Tag Archives: training

A Training Protocol too simple to hurt as much as it does.

Morning Y’all,
 
Being a little bit of a nerd I personally enjoy the principles behind things not everyone wants that, so why not just get straight to the good stuff 💪
 
Protocol 1 – 6-12-25
 
A classic from Charles Poliquin.
 
Choose three movements.
 
Do a set of 6 for the first, 12 for the second & 25 for the third to fully decimate a muscle group/area.
 
Examples for each movement pattern:
 
Do 2-3 sets of the following with 2-4min rest after A3.
 
Push –
A1 – Weighted Dip x6
A2 – Close Grip Canadian Press x12
A3 – TRX Tiger-Bend x25
 
Pull –
A1 – Weighted Ring Chin Up x6
A2 – T-bar Row x12
A3 – Face Pull x25
 
Squat –
A1 – Front Squat x6
A2 – Squat (close stance, heels raised – cyclist squat) x12
A3 – Duck Stance Leg Press x25
 
Hinge –
A1 – Snatch Grip Deficit Deadlift x6
A2 – RDL x12
A3 – Prone Hamstring Curl (neutral feet) x25
 
If you do this correctly you will find a drop of in loading % of each set after 2, this usually because at our top weights we’ve got 1-2 good sets in us, then things start to fatigue so a reduction in load of 5-10% is sensible.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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McFly wasn’t the only one lacking it…

There is something that all those who give up have in common. 

They lack discipline.

When training is no longer fun, the initial wave of motivation has worn off and they realise their trainer was entertaining them instead of actually training them it can leave many deflated.

Sadly there can be no lessons without a cost. 

Well, unless you heed the words above in which case you’ll save a lot of money and wasted time. 

The shine of training wears off in anywhere from 1-3 years.

Believe it or not this isn’t hyperbole, it’s the truth. 

As such you need to create the habit of discipline.

Like anything it’s a skill and need practice to master. 

Stephen king used to set aside 4 hours to write according to a little book I read based on how he writes. 

Initially this wasn’t his natural ‘flow’ time because such a thing doesn’t just happen on a whim, it’s created. 

There was conscious sacrifice and the reward was skill. 

You see success is about how much you’re willing to give (of yourself) and what you’re willing to give away (creature comforts). 

There is always a price to pay, the question is a can you afford it?

Rather can you afford not to pay it if you truly want to become something more than you currently are, that is the real question here. 

How many times have you given up on something, not because of any cosmic catastrophe or unforeseen circumstance, just because you gave in to the weight of it?

^^ Give this some thought. 

You don’t have to want anything in life, yet if you do then you’ll find having an iron clad discipline will come in handy. 

Enjoy, 

Ross 

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Planned Randomness, an oxymoron worth taking note of.

Recently I’ve been working on some volume in my lifting days (2 per week). 

The first attempts were based around a basic ladder (or pyramid, however you say it) of 1-20 in a superset with another movement performed at a static rep range.

The first few times I tried to complete the full ladder everything went around set 15-17.

In the subsequent attempts a random approach of reps was tried, still use the 1-20, just not in sequential order.

This meant a mixture of set intensities, so 20reps followed by perhaps 17, then 3,6,1,19, allowing for some interesting feelings lifting wise. 

It made hitting the 210 rep total far more enjoyable. 

Selecting random rep numbers each set with a static load can make for quite an interesting training session, all you need do is choose a total amount of reps (or tonnage if that’s your thing) and go for it. 

This means you’re not sticking in the 10-15 rep range, or the 6-8 rep range, although that is indeed an option, you can use whatever rep you like (my aim currently is once solid 5×20 can be done or 3×30 then the load needs increasing).

You can track progress in the following was if you keep the load the same for say 3-5 sessions. 

  • Time taken to hit rep goal
  • Number of higher rep sets utilised
  • Total amount of sets used
  • Your HR during/post (a great forgotten gem to track)

^ When you hit the target you can change the movement variation or increase the load, dealers choice. 

Well worth your time, especially if like myself you’re only lifting two days per week currently.

