Tag Archives: life

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
Advertisements

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

You don’t need to be the best, just be better.

Handstand press ups*, pull ups, pistols and sprinting.
 
You could forge a strong, lean, athletic body with those 4 simple movements.
 
A bouns is that they all can be done away from a gym and without any kit, well less for finding somewhere to hang to do pull ups that is.
 
*What many see as a handstand push up is actually a headstand push up as the head touches the floor shortening ROM, a true handstand push up would have your head pass the line of you hands (think hands on boxes with a gap for your head).
 
Given the endless amount of options we have to crave body out of fine marble the big question is this; why do so many struggle?
 
Well my friends there is one answer possessed by this weary soul.
 
It’s not the only answer, however for many it’s the right one.
 
Are your ready for it…..
 
You simply don’t want ‘it’ enough.
 
The ‘it’ can be anything to you however the simple truth is that you just don’t want to achieve success the badly.
 
I know right, what a dick.
 
You are a literal miracle of creation as are many others and if you take just one minute to look around you you’ll see just how many people have taken this for granted and wasted the gift they were given.
 
How can you tell?
 
Poor posture, sloppy movement, obesity, ill health (from lifestyle choice, not unfortunate circumstance or medical issue).
 
People pissing away their lives is everywhere to be seen.
 
Yet even in knowing this and instead of taking some responsibility for their own self they make excuses, dillydally and just generally let themselves rot away all under the guise of –
 
“If only I had XYZ/perfect set of circumstances things would be different.”
 
No, they wouldn’t be different because you’d not change.
 
If you haven’t changed yet why would you change now?
 
Typically two answers become relevant to this ^^
 
1 – Fear (they got scared in to change)
2 – Th pain they currently live with finally because too much
 
The truth is that no one likes to be told they’re only folly and yet it’s not that they’re unaware of it’s existence, they just choose to be ignorant and find any/every excuses to justify their weakness and fragility.
 
Given the above an dhow easy it is to make change to yourself, why don’t you do it?
 
Remember you don’t need a gym (as shown above).
 
You can buy some kettlebells, sandbags or even weights for you own home (you don’t need a full kitted out gym, just enough to challenge you) and proceed to do 15-20min daily practice/movement.
 
15-20min a day, everyone who isn’t an invalid has time for that, what they lack is the desire.
 
Give the above some consideration.
 
Reflect on your excuses, then take a look at yourself in the mirror and say these simple words:
 
“I’m done listening to & believing your bullshit. From now on I’m going to do better. I’m going to be better. I may never be the best, but I will be better tomorrow than I am today.”
 
Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

DNA, going beyond your excuses

Last night sported a rather good conversation among some of my fellow training partners.
 
The subject drifted to nutrition and the classic ‘find what works for you.’.
 
Did you know you don’t have to find out via trial and error, you can take a test based on your DNA and find out exactly what your body best responds to and depending how much you’re willing to invest potentially sensitivities and a whole dos too other information as well.
 
We live in a truly amazing world.
 
When in history has someone literally starting out of a journey of health improvement had access to such information?
 
Never is the answer.
 
Before people bitch about cost, it will be between £90-250.
 
People waste that kind of money on Skinny Tea, C9, and a lot of other bullshit, so investing it in a DNA/genetics related test for your health is well worth it.
 
The funny thing is while discussing it I could already hear all the responses people would have.
 
By responses I mean childish moaning and excuses.
 
Let me expand for a second.
 
Say you take said genetic test to know your optimal nutrition protocol (you’d also work with someone to really dial it in), one of the results says that you’re not very tolerant to one of your favourite foods and realistically you might want to curb your enthusiasm for indulging in it as you do.
 
“But…. But… I can’t live without it. Blah Blah Blah.”
 
*Face Palm.
 
The point is you can literally have something written on paper for a specific individual that is 99% what works for them and if it goes against what they WANT to hear/be told they will oppose it, make excuses and act like a child.
 
So these days I just sit and think –
 
“Do you know what, fuck it. You’re not going to listen so I’m not going to waste my time with you because I’m just too tired for the bullshit now.”
 
