Tag Archives: mindset

A little knowledge is dangerous, and a lot will leave you paralysed

Squats & press behind the neck, 2-3days per week.
 
That was the recommendation of Perry Rader in regards to abbreviated training (from reading Dinosaur Strength Training, by Brooks Kubik).
 
Just two simple movements.
 
Coming from a weightlifting bias you can see the logic.
 
Other people of that era also used to do very little, for example Bob Peoples would put in a lot of time deadlifting (many days per week).
 
Another chap, who’s name current escapes me, did pull ups everyday, even getting to the point of hammering out 200+ in single sets.
 
It wasn’t uncommon either for people to pick one lift and specialise in it for several weeks/months until they hit a new personal record with it, then move on to something else.
 
Being spoilt for choice with our training options, and training information seems to have left many people frustrated and lacking direction.
 
Even if they are to stumble across something that will work provided they’re consistent in their application of said protocol, many give up within a couple of weeks.
 
Often drawn in by something flashy and new.
 
I get it though, the allure of flitting from one thing to the next.
 
It keeps people interested, yet such an attitude also keeps them in the same place physically, and while some might be happy miring in the mud, it’s nothing more than a waste of time for most of us.
 
How long do you stick with a training program?
 
4 weeks or maybe even 12?
 
You could be one of the few who changes things daily due to getting bored too quickly.
 
The attitude of ‘something is better than nothing’ has been around for a long time, however that has been born form the modern working world where staff would rathe robe seen as simply being ‘busy’ than being productive.
 
Middle management with inferiority complexes pounce on staff that have stopped for even the briefest of moments.
 
Usually spouting some bullshit such as – “I can find something for you to do.”, good old micromanagement.
 
Well obviously, we can always find something to do however that doesn’t mean it’s productive, and in that case doing something is not better than doing nothing because it will often be done with a half assed attitude.
 
In fitness the above attitude leads people to treating themselves at night after they’ve successfully ‘done something’.
 
These are the same people who wonder why nothing ever seems to change and mentally they’re still stuck and unhappy.
 
A little consistency, dedication and mental toughness to stick with something will go a long way.
 
Dear readers, or those who’ve made it this far.
 
Does your training cover these three key elements:
 
– It is Consistent
– Has Progressive Overload Planned
– Enjoyment
 
While the first two are crucial, they’re often going to fall by the wayside if the last one isn’t present.
 
Do share your current training (and current training thoughts/philosophies) below.
 
Enjoy,
Ross
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Permission Required?

Are you still asking for permission to live?
 
This may seem like an odd question, however, you’d be amazed at how many people consistently seek approval, validation or for lack of a better word, permission, to do just about anything.
 
Relating this to fitness, as a coach you’ll hear the following:
 
– Is it okay to eat XYZ?
– Does this sound right?
– If I do X can I have Y?
 
There’s a lot more where these came from as well.
 
All of them relate to people seeking the nod of approval before doing something.
 
This has two big impacts on people.
 
1 – It shifts accountability away from them on to you.
2 – It allows procrastination.
 
Looking at point 1.
 
If someone asks you for permission regarding an action or food choice they’re putting their accountability back on you because if something goes wrong or doesn’t work they’ll come straight back with – “But you said….”.
 
^^ This is something you’ll find everywhere.
 
A person will blame any and everything else before looking in the mirror and realising the blame/fault lies with them (the majority of the time, there are exceptions).
 
In regards to point 2, it gives people an excuse for inaction.
 
You see it in the working environment.
 
Boss – “Why hasn’t XYZ been done?”
Worker – “Because you didn’t ask me to do it”
 
*facepalm.
 
Long gone are the days of initiative and it’s understandable why it’s because in the past when people have tried to take the initiative they may have been told off for doing so.
 
Often it stems from childhood as well.
 
A parent (often your Mother) will ask you to do something and if you do it’s never to their standards, to which they delightfully say – “I should have done it myself.” – Or something similar.
 
Same goes for you doing something off your own back.
 
You may get a “Well done, but I wouldn’t have done it like that.”.
 
All in all, chipping away at your confidence to do things for yourself, this relates to many aspects of life.
 
