Tag Archives: progress

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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You’re allow to be unmotivated

How often do you feel unmotivated to train?
 
Every now and again or is it something of a regular occurrence that rears it’s head all too often?
 
It’s okay you know, to feel unmotivated and not want to train.
 
It’s not uncommon for people to get bogged down when it comes to training because progress is often very slow and worst of all is hardly noticeable until a large amount has been accumulated over time.
 
Surely you’ve seen those people who suddenly make a massive amount of progress seemingly over night, frustrating, isn’t it.
 
Well let’s make something clear, their progress hasn’t happened over night, it’s happened over many many nights and days and through various choices they’ve made for the better, all so they can get one step closer to achieving a goal and making more progress.
 
A lot of people are quick to bitch and moan that everyone else has it easier than they do, when the reality is that the ones who make and have made progress usually put in more time, effort and investment than their jealous counterparts.
 
We all wish that making a change came quickly however it doesn’t, not anything meaningful anyway.
 
Here is a simple example of a way to make progress lifting:
 
Start off with a compound lift at 8x2x80% 1RM, workout 2 times per week per week, add 1 rep each session until you’re doing 8×3, then add a small amount of weight, 1-2kg and repeat.
 
Sound laborious?
 
It is, but do you know what else it is?
 
Effective.
 
Over time you’d find your strength would increase, as would you total muscle mass, yet it would happen at such gradual pace people would discount it.
 
The same is true for nutrition, if you start by eating a little less, your weight will will start to slowly decline, eventually you’d need another calorie drop and once again your weight would slowly go down – a combination of lifting weights and cardio work great with a calorie deficit for changing who your body looks. Who knew right?
 
In the end you’ll find most people lose motivation at some point or another, however the difference between the ones who succeed and those who don’t is clear.
 
Those who succeed do what they need to do whether they feel like it or not.
 
Are you one of those people or not?
 
No one else can get your results for you, it’s 100% on you.
 
Time to choose.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Nothing is really new anymore.

 

Did you know that there is not really any new information in terms of fitness, nutrition or lifestyle these days.

As sad as it is to admit people such as myself are largely redundant because of the internet and the modern world.

There is only so many times we can tell all of you the same things in different ways to make sure you understand, yet so many still don’t.

People have been achieving results for decades and plenty more will continue to do so, but you haven’t, why?

Let me tell you why.

You don’t do the things you need to do because you don’t really want to.

Now it might take a long time but you’ll get there in the end.

In our modern world we can surrounded by the answers, yet still fail to accept them. Instead we make up excuses for our shortcomings and shift the blame to any and everything else because that’s human nature.

Case and point:

To lose fat you need a calorie deficit, for how long is unknown.

To build muscle you need to lift weights and stimulate and adaptive response from your body with a caloric surplus, the specifics are irrelevant.

To achieve good health you need a balance of adequate nutrition, exercise and the avoidance of things you know are detrimental to heath (smoking, all weekend drinking binges every weekend, The X-Factor etc), that’s it.

You can find all of this to be true if you search through the channels of out history, yet you refuse to acknowledge them, why?

Many trainers and coaches alike only want what’s best for the people we work with, however people still want that magic pill and when we can’t give it to them they have now found their reason to blame, us.

Don’t get me wrong, poor coaching is poor coaching, it happens, however it’s a 50/50 deal. Both parties must give it their all, if one side doesn’t the other will struggle.

Nothing is new anymore, not really.

Take some time to look in the mirror and ask yourself this one question.

Is it the lack of information that’s the issue or am I the problem?

Enjoy,
Ross

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4 training elements to remember

Volume – Total amount lifted per session (or per week/training block)

Intensity – The overall % lifted relative to your given Rep Maxes

Density – Doing more done in the same time/same done in less time

Frequency – How many times per week you train a muscle group

Four key elements of programming, however they are often overlooked by many.

When I say this it is in reference to how some novice/intermediate lifters don’t take in to account how to correctly plan them in their workouts to ensure constant progression over the long term.

Often people will look to progress volume and only volume, which sadly leads to a lot of junk volume.

Junk volume?

Your numbers on paper might increase in terms of total amount done, but this can be from adding in massive amounts of isolation exercises with very light weights, which does nothing but cause fatigue and provide little to no adaptive stimulus. Essentially the more volume you add in willy-nilly, the lower you make your average intensity.

To establish your total volume: Sets x Reps x Weight = Total Volume

Be careful of that trap.

Many know how to increase intensity. You simply add more weight, simple.

The downside with adding too much intensity is that there is a compromise in the amount of total volume you can lift, so while this is great for getting stronger and making neural connections etc, it does little for adding size because you start to lack the necessary amount of stimulus to do so.

