Tag Archives: smart goals

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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You don’t need to squat heavy…

Do you need to squat heavy?

It pains me to say this, however there is technically no need to squat heavy weights…

That said, there is a basic necessity for the squatting movement pattern as it will ensure healthy ankles, knees, hips and loads more.

The squat is a fundamental human movement pattern, you need it, fact.

I am personally bias towards heavy squats, I love them, however they are not for everyone, some people may have injuries that prevent them going heavy, this is fair enough, they can adapt and do things such as goblet or front squats as substitutes, so long as they are performing the movement pattern all is good.

This short post is just to remind you that it’s okay not to squat heavy, you just need to be performing the movement in some way, shape or form to stay healthy.

Here is a simple workout structure for those who need some guidance, you can pick which ever :

W/U – Squatting pattern – Example: Goblet Squat 50 reps
A1 – Hinging movement 15-25 rep goal
B1 – Pressing movement
B2 – Pulling movement 25-50 rep goal for both
C1 – Core movement or Loaded Carry 30 rep goal or Distance for Time (e.g., 10min)

Easy, all you need do for exercise ideas is simply find a list of movements and pick ones that you feel like doing on the day.

Actually, hold on…

http://www.exrx.net/Lists/Directory.html

^^ A great resource, they’ve got some fantasist bits on there to read, enjoy it.

Ross

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A progression option

Accumulation & intensification

Basically the way you can structure blocks of training to help improve one or multiple elements of training.

These can be used in 2,3,4 week blocks each time or even sometimes as long as 6 weeks a piece, you can even do 6 weeks accumulation and 2 weeks intensification, this will all be down to how the individual responds.

Let’s look at some examples:

Day 1
A1 – Squat
A2 – Chin

Day 2
A1 – Press
A2 – Row

Day 3 – Off

Day 4
A1 – Deficit Deadlift
A2 – Dip

Day 5 – Off

Day 6
A1 – Front Squat
A2 – Dumbbell Clean & Press

Day 7 – Off

Acc – Weeks 1-3 – 6×6-8×70% 1RM wk 1, 72.5/75% wk 2&3
Int – Weeks 4-5 – 8x3x85% wk4, 87.5% wk5
Acc – Weeks 6-8 – 6×6-8×72.5% 1RM wk 6, 75/77.5% wk 7&8
Int – Weeks 9-10 – 8x3x87.5% wk9, 90% wk10
Deload (volume reduction or 30-60%)
Start process again for another 10weeks, starting Acc 75%, starting Int 90%

You get the idea.

The same would apply for CV training, you’d start off with a moderate intensity based on the fitness assessment results of your clients initial tests, then plan in steady state work, intervals and so on.

Each Acc/Int phase will differ in set/rep/load planing based on the clients goal, etc.

Example rep/loading ranges:

Strength – 1-6 – 85%+ 1RM
Hypertrophy 6-20 – 60-85% 1RM

Some people will need more variety and change ever couple of weeks (dopamine dominant), others may do well to stay on the same protocol for 6weeks (balanced across all neurotransmitters), it’s up to you as the trainer to find out what is best for the client.

Enjoy,
Ross

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Cut the crap

Morning All,
 
I’d like to say that I have some fantastic new information that will change your perspective on training and finally provide you with the results you seek, I don’t, sadly.
 
What I do have however are some words of advice that may help point you in the right direction.
 
– The difference between success and failure is not giving up
– You don’t get something for nothing, there’s always a price
– Patience is a trait you will need in abundance
– There’s no substitute for hard work
– Have faith in yourself
 
The process of creating life long change isn;t an easy one.
 
You might want to be more muscular, learner, fitter, stronger or perhaps just healthier, regardless of your goal there are certain conditions that NEED to be met and more importantly SUSTAINED if you want to not only reach the goal but keep it.
 
I can’t tell you any more than that, that is the truth any which way you cut it.
 
While I’d like to see everyone get their results, this will be reserved for a few who are tough enough to stick it out.
 
Choose which you’d rather be.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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The Healthy Skeptic

Did you know that just because you found evidence that agrees with your opinion, it doesn’t mean it’s right.
 
^^ A hard pill to swallow, however one we all need form time to time.
 
In our world of instant answers and global communication it’s not hard to find something that confirms what we believe and that’s quite a dangerous thing.
 
While it is true you can find studies, anecdote and much more to prove your point it doesn’t then mean you should discount other information.
 
