Tag Archives: Training program

Arm Pumping Protocols

Arm training, everyone loves it.
 
A good strong arm pump that leaves you almost unable to lift your keys to the lock in your door is a most welcome thing by many.
 
Sadly it’s something I rarely do, hence why I admittedly have pitiful arms, oh well, life goes on.
 
That being said, from working with plenty of people who do value arm training, here are two protocols that you’ll find rather useful.
 
Protocol 1 – 150 rep drop.
 
Choose a load that is manageable, or grab a resistance band as you can literally adjust in a second if you’ve gone a tad too hard.
 
Perform 50 reps, rest 15 seconds
Perforce 40 reps, rest 15 seconds
Perform 30 reps, rest 15 seconds
Perform 20 reps, rest 15 seconds
Perform 10 reps, enjoy the pump, rest 2min and then repeat for the antagonist you didn’t do.
 
^^ This also works well on postural muscles, things such as revise flies, back extensions, calf raises, lateral raises, to be fair it works on quite a lot either as a finisher or a warm up.
 
Protocol 2 – 15-5 repeats
 
Do a set of 15 reps, rest 15 seconds
Do a set of 5 reps, rest 5 seconds
Keep repeating until you can no longer perform reps with good form or lose the MMC (mind muscle connection)
 
💪💪💪
 
Choosing perhaps 1-2 movements per muscle groups ill be sufficient for the above.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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The Universal Training System

Did you know that there is one simply training system that pretty much everyone can do.
 
Squats & Push Ups 🦵💪
 
Taking away all the movement options, calisthenic skills such as hand balancing and the almost endless options for training with next to nothing except your own body and some floor space.
 
Squats & Push Ups are what essentially everyone has.
 
(Unfortunate medical conditions/accidents will be the exceptions to this, sadly)
 
Narrowing things down suddenly people will complain it’s too simple, too boring etc 🦵💪
 
Ironically these are the same people that won’t willing to do some of their own investigation into training and want it all handed to them on a plate, they’re ‘training entitled snobs’.
 
Basically they want it all for nothing, same goes for magical results with no effort too, they’re an odd breed.
 
Anyway, the two basic human movements above can be very fruitful in training when done correctly 🦵💪
 
Believe it or not you can get in full body training with these two movements (to a point).
 
The keys to achieving that would be to PULL yourself down into the bottom of each movement, and creating total body tension (braced abs through each movement)
 
In the press up this means scapula retraction, lat engagement and really pulling yourself towards the floor to feel all the muscles int our back working.
 
Plus also keeping your glutes squeezed as tight as humanly possible too, not sagging here please.
 
Same applies to squats, using the hip flexors & hamstrings to pull yourself down feeling them creating as much tension as possible.
 
Simple yet very effective 🦵💪
 
You’ll find that in limiting oneself to these suddenly all the other options for training with nothing other than the floor and yourself start to find their way into your head.
 
Many will say “Can I do XYZ as well?”
 
Of course you can, yet you didn’t do them before so why should it be believed that you’re going to do them now?
 
We shall look at some options to train the two above 🦵💪
 
Option 1 – 30/30/30
 
30 seconds of Press Ups (5-10 reps)
30 seconds of squats (10-20 reps
Repeat for 30min
 
Option 2 – 10×10 + 6-0-X-0 Tempo
 
10 sets of 10 reps, simple enough.
 
The tempo is what makes things interesting because int he eccentric you won’t simply be lowering yourself for 6 seconds, you’ll be PULLING yourself down for 6 second.
 
Ideally creating max tension on the eccentric each rep, then explosively coming out of the bottom position.
 
Rest 60 seconds between sets & alternate Squats & Press Ups (meaning you’ll do 20 total sets).
 
Option 3 – Climbing the Ladder
 
Perform 1 Press up
Perform 2 Squats
Perform 2 Press ups
Perform 4 Squats
 
Keep adding 1 press up and 2 squats each set for one of these time periods – 20-30-40min.
 
