I have been reading and rereading a lot lately a book by Derren Brown called Happy. It is a lot about what makes us happy and how to be happy. I must confess I am not much of a reader and since getting it around about this time last year I have still not finished it. But I do come back to it and reread it and Continue to use it as inspiration and guidance in my life. It talks a lot about philosophy and psychology. The reason why I bring it up and am righting about it just now is because some of it is directly applicable to training and coaching people. In the persuit to get yourself and others fitter, stronger and healthier there is much that can inspire and apply that you might not think would relate to strength and fitness.
The concept is by a man called Daniel Kahneman and it is the story of our two selves. He describes the two selves that resides within us the experiencing self and the remembering self. When we look back over the years it will be the remembering self that will judge whether we took happiness from these years. Some of those decisions we made over the years may not have made our experiencing selves happy but in the end would have made our remembering self happy or to put a better way would benefit our future self.
Lets put this into context now. Its Sunday night some of us may have had a few shandies Friday and maybe even Saturday night. Feeling a little fragile today? or maybe just a touch of the Sunday Fear. Our commitments to the gym possibly at 6am on Monday morning or even after work at 5.30pm will be painful maybe for the experiencing self, but it will be something that when we get done our future self or remembering self will benefit from. We have done some strength training, getting our muscles stronger, improving our fitness and helping us lose weight if we need to.
Lets take another example the person, who is currently inactive, you work 9-5 and exercise or even going to the gym is just not on the agenda, maybe your overweight, maybe you need to get stronger or fitter for an event or maybe you just had that wake up call one day showing you that you weren’t as fit as you thought you were or just not fit at all or just realised that your in a bad situation putting on weight, alcohol consumption is fairly high, eating is bad, and their is no exercise routine. When you are faced with that amount of uphill struggle the experiencing self will have a big pull after work or even before work, so trying to change habits like what you eat and how much or just getting up early enough for the gym or making sure you go to the gym after work and not go home and sit on the couch drink beer, eat chips and watch the tv is hard to be frank. But if we think about the benefits to our future selves or think about our remembering self. Changing our habits and working through the pain of new and different things like eating differently, exercising regularly, doing regular strength work, and cardiovascular work then the benefits to our future self is massive we just have to remember this when it comes to the time when we have to do something painful like, get up at 5am, or go to the gym after work, or cut down our drinking, or not overeat or doing burpees, or doing a 2k row.
Another example would be making sure to not neglect your conditioning. A lot of times we can get focused on strength work and forget about balance, we need structure and periodization to our strength training but if we are training for all round strength and fitness and to look good as well then we must not forget the breathing component to finishing our workout, not always but at least 1 out of 3 days and it could be argued that if done right you could do a small amount of cv work at the end of every workout most times. That’s not forgetting the other three sessions we have on our training program at #bobsgarage the gymjones session which is in its nature about higher reps, sweating and getting out of breath in a threshold style workout often including weights, or bodyweight or machines or a mixture and in different workout formats. Or our bodyweight cv and core workout which is a combination of press-ups and pullups then some interval training then some core work. Last but not least our FYF session or as it stands for the Fuck you Friday session a fun team based format session that is all about getting out of breath, sweating and raising that heart rate. You see we are either a cardio bunny or a strong weight lifter, what you sometimes see is the fast ones the ones that run all the time or do lots of cv work will tend to avoid heavy weight training because it is a struggle or because it is not in their tool box or because they just don’t enjoy it or you have the other person who is able to lift weights really well and to a high level but doesn’t do much cv because quite frankly it hurts, when you don’t have a high aerobic and anerobic capacity the feeling of the oxygen being sucked out of you is torture but this is why we must constantly keep in touch with our CV work so that it is not neglected.
So next time you are struggling with a new habit or challenge or getting to the gym be it after work or in the morning or just struggling to get your ass in gear to get in contact with me to get started think about your future self and the benefits you will give them and happiness from doing the stuff you really didn’t want to do but would benefit you later on in your life.
Your mind is a powerful thing. It is I would argue your strongest asset. It will carry you through the good times and the bad times but whether or not your body is strong or not or injured or able your mind will still be their functioning and strong if you let it.
I have often when speaking to fellow coaches when they are injured say, but its ok you still have your greatest strength your greatest power to affect people, you still have the power of your mind, to inspire, help and change peoples lives.
I have been most affected of late by one mans ability to do this and that is my new personal training client Ken Talbot. Ken came to me through a referral from another amazing person Lisa Wright who is one of my committed members. At first I was unsure if I could work with Ken as he is wheel chair bound and suffers from a condition called CRPS stemming from a accident about 10 years ago.
Long story short I met with Ken, he explained to me he wanted my help to help break the hand bike land speed record in Nevada. He suffers from constant pain due to his condition and injury years ago and unfortunately isn’t able to take any medication for it. So he has to use the power of his will and mental strength to manage the pain. He has to consciously make an effort to fight it and not give in. This in itself would be inspiring just getting on with life and running his own business but he doesn’t just want to do that he wants to set the land speed record for the recumbent bicycle.
