Tag Archives: truth

Three important lessons you can learn from athletes & apply them to your life.

Morning all,
 
It’s fair to say we admire athletes.
 
Not simply for the way they can bring people together with their astonishing achievements or world record breaking efforts, it’s also because they’re humans, just like us.
 
They might be faster, stronger, more dedicated and generally better in every aspect, however they’re still human 😂
 
As such here are three things you can take away from them and apply to your life for the better.
 
1 – They do what they need to do regardless of how they feel.
 
Athletes don’t make excuses, not really, they just get on with the task as hand, unlike you.
 
Nothing stands in their way of achieving their goal, now before you start saying “I have a job, house etc etc”, did you know that until they make it BIG, so do they.
 
The difference is that they kept moving forwards, even when life problems cropped up, they still struggled on.
 
This is a lesson you’d do well to listen to and apply.
 
2 – They always have a plan.
 
Now this plan might not be of their of imagination, it might be something of a coaches/mentors design.
 
The point is this, the have one and as such also have answers for when the plan starts to fall apart or needs adapting.
 
Average people don’t have a plan, they try and wing it, unsuccessfully I might add.
 
If you can’t create a plan yourself, don’t stress, ask someone for help, get yourself a mentor/coach, in the long run it will be worth it, trust me.
 
If you want people to put their faith in you, you must also eb willing to put your faith in others.
 
3 – There is only the next mission.
 
Now I could have used the word goal, however goal is meek because everyone has a goal, several in fact, of which many go unachieved.
 
Athletes have a mission, one that is fuelled by a passion and drive that is above and beyond what many can comprehend.
 
They just do things because it’s just what they do.
 
It’s all they know.
 
Taking a page out of this book and developing your own indomitable spirit is something that would benefit you in a multitude of ways ranging from more conviction in your decisions to an unwavering resolve to stick with something, for better or worse.
 
If you take these simple lessons and apply even on to your life, you’ll be several steps ahead of a great many people, just have some faith in yourself and do it.
 
Bonus lesson – They know when enough is enough.
 
Now it would be great to think that we can overcome any limitation, any barrier, break any & all plateaus, however that is just not true, it’s a fools dream.
 
This also relates to being at the top too.
 
Even the worlds best athletes know they have limits that they will not exceed, this is where they have a large support network of coaches, mentors, friends and close family to help them see the perspectives that they might be blind to themselves.
 
Sometimes a dream might just not be in your grasp, however that doesn’t mean you give up entirely, you just accept that enough is enough and rather than giving up, you refocus and look towards the next mission.
 
You might be the one to do it all and change the world, even with such an achievement there will be a limit to how long you can stay their, int he end you will need to accept enough is enough and step down.
 
Just like a world champion that retires so the new blood can come through, they don’t disappear, they just change their place in the play and become the mentor/coach.
 
Giving up never did anyone any good, however neither did trying to achieve something that was never in their reach to begin with or holding on to a glory longer than they should.
 
Learn to accept what is, what isn’t and what will never be.
 
Smile at these things, embrace or let them go.
 
All glories must fade, enjoy them while you can and let go when you must.
 
Enjoy,
Ross
Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

8 Tips to help improve your deadlift.

Some call this the King of lifts.
 
Whether you think this deserves that title of perhaps the Snatch, Clean & Jerk or Squat are better suited to it, we can all agree that there is nothing most satisfying that hoisting a hefty weight off the floor to a solid lock out.
 
It’s a truly great feeling.
 
If you’ve hit a bit of a plateau with yours, here are some tips to help you hit some new numbers 🙂
 
1 – Film yourself
 
Ideally you want to get all of your lifts on camera, that way you can make sure your form is on point.
 
2 – Get a stronger grip
 
People will complain that their grip give out, this is cool and means that they can work on it.
 
Adding in Farmers Walks with your bodyweight (50% each hand) for 10 sets of 15-30 seconds (rest double the time you did) 2-3 times per week will fortify this fingers of yours.
 
