Tag Archives: mind

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

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Beware the Company You Keep

Nutrition is a struggle for a lot of people.
 
The connection many have to their foods is strong.
 
Considering most people have a food for every situation, mood or desired feeling they’re after its easy to understand.
 
Try to make some adjustments, even those that will result in long term benefit and people just can’t handle it.
 
Like a child they pine over their treats and get pissy.
 
Of course you can eat, drink and otherwise consume whatever you choose if you’re an adult yet you’d do well not to expect sympathy or leeway when you start complaining about being overweight.
 
That my friends is the result of your choice, own it.
 
Now you’ll find many start to say that it’s easier for some, they don’t have that sweet tooth or what ever other bollocks will be cultivated to justify their behaviour.
 
True enough there can be some deep psychological reasons for addiction to foods, yet given the level of intelligence and information in our world now people know this already.
 
Thus is comes down to their own choice.
 
So you might be wandering what makes people decide to go for a different choice, the answer is simple yet not very nice.
 
They’ve finally reached the point where they feel bad enough about themselves to do something.
 
The discomfort now outweighs the small pleasurable hit they get from food.
 
In my experience people are more likely to move away from pain than towards pleasure.
 
Yet this can be hard when you’ve got an addiction.
 
Oh yes, many people are heavily addicted to food, or rather the feeling that food gives them.
 
Being the emotional creatures we are we get addicted to the feeling that we get from ‘the thing’ as opposed to getting addicted to the actual thing itself, for the most part.
 
If you’re genuinely not sure why you can’t make an adjustment to your nutrition then apply the following steps.
 
1 – Eat as normal
2 – Write down each feeling/emotion said food provides
3 – Reflect on this and make a choice
 
I know people will start to bitch piss and moan about life being for enjoyment blah blah blah.
 
Okay we get it, people like foods such as ice cream.
 
News flash, this is pretty much true across the board.
 
Decedent foods will always be sought after because that’s how we evolved, to seek out those foods that light up our senses and make us feel good, yet in our world of overly abundant amounts of them this just leads to one unfortunate outcome….
 
You get fat.
 
There I said it.
 
Making poor food choices multiple times over and in large quantities will lead you down he path of getting fat.
 
Of course how large you become will be determined by your social circle and what they consider to be acceptable.
 
You see peer pressure is just as prevalent amongst obese people as they say it is amongst the slim.
 
If you’re surrounded by the large and you’re not large then in time you will join them. They will make subtle remarks over time about you not eating enough, being small and so on.
 
Eventually their peer pressure leads you to obesity and poor health.
 
If you delve in to the social circles/backgrounds of people you’ll find the reasons for why they are the way they are.
 
You are the way you are because of the choices your group allows you to make because it fits in with their values, beliefs and biases.
 
The mythic state of being an individual is not really what people think it is.
 
A tough truth to hear.
 
Take some time to mull over this.
 
Look at the people around you, closest to you and see just how they’ve influenced you.
 
Then make a choice, stay in the place you’re in or make a change.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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A Habit for Every Mood

Habits are funny things.
 
Much like anything we have one for every mood or situation.
 
Some make us feel good, others motivate us and a few do nothing better than punish and stall of progress.
 
Over they years I’ve become more adept at finding out a persons reason why they have these little patterns.
 
Personally knowing has always been a priority.
 
It’s just my inherent personality trait, some call it being nosey and others say far worse, yet knowing has always been that insatiable lust of mine.
 
To not have considered every option, sacrilege.
 
It probably came form being an only child and spending countless hours alone quietly playing with the same few toys and each time comping up with a new story.
 
Of course without knowing more there was only so many situations I could pull from thin air because truly original ideas are few and far between.
 
Habits, much like knowledge, don’t just come thin air for the most part. You’ll find we either pick them up from watching others or then being suggested to us.
 
After all a habit was once a choice you consciously made.
 
Might not be what people want to hear however it’s the truth in the largest majority of situations.
 
In regards to your habits do you know which ones you have for which mood?
 
Take 5min to make a list.
 
What is your immediate reaction in the following:
 
– Happy
– Sad
– Angry
– Confused
– Tired
– Focused
 
The list can be longer and for any mood/emotion you can think of and I bet you will have a habit for each, be that to get you in to or out of the desired emotional state.
 
Once you know what habits are anchored to what emotions you can begin to understand why this is and start that lengthy and often painful process of letting go the ones which are detrimental and creating new more productive ones.
 
While this is simple it won’t be easy.
 
Growth never is though.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Making the Jump

Results are easy and almost always guaranteed when your’e working with beginners.
 
Literally everything works due to their level of noobness.
 
As a PT/Coach if you don’t get a beginner to a goal then you might need to reevaluate your career choice.
 
