Tag Archives: workout

The problem with making your passion your purpose/profession.

You see this in fitness all the time.
People start up a fitness business because it is their passion and all they want to do is help people.
While this is all very nobel and altruistic it has a glaring flaw.
If someone is truly passionate that is.
This little shred of wisdom is often forgotten in the passion fuelled haze of progress –
Not everyone shares your passion, nor do they want to share it and as such they don’t want what you have to offer.
^^ Newer people and even some older ones in fitness take this personally when they really shouldn’t.
It’s not personal, it’s just business.
That’s the problem with making your passion your business.
It’s your passion, not everyone else’s and trying to force people to feel the same way you do about XYZ is a surefire way to crash and burn.
Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t care about what you do, however you do need a healthy amount of disconnect from it and to understand that if you do decide to make your business something that surrounds that which makes your heart sing that you might be doing a solo.
This isn’t aimed at shitting on your dreams.
It’s aimed at giving you a dose or reality because I’ve seen so many people fail and it’s not something wanted for you, or anyone embarking down the route of running a fitness business to be fair.
Fail to heed this warning at your own peril.
You’d also do well to remember that this is said from experience because it just so just so happened that this befell me and it took years to understand.
As such I failed my way to success 🤦‍♀️
So if you wish to make it in the endeavour above you must not only make the focus of your work YOUR passion, you must make it appeal to the passion(s) of your target audience/clients/buyers.
It’s less about you and almost always all about THEM.
Keep this in mind and you’ll find your dreams don’t end up in the dumpster like many others have before yours were even dreamt up.
Be passionate, just also remember to be vigilant.

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How Odd.

Have you ever heard of the Odd Lifts?

You know, ones such as the Bent Press, the Jefferson DL or perhaps the One Arm Snatch?

if not here are some links to get you started:



Okay, now it’s time to get to the point of the post.

– Three odd lifts you don’t often do that will change your body for the better.

1 – The bottom up kettlebell press

This can be done standing, seated, kneeing, sat of the floor or perhaps even in a floor press/bench press/incline press manor, which ever way you choose it will achieve the following:

– Stronger press/grip
– Muscle irradiation (more muscle recruitment)
– Take out your ego


2 – There Renegade Row

Use kettlebells or dumbbells for this. The alternating row style of this lift will help you by:

– Strengthening your ability to brace (core stabilisation)
– Work the entire upper body
– Improve balance


3 – Zecher Lifts

What is more real world than having to pick something off the floor and hold it in an awkward position? Not much, however is this is not to your liking you can swap it out for a bear hug style carry of a sand bag or something equally heavy and awkward.

You can pick the zecher lis you prefer out of the options in the link

The benefits:

– Overall Strength
– Fortified lower back
– A high crossover to daily living


Adding in this lifts or even doing a program of only these 3 will make some great changes to your overall body composition.

If you plan on doing the latter option here is a suggestion:

– 3 days per week or train every other day
– Heavy/Light/Medium loading protocol*
– Rest 1-5min between sets
– Eat according to your goal (gain mass or lose fat etc)

*Heavy = <25 total reps at 85% 1RM +
*Light = 75 total reps at 50-65% 1RM
*Medium = 50 total reps at 70-80% 1RM

For example:

Day 1:
Heavy – Zecher Lift
Light – Renegade Row
Medium – Bottom Up Press

Day 2:
Heavy – Bottom Up Press
Light – Zecher Lift
Medium – Renegade Row

Day 3:
Heavy – Renegade Row
Light – Bottom Up Press
Medium – Zecher Lift

How you add these lifts in or plan them is up to you as there are a lot of different odd lifts to choose from, just remember to add weight where you can and that consistency and progression is the key to success.


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A complex string of events

Stringing exercises together one after the other with the same piece of kit if known, no rest and not putting said kit down is often known as a complex.

You can do them with dumbbells, barbells and a personal favourite, kettlebells.

Here are three short kettlebell complexes to hit the entire body and build strength, lean mass and strip fat (provided calorie requirements are also correct).

Each complex is done with 2 kettlebells.

Push Complex:

– Clean
– Press
– Push Press
– Jerk

Start off with one rep of each, then two, then three, aim to work up to 5 without stopping. 3-5 rounds of this will help create an impressive upper body, increase the weight of the bells by 4kg once you can do 5 rounds of 1-5 unbroken.