Considering the amount of pain he is in constantly, there is no let up by the way, the fact he barely ever gets any sleep and the fact he has to go through mind exercises to block of the pain each night and each morning he really is an inspiration. He will then come in the gym, smile and work his ass off and give it 100% on everything we do. He gives it his best no matter what and he works hard and gets amazing results. He is a committed, disciplined and one of the most mentally strong individuals I have ever come across and continues to inspire me every day I train him.
Ken could quite easily have said, that was enough, I am done fighting, I give up, I can’t do this anymore, and no doubt it has come into his mind a few times at points when he has had disabilitating pain. I for one am so glad that he didn’t. That he continued and still does continue to battle on and not just survive but strive for something even more. He is striving to break a god damn world record and wants to thrive and he has done this all with the power of his mind!
He will routinely do 2 sessions a day roughly around 90 mins each a strength session and a cv session on his bike indoors. He has his own business and is very independent and works hard at his nutrition and getting that dialed in to get his best possible recovery, performance and strength gainz.
I will give you further updates on Ken in the future and we may even look at hosting him at the gym for a talk about his life and what he has gone through and what he is trying to achieve.
You can take control of your life too, maybe your looking for a reboot, reset and to get back into the gym? Maybe you are in need of a change or just stuck on a plateaux and not progressing in fat loss, how your body looks, or just not at the fitness or strength you would like to be at? Or maybe you just keep getting injured when you train and your sick of the way you train?
You need to make a conscious decision to change to stop doing the things you have been doing so long, to change the habits you are so stuck in, you may need my help for accountability or to provide structure in the chaos that is trying to get fit, strong and healthy. Well I am ready for you when you decide to make a conscious decision to change and to start taking control.
As always the mind comes first.
Email me today to get started in your journey to training with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
I got lost in the Pentlands yesterday, I went up and the hills and I underestimated them. I got caught in white out conditions, snow, and low visibility. I was sure of the path I always ran when I was younger, the route in my head was clear then something happened, I came to a point where the path was unfamiliar, snow had covered it, and I ended up going down the wrong way. I retraced my steps back up to the last peak and then started back on what I thought was the main route again. Some time passed and I began to get worried, I had gone too far to go back and even if I tried to go back there wasn’t enough light left to go back on the same path. I was lost and a feeling of real panic set in. I took out my phone and put the maps on but I didn’t believe what it was showing me that I was still quite near to Flotterstone. There was a reservoir also but I thought I had passed all that and was a lot further along the hills. I started walking towards what I thought was a road and possible rescue and as I walked further down the route started seeing landmarks that were oddly familiar to when I came up. But that couldn’t be true as I was in a completely different area or so I thought. It slowly dawned on me that I was right back where I started by a stroke of luck I had ended up walking back towards the way I went up and at some point I must have turned around probably when I back tracked.
My point to this story is that many of us may get on a track or way in our life and think we have it all figured out, that can be in exercise or strength training or life in general and then we just end up treading water or snow in my case, lose our way and then get lost. When your lost in life there is no up nor down, weight loss isn’t really that big a importance in your life or is strength or fitness or health.
You maybe have become lost in your goal to lose weight, get fitter or stronger after thinking you were on the right path and thought you had it all covered or nailed, but the trouble is we often get blindsided by our inability to receive feedback, criticism or when we get told that maybe how were going about getting stronger or fitter or trying to lose weight isn’t working or maybe it is even causing us injury or causing us to regress in our health, fitness or strength.
However there is some hope because once you reach that moment where you realize you may have lost your way, you can begin to find it again, reassess yourself look deeply inward for honest and thorough self-assessment and then go about getting back on course. Once you find what matters to you, the goal, the reason to get up at 5am, to go train after work when you feel rubbish, lethergic, and just generally tired you will then have a purpose, a driver. This will help build discipline and be a far greater help in your training than any motivational quote could ever be.
To find us. Simply email me and we can talk you through the different options to train at the gym.
Either online training, small group training or private 1-1.
I thought about many things to call this blog post. You could call it a call to action or a beacon of hope or the catalyst that will light the undying fire inside you too reach your goals. I wanted to call it a ‘fuck it’ post talking about the point at which you can get too with some things, maybe letting training slip, eating too much and gaining too much weight, drinking too much and getting unfit, fat and having a belly. Or a post about being the man you are and the man you want to be but that was too gender specific. Or title it how to stop being fat, lazy and stop lathergy. But really its about reaching a turning point in your life or more specifically how to get to that turning point.
This is where you stop letting situations dominate you, you stop letting people getting the better of you. You set goals and you work tirelessly until you achieve them. You take set back and you failures and you learn from them, you learn to hurt and you learn to hurt often with failures, harsh feedback, and just dealing with general shite. The turning point can come at any point in your life. It can be you just sit up one day and decide you don’t want to be overweight, or unfit, or want to finally get stronger. You may have put it off for months years etc but something finally ticked off and you thought ‘fuck it’ I need to make a change. You start small and you find a place to learn to lift and get stronger and fitter. But this is only the start of your journey.
The turning point most times will be painful and it will involve hearing somethings you don’t want to hear or you have shut off from for sometime. You may have just gained weight over the years because your priorities change, running a business, making a living for your wife, maybe child, making enough to provide a roof over your head, food for the table, a car and holidays and everything that goes along with that. Maybe you have 6am starts and 9pm finishes and their is just no room in the schedule for a strength and fitness regime. This is until one day you look at yourself in the mirror and think fuck what happened, well your priorities happened and you didn’t manage to balance them and gym just got put to the bottom of the list.
