Tag Archives: training

One for all the SuperMum’s

Mid Morning Mum’s entering in droves with what looks like and endless amount of strollers, buggies and prams.
 
It’s like watching vultures circle as they scope out the coffee shop for a table 😂
 
They might be smiling, however it’s not a smile that says –
 
“Hey, how are you.”.
 
It’s closer to one that says –
 
“Oh, hi, I see you’re finished with tis table even though you’re not. K, thanks, bye.”
 
And now the kids are kicking off crying…. 🤦‍♀️
 
Mum’s truly are superhero’s doing everything they do.
 
I’ve literally just watched one do to much count, 11 things simultaneously, it was very impressive and if I’m honest a little scary.
 
I can barely pee without missing if my concentration drifts, let alone do that many things at once.
 
Mum’s, we salute you.
 
Speaking of these glorious warriors, one topic I often end up engrossed in conversation with them about is getting their pre-baby body back.
 
^^ While not a goal for all of them, it’s a really common one.
 
First things first, having a baby is quite the strenuous experience on the body and utilises a considerable amount of ones resources.
 
True enough some come out fairing better than others, however that’s more a case of individual difference, prior exercise/fitness levels and overall health so if you don’t bounce back straight away don’t stress, it’s okay to take several months to no longer feel like you’ve had your ass kicked.
 
So, how long can ‘getting back’ take?
 
The truth is you can’t get that body back, it’s gone and trying to go backwards just isn’t possible because of the one obvious truth many forget, they’ve just had a baby.
 
The only way to get the body you had back would be to go back in time.
 
So instead of thinking “I need to get back to this.”, think instead about moving forwards to something new and improved 🤗
 
Many will think about going backwards.
 
While an understandable mindset it’s not a healthy one because some end up linking their identity, worth, confidence and overall sense of self to what they were before the little bundle of joy came along.
 
I get it you know, why this train of thought occurs.
 
Tis’ simply because many don’t know any different, and that’s okay however some re-education is needed.
 
Personally I’d always advise hiring someone who specialises in the pre/post-natal field so that you can get the most current, useful and relevant information based on YOUR specific needs and situation.
 
^^ Some have more separation than other, or major hormone disruption, perhaps even joint dislocation and prolonged elevated levels of relaxin, so you’d do well to consult a professional.
 
Another key element to keep in mind is that there’s no need to rush back to a new physical peak.
 
True enough some seem to get there within 8 week post baby, it happens and unless it’s you then you’d do well not to compare yourself to an entirely different human being.
 
So just keep that in mind.
 
From experience there is also not a lot of time for some people, this can lead to all sorts of unwanted stress and is why it’s worth knowing that there is no rush to move forwards.
 
The gym/training mentality if that you NEED to do 60min.
 
Rubbish.
 
You’d be far better off doing 20min sessions daily (you can them mix CV work one day, Strength work another, Movement capability the next and so on).
 
Moving away from conventional wisdom is key here.
 
Just like the little one taking baby steps to build up ones health, strength and fitness is the most optimal way forwards.
 
Doing so will be incredibly manageable and therefore far easier to sustain consistently because even the busiest Super-Mum can find 20min a day for herself to train.
 
Oh, alos as tempting as the glass of wine might be at the end of the say of when babe is asleep, if you’re looking to move forwards a daily glass (or bottle) could be quit ehe heavy anchor dragging behind you, just something worth remembering.
 
^^Same is true for delicious foods, by all means have them, however just remember the more that is consumed the heavier that anchor behind you becomes.
 
Enjoy,
Ross
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DNA, going beyond your excuses

Last night sported a rather good conversation among some of my fellow training partners.
 
The subject drifted to nutrition and the classic ‘find what works for you.’.
 
Did you know you don’t have to find out via trial and error, you can take a test based on your DNA and find out exactly what your body best responds to and depending how much you’re willing to invest potentially sensitivities and a whole dos too other information as well.
 
