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Hope you guys will enjoy this lockdown podcast, all about training during the lockdown with some Q&A at the end.
In this episode we will cover things such as:
– How to get the most out of training at home
– What you need to train at home effectively
– What type of cardio to do while under lockdown
– How not to get fat
– How to keep punching power up with no access to heavy bags
And quite a bit more..
Hope you enjoy!
So it’s official… we’re on lockdown.
No going out, minimal socialising, and all gyms closed. Reminds me of those school holidays where I used to sit on my Playstation playing Grand Theft Auto until 5 in the morning, but I digress..
All those times we promised ourselves we’d go to the gym, or that we’d hire that PT next month, all gone.
Now we have no choice.
Yet, this might just be a blessing in disguise for some people.
This could be the ideal time to start or rekindle the training habit, one of the most important habits you will develop in your entire life.
All you busy guys who say you don’t have time to train – well now you have time to train.
You won’t have to deal with the annoyances of a packed, noisy commercial gym.
You can do everything right there in the comfort of your own home, at the time you choose.
So while having to train at home might be seen as a step down from your usual training, I think there are actually 3 benefits of home workouts over gym.
I hold pads for people who like to do boxing as part of their workout, and while I really enjoy it, it has completely busted up my shoulders and elbows. I find it difficult to press dumbbells with my right hand due to the pain.
I also have a lower back issue going back a long time, and sometimes have to avoid heavy hinge work on days where the pain is bad.
The beauty of working out at home is that you’re forced to use lower loads and equipment like bands, which still provide great tension, but feel much better on your joints.
In the workout video below I use a kettlebell to press, and because I only have a 16 kg available, I was forced to really slow the tempo down and focus on technique. Not only did this feel amazingly difficult, but because I was using a lighter weight, I didn’t get the associated elbow and shoulder issues I would have got with a heavier weight.
I got a fantastic workout in without the aches and pains, felt challenged, and left with a pump.
When I say commercial gym, I am referring to the plethora of cheap gyms now available on every street corner. This doesn’t apply if you go to an independent or boutique gym where there is a cap on numbers, and usually a much better gym culture.
For the most part, commercial gyms are an absolute cesspool.
They are crowded, noisy, dirty, and some of the people there make you want to stick pins in your eyes.
I can’t tell you the amount of times I chose to skip a work-out because I dreaded the work-out experience.
I used to put headphones on and not be able to hear a thing due to the dreadful music from the Zumba class.
Weights were strewn everywhere.
Attention-seeking ‘Instagram girls’ taking selfies for their latest stream-of-consciousness nonsense ‘influencer’ post.
Fake tough guys with invisible-lat syndrome walking around like they own the place.
That one delusional guy who needs 10 pieces of equipment to do the SAME circuit every single week (and surprise, surprise, still looks the same after a year).
Give me a break.
In this aspect, training at home easily beats a commercial gym. Thank you Corona!
By training in a gym environment, we tend to stick to the same exercises time after time. While this is necessary for progress (you need to have a number of core movements you aim to progress with for life), it’s also important to get some variety in your training.
Variety will keep things fun, but is also important if you are looking for muscle growth.
Changing the exercise, changing the grip, changing the implement (band, dumbbells etc) will help to stimulate muscle growth.
The different angles and joint positions created by new exercises can help to stimulate the different heads of a muscle (for example, the quads have 4 different heads).
So with that said, here is a workout I did at home, just yesterday.
Do everything with perfect, German-like execution and focus.
You can make a set of 5 press-ups feel like the most gruelling exercise ever when done in this way.
Once you add band tension to properly executed reps, you will get an amazing pump.
And that’s it..
This coronavirus situation will pass.
One of the things we can (and must) do is look after our own health in the meantime. We want to come out of the other side ready to go, stronger than before. This could be the perfect opportunity for those who have neglected themselves to finally take charge of their bodies again.
F*ck the Netflix. F*ck the PS4. You will have plenty of time for that, but make sure you look after your priority first (YOU).
Let’s make this period the best yet 🤲.
