happen, meaning gains.
 
Keeping in mind MED, how many times per week do you need to train to make progress?
 
Twice, that’s a great start.
 
Both sessions would follow a full body approach with limited moves that will give you the best bang for your buck.
 
Day 1 – Monday
 
A1 – Front Squat or Squat 10×5
A2 – DB Row 10×6
B1 – Press 8×6
B2 – Chin 8×6
C1 – Dip 50 reps in as few sets as possible
D1 – Loaded Carry 10min x Total Distance (famers walk, etc)
 
Day 2 – Thursday
 
A1 – Deficit Deadlift (any grip) 10×5
A2 – DB Press 10×6-8
B1 – Bench Press or Incline 6×6-8
B2 – BB Row 6×6-8
C1 – Curl 50 rep goal in as few sets as possible
D1 – Prowler or Sprints 10min x total Distance
 
Combine this with solid nutrition (plenty of whole foods and a calorie deficit or surplus depending on your goal) and three simple factors to progress and you’ll be laughing at the gains you make.
 
How to progress:
 
– Add weight where possible (fractional plates are good)
– If you can’t add weight, reduce rest
– Rest at it’s lowest, increase TUT (time under tension) with a slower negative portion of the lift
 
In each session aim to keep a good pace and finish within 45-75min, you’ll find the less you faff the better the workout you get.
 
Obviously over time you will potentially need to add more frequency taking training to 3 days per week, but the longer you can progress on 2 the better.
 
Funnily enough you will find that most elite lifters seem to find 4xP/W is their optimal limit because in each session they train HARD and create a deep ‘in road’ meaning they’ve stimulated growth, you need to do this too.
 
Remember, doing less can help your progress.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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If you’ve never lifted weights, these starting exercises will help you begin your journey.

Morning All,
 
Starting out in the weight room can be hard, there are endless exercises to choose from. Below is a list to help you get started and the reasons why.
 
Top 6 exercises to start with:
 
– Front Squat
– Incline Press
– Chest Supported Row
– Seated Over Head Extension
– Seated Bicep Curl
– Plank
 
Apart from the Front Squat, all the other exercises can be done with dumbbells by people of any experience level.
 
Why those?
 
Front Squats help groove a good squat pattern, back squats can be quite technical for most due to the mass of the weight changing the angle their torso will be at. You avoid this with FS, while the front rack might be hard to hold, it’s worth learning sooner rathe than later.
 
Incline press, if you didn’t know, is the easiest pressing movement to learn because you have to have correct form or you simply can’t perform the movement. Think about it, if your elbows don’t stay in line with your wrists and you don’t pull your shoulder blades back as you descend you won’t press it. When this is correct you press up in a straight line, if not you won’t be able to lift anything, poor mechanics won’t allow it.
 
This move also stops you going too heavy and forces good form, unlike flat bench or overhead press (both great movements) which can be subject to power leakage.
 
Chest supported row, why this over bent over row or chin/pull up? Well when it comes to hold the correct posture for a B-O-R that takes time to learn, no to mention there can and often is a lot of added momentum that creeps in. As for chins, not everyone is strong enough to pull their own weight up from day 1, if they were I’d have both exercises in there.
 
Overhead extension & bicep curls, two back movements that everyone can do, they are simply the flexion and extension of the elbow. The seated curls will help reduce momentum and cheating, to a point. The overhead extension when performed seated will again reduce the chance of from breaking. Both exercises are good places to start to build up to better things.
 
Lastly we have a plank, everyone loves a plank. It teaches core bracing, diaphragmatic breathing and requires very little thought process to do correctly. They also help improve overall posture.
Now there is not things all of those exercises have in common, can you spot what it is?
 
They are all self limiting. The weights a beginner can handle in them will not be high, meaning they can groove their from and ego will be regulated accordingly. Unlike some other exercises where you can break from to get more weight, these ones don’t give you much option to cheat your form without it being highly noticeable for all.
 