We live in a truly amazing world.
 
When in history has someone literally starting out of a journey of health improvement had access to such information?
 
Never is the answer.
 
Before people bitch about cost, it will be between £90-250.
 
People waste that kind of money on Skinny Tea, C9, and a lot of other bullshit, so investing it in a DNA/genetics related test for your health is well worth it.
 
The funny thing is while discussing it I could already hear all the responses people would have.
 
By responses I mean childish moaning and excuses.
 
Let me expand for a second.
 
Say you take said genetic test to know your optimal nutrition protocol (you’d also work with someone to really dial it in), one of the results says that you’re not very tolerant to one of your favourite foods and realistically you might want to curb your enthusiasm for indulging in it as you do.
 
“But…. But… I can’t live without it. Blah Blah Blah.”
 
*Face Palm.
 
The point is you can literally have something written on paper for a specific individual that is 99% what works for them and if it goes against what they WANT to hear/be told they will oppose it, make excuses and act like a child.
 
So these days I just sit and think –
 
“Do you know what, fuck it. You’re not going to listen so I’m not going to waste my time with you because I’m just too tired for the bullshit now.”
 
You see no matter what you can prove to people or how good your intentions are to help them, unless it fits what they want they won’t listen or be willing to make a change.
 
Such madness.
 
Yet that is something that you’re 100% entitled to.
 
So my good people who stick out and read my ramblings (I really do appreciate it you know), if you could have every answer for the questions you want to ask would you really want them?
 
Your clients and people you work with will only want the answers they want (of the most part), just keep this in mind.
 
Anyway I’m off rolling.
 
Enjoy,
Ross
 
***If you want to delve in to the DNA stuff look up these guys: https://www.dnafit.com
 
^^What you get is very eye opening and actually spot on, even if you don’t want it to be, it really is.
 
(I speak from experience on this one as I did it just to see and by jove it was all correct – years of medicals and hospital trips to back it up so I can confirm the info is solid).

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To become a Giant, Giant Sets are the answer.

***Old School Wisdom***
 
“You can train hard or long, not both.”
 
This is pretty much true for the majority of people.
 
You might find some genetic freak beasts that can do both however for the rest of us mortals we need to make the choice between putting in a gargantuan effort or a marathon time.
 
Personally I’d pick intensity.
 
Just because you’ll find that often those who are forced to do less better tend to be those who you aspire to be like.
 
As such I’ve got a little gem of training advice for you.
 
Giant Sets.
 
Defined as 4+ exercises for the same muscle group with no rest in-between each movement/exercise until you’ve finished all of them.
 
Here is an example:
 
A1 – Sumo DL x4-6
A2 – Weighted Pull Up x4-6
A3 – RDL x6-8
A4 – Pull Up x6-8
A5 – Rope Pull Through x8-12
A6 – Neutral Grip Pull Up x8-12
A7 – Reverse Fly to failure
A8 – DB Curl to failure
Rest 3-5 min, repeat 2-3 more times.
 
Just lovely.
 
Brutally hard, however lovely all the same.
 
Say this was going to be in a training session I might suggest that someone warms up by doing some barbell cleans and movement flow work.
 
Cleans might ramp up to say a heavy double or triple, perhaps 6-8 total sets and have some crawling pattering after each set.
 
Once that is done (say 15min) you go on to the giant set.
 
They are great time savers and they allow you to work a multitude of rep ranges and according to some (Dr Hatfield & cohorts) it allows you to tax each muscle fibre sufficiently for maximal progress.
 
Personally while I do like that style I’d say in the early days of applying this perhaps stick with a gaol based rep range.
 
Strength = <6 reps, so sets of 2-3, 3-4, 3-5, 4-6 etc.
Hypertrophy = 6-20 reps
Endurance = 15> reps
 
That way the metabolic effect will be largely focused on the same energy system and overall outcome.
 
