Tag Archives: time management


Six session set ups to optimise your time.
Breaking down how to set up a training day can be complex or simple, opting for the latter will save you much stress.
Here are my suggestions for you:
I’m aware these mean nothing yet, so try looking at them in terms of minutes and section of training.
Warm Up – Main – Accessory Work
You’ll find for some people a little more senior in their years will get a great benefit from the 30-20-10 option as the longer W/U & ramp can allow better mobilisation, injury prevention and a better overall feeling in the main session.
An average person can do well on 20-30-10, meaning their W/U can lead nicely into the main and a few little extras for posture etc can be thrown in at the end.
This simply helps you manage time well.
If you’re looking at different lengths of session you can use 50-75% of the numbers above, giving you 30 & 45min training sessions.
There’s nothing magical about 30,45 or 60min, it just makes life easier to manage, for people and also PT’s too as many fall about in a fuss not really knowing what to do or how to best use their time.
Thus working in a time block will potentially help stop people wasting time because if you can’t utilise what you have well then adding more time to your training by taking it out of your day from somewhere will not provide better results, it’ll just be more wasted time.
An example of a couple of training days:
Day 1 – 20-30-10
A1 – Mobility Flow – 20min
B1 – Barbell Complex – 30min
C1 – Loaded Carries & Core Work (planks) – 10min
Day 2 – 10-30-20
A1 – Loaded Carries & Climbs – 10min
B1 – Giant Sets x2 body parts – 30min
C1 – Postural Work – 10min
Day 3 – 30-10-20
A1 – Isolation/Pre-exhaust Work – 30min
B1 – CV Intervals – 10min
C1 – Stretching & Trigger-point Work – 20min
I’m sure you get the idea.
Tracking your total amount of work achieved in the time you’re working will be a great way to see if you’re legitimately progressing either via total volume accumulation of reps or increased average intensity (load, watts, etc).
You should investigate this thoroughly.

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A little time

You might that guessed I’m in quite the pensive mood of late.
Today I shall break with that trend and give you something you can use in the gym 🤗
It’s called ’25-35-45′
This is the length of time you will spend training in minutes.
You will cycle through them each session.
Because it will stop you faffing about.
You might be thinking that you can’t get anything done in 25min.
Well you can, in fact you can get quite a lot done however it relies on you pulling your finger out and being productive.
The cycling of session time will get you out of the mindset of –
“I need to train to feel tired/worked/like you did something”
Instead it will get you in the realms of –
“What can I do that is productive and not a waste of time?”
There might be some trial and error while you find the flow of it all, however once you do you will find that it’s not about the amount of time you spend in the gym, oh no.
It’s about the amount of effort, the quality of work and having a purpose that makes all the difference.
Don’t believe me?
Try to do 10 Thrusters & 5 Pull Ups without rest for 25min solid (wave loads as needed) and tell me you’ve not achieved something notable.
Here are a couple of ways you can set up the rotations.
1 – Pull/Squat, Hinge/Push, Loaded Carries/Movement
This takes 9 sessions before you start the cycle again, meaning each of the above (Pull/SQ etc) gets a 25-35-45min session.
2 – 25-35-45 & 1/2/3
25min session = 1 lift
35min session = 2 lifts (ideally in superset fashion)
45min session = 3 lifts (tri-set is good)
1 lift = pick a big movement that hits the entire body
2 lift = choose 2 solid half body movements
3 lift = 1 big lift, 1 auxiliary lift & 1 isolation/weak-point lift
Pick one or two lifts for an EMOM (ever minute on the minute), or choose as many lifts as you like and complete as many reps/rounds as possible in the given time.
4 – 200-300-400
The above are rep targets.
25min = 200reps
35min = 300 reps
45min = 400 reps
You can cycle the days as in option 1, I’d go for a simple Pull-Push-Legs so you might end up with something like this:
25min – 200 Presses (a combination of press/dip etc)
35min – 300 Squats (Squats, lunges, step ups etc)
45min – 400 Pulls (Dl, rows, chins, swings etc)
It will take 9 sessions to have each movement go through each rep/time set.
5 – Recovery, Run & Ramp
25min = Recovery work day – foam rolling, stretching etc
35min = Cardio work of your choice
45min = Lifting day where you ramp the weights/volume up
There are many options, however the 4 above should be enough to get you started.
Take some time to think about how much time you waste in the gym and for what other reason than you just feel like you should be in there for a certain amount of time.
Do less better.

