Tag Archives: thoughts

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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You get what you train for

“I’m not saying people are idiots, Let’s face it though, we all know at least one.”

^^ Made me chuckle this morning.

For all the best intentions in the world some are just beyond help, or at least not ready for it.

I had a discussion about strength over the weekend.

One of my favourite kinds of discussion.

We touched on many things, most importantly the ‘use it or lose it principle’.

This relates quite nicely to the way people train and what it can potentially end up costing them in the long run.

There are various types of strength, here is a nice easy way to remember some of the key ones.

– Slow Strength (grinding, integrity under load)
– Fast Strength (acceleration, jumping, throwing)
– Mobile Strength (athleticism, movement)

You will find there may be a bias in regards to they dominant type of strength you need if you play a sport, compete in something or have an ultra specific goal.

If however you’re just someone what wants to train then you’d do well to cover all the bases.

We often get very tied to a couple of specific ideas, or ways of training.

While not a terrible thing it can limit our overall progress and abilities.

I’d like you to consider the above in your training.

Can you think of a way to get all three in?

They don’t have to be in any specific order, you can go with the above, reverse it, mix and match doing 2/3 each session, or even just pick one element to focus on for an entire session.

Select a movement(s) forces and away you go.

For example:

Mobile Strength (warm up) – Loaded Carries & Crawling
Fast Strength (main lift) – Power Clean & Push Jerk
Slow Strength (accessory lifts) – Press, DL, Row, Chin

Training isn’t set in stone, it’s alright if you train something other than classic body building.

If you can crawl along the floor, climb things without support, pick up heavy -ish loads and potentially carry or press them overhead them if needed, and most importantly move without any pain, you’re on to a winner.

Remember, we’re not meant to be good at just one thing.

We have the ability to be good at many things, so why waste that opportunity.

Take a look at your current training and see what you’re missing, then perhaps consider adding it in.

Enjoy,
Ross

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Calories & creatures of habit.

Are you obsessed with the first while also being caught in the vicious cycle of the second?
 
Many are because loosening the reigns it too scary.
 
Did you know that on average people eat between only 15-20 different foods per week.
 
It’s not a great amount of variety, yet I know why many do it.
 
Safety, familiarity and all that other good stuff synonymous with the comfort zone.
 
From a calorie tracking perspective this makes things easy, yet it also means there might not be much change physically.
 
When you eat the same foods again and again the body will become better accustomed to processing them, in another word more efficient.
 
This will potentially lower the TEF a tad.
 
You’d also be surprised as o how devoid of certain nutrients you may actually be, a common consequence of lacking variety of foods.
 
Now many might say it’s because they don’t like certain foods, which might be true, however more often than not they’re just being fussy because their parents allowed them to be that way in their youth.
 
There is also the potential case that they’re being lazy.
 
We are not talking about preparing 5 star gourmet every day, however a little change will do you the world of good.
 
Sticking with the same foods all the time,while not only dull, will also lead to anxiety when you can’t get your fix because you feel your control slipping away from you.
 
I’ve seen it happen time and again.
 
Being the intelligent individuals you are, I’m sure you can understand that without change there will often be no change.
 
This applies to your nutrition as well.
 
Opting for more variety in what you eat can help you start to make that much sought after progress you desire, honestly.
 
You can keep the calories at whatever level they need to be for your desired goal while changing the food choices.
 
^^ On a calorie laden note, you can have higher days and lower days so long as the total amount of calories across the longer term tracking (say 1 year) is in sync with your goal – surplus for gain, deficit for loss.
 
^^ You don’t need to eat the same calories day in day you, you wouldn’t do it for training volume/intensity so remember you don’t have to do it for food either.
 
Do me a favour, keep a food diary for 2 weeks.
 
Sit down and take a look at those two weeks and see how many foods you eat on average, I’m willing to bet it falls in to the above (15-20).
 
*Of course i am bias towards a more whole foods approach to nutrition from a health stand point, however if on any given day you want cake then have the damn cake, enjoy it, don’t lament it, then adjust your foods the next day and carry on with life.
 
Once you’ve done this take a look at all the other foods you can add in, swap/substitute and enjoy.
 
Most ironic of all is all the people that call themselves ‘foodies’ are of the aforementioned ilk.
 
Give the above some thought.
 
Loosen the reigns and break the cycle of being the same.
 
Enjoy
Ross

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Struggle Struggle Struggle

Motivation.

It’s quite an interesting word really.

We will often hear people talk about how to stay motivated when things get tough, or how to reignite a lost motivation and anything that is of a similar disposition, and while the intentions are good it is a sad truth that it rarely helps, if at all.