You see no matter what you can prove to people or how good your intentions are to help them, unless it fits what they want they won’t listen or be willing to make a change.
 
Such madness.
 
Yet that is something that you’re 100% entitled to.
 
So my good people who stick out and read my ramblings (I really do appreciate it you know), if you could have every answer for the questions you want to ask would you really want them?
 
Your clients and people you work with will only want the answers they want (of the most part), just keep this in mind.
 
Anyway I’m off rolling.
 
Enjoy,
Ross
 
***If you want to delve in to the DNA stuff look up these guys: https://www.dnafit.com
 
^^What you get is very eye opening and actually spot on, even if you don’t want it to be, it really is.
 
(I speak from experience on this one as I did it just to see and by jove it was all correct – years of medicals and hospital trips to back it up so I can confirm the info is solid).

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

5 simple things you should be able to do

How much time do you spend crawling around on the floor or climbing things?
Once upon time the rising fame of Ido Portal took hold.
People across the globe found themselves moving.
This stuck around and is still going strong yet the overall notoriety of it and chatter has diminished, the big question is why?
From an experienced eye it would be this; ego.
While moving is easy enough and there are plenty of regressions that can be put in place the average person doesn’t like feeling stupid, unable to do something or weak.
Supporting your weight on your hands/feet and being in a quadrupedal stance is very humbling for many.
It is at this point the realise the exact place they’re in when compared to someone like Ido who is essentially a movement god.
Sadly knowing just how far you’ve slipped down the ladder of being able to move is a massive hit to a lot of people.
I remember talking to someone about this.
My standpoint is simple: most general movement/exercises are not difficult it’s just that the average person is very unconditioned (weak, overweight, immobile).
^^ This clearly caused offence, even if objectively true for the level of person we were discussing people sadly get too caught up in ‘feelings’.
All of this is only in reference to being on your hands and feet simultaneously, you’ve then got having three, two or one limb on the floor and that is where things really get interesting.
Some will say that as the complexity increases things become more advanced and yet when you see children doing such things without a care in the world can you really say that?
(Obviously there are advanced movements, however in regards to the average person and their ability what is being asked is literally at ‘baby’ level of crawling capability)
Then we have the giant slayer that can tripped a persons mindset.
Climbing a rope without the use of ones legs.
Something we should be able to do, yet many can’t, that should tell you something about the state of the world.
Believe it or not I do understand how it makes people feel.
You know, not being able to do things.
To many it makes them feel like a ‘lesser’ person.
Judged, ridiculed and all the other shameful feelings that are linked together.
The interesting thing with shame and it’s many faces is this; no one can make you feel ashamed unless it’s something that you already feel/believe.
Seriously, I’m sure you know someone who had all the shit thrown at them, people endlessly trying to shame and bring them down, yet they simply shook it off and were not phased by it.
The reason why is simple, to them they had nothing they felt ashamed of or that they need to feel shamed by.
Shame it like guilt, it can’t be forced on you, it’s something you have to allow someone to put on you.
Anyway, back to movement.
Can you do these 5 basic things:
– Climb a rope without using your legs 5-10m
– Bear Crawl unbroken for 50m
– Duck walk 50m unbroken
– Bound Jump your own height along the floor
– Sit in a deep squat for 5min without struggle
Nothing earth shattering or out of the realms of possibly for all people.
Give them a go, once you’ve gotten your confidence from finding out you can do them all try to add just moving to your training.
Start off with 10min per day.
You never know, you might just fall in love with it.
Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Bike Ride & Prejudice.

As we bask in the glory of the sun, like moths to the flame the cyclists take to the road.
 
Now there’s never been a problem my end with them until now.
 
Clogging up my pavement with their lycra barely supporting their family jewels 😤
 
Nah I just kidding 😂
 
One thing the sun seems to help many achieve is extra daily activity, be that in the form of cycling, running, swimming, or any outdoor activity.
 
Personally whatever get’s people actually doing something productive in regards to exercise/training is most pleasing to me.
 
These days a great many are caught in the thought that this must be done in the gym.
 
Simply not true.
 
My preferred style of training is outside with kettlebells, sandbags, barbells, ropes (to climb), if it was in a classic sense of training.
 
