Tag Archives: Health

The sun is shining & the cardio is in full swing.

Giving the good turn in the weather many will take to the streets to run, this is cool however not everyone runs well and when done repeatedly it can lead to injuries.
 
If you want to dig in to that more you’ll need to look up the biomechanics of running, perhaps starting here.
 
 
To help you avoid injury here are some other alternatives to running the toys can do to help shift some summer lbs.
 
Here are some of my personal favourites.
 
– Kettlebell Swings
– Skipping
– Loaded Carries
– Complexes (any piece of kit)
 
Now some examples of what you can do with the above.
 
– 10,000 Kettlebell Swings (ala Dan John).
 
500 swings a day, either on their own or with a big lift (presses or chins on alternating days for 3-5 reps in-between sets of swings.)
 
– Intervals on the rope.
 
30/30 is a great little protocol, again ala Dan John (kinda have a bit of a crush on that man).
 
Do 30 seconds of a sprint, 30 seconds skipping slower for recovery, repeat for up to 30 rounds. This is also a cracking protocol for hill sprints or sprints.
 
You’ve also got the option of simply doing a long skip of 30-45min while listening to a PodCast or AudioBook.
 
– Pick up awkward objects and carry them.
 
This is the most primal fat loss option. You can either lift rocks, sand bags, dumbbells or anything you can get your hands on and then walk with if for say 20m, put it down, then walk it back to the start. Do this for 20,30 or perhaps 45min.
 
While it may seem easy on paper it can guarantee you that it will strip fat because it’s not the sort of thing you body easily adapts to.
 
That’s the secret after all, to lose fat effectively you want to pick movements that are inefficient (hard to do and highly calorically demanding), this does’t mean unsafe just to be clear, just not easy.
 
– 4-6 lifts, 4-8reps per lift one after the other, without rest 🤗
 
You can do these with varied bits of kit, you just have to plan the movements logically and pick a weight that is challenging yet not impossible to use.
 
Example: Dumbbell Complex 4-8 reps per movement
 
Burpee (holding DB’s), Swings, Clean, Press, Squat, Renegade Row
 
Example: Barbell
 
Deadlift, Clean, Front Squat, Push Press, Back Squat, Good Morning, Behind Neck Push Press, Bent Over Row
 
Endless options.
 
All of the above are effective for fat loss, you also have many more choices available to you when it comes to hitting some cardio based training, it doesn’t just need to be running.
 
Enjoy,
Ross
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5 lifts that will make you mobile, strong & robust.

The lifts:
– Kettlebell Swings
– Sots Presses
– Front Squats
– Pull Ups
– *Overhand Deadlift to Zecher Carry
 
*If this is just too uncomfortable then a trap bar DL with carry is also a good alternative, or a Suitcase Barbell deadlift with carry.
 
Why these 5?
 
They offer a full complement of power, conditioning, strength, mobility and above all else are not done by many people, as such there will be a lot of room for progressions.
 
Here is an option on how to program these lifts based on training 3 days per week.
 
A1 – Kettlebell Swings 10×25
A2 – Sots Presses 10×1-3
B1 – Front Squats 8×2-3
B2 – Pull Ups 8×4-6 (weighted if possible)
C1 – Overhand Deadlift to Zecher Carry 10×1 + 10-20m carry
 
Add weight when you can complete all reps with solid form, if you want a starting weight use 70% of your max – if you don’t know this then go lighter than you think to allow for longer progression.
 
Repeat this and watch your body change for the better.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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The Genius of the Lazy

Being lazy has always been seen as something that is inherently bad, however I’m not so sure that’s true.
 
Now we are to talking so lazy that you won’t get out of bed or have any form of meaningful life, more the style of lazy that always seems to have an easy life.
 
I’m sure you know someone like this.
 
They rarely make an effort, yet they always seem be doing well or come out on top and you can’t ever understand why.
 
Well I’m going to tell you.
 
Firstly people who are lazy in a job will often find the most productive way to do something, as opposed to what many other do which ends up just being busy for the sake of it.
 
Second is that they will do what needs to be done, when it is a priority because if its not a priority why bother about it – that’s their attitude.
 
Finally, many of these people won’t chase stress and as such they often live within their means and never put themselves in situations that will end up being disastrous. Essentially they have the foresight to understand a situation and the cost-reward ratio.
 
The reward in the end is often higher then the initial cost, hence why things get done.
 
A lot of other people don’t think this way, they only see the immediate and always some what will make them busiest of stretch them the most will be the best option, this isn’t always the case.
 
The same principles can be applied for a great many things in life.
 
Try to find the minimum amount you need to do that will give you maximum benefit, this is productivity in a nutshell.
 
Fun fact, apparently Bill Gates once said that he would always “hire a lazy person to do a difficult job” at Microsoft. … “Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”
 
Neat, right?
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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What’s old can be young again

You can’t stop the hands of time.
 
Eventually you will become old, withered and grey, or bald.
 
You can however delay the degradation of your body by lifting weights and making optimal nutrition choices.
 
Take some time and think.
 
Do you want to be 75+ and always in constant pain, with little to no ability to move and do things for yourself or do you want to be one of the 75+ that can still get out and about on their own and have the quality of life they did in their 50’s?
 
Regular training (lifting weights & cv work) will help, this is because if you don’t give your body a reason to stay healthy, it won’t.
 
It’s the whole ‘use it or lose it’ concept.
 
Funnily enough it’s quite an important one to keep in mind in regards to your body and ability to live an active life.
 
I’ve been lucky enough to work with a wide range of clients.
 
The biggest changes and appreciation of them comes from those in their later years of life 65+.
 
Why?
 
Simple, it gives them back a little of what they’ve lost.
 
I wish I could help them get it all back, however the damage was already done from years of neglect, sad yet true.
 
If your goal is sport, competitions or anything else, great, fill your boots, however give some forethought to the future and your body to come.
 
Here are five key points to remember that happen to us as we age:
 
(based on a typical untrained elderly person)
 
1 – Tonic muscles get shorter and tighter
2 – Phasic muscles get weaker (especially in the *PKC)
3 – Bone density goes down
4 – Resting heart rate elevates
5 – Your hormones are less than optimal
 
*Posterior Kinetic Chain
 
You can address these points in the following way (like today, don’t wait)
 
1 – Have a daily flexibility/mobility routine
2 – Kettlebell swings, loaded carries, Get Ups 2-5x P/W
3 – Lift weights 2-3xP/W, focus on compound movements
4 – Daily cardio can be useful, not HIT, simple LISS (walking)
5 – Nutritious food & some extra supplements daily
 
Now this is of course a massive topic to delve in to, however if you do the above, with a focus on health, movement and longevity – as opposed to being a gym bro or gym bunny, you’ll set the foundations for long term health.
 
Just because we get older it doesn’t mean we have to get old.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Morning Meditation & Introspection

Introspection is a great thing.
 
It can help uncover a multitude of things that can help us let go of that which weighs us down and move forwards.
 
Is it something you practice?
 
Morning All,
 
Taking the time to examine ones self is a worthy practice.
 
You’ll start to see past a lot of your own bullshit and just knowing that is in of itself something that will make you smile.
 
To be honest and call out your own rubbish is a sure fire way to remove your current barriers and start to plan a progressive path forwards.
 
This can be done in relation to fitness, nutrition, general life and much more.
 
A great way to start this off is by spending 5min in silence with nothing but your own reflective thoughts based on this question:
 
Why do I tell myself & others (insert your own plight).
 
Once you’ve given that some thought, write down your conclusions as to what good that thought is doing you and why you would want to allow yourself to house that thought and verbally repeat it to people as an excuse for what ever reason you do.
 
Do this just once per day, then move on and continue with what ever else you have to do.
 
You might find out some rather interesting things about yourself.
 
Then, when you are ready –
 
Acknowledge, accept & let it go.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Why choose health when you can choose sickness instead?

If 2017 didn’t go the way you’d hoped, don’t worry, 2018 won’t be that different.

We are creatures of habit, unfortunately.

Some may even call us lazy.

Think about it for a second, there are plenty of less than optimal things people willingly choose to continue doing each day (for what ever reason), things such as smoking, drinking, drugs, binge eating, crossing the road without looking, telling their significant other they’re wrong, the list of things people do that are hazardous to their heath just goes on and on, yet the repeat their patters everyday.

Do you repeat yours?

If you do, this shouldn’t be a cause for concern, is should just be acceptance that you have a choice to make and you’re making it.

Now except for truly extenuating circumstances, most of the things that happen to us are of consequence related to our choices, be those immediate or delayed.

Take eating terribly for example.

This is something people do willingly because the risk-reward is worthy it currently. Give it perhaps 10 years and they may find they’ve pilled on 5+ stone, this might be enough for some to decide that they’ve not made the best choices in life and start to implement small yet sustainable habit/lifestyle changes to lead a more fulfilling life.

On the other hand some will go the other way and fall in to the group that say “Sod it, no point in changing now.’. This may eventually result in a medical issue – heart problem, diabetes etc – however it’s something they’re willing to have happen and thankfully because of the great advancements in medical care it can be managed and their poor quality of life sustained.

Could you imagine if medical help was only give to those who lead a mostly optimal life in terms of their lifestyle habits?

What a change that would be.

Sweet treats would be just that, treats had on rare occasions, not a staple ‘food’ of daily life. Then there would  be the amount people smoke, geez that could even be a relic of a forgotten past.

Sadly though this will  never happen and as such is moot point at best.

That said, I want you to give it some thought. Think about what you’re doing to yourself, supposing that you were not born with or unfortunately become afflicted by a serious medical condition and had the ability to leads a healthy, active life and just thought you’d rather slop around, get fat, become increasingly more unhealthy and slowly destroy yourself one day at a time.

Okay, that is quite harsh, however it’s true for many people.

Over the years I’ve been lucky enough to work with people who through no choice of their own have had a very hard life, rife will illness, poor health and much more, yet they make the best choices they can to get the best out of their life and optimise what little healthy they have. Then there’s you, smashing 2 bottles of cola a day while finishing of a pac of 20 super-kings over a nice Dominos.

Remember you don’t have to change your life, you don’t have to value your health, you don’t even have to care what others think about you and how you live your life, what I would urge though is to think about those who didn’t get the healthy start you did and the fact that you’re choosing sickness over wellness.

Go on, think about it long and hard.

Many don’t value their heath until it’s gone, please don’t be one of them.

Ross

 

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To vegan or not to vegan, that is the question.

Should you go vegan?

Yes or no?

The choice is yours.

I’m not vegan, however I know plenty and they’re happy as Larry.

Fairly healthy too.

They’re also not the preachy kind either who try to force their beliefs on you, they’re like real sensible people who just want an easy sustainable life 🙂

Did you know there are a lot of reasons going vegan improves people health:

– They start eating more nutritious vegetables
– Processed food intakes takes a considerable dive
– A greater awareness of their food is gained
– Accountability, consistency and adherence suddenly appear
– Eating more nutritionally dense foods, yep this again

There are more reasons, however those are the initial ones.

Do I feel this is for everyone?

Nope.

However it’s not as terrible as some people make out, for starters you won’t waste away (unless you’re not planning your meals correctly and eating enough calories).

You will get plenty of protein.

The food options you’ll have are numerous.

All in all you’ll have little to none of the perceived issues that people say you will have, unless YOU aren’t planning your nutritional needs correctly, however that’s all on you, nothing to do with being vegan.

As with anything it’s a choice, be that for moral or perceived health reasons.

You often find when you get in to discussion with people about these topics they take one of two routes for some reason to convince you of their bias/point:

– argumentum ad passione (appeal to emotions)
– argumentum ad hominem (personal attacks)

Sometimes both.

Occasionally people draw in morality to the fray as well, usually rendering their points moot at best.

If you want to get a point across try to be reasonable and friendly, attacking someones morality or trying to emotionally blackmail them isn’t the most optimal route to take, just saying.

Now in our modern world we can live in any which way we choose, however it seems that people want to force others to conform.

If said people don’t conform all hell breaks loose.

When contemplating a choice try to gather the facts, the unbiased, non-emotionally charged facts.

Them look at the bigger picture and decide if it’s for you.

Say it is for you, great, fill your boots.

However perhaps it’s not, no worries, let go of that thought process and move on.

Seems simple enough, right?

If you’ve been toying with the idea or transitioning, do your research and perhaps give it a go, or don’t, it’s your choice after all.

Enjoy,
Ross

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Simply Complex

How to make a simple thing complex –
 
Ask for a short answer 😂
 
Morning All,
 
In fitness there are a few rules you must adhere to.
 
Yep, these are pretty much non-negotiable
 
Training wise:
 
1 – You must training with/have specificity
2 – Progressive overload is needed
3 – Fatigue Management
 
Nutrition wise:
 
1 – A specific goal
2 – Appropriate calories for your specific goal
3 – Consistency & honesty with yourself
 
While there are literally hundreds of permutations the basic principles are almost always the same.
 
We want things to be more complicated than they are, perhaps because it makes it easier for us to come up with excuses for our own shortcomings and failures.
 
Maybe not, I suppose it does’t really matter.
 
We can discuss programming until the cows come home, what I’ve found over the years is that most people won’t really listen to what you have to say unless it’s what they want to hear.
 
You’d think by now people would understand the necessity to listen to the professionals rather than thinking they can do it themselves.
 
After all, you wouldn’t hire a plumber and process to tell them how to do their job, or as an investment manager for advise on to ignore it because you knew better. Yet in fitness this happens all the time.
 
To those of you that this applies to, get your head out of your ass please.
 
While we can all make progress to some degree on our own in a great many things, to get further we need help, even if that comes in the form of books, blogs, internet forums or generally chatting with people, we need to get the information from somewhere.
 
If someone claims to have done it all themselves call them out, because that would mean they didn’t use any resources at all, they simply just knew what to do. Yea… Not likely.
 
Been a bit of a rant today.
 
The moral here is this: Ask for help, don’t ask for agreement.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Three things you don’t do that you should

Been away for a few days.
 
Did you all miss me?
 
….
 
Of course you didn’t hardly anyone reads these posts anyway 😂
 
Morning All,
 
There are a lot of underrated exercises out there.
 
The reason most people won’t do them is because they’re hard, put simply.
 
Not to mention everyone is caught up in doing all the standard isolation/mirror muscle work.
 
3 such movements that will literally change how your feel and perform are:
 
– Kettlebell Swings (Kettlebell snatch when you know it)
– Turkish Get Ups
– Loaded Carries
 
Let us take at look at all three, their benefits and how you can apply them in to your training.
 
Kettlebell Swings –
 
If you know me you’ll know I love these because they load your posterior chain, teach you how to hinge, improve your grip strength, VO2 max and are great for posture too.
 
Once you have the adequate skill requirements I would advise moving on to the kettlebell snatch, it offers all the same benefits with the added bonus of anti-rotation and shoulder stability/strength/ROM+Health.
 
They’re not easy when done properly.
 
That said, you should have them in your workouts, especially if you work at a desk.
 
10-20min per day will be enough to literally change your life.
 
Turkish Get Ups (TGU’s) –
 
A great way to warm up and start your workouts because they will mobilise and activate pretty much every muscle in your body.
 
They’re easy enough on paper, however once you start doing them and progressing to a heavier weight you’ll find this soon changes.
 
Balance, core strength, coordination, mobility, strength and most of all fun, that’s what TGU’s will be to you.
 
You might think that simply standing up and then reversing that movement is easy, you’re welcome to think that, even if it is incorrect, 😁
 
On a serious note, 10min of alternating side TGU’s as a warm ups will change how your workouts feel and make your body feel 10times better, or at least 7 times better.
 
If you want challenge in the 10min block aim to do 3 TGU’s consecutively before swapping arms.
 
Lastly we have a favoured movement of Strongmen the world over.
 
Loaded Carries –
 
Want to strip fat? Loaded Carries.
 
Want to build some muscle and an impressive back with an iron clad grip and legs that won’t buckle when the going gets tough? Loaded Carries.
 
Want to build mental resilience? Loaded Carries.
 
These are literally one of the most under utilised movements and it shows.
 
In daily life we are always having to pick things up and having to take them from point A to B, yet when people go to the gym the sit or lay down to move things.
 
Madness.
 
Did you know that in an idea world you should be able to carry your own bodyweight at least 100m?
 
^^ Okay, that’s not an absolute thing, however it’s a good test of your strength.
 
Picking things up and wandering around with them is primal and one of, if not the most effective movement/exercise you can do, especially if you’re short on time.
 
You have many various of loaded carries, you can hold something close to you, by your sides, over your head, one by your side one over head, with bars, bags, dumbbells, plates, anything, just pick it up ann move with it.
 
If you want to make yourself robust and strip fat, try doing 10-20min of carries at the end of your usual workout, trust me, you won’t regret it.
 
If you don’t do these three things, you should.
 
They will make you feel healthier and help protect your from injury.
 
If all you did was Swings (or snatches), TGU’s and a variety of Loaded Carries, you’d be strong, conditioned and look pretty dam awesome too.
 
Give it some thought.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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5 exercises you’re not doing that will change your life.

 
In the modern age the mentality of training is heavily influenced by body building.
 
Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing bad about this, however not everyone wants to be one, some want strength, others want performance and a few just want to move better and enjoy life.
 
Give the influence of BB’ing most peoples training is constructed around open chain isolation exercises.
 
Again, nothing wrong with this, however there’s so much you than you know.
 
The 5 movements below will literally change your life in the following ways:
 
– Add slabs of lean muscle
– Build strength
– Increase mental fortitude
– Strip fat
– Improve movement patters (mobility, flexibility etc)
 
Be prepared, chances are you don’t do these at all.
 
1 – Clean & Press
 
2 – Turkish Get up
 
3 – Loaded carry (farmer walk, bear hug, overhead hold, sled drag, prowler push)
 
4 – Rope climbing (or climbing in general)
 
5 – Front Squats
 
Why these 5?
 
Apart from he fact people don’t really do them I will list some benefits in correlation with their number:
 
1 – Explosive power & strength
2 – Full body coordination, improved ROM, stability, strength
3 – Conditioning (strip fat), strength, stability, mental toughness, power
4 – Helps you climb trees to get down your kite
5 – Strength, stability, ROM, posture
 
Now there is one movement that you may feel also needs to be in there and I’d agree, the deadlift should be in there as well.
 
6 – Deadlift – snatch grip variation especially :3
 
You’d be surprised the body you could build doing those exercises, however many of you won’t because they don’t fall in to the norm and fit the status quo, shame.
 
If you’re one of those who has the courage to brea away from the norm here’s a protocol you can use to make that change you’ve been looking for –
 
*Number to correlate*
 
– 5-25 total reps per movement (1,2,5,6)
– 80% + 1RM loading
– 10-20min total distance covered (3/4)
– Train 2-5 times per week
– Session length 45min tops
– Track everything and aim to progress where you can
 
Seems simple, however you have your movements, you can choose to do them with dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, odd objects and much more.
 
Just aim to break the norm if you really want to get some results.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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