3 – Reset every rep
 
No bouncing of any deadlift.
 
Ideally place the bar down, step away, step back in, set up again and lift, repeat for your desired amount of reps.
 
This is a great way to groove your set up form and makes for some interesting sets of 5.
 
4 – Add front squats/pause FS to your training
 
These have a nice carry over effect to deadlifts because you have to stay tight and hold posture to make the lift, especially the pause variations.
 
Aim for 15-25 reps in a session, capping the reps per set limit at 3, so that might be 8×3, 12×2, 5×3, 15×1, and so on.
 
5 – Super slow eccentrics
 
You deadlift as normal, while fusing on keeping your form a solid and tight as possible.
 
Next hold the bar at the top for 5 seconds, then proceed to lower over the next 10 seconds, do singles only for this and use anywhere from 50-70% of your max weight you can hit with solid form.
 
Easy on paper, ridiculously hard in practice.
 
6 – Remember the deadlift is a hinge
 
If you watch good pullers they have the following in common:
 
– Almost vertical shin at set up and second part of the pull
– Hips just higher than knees, shoulders just higher than hips
– They push the floor away
– They push their hips forwards
– They keep the bar close
– Tension is not lost at any point in the set up or the lift
 
A lot of people try to squat a deadlift, as such the squat it off the floor (badly), then continue to back extend the weight he rest of the way up and wonder why they hurt themselves.
 
Here is a great little resource explaining this (it’s easier to watch than read):
 
 
Your DL might take a hit in terms of numbers lifted while you re-pattern, however it will be worth it in the end.
 
7 – Strengthen your back
 
This might seem obvious however you’d be surprised how many people put most of their training focus in to pressing and wonder why they have a crap pull.
 
Bent over rows, pull ups, pull downs (various grips), single arm rows, bear hug carries, face pulls, reverse flies are only a few examples of back exercises, make sure you get in some solid volume for your back and make it grow.
 
You’ll also find the bigger your back is the better at pressing you become as your back is responsible for stabilising you and the stronger it is, the stronger human being you will be.
 
8 – Stop chasing weight
 
Kind of a contradiction to this entire post, yet a very relevant one.
 
Time in the gym is meant for BUILDING STRENGTH, not testing it.
 
Many are guilty of testing too often in the gym and wonder why they never make progress.
 
Ego must be left at the door. If you can pull 5 plates, that’s great just don’t think you have to pull 5 plates every time you’re in the gym otherwise people will think you’re weak, they won’t, they don’t care about what you lift, trust me.
 
In the gym sticking between 70-85% of your max is more than enough to help you build some impressive strength and avoid snapping yourself up.
 
If you need to lift some big weights for instagram do what most of those who are famous on it do and buy some fake weights for your videos, simple 😂
 
There you have it, 8 tips to help you improve your deadlift.
 
Obviously don’t try to do them all at once.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Morning Meditation & Introspection

Introspection is a great thing.
 
It can help uncover a multitude of things that can help us let go of that which weighs us down and move forwards.
 
Is it something you practice?
 
Morning All,
 
Taking the time to examine ones self is a worthy practice.
 
You’ll start to see past a lot of your own bullshit and just knowing that is in of itself something that will make you smile.
 
To be honest and call out your own rubbish is a sure fire way to remove your current barriers and start to plan a progressive path forwards.
 
This can be done in relation to fitness, nutrition, general life and much more.
 
A great way to start this off is by spending 5min in silence with nothing but your own reflective thoughts based on this question:
 
Why do I tell myself & others (insert your own plight).
 
Once you’ve given that some thought, write down your conclusions as to what good that thought is doing you and why you would want to allow yourself to house that thought and verbally repeat it to people as an excuse for what ever reason you do.
 
Do this just once per day, then move on and continue with what ever else you have to do.
 
You might find out some rather interesting things about yourself.
 
Then, when you are ready –
 
Acknowledge, accept & let it go.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

It’s only packaging, it doesn’t matter that much, right?