Here is my current protocol –

Day 1:

A1 – Trap Bar DL – 210 total reps
A2 – Pressing Variation (any) – 100 total reps
B1 – Pulling Variation (any) – 100 total reps – if time provides

Day 2:

A1 – Squatting Variation – 210 total reps
B1 – Pulling variation (any) – 100 total reps
B2 – Pressing Variation (any) – 100 total reps

It’s not fancy, it is however very effective.

Say you don’t hit the rep goals first try, don’t sweat, well do sweat just don’t worry, keep working until you do then perhaps change the variation.

Enjoy, 

Ross 

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The 1 Superpower Y’all Really Want

In my experience if there is one superpower that most women would want it’d be this:
 
To eat /drink as much as they like and never get fat.
 
Which to be fair could be a something most people want.
 
Did you know though that this could be a reality, oh yes, you could have this superpower.
 
Chances are you’ve heard of it in its alias.
 
This is it – Strength & Conditioning.
 
Believe it or not when you train properly and give it a truly worthy effort good things tend to happen.
 
Moving starts to become easier, aches/pains begin to reside and your mentality improves too.
 
Your nutrition improves due to your body demanding higher qualities of nutrient sources.
 
Muscle mass increases as your strength does, this then in tern leads to high force/power outputs and when combined with legitimate aerobic work that build a formidable work capacity you’ve got a near perfect storm for longevity.
 
The price you’d need to pay for this would merely be effort and consistency.
 
You see when you get some solid years of training under your belt that takes you physically to decent levels of physical strength & work capacity, you will have created a massive reserve in your body for the consumption of calories.
 
While it’s true your body will send you after higher quality ones first and foremost, you will find that when you do suddenly fancy a cake or few cheeky beverages of an alcoholic nature they don’t even make a dent anymore, in fact they’d barely register.
 
Yet the biggest things you’d notice is that the cravings for the poorer quality food/drink would diminish.
 
Habits would change as your health improves,both physical and mental.
 
Remember though, effort and consistency would be required.
 
Now you’ve had this knowledge exposed what will you do with it?
 
Do you want to be what many would consider to be a physical superhero, or do you perhaps want something else?
 
You should investigate this thoroughly.
 
While you do that here are two simple sessions that you can rotate in a 3 day per week training system.

300-200-100:
 
You can rotate these for added spice, be warned though, it can be brutal.
 
Session 1 – Swings x300, Hill Sprints x200 seconds, Dips x100

Session 2 – Squat x300, Loaded Carries x200 seconds, Pull Ups x100

Session 3 – Swings x200, Hill Sprints x100 seconds, Dips x300
Session 4- Squat x200, Loaded Carries x100 seconds, Pull Ups x300

Session 5 – Swings x100, Hill Sprints x300 seconds, Dips x200

Session 6- Squat x100, Loaded Carries x300 seconds, Pull Ups x200


 
*Higher rep targets (200-300) can have substitutes.
 
Try and do 50 of these sessions in total if you need somewhere to start (feel free to change up the movement variations as you see fit). .
 
Now this would be very basic S&C, literally scratching the surface however training more productive than what the majority of people are currently doing.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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How to Keep Clients Motivated

A question from many a new and even seasoned trainer is this:
 
“How do you keep your clients accountable & motivated once external factors/events have ceased?”
 
*Skip to the bottom for 3 key point to this question*
 
A truly great question with only one answer –
 
You can’t.
 
Sad as it seems you personally can’t force extrinsic, internal or consistent desire/purpose onto a person, they must choose it for themselves.
 
Alas when a person no longer wants what they want, it’s over.
 
That ship has sailed and won’t returning to port anytime soon because they’ve gotten what they needed from that little endeavour.
 
One thing you can do as a trainer/coach is to find out what it did for them mentally and emotionally.
 
You see knowing a persons emotional triggers is key.
 
Very few have the mental capacity to do things for the long term or the the greater good at the sacrifice of current and even foreseeable comfort, people are just too weak.
 
Harsh as that sounds it’s more often the case than many would admit.
 
We give up on something because it no longer fulfils an emotional need that demands satiating.
 