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20/20 – Tactical Time Based Training

Having no time to train is rarely an excuse that holds much water these days.
Time can always be found for something that is a priority to you.
I’m sure you can find 20min per day to invest in your health.
To get you started you’ll find 20 sessions below to try.
1 – Death by Watt Bike
An interval program, 8 seconds work, 12 seconds rest for 20min.
Personally I’d advise you do 5min of your 20 on the bike as a W/U, then 10min using the interval protocol the 5min slow peddling in to a couple of cool down stretches.
2 – Pull & Hinge to Glory
Set a timer for 20min at 1min intervals.
Each minute do 3-5 chins and 5 swings until all 20min is done.
3 – Push it Real Good
Put 20min on countdown, load up a barbell and aim to do 100 thrusters in the time.
4 – White Buffalo in the Sky
Perform one 500m rowing sprint, rest the time it took you to complete the sprint.
Repeat until 20min is up.
5 – A Complex Series of Events
Grab 2 kettlebells, set you clock for 20min and do the following as many times as you can, ideally without putting the bells down even once.
3-5 reps for all: Swings, Cleans, Presses, Squats – repeat
6 – A Complex Chain of Events
Like the previous one only heavier and you put the bells down after the squats to shake out tension.
1 rep for all: Swings, Cleans, Presses, Squats – repeat
7 – The Bear Essentials
Perform the Bear Complex with a barbell, aim for 3 sets of 8 reps per movement.
Increase weight each set, if you do all three before 20min is up then congrats, use more load next time just know that for today you’re done.
8 – Walk the Walk
Simplicity at its finest.
Carry 50-100% of your bodyweight for 20min.
9 – Bodyweight Blitz
EMOM for 20min do 5 pull ups, 10 press ups & 15 squats.
10 – DRAW!
Pistol ladder 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,etc up as high as you can go in the 20min, no broke sets – this means if you fail to perform say 7 straight on one leg and instead do 4 you do 4 on your second leg, rest a spell and start the ladder over again at 1.
11 – Single Arm Sadist
As above just with single arm Press Ups.
20 min will seem like a very long time doing this.
12 – Everybody do the Worm
Have your trust 20min countdown ready and also a kettlebell.
Do 15 swings, then inchworm your self out in to a press up position and do 1 press up, inchworm back to the bell and do another 15 swings, then back to the press up position for 2 press ups and repeat this for 20min.
As with all ladders once your form goes start again at one, the swings stay the same throughout.
13 – Nice Snatch
20min of kettlebell Snatch, you can change hands as many times are you choose however you can’t put the bell down,
14 – What a Jerk
Like the above except you will use 2 kettlebells and perform jerks for 20min without setting the bells down.
I like to add in a racked walk once I need rest from the jerks just to keep moving however this isn’t mandatory.
15 – Chains & Whips Excite Me
Aim for as many rounds as possible in 20min of the following:
Overhead Lunge 20 reps holding a chain(s) overhead, run back with said chains still overhead then put them down and grab a battle rope and perform 15-30 explosive whips (double hand slams you may know them as).
Repeat until death ensues and then keep going.
16 – Limber Timber
Pick a yoga or movement flow and do if for 20min.
I’d persoanlly aim for one that has a high bias towards mobility and overall movement, check out Max Shank for Idea.
17 – Deadlifts & the Diaphragm
See how many sets of the following you can complete in 20min.
5 Deadlifts (pick a sensible weight), 10 deep breaths with a focus on utilising your diaphragm, repeat and enjoy.
18 – Lift, Run, Bang
Out of your 20min us 5 to get warm, then for 10 do the following:
20 sec of Clean & Press, 20 sec shuttle runs, 20 sec of power ball/bag slams, repeat for 10min solid.
Last 5min will be cool down/stretching off.
19 – Shoulder of Justice
Using an object of 50-100% of your bodyweight take it from the floor to your shoulder (left then right ,etc), repeat for 20min.
20 – Sissy that Walk
20min of prowler push 20m (liked out arms) followed immediately by dragging it back (bent arms) the same distance, try to make the transitions as quick as possible.
The above is nothing spectacular.
All of them are based largely off of density programming.
You will want to add weight where you can and always aim to keep a record of what you achieve so that you can do better next time.

