Tag Archives: new year

An old forgotten post from the drafts – New Year Pitfalls

Morning Guys,

With the new year in full swing there will be some common pitfalls ready to ensnare young hopefuls, to help you understand what they are and how to avoid them to the best of your abilities we will cover the 4 most common.
1 – Too Much Too Soon.
You’ve spent the best part of 2015 living on convenience foods and building forts on the sofa, but 2016 is where that will all change. In the first week of the new year there will be the familiar sight of hoards of newbies hitting the gym EVERYDAY, going hell for leather and literally pushing themselves to the point of feeling sick, just short of collapsing. It’s okay though, it’s meant to be like this, right?
After doing this for a week, maybe two a gym virgin will be utterly ruined. Walking normally will be a distant dream, sitting on the toilet will be like harder than climbing Everest, you get the idea.
Starting down the path of self improvement is great and I fully support those who want to make a change, what you need to remember is that doing too much won’t get you results faster. It will however leave you sore, frustrated and demotivated, all of which can cause a person to quite their endeavor and we don’t want that.
My advice for gym new comers would be to join a couple of classes 2-3 per week will be sufficient to get you progressing, enjoy your workouts and also making some new friends too. If you can afford it hire a trainer/coach as they will be able to teach you a lot of the things you need to know, not to mention correct exercise form.
Don’t rush, take your time and avoid doing too much too soon.
2 – No Patience.
Everyone wants to get results, the biggest issue is the fact that everyone wants their results by yesterday. This is a major problem. Results take time to achieve, occasionally a very long time and this can be frustrating for people.
In the modern world of health/fitness there are some unrealistic expectations of what is achievable, this is largely down to rampant PED (performance enhancing drugs) use and a reluctance to accept that the people many often admire have been training for a great number of years – 10+ in most cases.
Is it possible to lose 30lbs of fat in 12 weeks? Yes, however it would require extreme focus and dedication and sadly a lot of people don’t have that. This means you will be realistically looking at more like 24 weeks to achieve that goal, this for some people is too long to wait.
Results take time, learn some patience and don’t give up when you don’t have abs or are a size 8 after only one week in the gym.
3 – Your Nutrition is Wrong.
A simple subject made complex. Here is the basics of nutrition:
To gain weight – Eat more calories than you burn.
To lose weight – Eat less calories than you burn.
Simple right? So that being the case why do so many people struggle? The answer is obvious really… You are either eating too much or not enough. Seriously, for the majority of people that is the honest truth.
Okay, now for the slightly more interesting part.
Establishing how many calories to eat. There are literally hundreds of formulas/websites on the internet that will give you a rough estimate, with one of the best being the Harris-Benedict formula (I’m not writing this one down as it’s rather long and complicated). If you’re looking for a quick guide way to establish your potential daily calorie needs then use this *equation:
Weight Loss – Weight in Lbs (ideally your LBM-Lean body mass, meaning what portion of you isn’t fat) multiplied by 11-13. So, LBM in Lbs x 11-13 = calories for weight loss.

Weight Gain – LBM in Lbs x 17-19 = Calories for weight (muscle gain).

*Disclaimer – this is a rough guide, if you want a more accurate number hire a trainer/coach to do all of this for you.
The next part from here will be establishing your Macro-nutrient ratios (protein/carbs/fat) Ideally this is based off of your LBM. There are a specific amount of calories in each macro-nutrient:
Protein – 4cals per gram
Carbohydrate – 4cals per gram
Fat – 9 Calories per gram
Grams of Protein = 1xLBM – of you weigh 150lbs of lean mass then you need 150g of protein.
Grams of Carbs = 1xGrams of Protein – 1×150=150g carbs (25-40g of this number should be fiber).
Grams of Fat = Add the calories from protein/carbs together then take it away from your established number of daily calories. What ever number that is divide it by 9 for your grams of fat, for example: 900cals remaining / 9 = 100g fat for the day.
In recent times you will hear people say that your choice of food doesn’t matter. Yep, you read that right. Provided you hit your macros/calories you can eat what ever you want, in theory… Would I personally advise this? No. Personally I would prefer people eat mostly whole foods (meat/veg, basically what is considered adult food, not sweets, cakes and convenience foods) this is for better for overall in health in my experience. True you will find people who throw science/theory at your proving it doesn’t matter but if I’ve learnt one thing it’s that everything works in theory but that’s about it.
The real secret to nutrition is to enjoy what you eat, don’t restrict yourself but don’t gorge either. Aim for the classic 80/20 split of whole foods to indulgence, hit your calories/macros and you will find you don’t go far wrong.
4 – You Don’t Put in Enough Effort (Mentally).
I am not going to sugar coat this fact.
The main pitfall that leads to people giving up is their mind is weak. The difference between fantasy and reality is purely desire, well, most of the time in the things we can control anyway.
Try to remember that you are in charge of your life. You control your actions, no one made you eat that cake, you wanted to eat it. Is that a bad thing? Hell no! If you want some cake then have some, just don’t eat the entire cake and feel guilty or blame someone else for eating it. So what if you were at a child’s birthday party? You didn’t have to eat it, you wanted to eat it. Accept your decisions and move one swiftly from the bad ones.
Everyone has the potential to achieve their goals, what most people lack is the patience, dedication and mental fortitude to keep going when it gets tough. There is no quick fix, the only way to get lasting results is to make a life long change. Remember that.
Have faith in yourself, I know you can do it.
Enjoy,
Ross
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2018, almost done & dusted