I say it can be painful because you maybe caught in a vicious cycle of feeling sorry for yourself, constantly locked onto failings maybe just never following through in commitments or things you will say you will do or maybe you just need to empower yourself to be the person you need to be. Taking control of your life, your decisions and making a plan, a sensible plan and working on it day after day. The turning point can be painful as you need to come to terms with the things you need to work on, the failures and the things that you have struggled with and then you need to let those things go and fully embrace you for being who you are. Most times in fitness it is just a case of saying yea I need to get stronger or yea I need to stop neglecting my fitness and do breathing work every week.
Once you come to terms with that pain be it, being overweight or just knowing that you need to be healthier, in the food you eat or how much you drink then you can start to work on it but you need to own that shit first before you can have the ‘fuck it’ moment where you say to me yup. I’m all in lets do this.
To reach your turning point you will need a strong driver, a reason to get up in the morning, a goal a purpose, mine for example is a strong driver to help people get fitter and stronger and to learn and develop as a coach, athlete and gym to progress this ideal as much as possible. It is my number one priority in my life only second to my family mum, dad, sister and gran. Having this much dedication and willingness to sacrifice and give to this ideal really helps when you hit low points or need to power through to reach goals and targets.
Once you have found your strong driver, it could be you want to lose weight for a wedding, or get fit and strong for a challenge or race or just be in the best looking condition of your life, you have a pillar to build your life around and it will help you make it a priority. This will become useful when after the first week of training your new positive attitude is found wanting because you have been shown the true level of your strength or fitness and it hurts not just the muscles but I am talking mentally it could dent your pride and you could feel demotivated. When this happens you have two choices you can either choose to sulk and go back to your old ways for comfort and habit or you can learn from it absorb it and say ok I am here and I will be this little bit further to be fitter and stronger in a couple of weeks time.
There will be more pain coming in the form of early mornings, fatigue and maybe tired or sore muscles from the session before, not used to getting up before 6am and all this culminates in a severe challenge some will face in following through with the training they commit too. It can also be the same for after work, you have been working maybe 8am to 5-6pm? your tired lethargic, maybe in the past you were lazy and would just go home and sit on the sofa and order a takeaway? These habits didn’t form over night and you have probably been doing them for a long time so it will take a while to break them and stay with them so start small and give yourself a break if you start to struggle, maybe you need to train less while you get used to the new regime or need to gradually build up more. These things take time.
This is the same with your diet and nutrition it will be painful, to eat the same thing all the time, or maybe your good and have varied things, but it will be painful to change your habits, to eat more vegetables, fruit, and less processed, high fat, sugar, just the tasty shite that you know is bad for you like a whole 16′ pizza. Your turning point will probably take a few years, I know I have been working towards mine over the last 5 years while running #bobsgarage and I have had slip ups in my diet motivation and discipline have been strong at points and weak in others but over all in the whole 5 years this gym has shaped me to handle suffering, pain and just being able to be more robust, hardy and develop my grit and determination to not give up and keep progressing forward.
When you start to develop the discipline to complete a workout program, meal prep your food for the week, eat a certain amount of protein, carbs and fat each day, go to bed early, not over eat on sweets and processed food, do your conditioning sessions, fully rehab injuries, not get frustrated when life or training doesn’t go your way and in the end of it look back at it with a smile and say I did that then you are some way to reaching that turning point.
maybe you have reach your ‘fuck it’ moment already and this post has been the spark that has lite the fire inside you too change, get fitter, stronger or maybe finally losing the weight you told yourself you would lose years ago, or maybe you just have been stuck in a rut, or fallen out of love from training.
Right now I have availability for at least 5 new members in my 6am class as well as another 5 or so across all classes.
I have a number of options in which you could chose to join my gym.
The first take the blue pill take 6 complimentary sessions and be shown the #bobsgarage path to movement strength and fitness and receive your first month half price.
The second option is the Accelerator program – we ask you to commit fully for 1 month. All we ask in return is your hard work, discipline and determination. There is no monetary exchange here our ‘pound of flesh’ is the hard work and dedication we ask you to put in, in this month. There are 3 spaces available each month and you must email to apply telling me why you deserve it.
The third is #bobsgarage online this is a 12 week online program, it has a session in our small group classes in the package, a coffee consultation to talk about your needs, training background and whether you would be suitable and a 1-1 session to cover foundations before giving you the program. The introductory offer is £50 a month for 3 months thereafter it is £65. You will have constant email correspondence for your training.
So if I have sparked a change inside you then email at email@example.com
I was going to call this blog ‘if it doesn’t challenge you it won’t change you’ but it felt too corny too commercial and too mainstream as sometimes it is the very act of not constantly challenging yourself that can actually change you. So it is called ‘Stuck in a Rut’ as it is for all of you out there that are just that stuck in a situation that is not changing and is not where you want to be.
