Tag Archives: thoughts

An Attitude for All

Recently I’ve been watching My Hero Academia.

As some of you may know, anime is something quite close to my heart because of the many times it’s helped me escape from the world.

Many lessons have been learned from all these fictional characters (who were all created by real people).

This recent choice got me thinking about why we all love superheroes.

Is it due to their ability to overcome any obstacle?
Perhaps because of the many powers they have?
Maybe it is the overwhelming moral compass?

Or is it because of something else?

Chances are it’s all of these things and more, yet to me, there is something else that matters even more.

Even if it’s not real and only in the context of the show you’re watching, it’s the fact they give us hope.

Hope to overcome any odds.

To keep moving forward no matter the struggle.

They make us feel like we’re not totally helpless in this life and if we are to truly take a stand, to keep moving forward we will be okay in the end.

Heroes are who we wish we could be, yet in real life, true heroism doesn’t get the rewards of glorification it does in the fictional one.

Yet even with this being the case, and no one ever noticed or said thank you, why wouldn’t you want to be a hero?

Worth some thought.

You can choose your actions, your life is yours so you make the best you can of it regardless of the hand dealt to you.

I shall leave you with this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkjDWnZW_yA

Enjoy,
Ross

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Life is Chess, You are a pawn

“I do not wish for immortal glory. Nor to have my name etched in histories unbreakable stone. All that I seek is keep moving forwards, to become better. Not the best, just better because it’s all I can do in this life.”
 
In response – “So why don’t you then?”
 
How many times have you heard people talk a good game only to 180 on their own altruistic and nobel words.
 
It’s easy to talk the talk, yet actually putting one foot in front of the other, well that’s where shit gets hard.
 
So many are ‘could have beens’ in this life.
 
They waste their natural gifts because it’s easier to embrace the fantasy of ‘what if’ or ‘if only’ instead of embracing the bitter reality of ‘what is’.
 
A lot of people I know talk about what they want, some even go as far as getting it and then upon the realisation that it doesn’t solve all their problems they react in one of two ways.
 
– Stagnation
– Regression
 
Those who fall in to the comfort zone of the first try to live of their minor achievement for the rest of their days, and for a time it works yet eventually people get tired of listening to stories of their glory days because they’re so far in the past they’re not longer relevant.
 
The people who sink in to the sands of regression.
 
It is for those people I truly feel for.
 
Getting that which they sought the most, hoping it would fix everything only to find it didn’t and that intact the problem wasn’t something they could fix externally and that it was something deep inside all along.
 
Something that was broken, that needed to be accepted and perhaps even leg go of, alas it’s too late for that now.
 
In a panic they try to regain what they now feel is lost and try to regress to their former self, yet all the end up doing is becoming a shadow of that and fall even deeper in to their own self cerated abyss and hell.
 
Life is always going to be about choice.
 
With choice comes a direction and all that we can hope is that it takes us forwards.
 
True enough some will take us sideways, yet even those are better than staying still, however none can lead us backwards because like the retro games of the past you can only move forwards and that which came before is now cut off forever.
 
Unlike a game though life has no reset button and you have to live with your decision, like it or not that’s how life goes.
 
How many times have you wanted to go back?
 
Once, twice, hundreds?
 
In any of these lamenting moments did you ever stop and ask yourself why you wanted to go back?
 
Was it because that pain and suffer was familiar and that you’d developed just enough coping mechanisms to allow survival or was it because of something else, cowardice & fear perhaps?
 
My dear people who read these ramblings, do you resonate with any of the above or is it just me in my madness who has felt this?
 
Either way take heed of my words, you can only move forwards and regardless of wether you do or you don’t everything else will because time waits for no one.
 
Remember this.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Bike Ride & Prejudice.

As we bask in the glory of the sun, like moths to the flame the cyclists take to the road.
 
Now there’s never been a problem my end with them until now.
 
Clogging up my pavement with their lycra barely supporting their family jewels 😤
 
Nah I just kidding 😂
 
One thing the sun seems to help many achieve is extra daily activity, be that in the form of cycling, running, swimming, or any outdoor activity.
 
Personally whatever get’s people actually doing something productive in regards to exercise/training is most pleasing to me.
 
These days a great many are caught in the thought that this must be done in the gym.
 
Simply not true.
 
My preferred style of training is outside with kettlebells, sandbags, barbells, ropes (to climb), if it was in a classic sense of training.
 
A truly enjoyable form of training is one where you learn a great amount of skill with it, such as martial arts, movement or that kind of thing.
 
Blending the two can make for quite the enjoyable life.
 
You’ll also be pleasantly surprised at the results too.
 
One thing I’ve tried to teach many is that it’s less about training ABC to achieve XYZ.
 
It’s about deciding what life you want to live and living it.
 
