I have trained Cesar for just over 2 years. I remember the first time he came into the gym with his induction group. He is now the only one to have kept going. He was weighing in at around 120kg and was suffering from bilateral knee pain owing to a lot of running. I gave him a few exercises to do; one of which was a reverse bear crawl which he struggled with.
Over the coming months I took a very graded and gradual approach to his training with the use of kettlebells and reduced range of motion. I Show him how to squat, press, hinge, row and lunge. He was very motivated, focused and eager to work hard in every session.
I wanted to write up my time up with Cesar to document how far he has come in the last 2 years. Recently he has just completed 2 x 3 month intensity blocks which would see him train up to 9 times a week for 3 months. He also worked hard on his nutrition; making sure he was eating enough of the right stuff and not too much of it. Before that he was on another 3 month template and he has done hours and hours of rehab work with Colin Gordon of Performance Sports Therapy
His weight has gone from 120kg to below 105kg in just over 2 years but it is really so much more than that. Cesar is an example that changes in training take time and do not happen overnight. Moreover, the changes are hard to recognize and your perspective of where you are and how far you have come is warped. It is only from seeing it from a different perspective that makes you appreciate how far you have changed and come.
It has taken Cesar time to learn the correct technique of lifting weights. His understanding of mechanics and the positions he needs to be in when doing the exercises in his program progressed and are still evolving. He has developed and learned to brace, secure his core and create tension before a lift. All of this has resulted in him being empowered and given him confidence in his body to lift heavy weights. He has learnt about nutrition, calories, tracking macros and now effectively fuels his body and limits the bad stuff he does to it. He has quit smoking and reduced his alcohol intake considerably which has helped his progress massively.
He has managed to do a strict pullup and now does reps of them. He has participated in the majority of my Adversity sessions. Rehabbing his injuries and correcting his mechanics is an ongoing process but it has enabled him to complete an 8 min 2k row and powerful performances in our Friday FYF’s and monthly Adversity sessions.
This has not been a quick transformation. It has taken hard work, consistency, pain, changing of ways and habits, an amount of grit and determination but what it came down to was his ability to endure. His discipline lead to him getting the results he deserved in just over 2 years with a lot of ups and downs along the way.
Cesar even wrote guest blog posts along the way to document his journey and struggles he faced along the way which I have attached below as well a link to the testimonial he did for me.
The first step that Cesar took was to email me. He did that, which I bet took a lot of courage to do. He committed to a new path and to start anything new can be scary and daunting but it is achievable. I am more capable and up to the task, now more than ever, to help you so get in touch today!
My details were passed on to Ken back in January 2018. His friend Lisa was currently training with me and he was looking for help with weight training. Ken had started training on a recumbent hand bike back in October 2017 and had been doing some general exercising and following a general program. He had never lifted any weights before. What Ken wanted was my help to make him break the handbike land speed record in Nevada in September 2018. He at that point was a one man band; he was self employed and living on his own.
Ken suffers from CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome), a neurological condition that he has suffered with for at least 8 years. It was caused by an accident when he was a railway driver. He got out of the train for a signal change and slid down an embankment. He got his foot caught in a piece of railway track. It was dark and he snapped his leg right round 90″ to the side. He was airlifted out. Nothing was broken but there was severe nerve damage. This went up to his brain and now comes from his brain. He has suffered with it for many years with misdiagnosis, and many personal difficulties related to it all. It was hard but he kept going. He is also allergic to many medications, so there is limited pain management. It must all be done by mental pain management drills. He has hyper sensitivity in that leg and a battery pack in his stomach with probes onto his spine to stop flare ups lasting the whole day and just a few hours. He doesn’t sleep due to constant pain and will regularly stay up until he cant keep his eyes open. At around midnight to 2-3am he manages to fall asleep and then wake up 9-10. His morning routine can take 2-3hours. He is wheelchair bound but can put partial weight on his good leg. Given the progressive nature of his condition, he has said that eventually he wont be able to use both legs.
