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.
The mind leads and the body follows, the body achieves what the mind believes. Creating mental toughness is at the heart of training at #bobsgarage.
It is what drew me to Gym Jones and its what drew me to my mentor and coach Andy McKenzie. The phrase ‘The Mind is primary’ from Gym Jones centres around this and so does my training and the ethos of my gym #BOBSGARAGE.
Why is it important to voluntarily expose yourself to stress in the gym? Well sooner or later something is going to come nocking at your door and it will be right up in your face and you will have no choice but to face it you will have to deal with it and it will stress you the fuck out. It will range from losing your personal posessions, being confronted that your fat and overweight, a relationship ending or falling apart, monetary problems, your work getting busier and busier and asking more of you and the ‘work: life’ balance looking more like work:work:work, a death of a pet, a loved one or family member, the introduction of a new baby or child meaning more responsibilities to manage, being unsuccessful at work, accidents of all kinds, being robbed or other criminal behaviour that you have had to suffer.
My point is that your greatest challenge is yet to come and will put all the things you are stressing about now in perspective and in proportion and when you look at the bigger picture you will think Fuck why the hell was I even worrying about this or getting stressed, worked up or angry about it, think about this 5 years from now will this really matter? No it wont perspective and perception are everything in life. Something that hurt you dearly 10 years ago will seam contrite and will mean little to you know and you will wonder why it ever hurt so much.
So why is it important to expose yourself to stressors voluntarily? Well when you face those situations that I have just listed above and you will have to face at least 1 of these probably a year maybe more who knows, you can never really tell with life. But when you face it, its going to be hard, its going to hurt and it may even push you to breaking point or to maybe even you losing your mind, it will be right infront of you, and you will be unable to look away or hide from it, ofcourse you can try with some of them but a robbery say for example could be a life or death experience or worst case scenario a terrorist event. The stress will be there and you will fall to the level of your training, or you rise to the occasion that is a discussion for a later date.
There is a way we can make ourselves more mentally robust to deal with these problems we face in life and its through training and I am going to go onto to tell you how you can train it through the principal that is ‘the mind is primary’ I have been thinking about this topic for sometime and spurred on by the thoughts and writings by the coaches at Gym Jones. The main way in which I train this mental resilience is through getting up early most days, I get up between 4.30 and 5am 4 days a week and I coach 3 hours of classes in the morning train for 2hrs go home nap, eat work on my business and then coach 4hrs in the evening come home at 9.15pm and then go to bed at around 10-10.30 I tend to get around 6hrs of sleep and a 30minute nap in the day. I don’t complain I never have and I never will. I look for advice and support and help but I will never complain and I will never speak negatively of what I do. This in short has helped me develop a strong mental robustness. It is needed in dealing with tough customers, challenges with my business, facing failure in training, coaching, life and relationships and has generally been the bedrock in which I have built all my success. Let me stress it began with my introduction of CrossFit by the one and only Jonny Elliot. That man made me suffer.
How can you go about introducing stressors to your training? There are many ways if you are able to control your body and squat or deadlift or weightlift well then it can be done through progressive overload and challenging yourself with heavier loads. The sled is my favourite tool of choice but it could be done with hill sprints, burpees, a 2k row or 500m row, or 1000m row, pick a distance and just give it everything. On Saturday I introduced a different level of stressor, yes the workouts in our Fuck You Saturday were hard and it was long but there was also an element of planning and co ordination at the start, people had to work together at the start in order for the workout to be a success they had to work as a team they had to work together, at the start we could not see a way forward and a plan had to be formulated it was stressful but it also added to the positive effects of the workout it took people out of their comfort zones in a different way just like going up infront of a crowd would do the same or planning a solution to a problem.
For beginners You are rarely able to increase load or intensity instead you can take them out of their comfort zone by forcing them to think about what they are doing by forcing them to start being mindful about how they move and control their body by making them learn new movements, that in its self is stressful because at the start most people fail or don’t get the movement and take time to practice and learn and absorb new information and new ways of moving or doing something they had never though doing like weight lifting.
I was inspired to write this post because just now my main stressor is moving into my own flat for the first time , now it hasn’t started to stress me yet but that will come soon enough, but it has started stressing my mother, we were shopping today for the flat and in all of the madness she dropped her diary in a large department store, she was understandably distressed and it all happened because she was worrying about me and what I needed for my new flat and in all the commotion she dropped her diary that is pretty much her hard drive for her memory, I kicked into gear and went helping to look and gave the store manager all her details to phone us if it was handed in, she was distraught and lost after this event and when we got to the car she didn’t know how she was going to carry on through the week, low and behold a call from the store came in and it had been handed in. A wave of relief had been lifted and she felt elated. It could have been the other way round but thankfully wasn’t.
