Tag Archives: life style

Beware the Company You Keep

Nutrition is a struggle for a lot of people.
 
The connection many have to their foods is strong.
 
Considering most people have a food for every situation, mood or desired feeling they’re after its easy to understand.
 
Try to make some adjustments, even those that will result in long term benefit and people just can’t handle it.
 
Like a child they pine over their treats and get pissy.
 
Of course you can eat, drink and otherwise consume whatever you choose if you’re an adult yet you’d do well not to expect sympathy or leeway when you start complaining about being overweight.
 
That my friends is the result of your choice, own it.
 
Now you’ll find many start to say that it’s easier for some, they don’t have that sweet tooth or what ever other bollocks will be cultivated to justify their behaviour.
 
True enough there can be some deep psychological reasons for addiction to foods, yet given the level of intelligence and information in our world now people know this already.
 
Thus is comes down to their own choice.
 
So you might be wandering what makes people decide to go for a different choice, the answer is simple yet not very nice.
 
They’ve finally reached the point where they feel bad enough about themselves to do something.
 
The discomfort now outweighs the small pleasurable hit they get from food.
 
In my experience people are more likely to move away from pain than towards pleasure.
 
Yet this can be hard when you’ve got an addiction.
 
Oh yes, many people are heavily addicted to food, or rather the feeling that food gives them.
 
Being the emotional creatures we are we get addicted to the feeling that we get from ‘the thing’ as opposed to getting addicted to the actual thing itself, for the most part.
 
If you’re genuinely not sure why you can’t make an adjustment to your nutrition then apply the following steps.
 
1 – Eat as normal
2 – Write down each feeling/emotion said food provides
3 – Reflect on this and make a choice
 
I know people will start to bitch piss and moan about life being for enjoyment blah blah blah.
 
Okay we get it, people like foods such as ice cream.
 
News flash, this is pretty much true across the board.
 
Decedent foods will always be sought after because that’s how we evolved, to seek out those foods that light up our senses and make us feel good, yet in our world of overly abundant amounts of them this just leads to one unfortunate outcome….
 
You get fat.
 
There I said it.
 
Making poor food choices multiple times over and in large quantities will lead you down he path of getting fat.
 
Of course how large you become will be determined by your social circle and what they consider to be acceptable.
 
You see peer pressure is just as prevalent amongst obese people as they say it is amongst the slim.
 
If you’re surrounded by the large and you’re not large then in time you will join them. They will make subtle remarks over time about you not eating enough, being small and so on.
 
Eventually their peer pressure leads you to obesity and poor health.
 
If you delve in to the social circles/backgrounds of people you’ll find the reasons for why they are the way they are.
 
You are the way you are because of the choices your group allows you to make because it fits in with their values, beliefs and biases.
 
The mythic state of being an individual is not really what people think it is.
 
A tough truth to hear.
 
Take some time to mull over this.
 
Look at the people around you, closest to you and see just how they’ve influenced you.
 
Then make a choice, stay in the place you’re in or make a change.
 
Enjoy,
Ross
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An old forgotten post from the drafts – New Year Pitfalls