Motivation is fleeting.
 
Delving into the realms of neurotransmitters you will find that people are saying it’s because of seeking a hit of dopamine, which might be true, however there could also be a serotonin hit, or GABA rise and perhaps it’s more along the lines of and adrenaline hit.
 
Truth is you just don’t know, we just don’t know.
 
It’s all educated guess work without having someones vitals, bloods and serum levels constantly checked after every smalls action.
 
The best we can do is observe a persons patterns.
 
Everyone has a pattern, one that follows the trigger-action-reward flow (or cue-craving-response-reward, it’s all the same thing essentially, just with different semantics).
 
This is one of inherent flaws with goal setting.
 
Often times it’s based on a short term reward and thus the suffering or perceived pain is minimal and outweighed for the time being, so people can stick to something until they get what they ‘want’.
 
Once that is gone though they will return to old habits because nothing has changed, they haven’t grown as a person, if anything they’ve simply reinforced a poor behaviour that means when they feel bad all they need to is a little of XY or Z to feel better, then they can return to the status quo for another few months of years.
 
Much like an abusive relationship that people stay in.
 
They’re choosing to be there, you can’t get them out because they don’t want to leave as there is something they’re getting from it, a feeling, something they will never admit they want/need/enjoy from it all.
 
^^Sick as that sounds it’s more true than I’d like it to be.
 
To help people stay motivated is not the key to change.
 
A desire to change is.
 
Obvious as it sounds it is.
 
Yet you’ll need to know why someone would want to change emotionally, this means delving into how bad they feel about a situation or themselves.
 
From here it will be about finding out how they want to feel, then way they don’t feel they deserve to feel that way and constantly self sabotage themselves.
 
You can even be direct and ask someone this –
 
Why don’t you want to feel better in yourself?
 
What keeps you in the place you’re currently in and why choose to stay here?
 
Obviously you’ll get all the excuses, some will be logical yet they’re still excuses at the end of the day, however they can all yield understanding and that is what you need to help people.
 
To keep someone ‘motivated/accountable’ is akin to trying to ice-skate up hill, not impossible just really difficult.
 
Instead of trying to create change with insignificant carrots you might needs a significant stick instead.
 
We are more likely to move away from great pain than towards small pleasure.
 
This doesn’t mean bullying people, it does however mean being strong enough in yourself to be honest with people and take the brunt of their resistance (it will be hostility towards you, and potentially even nasty personal attacks).
 
You see before you can help change people you’d first do well to know yourself, like really know yourself.
 
Would you be willing to air all your dirty laundry?
 
All those times you felt like absolute worthless shit?
 
Perhaps even the time you climbed a tree rope in hand and subsequently hand the branch snap and send you tumbling to the floor (yes, the impact and mud brought things into perspective).
 
When a new client comes to you you need to delve deeply.
 
Find out what is really going on mentally & emotionally.
 
Also remember that some people don’t want to change or help themselves, they just want a quick fix to not feel like shit for a while – basically this is 95% of PT and how PT’s run their business, it’s all about the short term.
 
Despite saying they care for people and want to help in reality they just want a pay cheque, and this is cool, however don’t claim benevolent words or to be something you’re not.
 
If money is your goal, be honest about it.
 
If people are what really matter then be prepared to be financially poor for quite a while, on the plus side you’ll be spiritually rich because helping would be your payment.
 
Anyway, that’s a little irrelevant and I’ve begun to ramble, again.
 
Here are three things to remember to keep people moving forwards:
 
1 – Their ‘motivation’ has to be deeply emotional.
2 – Long term change wants to be the focus.
3 – Don’t pander to their bullshit/excuses, nip those int he bud immediately otherwise you’ll lose any chance for real change.
 
Any further questions please leave them below.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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WTH?

Well, shit 😂😂😂
 
Yesterday was down to be an H-Day training wise for me.
 
^^ This meant pushing the numbers to see how close to the target I was.
 
The initial H-Day was done 8 sessions ago.
 
I hit 54 reps out of 75 with a pair of 32kg bells in the KB double rack squat.
 