Three things you should ask yourself before asking everyone else for the world best training program.
 
1 – What is MY goal? No, really, what is it?
 
2 – Is this actually what I want?
 
3 – How will this benefit me & is it sustainable?
 
With the modern world being in a rush for quick fixes, instant results and everything else under the sun, many forget to ask; why is this important to me?
 
A common goal – lose fat, tone up, not feel terrible for once.
 
Don’t get me wrong, having a rocking body does make life better for you.
 
You get more attention and people treat you more favourably.
 
You feel more confident.
 
You increase your self worth and appreciation.
 
There are a myriad of benefits to improve your self image, anyone who says differently is wrong, sorry, that’s just how we work as a species, we are shallow and always like the pretty things.
 
Now this doesn’t mean everyone needs to be models or at the peak of physical condition, however trying to climb your own mountain of potential will be to your benefit.
 
Remember though it’s a choice.
 
If you want to achieve such things, go for it, however if you’re truly happy as you are then that’s also great.
 
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for acceptance of all, however no matter how much society would like you to believe how everything is on a level playing field, its not.
 
I have yet to meet a person (when inebriated) who when asked this one simple question doesn’t answer with yes.
 
The question?
 
“If you have a magic wand that would transform the way you look to your ideal, with no side effects of consequence, would you use it?”
 
As I said above, not everyone wants to be cover model ready, however everyone does have some desire to look better, be that in their eyes or in someone else’s.
 
The sad part is we’ve been taught as a society that trying to improve your image is vain and makes you a bad person, so it’s okay to not look great. Then on the other side of that coin those same people will make passive comments about how you look or dress if it is not to their liking.
 
*Face palm.
 
We are a culture that is heavily influence by aesthetics.
 
Don’t believe me?
 
Give this some thought.
 
Which of the two would you buy:
 
1 – A food item that has packaging that is heavily damaged
2 – The same food item with no packing damage, that just so happened to be sat right next to the damaged one.
Obviously the goods are still equal in value, taste and awesomeness, so the external appearance and state of the packaging doesn’t matter, right?
Surely no one would be influenced by the way something looks in our modern world of acceptance of all.
 
Take you time with your answer, I’ll wait.
 
You get the point.
 
So let me ask you again, what is YOUR goal and WHY is it important to you?
 
Think about it.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Don’t read if easily offended

With Christmas around the corner are you training harder than you have before?
 
Morning All,
 
Since there will no doubt be a lot of parties and social events coming up it’s not unusual for people to start putting in more effort at the gym.
 
Not that this is a bad thing, however this is arguably how it should be for the rest of the year as well.
 
Are you someone who is always motivated or not?
 
If you’re the former then this post won’t apply to you.
 
Perhaps the latter applies to you, in which case you will need to keep reading.
 
First things first, answer this:
 
Why do you feel you struggle to become motivated?
 
Write down the answer.
 
Next, why do you feel change is hard for you personally?
 
Write down the answer.
 
Finally, what would make you feel better in yourself and why?
 
In the modern world we are told that we need to be fit, healthy and do some form of exercise and while this is good general advice, some people just don’t want to do it.
 
Guess what though, it’s okay if you don’t want to.
 
Not everyone wants to be healthy, lean or what is considered physically attractive by modern standards and that’s fine, there is no need to be.
 
Sound a bit condescending?
 
It reads that way to me when I read it back over, however I’m not going to change it because it’s true.
 
No one really cares how you look, until you look better than they do anyway.
 
Hav you ever had friends who support you 100% when you’re making a change only to 180 that support once you surpass them in some regard?
 
Chances are that’s a yes.
 
People want what’s best for you until it’s no longer good for them, or makes them feel bad etc etc.
 
I want you to ask yourself – why do I want to change?
 
Be honest with your answer.
 
If the reasons are not really your own then that might be the reason you keep failing at it.
 
Sorry…. Actually I’m really not.
 