The time is now.

Better start gearing up for some change, me thinks.

Looking back over your own personal 2018, what can you see?

– What was achieved
– How much progress got made
– Were any lessons learned
– Did it go as well as you’d hoped
– Are there mistakes you’d wish you’d avoided

Arbitrary questions, yet ones worth answering nevertheless.

I’d like you to share your notable thoughts of this year, along with any proof to go with it because while I will smile and give a nod to the words people say, as you know by now I only believe what I see, simply due to the internets room for creative adaptation.

Personally my year has been pretty standard because I’m boring like that.

The lifting has been steady as has my physique, yet nothing has really moved forwards.

One thing that has gained some traction is my growing love for that little thing called JiuJitsu, Rob, George & the young Steve can attest to this, in fact Rob might even have some epic fuck-ups on video 😂

All in all I’ve begun to drift away from being quite so dogmatic about my own training as there is just far more to be learned, while it was nice having a purely lifting based focus for a few years there was only so far I could take it, sad yet true.

To know when you’re beaten, so to speak, it’s something that both makes you smile and understand just where you stand int he grand scheme of things.

What do I mean by that?

I worked diligently to hit 210kg in the squat, that was 3xBW, and it was hard graft, I did some PL meets and do you know what, there were people at my weight and a couple of KG heavier that were opening with that.

Yep, my all time best was there opener, you’ve got to laugh about it, or cry, either is good.

Apart from the difference in strength there was also one other thing they all had that I didn’t.

No, it wasn’t genetics because some had far worse proportions than me for PL.

It was intent, heart if you will.

They wanted it, to them this was their everything and they’d do whatever it took to keep climbing that mountain, this is where I drew the line because I knew I just didn’t care enough.

The same thing happened with WL, I saw just, exactly where Is stood in the grand scheme of things and at best I was an average hobbyist, a valuable lesson to learn.

I could make a lot of logical and even rational excuses to protect my ego and other such things, however the truth is this, I wasn’t good enough and just didn’t have what it took to move past the point I was at.

I didn’t care enough, as such I enjoyed talking about it far more than actually doing it, I’m sure there are a few of you like that in here, it’s okay though, you don’t need to put your hands up or anything, just know you’re not alone.

The time is now, to be thankful for what we’ve learned.

As such my advise to anyone who hasn’t yet set a goal for 2019 would be this; pick a goal that means something to you, don’t follow a trend or what everyone else tells you to follow, pick something that means something to you otherwise it doesn’t matter, not really.

Arbitrary goals are just that when they have no real meaning to them.

So, what do you have in mid for next year?

I have another reflective post read for tomorrow which is unlike my normal, it will make sense when I pop it up, however until then I’d love it if you’d share your answers to the points above.

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How to make 2019 your year, no seriously this is how you WILL do what you haven’t for the last several.

2019 is fast approaching.
 
How will you make it your best year yet?
 
3 ideas that will lead to success in Fitness, Love & Life.
 
Morning all,
 
These sorts of posts will be rife unsocial media soon, so I felt I’d add in my two pennies worth as well.
 
One common pattern I’ve noticed is that almost everyone who saying things like –
 
“Next year is going to be my year.”
 
Only then to epically fail at making the year any different from previous ones all have this in common.
 
They don’t do anything differently, like nothing.
 
How can you expect change or a different results if you continue to perform the same things?
 
Now it might just be me who thinks this way, however that seems rather illogical, as such here is my views that you can choose to apply for change.
 
The tropes of “next year will be mine”
 
1 – Achieving a better body, no more XXL pants for me.
 
The reason internet guru’s and quick fix programs are still round is because people majorly suck at this part of the ‘best year yet’.
 