Men like to rush.
They want everything fast.
Fast money, fast cars, fast women, and fast results.
But as a beginner in the gym, fast is the last thing you want to focus on.
In this age of OfficeBod, too many guys hit the gym on their first day with an ego the size of Donald Trump’s and start trying to hoist weight they have no business hoisting.
The reps are sloppy, jerky, and ultimately ineffective.
Ego is the enemy of progress in pretty much any worthwhile pursuit. Walk into any martial arts gym with an ego on the first day and you will be humbled very quickly.
While the humbling might not be as obvious when it comes to lifting weights, if you have made zero progress and look exactly the same 6 months down the road, that should be humbling in itself.
Here is my best advice to guys starting out in the gym:
Lighten the weight, slow down your reps, and master the technique.
For example, on a dumbbell bench press, I’ll have someone count down 3 seconds on the negative part of the lift (the way down).
This promotes control and will really get you to feel the chest muscles working as it goes through the stretch.
I know some of you reading this have gone to the gym for years and still can’t see any muscle definition at all. I promise you, doing your reps like this will be a game changer, especially as a beginner.
I’ve seen my best results in terms of muscle shape and size, by really slowing things down and feeling what’s going on. Plus this approach will save your joints too.
There’s a time and a place for fast and heavy, but it’s generally not as a beginner.
I don’t get the appeal of jogging and I never have.
I find it boring, it hurts my knees, and is just a slog all round. I would definitely give up training if that was my main method of staying in shape.
A lot of people do like jogging though.
In fact, a lot of my clients initially lost weight by jogging every day. That was how they kickstarted the whole slimming down process.
However, I can guarantee that most of those clients never quite got the results they were looking for from jogging. Yes, it got them off the couch. Yes, they lost weight. Yes, their waist size got smaller.
But they weren’t very strong. They weren’t very toned. They still had fatty bellies and love handles.
At best, the running changed them from a high fat, low muscle version of themselves, to a low(er) fat, low muscle version of themselves.
I have said it before and I’ll say it again – the key to a successful weight loss plan is to preserve as much muscle as possible.
Muscle helps to give definition, ‘hardness’ and shape to the body.
That’s when the shirts start to fill out better and you start getting compliments from other people.
Muscle also helps to keep your resting metabolism higher and will make it harder to regain fat over the long-term.
While I’m not against the occasional short jog once a week if someone enjoys that, anything more tends to produce poor results.
Here are 3 reasons why jogging is bad for fat loss.
Using running as your primary method of fat loss goes against what I’ve written above – protecting and building your muscle reserves.
Excessive jogging may build a small amount of muscle in the legs, but can often lead to the breakdown of muscle elsewhere, especially in the chest, arms and midsection.
You might just end up having noodle arms with a soft belly =/.
As someone who works all day and is trying to get ahead in your career, maintain a social life with family and friends, and have time to cook/eat healthy, the less time you have to spend actually working out, the better.
Jogging is not an efficient use of your time when it comes to weight loss. To get weight loss results, you need to do a lot of it – but again, what type of weight loss is it giving us?
Usually a lot of fat AND muscle loss.
If we’re losing muscle, then that is a poor return on all our effort.
The high impact, repetitive nature of running can cause annoying, niggling injuries that will keep you out of training.
Constant pounding of foot to floor can cause shin splints, ankle issues, knee issues, hip issues, and lower back injuries.
This is compounded by the fact that most people probably don’t have optimal running technique.
So what can you do to mitigate the above factors?
I always recommend alternating your type of cardio to avoid over-use injuries.
Use the assault bike, the ski-erg, the cross trainer, bodyweight circuits, and jog only occasionally. Mix things up.
I’m also of the opinion it’s better to take a brisk walk or do a short sprinting session rather than simply jog. The jogging is the in-between where most of the problems occur.
The brisk walk will still provide the benefits of calorie burning and a slightly elevated heart rate without tearing up your joints, while the sprints will do wonders to preserve your muscle, boost your metabolism and really work your heart.
