IT’S ALL A GAME…

The horrible truth is that all of this fitness business really starts with a promise.

A promise to expect more from yourself than you currently do.

To hold yourself to a higher standard than you currently do.

To unapologetically and without a shred of compromise live the rest of your life as the strongest version of yourself.

I say this is a horrible truth because promises are scary. That’s why we have such a hard time keeping them with other people, but more importantly with ourselves.

This seemly gargantuan promise of committing to a better life isn’t actually one promise but a series of promises that you hold yourself accountable to each and every day.

And with that in mind, lets take a look at what I have come to refer to as the ‘Game of Promises’.

So, yes. It is a massive Game of Thrones rip off… but hey – I said I was passionate, not inventive.

And at the risk of belabouring the point, the ‘Game of Promises’ is also played for keeps.

Promises, if nothing else, are simply an oath of accountability. I have mentioned time and time again, accountability is the foundation of compliance. And compliance is the foundation of success.

No one ever got the body they wanted by accident.

But no one ever got the life they wanted by accident either.

In older and some might say wiser times, an oath meant everything. To break an oath to ones brothers, family, kinsman, or lord, would result in shame, banishment, and sometimes even death.

But the presence of a life built around oaths created an opportunity for amazing feats of strength and loyalty.

In Japan there is a story of forty seven samurai who upon the murder of their master, took ritual vengeance in his name, declared themselves to be Ronin (masterless samurai) and took their own lives in Seppuku. Rather than be dishonoured, and forced to serve another masters.

“The story tells of a group of samurai who were left leaderless (becoming rōnin) after their daimyō (feudal lord) Asano Naganori was compelled to perform seppuku (ritual suicide) for assaulting a court official named Kira Yoshinaka, whose title was Kōzuke no suke. After waiting and planning for a year, the rōnin avenged their master’s honor by killing Kira. In turn, they were themselves obliged to commit seppuku for committing the crime of murder. This true story was popularized in Japanese culture as emblematic of the loyalty, sacrifice, persistence, and honor that people should preserve in their daily lives. The popularity of the tale grew during the Meiji era, in which Japan underwent rapid modernization, and the legend became entrenched within discourses of national heritage and identity.”Kanadehon, Columbia University

Now, while I am not expecting you to have a death and dishonour moment each time you reach into the cookie jar for a boredom snack, lets get one thing straight.

You have not evolved far beyond these forty seven men, who were so committed to the promises that they made in life, they were wiling to fulfil those promises even in death. That’s powerful.

Their commitment to extreme ownership of their promises and accountability to their code of conduct was so strong, that people from all of japan, and indeed the world, travel to the grave site of the forty seven Ronin to pay homage to their sense of honour and duty.

It fundamentally comes down to sticking to all the little promises and expectations that you set for yourself on the daily basis.

Don’t accept less from yourself than you do from the people around you.

Want to start losing that body fat? Commit to the promise that you will eat well and move more.

Want to feel strong for the first time in your life? Get out there and do something that challenges you to be strong. And promise you wont quit when the going gets tough.

Want to be the best partner that you can be to your significant other? Then promise that you will work on tearing down the walls that you put up so many years ago that stop you from truly connecting with another individual on a truly open and vulnerable level.

Everyone wants to make the big change. Everyone wants to turn their lives upside down with the next fad. The next craze. The next hip thing thats sweeping the nation and day time television. But the truth is this – that’s not how it works.

It starts by committing to your promises.Laying a foundation of success that bleeds into your life not just in a macro sense, but also in a micro sense.

You have to throw yourself into the ‘Game’ daily, and choose to win. Because if you break those promises that you made to yourself, and lose a day of living as the best version of you – you chose that.

For my final words I want you the reader to meditate on a final thought.

“Virtuosity is not the art of mastering the uncommon. Virtuosity is the art of uncommon mastery of common things.”

Go forth and become virtuosos of the ‘Game’ in your own lives.

Live with love, strength, and passion.

Train Strong.

Live Strong.

Be Strong.

Real World Strength

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We all know ‘those’ people. Those people who have strength that denies expectation.

Whether its the house wife that can move a fridge by herself, but doesn’t believe she can pick up a barbell. Or the labourer who has never been to the gym in his life, but has a grip like a boa constrictor – we all know ‘those’ people.

