Tag Archives: protocol

The best, or worst 4min of your life.

Depending on your point of view 🤗
 
Morning All,
 
Given how the sun is being dispensed in sparse amounts it will be wise to keep your training sessions as concise and effect as possible.
 
In doing so it will give you more potential time to spend outside.
 
So what is this 4min then?
 
Well those of you who are well versed in training will probably have already guess it is a Tabata.
 
20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest, repeated 8 times.
 
A true thing of beauty.
 
You will find that plenty of people claim to do these on a regular basis, some even attend Tabata classes where they do up to 10 of them.
 
While they may indeed speak the truth, their intensity will be a tad compromised, how do we know this?
 
Body composition.
 
As a general guideline, if you are performing/training as hard as you claim you’re body composition will be rather good, if it isn’t then you’re either the one true exception to the rule, or you just don’t work as hard as you think.
 
You can mull over that one yourself.
 
Okay, so the aforementioned, what is it performed on?
 
Pick one of these three movements
 
– Thruster (double kettlebell is good)
– Double Kettlebell Snatch
– Loaded Carry (any variation)
 
Once you choose you’d do just one Tabata because if you truly go all out it will leave you pretty toasted, if you can do more than one then you may have sandbagged some of your effort.
 
The above is of course great for conditioning and fat loss, however doing it alone may seem a tad pointless to some, as such here is are 3 example training sessions for 30min each (including WU/CD).
 
W/U – Mobility/Patterns/Complexes – 5min
A1 – Deadlift: 1,2,3,4,5,4,3,2,1
A2 – Pull Up: 5,3,2,5,3,2,5,3,2 (set a 15min time limit)
B1 – Tabata: Thruster – 4min
C/D – Full Body Stretch/Release Work – 5min
 
W/U – Mobility/Patterns/Complexes – 5min
A1 – FS: 2,3,5,2,3,5,2,3,5
A2 – Press: 5,3,2,5,3,2,5,3,2 (set a 15min time limit)
B1 – Tabata: Double KB Snatch – 4min
C/D – Full Body Stretch/Release Work – 5min
 
W/U – Mobility/Patterns/Complexes – 5min
A1 – Power Clean: 1,2,3,1,2,3,1,2,3
A2 – Bench Press: 2,3,5,3,2,3,5,3,2 (set a 15min time limit)
B1 – Tabata: Loaded Carry – 4min
C/D – Full Body Stretch/Release Work – 5min
 
As with most things shared here, this is not gospel, it’s an option. You could run this for 3-6 months and make progress if you really pulled your finger out of your ass and utilised the ‘same but different’ philosophy and actually tried to progress.
 
Give it some thought.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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A different take on Eccentrics.

Morning All,
 
Chances are you’ve heard about lowering a weight slowly and under control when lifting.
 
Have you heard about ‘pulling’ the weight back to the starting position or in to the hole though?
 
Probably not.
 
It may seem like a strange idea however it will help build a lot of strength and serve to increase total body tension in your movements.
 
Here is an example:
 
Press a kettlebell overhead to lock out, stay tense and gripping it tight.
 
From the top you now want to engage your lat hard and star tot PULL the weight down, as opposed to slowly lowering it – think along the lines that you’re trying to do a one arm chin up.
 
At first it will feel weird, however the more you do it the better you’ll get and suddenly you will find yourself becoming a lot stronger.
 
This tactic works well on all movements, especially unilateral ones such as Pistols and Single Arm Press Ups.
 
Here are some books to delve in to to learn more about this (mainly because I can’t remember exactly which book I got it from).
 
All by Pavel Tsatsouline:
 
– Enter the Kettlebell
– Power to the People
– The Naked Warrior
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Progress = Work for it.

Progress isn’t meant to be easy, it’s meant to be progressive.
 
Morning All,
 
We all want immediate and gratifying results, however most things don’t work this way.
 
Take lifting for example.
 
This protocol will help you get strong:
 
2×5 – 1x5xdaily 5RM, 1x5x90% of that daily 5RM
 
Pick 2 main lifts to follow this with (Squat & Row for example).
 
