Tag Archives: Health

5 Reasons people need a framework to succeed –

1 – Most don’t know what they need to do and as such need it clearly signposted

2 – It helps people feel less pressure, basically they can blame the structure for failure rather than themselves

3 – Things such as accountability and more responsibility become easier to administer

4 – Recorded data makes for a great confidence booster to show them how far they’ve come

5 – It teaches them how to achieve success on their own

Now there are those rare people who don’t need a framework to make their own success, if you’re one of them then we’ll see each other at the top. If that’s not you it’s not a problem, just ask for help and it will be yours.

Short & simple today.

Enjoy,
Ross

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Too good not to share

I came across this article while browsing through the inter webs for knowledge and it’s too good not to share.

https://www.t-nation.com/training/tip-get-ripped-with-4-rep-sets?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=article4844

Christian Thibaudeau is one of my favourite and his knowledge is phenomenal, you’ll enjoy this read.

I will certainly be giving this a go as I am currently short on time in my own training.

Ross

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The fast metabolism fiasco

“It’s okay for them, they can eat what they want, they have a fast metabolism.”
 
^^ I hear this a lot.
 
Is this something you’ve said in the past, along with the classic – “I’ve got a slow metabolism, I gain weight instantly if I eat.”
 
Do you know how these people with this seemingly godlike metabolism do it?
 
Do you want to know?
 
I will tell you.
 
Their metabolism is not that far off from yours, the only difference is how they live their lives, which usually look like this:
 
– They eat at or just below their required maintenance calories (you don’t)
 
– They move more and thus have a higher energy expenditure, typically from CV training and/or weightlifting which helps create EPOC/In road, (you don’t)
 
– They have more lean muscle mass (you don’t)
 
Can you see a pattern forming here?
 
The whole fast/slow metabolism excuse is utter nonsense for most average people. It’s usually a simple case that their energy expenditure is lower than their energy intake.
 
Wait, what’s that I hear?
 
You have thyroid problems?
 
So do a lot of other people and guess what, if it is managed by the doctor then you don’t have a thyroid problem, you have an eating problem as in you eat too much.
 
Now is it true there will always be some people who are the exceptions and because of this the world and it’s dog jump on that and claim to be the exception, I can safely say from experience this is not the case, trust me on that.
 
Ironically the exceptions never use being the exception as an excuse, they just find a way to make things work and achieve their goals. It’s only the average who use the exception excuse.
 
So to summarise…
 
They don’t have a fast metabolism.
 
You don’t have a slow metabolism.
 
They eat less, move more and have higher amount of lean mass than you, it’s that simple.
 
Stop making excuses and start looking for ways in which YOU can make the changes you need, if you need help please ask and you will get it.
 
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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Spot reducing fat

Fat storage, such an annoying thing.
 
However there is something that is even worse, thinking you can spot reduce it.
 
You can’t, that’s not how fat loss works.
 
It’s very common for people to complain about unsightly/excessive fat in certain areas of the body.
 
The most common being in the following areas:
– Stomach
– Hips
– Thighs
– Arms
 
If you ask someone who has less than a clue you will get a potential answer that sounds like this:
 
“Tricep work will help reduce that, try some kick backs to help tone and shift the fat.”
 
Or
 
“You need to do crunches, side bends and leg raises to get a flat stomach.”
 
No, just no. In fact all the no. If someone tells you this they’re an idiot put simply.
 
Sadly we can’t spot reduce fat with exercise, the only thing that can remove fat for a specific place is liposuction.
 
It is common for people to say they are happy with certain body parts and only want to focus on others, which is a very misguided way of thinking because the body works best as an entire unit and you’d also look silly with muscle in one part of your body but nowhere else.
 
Always aim to take a balanced approach to training.
 
Men, train your lower half as much as you train your upper half.
 
Ladies, train your upper half as much as you train your lower half.
 
As for fat loss please understand this simple fact, it comes of where it wants to come off based on your bodies individual genetic makeup and hormonal profile, sadly you can’t pick and choose. Now you might not like to hear that, however that doesn’t stop it from being how things work, sorry. 
 