But where does this strength come from? And how can you go about getting real world strength?

Well the Gods honest truth of it is that some people are just born stronger than others. Some people are born with above average levels of muscle, strength, and nervous system potential than others. Sorry… life’s unfair like that. The good news however is that ther are some simple steps that you can take to do something about it and super charge your strength both in and out of the gym.

1. Use Total Body Lifts –

Now, while I do categorise movements based on muscular biase i.e. Pull ups are an upper body movement and squats are a lower body movement. The simple fact is that if you are doing any of the big lifts right, you are using every ounce of muscle fibre that you have in order to stay stable, strong, and solid throughout a full range of motion. I remember the first time I deadlifted 200kg my feet where what hurt the most once I was done. My feet… think about that. My entire body was working so hard the soles of my feet hurt from the intensity of my training.

If you are doing it right, pretty much any lift can be a total body lift. So make these lifts the base of your training.

2. Be Strong Frequently –

No one ever got strong doing something once in a while. The only way tot get strong is via repeated effort over a long period of time. I once worked with a guy who could move an entire king size mattress up stairs by himself. If that doesn’t sound impressive to you, you clearly haven’t tried gripping on to a king size mattress.

When I asked him how he did it he just said, “practice”.

Frequency of exposure drives adaptation. So get out there and move weights frequently and you will get stronger!

3. Be Functional –

No, I don’t mean do it on a bosu ball. What I mean is train using real world practical movements that transfer outside of the gym.

Weighted carries, compound lifts, and sled work should make up the bulk of your training. Training biceps might seem like a great idea, but chin ups and sand bag carries are a better alternative.

If you are only concerned with gym based strength then you have gotten away from what really matters. Developing fitness and strength that you can apply in everyday life.

Don’t live and die for a deadlift PR if you cant do a chin up.

 

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Fundamentals of Choosing the Right Program!

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Starting your fitness journey on the right footing is probably the single most important thing that you can do to set yourself up for success in terms of both physical and mental health.

But how the hell are you meant to know what to do?!

Seriously!?

The internet is filled with more bad programs than good. Everyone has a conflicting opinion. And, while you have instantaneous access to some of the greatest minds in strength and conditioning, you probably have absolutely no business  attempting to run their programming.

So how do you go about choosing the right program for you as a beginner? Well, I believe there are three main points to consider:

  1. Movement capacity:

Be honest and truthful about what limitations you have physically. If you can’t squat, let alone squat pain free, then you have no business jumping into a squat dominant powerlifting cycle.

Your number one priority should be looking for a program thats going to focus on developing your movement capacity by working you towards achieving full range of motion in the fundamental movement patterns i.e. the deadlift, squat, lunge, vertical press, and horizontal pull.

*I recommend looking for a program that runs a unilateral phase, followed by a bilateral phase.

Always remember that greater ranges of motion mean more muscles recruited for a longer period of time. This will always result in fuller strength and muscle gains!

2. Is it progressive :

No matter what physical attribute you are trying to achieve, never forget that your body is an evolutionary machine that is designed to learn how to do more with less. The body constantly adapts to the stimulus that you give it. So to force the body to constantly adapt in regards to either strength, muscularity, or fat loss, you need to make sure you are increasing the demands placed on your body week by week.

Practically put, if you swing a 16kg kettlebell for 5 x 20 in week one of your programme, then the following week you would be looking to swing a heavier kettlebell in order to drive continuous adaptation.

You can progressively overload the body in a number of ways but my favourite ways are –

i. Increasing weight lifted per exercise

ii. Increasing total number of sets done per week

iii. Increasing time under tension per rep

Obviously there is an element of ‘going by feel’ when you first begin training. But the more advanced you get, the more dialled in your overload parameters become. Right now, I would suggest just focusing on increasing the weight moved per exercise, and when then plateaus then starting worrying about increasing total volume.

3. Is it fun? :

If you love constantly varied, high intensity workouts, then Crossfit is for you. If you love linear progression and picking up heavy stuff, then powerlifting is for you. If either of the above don’t sound like your jam… then pick literally anything else!

