Tag Archives: training

Guess who’s fault it is….

Morning All,
 
There is always a decent amount of talk on here about training, occasionally there is even nutritional information.
 
All of it is based on what a great many people have done in the past and succeeded with.
 
Now before you start screaming at the screen “Everyone is different, we need to find what works for each individual”, you’d do well to keep this thought in mind.
 
– There is a high probability that you’re not special, or as unique as you think.
 
It might seem like a horrible thing for some to hear, however it is quite true.
 
For example, I have yet to see someone who doesn’t make progress on a solid 6-12months of 5×5 when programmed correctly. Or a person to not make positive body composition changes by improving food quality and keeping a food diary.
 
Yep, we all fall in to this part of the bellcurve.
 
Of course there are some people that are on the fringe and known as hyper-responders & non-responders, however for the most part I’m willing to be that’s not you.
 
Why would I make such an assumption?
 
Experience, a lot of experience.
 
If you were truly one of those you’d be easy to spot. You know the types, those who can’t lose fat regardless of what they do, or those who can’t build muscle, the ultra rare ones.
 
That’s not you, as such here are your answers if you think those are you:
 
Weight/Fat Loss not happening = you’re consuming too many calories & under stimulate your body in training, fact.
 
Weight/muscle gain not happening = you’re not consuming enough calories & under stimulate your body in training, fact.
 
Two very hard pills to swallow, even if they’re sugar coated too.
 
I get it you know. Why you want to be that exception to the rule. To be the one that truly has the world & it’s dog stacked against you, it’s easier to have that as an excuse than to accept the horrid truth; it’s your fault because you’re not doing what you’re supposed to be doing.
 
How do I know this?
 
I’ve been that person.
 
In my early teens I was that guy, the one who said “I can’t gain muscle because of my crappy ectomorphic genetics.” this, was rubbish, the truth was I simply wasn’t doing want I needed to be doing, that is also your truth.
 
Harsh, incredibly, however the sooner you accept it the sooner you’ll start making results, or you can’t continue lying to yourself, at this stage in my career of helping people I don’t care, it’s not my job to wipe your ass and pander to you.
 
After the above abuse, will yo do something? Not for me, for you.
 
Write down answer to these three questions, BE HONEST.
 
1 – What is your goal & is it truly important to you?
 
2 – Do you know the behaviours necessary to achieve what is important to you?
 
3 – Are you doing the above, if not, why not?
 
It’s time to be honest with yourself.
 
You should look in to this thoroughly.
 
Enjoy,
Ross
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4 Little lung busters that also get you strong.

Morining All,
 
Given the nice weather it’s understandable that people want to shift unwanted fat.
 
Many also want some decent levels of muscle too.
 
Here are some suggestions from me to help you with both, be warned however, they are not as easy as you’d think.
 
They play in to the anaerobic nature of training, this will help by creating a large oxygen debt and have a positive effect on not only your VO2 Max, Strength, Calorie Expenditure but also some small increase in EOPC as well.
 
If you want to dig in to this here is a place to start:
 
 
Now it’s time for the suggested sessions 🙂
 
1 – Litvinov’
 
A1 – Front Squat x4-8
A2 – 400-800m sprint
Rest 1-5min, repeat 3 times.
 
I find higher rep front squats are great with double kettlebells, while with a barbell you’re better of sticking to 5 and under.
 
Sprint as in run, however if you have not running track feel free to sub this for rowing, watt bike etc.
 
2 – Flaming Death
 
(No idea where that name came from)
 
A1 – Sand Bag Shoulder Carry (sprint if you can) 30-50m
Drop, swap sides, run rack.
Rest 2min, repeat 5 times.
 
If you don’t have a sandbag that’s cool, just find something awkward to pick up an drop on your shoulder.
 
3 – Tabata Fun
 
A1 – Thrusters: 20seconds on, 10seconds off, 8 times
Rest 2-4min, repeat twice more if your form hold up
 
Double kettlebells work a treat for this, dumbbells are okay, bar is good, awkward objects are awesome, just watch your form. Aim for 4-8 reps per round (20 seconds).
 