You’ll wonder how the toilet ever go so low to the ground the next day.
 
🦵💪🦵💪🦵💪🦵💪🦵💪🦵💪
 
There you have it, the universal training system for everyone.
 
Of course there are a plethora of variations of the two movements above, meaning you’ve got an almost endless amount of variation.
 
I’d suggest repeating the same sessions for 2-3weeks, then chaining something up, be that the movement variation, the tempo, the rep schemes, etc.

Often time when people complain of not knowing what to do, stripping things back to the bare essentials suddenly has them remembering they know more than they let on. 

 
Now there really is no excuse not to train productively.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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⏱ Fitness in 15 Minutes ⏱

All that you will find below has been field tested.
 
Working many weird and wonderful hours over the years my own training occasionally took a back seat 🥺
 
There was two main choices in dealing with this:
 
🤬 – Get angry & moan about how unjust the world was
🔐 – Find ways to unlock training potential in limited time
 
The latter was opted for.
 
I called it Amber Light Training because you’ve got just enough time, however you need to make a good choice of how to use it.
 
It’s worth remembering that while you can gain some impressive results from hitting on 15min of training, there is one HUGE caveat –
 
Nothing will work unless you do 💪
 
Keeping this in mind, here are 5 short sessions that provide a lot of bang for your buck.
 
– 30 rounds of 30 seconds
 
This works wonders with 3 movements, my favourite was as follows:
 
A1 – Kettlebell Swings x10
B1 – Press Ups x10
C1 – Goblet Squats x10
 
You’d do 5min on each, meaning 10 sets of 30 seconds, you only rest the time between you finishing the reps and the start of the next 30 second round.
 
🏃‍♀️ – Hill/Stair Sprints
 
Pretty simple, you find something to sprint up & walk back down, this is repeated for the entire 15min.
 
🔨 – Hard Hitting 5-3-2
 
I chose a sledge hammer and a tyre for this when I did it.
 
First round was 5min of solid hitting
Rest 3min
Second round was 3min of solid hitting
Rest 2min
Last round was 2min of solid hitting
 
Done.
 
Doesn’t have to be the above, this also works well for punch bag work, skipping sprints, continuous kettlebell swings, continuous squats, loaded carries, crawling and much more.
 
💪 – Hypertrophy Hell 7-5-3
 
Similar to the above, just with different timings and no rest, plus this is about creating as much constant tension as possible in classic lifting movements.
 
A1 – RDL x7min
B1 – Dips x5min
C1 – Seated Row x3min
 
The reps can vary, I personally found that focusing on a tempo of 6-0-X-0 or 4-0-2-0 was great and kept completing reps until I needed to take a brief rest, then carried on.
 
This isn’t about max loads, the RDL I had something light like 80kg (straps too), it was all about creating the tension, the metabolic stress and ensuring once the timer rung out the end of the round (I’d set it 5 seconds before the actual time – so 6:55, 4:55 etc) to allow me to safely put the weight down/stop and move straight onto the next movement.
 
A second session like this I did was as follows:
 
A1 – Squat x7min
B1 – Pull Ups x5min
C1 – Press Ups x3min
 
🦎 – The Lizard Life
 
A brutally simple & effective 15min of moving like a lizard, as the name suggests.
 
This was all about improving mobility, active flexibility and yielding results in a different way.
 
You see too many people get obsessed with training needed to leave them feeling destroyed, and it’s just not sensible because it will stall results/progress.
 
Admittedly I’m personally bias towards results, not everyone shares that view, and this is cool and one reason we must choose our clients wisely.
 
👍👍👍
 
There you have it, 15min is more than enough time to build some impressive overall fitness (GPP).
 
All you need to do is focus on putting in the effort because sometimes, often times, doing less better trumps doing more poorly.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Free Training

Minimalistic P/P/L Protocol
 
Morning All,
 
This popped into my mind this morning so I felt it worth sharing, you’ll have three options, you can use one, all three or cycle them, choice is yours.
 
