Tag Archives: progress

Things get harder or you simply get better

“You’ve got it easy now, just you wait until you’re my age, then you’ll understand.” – Everyone over 30.
 
Since just watching a hilarious video on the difference between being 20 & 30 it got me thinking.
 
Once I’d stopped chuckling away that is.
 
A lot of people will say that your body slows down, this is often in reference to your metabolism.
 
Meaning you’ll gain fat easier and find it harder to lose.
 
Next is that you’re not a strong, building sucre take more time, and basically as you get older it all gets harder as opposed to when you’re young and seemingly invincible.
 
To be fair, this is true for ‘everyone else’.
 
What do I mean by ‘everyone else’, glad you asked, I shall explain.
 
Usually the people that chime on about the above, especially the topic of middle aged spread and finding it harder to lose fat build muscle etc.
 
These people are the ones who didn’t really give any though to looking after their bodies in their formative years.
 
Many didn’t build decent based of athleticism or strength.
 
In fact, personally I know a lot of people who peaked in high school, as the term goes.
 
You seem them now, out of shape, in poor health, often with a can of monster & some calorie laden snack in hand.
 
They wills top to have a chat, usually saying who ‘good’ at whatever they used to be. How they used to be ‘lean & muscular’ and any/all that other suff they used to be.
 
Essentially they’re trying to save their ego/pride.
 
Now speaking purely for myself and my experiences this is usually because as a kid/teen I didn’t peak in high school, or even sooner after that.
 
Nope, it took decades to work, now being in my 30’s there is only one truth – I’m still getting better with age.
 
Yep, even reading that I know how it sounds, yet it’s true.
 
While personally the physique, strength and athleticism possessed are nothing spectacular, it’s far beyond that of the average person in their 30’s.
 
While it’s easy to say it all gets harder as we get older.
 
(Which it can do, if we don’t prepared/adjust accordingly)
 
Usually the struggle is the result of you just making poor choices.
 
No if’s, but’s or excuses, you simply make bad choices.
 
Of course medical exceptions or crippling injuries & unfortunate events aside as those can cause quite the significant trouble and require a shift in priorities.
 
For those without legitimately andy of above, you just got lazy and made bad choices.
 
Will me writing this help or miraculously have people change their minds and se/find a better path?
 
Nope, not in the slightest.
 
Yet there is far too much positive smoke that gets blown up peoples bottoms these days, thus it doesn’t require me to do it as well.
 
How you are in life (exceptions above mentioned) is a result of the choices you make or choose not to make.
 
Take a long hard look at yourself in the mirror.
 
Are you happy with what is staring back at you?
 
Be honest, if you say yes then that’s awesome.
 
However it’s okay to say no.
 
The ‘body positive brigade’ may shame you into feeling that you need to accept not being physically at your best, or eating more nutritious food because that’s somehow shaming other people that don’t do the same, however you’re better off ignoring people like that truth be told.
 
There’s no shame in wanting to keep you body physically in shape and eat well for your health.
 
Give the above some deep thought.
 
In truth it doesn’t really get harder as you get older if you don’t let it, and it’s only the case for those that want it to be because it’s the prefect excuse to someone who ‘used to be’ something to cling on to that.
 
You don’t need to be one of them, remember that.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Behaviours are Key

A simple method to assist in habit change.
 
Step 1 – Write down your habits you wish to change
Step 2 – ???
Step 3 – Success!
 
😋
 
Of course the step two is the tricky part.
 
You’ve got plenty of options to choose from you see, and they all tend to work provided the consistency along with the desire to change is there.
 
This is one of the more notable ones that have shown some success over the years.
 
– Highlighting behaviours
 
This entails the current behaviours, them putting the against the desired or necessary behaviours required to elicit change.
 
Example:
 
Current Behaviour – Excessive drinking causing calorie surplus
 
Desired Behaviour – Reduced drinking to eliminate calorie surplus and aid towards calorie deficit for achievement of fat loss goal.
 
How you’d get there might be on one fell swoop or a series of small steps, either method is acceptable, and will vary person to person.
 
You see honestly assessing behaviours can reveal a lot.
 
Knowing how to make the changes and also accepting why they’d be positive in the long run can be quite effective for a lot of people.
 
That being said, this does rely on the person themselves.
 
While as a PT/coach you can offer support and extra ideas/options for helping create the new habits and have the older one evolve, the desire has to come from the person int question.
 
Any change won’t happen overnight.
 
