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My Obsession in Training

Today is going to be about me.

Not often anything gets directly written in regards to what goes on upstairs.

This is because it’s in all honesty not worth knowing.

Anyway, let us start of with training and why the minimalistic avenue has been a favoured prescription of mine in the these more recent years.

I’m quite obsessive, in regards to life you may say one is like a dog with a bone, once the teeth are clamped down it’s going to be devoured come hell or high water.

This provides unreal focus and allows the mind/thoughts to spend out like lightning, it can be very useful and also incredibly dangerous.

Training wise in the past it wasn’t uncommon to forgo social events, eating and at some point sleeping to get in training.

Any results were lack-lustre in truth.

While the average person may look on with reverence and wish they had achieved similar (usually strength/physique related) they had no idea how little ROI there actually was because of just doing too much.

Chasing too many rabbits as it were.

Then came the Minimalist Approach, not new by any means and called a lot of different things – abbreviated training, divided training, low frequency, and various other terms.

Keeping the idea of “Inch wide, mile deep” was very appealing.

Getting as close to mastery as possible before moving on helped reduce the tendency to do too much, until it didn’t.

When you love training, just because you love it, explaining it to people that don’t share that view is tricky. Yet it’s the same as people who smoke, drink excessively or partake in whatever it is they do as their obsession, when you strip away everything that is.

I’ve found that people will often get quite nasty towards people who have that deep love for training because of jealousy, as arrogant as it sounds.

They don’t like the fact they don’t look they way they want to, can’t perform the sporting feats they once did and have basically gotten old, fat and useless. So what is the point in them – from a training standing point that is, meaning why even entertain their attitude when they won’t make the necessary lifestyle changes to better them selves physically.

Less for crippling injury or medical condition there is no viable reason for people not to be in shape, it’s pure gluttony.

^ Quite a nasty way to see people, and one I’ve tried of years to rid myself of, unsuccessfully.

A deep help value that is as destructive as it is… well, I guess it’s just destructive.

Hence why when people will ask for ‘the truth’ you’ll often hear me really trying to see if they actually want it or if they’re just after some nice words.

All of the above stemmed from some random childhood happening where the feeling, burden of needing to be the best, or to be worthy was born.

At this point it was so long ago I couldn’t even begin to tell you where it came from.

Now this isn’t the ‘best’ in reference to world level, it’s an internal thing.

It’s why when people get into training care is taken not to infect them with this poisonous attitude, yet that doesn’t always succeed.

Hence why doing less better has been a mantra of mine.

It keeps the obsessive demons at bay just enough.

So, as a word of warning to anyone reading this, don’t end up in this place because once you venture into this void you will lose a bit of who you were and bring back something that you don’t realise is there until it’s too late and it’s now become an integral part of ‘you’.

Worst of all, you’ll one day realise it and enjoy it too.

Dark territory indeed, don’t make that mistake.

Enjoy your training, after all, training (unless an elite athlete) should enhance your life, not take away or consume it.

Enjoy,
Ross

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Overthinking 101

How often do you get stuck in your own head?
 
It’s fairly common to overthink, procrastinate and end up in that state of ‘paralysis by analysis’.
 
Trying to account for all the minor details, just to ensure noting goes off without a hitch because you just can’t operate any other way.
 
Highly neurotic people are great in the sense they will consider every angle.
 
The down side is that but he time they’ve considered every angle the situation has changed and their plan is now redundant, meaning the entire process has to start again 🙇‍♂️
 
I understand you know, the feeling of needed to ‘know everything’ so that you won’t be blindsided.
 
Truth is though that you can’t account for everything.
 
Shit happens, and there is little you can do to prevent it.
 
When this does happen the hyper-neurotic person will rush around in a flurry of panic to find the solution, to breakdown every detail and potentially drive themselves mad in the process.
 
How do I know this?
 
I will give you a clue – I’m one of the aforementioned.
 
A lust for knowledge and knowing has served me very well over my life and yet it’s also caused a lot of struggle too.
 
Typically because of inaction, waiting a fraction too long.
 
You see we can’t predict everything, and as I’ve grown older and slightly less idiotic, although I still make a fair few balls ups training wise, the need to take action has become a priority.
 
To stop the lighting like thoughts crawling, forking and spreading across the realm that is my inner world this is what gets bellowed from the depths:
 
MOVE!
 
