Tag Archives: progress

“I already knew that.”

Morning All,

It amazes me how much people already knew.

Many will come up asking for some friendly advice on perhaps nutrition, training or maybe sorting an injury and improving mobility and always give the answer of –

“Oh yea, I know that”

Often followed by –

“But what else can I do?” or “But what about XYZ”

I’m often left stood there like ‘Well, fuck me. They know as much if not more than I do, perhaps I should be hiring them’.

Yet even though people always seem, and claim they already know what to do, their overall aesthetic, performance and visual evidence often lead one to an opposing thought process.

Almost as if they don’t know…

*How suspicious.

I have a question I often come back with.

– If you know what to do, why are you not doing it?

Usually there is a plethora of excuses as to why they’re not doing what they need to be doing, yet they obviously could, if they really wanted to.

Do you know what you should be doing?

If so, why don’t you do it?

Do you really know what to do or is that perhaps a little porky pie?

I suppose that is a little unfair of me to say because it might try well be the case that people do in fact know what to do and have some crippling self esteem issues that sep them from executing the lifestyle changes they need, my apologies for being so brash.

Here is something to try.

Write down 3 things you know that you should be doing that would improve your quality of life (and fitness results too).

Now for the magic element.

Step 1: Re-read the three things you know you should be doing.

Step 2: Do them.

Step 3: Repeat steps 1 & 2 for continued results.

Give it some thought.

Enjoy,
Ross

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Loop Loop Loop

Funny how almost everyone gets stuck in a loop.
 
It’s rather common in the realm of fitness.
 
We go in, do the same movements, with the same loads, the same rest periods, the same tempos, day in, day out, it’s all pretty much the same.
 
Personally I’m quite the fan of sticking with a handful of movements for an extended period of time, however there needs to be some variety in the intensity, sets, reps, cadence, rest and even the execution of the reps.
 
Let’s take 10×10 for example as your rep scheme.
 
There are a few ways you can tweak it, via reps/sets
 
– 5x 2-3-5-10
– 5x 5-10-5
– 10x 5-3-2
– 4 x25
– 10x 3-7
 
Honestly there are a lot of things you can do with sets and reps before we even delve in to rest, tempo and pause reps.
 
Say you have 6 movements that you do regularly, great, you’ll be able to make some progress on these if you apply the ‘same yet different’ philosophy to the aforementioned.
 
I’d suggest changing one of the above every 2-6 weeks in a logical/progressive manor, here is an example with reps/loading.
 
Starting/overall load increases each week
 
Week 1/2: 5x 7-5-3
Week 3/4: 5x 6-4-2
Week 5/6 5×5-3-1
Week 7/8 – back to 7-5-3 with a higher starting load
 
Or if rest is what you fancy playing with.
 
Week 1/2: 3x 7-5-3 – 3min rest between sets
Week 3/4: 3x 7-5-3 – 2min rest
Week 5/6 3x 7-5-3 – 1min rest
Week 7/8 – back to 7-5-3 higher starting load & 3min rest
 
Get the idea?
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Get yourself some more value

What is your perceived value of yourself?
Morning All,
Of all the reasons people go to the gym, or at least all the ones they will openly admit, doing it for purely selfish and intrinsic reasons won’t be one of them.
The funny thing is that this is often quite a large factor for many.
To improve our own self worth and feel more valuable to the opposite sex, or who ever you’re trying to impress or gain attention/admiration/praise from, it’s quite the impressive motivator.
Of course this will be one of the harder things for people to admit because even though we are told to do what make us happy and all that other bollocks, if we are actually honest about why we do a lot of things people will be quite quick to turn 180 on us and let their disapproving gavel fall.
You know it’s not wrong to harbour the goal of feeling better about yourself, to know that you are now higher up on the scale of desirability and as such more sought after.
It is human nature to garner attention because it is a valuable resource.
Everyone enjoys positive attention, people who disagree are not being 100% truthful because even if they don’t want general attention, there are certain people or persons that they do want to notice them.
As such there is nothing wrong with wanting to up your perceived value and enjoy the attention.
You’ll find the only people who call you an attention seeking whore are the ones who are having some of theirs taken way from them.
Remember guys, life is a game, no matter if people admit this or not.
There are winners & losers, trust me.
One other positive aspect of increase value is that you start to feel more confident and more resolute, two things that are very useful in this world and can help a great many stop being treated as door mats.
Funny thing about that is it’s only you who can let others treat you in such a way, maybe it’s the only way you know to get some attention of approval from your peers, I don’t know, regardless of why you let it happen the fact remains; you let it happen.
The time for action is now.
If you feel frumpy, lethargic and that you are shaped like a potato, do something about it.
The same is true if you’re stick thin, constantly ill and weaker than a malnourished baby kitten.
No one ever lost the respect of others for wanting to improve themselves.
I have faith in you and know you’re worth more than you I’ve yourself credit for, so please, listen and take action.
If you don’t know where to start all you need do is ask someone for help 🤗
Enjoy,
Ross

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A little gem

While writing another post for somewhere else this morning my mind wandered to this little gem.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3S91hxuldho

Give it a watch, listen to what is said and repeat this until you learn at least one thing.