Knowing his background, I was not sure if I could train Ken but I was willing to meet for a coffee to learn more about him and his story. When I met Ken I was instantly inspired as I learnt about what he had gone through, continues to go through and what he wanted to achieve. He wanted to break the hand bike land speed record in less than a year. It was February 2018 and the record attempt was in September 2018. Ken had still not been introduced to weight training and was yet to begin a individualised program specific to his goal from Davie Lines from Expresso Coaching in Fife. He was yet to change from a casual exerciser to a man obsessed about his calorie intake and every part of his recovery.
We sought advice and help from a physiologist, Paul Smith, from the University of Wales and the lead S+C coach of Help for Heroes, JonPaul Nevin. As Ken had never lifted weights before, we worked on the basics, good movement, engagement and bracing. It was an upper body push-pull session. We ran a 12 week peaking program that started at high reps and went lower as we went on. We used the floor press, chest supported row, seated overhead press, latt pulldown, seated bicep curls and tricep extensions. We started easy with light weight dumbbells and slowly progressed to the barbell over a few weeks.
The progression was fast and the strength and size Ken put on was impressive. It was done through sticking to a program and keeping it consistent by working on basics of mechanics, bracing and careful consideration on weight. By making sure that each session was challenging, he had to go through a transformation from casual exerciser to high level elite cyclist wanting to break a world record. That attention to detail, focus, effort, dedication, willingness to suffer and keep going is one of the reasons that Ken was successful. It is also a lesson on what can be achieved in 3 months when you dial down on everything and get the most out of someone. It is what true 1-2-1 training should be; a transformational experience one that will last a lifetime.
On the 2nd of June, Ken secured his place in the ARION4 team with the University of Liverpool to attempt to break the land speed record for the Handbike. This meant he had a support crew, he would be riding in a specially designed and manufactured Handbike and got his travel covered. As he would later discover, this support would turn out to be invaluable. Without the University of Liverpool team and everyone else who supported him, breaking the world record just would not have happened.
We had the sponsorship he needed and the world record attempt confirmed for September 2018. We had 3 months and would begin a intensive program of a 4 day split of a push session then a pull session for hypertrophy for the first month then lower reps for maximal strength in the 2nd month. He would train with me in the morning and then train in his flat on his handbike in the evening. Sometimes his sprints were so intense that he would roll off his bike and be sick.
As the months rolled on he got stronger, put on more muscle and began to get more powerful. His bike sessions started to ramp up and he was well on his way to being prepared to attempt to break the world record. His goal was to beat the speed of 45mph and he had a 2.5-5mile warmup and acceleration beforehand then a .5mile timing gate to achieve this.
What inspired me most about training Ken was his cheerfulness. Despite constantly suffering with pain, lack of sleep and persevering with our difficult training sessions, he would not give up. He used his disability as a gift and without it I do not think he would have been as able to train so hard, push though and eventually break the record.
Kens had the ability to endure, suffer and keep moving forward. He was able to take such a disability, use it for something positive and to say ‘fuck you, I won’t just merely survive and try and just get by. Fuck it, I am going to go and break a world record and achieve something’. And so he did. In doing so he inspired me and many others to make more of themselves and ask more of themselves when they may simply want to give up, have a rest or feel a little tired. Because the truth of the matter is you are capable of some amazing things. With the help of a structured program, good coaching, hard work, nutrition, recovery and just generally transforming you from a casual exerciser to a focused, determined and hard working smart athlete you can achieve some amazing things.
Ken went onto break his world record in Nevada and there was more struggle and endurance in the whole week he was out in the salt planes. This included sky high desert temperatures, long days of maximum effort sprinting every day and just general hardship related and what can be expected from a world record attempt like this took their toll.
He eventually broke the record with a speed of 51.86mph. It was not without its costs; his energy was severely depleted after daily max effort sprints and his nervous system was drained. Ken came back tired and burnt out. He got a lung infection, the flu and a rotator cuff injury which he is currently rehabilitating. Nonetheless, he did it; he achieved his goal.