Here are three things you should be doing for all around fat loss and improvement in your body composition.
 
1 – Train your muscles equally (split days or whole body days)
 
2 – Interval style training where you get your heart rate over 85%
 
3 – Achieve a caloric deficit and eat whole foods
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Easy Nutrition Part 2

How to make meals in 3 easy steps.
 
Be warned, many won’t agree, yet after seeing it work time and again it’s worth consideration.
 
“Our life is frittered away by detail… simplify, simplify, simplify.” – Henry David Thoreau
 
One “simplify” would have been enough.
~R.W. Emerson, in response to Thoreau.
 
A brilliant quote and an even better response, who says the people of yesteryear had no sense of humour.
 
Okay, so how can you make the dreaded ‘meal prep’ or even ‘meal making’ not only effective, healthy but importantly simple.
 
After all, not everyone has endless amounts of time to make the perfect 5 star meal, but something that helps us achieve our goal is good enough.
 
Step 1 – Fill your cupboards with whole foods and remove as much processed food as possible, within reason.
 
Step 2 – Based on 3 meals per day example.
 
– Breakfast: High fat/ moderate to high Protein/ a dash of carbs, eating like a king, so perhaps Salmon, Eggs, Avocado , Spinach, Yoghurt + Berries and a nice glass of water.
 
– Lunch: Moderate fat/ moderate to high protein/ moderate carbs, eating like a prince, maybe a chicken & bacon salad with some vegetable sushi and a glass of water.
 
Workout after lunch but before dinner in this example.
 
– Dinner: A dash of fat/ moderate to high protein/ high carb, eating like a pauper, you might find this appetising, sea food curry with rice and steamed veg, followed by a small portion of what you enjoy such as a bowel of frozen yoghurt with mixed berries.
 
Step 3 – Ignore step 2, it’s not gospel because it’s only an example and should be seen as such. While the premise of eating like a King, Prince, Pauper is a good one for most people who lead an ‘average life’ – 2.4 kids, 9-5 job, trains 3xpw etc, it’s a simple frame work to help you find a starting point. From this point you must learn that YOU need to adapt your nutrition to suit your life/goal accordingly.
 
That’s how you achieve successful nutrition.
 
What you will find is that protein work well form most people in a moderate to high amount, fat usually comes in second and takes the lead over carbs for people who are not highly active (training anaerobically 3+times per week. Lastly we have carbs, delicious carbs that are easy to consume however you need to earn them though activity, the less active you are the less you need, truth people don’t want to hear.
 
The biggest problem people face is they fact that they want to be sheep and told exactly what to do so that if something goes wrong it’s not their fault.
 
You don’t owe your health or how you look to anyone other than yourself. However if you need help be sure to ask for it, there is nothing wrong with wanting support, in fact I’d encourage you seek it because in the early stages a coach/trainer can help you stay on the right path until you’re ready to go it alone.
 
Fill your meals with whole foods for the most part, you’ll find that the more you eat this way the less you crave the highly refined stuff.
 
There is a place for some intricacies and complexities, but for the average person it’s usually not needed. Adherence is the first step, after that you can go deeper in to the rabbit hole if you want to learn just how far it goes. 
 
Nutrition isn’t hard, it’s made hard by people trying to sell you something, remember that.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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2 Gems of Wisdom

I was reading ‘can you go’ by Dan John last night.
 
It’s not a bad read, some nice simple advice and it also gives you a way to see things in a broader perspective when it comes to fitness/nutrition and goal setting.
 
Two things in particular have stood from the pages turned last night.
 
The first point:
 
– If you only had 3 slots of 15min to work out each week to help you achieve your goal, what would you do?
 
A very interesting point to make.
 
The premise behind it was to help people see what was not only necessary but more importantly essential to achieving success.
 
Now you will get a lot of people who immediately jump up and down saying things like “I can;t even warm up in that time.” or “I’d do nothing, it wouldn’t be worth it.” – both of which are actually valid points, however that’s not the purpose of the question.
 
