Tag Archives: life

Desire, Inclusivity & More

One thing that people universally desire from any for of exercise is a result.
 
Now what this result is can differ, however there is still one that is sought after.
 
Believe it or not this is why people actually start training.
 
What keeps people training is them actually achieving the result, not just enjoying the training.
 
In my experience people always seems o enjoy their training more when they feel it’s working, doubly so when it actually works, funny that.
 
If you are honest with yourself how much would you really enjoy something that isn’t giving you any real benefit or providing you a satisfactory feeling/result?
 
Not long I’m willing to bet.
 
I don’t say this on a whim either.
 
I say it because it’s true and working with hundreds of people of the years has only proven this, despite what conventional wisdom and popular opinion may say.
 
When you’re getting nothing from something you won’t do it for long, and even if you enjoyed it at the start that won’t last.
 
One of the biggest reasons we do anything is because we want something.
 
The modern attitude will say this is selfish and should be shamed, yet is there really anything so wrong with wanting more or the best for yourself?
 
No, there isn’t.
 
(so long as you’re not hurting other people to achieve it)
 
These days we allow people to fail.
 
In fact we almost encourage it by saying things such as:
 
“You’re fine just as you are.”
“If you enjoy doing it then keep doing it.”
“Do what makes you happy.”
 
While on the outside they all seem like the right and good things to say, this isn’t always the case.
 
There are many situations where when people do what makes them happy the consequences are disastrous, same goes for not pushing people out of the comfort zone to grow and shed their shell so that they can gain a new one.
 
Personally I hold inclusivity in contempt for this.
 
You see in trying to include everyone there were two paths to take to achieve this.
 
1 – Bring them up to higher levels
2 – Lower the current levels to make it easier
 
Our modern world went for the latter and as a result it’s made a lot of people weak, both physically and mentally.
 
This isn’t good.
 
Why would you not want to bring people up?
 
Now there will be plenty of people who say this isn’t fair, it makes people feel bad and so on, which may indeed be the case, however life isn’t fair. Life has never been nor will ever be fair.
 
The easy and fair life is a pipe dream.
 
The sooner people realise that the better, and the more willing they are to accept that it’s okay to want to improve on what they have and strive for more the faster they’ll progress.
 
While it may be considered selfish to want more, that doesn’t mean it’s not a worthwhile thing to chase.
 
Thinking back to your own training over the years, what did you enjoy the most?
 
Now think about when you got the best results (or achieve a goal you really wanted), did you enjoy the training/process purely because of the training/process or was it worth it because of the reward at the end?
 
Share your thoughts below.
 
Enjoy,
Ross
Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Well that’s just not cricket

Misleading before and after photos.

Believe it or not you see these all the time.

The amazing results you see that are often claimed to have happened in such a short space of time can often be up to 10 years apart.

The same is true for the shots that people have angles the shit out of, filtered to within an inch of existence and sharpened so much that you’ll get cut just by gazing upon them.

Yep, after seeing plenty of colleagues/friends share their transformations photo’s to gain a nice hefty chunk of appreciation this elf us that have been in their lives for some years recognise the before picture, and it’s old.

These will of course pack the desired punch needed.

While the photos are all real, the story is misleading and that just bugs me.

If you’re going to compare a photo of yourself then 6-12months apart is a good idea as it will allow you to share the lessons you’ve learned in that time with your followers and fans with some honesty and for the purpose of helping them, not just boosting your likes.

This is of course not to say that a collage of your journey from day one isn’t worth of praise, oh no it is, so long as you exhaling how long the expanse of time covered from photo 1 to this present one is.

A year by year comparison will do many things:

1 – Show how progress is slow and change is gradual (for the most part)
2 – That consistency wins out in the end
3 – Change need applied effort (explained in lessons learned in each photo/reflection)
4 – Provide a true account of your journey, the progress/ & regress because that happens too
5 – Keeps you humble

We could list many more things here however I’d like to keep the one short for once.

In closing, be honest with your photos, your stories and worry less about trying to be impressive for the sake of it.

Share your knowledge, experience and let people know that you too struggled to get where you are and that one day, if that’s what they want, they can get there as well.

Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Excuse me, your bias is showing

Fellow Trainers & coaches.

Your own experience will influence the way you train others. 

We touched on this yesterday, and this is by no means a bad thing however it’s easy to fall in to the trap of giving everyone what you like to program or feel comfortable programming. 

Again, while not necessarily a terrible thing, it is 100% a lazy thing.