I learnt a lot from training Ken over the past 7 months. I saw what can be possible when you make sure you cover the basics, concentrate on the details of mechanics, correct movement, engagement, follow a specific and structured program, dial down your nutrition and work your fucking ass off.
I have been working with Nicholas of E-Physiotherapy for just under 9 months now. I ended up meeting him through a friend of a friend. But I actually met him a great few years ago when I first hurt my back about 10years ago.
Anyway his approach is different to others and first off has a detailed and thorough assessment that he does on his first session. Everything is noted down on his computer each session as you go along and progress with your changes in movement/injury and rehab. That part alone stands him in good stead in my eyes. Secondly he is extremely up-to-date on current practices, research and knowledge going to conferences most months around the globe to meet up with professionals in different fields in the medical profession and physio profession.
I have been to many physio’s and therapists over the years and none have given such a good gradual, step by step and progressive approach, everything is building on the last thing you did like a pyramid you work on your foundations first then slowly build on them to build to more complex movements and challenging rehab exercises. There is a big emphasis on you doing the work. Do not expect to just lie there and be massaged for an hour. You will be moving and really working hard to correct your movement patterns and engaging the right muscles as you do them. Its hard and its a struggle because your not used to engaging them or being in certain positions but it does get better. The key is to give it time and continually work on your movement every single day. No days off. It is a long term approach, not merely days or weeks but over a couple months or so.
Working with Nicholas has been great for me as a young Personal Trainer/Coach to help develop my knowledge of the spine and the shoulder which we have been working on and it has helped massively to develop my understanding of Scapula/Humeral rhythm, the muscles involved and the sequence although not completely mastered my knowledge and confidence of assessing and correcting bad shoulder mechanics has improved massively and has given me the confidence to go fourth further and improve my knowledge and understanding of the shoulder and spine more.
On top of this as a coach who focuses on the detail of technique and mechanics it really was humbling to come to someone who absolutely schooled me at being able to see things that I couldn’t see in my movement and highlight things on my understanding that were just plain wrong or incorrect or outdated. This makes it that much more important to have good experienced, knowledgeable and up-to-date professionals around you to support you in your practice and service as I have always used the skills and knowledge and experiences of more mature coaches and professionals to improve myself and what I am trying to achieve at #BOBSGARAGE.
With my own clients and members I have and continue to refer them to him when their movement issue is out of my scope of practice or I just don’t have the solution, then I put my hands up and say I am not sure how to solve this and refer them out to Nicholas to benefit from his skill set and knowledge, understanding and experience as a physiotherapist. He will see them and then directly feedback to me on what is going on with them and then I in turn will feed that back into their program to help progress, rehab and develop their training. He is a real asset to be able to call on for my service and I am really happy I have him as one of my trusted professionals to rely on and refer out to.
I would highly recommend going to see Nicholas if you have an injury just now, or maybe you want to improve your movement and performance or a constant niggle that you continually have contact him now. Can get him via email, online booking system, or phone. Website and contact details are below:
Nicholas Evans – E-Physiotherapy
7A Haddington Place, Leith Walk, Edinburgh, EH7 4AE.
The picture above is me in Bryce Canyon Utah. I little R+R before the GymJones Intermediate seminar in June 2017. I was getting some time out and reflection before a busy and intense weekend training and learning with the current GymJones crew at the time.
Looking back on this picture more than a year ago brings me strength. Why because I thought I had it all figured out and was a very confident cocky man. I had strayed the line between confidence and arrogance which is easily done. Unbeknowns to me I was about to go into one of the most challenging, transformative years of my life. I would achieve many things but also suffer greatly with stress in many areas but also grow massively in others.
