3,2,1 W/E 15/12/19

Only 16 days left of the decade, you set those 2020 goals yet? I’d love to hear them if you have!

3 training thoughts

While you don’t need to wait to the start of the new year to set your goals, it is a good opportunity to review the progress you’ve made in the last few months and adjust for the start of the new year. Keep them simple and break them down into smaller progress goals that lead to your desired outcome. For example, if your goals is to improve your deadlift by 10kgs, you might have progress goals that read,

  1. Train consistently 3 times per week, and deadlift twice per week
  2. Eat at or around maintenance levels at least 6 out of 7 days.
  3. Get at least 7 hours sleep per night.

Whether or not you get your deadlift pr up is now down to you consistently ticking off each of the progress goals that you’ve set out. It is entirely within your control to do these things and you just need to set up your systems and environment to make them more easily doable.

Progressive overload is a fancy way of saying gradually increase how much work you do. It is one of the foundational principles of training. There are many ways to achieve it and this article from Tony Gentilcore breaks it down well.

A great article by Jen Comas on Girls Gone Strong with 12 things every woman should know about strength training. This is an awesome breakdown of the whats, whys and hows of training for strength.

2 nutrition bites

The news this week had some stuff about an election, a president cyberbullying a teenage girl and the freaking ridiculous news that they’re thinking of putting exercise recommendations on food labelling to sho you how much you need to do to burn off what you eat.

Let’s count the ways that this is a bad idea…

  1. It creates a punishment system for eating foods you like.
  2. It turns food into a reward system for doing exercise.
  3. It completely ignores that everyone burns calories at different rates. For example, I weigh 106kg and I’ll burn through a mars bar faster than a woman who is 70kg.
  4. It doesn’t educate people on how to actually improve their nutritional habits and learn to make better choices.
  5. It will create disordered eating patterns which have been shown to lead to eating disorders.
  6. It will lead to feelings of guilt and shame about what you eat.
  7. It’s a frickin terrible idea and will create more problems than it solves.

With a breath of fresh air and sanity, here is a great article from Nia Shanks on how to enjoy your favourite foods without feeling guilty for it.

1 exercise demo.

The hinge movements are a key part of your exercise repertoire, and the RDL is a part of almost every program I write. It teaches the hinge well, it gives instant feedback on position because you either feel your hamstrings or you don’t. And that feeling of those muscles working can tell you a lot about whether or not you are getting the movement right.

If you don’t “get” your hamstrings on an RDL, the reason is typically one of 3 things:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
1 – you pivot from your low back instead of your hips, rounding out your back instead of hinging your hips, and the decreased hip flexion reduces the tension in the hamstrings.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
2 – your knees shoot forwards, and the increased knee bend reduces the tension on the hamstrings. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
3 – your super flexible/ hypermobile and you don’t feel the stretch regardless of what you do. (Of course, this may have the opposite feel, where your hamstrings are super tight as they hang on for dear life to provide some kind of stability to your hips and knees…)⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Key points for getting your hinge more hingey. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
1 – imagine your lower legs are encased on concrete, and keep them vertical. Putting a bench or box behind your lower legs may help you understand this position better. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
2. you hinge from your hip sockets, not your lower back.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
3. the load stays in line with your shoulder blades and doesn’t slide forwards.


Have a great day,


P.s. tickets are live for the fat loss seminar Calumn from CD Fitness Coaching and I are doing on January the 11th at Craiglockhart Tennis Centre here in Edinburgh. If you want to find out the nutritional, training, mindset and lifestyle factors you can use to get great results, you should probably get your tickets asap!

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