Tag Archives: knowledge

“I already knew that.”

Morning All,

It amazes me how much people already knew.

Many will come up asking for some friendly advice on perhaps nutrition, training or maybe sorting an injury and improving mobility and always give the answer of –

“Oh yea, I know that”

Often followed by –

“But what else can I do?” or “But what about XYZ”

I’m often left stood there like ‘Well, fuck me. They know as much if not more than I do, perhaps I should be hiring them’.

Yet even though people always seem, and claim they already know what to do, their overall aesthetic, performance and visual evidence often lead one to an opposing thought process.

Almost as if they don’t know…

*How suspicious.

I have a question I often come back with.

– If you know what to do, why are you not doing it?

Usually there is a plethora of excuses as to why they’re not doing what they need to be doing, yet they obviously could, if they really wanted to.

Do you know what you should be doing?

If so, why don’t you do it?

Do you really know what to do or is that perhaps a little porky pie?

I suppose that is a little unfair of me to say because it might try well be the case that people do in fact know what to do and have some crippling self esteem issues that sep them from executing the lifestyle changes they need, my apologies for being so brash.

Here is something to try.

Write down 3 things you know that you should be doing that would improve your quality of life (and fitness results too).

Now for the magic element.

Step 1: Re-read the three things you know you should be doing.

Step 2: Do them.

Step 3: Repeat steps 1 & 2 for continued results.

Give it some thought.

Enjoy,
Ross

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4 Little lung busters that also get you strong.

Morining All,
 
Given the nice weather it’s understandable that people want to shift unwanted fat.
 
Many also want some decent levels of muscle too.
 
Here are some suggestions from me to help you with both, be warned however, they are not as easy as you’d think.
 
They play in to the anaerobic nature of training, this will help by creating a large oxygen debt and have a positive effect on not only your VO2 Max, Strength, Calorie Expenditure but also some small increase in EOPC as well.
 
If you want to dig in to this here is a place to start:
 
 
Now it’s time for the suggested sessions 🙂
 
1 – Litvinov’
 
A1 – Front Squat x4-8
A2 – 400-800m sprint
Rest 1-5min, repeat 3 times.
 
I find higher rep front squats are great with double kettlebells, while with a barbell you’re better of sticking to 5 and under.
 
Sprint as in run, however if you have not running track feel free to sub this for rowing, watt bike etc.
 
2 – Flaming Death
 
(No idea where that name came from)
 
A1 – Sand Bag Shoulder Carry (sprint if you can) 30-50m
Drop, swap sides, run rack.
Rest 2min, repeat 5 times.
 
If you don’t have a sandbag that’s cool, just find something awkward to pick up an drop on your shoulder.
 
3 – Tabata Fun
 
A1 – Thrusters: 20seconds on, 10seconds off, 8 times
Rest 2-4min, repeat twice more if your form hold up
 
Double kettlebells work a treat for this, dumbbells are okay, bar is good, awkward objects are awesome, just watch your form. Aim for 4-8 reps per round (20 seconds).
 
4 – Homemade Highland Games
 
A1 – Single Arm Kettlebell Clean & Shoulder Throw x100m (alternating sides)
Rest 2min, repeat 3-5times
 
The single arm clean is easy, it’s the catch that tricks people, here is a nice little video from the Kettlebell Kings explaining how:
 
 
^^ Once you catch the bell here, launch it as far forwards as you can, like a shot-putter would. Repeat alternating arms, start on your weaker side.
 
These can be used as finishers or even stand alone sessions if you really wanted to give them some oomph.
 
All are easy on paper, however in practice you will find this not the case.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Too easy to work, or is it?

Rep variability, it’s kind of a big deal.
 
If you are a seasoned lifter you will know roughly what your max effort rep sets are and the weigh that goes with them.
 
For example, 7RM = 160kg on squat.
 
Knowing these is quite useful when it comes to programming for strength, hypertrophy and much more.
 
Today we will look at an underrated method for getting stronger.
 
It’s almost feels too easy when you do it.
 
The best part is that’s exactly how it should feel because you will be doing 1/3 to 1/2 the total reps you possibly could do with the load you pick.
 
Here is an example of how it works.
 
9RM – 150kg – Squat
 
Sets – you can do up to 25, just start off low, say 10 sets
 
8 reps – half = 4.5 (round to 5), third = 3
 
Your reps per set will look like this:
 
3,5,3,5,3,5,3,5 and so on.
 
