Tag Archives: real world

Break the training split mould

You don’t need to train based on a 7 day week.
 
Convenience is often why 7 day splits are created.
 
For clarity, a 7 days spit is a training routine that repeats every 7 days.
 
A 5 day split would therefore not be training Monday to Friday with sat/sun off to start again Monday, that’s a 7 day split.
 
The aforementioned 5 day split would be perhaps train Monday/Tuesday/Recovery-Wed/Thursday/Friday-Off & repeat, so not adhering to the same training days each week.
 
Feeling the need to train on specific days each week can lead to some poor behaviours.
 
Skipping social events.
 
Binning off family to train.
 
Getting stressed when you miss a day.
 
Plus a whole host of other things as well, all of which lead you to stagnation, self loathing, little progress and eventual burnout.
 
Here are some different options to consider:
 
3 day splits – two days on, one off, repeat
Train every 3rd day after strength, 5th day after volume
Roll a dice to see how many sessions you do this week
Flip a coin to decide if you’re training or resting
Train 2 days one week, three the next, 4 after, then 2 again
Lift 3 times in 10 days, or 5 times in 14 days
 
The options are endless
 
Basically break the mould, especially if you say you like different things or variety.
 
Nothing is more different than rolling a dice to see if you’re training or flipping a coin.
 
Give the compulsive habit away willingly.
 
You’ll be amazed how your life improves and your stress levels reduce when you do,plus you’ll probably start getting better results as well due to not simply running through the motions in the gym.
 
You should investigate this thoroughly.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

The age old question

Them – “What is better, volume or load?”
 
Me – “The answer is yes.”
 
*face palm.
 
You’ll find these sorts of questions are common.
 
How to answer them without being didactic is where things become tricky because without more context any answer is right, or wrong, or irrelevant.
 
In reference to the above it was surrounding body composition, fat loss specifically.
 
The short answer for that is volume, however…
 
Volume with/that induces sufficient mechanical tension.
 
You see mechanical tension is the driving factor behind MUR (motor unit recruitment) and this is the important factor and why the answer from above is yes.
 
When it comes to high threshold motor unit recruitment (HTMUR), you can achieve this via heavy loading – 85% 1RM+ or by causing extreme fatigue in the type 1 muscle fibres and 2a’s in which they draw upon the deeper fibres/units to help them keep going.
 
From a hypertrophy standpoint volume and going to that point of fatigue and HTMUR with moderate loads is king, and while you’ll build strength that type of strength won’t be on the same level as that built with heavier loads to elicit the same response.
 
The heavier loads however will often have less hypertrophy due to the high demands on the CNS and not being able to hit potential volume requirements to trigger maximal hypertrophy.
 
It’s why there is no one answer or protocol that does it all.
 
When you look back at successful lifters and their training you’ll find the coaches alternated periods of loading, volume, and everything in-between to continually elicit HTMUR so that a continued adaptive response would be the result, hopefully.
 
The other benefit of alternating between all of the above is so from building muscle, to learning how to express the strength potential of said new muscle and then performing in comp.
 
Basically you need to have working sets in your training (be those volume or load/intensity based) that force you to go beyond where you currently are.
 
You see working to your current limits won’t take you to the place in which you’ll discover new ones.
 
A lot of people forget this.
 
It’s one of the main reasons a large amount stall and fail to make any further progress in training, and even life, at which pint they make up various excuses about being happy, maintaining and other such nonsense when in reality they’re just being soft and aren’t willing to truly push for more.
 
I know I said there is no best of both, and there isn’t even though there kind of is, ish.
 
From a recommendation standpoint I’d suggest the following for a blend of the two above –
 
(They will work for everyone, that even means you unique snowflakes out there)
 
– Ramp to a heavy 2,3 or 5 rep set (muscle potentiation)
– Back off sets = true working sets
– 6-20 reps per set
– 2-3 TRUE working sets (0-2 reps in reserve)
– An average loss of 1-2 reps of 2.5-5% loading per set indicate correct loading/effort in previous set
 
*If you feel the need for extra volume or prefer a simpler approach then take 60-80% of your top set for the day and do 50-100 reps in as few sets as possible.
 
Both the above, provided you lift with intent, will hit that much desired HTMUR.
 
