Tag Archives: growth

Do I offend you with my questions?

There are two kinds of people in this world now.
Those who are willing to hear the truth.
Those who only want to her what they want.
We are now steeped in times of ferocious cognitive bias.
If you want to help people, to share information and give them some insight based on your experience so that they can delve in to a topic so that their own conclusions can be reached, you’re now evil.
The levels of offence of butt hurt that engulfs is quite something to behold.
Personally I’ve always enjoyed the “Triple Filter” test of Socrates.
– Is it true?
– Is it good/kind?
– Is it useful?
I tend to approach a lot of things I hear with this.
The first is often answered like this “Umm, I don’t actually know 100%.”, this is more than enough to peak my interest and delve a little more.
It is worth noting there are very few infallible truths in this life, the best we can hope to settle for is 98% certainty.
Holding on to a healthy dose of skepticism will get you a ing way in life because of the passion to learn.
If you’re content with what you know then you’ll stop growing.
The second question comes down to the style of information it is, essentially is it trying to genuinely oppose an opinion/thought/fact in a respectful way or is it nothing more than fluffed up slander?
Any that fall in to the latter will get asked this –
“Why did you say it that way?”
If there is a personal or emotional bias in it then the information is tainted, while not entirely dismissed it’s worth keeping in mind there may be a potential agenda behind it.
You should be able to represent a point or counter view respectfully, without emotion.
Sadly pure logic and rational though is not common.
Lastly, will the information help challenge you to grow, that to me makes it useful on a personal level.
In a general sense it can be related to completing a task, solving a problem or generally being useful.
A few closing words.
If something provokes a reaction in you, the chances are its what you need to listen to and consider might be higher than you’d like.
Emotional reactions mean we are attached to something, so we need to ask ourselves why, to question our beliefs so that we can continue to grow, otherwise what’s the point in anything.

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How many calories in a cinnamon latte?

Is tracking calories worth it?
A question many ask.
To be fair it’s such a minefield it is easily understandable why people suck at it.
From years in the trenches I can tell you that knowing all your numbers does have a place, however it’s not the be all end all, not really.
Keeping diaries is something I’m a fan of.
Not specifically for getting every calorie by the number, in fact it’s more for having people try to be more accountable.
It also allows me as a coach to see what is written down and then look at the person to see if things marry up.
If they don’t then we can sit down and have a chat about all the possibilities.
Long story short it is often that they are missing things out or just lying because they want to look like they’re being good and not let me down by admitting they are struggling or snacking.
Once we break this mental barrier they have real progress can be made.
You’d be surprised how many people are scared of letting others down, as such they will lie about who is really going on or ghost.
Some will say that they struggle with fitness and making change because they feel as if everyone is judging them, shaming them etc.
I have a notion for you to consider on this.
No one can make you feel ashamed of anything unless you yourself know what you’re doing is shameful.
That’s just how it works.
Take not shifting excess fat for example.
The common reason; the person is in a positive energy balance (or maintenance), fact.
Putting all the other reasons to one side, this is the crux of it all, once people admit this to themselves real progress can be made as to why this is the case.
Just because it’s the reason things are not moving that doesn’t mean it’s the why behind it all.
The why could be emotional, habitual or a whole host of other reasons, and once all the bullshit is stripped away we can start finding out and really making progress.
Opening up for many is hard though.
No one wants to feel vulnerable.
We need to address this before we can really move forwards, you owe it to yourself to be happy, really, you do.
As a coach I desire the best for people.
The problem is that people are idiots who get in their own way all the god damn time.
You can have all that you seek if you will get over your issues and just accept shit happens and we can’t dwell on it, not if we sant to make any meaningful growth in life.
So, is tracking calories worth it?
Yes and no, what is really worth your time and attention is achieving a state of self love, self appreciation and self acceptance, because once you’ve cracked those you’ll no longer have the same fears and be less apprehensive about being honest with people and more importantly yourself.
If you still currently lie to yourself about what you eat, do in training or general life then you’ve got more pressing matters than how many calories are in that cinnamon latte.
(It’s around 130, just incase you wanted to know.)