That trip really did set a fire inside me, provided the motivation, inspiration and drive for the rest of year even though it cost me it was worth it to invest in myself and fuel my imagination, creativity and thirst to help others get further in life after all it would be pretty boring and sad place if you just got fit and strong and took no one with you along your journey with you. My job is to serve, to help my purpose that which drives me and gets me up each morning is the satisfaction I get from helping people achieve what they didn’t think was possible.
Coming back from Salt Lake city I decided what I needed to do before anything else was to finally get my Personal Training qualification spurred on by my coach at the time Andy McKenzie. I sought out one of the best coaches in Edinburgh Oli Jessop of G2G Coaching and started on the course completing the Gym Instructor course then in December starting the Level 3 PT course completing that in May this year.
The year was filled with challenges one of which was a family one. My father was diagnosed with Cancer of the esophagus and in December was had surgery to have it removed. His health not 100% from alcoholism and cigarettes the month was touch and go in intensive care for him. He pulled through and got discharged in February. However alcoholism doesn’t leave someone easily unfortunately.
I buried my dads dog Harvey in March and said goodbye to someone close to me. But I also took on someone in February who really showed me inspiration and drive which was Ken Talbot. Ken wanted to be shown how to lift weights but was wheelchair bound with CRPS a neurological condition which he would make a source of strength than a source of weakness. Ken wanted to break the world land speed record for the hand bike.
The idea started for this blog post because I was thinking… Imagine if you had neurological pain like Ken, imagine if you were diagnosed with Cancer like my father or my friend Dal who was diagnosed with a brain tumour and this year had his third brain surgery the resulting implications were a stroke down his left side effecting his arm and leg on his left side.
Imagine just for a second that you were not able bodied, you did not have your full health. For those that are high level strength athletes imagine you cant squat 200 or 300kg or bench that or deadlift that. Imagine you couldn’t row a 2k under 8 or 7mins, imagine you couldn’t run 5k or 30 or 60mins.
Perspective is important, looking back to what you have achieved, over the last year or even month or couple of weeks can make a massive difference when you have faltered or plateaued or injured yourself. When you are struggling to find something to inspire and set that fire inside you that will help you change yourself, transform yourself and simply get more out of yourself it is perspective that will show you that you are just not cutting it. Getting up that little bit earlier going to the gym at 6am which requires you to get up at 5-5.30am is one example that I quite often use. When people come to the point that they want some form of change get stronger, or fitter or weight loss. It is usually weight loss. People come to me and put their hands on their stomach and say Bob I want to get rid of this. But what usually happens is I change their life, perception of it and change their habits, make them a stronger person mentally and physically and fitter at the same time. The by product of this training and transformation is that they have a body that is maybe carries a little more muscle a little less fat and a little more pleasing to the eye.
Currently I am in another 3month block of focus after completing the last one end of August. Focus on work, the business, training, coaching and not drinking alcohol. I could not have imagined doing something like this maybe a year ago, maybe for a month maybe just maybe for 3 months but again fuck no. But I am and I am more driven than ever to help people with what I do and this can be in a large part to working with all the people I have worked with in my life so far they have changed me and driven me to get more out of myself so I can get more out of others.
If this has sparked something within you and you want to be part of #bobsgarage then email me to start the process and discuss firstname.lastname@example.org
photo on left was taken after the 3month training block 18th August 2018, photo on Right was taken 9th March 2018
A matter of perspective – Cesar Ayala
Recently I finished a 12 week training program that made me go 9 times per week to the gym. Monday + Tuesday twice, Wednesday rest, Thursday + Friday twice and Saturday once (Sunday, rest). In total, counting the extra week that I did before starting as a test, it’s around 110 sessions at the gym, of an average time there of 90 min per session (plus around 40 min walking to go and come back from the gym) . A shitload of time, there are long time relationships that last less that the time I spent walking to the gym and being there. Funny thing is it was me who decided to go 9 times. I could have gone between 5 and 10 times per week, I chose 9 every week.