Morning Guys,

With the new year in full swing there will be some common pitfalls ready to ensnare young hopefuls, to help you understand what they are and how to avoid them to the best of your abilities we will cover the 4 most common.
1 – Too Much Too Soon.
You’ve spent the best part of 2015 living on convenience foods and building forts on the sofa, but 2016 is where that will all change. In the first week of the new year there will be the familiar sight of hoards of newbies hitting the gym EVERYDAY, going hell for leather and literally pushing themselves to the point of feeling sick, just short of collapsing. It’s okay though, it’s meant to be like this, right?
After doing this for a week, maybe two a gym virgin will be utterly ruined. Walking normally will be a distant dream, sitting on the toilet will be like harder than climbing Everest, you get the idea.
Starting down the path of self improvement is great and I fully support those who want to make a change, what you need to remember is that doing too much won’t get you results faster. It will however leave you sore, frustrated and demotivated, all of which can cause a person to quite their endeavor and we don’t want that.
My advice for gym new comers would be to join a couple of classes 2-3 per week will be sufficient to get you progressing, enjoy your workouts and also making some new friends too. If you can afford it hire a trainer/coach as they will be able to teach you a lot of the things you need to know, not to mention correct exercise form.
Don’t rush, take your time and avoid doing too much too soon.
2 – No Patience.
Everyone wants to get results, the biggest issue is the fact that everyone wants their results by yesterday. This is a major problem. Results take time to achieve, occasionally a very long time and this can be frustrating for people.
In the modern world of health/fitness there are some unrealistic expectations of what is achievable, this is largely down to rampant PED (performance enhancing drugs) use and a reluctance to accept that the people many often admire have been training for a great number of years – 10+ in most cases.
Is it possible to lose 30lbs of fat in 12 weeks? Yes, however it would require extreme focus and dedication and sadly a lot of people don’t have that. This means you will be realistically looking at more like 24 weeks to achieve that goal, this for some people is too long to wait.
Results take time, learn some patience and don’t give up when you don’t have abs or are a size 8 after only one week in the gym.
3 – Your Nutrition is Wrong.
A simple subject made complex. Here is the basics of nutrition:
To gain weight – Eat more calories than you burn.
To lose weight – Eat less calories than you burn.
Simple right? So that being the case why do so many people struggle? The answer is obvious really… You are either eating too much or not enough. Seriously, for the majority of people that is the honest truth.
Okay, now for the slightly more interesting part.
Establishing how many calories to eat. There are literally hundreds of formulas/websites on the internet that will give you a rough estimate, with one of the best being the Harris-Benedict formula (I’m not writing this one down as it’s rather long and complicated). If you’re looking for a quick guide way to establish your potential daily calorie needs then use this *equation:
Weight Loss – Weight in Lbs (ideally your LBM-Lean body mass, meaning what portion of you isn’t fat) multiplied by 11-13. So, LBM in Lbs x 11-13 = calories for weight loss.

Weight Gain – LBM in Lbs x 17-19 = Calories for weight (muscle gain).

*Disclaimer – this is a rough guide, if you want a more accurate number hire a trainer/coach to do all of this for you.
The next part from here will be establishing your Macro-nutrient ratios (protein/carbs/fat) Ideally this is based off of your LBM. There are a specific amount of calories in each macro-nutrient:
Protein – 4cals per gram
Carbohydrate – 4cals per gram
Fat – 9 Calories per gram
Grams of Protein = 1xLBM – of you weigh 150lbs of lean mass then you need 150g of protein.
Grams of Carbs = 1xGrams of Protein – 1×150=150g carbs (25-40g of this number should be fiber).
Grams of Fat = Add the calories from protein/carbs together then take it away from your established number of daily calories. What ever number that is divide it by 9 for your grams of fat, for example: 900cals remaining / 9 = 100g fat for the day.
In recent times you will hear people say that your choice of food doesn’t matter. Yep, you read that right. Provided you hit your macros/calories you can eat what ever you want, in theory… Would I personally advise this? No. Personally I would prefer people eat mostly whole foods (meat/veg, basically what is considered adult food, not sweets, cakes and convenience foods) this is for better for overall in health in my experience. True you will find people who throw science/theory at your proving it doesn’t matter but if I’ve learnt one thing it’s that everything works in theory but that’s about it.
The real secret to nutrition is to enjoy what you eat, don’t restrict yourself but don’t gorge either. Aim for the classic 80/20 split of whole foods to indulgence, hit your calories/macros and you will find you don’t go far wrong.
4 – You Don’t Put in Enough Effort (Mentally).
I am not going to sugar coat this fact.
The main pitfall that leads to people giving up is their mind is weak. The difference between fantasy and reality is purely desire, well, most of the time in the things we can control anyway.
Try to remember that you are in charge of your life. You control your actions, no one made you eat that cake, you wanted to eat it. Is that a bad thing? Hell no! If you want some cake then have some, just don’t eat the entire cake and feel guilty or blame someone else for eating it. So what if you were at a child’s birthday party? You didn’t have to eat it, you wanted to eat it. Accept your decisions and move one swiftly from the bad ones.
Everyone has the potential to achieve their goals, what most people lack is the patience, dedication and mental fortitude to keep going when it gets tough. There is no quick fix, the only way to get lasting results is to make a life long change. Remember that.
Have faith in yourself, I know you can do it.
Enjoy,
Ross

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Struggle Struggle Struggle

Motivation.

