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Old 12-24-2010, 09:19 PM   #1
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Been absent a while, Steve emailed me for a chat, so I am back on and off. Since I was last here I have started training people regularly. Often I've been heard to say things like, "keep it simple: in every workout do a deep knee-bend, pick something heavy up off the ground and put something heavy overhead; in every workout lift more weight or the same weight more times than you did before; if you want to get bigger eat more, smaller eat less."

I don't worry too much about reps and sets or the exact exercise used (except that lower reps are better for beginners, so they can learn the form). It simply has to be some consistent exercises (so you can see progress), and more each time than last.

This philosophy, none of which is original (thanks Dan John, Bill Starr, etc) now been tested on my clients for some months.

Stacey is a 26yo woman working in retail, she has played lots of netball in the past. At 1.70m tall she began in February 2010 at 75kg and 30% bodyfat, and could do 3 knee pushups. She ate a lot of salads and missed breakfast. She was pigeon-toed with increased lordosis (J-Lo butt). Her goal was to have a smaller bum.

She started eating more fresh fruit and vegies, nuts and beans, and fish every day, with a litre of milk as her workout drink. She trained twice a week, once with me and once on her own, lifting heavy and doing a few corrective exercises for her hips. She has a very good attitude, says, "don't tell me how many reps I have to do, just tell me when to stop."

By November 2010 she was 69kg at 20% bodyfat, and could clean from the ground 75kg and front squat it for 5 reps, put 40kg overhead in a strict press for 5 reps, and deadlift 107.5kg also for 5 reps. She could also do 4 chinups in a row from dead hang to chin over bar (ie the proper way). Her feet were now parallel naturally.

As well as her feet, her posture had improved (better lower back and shoulders), she had vastly improved confidence and from that improved confidence, improved appearance. Her bum is smaller.

Dave is a 27yo man with a desk job, he has done skateboarding and injured wrists, knees, etc. He began in October 2010 at 1.72m tall and 59kg at 10% bodyfat. He could do 10 pushups, squat 20kg, put 20kg overhead, and deadlift 40kg. He missed breakfast, had fast food for lunch and a decent dinner of meat and vegies. He had a slight functional scoliosis and frequent back pain. His goals were to get stronger and have better health.

He started eating breakfast in the form of oats and honey, and drinking a power drink of 1lt milk + 3 eggs + 100g milk powder every day, plus an extra one during workouts. At one point his weight stalled and he started eating 450g ribeye steaks for dinner. He trained twice a week, both times with me. Great attitude, once he went to throw up after a session.
"Are you alright, mate?"
"Sure. I just have to make another power drink when I get home, I lost that one."

After 11 weeks and 22 sessions he was 66kg still at 10% bodyfat, with 5 reps managed of SQ75 OHP37.5 and DL110. He no longer has back pain, and has vastly improved confidence, now has a girlfriend and is taking up study next year. He is stronger and healthier.

Julian is a 35yo man with a desk job, who when he began in May 2010 was 1.90m tall and 165kg. He could not do a single bodyweight squat to or below parallel, had numerous back etc issues. He had strong increased kyphosis, really hunched over. His goal was simply to get smaller and be healthier.

I had to start very easy with him, "squats" were at first just sitting down on a chair and getting up from it without using torso weight shift or his hands on knees to push up or stabilise himself; these progressed to a lower chair, then a milk crate, then a 10kg barbell for a front squat, then take away the milk crate. He only fell over once and now doesn't remember it.

By October 2010 he had dropped to 138kg, but his measured height was 1.94m due to improved posture, was front squatting 70kg, putting 35kg overhead and deadlifting 140kg, and like the others had much better confidence.

Recently his progress has stalled, issues like patellar maltracking have popped up which have stopped or hindered training as he got medical treatment and we had to avoid certain exercises. You often get this with deconditioned people. They have physical issues lying dormant in them, once they become physically active the activity makes the issues flare up. Many give up then and lose all their gains, Julian has not. Nonetheless, he is in better condition and happier than he was before.

Be generally more physically active day-to-day. Do a deep knee-bend. Pick something heavy up off the ground. Put something heavy overhead. In every session lift more weight than you did before, or the same weight more times. Eat lots of good food, if after a month you are bigger and wanted to be smaller eat less, if smaller and wanted to be bigger eat more, otherwise keep going as you're going.