In that time I’ve lost 8 kilos, which could have been more because I spent one week in Spain eating my mum’s food, so I came back with a little extra. I’ve beaten my PB at squats and recovered my deadlift to a decent level, but injured my right shoulder so I had to stop benching, in fact it’s still not 100% okay. I’ve been able to go on the rower for one hour (666 calories, metal as fuck!), but also pulled my hamstring badly when I tried to sprint running. My belly has gone down more than 5 inches, which means that soon I’ll have to buy a weightlifting belt to be able to keep the pace, because the belly is not as “protected” as it was. I’ve fallen face first trying to “jump” a box and I’ve been able to do pull ups, proper pull ups, on the bar and the rings, for the first time in my life.
To be able to work, study and going that much to the gym I had to change my life habits: no more late nights, drinking only once per week (Saturday most of the cases), keep a healthy diet (with a deficit to lose weight), stopped smoking (well, I vape) and started waking up around 6 AM nearly every day of the week. Of the 1440 minutes that a day has, I was busy (sleeping, training, walking, etc.) for more than 1200. I know because I made an Excel about it.
As you can see, I don’t mention only the good stuff, because that wouldn’t be honest. I’ve been tired, I’ve been in pain, I’ve been pushing my limits to new heights, losing the weight, keeping so busy that going to bed at 10 PM was a blessing. There have been good days and bad days.
Many people at the gym have asked me what was the hardest part. And I’ve to say, the hardest part is the right now. Let me explain: The past is set in stone, so it’s already done, all those reps, and all those movements are in the DONE list. All the mistakes and successes are done, in the past; yes, burning those calories on the cardio machines was a torment, but it’s already done. The future is still ahead, I can’t say that the hardest part is something that hasn’t happened yet, so the hardest part must be then, the right now. Going again to the gym for the 4th time in two days. Doing another set. Knowing when to stop. Getting out of bed. And at the same time, if you look about what I said from a different perspective, those were exactly the best parts. Because all those great reps and great days that are in the past, are already done too. Because those new PB that I could achieve in 2 months haven’t happened yet, the best part is then, right now. So I try to enjoy and get the most of it, because I prefer to think about it as a good time instead of as a bad time.
When I’m struggling and having a “bad day” I remember the past. There was upon a time when that exactly same kind of exercise that I’m not doing as good as usual today, was my best. The other day I had to stop squatting at 150 kilos, couldn’t go up to the 170×3 that I did just a few days before. And yes, that’s the kind of thing that gets under your skin, but I remembered the time when even doing 3 reps with 150 kilos was impossible and how I felt when I did ONE. So that day, which was my best day… was now one of the bad days? How’s that even possible? How’s being better than my past self a bad thing? That doesn’t make any sense! The only thing that makes senses is that being better than my past self is a good thing!
Also, nobody told me that this was going to be easy. Hell, I decided to do it because it was going to be very hard and demanding! What the fuck I’m complaining now about? “Oy, that thing that was going to be complicated, well, is complicated, so I don’t want it anymore, I’m disappointed”. So I grind my teeth, collect myself the best I can and keep going. Because if you stop doing something you wanted to do because it gets hard and difficult, that means that you never wanted it.
But without any doubt the most important part was that I was doing something that I liked. I like going to the gym, seeing the people that goes there, doing stuff with the barbell, moving around, and trying to be a little better every day. If you see training as a curse and changing your life habits as a punishment, you are not going to achieve much. Maybe you do it, but feeling miserable each step of the way is not worth it. So change your perspective. Look things from a different angle. Don’t be surprised when things happen, good or bad. Yes, you can get injured and yes nobody likes being injured, but that also will allow you to rethink how you do things, to change your patterns, to learn more. Also don’t get too cocky when results start to appear, because having a great day doesn’t guarantee that from now on, every single day is going to be great. Assume that, without failures, there are no successes, and the other way around also applies. Pick a goal that can be done, save the “Do the impossible!” and all that to the TV ads. Be realistic and honest.