A truly enjoyable form of training is one where you learn a great amount of skill with it, such as martial arts, movement or that kind of thing.
 
Blending the two can make for quite the enjoyable life.
 
You’ll also be pleasantly surprised at the results too.
 
One thing I’ve tried to teach many is that it’s less about training ABC to achieve XYZ.
 
It’s about deciding what life you want to live and living it.
 
Say you wish to live life X, then the results you’ll have in fitness health, potentially aesthetic and all that other stuff will be the byproduct of the life you live.
 
This often yields a vast amount of experiences that can touch your heart emotionally and end up being unforgettable.
 
Now that my friends is a life well lived.
 
Therefore choose well and if you find your choice isn’t working for you then change it.
 
Simples.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Fitness & the Mid-Life Crisis

Do you wonder what your ‘mid-life crisis’ is going to look like?

Could it end up being the classic mixture of getting tattoos, a entirely new wardrobe to regain lost rebellious youth and maybe a bike too.

I guess you could be one of those who leaves their partner, home and comfortable life for someone 10+ years younger and partying on school nights.

Working in fitness you’ll find you see this happen a lot.

People getting results and aesthetic change often being the catalyst.

While we say looks don’t matter they do, as does the attention that comes with them.

True enough some very unique people get a lot attention and yet they never seem to hold on to a persona or settle down.

The sad reason why is because such people are often seen as a fetish, you know something that you want to do behind closed doors yet wouldn’t want to be seen in the light of day with.

This doesn’t mean they’re a bad person or not worth anything else other than being a fetish, however that’s just how it goes.

Sadly I’ve seen it happen many many times over.

Same is true for those who once upon a time were the object of everyones desire & attention, able to pick and choose at will.

Yea that fades over time and they too are cast to the margin bin. From all perspectives it can be quite the knock to a persons confidence.

It won’t change anytime soon and as such the mid-life crisis will always be a thing.

They usually reignite some of the embers of attention that was once a roaring flame, and to some that’s enough, for now.

Of course this too will die out eventually.

Once that happens you’ll be left with a bike you never ride, tattoos that you don’t like and a head full of bad memories.

I’m sure you know someone who has had, or perhaps is going through this time in their life, maybe it all started when they began going to the gym.

Who knows, just some food for thought.

If you do happen across people in this situation try to understand it from their point of view and more importantly why they feel as they do.

Knowing how someone feels can be the biggest step in helping them, especially if you get it too.

Hopefully it will also help you avoid the same pitfall.

Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Your Personal Fountain of Youth

The fountain of eternal youth really does exist.
 
It just might not be what you think it is though.
 
Many picture it as some grand structure with overflowing waters that are of the purest quality.
 
Some see it as something small, humble and little more than a tiny water flow in something akin to a birds drinking fountain.
 
Both are admirable visions, however here is what it really looks like –
 
Your Posterior chain 🍑
 
Yep, all the muscles that cover the back of your body (the ones you can’t see standing head on in the mirror).
 
A strong posterior chain is responsible for solid structure, stability, strength power and it trained well will often covet this phrase for both ladies & gents:
 
“Look at that ass” 🤤🤤🤤
 
If you take a look at anyone in their more senior years you’ll notice that have poor posture, struggle to move quickly and pretty much everything is sagging.
 
Let’s be honest for a second and admit that no one wants this to happen to themselves.
 
It’s not shallow to value your physique, your overall health and want to retain a youthful stature well in to your 70’s.
 
Well maybe you do think it’s shallow however that’s your choice.
 
Personally I’d rather keep as much muscle (especially in my posterior chain) as I can for as long as possible, not only because of aesthetic reasons, for health and longevity reasons too.
 
Ask yourself, why does it change from:
 
“They fell over.” to “They had a fall.”
 
If you are weak and old then a fall can literally mean death for you, perhaps not from the fall itself, rather from your inability to recover because you’re just too weak.
 
This is where as strong posterior chain will help.
 
Think about all the muscles in the back of your body.
 
Lats, spinal erectors, QL, glutes, hamstrings, calves, triceps, traps, rear delts and just how having them be as strong as possible will mean good things for you.
 
