Tag Archives: knowledge

8 Tips to help improve your deadlift.

Some call this the King of lifts.
Whether you think this deserves that title of perhaps the Snatch, Clean & Jerk or Squat are better suited to it, we can all agree that there is nothing most satisfying that hoisting a hefty weight off the floor to a solid lock out.
It’s a truly great feeling.
If you’ve hit a bit of a plateau with yours, here are some tips to help you hit some new numbers 🙂
1 – Film yourself
Ideally you want to get all of your lifts on camera, that way you can make sure your form is on point.
2 – Get a stronger grip
People will complain that their grip give out, this is cool and means that they can work on it.
Adding in Farmers Walks with your bodyweight (50% each hand) for 10 sets of 15-30 seconds (rest double the time you did) 2-3 times per week will fortify this fingers of yours.
3 – Reset every rep
No bouncing of any deadlift.
Ideally place the bar down, step away, step back in, set up again and lift, repeat for your desired amount of reps.
This is a great way to groove your set up form and makes for some interesting sets of 5.
4 – Add front squats/pause FS to your training
These have a nice carry over effect to deadlifts because you have to stay tight and hold posture to make the lift, especially the pause variations.
Aim for 15-25 reps in a session, capping the reps per set limit at 3, so that might be 8×3, 12×2, 5×3, 15×1, and so on.
5 – Super slow eccentrics
You deadlift as normal, while fusing on keeping your form a solid and tight as possible.
Next hold the bar at the top for 5 seconds, then proceed to lower over the next 10 seconds, do singles only for this and use anywhere from 50-70% of your max weight you can hit with solid form.
Easy on paper, ridiculously hard in practice.
6 – Remember the deadlift is a hinge
If you watch good pullers they have the following in common:
– Almost vertical shin at set up and second part of the pull
– Hips just higher than knees, shoulders just higher than hips
– They push the floor away
– They push their hips forwards
– They keep the bar close
– Tension is not lost at any point in the set up or the lift
A lot of people try to squat a deadlift, as such the squat it off the floor (badly), then continue to back extend the weight he rest of the way up and wonder why they hurt themselves.
Here is a great little resource explaining this (it’s easier to watch than read):
Your DL might take a hit in terms of numbers lifted while you re-pattern, however it will be worth it in the end.
7 – Strengthen your back
This might seem obvious however you’d be surprised how many people put most of their training focus in to pressing and wonder why they have a crap pull.
Bent over rows, pull ups, pull downs (various grips), single arm rows, bear hug carries, face pulls, reverse flies are only a few examples of back exercises, make sure you get in some solid volume for your back and make it grow.
You’ll also find the bigger your back is the better at pressing you become as your back is responsible for stabilising you and the stronger it is, the stronger human being you will be.
8 – Stop chasing weight
Kind of a contradiction to this entire post, yet a very relevant one.
Time in the gym is meant for BUILDING STRENGTH, not testing it.
Many are guilty of testing too often in the gym and wonder why they never make progress.
Ego must be left at the door. If you can pull 5 plates, that’s great just don’t think you have to pull 5 plates every time you’re in the gym otherwise people will think you’re weak, they won’t, they don’t care about what you lift, trust me.
In the gym sticking between 70-85% of your max is more than enough to help you build some impressive strength and avoid snapping yourself up.
If you need to lift some big weights for instagram do what most of those who are famous on it do and buy some fake weights for your videos, simple 😂
There you have it, 8 tips to help you improve your deadlift.
Obviously don’t try to do them all at once.

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1/2 a kilo per session = long term progression