You need to be honest with yourself and your reasons WHY you do what you do.
 
It’s as the classic cliché states:
 
“If you stand for nothing you’ll fall for anything.”
 
Essentially meaning unless your reasons are something YOU want or desire the endeavour is doomed to ruin.
 
Believe it or not there is one thing I’d wish for people.
 
To be internally happy.
 
However to achieve this is means being a little selfish, and of course we are taught that is bad, which ironically is only true if it goes against what someone else wants, if the selfish goals align then it’s all good and not selfish – funny that.
 
I will ask you one last time.
 
What do you want?
 
Give it some thought.
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Generation Idiot

Keeping up with the Kardashians.

Proof that being an idiot can have you winning at life.

Morning All,

The rise of reality TV has been amazing to watch of the subsequent years, however it’s lead to the breeding of a generation of idiots.

Deluded idiots at that.

Some people will be offended by that truth, oh well, be offended it’s your right after all.

This mentality has bleed in to the fitness industry as well.

So much so that there are two clearly defined camps:

– Evidence based people
– Everyone else (anecdote, instafamous etc)

Well, that’s have the former would have you see it.

It’s easy to see how and why people are getting confused about what to do for optimal results.

For the average person they’ve complicated fitness & nutrition beyond belief.

The evidence based lot often end up getting people to delve in to science they’re not interested in and lambaste anyone who doesn’t follow their view.

Everyone else will simply share the latest fad craze and tell people what they want to hear, regardless of if it is going to be useful to them.

Is is any wonder people are frustrated these days.

Where should people start?
Who’s should they listen to?
What are they meant to believe?

Three questions that have so many answers you couldn’t ever hope to know them all.

That said, here are three simple considerations for you, it’s your choice if you want to delve in to these more or not.

– Start by looking for the leading authorities in the filed you want to delve in to – evidence & anecdotally based.

– Next find people who have consistently grown in the field, not just in success, in their own education and views. If they have changed over they years that’s a good thing because it means they are searching for the truth and best possible answers for people, hopefully.

– You can believe what you want, however always question it or at least look for views to oppose your own beliefs so you can gain the broader perspective, don’t become dogmatic.

*Bonus – Always look to learn & question why, please also remember that there are some great people out there who give away a lot of great info for free, there’s always two sides to a coin, just try not to be on the same as the Kardashians and their ilk.

Take the above and do one the following:

– Apply it to your life
– Ignore it and move on

If what I’ve said is something you consider absolute bollocks, great, you don’t need to heed my words, that’s your choice.

However perhaps it’s struck a cord of intrigue, if so you should look in to it.

The power of free will & choice, use it wisely.

Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Ah, Classic.

Two classic lines said by many –

“I can’t put on weight, and I eat loads.”

“I can’t lose weight, and I don’t eat much.”

If the above were true weight would either go up or down, if that isn’t the case then that means only one thing.

You’re not doing what you think you’re doing.

A strong mindset and accountability are interesting things.

Not everyone wants them.

Instead they a quick fix or diet pill to solve all their problems.

If it came to their work  and the staff they manage or their business they’d rain down fiery hell on their staff for not doing what they’re meant to be doing or  making poor excuses, however when it comes to themselves and making a change, well they’re different and need special attention.

Bollocks.

What we all need is to accept that the only way to change is to accept that we are the result of our own choices, for the most part*.

*Less for legitimate medical exceptions in which case see a specialist.

Actually, touching on the medical excuse above, many will claim to have an issue, self diagnosed of course and it stops them achieving a result.

Again, bollocks.

Go see a specialist, if something is wrong it will be shown, then you can start working to sort it.

Anyway, back to the point.

As a modern culture we have an untold amount of excuses ready and waiting for our own poor behaviours/attitudes, yet we wouldn’t accept them from out staff or people we’re responsible for.

We’d tell them how it was and that they need to sort it out.

Yet when it comes to people accepting they’re the problem, the blinkers come down and the ‘poor me’ attitude follows.