Pull Complex:

– Swing
– Swing to Pull (pull elbows towards hips)
– Clean
– Snatch

Reps, sets and progression as above.

Leg Complex:

– Clean
– Squat
– Lunge (any variation of your choice)
– Rack Tip-Toe Walk or Rack Walk

Reps, sets and progression as above.

Now this could be one workout three times per week, several smaller workouts during the day (morning, afternoon, evening) or a short 10-20min workout for each day depending on your commitments and available time to train.

This style of training is one that lends itself well to daily practice (push day, pull day, leg day, repeat works well).

These are by no means the only options, they’re just simple ones to get you started, you’ll find some great complexes in the writing of Dan John.

Give them a go.


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So, think you’re tough enough to try this?

It’s safe to say there are some people in the gym who go above and beyond when it comes to pushing through the burn, a true sign of mental toughness.


Density training has humbled many, myself included.

This is a nice little method of training if you’re short on time and have a hectic schedule.

There are several forms of this, the one we are looking it will help enhance the following elements of your fitness:

  • Base Strength
  • Strength Endurance
  • Cardio
  • Muscle Mass
  • Body Composition (strip fat)
  • Mental Strength

Another added benefit is how this style of training will help you save time and even improve your form – I advise you stop a set of form breaks down, even if it fell short, after all, safety comes first and you can always build strength over time, there’s no rush.

Here is what to do:

  • Train 2-7 days per week (yep, you can do 7days if you wish, I wouldn’t, but you could)
  • Ramp to a top weight and base the density set off of a % of top ramp (50-70% is good) – go lighter than you think at first
  • Complete as many reps as possible in the given time limit
  • Progression comes in the form of adding weight once you can perform consistent reps without stopping in the time limit

You will be using 5min sets.

Yep, after you’ve warmed up, you do 5min of solid reps with a given exercise, no letting go of the bar, db, kettlebell or kit you’re using, just a brief rest pause in the lockout/rack position.

For this method to work well 2-3 exercise per session are good, any more and you may run into problems. I would also not advise doing this with deadlifts, just train those normally.

Here are some suggestions of movements to use:

  • Squat (rest in lock out, goes for front/back squat)
  • Press (bench – rest in lockout, overhead – rest in rack position, dips – rest in lockout)
  • Pull/Chin Up (rest in dead hang)
  • Curls (rest at bottom of curl)
  • Farmers Walk/Loaded Carry (good luck finding a rest position that doesn’t involve putting it down)
  • Turkish Get Ups – 1 set each arm

The loading will be as above, the time limit will be a nice simple 5min, be sure to note down the reps you achieve. Typically hitting around 35-50 means you’re good to go up in weight, depending on the exercise I’d aim for 50 personally.

The layout of a session might be like this:

  • A1 – Ramp on squat to heavy 1-5, drop weight to 60% of top ramp for 1x5min density set
  • B1 – Ramp on press to heavy 1-5, drop weight to 60% of top ramp for 1x5min density set
  • C1 – Chins 1x5min density set* Optional

Remember to hit the full body over the week of your training.

If you trained 2 days you’d have 3 exercises per day that you can pick from the examples written above.

5min doesn’t seem like a long time, however it will test you both mentally and physically.

Enjoy, Ross

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Train to gain

It seems that hitting momentary mechanical failure is equally if not more important tan the load you lift.
^^ A good study looking at 3x Fail x30% VS 3x Fail x80%.
In short, the act of hitting failure provide adequate stimulus to trigger muscle growth.
The growth was essentially the same in both groups, however the group that used a heavier weight got stronger as well (pretty logical).
So what does this mean for your training?
You can look at it one of two ways:
1 – Cycle your loads between 30-80% 1RM and perform 3 sets per muscle group to muscle failure each set (after a couple of warm up sets, obviously).
2 – You can take this data and combine to s strength program to add some extra oomph, so perhaps performing working sets at a standard weight, say 5x5x80% (leaving reps in the take and focusing on strength), followed by a back off set of the same weight or between the 30-80% mark for AMRAP to hit failure, triggering more growth stimulus.
Both options are viable, both will improve strength and size.
Another nice option is this:
W/U – 10-15 reps
Set 1 – 10 reps – tough
Set 2 – 8 reps – tougher
Set 3 – 6-8 reps – hardest set
Set 4 – reps to failure with previous load or reduce load by 20%
If you ever see someone who has any decent amount of size you’ll notice they’ve often blended training to failure with stopping just short, try it yourself and see how you do.

