Tag Archives: smart goals

3 forgotten steps for setting good goals.

Chances are you’re aware that setting your sights on the far horizon is a great way at keeping you focused on the path that lay before you.
 
We often find it’s once we’ve achieved the goal that things go wrong.
 
Once the praise has drive up and people are no longer falling over each other to congratulate you and grab a selfie, many begin to fade away.
 
Sadly the heights they’ve reached are now lost.
 
You see once you make a good change you are no longer in the place you were when you started aiming for that goal.
 
This is the biggest mistake you’ll see from people.
 
Achieving a goal, enjoying their time at the top, stagnating and slipping backwards due to a lack of attention/praise, then they attempt to repeat the previous steps and find they don’t quite work in the same way if at all.
 
You see our bodies are clever little organisms.
 
They remember previous stressors, they adapt to them and put in place mechanisms/systems to deal with that specific stress just incase it ever happens again.
 
You may have heard of this called the law of diminishing returns.
 
Put simply what once worked perfectly will often never work that well again.
 
Many people fall in to this trap and get frustrated.
 
“It worked before so why isn’t it working now? – I know, I will just do more of this and that will fix it.”
 
^^ Sometimes, for a short time this works, then you crash and burn.
 
Realistically this adaptive process our bodies have is something to be highly thankful of because without it we’d probably not be here.
 
As such if you want to keep getting praise, admiration and people flocking to you in their murder, then you need to keep your finger on the pulse of fitness.
 
“If you do what you’ll always done you’ll get less than you did before.” – Me 🤗
 
Don’t believe me?
 
Check out the people who try to out-train multiple glasses of wine and other alcoholic beverages by more work, they fail severely and each video/photo that goes up on the gram you can see they’re getting a little bigger each time.
 
Ah, survival and adaptation, we love you.
 
The big question then comes in to play; how do you avoid this?
 
That is where the three forgotten steps of goal setting come in to play.
 
1 – Reassessing your current level.
 
This is because you’ve got a new baseline now and what worked before may not work again, or if it does the results will be drastically lacking when compared to how you did previously.
 
Getting a new set of stats will help you logically plan the steps you NEED (objective truth) going forwards.
 
2 – Being objective in your estimations, not emotive.
 
Setting a positive emotion to your goal is all well and good, however people don’t move towards pleasure, they move away from pain.
 
Emotions can have to going back to the things you like or feel comfortable with, while it may give you the warm and fuzzy feeling you enjoy, this doesn’t mean it will get you to your goal, for that you need to be objective.
 
Example: Squats, Deadlifts & Sprinting will do more to build a solid pair of legs and bountiful booty than crab walks, cable abductor or kins backs ever will. This is an objective truth, not an emotive bias.
 
3 – Start of doing less than you think you should, just do it (less) better.
 
The trap of more ensnares a lot of people (myself included).
 
After a period of detraining you need to take a step back, perhaps starting off easier, lighter of with less volume than you FEEL (emotive response/bias) you need because you can’t progress if you don’t allow yourself to.
 
Hard to hear yet often necessary, well, if you want to make progress anyway.
 
🤗🤗🤗
 
There you have it, three elements of goal setting that people forget.
 
Here is a little something to get you started, it’s an ultra simple strength & conditioning routine.
 
Day 1 –
A1 – Press (any variation) 2×5-7
B1 – RDL 2×8-12
C1 – Sprint 8/22 x10min (8sec work, 22sec rest)
 
Day 2 –
A1 – Squat (any variation) 1×20
B1 – Supinated Row 2×6-8
C1 – Loaded Carry (any variation) x10min max distance
 
Day 3 –
A1 – Clean (full or power) 2×3-5
B1 – Dip 2×8-12
C1 – Rope Climb (no legs) x10min or Row 4-6×400-600m
 
The above are all working sets, they don’t take in to account warm ups leading to the main weight. So 2×5-7 means 2 GOOD sets of 5-7 with a close to all out effort (RPE 9).
 
Oh, one more thing, you’ll need to tidy up your nutrition.
 
The easiest way to strip of excess fat is with optimal nutrition, it’s far easier not to eat the 1000 calorie tub of ice cream than it is to burn it off.
 
Enjoy,
Ross
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1,2,3,4,5,4,3,2,1

Had this little gem fly in to my head on a whim, thought you might enjoy it.
 
Load up 80% for whatever lift you desire.
 
Preform 1 rep, rest 30 seconds.
Preform 2 reps, rest 60 seconds.
Preform 3 reps, rest 90 seconds.
Preform 4 reps, rest 120 seconds.
Preform 5 reps, rest 90 seconds.
Preform 4 reps, rest 60 seconds.
Preform 2 reps, rest 30 seconds.
Perform 1 rep, move on to something else.
 
Keeping the load static in the ascending 5 is a good idea, when you start coming back down towards 1 rep again you can choose to lighten the load or keep it static.
 
This is only 25 reps, however it would be 25 good reps.
 
Once you’ve done this you can do one or two additional movements, I’d set it up like this:
 
Main lift – as above
Secondary lift – 3-6×6-8 – 60 sec rest between sets
Accessory lift – 2-3xfail – 30-60 sec rest between sets
^^ You can of course tweak these for varied goals such as fat loss for example.
 
The secondary lift an antagonist to the first for balance or an agonist to the first for strength, the accessory lift can be a weak point focus and hammered for pump.
 
Nice and simple.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Ladies & strength.s

Personally I feel all people should be strong, however it makes me especially happy when the girls take well to the world of lifting and start to shift hefty weights about.

Two impressive numbers for the average lady what lifts are as follows:

– 3/4 bodyweight strict press
– 1.5x bodyweight overhead deadlift

Those two lifts, when at those numbers seems to often entail good things in regards to sporting prowess and also easier activities of daily living.

By no means gospel, yet there is a nice trend when you delve in to the endless hoards of zero’s and one’s.

How do you measure up when look at these numbers?

I trust you can hit them easily 🤗

Of course there are other lifts for the average lady lifter that add extra prowess from my experience.

– 1.25x BW Squat (or BW Front Squat)
– Bodyweight Farmers Walk for 25m, 50% each hand
– 5 Strict Pull Ups or 7 strict chin ups

There just seems to be something about all of the above that keeps popping up when one digs in to it, as such they give some useful targets for us to aim for that are not out of the realms of possibility.

All of the above would be for one solid rep (unless labeled otherwise), however if you could do them for say 3-5 reps that would be truly epic.

Being strong is a great thing.

Apart from the added lean body mass, confidence and general badassery, lifting decent weights is rather enjoyable.

As such it might be worth looking at your numbers and working towards closing the gap on the above.

Give it some thought.

Enjoy,
Ross

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Know your goal

Is your goal really your own?

A question more people should ask themselves.

How often have you heard of people achieving their goal only to be left feeling unsatisfied or unfulfilled?

You’d be surprised to find out that it’s actually quite common.

There are many people who undergo certain tasks to achieve what they think they want, when in reality they’re achieving what they’ve been told they want.

A very common state of affairs.

Have you ever honestly sat down and thought about why you’re doing what you’re doing?

I’d be surprised if you had, pleasantly surprised.

Knowing the underlying reasons is key to long term success and sustainability.

That said, it’s not something people give much thought to.

Might be worth considering before you set your next goal.

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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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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