Half a kilo each session.
That’s all you need to add to the main lifts.
Devilishly simple, some may even say dull, yet super effective.
It give your body plenty of time to master the weight.
You will not miss any reps (well, you shouldn’t if you start at the correct load).
Here is how it’s laid out:
Main lift:
– Working set/rep options 2×5, 3×3, 5×2
– Warm up sets are as needed
– Pick a large compound movement e.g: Squat, Press, Deadlift, Chin etc
– Rest 3-5min
Loading & Progression:
– 2x5x70%, 3x3x75%, 5x2x80%
– Add half a kilo to the main lift each session without fail, hence the low starting weights.
Accessory work:
– 1-3 lifts depending on your time available
– 2-3 sets
– 6-25 reps
– Loading will be dictated but the reps chosen
– Rest 1-2min
– Legs/Push/Pull
– Hit each every 3-5 days ideally
This can last for months and months and months, I’d change up the accessory lifts every 2-3 weeks to keep things interesting, however the main lifts can be milked for all they are worth as it will take 20sessions to add 10kg to the weight you’re starting at.
Avoid the temptation to rush.
That’s it.
Nothing fancy, however it works very well for developing strength skill, your accessory work will give you either a bolster on strength, hypertrophy, fat loss etc depending on how you plan those.

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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.

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Words of Old

“If you can’t work hard enough in 2 sessions, why do you feel you can do better with 6?”

^^ That made me think.

In a world where more is seen as better, and in certain circumstances it is 100% true, however that might not be the case for your training in the gym.

Recently the writings of one Marty Gallagher have found their way in to my library once again.

He speaks a very similar message to that of Brooks Kubik, Kirk Karwoski, Ed Coan and many other strong individuals who each champion not only focus, tracking your numbers to ensure increasing volume, but also putting in a solid effort in your main training sessions, then taking your foot of the gas when you have deload weeks.

It’s easy to get caught running through the motions when it comes to lifting weights.

This is in fact very easy, so much so that many of us may have even been in this place for years unknowingly.

A scary thought.

One good way to know if you’re there is to ask yourself this simple question – When was the last time you made progress?

That progress could be in the form of better form, more weight on the bar, an aesthetic goal, it doesn’t matter, what is important is when did you last make progress, real progress.

As fitness enthusiasts we often get caught between the proverbial rock and hard place, unable to escape it, often for fear of losing what we have, if we’re not doing what we’re doing.

Surely you could get better results only doing 2-3 sessions per week, you’d be silly to keep doing 6+, right?


However many will not change their ways, they can’t, it’s too hard and the fear of loss kicks in. I’ve been there, it’s a terrible pace to be.

If we are to look back at some of the strongest people over they years they seemed to train at most, 4 days per week.

In this time they hit each muscle group twice (due to exercise cross over).

Now as mentioned above and in the writings of old, 2-3 sessions per week was more than enough to make solid progress on, especially at the level most of us are at (not world champion lifters).

So why do more for the sake of it?

Ask yourself these questions:

– Am I making progress?
– When was my last PB?
– Do I need to do more, really?
– Is my recovery 100%?
– Are each of my sessions focused?
– Could I be doing too much?

Just some food for thought.

If you fancy a good read give the Purposeful Primitive some of your time, you won’t regret it.


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Did you achieve your goal this year?

New Years Eve…

Time to wave goodbye to 2017 in style.

Well, more like a blurry mess of alcohol fuelled rage.

Then it’s 2018 and all those goals that didn’t get achieved can be forgotten and new ones can be written down.

A little tip for your resolutions –

Write them out by hand in 300 words or less.

This will take less than 5minutes to do and hopefully give you some accountability.

In this 300 words you want the following:

– What the goal is
– Why you want to achieve it (feeling/emotion)
– The good behaviour you need to achieve the goal
– How you will make lifestyle changes to achieve the goal
– Which methods you will use to track your progress
– Time targets

Once you’ve done this print 3 copies.

One to be placed somewhere at home you will see it everyday.

One to be given to someone your trust to help you stay accountable.

One to be kept on your person at all times so you can give yourself a reminder of why you’re making a change.

By doing this little task you will give yourself some more accountability.

The funny thing about goals that people never tell you is that for them to actually stick, they have to give you an insurmountable amount of pleasure that can’t be drowned out by the pain of change.

Yep, people fear change because it’s painful.

All that aside, it’s in your hands now, it’s your play, try not to make it a tragedy.

Happy New Year 🙂


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How the early 1900’s can help you in 2018

Are you looking for a new year challenge?

It’s good for Strength, Fat Loss, Hypertrophy, Mental Toughness and much

I have a very simple one for you that you.

20 rep squats.

They’re glorious.