Say you wish to live life X, then the results you’ll have in fitness health, potentially aesthetic and all that other stuff will be the byproduct of the life you live.
 
This often yields a vast amount of experiences that can touch your heart emotionally and end up being unforgettable.
 
Now that my friends is a life well lived.
 
Therefore choose well and if you find your choice isn’t working for you then change it.
 
Simples.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Fitness & the Mid-Life Crisis

Do you wonder what your ‘mid-life crisis’ is going to look like?

Could it end up being the classic mixture of getting tattoos, a entirely new wardrobe to regain lost rebellious youth and maybe a bike too.

I guess you could be one of those who leaves their partner, home and comfortable life for someone 10+ years younger and partying on school nights.

Working in fitness you’ll find you see this happen a lot.

People getting results and aesthetic change often being the catalyst.

While we say looks don’t matter they do, as does the attention that comes with them.

True enough some very unique people get a lot attention and yet they never seem to hold on to a persona or settle down.

The sad reason why is because such people are often seen as a fetish, you know something that you want to do behind closed doors yet wouldn’t want to be seen in the light of day with.

This doesn’t mean they’re a bad person or not worth anything else other than being a fetish, however that’s just how it goes.

Sadly I’ve seen it happen many many times over.

Same is true for those who once upon a time were the object of everyones desire & attention, able to pick and choose at will.

Yea that fades over time and they too are cast to the margin bin. From all perspectives it can be quite the knock to a persons confidence.

It won’t change anytime soon and as such the mid-life crisis will always be a thing.

They usually reignite some of the embers of attention that was once a roaring flame, and to some that’s enough, for now.

Of course this too will die out eventually.

Once that happens you’ll be left with a bike you never ride, tattoos that you don’t like and a head full of bad memories.

I’m sure you know someone who has had, or perhaps is going through this time in their life, maybe it all started when they began going to the gym.

Who knows, just some food for thought.

If you do happen across people in this situation try to understand it from their point of view and more importantly why they feel as they do.

Knowing how someone feels can be the biggest step in helping them, especially if you get it too.

Hopefully it will also help you avoid the same pitfall.

Enjoy,
Ross

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Are you the average man or woman?

Do you want to train for health, performance and to feel better because if that is the case keep reading.
 
Three things in the gym you should ideally be able to do.
 
Ladies:
 
1 – 1x Double Bodyweight Deadlift
2 – 5x Chin Ups
3 – 1x 3/4 Bodyweight Press
 
Gentlemen:
 
1 – 1x Double Bodyweight Deadlift
2 – 10x Pull Ups
3 – 1x Bodyweight Press
 
None of the above requires astronomical strength.
 
Hit the above though and chicness are you’ll have some good base results.
 
Say you struggle to achieve these then it can mean a few things, such as you might have been injured one upon a time, have a legitimate medical excuse that makes you exempt etc.
 
If you have no aliments (real ones), then it may mean this:
 
– You’re too heavy
– You’re too weak
 
Now a lot of people will get the hump reading this.
 
Some will scream and shout about their not being any cardio goal however I shall explain why there are none.
 
CV is easy to build.
 
(I’d recommend a sport, like boxing, BJJ, skipping etc)
 
Think about it logically for one moment, please.
 
You can go from couch to 5k in a matter of weeks, perhaps even train to run a marathon within 6months (I’ve known people to go form never doing any fitness to that feat, it was most impressive).
 
Yet when it comes to building strength you’ll find that shit takes a long time, especially if you’re very de-conditioned.
 
Strength, or base strength has a universal crossover to life.
 
As does mobility, as such here are three other things you should be able to do:
 
– Sit in a full ROM squat pain free for 5min
– Lay down, stand up, crawl and climb things pain free
– Pass all minimum ROM tests (google this)
 
Many will see me as overly harsh, other will know my intentions are good though.
 
Like a post I shared a few weeks ago about being abel to haul around a sandbag of your own bodyweight.
 
Ideally you should be able to carry it for at least 1min without any real trouble. get it to your shoulder and even over head too with not too much soul crushing effort.
 
^^ All of this will build decent CV levels by the way.
 
(If you want to build strength and CV use kettlebells)
 
We’ve become so sedentary.
 
All of the above seems like truly huge feats and they’re not.
 
Not really.
 
Investing in your own strength, mobility and base levels of conditioning will help stave off meeting Charon too soon.
 
Give it some thought.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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What’s your doctrine?

In fitness you’ll find many tomes.

Each has its own unique benefits, limitations and place in the realm known as physical culture.

You can probably guess I’ve followed a few over the years.

Becoming embroiled in one thought process is easily done, especially if it’s spoken with enough conviction. In the 70’s we had body building, the 80’s had step, the 90’s was functions training and the last couple of decades brought us CrossFit & HIIT and more recently Movement Culture.