You’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t.
 
Thus the constant need for permission is born for a sense of protection.
 
Understanding where it all stems from is the first step.
 
After this, you can make your own choices moving forward, or maybe you can’t, I guess that’s up to you to decide.
 
Give the above some thought.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Quotes are well meaning however…

“Do what makes you happy.”

As good as that quote sounds, it’s not very logical 😂

In regards to training I have to admit that it’s far better for someone to train in a way they enjoy because it will be far more sustainable in the long run.

That being said, if the specific goal they have requires specific styles of training that they don’t enjoy then we have a problem.

Personally my view is that how you feel, perform and look will be the result of your lifestyle & training.

They are all interlinked byproducts.

For example; you might be an endurance athlete who can smash endless miles yet your body doesn’t reflect this amazing ability due to the fact you drink like a fish.

Same is true for people who seems themselves as body builders that train like demons and eat like hippos, they may fill out a T-shirt yet it’s mostly wth fat instead of lean mass.

We are the product of our choices.

Thus my question to you lovely people.

Does your health, performance & aesthetic reflect your life choices?

More specifically do those three things reflect what you want or not?

Many wish for more, yet refuse to change to allow it to happen.

A little word of advice before we go.

If you wish to be a certain way then look to those who have that which you seek and do what they do because the mantra of ‘find what works for you’ isn’t as useful as you might think.

Instead just find what works and do that thing.

Give it some thought.

Enjoy,
Ross

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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

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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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Trigger me happy

People these days are very quick to react rather than respond.
Getting ‘triggered’ is commonplace.
You don’t like what someone said, get triggered and emotionally berate them in to submission.
That’s the modern way 🤗
This is why you’ve got to appreciate sports and physical tasks.
Q – Did you do XY or Z?
A – No, but it was because of the 5th ring of Saturn turning half a parsec faster than the 3rd & 4th that threw out my postural alignment.
Okay cool so you didn’t do it, that’s all that matters.
😂😂😂
The lies we tell ourselves can be quite creative at times.
Worst part is we say them enough times that we actually begin to believe them ourselves.
We delete, distort and generalise as much as we can to protect our own sense of self and fragile ego’s.
Did you know the ego itself fears death and rebirth because letting go of what we think we know is no easy task.
Obviously not being able to do something makes people feel bad, and depending now hat it is people won’t ever let you forget your failures.
Why?
Because it helps them come to terms with perhaps their own lack of something.
Not to mention we rarely want to help people surpass ourselves, often because when you’ve done it in the past there was never any thanks for it and those you helped tend to gain superiority complex and distort how things actually went down so that it was ‘all them’.
C’est la vie, eh?
Today I’d like you to try and catch yourself when you’re reacting emotionally.
Feel the tension in your body gather, your face tighten and your focus sharpen in preparation for the verbal attack you’re about to commence.
Even if you think to yourself that isn’t you and you’d never do it, I can tell you now you will because you’re human just like everyone else.
Gaining this level of awareness can save you a lot of hassle.
It will take time however it will be worth it.
Enjoy,
Ross

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Are you the average man or woman?

Do you want to train for health, performance and to feel better because if that is the case keep reading.
 
Three things in the gym you should ideally be able to do.
 
Ladies:
 
1 – 1x Double Bodyweight Deadlift
2 – 5x Chin Ups
3 – 1x 3/4 Bodyweight Press
 
Gentlemen:
 
1 – 1x Double Bodyweight Deadlift
2 – 10x Pull Ups
3 – 1x Bodyweight Press
 
None of the above requires astronomical strength.
 
Hit the above though and chicness are you’ll have some good base results.
 
Say you struggle to achieve these then it can mean a few things, such as you might have been injured one upon a time, have a legitimate medical excuse that makes you exempt etc.
 
If you have no aliments (real ones), then it may mean this:
 
– You’re too heavy
– You’re too weak
 
Now a lot of people will get the hump reading this.
 
Some will scream and shout about their not being any cardio goal however I shall explain why there are none.
 
CV is easy to build.
 