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Got 30minutes because that’s all you need to change the way you look, feel & perform.

Given our age of being ultra busy (we aren’t, not really, people are just lazy and want a quick fix), keeping your training sessions short can be a blessing.
Ideally if you can train 2-7 times a week, based on doing 30min a day, not something crazy like 3 hours 7 days a week because that is just silly.
Also, if you did decide to do 7 days a week at 30min each session you’d vary how hard you went session to session, so perhaps a hard one followed by an easy mobility one and so on.
Variability is the key.
Okay, let us look at 7 session options for y’all.
1 – Tabata Fun
A tabata is 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated 8 times (4min total).
You will do three of them in the 30min with 4min rest between each so you can give each tabata maximum effort.
W/U – 5min Mobility
A1 – Tabata 1 – Thrusters – Rest 4min
B1 – Tabata 2 – Pull Ups – Rest 4min
C1 – Tabata 3 – Kettlebell Swings – go to CD
C/D – 5min Stretching
A good rule of thumb is to think about hitting the full body, your only limit will be you imagination.
2 – Mobility Madness
30min of mobility work, it’s that simple.
Personally I’d recommend getting a hold of either of these books and picking bits that you need to do based on a simple movement assessment to highlight your weak areas.
– Becoming a Supple Leopard
– Free+Style
3 – 30/30/30
30 seconds on, 30 seconds off, 30 total rounds
Personally I’d advice picking 3 movements and doing 10 rounds for each.
A1 – 10×30/30 – Get Ups (easy, to be used as working W/U)
B1 – 10×30/30 – DB or KB Snatches (go hard)
C1 – 10×30/30 – Windmills (medium, to be used as C/D)
4 – And Stretch
30min of stretching, be it from Yoga or a routine you made up yourself, it doesn’t matter, just stretch.
5 – Litvinov’s
The man who bore this name was a legend in hammer throwing, he use dot do this training session:
– Front Squat 8×405
– 400m Sprint
Rest, repeat twice more
Just epic.
You can utilise a similar thought process, which is this: A heavy lift followed by a sprint or CV movement repeated 3 times.
W/U – 5min Mobility
A1 – 8x Power Clean & Push Press (Bar, DB, KB etc)
A2 – 200-400m Sprint (run or any bit of kit), rest 2-3min, repeat twice more
C/D – 5min Stretching
Any big lift will do, make sure it’s got a lot of bang for it’s buck, that is my only staple.
6 – Carry on doing only one.
This will seem easy, it’s not.
Pick one lift, movement or my personal recommendation, loaded carry and do it for 30min.
W/U – 2-3min mobility
A1 – Bear Hug Sand Bag Carry x20m, repeat for 20-25min
C/D – 2-3min stretching
If you were doing one lift, such as squats for example, keep the reps between 5-10 and never let your form slip.
7 – Just keep swimming, just keep swimming
30min of any CV method you like, swimming is nice 🤗
There you have it, some simple ideas to get you results in only 30min.
Of course you will need to have optimal nutrition for your goal – Fat Loss = Calorie Deficit, etc.
Until next time, enjoy,

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A protocol for the brave or the busy.

Short little post today with some wisdom from yesteryear.

Why brave of busy you ask?

Well if you are brave you will trust in the process and if you’re busy then it may be a good option for you.

Firstly you will train once every 5 days (scary thought, such little training, you could say every 3-5 days if it really panics you).

Second you will pick two movements for Strength (Deadlift & Press would be good), then you will pick two movements for Volume (Squatting & Pulling are ideal) and finally you will pick one loaded carry or sprinting related exercise to be done for density (time).

An example session:

A1 – Deadlift 5-4-3-2-1-5
A2 – Press 5-3-2-5-3-2
B1 – Squat 4-6×6-12
B2 – Pull Up 4-6x AMRAP
C1 – Farmers Walk x10min total distance

A classic little thought process from the olden days.