You just can’t lift super heavy weights (relative to your own strength levels) for lot’s of reps.

In most good programs you’ll find the average intensity falls at around 85% of 1RM for each respective lift, with a decent amount of volume (volume differed from person to person specifically, however 80-210 reps seems to be the common theme for hypertrophy at a good average intensity).

How to establish average intensity: Sets x Reps x Weight (all exercises of session) / Reps = Average Intensity

Now, lets talk about density.

A quick example of how it works: You train squats for 45min, total volume is 10,00kg, average intensity is 80%, next session you hit those same numbers in 40min OR you hit 11,000kg in 45min, in both you have increased the density of the session.

^^ That’s also how you establish how dense each session is, how much you’re doing in what times.

Great for keeping your intensity/volume in the right areas while focusing on getting more quality work out and less faffing about.

This is usually a forgotten method of progression, however it’s one of the more useful ones.

Lastly we have frequency.

If you are training a body part once per week you will make progress, plenty of people do, however what they don’t seem to realise is that there is a high degree of crossover in training certain areas, such as chest & arms one day, then shoulders & arms another – both will actually hit similar muscle groups.

It’s common for en especially to have 3-4 upper body sessions in a week when following a standard Bro-Split and only one leg day, this is why their legs end up lagging behind.

In an optimal world you will train each muscle group 2-3 times per week, keeping in mind that some training sessions have cross over to others, here is the typical thought process of how to plans sessions to optimise that crossover:

– Chest/back/arms
– Legs: Anterior chain (Quads as main focus, hammies as secondary etc)
– Shoulders/back/arms
– Legs: Posterior chain (Hammies as main focus, quads as secondary etc)

^^ A good 7 day split that hits each muscle group twice per week, you’d do Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday each week 🙂.

All of the above will help you program a successful way to the gains you desire.

The key to progression is progression.

People forget that, please don’t be one of them.

How do you plan your progression in your programs?

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The top 5 reasons you struggle with nutrition.

You ready?

These may surprise and offend you.

1 – You want a specific answer to a general question and refuse to learn of yourself.
2 – You aren’t honest with yourself about how much you eat.
3 – You don’t track your calories.
4 – You reject the notions of common nutritional sense for more favourable fad diets that tell you what you want to hear.
5 – You expect to see results in a few days or a week.

Bonus – You consume more total calories than you expend each day.

Harsh but true.

Here are 5 ways to combat the above issues:

1 – Take the time to learn what nutrition is and isn’t.
2 – Be honest with yourself.
3 – Buy a diary or download and app and track everything (food, drinks etc).
4 – Just because what you’re told isn’t what you want to hear doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Don’t fall victim to fad diets and good marketing.
5 – Eat less, move more and remember that progress takes months or even years to really see, not days.

Bonus – Hire a coach to help you.

Applied the above and you’ll be far better off for it.

Enjoy,

Ross

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Fractional Plates = Fractional Progress = Long Term Gains.

It’s not the fastest thing in the world but by god it’s effective.
 
Morning All,
 
This is a slow grind, it takes around 7 weeks to add 10kg to the lift, training said lift 3xpw.
 
After the 7weeks you have the choice to keep adding weight and take off a rep or drop the weight back and add reps.
 
As an example…
 
SQ 8×3 = 120 to 130
SQ 8×2 = 130 to 140
SQ 8×1 = 140 to 150
 
*You can use other rep progressions if you choose – 8,7,6 for example. It doesn’t have to be 8 sets either is can be more or less.
 
The fractional plates you will need are 0.25kg in weight, giving you a 0.5kg increase each session.
 
Your accessory work can be of your choice for 25-50 reps, stick with the movement for two weeks minimum (ideally all 7 is good), you can then choose to pick a different variation if needed. 1-4 accessory lifts are sufficient.
 
Using a workout A/B schedule in an alternative fashion works best, this can be done Monday-Wedneady-Friday or Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday
 
A typical full body workout might look like this:
 
Workout A:
 
A1 – Press – reps as above depending on which block you’re in.
A2 – Chin up x6-8
B1 – Squat 5×5-10
B2 – Leg Curl x10
C1 – DB press 5×5 or 5×10
C2 – Chin up x6-8
 
Workout B:
 
A1 – Press – reps as above depending on which block you’re in.
A2 – Dumbbell or Barbell Row x6-8
B1 – DL 5×5 – Working to a top set of 5 for the day
B2 – Lunge x6 per leg
C1 – DB press 5×5 or 5×10
C2 – Dumbbell or Barbell Row x6-8
 
Aim to be in and out f the gym in 45-60min, you can feel free to chuck in some planks and smaller accessory work if you have time, do 3×8-12 for these movements.
 