(I’d recommend a sport, like boxing, BJJ, skipping etc)
 
Think about it logically for one moment, please.
 
You can go from couch to 5k in a matter of weeks, perhaps even train to run a marathon within 6months (I’ve known people to go form never doing any fitness to that feat, it was most impressive).
 
Yet when it comes to building strength you’ll find that shit takes a long time, especially if you’re very de-conditioned.
 
Strength, or base strength has a universal crossover to life.
 
As does mobility, as such here are three other things you should be able to do:
 
– Sit in a full ROM squat pain free for 5min
– Lay down, stand up, crawl and climb things pain free
– Pass all minimum ROM tests (google this)
 
Many will see me as overly harsh, other will know my intentions are good though.
 
Like a post I shared a few weeks ago about being abel to haul around a sandbag of your own bodyweight.
 
Ideally you should be able to carry it for at least 1min without any real trouble. get it to your shoulder and even over head too with not too much soul crushing effort.
 
^^ All of this will build decent CV levels by the way.
 
(If you want to build strength and CV use kettlebells)
 
We’ve become so sedentary.
 
All of the above seems like truly huge feats and they’re not.
 
Not really.
 
Investing in your own strength, mobility and base levels of conditioning will help stave off meeting Charon too soon.
 
Give it some thought.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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What’s your doctrine?

In fitness you’ll find many tomes.

Each has its own unique benefits, limitations and place in the realm known as physical culture.

You can probably guess I’ve followed a few over the years.

Becoming embroiled in one thought process is easily done, especially if it’s spoken with enough conviction. In the 70’s we had body building, the 80’s had step, the 90’s was functions training and the last couple of decades brought us CrossFit & HIIT and more recently Movement Culture.

As mentioned above, all have their good points and in truth once you find one that keeps you consistently training you’ll feel great, or at least a part of something bigger than yourself.

I’ve personally been in the industry a fair while now, a literal lifetime when compared to the age of some young adults just stepping in to the field.

In this span I’ve seen trends come and go.

Plus there are a few things that have stayed and will always remain important.

  • Strength
  • Mobility & Movement
  • Health
  • Enjoyment (purpose)

You might love running, if so cool you go run just be aware of what running is lacking from the above (strength).

Perhaps you’re a powerlifter, great just be sure to fill in the missing gaps (health, mobility & movement).

I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this.

On a personal note I don’t really care what people do so long as they are doing it for the right reasons, that being it means something to them that is at the live of their very soul, none of this superficial bullshit, got no time for such pointless things.

Do you love what you do?

No, really, can you say without any doubt you love what you do (in the gym, this kinda applies for life as well – just saying).

If you have any hesitation or have to justify your answer then somethings not right.

You’ll find many a doctrine in fitness, ideal if you find one that have the elements mentioned above that’s the most optimal one, however it’s also rare.

Enjoy,
Ross

Oh, before I forget, it’s okay to create your own style you know. Learn from all the single views of the big picture and eventually you’ll have quite the impressive view to which you can then give back to the realm of fitness by creating something of your own.

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They’re only words after all.

Respect, admiration and praise.
 
Just a few things most people want.
 
While maybe not from the masses it will be desired from either specific peers or people of importance to you.
 
In the fitness realm you’ll often find in a somewhat ironic twist that the people you want these things from are the ones who’ll put you through all the ‘shit tests’.
 
We call them friends.
 
Not just any friends though, your honest ones that you might even consider your bestie’s.
 
It is a few simple words from this ilk that can make all the difference.
 
On that same token though all it needs is one jibe and you get cut deep because that’s how friendships work 🤔
 
You might have read the words above and feel these aren’t for you.
 
If so that’s cool, however do you know which ones do resonate?
 
What do you want from your training and more importantly why?
 
Many will come up with the reasons that sound go.
 
You know like being their best self and all similar things, however admitting that there is a side of you that wants things or emotional sustenance you might say is okay.
 
To have a world of unanimity it must start from your heart.
 
Be honest with yourself and to your true motivations.
 
It’ll feel like a weight has been lifted and progress can truly be made.
 
So my good people, do you resonate with the three words above or are your ones different?
 
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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