There are plenty of movements you can use to train the PC.
 
My top ones for you are as follows:
 
– Loaded Carries (variations)
– Clean & Presses
– Swings
– Snatch (variations)
– Sprinting
– Rowing
– Climbing
– Rows, Face Pulls, etc
– Levers
– Pull Ups (variations)
– Deadlifts (variations)
– Squats because they’re awesome
 
The list could go on, however what you’ll find is that most of the best posterior chain movements also hit many other elements/parts of the body as well.
 
You’d do well to have a bias towards this in your training.
 
Think along these lines and you’ll never go far wrong, that is if you have no ultra specific goal that you’re training for; if you do then train for that and just accept there will be a price to pay for it.
 
Set up your training sessions like this:
 
1 x anterior chain movement
2-4 x posterior chain movements
 
Done.
 
Doing 2-3 times the amount of work on your posterior chain will serve you well you might have a session like this:
 
A1 – Weighted Dip 6×8-10 x10RM
A2 – Rope Climb x 10-20M
 
B1 – Deadlift 6-4-2-6-4-2-6-4-2
 
C1 – Farmers Walks 10x20m
C2 – Bodyweight Skull Crusher*
 
*yes triceps are posterior chain and a BW-SC will force total body tension and engage your lats massively if done well.
 
There you have it my good people of the world.
 
Your fountain of youth.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Peak, Cliff, Hesitate….

Sharing our experience, knowledge and understanding is all many of us can do to help others grow.

“I can tell you everything you NEED to know yet it won’t be what you WANT to know and because of this truth you’ll reject me.”

^^ I heard that recently, really made me think.

There are certain doors in our mind that will remain shut until the day we’re ready to open them, and to tell you the truth that day may never come.

In the sots you’ve perhaps read on here over the years you’ll find the topics vary somewhat however they are largely bis toward fitness/training.

Which makes sense as this is a fitness related page 😂

Everything that is shared has no ulterior motive.

It’s simply shared because it can be.

Some find things useful, others don’t, that’s life and in the end something that we will just have to accept because we’ve got no other choice.

Speaking of training, lately I’ve been doing a fair amount of higher rep work.

Things such as 10×20, or 20×10, 20 down to 1, 25×5 and other high volume madness.

Why?

Why not.

After spending a fair few years doing no more than 6 reps on big lifts (often no more than 3 in reality) I felt there was a need for change because my mental strength has wained somewhat.

Yep, I got lazy and was merely running through the motions.

In most session to be fair and I used a lot of different logical justifications for this when in reality I was just being lazy because I’d lost the oomph and joy for lifting I once had.

This happens to us all because after the peak there will always be a cliff.

I fell off that cliff and while now at a higher low point the the previous one I was in (strength/ability wise etc), it was still a drop off from what was.

I didn’t want to accept the fact I now had another mountain to climb ahead of me.

Thus I warped reality to suit what I wanted to believe.

^^ Sounds familiar to you?

Anyway, back to the point.

We try to stay on the peak and begin to lift the same weights, perform the same movements, attempt to train at the same level of intensity all to remain on our self appointed pedestal.

Our ego won’t allow us to gracefully step down.

As such reality comes along and gives us a rather vicious push.

I get it you know.

It’s hard to accept that many things in life come in the form of peaks and valleys.

This is why these days I quite like this question:

‘Are you progressing?’

^^ or moving forwards, or learning, or adapting or whatever you wish to call it.

I also like to ask it 5 times because the first 2-4 are often hyperbole and the last one can yield the true/real answer.

Combine this with also asking ‘why?’ and you’ve got a potent mix for some internal growth and learning.

Be warned though because it’s not comfortable.

To truly accept all that you are and become who you want to be you must first accept all the things you are not and that you pretend to be all to keep up appearances.

^^ That shit is hard.

So my dear readers, if you’ve made it this far I applaud you.

It’s fair to say I ramble on a fair bit.

Now that you are here though ask yourself the following three questions:

– Am I really progressing?
– What do I not address (in life, training etc) and why?
– Is this really me or just what I think I should be?

If you’re up for it leave your answers in the comments section below with they all important ‘why’.

Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health