There is no ‘one way’ to be fit. But there are plenty of ways to sabotage your own success by doing something you hate, just because you think its expected. If you love running, then get a ‘couch to 5k ‘program. If you just want to dance the night away, join a zumba or salsa class. I promise you you will get far better results doing something you enjoy rather than trying to stick out something you hate.


 

If you want more help in starting your fitness journey, and putting together a progressive plan bespoke to you please fill out the form below.

Please respect that I value your commitment, so please value my time. This is not a form for time wasters, or individuals who lack commitment. Only if you are serious about change, should you fill out this form.

 

Surprising Benefits of Exercise! 

– IT’S INVIGORTING

Elevated testosterone is one of the first and, in my opinion, most beneficial aspects of working out. Building muscle, getting strong, and eating more food to bolster this new found level of activity helps to up-regulate testosterone production to help the body recover, rebuild, and reinvigorate.

Invigorate what you might ask? Your sex drive, confidence, wardrobe (because its not socially acceptable to publicly show off your gains whilst naked).

All in all, having a higher testosterone level improves every aspect of your life. Except when you have to buy new jeans to accommodate your sweet pair of quads…. swings and roundabouts.

– YOU CAN EAT MORE!

Ok, so while I wouldn’t start eating more straight out of the gate; but eventually you are going to experience a dramatic increase in your appetite – this is a good thing!

What’s essentially going on is that your body is raising your metabolic rate in response to not just your increased activity level, but also the fact that you’re walking around with more muscle.

As the most calorie demanding tissue in the body, muscle tissue requires 50kcal per Lb in order to maintain its size. As such your body, in all its infinite wisdom, raises the total amount of calories it requires in order to:
1- Maintain optimal production of hormones and other basic bodily functions
2- Allow you to keep building muscle
Fill these bouts of hunger with plenty of meat, fish, fruits and veggies and watch your body change.

*You are what you eat, so don’t eat like and asshole.

– IT’S CHEAPER THAN A THERAPIST

The fact is that life gets on top of your sometimes, and with the nights getting longer, days getting colder, and the most stressful time of year just around the corner, its little wonder that people drop their activity levels right down and prefer to stay inside because they, “just don’t feel up to it”.

Well, this is the exact opposite of what you should be doing! The fact is that getting back to the gym and keeping your fitness a priority is just a symbol of you actively prioritising your own well being.

Exercise increases production of serotonin and dopamine within the body. This leads to an elevation in mood, improved sleep pattern, and generally a greater sense of wellness and control over ones mental state.

It may seem like such a small thing, but I have yet to find a single person who’s life has not improved by adding in 45-60 minutes of exercise 4-6 times a week.

To book in a free programming consultation and get yourself on track to becoming the strongest you, fill in the form below!
Train Strong.
Live Strong.
Be Stronger.

Let’s Talk Magnitude…

Look, let’s be honest here for a second. You are a busy individual. You have a job, a life, a family, or a sport that takes up a great deal of your time. And regardless of whether you are an office based gym warrior, or an athlete looking to maximise your performance, you’re both interested in getting the most bang for your buck during your dedicated gym time.

But how!?

Training magnitude is a representation of the direct relationship between the exercises performed during a training session, and the impact of that training session on the bodies adaptation.

Short story long, if you attempt to get the maximal training magnitude from your session, you will get the greatest results.  This all starts with exercise selection. Are you choosing the exercises that are going to get you towards your goal as quickly as possible, or are you just faffing?

The truest test of whether or not you are selecting appropriate exercises for your goal is to first understand what your goal is.

Fat loss? Awesome!

Improving power and strength? Sweet!

Want a set of nice arms? Who doesn’t?!

Once you know your goal you need to make sure you are following a few simple rules when selecting your exercises, and putting them into a sensible order:

  1. Big exercises come first –

Exercises that require the most effort, cross the greatest distance, and move the most joints come first. Simple as. If you are putting your deadlifts, squats, presses and chin ups at the end of your programme rather than at the beginning, then you are missing out on making the most out of your session.

2. Isolation exercises come second –

This basically follows on from point one. After the most important exercises are finished, make sure the following exercises are going to help improve those movements i.e. lat pull downs after pull ups. This will make sure that you are bolstering your ability to increase your performance in your primary movements every week. Remember, your chasing progression, not just a sweaty back and a sick pump.