4 – Homemade Highland Games
 
A1 – Single Arm Kettlebell Clean & Shoulder Throw x100m (alternating sides)
Rest 2min, repeat 3-5times
 
The single arm clean is easy, it’s the catch that tricks people, here is a nice little video from the Kettlebell Kings explaining how:
 
 
^^ Once you catch the bell here, launch it as far forwards as you can, like a shot-putter would. Repeat alternating arms, start on your weaker side.
 
These can be used as finishers or even stand alone sessions if you really wanted to give them some oomph.
 
All are easy on paper, however in practice you will find this not the case.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Loop Loop Loop

Funny how almost everyone gets stuck in a loop.
 
It’s rather common in the realm of fitness.
 
We go in, do the same movements, with the same loads, the same rest periods, the same tempos, day in, day out, it’s all pretty much the same.
 
Personally I’m quite the fan of sticking with a handful of movements for an extended period of time, however there needs to be some variety in the intensity, sets, reps, cadence, rest and even the execution of the reps.
 
Let’s take 10×10 for example as your rep scheme.
 
There are a few ways you can tweak it, via reps/sets
 
– 5x 2-3-5-10
– 5x 5-10-5
– 10x 5-3-2
– 4 x25
– 10x 3-7
 
Honestly there are a lot of things you can do with sets and reps before we even delve in to rest, tempo and pause reps.
 
Say you have 6 movements that you do regularly, great, you’ll be able to make some progress on these if you apply the ‘same yet different’ philosophy to the aforementioned.
 
I’d suggest changing one of the above every 2-6 weeks in a logical/progressive manor, here is an example with reps/loading.
 
Starting/overall load increases each week
 
Week 1/2: 5x 7-5-3
Week 3/4: 5x 6-4-2
Week 5/6 5×5-3-1
Week 7/8 – back to 7-5-3 with a higher starting load
 
Or if rest is what you fancy playing with.
 
Week 1/2: 3x 7-5-3 – 3min rest between sets
Week 3/4: 3x 7-5-3 – 2min rest
Week 5/6 3x 7-5-3 – 1min rest
Week 7/8 – back to 7-5-3 higher starting load & 3min rest
 
Get the idea?
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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The sun is shining & the cardio is in full swing.

Giving the good turn in the weather many will take to the streets to run, this is cool however not everyone runs well and when done repeatedly it can lead to injuries.
 
If you want to dig in to that more you’ll need to look up the biomechanics of running, perhaps starting here.
 
 
To help you avoid injury here are some other alternatives to running the toys can do to help shift some summer lbs.
 
Here are some of my personal favourites.
 
– Kettlebell Swings
– Skipping
– Loaded Carries
– Complexes (any piece of kit)
 
Now some examples of what you can do with the above.
 
– 10,000 Kettlebell Swings (ala Dan John).
 
500 swings a day, either on their own or with a big lift (presses or chins on alternating days for 3-5 reps in-between sets of swings.)
 
– Intervals on the rope.
 
30/30 is a great little protocol, again ala Dan John (kinda have a bit of a crush on that man).
 
Do 30 seconds of a sprint, 30 seconds skipping slower for recovery, repeat for up to 30 rounds. This is also a cracking protocol for hill sprints or sprints.
 
You’ve also got the option of simply doing a long skip of 30-45min while listening to a PodCast or AudioBook.
 
– Pick up awkward objects and carry them.
 
This is the most primal fat loss option. You can either lift rocks, sand bags, dumbbells or anything you can get your hands on and then walk with if for say 20m, put it down, then walk it back to the start. Do this for 20,30 or perhaps 45min.
 
While it may seem easy on paper it can guarantee you that it will strip fat because it’s not the sort of thing you body easily adapts to.
 
That’s the secret after all, to lose fat effectively you want to pick movements that are inefficient (hard to do and highly calorically demanding), this does’t mean unsafe just to be clear, just not easy.
 
– 4-6 lifts, 4-8reps per lift one after the other, without rest 🤗
 
You can do these with varied bits of kit, you just have to plan the movements logically and pick a weight that is challenging yet not impossible to use.
 