In fact it may take years, so just be aware of that.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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An Art to Admire

Body Building is great.
 
Right?
 
What a lot of average people don’t see or even know about is the level of dedication those who look like body builders actually put in.
 
It’s most impressive.
 
What does a body builder look like you may be thinking.
 
A good question, by this and on a perusal note it’s the sort of look where someone see’s a persons that is heavily muscles and has a decent level of conditioned, says to the person how good they look, makes their excuses for not looking that way themselves and then utters this behind the body builders back –
 
“They’re on steroids. That’s why they look like that.”
 
Now, this is a sign of petty jealousy by most because there are plenty of natural’s who look this way and haven’t taken single thing.
 
So if you’re wondering what a BB’er looks like, that’s the answer.
 
True enough some will be on the Richard, and while that is a very key piece of the puzzle for those who almost seem to defy their genetic potential, they still had to put in the work.
 
One thing that does wear a little thin is when BB’er will state that the drugs don’t do that much, to which this would me the reply to that:
 
“So if they don’t do much, if anything, why take them?”
 
Trut is PED’s work very well, and most people on them wouldn’t have achieved what they have without them, at least not at the very highest levels.
 
That being said, the drugs don’t do the work, plenty of people are on the Sauce and don’t look like they are.
 
This is often due to poor training, terrible nutrition and abhorrent lifestyle habits.
 
Decent BB’ers are masters of the following:
 
– Self Discipline
– Nutriton
– The Mind Muscle Connection
– Consistency
 
Seriously they’re on another level mentally.
 
(Plus most are also ferociously smart too)
 
Knowing a fair amount of decent ones it’s easy to see they’re a different breed, and watching them train is quite mesmerising.
 
They feel each muscle, they got for the stretch, then deeply concentrate on contracting it to within an inch of its existence, reporting this until there is nothing in the tank, then they do a couple more reps for good measure.
 
Nutrition wise they’ve spent years getting it right, tracking everything they eat, learning to listen to their body, knowing what has them hold water, drop water look harder, feel strong and everything in-between.
 
When it comes to fat loss of body recomposition, hiring a BB’er will be the most sensible option.
 
Not a ‘functional trainer’ or someone with fancy letters post name, a good old fashioned body builder who put in the graft and changed their body shape from one extreme to anther on multiple occasions.
 
Plus you’ll learn a lot about the philosophy they hold too.
 
It’s not just about looking good in trunks or a bikini.
 
The subtleties of a goal, appreciating the journey, breaking free from the scale number and finally accepting that it’s how you feel & look that has way more impact than being a specific weight.
 
Oh, you’ll also find that most of them are ‘lifers’.
 
Entrenched in their love of the process.
 
You see body Building is a 5min fad, it’s a life long lesson in how to become better.
 
Take some time to look at what many consider the ‘Golden Era’ – 70-80’s.
 
Become inspired and then go hire one (ideally a good one with proven results for their clients & themselves).
 
If we’re all honest looking good naked is a worthy goal and priority to have, and anyone who states otherwise is lying to themselves 😂
 
Here are three tips I’e gained from some good BB’ers:
 
– Nutrition is the first priority
– The muscle you feel stretching the most grows the most
– Control (& feel) your reps, TUT is your best friend
 
In closing, body building is great.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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A sensible approach to 1000 rep training

While staring up at a clear blue sky yesterday I allow my thoughts to wonder.

Seeing them pass by, some fast, others slow.

These three threads lingered long enough to pull on.

1 – Have conviction in your goal.
2 – Sacrifice is necessary for success.
3 – A sensible 1000 rep training protocol.

Yep, the last one had me sit up an write it down before it vanished into the ether.

Here is how it works:

500 reps – mobility/restorative work -10-15min

Meaning it’s done in the warm up, say sets of 50 reps per movement, gives you 10 total movements and can be easily done in 15min.

I wondered where this came from, then realised since I’ve personally been doing ‘movement’ work before my JJ drilling I total around this many reps across the movements used to warm up.

Cawls, Kosac lunges, band pull apart, arm circles, etc.

As a result aches/pains in specific areas has dissipated, movement have improved and I’ve been able to ‘find’ another area that has been restricting my shoulder (intercostals funnily enough) because of better feeling/sensitivity.

300 reps – Wenning Warm Up -10-15min

A great little gem from Matt Wenning, I will link the video because his explanation is worth 10min of your time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o61dLV9ccXA

The only difference is using 3 movements instead of his recommended 4.