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How doing less helped me progress.

Yesterday we touched on who doing too much can hold people back, today we shall look at how the opposite can help you being to once again make headway.
MED, remember that?
Minimum effective dose.
Find what the bare minimum you can do and make progress form and do that until you no longer make progress, then perhaps add the next smallest amount and progress once again.
A simple thought that still adheres to the GAS/SAID principle.
It will allow you more time to recover, spend time doing other things you enjoy and for the average person, give you results while also having a life.
Sounds perfect, right?
That being the case, why don’t people do it?
Because as we discussed yesterday, too many think more is better and even more than that must mean even better still, not always true, sadly.
You will also find that when you take down how much you’ve been doing, you recover and allow the super-compensation element of GAS to happen, meaning gains.
Keeping in mind MED, how many times per week do you need to train to make progress?
Twice, that’s a great start.
Both sessions would follow a full body approach with limited moves that will give you the best bang for your buck.
Day 1 – Monday
A1 – Front Squat or Squat 10×5
A2 – DB Row 10×6
B1 – Press 8×6
B2 – Chin 8×6
C1 – Dip 50 reps in as few sets as possible
D1 – Loaded Carry 10min x Total Distance (famers walk, etc)
Day 2 – Thursday
A1 – Deficit Deadlift (any grip) 10×5
A2 – DB Press 10×6-8
B1 – Bench Press or Incline 6×6-8
B2 – BB Row 6×6-8
C1 – Curl 50 rep goal in as few sets as possible
D1 – Prowler or Sprints 10min x total Distance
Combine this with solid nutrition (plenty of whole foods and a calorie deficit or surplus depending on your goal) and three simple factors to progress and you’ll be laughing at the gains you make.
How to progress:
– Add weight where possible (fractional plates are good)
– If you can’t add weight, reduce rest
– Rest at it’s lowest, increase TUT (time under tension) with a slower negative portion of the lift
In each session aim to keep a good pace and finish within 45-75min, you’ll find the less you faff the better the workout you get.
Obviously over time you will potentially need to add more frequency taking training to 3 days per week, but the longer you can progress on 2 the better.
Funnily enough you will find that most elite lifters seem to find 4xP/W is their optimal limit because in each session they train HARD and create a deep ‘in road’ meaning they’ve stimulated growth, you need to do this too.
Remember, doing less can help your progress.

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A squat-less routine?

It’s well known that not everyone likes to squat.
While the squat is a key movement pattern that should be in a training routine, you can create one without.
Not my personal choice but it’s 2017 so let’s cater for those who don’t want to squat or might not be able to, for what ever reason.
What can you do?
– Hinging
– Pressing
– Pulling
Let’s look at how those would make up a workout.
It’s worth noting that you will still build some good legs without squats, however the squat is an incredibly athletic movement and at least one session per week would be good.
Okay, let’s put together a squat-less routine.
Day A –
A1: Snatch Grip Deadlift from Deficit 8×3
B1: Press 10×5
B2: BB Row 10×5
C1: Dips 4x Fail
Day B –
A1: Clean Grip Deadlift from Floor 6×4
B1: Incline Press 6×8
B2: Pull Up (weighted if necessary or pull downs) 6×8
C1: Curls 4×8-12
Day C –
A1: Snatch Grip Deadlift from Blocks (mid shin) 4×6
B1: Close Grip Bench 8×6
B2: DB Row 8×8
C1: Face Pulls 4×12-15
Day X – Optional
A1: Hill Sprint 5-10×60 seconds
B1: Prowler or Sled Drag 5-10x20m
C1: Loaded Carry 5-10x20m
Here is how it might look if put in to a weekly workout structure – 7 day split:
Monday – C
Tuesday – B
Wednesday – Off
Thursday – X
Friday – Off
Saturday – A
Sunday – Off
If only A/B/C used then pick three days per week to train at your convenience using the order C-B-A.
You will notice the varied levels of deadlift will place different emphasis on quad/posterior recruitment, the addition Day-X would further help leg development and conditioning.
In your warm ups some form of squatting movement patter would be personally advised so you still get the expose to the pattern, maybe some light goblet squats for example, just for good measure.
Remember that all good programs have at least one day of squatting, this is an option for those who truly detest squats and is a last resort.

