Tag Archives: tips

Step 1: Get up earlier

How do you start your day?
For many it is by seeking out every last second they can in bed, followed by a lacklustre meal, usually cereal of something convenient and then off to work, however before th sit down at their desk this is some form of coffee laden drink at their side because they just can’t function without one.
Does this sound like you?
If it does the chances are you’re not quite in the shape that you desire and have that lovely spare tyre around your midsection, not to mention you struggle to focus and always feel tired/crap.
Sound familiar?
A lot of people got to be too late, get up as close to the rise as possible and inadequately fuel their body.
Today we shall look at a nice little routine for the mornings that will achieve the following:
– Better body composition
– Optimal health
– Mental focus
– Create a positive new habit & lifestyle change
Here is how you do it in 5 easy to follow steps.
Step 1: Get up earlier, stand by the bed and take 10 deep breaths, this will help wake you up
Step 2: 10min Kettlebell Workout upon waking, you can choose what to do
Step 3: Shower & get ready for work
Step 4: Make a nutritious meal of breakfast, perhaps salmon, eggs and spinach
Step 5: Don’t buy coffee, you don’t need it, opt for water instead
I can already hear a lot of people complaining and coming up with their excuses, if you’re one of them that’s okay, I’m not interested in those who don’t want to help themselves so you may continue as you are.
If you’re one of the few who has read this and wants to make a change then I salute you.
You owe your health to no one, especially not me, do it for yourself and make the positive lifestyle changes you need to succeed.
Enjoy,
Ross
Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Train to gain

It seems that hitting momentary mechanical failure is equally if not more important tan the load you lift.
 
 
^^ A good study looking at 3x Fail x30% VS 3x Fail x80%.
 
In short, the act of hitting failure provide adequate stimulus to trigger muscle growth.
 
The growth was essentially the same in both groups, however the group that used a heavier weight got stronger as well (pretty logical).
 
So what does this mean for your training?
 
You can look at it one of two ways:
 
1 – Cycle your loads between 30-80% 1RM and perform 3 sets per muscle group to muscle failure each set (after a couple of warm up sets, obviously).
 
2 – You can take this data and combine to s strength program to add some extra oomph, so perhaps performing working sets at a standard weight, say 5x5x80% (leaving reps in the take and focusing on strength), followed by a back off set of the same weight or between the 30-80% mark for AMRAP to hit failure, triggering more growth stimulus.
 
Both options are viable, both will improve strength and size.
 
Another nice option is this:
 
W/U – 10-15 reps
Set 1 – 10 reps – tough
Set 2 – 8 reps – tougher
Set 3 – 6-8 reps – hardest set
Set 4 – reps to failure with previous load or reduce load by 20%
 
If you ever see someone who has any decent amount of size you’ll notice they’ve often blended training to failure with stopping just short, try it yourself and see how you do.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

How doing less helped me progress.

Yesterday we touched on who doing too much can hold people back, today we shall look at how the opposite can help you being to once again make headway.
 
MED, remember that?
 
Minimum effective dose.
 
Find what the bare minimum you can do and make progress form and do that until you no longer make progress, then perhaps add the next smallest amount and progress once again.
 
A simple thought that still adheres to the GAS/SAID principle.
 
It will allow you more time to recover, spend time doing other things you enjoy and for the average person, give you results while also having a life.
 
Sounds perfect, right?
 
That being the case, why don’t people do it?
 
Because as we discussed yesterday, too many think more is better and even more than that must mean even better still, not always true, sadly.
 
You will also find that when you take down how much you’ve been doing, you recover and allow the super-compensation element of GAS to happen, meaning gains.
 
Keeping in mind MED, how many times per week do you need to train to make progress?
 
Twice, that’s a great start.
 
Both sessions would follow a full body approach with limited moves that will give you the best bang for your buck.
 
Day 1 – Monday
 
A1 – Front Squat or Squat 10×5
A2 – DB Row 10×6
B1 – Press 8×6
B2 – Chin 8×6
C1 – Dip 50 reps in as few sets as possible
D1 – Loaded Carry 10min x Total Distance (famers walk, etc)
 
Day 2 – Thursday
 
A1 – Deficit Deadlift (any grip) 10×5
A2 – DB Press 10×6-8
B1 – Bench Press or Incline 6×6-8
B2 – BB Row 6×6-8
C1 – Curl 50 rep goal in as few sets as possible
D1 – Prowler or Sprints 10min x total Distance
 
Combine this with solid nutrition (plenty of whole foods and a calorie deficit or surplus depending on your goal) and three simple factors to progress and you’ll be laughing at the gains you make.
 