You do a max of 5 and a minimum of 3, while resting 2-3 min between sets while practicing fast and loose drills.
 
Personally I’ve found pairing movements up works nicely for this if like me you can’t sit still too long.
 
A1 – Press 3,5,3,5,3,5
A2 – Weighted Chin Up 3,5,3,5,3,5
 
Now this will seem ridiculously easy, laughably so in fact.
 
One thing you will want to aim for is finishing your session feeling as if you could have done more, strange as is sounds you’d be surprised how fast the volume builds up (that is what contributes to hypertrophy, provided you’re eating optimally) doing this, especially since you’re able to use heavier loads.
 
If you did 10 sets of 3,5 that’d give you 40 solid reps with what your 9RM, each rep would be quality.
 
Some would say you could do 4×9 and only be 4 reps short, which is true in theory, however the first set you’d get maybe 5/6 good reps the rest would be a struggle, then the second set you’d maybe only hit 7 repps total with 3/4being good, perhaps 2/3 of rate next set and 1/2 for the last.
 
Taking the higher ones (being nice) that give you 15 good quality reps, that is a third of the volume you’d get doing the method I’ve prescribed above, 40 quality reps.
 
The toughest part of this stye of training is learning to stop and fight the urge to do more and just make yourself tired for the sake of it.
 
Many will go after volume for volumes sake, as such a lot of what they do is junk, this leads to little (or no) meaningful progress.
 
You should investigate this thoroughly.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Infinity Wars, Methods in Madness & More.

Morning All,
 
Given it was the release on the new Avengers film a mere two days ago, I trust a few of you will be venturing to see it, i know I certainly will be.
 
You might be wondering what that has to do with the above – ‘Methods in Madness’.
 
Well, you might be surprised to learn that it is in regard to social gatherings with members of your gym, or even your clients.
 
Yep, you all go out, perhaps on a sesh, or even just somewhere fun.
 
You’ll see why it seems made shortly.
 
I’m sure some of you have already twigged it the little sweetener to each get together.
 
You cover the costs.
 
Yep, you.
 
I shall wait for some to pick up their jaws from the floor.
 
Now this isn’t just a random altruistic act, there is a scientific reason behind it and that my friends is the principle of reciprocity.
 
– It means you give before you seek to gain.
 
Doing this will achieve the following:
 
– Improved Rapport
– Boosted Brand Awareness (people will talk)
– Repeated Client Investment (£££££££, cash monies 👍)
– A Nice Tax Write Off 😂
 
The same is true for having a welcome pack for all new clients and continued investment in your current ones.
 
Simply things like getting them personalised training diaries (based on information you’ve gathered), a HR Monitor of sorts to improve their CV training, Birthday cards and everything in-between.
 
It may seem like you’re trying to buys peoples loyalty, this is not the case, you are instead rewarding it because even though you can then ask for something in return and due to the governing psychological affect this principle holds, you won’t.
 
That’s right, you don’t do these things for something in return, nor should you want to, even though you can (it’s logical from a business standpoint).
 
You do things like this because you want to, perhaps even because it’s the right or the nice thing to do.
 
While it may be one large BBQ or Outing a year that are of course enjoyable and messy, dear god the alcohol I’ve consumed at these events 🤭, it’s been colossal.
 
It is the little things you can do for people, monthly, weekly, even daily that will make the big difference because when all is said & done, and the time to reflect comes around, you’ll see that the little things were in actual fact the ones that meant the most.
 
Always look to give back more than you’ve ever received, just because you can.
 
Enjoy your weekend and please leave your plans/adventures or questions down below.
 
Ross

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3 Choice starting points

The problem isn’t the choice, it’s the fact you’ve got too many and you know it.
 
Morning All,
 
You may have used the excuse “I just don’t know what to do” and while this has some candour to it, there is a certain aspect that people forget to mention.
 
They don’t lack choice, they just don’t know which choice to pick.
 
Don’t believe me?
 
If you claim to not know what training routine, lifting protocol, program to follow or how to put one together all you need do is hop on google and you will find all you need.
 
Now, the issue here is which one to pick.
 
So people are not fibbing when they say they don’t know what to do, they might just be being a tad lazy and would rather be told to do XYZ than find out for themselves, which is fair enough.
 