The struggle comes from those who’ve perhaps been in the gym for a while and have achieved results once or perhaps a few times before they take up your services.
 
These are the one that need you to delve in to the realms of fitness far deeper.
 
Personally I split it in to 4 pieces.
 
1 – Their Why
2 – End Goal
3 – The Emotional Need
4 – Willingness to Sacrifice
 
Let us break them down.
 
1 – Their Why
 
Helping someone is easy, however helping someone reveal or understand why they want to do X,Y or Z is an entirely different matter.
 
Having a cast iron ‘why’ will keep people moving forwards because each time something crops up you can ask them if they remember why they’re doing what they’re doing (as in why they’re working towards the goal).
 
2 – End Goal
 
You’d do well to look at this in a big picture sense.
 
We might even say it’s the perfect outcome they they desire that links unquestionably with their why.
 
Once you know the big picture you can start to pick out the smaller pieces of it to help set the small milestones as this will allow those quick wins and little hits of emotional sustenance and validation that is sought.
 
A goal is more or a leaking tap dripping single water droplets every hour to fill a bath tub than it is using a hoe to fill a paddling pool.
 
3 – The Emotional Need
 
We do what we do because we want to feel a certain way.
 
Emotion drives many people, it is linked with their reason why they do what they do. The need is to fill a hole that they consider almost as important as air to breathe.
 
If the need isn’t being met then other methods will be sought to fill this void like emotional eating or some other such debauchery.
 
Knowing what/how/why people currently feel and more importantly why they want that to change and what it will mean to them is the key element many miss.
 
4 – Willingness to Sacrifice
 
There can be no change without change, and their can be no real change without sacrifice.
 
Such might be going out 2 nights a week on the lash instead of 5, or forgoing the tub of ice cream each night before bed and so on.
 
The only problem is that people get very emotionally attached to their habits and to sacrifice them causes quite a nasty feeling (usually loss).
 
When working with beginners they’re ready to give things up because they see it as only short term, then they revert back to their old ways and expect the results to stay; this is not how change works.
 
This is where working with those who’ve repeated this cycle become difficult as they’ve gotten trapped in no longer wanting to sacrifice anything while still desiring change.
 
We can relate this back to why they want said change, and if it is more or less important to their habit/thing that needs to be sacrificed.
 
You’ll often find there is an emotional attachment/need to the sacrifice in question which then leads us to asking which is more important, the thing or the end goal.
 
Some will say “Why can’t they have both?” and put simply it is because they just can’t due to conflict.
 
As the old saying goes, you can’t make an omelet with out breaking any eggs.
 
Same goes for achieving a goal, somethings got to give.
 
This is how you can start to take those troubled clients forwards.
 
Understand it’s less about the training at this stage (although that is of course important) and more about the mindset required.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Calories & creatures of habit.

Are you obsessed with the first while also being caught in the vicious cycle of the second?
 
Many are because loosening the reigns it too scary.
 
Did you know that on average people eat between only 15-20 different foods per week.
 
It’s not a great amount of variety, yet I know why many do it.
 
Safety, familiarity and all that other good stuff synonymous with the comfort zone.
 
From a calorie tracking perspective this makes things easy, yet it also means there might not be much change physically.
 
When you eat the same foods again and again the body will become better accustomed to processing them, in another word more efficient.
 
This will potentially lower the TEF a tad.
 
You’d also be surprised as o how devoid of certain nutrients you may actually be, a common consequence of lacking variety of foods.
 
Now many might say it’s because they don’t like certain foods, which might be true, however more often than not they’re just being fussy because their parents allowed them to be that way in their youth.
 
There is also the potential case that they’re being lazy.
 
We are not talking about preparing 5 star gourmet every day, however a little change will do you the world of good.
 
Sticking with the same foods all the time,while not only dull, will also lead to anxiety when you can’t get your fix because you feel your control slipping away from you.
 
I’ve seen it happen time and again.
 
Being the intelligent individuals you are, I’m sure you can understand that without change there will often be no change.
 
This applies to your nutrition as well.
 
Opting for more variety in what you eat can help you start to make that much sought after progress you desire, honestly.
 
You can keep the calories at whatever level they need to be for your desired goal while changing the food choices.
 
^^ On a calorie laden note, you can have higher days and lower days so long as the total amount of calories across the longer term tracking (say 1 year) is in sync with your goal – surplus for gain, deficit for loss.
 
^^ You don’t need to eat the same calories day in day you, you wouldn’t do it for training volume/intensity so remember you don’t have to do it for food either.
 
Do me a favour, keep a food diary for 2 weeks.
 