Say you’re training 3x a week, this would be perfect as you can have either 1,2 or 3 20 rep sessions, I’d probably go for 2 initially.

It might look like this:

Day 1 –

A1 – Squat – 1×20
B1 – Press – 25 total reps, rep/set method of your choice
B2 – Pull – 25 total reps, rep/set method of your choice
*C1 – Remedial movement of your choice – 50 rep total

Day 2 –

A1 – Hinge – 5-15 total reps, rep/set method of your choice
B1 – Press – 25 total reps, rep/set method of your choice
B2 – Pull – 25 total reps, rep/set method of your choice
*C1 – Remedial movement of your choice – 50 rep total

Day 3 –

A1 – Squat – 1×20
B1 – Press – 25 total reps, rep/set method of your choice
B2 – Pull – 25 total reps, rep/set method of your choice
*C1 – Remedial movement of your choice – 50 rep total

*Optional postural/remedial exercise if time is a plenty. Perhaps reverse flies, curls, tricep extensions, etc.

Simply marvellous 🤗

It also offers a great method of progression too.

You start at 50% of your current 1RM, so if that is say 120kg, you start at 60kg.

From the starting 50%, add 0.5-1kg every successful session.

When things start to get hard and say you only hit 13/20 reps, you keep the weight the same and focus on building those reps to a solid 20/20.

At this point you could drop the 20rep day to once per week and use one of the following set/rep protocols for the other squat day:

Rep/set protocol examples for the 25 rep goal:

– 5-3-2-5-3-2-5
– 5×5
– 5-5-3-3-2-2
– 3×8
– 8×3
– 5-4-3-2-1-10
– Ramp to heavy 3-5RM (alternate 3-4-5RM each time)

^^ You can imagine this goes a similar way for the 50 rep goal, so 5×10, 3×15 etc

Plenty of choice.

The seconds day also doesn’t need to be a back squat, it could be a front squat, a zecher squat, or any other variation, again this would be cycled, ideal spend 3-6 weeks on each variation before changing it, aiming to add a small amount of weight each session.

Personally I quite like changing the variation as it allows you to drop the overall intensity while keeping up the relative intensity, however that’s a chat for another day.

The same is true for the press/pull/hinge – you can stay with the same variation (bar, dumbbell, trap bar etc) for 3-6 weeks adding anywhere from as little as 0.5kg to as much as a whole 20kg plate each side, although the latter would mean you’re literally a god among mortals.

It might seem like 3 training session per week is not much, however if you follow this and apply the basic progressive overload as described above, you’ll find you can stay on this almost indefinitely.

If needed you could also do this program only twice per week, meaning you drop day 3. Very useful if you also have other goals, such as sports or martial arts.

I wish you all the gains for the new year.


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What’s old is new again

The Purposeful Primitive:

From Fat and Flaccid to Lean and Powerful:

Using Primordial Laws of Fitness to Trigger Inevitable, Lasting and Dramatic Physical Change

by Marty Gallagher

Have you ever read it?

You should, it’s a very good book with a wealth of experience in it and one simple take home message.

Success requires heart.

Morning All,

If you take the time to look there is a plethora of good books surrounding the realm of fitness.

Some are filled with numbers, plug & play programs, explanations of the basics and of course the principles/foundations of lifting, yet it’s the ones that are written in a story telling manor that hold the most secrets.

Ironically these are the books people will skip over because they want the quick answer.

This is understandable, however not too wise.

We can all read and gain a basic grasp of the numbers.

I’ve been such a person and has read hundreds of books of the years, admittedly skim reading the story-esc ones, due to my of foolishness at the time.

As I’ve gone back and reread these story books of lifting, Ive found new appreciation for them.

They hold not only training principles and methodologies.

Oh no, they hold something much more valuable as well.


They hold heart, or what some might call indomitable spirit, perhaps even attitude, regardless of the semantics, the message is clear.

Those lifting legends thought differently, they had that extra gear as it were. That defined focus that many of us lack, hence why we only really make mediocre progress – yes, mediocre.

Even those who we think are training hard are lacking.

In the book mentioned above there are many excerpts that speak of people lifting only twice per week and hitting world record numbers (if you check the records you’ll find it all true).