The three cover: Prime Mover, Synergist, Stabilisers.

Now to the last part.

200 reps – Main Work – 30 to 45min

This can be from one lift only, such as ‘Squat 10x20x120kg’ or you can have 100 reps for your main lift and 100 for accessory work, the breakdown of the 200 reps is up to you.

Personal bias likes these options:

– Main Lift Only
– Main Lift & 1 Supplementary Lift (agonist or antagonist)
– Main Lift & 2 Supplementary Lifts (agonist or antagonist)

All very simple, and would last anywhere for 50-75min total.

Of course this doesn’t delve into the tempo you can play with, the rep breakdowns or overall programming, it’s just a novel way of using a 1000 rep system to your advantage.

Give it some thought.

Enjoy,
Ross

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20 rep sets are not fun, yet they are.

It’s very much a mental battle for a lot of people to get through.

There are ways you can break down the reps.

5-10-5
10-10
10-5-5
5-5-5-5
12-8
2-4-6-8
2-3-5-10

You get the idea, with this style or breakdown and what can be considered a rest-pause set.

This may allow for longer overall progression based on the ‘top set’ (the one with the highest reps), where as simply doing straight sets of 20 the limit will be your 20RM – around 60% 1RM.

A downside to this though is that people will rest too long.

While rest is vital, when it goes past a certain point it can change the training stimulus, or perhaps even render it null & void.

Here is an example of how the rest may work:

5 – rest 10 seconds
10 – rest 10 second
5 – rest 60 seconds, onto next set.

So you’re not going off to fill water, or chat and really rest, you’e simply putting down the weight for a second, shaking out the nasties that have accumulated and then hitting the next set.

Another example:

10 – rest 15 seconds
10 – rest 60 second, onto next set.

To make this style of work even more effective, for say hypertrophy/strength you can play with the TUT like this:

Reps 5-10-5 (you can use one TUT of all of one for each)

5 reps at 4-0-X-0 (or all reps at this)
10 reps at 6-0-X-0
5 reps at 2-0-X-0

All ways to make training super effective.

In regards to keeping this, a 3 week period before change is good (for various neurological/nervous system reasons).

When the there week point hits you can change the reps, the movement, the TUT, the loading, honestly there is a lot of variation, however here is an example:

Week 1 –

Movement: Front Squat
Reps: 5-10-5
Tempo: 4-0-X-0 (all reps/sets)
Load: 80kg

Week 2 –

Movement: Front Squat
Reps: 5-10-5
Tempo: 6-0-X-0 (all reps/sets)
Load: 80kg

Week 3 –

Movement: Front Squat
Reps: 5-10-5
Tempo: 8-0-X-0 (all reps/sets)
Load: 80kg

End of micro-cycle, change of either movement or minor variable.

There is honestly an endless amounts of things you can do, all will be potentially beneficial to you hitting your goal and as such the above is just something to consider in apply 20rep work – ideal for home training.

Enjoy,
Ross

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9 Reasons you’d need to limit your training days per week😭

Once you’re bitten by the training bug it’s easy to become consumed by insatiable hunger to train more.
 
A lot of people have been there at one time or another.
 
While the mind is willing the body is soft & squishy.
 
Doing too much too soon won’t get you to your destination any quicker, contrary to popular belief.
 
In fact not allow sufficient time to recover will hold you back from your potential because fatigue masks fitness, as Charles Poliquin used to say.
 
I’ve been one of these people, an in truth I still am.
 
The addiction to doing more, it will always hold me back in regards to my athletic ability and overall progress from training.
 
It’s honestly not the best place to be in mentally, however once you’re stuck there it’s difficult to get away from it.
 
You’ll find yourself creating ways to do more because you fee the need to do so.
 
This is addiction.
 
You may laugh, although it can cause as many issues as some that fall into that realm which are more nefarious and less accepted by the public, such as train spotting for example.
 
Anyway, here are the 9 reasons why you need to limit training, ideally to 3-4 days per week.
 
1 – Recovery & Adaptation
 
You adapt, overcome & progress when you recover, not when you train.
 
2 – Hormonal Health
 
Keeping your foot to the floor will have you run the risk of creating hormonal issues due to constantly elevated cortisol/adrenaline.
 
3 – Planning is easier with less
 
Having less time means you’ll strip away the faff and focus on that which will yield the most bang for your buck, as opposed to adding in junk to your training.
 