Don’t get me wrong and think that this never happened my end because it did. 

Many times. 

While you can indeed find reasons for falling back on something that is quick and easy to spam out in a program, such as people asking for free advice, when you have paying clients it’s not the most optimal thing to be doing. 

Of course we will have various tools/protocols/programs stored in memory that we can draw on and guess what, they will work for a lot of people. 

This usually happens because these adhere to some basic and fundamental principles of training. 

If you take some time to look at the way people write programs you’ll notice a pattern in what they do. 

One of mine is the classic 3-week wave, often varying the lift itself at the end of each micro block, this is because it keeps people consistent because sadly most can’t stick with the same things for too long due to their addiction to social media and the constant need for novel stimulus and dopamine hits. 

While variety is a good and sometimes necessary thing, too much of it will not have you getting any form of decent result. 

How do we know this?

Look round at people who attend multiple classes or hope from program to program weekly, they may have some degree of fitness however it’s a far cry from where their current potential is. 

Now many will jump up an down championing “If it makes them happy leave them to it.” and these people are justified in saying that, however would you really be happy putting in what you feel is a tremendous amount of effort and not getting any real results?

Personally that is madness to me, why put in all that effort for no reward?

That’s like going to work and not getting paid.

You are by no means required to get results from your training/nutrition though, becoming strong, confident and have favourable body composition isn’t something you MUST do, yet if you’re going to put in the effort why not aim for that result?

The choice is yours on that one because that will come down to priorities.

You can train like a demon and do everything that will yield the above, yet you enjoy multiple alcoholic beverages each night so while you may build incredible fitness/strength you may still look like you don’t even train and hey, if you’re cool with that then fair play to you, fill your boots. 

I’ve digressed. 

Fellow coaches/trainers, do you program based on what is needed of simply what you know and can fall back on easily?

Training ideally wants to focus on these three things:

  • Keeping the goal the goal
  • Enhancing the participants life
  • Making that person better than they currently are (physically & mentally)

To do this we have many tools, these three principles will help you massively though:

  • Consistency 
  • Waviness of load 
  • Specialised Variety 

Feel free to look back on here and you’ll find plenty of programs I’ve thrown up over the years. 

You’ll see my biases creeping through, all geared towards strength for the most part and of late gaining maximum benefit with minimum effort, so a high ROI (tertian on investment).

Any questions please leave them below. 

Enjoy, 

Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Are you real?

Why do you try to be something you’re not?

As tempting as it is to play a role flawlessly, it’ll never be you and as a result you’ll always be on edge, anxious someone will find out and mercilessly unmask you for all to see. 

Leaving you broken and wallowing in an endless flood of shame. 

So here is my advice; stop pretending and defending that is the real you because it’s not. 

The fitness industry is rife with this. 

Online persona’s are very far removed from that of the one owned in reality, I’d even go as far as to say it may be the reason so many more people suffer from anxiety these days. The pressure of trying to live up to who they proclaim to be online is just too much, so these being anxious as an excuse not to go outside or be with people that might cause their house of cards to come crumbling down. 

Like it or not we can’t change who we are. 

This is not to say we can’t become a better person though, yet there still needs to be that acceptance of what the raw source material is. 

If you’re a piece of shit to the very core then that’s your lot in life, however you can concisely choose not to do shitty things to others. 

Perhaps you’re someone with a heart of gold who puts on a tough demeanour, stop it. You’re not going to win any prizes or acting like a tough person when that’s not you, yet you can learn some resilience.

Too many people talk of change, or being the best version of themselves and yet they ironically don’t even who they are. 

How can you hope to change that which you don’t understand or even know?

As a person we need to embrace everything we are and simply be content with just being. 

Once this hurdle is past us we can become more self aware.

The longer you hide behind who you say you are in the internet or pretend to be in real life, the longer you will suffer. 

Don’t do that to yourself.

Go take a long hard look at the image of the person you portray, is that really you or the you you wish you were.

Acknowledge the raw materials at the essence of your heart and soul because you can’t change those for anything else what is there is there, you’ve got what you’ve got, however you can refine them over time. 

Who know, perhaps that lump of coal if given enough time and the right pressure will oneway reveal itself to be something more, something that’s always been there, or maybe it won’t. 

Regardless, you’ve got to take the first step by taking a good long look inwards. 

You should investigate this thoroughly.

Enjoy,

Ross 

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Frustrations

While chatting to a client last night the goal was to listen o their frustrations. 