You maybe overweight, not achieving the results with your current program, not enjoying it, lost the drive, determination or motivation or even love to train at the moment but lets expand the net too bad habits, diet, being lazy, drinking too much, smoking or kicking any sort of habit, the ending of a relationship, maybe you work for yourself and are not where you want to be, maybe you are stuck in a job you hate, or in a situation at work that is just making you miserable. You may have either gone through the change already broke the habit, or are thinking about breaking the vicious cycle that leads you right back to the beginning each time just now.
In the gym it can be a simple matter of just coming to the realisation that you are not as fit or as strong as you thought you were, this can be from a test a good test is a 2000m row or as small as a 500m row or simply not being as strong as your thought not being able to lift a weight or do it a certain amount of times or complete a workout in a certain time.
At the point you realise where you went wrong or where you went of course it is hard and emotions frequently run high, and it can be a stressful time, you are unfit, you realise fuck I have let myself go those extra pounds have turned into an extra stone. Or maybe its the fitness, the daily run or weekly 10mile run has turned into a weekly jog then a monthly thought oh I must go for a run or hit the gym except you never go.
Once you reach the point of clarity what do you do? Maybe you lash out in anger, bitterness, that you are not where you are, fatter, weaker and not as successful as you would like. Maybe you turn to drink and drown your sorrows and commit to brash statements like yes I will run a marathon in 16 weeks and get my fitness back on track. Or I will be more independent and take more control over my life and make the most of the opportunity’s I am given.
The point at which you are able to reflect and see where you went ofcourse and are able to correct is invaluable and it can turn a crisis, low point in your life into some of your most successful moments you will have and that’s by just using the situation the error the failure and learning from it and turning it into a positive, learning from it and coming back on track.
In GymJones they describe it as this:
‘Accurate Self-knowledge procedes behavioural change. Honest, thorough, self-assessment isn’t easy so a coach must facilitate self-discovery by exposing physiological and psychological characteristics’.
I have found that periods of high stress, upheaval are joined by periods of uncertainty but also joined by huge spikes in my creativity, drive, imagination and passion for my job and then followed by periods of success mostly. To put it simply the job that I am involved in is not something I take on lightly, it involves peoples lives and often changing how they view themselves and changing their perspective and perception of who they were and who they want to be. Be it if they want to become stronger, fitter, lose weight or complete a challenge of any sort or maybe they simply want to be in the best physical shape of their life and that’s ok.
So I would like to introduce with that in mind my new program and training package. I am offering 10 of these packages to begin this new journey.
What it is:
A 12 week periodised and individualised program
a 3 month commitment at a introductory offer of £50 a month
It will begin with a coffee consultation to see if your suitable.
There will be a 1:1 session included which we will go over the following:
breathing and bracing
injuries and rehab
range of motion and mobility specific to you.
breaking down of the squat deadlift and bench press.
You will have the opportunity to train in the small group sessions once a week.
We will create a program designed around the equipment you have available in your gym or where ever you are and design it around the goals and challenges you want to succeed in.
You will be able to get feedback with training through WhatsApp.
If you have read this far, if this blog post has been a catalyst to make you change or keep you going after a change then good that was the point, if you are interested in being one of the 10 12 week candidates then get in touch and we can get the ball rolling with a coffee next week.
It has almost been 5 years since I started this gym and I have gone through many changes. In hindsight I had no business opening a gym and was unaware of the responsibility it entailed or what it would take to make it a success. I thought that I would get a industrial unit cover it in mats, get a rig some barbells, some plates and some kettlebells, a fresh CrossFit affiliation and the rest would just slot into place magically, on opening day the gym would be surrounded by people. Build it and they will come or so I thought. I was wrong only a couple of people turned up and the first year was pretty dire to say the least.
I ran before I could walk and made too many mistakes to count them all. It was then I came across Andy Mckenzie and his stuff and I did learn much from him. Over the years I slowly progressed the training too focusing on strict movement too individualised CrossFit then eventually leaving them and moving over to what Andy helped program and use a ‘Combined Strength’ program from his mentorship group I was part of for 2 years. Maybe the last 3 years things started to change with going on the Foundation seminar in 2015 at GymJones in Salt Lake City and learning from Rob Mcdonald AKA Bobby Maximus and 2017 the Intermediate Seminar. What attracted me to them was their focus on individualisation and their approach to training making it about strengthening the mental state of someone as well as the physical state. Its focus on periodization, cycles, moving from a strength cycle to a power cycle to a power endurance cycle to a endurance cycle etc etc I digged it and it was the direction I wanted to take the gym. Fast forward to 2018 and I have been working with Oli Jessop at G2G Coaching to complete my Level 2 gym Instructor course and now currently completing my level 3 personal training course. Oli’s help has been invaluable to get a objective assessment on my coaching and actually getting me to coach properly and professionally eventually.
There is still a heap load of work to do but I am starting to feel comfortable on the direction of the gym and the end goal of a personalised small group training gym which feels different special in short no ordinary gym. I am not just talking about proper individualised programming and personalised small group sessions but continue to develop and maintain the culture and community of a gym that helps and supports and has a team feel where we support each other to get the best out of ourselves. When we share with each other our successes such as being able to squat our bodyweight or 2x bodyweight or just having the confidence in our bodies to be able to lift a weight safely it creates a strong bond. When we challenge each other to work harder on our Friday conditioning session and I expect a performance you don’t think is possible your team mates will you on and take you further than thought possible. Breaking those self imposed limitations and taking your performance to a level you did not think possible.