As such I have three books for you that will take away all of your guess work.
 
They all have solid examples are various routines that you can apply for 6months, a year or perhaps more (depending on your training age).
 
1 – Dinosaur Strength Training – Brooks Kubik
 
^^ any of the series is gold
 
2 – Beyond BodyBuilding – Pavel Tsatsouline
 
3 – WS4SB – by Joe DeFranco
 
^^ Start at part/book 1
 
All in all you just need to have a little faith in not only the program, you have to have it in yourself as well.
 
Even if results are slower than you expect, they’re probably not as slow as you think they are.
 
Progress takes time, a lot of time and that is if you’ve gotten everything dialled in (training, nutrition, recovery, life etc), don’t get dragged in by the endless choices and confused by them, look to one of the books above, pick a protocol and stick with it, milk it for all its worth.
 
I have faith in you, be sure to have some in yourself too.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Fads, Excuses & Bullshit

What happened to ‘Squat Everyday’?
 
It seems another trend has died a death.
 
The life of a trend is as follows:
 
– Is it new & exciting?
 
No = it dies.
 
Yes
 
– Is it easy to understand?
 
No = it dies.
 
Yes
 
– Does it require hard work to get results?
 
No = success that will stick around because people want the easy option.
 
Yes – it dies.
 
Fads only last if they are easy and require very little effort to apply, regardless of if results are a part of the mix, it’s quite sad really.
 
The ability to tough things out has fallen dramatically over the years.
 
If it’s not easy then it can make it’s way to the pile with all the other things people don’t have time for now because all that a great many want is the next new & exciting thing.
 
How many times have you given up and blamed it on the program, the nutrition protocol or some other factor that wasn’t yourself?
 
Many is the answer I’m guessing.
 
In a world of ever changing potential inconsistencies we are the only thing that is in every equation, as such shouldn’t there be a tad more attention and accountability put on ourselves, rather than just shifting the blame to anything or everything else?
 
Do this for yourself, it may highlight some interesting things for you.
 
1 – Write down your most common excuses or reasons for failure.
 
2 – Write down why they happen and then how you can overcome them.
 
3 – Look at what you’ve written and see your problems for what they are, excuses on paper that you already have in your head as to why you can’t succeed and not actual problems.
 
It is common for us to create issues and barriers that stand in our way, so much so that by doing the above you will see how many you already have that aren’t even in the way yet.
 
These excuses make it easier for people to believe that more often than not they are not the problem.
 
Of course somethings can’t be helped, however for the majority we just use them as a convenient reason not to do what we need to be doing, that’s a fact.
 
Learn to overcome your own bullshit and watch your life change for the better.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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A snippet from some late night reading.

Morning All,
 
As per routine there is always 30min of reading before bed, sometimes more.
 
The book that was randomly grabbed was called ‘Beast Tamer
How to Master the Ultimate Russian Kettlebell Strength Challenge’
 
It is geared around completing the Beast Challenge.
 
1x Pistol, Single Arm Press & Chin/Pull Up with a 48kg kettlebell.
 
While looking through some of my old highlights and making newer ones, as you always get more from books when you look at them multiple times, I say this nice simple training protocol.
 
It combines the PTTP/GTG concepts and is remarkably simple.
 
*Power to the People & Grease the Groove*
 
– Living in the Gym
 
It is based on 5 days training per week.
 
Each day you will do the following in the gym.
 
A1 – DL (DL variant) 2×5
B1 – Double Kettlebell Press 2×5
 
You can vary the loads as needed, set in simple progression protocols, perhaps follow the Easy Strength ethos and much more, that is down to your preference/ability/need.
 
That was the PTTP part.
 
As for the GTG, it’s easier on paper than in reality.
 
Every hour perform
 
2-3 Pistols each leg & 2-3 Pull Ups (you can add in 2-3 single arm push ups too if you feel your recovery can handle it.)
 
Now it might not seem like much, however doing 2-3 reps of each every hour, 5 days per week soon build up the volume.
 
In regards to training days you can do Mon-Fri with rest on the weekend, or the variation I tend to give people is Mon-Wed-Rest-Fri-Sat-Rest, this give you the chance if using ES to go heavy more often when feeling strong due to the days off in between.
 
All in all a cracking little protocol.
 