Example: Dumbbell Complex 4-8 reps per movement
 
Burpee (holding DB’s), Swings, Clean, Press, Squat, Renegade Row
 
Example: Barbell
 
Deadlift, Clean, Front Squat, Push Press, Back Squat, Good Morning, Behind Neck Push Press, Bent Over Row
 
Endless options.
 
All of the above are effective for fat loss, you also have many more choices available to you when it comes to hitting some cardio based training, it doesn’t just need to be running.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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3 Choice starting points

The problem isn’t the choice, it’s the fact you’ve got too many and you know it.
 
Morning All,
 
You may have used the excuse “I just don’t know what to do” and while this has some candour to it, there is a certain aspect that people forget to mention.
 
They don’t lack choice, they just don’t know which choice to pick.
 
Don’t believe me?
 
If you claim to not know what training routine, lifting protocol, program to follow or how to put one together all you need do is hop on google and you will find all you need.
 
Now, the issue here is which one to pick.
 
So people are not fibbing when they say they don’t know what to do, they might just be being a tad lazy and would rather be told to do XYZ than find out for themselves, which is fair enough.
 
As such I have three books for you that will take away all of your guess work.
 
They all have solid examples are various routines that you can apply for 6months, a year or perhaps more (depending on your training age).
 
1 – Dinosaur Strength Training – Brooks Kubik
 
^^ any of the series is gold
 
2 – Beyond BodyBuilding – Pavel Tsatsouline
 
3 – WS4SB – by Joe DeFranco
 
^^ Start at part/book 1
 
All in all you just need to have a little faith in not only the program, you have to have it in yourself as well.
 
Even if results are slower than you expect, they’re probably not as slow as you think they are.
 
Progress takes time, a lot of time and that is if you’ve gotten everything dialled in (training, nutrition, recovery, life etc), don’t get dragged in by the endless choices and confused by them, look to one of the books above, pick a protocol and stick with it, milk it for all its worth.
 
I have faith in you, be sure to have some in yourself too.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Doing less, better.

“Inch wide, mile deep”
 
An interesting quote.
 
Many have it in reverse – inch deep, mile wide.
 
I wrote of this before, yet it seems to be sticking in my mind which means something hasn’t been covered or fully understood my end.
 
If you’re ready some of the past posts you will have seen the ones on abbreviated training programs and their effectiveness.
 
The ethos of doing less better.
 
While that style of training won’t put you on the Olympia stage, they will yield a lot of progress and give a robust look that most people would be quite content with. After all, not everyone has the dream of being the absolute Don.
 
You can also apply the principle of “Same yet different”, all you need to is utilise these size movement patters as the base (you’d also do well to train in multiple planes of movement as well – frontal, sagittal, traverse).
 
Push – Pull – Squat – Hinge – Loaded Carry (locomotion) – Full Body
 
You may train 5 days a week, or on a rotating day on day off, perhaps three on one off, it doesn’t matter, you can manipulate things as needed.
 
Here is an example:
 
Day 1 – Push Press & Snatch Grip Deadlift
Day 2 – Squat & Farmer Walks
Day 3 – Snatch
Day 4 – Off
Day 5 – Incline Press & Trap Bar Deadlift
Day 6 – Front Squat & Bent Over Row
Day 7 – Off
 
All for 8×2-3 or 1-2-3-4-5-4-3-2-1 or 5×2-3-5
 
You got a lot of options.
 
The idea of this style of training is to stick to a select few exercises that offer a lot of bang for you buck.
 
You may keep this selection for 4-6 weeks, then adjust them, you may have only one moment per day, it’s up to you.
 
The take home is this.
 
It’s okay to do less, just make sure you do it better.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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A snippet from some late night reading.

Morning All,
 
As per routine there is always 30min of reading before bed, sometimes more.
 
The book that was randomly grabbed was called ‘Beast Tamer
How to Master the Ultimate Russian Kettlebell Strength Challenge’
 
It is geared around completing the Beast Challenge.
 