Inaction is exactly that, inaction and it yields little.
 
Being in a constant state of mindful reflection there are plenty of times where simply letting instinct take over is the best option because if I think I become slow, when I become slow I struggle and use too much strength (any form), when I use too much I begin to tire, and once there is nothing left… well, the result of that isn’t a good one ☠️
 
The above are not my words though, they’re an old mantra from the martial art known as JiuJitsu.
 
I heard them many years ago, then came across them many times over though various martial arts I’d done, yet it’s only in the last few years they’re really sunk in.
 
Essentially letting them share their lessons.
 
Insta of trying to dissect them and make them fit what I already thought I knew, I found it best to let them teach me something new.
 
The biggest lesson was to embrace ‘the way’.
 
Referred to as ‘Mushin no shin’, or no-mind, empty-mind.
 
While something always known, there was a desire to control it through thought, through sheer force of will and that’s the exact opposite of what it is, hence why there was always struggle with it.
 
Coming from the overly analytical side of the coin, it was my direct opposite and that is why it was essential to yield to its way instead of trying to control/fight it.
 
This may not make much sense to you right now.
 
It will though, you have to merely allow it.
 
Embrace it, welcome in the chaos and through that you’ll find void and ultimately ‘the way’.
 
To all those who think a little too much I have this suggestion for you – learn meditation.
 
Notice I said learn meditation, not learn to meditate because they’re two different things.
 
First you learn to be
Then to feel
Next to listen
Finally, you’ll yield to the way
 
It will take time, yet there is no rush.
 
As such I’m not going to dictate a specified regime you must follow because you must willingly take the initial steps.
 
My only suggestion would be to take a walk, get lost, truly lost and when that happens you might just be read to find something.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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More Reflection from a Fledgeling

My friends of PT/Coaching ilk, some reflective thoughts for you.
 
Are you fuelling your ego or enriching your soul?
 
Looking back through some old programming I’ve done over the years for people when I was far more green to the industry I can spot the exact moment things went to shit.
 
By that I mean that my programming got lazy.
 
Excuses of –
 
“They don’t want to change enough.”
“It’s t heir attitude.”
“We must stick with XYZ because… reasons.”
 
All creeping in to cover up the truth, I got bored because things got hard.
 
Once things got hard and a choice was presented:
 
– Talk honestly & openly with the client about moving forwards meaning more time, effort and energy needed to be spent for the greater good of the person in front of me
 
– Spam out arbitrary programs for profit and an easy life
 
Some people got the former, many got the latter.
 
Those privy to the first were good long term clients and got a decent amount of progress, the rest in the latter camp made some progress however it wasn’t what it could have been.
 
That was over a decade ago.
 
It was at that time I made the conscious choice to focus on the quality of service, and giving people an experience that would enrich their lives, over just fleshing out my bank balance.
 
Yes, my profits took a hit. A massive hit, yet it was worth it.
 
This is why not you’ll find if you ask me for a program I will give it to you for free, because I can and it’s the right thing to do.
 
If you require coaching however, well that comes at a rather hefty price.
 
As PT’s it’s easy to fall into the trap of dishing out templates, throwing a google search out there and pilfering a program for someone else and claiming it as your own.
 
We’ve all done it, because it’s easy.
 
Making the commitment to producing high quality work is a tall order that requires a lot of your energy invested into it.
 
This is where the emption of going down the easy path sinks it’s claws into many a young trainer, even some experienced ones too, and the only ones who suffer are the clients that pay their hard earned cash for a result/service/product.
 
By suer I mean they don’t get the best results/outcome/experience.
 
This is why PT gets a bad rap.
 
Most are no better than used cars salesmen.
 
Fellow PT’s….
 
You wouldn’t want to invest in a something lacking substance (it’s why you won’t hire a coach, you know most are full of shit because it’s a reflection of your own self you’d rather ignore), yet you’ll sell/give exactly that to your clients.
 
Harsh as this sounds it comes from experience.
 
Letting people down isn’t what we want for anyone, yet it happens because of our inability to say these very simple words:
 
“I’ve reached my limit.”
 
You see we can only take people as far as we know how, to go further we need to invest more in our education and abilities, at great cost to ourselves I might add (financially & physically).
 