It will always be a case of continuing to repeat our message and tell people what we stand for and what this gym represents. In short this is no ordinary gym, a gym that will meet you at the level you are currently at, work with other experts in their Field like Nicholas Evans at E-physiotherapy or Colin Gordon at Performance Sport Therapy or Marc Keys of Cast Iron Strength, if you are a beginner or someone who has never really trained before we might see hardcore or daunting or intense but the reality is we will break things down go over the foundations of movement, breathing and bracing and give you the tools to achieve your goals in strength, fitness and health in an environment that will not only get you stronger physically but also mentally through the group team training aspect.
You will be surprised at how physical challenges in the gym can prepare you for unforeseen challenges in life that can sometimes blind side you and if you haven’t voluntarily exposed yourself to this stimulus then it can overwhelm or even break you down. You can feel empowered by lifting a heavy weight off the ground with good form and confidence in your body as your bracing and in the right positions and the same for squatting a heavy weight. The doubt that can sometimes go through your mind when you do something you have never done before and achieve it like a new weight on a squat or a deadlift or a certain amount of reps at a weight can be liberating. This can also be true when doing say a row for 2mins and having a goal of hitting 600m and hitting it.
So next time you come to the gym don’t just think of it as a training session but an experience a time which to clear your head focus and be present and truly change yourself for the better each day.
As a coach, it is good to get away from your gym and gain new perspective, reenergize, see other people coaching from a 3rd person perspective and gain new insights in how to train and serve your members that come to your gym.
This was a working holiday I spent the week training with Bobby Maximus and took some time out to Bryce Canyon to completely switch off, reflect on how far I have come so far and how far I still had to go. At the end of the week was the Gym Jones Intermediate Seminar.
Unfortunately, about 3 weeks before heading out I hurt my back, so I had been rehabbing it and working on my back health all the way up and the week before the seminar and after and beyond but that is another story.
The Gym Jones gym is a different gym not really like any other, it works off an online paid website, people pay to be members and follow programs from it. The gym serves as a beacon for people to come learn their approach to fitness and if they so choose to become a gym jones Certified instructor or Master Certified Instructor.
Gym Jones has got some misconceptions that the door is closed, that it’s all a suffer fest, and that it’s all about taking photos of your ‘performance art’ for Instagram you know that photo of you sprawled on the floor after that savage workout you just crushed.
I think that the best way to describe their approach to Fitness and strength is the considered approach. It looks at the whole 360 of fitness and tries to create an athlete or member who has a good foundation and good all round General Physical Preparedness.
The emphasis is on you as an individual, ‘find a problem, fix the problem’ whatever is specific to you, you do or whatever does not fit your goals and aspirations and what you’re working towards you don’t do.
The philosophy of Gym Jones is the mindset, start with the mind and the body shall follow, create a deep chemical change in the body that changes your mindset and view on life, no longer view hard work, and challenges or problems as a negative but as a chance to learn, change and develop your character and what makes you as a person in short it is that the Mind is Primary.
You are surrounded by a group of people who are focused and determined and serious about pushing themselves, meeting the Gym Jones Instructor standards, getting the most out of their training and learning and it is inspiring and the atmosphere is electric. There is a briefing before and after training talking about what the objective is and the results of the session and feedback. There is a strong emphasis on training hard, but also on shoulder health and recovery, they don’t go hard every day and nor should you. They also encourage you to train twice a day when you are there if you come the week before in the morning at 9am and in the evening at 4pm. The morning is usually strength/power endurance/ power or endurance work with some supplemental work and evening is a structural session.
Thoughtful and well thought out training it truly is, a good example of this is what happened on Friday as Friday is usually referred to as Fuck You Friday a whole hour of Power endurance, a whole hour of conditioning of going hard, recovering and then going hard again for 45mins to an hour or so. But because all the people who were in were attending the Intermediate seminar the next day we were not crushed but given a moderate conditioning session to get us moving and get us breathing but not kill us.
The seminar begins with a 2k row or ski, it is a litmus test to see where your fitness level is at as for men you need to achieve a 6.50 row or 7.00 ski. So, everyone is pretty on edge to perform their best and perform well. As it happens I got 7.14 hurting the back and not doing any intense rowing conditioning the last 4 weeks meant it is what it is and I was just delighted to be able to do it as the last attempt back in August 2016 I hit 6.46 I thought I could just push through the pain on the day lol and hit 7mins maybe.
There are other Fitness standards that need to be met for men and the women I will just list the Men’s. One standard from the Strength list 2.25 BW deadlift or 50 pushups or 1.25BW OHS. Power Endurance 2k row 6.50, or 2k ski 7mins or 1.5mile run sub 9mins. Endurance 60min ski getting 15,500m, or 60min row getting 15,500m or 10k run sub 50mins. Onto of this you must complete the all three seminars, have 1000 hour of documented coaching, complete the physical tests, programming tests and written/online tests.