How to progress:
 
– Add weight where possible (fractional plates are good)
– If you can’t add weight, reduce rest
– Rest at it’s lowest, increase TUT (time under tension) with a slower negative portion of the lift
 
In each session aim to keep a good pace and finish within 45-75min, you’ll find the less you faff the better the workout you get.
 
Obviously over time you will potentially need to add more frequency taking training to 3 days per week, but the longer you can progress on 2 the better.
 
Funnily enough you will find that most elite lifters seem to find 4xP/W is their optimal limit because in each session they train HARD and create a deep ‘in road’ meaning they’ve stimulated growth, you need to do this too.
 
Remember, doing less can help your progress.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

A simple answer to a common question.

“How many exercises should I do each workout?”
 
^^ A common question, to which there is a very simple answer.
 
2-7
 
The average for a decent workout seems to be around 4, however the option to go a little higher or lower is useful planning an accumulation or intensification phase of training.
 
If you’re lifting heavy, then perhaps a simple A1-A2 set up is best, this will allow maximal weigh tot be shifted and ample time for recovery in your 45-60min training slot.
 
The same is true for using more exercises, you’d usually find this happens when you’re lifting a little lighter and aiming for more volume.
 
There’s your answer.
 
Pick anywhere from 2-7 exercises per session, utilise the following methods to help you regulate training and stave off boredom.
 
– Super sets: A1-A2
– Tri sets: A1-A2-A3
– Giant sets: 4 or more exercises for the same muscle group
– Circuits: 4 or more exercises for different muscle groups
 
Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Two simple nutrition swaps for added fat loss.

Morning All,

Tweaking your nutrition can be hard, especially when it comes to knowing where to start if you find yourself working all the hours under the sun. Keeping this in mind here are two little tweaks that you can make that will help reduce excess calorie intake and start you on the right path.

1 – Buy more water to drink instead of smoothies, fizzy drinks or genera soft drinks.

2 – Swap your store bought sandwich for either meat from the deli and a bag of salad, or a pre-made one, you’ll find them under the sandwiches.

These will start to get you in the habit of making better choices for eating. You’ll also start to feel better as well.

Remember you can always have a little of what you enjoy, just don’t eat it in excess, unless you don’t mind the excess calories the goes with it as well.

Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

The most common deadlift flaw.

The deadlift is a great test of strength, you simply grab something and lift it off the floor. If that isn’t a the best indicator of someones ability to generate raw force then who knows what is.
 
When it comes to this lift there are a great many faults that occur, however the most common is not the rounded back, although that is a very close second.
 
The most common flaw is not pulling the slack out of the bar.
 
Addressing the bar with a correct set up is something everyone can learn easily, the same is true for keeping a fairly neutral spine, however pulling the slack out of the bar take some time to master because it removes any extra momentum and this is what people usually use to break the weight off the floor.
 
If you use a jerky momentum to get the weight off the floor you will fin that you lose position, end up with no leg drive and make the lift quite difficult.
 
The reason people use momentum is due to the fact that they feel the bar won’t break the floor unless they do, which is wrong and also dangerous until you’ve got 100% solid form. The bar won’t break the floor if you fail to generate the necessary amount of force to do so, taking the slack out gives you the best chance of achieving this. Even if it does feel like it won’t move to begin with.
 
How do you pull the slack out then?
 
Once you’ve set up and taken hold of the bar, start by gripping it tight and locking in your lats, then start to lift your chest and pull the bar up, if you do this correctly you will feel the bar flex slightly, meaning you’ve pull out the slack. You should hear a small ‘chink’ if you’ve done it correctly.
 
 
Keep the slack out by staying tense and pulling against it, then use your legs and push the floor away.
 
Spend some time mastering this technique and you will find your deadlift numbers increase and you injury rates go down.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

5 Steps to Uncomplicated Training

Nothing fancy today, just really simple advice to boost your performance and make training fun again.

Here we go:

1 – Select 3 lifts per workout, ideally all free weight movements with at last 2 being compound. Spend less time of faff.

2 – Set a rep goal of 25-50 reps per movement.