And as always, the foundation of your training regime should be at least 3 days of weight training.
This will give you the best pay-off in the long run – it’ll be easier to lose the fat and keep it off, plus you’ll actually look better in the process.
To enquire about training in the Hammermsith area – click here –> Coaching
I like to play around with different exercises to keep training interesting and prevent the body adapting to what I’m doing.
Doing the same exercise week-in week-out is important, but there also comes a time where your body will no longer react to the exercise the way it once did.
As they say, “there’s no time like the first time”.
That’s where you have to switch it up.
I love all types of single leg lunge movements, but here’s one that you will probably never have seen – the Zercher lunge.
My client Federico is performing this one at during our training in Acton.
As you can see, ‘Zercher’ refers to the position of the barbell – in the crook of the elbows.
Zerchers can be used for squats and even good mornings.
The holding of the bar in this position has three main benefits:
1) Scorches the abs. This one develops a rock solid core you’ll be proud to let your wife touch!
2) Forces you to work your upper back and stay in extension (i.e. better posture during the exercise).
3) Fantastic recruitment of the glutes and quads. Even with a low weight, I felt this one the next day.
Give it a try and let me know how it went.
I can say with 94% certainty that pretty much every guy who has ever stepped in a gym has felt inferior at some point (probably apart from The Rock & Charles Martin).
At one time or another, I and every other guy have thought they were:
You might strongly identify with one, some or all of the above. Sometimes the culture of the gym you go to can influence which one hits you the most.
I have a client who is scared to be seen with me and asks not to go to certain areas of the gym or at certain times because his ‘mates’ will judge him.
While feelings of inadequacy can be normal, they are even worse in the age of social media.
Social media (especially Instagram) has and will continue to destroy the minds of generations to come. It is without a doubt a huge contributing factor to the body image anxiety experienced by many men today.
If I felt I could sustain a business without it, I’d be off it in a flash.
‘Fitness influencers’ and muscle models are set up as idols, paragons of perfection, that we, the proletariat are supposed to aspire to.
These idols are false Gods.
Their power is sustained by photoshop and anabolic steroids (you would never know it though).
Here’s an open secret.. 90% of your favourite male fitness personalities are on steroids.
Hell, I’d say 80% of the biggest and most in-shape guys at your gym are using steroids (again, you would never know).
No matter how many protein shakes and programmes you buy from them, you will never look like them.
Just accept it.
While their feeds are chock-full of posts mentioning their protein supplement, pre-workout, and beast-mode workouts, they will never mention the steroid cycle they used to actually get their results.
These unrealistic (and often unattainable) ideals can cause men to go down the dark route of steroids and it’s numerous, well documented side-effects… including infertility, man boobs and small balls!
(It’s ironic that in the quest to become a superman, you can literally lose your balls.)
I myself have considered going down the steroid route, but always get dissuaded by the long list of dangerous and dramatic side effects.. (I prefer not to have man-boobs if I’m honest).
One way to address this anxiety is to go on a social media ‘detox’.
Unfollow the muscle models.
Unfollow the ‘beast-mode, what’s your excuse?!’ bodybuilding pages.
Get rid of the unrealistic expectations.
Realise that your body will probably never look like a Hollywood actor’s.
They get paid millions of pounds to train and look good. You work in an office in Hammersmith.
Get in the gym. Learn how to train, eat properly and do things the right way.
Keep doing it until you start to see results.
Getting in the gym and actually training might not stop you from having insecurities, but they’ll fade into a background buzz rather than a major anxiety issue.
Using the insecurity as fuel is a healthy way to get rid of it. Instead of mentally masturbating over Simeon Panda’s page, address the weakness.
If you’re not strong enough, lift heavy weights so you can get stronger.
If you’re fat, start intermittent fasting and lifting weights until you’re not fat anymore.
I’ve had numerous clients go from overweight to lean and completely turn around their confidence in every area of life.
(Check my instagram for before-and-afters.. yeah, I know, ironic I use Instagram).
If you feel like the above resonates with you, you’re not alone!
