Tag Archives: mindset

Ego ego ego

Is your Ego getting in the way of your progress?
 
Ego is an interesting thing.
 
It stops you listening to those who know better and it really hates change.
 
We’ve all had those times where it has stopped us getting to the next level, be that in work, fitness or any other endeavour, it really is something that we can do without.
 
Our own ego is incredibly fragile, you can always tell when a persons feels threatened because they will act out in defence, even if the are not a part of the conversation or it wasn’t aimed at them.
 
After playing devils advocate for enough years I’ve been able to see this happen several times without fail, it’s quite funny to sit back and watch.
 
You can overcome this evolutionary flaw by doing the following:
 
– Embrace the fact that it’s your ego thinking, not you.
 
– Understanding what is going on with your ego (it’s scared of dying).
 
– Letting go.
 
The last one is the hardest, if you are asked or told to let go of something have you ever realised or thought “I just can’t do that.” and yet not known why you can’t let go, it’s because of our friend Ego, it wants to hold on to things that is really doesn’t need to.
 
The next time you struggle to let go or move on, ask yourself this – why is this so important to me?
 
Chances are the attachment doesn’t really have any base, it just is.
 
We’ve all been blocked by this little friend of ours, embrace-understand-let go.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Back to the basics for us all.

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
 
Why?
 
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.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Me, Myself & I – Ego Tripping 101

Morning All,
 
I hope you’re all well.
 
So, what to write about today, that isn’t recycled information with a slightly different wording or spin on it…..
 
As you may have guessed that is essentially what writing/social media videos etc is actually about in the world of fitness.
 
There is little that we don’t currently know that doesn’t involve the very complex biochemical reactions/mechanisms of the body that is. As for training and nutrition, it’s almost all been said before, so keeping this in mind I feel some reflection would be good.
 
As yourselves the following and answer them honestly:
 
– Where did you start?
– Where are you now?
– How has your ego held you back?
 
That last one will sting for some of you, but hey ho, ego is a fragile thing that leads us to do stupid things on a regular and repeated basis.
 
When it comes to the ego, it can govern us in secret and we never know. It is so sensitive that it feel threatened by almost everything that opposes it and the main fear it has is that of dying (metaphorically).
 
No one likes to admit they might be wrong, or to change a belief or value, even if it is a destructive one that holds them back, I can attest to this as mine has stopped me doing a great many things and because of this I’ve been able to learn what it feels like when mine starts acting up, which I will share with you in the hope you might be able to learn how to silence yours and avoid making the mistakes I have.
 
1. YOU HAVE BECOME VERY SELF-DESTRUCTIVE.
 
Essentially you know something doesn’t feel right yet you do it anyway.
 
2. YOU FEEL OVERLY SELF-CONSCIOUS AROUND OTHERS.
 
You seem there is alway an argument, judgement or someone to oppose your views coming.
 
3. YOU FIND YOURSELF COMPLAINING OFTEN.
 
Not getting your own way or people not fitting your bias will leave your ego screaming because it feels it’s in danger. You will actively seek out info you agree with, even if it’s wrong.
 
4. FIGHTS AND ARGUMENTS HAPPEN FREQUENTLY BETWEEN YOURSELF AND OTHERS.
 
As you can guess, you defend everything you say without questioning if it’s wrong, which it might intact be.
 
 
5. YOU JUDGE OTHERS HARSHLY.
 
Also known as projection, you place everything you don’t like about yourself subconsciously on others so that you don’t feel sacred around them.
 
6. YOU FIND IT HARD TO LISTEN TO OTHERS WITHOUT WANTING TO INTERRUPT.
 
“I know, but…” – this is the line that shows your ego is feeling threatened, if you go to say it stop yourself and listen first.
 
7. YOU SEEK REVENGE WHEN OTHERS HURT YOU.
 
Children and the immature seek revenge, the mature and the wise seek understanding and to learn from their experience. if you find yourself point scoring all the time it’s a sign ego is controlling you.
 
Take these simple insights as see which ones apply to you and for the love of all that is holy, think before you speak, trust me, it causes more problems than it’s worth when you engage your mouth before your brain.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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The fast metabolism fiasco

“It’s okay for them, they can eat what they want, they have a fast metabolism.”
 
^^ I hear this a lot.
 
Is this something you’ve said in the past, along with the classic – “I’ve got a slow metabolism, I gain weight instantly if I eat.”
 
Do you know how these people with this seemingly godlike metabolism do it?
 
Do you want to know?
 
I will tell you.
 
Their metabolism is not that far off from yours, the only difference is how they live their lives, which usually look like this:
 
– They eat at or just below their required maintenance calories (you don’t)
 
– They move more and thus have a higher energy expenditure, typically from CV training and/or weightlifting which helps create EPOC/In road, (you don’t)
 
– They have more lean muscle mass (you don’t)
 
Can you see a pattern forming here?
 
The whole fast/slow metabolism excuse is utter nonsense for most average people. It’s usually a simple case that their energy expenditure is lower than their energy intake.
 