It’s quite an interesting word really.

We will often hear people talk about how to stay motivated when things get tough, or how to reignite a lost motivation and anything that is of a similar disposition, and while the intentions are good it is a sad truth that it rarely helps, if at all.

Talking a good game to achieve that instantaneous boots in moral is easy.

People can get a similar dopamine hit from merely talking about what they re going to do, in fact if you take the time to dig in to the science surrounding it you’ll find that the brain scans etc are almost indistinguishable in terms of response, meaning from a glance (without knowing exactly what to look for), you’d not see any really difference.

Same goes for the biochemical responses, to a degree.

That’s a rather fascinating little thing to know, however don’t take my word for it, please delve down that rabbit hole.

Anyway, back to motivation.

Aiming to sustain it, reignite it, or draw on some special reserve is largely a fruitless endeavour because it isn’t motivation that keeps us going, it’s resilience.

It is easy to see how people think it’s that people are highly motivated, however this not really how it works because you will find that the aforementioned is more akin to gasoline and added to the fire for that initial oomph in to action and after that you’re going to need something more substantial to keep that furnace going.

Unfortunately I can’t tell you what that ‘thing’ is to you because I’m not you.

For me it’s a simple case of enjoying the struggle and having go fight my way through a tough challenge because once I come out the other end of it all I will know a lot more about myself.

This is what sustains me through the resistances I meet when pursuing a goal.

It’s a conscience choice to keep moving forwards, that’s all.

If you can make yourself doing the thing you need to do, then in the end you’ll find what once seemed like an insurmountable task wasn’t really that bad, even if the struggle is real it’s better to embrace it every step of the way and just do what needs to be done, than it is to rely on bursts of motivation.

Of course this is only one perspective.

Having lofty goals can be a good thing, you’d be surprised that if you are to ask for the Moon how often once all was said and done it would be given to you.

Aim high, fight on, enjoy your motivation while it’s there just don’t rely on it and prepare for the struggle.

Once you come out the other end, it’ll all be worth it.

Enjoy,
Ross

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Something for the Bored

6 movements, 6 varied rep schemes, 6 months of training.

Behold, the 6-6-6 you’ve been waiting for. 

Well, I have no idea if you were waiting to be fair, there was just a passing thought that is sounded cool, however now after reading it that might not be the case. 

Never mind, we must press on. 

Morning All, 

This came to mind in the early afternoon yesterday while in the midst of loaded carries. 

The overall aim of the above is to give people the following:

– 6 months of training to follow

– A test in mental toughness and consistency 

– Results because the first lot of lifts are done by few

You will also find it’s quite fun as well. 

First up, the movements. 

Push – Incline Press

Pull – Pull Up (weighted or unweighted, grip may vary)

Squat – Uhh, well, yea… Squats 🙂 (high bar)

Hinge – Deficit Deadlift (1-3inch block or whats available)

Loaded Carry – Farmers Walk*

Full Body Lift – Clean & Jerk

Now the rep schemes.

These will be progressed in a simple linear fashion (added weight where you can) once you are hitting each set comfortably. 

Medium – 1,2,3,4,5,4,3,2,1 

Medium – 2,3,5,2,3,5,2,3,5

Heavy – 1,2,3,1,2,3,1,2,3

Light – 3,5,7,3,5,7,3,5,7

Light – 2,4,6,2,4,6,2,4,6

Heavy – 1,1,1,1,1,1

^^^ with all you will rest as needed. 

*Loaded carry schemes 

– 30second on, 30second off = one round, 10-30 rounds

– 10min time limit to cover as much distance as possible

– 3min on, 1min off, 3min on 

– Tabata x1-3 (20 on, 10 off x8rounds)

– 20m carry EMOM (ever min on the min)

– +10m EMOM, so 1st min = 10m, 2nd = 20m, 3rd = 30m until you can’t keep up the pace/distance

The above will work on a H-L-M rotation, essentially you have the ability to let the weight dictated the reps, however once you pick a rep scheme from the day you stick with it. 