But also start doing it now. Don’t let the tomorrow kidnap you and start a cycle about “I’ll do it tomorrow” or “I’ll start next month” or “I’ll do it when I get a break”. When I was reading the stoic philosophers I found one quote of Marcus Aurelius that defines this perfectly:
“You get what you deserve. Instead of being a good person today, you choose instead to become one tomorrow”.
In the same way, don’t let the past become the prison of your future. Not being able to do something doesn’t mean that you will never be able to do it. Failing in the past doesn’t mean an eternity of failures. Learn from your failures, yes, but don’t let them dominate your present.
So try to achieve that goal you are looking for. One of the best things about training is that it’s not a competition that you need to win. If you can’t keep the pace, you can slow down. If you are not able to go X times per week to the gym, you can go less. If you can’t lift the bar, you can drop it. What matters is not losing the will to keep doing it, to enjoy it while you do it and understanding that by doing it, you are changing your life in a very important way.
This post was triggered with all the work I have been doing with Nicholas Evans at E-Physiotherapy around the shoulder and its movement and correcting and strengthening it.
I want to give you some advice to get the most out of your training and the use of the pullup and its variations or when to use it and when not too and what regressions or progressions to use to get the most out of your training.
So to start we must look at the following things, how many years you have been training, what strength level you are at, skill level you are at and fitness, have you shoulder injuries? What are you training for? and what are your requirements for your training?
Your first stop is your spinal mechanics, what is your thoracic like extension and rotation, as the shoulder is connected to the ribcage/thoracic so if there needs correction their then that needs sorted first before you start looking at shoulder position and movement.
Once we have had a look at spinal mechanics and know the correct position to hold then we need to do the corrective exercises if you are not in that position. Maybe if your needing a lot of work here pullups are not the best solution to your training problem just now.
Once you know what the correct position is you need to know how to hold it and understanding how to control your ribcage, keep it down, and engaging your core is important. You need to keep your spine in the right position so the shoulder blades can move properly.
After spinal mechanics it is scapular humoral rhythm, how are your shoulder blades moving? Are they rotating forward/back, dumping forward and coming off the rib cage or are they moving well up and down and rotating up and in on the way up and down and out on the way down. Are you able to feel your Latts in your reps or do you just feel your biceps? Pain in elbows, Pain on front of shoulders? pain in neck? getting whip lash or neck strains?
If you are having any of these issues it would be worth seeing a physiotherapist first and foremost I would recommend my colleague Nicholas at E-physiotherapy. If you have any shoulder injuries already then you should be doing neutral pullups first and making sure you are seeing a physio definitely.
Once you have sorted spinal mechanics, understand how to hold them, understand how to move and engage your shoulder blades to fully utilise your Latts, good shoulder movement and to avoid injury it is time to look at the next part.
What is your problem your trying to solve with your training? do you just need strong Latts? Do you have a short time to get this strong and a restricted amount of time to train? Then I would avoid pullups and focus on Chest supported rows and Latt pulldowns.
If you havnt much training experience or just not got the strength to do pullups then you should be practicing the above 3-4 times a week with a pullup progression, with the pullup progression use something that you can keep tension on the whole movement and do high reps, which can be done with bands or doing pullups seated with a racked barbell.
If you are coming in from a stronger base of strength then pullups are for you and can be used more effectively for building upper back strength. As when you have the appropriate amount of strength your pullups will start to look like how you do your Latt pulldowns. You feel your Latts, you don’t have pain in your shoulders, elbows, traps are not taking over, then you are ready to fully utilise your pullups.
Tempo-tension-volume – when ever you are training in compound lifts or bodyweight movements you should be thinking about creating tension throughout the movement, pulling yourself into the movement and then pushing yourself out of the movement. Look at your ability to engage your latts then how fast you pullup and drop down (pro tip you should not be dropping down)
control the movement, slow and controlled up and slow and controlled on the eccentric portion of the movement. Then watch your Latts just light up. Once you have the tempo and tension down it is then doing the correct amount of reps, just enough to feel it, stop as soon as you cant engage or its a strain or you can no longer engage your Latts. But be prepared to work them with adequate rest for 20mins right up to 1hr.