I am not saying for a second that a PT should put my mum on a rower and make her sick, infact if they did that I would fuck them up because I love my mum. She has been introduced to stressors in her life in different ways one was running a guest house for years until it very nearly ran her into the ground and the other is dealing with me and another her rheumatoid arthritis and her chronic pain in both hips and 1 knee before she got them replaced, and a bunch of other things, my mum is as strong as they come if not physically like me but definitely mentally, however she does get overwhelmed by things like me moving out.
There are many different ways you can get your body to get used to stressors one is cold water swimming or just cold showers or baths or exposure to cold temperatures or dealing with stressful situations, my favourite in the gym has been long endurance efforts like a half marathon row or ski erg or 2hr sled drag, looking at the higher intensity stuff 100 strict burpees or a good IWT or sled work squat breathing ladder if you like having sore legs for a week.
Expose yourself to stressors in your training or just life and you will be more mentally robust for what life will eventually thow at you and could mean the difference between you making it out of the black hole of what ever despair or depression or just fucking mess that your in and it swallowing you up whole.
So the Avengers is coming to Edinburgh and Glasgow. So here is the #Bobsgarage Ironman 6 week Challenge.
Ok here are the challenges to complete for the next 6 weeks:
Number 1 Alcahol,
My go to would be to stop drinking, cut it out or dramatically reduce it, the one magic pill you can take for fat loss, performance and overall health is to stop or dramatically reduce your drinking habits. If you are unable to do this then here is your second option, change all your alcohol in your house too whisky, My thinking round this, well I am pretty sure this is what Iron Man drinks firstly secondly, I bumped into a guy once at a party and he had a hip flask of whisky, he said he preferred to take small sips of his hip flask full of whisky then drink other drinks like beer etc, his thinking less trips to the toilet, less calories as you would just need to take small sips of the strong alcohol, instead of lots of pints etc. This guy eventually came to my gym and I now train him every week.
Number 2 raise your heart rate,
Raise your heart rate at least once a week doing exercise, around 170- 185 something like an all out effort of 100 strict burpees would hit the spot perfectly or a 2k row. My theory around this, Ironman is definitely going to have to get used to high heart rates as he has to deal with high octane situations, fights and situations, you too will have to deal with tough situations some day as I say a lot ‘Your greatest challenge is yet to come’
Number 3 push something till your dripping with sweat and out of breath,
Push something, if you have access to a sled load that baby up and set a distance of 20metres out and 20metres back load it up with enough weight that it takes you 45secs to push it then push it again on the minute and when it takes you over a minute reduce weight keep pushing it reduce weight as needed rest as needed go for 10-15mins, no acces to a sled, push a plyo box, push a car, push a 20kg plate across the floor. Its a whole body workout that hits just about everything and it really is my favourite exercise.
Number 4 Socialise once a week,
Since its an IronMan 6week challenge and Ironman is a bit of a social king and he is always socialising your next challenge is to go and socialise at least once a week go out and do something with all your friends, I almost wrote this one as go out and chat up 1 women a week but I wanted to keep it open to women as well! They say a change of scene is as good as a nap for keeping the mind active and avoiding boredom or tiredness and its always good to talk to other people and socialise to make you feel better so get out there once a week and socialise.
Number 5 Do at least 30mins of pullups, press-ups and dips a week,
Pretty simple really bodyweight is key to being jacked and strong, doing high rep bodyweight movement will be really good for us all as we age and its a great way to workout when we don’t want to load ourselves up with squats, deadlifts or bench or press. So set the timer to 20-30mins and get some reps in, rest as needed don’t go to failure and if you cant do pullups do horizontal ring rows, seated ring pullups, negative pullups and if you struggle with press-ups go for raised press-ups, straight arm planks or crawls.
Number 6 squat, deadlift and bench press once a week,
compound lifts are key to getting jacked and tanned like Ironman, get some good volume in but not too much for your squat, deadlift and bench on different days, make sure it is at a good intensity but not too heavy go sub maximal. If you struggle with any of these movements then break it down use regressions but always make sure you can control the weight and it doesn’t control you.
Number 7 get up before 6am at least once a week,
You think you are going to be as successful as Ironman by not seizing the day? By not getting up early and using that time before work? The most successful people get up early every day between 4 and 5am and they don’t fucking moan or bitch about it they are up and chasing their targets and goals because they know that no one else is going to do the work for them.
Number 8 Join a gym that pushes and inspires you to take you out of your comfort zone,
Life is all about perspective and perception, the people you hang around with and spend time with will change and effect you, if you train and spend time with a group of people who are continually pushing themselves, working hard and being consistent and committed and becoming strong, fit, healthy and solid strong athletes in themselves then you yourself will be helped to up your game and take your training and body to another level.
Number 9 workout tapps Aff,
Ideally this would be done while you are either doing your 100 burpees, or lifting some heavy weights or doing your 30mins of bodyweight training.
Number 10 refeed like a boass,
At least once a week eat steak and at least once a week go to a quality burger restaurant, I can name a few but my favourite has to be 5 Guys.