3. Due diligence comes third –

This is the point in your training session where you need to take the time to focus on corrective exercises to prevent muscular imbalances, or to really focus in on dedicated mobility time to increase training performance and prevent injury. Either way, the point of this moment in the session is to make sure that you are working on the aspects of your performance that will allow you to stay safe, and keep improving week by week.

Going hard in your programme is all well and good, but the fact is that coming in and smashing yourself isn’t always smart, and it sure as hell isn’t always conducive to improving performance in the gym.

Remember that anyone can put together a hard programme. But a good programme takes planning, consideration of multiple factors, and proper execution.

To booking in a free programming consultation and get yourself on track to becoming the strongest you, fill in the form below!

Train Strong.

Live Strong.

Be Stronger.

 

 

 

 

 

Why your Squat Sucks…

If you’ve been paying attention, I think squats are kind of a big deal…

As far as I am concerned the squat is the king of lifts! It requires mobility, stability, strength, and courage to master the squat, and if you don’t think that squats are that big of a deal… well then you know where the door is.

We have all gone through the struggles of trying to build a respectable squat. So to that end here are a few reasons why your squat may, or may not suck.

  1. Not squatting to depth –

The fact is that everyone in the history of squatting has asked the question “was my squat deep enough?”

You swiftly learn that if you have to ask the question, then you already know the answer.

Not squatting to full range, while it allows you to move more weight, is actually the worst thing you can do for not just the development of your squat, but also your overall leg development.

The only way to recruit the most amount of muscle possible is to go through as full of a range of motion as possible. That means no half reps, no quarter reps, no doubt what so ever. Go arse to grass or go home.

To develop greater depth and comfort either the back squat or front squat, use pause squats of anything from 1-5 seconds at the bottom of the squat.

The pause will also help you develop power out of the bottom of the squat, i.e. the weakest part of the movement.

       2. Not squatting frequently enough –

Following the typical ‘Bro Split’ of doing legs once a week is pissing away time that could be spent squatting. Some how, this myth has emerged whereby people think that training a muscle once per week is enough to incite growth. Well, maybe for someone in their first year of lifting, but for anyone who has invested some serious iron time once a week is simply not enough.

The muscle building cycle actually only lasts a day or three, depending on the size of the muscle. So that means you can train your squat multiple times per week without any negative impact on your muscular development, or risk of overtraining (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7b5hOWfwdc).

Try to squat two to three times a week as part of a five session split at varying rep ranges, with your heaviest session at the beginning of the week to get some mega growth potential in your legs and your squat numbers.

Session 1: 4 x 6-8

Session 3: 4 x 8-10

Session 5: 4 x 10-12

       3. Not thinking long term –

This essentially ties in with the above point, but its worth coming at from another angle. Everything has a point of diminishing returns, and squatting is no exception. The more you repeat an exercise, the better you get at it. This is why most newbies see some incredible gains in the first few months to a year of training. But as the months and years tick on it gets harder to progress because your body quite simply needs more stimulus to force an adaption. This is why a proper phasic program is needed to see progress in any aspect of the gym, but particularly in squatting.

A really simple rep range scheme to use is as follows

       4. Improper exercise selection –

If you want to build a big squat, then stop worrying about leg extensions and calf raises. These exercises have their place, but the truth is that you need to seriously think about what is letting you down in the squat and build those weaknesses. Doing leg extensions for the sake of doing leg extensions is not going to help you squat more weight, so don’t waste your time on exercises that aren’t going to build your squat

Here is a cheat sheet for some basic issues –

  1. Rounding over: Weakness in the upper back and abs. Do a lot, and I do mean a lot of rows and ab work in addition to sub-maximal squats / pause squats.
  2. Getting stuck in at the bottom: Weakness in the glutes and hamstrings. Dedicate time to glue bridges, hip extensions, and romanian deadlifts to build that booty!

To book in a free programming consultation and get yourself on track to becoming the strongest you, fill in the form below!

Train Strong.
Live Strong.
Be Stronger.

Let’s talk about sex

So here it is – sex is important. 

