The next 5 years

It can sometimes take a big event to almost reset or restart your brain or thinking as it were. For me I guess it was last nights 5 year anniversary party and all the drinks etc and the horrendous hangover this morning. It can also take time lots of time, you may take information in like I did a year ago at GymJones and store it and understand it but not truelly understand it. It takes time for your brain to process it and sometimes going back to something later on can help make it more meaningful and make more sense.

The thing I am getting at here is the way I train people and what I learnt at the GJ Intermediate seminar, what I have learnt since then, my trials and errors in trying to achieve my goals and others and how to implement the very best training plan. So from spending time with Marc Keys, Oli Jessop, Andy Mckenzie and ofcourse the one and only Bobby Maximus I have slowly developed my understanding on how best to train those that come to #BOBSGARAGE.

At the moment how members come and train just now they have two options follow whats on the board either a lower or upper body strength session, a circuit session, a bodyweight cardio and core session or the IWT session (Friday session) Those that want it follow periodised training in the form of either 12week strength program or 4 week strength program. But like the secrets to the universe it is an unfinished work and is not the end product. Eventually we will move to a 3 tiered system and you will either be on tier 1, 2 or 3.

Tier 1 is Foundation 1 is what all new members will be on for at least 6 months but can last up to 18months. For beginners you will be eased into training with 2-3 sessions a week and then building towards 5-10sessions a week. 1-2 hour sessions, hard training 5days a week minimum, Foundation 1 is about increasing work capacity above all else and the bodies ability to tolerate stress.

There has always been a need to find a system that incompasses the all round approach, the subject is massive with CF and that is where it began but to delve deeper we need to use this 3 tier approach and you yourself need to write a list 10 things you want to get better at, with the most important at the top and the least at the bottom and make sure you are working towards those goals every single session. If foundation 1 is about building volume then foundation 2 is about intensity and foundation 3 is about intensified volume. How do we find out what level we are meant to be in? some standards can help but most who walk through the door bar a few will be in F1. Some standards to achieve before moving to  Foundation 2 which might be helpful but might not as sometimes you just reach a plateaux and then it is time to change the structure you could hit this at either 6months or 18months depending on the intensity of the sessions or how much work you put in.

I guess this has been triggered by the work I am starting to do writing programs for members for strength training but then thinking back at the intermediate seminar and looking back at the idea of having 3 levels of training programs Foundation 1,2,3 and dealing with the idea of the exerciser or the athlete but actually its more than that its learning to differentiate what level you should be at just started never trained before level 1, other end of the scale guy comes in been training since he was 11 deadlifts 250kg benches 130kg squats 210kg 2k row is under 6.50 and does the GymJones triathlon in 5mins and hits 620-630m on a 2min row IWT then that guy needs tier 3 programming or just an individualised approach to work on his specific weaknesses. I havnt quite worked out how I will deliver the 3 tier system just now as I am just writing monthly periodised programming for members but further down the line will look at a way to implement this 3 tier system and have members following programs on either tier 1, 2 or 3. Call it the project for the next 5 years and hopefully in that time once I have worked it out I may even go back to SLC and complete my Advanced Seminar and finally become a GJ Instructor some day. One can always dream.

But for now let me leave you with this, if you are only training 3 times a week don’t expect the results of someone who trains 6 times a week. And if you haven’t written a list of goals already no more than 10 then why don’t you go away and write them down and then spend the next 6months at least working towards achieving those goals.


People who Inspire me – Jamie Menarry

I was going to title this blog post ‘you don’t get the results you want you get the results that you deserve’ but in reality it is a post about a long term member Jamie who triggered theses thoughts on training. Its also his birthday this week and so I figured I would write it as an ode to all his hard work he has invested in training at the gym over the years.

