Tag Archives: progress

The 3 Plate Sandwich

Do you ever do plate sandwich walks?
 
If not you should, they’re great for strengthening your upper body.
 
Morning all,
 
I also call these ‘plate compression walks’ however the one above sounds more fun.
 
They’re quite simple, yet very effective.
 
Take three plates, say 2x10kg & 1x5kg.
 
The 10’s are on the outside and the 5 is in the middle.
 
Keeping your hands flat (think palm pressure🙏), press the plates together hard, if you see your elbows slightly tucked you will feel this a lot in your pecs/lats.
 
From here go for a walk and only stop when you can’t hold the isometric contraction and longer.
 
Repeat for 10min, or longer if you choose.
 
You can of course to this with only 1 or 2 plates, I’ve just found three makes like rather interesting.
 
This also works great with kettlebells 🤗
 
Add this to your workouts and you’ll find upper body strength & progress you didn’t know you had in you.
 
Enjoy,
Ross
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Morning Meditation & Introspection

Introspection is a great thing.
 
It can help uncover a multitude of things that can help us let go of that which weighs us down and move forwards.
 
Is it something you practice?
 
Morning All,
 
Taking the time to examine ones self is a worthy practice.
 
You’ll start to see past a lot of your own bullshit and just knowing that is in of itself something that will make you smile.
 
To be honest and call out your own rubbish is a sure fire way to remove your current barriers and start to plan a progressive path forwards.
 
This can be done in relation to fitness, nutrition, general life and much more.
 
A great way to start this off is by spending 5min in silence with nothing but your own reflective thoughts based on this question:
 
Why do I tell myself & others (insert your own plight).
 
Once you’ve given that some thought, write down your conclusions as to what good that thought is doing you and why you would want to allow yourself to house that thought and verbally repeat it to people as an excuse for what ever reason you do.
 
Do this just once per day, then move on and continue with what ever else you have to do.
 
You might find out some rather interesting things about yourself.
 
Then, when you are ready –
 
Acknowledge, accept & let it go.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Words of Old

“If you can’t work hard enough in 2 sessions, why do you feel you can do better with 6?”

^^ That made me think.

In a world where more is seen as better, and in certain circumstances it is 100% true, however that might not be the case for your training in the gym.

Recently the writings of one Marty Gallagher have found their way in to my library once again.

He speaks a very similar message to that of Brooks Kubik, Kirk Karwoski, Ed Coan and many other strong individuals who each champion not only focus, tracking your numbers to ensure increasing volume, but also putting in a solid effort in your main training sessions, then taking your foot of the gas when you have deload weeks.

It’s easy to get caught running through the motions when it comes to lifting weights.

This is in fact very easy, so much so that many of us may have even been in this place for years unknowingly.

A scary thought.

One good way to know if you’re there is to ask yourself this simple question – When was the last time you made progress?

That progress could be in the form of better form, more weight on the bar, an aesthetic goal, it doesn’t matter, what is important is when did you last make progress, real progress.

As fitness enthusiasts we often get caught between the proverbial rock and hard place, unable to escape it, often for fear of losing what we have, if we’re not doing what we’re doing.

Surely you could get better results only doing 2-3 sessions per week, you’d be silly to keep doing 6+, right?

Right.

However many will not change their ways, they can’t, it’s too hard and the fear of loss kicks in. I’ve been there, it’s a terrible pace to be.

If we are to look back at some of the strongest people over they years they seemed to train at most, 4 days per week.

In this time they hit each muscle group twice (due to exercise cross over).

Now as mentioned above and in the writings of old, 2-3 sessions per week was more than enough to make solid progress on, especially at the level most of us are at (not world champion lifters).

So why do more for the sake of it?

Ask yourself these questions:

– Am I making progress?
– When was my last PB?
– Do I need to do more, really?
– Is my recovery 100%?
– Are each of my sessions focused?
– Could I be doing too much?

Just some food for thought.

If you fancy a good read give the Purposeful Primitive some of your time, you won’t regret it.

Enjoy,
Ross

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3 protocol that will force progress, regardless if you want to progress of not.

Morning All,
 
We all want progress, however it can be hard to get an idea of how to set up a session to achieve it.
 
Below are three protocols that you can use in the sam session or as stand alone ones to achieve, strength, strength endurance & conditioning (fat loss).
 
There will be some example lifts/workouts as well as the protocol.
 