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The best workout you’ll never do

Morning All,

There are endless workout options on the interwebs, this one is just one of many however it will give you a nice balance between lifting heavy, getting in your volume and easy planning.

Ideally you will work it as a 3 on 1 off rotation, this is because it makes it easier to track.

You will be using the Heavy-Light-Medium System which gives you a max effort day, a high volume day for pump/restoration and then a moderate volume day with a decent weight.

Here are the rep ranges you’ll be hitting per workout:

  • Heavy – 25 reps at 85%+ of 1RM
  • Light – 100 reps at 60% of 1RM
  • Medium – 50 reps at 70-80% of 1RM

Those are the rep goals you will go for on your main/accessory lifts, you can hit them with what ever rep/set parameters you choose (more on this later) – deadlift is a bit different due to it’s taxing nature at the suggested loads above, the guide is as follows:

  • Heavy DL – 6 reps
  • Light DL – 24 reps
  • Medium DL – 12 reps

You will break the workouts in to  A Pull-Push-Legs Split and hit 3 movements per workout, you’ll see why only three shortly.

The rotation of the 3-1 is where you change the rep scheme for the day, here is how it looks based on days:

  1. Deadlift – Heavy
  2. Press – Light
  3. Squat – Medium
  4. Off
  5. Deadlift – Light
  6. Press – Medium
  7. Squat – Heavy
  8. Off
  9. Deadlift – Medium
  10. Press – Heavy
  11. Squat – Light
  12. Off
  13. Cycle repeats at least once more before potentially changing exercises

As shown this is a 12 day cycle, so you will go through all the rep ranges for each lift within two weeks. If we take DL as the example, the first heavy day might be 200x6x1 and then 12 days later you would add some weight (any amount is good, from a fractional plate to a pair of 2.5kgs, just add some weight) it would be 205x6x1 and so on. The aim is to add a little bit of weight where ever you can.

If we look at the rep goals it begs the question, is that for one lift or all of them?

The answer is all of them for that day. So if you’ve got a 100 rep target that’s what you do on each lift, same goes for 25 and 50 reps – with the deadlift itself being less while it’s accessory movements follow the prescribed rep goal.

Here is how the workouts might look as an example based on the first three days listed above (keep the same movements for at least 2 cycles – 4 weeks – then you can change if you feel the need):

Pull Day: Heavy 25rep goal (6 on DL)

  • Deadlift: 6x1x95%
  • Bent Over Row: 5x5x85%
  • Supinated Chin: 8x3x90%

Push Day: Light 100rep goal

  • Close Grip Bench: 10x10x60%
  • Overhead DB Press: 10x10x60%
  • Dips: 5x20x60%

Leg Day: Medium 50rep goal

  • Squat: 10x5x80%
  • RDL: 10x5x75%
  • Hamstring Curl: 5x10x70%

Get the idea?

All you need do is change the rep goal of the day and hey-presto, you have something easy to follow. Obviously you don’t need to use the example exercises or rep/set schemes above they’re just examples.

The main take away is the concept. Give it a go for 3 months and watch the progress happen.




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International Chest Day 101

As a great many of you will know, Monday is the first day of the week and as such it is the hardest one for some people to train on, especially after a long weekend of alcohol fuelled depravity.
When this becomes the case the only option for a great many people is to train their favourite muscle or favourite exercise, depending how you want to look at it.
That exercise?
Bench Press
The day?
International Chest Day
You’ll find that people get a lot of stick training chest on a Monday because it’s a classic sign of ‘Bro’ style workouts, which often lead to Wednesday (leg day) being skipped.
That said, it doesn’t matter what days you train what muscles so long as you achieve a good balanced physique overall. Keeping this in mind, today you will learn a nice simple workout to give you an epic start to the week.
Chest Day 101 –
W/U – Press 5×5 to a heavy 5 to stabilise and prepare the shoulders
A1 – Bench Press 8×3
B1 – Dumbbell Fly 5×10
B2 – Dip (weighted if necessary) x Fail
C1 – Jm Press 4×12
Short, simple, surprisingly effective.
If you want to keep some posture work int here you can add a set of face pulls or reverse fly in-between each pressing movement, do 12-15 reps.

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