Mid-January. Cold, dark, wet and generally a bit meh. But if you’re working towards some exciting goals, keep going and before you know it the mornings will be lighter and you’ll be heading home and it’ll still be light.
In the meantime, grab a cuppa, sit somewhere warm and comfy and enjoy this weeks email.
3 training thoughts
One week from today is the day most people are likely to give up on their new years’ resolutions… The causes are simple, they’ve tried to go too far out of what they currently do without building the good habits that’ll make them stick to their goals. If you feel like you’re starting to struggle, take some time today to see if you’ve maybe pushed things a little too far too soon.
Then if you have, break the goals down into smaller chunks and focus on building the habits that support the first section. Then it’s not so big a change, and it’ll be easier to stick to, then build upon, later.
It may seem too small a change to be of any value, but you’re more likely to stick to it and the cumulative effects of you consistently doing that small change will far outweigh a big change done for a week or 2 then forgotten about.
If you’ve been training a while, and you’re not seeing the kind of results you’d like to, there may be a simple explanation…
There are no “must-do” exercises. Movements, yes, but exercises not so much. You’ll see people champion certain exercises as being the best for building “x” muscle, or for developing “y” movement, but the truth is that you have to find the right movement variation for you.
Taking the deadlift for example. Last week I saw a good number of clients, and every one of them did the deadlift movement. Every single one. Note that I said the deadlift movement, I didn’t say they all deadlifted from the floor with a barbell.
We did DB deadlifts (with the DB held vertically), KB deadlifts with both 1 and 2 kettlebells, We did rack pulls, romanian deadlifts, trap bar deadlifts, barbell deadlifts both from the floor and from a couple of inches above the floor. The point is, each person did the variation of the deadlift movement that was right for their ability, goals and preferences.
Make sure you aren’t trying to force yourself into certain exercises if they’re not right for you. Individualisation is key.
2 nutrition bites.
The fat loss seminar Calumn, from CD fitness coaching, and I were putting on yesterday went pretty well. Despite a couple of technical issues, and terrible weather we had a great bunch of people in attendance and I feel they all left with some useful takeaways.
One of the key points carries over from the last point above, individualisation of your dietary approach, sleep and training is your key to success. What works for people on social media, or your friends, or me, won’t necessarily work the same for you. People often mistake strategies for principles.
Fat loss is driven by a calorie deficit, how you create that deficit is down to what works best for you and how sustainable it is.
1 exercise demo.
A common issue I see with deadlifts is the load moving too far forwards, pulling you off balance and increasing the strain through the low back. This is typically due to not engaging the lats, letting the arms hang straight down instead of being pulled back towards your legs.
A simple drill that teaches you really well how to engage your lats and keep the bar close, is the band resisted deadlift. Loop a light resistance band around the bar (or KB/DB) and anchor it in front of you so there is a slight forward pull. The only way you can now keep the load close to you is to engage your lats and stay tight throughout the movement. Do these with lower loads than you would normally work with, around 50-70% of your rep max for the same number of reps and you’ll quickly figure out where your lats are, and how to get them working!
Have a great day,