Tag Archives: life

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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7 NEW revolutionary lessons to a stress free life…… Just kidding, you can find this shit anywhere online these days :)

Morning all,
 
There are hundreds of posts like this out there.
 
You may recognise some of what you are about to read.
 
All of them however are based on my own personal experience, they might help you, I hope they do.
 
They might not and that’s okay too.
 
1 – Stop trying to control everything.
 
2 – Things get done when they get done, if you’re being pressured for something you can ignore that pressure and just go at your own pace, lest you buckle to it and end up procrastinating with endless excuses.
 
3 – Don’t worry about offending people, after all, you can literally offered someone by holding a door open for them these days. Let them be offended.
 
4 – You don’t have to carry other peoples stress, worry and bad emotion. By all means empathise, understand and listen, then leave it at that, their problems are exactly that – theirs.
 
5 – Smile more, you look miserable.
 
6 – Write more, even if no one reads it, you’l find it puts life in to perspective for you, especially when you realise your problems are not that big a deal in the grand scheme of things.
 
7 – The classic; let go of bad experiences, feelings, people and so on.
 
If you hold on to things such as anger, resentment, bitterness and other such things it’s like drinking poison and waiting for the person you dislike to die.
 
Give it some thought.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Generation Idiot

Keeping up with the Kardashians.

Proof that being an idiot can have you winning at life.

Morning All,

The rise of reality TV has been amazing to watch of the subsequent years, however it’s lead to the breeding of a generation of idiots.

Deluded idiots at that.

Some people will be offended by that truth, oh well, be offended it’s your right after all.

This mentality has bleed in to the fitness industry as well.

So much so that there are two clearly defined camps:

– Evidence based people
– Everyone else (anecdote, instafamous etc)

Well, that’s have the former would have you see it.

It’s easy to see how and why people are getting confused about what to do for optimal results.

For the average person they’ve complicated fitness & nutrition beyond belief.

The evidence based lot often end up getting people to delve in to science they’re not interested in and lambaste anyone who doesn’t follow their view.

Everyone else will simply share the latest fad craze and tell people what they want to hear, regardless of if it is going to be useful to them.

Is is any wonder people are frustrated these days.

Where should people start?
Who’s should they listen to?
What are they meant to believe?

Three questions that have so many answers you couldn’t ever hope to know them all.

That said, here are three simple considerations for you, it’s your choice if you want to delve in to these more or not.

– Start by looking for the leading authorities in the filed you want to delve in to – evidence & anecdotally based.

– Next find people who have consistently grown in the field, not just in success, in their own education and views. If they have changed over they years that’s a good thing because it means they are searching for the truth and best possible answers for people, hopefully.

– You can believe what you want, however always question it or at least look for views to oppose your own beliefs so you can gain the broader perspective, don’t become dogmatic.

*Bonus – Always look to learn & question why, please also remember that there are some great people out there who give away a lot of great info for free, there’s always two sides to a coin, just try not to be on the same as the Kardashians and their ilk.

Take the above and do one the following:

– Apply it to your life
– Ignore it and move on

If what I’ve said is something you consider absolute bollocks, great, you don’t need to heed my words, that’s your choice.

However perhaps it’s struck a cord of intrigue, if so you should look in to it.

The power of free will & choice, use it wisely.

Enjoy,
Ross

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Some simple tests to try

Movement.
 
It’s kind of really popular now.
 
Like really popular.
 
However before you can move on to all the fancy stuff, form a lifters perspective, can you do the basics?
 
Squat-Hinge-Push-Pull-Brace
 
Most think they can
 
The truth is many can’t
 
Here is a simple yet effective movement screen I use with clients to assess their ability and see what we need to work on.
 
My basic movement screen is as follows:
 
– Standing on 1 Leg (eyes open, then closed)
– Goblet Squat
– BW Hinge (double leg & single leg)
– Press Up
– Bat Wing
– Floor or Wall Angle
– Plank
 
What do the above actually assess or do?
 
Let’s take a look.
 
Standing on 1 Leg (eyes open, then closed): Aim for 30 seconds without any movement with your eyes closed.
 
Balance/proprioception/posture 
 
Goblet Squat: Aim for a full ROM with no upper thoracic collapse.
 