Once you play with this for a while you will know what rep ranges you can combine based on the movements you use.
 
A good split to follow would be as follows:
 
Day 1 – Pressing
Day 2 – Posterior Chain
Day off
Day 3 – Legs
Day off
Repeat Day 1.
 
You can also set up two giant sets per training session however I’d then limit the total amount of giant sets to 2-3 and perhaps the amount of movements to say 6.
 
Give it some thought.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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5 simple things you should be able to do

How much time do you spend crawling around on the floor or climbing things?
Once upon time the rising fame of Ido Portal took hold.
People across the globe found themselves moving.
This stuck around and is still going strong yet the overall notoriety of it and chatter has diminished, the big question is why?
From an experienced eye it would be this; ego.
While moving is easy enough and there are plenty of regressions that can be put in place the average person doesn’t like feeling stupid, unable to do something or weak.
Supporting your weight on your hands/feet and being in a quadrupedal stance is very humbling for many.
It is at this point the realise the exact place they’re in when compared to someone like Ido who is essentially a movement god.
Sadly knowing just how far you’ve slipped down the ladder of being able to move is a massive hit to a lot of people.
I remember talking to someone about this.
My standpoint is simple: most general movement/exercises are not difficult it’s just that the average person is very unconditioned (weak, overweight, immobile).
^^ This clearly caused offence, even if objectively true for the level of person we were discussing people sadly get too caught up in ‘feelings’.
All of this is only in reference to being on your hands and feet simultaneously, you’ve then got having three, two or one limb on the floor and that is where things really get interesting.
Some will say that as the complexity increases things become more advanced and yet when you see children doing such things without a care in the world can you really say that?
(Obviously there are advanced movements, however in regards to the average person and their ability what is being asked is literally at ‘baby’ level of crawling capability)
Then we have the giant slayer that can tripped a persons mindset.
Climbing a rope without the use of ones legs.
Something we should be able to do, yet many can’t, that should tell you something about the state of the world.
Believe it or not I do understand how it makes people feel.
You know, not being able to do things.
To many it makes them feel like a ‘lesser’ person.
Judged, ridiculed and all the other shameful feelings that are linked together.
The interesting thing with shame and it’s many faces is this; no one can make you feel ashamed unless it’s something that you already feel/believe.
Seriously, I’m sure you know someone who had all the shit thrown at them, people endlessly trying to shame and bring them down, yet they simply shook it off and were not phased by it.
The reason why is simple, to them they had nothing they felt ashamed of or that they need to feel shamed by.
Shame it like guilt, it can’t be forced on you, it’s something you have to allow someone to put on you.
Anyway, back to movement.
Can you do these 5 basic things:
– Climb a rope without using your legs 5-10m
– Bear Crawl unbroken for 50m
– Duck walk 50m unbroken
– Bound Jump your own height along the floor
– Sit in a deep squat for 5min without struggle
Nothing earth shattering or out of the realms of possibly for all people.
Give them a go, once you’ve gotten your confidence from finding out you can do them all try to add just moving to your training.
Start off with 10min per day.
You never know, you might just fall in love with it.
Enjoy,
Ross

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Quotes are well meaning however…

“Do what makes you happy.”

As good as that quote sounds, it’s not very logical 😂

In regards to training I have to admit that it’s far better for someone to train in a way they enjoy because it will be far more sustainable in the long run.

That being said, if the specific goal they have requires specific styles of training that they don’t enjoy then we have a problem.

Personally my view is that how you feel, perform and look will be the result of your lifestyle & training.

They are all interlinked byproducts.

For example; you might be an endurance athlete who can smash endless miles yet your body doesn’t reflect this amazing ability due to the fact you drink like a fish.

Same is true for people who seems themselves as body builders that train like demons and eat like hippos, they may fill out a T-shirt yet it’s mostly wth fat instead of lean mass.

We are the product of our choices.

Thus my question to you lovely people.