Focus on doing better instead of simply doing more.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Nothing = 2020

Consistency is troublesome for many people.
 
The idea of having to repeat something again and again and agin just doesn’t take well.
 
Given we’re two days away from reigning in a new year it’ll be time for all the –
 
“2018 broke me, 2019 taught me, 2020, let’s do this!”
 
😂😂😂
 
Such heroic nonsense.
 
In the words of Conner McGregor – “You’ll do nothin”
 
If it take the 1st of January for you to pull your finger out I’m not afraid to say that my friend you’ve all ready failed.
 
You see if you see a reason to become better and change your life, well you’d find it.
 
Regardless of that reason you’d find it because you want to.
 
So many need things to start on a Monday, the 1st of a month, after and event or whatever, it’s just not worth it, given how many millions fail what makes you think you’ll be any different?
 
True many other millions succeed, yet no one ever asks them about what made the succeeded, they merely admire from afar or write in envy.
 
Question for you, why will you be consistent this time around?
 
What makes 2020 so different from 2000, or 2010, or any other time you’ve talked a good game and not delivered on it because as much as seeing people do well is truly heart warming, there is so much hot air and bluster it’s just too tiresome to even pretend to care enough to support people these days.
 
I’m sure some will read the above and proclaim that people like me are the reason others fail, because obviously we have that much sway over the minds of the many.
 
In my experience change happens for these two reason:
 
– People become too uncomfortable to take anymore
– Heartbreak
 
Rarely do people change for positive reasons.
 
Sad as it is, many don’t change because they’re comfortable or happy, they do it because life has finally become too shit for them to stay in the place they’re in and it’s no longer giving them even and ounce of what they want anymore.
 
So my dear 6 readers, if I even have 6 😂
 
Why will 2020 be any different from all the year before it?
 
Please do leave your thoughts and motivations below.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Expectations vs Reality

Do you know what is actually achievable from training?
 
In our modern odd world it’s easy to have the lines blurred.
 
Growing up with classic 80’s, early 90’s cartoons and action stars such as Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Lindgren, Van-damme, Lee, plus a boat load of other physical specimens it’s easy to see why the world has some distorted views.
 
I shared a book with a close friend recently.
 
This book was apparently quite eye opening to him.
 
Of course over the years I had tried to convey many of the messages found in said book yet they all fell on deaf ears.
 
The combination of body dysmorphia, unrealistic expectations and wrapped social media/movie/anime images had set quite the distorted image of what was real and what wasn’t.
 
The book is ‘Your Muscular Potential’ by Dr Casey Butt.
 
A very good read for those looking to lift the veil, you’ll potentially enjoy his website too as it contains all the calculators mentioned in his book:
 
 
Believe it or not you might be near your maximum muscular potential, that is if you’re of a decent level of leanness.
 
Filling out a t-shirt is easy when your fat so if size if your prize you might do well to ask yourself this; is it legitimate lean mass and size I’m after or just being big due to being fat?
 
^^ Food for thought.
 
Beware of what you follow in the world wide web.
 
You might be being lead astray.
 
Once you learn what is realistic and what isn’t (without ‘enhancement’) you’ll find quite the weighty stress removed from your shoulders.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

A little time

You might that guessed I’m in quite the pensive mood of late.
 
Today I shall break with that trend and give you something you can use in the gym 🤗
 
It’s called ’25-35-45′
 
This is the length of time you will spend training in minutes.
 
You will cycle through them each session.
 
Why?
 
Because it will stop you faffing about.
 
You might be thinking that you can’t get anything done in 25min.
 
Well you can, in fact you can get quite a lot done however it relies on you pulling your finger out and being productive.
 
The cycling of session time will get you out of the mindset of –
 
“I need to train to feel tired/worked/like you did something”
 
Instead it will get you in the realms of –
 
“What can I do that is productive and not a waste of time?”
 
There might be some trial and error while you find the flow of it all, however once you do you will find that it’s not about the amount of time you spend in the gym, oh no.
 
It’s about the amount of effort, the quality of work and having a purpose that makes all the difference.
 
Don’t believe me?
 
Try to do 10 Thrusters & 5 Pull Ups without rest for 25min solid (wave loads as needed) and tell me you’ve not achieved something notable.
 
Here are a couple of ways you can set up the rotations.
 