The ability to stay braced and maintain upper thoracic extension/stability while achieving a full flexion of the hip/knee, it also highlights ankle/foot stability/mobility issues (weigh shifting, heels lifting etc)
 
– BW Hinge ( start with double leg & then single leg): Aim for a full hip hinge while maintaining solid posture, no rounding or loss of balance.
 
Full hip hinge while maintaining core bracing, natural posture, proprioception and stability.
 
– Press Up: Aim for full press-up with no break in form (elbows tight to sides, bum pinched.
 
Bracing, posture, while moving through time and space in a pressing fashion, full ROM through elbow flexion and also control of upper back (scapula) retraction/activation.
 
– Bat Wing: Aim for full retraction of shoulder blades and upper back contraction – do this against a wall.
 
Upper back control, scapula retraction and full ROM, plus bracing and good posture throughout the movement.
 
– Floor or Wall Angle: Aim to get your arms fully extended overhead with no change in your posture (excessive back arching).
 
Upper thoracic ROM, shoulder ROM, stiffness in lats/lack of core bracing.
 
– Plank: Aim to hold a solid position from head to toe,no sagging.
 
Core Bracing and posture consistency.
 
The above tests are an overall assessment to see if the person doing them can control their body correctly and move through time & space without any issue.
 
A lot of people struggle with these basic movements and worst of all ignore them, opting to go for more advanced movements that they’re just not ready for.
 
Basically building on disfunction.
 
Think of it like building a house, you wouldn’t do it if the foundations were crap of the area was known for subsidence, that’s just a recipe for disaster.
 
Now from an enjoyment stand point the train that these styles of assessment will require the client to do can seem very boring and basic, especially when we live in a world that demands MORE MORE MORE.
 
A lot of people fall in to the trap of wanting the fancy fun things to do and while there is nothing wrong with this it can cause a lot of issues later down the line.
 
For example:
 
Plyometrics (jump training).
 
Is it fun?
 
Hell yes.
 
Is it safe?
 
Yes, IF you have correct movement patterns and the strength/stability to perform the movements correctly, if you can’t hen it will lead to injury, especially in the knee, trust me I’ve seen it.
 
Did you know according to the research done by Prof Yuri Verkhoshansky, to do basic low level jump training you should be able to squat your bodyweight for solid reps – that’s bodyweight on a bar by the way.
 
For Depth Jumps and other more advanced techniques the recommendations are up to 2xBW on the bar, not many can do that.
 
^^ You will find this info in the book Super Training & also The Science & Practice of Strength Training if memory serves me correctly.
 
Keeping this in mind.
 
How many people do you know who do training that is far lack of a better term, way beyond their pay grade, a fair few I’d imagine. 
 
I know a few and I have even done it myself in the past, injury was my reward because like all competitive people I did too much of what I wasn’t ready for.
 
Building a solid and wide foundation will allow you to hit a higher peak.
 
Yes it may be a tad dull at the start, it can also be hard to hear, however it’s sometimes necessary.
 
Take a look at your own movements and patterns, are they solid or could they do with some improvement?
 
Truing hard and stay safe
 
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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Do what it is you do

Morning All,
 
Over the years I’ve spoken about rep goals, loading options, progression methods and much more.
 
The chances are that together we have gone through all the major points, you will also find that this simple page is one of a great many places where you can find information, it’s nothing special.
 
Keeping all of this in mind it’s time to take a look at something a great many people skirt around, stagnation.
 
In the beginning everyone gets results, then they slow down, shortly after this nothing seems to happen and it is at this point that people will slowly start to slip back in to old habits instead of potentially making the choice to have that little bit more focus.
 
Now, if you’ve reached a point you’re happy with then you really have no need to progress any further, honestly.
 
Once you go past the stage of beginner and end up in the realms of intermediate it’s not hard to maintain the place you’re in, however moving forwards might be, just remember that you’re under no obligation to do keep moving forwards.
 
Ask yourself this question:
 
What’s most important to me right now?
 
Be honest in your answer, you won’t be judged if it’s not fitness or aesthetically related, if anything I’d give you props because you’re making your own choice, rather than following the crowd of doing what you think others want you to do.
 
All in all you want to find what makes you happy, then continue to do what ever it is you’re doing that gives you that feeling, simple.
 
