Tag Archives: smart thinking

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

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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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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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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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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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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

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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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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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