You love it, I love it, and it’s something that we are going to keep doing as healthy responsible adults. Note that I use the word healthy; cause the unspoken truth is that if you are healthy, you are going to be having more sex. Now, while it would be really easy to say that this is simply to do with aesthetics, that would be an injustice to what I believe is one of the best indicators of a healthy life.

It’s more than just sex. It’s an expression of wellness!

I get laughed at by my clients when I tell them that my goal for their wellbeing is that they wake up and can tick off my three H’s.

“Are you Happy, Hungry, and Horny?” 

If you answer yes to all three, then the chances are that you are in pretty good shape holistically. 

The reason that I put sex drive last, is that if the first two are out of whack, then chances are we already know why your libido is lowered. Sex drive is regulated by hormone production, and psychological desire, and it’s here that we start our journey. Sexual desire is field by a mix of hormones such as testosterone, estrogen, dopamine and cortisol. The androgen hormones such as testosterone and estrogen are a no brainier, but what you might not be aware of is that your sexual desire is linked directly to how happy you are.

Happy –

Dopamine and serotonin are produced in the body during times of pleasure, happiness and calm – key example being the wave of euphoria that comes after a hard workout. It is during these times that the stress hormone cortisol is being actively  lowered within your endocrine system. As such, your sex drive will ebb and flow depending on your personal stress levels. Sex is often seen as a release for many people, but the truth is that this is more of a psychological release than a physical one. If you continue to hold on to stress, or engage in activities which promote a stressful environment, then you are actively lowering your sexual desires. However, not all of us have the luxury of packing in our sources of stress and fleeing our worldly woes to a join a tantric enclave with Sting. So, what I recommend is to engage in some form of exercise 3-5 times per week to help boost bodily production of dopamine and serotonin. This will help you deal with your stress better, and help to bolster your sex drive.

Hungry – 

What could food have to do with your sex life when it’s outside of the bedroom? Well quite a lot actually. 

The truth is that your energy levels tell your body whether you are or aren’t in the appropriate bodily capacity to propagate the species. Short story long, if you’re not eating enough you will have no desire to make the beast with two backs any time soon. The fact is that not waking up hungry is a sign of a very poor metabolism, and as such your body is trying to minimise its need for calories as much as possible. That means that you won’t have the desire to exercise in or out of the bedroom. I tell people all the time that the aim of the game is to be able to eat as much as you can while staying as lean as you can. So by focusing on creating a metabolism that is as active as possible, we are creating a body that is producing hormones optimally, and has the internal desire to mate.
Ultimately what this all boils down to is that regardless of the science behind it, sexual desire is one of the most important aspects of a healthy body and a healthy lifestyle. You are part of a species who’s entire bodily purpose is to share its genes and create new life. So if you are struggling with your sex life, take stock of your real life first. Chances are that the problems you are facing in the bedroom are taking place outside of it.

Chocolate covered strawberries anyone?

Two Tips to Ensure New Years Resolution Survival

With a legion of ‘New Year, new me’ers’ growing stronger everyday due to a month of too much wine, too many mince pies, and not enough self restraint, I want to take a moment to help give you two top tips on how you the ‘new you’ actually live past January 15th.
1 . Think back, move forward – 

The honest truth is that while it is all well and good talking about how this year is going to be ‘the year’ – you said that last year. Get over yourself! Stop repeating a cycle that has time and time again ended in failure and left you feeling disappointed in yourself and demotivated to keep pursuing your goals. Think back to all the times you’ve tried to make a big positive change in your life and failed. Now try and think about why you’ve failed. I know it’s an uncomfortable experience confronting your short comings, but the truth is that until you know where you are going wrong, you are never going to develop safeguards to prevent yourself falling back into old bad habits. The only way to get where you’re going is to know where you have come from.

  

2. Slow and steady wins the race – 



So, you’ve put your cards on the table. You’ve joined a gym, bought new trainers and have a sexy Lululemon headband to make sure that the other ‘New Year, new me’ers’ know that you are not like them, you’re special, you’re hear to stay. So you hit the gym January 1st, kitted out with all your N.N.L (Neon, Nikes, and Lululemon) gym essentials and you hit it; hard! You go home in a sweaty mess feeling really good about yourself and mix yourself a recovery shake in your new nutribullet and start grilling your salmon and asparagus for your later meals – no sauce of course. That would be far to calorific…

Nailed it!