That being said, this is how we can take everyone to the next level, that is if you wish to work with those beyond the level of beginner and stop claiming your ultimate success in your business is the result of your skills and not randomness and the fact you’re exploiting the ‘beginner gains’ phenomenon.
 
As such we can’t lament what is done, it’s done.
 
No point in being sorry, instead we must be better.
 
Take a look at your programming and how you conduct yourself as a PT/coach, are you the coach you want to be or a mere shadow of it?
 
Make the choice to be better now and in the long run it’ll all be worth it.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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A deep fitness question for y’all –

Can you really be happy without getting tangible results?

If so, why?

I make no apologies for being someone driving by what is.

While ‘results’ is a word that is open for interpretation as it can mean anything to anyone, and people will often shift the goal posts to fit this when needed, especially when they’ve failed to achieve physical results they change the meaning of the word to them to be more of a subjective & emotional one.

Essentially giving themselves an eternal out.

People in my experience don’t like things to be black & white.

It means they’d have to accept failure, not being good enough and all those other tough emotions that come within ‘the resistance’ which make people feel bad.

Can people really be happy without some form of physical result from the gym?

Yes is the obvious answer, I’m just curious as to why.

Now most people will think that this is in relation to doing it for everyone else’s gratification or appeasement and that couldn’t be further from my truth.

We don’t need to do anything for anyone else, only ourselves.

A harsh truth yet one that has seen us evolve to the highly intelligent and depressed beings we now are.

Why wouldn’t someone an tot be strong both physically & mentally.

Have a body akin to that of the heroes we see in comic books and on the big screen?

What is so wrong with having the desire to be warriors in a garden, why do we have to weaken ourselves so that those that choose to be weak don’t feel inadequate or like lesser beings?

Realistically no one can make you feel anything you don’t give them the power to allow you to feel.

People can hate, call you names, and do much worse, yet unless you give them permission to break your will none of it will really matter, so why not choose the ‘best life’ that you champion?

Or is that just something you say because it’s a lie that makes you sound good?

All of these questions, they will not ever really get a good answer because no one really wants to put a target on their back by having an opinion these days.

Well, unless you’re bitter & cynical like me.

My friends, you have one life so why not grow strong instead of old?

Take charge of what you want and make it happen instead of letting the worthless opinions of the sensitive high you down and keep you at their level?

Why don’t you actually do as you say and become the best version of yourself, not the one you think will please society.

^^ The irony of the ‘individual’ is that they don’t actually want to be different or in fact individual because to be alone means to suffer and struggle, persecuted for being that which people don’t understand and as such fear – different.

Even my words are not really my own.

Lingering wills from people far wiser I’ve heard talk and not even known that a seed of thought got planted, as such I will close with this –

“So what if I’m a puppet. Once upon time…. You were too.”

What are results to you, honestly?

Enjoy,
Ross

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Gym Free

Soon I am to be without a gym.
 
The place I currently train is set to close, it has had a good run however as with all good things it must come to an end.
 
A few good memories have been had at this simple place.
 
You’d find the beauty of this particular gym in the fact it had very little kit and very limited weight (200kg ish in plates, total), a pull up bar, TRX, small section of dumbbells (2-20kg) and 2 DAP cable machine.
 
Honestly it made for some of the most productive training I’ve had in years.
 
It also helped break my addictive mindset.
 
Personally I enjoy doing 3 movements per training session.
 
This seems to be the right amount of work that allows a solid focus with ample variety while also cutting out any chance of bullshit and exercise fodder.
 
Junk volume became a thing of the past.
 
Typically sessions were about 45-60min, if time was short only the main movement would be done, thus resulting in a one lift training session.
 
The other two lifts tended to be accessory, unless I felt like doing something more taxing.
 
My most favoured one lift sessions:
 
Deadlifts
Squats
Presses
Rows
Pull/Chin Ups
 
When the main lift didn’t feel like it was enough some ultra basic superset tactics would be utilised:
 
Front Squat & Straight Leg DL
Sumo DL & Floor Press
Press & Pull Up
 
The typical session would look like this:
 
100x Rows (bodyweight, bar or DB)
Main lift – 45min of S/B/DL/P
100x Reverse Flies*
 
*Alternated session to session with tricep work
 
Yep, back would be done first and last, mainly for postural purposes and some feeling of the posterior chain.
 