All the rest is commentary.
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Old 12-25-2010, 12:27 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Kyle Aaron View Post

Be generally more physically active day-to-day. Do a deep knee-bend. Pick something heavy up off the ground. Put something heavy overhead. In every session lift more weight than you did before, or the same weight more times. Eat lots of good food, if after a month you are bigger and wanted to be smaller eat less, if smaller and wanted to be bigger eat more, otherwise keep going as you're going.
I really enjoy the simplicity in this quote.
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Old 12-25-2010, 05:26 AM   #3
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Nice to hear from you kyle, youve helped people to some very good results. Well done!
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Old 12-25-2010, 06:25 AM   #4
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Not much to my credit, it was them who did the hard yards, I just pointed the way. They did well because they just got up and started moving more or less in the direction of their dreams. Too many wait to map out the perfect route, or stop every block to ask directions and follow them down dead ends.

The three I mentioned who have made the most dramatic progress were never in gyms before I trained them. So they never argue. Once I told Julian to do 7 reps of overhead press, he said in all seriousness, "You've never had me do high reps before." He just doesn't know, and to be honest that helps him a lot, no distractions or excuses.

The ones with some training experience progress much more slowly, especially the young adult males.

A coach in my city talked about James, a bloke of 61 who's pulled over 200kg.
Quote:
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I get asked why some progress faster than others on identical programs.

aside from nutrition which aids recovery, its the mind that plays the biggest role, and by a large margin.

Check out the posts and posters on these last 2 pages.

Nothing but negative, worrying thoughts.

The footballers asked how the **** James pulls 202.5kg. Here is my response.

James has never asked whether a particular rep range is better than another

James has never questioned exercise selection

James has never asked about whether wearing a belt for injury prevention is a good idea

James has never asked nor taken a supplement

James does what he is told 100% of the time

James is confident with handling weights younger men are scared of

James is not afraid to strain

James is very positive
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Old 12-25-2010, 06:32 AM   #5
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Spot on Kyle, its about the mental attitude, and the influence others around you (including the web) might have. Good post.
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Old 12-30-2010, 06:33 AM   #6
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I forgot to mention, another trainer who heard of Dave's results told me seriously that he must be taking steroids.
"Steroids? No, just squats and milk."
I don't think the trainer got the reference, they insisted. I got annoyed and offended and said, "So what you're saying is that none of your clients have ever got results like that?"

I don't think I made a friend that day.
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Old 12-30-2010, 09:44 AM   #7
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I forgot to mention, another trainer who heard of Dave's results told me seriously that he must be taking steroids.
"Steroids? No, just squats and milk."
I don't think the trainer got the reference, they insisted. I got annoyed and offended and said, "So what you're saying is that none of your clients have ever got results like that?"
I don't think I made a friend that day.
Major burn! Good one, Kyle.
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Old 12-30-2010, 10:28 AM   #8
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We were talking about this the other day:

Quote:
James has never questioned exercise selection

James does what he is told 100% of the time
I can always tell someone who has a strong potential to be successful. Instead of spending their energy trying to re-invent the wheel, or breaking down and dissecting a program, they spend their energy in the gym doing the program.

It's not that I want someone to not question anything, but rather an insight into one of the qualities that leads to success. They trust the program and the process, and trust that their hard work and investment into the process will pay off.

And it does.

Along the journey (years) of doing the program, they learn their bodies, and carve their own philosophies.

In opposition to this is the lifter who learns all the theories, and then tries to piece together workouts based on theories. They often tweak, tweak, and tweak, instead of starting with the basics and allowing themselves to learn in the gym.

Anyway, sorry to derail Kyle's great thoughts...
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Old 12-30-2010, 10:42 AM   #9
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This is probably one of the best quotes I've read in a long time:

Quote:
He just doesn't know, and to be honest that helps him a lot, no distractions or excuses. The ones with some training experience progress much more slowly, especially the young adult males.
I had a friend in college who asked me for help. He was a very skinny guy, maybe 135 soaking wet. He was also a runner. He wanted to gain muscle. And fast.

I was a 19 year old who knew nothing of lifting theory, or any of the modern "community knowledge" we have today. I told him to do three things:

1) Lift with progression.
2) Eat like a fool and drink milk to help him get plenty of calories.
3) Limit his running to 3-4 days per week.

He gained 20 pounds in about three to four months, and he looked really good. He never questioned what I told him to do.

In the 23 years since I have had only a handful of guys get the same results as he did. Granted I am not a trainer. But those that have made the most rapid progress just did what I told them to do.
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Old 12-30-2010, 05:03 PM   #10
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The two things I always say are that consistent effort over time gets results, and in every session you should do more than you did before. But these two things are rare and unusual, so much so that when someone actually does them, they are accused of using steroids.

The most important thing I have learned from working in gyms day-to-day is that most people in gyms are not engaged in progressive resistance training. They don't progress the resistance, they change exercises every couple of weeks or every session, or if they do the same exercises, they do the same weight, reps and sets for weeks or months.
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