While nothing Earth shattering in regards to loading, it was the best option now the injuries (accidental) were healed, plus not being near a gym it made logical sense.
 
Off of the 54 reps there were L/M-Days programmed:
 
L-Day: 21 total reps with 2x32kg bells (40% of H-Day reps)
M-Day: 36 total reps with 2x32kg bells (70% of H-Day reps)
 
^^ I alternated these session to session, with either ladders of 1-2-3-4-5-6, 3-4×3 and 1-2-3 for the L-Day and each medium day ended up being 2-4-6×3.
 
These were done every 3 days.
 
So not really pushing the envelope too much, just getting in volume slowly and focusing on the tension, speed and form of each set/reps.
 
Yesterday came the ladder test which had the goal of 5×1-2-3-4-5.
 
I choose to super-set this with pull ups just because.
 
In 44min all 75reps had been done with minimal rest, no from breakdown, in fact as I became deeper into the sets/reps the form got better, stronger and kept increasing in RFD.
 
A classic WTH (what the hell) effect.
 
it’s funny how little we can do and really make good progress.
 
Now that target has been hit there is a choice to be made.
 
Take up my own challenge of the ‘5 a Day’ or go for another block of the above with 2x40kg bells.
 
Since I’ve not done any bar work I may opt for the ‘5 a day’ then once that is done go back to the KBs, after all there is no rush.
 
How often do you get a WTH-effect in your training?
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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A New Challenger Appears

Next year I offer a basic challenge.
 
There are two parts though, the first is all about trust.
 
To give yourself over to the process can be hard, while the rewards are often to be found at the place where X marks the spot, we must get there first.
 
Knowing the destination help the journey.
 
This being better health, mental fortitude, increased lean body mass and much more.
 
Technical as this is ^^ it doesn’t really mean anything to a lot of people.
 
Thus this is the real destination –
 
‘Feeling comfortable & confident in your own self, it’s the first step to being happier.’
 
This can translate to looking at yourself without even the notion of grabbing your problem area like you repeatedly do currently.
 
Mentally being abel to smile with inside and out because you can have pride in the life changes you make.
 
Gaining strength to shrug off comments and let them wash over you because you’ll no longer give people the power to make you feel bad as you realise only you can allow people to hurt you with words or put you down.
 
While people may try (and they will), you can let them and simply refuse the permission they seek to have you accept their words and feel bad, remember that they’re trying to give you their negative feelings and all their own self doubt.
 
Instead of accepting it, understand they’re hurting and let them say their piece, offer kindness back, seek not their approval, seek your own.
 
Apologies, I’m rambling again.
 
Here’s the preview for those astute enough to check here.
 
Part 1 – Building Neurological Strength
 
– Choose 5 lifts/movements
– Each session 5 total sets of 5 are performed*
– You lift 5 days per week
– Always leave the gym feeling fresh, strong
– 20 session is the commitment, strength is the outcome
 
The purpose of this is to have you become more ‘wired’ and create stronger circuits so that you can go from 0-60 fast.
 
*By 5 total sets that means 1 working set of 5 reps per lift.
 
^^ Yes, only 1×5, no ramping lifts, you simply load up and lift for a set of five reps.
 
While you can play with the loading as you see fit the idea is to gain effortless strength and because you’ve only got one set you’d had better make it count.
 
This is a tactic I’ve used with people who compete in various sports or have hobbies that need strength yet also require them to accumulate as little fatigue as possible as not to negatively affect their hobby/sport/life.
 
You may also find that the above seem scary.
 
Almost like it isn’t enough to make real progress on, thus the emption to do more will creep in, you just resist this call.
 
Now you may be wondering about how to load the above, where are you meant to start?
 
There are two ways you can know what weights to use.
 
1 – in the first week of Jan test the fist movements/lifts you pick, work up to a ‘sorta max’ (gym max that has crips form), from this you’d be looking to effortless lift 40-60% of this for 5 with a little prep as possible.
 
^^ Like in real life we don’t always get to have a full RAMP to a heavy load, the higher your base strength and neurological firing ability becomes the more it will serve you.
 