Your Pyramid is only as big as its base. That is probably the best way to sum up the Gym Jones programming philosophy. You cannot spend too long building a firm and large foundation, the simple stuff works and it is only with greater insight and coming and experiencing it and listening to the actual person who write the words you read that you develop an understanding of what it means. There are 4 levels to the training methodology. The first is Foundation 1 which can last from 6-18 months depending how hard you work, effort you put in and consistency etc., then Foundation 2 lasting from 6months to 3years, foundation 3 lasts from 2years to 5years and finally foundation 4. Foundation 1 is about volume, 2 is about intensity and 3 is about ‘intensified volume’
The weekend was eye opening and gave great insight into training and the hard work you need to do to get fit. Which is 130hrs to be exact. There was the programming insights and knowledge which was gone over and reinforced but also the misconceptions I had got as I had jumped straight into a foundation 2 program when what I needed was 6-18months of foundation 1 training much like most of the people I train.
I want to talk about Rob McDonald now not Bobby Maximus, a lot of misconceptions about him, scary dude who was a high level MMA fighter but actually he is an incredibly welcoming and dedicated man, heads up a gym revolution or way of life or ideal whatever you want to call it, he pushes himself to high levels of strength and fitness and holds himself to a high standard, he has a young family with two kids and an awesome wife Lisa maintaining that and managing it all and doing the best at all these things is not easy and I don’t know how he does it but he does and he is an inspiration so if you get the chance go to Gym Jones and train with him and listen to what he has to say and I guarantee you will not be let down.
I mentioned Lisa as she is a very strong woman, having had her baby and managing the whole training: looking after a young family and work she is head of the women’s side of training and is very knowledgeable on women’s specific training. The two of them together make a formidable team and it has been great to meet them both again and learn from them again.
There is another aspect to this weekend that I have yet to touch on and it’s the development of your actual self into the Gym Jones community, by coming back again after the Foundations seminar you have shown dedication and commitment and you are already known to the seminar staff, by your training building up to the seminar and the seminar itself you build a strong bond with your intermediate seminar colleagues and from that moment on you are now on a journey together you have created a new group of friends a new support network who understand the dedication and devotion to the ideal and the ethos that is Gym Jones. Our instructor who carefully watched over was our Gym Jones Instructor Nathan Tieppo. I like to call him our Gym Jones Mentorship instructor and look forward to showing him how I progress in my understanding of and application of Gym Jones methodologies and my progress as a Gym Jones Athlete in the coming months and years beyond.
Trips like this are quite a big leap, a leap into the unknown, a leap of faith, I took it as just a chance to have a holiday, seemed like it would suit me perfectly just go away and get beasted by Bobby Maximus twice a day for a week and then do the intermediate seminar, had no intention of becoming a Gym Jones Instructor or doing the Advanced seminar, I just was going for a change of perspective and perception and re charge. It was so much more than that, I am glad I took the trip too Bryce Canyon, I am also glad I met Dan John and looking forward to hooking up with him in Edinburgh, I am glad I got the chance to learn from all at Gym Jones, meet a new group of people and make new friends who will keep me company in my journey forward and I am excited for the future and beyond.
It has been a month now since our gym went through some pretty major changes, to progress sometimes you need to tear something down and start from scratch. That’s what I did I renounced my affiliation with CF and wholeheartedly committed to going down the line I wanted to go down with my gym.
The old ways of individualising for every single person that came into the gym was fanciful and deluded and I was unable to do any long term planning, trying to individualise for 40-50 members was noble and felt amazing but it was not sustainable long term and would result in my eventual burn out and detachment of my head or someone elses.
With the insight of my coach and mentor Andy Mckenzie who gave me my original idea of the Individualised training idea I went about implementing my new training system and program.
The WRAPS warmup system is the first piece of the puzzle here. I wont go into massive amounts of detail but WRAPS stands for Warmup (get the body warm, spike the heart rate, get warm, 30secs to 5mins of basic CV) Range of Motion (movement prep, prepare the body head to toe) Activation (keep it simple get the body ready for the work to come) Potentiation or Patterns or Play (usually some jumping, and scapular movement) Skill (this is your time to work your individual skill, a skill is something that can only be worked for a short time as its not a strength and we lack the strength to do it for any length of time longer than 5mins) Skill can also be work on your Priorty 1 or 2 either a weakness, mobility issue, injury, or prehab/rehab work.
The skill component is where we now individualise. There is a saying a little of something can go a long way and I think that is the case with Individualisation. We are doing a small amount of it and using it in our skill blocks, giving people specific skill blocks appropriate to their level and what they are working towards or their injuries or weaknesses or mobility issues.
There are two options, I have found that by in large the general population that I train needs to do the following when they come in and train with me, they need to do more range of motion work and do whole body workouts, meaning a form of Squat, a form of hinge or deadlift, and a form of press and a short finisher. For their bodyweight training which is key to longterm longevity and success and progress in developing bodyweight strength it needs to be given the whole session.
This developed into the following program wholebody or Bodyweight, cardio and core focus.
When people come into my gym now they either have a choice of a whole body resistance session or a bodyweight, cardio and core focus session.