Weekly cycle options:
 
Two Day Week – Monday/Thursday
Three Day Week – Monday/Thursday/Saturday
Four Day week – Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday
 
Daily = use only Protocol 1
 
Protocol 1 –
 
Pull Day – Kettlebell Snatch
Push Day – Push Press
Leg Day – Front Squat
 
Reps – 10 sets – 10 (wk1), 8 (wk2), 6 (wk3)
 
Protocol 2 –
 
Pull Day – Kettlebell Snatch, Deadlift
Push Day – Push Press, Floor Press
Leg Day – Front Squat, Hack Squat
 
1st movement reps are as previous.
 
2nd movement reps: – 4 sets – 12 (wk1), 10 (wk2), 8 (wk3)
 
Protocol 3 –
 
Pull Day – Kettlebell Snatch, Deadlift, Pull Up
Push Day – Push Press, Floor Press, Dip
Leg Day – Front Squat, Hack Squat, RDL
 
Previous movements reps as above.
 
3rd movement reps: 2-3 sets – to failure each week
 
A no frills approach to coming all your bases.
 
In your warm up some movement flows & loaded carries would do well.
 
Additionally 100 reps of each of these: banded face pulls, pull apart, lat pull downs and hip thrusts/pull throughs (2×50, or 4×25, etc) will do you the world of good.
 
Fr you cool down stretches/trigger point work will be needs specific on problem areas for yourself and also generally around the areas worked for the day.
 
There is nothing fancy about this, it’s so simple it’s complicated.
 
You aim to add weight where you can.
 
If you can’t add weight then slow down the tempo, or add pauses, or decrease rest 💪
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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What do you think?

When you look back at all the successful people in the history of fitness/training you see a lot of different ways to reach the top.
 
That being said, a lot of people will fall back on the classic of – you need to find what works for you.
 
While this is 100% true, when it’s the first thing a trainer/coach says it’s usually a copout and protects them from creating a poor program that fails you.
 
You see success leaves clues.
 
As such there will be systems that have been proven to work for not just one person, rather millions.
 
Now the nuance will indeed be largely individual, yet are you so narcissistic to think that there are not other people in the realms of training that would end up with a program that is almost a mirror match of yours?
 
Don’t be silly, of course there will be.
 
It’s another reason people train together and get similar results, because they’ve found something that works.
 
In full candour though, that doesn’t mean that it’s the 100% best program for each person, of that I have no issue saying yet that won’t stop the fact that the program still works.
 
In my experience I feel we put far too much stock in making everything super individualised when most people don’t have a need for it.
 
After all, if you’re bodies optimal program is that surrounding marathon training (because that’s what’s best for you genetically) and you want to be a powerlifter well then there will be a problem as you’ll need to train like a PL.
 
I’m sure you can see the dichotomy.
 
All that being said, I’m curious to have some feedback form y’all.
 
What has worked best for you?
 
More importantly, why did you stop doing it?
 
Since working with a lot of people there are 5 core staples that regardless of the person yield results for increasing various elements of fitness.
 
1 – Treating the Body as One Unit
2 – Sprinting (intervals)
3 – Mobility/Dynamic Stretching Flows
4 – Optimal Nutrition
5 – More Rest
 
These are nothing earth shattering.
 
In fact a program from me would be rather basic and boring to many, yet it will work so long as you do.
 
As people get older in regards to training age they are exposed to more nuance because they’ve earned it, for example, if you’re so weak that you can Deadlift 2xBW, Press BW and hit 5-10 pull ups then you’ve got no need for blocks of myotatic-reps, Japanese drop sets or French Contrast Training because you’re not strong enough to gain any benefit from them yet.
 
People are in a rush to do things that look cool.
 
By all means you’re welcome to crack on and do as you feel is best, just give some deep consideration to getting the basics locked down first.
 