Enjoy,
Ross

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3 is always a magic number

3 Simple tricks to easier progressive overload planning.
 
They manipulate volume, density & intensity.
 
1 – Adding reps, then sets. (Volume)
 
Weight on the bar stays the same, add a rep each session until you hit your target, then drop to the original set/rep scheme add weight and bering again.
 
Example:
 
3-5×3-5 =
 
W1- 3,3,3
W2- 4,3,3
W3- 5,3,3
W8- 5,5,5,3
W9- 5,5,5,4
All the way to 5×5, then add weight and go back to 3×3.
 
2 – Reduce rest time. (Density)
 
Start with say 3min, then take of 10-20 seconds each session (for an arbitrary example), repeat until resting 60 seconds, or perhaps less, that’s up to you. The add weight and crack the rest back up to 3min between sets.
 
Example:
 
W1 – 180seconds (3min)
W2 – 160seconds
W3 – 140seconds
W7 – 60seconds – add weight and up rest.
 
3 – Fractional Plates to 10kg. (Intensity)
 
Following classic linear progression (adding weight each session), however you add up to half a kilo each time, the reps/set/rest stay the same.
 
You would do well to keep the reps lower and the sets higher for this and hit the lift 3 times per week, aim to add 10kg then perhaps tweak the reps/set or lift variation.
 
Example:
 
W1 – S1: 80kg, S2: 80.5kg, S3: 81kg
W2 – S1: 81.5kg, S2: 82kg, S3: 82.5kg
W7 – S1: 89kg, S2: 89.5kg, S3: 90kg
Perhaps change lift variation (overhead press to incline press for example).
 
There you have it, some simper ways you can achieve progressive overload without needing a CSCS level understanding of programming.
Bonus Trick – Increasing lifting/training frequency.
Simply add an extra day of lifting on a weaker or lagging body part/movement (so 4 session a week cineast of 3 and so on), you can apply one of the above in injection with this.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Fads, Excuses & Bullshit

What happened to ‘Squat Everyday’?
 
It seems another trend has died a death.
 
The life of a trend is as follows:
 
– Is it new & exciting?
 
No = it dies.
 
Yes
 
– Is it easy to understand?
 
No = it dies.
 
Yes
 
– Does it require hard work to get results?
 
No = success that will stick around because people want the easy option.
 
Yes – it dies.
 
Fads only last if they are easy and require very little effort to apply, regardless of if results are a part of the mix, it’s quite sad really.
 
The ability to tough things out has fallen dramatically over the years.
 
If it’s not easy then it can make it’s way to the pile with all the other things people don’t have time for now because all that a great many want is the next new & exciting thing.
 
How many times have you given up and blamed it on the program, the nutrition protocol or some other factor that wasn’t yourself?
 
Many is the answer I’m guessing.
 
In a world of ever changing potential inconsistencies we are the only thing that is in every equation, as such shouldn’t there be a tad more attention and accountability put on ourselves, rather than just shifting the blame to anything or everything else?
 
Do this for yourself, it may highlight some interesting things for you.
 
1 – Write down your most common excuses or reasons for failure.
 
2 – Write down why they happen and then how you can overcome them.
 
3 – Look at what you’ve written and see your problems for what they are, excuses on paper that you already have in your head as to why you can’t succeed and not actual problems.
 
It is common for us to create issues and barriers that stand in our way, so much so that by doing the above you will see how many you already have that aren’t even in the way yet.
 
These excuses make it easier for people to believe that more often than not they are not the problem.
 
Of course somethings can’t be helped, however for the majority we just use them as a convenient reason not to do what we need to be doing, that’s a fact.
 
Learn to overcome your own bullshit and watch your life change for the better.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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A snippet from some late night reading.

Morning All,
 
As per routine there is always 30min of reading before bed, sometimes more.
 
