Tag Archives: performance

40+ Lifting

The ravages of time effect us all, it’s something none of us can deny.

Eventually the days of working all the hours under the sun followed by a hard night of partying and then getting up at the crack of dawn and crushing a workout can only last so long.

In the end the body says “Nope, just no.”

So why does this happen?

Let’s look at what we know:

– Hormonal profiles are less optimal
– Your ability to recover declines as you age
– Sleep becomes paramount
– Tolerance to alcohol, highly processed foods declines
– You can actually train harder as you age due to better and more mature/developed neurological connections that create more in-road each session (plus you might have made strength gains from your early days, hopefully)
– Basically you’re no spring chicken anymore

Some people think raging is a bad thing, it’s not, it’s simply a process of life however if you plan your training correctly you can make plenty of progress in your later years, and for some people even make the best progress they’ve ever made.

Personally I’ve had clients who go on to outdo themselves ten-fold from their youth because as an adult they possess the following quality that only come with time:

– Wisdom
– Patience
– Accountability
– Common sense

A typical younger version of yourself might train 5-6 days per week and hit a combination of weights/cardio, not a bad thing, however from experience the attitude of most is that of this “I’m maintaining what I’ve got.” whereas as you age the attitude becomes “I’m looking to become stronger and improve what I have to prevent further decline.” – obviously note true for everyone, just most people.

As youths we truly are ignorant and take what we have for granted. If we had known that the foundations we lay in the early years will serve use to help keep our youth for longer more people would put in a conscious effort to train for strength/progress rather than just aesthetics and maintaining what we have.

^^ Always train for strength, performance and progress, that’s the bottom line. If you do aesthetics will come regardless of age.

Below is a winning formula I have used for people over the age of 40 who have become more invested mentally in their training.

– Train 2-4 times per week (more isn’t necessary)
– Focus on strengthening your posterior chain
– Focus on stretching your anterior chain
– 2-6 movements per session is great
– Conditioning is important (use 1 session to hit CV 80%+ HRR)
– Lower reps with more sets trumps all
– Average intensity will be around 80% 1RM
– 2-3 weeks of hard training followed by 1 week easy is king
– Take 4 total rest weeks of a year (12 week mesocycles)
– Food is fuel, eat mostly whole foods
– Enjoy life, if you want to eat loose do it, just don’t go nuts to often

If you’re new to lifting I advise you hire a coach to help you with the below. Kettlebells are a great tool, however they require practice so leave your ego at the door, focus on longevity.

 

You’ll improve strength/conditioning/mobility/flexibility with kettlebells, they’re the perfect tool as we find ourselves hitting the later years. If you have never used them I suggest hiring a coach to help teach you their ways.

Enjoy,
Ross

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Wicked Warm Ups

2 Ways to warm up for optimal performance.
 
You are all well educated people, I am sure you have a good warm up in place, however is it the most optimal one for getting the most out of each session?
 
Today you will learn two methods that will allow you to get everything you can out of each weight lifting session. One is a started and the other is on going, enjoy.
 
*Start off with a typical 5min mobility/pulse raiser.
 
1 – The Over Warm-Up Method 
 
Simple, effective and it also helps you improve your movement patters.
 
Here is how it looks, based on working sets of say 100kgx6
 
Set 1 – Bar x5-10 (to dust off the cobwebs)
Set 2 – 40kg x5
Set 3 – 60kg x2-3
Set 4 – 80kg x2-3
Set 5 – 90kg x2
Set 6 – 100kg x2
Set 7 – 110kg x2
Set 8 – 120kg x1
Set 9 – 125kg x1
 
You can go higher if required, but typically you will use 8-10 sets to warm up starting off with a couple of 5’s to get the juices flowing, then 2-3’s for movement pattern grooving and finally singles for neurological facilitation so that your working weight feel like a feather, for the first few sets anyway.
 
The neurological activation lasts for around 5-10min directly after the last warm up set and then will continue to have a positive effect in the subsequent sets so you have plenty of benefit. You might even be able to get more reps than you have planned with this method because of the extra neural activation you get warming up this way.
 
 
2 – Neural Charge
 
As with the first method this plays to activate your nervous system so that you will be firing the most amount of muscle fibres possible right from the get go, rather than the standard way of making your body recruit more over time through mechanical fatigue – which there is nothing wrong with, however why not get everything going asap, eh? 🙂
 
Due to its unique explosive loading methods in pre-activation movements before the main lifts, Neural Charge Training impacts all levels of neuromuscular function, such as neurotransmitter uptake, excitation-contraction coupling, and motor-unit recruitment. This happens due to the fact you are using a POWER based exercise first, for example: Box Jump before Squatting or Bound Jumps before Deadlifts.
 
When you perform an explosive power based movement you force the body to recruit the deeper type two muscle fibres, then you rest 3-5min tops (you won’t lose the NC effect, as explained above with the over warm up method, it lasts around 5-10min tops). When you get under the bar you will find the focus on generating as much speed as possible in the concentric portion of the lift is greatly accentuated.
 
 
The increased MU Recruitment will allow more weight to be lifted, just be very carful not to use too much volume. You will do this before each lift, you will do well to limit sets/reps to 3-5 for each. A workout may look like this:
 
*Neural Charge – NC. RM – Repetition Max
 
NC – Overhead Vertical Med Ball Press – Aim for max heigh each throw 3-5 reps – rest 3-5min.
A1 – Overhead Press 3-5×3-5xRequired RM loading – Rest 3min
 
Or
 
NC – Squat Jump 30% 1RM, quarter or full squat, land in athletic position (quarter squat for visual reference) – rest 3-5min
A1 – Squat 3-5×3-5xRequired RM loading – Rest 3min
 
^^ It is worth limiting the amount of exercises per workout with this method to 1-3 as it will become very demanding on the nervous system. Remember this is a performance technique, not a fatigue one.
 