I’m also not adverse to doing a few hundred kettlebell swings in a day (or perhaps 100 snatches) just because I feel like it, the posterior chain is king and needs to be treated as such.
 
It’s not much, at least it’s honest though.
 
You’ve now had an insight into the training I do.
 
There is less emotional attachment to specific movements these days, for that I’m thankful.
 
Training is just training at the end of the day.
 
If you don’t squat for 6 months no one is going to care, not really. That doesn’t mean you won’t train your legs in some way shape of from, it just means you wont necessarily do it by squatting.
 
Oh yes, you don’t need to train in the classic body building or Frankenstein method (by body part).
 
You can choose to train the way you desire.
 
There are not training police. No underground triad that will cut off the tip of your little finger for not training like a body builder (they only do that if you dishonour/fail them, phew).
 
You may be aware my philosophy of training evolved.
 
It was once about doing it all,now it’s about simply doing better.
 
Get really really good at something, or a few things, take them to their limit then be happy and give them a break and do something entirely different.
 
You know when it’s time to give something away (movement/exercise wise) when you start to get emotionally attached to it.
 
Ideally you give it away before this happens.
 
One way to hep you do this is to find a gym that has very little to offer in the way of kit because in that you’ll find it’s true gift, freedom.
 
Remember this the next time you’re presented a choice.
 
Instead of choosing fashion (creature comforts, shiny kit and all the trimmings).
 
Choose freedom.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Do we even need to train?

We get told there are things we have to do in regards to training, and in regards to specific goals it’s 100% accurate, however for general life it’s more like set of guidelines.
 
The goal of all life is death.
 
Well, avoiding it for as long as possible is what most desire.
 
To achieve this you need optimal health.
 
Does this necessarily mean you’ll be able to run a marathon, deadlift 3xBW or do 10 rounds in the ring with Tyson, no it probably doesn’t.
 
When it comes to your training do you ever ask yourself what is it you actually need to life a full and fruitful life?
 
Then I suppose that begs the question of if you want a long life (quantity) or a life filled with adventure, memories and learning (quality).
 
🤔🤔🤔
 
Once you know what it is that you desire, your training can reflect that.
 
In general life we can say that realistically we may need three type of strength – lifting, carrying, getting up.
 
As for CV, well the need is to be able to walk for extended periods of time, at potential pace without getting winded.
 
Pretty simple really.
 
You can achieve this many ways.
 
That being said, one of your life goals might be to have an epic physique, godly strength, skills galore or generally be an all round badass, if so then you’ll need to dial in some specifics.
 
There isn’t much we need to do in this life, especially fitness/training related.
 
Before you go down a rabbit hole be sure to ask yourself why you’d choose to go down it and what it will do for you in the long run that when you look back you can say without hesitation – “Totally worth it.”
 
Choose your path for you, otherwise you’ll end up going down someone else’s.
 
You should investigate this thoroughly.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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A creature of not letting go

Creature comforts, that’s all they are and yet you won’t let them go. Even the detrimental ones.
 
Please do tell me why.
 
Be these your supplements for training, binge watching habits or destructive food choices, do tell me why you can’t let them go.
 
I too had these… Have these, although most have been given away and the realisation they were no longer of any use was accepted a couple still hang on.
 
The reason they’re there for me is nothing other than comfort, protection and the satiation of a lingering childhood ego the has yet to fade into the back of my memories to be forgotten and replaced by something better.
 
Growth take times, yet the first step will often be looking deeply at what we do and understanding why.
 
Knowing plenty of people who willing get stuck in a loop is inherently fascinating to me.
 
Why would someone choose suffering, stagnation and on occasion regression over growth and moving forwards?
 
What emotional tie to do they to this ‘thing’, because that’s all our attachments really are in the end, emotions that hold on to things that no longer serve a purpose.
 
Are yours because of self imposed punishment, an inability to forgive yourself for your past mistakes or maybe it’s something as simple as denial.
 
Questions worth some of your time, although ultimately you’ve no need to listen to me or entertain/consider what I say, this is because I’m not the boss of you, in fact I’m no one in the grand scheme of things, yet that won’t stop me from being forever curious as to why it is people, we, do what we do.
 
You should investigate this thoroughly.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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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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