Feel free to message me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or DM me on my instagram account (jumpliftsprint).
Bad posture is a huge problem in this day and age.
We are addicted to mobile phones, tablets, and laptops. ‘I-posture’ is actually a thing now.
Our necks lurch out, our shoulders round forward, and we end up with a terrible hunchback.
Poor posture makes us look shorter and less confident.
As a man making his way through the world, that is the complete opposite of what we want.
We want a lean, powerful physique with a confident demeanour.
Losing fat and lifting weights is a powerful way to achieve this.
Good upright posture maximises our height (especially if we’re not already tall =/) and makes us look stronger and more dominant.
This has far-reaching effects, from being more attractive to women, to looking more intimidating to other men.
We are primates after all, and body language really does matter.
If you suffer from poor posture, here’s a quick prescription for you:
Do more horizontal rowing/pulling than you do pressing/pushing.
Most men do far more pressing than pulling movements.
This tends to cause imbalance around the shoulder (causing injury). It also makes the chest and shoulder muscles more dominant, leading to the rounded shoulder look.
To ensure this doesn’t happen, you need to do more pulling (i.e. cable rows) than pushing movements (such as bench presses or shoulder presses).
Rowing/pulling movements strengthen and build muscle in the upper back muscles (such as the rhomboids and rear delts) which help to counteract poor posture.
That means TRX rows, inverted rows, cable rows, barbell rows, DB rows, the list goes on.
Here are some common examples below.
Single arm DB row
Hope this helps guys
If you’re a man and you want to lose weight, hit me up for online coaching or in person PT based in Acton
Like most people in big cities these days, you are probably busy, distracted and have 1001 things to do.
Work, family, social outings, your side hustle, Netflix… we all have something going on and wish we had more time to fit it all in.
Because of the nature of my job (training clients and taking care of my online coaching business), I’m often left with small pockets in which to actually train and do the thing I encourage other people to do.
It’s easy to make excuses and not use these small pockets to train.
Sometimes I’m so tired from the early starts and late finishes that training is the last thing I want to do.
But the key to progress is always consistency. Acting in spite of thoughts, feelings and emotions.
Something is always better than nothing.
Today I had a 30 minute window in which to train my upper body between clients. Not ideal, but still a decent amount of time in which I could get something done.
I decided to do a short, simple, dense workout. Time-efficient and effective.
I simply picked two big exercises from opposing muscle groups and rotated between them for about 12 minutes (after a thorough warm-up of course).
I chose to pair Viking bar press (6 reps) with seal rows (10 reps). Alternated between the two for time.
You can see the workout below:
When picking these two exercises, stick to somewhat ‘big’ compound movements, not small isolation movements like a bicep curl and a tricep pushdown.
For example, dips paired with a bent over row would be excellent for the upper body. Bicep curls paired with tricep curls would not be the best choice.
If you’re in a time pinch, you need to get the most bang for your buck, and that means working large areas of muscle at one time.
By choosing opposing muscle groups for each exercise, you ensure you don’t overly fatigue a single muscle group, and can work to your maximum in the small time you have.
For example, one ‘push’ movement with a ‘pull’ movement works well.
You also want to make sure you don’t choose a weight too close to your max. If you do, within two or three sets you will be fried. The goal is here to get a lot of volume in (volume drives muscle growth), so reduce the weight slightly so you can do lots of rounds.
For example, if I can do 50 kg overhead press for 3-4 sets of 6 reps, I will drop the weight to 35-40 kg so I can get in as much volume as I can without failing.
Put a timer on and go to work. Don’t feel you have to rush from one exercise to the other, but bear in mind you are working against the clock.
Hit me up on instagram for any questions!
Nothing makes sense in fitness.
Everybody you speak to will tell you something different.
One ‘guru’ promotes one method, while another ‘guru’ is in diametric opposition to it.
We hear 100 different messages every single day, leading to nothing but confusion.
The truth is…. most things in fitness ‘work’.
Low reps work.
High reps work.
Bodyweight exercises work.