Does your health, performance & aesthetic reflect your life choices?

More specifically do those three things reflect what you want or not?

Many wish for more, yet refuse to change to allow it to happen.

A little word of advice before we go.

If you wish to be a certain way then look to those who have that which you seek and do what they do because the mantra of ‘find what works for you’ isn’t as useful as you might think.

Instead just find what works and do that thing.

Give it some thought.

Enjoy,
Ross

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An odd little protocol that’s good for strength & conditioning.

If general physical fitness is your goal then you’ll like this.
W/U – Antagonist to your main lift
A1 – Main lift
C/D – Movement Flow
Yep, just three things to do.
You can have a super set of A1/A2 if you like as that also works well.
Here is a little example based on something I did recently with the above.
W/U – Kettlebell Clean & Press – 3-5 reps, 10min
A1 – Deadlift x 5,5,5,5,5,3,3,3,2,2, 20min
C/D – Sandbag Carry & Lizard Crawl (10-20m each), 10min
^^ I tend to stretch or do corrective work while listening to a podcast/watching a seminar in dead time.
You might be wandering what this is all about: 5,5,5,5,5,3,3,3,2,2.
Put simply it is working up to a heavy double with a wavy loading scheme, here is how mine looked doing double overhand sumo DL the other day.
All in KG – 100,130,110,140,120,150,130,160,140,170
Rest was not timed just enough to feel ready and change the plates around.
The W/U & C/D served as extra volume and covered the rest of the body movement wise.
You could run the above 3-5 days per week, I’d go for 3 starting out because you’re training full body each session when you look at it.
The main lift will have a top set of 5-3-2 so pick some lifts you want to improve on, oh and you can keep it the same each time if you wish, I plan on having DL be the main lift each time due to a knee injury and inability to squat without pain.
Try to have some fun with your training, you’l find it’s easier to stay consistent that way.
Enjoy,
Ross

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Expectations vs Reality

Do you know what is actually achievable from training?
 
In our modern odd world it’s easy to have the lines blurred.
 
Growing up with classic 80’s, early 90’s cartoons and action stars such as Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Lindgren, Van-damme, Lee, plus a boat load of other physical specimens it’s easy to see why the world has some distorted views.
 
I shared a book with a close friend recently.
 
This book was apparently quite eye opening to him.
 
Of course over the years I had tried to convey many of the messages found in said book yet they all fell on deaf ears.
 
The combination of body dysmorphia, unrealistic expectations and wrapped social media/movie/anime images had set quite the distorted image of what was real and what wasn’t.
 
The book is ‘Your Muscular Potential’ by Dr Casey Butt.
 
A very good read for those looking to lift the veil, you’ll potentially enjoy his website too as it contains all the calculators mentioned in his book:
 
 
Believe it or not you might be near your maximum muscular potential, that is if you’re of a decent level of leanness.
 
Filling out a t-shirt is easy when your fat so if size if your prize you might do well to ask yourself this; is it legitimate lean mass and size I’m after or just being big due to being fat?
 
^^ Food for thought.
 
Beware of what you follow in the world wide web.
 
You might be being lead astray.
 
Once you learn what is realistic and what isn’t (without ‘enhancement’) you’ll find quite the weighty stress removed from your shoulders.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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3 Reasons why you DON’T need to find what works for you.

📜📜📜
 
You’ve probably heard someone say, or perhaps said yourself the immortal line of:
 
“Find what works for you/me” 🤔
 
While the sentiment is good this is more detrimental that it is useful when people are starting out because well at the beginner level you don’t know your ass from your elbow.
 
Sometimes literally…..
 
(I’ve known some rather unique people)
 
As such I’m going to give you some easy to understand reasons as to why finding what works for you doesn’t ever really find what works for you.
 
1 – Inconsistency & an excuse to give up 📜
 
First and foremost this attitude makes people as flakey as well cooked pastry.
 