The book that was randomly grabbed was called ‘Beast Tamer
How to Master the Ultimate Russian Kettlebell Strength Challenge’
 
It is geared around completing the Beast Challenge.
 
1x Pistol, Single Arm Press & Chin/Pull Up with a 48kg kettlebell.
 
While looking through some of my old highlights and making newer ones, as you always get more from books when you look at them multiple times, I say this nice simple training protocol.
 
It combines the PTTP/GTG concepts and is remarkably simple.
 
*Power to the People & Grease the Groove*
 
– Living in the Gym
 
It is based on 5 days training per week.
 
Each day you will do the following in the gym.
 
A1 – DL (DL variant) 2×5
B1 – Double Kettlebell Press 2×5
 
You can vary the loads as needed, set in simple progression protocols, perhaps follow the Easy Strength ethos and much more, that is down to your preference/ability/need.
 
That was the PTTP part.
 
As for the GTG, it’s easier on paper than in reality.
 
Every hour perform
 
2-3 Pistols each leg & 2-3 Pull Ups (you can add in 2-3 single arm push ups too if you feel your recovery can handle it.)
 
Now it might not seem like much, however doing 2-3 reps of each every hour, 5 days per week soon build up the volume.
 
In regards to training days you can do Mon-Fri with rest on the weekend, or the variation I tend to give people is Mon-Wed-Rest-Fri-Sat-Rest, this give you the chance if using ES to go heavy more often when feeling strong due to the days off in between.
 
All in all a cracking little protocol.
 
As with anything though you will need to plan in your progressions, vary the loads and track your progress because it’s easy to forget that the idea of this style of daily practice is to progress and become strong without ever feeling like you’re putting in too much effort.
 
If this is something you find interesting, give it a go.
 
I’d also advise getting a hold of the book as well, it’s less than £5 and well worth the investment.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Online Coaching 101

Online Coaching.
 
The best thing since sliced bread or a mugs game?
 
Morning All,
 
Given the rise in its popularity both of the above could be argued.
 
***Skip to the bottom for three key things to look for in an online coach.
 
These days we live in a world where everything is at out fingertips, soon enough we will go the way of the humans in Walle.
 
When perusing the sticky web that is social media you see a lot of people offering online services.
 
– Coaching
– Comp Prep
– Programming
– Freedom from the existential suffering of existence
– Movement Coaching
– Nutritional Coaching
 
Plus a great many other things.
 
You can find anything online these days, yet that doesn’t always mean you will be guaranteed to get a quality product, this is where things get tricky.
 
Apart from not knowing if you’re paying for an experience, qualified professional, an ex-competitor in the field you desire, a wannabe who’s done one show or a kid living in their parents basement, it can be a minefield.
 
We buy with our eyes, as such everyone has a plethora of transformation photos from you to pick from. Some real, some fake, others stolen and many of people that were taken so far apart you’d hope they’d make a physical change in that amount of time.
 
Taking all this in to account, what are you to do?
 
Word of mouth is usually a good thing.
 
If you hear positive things, that’s usually a good start.
 
Next up you’ll need to speak to them directly, the good ones usually have a limited amount of coaching space and a screen process as well, something like an interview where you have to prove your worth as a client because time is precious and real coaches don’t want to waste theirs on people that won’t put in the effort.
A good coach will also be very willing to admit when they can’t help you or your desires are out of their field of expertise and have no seconds thoughts in referring you on to someone who they feel is better suited to help you.
A poor coach will sell the dream they can’t deliver because all they care about is their bottom line and this could be rather frustrating for you.
 
A decent coach will also have a large list of ‘asks’ as well.
 
This means that you will need to be sending in training info, videos, nutritional bits & bobs, perhaps even a weekly psychological assessment to see how training is affect you, and so on.
 
Honestly, good coaches expect just as much from their clients as the clients do from them, this is a good thing because it helps create synergy.
 
Coaches & clients work together, it’s not you and them, you’re a team.
 
As such your success is their success, however your failure is also their failure and a good coach will do everything they can to help you avoid that pitfall.
 
What has you experience been with online coaching?
 
Do you currently have a coach, if so what are their minimum asks?
 
Is your coach more interested in your progress photos than you, or is your training and progress their number 1 priority – something to watch out for.
 
Leave your thoughts below.
 
Here are three key things to look for when hiring a Online Coach:
 
1 – A screening/application process.
 
2 – They are open with feedback from previous clients and are happy to share testimonials and for them to speak to you if you ask.
 
3 – They’re less interested in telling you what they’ve done/achieved for themselves/others and more focused on what YOU want.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Pain isn’t always progress.

