Tag Archives: lifestyle
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?
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.
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.
Well, they’re good, but they’re horrible too.
Sergey Litvinov was a hammer thrower, one of the best ever you could say and was renowned for his training and his ability to train on the nerve.
The training protocol of his namesake was a simple Front Squat & 400m Sprint pairing, now it sounds easy, however here is what he used to do it with:
Eight reps of front squats with 405 pounds, immediately followed by a 75-second 400-meter run. He repeated this little combination for a total of three times according to the history books.
Oh, he was also only a 196-pound man, who front squatted 405… eight times, you know, no big.
*Barry Ross would also do similar with his athletes, lots like great minds think alike.
He would do this with various other lifts but the run would typically stay the same. 400m is great for power output and improving VO2 Max.
Now the big take home from this little anaerobic concoction is that you want to have a large compound movement followed by ann all out sprint, repeated 3 times.
Easy on paper, yet it will yield untold benefits in terms of strength, power, conditioning and mental grit, trust me, after the first one you don’t want to do it again, however you must because that’s how champions are made, that’s how winning is done.
Here are some example of compound lifts you may use:
– Clean & Press
– Clean & Jerk
– Push Press
– Push Jerk
– Front Squat
– Overhead Squat
The do a 400m sprint, rest as needed and repeat 2 more times.
The sprint is best left as a running sprint for most people, you can change it to say a sled push/drag, however you’ll then start to move away from the classic Litvinov ethos and create something different.
Try it for a couple of months 2-3 times per week, you’ll welcome the results.
Working out is easy, it’s training that’s hard.
When it comes to the mental aspect of lifting weights we’d all like to think that we’re putting in the effort we require and while some certainly do, most don’t.
You can tell by the results people achieve.
Let’s take for example the classic 5×5, if you look back at its inception the idea was to either do 3-4 warm up sets where you start working towards a top set for the day, some would even do 2 top sets after 3 progressively heavier warm ups, this would actually be quite hard.
To push a set of say 5 for everything you had, with good form of course, is quite draining and very few people will ever really do it. Most will lift a weight for 5 that they could have really don for 7, maybe 8 if they’re honest.
This is one reason a lot of us don’t get the progress we really want.
I’m guilty of this that’s for sure.
Now this isn’t to say that people don’t ‘work hard’, rather it’s just pointing out that many haven’t quite grasped the concept of really pushing a set to it’s limit. if they did they’d find training say 3 days per week is more than enough to make progress, rather than their standard 6 with back to back classes and AM/PM runs.
Good old fashioned honest hard graft isn’t pleasant, it’s tough, however it’s what produces results, especially when combined with solid nutrition and plenty of recovery.
Try doing 5×5 and having 3-4 of those sets being warm ups, then really go all out on the last set, you should feel sufficiently worked, you may have one more set of 5 at that weight, if you do then go for it, however if you get it right that one hard set of 5 will be enough.
The loading might look like this:
Done, move on to the next exercise and repeat the same process.
Just something to think about.
An easy to follow method for those who don’t have time to workout out the exact weights they need for every set.
This is based on using auto-regulation and going by feel, it’s also a great way to progress provided you have a training diary and track what you’re doing.
Here is what you do:
– Train 2-3 times per week
– Pick 3 exercises per workout (10 sets per exercise)
– Stay in the 5-10 rep range
– Use which ever training split you feel is most appropriate*
– Warm ups are included in your sets
– You may use Straight Sets (A1, B1, C1), Superset (A1/A2) or Tri-Set (A1/A2/A3) movements if you choose
– Rest as needed
– Track weights/reps achieved
– Aim to keep sessions between 45-60min
– Repeat for 3-6months and make all the progress
*Upper/Lower, Push/Pull, Pull-Push-Legs, Full Body
This is what one exercises might look like on paper:
Set 1 5x bar 20kg
Set 2 5x 60kg
Set 3 5x 80kg
Set 4 5x 100kg
Set 5 5x 120kg
Set 6 5x 140kg
Set 7 5x 140kg
Set 8 5x 140kg
Set 9 5x 140kg
Set 10 5x 130kg
^^ Calculate total volume – Sets X Reps X Weight
10x5x1070 = 53,500kg total volume lifted in the session.
You’d make a note and aim to lift more total volume next week.
The stronger you get you’ll find you may nee dress warm up sets or that they stay the same and you can lift more in your later sets to increase your volume.
Make sure you’re eating correct for your goal, if you need to establish your calories then check out this page for those answers:
There is no right or wrong as to how many warm ups you need, just do what you feel is adequate so that your form feels grooved and the speed on the bar is moving nice and fast.
What is there to write about training anymore?
The internet is filled with so much content, it’s almost impossible to read it all.
Keeping this in mind it’s probably best to keep things simple and hopefully point you in the right direction and to do that we need to circle back around to the basics and the simple sciences of training.
What should you look to circle back to first?