As with anything though you will need to plan in your progressions, vary the loads and track your progress because it’s easy to forget that the idea of this style of daily practice is to progress and become strong without ever feeling like you’re putting in too much effort.
 
If this is something you find interesting, give it a go.
 
I’d also advise getting a hold of the book as well, it’s less than £5 and well worth the investment.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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6 Reasons Front Squats are awesome.

1 – They improve your postural & core strength.
 
2 – Increased sporting/athletic crossover.
 
3 – You get very strong in the upper back doing them.
 
4 – Their self limiting nature keeps your ego in check and your injures reduced. Once your form goes it’s gone, no cheating those reps.
 
5 – Mobility & stability benefits.
 
6 – You’ll finally start to build some impressive legs.
 
If you are looking for some great little resources I would suggest Juggernaut Training, they have some great videos.
 
Here is one to get you started –
 
 
Head Coach Max of JTS is also a mountain of knowledge for these too.
 
By adding these to your training you will yield some great results.
 
You may have some wrist discomfort in the early days, however this goes away once you nail the form, until then, better get practicing.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Goal – Skill – Daily Practice

A great question to ask yourself –
 
“How much do I want this?”
 
You can insert your own goal/desire.
 
Morning All,
 
Goals in fitness these days tend to be a tad arbitrary in nature, as in they are just goals of rate sake of having a goal.
 
They tend to serve no higher purpose.
 
This is why having a sport/hobby to help you focus is often good idea because you can tailor your training to your interest so that you improve performance.
 
Once you have done this you’ll find the following useful.
 
Step 1 – Set the goal
Step 2 – Ascertain what skills you need to achieve the goal
Step 3 – Understand what daily practices will help you learn the skills you require.
 
Example:
 
1 – Drop X amount of fat (goal)
2 – Learn satiety control, or eat until satisfied not stuffed (skill)
3 – Eat slower (daily practice)
 
Take some time and plan accordingly.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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The low rep approach to higher total volume.

One thing many want to achieve it a greater amount to total volume, which is fair enough as the higher the volume one can tolerate, while maintaining a good level of average intensity, the more gains will be made.
 
Well, provided you can recover that is.
 
Oh, then there is making sure the calorie surplus if adequate too.
 
Okay, so how can we use lower reps to achieve higher total volume, quite easily.
 
Here is an example protocol for two movements –
 
A1 – Press 2-3-4
A2 – Chin 2-3-4
 
You would press for two reps, then do two chins, hollowed by three presses, and so on. Once you ge tot four you tart over again at two, simple.
 
You’d be using a sub-max load, so if 4 is the top rep range then perhaps a 7RM is advisable.
 
There is the option to go for a total amount of sets, say 5, which will give you 45 reps of each, or more depending on your time.
 
Another thing to remember is that all of the reps will be crisp, clean and solid with no decrease in speed, once that starts to happen on say the sets of 4, you drop them and just do 2-3, which you repeat until you need to drop to just doing 2’s, or alternatively you stop the session when you can’t perform 4.
 
The overall idea is to allow you to focus on solid form and using slightly heavier weights.
 
Here are some other options on the rep format:
 
– 1,2,3,2,1,2,3,2,1
– 2,3,5,3,2,3,5,3,2
– 6,3,6,3,6,3,6,3,6
– 3,5,3,5,3,5,3,5,3
– 1,2,3,4,5,4,3,2,1
 
The options are endless really.
 
From personal preference the top rep range is usually 6, from here you can look at taking 50% of that for the next set,so 3 reps and so on.
 
Why do this?
 
If you are hitting a solid 6 reps with say an 8/9RM the set of 3 will be a nice little rest set where you can really focus on the speed of the rep.
 
You also have the option of using close to your 6RM for the sets of 6 and then that means the next set of 3 is a lot easier.
 
There is also the option of keeping the reps the same, say 5 and playing with the weights each set, it may look like this:
 
Set 1 – 5x 16kg
Set 2 – 5x24kg
Set 3 – 5x32kg
Set 4 – 5x16kg
Set 5 – 5x24kg
And so on.
 
You’d perhaps end up with upwards of 15 total sets utilising this method, again with a focus on the speed/form/tightness of each rep ensuring no degradation in form, once it goes you stop.
 
If you are looking for something a little different then this is for you, be warn though, you’ll probably make progress like you’ve never made before if you start off lighter than you think you should.
 
Always leave your ego at the door.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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