If you want to delve into the Rabbit hole of spinal and shoulder mechanics, help rehab old or nagging injuries, help you address a training plateau you are on, or just want to finally be able to do pullups or have stronger Latts then get in contact to begin training at #bobsgarage email me at email@example.com
I am going to outline how we go about warming up and how we structure our workouts in this blog.
If there is one thing that I have seen to be true time and time again it is that a structured warmup, workout and training plan can go leaps and bounds to improving someone’s performance. You can see massive leaps in strength, fitness, body composition from just staying to a plan and structure. On the flip side if there is no inherent reason or backing behind what your doing then it is just a matter of time before you get injured, plateaux, or get over trained.
Lets start with the overall workout structure. It is split into the following areas:
General warmup – can be anything from a quick 500m on a rower or couple of minutes of the Airdyne too 5-10mins steady state CV
Specific warmup – This differs in length depending on your training level, history and experience, those who have just started training have a short list but as you mature as an athlete its will become longer with rehab, mobility work, prehab work and special activation work that you need to get done to get the performance from your workout.
All new members are shown our standardised Range of Motion exercises:
4 point X’s
side to side stretch
Lunge pulse stretch
Rack Assisted squats
I am going to go over below why we do each exercise and what it is doing..
Your on all quadruped position, and your moving your segmenting the spine through its range of motion. You also put pressure on the wrists and practice bringing the shoulder blades together and separating them. You also will move the hip through a tucked position to pointed out position. Can help beginners understand posterior and anterior pelvic tilt.
4 point X’s
These are hard to explain but best demonstrated, basically its a dynamic stretch that moves through a range and stretches your hip flexors, groin, glutes, latts and will just generally get you moving and warmed up.
Side to Side stretch
Your lying on your front. Also known as a scorpion. This stretch is used to stretch your chest but also gets your hips and torso. Again best explained in person. Pecs are commonly tight with all the desk work most people do with that forward leaned position they get short and tight.
Lunge Pulse Stretch
Your in a lunge position, tuck your hips into posterior pelvic tilt, keep your ribs down, and hip stacked over knee. contract the glute and hip flexor and then relax. Used to stretch the hip flexor. Commonly tight in most people who come in because of lots of sitting.
You are in the quadruped position again, and on your elbows rocking back and forth with knees wide this one hits the groin.
Rack assisted squats
controlled and slow squats focusing on the right mechanics and feeling the squat with the support of the squat rack as you walk your hands up and down it as you squat for support, will help open up your knees, hips, ankles further.
These range of motion exercises are just some standardised exercises which I have found hit key areas that a lot of people have issues in. There are two types of people who come into the gym super flexible people in this case doing these exercises would be still benefit them as it would still help them warmup through their full joint range even though they don’t feel restricted or tight. The other type of person is the tight person who is stiff and struggles with their mobility, most commonly we see people with super tight hip flexors and pecs. These stretches are a good starting point to start addressing these issues. As their training progresses we individualise their range of motion exercises.
As you progress with your knowledge so will your warmup routine, maybe adding in trigger point work or specific stretches or Range of motion exercises for you.
The movement 7 warmup all new members are taught this as their standard warmup. It is also our movement assessment and is a good introduction to all of the movements we use.
pressup from ground
We will go through some basic breathing patterns and talk about bracing and basic mechanics before we start this. Each movement is broken down and there is a focus on tension and correct position.
Your warmup can easily be your rehab work if you are doing shoulder or back or hip rehab work from your physio also.
As your knowledge and experience progress you can warmup specific to the workout. So if its squats take easier versions of the exercise, squats, bodyweight, goblet squat, lunge, some bridges, some planks. If its deadlifts then some kb RDL’s, hip bridges and planks. If its bench then, a combo of press-ups and rows is great. If its a CV workout then 10mins CV is what we go for.