Why do they suck?
 
Many dislike the discomfort they have to endure to achieve anything notable, while I’d like to say you can make epic change without it, I can’t because it’s not true.
 
If this sounds like you then here is the answer you need.
 
Hire a trainer, a real one you can see face to face.
 
Before you say you don’t have the money, I’m sure you do, write down everything you spend on an average week and make note of what you don’t need, then chop it.
 
This is doubly true for things you WANT but don’t need because those funds can go towards a far better cause.
 
The money you invest in a good trainer will be worth it.
 
I can promise you that.
 
2 – I won’t let anymore deadbeats play with my heart.
 
Bahahahahahha, yea we both know that’s wishful thinking because you will go for the same type of person you always do, simply because they’re your type, obviously.
 
We get caught in this loop because of familiarity.
 
Deep in our subconscious we meet people we’ve met before, all because we know the subtle traits, which lets us to seek them out, and because they’re familiar we feel comfortable with them.
 
I bet you’re guilty of saying things like this “It’s like we’ve known each other for years, yet we only just met.” or the classic “We click, there’s a spark.”
 
Dear god pleas run.
 
Head for the hills immediately because this is only going to end one way, and you know it.
 
So, give the above how do you prevent this?
 
Go to places you’ve never been, step outside of your comfort zone, your circle of friends and venture out to make new circles and new friends.
 
If you go to the same places, do the same things you’ll always meet the sam people, trust me.
 
To find something you never knew you were looking for you need to go to places you’d never normally go, it is here you give yourself the chance to be happy by taking a leap of faith in to situations/places that you don’t know.
 
Go on, step outside your box and see the rest of the world, you never know who you might meet doing so.
 
Also, you might be better off on your own for a bit, another person might not give you what you think you need, if what you need is to be happy with who you are, in every aspect and element of ‘you’.
 
Sometimes moving forwards isn’t about doing it with someone else, sometimes it’s about knowing you’ll be alright doing it for yourself.
 
Better to be alone and be happy in yourself than to be with someone unhappily and change who you are for them because you can’t stomach the thought of not having someone in your life.
 
3 – I’m will do more things for me, time to be strong.
 
Admittedly this is more for those of you that are people pleasers.
 
You know who you are, basically door mats, mugs, that person everyone knows won’t object to anything asked of them because they fear being called a ‘bad friend’ or seen as ‘selfish’ and so on.
 
Don’t get me wrong, doing kind things and giving to other people is what makes life fulfilling, however there is a difference between doing this out of choice and some misplaced sense of obligation.
 
I’ve know a lot of people over they years who pride themselves on being that person people go to anything they need help, and bess them they’re too naive to see that their ‘friends’ are simply using them as a mean to and end.
 
Worst of all is that many who fall in to this description know this is the truth.
 
You know it too, don’t you….
 
Having some self-worth, some value in your time and not giving it away willy nilly to anyone who will abuse your generosity doesn’t make you a bad person, if anything it will derive more respect from people in the long run.
 
To stop being so scared of upsetting the world and it’s dog will be the first step to setting you free fro being everyones bitch.
 
Might sound harsh, however I’ve seen too many a good friend get drowned in this and not be abel to get themselves out, even with help.
 
The same thing happens in marriages too, so beware.
 
So apart from having more self-wroth and internal value, what else can you do?
 
Here is the biggest, and the hardest part of becoming free of this trope.
 
You ready?
 
Learning to say no, and actually mean it.
 
Your time is precious, you only have so much of it and by all means give it to people who appreciate it, who you truly care for, however don’t waste it being a dogsbody.
 
You’re a person too after all, you deserve as much respect and time as you give to others, never forget that.
 
There you have it, some things to consider for 2019.
 
If you have any questions please leave them below.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Some Brutal Honesty

A short one today with a few words of wisdom from years of learning.
You ready?
Have you ever asked a question and received and answer only to respond with –
“Yea I know that, but what about XYZ….”
If this is you, congratulations you’re an idiot.
Harsh but something a lot of people say a lot of the time.
If you already know what you need to be doing what aren’t you doing it and getting the results/success you claim you want?
It doesn’t make much sense really, does it.
Most of the time when it comes to fitness related questions there is no fancy answer. The basics that or foundation principles are what they are for a reason, they work. There are indeed select individuals who are an exception to this but they are the minority, not the majority.
Want to lose body fat? You need a negative energy balance and training that will help maintain or stimulate muscle for an adaptive response so you can progress towards your goal (usually the compound lifts achieve this).
Want to build muscle? You need a positive energy balance and training that will help maintain or stimulate muscle for an adaptive response so you can progress towards your goal (usually the compound lifts achieve this).
Simple, but as you said, you already knew that.
Enjoy,
Ross

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Don’t Stress, Progress is Happening.