Talking a good game to achieve that instantaneous boots in moral is easy.

People can get a similar dopamine hit from merely talking about what they re going to do, in fact if you take the time to dig in to the science surrounding it you’ll find that the brain scans etc are almost indistinguishable in terms of response, meaning from a glance (without knowing exactly what to look for), you’d not see any really difference.

Same goes for the biochemical responses, to a degree.

That’s a rather fascinating little thing to know, however don’t take my word for it, please delve down that rabbit hole.

Anyway, back to motivation.

Aiming to sustain it, reignite it, or draw on some special reserve is largely a fruitless endeavour because it isn’t motivation that keeps us going, it’s resilience.

It is easy to see how people think it’s that people are highly motivated, however this not really how it works because you will find that the aforementioned is more akin to gasoline and added to the fire for that initial oomph in to action and after that you’re going to need something more substantial to keep that furnace going.

Unfortunately I can’t tell you what that ‘thing’ is to you because I’m not you.

For me it’s a simple case of enjoying the struggle and having go fight my way through a tough challenge because once I come out the other end of it all I will know a lot more about myself.

This is what sustains me through the resistances I meet when pursuing a goal.

It’s a conscience choice to keep moving forwards, that’s all.

If you can make yourself doing the thing you need to do, then in the end you’ll find what once seemed like an insurmountable task wasn’t really that bad, even if the struggle is real it’s better to embrace it every step of the way and just do what needs to be done, than it is to rely on bursts of motivation.

Of course this is only one perspective.

Having lofty goals can be a good thing, you’d be surprised that if you are to ask for the Moon how often once all was said and done it would be given to you.

Aim high, fight on, enjoy your motivation while it’s there just don’t rely on it and prepare for the struggle.

Once you come out the other end, it’ll all be worth it.

Enjoy,
Ross

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Not my eyes, R2, help me!

From a  business perspective I can understand why trainers/coaches share videos of their clients training.

What continues to baffle me is the utter dog shit form though.

It’s quite worrying in all fairness because if the trainer/coaches feels terrible form is video and sharing worthy then it doesn’t hold much hope for what they consider a result.

Now this might just be my cripplingly high standards, or because I’m just mean.

Potentially a combination of both.

Yet it still worries me what passes for ‘quality’ these days because being someone who has always been a stickler for form anything less than ‘solid’ isn’t really something to be bragging about.

Doing so dos two things:

1 – It makes the coach/trainer look terrible

2 – It makes the client look terrible

Is it just me who thinks those two points should be avoided like those people handing out leaflets in the street?

I can’t be the only one, can I?

Now before all the hypersensitive snowflakes jump up an down claiming that ‘everyone is built differently and what is good of roan won;t be good for another.” or some such similar thing to justify shit form, stop, just stop and engage the grey matter between your ears for a spell.

Please, just humour me.

Good form looks good, regardless of an individuals proportions/build, it will look like good form.

This is why you find commonalities in movement patterns and believe it or not it isn’t uncommon for more than one person to have a remarkably similar build to the point that they could be the same person, as much as many would like to deny this.

It is true that based on a persons leverages they will excel of falter at specific lifts/movements, sadly that is the nature of the beast, however this isn’t something people should use as an excuse or justification, which they do because they’re the human equivalent of a wet blanket.

You may be asking yourself why this is my attitude, it’d be a good question.

It’s because I don’t see the point in all the bullshit anymore.

Oh once upon a time I almost became that PT, it was so tempting to tell people wha they wanted to hear all to get easy business and expose people for the mugs they were, however I couldn’t bring myself to do it because they deserve better than that.

They deserve to know how things work and exactly what it takes to get results.

Funnily enough I was in the gym today and a lady was on a chest press and using the foot weight releasing mechanism to ‘train her legs for something different.’ – her exact words.

I told her that wasn’t how it worked and she’d get no results form that.

Mean, oh yes, however she made it clear she only wants to go to the gym to dick around and say she’s been, I know this because her physique has gotten worse in the 6months she’s been going, how sad is that.

We get in our own way all too often.

I understand it though, most just want somewhere to go, a place to kill time and perhaps a community in which to belong and that’s cool, I guess we can’t all want to change.

Saddest past is it’s people like this who will be taken advantage of by trainers/coaches who are will to say what they want to hear simply to take their money, which is fair enough really because everyones to to eat at the end of the day.

If you’re a coach/trainer then give some thought to the content you share.

Look at it through the eyes of another person and ask yourself this; would you hire you based on that video/post etc.

Enjoy,
Ross

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