With valiant effort you keep this up for the first week. You’re dieting hard, training harder, and feeling pretty damn good about it. Sure, you’re a little hungry, but eating is cheating right? No body got ‘the body’ by eating carbs or enjoying life – right? Well by week three you’re not feeling as good about this whole ‘new me’ thing. You’re tired, lethargic, gaunt and, like all people in your situation do, you cave and grab the cookies. 
Rome was not built in a day, and you can’t expect the body you want to happen in a matter of weeks. Building a new you is a long process, and it can’t be rushed. Make small, maintainable changes every month and I promise you that when you take a look in the mirror a year from now, you will be amazed at how far you have come, and how much fun you have had a long the way. You cannot ‘deprive’ your way to the body you want, and the person you aspire to be. You have to ‘provide’ for the body and life that you want or otherwise you will never grow.

Happy New Year Rebels, and remember,

Train Strong.

Live Strong.

Be Stronger.

Demystifying the Deadlift

The deadlift is one of the most fundamental movement patterns in training to get stronger. I would love to tell you all the science behind why the deadlift is such a great movement, but the truth is that there are many articles on the internet that do this far better than I can. The real reason that I love the deadlift and work to get all my clients to the stage that they can deadlift properly is due to the fact that we live in a time where men and women are throwing their backs out picking up their kids or keys.

The deadlift, when performed correctly of course, is the most efficient way to pick something up off the ground. As such I tell all my clients that the movement patterns that they learn in the gym should apply to all of the movement they do outside of it. There is no difference in how I pick up my keys after dropping them and how I pick up 200kg. One is just substantially slower than the other.

So, the aim of this article is to highlight some of my pet hates in the deadlift and see if we can get your deadlift looking as sexy as it possibly can!

It’s and deadlift, not a squat! – 

During the eternal search for a braced and neutral spine, the most common fault that I see is people dropping their hips so low that they in essence drop in a squat whilst holding on to the bar. While your back may be flat, and yes you may be holding on tot he bar to deadlift. the fact is that you my friend are not doing anything that resembles a deadlift. The deadlift is a hinge movement, the squat is a squat. So many people seem get lost when I explain to them that they need to think of the deadlift as a hinge movement rather than a squat, which is understandable considering that both movements are very hip dominant in their mechanics. However, what I try to convey to my clients that the whereas the squat is an up and down movement, the deadlift is a push into the floor with the feet and a pull backwards with the upper back. The hips are just the hinge.

Start the deadlift in about a half-squat position with your shoulder blades over the barbell. If you start too low, the barbell will end up too far in front of your body, which causes you to literally hang out on the meat of your lower back,compromising your leverage. Thus leaving you in a much weaker position.

On the left we have a squat. On the right we have a deadlift.

On the left we have a squat start. On the right we have a deadlift start – Know the difference

Not fixing your base! – 

Foot position and stance is the most important part of the deadlift. As with building a house, you need to start with a firm foundation. The deadlift is no different.

Unless you are pulling sumo then start with a hip width stance and adjust as required. Very rarely do I see anyone whose stance is too narrow, but more often than not I see a base that is too wide. Not taking time to set your stance will affect not just the quality of your pull but also the positioning of your levers, putting you at a mechanical disadvantage.

Check yourself before you wreck yourself

Check yourself before you wreck yourself

Shruggin’ and Tuggin’ – 

Ok, so while I have referred to the deadlift as a pull through pretty much the entirety of this blog, that doesn’t mean that you doing anything with your arms other than holding the bar in place. Too many people engage the arms and their traps while pulling, and this leads to a really messed up pull.

The reason for this is that for muscles to engage and move, other muscles have to shut off. By shrugging the weight you are simply decreasing the positional stability and tightness of your entire body, which can lead to really bad injuries. Bear in mine that the most common major injury associated with the deadlift is a bicep tear. Don’t be the guy or girl who tries to shrug and curl 140kg. It will end badly.

Don't be the guy on the left

Don’t be the guy on the left

Too fast. Too furious – 

Ok, this one is well and truly my biggest pet hates. Don’t jerk the bar off the floor! Attempting to rip the weight off the floor is more often than not is a recipe for disaster, and the last thing I want is for you to feel the ‘aster’.

