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The low rep approach to higher total volume.

One thing many want to achieve it a greater amount to total volume, which is fair enough as the higher the volume one can tolerate, while maintaining a good level of average intensity, the more gains will be made.
 
Well, provided you can recover that is.
 
Oh, then there is making sure the calorie surplus if adequate too.
 
Okay, so how can we use lower reps to achieve higher total volume, quite easily.
 
Here is an example protocol for two movements –
 
A1 – Press 2-3-4
A2 – Chin 2-3-4
 
You would press for two reps, then do two chins, hollowed by three presses, and so on. Once you ge tot four you tart over again at two, simple.
 
You’d be using a sub-max load, so if 4 is the top rep range then perhaps a 7RM is advisable.
 
There is the option to go for a total amount of sets, say 5, which will give you 45 reps of each, or more depending on your time.
 
Another thing to remember is that all of the reps will be crisp, clean and solid with no decrease in speed, once that starts to happen on say the sets of 4, you drop them and just do 2-3, which you repeat until you need to drop to just doing 2’s, or alternatively you stop the session when you can’t perform 4.
 
The overall idea is to allow you to focus on solid form and using slightly heavier weights.
 
Here are some other options on the rep format:
 
– 1,2,3,2,1,2,3,2,1
– 2,3,5,3,2,3,5,3,2
– 6,3,6,3,6,3,6,3,6
– 3,5,3,5,3,5,3,5,3
– 1,2,3,4,5,4,3,2,1
 
The options are endless really.
 
From personal preference the top rep range is usually 6, from here you can look at taking 50% of that for the next set,so 3 reps and so on.
 
Why do this?
 
If you are hitting a solid 6 reps with say an 8/9RM the set of 3 will be a nice little rest set where you can really focus on the speed of the rep.
 
You also have the option of using close to your 6RM for the sets of 6 and then that means the next set of 3 is a lot easier.
 
There is also the option of keeping the reps the same, say 5 and playing with the weights each set, it may look like this:
 
Set 1 – 5x 16kg
Set 2 – 5x24kg
Set 3 – 5x32kg
Set 4 – 5x16kg
Set 5 – 5x24kg
And so on.
 
You’d perhaps end up with upwards of 15 total sets utilising this method, again with a focus on the speed/form/tightness of each rep ensuring no degradation in form, once it goes you stop.
 
If you are looking for something a little different then this is for you, be warn though, you’ll probably make progress like you’ve never made before if you start off lighter than you think you should.
 
Always leave your ego at the door.
 
Enjoy,
Ross
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Pain isn’t always progress.

“No pain, no gain!”
 
“If you’re sore you know you did something.”
 
“The more you hurt, the more you progress.”
 
“You have to break the muscle down so it can build back up stronger.”
 
All things I’ve heard several times over the years, however just because you’re sore or you have DOMS it doesn’t mean you’re making progress.
 
*DOMS = Delayed onset muscle soreness
 
Let me use a logical fallacy to elaborate on my point.
 
If you lift weights and hurt the next day then this means you’ll make progress, so by that logic all people who are in major car accidents should be jacked because they’re really sore after one.
 
Seems a tad silly when put like that doesn’t it.
 
Of course that is pure fallacy, the two situations are not comparable, however the logic of pain = progress is.
 
As a beginner we may feel some discomfort or DOMS, this forces us to perhaps what 2-3 days before training again to recover.
 
^^ There is a key point in that.
 
TO RECOVER.
 
It’s not the soreness that made us progress, it’s the recovery element and adaptation that occurred.
 
You can cause enough muscular inroad/oxygen debt to make your body change without necessarily feeling like you’ve been hit by a train, however people don’t think like that.
 
People think that unless they are destroyed then the session was wasted, this is a flawed logic.
People chase fatigue rather than performance – bad move.
 
If you were making progress (getting stronger, bigger, leaner etc) on a training protocol would you stop it just because you didn’t ‘feel’ like you were doing anything?
 
Sadly the answer for many is yes because people are idiots.
 
Yep, I’ve know plenty that have been making epic progress, then stopped that style of training because they didn’t feel like they were working hard enough, which lead them to doing something similar to what they had done before.
 
This of course left them feel destroyed and like they’d worked hard, yet they made no progress.
 
I suppose that doesn’t matter so long was you ‘feel’ like you did something, right?
 
Crazy logic.
 
Progress is progress, even if you don’t leave a season hardly able to walk.
 
If you want to feel sore go and do 1000 reps of a single moment in a workout, you’ll be epically sore, however you won’t progress the way you think.
 
Why?
 
Well MPS (muscle protein synthesis) lasts 24-48 hours and if you are too sore you can’t train frequently enough to keep it elevated to actually create a need for you body to adapt and overcome and surpass it’s limits, you merely end up surviving workouts.
 
