2012 has been an a year of ups and downs for me in the gym and in business.
I hit a 1RM squat of double bodyweight which has always been a goal of mine, but at the same time, been plagued with a shoulder injury which is baffling a lot of people and seriously pissing me off, especially given that I am signed up for my first kickboxing fight in June 2013 and I want to get back to training like a beast.
I’ve also had a big turning around in terms of simplifying everything I do and not trying to find every training method under the sun which as far as I can see gets everyone nowhere and just leads to confusion and the resulting ‘paralysis by analysis’.
Most all I’ve taken time to study myself and our members at Storm Force Fitness.
This confirmed what I read about ‘intermittent’ learners. I came across this concept in Sam Sheridan’s ‘The Fighter’s Mind’.
He talks of Josh Waitzkin’s book about how kids learn and I’ve realised the same applies to adults.
You’re either an entity learner or an intermittent learner.
Entity learners tend to give up if what they thought they knew is challenged, they have to change direction or they feel defeated.
Intermittent learners understand the process and the value of defeats on the path to victory.
From what I can see, we seem to have a 50/50 split at our training facility.
Some people are willing to just keep taking step after step to get better.
Others expect something to happen overnight, and when they feel sore after their first session, can’t lift the same as people who’ve been there (intermittently learning) for over 2 years or they don’t lose 20lbs in a week, they see it as a defeat.
This defeat causes deflation and they walk away in search of that next one big thing that will bring results in 24 hours.
Let me tell you that health and fitness, like learning is not a ‘gift’.
It MUST be more of a recurring credit in your account or a fine wine that improves with age. Spend more time on it slowly and steadily, always applying as you go and tweaking things.
Spot your own weaknesses and work on them more.
Few people are willing to do this and want the ‘gift’ of a great body and the fitness of a machine.
IT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.
Given I’ve been doing this for 10 years, do you not think if there was a way to just ‘present’ fitness, I would use it and sell it to make lots of money?
My mission is to change peoples’ lives through health and fitness but I know it will not last when we try to present a quick fix without changes to the fundamentals of belief, support and lifestyle.
So here’s just a few of the things I’ve learned in 2012 which have finally got my happiness back and I hope it helps you turn a corner in the New Year.
(In no particular order)
When It Hurts, Stop
There are two types of pain.
The aching, burning pain of exertion which is just a sign your limit is about to be raised.
Then there is joint pain which is a sign something bad will happen if you carry on.
I stupidly pushed on for a 1RM bench press (which I hit) but should have backed off.
You need intense training to see results, whatever your goals.
But you don’t just turn on a switch.
You need to play the right mind games with yourself daily to be able to get to the right level when you walk in the gym.
And this is not in an elitist statement as intensity is a relative term, much like 100% effort varies massively between people but is still 100%.
A session can be a walk in the park or a brutal suffer fest al depending on how you harness intensity and the willingness to bring your A-game to everything you do.
A Goal That Scares You, Drives You
Ever gone to sleep knowing in 6 months, you’ll be in a cage with 800 people expecting big things from you?
It makes you train harder, eat better, sleep more and do the things the other guy probably won’t.
If you want to feel the blood coursing through your veins every day of your life, set something down that scares you and tell the world.
Then there’s no going back.
Lower Volume Builds More Muscle…
You will find many recollections and ‘statements’ that to build muscle you must lift 6 days a week, twice a day.
Others will find that actually 3-4 big sessions does the job.
As an Ectomorph who is naturally lean and long (in many ways…Joke) I found that I build more muscle when I train like a beast with big lifts, 4 times per week then spend the rest of the time eating, sleeping and allowing my body to rebuild.
I naturally burn energy for fun so long and regular sessions just leave me in a permanent state of fatigue with little muscle growth.
Experiment – science and experts are just guides.
4 Sets Are Better Than 3 For Muscle
Again MY results improved by introducing a ‘prep’ set followed by two top sets increasing in weight, finishing with a back off high rep set.
4 sets or 5 if you’re more advanced and can handle the volume.
Strength and Power Needs 8-12 Sets
For Olympic lifts and powerlifting, starting at 50% of your target top weight and increasing weight over 8-12 sets produces the best results as it takes your nervous system that many sets to really start cranking.
Simple Challenges Double Intensity
A person can be made to work SO much harder with some simple challenges.