2 – Use an RM calculator, then take 40-60% from the estimated 1RM.
 
Here would be my choices – Barbell Only
 
– Deadlift (double overhand)
– Power Clean
– Press (overhead)
– Front Squat
– Ab Rollout
 
^^You can pick whatever you want literally anything.
 
Personally I won’t use any extensive warm ups for the above and here is why….
 
The exercise order.
 
A deadlift is a basic human movement, while not the most technically complex it will serve to potentiate (RAMP) the body for the rest.
 
While one set of five may not seem like much, it’s enough.
 
Thinking about increasing your weights slowly and without struggle is the goal, this means not grinding or missed reps.
 
As well as forging stronger neurological pathways (strength-skill, lifting skill), you will also learn to listen to your body, to auto-regulate (also known as cybernetic periodisation in older writing).
 
Knowing when to push, when to back off and more importantly how to let go of your ego.
 
The above is just 4 weeks of your life, not take a leap faith?
 
Part 2, that lasts longer and is far more to most peoples liking, however to get to part two part one is a must.
 
Will you be joining me on January 6th 2020 to start the above?
 
If yes, great, if not that’s cool too.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Odd Training for Optimisation.

Your body is a fascinating machine, capable of many wondrous things, yet you park it behind a desk and allow it to slowly rust into oblivion.

Why?

The sign of youth is the ability to run, jump, throw, climb, tumble and turn with ease.

All things I know a great many adults have already lost.

Now these are not even older adults either, they’re people in their 30’s, this is truly shocking.

To grow old chronologically is inevitable.

To grow old physically is optional.

You have the choice to train in such a way that keeps you not only feeling younger, moving like you did in your 20’s or perhaps even when you were a sprightly 18year old again, it can also knock 10 years of your physical appearance (often more).

How can you achieve this with Odd Training?

Easy, all you need to do is to run, jump, throw, climb, tumble and turn daily.

The gym is a temple to me, I love it and all things training related on a deeply personal level, however I’m not so blind as to see it’s limitations and dogma.

Much like the narrow minded view of the Jedi.

All of your training doesn’t need to be body building, or powerlifting, or weightlifting, or CrossFit, or Endurance Races and all other ilk that is just ‘common’ gym practice.

While they are all great tools, they’re just tools.

Plus they can become very dull very quickly.

Taking the above in hand here is an example of the Odd Training touched on, this is a 3 day apr week protocol –

Day 1 –
A1 – Sprint 200-400m (vary distance & RAMP pace) x20min
^ Include drills like leg skips, clawing the floor etc.

B1 – Kettlebell Singel Arm Swing x10
B2 – Tame the Arc Clean x5
B3 – Kettlebell Shot-put Throw x1
^ Rest 60sec, alternate arms each set for 20min

C1 – Movement Patterns – Crawling x20min

Day 2 –
A1 – Wall/Bound/Step Jumps (single or double leg) x20min
^ Start off with short distances, stick the landings and jump in multiple directions.

B1 – Sandbag Clean & Throw Over Shoulder x10 (5L/R)
B2 – Sandbag TGU x1 (L/R sides)
B3 – Rolling Pistol Squat x20 (10L/R)
^ Rest 2-3min, repeat for 20min

C1 – Climbing (anything you can find) x20min

Day 3 –
A1 – Hammer/Discus Throw x20min
^ Use a light load half turn/step, alternatively use a small plate, KB, med-ball etc, just keep it light (less than 4kg)

B1 – Clean x1
B2 – Push Press x3-5
B3 – Squat (front, back or overhead) x3-5
^ Keep rest to a minimum, use any kit you like (bar, KB, DB, sandbag, a person, etc), repeat for 20min

C1 – Tumbling x20min
^ Driving forward rolls, teddybear rolls, backward rolls, basically play like a child does, just take it easy and only do that which your body allows you, over time you can take this up a notch.

Looking at the above, how much of it do you do?

This training is not that which you’ll often see because people are scared of it because they’ve grown old mentally.