Think about that.
 
Now this is not to say that you won’t have session where you don’t feel like that, of course you will, they’re usually the first 2-3 the you start a new block of training, then your body adapts to that initial surprise and the DOMS/discomfort disappears.
 
Once this happens you need to buckle down and begin the grind for progress.
 
Don’t chase fatigue, chase performance.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Physical Culture

These days it doesn’t take much to make a change, not really.

We have endless options at our disposal in the realm of physical culture, yet many still don’t see any value in it.

The classic excuses come out and one of the main reasons for this is because that in each persons social circle they may indeed not need to do anything as they could be the big fish int heir small pond.

They might be the fittest, leanest, strongest, and so on.

Yet the second they step out of this place they are hit by anxious thoughts, often they will say “I don’t like X, people are too judgemental their.”.

I can tell you one truth, no one really gives a shit about what you’re doing, not really – especially in the gym.

As a people we should always be looking to better ourselves, may won’t, however perhaps they should.

Let us say in your group you are top dog, this is all well and good, especially for your ego, however it’s not conducive to progress.

If you are top dog it might be time to leave your current social circle and find a better one, a tougher one that will force you to start at the bottom again.

This goes for business and a great many other things too.

One sure fire way to light a fire under your ass is to find people that are better than you, never be content with being the dominant force, always be the once chasing because it will keep you sharp, hungry and most importantly, humble.

Or don’t, the choice is yours.

Enjoy,
Ross

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What needs to be done

Goals are interesting things.

Often they are arbitrary in their nature, just a means to an end, or rather a distraction.

Just things to keep one busy.

It is not uncommon for people to play a finite game and set goals that take them sideways in life, rather than forwards.

Perhaps because what they are aiming for is not of their own volition.

Instead of goals, wouldn’t it be novel if people did things based on their passion, desire or as some call it, the infinite game.

Those who tend to do this are the ones who just do what needs to be done.

You’ll find there is no distraction, just action.

A great many these ways will find things to stop them having to face real life as it were.

This happens year to year until eventually father time has almost run out and then they say things such as “I would have achieved this if is wasn’t for that.” or “If I had X, I would have gotten Y.” and maybe even “If I knew then what I knew now.” or other classics to justify their mundane life.

Not that this is necessarily a bad way to live, after all not everyone can see their own limitations and either do what needs to be done to keep moving forwards or admit that perhaps a different course of action is better.

If you look at the people who we can call successful you will see that they are not always what you expect.

They didn’t always have the best start, all the resources they needed, any of the desired opportunities and much more, however they are often the ones who stuck it out for the long haul and after years of paying their dues were finally rewarded.

Look at people in education.

They go to school, college, uni, then go on to doing further degrees, masters, PHD’s or similar, then end up not getting the position they want for a lack of experience, usually because they chose to stay distracted from the real world and accepting that to finish with not only all the bells & whistles, also experience they’d have to struggle, and I mean really struggle by working for a pittance in the field they want toe excel in so that when they came out the other end of the grinder they’d hit the ground running.

You’d be surprised how many will always have reasons as to why they didn’t achieve, yet very few ever look at what needs to be done, perhaps because their goals are arbitrary distractions, or worse, not even their own.

To find your own drive, your own passion.

That is the infinite game.

The one that will have you moving forwards, not sideways or in a circle on the spot.

It’s never easy to accept that things are often harder before they are better, especially when ‘harder’ isn;t a short term thing, it’s something that often lasts decades and even lifetimes.

Which will you be?

Will you create distractions to keep you busy or will you face the real challenge?

Just some food for thought.

Enjoy,

Ross

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Did you achieve your goal this year?

New Years Eve…

Time to wave goodbye to 2017 in style.

Well, more like a blurry mess of alcohol fuelled rage.

Then it’s 2018 and all those goals that didn’t get achieved can be forgotten and new ones can be written down.

A little tip for your resolutions –

Write them out by hand in 300 words or less.

This will take less than 5minutes to do and hopefully give you some accountability.

In this 300 words you want the following:

– What the goal is
– Why you want to achieve it (feeling/emotion)
– The good behaviour you need to achieve the goal
– How you will make lifestyle changes to achieve the goal
– Which methods you will use to track your progress
– Time targets

Once you’ve done this print 3 copies.

One to be placed somewhere at home you will see it everyday.

One to be given to someone your trust to help you stay accountable.

One to be kept on your person at all times so you can give yourself a reminder of why you’re making a change.

By doing this little task you will give yourself some more accountability.

The funny thing about goals that people never tell you is that for them to actually stick, they have to give you an insurmountable amount of pleasure that can’t be drowned out by the pain of change.

Yep, people fear change because it’s painful.

All that aside, it’s in your hands now, it’s your play, try not to make it a tragedy.