1 – Pull/Squat, Hinge/Push, Loaded Carries/Movement
 
This takes 9 sessions before you start the cycle again, meaning each of the above (Pull/SQ etc) gets a 25-35-45min session.
 
2 – 25-35-45 & 1/2/3
 
25min session = 1 lift
35min session = 2 lifts (ideally in superset fashion)
45min session = 3 lifts (tri-set is good)
 
1 lift = pick a big movement that hits the entire body
2 lift = choose 2 solid half body movements
3 lift = 1 big lift, 1 auxiliary lift & 1 isolation/weak-point lift
 
3 – EMOM or AMRAP
 
Pick one or two lifts for an EMOM (ever minute on the minute), or choose as many lifts as you like and complete as many reps/rounds as possible in the given time.
 
4 – 200-300-400
 
The above are rep targets.
 
25min = 200reps
35min = 300 reps
45min = 400 reps
 
You can cycle the days as in option 1, I’d go for a simple Pull-Push-Legs so you might end up with something like this:
 
25min – 200 Presses (a combination of press/dip etc)
35min – 300 Squats (Squats, lunges, step ups etc)
45min – 400 Pulls (Dl, rows, chins, swings etc)
 
It will take 9 sessions to have each movement go through each rep/time set.
 
5 – Recovery, Run & Ramp
 
25min = Recovery work day – foam rolling, stretching etc
35min = Cardio work of your choice
45min = Lifting day where you ramp the weights/volume up
 
There are many options, however the 4 above should be enough to get you started.
 
Take some time to think about how much time you waste in the gym and for what other reason than you just feel like you should be in there for a certain amount of time.
 
Do less better.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

***Warning, contains truth***

If you dislike an objective view of things then you best stop reading.

You won’t be judged, shamed or have your profile smeared.

Yet if you are someone interested in hearing a few bitter pills to swallow then please continue on.

I’ve heard many a conversation in many a gym over the years.

In the last decade though there has been an underlying tone in a lot of them; life, the world or however you describe it seems to owe ‘them’ (the collective them, as in everyone) something.

The world, people, what/whoever doesn’t own you jack shit.

Honestly.

In this life while there are those born with a silver spoon in far better stead than others and are presented all the opportunities, that doesn’t mean that just because you haven’t had this that you’re owed something.

People have become very weak-minded these days.

Take the example above, I’m sure you know someone who has it all.

They never asked for it all, they just happened to be one of those few who happened to get it due to the hard work and sacrifice of someone in their daily at some point.

Same will be true for your progeny.

Whatever you achieve and the foundations you lay will be used but hem to get a better foothold in life.

The people of the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s all did this for their young.

Then there was a time of bountiful harvests, follow day people gaining the attitude of being entitled and this is where things started to go wrong.

Sadly we are entitled to nothing in this life.

To be alive and have things as good as we have them is already a gift.

Don’t believe me?

If you’re reading this then I’d say you’ve already got it better than some who either will never have the chance to use modern technologies or others who have had their basic humans rights stripped away, not naming any northern countries or anything.

This is why I love fitness.

It keeps you humble because you don’t get results without effort, sacrifice and time given to the iron gods.

True enough some people have better genetics.

If you feel yours are lacking and that you should have better ones then I truly hope that txt time you choose to be born of better parents.

Think back to school, you had all the gifted kids and most of them now will be nothing more than a memory because they wasted the 3 space head start they had and rested on their laurels.

Anyone who gets a head start in life while lucky isn’t guaranteed success because the world doesn’t owe it to them, remember that.

So my dear friends, have you ever felt that you deserve more than you have?

That you’re owed something for nothing because reasons.

Sorry buttercup, you ain’t.

Neither am I.

We may not ever get what we feel we deserve, yet is what we feel we deserve actually what we are due? – Now there is a good thought.

Do what you can without the thought of reward just because you can.

In the end if you’ve given whatever you see as a priority everything you have to give you’ll probably be satisfied with what you have in the end.

Don’t except the world to cater to you for nothing.

Life doesn’t work that way for most of us.

Also if you’ve been one of the few to start severals steps ahead of the rest I am happy for you, truly. Now use that opportunity to do great things and don’t fuck it up.

To everyone else I will say one last thing….

There’s always a bigger fish.

Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health