Think of it this way, if you can reach 70 years young and have absolutely no fear of falling over because it’s something you CHOOSE to do 2-3 days per week you’ll never be one of those people who says –

“I’ve had a fall.”

Dare to be different, age is as much a state of mind as it is degradation of your body, however it can only happen if you allow it.

Time to decide what is more important.

The Longevity & Health of the Young, or sitting on your ass growing old, weak and round.

You should investigate this thoroughly.

In the end though the choice is yours, just remember whatever you do choose to do start off slow with thing and build up over time.

Enjoy,
Ross

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I Renounce You

“Intent, that’s the key. Pouring your soul fully into your endeavour.
 
Greatness is there to be taken not by who’s strongest but by who’s left.
 
You see you don’t need to be born great to survive, you just need to survive to become great in the end.” – Unknown
 
How long have you been training now?
 
All in all my end it’s been over 20years.
 
20 years… Man, that’s a long time.
 
Looking back at all the skills that’ve been gained, lost, mastered and even forgotten, it’s quite something.
 
Lifting have been a staple for 15years, the goals changing from that of endurance based work for better sustained strength in a fight, to bone crushing raw strength for the platform and a single rep.
 
All the training has had a place, all has had it’s flaws or rather it’s exposed my flaws many times over.
 
There have been times of great progress and more of lacklustre lulls.
 
One lesson that has been learned through great resistance is that you must give away that which you desire willingly, then move forwards and you’ll find eventually that which you gave away comes back when the time is ready and you reap the rewards of that sacrifice tenfold.
 
We try so hard for so long.
 
Eventually we let go of our ego and resign ourselves to whatever may happen and in that moment we finally learn how to learn.
 
Often the process isn’t pleasant, it isn’t enjoyable and we don’t love it as people claim. In fact we hate it so passionately we can’t live without it.
 
We refuse it’s gift as long as we can.
 
Eventually though we become ready to let it teach, guide and carry us down the river to the place we need to be, and while that might not be the pace we’d like to be, it’s often the one that is most necessary for us to grow.
 
To break through your limits you must first acknowledge them.
 
None of this ‘anything is possible bullshit’.
 
Somethings are not meant for us until we accept this truth, we may only be able to achieve second tier heights in some areas that is just life, yet it’s not about trying to master everything.
 
It’s about knowing that which you can master.
 
While it might not be what you think, want or would like to be the arbiter of, it will be the one thing you truly master and command with complete serenity and no one else will ever come close.
 
You have to be willing to give yourself to the void.
 
Musashi Miyamoto knew this, that’s why he called it –
 
‘The Way’
 
When you’re ready to relinquish all to the above, you might just find it too.
 
Ross

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Focus on the 20% to achieve 80%

When you’re options are limited, you’ll soon realise what’s worth the effort.
 
In a training sense that is.
 
These days the gym has become the place where we will artificially get some external stress to help us adapt to become stronger, more resilient and generally better at being human.
 
As a species we need a few things from a physical aspect.
 
– Movement Capability
– Lifting Strength
– Cardiovascular Ability
 
We could argue for more, however those are some staples.
 
Movement capability simply means being able to crawl, climb, walk, run, jump, and essentially retain that which we gained as a child as we learned to move.
 
Lifting wise we need to pick thing up, carry them for distance and perhaps press them overhead.
 
Cardiovascular ability essentially equates to being abel to walks for hours on end, run when needed without getting winded and occasionally sprint after or away form something.
 
You can easily achieve all of the above in your training.
 
Day 1 – Movements – Crawling/Climbing (25-45min)
Day 2 – Strength – Hinge/Press/Carry (3-5×3-5)
Day 3 – Conditioning – Fartlek (25-45min)
Day 4 – Off
Repeat
 
So damn simple.
 
You’d do well not to try and combine the methods though, while you can it will yield sub maximal results in all, whereas when you focus on just one trend each day you will achieve the sufficient amount of overload (hopefully) to adhere to GAS.
 
Take a look at your training, how much is fluff?
 
I’m betting at least 80%.
 
Cute the fluff, focus and doing less better and achieve the progress you deserve.
 
Enjoy,
Ros

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