Share your thoughts below because I’m genuinely curious to hear them and understand why you think/feel as you do.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Dan John’s Genius

Challenges, fancy trying some?
 
Training for the most part is about going in, hitting your reps, miles or specified needs.
 
Sadly this is the element people won’t talk about because it’s boring, it’s also what a lot of people avoid which is why they don’t ever get anywhere.
 
Since we’re not getting out of this period of illation anytime soon here are 5 challenges for you to do at home (1 for each month we will still be in UK Lockdown).
 
Now these are all about volume and based off of the challenge that will take the number one spot because to be honest it’s a great challenge.
 
1 – 10,000 Swings (Dan John)
 
A brilliant challenge that is a stand alone program of 20 total sessions across a month.
 
It breaks down to 500 swings a day (how you choose to hit that is up to you).
 
Dan also recommends adding in a strength movement in either ladder format (e.g – 1,2,3,1,2,3 etc) or something I’ve done that works is a simple 2-5 reps of a strength movement rotating Push/Pull/Squat.
 
Here is a clip from the man himself:
 
 
Keeping this in mind, I’ve been playing with the idea of running it for different movements.
 
Of course a lot of thought has gone into what would work and how, this is what structure I’d suggest:
 
A1 – Challenge
A2 – Supplementary Movement – Optional
 
This means you can do two movements tops, or alternatively jus the challenge movement itself.
 
Here are the other 4 for your consideration, the start off easy and finish hard, also they’re not for everyone and there’s not qualms in saying that.
 
2 – 10,000 Squats* – Can S/S (Goblet if strong)
3 – 10,000 Push Ups – Can S/S
4 – 10,000 Snatches (KB or DB – 5000 each arm) – Solo recommended
5 – 10,000 Meters of a Loaded Carry – Solo recommended
 
*If squats are not comfortable for you then 10,000 Lunges are the alternative.
 
When I did the swings I opted for these rep ranges:
 
A1 – Swings: 50-30-20
A2 – Supplementary Lift x2-5
Repeat 5 times
 
You might look at the above and recoil because of how dull it will be, and while that is true it works very well so I will ask you this question:
 
Do you want to be better than you currently are now?
 
A simple yes or no will suffice to answer this ^^.
 
In our modern life we are spoilt by choice, as such it has made many of us complacent, petulant and caused much stagnation in regard to physical progress.
 
Now some people surely want to enjoy their training and have fun, it’s a good option yet over the years no training starts off being enjoyable, and if it does it rarely stays that way unless you’re getting results, and even then it can become very trying of ones resolve.
 
As Bruce Lee said – “Don’t pray for an easy life. Pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”
 
Give the above a go if you’re lost for something to do, or don’t, yet come September when things start to ease don’t look back at your time and see you wasted it.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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A system for your training at home

If you’re panicking about losing all the progress or gains you’ve made from training then the chances are you didn’t really make that much to begin with.
 
Yep, anyone who built ups substantial base of fitness isn’t all that worried.
 
It’s the people who are what now has the jovial term – ‘fit-ish’ that are worried.
 
Simply because many were using the gym as a compensator or rather a currency for eating a little too many decadent foods and drinking too much alcohol.
 
By all means if that makes you happy you crack on, however if results are your desire then an attitude change is needed.
 
In regards to setting up your training days at home this is quite a good idea:
 
GPP Protocol – 3-4 days per week – 45-60min per session
 
– Time Under Tension/Load Day
– Sprint Day
– Density Day
 
This is how they work:
 
TUL/TUT Day:
 
Each set lasts between 60-180seconds, meaning you don’t stop moving or put the load down until you’ve hit the minimum of 60 seconds or the maximum of 180 seconds.
 
A great way to build a solid mind muscle connection and one hell of a burn/pump while making light weights feel heavy.
 
Sprint Day:
 
You’d be outside sprinting, it can be up hill, in cone drills, with odd objects (so loaded carry medley’s) or with added resistance.
 
