Tag Archives: truth

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Three things you need to stop immediately.

If you do I can guarantee you will feel much better.
 
1 – Worrying about he number on the scales.
 
In fact throw them out, literally. They serve no purpose other than to keep you in a narrow mindset and hold you back, remember a low umber on the scale doesn’t mean happens or health (physically, mentally & emotionally) it can often mean the opposite, sadly.
 
2 – Stressing over what you think other people are thinking.
 
I have some news for you, you don’t know what is going through other peoples heads, no, really, you don’t, so stop stressing yourself out about it.
 
Chances are they’re not looking at you, it’s just something you’ve conditioned yourself in to thinking.
 
How do I know this? Talk about irony.
 
I used to do it and in fact I still do it from time to time, trust me, people are rarely thinking about what you think they’re thinking about.
 
3 – Changing for everyone else.
 
It’s human nature to want to please others, however it’s not something that should cause you internal strife.
 
A lot of people want to change, which is not necessarily a bad thing, however it’s the reasons they want to change that could be very questionable.
 
Changing for reasons other than your own is a sure way to failure because the changes may not be something you want.
 
Take for example fat loss. Good for health, potentially yes, good to do so that others accept you or you attract that certain special someone, no, 100% a terrible idea.
 
Social pressure is a massive influence on people these days and the more you try to fit in with the crowds externally, the worse you end up feeling internally, then you look back when you’re a little wiser and realise it wasn’t worth it.
 
Make changes for your own personal reasons and you’ll be far happier for it.
 
There you have it.
 
Three things to stop doing.
 
Will this happen immediately?
 
No, probably not, however the first step in changing a behaviour (if it’s what you want to do), it acknowledging it, then accepting it, once they are achieved you can start towards the pace you want to be in, physically, mentally and emotionally.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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7 Things Coaches & Trainers won’t tell you.

– It is your fault and only you can change it

– 4 week ‘programs’ aren’t a real program, it’s just a series of simper workouts to keep your mind occupied and any results that come from it will only be significant if you’re a pure beginner.

– To see significant results you’ll need to invest in a minimum of 3-6months of personal training.

– Their social media is largely a lie geared towards selling you their product.

– You’ll never hear about the clients that didn’t get results and why it happened, here’s a hint (both parties are to blame, however the coach takes the majority of this one as it’s often down to poor communication/coaching from the coach).

– Your excuse, no matter how logical, is still an excuse.

– This is their lively hood and all the time you dick about, slack off in training, forego behaviour change and don’t do what you NEED to be doing, the worse it looks for their reputation.

After being in the industry for many a year now, I can say with a clear conscious that I no longer have time for people who don’t want to help themselves.

Sound harsh?

I really don’t care.

A lot of coaches/trainers will literally bend over backwards to help you, however if you’re not willing to help yourself then why should anyone else?

When someone newly qualifies in to the fitness industry they’re told to be motivational, inspirational, caring, empathetic and selfless, however this can often cause them personal strife and this shouldn’t be the case.

In your current job would you accept a member of staff who wasn’t pulling their weight?

No, you’d give them a reprimand and if it continued to happen you’d sack them.

You wouldn’t accept a poor attitude or behaviour, keeping this in mind, why should trainers/coaches be any different?

Nothing more than a rant today.

Enjoy,
Ross

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Something to strip fat, get fit and strong as well

Litvinov Sprints.
 
They’re horrible.
 
Well, they’re good, but they’re horrible too.
 
Sergey Litvinov was a hammer thrower, one of the best ever you could say and was renowned for his training and his ability to train on the nerve.
 
The training protocol of his namesake was a simple Front Squat & 400m Sprint pairing, now it sounds easy, however here is what he used to do it with:
 
Eight reps of front squats with 405 pounds, immediately followed by a 75-second 400-meter run. He repeated this little combination for a total of three times according to the history books.
 
Oh, he was also only a 196-pound man, who front squatted 405… eight times, you know, no big.
 