Workout can be the following. A strength workout we have a standardised upper lower split on the board, beginners get a full body split for their first couple of weeks. You may have a individualised 4 week strength program if so then you would do that. We also have CV sessions most notably our IWT. We also have a bodyweight, cv and core session this is high rep bodyweight training, intervals and core work. We also have higher rep more circuit type sessions that we call GymJones sessions also.
For your strength sessions we have structured accessory work that we call supplemental work. Structural supplemental work to work on your weaknesses and Breathing supplemental work to spike your heart rate and get out of breath without interfering with the main strength workout too much doesn’t last longer than around 7mins.
So if you put all that together, the workout structure, the warmup structure and the program structure that each member has you have the #bobsgarage workout system. Designed to treat you as an individual, meet you at the level you are at and get you to the level you want to be at, get the most out of you each session and keep you at the lowest risk of aches, strains and injury through not warming up properly, or over training.
Today I went to visit one of my friends Dal. He is currently in the Ashley Ainsley Rehab hospital because he suffered a stroke from his third brain surgery to completely remove his brain tumour. I could call him a member but its a bit more than that now. I took Cesar as he wanted to come visit him with me. I was pleased he asked as they are both going through their own challenges be it in completely different ends of the spectrums.
Catching up with Dal and shooting the shit about me, Cesar and him and challenges we had before us, are dealing with just now and the challenges that are to come I was struck by this, we are all going through our own battles in our head.
For Dal it is not the rehab that is the challenge, he has done that before, he has trained with us and the training has left an imprint on him and he will be able to draw on his past experience’s to keep moving forward. The real challenges that are going to be faced will be in the head. The ups and downs of it all are tough and I know it I have gone through it all with him before and this time its harder. For Dal the battle will be keep on enduring, keep moving forward, pick himself up on the low days and stop himself getting carried away on the high days. Talking finding an outlet and getting things off your chest will always help.
For Cesar on his intensive training block just now, when fatigue kicks in or when he just cant strike up the will too, keep eating well, not staying up too late, come in to his 2nd session of the day even when he is not feeling it. Or keeping managing his busy routine of working, studying, training, and nutrition. Staying strong and steadfast will be the true battle in his mind to keep progressing and seeing this 3 months through.
I have got the group photo of my GymJones Intermediate Seminar up here as the header for this post for many reasons. The first is that it gave me a massive sense of empowerment. I went away from that week of training and the weekend seminar with a feeling of empowerment and strength that I used to power me through a whole years working, training and getting me through some massive ups and downs.
It struck me tonight as I went through another little down moment, the usual Sunday night stuff that everyone goes through that the real battle we go through is not with our body but inside our head.
The battle of not seeing results, of stagnating, of still being not happy with your body, unfit, or your strength is lacking. You should take a breath and realise that the problem is not with your body but with your head.
Many people tell me that they don’t have time to train, then I say why don’t you come to my 6am class? They normally respond with don’t be silly I couldn’t get up at that time. It would mean getting up at 5am and then a whole days work.
Look at the problem, maybe you need to invest more time in your training, maybe you need to sacrifice a bit more, time in bed, social life, drinking, dinners out, spend more time putting the work in, invest in yourself, your body, your mind, your health.
If I have learnt anything this past 5 years, it is this, a life of exercise, resistance training, challenges, trying to lead, coach, learning from mistakes getting over big lows and keeping my head level on those big highs can have a massive positive effect on your mental strength, will power, drive, persistence and just ability to endure and keep going.
For me the next 3 months are all about seeing what we can do, physically with my training, my strength and fitness, and stopping drinking for 3months will help this but also in really being present coaching, and enjoying as much of it as possible, helping people get stronger and fitter and battle through challenges in the gym which will lead them to be stronger to face those challenges outside of the gym.
So next time you are facing a challenge whatever it is, weight on the bar, time on the rower, or any of the myriad outside of the gym remember the real battle is inside your head and you can win it. I know I am.