– Energy Systems
These are essential for understanding how the body works and what fuel is used for what training styles (aerobic – fat, anaerobic – glucose etc), here is a nice resource for that:
Next it has to be muscle anatomy.
– Muscle Structure
Once you know how they work you can conclude what style of training is best for your goal. Here are a couple of links:
One last topic that is crucial to have a basic underrating of in training is hormones.
– Testosterone, Cortisol and everything in-between.
This is a massive topic yet it’s one people ignore all the time and it really shouldn’t be. Your hormones are influenced not only by training but also your nutrition, sleep, life style and mach more, thus it is worth knowing how they work and what they do.
Above are some starting links to help you on your way, however it’s worth remembering that the body is a complex organism and if you don’t want to do the digging yourself then you’ll do well to hire a coach/trainer who can do it all for you.
Remember the basics, without those nothing else can be understood.
Did you know that just because you found evidence that agrees with your opinion, it doesn’t mean it’s right.
^^ A hard pill to swallow, however one we all need form time to time.
In our world of instant answers and global communication it’s not hard to find something that confirms what we believe and that’s quite a dangerous thing.
While it is true you can find studies, anecdote and much more to prove your point it doesn’t then mean you should discount other information.
Grasping the entire picture is crucial in making objective decisions and a logical conclusion, otherwise you’re just feeding your ego.
I’ve been guilty of this and as such I have three short pieces of advice to help you.
1 – Always question your own beliefs
2 – Look for information from every conceivable angle
3 – Try to prove yourself wrong
Following these will allow you a broader perspective on a great many things, fitness related and across the entire spectrum of life too. If what you feel is true is true then gathering all the info on all the angles, opposing views and challenging opinions will still lead to the same answer, however you must be willing to entertain the possibility that you’re wrong before you can ever hope to prove that you’re not.
Healthy skepticism, it’s the way forwards.
How do you start your day?
For many it is by seeking out every last second they can in bed, followed by a lacklustre meal, usually cereal of something convenient and then off to work, however before th sit down at their desk this is some form of coffee laden drink at their side because they just can’t function without one.
Does this sound like you?
If it does the chances are you’re not quite in the shape that you desire and have that lovely spare tyre around your midsection, not to mention you struggle to focus and always feel tired/crap.
A lot of people got to be too late, get up as close to the rise as possible and inadequately fuel their body.
Today we shall look at a nice little routine for the mornings that will achieve the following:
– Better body composition
– Optimal health
– Mental focus
– Create a positive new habit & lifestyle change
Here is how you do it in 5 easy to follow steps.
Step 1: Get up earlier, stand by the bed and take 10 deep breaths, this will help wake you up
Step 2: 10min Kettlebell Workout upon waking, you can choose what to do
Step 3: Shower & get ready for work
Step 4: Make a nutritious meal of breakfast, perhaps salmon, eggs and spinach
Step 5: Don’t buy coffee, you don’t need it, opt for water instead
I can already hear a lot of people complaining and coming up with their excuses, if you’re one of them that’s okay, I’m not interested in those who don’t want to help themselves so you may continue as you are.
If you’re one of the few who has read this and wants to make a change then I salute you.
You owe your health to no one, especially not me, do it for yourself and make the positive lifestyle changes you need to succeed.
You need to read this post because it’s full of useful info you’ll not know if you don’t.
Yes, however highly relevant to making progress.
“Chase performance, not fatigue.”
A saying to live by, especially in these modern days where training for aesthetic is number 1.
While training to look good isn’t a bad thing, it’s by no means a useful one. I know plenty of people who look great but can’t do the following:
– Run a mile without stopping
– Pick up and put their bodyweight over head
– Squat correctly
– Have any form of athleticism
The list goes on but we shall stop there.
If you’re content with looking good but having no phial prowess then more power to you, if however you want to look as strong as you are then keep reading to learn two secrets.
Great, here is your reward.
Secret 1 –
Play a sport.
Yep, it’s that simple and you’ll find it also adds some enjoyment to your training int he gym because you’ll start to have a focus towards developing aspects of performance such as speed, strength and stability to improve your new hobby.
A sport will also provide you with a new social circle of likeminded people who want to better themselves, you’ll also make new friends and more importantly, new rivals to keep you on your toes.
Being the best is boring, always chase someone better and you’ll stay hungry for progress.
Secret 2 –
Train for strength because it’s the base of the pyramid and without strength you’ll struggle to do anything else.
The classic 5×5 is still popular for the simple reason of it makes people strong and it’s so simple to do. You also find that 8×3 is popular among people who train for strength, as is hitting 20 rep squat sets.
As a human you want to be as strong as you need. Might sounds silly but plenty of people are too weak these days and struggle to do even basic daily lifting tasks on their own, simply due to our modern life and being lazy.
This goes for ladies and gentlemen, both should be strong because strength is for everyone.
You can take this information and do wit hit what you will, apply it and start to make progress or ignore it and stay as you are, either are fine it’s your life, I just want you to have the best one possible.