As mentioned above, all have their good points and in truth once you find one that keeps you consistently training you’ll feel great, or at least a part of something bigger than yourself.

I’ve personally been in the industry a fair while now, a literal lifetime when compared to the age of some young adults just stepping in to the field.

In this span I’ve seen trends come and go.

Plus there are a few things that have stayed and will always remain important.

  • Strength
  • Mobility & Movement
  • Health
  • Enjoyment (purpose)

You might love running, if so cool you go run just be aware of what running is lacking from the above (strength).

Perhaps you’re a powerlifter, great just be sure to fill in the missing gaps (health, mobility & movement).

I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this.

On a personal note I don’t really care what people do so long as they are doing it for the right reasons, that being it means something to them that is at the live of their very soul, none of this superficial bullshit, got no time for such pointless things.

Do you love what you do?

No, really, can you say without any doubt you love what you do (in the gym, this kinda applies for life as well – just saying).

If you have any hesitation or have to justify your answer then somethings not right.

You’ll find many a doctrine in fitness, ideal if you find one that have the elements mentioned above that’s the most optimal one, however it’s also rare.

Enjoy,
Ross

Oh, before I forget, it’s okay to create your own style you know. Learn from all the single views of the big picture and eventually you’ll have quite the impressive view to which you can then give back to the realm of fitness by creating something of your own.

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Deliberate Practice FTW!

Did you know you’ll never be good at the things you don’t do.

🤯🤯🤯

I know right, quite the mind blowing sentence.

Funny thing is this is something a lot of people actually forget or just don’t seem to be aware of.

When it comes to fitness, or movement as a whole the use/disuse principle is quite really one people should keep in the back of their mind at all times.

If you are looking at having a certain set of skills they need to be practiced.

^^Once you acquire the skills maintaining them (depending on how high a level you want to retain) can take minimal effort.

Same goes for an area you’re aiming to improve or build upon, it needs some attention. 👀

All that being said, you’ve also got to accept there may be some form of sacrifice of what you have to gain what you want.

The cosmic balance must be maintained as it were.

I like to think of it like spinning plates.

You can spin only so many as one time, those will be the ones that are looking good yet there will be some that are slowing, others that are about to topple and a few that are already in free fall, that’s just life.

Using fitness as an example.

You are rather unlikely to bench press 500lbs while also being able to run a sub 5min mile pace on a marathon.

True enough it’s not an impossible task to achieve, however it’s just not probable or reasonable for many.

In our mind we see ourselves at our peak or what was our last peak of fitness, this leaves us with a hefty dose of cognitive dissonance in regards to our abilities.

You’ll also find it’s another reason people won’t push themselves out of their comfort zones and be humbled.

Unless it’s proven it can be ignored. 🤔

Many would rather live in blissful ignorance than uncomfortable awareness.

Sad but very true.

So to wrap up this little mid morning musing take some time to be honest with yourself.

What areas do you need to work on more than you do?

^^This can be in relation to fitness, life, business and more.

Give it some thought.

Enjoy,
Ross

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Two Tone

I’ve never seen a butterfly with wings to two different colours before.
One electric blue & one magenta.
I wanted it to land so I could admire it because rare things should always be admired.
Alas it only lingered for a moment before disappearing amount the leafs of a tree.

Strange morning really.

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Starting Points

Do you want to know a little bit about how I program for people?

Here you go –

Step 1 – Make it ultra complex
Step 2 – ???
Step 3 -They become life long indentured clients because they can’t workout what I’ve programmed 😂

A classic business trope.

The end.

Enjoy,
Ross

…..

Okay, on a slightly more serious note, let us look at the movement element of how I program so that hopefully you can take something away from it and apply to your own.

I base a lot off of a hierarchy of movement.

– Movement Itself (crawling, climbing, full body)
– Loaded Carry Patterns
– Hinging Patterns
– Squatting Patterns
– Pulling Patterns
– Pushing Patterns

These cover all the planes of motion (sagittal, frontal, transverse), along with bi/unilateral and rotation/anti-rotation.

^^ More on that another day.

Depending on the ability of each person things will be more or less spicy.

You can’t build a fortress on a marsh.

The focus is on the fundamentals, getting people structure locked in and allowing them to move well.

So in short, we start with a pattern.

Example: Push Isometric

Basic – Plank Hold
Intermediate – Pike Hold
Advanced – Handstand Hold

All a pushing movement bias pattern, I’d start here to build on a persons ‘feeling’ or you might say their body awareness and capability to stabilise and create the required tension/torques in their body.

The three above might not seem like much or have any where to progress to except for added time.

Or some some will think.

Here are some progression options.

– Single arm
– Single leg
– Single arm & leg (where applicable)
– Staggered
– Resistance band pulling towards non-based arm/leg
– Unstable surface (safe options only)
– Alternating arm
– Alternating leg
– Alternating arm & leg (where applicable)

^^ This is without even looking at classic kit such as barbells, kettlebells and other lovely items.