The first week of the New Year is at an end.

Hopefully you have stayed true to your resolutions and started making a change, even if what you have done might only seem small, it’s a step in the right direction.

It’s not uncommon to see people absolutely smashing it in the New Year and making progress immediately, perhaps a change int heir body/health can already be seen, while it is great to witness for the persons family members it can leave others who started their fitness journey feeling a bit down in the dumps because their progress isn’t as rapid. 

Firstly there is some honest feedback that has to be given and it is this; some people will progress faster than you, even if they seem to put in less effort. Is it fair? Hardly, but that’s life and regardless of how fast someone else is progressing it shouldn’t hold any effect on you because you’re you, not them and you’re progressing at the pace your body will allow for now. Don’t panic, you’re not a failure, stay consistent and results will come.

Now, the temptation to try and keep up with the Jones’ can be a hard one to resist, we have all been there and usually it doesn’t do anyone any good. It just demotivates the individual trying to keep up and no one needs that. While healthy competition is good, you can only do what you can, no more, remember that.

If you need some suggestions to help you stay motivated and reveal your progress then these will be right up your street:

– Progress Photos, take them on the same day, same time, same room, same lighting etc for the most consistency.

– Keep a training diary, this just helps you see your fitness progressing in terms of tangible numbers.

– Body measurements, problems read such as the waist, stomach are good to see the loss of visceral fat. You can also relate progress to your clothes and how they fit/feel.

Those are 3 tried and tested methods for keeping a track on things so you can see that you’re progressing nicely. Don’t worry what others people are doing, focus on you.

Enjoy,

Ross

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Two ways to stay on track in January.

The first couple of weeks in January are often the easiest for people to stay committed to the cause because they are gilled with motivation, however this can start to chance around week three/four and I would like to give you two tips to help you avoid this happening.
 
1 – Get other people involved.
 
This can mean a great many things, the best way to look at it is by finding a gym buddy or telling a close few people publicly what you’re doing so that they can help hold you accountable if you do start to fall off the wagon.
 
You will find that the fear of letting people down can be a great motivator, it’s true it won’t work for everyone and that is why I have tip number two for you.
 
2 – WIIFM
 
‘What’s in it for me’
 
That is what WIIFM stands for and this is a great way to show you just how many benefits you will get from sticking with your fitness journey. Here are some examples:
 
– Better health
– More confidence
– Increased daily energy
– Clarity of mind and better thinking ability
– New friends
– Learning fitness can be fun (group exercise etc)
 
Those are only a few reasons but you will find that sticking with your New Years fitness journey will be a great benefit to you in the long run because the positives far outweigh the negatives (early morning gym sessions, hard sessions, buying new clothes).
Bonus Tip: Set a SMART goal and have someone who really means a lot to you counter sign it.
 
Remember you’re not alone when you feel things get hard, almost everyone has been there at some point, just remember you’ll regret giving up far more than you will pushing through the tough times and reaping the rewards of your labours.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Advice so simple you won’t think it will work.

Happy New Year Everyone.
 
It’s the dawn of 2017 and as you are well aware that mean a lot of new people flooding to the gyms in an effort to make a change.
 
Before we go on I have some quick advice about the newbies:
 
– If you don’t like them that’s okay, however probably best you go in at a non-peak time.
 
– If you have no problem with newbies please make sure to give them a helping hand, we were all their once.
 
– Treat newbies how you wanted to be treated.
 
Okay, now those little bits are out of the way we shall go in to some simple yet effective advice for the ‘New Year New Me’ crowd.
 
There are endless things that can be advised but these 5 tips will help you build a solid foundation, don’t ignore them because I did and it heavily stalled my progress.
 
1 – Buy a diary for Training & Nutrition. Tracking is an important habit you NEED to succeed.
 
2 – Eat 3-5 meals per day consisting of whole foods, meat, veg, you know what you should be aiming for. Think 80/20, whole foods/indulgence, that way you will get all your needed nutrients and have some wiggle room for the things you like.
 
3 – Train 2-3 times per week (yep, some people can start off with 2xpw and make great progress, don’t be in a rush to do too much too soon.
 
4 – LIFT WEIGHTS! Guys, I know you will do this. Ladies… Don’t be scared of the weights, they will help you strip fat and get that firm body you had from your youth once again. Aim for a nice simple 5×5 program – Here is a link to a great app: https://stronglifts.com/5×5/
 
New tip is for both Guys & Girls It’s a simple program that focuses on Compound (big lifts) movements which target multiple muscle groups that give you the most bang for your buck, don’t waste time doing lots of isolation work unless you’ve been training 2 years minimum you will find you make plenty of progress without too much faff.
 