Do it faster than that bloke.
Do it faster in your team than that team.
Do it to get a t-shirt or your name on the board.
Every man or woman will discover their true self when put in a race.
Vitamin D Makes More Difference Than You Realise
If you live in the northern latitudes and don’t get to go on a sunny holiday ever 12 weeks, your life will be better with good Vitamin D supplementation.
More energy, lower body fat and a better mood.
Most People Have a Serious Sugar Addiction
So many people literally cannot let go of sugars because when they do they feel horrendous.
Processed sugar causes addictions and the sweats, poor sleep, uncomfortable life and lack of brain power associated with ‘proper’ drugs.
Just wanted say you got it spot on with the insulin imbalance, just through looking at my body shape! No doctors have ever suggested this as the cause of my problems. Thank You!
I’ve been on antidepressants, and all sorts of other medication over the years and none of them have done anything remotely close to what the TT has done for me.
For 3 months now i’ve had no headaches, nausea, night sweats, and other symptons associated with an insulin imbalance , and i certainly don’t feel depressed anymore!
I’ve recently been reintroducing my body to the things i haven’t had and seeing how my body reacts to it, and this morning i woke up drenched in sweat! Because i reintroduced sugar! Sugar is now a banned substance in my house along with quite a few other things!
U might not have got a 2 in 1 out of me, but you’ve certainly made me feel 20 yrs younger !!
Doing the TT didnt only helped me to lose weight and sort out my medical issues Jon. Its done way more than that for me!
Its not changed my life…….. Its brought me back to life!
I can’t thank you all enough for that.
Bring on 2013!!”
Apply yourself 100% for 3 weeks and see what happens, instead of faffing around ‘kind of’ doing it for months on end.
DO OR DO NOT.
Most People Get The Slow and Fast Phases of Lifting The Wrong Way Round
Most people go to heavy when lifting and end up letting gravity control the pace on the lowering phase of the lift, then slowly grinding up doing the minimum work they can to just ‘get it up’.
Slow your eccentric lowering phase to a 4 second phase followed by driving up – exploding!
You will get stronger and more muscular and fast.
Do One Thing At a Time
Very. very, very few people have the genetic make up to be a muscular, lean, 10k running, bodybuilding fighting machine.
Even if they can, they could be much better at any one of those elements.
Do one thing and do it properly or you risk average to poor results and injury.
Prioritize Don’t Periodize
Following the old linear method of say 4 weeks endurance, 4 weeks muscle building, 4 weeks strength just results in going around in circles.
Always train power, strength, dynamic lifting and conditioning, but prioritise them accordingly and adjust the time spent on each depending on your goal.
A lot of people who fight the eternal diet battle to lose fat would do better by eating more but of the good stuff.
Guys trying to bulk up and build muscle rarely ever eat enough.
You Definitely Become Your Environment
A knew this a long time ago, but every year it becomes more obvious.
You are what you surround yourself with.
It can be difficult to walk away from engrained habits, people and your ‘old haunts’ but things/your body won’t change until you have the right people and influences around you
Treat Your Brain and Body Like Rentable Space
Who do you allow to live in your brain and influence you?
Do you charge a high enough rent?
Do you re-evaluate every year, or better, every day?
What do you allow to live in your body?
Do you let them get away with leaving rubbish lying around, reducing the value and appearance to others?
We Put Our Faith In The Wrong Places
There is too much blind faith and thoughtless responsibility for our actions given to doctors, journalists and celebrities on TV.
Few people take time to understand how the mind works so they place responsibility for their health, finances and happiness in other peoples’ hands so that they don’t have to admit the state they are in in their fault.
Create your own economy.
Rebuild your own health from the ground up.
Read the things you choose to read, not what happens to be on the box.
Squatting Three Times a Week Is Nasty But Works
Back squat, front squat, pin squat, single leg squat.
I had to when I first damaged y shoulder.
My leg strength rocketed.
Just make sure you balance it out with more hip flexion work such as deadliest, reverse hypers and lunge variations.
Keep Conditioning Under 15 Minutes
You can still do a 45-60 minute session but make each block less than 15 minutes and your intensity and results will go through the roof.
If You Want To See Just What You Can Do In 3 Weeks, Check Out The Turbo Transformation: