Tag Archives: Health

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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Three things you need to stop immediately.

If you do I can guarantee you will feel much better.
 
1 – Worrying about he number on the scales.
 
In fact throw them out, literally. They serve no purpose other than to keep you in a narrow mindset and hold you back, remember a low umber on the scale doesn’t mean happens or health (physically, mentally & emotionally) it can often mean the opposite, sadly.
 
2 – Stressing over what you think other people are thinking.
 
I have some news for you, you don’t know what is going through other peoples heads, no, really, you don’t, so stop stressing yourself out about it.
 
Chances are they’re not looking at you, it’s just something you’ve conditioned yourself in to thinking.
 
How do I know this? Talk about irony.
 
I used to do it and in fact I still do it from time to time, trust me, people are rarely thinking about what you think they’re thinking about.
 
3 – Changing for everyone else.
 
It’s human nature to want to please others, however it’s not something that should cause you internal strife.
 
A lot of people want to change, which is not necessarily a bad thing, however it’s the reasons they want to change that could be very questionable.
 
Changing for reasons other than your own is a sure way to failure because the changes may not be something you want.
 
Take for example fat loss. Good for health, potentially yes, good to do so that others accept you or you attract that certain special someone, no, 100% a terrible idea.
 
Social pressure is a massive influence on people these days and the more you try to fit in with the crowds externally, the worse you end up feeling internally, then you look back when you’re a little wiser and realise it wasn’t worth it.
 
Make changes for your own personal reasons and you’ll be far happier for it.
 
There you have it.
 
Three things to stop doing.
 
Will this happen immediately?
 
No, probably not, however the first step in changing a behaviour (if it’s what you want to do), it acknowledging it, then accepting it, once they are achieved you can start towards the pace you want to be in, physically, mentally and emotionally.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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50/50

50/50
 
A no nonsense approach to making gains, stripping fat, improving movement and getting strong.
 
Morning All,
 
I try to keep some training ideas popping up for you so that you have some options, as with most of the recommendations they’re simple and would do well to be done for 3month at a minimum.
 
So what is 50/50?
 
Well if you were born in the 90’s it was a game show, if not then perhaps you know it as nothing more than a statistic or BJJ set up.
 
If we look at applying this to a training program this is the result:
 
– Two exercises
– 50 reps each
– Done in as few sets as possible
– Rest as needed
 
Progression options are interesting, however here are my recommendations:
 
Strength – increase weight when you hit 50 reps in less than 6 sets – rep options 5-10
 
Hypertrophy – increase weight when you hit 50 reps in less than 4 sets – rep options 8-12
 
Fat loss – Increase weight when you can hit 50 reps in less than 2 sets – rep options 10+
 
Now these are not set in stone, they’re just a guide to give you something to go on, provided you’re nutrition is appropriate for your goal you can use which ever of the above you enjoy the most.
 
As with most recommendations you’ll do well to have mostly compound movements to cover the full body filling your workout roster, training anywhere from 2-5 days per week will do you.
 
For example, your training days might look like this:
 
Day 1 – Squats/ Rows
Day 2 – Presses/Loaded Carries (10-20m is one rep)
Day 3 – Trap Bar DL/Dips
Off
Day 4 – Pull Ups/Prowler (10-20m is one rep)
Day 5 – Squats/Curls – because curls (Y)
Off
 
I jest, the last day would be Squats/Dumbbell Clean & Press.
 
You get the idea, you can put in any movements you like, just cover the full body with a frequency of each muscle group or movement of twice per week.
 
Depending on the progression option you take and the reps you use, you’ll find you can make some rather large jumps in weight to the bar, perhaps 5kg for upper body lifts and 10kg for lower body ones. The choice is yours.
 
As mentioned above, you can pick the rep ranges you enjoy and go from there. If you like doing 5’s, great start there, once you are doing say 5×10 instead of the 10×5 you started with then add weight.
 
If you like 10’s then start off with 5×10 and perhaps work towards 2×25, or some other ludicrous amount of reps, just do what you enjoy rep/set wise and pick things that will help keep your adherence up, once you get through the initial place of creating the routine and consistency, the results will come and at that point you’ll start doing what you need to do more often.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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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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