4 – Mental Health
 
Too much training and a lack of results, because you thought doing more would mean faster results when that’s not really true, will destroy your mind. This will cause unwanted stress and a whole host of other things.
 
5 – Life
 
People swap out one life for another, spending all their time in the gym to find that they eventually lose their true friends, and sometimes even their family because of their neglect.
 
6 – The Desire to Train
 
Training less often begets people wanting to do more, yet this is where you must resist the temptation because it’s better to do say 3 sessions where you give it 100% and go beyond in 45-75min, than have 14 lack lustre sessions.
 
7 – You’ve Not Earned More
 
Training at a high volume and high frequency takes YEARS to work towards, so unless you’ve been training 10+ years well and are nearly maxed out in terms of your genetic potential then 3-4 days will be plenty.
 
8 – Nutrition Suffers
 
More training means less time to prepare wholesome meals and also affects the types of foods you can eat due to being constantly in a state of sympathetic dominance.
 
9 – You Don’t Need More
 
In all honesty you will find people often make far more progress by doing less better than more poorly.
 
A hard truth to accept, even for me, yet it is a such.
 
As an average person, because let us be honest, if you’re reading my drivel then like me you’re pretty average and we’re not going to break any world records or leave marks in the history of training.
 
So why take it too seriously?
 
By all means have a laser like focus and discipline to achieve a goal and desire to better yourself, just remember that you’ll need to go through periods of climbing to a peak and then willingly stepping back down to tread another trail.
 
If you don’t accept this it will be forced upon you.
 
After all, there’s more to life than being really really ridiculously good looking 👀
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Scoring points, it’s not all bad

Given the surplus time some have found themselves with, it’s the perfect opportunity to focus on some restorative work.
 
Training for any goal can come with its fair share of aches, pains, niggle & injuries.
 
Many of us will forget to focus on long term function for short term success.
 
True enough some pay a higher price than others, however you’d do well to reduce some of that accrued debt.
 
What do I mean by this?
 
Here is a mindset option for you to perhaps adopt once this is all over.
 
Training 1 Hour = -30 points
 
Training 10 hours a week total = 300 points cost (debt)
 
To pay back the debt, here is how you amass credit:
 
– 8 Hours Sleep (7 days per week*) = +100 points
– Optimal Nutrition (whole foods daily**) = +100 points
– Massage (any external manual therapy) = +30 points
– Meditative Practice (any for 20min) = +20 points
– Mobility/Stretching Work Daily (10min) = +10 points
 
*meaning 56 total hours of sleep.
**Not eating like a child, high nutrient dense food ideally
 
As you can see the two that carry the most points are sleep & nutrition, meaning these need to be on point daily for the week to gain you only +200 points against your debt.
 
However ^^ this means you need this to be on point everyday, otherwise you won’t get the full benefit.
 
If you do 10 hours a week then you’re still -100 in debt.
 
You can regain a lot of points via meditative work, mobility & flexibility work.
 
Say you do a total of 5 sessions a week of meditative work, that’s +100 points.
 
Boom, your debit is paid.
 
Why stop there though?
 
The add in another 10min daily (70min total) of stretching/mobility work and perhaps have one massage a week, meaning +100 points credit to be used or banked.
 
You may attribute different points to your scale, the above is just an example.
 
The underlying usage is this – recovery is worth more than training.
 
Sounds silly, however the harder you train the harder you must recover too.
 
You should investigate this thoroughly.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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A system for your training at home

If you’re panicking about losing all the progress or gains you’ve made from training then the chances are you didn’t really make that much to begin with.
 
Yep, anyone who built ups substantial base of fitness isn’t all that worried.
 
It’s the people who are what now has the jovial term – ‘fit-ish’ that are worried.
 
Simply because many were using the gym as a compensator or rather a currency for eating a little too many decadent foods and drinking too much alcohol.
 
By all means if that makes you happy you crack on, however if results are your desire then an attitude change is needed.
 
In regards to setting up your training days at home this is quite a good idea:
 
GPP Protocol – 3-4 days per week – 45-60min per session
 
– Time Under Tension/Load Day
– Sprint Day
– Density Day
 
This is how they work:
 
TUL/TUT Day:
 
Each set lasts between 60-180seconds, meaning you don’t stop moving or put the load down until you’ve hit the minimum of 60 seconds or the maximum of 180 seconds.
 
A great way to build a solid mind muscle connection and one hell of a burn/pump while making light weights feel heavy.
 