Ask yourself, do I want change or not?

Give it some thought.

Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Do you want change or simply like the idea of it?

Three things that stop you making a change for the better.
 
– Ego
– Bias
– Excuses
 
Now these may seem obvious, however people let their get in the way far too often.
 
The ego fears dying.
 
The bias fears being proved wrong.
 
The excuses fears their invalidity.
 
Now take a second and see these simple musings this way…
 
You fear change because it means an old part of you dies, even if this part of you was self-destructive and of no benefit to your life.
 
You fear change because it means what you felt was right was only right because you looked for things to make it so, you sought out bias answers that you wanted to hear, rather than what you actually needed to hear.
 
You fear change because once you start making it you have two accept that your excuses were just that, excuses.
 
Do people want to hear this?
 
No.
 
Do they need to hear this?
 
Yes.
 
In the end we hold the cards in our own hand, we have the ultimate final say.
 
Context will play a part in our choices, however they are still our choices and as such we don’t have to make them if we don’t want to, not really.
 
As a fellow human I want people to be happy.
 
To make the changes that will make them smile and live a good life.
 
That said, I can’t make a choice or a change for you, that’s up to you.
 
Reflect on your life, give it some thought and once you have ask yourself this –
 
Do I want change or do I just like the idea of change?
 
Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Make progress with one set!

Something you may have heard or read in the past.
 
Is it true?
 
Yes, however you’ll need to know exactly what is meant by ‘one set’.
 
When people write or speak about making progress with the above, they don’t mean you literally only do one set.
 
What they mean is that you’re going to do one ‘working set’, you don’t include your warm ups in the mix, which could be was little as two sets or as many as 10 depending on how strong you are.
 
A working set is classes as an amount of reps performed at the target weight.
 
You also have the classic 3×10 by Delorme/Watkins which was as follows:
 
– 1x10x50% 10RM (warm up)
– 1x10x75% 10RM (warm up)
and finally…
1x10x100% 10RM (working set)
 
Going you one working set.
 
If we took the classic 3×8, this means 3 working sets, not including warm ups.
 
If you ever read Brawn, you’d find that lots of the programs had things like this written:
 
Squat 1×20
Press 2×5
Chin 1×6-8
etc
 
All of these are the working sets, as you cans occasionally they had 2 working sets.
 
The idea of this set is to much you to your limits and perhaps add some small amount of weight to be bar, improve the form, do it while having less rest and so on.
 
You could manipulate any variable to get progress so long as you made progress.
 
– Volume – perhaps got an extra rep at or 2 the same weight
– Intensity – lifted more total weight on the bar
– Density – had less rest than previously
– Frequency – performed this feat twice in a week instead of once
 
When you take a look at the principles behind this long spoken method of training it’s fair to say they’re pretty solid because they leave you nowhere to hide.
 
If you limit yourself to only one hard set, you’re more likely to give it your all and try to better that set in any which way you can.
 
The more modern approach of “Do all the sets & all the reps!” isn’t bad by any means, however it does often leave people working sub-optimally which is why some struggle to make any form of progress.
 
The repeated bout effect or repetition method is a solid one, that’s not being disputed, however those who get the most out of this are the ones who’ve spent a decent chunk of time hitting one hard ‘working set’ in the past.
 
You may also find working sets are called ‘top sets’ which can be found in those who follow a daily lifting routine – ala Bulgarian style training and daily maxing.
 
So, should you try this style of training protocol?
 
Yes, no, maybe, I really don’t know.
 
It certainly works, however if you’re making progress with what you’re doing then there’s no sense in changing, if not though, perhaps you might find this useful.
 
If you decide to work for top sets here are some pointers of where to start:
 
Top set recommendations:
Squat: 5-10
Presses: 5
Pulls: 6-8
DL: 3-5
Accessory lifts: 8-12
 
Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

Some simple tests to try

Movement.
 
It’s kind of really popular now.
 
Like really popular.
 