Since they are trying to find their own unique style of training that is 100000% best for them they never stick at anything and instead pick training based on an emotional whim.
 
Often going for the shiny new method or what their bias sends them towards.
 
Ironically even if they do find what works for them it ends up working so well they stop and try something els because there must be something better out there which will get ever more results in a shorter time 🤦‍♀️
 
2 – Successful people follow a plan 📜
 
The reason so many programs have a generic ‘cookie cutter’ approach is because they’re based on the collective data from the majority.
 
Yes that means you.
 
Most of us fall in to that realm of just being ‘one of the many’, much to the dismay to the snowflakes of each generation.
 
Think of it this way, if you attend a Yoga class you follow the poses/flows and while minor adjustments are made to progress in the long run you follow the program and what is tough to you.
 
Same goes for martial arts, learning to paint, or anything else in life really.
 
Pretty much every person who achieves a level of success followed the wisdom and way of someone else until they understand enough about the basics and the underpinning principles to move forwards on their own.
 
True enough for some his too merely months to master, for others it took decades.
 
^^ You’d do well to live with the notion that you’re closer to the latter than the former.
 
3 – It’s an easy copout 📜
 
Did you know it’s far easier to tell someone to ‘find what works for them’ than it is to sit them down and try to have an objective conversation because most people just aren’t ready for that level of truth/depth.
 
True story. 🤗
 
Most people want to know what they want to know and already feel they know.
 
Take fat loss for example, if I was to tell you the most optimal way was to lift weights and adjust nutrition many would not like that answer.
 
As such they’d go off elsewhere until the found an answer that was acceptable to them.
 
This is what ‘finding what works for you’ gives to people.
 
Believe it or not we are not that unique, not really, and thinking we are is just the height of hubris.
 
Many have to earn the right tot truly program/train differently.
 
There are very few exceptions to this.
 
So there you have it, 3 reasons why instead of trying to find what works for you you’d be better off trying to focus on finding what works for the majority and going from there.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Your Personal Fountain of Youth

The fountain of eternal youth really does exist.
 
It just might not be what you think it is though.
 
Many picture it as some grand structure with overflowing waters that are of the purest quality.
 
Some see it as something small, humble and little more than a tiny water flow in something akin to a birds drinking fountain.
 
Both are admirable visions, however here is what it really looks like –
 
Your Posterior chain 🍑
 
Yep, all the muscles that cover the back of your body (the ones you can’t see standing head on in the mirror).
 
A strong posterior chain is responsible for solid structure, stability, strength power and it trained well will often covet this phrase for both ladies & gents:
 
“Look at that ass” 🤤🤤🤤
 
If you take a look at anyone in their more senior years you’ll notice that have poor posture, struggle to move quickly and pretty much everything is sagging.
 
Let’s be honest for a second and admit that no one wants this to happen to themselves.
 
It’s not shallow to value your physique, your overall health and want to retain a youthful stature well in to your 70’s.
 
Well maybe you do think it’s shallow however that’s your choice.
 
Personally I’d rather keep as much muscle (especially in my posterior chain) as I can for as long as possible, not only because of aesthetic reasons, for health and longevity reasons too.
 
Ask yourself, why does it change from:
 
“They fell over.” to “They had a fall.”
 
If you are weak and old then a fall can literally mean death for you, perhaps not from the fall itself, rather from your inability to recover because you’re just too weak.
 
This is where as strong posterior chain will help.
 
Think about all the muscles in the back of your body.
 
Lats, spinal erectors, QL, glutes, hamstrings, calves, triceps, traps, rear delts and just how having them be as strong as possible will mean good things for you.
 
There are plenty of movements you can use to train the PC.
 
My top ones for you are as follows:
 
– Loaded Carries (variations)
– Clean & Presses
– Swings
– Snatch (variations)
– Sprinting
– Rowing
– Climbing
– Rows, Face Pulls, etc
– Levers
– Pull Ups (variations)
– Deadlifts (variations)
– Squats because they’re awesome
 
The list could go on, however what you’ll find is that most of the best posterior chain movements also hit many other elements/parts of the body as well.
 
