Tag Archives: progress

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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Memories

Having measurable data is a great way to assess your progress, so why don’t you have any?
 
Fitness testing, body measurements, lifting records are all great ways to see how you are improving and also what you may need to be doing in order to continue to make headway if it is starting to slow down.
 
There are a lot of people who claim they never need to record things, they just remember it all and while they may indeed remember the highlights it’s very hard to keep everything in your head.
 
Typically once we get past a certain point we might as well be exposed to white noise.
 
According to a lot of research in to the field of memory, the average person can retain 7 pieces, plus or minus 2, given you a top limit of 9 and a lower one of 5; obviously there will be exceptions that can remember more just as there will be people who remember far less, it’s just a part of being on the bellcurve.
 
Writing things down and recording the specifics will take the pressure ands stress away from you having to remember each detail. Don’t get me wrong, having good ball park memory is great, however that won’t help you highlight weak areas that need work, specifically.
 
Personally I’m a big fan of making notes and writing things down, not matter who big or small it is, there’s a record. This little habit has saved many a hassle when it comes to wiring future goals for myself or clients, not to mention it give an honest overview of how everything has proceeded, no hiding behind white lies to protect the ego.
 
This is nothing more than simper advice for you, there’s no need for you to take it, honestly, there isn’t.
 
Before we finish I just want to ask you two questions;
 
1 – What sets and reps were you hitting on this day 3 years ago and how do they compete to now?
 
2 – What was your VO2 Max on the date of 22-6-13 and how has it improved?
 
I’m sure you can answer those from memory 🙂 for me.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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The 30 set workout structure.

An easy to follow method for those who don’t have time to workout out the exact weights they need for every set.
 
This is based on using auto-regulation and going by feel, it’s also a great way to progress provided you have a training diary and track what you’re doing.
 
Here is what you do:
 
– Train 2-3 times per week
– Pick 3 exercises per workout (10 sets per exercise)
– Stay in the 5-10 rep range
– Use which ever training split you feel is most appropriate*
– Warm ups are included in your sets
– You may use Straight Sets (A1, B1, C1), Superset (A1/A2) or Tri-Set (A1/A2/A3) movements if you choose
– Rest as needed
– Track weights/reps achieved
– Aim to keep sessions between 45-60min
– Repeat for 3-6months and make all the progress
 
*Upper/Lower, Push/Pull, Pull-Push-Legs, Full Body
 
This is what one exercises might look like on paper:
 
Deadlift:
 
Set 1 5x bar 20kg
Set 2 5x 60kg
Set 3 5x 80kg
Set 4 5x 100kg
Set 5 5x 120kg
Set 6 5x 140kg
Set 7 5x 140kg
Set 8 5x 140kg
Set 9 5x 140kg
Set 10 5x 130kg
 
^^ Calculate total volume – Sets X Reps X Weight
 
10x5x1070 = 53,500kg total volume lifted in the session.
 
You’d make a note and aim to lift more total volume next week.
 
The stronger you get you’ll find you may nee dress warm up sets or that they stay the same and you can lift more in your later sets to increase your volume. 
Make sure you’re eating correct for your goal, if you need to establish your calories then check out this page for those answers:
 
There is no right or wrong as to how many warm ups you need, just do what you feel is adequate so that your form feels grooved and the speed on the bar is moving nice and fast.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Can’t add any more weight?

Three ways to progress without adding weight to the bar –
 
1: Add Reps
2: Add Sets
3: Reduce Rest
 
We all love lifting more weight, it’s very rewarding, however it’s not always possible and because of that reason we need other ways in which we can keep progressing.
 
Above are three simple adaptations that we will cover.
 
1 – Adding Reps
 
Say you’re doing 5×5 at 60kg, yet you can’t hit the same 5×5 at 62.5kg.
 
Now you can add in fractional plates to your training that weight as little as 0.25kg however if you don’t have those then adding reps will be your best bet.
 
Perhaps you set out to add a rep each session until you are doing 5×7, or perhaps 5×10, the choice is yours, however what you will find is that by adding reps and setting a rep goal you’ll be able to add weight easily once you hit the added reps with ease.
 
2 – Adding Sets
 
Similar to above except the reps stay the same, so 5×5 might end up being 10×5 and so on.
 
You could even choose to combine the two and start off at 5×5, work to 5×7 then add a set and go back to 6×5, build that to 6×7, then on to 7×5 building to 7×7 all the way until you hit 10×7, you get the idea.
 
3 – Reducing Rest
 
This falls in to the category of Density Training with increases Oxygen debt and EPOC, getting the same amount of work done in less time is a great way to not only make progress in terms of strength and lean muscle mass but also stripping fat off.
 
If you’re doing the standard 5×5, the rest might be say 5min, you can easily make a dent by taking it down by 15-30 seconds each session until you’re at just 1min rest between each set. From here you’ve got the choice of adding weight or perhaps even utilising one or both of the methods from above if you’re still finding adding weight a tall order.
 
The three options above are simple and very easy to apply, however it will retire you to stay on the same workout protocol for a while, at least on your main lifts and this can be an arduous task for some people, you’ve been warned.
 
If in the event that you can’t add any more weight, you’ve hit your limit for that move, you can change the exercise to a different variation, so perhaps overhead press turns in to incline press, or incline press in to close grip bench press and so on.
When you stall on a weight drop it by say 5-10% and then utilise the methods above, you won’t regret it.
 