Jamie joined our gym around the time of 2014 with one of his good friends who turned out to be quite a character the legend that is John Morris more about him maybe in another post perhaps. He has been training hard for 4 years at this gym the last few years putting in 2hr shifts or so mostly 6 times a week and he works hard. He is consistent with his training and with his nutrition and probably eats the best out of the whole gym. I have watched him grow, get stronger and go through ups and downs. He has had a big effect on me and seeing him work his ass off day after day is indeed inspiring and has definitely helped push me. On the rare occasions I have been able to workout with Jamie it has been a pleasure and has made suffering whatever workout it was arbitrary.


A couple of years ago I took a trip too Slovenia with Andy Mckenzie and a group of coaches, we went to visit a guy he knew called Marck Goran in Maribor. The gym was amazing and the coach Marck himself was larger than life and very charismatic, there is something about Marck that makes him truly one of a kind.  Anyway Jamie has been following Marck’s training for a year or so now and the workouts are grueling and long and tough but Jamie deligently gets through them each day and gets them done even if they last 3hrs or so. The training might not always be to my taste or I might not agree with it but one thing is for sure it is hella inspiring to see him crank them out day after day eat really well and get stronger, fitter and absolutely shredded in the process.

Ok enough about Jamie I have probably made his swell up big enough already now. The reason that I was triggered to write this post has been a few things first it was his birthday this week, secondly I am trying to tighten up on my physique, as well as continue to get stronger and fitter, I am always also dealing with members and progression, results, weight loss, getting people stronger and people just wanting to look fucking good. It got me back to this, you don’t get the results you want, you get the results you deserve and there is a big difference between going to the gym 3 times a week and going 6 times a week.

The results you are going to get are going to be determined by a number of things. Firstly the basics and foundations. This has been underlined by my work with Oli Jessop at G2G Coaching where I completed my Level 3 PT qualification last week. Making sure someone is moving correctly with underlining proper mechanics, and they are able to brace effectively is massive. Secondly making sure they are on a structured and well rounded periodised program is the next step, repetition is key so they get familiar with how to train and move well. Thirdly recording their results every session at a time from the weight on the bar to the reps they did to the time it took them too row 500m. As my old coach Ironmac used to say if its not tracked you don’t know how far you have come and how far you have to go. The next step is intensity this, I remember the first time I step foot into a commercial gym and I was doing everything and not getting any results and I asked the PT a guy named Andrew at the time what gives and he said Intensity, you should look at the intensity you do your training, less junk volume and more training at decent intensity to elcit a good adaption to the stimulus (GAS).


The next big step is nutrition, it has taken me 5 years and moving out from living at home, (gasp) that was last year. To understand what I need to do and the changes in my habits and difficult choices you have to make to eat well and support your training. I have only just started to get a handle on it as of late, roughly tracking what I eat daily, trying to hit enough protein and eating the right amount of carbs and not eating too much fat, and resisting the urge to have beers all week or pizza on a Wednesday or Thursday night but some protein, carbs and ofcourse vegetables. Now that I am starting to relay this onto all my members and clients alike they are having massive changes and with new members who come in its something we talk about right from the get go, trying to figure out what you roughly eat a day and what the percentage of that is protein, carbs and fat and then take small steps to make sure it is supporting your training and goals has helped massively to getting people stronger, fitter and leaner much faster than if we were to just focus on just working out but you probably knew that.

The hard work is not just about making sure you are moving the best you can and working on your nutrition though, it can be getting 8 hours sleep, because getting enough sleep can be like literally a magic pill, it maybe you drink too much or need to cut it out for a big challenge to get as fit or strong or shredded for some big challenge or goal or just cause its summer. It also means doing your accessory work if your a power lifter, taking lower percentage weeks and working on technique, realising when your over reaching and need a proper rest.

Another point to note is Bobby Maximus 130 hour rule, he states that it takes roughly 130 quality hours to get fit, that’s training hard 5 days a week for 6 months. You can reduce that 6 months but then the amount you will have to work will go up so 3 months would be twice a day Monday to Friday and once on Saturday. I did this program last year and it got me shredded and got my 2k row time down too 6.50.1 and I was pretty strong. I am not saying you have to train twice a day but what I am saying is that there is a big difference between training 3 times a week and 6 times a week, there is a lot to be said for consistence, persistence and small little gainz every fucking session they add up.