You’d do well to have a bias towards this in your training.
 
Think along these lines and you’ll never go far wrong, that is if you have no ultra specific goal that you’re training for; if you do then train for that and just accept there will be a price to pay for it.
 
Set up your training sessions like this:
 
1 x anterior chain movement
2-4 x posterior chain movements
 
Done.
 
Doing 2-3 times the amount of work on your posterior chain will serve you well you might have a session like this:
 
A1 – Weighted Dip 6×8-10 x10RM
A2 – Rope Climb x 10-20M
 
B1 – Deadlift 6-4-2-6-4-2-6-4-2
 
C1 – Farmers Walks 10x20m
C2 – Bodyweight Skull Crusher*
 
*yes triceps are posterior chain and a BW-SC will force total body tension and engage your lats massively if done well.
 
There you have it my good people of the world.
 
Your fountain of youth.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Peak, Cliff, Hesitate….

Sharing our experience, knowledge and understanding is all many of us can do to help others grow.

“I can tell you everything you NEED to know yet it won’t be what you WANT to know and because of this truth you’ll reject me.”

^^ I heard that recently, really made me think.

There are certain doors in our mind that will remain shut until the day we’re ready to open them, and to tell you the truth that day may never come.

In the sots you’ve perhaps read on here over the years you’ll find the topics vary somewhat however they are largely bis toward fitness/training.

Which makes sense as this is a fitness related page 😂

Everything that is shared has no ulterior motive.

It’s simply shared because it can be.

Some find things useful, others don’t, that’s life and in the end something that we will just have to accept because we’ve got no other choice.

Speaking of training, lately I’ve been doing a fair amount of higher rep work.

Things such as 10×20, or 20×10, 20 down to 1, 25×5 and other high volume madness.

Why?

Why not.

After spending a fair few years doing no more than 6 reps on big lifts (often no more than 3 in reality) I felt there was a need for change because my mental strength has wained somewhat.

Yep, I got lazy and was merely running through the motions.

In most session to be fair and I used a lot of different logical justifications for this when in reality I was just being lazy because I’d lost the oomph and joy for lifting I once had.

This happens to us all because after the peak there will always be a cliff.

I fell off that cliff and while now at a higher low point the the previous one I was in (strength/ability wise etc), it was still a drop off from what was.

I didn’t want to accept the fact I now had another mountain to climb ahead of me.

Thus I warped reality to suit what I wanted to believe.

^^ Sounds familiar to you?

Anyway, back to the point.

We try to stay on the peak and begin to lift the same weights, perform the same movements, attempt to train at the same level of intensity all to remain on our self appointed pedestal.

Our ego won’t allow us to gracefully step down.

As such reality comes along and gives us a rather vicious push.

I get it you know.

It’s hard to accept that many things in life come in the form of peaks and valleys.

This is why these days I quite like this question:

‘Are you progressing?’

^^ or moving forwards, or learning, or adapting or whatever you wish to call it.

I also like to ask it 5 times because the first 2-4 are often hyperbole and the last one can yield the true/real answer.

Combine this with also asking ‘why?’ and you’ve got a potent mix for some internal growth and learning.

Be warned though because it’s not comfortable.

To truly accept all that you are and become who you want to be you must first accept all the things you are not and that you pretend to be all to keep up appearances.

^^ That shit is hard.

So my dear readers, if you’ve made it this far I applaud you.

It’s fair to say I ramble on a fair bit.

Now that you are here though ask yourself the following three questions:

– Am I really progressing?
– What do I not address (in life, training etc) and why?
– Is this really me or just what I think I should be?

If you’re up for it leave your answers in the comments section below with they all important ‘why’.

Enjoy,
Ross

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