You don’t need to follow the above in regards to strength/volume etc, or the number of lifts, you might just have three movements (strength, volume, density), all you’d do well to remember is that to go heavy for strength, shift a lot of weight for volume and push your limits for the density.

Cover the full body and you’ll find that even if busy you make progress, and if you’re used to doing too much (I’m guilty of this) your body will welcome the extra rest and allow for the strength you’ve built over time to come to fruition.

Give it a go and enjoy the process,

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Two Day Triumph

This post is for those who have little to no time to train. Let’s say life has gotten in the way, you’ve got a promotion at work, a new bouncing baby or just no motivation to do more than 2 days per week training. All are viable reasons to use this method I will give you today. It’s not gospel, it’s simply a guide and you can mould it to fit your specific needs.

Here are the workouts:

Day 1 –

– Squat
– Press (Overhead or Dip)
– Chin Up or Row

Day 2 –

– Deadlift (trap bar ideally)
– Press (Overhead or Dip)
– Chin Up or Row

– Hypertrophy: 50 to 100 reps per lift (half this for deadlift 25-50).
– Strength: 25-50 reps per lift (DL = 15-25).
– Endurance/Fat Loss: Timed sets of 15min per lift of AMRAP.

*Rep Goals = Goal Dependant, rep ranges for Hyp are best in the 8-12, str the 2-6 and end are just as many as possible with good form in repeated bout efforts. You can also play with tempo, rest periods and a whole host of other variables so find what works and run with it. Add weight where you can, if you can’t add weight add reps, if that’s not possible add sets, hit the rep goal however possible and remember that the key to progression is progression.

You obviously have other options but these are some example that are tried and tested. The reason you have only three move per workout is because they will hit all the major muscles, the limited moves will also force you to maximise the reps and up your effort levels. Boring but brutally effective.


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Training Pyramid Part 1 – Specificity

Morning Guys,
Programming your training isn’t the easiest thing in the world but it’s not rocket science either. All it needs is a little care and attention so that it can be crafted in to something of beauty.
If I was to ask you what the most important part of a program was, what would you say it is?
Total Volume, Intensity, Time spent in the gym perhaps?
While you would not be wrong in thinking that those are not the most important things, to begin with that is.
The first thing you need to know is what you want to achieve specifically.
Now, specificity is all well and good but if you don’t have a defined timescale/goal then you can be as specific as you like but it won’t mean much, however these two are intrinsically linked as you can’t really have one without the other. If you used a body building competition as an example you would know when your comp date is, thus allowing you to appropriately plan your Macro/Meso & Microcycles (training blocks from building to adaptation to realisation/peaking).
One of the first things you need to establish and get right in your quest for a solid program is what your desired SPECIFICITY is at that point in time. It’s no good using 1-3reps with 90%+ of your 1RM for the majority of your training if your goal is hypertrophy (for most people), you will be far better off sticking with 6-12 reps in the 70-80% range. As time progresses and you draw closer and closer to your end date you will indeed adapt your training to suit your needs, perhaps it’s adding more sets/reps to increase the total volume and really push yourself to the edge but what ever it is, it will be relevant to your training at that point in time.
During your planning stage you will be looking to have a steady increase in overall volume that is stimulating enough to make you adapt but manageable enough so that you can recover, after all, there is no point in going too hard too son and ending up injured or burnt out.
Remember, the goal of each training block is to improve your overall performance and help you progress towards your goal, when you start planning what you’re going to do you must think about what you NEED to do and not what you LIKE to do. One will get your the results you want, the other will only massage your ego.
Think of this as the base of the pyramid, once you have this you can then go hunting for your sets/reps & intensity or as it is otherwise known Overload (this will be covered another day).
It’s time now for you to go and establish what your goal really is, what stage you’re currently at and how much time you have to achieve it your desired goal. Get these fundamentals sorted and you will be on the right path.

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Do You Really Need That?

Morning guys,

What do you have planned for the day?

Legs, Chest, Back, Shoulders, Arms or CV?

It was deadlift day this morning for me.