The Strength Protocol:
 
The Protocol: 3-5x 1-2-3
 
– 1 rep, rest, 2 reps, rest, 3 reps, rest, add weight, repeat.
– Works well stand alone or as A1-A2 pairing
 
The lift(s): Deadlift & Press (any compound lift)
The Kit: 2 Barbells
 
A1 – Press 1-2-3
A2 – Deadlift 1-2-3
 
^^ Do 1 press, then one deadlift, 2 presses, 2 deadlifts, 3 presses, three deadlifts, rest, add weight, repeat for a total of 3-5 sets.
 
Aim to be done within 20-30min.
 
Easy on paper, however it’s quite the workout.
 
Strength Endurance Protocol:
 
The Protocol: 3x3min
 
Example:
 
The lift: Clean & Jerk
The Kit: 3 pairs of kettlebells (H-M-L)
 
3min C&J 2x32kg
Rest 2min
3min C&J 2x24kg
Rest 1min
3min C&J 2x16kg
 
^^ You could stick wth the same weight, I wouldn’t it’s just brutal. If you want this as a stand alone you rest 5min after the first 3×3, then repeat twice more with either the same of different kettlebell exercise, say swings or snatches.
 
The Conditioning Protocol:
 
The Protocol: 400m Repeats for 20min
 
The lift(s): Sprinting, Rowing, Loaded Carries – anything you can track distance
The Kit: Rower, Bike, Running Track, Prowler, Sand Bags, Barbells, Kettlebells
 
Example:
 
400m Sprint – note time (60seconds), aim to match or finish within 15% of that time (no slower than 9 seconds on top of first or fastest 400m time). Rest as needed. Repeat for 20min.
 
If done with loaded carries it might take you the entire 20min to do 1x400m total distance, if you miss the goal note how far you went and aim to beat that next time.
 
I’ve personally found a double kettlebell overhead walk for 400m is amazing for shoulder strength, stability and health, it’s just horridly hard.
 
As you can see from the above all three added together (1x strength, 1x strength endurance, 1x conditioning), you’d have a session just over 50min, with warm up and could down that would be about an hour in total.
 
Just lovely 🤗
 
Alternatively you can do them individually as well.
 
Take some time and try applying them.
 
You won’t regret it with the results they produce.
 
Enjoy
Ross

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Three things you don’t do that you should

Been away for a few days.
 
Did you all miss me?
 
….
 
Of course you didn’t hardly anyone reads these posts anyway 😂
 
Morning All,
 
There are a lot of underrated exercises out there.
 
The reason most people won’t do them is because they’re hard, put simply.
 
Not to mention everyone is caught up in doing all the standard isolation/mirror muscle work.
 
3 such movements that will literally change how your feel and perform are:
 
– Kettlebell Swings (Kettlebell snatch when you know it)
– Turkish Get Ups
– Loaded Carries
 
Let us take at look at all three, their benefits and how you can apply them in to your training.
 
Kettlebell Swings –
 
If you know me you’ll know I love these because they load your posterior chain, teach you how to hinge, improve your grip strength, VO2 max and are great for posture too.
 
Once you have the adequate skill requirements I would advise moving on to the kettlebell snatch, it offers all the same benefits with the added bonus of anti-rotation and shoulder stability/strength/ROM+Health.
 
They’re not easy when done properly.
 
That said, you should have them in your workouts, especially if you work at a desk.
 
10-20min per day will be enough to literally change your life.
 
Turkish Get Ups (TGU’s) –
 
A great way to warm up and start your workouts because they will mobilise and activate pretty much every muscle in your body.
 
They’re easy enough on paper, however once you start doing them and progressing to a heavier weight you’ll find this soon changes.
 
Balance, core strength, coordination, mobility, strength and most of all fun, that’s what TGU’s will be to you.
 
You might think that simply standing up and then reversing that movement is easy, you’re welcome to think that, even if it is incorrect, 😁
 
On a serious note, 10min of alternating side TGU’s as a warm ups will change how your workouts feel and make your body feel 10times better, or at least 7 times better.
 
If you want challenge in the 10min block aim to do 3 TGU’s consecutively before swapping arms.
 
Lastly we have a favoured movement of Strongmen the world over.
 
Loaded Carries –
 
Want to strip fat? Loaded Carries.
 
Want to build some muscle and an impressive back with an iron clad grip and legs that won’t buckle when the going gets tough? Loaded Carries.
 