Wait, what’s that I hear?
 
You have thyroid problems?
 
So do a lot of other people and guess what, if it is managed by the doctor then you don’t have a thyroid problem, you have an eating problem as in you eat too much.
 
Now is it true there will always be some people who are the exceptions and because of this the world and it’s dog jump on that and claim to be the exception, I can safely say from experience this is not the case, trust me on that.
 
Ironically the exceptions never use being the exception as an excuse, they just find a way to make things work and achieve their goals. It’s only the average who use the exception excuse.
 
So to summarise…
 
They don’t have a fast metabolism.
 
You don’t have a slow metabolism.
 
They eat less, move more and have higher amount of lean mass than you, it’s that simple.
 
Stop making excuses and start looking for ways in which YOU can make the changes you need, if you need help please ask and you will get it.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Train to gain

It seems that hitting momentary mechanical failure is equally if not more important tan the load you lift.
 
 
^^ A good study looking at 3x Fail x30% VS 3x Fail x80%.
 
In short, the act of hitting failure provide adequate stimulus to trigger muscle growth.
 
The growth was essentially the same in both groups, however the group that used a heavier weight got stronger as well (pretty logical).
 
So what does this mean for your training?
 
You can look at it one of two ways:
 
1 – Cycle your loads between 30-80% 1RM and perform 3 sets per muscle group to muscle failure each set (after a couple of warm up sets, obviously).
 
2 – You can take this data and combine to s strength program to add some extra oomph, so perhaps performing working sets at a standard weight, say 5x5x80% (leaving reps in the take and focusing on strength), followed by a back off set of the same weight or between the 30-80% mark for AMRAP to hit failure, triggering more growth stimulus.
 
Both options are viable, both will improve strength and size.
 
Another nice option is this:
 
W/U – 10-15 reps
Set 1 – 10 reps – tough
Set 2 – 8 reps – tougher
Set 3 – 6-8 reps – hardest set
Set 4 – reps to failure with previous load or reduce load by 20%
 
If you ever see someone who has any decent amount of size you’ll notice they’ve often blended training to failure with stopping just short, try it yourself and see how you do.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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How doing less helped me progress.

Yesterday we touched on who doing too much can hold people back, today we shall look at how the opposite can help you being to once again make headway.
 
MED, remember that?
 
Minimum effective dose.
 
Find what the bare minimum you can do and make progress form and do that until you no longer make progress, then perhaps add the next smallest amount and progress once again.
 
A simple thought that still adheres to the GAS/SAID principle.
 
It will allow you more time to recover, spend time doing other things you enjoy and for the average person, give you results while also having a life.
 
Sounds perfect, right?
 
That being the case, why don’t people do it?
 
Because as we discussed yesterday, too many think more is better and even more than that must mean even better still, not always true, sadly.
 
You will also find that when you take down how much you’ve been doing, you recover and allow the super-compensation element of GAS to happen, meaning gains.
 
Keeping in mind MED, how many times per week do you need to train to make progress?
 
Twice, that’s a great start.
 
Both sessions would follow a full body approach with limited moves that will give you the best bang for your buck.
 
Day 1 – Monday
 
A1 – Front Squat or Squat 10×5
A2 – DB Row 10×6
B1 – Press 8×6
B2 – Chin 8×6
C1 – Dip 50 reps in as few sets as possible
D1 – Loaded Carry 10min x Total Distance (famers walk, etc)
 
Day 2 – Thursday
 
A1 – Deficit Deadlift (any grip) 10×5
A2 – DB Press 10×6-8
B1 – Bench Press or Incline 6×6-8
B2 – BB Row 6×6-8
C1 – Curl 50 rep goal in as few sets as possible
D1 – Prowler or Sprints 10min x total Distance
 
Combine this with solid nutrition (plenty of whole foods and a calorie deficit or surplus depending on your goal) and three simple factors to progress and you’ll be laughing at the gains you make.
 
How to progress:
 
– Add weight where possible (fractional plates are good)
– If you can’t add weight, reduce rest
– Rest at it’s lowest, increase TUT (time under tension) with a slower negative portion of the lift
 
In each session aim to keep a good pace and finish within 45-75min, you’ll find the less you faff the better the workout you get.
 
Obviously over time you will potentially need to add more frequency taking training to 3 days per week, but the longer you can progress on 2 the better.
 
Funnily enough you will find that most elite lifters seem to find 4xP/W is their optimal limit because in each session they train HARD and create a deep ‘in road’ meaning they’ve stimulated growth, you need to do this too.
 
Remember, doing less can help your progress.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Easy Nutrition Part 1

“Eat meat for strength & vegetables for health.” – Pavel Tsatsouline.

A good quote that gives you a fairly accurate description of what should for the base of all your nutritional needs.

Over time we’ve made nutrition overly complicated.

Macros, fasting, refeeds, carb loading, intuitive eating and more. Is it any wonder people become frustrated?