  • If you want more muscle use higher reps and less sets – 4-6 on main lift, 6-8 on the second and 8-12 on the third.
  • If you want more strength use less reps and more sets – 1-3 on main lift, 4-6 on second and 6-8 on the third.

3 – Train 3 days per week using a full body training method, unless you can afford the luxury of more, in which cause you a 3 on 1 off rotation in which cause use Pull-Push-Legs – you could do PPL if you wanted to do 3x per week but you’d have to program correctly for maximum effect.

If you can only train 3 days per week and want to use Pull=Push-LegsL

  • Pull + Light Pressing lift in-between each set
  • Push + Light Pulling lift in-between each set
  • Legs + A full body lift such a clean/press, loaded carry etc.

4 –  Walk, Jog or Run? None of them, SPRINT!

Aim for 5-10 30-60 second rounds of all out sprinting at the end of a session for maximal VO2 Max benefit, you can also swap this for battle rope work, Strongman style loaded carries, medleys etc, jus make sure it’s an all out effort every round.

5 – Keep workouts between 45-60min. You can workout hard or work long, not both, you may as well go in, work hard and get out, this will give you more time to spend doing other things you enjoy or extra time with your family.

Simple but far from easy. Work hard and you’ll get results.

Enjoy,

Ross

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Neglected??

Morning Guys,
 
Have you stalled on a lift or a CV element?
 
A lot of people get caught in trying to bring up one lift or specific elements of their CV training only to neglect the bigger picture, which ultimately stalls their  overall progress.
 
If we took Bench Press for example, it will only go so far if that is all you train, perhaps your close grip bench/Incline/Overhead are all dramatically weak and you avoid them because they hurt your ego. This is a problem, taking a hit to the ego and brining up those three will have some carryover to the BP.
 
This can also happen when it comes to training CV elements.
You enjoy running and want to get faster but you find you just can’t break a certain time or increase your VO2 Max, usually because you’ve now become incredibly efficient at your chosen task (this is great, however it also means you need some spice added). To change things up you might add in a 2K sprint row which leaves you breathless because you’re not adapted to it, yet 🙂 however that means you can now start progressing again.
 
In short, hitting weaker lifts, or unfamiliar CV protocols/equipment will help you in the long run, it’s worth the ego sacrifice to gain that extra strength or lung capacity.
 
Neglecting your weaker elements of training in favour of the ones that boost your ego will eventually lead you to stagnation. While it’s understandable that no one wants to look like they are struggling it’s far worse to be known as that person who trains all the time and does’t look and different than they did, or is the one who is not any stronger or fitter than they were last year. I’m sure you all know someone who fits that bill and if you don’t… It might be you.
 
It’s okay to have weak areas because they mean you can improve and keep progressing.
 
Embrace your weakness and make it a strength.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Methods for more freedom.

Morning Guys,

The amount of training knowledge/resources that have become available over the last decade are absolutely outstanding, however knowing which ones to read and then apply for you can be difficult.

Here is a quick guide to the types of methods that will work well deepening on a persons experience levels. Obviously that is not to say that the methods can’t be used in any level, this is just a frame/guide for the most optimal use of them from my experience.

Beginners – Less than 2 years training experience

– Linear Progression (think 5×5)
– The Hepburn Method (think double/triple progression)

Intermediate – Between 2-4 years training experience

– Block Periodisation (think 1-3month strength, hypertrophy, cutting)
– RPE Based Programming (look up reactive training systems)

Advanced – 4+ years training experience

– DUP/WUP (weekly or daily undulating periodisation, this would be a heavy-light-medium rotation on either daily or weekly sessions)
– Daily Maxing & Back Off Sets (working to a heavy rep range then backing off for volume, look up auto-regulation)

Now all of these methods can be used at any level, however you will notice that the more advanced the lifer becomes in terms of training age the more intuitive the workouts become, this is because they will have gained a sense of how their body works and how hard to push themselves, something some intermediates have but a form of training beginners should not go near quite yet.

You will find that some top level athletes use block periodisation and have a very structured program because that’s how they work best, there is technically no ‘best’ training method, however there are ones that are better suited depending on a persons level of experience.

Take the tips in this post and look objectively at the information you seek so that you can find what is best for you at this current stage. Once you find something that you want to put in to action I suggest you do it for at least 3 months, perhaps 6 because only then will you know if it’s working for you.

As Captain Barbossa once said “They’re more like guidelines than actually rules.”

 

Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health