Want to build mental resilience? Loaded Carries.
 
These are literally one of the most under utilised movements and it shows.
 
In daily life we are always having to pick things up and having to take them from point A to B, yet when people go to the gym the sit or lay down to move things.
 
Madness.
 
Did you know that in an idea world you should be able to carry your own bodyweight at least 100m?
 
^^ Okay, that’s not an absolute thing, however it’s a good test of your strength.
 
Picking things up and wandering around with them is primal and one of, if not the most effective movement/exercise you can do, especially if you’re short on time.
 
You have many various of loaded carries, you can hold something close to you, by your sides, over your head, one by your side one over head, with bars, bags, dumbbells, plates, anything, just pick it up ann move with it.
 
If you want to make yourself robust and strip fat, try doing 10-20min of carries at the end of your usual workout, trust me, you won’t regret it.
 
If you don’t do these three things, you should.
 
They will make you feel healthier and help protect your from injury.
 
If all you did was Swings (or snatches), TGU’s and a variety of Loaded Carries, you’d be strong, conditioned and look pretty dam awesome too.
 
Give it some thought.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Same yet Different, Part 3

You’ve been given movement patterns and correlated lifts.

Potential rep goals with varied rep ranges/protocols.

Today it’s time for the third piece of the puzzle that is –

Same yet different.

Morning All,

If you’ve been taking the time to write down each element as requested to, you should find that things are starting to form what some call a ‘matrix’ where you can select from and create multiple variations of this lifting philosophy.

The third and final part, it’s easy yet hard.

You must listen to your body and be honest with yourself.

The matrix you’ve now cerated will provide all the potential variation you need.

Unfortunately the tricky part will be consistency and allowing yourself to enjoy the training.

This is one common flaw I see in a lot of programs.

People just don’t like them.

Many will assume that doing the latest fad, or copying someone else will work just as well for them, and sometimes it does until it doesn’t.

Making progress isn’t easy.

It’s even harder if you loath your training.

The premise behind ‘same yet different’ is simply to let you know that there’s options and if you don’t enjoy something you can change it if you truly feel you need to.

Nothing is set it stone, even Caliburn.

You might think that everything you’ve read so far just doesn’t gel with you and that’s great if you do.

Just be honest with yourself, your goal and your training.

Of course if you give the above a fair chance you’ll find it works rather well and gives you plenty of opportunity to progress.

The choice is yours.

Enjoy,
Ross

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A question for you

Have you made progress?
 
Honestly?
 
Like any at all?
 
Have you
 
– Gotten stronger
– Improved VO2 Max
– Gotten leaner
– Added LBM
– Ranked higher in your sport
 
I would trust that you have rather than simply spinning your wheels.
 
What was it Warren Buffett said –
 
“It’s nice having a lot $$$ but don’t keep it around forever. Otherwise it’s like saving sex for old age.
 
I feel a lot of people do this in their lives.
 
They aim to accumulate points over time and then expect something marvellous to happen.
 
Many put off the gym and pledge to do more later on, it never happens. They never make the change they need.
 
They remain the same.
 
Are you one of these people?
 
Give it some thought.
 
If you haven’t made progress in a while it might be time to make a change.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Multiple reasons you should be doing the Dumbbell Clean & Press.

This exercises was a favourite of the lifters of yesteryear.
 
Here is why:
 
– It hits a multitude of muscles
– You can torch a lot of calories in a short space of time
– Higher reps equal an added conditioning bonus
– This one move can make you very strong
– The power generation will help with sporting endeavours
– A great time saver that will leave you feeling worked
– Daily activités will become easier
 
The list could go on, however you get the idea.
 
A good place to start with this lift in terms of sets/reps and loading is as follows –
 
3-5 sets
5-10 reps
1/4 bodyweight (each dumbbell, so if you weight 80kg that’s 20kg per hand)
 
The old strength standard for this was being able to successfully press half your body weight in each hand for a solid 5 reps.
 
Might seem easy on paper, not so machine practice.
 
Be sure to add this lot to your training and you’ll soon see the benefits.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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50/50

50/50
 
A no nonsense approach to making gains, stripping fat, improving movement and getting strong.
 
Morning All,
 
I try to keep some training ideas popping up for you so that you have some options, as with most of the recommendations they’re simple and would do well to be done for 3month at a minimum.
 