In a world where everyone, or at least most people are going to judged you regardless of what it is you do and give you THEIR opinion on how you should live your life, it’s important that you do what’s best for you.
 
As I’ve grown older it has become very apparent that being mentally stable and covent is what really matters because once you achieve that everything else falls in to place.
 
However that’s my opinion, it’s not fact, you can make up your own mind as to what’s important to you, it’s not my place of my interest to tell you what will make you happy.
 
So, ask yourself, what is most important to me right now?
 
Once you have the answer, focus on it.
 
Enjoy life while it’s here, you only get one after all.
 
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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What’s harder?

What’s harder, training or nutrition?
 
Now this is a common question and the answer for most is almost always the nutrition.
 
The funny thing is nutrition isn’t really that hard, you either need to be in a calorie surplus or deficit (depending on your goal), from there you will do well to keep a nutrition diary and record your foods, calories/macros too if you’re that focused.
 
Next you will do well to opt to eat mostly whole foods, however this is not a necessity although it is preferable for health and performance purposes.
 
This again isn’t hard, yet people will makes excuses, piss wings and moan that is it because of the following REAL reason; they don’t want to have to change bad habits.
 
Might sound harsh, however that doesn’t stop it being true.
 
Now as written above, you don’t HAVE to change the foods you eat, provided your calories/macros are set correctly and you hit them you can choose the foods sources, so the excuse of “Good nutrition is too restrictive and hard to stick to” gets thrown out of the window, now it’s just a case of you hitting the number you need to.
 
This is where tracking your calories etc becomes important, again though, you don’t have to, just don’t expect much in the way of progress if yo don’t know what you’re eating calorie wise.
 
Some will chuck in the barrier or “Well I don’t know who to work this out” which again is a redundant excuse considering all the calculators that are available to people, not to mention you can also speak to a respected of successful trainer/coach and have them do it for you.
 
My suggestion would be Eric Helms and his work, or look up the Harris-Benedict calorie calculation formula, boom no more barriers or confusion.
 
Everyone, I don’t mean to sound cynical or jaded, yet I am, this is because over the years I have developed less and less patience for people poor excuses and lack of drive to achieve a result.
 
You have two options really, you either want to make a change, in which case myself and many other people in this industry will bend over backwards to help you. OR, you don’t really want to change in which case we wish you all the best and we can end our conversations promptly.
 
Now as people who want to help we can give you all the tools, help you stay accountable, speak to you daily to make sure you have all the support you need, however if you don’t want to change no amount of help from us or anyone else will make you want to change, that decision has to come from you, from your heart.
 
The knowledge of knowing what will help you in getting results isn’t hard, it’s not the training or the nutrition that is hard, it’s making the conscious choice to change.
 
We, I want to help you, however the real question is do you want to help yourself?
 
Give it some thought.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Memories

Having measurable data is a great way to assess your progress, so why don’t you have any?
 
Fitness testing, body measurements, lifting records are all great ways to see how you are improving and also what you may need to be doing in order to continue to make headway if it is starting to slow down.
 
There are a lot of people who claim they never need to record things, they just remember it all and while they may indeed remember the highlights it’s very hard to keep everything in your head.
 
Typically once we get past a certain point we might as well be exposed to white noise.
 
According to a lot of research in to the field of memory, the average person can retain 7 pieces, plus or minus 2, given you a top limit of 9 and a lower one of 5; obviously there will be exceptions that can remember more just as there will be people who remember far less, it’s just a part of being on the bellcurve.
 
Writing things down and recording the specifics will take the pressure ands stress away from you having to remember each detail. Don’t get me wrong, having good ball park memory is great, however that won’t help you highlight weak areas that need work, specifically.
 
Personally I’m a big fan of making notes and writing things down, not matter who big or small it is, there’s a record. This little habit has saved many a hassle when it comes to wiring future goals for myself or clients, not to mention it give an honest overview of how everything has proceeded, no hiding behind white lies to protect the ego.
 
This is nothing more than simper advice for you, there’s no need for you to take it, honestly, there isn’t.
 
Before we finish I just want to ask you two questions;
 
1 – What sets and reps were you hitting on this day 3 years ago and how do they compete to now?
 
2 – What was your VO2 Max on the date of 22-6-13 and how has it improved?
 
I’m sure you can answer those from memory 🙂 for me.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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