The didn’t feel for the effort they put in (to all aspects of their life) that they were getting their just desserts.

“My training is consistent.”

“My nutrition has been varied and clarions tracked.”

“My work has improved in both productivity and efficiency.”

“My life couldn’t be at a better point, and yet I’m not where I want to be, it’s so frustrating! I just start to think things will never change and just don’t know what the point is in keeping it all up.”

“I know things take time, I just want some hint it’s going to be worth it.”

A truly heartfelt frustration.

Often the effort we put into a great many things doesn’t yield the results we’d perhaps desire.

While this might not be fair it just is what it is. 

I have friends who dislike that quote ‘it is what is is’, potentially because of it being the attitude of people who have become resigned to the deterministic philosophy due to their life experience in always knocking them down or the undeserving getting that which they feel should have been theirs. 

It’s an understandable annoyance, yet these are also the same people that won’t outwardly express what is it hey want, or vocalise what is perhaps needed to be said to the right people,  they often just sit and wait in the hope that they will get recognised just because they feel they should. 

Sadly in this life if you want something you have to not only want it, work for it, or go for it, you must also make it known you want it by asking for it. 

Fortune favours the bold or brave (depending now his quote you prefer). 

It’s quite true. You’d be surprised what you can actually get simply by asking for it. 

Anyway, back to the frustrated client above. 

I was quite honest in telling them I didn’t know why they where not where they wanted to be or showered with glories praise, from an emotional standpoint that is. 

From a training/empirical standpoint it’s been 3 weeks into their current training after they spent 5months being inconsistent and basically pissing about and making poor choices. 

Yes I did tell them that directly because pandering isn’t what they needed and the simple truth is that you won’t often see much change in 3weeks, maybe 3 months or 3 years, however not 3 weeks. If you had dramatic change in such a short space of time, like say losing 2 stone I’d advise you go to the the doctor as you may have a terminal illness, yet this is the result people feel they deserve.

This was what prompted me to re-ask “What result/expectations do you feel you should have by now and why?, No, really, why? Why do you have the expectations you do?”.

Now for something a little bigger to consider, especially if you’ve felt/feel this way…..

Why out of all the people on this planet do you feel your the only one with these frustrations?

Why are you so special that the process should be different or miraculous?

Is it because you know someone who knows someone or you say it on social media?

Very few things in this life happen by accident. They are often an accumulation of minor, or major choices we’ve made or didn’t make and eventually they all come to fruition and result in X, Y or Z,which may or may not be your desired outcome.

As with any endeavour, even those that are truly frustrating, you must just accept that they will take time and perhaps be a tad more realistic with your expectations.

Frustration affects us all, yet like a lot of things they’re fleeting and not worth dwelling on.

Take a look around you, see that most other people are in the same boat and enjoy the journey because it’s rarely the destination that makes it worth while, it’s often the experiences you pick up along the way. 

Enjoy, 

Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

An old joke with an important lesson

“How do you get to Carnegie Hall?”
 
A poignant question with an answer that few would dispute.
 
Practice.
 
The same is true for many things because in essence the only way to get better at something is to practice said something.
 
Now this doesn’t just mean random practice.
 
Oh no.
 
It’s deliberate practice that has focus, purpose and meaning, otherwise you’re just wasting time being busy.
 
I mean, by all means be busy and do with your time as you choose because it’s your time, however don’t expect anyone to care if you don’t end up going anywhere.
 
A lot of people waste time, especially these days, the waste time doing things which make them happy instead of things that make them better.
 
Before they know it they’re no longer happy because everyone and everything else has moved on and they’ve stayed the same.
 
Such a shame really, yet that was their choice.
 
Anyway.
 
Lately I’ve had the pleasure of discussing programming with various different people who are looking to learn more about this Alice like Wonderland of a topic.
 
One common theme being seen is the frustration from acc individual that they just can’t get it.
 
Now given how complex the topic can be their frustration is understandable, yet as with anything the only way they will get better is with practice.
 
That means writing program after program after program.
 
Using things such as classic block periodisation, undulating, non-linear, concurrent and more.
 
It’s all exposure that will help in their skill.
 
The hardest part is asking for feedback on their triumphs, because sadly feedback has a couple of positive and many areas from improvement.
 
Some take it to heart, which of course they shouldn’t, lacklustre programming doesn’t make them a bad person, it simply means they’ve still got more growing to do, and that is never a bad thing.
While it will sting to hear criticism, you take it on the chin because that’s just what you do if you want to get better.