Time to put these together in a logical training schedule, I will give you several options, pick the one that best suits your training availability.

Option 1 –

Day 1 – Squat, Pull

Day 2 – Hinge, Push 

Day 3 – Full Body Lift, Loaded Carry 

Day 4 – Rest

Day 5 – Repeat 

Option 2 –

Day 1 – Squat, Pull

Day 2 – Hinge, Push

Day 3 – Off 

Day 4 – Hinge, Push, Loaded Carry 

Day 5 – Off 

Day 6 – Repeat 

Option 3 –

Day 1 – Squat

Day 2 – Push

Day 3 – Hinge 

Day 4 – Pull

Day 5 – Full Body Lift 

Day 6 – Loaded Carry

Day 7 – Off

Day 8 – Repeat 

Option 4 – 

Day 1 – Squat, Pull, Loaded Carry 

Day 2 – Off

Day 3 – Off

Day 4 – Hinge, Press, Loaded Carry

Day 5 – Off

Day 6 – Off 

Day 7 – Full Body Lift, Loaded Carry 

Day 8 – Off

Day 9 – Off

Day 10 – Repeat 

Option 5 – 

Day 1 – Squat, Push, Loaded Carry

Day 2 – Off

Day 3 – Off

Day 4 – Off 

Day 5 – Full Body Lift, Hinge, Pull 

Day 6 – Off 

Day 7 – Off  

Day 8 – Repeat 

Option 6 – 

Day 1 – Squat, Pull, Loaded Carry 

Day 2 – Hinge, Push, Loaded Carry 

Day 3 – Off 

Day 4 – Hinge, Push, Loaded Carry 

Day 5 – Off 

Day 6 – Repeat  

You have a lot of choice, optimally you want to train each movement every 3-5days. 

This overall protocol gives you some autonomy to pick and choose your training for the day to either be heavy, light or medium, the main aim is that after sticking with the same movements for the entire 6months you will have added some decent weight to each lift. 

Push hard when you feel strong and back off when you don’t. 

My advise would be as follows: in every 6 workouts 1 is heavy, 1 is light and 4 are medium.

The above plays in to the realms of ‘inch wide, mile deep’ & ‘Easy Strength’. While you may leave sessions feeling strong and that you could do more you’d be wise not to be tempted too. 

That being said, if you wish to add in one ‘pet lift’ such as bicep curls, tricep extensions, calve raises, reverse flies etc for either aesthetics or postural reasons then feel free, the volume can be up to you, I’d recommend 50-100 total reps with the isolation lift IF you choose to put one in at the end of a session.

The same goes for core work, some added planks are welcome, as are 1-2 solid sets of 5 in the Ab Roll Out. You may also add some movements such as the windmill, TGU etc in your warm up too. 

A session itself may look like this all in all:

W/U:

– TGU to Windmill: 3-5x-3-5 (each arm)

– 2×3-5 on the lift you’re about to do x 50% & 75% work load

Main:

A1 – Deficit DL 1-2-3-4-5 (all at 160kg) -4-3-2-1+5kg per set.

A2 – Incline Press 2-3-5-2-3-5-2-3-5 all at 80kg

Conditioner/ *Optional Isolation:

B1 – Farmers Walk Tabata x3 @ 50%BW in each hand

*C1 – Curls 5×10

*C2 – Ab Roll Out 2×5, 2x Side Planks, 1x L-Sit

W/D: 

– Foam Rolling/Static Stretching: Full Body 

One thing to remember is that the above is just a set of guidelines, it’s not set in stone. You may also find adding in 1-2 session a week of gentle CV work to your liking, however you need to remember that more isn’t always better and that you can only progress as much as you can recover. 

Chase performance, not fatigue, always. 

Enjoy, 

Ross 

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2 Reasons the average gym goer doesn’t need to isolate the front deltoid

It’s common place to see people doing front raises in the gym, even though for them it’s essentially a pointless exercise.

