Tag Archives: smart thinking

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

One coffee laden ramble

The internet being what it is can lead people to saying some rather bold things.
 
Some might not even be 100% accurate 🤯
 
Shocking, right?
 
That being said, we’d like to think that the majority of people are trying to be helpful however the might take looking past the endless ‘10% discount with code XXXX’.
 
In fitness everyone wants their slice of the pie.
 
Ironically though they end up doing the same things as everyone else and going for a very slim piece instead of actually trying to be an individual.
 
Despite all the memes about living your true life or becoming the best version of you, most follow the crowd.
 
Following the crowd can seem safe.
 
Safety in numbers and all that.
 
This however doesn’t give much room for reflection or growth though because let us say you read some of your older content and now know it’s complete horse shit.
 
What are you to do?
 
Have a follow up piece where you address past misconceptions and outdated information, or do nothing and not upset the apple cart.
 
Over the years I’ve personally done both.
 
In the salt decade or so it has been the former, however in much younger days the idea of being wrong or at least admitting it was a bitter pill to swallow however that attitude was grown out of.
 
One such topic that needed multiple revisions was nutrition.
 
As more knowledge as gained the simpler it became and despite the average person desperately hoping they had some sort of unique issue that was causing all their issues in truth it was just a lifestyle choice problem.
 
Talking about what you will do, want to do or could do is more than enough for most people to release a hit of dopamine so that they feel good.
 
^^ You know the chats you have while stuffing your face with delicious foods and alcohol and making all the bet promises of ‘starting tomorrow’, which for many never happens.
 
Taking control is hard for some people to do in their own life.
 
Same goes for info shared about fitness on the web.
 
It’s hard to admit that what might be shared could be missing some vital considerations and perhaps isn’t gospel.
 
This is where science/evidence comes in to play.
 
It backs up points, however it too can be abused and manipulated to suit a purpose/cause or prove a point.
 
Given this truth what is the average person to do in regards to knowing what is, what isn’t and what’s just complete turd?
 
Trial & error.
 
Yep, it sucks because there is rarely a definitive answer and you simply need to put time an effort in to things.
 
How much of each?
 
As much as you can spare and what you’ll find is that is just helps build a base, a foundation that everything else can be launched from.
 
You probably heard the old saying that ‘success leaves clues’.
 
^^ This is where listening to the anecdote of those who’ve achieved what you’re trying to is worth your time.
 
It doesn’t mean you need to apply it, however it can be useful to know provided you ask the right question.
 
Classically when you look at someone who is now the success you wish to be you end up asking what they re currently doing to be that successful and while it’s not a terrible question it’s the wrong one to be asking because you’re not in the same place they are.
 
The question you want to ask is this:
 
‘When you were in my position what did you do?’
 
^^ Ask for their original thoughts/avenues taken, problems, successes, sunken costs, wasted time and things they SHOULD have done yet didn’t because they felt at the time they knew better.
 
Much like looking at top level body builders.
 
People want to know their training and nutrition they do now, even though those asking the question are 110lbs newbies.
 
They’d do well to ask what said pro’s did when they were 110lbs and go from there – just to reiterate the point.
 
Anyway just a bit of a ramble today based on some reflective thought.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Strength is Specific

Strength is also a skill too.

You can be strong, yet not have the right strength for a given situation.

It is in this knowledge things can become rather frustrating because we all want to progress, to become the best version of ourselves or whatever idealistic tome you wish to follow.

In truth you’ve just got to look at the big picture called life and see what kind of strength YOU will need the majority of the time.

When you’ve established this you can devote the bulk of your training time to that, then save say 20% of that time for other training styles (be those strength, endurance, anaerobic etc) that you enjoy to keep you consistent.

Obviously you can simply choose to train in the way you most enjoy, nothing wrong with that approach so long as you remember it might not be the most productive path for you to live your best life, yet that’s on you.

The next time you get stuck or feel at a loss for training ask yourself these questions –

1 – What strength do I need?

(physical, endurance, cardiovascular etc)

2 – Why do I need this style of training?

(the purpose of it all)

3 – How long & how often will I need to do this for?

(answer this one honestly)

These questions three will help you gain some clarity for your training and allow you to make the most optimal choices.

Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Too hard, too often.

It’s not unusual for those who love training to go a little hard at the gym leaving nothing left in the tank and while it might seem like they will make progress this way, following this route will often leave you broken and without meaningful progress.
 
It’s an easy place to fall in to.
 
Back when what would breed the training of today was originally becoming popular (1800’s) there were two main schools of though:
 
– Daily practice of heavy lifting, near done to failure
– Cycling heavy, light and medium sessions
 
Both provided solid foundations of strength and built great physiques, as such there is a lot that we can learn from these teaching.
 
When it comes to those who like to lift heavy and often, picking 1-3 movements is all you need per session (focusing on those 1-3 for an extended period of time is also advised), it’s imperative you make sure you’re stopping well short of failure, as such this will mean each set is of limited repetitions and there is multiple sets (to get in the required volume to grow), you’ll leave the session feeling strong and potentially like you could have done more, don’t do more.
 
This style of training on the nerve can be quite taxing is you start chasing fatigue instead of performance, remember, you don’t want to start feeling tried/drained, if you do that means you’ve done too much and need to stop.
 
Take a deload every 3rd or 4th week, it will keep you lifting for longer.
 
The second option suit itself to many different goals, the former is more of a strength/performance method.
 
The use of H-L-M training sessions is a great way to train because it will allow you to have one session with maximal intensity, one that focuses on recovery and the last one that allows you to put ins one well needed work on volume/reps.
 
Some in the modern age call this method DUP (daily undulating periodisation).
 
The hardest thing about cycling is the temptation to make each session super hard and that’s not the idea, the light session is designed to let fatigue dissipate, hence why having it between the heavy and medium is ideal. You can also base your volume numbers off of your heavy day, for example:
 
H – worked up to a top set of 5
L – sets of 10 to increase blood flow and practice movement
M – 80% of the top 5 on heavy day for volume work to failure
 
You’d be surprised how well this works on either full body or split styles of training. The rep options you have for this are endless depending on your goal.
 
The reason the styles of method lost some favour over the years is because they didn’t fit in with the trend of ‘more is better’, it’s worth remembering that often times more is rarely better, it’s just more.
 
If you’re a little lost in your training give one of these a try, you’ll find not going for broke each session will not only keep you lifting longer but also give you focus and much needed progress.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health