The reps where simple. Warm up to 80% for 1 then do 2,3,4,5 with that weight and start adding weight thereafter for a countdown of 4,3,2,1 to a heavy sub-max single, then there was some bent over rows for good measure. I you were to do this workout you could even add a few cheeky curls at the end.

The workout could look like this:

A1 – DL – 1,2,3,4,5,4,3,2,1
B1 – Row – 10,8,6,20
C1 – Curl – 8min AMRAP


Keeping your workouts to 2-4 exercises makes you focus and put in some real effort and quality work. I’ve always found that having 9 different variations of bicep curl gets boring and tedious, this also leads to a lack of intensity.

When you take a look at your workout how many exercises do you have?

If it’s more than 4 I would start to question why. Now, there will be a lot of people who will answer and say how it helps them progress etc, but have they really made any real progress, honestly…

There will be obvious exceptions in the way of the genetically gifted and the ‘enhanced’ but for the majority of people doing too much is well, doing too much and won’t give them any extra benefit. if anything it will send them backwards and potentially leave them imbalanced because they will end up doing more of what they like or want to do as opposed to the things they don’t like but in fact NEED to be doing.

Your program should be balanced and set with at least a 1-1 ration of the following:

Get Up/Loaded Carry-CV

Provided you actually record your workouts (if you don’t I suggest buying a training log immediately) then you will be able to see how they fair in terms of balance. We shall assume that you’re a good trainee and that your program is perfectly balanced but you just have too much going on and you’re finding your workouts less and less intense while evermore time consuming.

Here are some options for you to consider based on training 2,3 or 4 days per week. If you train more, say up to 7 this style of limited movements can work quite well for strength/size/fat loss goals provided you’re programming correctly, but you do well to would work in bouts of say 10,20 up to 40 days straight (goal dependent) and then take a rest week,

I have also known people to stick with the same weights for round 9 days and have a testing day on the 10th to establish their weights for the next 9 days, more on that later.

2 Day Example:

Day 1 –
– Squat
– Press (horizontal)
– Pull (horizontal)
– Ab Roll Out

Day 2 –
– Deadlift
– Press (vertical)
– Pull (vertical)
– Ab Roll Out

3 Day Example –

Day 1 –
– Squat
– Press (horizontal)
– Pull (horizontal)

Day 2 –
– Deadlift
– Press (vertical)
– Pull (vertical)

Day 3 –
– Get Up
– Loaded Carry
– Hill Sprint

4 Day Example –

Day 1 –
– Squat
– Press (vertical to horizontal)

Day 2 –
– Get Up
– Loaded Carry
– Hill Sprint

Day 3 –
– Deadlift
– Pull (vertical to horizontal)

Day 4 –
– Get Up
– Loaded Carry
– Hill Sprint

What about Sets & Reps? This will be very objective depending on your overall goal, but these rep targets will help you know the total amount of working reps you will need.

Warm Up sets 2-6 (Ideally 2-4)

Full Body Movements – 10 Reps (deadlift, snatch, clean & press/jerk, get ups)
Half Body Movements – 15-25 Reps (Squat, Row, Press)
Isolation/Ballistic Body Movements – 50+ Reps (Swings, Lateral Raises, Face Pulls)
Carries/CV – Distance or Time – Min 100m or 2min

As for the loading that will again depend largely on your goal but here is a good baseline to follow:

Strength 85%+ of 1RM
Hypertrophy 60-80% of 1RM
Fat Loss 60-70% of 1RM

When it comes to your CV you can get nice and technical and us Karvonen Formula to establish your target heart rates and aim to stick between 65-90% of HRR (heart rate reserve) for optimal results.

However, with both of the guidelines above you could always opt for using the RPE scale of 1-10 (rate of perceived exertion). This will mean 10 RPE is max effort and 1 is doing nothing. Therefore when lifting weights an RPE of 8 will be roghly the same as 80% 1RM which means you should get 5 solid reps and maybe 6 at a push, for CV it’s almost the same, 10 is max effort and 7 is a hard but sustainable jog.

I’ve given various rep/set schemes in the past so today there will only be a few examples, if you want more just look back through older posts.