“No pain, no gain!”
 
“If you’re sore you know you did something.”
 
“The more you hurt, the more you progress.”
 
“You have to break the muscle down so it can build back up stronger.”
 
All things I’ve heard several times over the years, however just because you’re sore or you have DOMS it doesn’t mean you’re making progress.
 
*DOMS = Delayed onset muscle soreness
 
Let me use a logical fallacy to elaborate on my point.
 
If you lift weights and hurt the next day then this means you’ll make progress, so by that logic all people who are in major car accidents should be jacked because they’re really sore after one.
 
Seems a tad silly when put like that doesn’t it.
 
Of course that is pure fallacy, the two situations are not comparable, however the logic of pain = progress is.
 
As a beginner we may feel some discomfort or DOMS, this forces us to perhaps what 2-3 days before training again to recover.
 
^^ There is a key point in that.
 
TO RECOVER.
 
It’s not the soreness that made us progress, it’s the recovery element and adaptation that occurred.
 
You can cause enough muscular inroad/oxygen debt to make your body change without necessarily feeling like you’ve been hit by a train, however people don’t think like that.
 
People think that unless they are destroyed then the session was wasted, this is a flawed logic.
People chase fatigue rather than performance – bad move.
 
If you were making progress (getting stronger, bigger, leaner etc) on a training protocol would you stop it just because you didn’t ‘feel’ like you were doing anything?
 
Sadly the answer for many is yes because people are idiots.
 
Yep, I’ve know plenty that have been making epic progress, then stopped that style of training because they didn’t feel like they were working hard enough, which lead them to doing something similar to what they had done before.
 
This of course left them feel destroyed and like they’d worked hard, yet they made no progress.
 
I suppose that doesn’t matter so long was you ‘feel’ like you did something, right?
 
Crazy logic.
 
Progress is progress, even if you don’t leave a season hardly able to walk.
 
If you want to feel sore go and do 1000 reps of a single moment in a workout, you’ll be epically sore, however you won’t progress the way you think.
 
Why?
 
Well MPS (muscle protein synthesis) lasts 24-48 hours and if you are too sore you can’t train frequently enough to keep it elevated to actually create a need for you body to adapt and overcome and surpass it’s limits, you merely end up surviving workouts.
 
Think about that.
 
Now this is not to say that you won’t have session where you don’t feel like that, of course you will, they’re usually the first 2-3 the you start a new block of training, then your body adapts to that initial surprise and the DOMS/discomfort disappears.
 
Once this happens you need to buckle down and begin the grind for progress.
 
Don’t chase fatigue, chase performance.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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‘AND’

I’m sure you’ve heard of this classic phrase –
 
“Quality & Quantity”
 
Notice that whenever it is uttered there is a key word that isn’t changed.
 
– AND –
 
Meaning you need both elements to be successful in a chosen endeavour.
 
It’s never been ‘quality or quantity’, that’s just illogical.
 
This is where you find people who champion one or t’other don’t seem to make much headway, essentially because they’re missing 50% of the equation, that’s a lot to miss.
 
Let us look at nutrition for the example –
 
We can all agree that for optimal health you need a high quality of foods, right?
 
Now there are plenty who say that the quality of food is all that matters and while I personally agree quality it a high priority for a lot of people, the quantity needs to be addressed as well.
 
This being said….
 
If you address the quality you will find the quantity drops as a happy side effect because you can only consume so much nutrient dense, high quality food before you start to feel uncomfortably full.
 
Now this type of food would be things such as lean meats, vegetables, fruits, essentially non-processed or man-made/store bought foods.
 
So things such as peanut butter/nut butters wouldn’t be in here.
 
Despite what the media may say, they’re not that great for you because they can easily be over consumed leading to quite a large calorie surplus, thus no potential shift in body composition or weight.
 
The thing with such thoughts is that is goes against people principles, values, beliefs and biases, which is often he case what ‘best practice’.
 
People want what they want.
 
As such they will see out things that confirm what they want (bias), then wonder why they still look the same or worse than they used too.
 
You can also think of this in terms of ‘Product & Production Capacity’.
 
Product – what you want.
 
Product Capacity – what you must do to achieve/sustain the desired product.
 
Yep, to achieve a specific goal you have to do and then adhere to specific criteria.
 
Of course you can let it revert, however you will then forfeit the basic principle of specificity and get something different in return. This is what you may consider a fundamental law.
 
So tell me, how much of the above do you think about & more importantly, how much of the above do you apply?
 
Leave your thoughts/questions below.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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