Volume 11 – 15
11) Stop chasing the rainbow!
“I’ll be happy when…
…I have a six-pack
…I can bench more than my mates
…I am a size 10
…I am skinny.” The list goes on.
Trust me when I say most people will never be truly happy when it comes to their physique, regardless of the level of their success. The same is often true in business and personal finance. We always want more, it is in our nature as human beings
Take some of the best physique competitors, athletes or models in the world and ask them to criticise an area of their body and you will always find an answer. Be the best that you can be, and always regard your health and happiness as your number one priority. Getting strong, feeling great and being happy should always be the goal! If your goal is to impress others by how you look, then you are doing it for the wrong reasons. Do it for you and nobody else!
12) Most fitness classes are poorly structured
Unfortunately many instructors design or structure group workouts and classes with theatrics in mind – “what is going to appeal to prospective clients?”. Chuck a drill sergeant-type instructor into a fitness studio with thumping music and flashing lights with loads of wacky dance moves and explosive jumping and you’ll draw the crowd, but often classes such as body combat, Zumba and circuits are put together with no regard for structural balance, mechanics or to a person’s individual needs and injury limitations.
Although there are certainly good instructors out there, they are few and far between. Forcing immobile office workers with poor posture, mobility and movement quality to jump up and down and perform loads of push ups, box jumps and burpees is excellent for getting them sweaty and out of breath, but not for training longevity.
A smart workout should always address your limitations and weak points whilst addressing your goals and 90% of all exercise classes fail to achieve this.
13) If you follow the: “I will start over on a Monday crowd”, you will almost definitely fail.
In my many years working in the fitness industry I have lost count of the amount of people who have almost broken down in tears, telling me how unhappy they are with their body and their health. They seem at their wits’ end and promise me that they would be willing to travel to the ends of the earth just to achieve their goals. I completely sympathise, as I totally appreciate how hard it is to stay lean and healthy in today’s world of fast food, long working hours and never-ending stress.
It does however completely baffle me that people will have a complete blow-out at the weekend after making such promises, promising themselves that they will start on the Monday; following some misguided misbelief that Monday is a mysteriously magical day. If it is important and it matters to you, START RIGHT NOW! You cannot claim to want something really badly and then not be willing to change right now!
If right now does not work for you, start on a Saturday. Having a couple of days off work allows you to train, shop for food and plan. Scrambling about on a Monday morning when you are late for work, searching for your gym gear and having no time to prep for food is just a recipe for failure.
14) Prowler and sled workouts are the absolute granddaddy of fat loss!
Fancy plodding along on a treadmill for an hour everyday? Cross trainer for 90 minutes? No thank you I would rather bathe in raw sewage!
The solution: Try loading up a prowler or sled with 100kg+ and pushing hard for bouts of around 40-60 seconds. This builds strength whilst putting the least amount of strain on your joints compared to traditional cardio. There is no eccentric loading so you can’t really get sore, and we’ve had individuals with severe hip, back and knee problems get a good workout in whilst working hard with no aggravation. The prowler in particular builds real world mental toughness, works the often-neglected glutes hard and works your lungs to the point of exhaustion whilst heavily taxing your metabolic systems, which are so crucial for blood glucose management. The minimal time investment of sled/prowler sprints over long-term aerobic exercise is another big win!
15) The deadlift has the greatest total impact on your recovery.
Nothing stalls your strength training progress quicker than absolute maximal deadlifting. If you train the deadlift more than once per week and then aim for a PB every time, you will stall very quickly in nearly all of your lifts. Due to the huge demands on your central nervous system you will quickly burn out and you risk serious injury. It is best to max out on a 1RM no more than 2-3 times per year as an advanced athlete and never train to failure. Always leave at least one rep in the tank unless you are performing the odd, infrequent test. Training in the 80-90% 1RM category works well!
On the flip side I don’t like deadlifting for more than 10 reps with any appreciable loads. These Crossfit workouts involving 50 deadlifts in quick succession are a sure-fire way of wearing your intervertebral discs down as fatigue alters your technique. 1-6 reps is the sweet spot!
In my experience, deadlifts can be the very best and very worst exercise for you, so it is important to implement them intelligently. This is where a good coach with a high level of experience is warranted!
If you would like any assistance from us in getting stronger, fitter and leaner then please contact us on [email protected]. We have two gyms in Chichester, West Sussex. We currently help everyone from professional athletes to individuals in their 70s and above and those with disabilities.
Our clients’ goals range from simple weight loss to ultra-distance marathon training. Our membership gym is in Oaklands Park and our private personal training gym can be found in the City Business Centre, Basin Road.