Try each and see what works best for you.
 
Be warned, you may break through plateaus with these methods. They are not to be sued if you enjoy being in the comfort zone.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Repeated Information

Morning Guys,
 
The age old question of ‘how long should you spend in the gym?’ has been highly debated over the years, with the majority of strength coaches and authorities stating that 45min is about the optimal time to be training as natural testosterone levels will peak around 20-22min and be highly diminished by 45-50min. While there will be some individual difference most of the writings on this end up with the majority of people end up finding the optimal training time in relation to natural testosterone levels sits around 45-60min.
 
What about those who train 2 or more hours?
 
For most who train for an excessively long time they are simply spinning their wheels and creating an unnecessary amount of fatigue that they will struggle to recover from, however there might be some genetic marvels who can sustain this level of work capacity naturally, more often than not though people who workout for this amount of time and make progress (size, strength gains) usually have some form of help.
 
There has been a lot of talk that if a person can train multiple times per day and have 30min – 3 hours rest between sessions (depending not he type of session) they would yield the most results, this would be due to increased protein syntheses and a higher total volume being achieved.
 
When it comes to increasing volume you can add sets or reps, this will take your workout time up, possibly conflicting with the ideal workout time of 45-60min (45min hard work, 15 min mobility/warm down), this is indeed a conundrum but the answer is simple, plus it’s already mentioned above – more frequent workouts.
 
Training multiple times per day is not something everyone can do, but if you have the option to do 2x45min sessions you will find you start to make faster progress and can amass more total volume, however there will come a point when you look at your life and need to make a choice. If you want to keep improving in your sport or the gym you will need to dedicate more time to training, much like Weightlifters (they train 30-45min then rest and repeat for 8-10 hours per day). If however you simply want to look good and enjoy the gym while making progress you’ll do best to increase your work capacity (doing more in the same amount of time), the easiest way to do this is as follows:
 
1 – Increasing Reps – turning fives in to eights and eights in to twelves before adding weight.
2 – Increasing Sets – adding one, two or three more sets for example.
3 – Increasing Weight – simple adding more weight when you can.
 
1A/2A – Decreasing Rest Periods – Increasing sets is good but that can lead to a massive increase in your time in the gym, if you add a set decrease your rest period to compensate.
 
You will see options 1 and 2 are pretty simple but they will need to be regulated with option 1&2A to help keep your training time in the gym down.
 
in short increasing your workout frequency to increase your total volume is the best route to the beat the leprechaun to the pot of gold, but for those without the luxury of being able to train multiple times per day, increasing your workout capacity each session (doing more in the same amount of time or less) is the way to go for you, just be sure to manage your fatigue and track each workouts RPE accordingly, this will help you auto-regulate and stop yourself from digging too deep a hole that you can’t recover from.
 
If you’re looking to delve in to this further you can read The Science & Practice of Strength Training, Body By Science and also anything by Dr Fred Hatfield as those books will help you further understand these principles if you want to increase your knowledge base. Not to mention they’re written by people far smarter and more articulate than me.
You will find there is nothing new when it comes to fitness, for the most part. There is a lot of info that hasn’t changed over the years and is simply proven as being more or less effective by scientists. You will see that what worked or what was mostly relevant years ago is still relevant today, for the most part.
 
Enjoy,
Ross
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PEDs in sport?

Drugs in sport are nothing new.

PED’s (performance enhancing drugs) have been in sports for a very long time, and almost all top athletes are using them.

Time to stop being naive.

The reason PED’s will help your performance so dramatically is because they allow your body to recover faster than you naturally can, steroids are a medicinal thing after all. This allows you to train harder, more frequently and achieve levels beyond that of even the most genetically gifted people.

It’s advised that you stay away from taking such substances, you’re not an endocrinologist and you will cause yourself problems. There are plenty of ways you can increase your performance without taking PED’s, you just have to be prepared to put in some times and effort to achieve the results you desire.

Here are some simple steps to help improve your recovery, boost your performance and take you to the next level NATURALLY.

– Eat more nutritious whole foods. This will promote an anabolic state in the body providing your calories are in a surplus.

– Stress less, meditate more. Lowering cortisol levels will help you recover much faster, remember cortisol is inflammatory and you need to bring this down asap.

– Have regular massages, or at least foam roll. This will help release some tension in the fascia and break down some unwanted muscle knots, allowing for increase blood flow which means more nutrients to the muscles to help them recover.

– Sleep in a completely dark room. This means no lights, no electrical devices, essentially nothing int he room that can disturb your sleep. The deep your sleep the better you will recover.

– Train Less. This might seem counterintuitive but there is a difference between chasing performance and facing fatigue. People want to feel demolished, but that doesn’t always mean that they will be getting results or progressing, these people are chasing fatigue and not performance. The best way to ascertain this is to always aim to increase either your reps, weight on exercises, increase time under tension or decrease rest periods. If you can’t achieve at lest one of these and progressively improve then it might be time to take a step back and bring down the volume, but keep the weights the same (3×3 @ 85% 1RM instead of 8×3 for example).

– Supplement. Supplements are not a substitute for real foods, but they can help aid in your recovery by providing precious extra nutrients, vitamins and calories.

Follow the advice above and always chase performance, not fatigue.

Enjoy

Ross

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