Sit down and take a look at those two weeks and see how many foods you eat on average, I’m willing to bet it falls in to the above (15-20).
 
*Of course i am bias towards a more whole foods approach to nutrition from a health stand point, however if on any given day you want cake then have the damn cake, enjoy it, don’t lament it, then adjust your foods the next day and carry on with life.
 
Once you’ve done this take a look at all the other foods you can add in, swap/substitute and enjoy.
 
Most ironic of all is all the people that call themselves ‘foodies’ are of the aforementioned ilk.
 
Give the above some thought.
 
Loosen the reigns and break the cycle of being the same.
 
Enjoy
Ross

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Raising Standards

How often do you reflect on what you’ve achieved?

Chances are you’ve hit some pretty big goals over the years, and do you know what, you should be proud of yourself for doing so.

However….

With self praise and achieving a goal come a hire base line standard to maintain because that is how you move forwards, by brining or creating a wider base for your pyramid (or whatever shape you choose to use in a metaphorical sense), after all, the wider the base the higher the peak.

This is one thing I’ve seen time and again, people succeed, celebrate (rightly so), then they expect the same adulation moving forwards with no more effort or consideration that what they now have is considered the norm, or at least they’ve made the standard for themselves higher.

I’m sure you’ve raised your own standards over the years through success, and some have perhaps even kept themselves accountable for maintaining this, yet sadly a lot don’t and expect to revert to old habits, life choices or ways and still stay in the same place.

Life doesn’t work like that, sorry.

Be a little tougher on yourself, it won’t kill you, in fact it may just help you continue to move forwards and accept you’ve set the bar quite high now.

Always aim to move forwards, what ever that is to you, just keep moving.

Onwards and upwards, as they say.

Enjoy,
Ross

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Progression Tips for Beginners

Do you have any idea how to progress your training across the variables?

– Volume
– Intensity
– Density
– Frequency

It’s quite easy really, as such here is an example for each that can be used for several weeks or months if you have the courage to stay the course.

Volume –

Ladders, one of my favourites.

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 or 2,3,5,10, or 1,2,3,4,5

There are a lot of choices, for adding extra volume in the form of reps, the most effective being 1-10, and you will only add weight once you can go 1-10 unbroken.

Example (works best as a super set):

A1 – Pull Up
A2 – Close Grip Bench Press

Intensity –

Let us say that you’re a creature of habit who likes doing the same sets and reps, this is cool however progressing can be a tad tricky, therefor this is the solution:

Fractional Plates.

Small 0.25kg (or lighter) plates, all you need do is hit your desired reps then add another 0.25kg and aim to do the same next time.

Personally I’ve found that doing 3-5×3-5 works well as it gives you some room to adapt to the gradual increases. Once you hit 5×5 with good form, adding another fraction plate is easy, it might may you only be able to do 3×3, that’s okay keep grinding until it’s 5×5 and progress from there.

Density –

Perhaps you’re already one strong hombre and adding weight or reps is becoming tricky, fear not, you have two options to progress.

1 – Set a time limit to hit your rep goal.

Example; 50 reps in 15min with 140kg in the squat.

Once you hit it you add weight.

2 – Reduce your rest periods.

Say you’ve started with 5min rest, knock off 15 seconds at the next session, if you hit all your reps then knock off another 15 next time, repeat this until you are perhaps at 3min rest, or lower, that is up to you.

Once you hit your desired point of ‘low rest’ add weight and take the rest back up to 5min per set and so on.

Frequency –

The easiest to manipulate, al you do is add an extra bout of reps or an extra session.

Say you train your squat once per week, bump it up to twice, if you already do two squat sessions do three, you can spread the reps out and build them up from there, example:

1 squat session a week = 5×10
2 squat session = 3×10 per session (10 more total reps)

Make sense?

Adding weight or reps can be applied from the other example above.

The little tips of today are very basic, there is a lot more that can go in to this, however these will be enough to tweak your current training and perhaps get you over the plateau.

Enjoy,
Ross

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Two Tips

With all the options available to you that are meant to help you achieve your goals, is it any wonder you’re confused?

It’s okay, I’ve been there as well.

Heck, honesty I was here for a long time, a lot are.

In knowing so much we end up doing very little, a such here are two bits of advice for you.

1 – Look at people that achieved what you did back before the invention of the internet, perhaps even as far back as the early 1900’s or before.

2 – Pick one training philosophy or protocol and give it an honest try, something like 6months will be good because if you stick with it you’ll have broken the habit of a lifetime and learnt to trust in a process.

Achieving health or fitness isn’t hard, it’s sustaining it that’s the tricky part, especially when there is so much temptation.

Your goals, desires and needs are your own, be sure to do things for you.

Enjoy,
Ross

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