Tag Archives: mindset

Now or Possibly Never

Risks in your training, do you take them?

It’s not unusual for people to refuse a suggested tweak of change because of the following reasons:

– The truly enjoy their current training
– Fear of regression
– Your answer wasn’t the one their bias was looking for

In the case of the first point I’ve know a few people that literally train because they enjoy it.

There is no goal.

No overarching need or desire to add slabs of muscle, build endless strength and improve mobility, it’s acutely quite refreshing.

These are rare people though.

It’s often easy to see behind the eyes of those that claim this as their answer while in reality they do want more results.

That leads into the second answer.

When stagnation in training happens, mentally this can be very frustration.

As such some will create the smoke screen of training for enjoyment, being happy etc, because they got to let us say point C with their current training, and there is a crippling fear that if they deviate from it they will lose what they have.

As such these people often add on extra training to what they’re currently doing.

This impacts recovery, lowers performance and basically causes more issues than it solves.

Feeling as if you’re putting in a solid effort consistently to have little to no more rewards is very disheartening for a lot of people.

The the fear of going backwards by not doing the heavy about they’re doing takes hold (often with cardio enthusiasts, or people that attend classes).

Once this gets engrained they will ask people for advice.

Not directly though, it’s along the lines of:

“I love my training and feel there is no need to change it because it’s working (it’s really not), but if you’ve got any tips you think my help I’m all ears.”

^ Or something alone these lines.

Essentially they’re asking a broad question in the hope of getting a very specific answer.

Unless your answer fits their bias, they will ignore it or make up some reason/excuse why it isn’t applicable to them.

Simply because it’s just not what they wanted to hear.

A lot of us have been in one or all three of the above stages at some point in our lives.

I know full well I have, at least for number three anyway.

Seeking the perfect answer with an imperfect question.

All I found was frustration because I didn’t know what I was really trying to ask, or that’s what I told myself, whereas in reality the fear of gaining excessive body fat to gain muscle just freaked me out.

Plus I also enjoyed a very specific stye of training too.

This didn’t fall inline with the imposed goal of the culture I was surrounded by, hence the conflict.

Knowing the above will help you in taking a risk.

Changing your nutrition style completely.
Adopting an entirely new training philosophy.
Leaving behind the way you were to become someone new.

When presented with the chance to remain the same or change completely, always choose the option for change as that is usually the one that will keep you moving forwards in life.

From a training standpoint that is.

Give the above some thought.

Enjoy,
Ross

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Rarely does anything grow in old soil

Given all the tools we have available to us, each one with the potential to help us reach our desired goal/destination.
 
Why is it we only stick with a select few, and often those that we came across first?
 
Mentally it makes sense.
 
We form a deep and strong bond with that which we first found to yield a solid result, and as such in doing it we’ll royally put in a good effort.
 
Yet this holds many back due to their ties to ‘insert method/tool’.
 
Meaning anything new is immediately met with hesitation, perhaps event resentment and contempt, then little to no effort tis put in because we’re already deemed it inferior before really letting it show us what it can really do.
 
As a species we are very good at finding the negatives.
 
You know, seeking out what’s wrong or why something won’t work, etc.
 
While quite a useful skill for survival and I’m quite the fan of objectivism, critical thinking and having a healthy skepticism, we must also acknowledge that such a bias can and often will hold us back if we allow it to.
 
Of course this is speaking from personal experience.
 
Given that is only one sense to view the world, and one that is far less libertarian than the modern world would like, I understand my shortcomings in this life.
 
Accepting the knowledge that what got you from your initial point A to your current point B probably won’t take you any further is a wise thing to consider.
 
The dichotomy we arrive at here is as follows:
 
Doing what we like/want or doing what we fear/need.
 
These days plenty of people will take the route of saying that if someone is happy then leave them be, which is fair however it’s not useful to bettering ones self in their life, not really.
 
Very little grows in comfortable conditions, things grow in the RIGHT conditions and those might just be uncomfortable, harsh, challenging or just down right unpleasant to sustain, yet if that is what we need to truly grow then it is when something becomes a necessary evil.
 
“I see things this way. You may choose to stay. I however cannot, because I want so much more from this life than to grow old in one place, too scared to move and hiding behind the guise of finding a happy place. Happiness isn’t merely one thing, it’s the culmination of many, that’s what makes a life worth living, that’s living life rightly.” – muggins while drunk
 
Apply the above to your current fitness journey.
 
Ask yourself this, are you happy or merely indifferent convincing yourself it’s content?
 
Be prepared to give away your old ways and adopt new ones, it’s the only way to grow.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Break the training split mould

You don’t need to train based on a 7 day week.
 
Convenience is often why 7 day splits are created.
 
For clarity, a 7 days spit is a training routine that repeats every 7 days.
 
A 5 day split would therefore not be training Monday to Friday with sat/sun off to start again Monday, that’s a 7 day split.
 
The aforementioned 5 day split would be perhaps train Monday/Tuesday/Recovery-Wed/Thursday/Friday-Off & repeat, so not adhering to the same training days each week.
 
Feeling the need to train on specific days each week can lead to some poor behaviours.
 
Skipping social events.
 
Binning off family to train.
 
Getting stressed when you miss a day.
 
Plus a whole host of other things as well, all of which lead you to stagnation, self loathing, little progress and eventual burnout.
 
Here are some different options to consider:
 
3 day splits – two days on, one off, repeat
Train every 3rd day after strength, 5th day after volume
Roll a dice to see how many sessions you do this week
Flip a coin to decide if you’re training or resting
Train 2 days one week, three the next, 4 after, then 2 again
Lift 3 times in 10 days, or 5 times in 14 days
 
The options are endless
 
Basically break the mould, especially if you say you like different things or variety.
 
Nothing is more different than rolling a dice to see if you’re training or flipping a coin.
 
Give the compulsive habit away willingly.
 
You’ll be amazed how your life improves and your stress levels reduce when you do,plus you’ll probably start getting better results as well due to not simply running through the motions in the gym.
 
You should investigate this thoroughly.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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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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