For accessory work hit the rest of the body with 3×10 (50%, 75% & final set at your 10M).
 
Repeat 5 times per week, simple.
 
If you wanted hypertrophy this is a viable option:
 
2×5 – 1x5xdaily 5RM, 1x5x90% of that daily 5RM
 
Now take 80% of the daily 5RM and do as many sets of 4-6 as possible before you lose speed/form, rest no more than 60seconds between sets.
 
For accessory work hit the rest of the body with 3×10 (50%, 75% & final set at your 10M). If you have the time and energy left.
 
Repeat 3 times per week.
 
You’d aim to add weight to your lifts as and when you could, once you feel you’d milked the lift for all its worth (or done the logical thing and tracked volume/progress) you swap the lifts around.
 
This is not fancy, it’s very repetitive and dull, however it works incredibly well.
 
Another option would be this:
 
After the 2×5, take 60-80% of the daily 5RM (depending on your recovery etc) and do 50 reps in as few sets as possible.
 
What I’m getting at here is that no matter how you choose to plan your training, you must accept that progress will be a long slog and the more seasoned you get the harder progress is to come by.
All of the above is 100% arbitrary by the way.
 
I want you to do well, to achieve your goals and break your limits, however before you can do that you need to look inwards and ask yourself this –
 
Do I really want it, or is the idea of it want excites me?
 
You don’t have to train yourself in to the group, despite what social media tells you.
 
Pick YOUR OWN goal.
 
Work for it, grind hard and enjoy the results when you achieve them.
 
Ross

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3 Quick ways to build grip strength.

A strong grip is one of the signs of not only a healthy body but also a healthy nervous system.
 
Performance is also improved by your grip strength too.
 
Here are some easy methods to use to build your grip strength.
 
1 – Towel Pull Ups
 
Chuck a towel over a bar and off you go. Aim for as many eps as possible.
 
2 – Fat Grip Deadlifts
 
You can either buy some fat gripz or wrap a towel around the bar to thicken it up and start lifting.
 
Sets of 3-5 until you lose speed is optimal for this exercise.
 
3 – Farmers Walks
 
A classic that has stood the test of time. You can do this with dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, plates, anything you can hold on to.
 
Simply hold the weight and walk until you can’t go any more, put said object down, rest then walk it back.
 
Do that 2-3 times a week and watch your grip strength soar.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Some more quick thought on variability

Morning All,
 
Last week I mentioned variability.
 
More importantly, how it could benefit your training.
 
As such, I have a question – do you vary your sets, reps, rest, frequency & loading?
 
A great many have this answer: No….
 
Fear not, you still have time to change this.
 
Here is what to start off with:
 
– Write down several combinations of sets/reps
 
^^ For now set a rep limit of 50 and under, you’ll easily come up with the combinations, think 5×5, 10×5, 10-8-6-4, etc.
 
– Write down several rest options
 
– Write down several loading options
 
Finally
 
– Write down different frequency options
 
You’ll be surprised how much variety there is.
 
if you’re someone who claims that they want this, then you’ve got a lot of options, however perhaps what you really want is for someone else to do it all for you, give that some thought.
 
Here is one example using a 4 day repeating block and one lift per day.
 
Day 1 – Squats – 10x10x12-15RM
Day 2 – Press – 10x5x8-10RM
Day 3 – Deadlift – 10x3x5-7RM
Rest
Day 4 – Squats – 10x3x5-7RM
Day 5 – Press – 10x10x12-15RM
Day 6 – Deadlift – 10x5x8-10RM
Rest
Day 7 – Squats – 10x5x8-10RM
Day 8 – Press – 10x3x5-7RM
Day 9 – Deadlift – 10x10x12-15RM
Rest – block now repast from first – increase load or change another variable.
 
Pretty simple really.
 
Of course you can do more movements per workout, I sued one lift a day just for the ease of the example, you could pair some super sets for 2 lifts a day, or have 3-4 for a strength circuit, however then things start to get tricky.
 