Sprint Day:
 
You’d be outside sprinting, it can be up hill, in cone drills, with odd objects (so loaded carry medley’s) or with added resistance.
 
This can also be in reference to intervals, with rope slams, med-ball slams and the things like that, a 1-1 or 1-3 work to rest ratio is good, of 1-5 if you’re doing HIIT (so 10 seconds work 50 seconds rest, etc).
 
Density Day:
 
On this day you’ll pick 2-3 movements and get out as many reps as you possible can in this time frame – 30min.
 
After a 10min general warm up (same for cool down) you’ve got a fairly solid hour of work, accounting for kit set up/transitions etc.
 
Here are my movement suggestions:
 
– Pull>Squat>Carry
– Push>Hinge>Carry
– Push>Hinge
– Pull>Squat
– *****>Carry (any of the 4 core movements – P/P/S/H)
 
Loading can be set by you, as can the reps just do as much as you can, make a note and try to surpass it next time. Repeat the same combo 2-3 times then change it.
 
Actually that’s a good general rule to remember, repeat the same session 2-3times before tweaking it, personally I’d recommend milking it until it stops working, however if you’re training base don a 7 day week then not stretching the same movements past three weeks works well.
 
A simple 3 day system to keep you progressing.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Book Recommendation

You know I’m a fan of minimalistic training.

Why do more when it can be done with less?

A great book that is worth reading not only for it’s pearls of wisdom training wise, yet also it’s science is ‘The Naked Warrior’ by Pavel Tsatsouline.

It’s a great investment, and the best part is you’ll be able to understand and appreciate ow to use just your bodyweight.

Enjoy,
Ross

You’ll find the link below –

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Minute Minder

EMOM – every minute on-the minute.
 
A classic little training methodology born from weightlifting.
 
Did you know that?
 
Well, to the best of my knowledge that is where it came from, typically focused on lifting complexes that housed the main or derivative variations of the Snatch/Clean & Jerk.
 
One of the main reasons for these was to have people improve their work capacity by increasing overall training density (work done per unit of time).
 
They were also following an interval training guideline.
 
So 1/1, 1/2, 1/3, or even 1/5 for work to rest ratios.
 
Doing this would mean that the common length of complex, or series of movements, reps etc, would last no longer than 5-30 seconds to allow for optimal performance and high work capacity.
 
Most would fall in the 10-15 second mark of work/effort, meaning the rest would be 5x or 3x the length, meaning a better quality of rep.
 
One mistake a lot of people make now is that they program things far too close to the mark of 30 seconds, or even 40 seconds of work and have very limited rest.
 
While that is a viable and in fact very useful option for some circumstances and outcomes, it’s not the main purpose behind EMOM’s, well, traditional ones anyway.
 
Keeping this in mind will serve you well.
 
You see there is a little thing called the ‘Neurological Scale of Demands’ and the higher up this you climb or program your training the more rest you will need between efforts.
 
Example: When compared –
 
Barbell Snatch = high neurological demand
Prowler Push = low neurological demand
 
The snatch would be an EMOM of say 2-3 reps (10seconds total starting effort), where as the sled you could push for 40m and potentially take as long as 30 seconds in the first rounds.
 
^ They both have different training outcomes, the big question is do you know what outcome you’re actually after?
 
One forgotten element of EMOM’s is that if you’re planing on one lasting longer than 10min you’ve got to account for fatigue.
 
This means what may start off being a 10-15 second effort for the first 10min will become more like a 20second one in the next 10 and creep up further as you increase your total amount of rounds/mins working.
 
Your reason for slowdown may be because you end up performing each rep as a single, which is acceptable, if however it’s because you’re losing RFD and speed of reps then that would say to me you’re done for the day.
 
Of course people won’t stop, they’d keep grinding our the reps, poorly, slowly, and as such lose their training effect meaning they’re not providing an adaptive stimulus, they’re simply making themselves tired now.
 
By all means you can do that, it’s just not wise.
 
Anyway, here are 5 of my personal favourites:
 
1 – Kettlebell Jerks x6-10 x10-20min EMOM
2 – Kettlebell Single Arm Swing x5 x10-20min EMOM
3 – BB Clean > FS > Push Press x1-3-2 x15min EMOM
4 – Pull Ups (varied grips) x5 x30min EMOM
5 – Loaded Carry (50%+ BW) x20-30m x30min EMOM
 
Give these a try, they’re great at improving your CV, strength, shifting body fat, yielding some LBM increase and overall mental resilience.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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