Happy New Year 🙂

Ross

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To vegan or not to vegan, that is the question.

Should you go vegan?

Yes or no?

The choice is yours.

I’m not vegan, however I know plenty and they’re happy as Larry.

Fairly healthy too.

They’re also not the preachy kind either who try to force their beliefs on you, they’re like real sensible people who just want an easy sustainable life 🙂

Did you know there are a lot of reasons going vegan improves people health:

– They start eating more nutritious vegetables
– Processed food intakes takes a considerable dive
– A greater awareness of their food is gained
– Accountability, consistency and adherence suddenly appear
– Eating more nutritionally dense foods, yep this again

There are more reasons, however those are the initial ones.

Do I feel this is for everyone?

Nope.

However it’s not as terrible as some people make out, for starters you won’t waste away (unless you’re not planning your meals correctly and eating enough calories).

You will get plenty of protein.

The food options you’ll have are numerous.

All in all you’ll have little to none of the perceived issues that people say you will have, unless YOU aren’t planning your nutritional needs correctly, however that’s all on you, nothing to do with being vegan.

As with anything it’s a choice, be that for moral or perceived health reasons.

You often find when you get in to discussion with people about these topics they take one of two routes for some reason to convince you of their bias/point:

– argumentum ad passione (appeal to emotions)
– argumentum ad hominem (personal attacks)

Sometimes both.

Occasionally people draw in morality to the fray as well, usually rendering their points moot at best.

If you want to get a point across try to be reasonable and friendly, attacking someones morality or trying to emotionally blackmail them isn’t the most optimal route to take, just saying.

Now in our modern world we can live in any which way we choose, however it seems that people want to force others to conform.

If said people don’t conform all hell breaks loose.

When contemplating a choice try to gather the facts, the unbiased, non-emotionally charged facts.

Them look at the bigger picture and decide if it’s for you.

Say it is for you, great, fill your boots.

However perhaps it’s not, no worries, let go of that thought process and move on.

Seems simple enough, right?

If you’ve been toying with the idea or transitioning, do your research and perhaps give it a go, or don’t, it’s your choice after all.

Enjoy,
Ross

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Three things you need to stop immediately.

If you do I can guarantee you will feel much better.
 
1 – Worrying about he number on the scales.
 
In fact throw them out, literally. They serve no purpose other than to keep you in a narrow mindset and hold you back, remember a low umber on the scale doesn’t mean happens or health (physically, mentally & emotionally) it can often mean the opposite, sadly.
 
2 – Stressing over what you think other people are thinking.
 
I have some news for you, you don’t know what is going through other peoples heads, no, really, you don’t, so stop stressing yourself out about it.
 
Chances are they’re not looking at you, it’s just something you’ve conditioned yourself in to thinking.
 
How do I know this? Talk about irony.
 
I used to do it and in fact I still do it from time to time, trust me, people are rarely thinking about what you think they’re thinking about.
 
3 – Changing for everyone else.
 
It’s human nature to want to please others, however it’s not something that should cause you internal strife.
 
A lot of people want to change, which is not necessarily a bad thing, however it’s the reasons they want to change that could be very questionable.
 
Changing for reasons other than your own is a sure way to failure because the changes may not be something you want.
 
Take for example fat loss. Good for health, potentially yes, good to do so that others accept you or you attract that certain special someone, no, 100% a terrible idea.
 
Social pressure is a massive influence on people these days and the more you try to fit in with the crowds externally, the worse you end up feeling internally, then you look back when you’re a little wiser and realise it wasn’t worth it.
 
Make changes for your own personal reasons and you’ll be far happier for it.
 
There you have it.
 
Three things to stop doing.
 
Will this happen immediately?
 
No, probably not, however the first step in changing a behaviour (if it’s what you want to do), it acknowledging it, then accepting it, once they are achieved you can start towards the pace you want to be in, physically, mentally and emotionally.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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5 Reasons people need a framework to succeed –

1 – Most don’t know what they need to do and as such need it clearly signposted

2 – It helps people feel less pressure, basically they can blame the structure for failure rather than themselves

3 – Things such as accountability and more responsibility become easier to administer

4 – Recorded data makes for a great confidence booster to show them how far they’ve come

5 – It teaches them how to achieve success on their own

Now there are those rare people who don’t need a framework to make their own success, if you’re one of them then we’ll see each other at the top. If that’s not you it’s not a problem, just ask for help and it will be yours.

Short & simple today.

Enjoy,
Ross

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Too good not to share

I came across this article while browsing through the inter webs for knowledge and it’s too good not to share.

https://www.t-nation.com/training/tip-get-ripped-with-4-rep-sets?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=article4844

Christian Thibaudeau is one of my favourite and his knowledge is phenomenal, you’ll enjoy this read.

I will certainly be giving this a go as I am currently short on time in my own training.

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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