Take a look at your current training and see if you end up doing the same things day in, day out.
 
I’m guilt you it, are you?
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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A trick to mass from the past

What happened to 20 rep sets?
 
At one point in time they were at the height of popularity, especially for the squat.
There was also the recommendation of eating plenty of nutritious food while doing this, it worked back then, chances are it still works now.
However….
 
The options don’t just stop with squats though.
 
Oh no.
 
You can do them on a multitude of movements in fact.
 
As such here is something for you to consider to spice up you training.
 
Aim to hit this for a minimum of three months (12 weeks).
 
Split – Pull/Push/Legs – hit each group every 3-5 days.
 
Rep/set protocol – 5-4-3-2-1-20, add weight and ramp to a heavy (not max) single to potentiate the nervous system, this of this as an extended warm up.
 
For the 20 rep sets use 60% of you technical max (the weight you can do for 1 rep with perfect form)
 
If you hit all 20 add some weight to that number next session.
 
Session examples:
 
Pull –
A1 – Deadlift variation 5-4-3-2-1-20
B1 – Chin 2×20 (aim to build to this)
C1 – Row or Curl 12-10-8-6
 
Push –
A1 – Pressing variation 5-4-3-2-1-20
B1 – Dip 2×20 (aim to build to this)
C1 – Fly or Skull Crusher 12-10-8-6
 
Legs –
A1 – Squat variation 5-4-3-2-1-20
B1 – Walking Lunge 2×20 (aim to build to this)
C1 – Hamstring Curl 12-10-8-6
C2 – Calve Raise 4×25-50
 
The main aim is to build on those 20 rep sets on the main lifts for some solid mass gains.
 
The B1 exercise is meant to further your progress, just keep in mind the weights will be dictated by the reps you can perform with good form.
 
If you don’t hit all the reps in one set, do not fret, just stop there and aim to hit them all next session.
 
Only once you can hit all the reps with unbroken form do you add some weight to the movements.
 
You’ll be surprised how you much progress you can milk from this style of training, however if mass is you goal you will need to ensure you are in a caloric surplus and eat lots of nutritious/energy dense foods.
 
If fat loss is your aim this type of method works for you too, the main difference is in the nutrition and overall calories consumed, you need to be in a slight deficit. Think a lot of veg and lean meats.
 
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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A complex situation.

We’ve discussed the benefits of complexes before.

Linking several exercises together without rest forces a great metabolic demand on the body, not to mention it ramps up the oxygen debt you get overall.

They are also useful for putting on slabs of muscle due to their amount of TUT that is required to complete them, think metabolic stress/mechanical tension hypertrophy triggers.

So if they are so great, why don’t people do them?

A great question, with a simple answer.

They’re horrible.

Soul crushingly horrible.

Take for example this humble barbell variation:

A1 – Squat
A2 – Push Press
A3 – Row
A4 – RDL
A5 – Shrug* Optional

– 6-8 reps of each movement
– 120-180 seconds rest after each round
– repeat 3-5 times

Or this one with dumbbells:

A1 – Renegade Row
A2 – Clean & Press
A3 – Squat
A4 – Lunge
A5 – Shrug* Optional

You see, horrid.

They will often leave you gasping for breath, burning from head to toe and wishing that wasn’t the first set.

If your training has become dull then an infusion of these can make all the difference.

You can plan full body complexes or focus them on specific movement patterns –

– Push
– Pull
– Hinge
– Squat
– Carries

A pushing one might look like this:

Double Kettlebell – 3-5 reps, 3-5 rounds.

A1 – Press
A2 – Push Press
A3 – Push Jerk
A4 – Waiter Walk
A5 – Farmers Walk* Optional

(if single kettlebell do all on one arm and replace farmers walk with turkish get up, then rest, then swap arms)

Simple, yet, horrid.

If your overall goal isn’t one of a pure aesthetic endeavour then I wouldn’t waste your time with too much isolation work, 1-2 movements per workout is enough for that.

Training, a complex situation indeed.

Enjoy,
Ross

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