If you are someone who is pressed for time in the gym then this abbreviated full body workout will be right up your street.
 
Workout A:
 
A1 – Press – reps as above depending on which block you’re in.
B1 – Squat 5×5-10
C1 – Pressing Movement (Dip, Incline etc) 5×5 or 5×10
 
 
Workout B:
 
A1 – Press – reps as above depending on which block you’re in.
B1 – DL 5×5 – Working to a top set of 5 for the day
C1 – Pressing Movement 5×5 or 5×10
 
*Have a pulling movement in between each pressing movement, chin/pull ups are good, as are face pulls and rows. This wants to have a focus on getting in some good volume so use 6-12 reps.
 
What is written above is simple and effective, you can be in and out of the gym in 45-60min in the first option and 30-45in the second (perhaps less if you keep your rest to only what you need). If fat loss is your goal then make sure you have correct calories and do plenty of walking wherever possible.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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OMG! I’ve been so good this week but put on 1lbs :(

*** Warning, this is a Rant***
 
Is this familiar:
 
“I was really good this week but I’ve put on weight :(. I don’t know how it happened.”
 
Then the ensuing demotivation and comfort eating follows because you feel like a failure.
 
If you have ever said/feel this you need to give yourself a talking to, or even a slap.
 
Firstly, ask yourself this: Are you still the weight you were with the same body fat or are you now weighing less because of less body fat?
 
Is the answer is you’re carrying less body fat then you need to stop moaning. You’ve done well, just because you didn’t lose weight in one week does not mean it’s the end of the world.
 
Before you start stripping out calories and foods you need to keep reading.
 
Do you know that you can gain weight for many reasons, usually it’s because of water/nutrient retention because of something you’ve eaten (maybe a few more carbs than normal BUT THIS IS OKAY) or in some people case it could be ‘that time of the month’, don’t worry, focus on the following:
 
– Are you still in a total loss from where you started?
– Are you looking better than you did?
– Are your clothes looser?
 
If the answer is yes to all of those, you’ve got no problem, stop panicking. Success in losing weight/fat is never a straight line, you will lose some, then stay the same, then maybe put on 1-2 pounds and then continue to lose more, that’s just how it works.
 
Typically your weight staying the same is due to you building muscle and the weigh increase is the water/nutrient retention in those muscles, however your weight soon goes down gain as your metabolism (TDEE – total daily energy expenditure) is higher because of the new muscle, have faith, you’re on the right track.
 
Harsh words but ones a lot of people need to hear.
Ross

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Neglected??

Morning Guys,
 
Have you stalled on a lift or a CV element?
 
A lot of people get caught in trying to bring up one lift or specific elements of their CV training only to neglect the bigger picture, which ultimately stalls their  overall progress.
 
If we took Bench Press for example, it will only go so far if that is all you train, perhaps your close grip bench/Incline/Overhead are all dramatically weak and you avoid them because they hurt your ego. This is a problem, taking a hit to the ego and brining up those three will have some carryover to the BP.
 
This can also happen when it comes to training CV elements.
You enjoy running and want to get faster but you find you just can’t break a certain time or increase your VO2 Max, usually because you’ve now become incredibly efficient at your chosen task (this is great, however it also means you need some spice added). To change things up you might add in a 2K sprint row which leaves you breathless because you’re not adapted to it, yet 🙂 however that means you can now start progressing again.
 
In short, hitting weaker lifts, or unfamiliar CV protocols/equipment will help you in the long run, it’s worth the ego sacrifice to gain that extra strength or lung capacity.
 
Neglecting your weaker elements of training in favour of the ones that boost your ego will eventually lead you to stagnation. While it’s understandable that no one wants to look like they are struggling it’s far worse to be known as that person who trains all the time and does’t look and different than they did, or is the one who is not any stronger or fitter than they were last year. I’m sure you all know someone who fits that bill and if you don’t… It might be you.
 
It’s okay to have weak areas because they mean you can improve and keep progressing.
 
Embrace your weakness and make it a strength.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Answer Honestly

Did you know that people rarely work towards something that is good or beneficial is the perceived pain/struggle is more than that which they are currently subjected to. Honestly, Tony Robbins speaks about this at length in his book ‘Awaken the Giant Within’, a book well worth reading to help you see your own excuses for staying int he comfort zone and tackle them head on.

Change is often uncomfortable, it is often painful, it is often hard work but they’re all far better than the alternative; staying the same.

Ask yourself these questions:

– What am I afraid of most?
– What negative things will happen if I DON’T make a change?
– What is stopping me and why (is it a real reason or an excuse)?

Those three questions, if answered honestly will open your eyes to what holds you back. While it is indeed scary to make a change it’s usually worth it.

Enjoy,

Ross

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