Tag Archives: life
Despite the popular belief surrounding this notion.
You can’t out-train consistently bad nutritional choices.
Many will disagree with this, yet upon careful observation of their health, performance and finally aesthetic we can often come to some striking conclusions.
The main one being that they’re steeped in cognitive dissonance.
This doesn’t mean you need to be some sort of nutrition monk, there is still plenty of wiggle room, however you’ll rarely find people at the top of their game who eat terrible quality foods.
Teenagers and the genetically super-elite seem to mystify many.
They seem to circumvent this idea that poor nutrition leads to poor performance, obesity and generally bad health.
Until they’re about 26 that is.
Quality of food matters, if someone says it doesn’t, run.
Run away as fast as you can because they’re clearly infected with some form of madness because no logically sane person would believe otherwise.
Unless they want to because of deep emotional needs.
You see most people are emotionally attached to their food.
Unwilling to give any poor choices away, they fight tooth and nail for their creature comforts and mental crutches, even if detrimental to long term heath, many won’t be told.
Personally I think that’s fair enough, we can leave them to it.
We can try hard to help people, to educate and inspire, however some just don’t want to change.
They’d rather weight until the wheels have fallen off the wagon completely – diabetes, obesity, or plenty of other health issues linked with poor nutrition and excess body fat, you take your pick.
While body positive mantra that everyone is beautiful is one to support 100%, there is no compromise to condone or support that which leads to poor health.
You’d be hard pressed to find many people at 300lbs with a fat mass percentage of 40%+ that is the paragon of health.
Now this is not to say being super lean or addicted to fitness and your aesthetic does much for your health either.
Many sacrifice their health for how they look, on either rend of the scale.
For a society of people who talk about health, we’re a poor example of it.
Go to the Dr’s and get drugs, it’s easier than lifestyle change.
Here are a couple of simple things to remember:
– Excess body fat means you have a calorie surplus problem
– Poor health often follows poor quality food choices
– Too late is too late, once some damage is done it can’t be fixed
Not what many want to hear.
I’m sure all the excuses about medical conditions, a hard life and the kitchen sink will come out, however that’s little more than a crutch to lean on.
Like it or not, your health is in your hands.
How fit & strong are fit & strong enough?
Well the answer to that would be along the lines of; it depends.
Personally I loath this as an answer because it doesn’t ever add anything to a conversation.
True enough we need context to be more accurate with our answers, so why don’t more people simply say; in what context?
As opposed to, it depends.
Accountability, that’s why. If you take a leap and say anything these days someone will hold you accountable/responsible for their failure, injury or misfortune because they’re not mature enough to realise that 99% of the time the reason they’re in the shit is because other own doing.
It’s easy to blame someone, something or in fact anything else.
Also drawing a line in the sand as putting some form of minimum standard offends those why can’t achieve it.
None of the offended ever ask why they can’t achieve a standard, instead the bitch whinge piss and moan until it’s lowered to the point where it’s not even a standard worth even attempting to achieve anymore. You can see this happening in the services/forces, they’re lowering ht barriers to entry to make things more inclusive and fair, very dangerous if you ask me.
In the average persons life there are three kinds of strength that are needed:
- Lifting things from the floor
- Carrying things for distance/time
- Getting up from the floor
As for cardio these are the types we use in life:
- Having the ability to sprint after a bus, up some stairs or away forms something without getting winded
- Being able to walk for hour upon hours at a time without break
Those for the majority of daily life needs when equated to fitness speak.
To give some numbers to those based on lifts that the majority of people can do we get the following:
- Deadlift your BW at a minimum (ideally 2xBW)
- Loaded Carry your BW for 60 seconds
- TGU with additional weight (ideally 25% BW, gold standard 50% BW)
- Sprint 400m (ideally having a 3-5min high effort tank would be very useful)
- Walk an hour easily without needing to stop
Obviously these are arbitrary statistics, however being strong enough to shift your own body weight and ideally a little more on top will prove most useful in all aspects of daily life, and being able to move quickly every now and again won’t hurt either. As for low level activity without getting tired, well if you can do that then you’d probably do well to go see a Dr, ASAP.
What would you say can be considered fair as minimum strength/fitness standards for daily life?
Amateur athletes, weekend warriors & those who train hard.
Give yourself the gift or more time.
Give yourself the gift or more rest.
Honestly, you’ve got plenty of time to make progress, even if you’re in your 60’s you can still move forwards.
Too many rush and injury is their reward.
This doesn’t mean you will become slothful or lacklustre in your training, oh no.
You will still be required to lift with intent, focus and gusto.
The only difference is that you allow yourself a little more rest between sets, perhaps an extra day off here and there all to allow you more recovery which will translate in to more progress in the end.
You see for the majority of us training is suppose to enhance our lives, not absorb or detract from them.
In my years of training I’ve been obsessive, too rigid, unwavering in adherence to the routine and while it did indeed yield results, would it really have been so bad if I arrive at that point perhaps 2-3 years later?
My prize was glory when the flame burned bright.
Even for a short while I was untouchable, then it all fell to pieces and burnout was my enteral reward.
This took almost as many years to recover from.
Yep. 5 years of the true iron path ended up in 5 years to recover from it, and the kicker is I wasn’t even anything worth shout about in the grand scheme of things.
While we talk about enjoy the journey, which I did, I can tell you it wasn’t worth it, breaking yourself for ego is never worth it, yet many will do this because it’s the message of the world.
Work hard and what you seek shall be yours, oh and it will, you just wont be able to hold on to it for very long.
Sensible training, reasonable & repeatable sessions, more recovery days and optimal nutrition choices, that is what will yield the best long term results.
True you may decide to test/peak/push yourself perhaps once of twice per year, and in truth that’s all you need.
Anything more is superfluous.
As I sit here typing this I do wonder, will you listen to me?
Will these words of warning resonate or run off like water from a ducks back because like a far younger me you still think you currently know better.
The truth is we never know better, we only know what we know, or what we choose to believe and that’s rarely whats best for us.
Anyway, here are 7 suggestions for you, garnered from years grinding away for little reward.
1 – Nutrition trumps training
2 – Consistency is key, so train reasonably & repeatably
3 – Train every 3-5 days
4 – Take 5min rest after heavy sets, maybe even up to 10
5 – Test yourself once or twice per year
6 – Set mini goals that require some effort, not all your effort
7 – Have a greater purpose behind you for training, training for the sake of training rarely ends well
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.
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.
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.
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:
- 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.