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Please, answer this question for me :)

When it comes to asking questions, do you do it for an actual answer or just the one you want?
Go and sit in any college, university or professional lecture and you’ll find there are plenty who want nothing more than to hear what they want to hear.
Don’t get me wrong, we all like being told we’re right.
It gives us that little neurotransmitter hit that makes us feel good, depending on your NT profile you may need this more than others, which funnily enough is why some people seek the answers they want to hear more than others.
The people more willing to learn and be open tend to not lack GABA or Acetylcholine , worth digging in to this.
Being objective can be one of the best ways to achieve your goals in fitness, or even life.
While it would be nice going through life and never being told we’ve gotten something very very wrong, that’s not really likely to happen because the more you learn the more you find out you didn’t actually know.
Man I wish I was 18 again, I knew everything back then.
Therefore I ask you this; what questions do you have and what answers do you expect to hear?
What is your reference frame and reason for wanting those specifically?
More importantly, why do you want to hear the answers you want to hear?
I suspect many will not answer this call of mine, at least not honestly for fear of judgement or some other such nonsense.
The reason I write as I do and probe in to the deep questions you often find is to gain understanding of people, because once you gain understanding and broaden your own perspective you can often help far more than you could initially.
Having an open mind is something we all need, even if it causes us a little pain because we learn things that we’d rather not.
They’re called growing pains for a reason you know.
That my friends is sadly how we move forwards in life and become better versions of ourselves.
Leave your answers below, I look forward to reading them.


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Ego ego ego

Is your Ego getting in the way of your progress?
Ego is an interesting thing.
It stops you listening to those who know better and it really hates change.
We’ve all had those times where it has stopped us getting to the next level, be that in work, fitness or any other endeavour, it really is something that we can do without.
Our own ego is incredibly fragile, you can always tell when a persons feels threatened because they will act out in defence, even if the are not a part of the conversation or it wasn’t aimed at them.
After playing devils advocate for enough years I’ve been able to see this happen several times without fail, it’s quite funny to sit back and watch.
You can overcome this evolutionary flaw by doing the following:
– Embrace the fact that it’s your ego thinking, not you.
– Understanding what is going on with your ego (it’s scared of dying).
– Letting go.
The last one is the hardest, if you are asked or told to let go of something have you ever realised or thought “I just can’t do that.” and yet not known why you can’t let go, it’s because of our friend Ego, it wants to hold on to things that is really doesn’t need to.
The next time you struggle to let go or move on, ask yourself this – why is this so important to me?
Chances are the attachment doesn’t really have any base, it just is.
We’ve all been blocked by this little friend of ours, embrace-understand-let go.

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Me, Myself & I – Ego Tripping 101

Morning All,
I hope you’re all well.
So, what to write about today, that isn’t recycled information with a slightly different wording or spin on it…..
As you may have guessed that is essentially what writing/social media videos etc is actually about in the world of fitness.
There is little that we don’t currently know that doesn’t involve the very complex biochemical reactions/mechanisms of the body that is. As for training and nutrition, it’s almost all been said before, so keeping this in mind I feel some reflection would be good.
As yourselves the following and answer them honestly:
– Where did you start?
– Where are you now?
– How has your ego held you back?
That last one will sting for some of you, but hey ho, ego is a fragile thing that leads us to do stupid things on a regular and repeated basis.
When it comes to the ego, it can govern us in secret and we never know. It is so sensitive that it feel threatened by almost everything that opposes it and the main fear it has is that of dying (metaphorically).
No one likes to admit they might be wrong, or to change a belief or value, even if it is a destructive one that holds them back, I can attest to this as mine has stopped me doing a great many things and because of this I’ve been able to learn what it feels like when mine starts acting up, which I will share with you in the hope you might be able to learn how to silence yours and avoid making the mistakes I have.
Essentially you know something doesn’t feel right yet you do it anyway.
You seem there is alway an argument, judgement or someone to oppose your views coming.
Not getting your own way or people not fitting your bias will leave your ego screaming because it feels it’s in danger. You will actively seek out info you agree with, even if it’s wrong.
As you can guess, you defend everything you say without questioning if it’s wrong, which it might intact be.
Also known as projection, you place everything you don’t like about yourself subconsciously on others so that you don’t feel sacred around them.
“I know, but…” – this is the line that shows your ego is feeling threatened, if you go to say it stop yourself and listen first.
Children and the immature seek revenge, the mature and the wise seek understanding and to learn from their experience. if you find yourself point scoring all the time it’s a sign ego is controlling you.
Take these simple insights as see which ones apply to you and for the love of all that is holy, think before you speak, trust me, it causes more problems than it’s worth when you engage your mouth before your brain.