Obviously these are not set in stone, however with raw beginners I’ve found they work very well and set the stage and understanding for good solid from. As said above, the base exercises chosen will differ from person to person based on their ability, however these are a good place to start.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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A simple way to size.

Morning All,

Gaming mass can seem tricky, however if you eat sufficient amounts (multiply your LBM by 17-19 for a calorie range) and get in enough volume and add weight where possible, then you should make progress over time.

This simple, tried and tested method will get you the extra muscle you desire.

The workout:

Main Lift: Ramp to a heavy 2, 3 or 5RM for the day
Main Lift: 10×10 at 60% 1RM
Accessory Lift: 3×8-12
Accessory Lift: 3×8-12

Done

If you were looking at how this might translate to a workout based on a 4 day split of Legs-Push-Pull-Off, here is an example.

*Example 1RMs of 100kg

Legs:
A1 – Squat Ramp to 2, 3 or 5RM
B1 – Squat 10x10x60kg
C1 – RDL 3×8-12
C2 – Hamstring Curl 3×8-12

Push:
A1 – Press Ramp to 2, 3 or 5RM
B1 – Press 10x10x60kg
C1 – Close Grip Bench 3×8-12
C2 – Dips 3×8-12

Pull:
A1 – Deadlift Ramp to 2, 3 or 5RM*
B1 – Bent Over Row 10x10x60kg
C1 – Chin Up 3×8-12
C2 – Face Pull 3×8-12

*Deadlift is the only lift where you don’t do it as the 10×10 due to it would be hard, the use of bent over row is a good alternative.

You might not hit the 10×10 straight away, fear not because that means you’ve picked the right weight, work until you hit 10×10, then take a deload week (just doing the ramp and accessory lifts), after this do either another block of 10×10 with more weight or 10×6 with 75% 1RM and feel the progress. You can then alternate between the two.

Enjoy,
Ross

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The Gift of Glutes & Gains

The Gift of Glutes & Gains
 
We are in the time of giving and because of this I would like to give you a nice little set of tips to fire up your glutes before squats and then I have a challenge for you.
 
Glute activation:
1 – Band Crab Walks
 
Wrap a band around your ankles and shuffle from side to side (3-5 sets each way, repeat 3-5 times).
 
2 – Kettlebell Swings
 
Max effort swing, make sure you dive your hips through and really pinch those glutes hard. Do 3-5 reps for 3-5 sets.
 
Challenge:
 
– Load a barbell with your bodyweight (you can try 1.5xBW if you consider yourself strong or 0.75xBW if you think BW will be too hard).
– Set a timer for 5min.
– Perform as many squats as possible in the time limit, ideally without putting the bar back in the rack. You can hold the weight at the top as long as you need, just don’t rack it until the time is over or you die (figuratively speaking that is, not literally).
 
The simple activation exercises will have your glutes screaming by the end of this, not to mention you will create a massive hormonal disturbance (increasing testosterone, GH, etc) but also a massive EPOC (excessive post-exercise oxygen consumption). Chuck in some pressing/pulling movements and you will get a great workout with great results.
 
Basically you will get all the gains for Christmas this year if you do this 2-3x per week.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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The Science of Lifting, should you really care about what the science says?

Morning Guys,
 
I’m sure many of you are aware that the term ‘evidence based’ coaching has become incredibly popular over the last few years, almost to the point that it’s becoming quite annoying because people won’t break out of their comport one to try something different unless it’s had a study done on it’s validity with several peer reviews. Seriously, I know people who think this way.
 
In the last few years it almost seems that people have become snobs and quick to dismiss those who don’t have a Phd or 100 studies to back up a point. The age of the PubMed warrior has truly arrived.
 
Another note worthy point is some of the strongest, leanest and most muscular men & women never read the science, they learn from others and give what ever they’re doing there all. There are also a lot more of these people than you realise as well.
 
Don’t get me wrong. I very much enjoy reading the literature as to why something works and the fact that there are people willing to prove how/why something works is great, but let us not forget that before al the science was widely available there were plenty of people who made progress without it.
 