(Remember this, if people take the time to give you such time/feedback it’s because they care.)

 
Much like a lot of things in this life, we can only grow through time and we can only get better over that time if we practice.
 
Not just any old practice though.
 
Deliberate practice that has focus, purpose and meaning.
 
You should investigate this thoroughly.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

A little spice perhaps?

Take a look around your gym or current place you train.

Now ask yourself, why are you there?

What emotions are driving you to become better than you currently are, if that is intact the case.

After spending one lifetime in the gym, a lot has been seen.

So many failures, stagnations and regressions.

Most people hit their initial goal, they have their first and seemingly last hoorah, only then to spend any further time after they let their starting success slip by trying to get back to ‘where they were’.

A nobel notion, yet it’s still a foolish one.

Speaking from experience, trying to achieve or relive past glories just isn’t wise because everything is different now.

What you did won’t happen in the same way again, you can than the law of accommodation and GAS (general adaptation syndrome) for that.

You see our bodies remember what we did, they adapt and make is so that if we end up doing the sam things again it is less metabolically costly, meaning the results won’t be on the same standard as they were before.

None of this finding what works for you gubbins because what works for you is simply what works RIGHT NOW.

Thing stop working for a reason.

That reason is noted above, you adapted.

While you might really enjoy something if it yields not further result then it’s largely if not entirely a waste of time.

You’d have no hesitation in telling a child that once all their juice is gone from the carton that continue to suckle on it won’t magically produce more juice, same is true for your training, the only difference is that because you’re an adult you seem to have forgotten that the rules of life apply to you.

Another pitfall in doing what we did before, training or nutrition wise, is that we remember how it was and if it’s not up to par we mentally berate ourselves.

This also gives us a reason to fail as well.

Hours then get put into finding all the excuses as to ‘why’ progress can no longer happen, essentially we chase sympathy and pity from others, rather than dragging ourselves forwards out of the mud.

Mud is warm in some cases I suppose, so the appeal is logical.

If the above resonates with you then instead of going back to do what you did before, bin it all off and take another route entirely.

No excuses, no bullshit, just action.

Ask yourself, why am I doing this?

For what reasons emotionally do I want to progress?

Why do I need to be better?

Fond memories of the past should remain as exactly that, memories.

You’re not writing a new chapter because that book is done and now up on a shelf somewhere, it’s time to write a new story instead of repeating and rehashing the same sad old one.

If variety is the spice of life then why not seek change.

Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Why let your body rot?

“Life is to be lived. A nobel saying, yet life is also suffering and endless struggle. To life a full life you must learn to survive, become resilient and above all else, be human.”
 
It’s fair to say some start off with a better hand than others.
 
Same goes for athletic attributes, some people are just better than you from day one due to having a better pay out in the genetic lottery.
 
If that offends you because you feel no one is better than anyone else then you’re just being naive.
 
Talking objectively life just isn’t fair, it is what is it.
 
Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t progress and really carve something meaningful out of what stone you have to work with.
 
Just because one master sculpture has marble to work with that doesn’t mean they will create a masterpiece, it just means they’ve got better raw materials.
 
Same goes for you in your life.
 
Relating it to fitness, you have your body, now you can bitch and moan about how it’s not as good as someone else’s and even use that as an excuse to make little to no progress, I personally won’t begrudge you that, however while I will accept that choice I won’t respect it because you can do better.
 
We can all do better, or at least strive to.
 
You don’t need to be a world champion, however you do need to be better than you currently are.
 
Not in thought or feeling but in practice.
 
Are you getting better year to year, or are you letting life grind you into a broken mess of injury, illness and disease?
 
20-30min per day, that’s all you need to become anti-fragile.
 
If you claim not to have that time I will call bullshit it every time because you’re just being lazy due to your own physical wellness not being a priority.
 
Don’t do it to yourself, please.
 
Life is tough enough as it is, the least you can do is look after your body, in fact below is a little something to consider, it’s a example of 20-30min of activity for an entire week (doesn’t mean you need to do all 7 days, I just felt like giving you 7).
 
All of the below will be done for 20-30min.
 
Day 1 – Kettlebell Swings (single or double arm)
Day 2 – Mobility Work (yoga flows etc)
Day 3 – Clean & Press (any object of a decent load)
Day 4 – Skipping, or some conditioning work
Day 5 – Pull Ups or Climbing
Day 6 – Loaded Carries (any object of a decent load)
Day 7 – Mobility Work (yoga flows etc)
 
You’d be amazed at how the above can improve you life.
 