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How you doing?

How are you doing?
Like, seriously?
We are two weeks in to the new year and starting the third and I just wondered if anyone has asked you how you’re doing so far :).
It’s easy to get caught up in the New Years rush and forget that we need to take some time to sit back and take a look at how everything is going.
You’ll find it isn’t uncommon for people to outwardly say they are fine but internally the exhaustion is starting to take hold, perhaps not physically, but certainly mentally. Or maybe physically as well.
Either way, it’s good to keep a check on how everything is going and have somewhere/someone to sound off to, not only for our own health but also to gain perspective and assess if we are being productive or just busy for the sake of it.
Take 5min and writ down these questions with HONEST answers:
– How are you feeling mentally?
– How are you feeling physically?
– How can you improve these?
– What help do you need?
– Will you ask for it? – A simple yes or no will suffice.
– When will you ask for it?
These might seem odd but they will help you open some mental doors and prioritise, if you ask each of these questions for various areas of you life – Work, Health/Fitness, Relationships, etc – You will find solutions and be happier all in all.
Take some time to look after you, if you don’t then who will?
I will ask again.
How are you doing?

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Brain Gains

Do you like to read?

I’m sure you like to read because reading helps us grow as people and is one of the greatest ways of gathering years of accumulated knowledge in a very short space of time, pretty amazing, right.

Here are three books that will help you improve not only your training but also your mindset as well.

1 – Eat That Frog – Brian Tracey
2 – Dinosaur Strength Training – Brooks Kubik
3 – The Renaissance Diet – Renaissance Periodisation

These three books will help you in the following ways:

1 – Doing what you NEED to do and understanding what it is.
2 – Simplifying your training for maximal benefit.
3 – Understanding how nutrition actually works.

Aim to read a chapter of each book per day and you will find you start to make sense of a lot of things in the world.


*Bonus Book – The Art of Thinking Clearly – Rolf Donelli – Break free of YOUR logical fallacy.

*Bonus Book 2 – The Art of War – Sun Tzu – It’s just an epic read, plus it’s useful if you’re planning world domination too.

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Only a Fraction.

Morning Ladies & Gents,

Sayings such as;

“Train insane or remain the same”

“Pain is just weakness leaving the body”

“You must confuse the body by changing it up every week”

and so on.

While these sayings have a place, they often cause people to overcomplicate things.

When it comes to training there are many opposing views and ironically they are all right because they all work but it can become very confusing. The longer I’ve been training the more inclined to the mantra of ‘less is more’ because there comes a point where you can’t keep adding large amounts of volume/intensity, it just becomes too much to handle. The result is improper recovery and a distinct lack of progress, we seem o forget that rest/recovery is the secret to making some gains, the whole ‘S.A.I.D & G.A.S*’ are often forgotten. That said, a good bit of advice for the majority of people is to try training 2-3xP/W (2-3 big lifts and 2-3 accessory movements hitting all major muscle groups/movements) while keeping a keen focus on adding a tiny amount of weight (as in half a kilo or less), just something to keep in mind.

I’m sure plenty of you know about the following types of set/rep progression:

– Single: Adding weight = 5×12
– Double: Adding reps, then weight = 5×8-12
– Triple: Adding reps, then sets, then weight 3-5×8-12

The use of fractional plates with these styles of progression is a recipe for continued progress. This is a nice simple structure that doesn’t involve in-depth knowledge of Periodisation, Concurrent Programming etc. All you need is some basic movements that you wish to progress on (If training 3xP/W I would create two workouts A/B that contain variations of the lifts and alternate them to avoid boredom but still generate the desired training effect for each muscle group), then stick with them for an extended amount of time and make slow and steady progress by moving through the set/rep progression as needed.