I feel like at this moment I am just about able to right the programming I have always wanted to write, individualised, GymJones inspired, and ask 100% from the people that decide to commit their time and money too me, as I can only coach a certain number of people and time is precious and its amazing too see people give their all, get results, progress and enjoy it all throughout the process I couldn’t have done it without the foundations of CF, my time with Andy my time at GymJones, the time I have spent with Marc Keys, Marck Goran and most recently the time I have spent with Oli Jessop.

I am away to reread Maximus Body.

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Having the belief in yourself

When I was sitting at my desk 5 years ago at a recruitment company, and I said to the person next to me I wanted to open a gym, they laughed in my face. How dare I have such a big and challenging goal and how dare I think that I could for 1 run a gym and 2 do something I had never had any experience in. Back 5 years ago maybe more I lacked confidence, and the ability to stand out from the crowd or stand up and be counted for my beliefs and what I wanted to stand for. It was a regular occurrence at school that my old school friend Dave would say I needed to stand up for myself and be more confident, I just wasn’t very good at pushing back when people were rude, talked shite about me or just pushed me about. Couple years down the line and I am out of Uni and doing CF and the same is said to me by my old coach Jonny one good example is of a morning session and getting ready for a wod and setting up a plyo box and I just let a girl take it off me without saying anything.

The day I started standing up for myself and being counted was the day I decided to stick my neck out and do something different, deciding to open a CF gym with little to no experience or qualifications was gonna do that. I was told I just wasn’t cut out to being a coach, I wasn’t a good fit. I wouldn’t listen and never have to that.

When I started this 5 years ago I just had this belief that what I did had changed my life had become a rock which grounded me in times of struggle and I just loved feeling fitter and stronger and the way it made me feel. However there were still challenges when it came to confidence and standing up for what I belief in. I didn’t have the knowledge, understanding, experience or just confidence from a few years of making the mistakes learning from them and so was still stuck in the area of my life where I still failed to believe in myself.

I think this started to change around the time I started to find GymJones and its training and the trips I made out to Salt Lake City and through spending time with Bobby Maximus who took the Foundation seminar and Intermediate seminar.

The reason why I am writing a post about having belief in yourself is because what I found out in the GymJones seminars and my training over the last 5 years is this. You can improve your mental strength and your power of belief my how you train. Put it simply doing something you though that wasn’t possible like open a fucking gym, row 600m in 2mins or row a 2k in under 6.50 or squat 180kg, just taking it further than you thought possible, taking it past your limitations or shall I say predisposed, doing something you thought wasn’t possible will improve your mental strength.

As I have found this last 5 years training is massively a mental battle, yes you need a base level of fitness, strength and mobility but you will get to a point and that point is a line in the sand that will either see you stay comfortable in your own limitations, or you will cross it, lift weight that scares you, row that extra bit harder to beat your previous time, eat that little bit better, eat more protein and the right amount of the right foods and drink less beer, all these things, getting stronger than we ever have before, fitter, losing the weight and having the body we desire, is all a mental battle.

Improving your mental strength and game can transfer over to your day to day life as well its not just about that Friday conditioning session performance, by increasing your belief in yourself in your performance in the gym and what you can do you increase your belief in your confidence and how you act outside of the gym, in the office, with relationships, and social occasions, if you have the confidence and belief you have built inside the gym it can come with you and help you in all areas in life not just strength and fitness.

The photo I put up I chose as it is a picture on me climbing the gymnastic ropes in Venice beach in California probably about 6 years ago, I did a road trip from  San Diego to San Fran on my own and I thought I was shredded I wasn’t very strong or but I did have a tenacious goal and was crazy optimistic, I am thankful for that past self that had the balls to set this all up and I am looking forward to the next 5 years.

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