How did they do it?
 
Experience, anecdote and best of all; trial & error.
 
Have you ever taken that leap of faith and tried something based on recommendation? Of course you have, but now in the world of lifting people have become paralysed by over analysing things (I am guilty of this).
 
I remember reading a quote from Brooks Kubik that struck a cord with me, it went along the lines of “Simply try it. What’s the worst that can happen? Nothing, in which case you can go back to your old routine, but if I’m right and you start getting the best results of your life then it was worth the risk. Wouldn’t you agree?” – I’m sure I’ve mixed in several different quotes there but you get the idea.
 
The one thing I want you to take away from this post is this:
 
The science and proof of things is not to be dismissed but sometimes a little faith can go a long way. There’s no harm in trying something for 3-6months that hasn’t been scientifically proven, you can always go back to what you were doing if it doesn’t work.
Remember you don’t need scientific proof as permission to try a different training method.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Two Tips to Fix Form

 

Correcting form can be tricky at the best of times with a good coach at your side. This becomes even harder when you train alone, but fear not, I will share with you two quick tips to help you improve your own form and iron out any kinks.

Be truthful in your critique of yourself, trust me, it will be a to your advantage to let your ego take a nock on this occasion.

1 – Video Feedback

It’s fair to imagine hat most people have some form of camera or recording device on their phone, meaning that there is always an opportunity to check form and improve.

Heres how to do it yourself –

– Record your lift
– Upload it to your computer
– Go to the interweb and load up YouTube
– Find a high level athlete of similar build/stature to put yours again
– Compare & make notes, assess what YOU can do to improve
– Take heed of your notes and go practice

2 – Slow Down

The use of cadence in lifting is a great way to hone your skill/form. Try doing a 6-1-6-1 tempo (eccentric, pause, concentric, pause) for around 6 reps, start off with say a load of 60% 1RM, if you don’t know yours then work to an RPE of 6/7.

The slower form will force you to adhere together form to keep not only control but also balance. You can also use this technique to really focus on contracting/squeezing the muscles you’re using for maximal pump/MU recruitment.

Form is paramount in not only lifting big weights but also longevity in lifting, never sacrifice it in the gym. Ego is something that needs to be left outside the gym.

Enjoy,
Ross

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Failure Mindset

Morning Guys,
 
Do you live with the failure mindset?
 
Plenty of people live with the attitude of:
 
“That person is … Bigger, Stronger, Leaner, Fitter etc… than me because of … Genetics, Money/Born with a Silver Spoon, Steroids and so on…. I will never be like that.”
 
This is the failure mindset and all it serves to do is hold you back because you’re expecting to fail. I’ve said it plenty of times before, too many people make their excuses as to why they won’t achieve XYZ and as a result never achieve anything.
 
Sadly I feel the failure mindset is actually something that our culture is feeding these days, what with all the ‘safe spaces’ the ‘words hurt’ and ‘You all deserve nice things’ campaigns people are becoming mentally weaker by the day. Don’t get me wrong, some things people say really do hurt and there is no need for them but most of the time people need to simply grow a thicker skin and crack on with life.
 
If you’re wondering what’s prompted this post today, the answer is simple. I’ve been in the failure mindset for a while, mainly due to not feeling that I was reaping the rewards for the effort I was putting in, when in reality I was missing certain elements that would allow success. The fault was mine because of my mindset, I stopped training as hard as I should have, I wasn’t eating enough and as a result make slow and lack lustre progress. It sucks but we reap what we sow so it’s time to kick myself up the ass and get back to the righteous path of the iron.
 
I have made plenty of mistakes, this mindset being one of them. It’s time to learn from that mistake and do what needs to be done.
 
Do you live in the failure mindset?
 
Sit down and write a list of all the things you are meant to be doing to achieve your goal, then write down every excuse you use to avoid doing what needs to be done. Once you’ve done this take a moment to change those excuses in to behaviours that will allow you to succeed and break free of the failure mindset.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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