Could you make such progress on two sessions a week?

I highly doubt it. I couldn’t, not with my current attitude in training.

This goes to show just how things have changed, and by things I mean people, or at least our resolve and work ethic.

We’ve grown lazy, so very lazy.

If you’ve just sat and thought “What… screw you, I’m not lazy” or something similar, that’s your ego talking and unless you’re at the peak of your own personal pyramid and chosen endeavour you’re not working hard enough, or rather, working hard enough in the smartest way possible.

Here is an example of just how an attitude was back in the day –

Bill Pearl, he used to train at 4am.

Yep, 4am, before the world got p he’d already be grinning away to forge his body in a fire of iron, sweat and many repetitions.

He had a normal job too, plus lived a fairly busy life, so before you bring up your excuses understand this person had them as well, he simply didn’t let them stop him becoming a legend of lifting.

From reading in to the lives of people form yesterday I fear we’ve grown soft, reliant on our comfortable lifestyles. We’ve lost our edge.

The attitude now is one of ‘I will do more but with less intensity’ – for most people anyway, I’m sure you will explain how you’re the exception, that being the case I wish I was you.

In the book you also get the sense that theme & women of yesteryear trained to break boundaries and hammer their of limitations, I’m not saying some don’t do this now, they just lack the conviction of old.

The modern world has beaten people down with how we ‘should’ look, behave, think, feel and ugh more. It’s no wonder people have so many mental health issues these days.

If you want to expand your thought and learn what it is to I speak of in this post, I suggest reading these three books:

The Purposeful Primitive – Marty Gallagher

Super Strength – Alan Calvert

Secrets of My Strength – Paul Anderson

There are many more great books of old, you can find them here:


What’s old is new again.


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Success, what they don’t tell you

We have those who do, those who don’t, and everyone else.
Where do you fall?
Morning All,
Have you ever wondered why some people succeed where others fail?
What is the reason for it.
Is it because of their upper hand starting in life, the people they associate with, good luck or perhaps some divine intervention?
It might be some or all of those reasons, or maybe, just maybe it could be the simple truth that they just wanted it more then everyone else.
Have you ever considered that?
When it comes to achievement this is often how it looks:
Initial success
Initial praise
Initial praise fades
Plateaus begin to appear
Get ready butter cup things are about to get hard
Dues paid for the require amount of time
More dues paid
A few more dues
The last couple of dues
Long term life changing success
The part people forget to tell you is that to achieve anything you need to be prepared to work for it and this important little gem:
Now it’s fair to say that not everyone will survive, that’s just a sad truth. Did you know that sometimes paying your dues can take you a lifetime, just something to remember. 
This is where some introspection is required.
Do you have what it takes to weather the storm and do what needs to be done or not?
If the answer is ‘you don’t’ it’s okay, put that endeavour to bed and move on, not everyone is meant to succeed after all.
However, if you’re that rare individual who knows they can survive and do what needs to be done then you brave the storm, then once you’ve given all you have you come out the other side and are welcomed/rewarded for your efforts.
Congratulations, you succeeded.
I would love to say that everyone will succeed, I can’t, they won’t.
Which side will you end up on?
The one looking to the horizon of wishes and dreams or the one who makes it past the horizon and sees what the other side has to offer?
Your choice.

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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.

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It’s okay, it’s only Christmas weight

With Christmas fast approaching, all eyes are on the scales.
Morning All,
This is the time of year where people will be watching their weight up until the day itself, then they will binge right the way through until the new year.
There might be a small hiatus of a few days in this period.
The question is, why binge at all?
It seems that people wait for the excuse for it to be acceptable.
This is your life people, if you want to binge every day, feel free, just don’t try to skirt around the issue and create an acceptable time for such behaviour to alleviate your guilt.
Did you know if you feel guilty that’s probably a sign you know that you probably shouldn’t be doing what you’re doing.
The next time you binge ask yourself why you feel the need to do it.
I say this because it’s a potential sign of some deeper issue that might need addressing.
Food is fuel, however food is also to be enjoyed.
A little something worth remembering:
Eat for the body you want, not the body you have.

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