So what is 50/50?
 
Well if you were born in the 90’s it was a game show, if not then perhaps you know it as nothing more than a statistic or BJJ set up.
 
If we look at applying this to a training program this is the result:
 
– Two exercises
– 50 reps each
– Done in as few sets as possible
– Rest as needed
 
Progression options are interesting, however here are my recommendations:
 
Strength – increase weight when you hit 50 reps in less than 6 sets – rep options 5-10
 
Hypertrophy – increase weight when you hit 50 reps in less than 4 sets – rep options 8-12
 
Fat loss – Increase weight when you can hit 50 reps in less than 2 sets – rep options 10+
 
Now these are not set in stone, they’re just a guide to give you something to go on, provided you’re nutrition is appropriate for your goal you can use which ever of the above you enjoy the most.
 
As with most recommendations you’ll do well to have mostly compound movements to cover the full body filling your workout roster, training anywhere from 2-5 days per week will do you.
 
For example, your training days might look like this:
 
Day 1 – Squats/ Rows
Day 2 – Presses/Loaded Carries (10-20m is one rep)
Day 3 – Trap Bar DL/Dips
Off
Day 4 – Pull Ups/Prowler (10-20m is one rep)
Day 5 – Squats/Curls – because curls (Y)
Off
 
I jest, the last day would be Squats/Dumbbell Clean & Press.
 
You get the idea, you can put in any movements you like, just cover the full body with a frequency of each muscle group or movement of twice per week.
 
Depending on the progression option you take and the reps you use, you’ll find you can make some rather large jumps in weight to the bar, perhaps 5kg for upper body lifts and 10kg for lower body ones. The choice is yours.
 
As mentioned above, you can pick the rep ranges you enjoy and go from there. If you like doing 5’s, great start there, once you are doing say 5×10 instead of the 10×5 you started with then add weight.
 
If you like 10’s then start off with 5×10 and perhaps work towards 2×25, or some other ludicrous amount of reps, just do what you enjoy rep/set wise and pick things that will help keep your adherence up, once you get through the initial place of creating the routine and consistency, the results will come and at that point you’ll start doing what you need to do more often.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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What’s harder?

What’s harder, training or nutrition?
 
Now this is a common question and the answer for most is almost always the nutrition.
 
The funny thing is nutrition isn’t really that hard, you either need to be in a calorie surplus or deficit (depending on your goal), from there you will do well to keep a nutrition diary and record your foods, calories/macros too if you’re that focused.
 
Next you will do well to opt to eat mostly whole foods, however this is not a necessity although it is preferable for health and performance purposes.
 
This again isn’t hard, yet people will makes excuses, piss wings and moan that is it because of the following REAL reason; they don’t want to have to change bad habits.
 
Might sound harsh, however that doesn’t stop it being true.
 
Now as written above, you don’t HAVE to change the foods you eat, provided your calories/macros are set correctly and you hit them you can choose the foods sources, so the excuse of “Good nutrition is too restrictive and hard to stick to” gets thrown out of the window, now it’s just a case of you hitting the number you need to.
 
This is where tracking your calories etc becomes important, again though, you don’t have to, just don’t expect much in the way of progress if yo don’t know what you’re eating calorie wise.
 
Some will chuck in the barrier or “Well I don’t know who to work this out” which again is a redundant excuse considering all the calculators that are available to people, not to mention you can also speak to a respected of successful trainer/coach and have them do it for you.
 
My suggestion would be Eric Helms and his work, or look up the Harris-Benedict calorie calculation formula, boom no more barriers or confusion.
 
Everyone, I don’t mean to sound cynical or jaded, yet I am, this is because over the years I have developed less and less patience for people poor excuses and lack of drive to achieve a result.
 
You have two options really, you either want to make a change, in which case myself and many other people in this industry will bend over backwards to help you. OR, you don’t really want to change in which case we wish you all the best and we can end our conversations promptly.
 
Now as people who want to help we can give you all the tools, help you stay accountable, speak to you daily to make sure you have all the support you need, however if you don’t want to change no amount of help from us or anyone else will make you want to change, that decision has to come from you, from your heart.
 
The knowledge of knowing what will help you in getting results isn’t hard, it’s not the training or the nutrition that is hard, it’s making the conscious choice to change.
 
We, I want to help you, however the real question is do you want to help yourself?
 
Give it some thought.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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