However before you can move on to all the fancy stuff, form a lifters perspective, can you do the basics?
 
Squat-Hinge-Push-Pull-Brace
 
Most think they can
 
The truth is many can’t
 
Here is a simple yet effective movement screen I use with clients to assess their ability and see what we need to work on.
 
My basic movement screen is as follows:
 
– Standing on 1 Leg (eyes open, then closed)
– Goblet Squat
– BW Hinge (double leg & single leg)
– Press Up
– Bat Wing
– Floor or Wall Angle
– Plank
 
What do the above actually assess or do?
 
Let’s take a look.
 
Standing on 1 Leg (eyes open, then closed): Aim for 30 seconds without any movement with your eyes closed.
 
Balance/proprioception/posture 
 
Goblet Squat: Aim for a full ROM with no upper thoracic collapse.
 
The ability to stay braced and maintain upper thoracic extension/stability while achieving a full flexion of the hip/knee, it also highlights ankle/foot stability/mobility issues (weigh shifting, heels lifting etc)
 
– BW Hinge ( start with double leg & then single leg): Aim for a full hip hinge while maintaining solid posture, no rounding or loss of balance.
 
Full hip hinge while maintaining core bracing, natural posture, proprioception and stability.
 
– Press Up: Aim for full press-up with no break in form (elbows tight to sides, bum pinched.
 
Bracing, posture, while moving through time and space in a pressing fashion, full ROM through elbow flexion and also control of upper back (scapula) retraction/activation.
 
– Bat Wing: Aim for full retraction of shoulder blades and upper back contraction – do this against a wall.
 
Upper back control, scapula retraction and full ROM, plus bracing and good posture throughout the movement.
 
– Floor or Wall Angle: Aim to get your arms fully extended overhead with no change in your posture (excessive back arching).
 
Upper thoracic ROM, shoulder ROM, stiffness in lats/lack of core bracing.
 
– Plank: Aim to hold a solid position from head to toe,no sagging.
 
Core Bracing and posture consistency.
 
The above tests are an overall assessment to see if the person doing them can control their body correctly and move through time & space without any issue.
 
A lot of people struggle with these basic movements and worst of all ignore them, opting to go for more advanced movements that they’re just not ready for.
 
Basically building on disfunction.
 
Think of it like building a house, you wouldn’t do it if the foundations were crap of the area was known for subsidence, that’s just a recipe for disaster.
 
Now from an enjoyment stand point the train that these styles of assessment will require the client to do can seem very boring and basic, especially when we live in a world that demands MORE MORE MORE.
 
A lot of people fall in to the trap of wanting the fancy fun things to do and while there is nothing wrong with this it can cause a lot of issues later down the line.
 
For example:
 
Plyometrics (jump training).
 
Is it fun?
 
Hell yes.
 
Is it safe?
 
Yes, IF you have correct movement patterns and the strength/stability to perform the movements correctly, if you can’t hen it will lead to injury, especially in the knee, trust me I’ve seen it.
 
Did you know according to the research done by Prof Yuri Verkhoshansky, to do basic low level jump training you should be able to squat your bodyweight for solid reps – that’s bodyweight on a bar by the way.
 
For Depth Jumps and other more advanced techniques the recommendations are up to 2xBW on the bar, not many can do that.
 
^^ You will find this info in the book Super Training & also The Science & Practice of Strength Training if memory serves me correctly.
 
Keeping this in mind.
 
How many people do you know who do training that is far lack of a better term, way beyond their pay grade, a fair few I’d imagine. 
 
I know a few and I have even done it myself in the past, injury was my reward because like all competitive people I did too much of what I wasn’t ready for.
 
Building a solid and wide foundation will allow you to hit a higher peak.
 
Yes it may be a tad dull at the start, it can also be hard to hear, however it’s sometimes necessary.
 
Take a look at your own movements and patterns, are they solid or could they do with some improvement?
 
Truing hard and stay safe
 
Enjoy,
Ross

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health