Grasping the entire picture is crucial in making objective decisions and a logical conclusion, otherwise you’re just feeding your ego.
 
I’ve been guilty of this and as such I have three short pieces of advice to help you.
 
1 – Always question your own beliefs
2 – Look for information from every conceivable angle
3 – Try to prove yourself wrong
 
Following these will allow you a broader perspective on a great many things, fitness related and across the entire spectrum of life too. If what you feel is true is true then gathering all the info on all the angles, opposing views and challenging opinions will still lead to the same answer, however you must be willing to entertain the possibility that you’re wrong before you can ever hope to prove that you’re not. 
 
Healthy skepticism, it’s the way forwards.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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How to make progress, part 1: Specificity

It might seem obvious that needing a goal is key for making progress, however there are a lot of people who fail to set one, especially a specific one with trackable numbers.
 
You might there of people saying things like:
 
“I want to get bigger.”
 
“I want to lose weight.”
 
And so on.
 
While those are goals they’re not specific ones, and you’ll no doubt hear of people who never set specific goals because they don’t need to, however you’re not one of those people (the genetically gifted or PED users), you need specifics to make progress.
 
Having a designated goal based on a number will allow you the opportunity to reverse engineer your path to it and help you set weekly targets and the necessary steps to success.
 
Take this example:
 
Goal – Bench Press 140kg
Current standard – 120kg bench press
Required progress – 20kg increase in strength
Time frame – 12 months 1-1-17:1-1-18
 
Looking at this you’d be able to see that you will need to add around 1.6kg per month to your bench each month.
 
You will also then be abel to establish the correct training periods necessary to achieve this goal (Hypertrophy, Strength, Peaking etc). Wether this is hitting absolute weight increase on the bar, rep increases such as taking your current 3RM and making it your new 6RM, total increased volume and so on, you can plan out clear route for progress.
 
Now I don’t care who claims they don’t need to do this because almost every successful athlete in the world of strength sports trains this way and the reason for it is simple; it works.
 
In short, having a specific goal will help you actually achieve something, without one you might progress, you might not. The overbearing amount of people int he gym who don’t change their body composition, incase strength or achieve anything is proof enough, it’s up to you to decide if you want to be one of them or one of the successful ones.
 
Part two will be overload.
 
Until then, write down your goals, be specific and make a plan.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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6 Things successful people do that you don’t.

Morning All,

1 – They make a plan based on a solid goal.

2 – They write practically everything down, good-bad-indifferent, they write note it all.

3 – They seek advice from people who’ve already achieved what they want.

4 – They make lifestyle & behaviour changes that best suit their goal.

5 – They ask for help when they need it.

6 – They don’t give up.

The above might seem like common sense and that’s because they are. The people who you admire for their success are doing the things that you’re not, it’s that simple.

If you want to make a body transformation or hit a specific goal you need to change your behaviour and your life so this becomes possible. You can always stay as you are, doing what you’re doing but realise that you won’t achieve anything other that what you already have.

Ask the question, take the chance, move forwards, always forwards.

Very few people like change, it’s uncomfortable, it’s hard but in the end it’s usually worth it.

Enjoy,
Ross

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How to overcome a barrier in 3 easy steps.

Morning All,
 
You’ll find that there is always something that gets in the way or progress, it’s just an inevitable part of life.
 
How you deal with the obstacles in your way will largely depend on the approach you take. If it’s one of panic and ‘Woe is me, all is for naught’ then you might struggle, however if you follow these simple steps you’ll find what is in your way is dealt with swiftly and easily.
 
You’ll need a pen and paper.
 
1 – Write down the barrier
 
2 – Write down what behaviours you need to rectify this situation
 
3 – Apply the behaviours
 
You will often find plenty of people know what to do, but very few do what they know. The secret is in the last part, applying the correct behaviours.
 
Let’s look at a quick example, we’ll use working out in the gym and restricted time:
 
1 – Work needs to work until 8pm in stead of finishing at 5pm from now on. Thus disrupting your 5.30pm daily workout
 
2 – Get to the gym in the Am. Go at 8.30pm. Buy some Equipment for home. There might be other behaviours you can apply, use your brilliant mind to think of them.
 
3 – Pick one of the above.
 
Simple, right?
 
Often times you’ll find you have the answers you seek, if you don’t then ask for someones help.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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