1x Pistol, Single Arm Press & Chin/Pull Up with a 48kg kettlebell.
 
While looking through some of my old highlights and making newer ones, as you always get more from books when you look at them multiple times, I say this nice simple training protocol.
 
It combines the PTTP/GTG concepts and is remarkably simple.
 
*Power to the People & Grease the Groove*
 
– Living in the Gym
 
It is based on 5 days training per week.
 
Each day you will do the following in the gym.
 
A1 – DL (DL variant) 2×5
B1 – Double Kettlebell Press 2×5
 
You can vary the loads as needed, set in simple progression protocols, perhaps follow the Easy Strength ethos and much more, that is down to your preference/ability/need.
 
That was the PTTP part.
 
As for the GTG, it’s easier on paper than in reality.
 
Every hour perform
 
2-3 Pistols each leg & 2-3 Pull Ups (you can add in 2-3 single arm push ups too if you feel your recovery can handle it.)
 
Now it might not seem like much, however doing 2-3 reps of each every hour, 5 days per week soon build up the volume.
 
In regards to training days you can do Mon-Fri with rest on the weekend, or the variation I tend to give people is Mon-Wed-Rest-Fri-Sat-Rest, this give you the chance if using ES to go heavy more often when feeling strong due to the days off in between.
 
All in all a cracking little protocol.
 
As with anything though you will need to plan in your progressions, vary the loads and track your progress because it’s easy to forget that the idea of this style of daily practice is to progress and become strong without ever feeling like you’re putting in too much effort.
 
If this is something you find interesting, give it a go.
 
I’d also advise getting a hold of the book as well, it’s less than £5 and well worth the investment.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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6 Reasons Front Squats are awesome.

1 – They improve your postural & core strength.
 
2 – Increased sporting/athletic crossover.
 
3 – You get very strong in the upper back doing them.
 
4 – Their self limiting nature keeps your ego in check and your injures reduced. Once your form goes it’s gone, no cheating those reps.
 
5 – Mobility & stability benefits.
 
6 – You’ll finally start to build some impressive legs.
 
If you are looking for some great little resources I would suggest Juggernaut Training, they have some great videos.
 
Here is one to get you started –
 
 
Head Coach Max of JTS is also a mountain of knowledge for these too.
 
By adding these to your training you will yield some great results.
 
You may have some wrist discomfort in the early days, however this goes away once you nail the form, until then, better get practicing.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Why Goldilocks had it right.

I’m sure you’ve all heard or read the story of Goldilocks & the three bears.
 
She essentially goes after what is ‘just right’ in ever situation which is actually very inspired and quite clever.
 
Now it may seem like common sense to want to have what is just right, yet getting there is the issue.
 
Goldilocks didn’t know exactly how, yet she did in the end.
 
So, how did she do it?
 
It wasn’t by stumbling across it by accident.
 
That’s how a lot of people this they will find their own ‘just right’.
 
Oh no, first of all she went too far to one extreme, then way over to the other side in to another extreme, then when she found the middle point it became apparent that this was optimal.
 
Yep, the hidden moral of the story is that you sometimes need to explore the extremes to find the place in-between that is called optimal.
 
This is true for pretty much most things, so much so I will say it again.
 
Explore YOUR extremes then you will be able to know where to find optimal.
 
Take training volume for example; too much will cause you to you burn out or get injured, too little means no progress of even regression. Knowing both can help you find the point where it all comes together nicely and allows you to know how to program for your physiology.
 
Remarkably simple, yet often ignored.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Watch your step

“A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.”
 
That quote has never been more true than it is now.
 
In the world of instant information anyone can spout something that ‘sounds right’ and end up causing a lot of potential harm, especially in training/nutrition.
 
To help you avoid falling in to the trap and also of simply searching for what you want to hear keep these points in mind.
 
– Ask the reason why they think as they do.
 
– Request proof of claim where possible.
 
– Believe that what you know is incorrect and seek out more info instead of a single answer to confirm your bias.
 
Remember that everyone can have an opinion or a view on something, however you’re not to confuse these with facts or truth.
 
Just a short post to keep you thinking.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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