Of course you don’t need to do any of the above, it’s just the wish of a foolish old man who’s seen too many people end up in a shit physical state due to neglect that you’d avoid this unfortunate outcome.
 
The choice in the end is ultimately yours.
 
Remember, “Grow strong, not old.”
 
Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Hello life stress, my old friend

On a scale of 1 to ‘for the love of all that is holy, not again’
 
How stressful is your life?
 
The other day a video found its way from my phone to the mythical place where dreams are born and also go to die; Instagram.
 
A classic satire piece about people who claim stress is the cause of al their problems.
 
Specifically stubborn fat, classically belly fat.
 
While this may indeed be true in some cases, plus there is some info worth delving in to regarding excessively elevated levels of cortisol, insulin resistance and a whole host of other things such as adrenal fatigue, that amount of excessive and sustained stress isn’t not that common.
 
Ah, I can hear it all ready – “Well you don’t know me, blah blah blah.”
 
Okay, I get it, you’re special and your life is far harder than everyone else’s. Now hush and go back to your doughnut.
 
We tend to take our bodies for granted you know.
 
Stress, while a tragic an horrible thing to be under, it’s not quite a simple as people think.
 
I’m sure you’ve heard the terms eustress & distress.
 
If you haven’t then this is a nice play to start and you can delve further from here:
 
 
Here is what they mean in short:
 
Eustress – positive stress
Distress – negative stress
 
When people come under fire from life they see it immediately as the negative form, which it might be however it might not, a topic for another day.
 
So you’re under a lot of stress, thus gaining fat is the result.
 
Because the stress is making you overeat, which it kinda is and at the same time you’re making the choice to over eat due to how it makes you feel (habit = trigger, response, reward etc).
 
To combat this you go to the gym and absolutely destroy yourself with all the HIIT (which isn’t really HIIT), multiple classes and 2+ hour sessions as the norm 11 days per week.
 
Yet you still continue to gain fat.
 
Stress clearly is the culprit, or is it?
 
Well yes and no, you see the truth is this; the picture is far bigger than you’re perhaps willing to see and stress is perhaps only one, or maybe three pieces out of a 100 piece puzzle.
 
Yet given how it’s easy to blame and vilify we will do that instead of seeking the root cause/other factors.
 
Fun fact; you need stress to survive 🤗
 
One of the main reasons we are where we are is because of our ability to adapt and overcome multiple stressors.
 
Pretty neat right?
 
Right, I’m rambling so I better get to the point.
 
Stop blaming everything on stress because it’s not the only factor.
 
Here is a simple 5 step guide to help you become better:
 
1 – Keep a diary that is 100% honest & true (food, feelings the lot)
2 – Take a good long look at the diary and see what is going on
3 – Find gaps in your life, such as poor sleep, poor food quality etc
4 – Address the gaps with actions, behaviour change and new habit formation (plus old habit degradation)
5 – Repeat steps 1-4 from this day onwards
 
Above all else you just be willing to help yourself.
 
Stress is a necessary part of life, you can’t get around that, however how you CHOOSE to deal with it makes all the difference.
 
React emotionally or respond intelligently, choose wisely.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

An Attitude for All

Recently I’ve been watching My Hero Academia.

As some of you may know, anime is something quite close to my heart because of the many times it’s helped me escape from the world.

Many lessons have been learned from all these fictional characters (who were all created by real people).

This recent choice got me thinking about why we all love superheroes.

Is it due to their ability to overcome any obstacle?
Perhaps because of the many powers they have?
Maybe it is the overwhelming moral compass?

Or is it because of something else?

Chances are it’s all of these things and more, yet to me, there is something else that matters even more.

Even if it’s not real and only in the context of the show you’re watching, it’s the fact they give us hope.

Hope to overcome any odds.

To keep moving forward no matter the struggle.

They make us feel like we’re not totally helpless in this life and if we are to truly take a stand, to keep moving forward we will be okay in the end.

Heroes are who we wish we could be, yet in real life, true heroism doesn’t get the rewards of glorification it does in the fictional one.

Yet even with this being the case, and no one ever noticed or said thank you, why wouldn’t you want to be a hero?

Worth some thought.

You can choose your actions, your life is yours so you make the best you can of it regardless of the hand dealt to you.

I shall leave you with this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkjDWnZW_yA

Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health