This can also be in reference to intervals, with rope slams, med-ball slams and the things like that, a 1-1 or 1-3 work to rest ratio is good, of 1-5 if you’re doing HIIT (so 10 seconds work 50 seconds rest, etc).
 
Density Day:
 
On this day you’ll pick 2-3 movements and get out as many reps as you possible can in this time frame – 30min.
 
After a 10min general warm up (same for cool down) you’ve got a fairly solid hour of work, accounting for kit set up/transitions etc.
 
Here are my movement suggestions:
 
– Pull>Squat>Carry
– Push>Hinge>Carry
– Push>Hinge
– Pull>Squat
– *****>Carry (any of the 4 core movements – P/P/S/H)
 
Loading can be set by you, as can the reps just do as much as you can, make a note and try to surpass it next time. Repeat the same combo 2-3 times then change it.
 
Actually that’s a good general rule to remember, repeat the same session 2-3times before tweaking it, personally I’d recommend milking it until it stops working, however if you’re training base don a 7 day week then not stretching the same movements past three weeks works well.
 
A simple 3 day system to keep you progressing.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Did you say volume?

A little training protocol that is nothing magic, it’s just something that sprung to mind ad thought I’d share it before the ether claims it.

Day 1 – Max Effort Volume in 45min
Day 2 – 40% Volume of Day 1
Day 3 – 70% Volume of Day 1

You’d do well to perhaps pick one movement to focus on for this.

Some rare individuals can perhaps many two (maybe splitting the sessions to AM/PM), yet for most just one will be better, and any extra work you decide to do on the 3 days would be in the form of simple maintenance – 3×8 & 1min rest betweens sets.

That’s it really, nothing too fancy just good old fashioned work.

As a recommendation I’d suggest the lift you pick will do well to be loaded at 70% of your current max, from here you’d need a total volume target that when achieved you can increase the total load and work towards hitting that volume target with a max of 85% of that lifts max.

Example:

  • Squat – Current 1RM 100kg – Starting load 70kg
  • Total volume goal in 45min – 225 reps (or more, your choice)
  • Load increase each time total volume hit +5-10%
  • Reps per set – chosen at your discretion (5’s, 8’s, 10’s, a combination, all are acceptable)

Here is what a training week may look like:

Day 1 –
W/U – General Flow Work
A1 – Squat – 45min timer – 70kg – reps achieved (make note, we shall say 160 for the purpose of this example)
B1 – Dip 3×8
B2 – Chin Up 3×8
B3 – Reverse Fly 3×8
C/D – Genreal Stretch

Day 2 – (3 days later)
W/U – General Flow Work
A1 – Squat – 45min timer – 70kg – reps 40% Day 1 (40% of 160 = 64 total reps)
B1 – Z Press 3×8
B2 – Pendlay Row  3×8
B3 – Curl 3×8
C/D – Genreal Stretch

Day 3 – (2 days later)
W/U – General Flow Work
A1 – Squat – 45min timer – 70kg – reps 70% Day 1 (70% of day 1 = 112 total reps)
B1 – Incline Press 3×8
B2 – V Handle Row  3×8
B3 – Skull Crusher 3×8
C/D – Genreal Stretch

^ The above would be a Monday-Thursday-Saturday training week.

You’ll find that keeping a focus on solid form, tension, and what Dr Hatfield coined as Compensatory Acceleration will have you making a lot of progress.

For accessory lifts (the 3×8 with 1min rest between sets), you can choose as you please, the main focus of this protocol is the volume lift.

There you have it, something simple and just good fun.

Enjoy,
Ross

P.S – my choice of lifts for this would be Kettlebell Swings in the AM & Press Ups in the PM.

Accessory work, if fancied would simply be alternating Pull Ups, Pistols & Ab Roll-Outs in a GTG fashion through the day (every day, 3-5 reps), however that’s just me.