You may also find the Dinosaur Strength Training Series of books a great read, you can get them on kindle. Aim for 45-60min lifting 2-3xPW.
 
5 -DO SOME CARDIO! Girls you will be fine with this but don’t do too much, it won’t get you the look you want. Guys, you need to do some because you won’t. Aim to get in 2x30min of good hard CV, no dawdling, work hard (perhaps at the end of your weight session).
 
When it comes to getting started in the gym there will be endless amounts of advice, tonnes of ’12 week transformation’ program and much more to draw you in and drain your money.
 
If you want solid, sustainable results hire a trainer/coach, but ask to see their portfolio of evidence (past client success) or ask to speak to current clients.
 
We all started somewhere and we all made the same mistakes so while you might think “Well I will do it his way for now and see how I go.” Don’t, just don’t…. You are not special, you are like the rest of us, we said the same and held back out progress or didn’t get the most we could in those early stages. Don’t let your ego get in the way, please ask for help from someone who knows what they’re doing because these people really want to help you, honestly.
 
Tomorrow I will post up a nice simple program for the new year. It’s nothing earth shattering, it will be simple but very effective, so much so that you will think it won’t work but you’d be wrong.
 
Now go and get yourself two diaries and start your fitness journey the right way.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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I Got Skills, Have You?

Skills Skills Skills, Do you have them?
 
Keeping with the theme of the new year lead up and all of the resolutions that will be set it’s time to look at an often forgotten aspect of goal setting; Skill Requirement.
 
It might sound strange yet the ability to achieve a goal isn’t just down to sheer force of will and heart, although having only those two will get you a very long way. Something else you need will be a specific set of skills, let me give you an example.
 
Goal – Become a Rock Superstar.
 
Current Situation – Self Employed with no singing ability or musical talent.
 
Skills Required – Musical tone, lyrical genius, the ability to play one or multiple instruments.
 
Required Skills Currently Possessed – None, not a single one :(.
 
Required Action to Achieve Goal – Give up all work and invest time/money to learn all required skills to achieve the dream.
 
Overall Outcome – Loss of current earnings, potential homelessness, existential dread.
 
Decision – Goal unachievable.
 
Okay, that might be a tad extreme, I’m sure the outcomes wouldn’t be that terrible but you get the idea that the goal I wanted reared a certain set of skills that I didn’t possess and to acquire those skills I would bee to invest time and resources. This is something a great many forget to take in to account.
 
Everyone wants to achieve their goals and you might be surprised to learn that there are plenty of people that will help you along the way but before you can find them you need to honestly assess your current skills and which ones you will need to achieve your goal.
 
Here are five steps to help you:
 
1 – Write down your goal.
2 – Write down what skills you need to archive your goal.
3 – Write down what skills you HAVE and which ones you NEED.
4 – Write down a list of actions to acquire said skills.
5 – Apply the tips above.
 
Everyone starts somewhere, if you need help be sure to ask for it. Don’t let your goal slip through your fingers, achieve it and be proud!
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Enjoy the Journey

Morning Guys,

The first full week of 2016 is here, it is also the week where everyone will start their journey to a ‘New Me’ and while I find this admirable I sadly hate to say that more than 3/4 of the people who start today will fail.

What is my opinion based on?

Experience.

Over the years I have seen a lot of people start down the road of redemption from their woeful ways, many actually achieved their initial goals which is fantastic but less than a 1/4 of them continue and I’m going to tell you why.

They don’t enjoy the journey.

Having a goal is purpose, but it’s enjoying the journey that makes it truly fulfilling and worthwhile.

I see a lot of people who rush towards their goal, achieve it and for a short time are satisfied, or at least their ego is anyway. This is nothing more than a mentality, we are conditioned over time to stay focused on one point and reach it no matter the cost, however we forget to enjoy the process and thus our achievements don’t stand for much or give us that feeling which we truly desire; Self Appreciation.

We embark on a journey because we THINK we should, because people will congratulate us, because others are doing the same, when in reality we should do it for ourselves, after all, the only persons opinion that really matters is your own.

If you’re one of those on the road to a new you then enjoy each day as it comes. Be proud of every step you take, congratulate yourself and don’t rely on other people for your validation. By enjoying the journey you will achieve you goal and more, not to mention you will actually start living instead of just existing.

Enjoy the journey,
Ross

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