Oh yes, people who spam the same cookie cutter programs are being lazy.

Actually that’s not fair to say, this is why we have a niche that we find and call our own, because when you look at all the possibilities and permutations you’ll see how you can’t do it all and that picking a field to specialise in is a good shout.

Can you start to see just how much progression you truly have to play with once you look beyond the classic ‘bro’ of sets/reps/load.

Of course there is nothing wrong with bro-training, however that is merely one element of training or programming, this rabbit hole is truly a deep one.

So my strong strong friends, where do you start?

Try looking at movement patterns first because it will allow you to see what people are doing a lot of and what falls woefully short (that’s where they need to focus – average person, athletes are another story).

The above can be a checklist of needs, it will allow you to program to a persons wants wile actually getting them to do things that help in the long run.

Any questions pop them below.

Enjoy,
Ross

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Totally Addicted to Pain

You like feeling sore post training, don’t you.
 
Leaving the gym absolutely destroyed.
 
Hurting the same and even the next or next few days, that’s what it’s all about, right?
 
You’re addicted to pain is seems.
 
I was like you once.
 
While you can indeed live for this style of training it doesn’t do much.
 
Just because you’re sore that doesn’t mean you’ve made progress, it just means your sore.
 
If your level of discomfort/pain post external stressor/stimulus was the main factor in how many gains you made then everyone who had a major accident, such as –
 
Car crashes, falling down man holes, getting jumped and beaten to a pulp or tearing a muscle(s) falling down stairs.
 
Well they’d all be jacked by that logic.
 
Yea, sounds a little absurd, that’s because it is.
 
While this is indeed a logical fallacy, it helps people understand a simple point, you don’t need to kill yourself and if you’re seeking certain feelings from training then that says more about your psychology than anything else.
 
I can personally understand wanting to leave a session feeling accomplished.
 
In the past I was even caught in the trap of not being happy unless post training I felt demolished.
 
While it was good for the ego, it did little in the way of achieving progress.
 
It’s funny really.
 
I’ve had clients where we’ve reduced their training amount by as much as three quarters, they’ve ended up making more in the way of results in 3 months following this change than they did in their last 5 years of training the way they like.
 
The saddest part is that even though they could see and admitted they were getting the best results of their life for a long time, they didn’t like the training.
 
They wanted to do more because they felt they needed to.
 
Even in the face of strong evidence to that thought.
 
People are strange creatures.
 
We want to do what we want, even if it doesn’t get us to the goal or any progress what so ever, the cognitive dissonance is frightening.
 
Mellow as I have become over the years I still want to shake some people and tell them to stop being fools.
 
I of course put myself in this camp as well.
 
Let me as you this, why wouldn’t you want to change your training to get results?
 
In fact why wouldn’t you want to get results?
 
Are you one of the few who trains multiple times a day (or for 2 hours sessions of back to back classes) and gets no results?
 
If that is you then perhaps you need to reevaluate.
 
Then ask yourself this; What is training to me?
 
Now some will spend that long in the gym for deeper psychological reasons, this is worth discussion.
 
That being said, the aim of the game is to make progress because the body doesn’t really ever stay stagnant for too long.
 
You’re either making progress or regressing.
 
Maintaining balance is an illusion.
 
Often one championed by the mediocrity who achieve some basic results and are then ‘happy’ with where they are.
 
Those are the same people who end up putting on almost all of the weight they lost or regressing back to before they started training.
 
They repeat this cycle for many years.
 
All just to look, okay, average, mediocre.
 
I sincerely doubt anyone ever wakes up as a child and thinks –
 
“Oh boy, I hope when I grow up that I’m perfectly average.”
 
Would you do me a kindness?
 
Please leave what the gym means to you in the comments section, along with the last time you achieved any notable results.
 
Be honest.
 
I didn’t make any in the time period of 2010-2014, while I gained strength nothing else changed, wasted time that I will never get back.
 
These days I train in the gym as I did when I was in my competitive fields, for performance, to become a better human.
 
I don’t personally need the gym for respite or mental reprieve, for that I have places to go and write, people to share and have deep conversations with because I learn a long time ago that the gym can only change how I look, not how I feel about myself, not really.
 
Any mental fortitude from the gym is fleeting at best.
 
Don’t believe me, just speak to any physique competitor, most are chronically depressed because no matter how good we can make ourselves look on the outside that won’t change what, who we are on the inside.
 
In our heart we will always be the fat kid who was bullied at school and the only way to change that is not by working out, it’s by working in.
 
The gym is a tool, that all, a tool.
 
That’s me though, I know me, what I’m really interested in is getting to know more about you.
 
I look forwards to reading your comments below.
 
Ross

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