Our program works like this:
Monday repeated Wednesday
Whole body OR bodyweight, cardio and core focus session
Tuesday repeated Thursday
Different Whole body session OR bodyweight, cardio and core focus session
Group conditioning session
Saturday chance to catch up in earlier session or core session at 10amand weightlifting from 11-1pm and some Saturdays we will have workshops on from 10-12 to focus on particular training like bodyweight training, kettlebells, powerlifting, weightlifting, performance, and so on and comes included as part of being a member of #BOBSGARAGE
That is the program side of combined strength, it is using various systems and ways and modalities of training to make you as strong, fit and healthy as you possibly can. It targets your weaknesses or skills you want to work on and makes you work them in every session you do that week. Gone are the days where you work your skill just once a week, if you want to get better at a skill you have a better chance of improving it if you work on it every time you train. It allows for recovery days, days where you are broken and cant train. With the knowledge you build of movement prep and recovery you will be able to take recovery sessions when you are too sore or tired to resistance train or do bodyweight training.
The sessions are repeatable and flexible and the emphasis is getting the body used to a stimulus we are giving it and giving it time to adapt and then get stronger before we change the rep scheme or type of stimulus. The Said principle is key here, specific adaption to imposed demand.
There are many parts to the Combined Strength Approach one of which is putting the responsibility of development and progression and learning in your hands, getting you to think for yourself with the guidance and help of the coaches but teaching you to move well on your own and take charge of your skill progression and development has always been a main driver for #bobsgarage and the Combined Strength approach really supports this in teaching people to warmup and move and get ready for training with Minimal supervision and help once you have mastered the basics and understanding of the concept and exercises for range of motion and activation you are a free thinking spirit and self-sufficient when it comes to preparing and maintaining your body and developing it and progressing your athletic journey in #bobsgarage.
The other side to Combined Strength is the coaching side the support and the idea that we are better together, we are stronger together than we are alone. For me as head coach and driver and leader of this movement and project that means that I go out there and I network and I build relationships with people who are smarter, more knowledgeable, experienced and savvy than me in order to work with them learn from them and give a combined service that is 10 times better than what it would be if I did it on my own.
Combined Strength when related to our community as a gym, as a culture means developing the fabric that is our community to keep us coming back for more each and every day, through events outside the gym, through big team workouts, through adversity sessions, through supporting members through challenges varying from illness, injury, moving house, job, depression you name it our Combined Strength as a group of people that is #BOBSGARAGE can help and support each other and have helped many in the last 4 years get complete challenges, recover from surgery’s and illness and just get us through when we are having a tough time in our life.
So in short my gym is much like an onion, it has many layers and there are many depths to what you see on the surface. There are so many areas in which we can help each other and in which the gym works to put it nicely one a #bobsgarage member always a #bobsgarage member. I will leave my mark one way or another and you will always remember the time you were coached by #BOBSGARAGE
WRAPS is the combined strength warmup system developed by its leader and head coach Andy Mckenzie.
Once you know how to use it and what each section means you will be that one step closer to being a self-functioning athlete.
Understanding the concept behind the system and how it works will mean that you will be able to create your own warmup whatever you do as long as you follow the basic principles.
Once you understand it and how it works and then have a good depth of range of movement exercises then you will be able to apply it to anything you do and it will take your training leaps and bounds ahead of where it is now. Not just with being ready for the work to come but just being warm and ready for the work to come and being at less risk of injury when you train.
I will give you the tools to warmup and show you the exercises you need to perform daily movement prep on yourself so that you can do what you’re doing now 20 to 30 years down the line because over everything else longevity is the most important principle at #bobsgarage.
What WRAPS stands for
W – warmup – get the body warm make it simple just about increasing circulation and raising the heart rate and heat in the body. Can be a short sharp 60sec effort on a rowing machine, or a long 5mins on the ski erg or bike. Use your imagination.
R- Range of movement- this is all the movements the work from head to toe your range of motion, not stretching per say but just working through range of motion that you will need for the training ahead. The combined strength group have the combined strength 10 which is 10 movements that open up and get you moving, working the neck, shoulders, thoracic, lumber, hips, knees, ankles and wrists. Some of these are covered in our yoga flow warmup but this is where you can add in exercises specific to you for your mobility issues.
A-Activation – Things that can be specific to the movement your about to perform, if its squats doing some goblet squats, banded shuffles, lunges, or Bulgarian split squats, banded hamstring curls, planks, side planks, side leg raises, Cossack lunges would be a good option. If its Deadlifts then activating the latts with some ring rows or latt pulldowns with a band, back extensions, and single leg kettlebell deadlifts, banded good mornings, and again planks would be good. For pressing again getting the core active, doing some shoulder work with the EDPR patternthat is Extension, depression, Protraction and retraction would be a good start. In this part is where we can also add in the specific exercises given by sports therapists or Physio’s. Or specialist S+C coaches.
P – Play/Potentiation/patterns can be anything from activation progression Re box jumps or plyo work or crawling patterns or some form of play work.
S- this can lead into the last part which is Skill, it is where we work that exercise that were still progressing too and we don’t have the strength to do yet so it is a skill, when we have the strength it then becomes a strength which can be worked as a strength exercise, this can be anything from a muscle up, pistol, handstand pressup or hold, pressup, pullup, dip, or our P1 or P2
What is our P1 or P2?
Your P1 and P1 are things that are personal to you and it is this that personalises your training. They could be an injury that you need to work on every single day or a mobility issues that is holding you back from achieving your full performance in what you are training or it could be a weakness that is also holding you back or has caused you an injury or could potentially cause you an injury. Your P1 or P2 can also be a pullup or pressup or a movement that you need to learn also.