For example:

Press Program – 5×8 – hitting all reps and adding 0.5kg until you stall (fail to hit reps with good solid from for 2 weeks or sessions in a row), then take off 5-10% total load and start again using 5×5-8 until you once again plateau. When you hit the next road block drop the weight 5-10% and start using 3-5×5-8.

While only an example you can see the merit in this simple method.

How has your mindset for training changed over the years, how have you grown as a lifter?

*S.A.I.D – Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands – http://www.exrx.net/ExInfo/Specificity.html

*G.A.S – General Adaptation Syndrome – http://www.humankinetics.com/…/understand-the-general-princ…



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Single? That’s Not A Bad Thing

Morning Guys,

There is a lost training art that not only helps add a fair amount of lean tissue over a typical training cycle, it also yields some pretty impressive strength gains too.
This training method is not for the weak minded. Many will fail before they’ve even started it.
In my experience of training clients I have found a lot of men who try this just can’t hack it, but the woman… Now that’s a different subject, they seem to nail this style of training and get great results from it.
What is the training method I speak of?
Rest Pause Training.
There are various different variations of doing this style of training, I personally use two methods which are as follows:
1 – Re-Racking/Pausing with the weight – 20-25 rep goal at 70-80%1RM
2 – 15-25 Single Reps at 80-90% with 15-30 seconds rest between each rep (the less rest the better)
I have found these two variations can help the person in question push through the required reps with the correct intensity. As you can see this style of training has a fairly heavy weight lifted for a lot of reps, there is some accessory work involves too but the mains lifts are what give you the biggest bang for your buck.
If you haven’t done this style of training before then it’s wroth building up your strength base with some heavy triples, that way when you begin the transition to singles your body will have a better foundation to being with.
Lets say that you are going to start with the 15-25 singles method using 80% of your 1RM, that wouldn’t be a bad choice. You workout might look something like this:
Day 1 – Lower Body
A1 – Front Squat
B1 – Snatch Grip Deadlift
C1 – Walking Lunge 1x200m
Day 2 – Upper Boody
A1 – Overhead Press
A2 – Pull Up*
B1 – Dip
B2 – Bent Over Row*
C1 – Ego Movement or Postural Movement 3×8 or 2×12
*Only rest 15-30 seconds after second movement, no rest between movements.
Day 3 – Off or Light CV
Repeat Process.
The above is a standard upper/lower split done on a 2 on 1 off rotation. You may choose to add just one rep each workout to each lift until you hit 25 reps and then drop the reps back to 15 and add some weight to the bar. This may seem like long process when it comes to progression but let me tell you from experience it works, but yes it can be boring.
Perhaps you only have set days a week you can workout such as Monday – Wednesday – Friday, if that is the case then this workout might be better for you:
We shall set a 20 rep goal using the rest/re-rack method (pause for a couple of deep breaths and try for a couple more reps or re-rack the weight shake it off for 20-30 seconds and then continue until you hit your 20 rep goal).
Workout A –
A1 – Squat 1×20 @ 75% 1RM
B1 – Dip 1×20 – Weighted to suit your needs
C1 – Bent Over Row 1×20 @ 75% 1RM
D1 – Ego Movement or Postural Movement 3×8 or 2×12
Workout B –
A1 – Deadlift 1×20 @ 75% 1RM
B1 – Overhead Press 1×20 @ 75% 1RM
C1 – Pull Up 1×20 – Weighted to suit your needs
D1 – Ego Movement or Postural Movement 3×8 or 2×12
You will alternate the workouts A/B/A one week then B/A/B and keep repeating this.
Once you can hit all 20 reps without re-racking the weight (pausing with the weight on your back while squatting or in your hands if pressing) then add some weight to the bar.
If you;re unsure of how much weigh to add I suggest 2.5kg total to upper body movements and 5kg total to lower body movements.
These workouts look easy on paper but they’re not. You will need not only strong muscles but a strong mental attitude too, but if you can make it through these workouts then you will find some great results await you.

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