*Barry Ross would also do similar with his athletes, lots like great minds think alike.
 
He would do this with various other lifts but the run would typically stay the same. 400m is great for power output and improving VO2 Max.
 
Now the big take home from this little anaerobic concoction is that you want to have a large compound movement followed by ann all out sprint, repeated 3 times.
 
Easy on paper, yet it will yield untold benefits in terms of strength, power, conditioning and mental grit, trust me, after the first one you don’t want to do it again, however you must because that’s how champions are made, that’s how winning is done.
 
Here are some example of compound lifts you may use:
– Cleans
– Clean & Press
– Clean & Jerk
– Push Press
– Push Jerk
– Jerk
– Deadlift
– Front Squat
– Squat
– Overhead Squat
– Snatch
 
The do a 400m sprint, rest as needed and repeat 2 more times.
 
The sprint is best left as a running sprint for most people, you can change it to say a sled push/drag, however you’ll then start to move away from the classic Litvinov ethos and create something different.
 
Try it for a couple of months 2-3 times per week, you’ll welcome the results.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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5 Reasons people need a framework to succeed –

1 – Most don’t know what they need to do and as such need it clearly signposted

2 – It helps people feel less pressure, basically they can blame the structure for failure rather than themselves

3 – Things such as accountability and more responsibility become easier to administer

4 – Recorded data makes for a great confidence booster to show them how far they’ve come

5 – It teaches them how to achieve success on their own

Now there are those rare people who don’t need a framework to make their own success, if you’re one of them then we’ll see each other at the top. If that’s not you it’s not a problem, just ask for help and it will be yours.

Short & simple today.

Enjoy,
Ross

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What’s harder?

What’s harder, training or nutrition?
 
Now this is a common question and the answer for most is almost always the nutrition.
 
The funny thing is nutrition isn’t really that hard, you either need to be in a calorie surplus or deficit (depending on your goal), from there you will do well to keep a nutrition diary and record your foods, calories/macros too if you’re that focused.
 
Next you will do well to opt to eat mostly whole foods, however this is not a necessity although it is preferable for health and performance purposes.
 
This again isn’t hard, yet people will makes excuses, piss wings and moan that is it because of the following REAL reason; they don’t want to have to change bad habits.
 
Might sound harsh, however that doesn’t stop it being true.
 
Now as written above, you don’t HAVE to change the foods you eat, provided your calories/macros are set correctly and you hit them you can choose the foods sources, so the excuse of “Good nutrition is too restrictive and hard to stick to” gets thrown out of the window, now it’s just a case of you hitting the number you need to.
 
This is where tracking your calories etc becomes important, again though, you don’t have to, just don’t expect much in the way of progress if yo don’t know what you’re eating calorie wise.
 
Some will chuck in the barrier or “Well I don’t know who to work this out” which again is a redundant excuse considering all the calculators that are available to people, not to mention you can also speak to a respected of successful trainer/coach and have them do it for you.
 
My suggestion would be Eric Helms and his work, or look up the Harris-Benedict calorie calculation formula, boom no more barriers or confusion.
 
Everyone, I don’t mean to sound cynical or jaded, yet I am, this is because over the years I have developed less and less patience for people poor excuses and lack of drive to achieve a result.
 
You have two options really, you either want to make a change, in which case myself and many other people in this industry will bend over backwards to help you. OR, you don’t really want to change in which case we wish you all the best and we can end our conversations promptly.
 
Now as people who want to help we can give you all the tools, help you stay accountable, speak to you daily to make sure you have all the support you need, however if you don’t want to change no amount of help from us or anyone else will make you want to change, that decision has to come from you, from your heart.
 
The knowledge of knowing what will help you in getting results isn’t hard, it’s not the training or the nutrition that is hard, it’s making the conscious choice to change.
 
We, I want to help you, however the real question is do you want to help yourself?
 
Give it some thought.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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