I have been training Cesar since the start of September 2016. Always a pleasure to train and is consistent and committed and has been this way since we started my job is to give him the best possible opportunity to get as fit, healthy and strong and help him along with his weight loss along the way. He is a talented writer and can put in words what I mean and want to come across from our training at the gym. He has written an update on his story below, so please read on.
I can’t climb walls
We are now in that time of the year when all our social media start to get absolutely full of videos of people achieving things, photos of sunrises with Paulo Coelho texts and motivating speeches about how important is to triumph in whatever you are doing.
I won’t be surprised if someone ends posting their pets doing the CrossFit Open or something like that. Or someone escalates some competition so little Billy in the hospital can do it by just raising his hand and everybody goes “OMG such hero!”
Everybody is achieving their best and yet, here I am. Unable to climb walls.
We live in a time were not even trying is better than failing, a world where nobody is willing to take risks. You only show others your best, never the times when you weren’t good enough. You’ll share your happiest moments, your achievements but never the cold feeling of disappointment that comes from failing.
And yet, I love that feeling. I look towards it. I want it.
Winning is easy. You don’t judge yourself when you win. You don’t rethink the decisions you’ve made. You don’t feel the need to become better, to learn, to improve, so the next time, through grinded teeth and clenched fists, you’ll be able to triumph.
That’s what I like from failing. Failure humbles you, shows you the cold truth, it’s the eye opener that you need to see where you really are. It’s the only moment when you can stop being the person you are, and really try to become the one you want to be.
Sometimes you don’t deserve failing. You gave everything, you went way beyond your limits and still… It wasn’t enough. You are not good enough. You still cannot climb the wall.
Everybody is scared of failing. Some people are so scared that they will never try anything just to avoid it. And that’s exactly why you need to go towards it.
Failing means you tried. Failing means you wanted something. Failing means you accepted the chance of failure and yet you went for it. Failing means you tried even when you weren’t sure of the result. Failing makes you better than those that not even tried; the ones that chose to not know the answer. You wanted to climb the wall, so much, so absolutely much that you were ready to endure the feelings that come with knowing that right now, you can’t.
Only cowards fight when they are sure of victory. You will share your victories with the many, but only a few will know your failures.
So embrace it. Embrace the failure, learn from it, and accept the cold, the tears, the rage and the pain that comes with it.
Failure is honest. Failure will be a part of you all your life, until the day you die, and that’s why you need to learn to accept your failures. Do not deny your failures, they are a part of you, denying them is denying yourself. You are right here, right now in part of because of your failures. What you do with your failures is up to you, but don’t hide yourself from them.
In fact, you need to become better at failing. Keep failing, day after day, until you are so good at failing, that nobody can see that you are failing, and then, just then, move towards the next failure.
Also, failure gives you the chance to live one of the best moments you can have in life. Rising up.
Only when you are down you can rise up. Only then you’ll know what are you made of. Only in that exact moment, when everything screams you to stop, only then you will find yourself rising up. Trying again. You don’t know if you will be able to do it this time, but you can’t stop yourself. You have to rise, one more time, and many other times after that.
Only when your back is on the floor and you are looking to the ceiling or when you are on your knees looking to the floor, only then you’ll find the answer you are looking for. The one that makes it worthy, that gives it meaning. That is the moment when you know for sure that you are not going to stop. Maybe you will just do 1 more rep, or add 1 kilo or just advance 1 inch, or try again tomorrow, but you will do it. Will that be enough to finally climb the wall? You do not know, but now you need to find the answer again, so you will get up, catch a little of your breath and without saying anything, you will go again.
You obtain certainty. The absolute understanding that there will be no failure. The result will not matter, what is sure is that you will not fail. Whatever you do, it will be your victory, your triumph, your vindication.
There’s a word in Italian, “Fiero”. It usually means proud, but also has other meaning and is the absolutely feeling of triumph you obtain when you achieve an unexpected victory against overwhelming odds. And you can only achieve that when you risk failure, only in that exact moment, when everything is nearly its end, only then you will find yourself going forward.
Only then you will be able not to climb the wall, but to tear it down. Only then you will finally understand that you do not have to climb the wall, because then, you would have it behind you, meaning that you did not defeat the wall, you just avoided it. You need to tear it down, destroy it, and with its bricks and stones, build the road you will use to walk towards your future.
Our stories are not the stories of winners surrounded by thousands of persons screaming our names, there’s not a gold medal waiting for us or a world champion title, nor riches nor eternal glory. That’s not meant for us.
Our stories are stories of cold mornings and dark evenings, of the rugged feel of the barbell in our hands, the weight of the kettlebell in our chests, the smooth feel of the sledge and the dryness of the chalk in our hands. Of soreness after waking up and showers way too warm. Of trying. Of putting ourselves goals that we do not know if we will be able to achieve, but not letting that to stop us. Of always wondering if we were good enough.
Our stories will not be told to the many, but enjoyed by the few. We carry them with us, they are a part of us, and they belong to us.
So it does not matter if they are stories of failures. Be proud of them, remember them and learn from them, because only in them, you will not find yourself, you will discover your better self.