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ABCD

This little set of sessions just sprung to mind.
 
As such I felt sharing them to you good people who wish to be told what to do training wise might be useful.
 
– Train there days per week
– Follow the session order of A-B-C-D
– Once you achieve the targets either increase the loads, change the movements or do something else entirely.
 
Session A – Intensity
 
W/U: Loaded Carries x15min (50%+ BW)
A1 – FS 6×3 (build to 6×6 adding 1 rep each session)
Rest 2min
A2 – Weight Pull Up x2-4
Rest 2min – Repeat A1 unit sets completed
C/D – Stretch Problem Areas
 
Session B – Volume
 
W/U: Crawling Patterns x15min
A1 – Dip Ladder 1 rep up to 10 or 20
A2 – Deadlift x1-2
Rest as required – no sloppy reps
C/D – Stretch Problem Areas
 
Session C – Conditioning
 
W/U: Loaded Carries x15min (50%+ BW)
A1 – Swings 5on, 15off x30-90 sets
C/D – Stretch Problem Areas
 
Session D – Recovery
 
W/U: Climbing Patterns x15min
A1 – Movement Flow (yep, just move in any/every way you can) x30min
C/D – Stretch Problem Areas
 
Nothing fancy, however you’ll notice this trend:
 
Movement pattern focus:
Session A = Squat/Pull
Session B = Push/Hinge
Session C = Hinge
Session D = All of the above
 
You can change your variation of the movement as you see fit once targets are hit, jus focus on the movements instead of simply seeking out exercises.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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A Sinister 6 Sessions of Strength.

This nifty little protocol will help get many people strong.
 
There is no other prerequisites for doing it than to follow it to the letter.
 
🤓
 
Choose two lifts you wish to focus on (I suggest 1x Upper/Lower).
 
Before starting test your 5RM on your chosen lifts.
 
You’ll alternate which one you focus on session to session, so sweet up as an A-B alternating split, training every 5 days.
 
You will do 6 sessions of each (12 in total), this means 60 days of training.
 
^ On the days you’re not in the gym feel free to focus on mobility, going for long walks or if you practice a sport then do that.
 
Let us say it’s Close Grip Bench Press & Trap Bar Deadlift because my bias likes those.
 
For the Focus Lift this is the rep/set protocol:
 
Cluster Set:
– 5x 2-1-2 (rest 10-20 seconds between each)
– 3min rest after complete set
– Change loading each set by 20% Increase or Decrease
– DOn’t repeat the same load twice
 
For the Secondary Lift this is the rep/set protocol:
 
3×10 – 50%, 75%, 100% – 10RM (you should only just get 10 on the last set)
 
For your Accessory Lift, this is optional*.
 
In the suggestion below my suggestion is based on a PHA style to working on lagging areas for maintenance purposes, so quads, triceps, lats, etc.
 
Example for context:
 
15min time limit, if you can get out 4-5 rounds in the time increase the loading where needed or tweak the movements, you can change the movements each session.
 
C1 – Pull Up x3-6
C2 – Walking Lunge x10-12 (per leg)
C3 – Dumbbell Press OH x3-6
C4 – Hollow Body Hold x30sec
 
Set & rep wise you’ll be
 
Here is what a session will look like:
 
Session A –
 
A1 – CGBP – Focus Lift
B1 – TBDL – Secondary Lift
C1 – Accessory Lift (your choice)*
C2 – Accessory Lift (your choice)
C3 – Accessory Lift (your choice)
C4 – Accessory Lift (your choice)
 
Session B –
 
A1 – TBDL – Focus Lift
B1 – CGBP – Secondary Lift
C1 – Accessory Lift (your choice)*
C2 – Accessory Lift (your choice)
C3 – Accessory Lift (your choice)
C4 – Accessory Lift (your choice)
 
The idea of this is to focus on getting stronger each session, its not about conditioning.
 
By the end of the 6th test yourself with a 5RM once again.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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