Ok to finish here is the Ironman 6 week challenge workout;
This could be done in your bodyweight session once a week and every week you can compare your score to last time and see how your improving
Death by Ironman
3 strict pullups +1
5 Dips +1
10 press-ups +3
The first minute do 3 pullups the 2nd minute 5 dips the 3rd do 10 press-ups on the 4th minute do 4 pullups 5th minute do 6 dips 6th minute do 13 press-ups. Do this till you can no longer do the added reps, when this happens go back to the original reps and start again. Do this 5 times, if by the first round your fucked that’s all you do. If these reps are too high for you reduce them or if you can do pullups resort to negatives, seated ring pullups and ring rows, press-ups can be raised, do just the negatives do straight arm plank for 30secs or do a bear crawl for distance and increase distance each time same for the plank add 1 second, for the dips if these are weak then do straight arm dip holds same idea start at maybe 5 second and add 5seconds each time, or you could do holds at the bottom of the dip or you could do ring dips with feet on the ground to take some of the weight with your legs could do the same with the Bar dip if it moves.
One last thing, Sleep, quality food intake and stress management dare I say it Meditation is definitely key here, your recovery is when you are getting stronger, when your in the gym you are just stressing your body, pushing it and weakening it by lifting weights or high cardio efforts like rowing sprints or burgees or sled, but your weaker at the end of it, you couldn’t do it again. When you are recovering that is when you are getting stronger so make sure to get quality sleep 6-8hrs, eat lots of green leafy veg, manage your stress. You can bet that Ironman is always cool under pressure and manages stressful situations so if you want to achieve high level success then you have to get used to remain calm when your put into high pressured and stressful situations every day.
If you have any questions or want help with your 6 week Ironman Challenge then get in touch, and I will look to help you as much as possible or get you into the gym either for a PT session into our small group individualised classes or into our bootcamps.
Something I have been getting to grips with when I have been training people the past few years is mindset. I put a picture up of Peter Griffin as I enjoy it, he is rowing and its playful which puts a lighter note on the more serious and maybe sinister subject of suffering, mindset and pushing people. I live the picture above as Peter is rowing, and when I got my rower I thought this is ok, its not that bad, its quite fun actually, but then I went to Salt Lake City and things changed, I learned the full potential of the rower and was given I now know the true extent of the suffering that can happen on it. The best example is the 2k row. To quote a new training friend and inspiration Marck Goran ‘There is not much you can do on the rower if you are not willing to suffer’ coming down from the 2k row the 500m row in which I won the 500m event at the Invesco event this year that maybe worse than the 2k row.
My point is with these conditioning workouts or our workouts on Fridays the ‘Fuck You Fridays’ are about taking us that little bit further, mentally then we actually thought possible. What does that mean and where does it fit in to me training you? It means that I will always start with your mindset, because the body achieves what the mind believes and so on. Or What Gym Jones says ‘expectation+encouragement+confidence in your ability = Transcendent Physical Performance’
Potential new members may look at this and think fuck this that is too much for me I just want to get off the couch and get moving after Christmas. However it is important that you know about our culture. I will build you up and develop a firm foundation, like Coach Greg Glassman said if you focus and commit to really laying solid and undisputable firm foundations then you will not only get results but your clients will be safe and they will have a strong base to then build from as they say your height of your pyramid is only as tall as its base.
To my main point that lead me to write this post about people pushing themselves and most being unwilling to push themselves past perhaps their plateaux or the point where they could progress or get faster or stronger or win etc it all begins with the mindset. That point where you are at your strongest you are able to lift your heaviest weight or fastest row, or fastest time on the airdyne or ski erg or a hard workout on the sled, is perhaps when you are at your weakest or most vulnerable, just a thought, you have given all your strength to achieving this task what ever it is and truly given yourself too it, not a care to who is around you, when your screaming or yelling or groaning and moaning while you fight to complete the task, just a sole mindset of I am going to fucking do this. When you do, it you strengthen your mindset, you have just completed something you once thought impossible and thus are stronger in mind and in body.
This is the concept I look to put across to all that train at #bobsgarage yes I understand that it is not for everyone so I don’t push it onto everyone just the ones who are willing to embrace it. At the start it is a difficult transformation if you are not used to hard training to getting out of breath to being seen when you are arguably when you are most vulnerable, but in time you build bonds with the people you work out you build a base level of strength and fitness which I will help you build with my Individualised programming and once you build friends up in your gym community suffering with your other friends in the gym actually becomes a enjoyable and enriching experience for the whole group.
Training like this has so many benefits, for one what you do in the gym will now have huge carry over to what you do in life meaning the mental toughness and mindset you build in here can help you with all of your challenges you face in life, be it getting up at 5am which I regularly do, dealing with all forms of losses, be it breakups, divorces, jobs or bereavements, the list is endless, something one day will come out of fucking no where and hit you, its usually when you least expect it and then when that day comes you will have to step it up, maybe just maybe building a strong mindset and mentality might just be the thing that gets you through the challenge we are yet to face. I have this saying I have started to saying to myself when I am having a hard time with anything right now and it is your greatest challenge is yet to come.