The secret to progress is progress, achieve it in any way you can.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Some variety is good, too much isn’t.

I’m sure you’ve all heard the classic line of “You need to change up your training to keep the body guessing” or something along those lines.

While having some changes in your training program is good for novelty and staving off the boredom, too much change too often will leave you without any real progress due to a lack of suitable adaptation.

Look at is this way; if you want to get better at a certain skill you practice that skill over and over and over again, the same is true fro lifting weights/training, you need repeated and sustained efforts to adapt and progress, chopping and changing every session won’t provide too much in the way of progress.

While you might not like that fact is it very much the case.

Take a look at people who do an ever changing amount of classes, they shift their excess fat and build some small amount of muscle (this is great btw), however past that point they end up looking no better because they don’t want to buckle down and stay with a training program for longer than a couple of weeks.

It’s a common issue that everyone falls victim to.

Now it is worth noting that some people do indeed need change every 2 weeks in there training, however those people are usually genetically gifted and 9/10 times you’re not that person, you’re the one who needs to stay consistent to a program for at least 12-16 weeks, sorry, that’s how it is.

When all that is said and done these words are only simple bits of advice, you can do what ever the hell you want, in the end it makes no different to me personally. If you’re happy with your training and your results then fill your boots, however if you’re not then you’d do well to take this on board.

You will often find the most successful training programs are often the most boring.

Enjoy,
Ross

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Me, Myself & I – Ego Tripping 101

Morning All,
 
I hope you’re all well.
 
So, what to write about today, that isn’t recycled information with a slightly different wording or spin on it…..
 
As you may have guessed that is essentially what writing/social media videos etc is actually about in the world of fitness.
 
There is little that we don’t currently know that doesn’t involve the very complex biochemical reactions/mechanisms of the body that is. As for training and nutrition, it’s almost all been said before, so keeping this in mind I feel some reflection would be good.
 
As yourselves the following and answer them honestly:
 
– Where did you start?
– Where are you now?
– How has your ego held you back?
 
That last one will sting for some of you, but hey ho, ego is a fragile thing that leads us to do stupid things on a regular and repeated basis.
 
When it comes to the ego, it can govern us in secret and we never know. It is so sensitive that it feel threatened by almost everything that opposes it and the main fear it has is that of dying (metaphorically).
 
No one likes to admit they might be wrong, or to change a belief or value, even if it is a destructive one that holds them back, I can attest to this as mine has stopped me doing a great many things and because of this I’ve been able to learn what it feels like when mine starts acting up, which I will share with you in the hope you might be able to learn how to silence yours and avoid making the mistakes I have.
 
1. YOU HAVE BECOME VERY SELF-DESTRUCTIVE.
 
Essentially you know something doesn’t feel right yet you do it anyway.
 
2. YOU FEEL OVERLY SELF-CONSCIOUS AROUND OTHERS.
 
You seem there is alway an argument, judgement or someone to oppose your views coming.
 
3. YOU FIND YOURSELF COMPLAINING OFTEN.
 
Not getting your own way or people not fitting your bias will leave your ego screaming because it feels it’s in danger. You will actively seek out info you agree with, even if it’s wrong.
 
4. FIGHTS AND ARGUMENTS HAPPEN FREQUENTLY BETWEEN YOURSELF AND OTHERS.
 
As you can guess, you defend everything you say without questioning if it’s wrong, which it might intact be.
 
 
5. YOU JUDGE OTHERS HARSHLY.
 
Also known as projection, you place everything you don’t like about yourself subconsciously on others so that you don’t feel sacred around them.
 
6. YOU FIND IT HARD TO LISTEN TO OTHERS WITHOUT WANTING TO INTERRUPT.
 
“I know, but…” – this is the line that shows your ego is feeling threatened, if you go to say it stop yourself and listen first.
 
7. YOU SEEK REVENGE WHEN OTHERS HURT YOU.
 
Children and the immature seek revenge, the mature and the wise seek understanding and to learn from their experience. if you find yourself point scoring all the time it’s a sign ego is controlling you.
 
Take these simple insights as see which ones apply to you and for the love of all that is holy, think before you speak, trust me, it causes more problems than it’s worth when you engage your mouth before your brain.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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How to make progress: Part 7 – Individual Difference.

 
The final part, the one many have been waiting for, time to hail the snowflake and make things ultra specific to each person.
 
Well… Not quite.
 
Individual difference doesn’t quite mean super specific exercises for all, although some changes will need to be made if there is past injury etc. What is means is the way people may set up to an exercise due to lever length, bio-mechanics and so on.
 
This is where hiring a good coach comes in to play because they will help you find the correct form for YOU, they can also help add in some extra alternatives and maybe even a little spice to keep your workouts interesting (with the base exercises as staples that is).
 
The reason this is the last thing int he progression ladder is simple, most people don’t need massive amounts of variation because they’re not ready for it yet, they need consistency, hard graft and time under the bar, the fancy stuff is reserved for people who are close to or at their natural genetic limit – often someone who’s trained for 10+ years and mastered the basics, if this ins’t you, stick to the simple stuff for now.
 
Work hard, pay your dues, stay consistent and results will be yours.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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