10 rep target – 10×1, 5×2, 3×3, 2×5, 5-3-2, 4-3-2-1
15-25 rep target – 5×3, 5×4, 5×5, 4×6, 3×8, 1-2-3-4-5-4-3-2-1
50+ rep target – 5×10, 4×15, 50 reps (rest as needed)
Distance/Time – 100m, 200m, 300m, 400m, 3min, 5min, 8min

You can play around with what numbers you fancy as long as they fit in with your workout and hit the target numbers.

Don’t be afraid to cut out useless exercises, if you think your arms will shrink then do some supinated weighted pull ups or weighted tricep dips, there are lots of possibilities that will give you a lot of bang for you buck and keep things exciting and save time too.


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Do You Really Need That Specialist Exercise?

Walkouts, Partial Reps, Banded Moments, Movements with Chains, Lockout Reps, Board Pressing, the list of specialist exercises is numerous but do you really need them?

Too many people get caught up in doing things they have no real need for. I am guilty of this on the odd occasion but found that it only severed to hinder my progress in the long run because there was no need for the specialist movements.
You will find these types of exercises common for high level power lifters but they serve little purpose for us normal folk. If I had to give people some variations of lets say the big 3 I would suggest the following:
– Pause Squats
– Front Squats
– Box Squats
– Paused Bench
– Narrow Grip Bench
– Pressing Overhead or High Incline
– 1/2 – 1 inch Deficit Deadlifts
– 2-4 inch Block Pulls
– Snatch Grip Deadlift
– Overhand Deadlift
That’s pretty much it. While it’s nice and quite fun to try some of the specialist exercises there is little to no need unless you’re squatting/deadlifting 3xbw and benching 2xbw. The variations I’ve suggested will be more than enough to help keep you busy for months if you rotate them properly.
Do you need some guidance on a program too?
Warm Up Sets x4 at 3-5 reps (40,60,70,77%)
Week 1 – 10×1 + 70-80% back off AMRAP set -10min
Week 2 – 5×2 + 70-80% back off AMRAP set -10min
Week 3 – 3×3 + 70-80% back off AMRAP set -10min
Week 4 – 2×5 + 70-80% back off AMRAP set -10min
*increase weight and start over.
*2 lifts per day – EG Squat/Row, Deadlift/Press
*Lower body would work better with this programs set rep progression.
*Upper body = Volume or Ramping, try 8×8 on the volume with only 30 seconds rest on upper body pressing/pulling movements or Ramp up to a 3-5RM (meaning you do 3-5 reps and add weight each set until you hit technical failure, then you’re done).
An example day might be as follows:
Workout 1 – Squat/Pull Up
Warm Up Sets – Paused Squat x4 at 3-5 reps (40,60,70,77%)
A1 – Paused Squat – 10×1 – 100kg + 80kg AMRAP (10min time limit)
B1 – Pull Up – 8×8 – Wide Grip Body Weight/Weighted or Pull Down
*Optional C1 – Ab Roll Out – 1×12
Workout 2 – Deadlift/Press
Warm Up Sets – Overhand Deadlift x4 at 3-5 reps (40,60,70,77%)
A1 – Overhand Deadlift – 10×1 – 100kg + 80kg AMRAP (10min time limit)
B1 – Press – 5RM Ramp Start with Overhead Press and hit 5RM (You can alternate your Pressing movement to your own personal desire, one day might be overhead press, the next time around it might be bench and so on.)
*Optional C1 – Ab Roll Out – 1×12
A weeks training might look like this:
Monday – Workout 1
Tuesday – Workout 2
Wednesday – Off
Thursday – Workout 1 – Front Squat/Pull Down Neutral Close Grip
Friday – Workout 2 – Snatch Grip Deadlift/Incline Press
Saturday – Off
Sunday – Off
Repeat last weeks exercise selection, keep weights the same on SQ/DL but move on to week 2’s reps (5×2).
There is nothing stopping you from adding in a sprint day on Saturday or some CV just regulate the intensity so that is doesn’t disrupt your recovery and adaptation phases.
In the world of lifting it’s best not to try and run before you can walk. Learn the basic movements and learn then well, then once you’ve started to hit the upper limits of your natural strength (around 3xBW SQ/DL & 2xBW Bench) then it will be worth adding in some specialist exercises to help you past your sticking points.

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