The purpose is one of gaining clarity and prioritising what a person NEEDS to do sos that they actually improve, over what they WANT to do.
 
So who would you use those three 15min slots?
 
For me it would be something like this:
 
Workout 1:
A1 – Squat
A2 – Kettlebell Clean & Press with Load Carry walk
 
Workout 2:
A1 – Deadlift
A2 – Weighted Dip
 
 
Workout 3:
A1 – Clean & Jerk
A2 – Weighted Pull Up
 
1-6 reps depending on the how I felt and crack out as many rounds of each pairing as possible in those 15min.
 
A follow-up from the above.
 
Given what you have just written down, are you doing those things and if not, why not?
 
Surely you should be doing them if they are that important, right…
 
The second point is a nice simple one.
 
– The first step to success is showing up. The second is continuing to show up.
 
A humble lesson in consistency.
 
Let’s say, like above, you can only do 3x15min sessions, if you kept showing up for all of them for an extended period of time you’d get better results in the long run than someone who train intermittently and you’d immediately get better results than those who never start.
 
As a species we are actually quite lazy, don’t worry though, it’s a survival mechanism. We always look to find an easier more productive way to do something, so it’s not all bad because it’s helped us survive over the years.
 
When it comes to the journey of lifting, life & nutrition however, you need to have absolute adherence and plan the coming days accordingly.
 
So tell me, what would you do in your 3x15min sessions a week?
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Movements & Muscles

To train muscles or movements…
 
Which thought process is right?
 
Technically they both are, however it simply depends on the purpose of which you are training.
 
You’ll find older lifters speak a lot about training the muscles, feeling the contraction, the blood filling the area and being pain free and younger lifters look to train movements to better improve their performance and ability to move in a pain free ROM.
 
Both schools of thought are good, however if you follow movements first and then add in some specific work for the muscles you will often find that you have more longevity.
 
As with anything it’s about balance, we need both.
 
Let’s look at one of the most most known exercises and how both concepts apply to it.
 
The humble push up.
 
Not as easy as people think because a great many have very very poor movement patters and as such struggle to perform even one correctly, meaning they will not be a bel to ‘feel’ the correct muscles working.
 
Can you now see why we need to train both movement and muscles?
 
Optimally you will train the movement (the pattern/sequence of events) first then the muscles specifically in said movement.
 
It’s entirely possible to train muscles with poor movement patterns, this can lead to injury. If you don’t think this is true just take a look at people in the gym and you’ll see plenty of people with impressive physiques who train their muscles very well with poor patters. You’ll also find old lifters who did the same and have a few injuries for their troubles.
 
If you’re not sure how to perform a move correctly, seek out a trainer/coach to help you.
 
Train movements, then muscles and you’ll find you can stay in the game for many years to come.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Is this really the most important meal of the day?

Breakfast.
 
Is it really as important as you’ve been lead to believe?
 
Yes & no.
 
When it comes to you first meal of the day you will do well to think of it as setting up your mindset because typically if you have a quick and convenient meal to start you off, you will follow suit for the rest of the day.
 
What does that mean?
 
When people typically grab something quick and easy because they ‘don’t have much time in the morning’ meaning it’s often filled with empty calories, lots of sugar and potentially not the best choice to help them achieve a goal such as fat loss for example. Essentially they’re just being lazy and not making an effort. 
 
Once you start on this path you tend to stick wth it for the day because of the weak mindset of “Well I’ve started this way so I will have today as a cheat day”, this then turns in to a cheat week, then a cheat life and before you know it you’re 100lbs overweight and depressed.
 
Might sound harsh but it happens.
 
Try starting you day off with wholesome food, perhaps eggs, spinach and some salmon for example. 
 
The take home massage is to breakfast is important because it will set the standard for the day, be sure to set it high. See it as a chance to make a behaviour change by getting up earlier and making a decent meal, you’re an adult after all which means you’re in charge of looking after yourself and your own health.  
Your results are largely determined on your overall behaviour, make the change you need, starting with breakfast.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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