Dumbbell exercises work.
Full body splits work.
Body part splits work.
Back squats work.
Goblet squats work.
Low carb works.
Low fat works.
Slow cardio works.
High intensity cardio works.
Here’s the thing, depending on the context, all of it works.
Stop chasing the golden rabbit.
Everybody suffers from information overload.Get advice from ONE person you trust and commit to ONE strategy.
Do it consistently for a minimum of 3 months, preferably 6 months.
If it works, great.
If it doesn’t, at least you learned that it’s not right for you.
But here’s the thing – methods can differ, but principles always remain.
There are some immutable laws of training that will never change.
Following these laws will result in losing fat and building a body that you’re proud of.
The immutable laws of training:
Follow these rules and regardless of your training, you will never go wrong!
I write online training programmes for men who are looking to lose fat and tone up. If you’re interested, click here –> Online training application
Do you need cardio to lose fat?
(I’ve purposely used the phrase ‘lose fat’ as opposed to ‘lose weight’ in the title of this blog – the former is exactly what we want, the latter may be less desirable for reasons outlined later).
Before I start, let’s just clarify the following:
Diet is the main driver of fat loss.
In order for weight loss to occur, you must be in a caloric deficit (A caloric deficit means you are taking in less calories than you are expending (i.e. dieting))
Making sure the quality of the food you eat is good is also of vital importance.
Now with that said, let’s get back to cardio – do you need it to lose fat?
The answer, like most questions in fitness, depends.
I’ve had clients lose fat with minimal cardio, and some who only lost weight once formal cardio was introduced.
I will, however, always stick by the idea that lifting weights is the major key to losing fat, keeping it off, and looking good in the process.
Lifting weights helps preserve muscle tissue.
Dieting of any type puts you at risk of losing fat AND muscle as your body fights for resources.
If this happens, the number on the scale will go down, but you will look ‘soft’ and sloppy. You won’t look good despite having lost weight.
Muscle gives you the toned and sexy look of somebody in shape.
Therefore the aim of any successful weight loss campaign should be to lose fat while keeping muscle.
Now let’s not get it twisted, cardio is very good for you from a health perspective. No doubt about that. It is very important actually.
Certain types of cardio are also very fun. I love sprinting, boxing, and playing football. Once the summer starts, I’ll be hitting the hills again.
Boxing, like above, is an excellent form of cardio.
But we are talking about whether it’s necessary for weight loss here, not whether it’s fun or good for you.
The fact is, some people can get away with doing pretty much no cardio, yet have abs all year round. All they do is lift weights and go about their daily lives.
For these lucky people above, there may be several reasons why they can get away with this. They may be genetically blessed. They may have a tightly controlled, clean diet. They may be so active outside the gym that they naturally expend a lot of calories without realising (i.e. walking, moving and standing a lot).
For these guys, cardio is not required to stay lean.
Someone else might be the complete opposite.
They may have poor genetics. They might be eating at Star Chicken every night. They may move less than a slug throughout the day, thus not spending any calories.
These people definitely need cardio.
General guidelines to determine whether you need to do less or more cardio:
(Assuming you are lifting weights at least 3 times a week, as this pretty much covers muscle retention).
The cleaner your diet and the more active you are during your daily life, the less specific ‘cardio’ you need.
The looser your diet and the less active you are during your daily life, the more cardio you need.
If you fall in to the second camp, cleaning up your diet &/or becoming more active in general will start to reduce the amount of cardio you need.
In terms of intensity of cardio you need to do, here are some good guidelines:
The more active you are in the gym (i.e. the more you lift throughout the week), the lower the intensity of cardio you need to perform.
The less active you are in the gym and daily life, the higher the intensity of the cardio you need perform (i.e. interval training). (Of course, you will need to work up to this as it is very demanding).
It’s also worth noting that you both types low and high intensity cardio are important for weight loss and health.
So do you need cardio to lose fat? Look at your diet and lifestyle, then judge from there.
Hope this helps guys
Hit me up for online coaching & or personal training here –> Coaching