If there is one thing I’ve picked up over the years it is this; people want to be told what to eat, how much of it to eat and when to eat it. No one want to make the decisions for themselves, that’s too much responsibility and would also mean they have to take some of the blame if things don’t work.

The above is why so many fad diets are still popular when a lot of people know that to succeed in their goal they will have a more likely chance if their diet consists of mostly whole foods such as meat & veg.

I am not saying that setting macros and planning refeeds don’t have a place because they do, however unless you’re at a point in your training journey where you’re looking to compete in a sport or step on stage you won’t need this level of detail.

It is important that people understand the need for a calorie deficit or surplus depending on their goal and how these can be achieved by simply making a daily note of what you’ve eaten, this way portion sizes can be played with, more whole foods can be added and a holistic approach can be taken.

What is so beneficial about a holistic approach in nutrition?

It teaches people to become self aware, accountable and understand their own body as an individual. As also mentioned above, if people then decided to take things further macros/micros/etc can be added and explained over time so it’s not information overload.

Based on the above, here is a short bullet point guide to help you get started:

– Eat Meat & Veg
– Always opt for whole foods over processed ones
– Write down what you eat each day
– Make adjustments based on what you see in the mirror and how you feel/perform
– If help is needed hire a coach

I will pop up a post tomorrow with some more simple breakdowns of certain tricky nutrition elements that trip people up. For today, take away this message “Eat meat for strength & vegetables for health.” – this is the base of your nutrition, we’ll cover more tomorrow.

Enjoy,
Ross

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The problem with simple advice is the fact that it works.

Don’t you find it interesting that people are quick to discount simple advice because it sounds to easy. They’d much rather something with super complicated, typically because when something is complicated there can be a ‘logical’ reason for them failing: such as “It was too complex.”.
 
When you get a few wise words it seems too good to be true.
 
The problem can be found in the fact that short and simple advice is seen as too easy, however when applied it soon becomes clear that simple and easy are not two things that correlate very often.
 
Just because something is simple doesn’t mean it is easy.
 
Take this for example:
 
“To build muscle and get stronger you need to lift weights, pick 5-8 exercises to cover the whole body and add sets or reps where you can and when you’re doing multiple sets/reps with ease you add weight and repeat the process.”
 
^^ Nothing fancy, but very hard and people will give up.
 
A lot of people find a degree of embarrassment when they fail, especially when the advice given wasn’t super complex. It’s common for a bystander to say something like “Is that all you had to do?” which essentially means – how on earth did you fail at doing that…
 
Failing hurts the ego, especially when something isn’t hard on paper.
 
Nutrition is another prime example.
 
“To lose fat you’ll be looking for a calorie deficit (eating less than you’re burning), doing some weightlifting and sprint work will also help. Try to eat mostly whole foods and how a little of what you like now and again to keep you sane.”
 
Such wisdom will be kicked to the curb because it’s not a mind-boggling batch of numbers and percentages.
 
Give someone the above and they think you’re taking the piss.
 
Give them ‘Eat 1g or preteen per lean Lbs of body weight, 2g of carbs per lean lbs and 0.5g of fat per lean lbs’ and their eyes light up because it sounds technical, therefore it must be right when in all honesty it is not the sort of thing a beginner needs to focus on.
 
People starting out should be aware that the simple stuff is around for a reason, it works.
 
A lot of experienced people tell you simple things because they have found through trial and error that success requires very little deviation.
 
If you are a beginner keeping things as basic as possible will achieve a few things:
 
– Consistency
– Good habits
– Behaviour change
 
All three are needed for long term progress.
 
Once you get 3-5 years of training down the line you can start looking in to the more complex things, before that you’d do well to remember the good old rule of KISS.
 
Keep
It
Simple
Savvy?
 
Bit of a change to what you might expect the last S to stand for, but it think it sounds nicer because people aren’t necessarily stupid, just misguided and lead astray by too much bad information.
 
Go to a place filled with people who have succeeded in what you’re looking to do and ask 10 of them for some advice, ask them to give it to you in the simplest way possible and you’ll find there is very little difference in what they might say. A common theme will become apparent, trust me.
 
Now go, seek a simple start and then expand from there.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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6.30am, why it’s the perfect time to train for average people.

Morning All,
 
If you say to some people that you’re planning on training at 6.30am they will call you mad, others will call you a champion.
 
Training early in the morning is better from a hormonal stand point and also in regards to your circadian rhythm – bead at 10pm up at 6am, however that is not the biggest reason it is the best time to train (unless you start work at that time, that is).
 
The reason 6.30am is the best training time is simple; it requires a commitment and a lifestyle change. Those willing to get up early and train if they don’t have to are the ones whoa re more likely to stick to a good nutrition protocol and actually achieve results.
 
You might say you’re too tired, don’t have the energy in the AM or any other such excuse, that will change the more you get in to the early morning training, at which point your excuses will be nothing more than distant memories.
 
You’ll often find the people that achieve the best results are the ones who train at this time in the morning.
 
Time to make a change, get up and train at 6.30am.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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