Now, there are special individuals who can, and do, rip the weight off the floor at incredible speed, but these guys and girls are freaks, and chances are you cant do it. Honestly though, don’t worry cause neither can I. Check out Dan Green putting the ‘rip’ in ripping weight off the floor.

You need to think of the initial pull like going through the gears on a car. No one would jump straight from first to fifth gear, and the deadlift is no different. Try pulling all the slack out of the bar by building power from the floor and prioritising position. Dan Green is one of the most dynamic pullers in the game, but what he does is so far removed from what most normal humans can do that to try and copy him is pointless. Yes be fast, but only as fast as you can maintain position.

If you have read this and recognised any of these as mistakes that you are making, then scale back, take your time and remember – deadlifting right can save your life!

If you feel your deadlift needs a little more hands on attention then get in touch via the link below to book your free deadlift clinic >>>>>>>>>

http://bit.ly/1rvbFHQ

Train Strong.

Live Strong.

Be Stronger

Hand care for athletes!

The truth is that the state of your hands says a great deal about you as a person. It is common knowledge that if you take part in the strength game that you are going to end up dealing with callused hands, torn skin, and being a little rough around the edges. However, this doesn’t need to lead to you having a sandpaper handshake for the rest of your life.

Chalk can only get you so far!

Chalk can only get you so far!

So what exactly is a callus, and what causes them? Well calluses are very similar to blisters i the way that they are simply a separation of skin layers due to friction, with a subsequent fluid build up underneath them. Once they have dried and hardened then they become full blown calluses. They are caused by friction against the skin by another surface. Calluses are common for workmen, rock climbers and strength athletes given the amount of resistance activity they have to undertake with their hands.

Short of a world record, nothing is worth this.

Short of a world record, nothing is worth this.

The fact is that skin trauma to the hands is an inevitable part of strength training, but while many like to view their calluses as marks of pride, the truth is that there is nothing beneficial about having hands like a cliff side. If calluses tear, they are actually pretty messy and can cause you to develop some mega rips in your hands. Tears to hands are some of the most common and most easily avoided injuries in lifting, and Rebellion Strength is going to teach you the secret of having strong, yet healthy hands.

1.Wear Gloves –

HA! Just kidding! Sort of…

If overly manly man says it, it must be true!

If overly manly man says it, it must be true!

2. Train your grip –

The truth is that the movement of the bar against the skin that causes a shift in the hand that leads to skin being stretched. The harder you squeeze the bar the harder it is going to be for the bar to move around in the centre of your grip. The fact is that a great number of lifters that I have seen in my time as a PT simply don’t understand how much force is actually needed to have a strong grip. More often than not I find myself having to use the cue, “choke the bar” to actually get my clients to engage their grip fully. Add more time under tension by adding in pause reps to help develop your grip and above all else – squeeze the bar!

3.Use Straps –

Ok, this time I am not joking. While straps get a bad rap as an easy way out of lifting big weights ‘correctly’, just like anything else if they are used appropriately then they can save your hands a great deal of stress in your workouts. I like to cycle the use of straps in and out of my workouts in order to give my hands a chance to recover while still getting in enough work to develop my lifts. People tell you that straps are cheating, but as far as I am concerned they are just a tool to help you get towards your goals faster and with healthier hands.

4. Actually take care of your hands –

Ladies are pretty good at this. So chaps, stand up and take note! There is nothing sexy about hands that can snag a pair of your best gals tights, so sort it out. Sack up and go into boots and buy a pumice stone. Then go into Lush and get a hand moisturiser than will absorb into the skin and help your skin stay strong. Bad moisturiser sits on the first layer of skin and isn’t absorbed into the other deeper layers of skin, these are what you wan to avoid, so go in and ask the Lush ladies if they can help you. Once you have these essential items get home soak your hands in water and use the pumice stone to smooth out your calluses. From there wash of what ever lose skin has been worn away and then moisturise your hands to make sure that the skin heals cleanly and smoothly. If the site where the callus was is jagged its just going to tear again.

The final form of a person’s character lies in their own hands.” – Anne Frank

Train Strong.

Live Strong.

Be Stronger.