I’m not saying it’s a bad exercise, far from it, some top lifters need it as an assistance movement for what ever specific reason, however the average gym goer who has a program heavily biased towards pressing and anterior chain movements DOES NOT need to be doing front raises.

Before we go on let us have a look at some of the exercises that recruit the front deltoid.

  • Presses (pretty much all of them)
  • Bear crawls
  • Planks
  • Sled pushing

The main function of the anterior deltoid is shoulder flexion — lifting your arm up and to the front of your body. So any movement that involves this hits it, make a note.

That’s the first reason you don’t need to isolate this muscle.

The second is because daily life is heavily anterior chain dominant, here is a short list of daily living movements that cause a short/tight/over worked front delt and also high pecs too.

  • Sitting at a desk
  • Eating
  • Driving
  • Playing computer games
  • Putting things on shelves

You get the idea. Life is heavily biased towards overworking what are known as ‘tonic muscles’ of the body and rarely have you stimulating the phasic ones (posterior chain).

For the average person Id recommend having some form of reverse fly in every session and perhaps a lateral raise movement in each pressing session, I can’t remember the exact studies, I apologise, however on average the lateral delt has 2/3 the development of the front and the rear was barely scraping 1/3 of the front delts growth.

You’d also do well to chuck in face pulls, bat wings (isometric holds) and resistance band pull apart drills in your daily life (say 50 pull-aparts per hour and 60 seconds bat wing).

This simple information will help you balance the entire shoulder, it will also help improve your posture and look 100% better, no one likes a round shouldered look, its weak and prone to injury.

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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More Energy in 2 Easy Tips

Typically when people feel lethargic they will jack up on things such as coffee, red bull or other forms or energy drink/supplement, however we will give you two tips that will not only perk you up but also reduce your need for the standard crutches.
 
It’s also worth remembering that energy drinks especially can contain a massive amount of excess calories that you and your waistline don’t need in your life.
 
1 – Drink More Water, adding in a dissolvable multivitamin is a good idea as well. Some ice cold water will also perk you up as well.
 
2 – Take 10second Breaths – in/out – remember to breath right tint o the depths of your diaphragm. This will help wake you up and also energise you in a surprising way, try it and be amazed.
 
Bouns – Eat less high sugar/low fibre foods. The typical high sugar snack for a quick perk of energy will leave you crashing with in the hour and seeking out more snack of the same kin, which also means more excess calories you don’t need.

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Well Wouldn’t You Know…

Nutriton…

What people think it is:

– Strict 1000 Calorie Diets of Chicken, Broccoli and Rice everyday.
– Only Filled by ‘Good’ Foods….
– No Social Life. 

What it actually is:

– Specific to your individual goal (required Calories/Macros).
– Specific to your needs as an individual (As above).
– Filled with any food you choose*

*Unless you have a specific allergy or intolerance, then probably best avoid those. Remember, food being good or bad is subjective. Too much of anything can be bad just like too little of anything can also be bad.).

Why do body builders, athletes and alike eat super strict? (except for refeed days) Because it’s specific to their goal at that specific time, they don’t live like this.

If you don’t enjoy your nutrition and it hampers your life then chances are it’s not right for you.

Context is the key.

Ross

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Start Behaving

Morning All, 
 
If you want to make a change then the first thing you need to do is look at what behaviour caused to to be in your current situation and sort that first.
 
Behaviour is a key component of change, in fact having the right behaviour will make all the difference because without it you’re essentially wasting your time.
 
If we were to say that your goal is to become accomplished in bouldering, how would you do it? It’s pretty obvious, you would start learning the skills required and begin practicing several times per week perhaps building up to even a daily basis. Why would you do this? That’s easy, without practice you wouldn’t get any better.
 
The same it true for building towards a promotion at work, you will do more of what you need to do so that you can succeed. Given that simple logic, why isn’t fitness/heath seen the same way?
 
Baffling, ins’t it.
 
The secret to achieving anything isn’t really a secret, it’s common sense. Change the way you behave and you will change the results you get. Simple.
 
Now you know what to do, grab a piece of paper and write in 250 words or less what behaviour you NEED to help you achieve your goal and how you will make the necessary changes required.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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