What I need from you…
Righty ho then!
If you can come and train with me 2x a week and do three other days on your own, doing any activity that you enjoy, that burns calories. You too can look as good as any of my clients.
Don`t worry about “what’s best,” choose something you enjoy…
If you hate the thought of a cross-trainer, but like dancing, go and dance your arse off in your living room, you don’t need to pay n go to a Zumba class.
If the thought of going for a run is hateful, as it is for me, go for a walk, go for a swim, doing something is better than doing nothing.
If you can be consistent, your choice will work.
If you do nothing, the only thing that’s guaranteed to happen is, nothing… (apart continuing further regression)
I pare everything back to the basics, its all quite simple and not scary or dangerous…
If I can train with a spinal fusion, weight training is safe for practically anyone.
I focus heavily on safe, efficient technique. Which time and time again have had new clients comment on, with more experienced trainers increasing PB`s with only one session with me!
I`m rather proud of this regular occurrence.
If you want to use kettlebells, do CrossFit or Boot Camp type training, I am not your man, they’re all injuries waiting to happen for the majority, and there are plenty of other Personal Trainers in Norwich who will charge you more and happily take your money.
I have ethics and only promote safe, productive training.
Beginners should start at the beginning
Do not assume that, because Mr Olympia trains 6x a week, you can train that often. It takes years to build up to that kind of frequency of training and make progress. (if ever for your average genetic body type) That was my first mistake lol!!!
When you can grow using a basic no-frills full-body routine, you`ll know how to grow on a split routine done 2-3x a week. In my honest opinion, it isn’t easy to grow training more than 3x a week if natural.
I don`t believe you should train until you are free of all aches from the previous workout as its when you rest, your muscle grows.
A simple full-body routine that I use
Deadlifts are to be alternated with squats each workout.
[these should be started with light weights and form must be tight before weight is added seriously]
Flat bench press
Close grip pull-downs
All done for 2 sets of 10 with the same working weight for each exercise set. i.e. only the last set will be a set to failure.
Adding 2.5kg to the bar each week is about right.
When you struggle to do that, focus on adding 2.5kg to the first three exercises and maintain the weight and reps on the last.
When that becomes impossible, add a solitary 1kg to the bar.
Do not assume three sets of everything is best for you.
It`s the common mistake, try two sets and 2 x a week to start with.
The “ego” is one of the hardest lessons to learn and should be harnessed at the earliest opportunity. Ego lifting is one of the most significant factors in over training and injury.
If you can harness your “ego” and use its enthusiasm to make sure you train when you’re supposed to without fail and be consistent with your diet and rest it`ll work for you…
It took me many years to harness my “ego”, and I`ve made every mistake out there..
Then I tried harder…
That wasn`t the answer. The answer was to train less and let my body adapt through extra rest, along with adding a suitable 1kg increase to the bar.
If you want a magic bean, that’s it.
When the weight builds up over the week`s, you`ll find it harder to add weight to the exercises, when the added weight is making it hard to complete the routine because you`re running out of energy its time to split the routine.
It’s crucial not to add weight too quickly. You want your body to adapt to the extra stresses, for this to happen when reps are coming harder 1kg increments are needed. With a good clean diet high in protein and adequate carbs n fats, your body will adapt its not just a case of manning up and just lifting the weight!)
Rest = getting you’re sleep sorted and making sure you`re getting 8 hours a night EVERY night.
2 Day Split training twice a week
Incline bench press
Dips/close grip bench press dependent on strength
Close-grip pulldowns or chin-ups.
If that were following on from the full-body routine (FB), I`d keep sets/reps/weights the same. The decreased volume will allow to carry on adding weight to the bar.
Its imperative to start using 2 x 0.5kg plates now. Although for deads n squats you may find you can add 2.5kg a week regularly for quite a while longer as they are the biggest exercises.
That is if you get enough rest.
Simple common sense training + simple, clean high protein diet + 8 hours sleep every night = results.
Results do not require rocket science…
They require you to forget most of what you will have read from the general media.. i.e. Flex, Men’s Health, n the plethora of celebrity glossy magazines…
Whilst I trained 2x a week for 8 odd years, I do now train 3 and sometimes even 4 x a week. I`ve gotten this very wrong in the past due to my interpretation of routines. Something I still work hard on myself.
I can have the same chat with 10 people, and all will put they`re own slant and interpretation on it.. as I have done.
If it`s warranted, I`m happy to have clients train a third day each week for free, assuming they have the ability to train hard on they`re own.
By that time I`d expect clients to have earned they`re discounted rate by learning what I`m teaching. Some clients expect to cruise through and let me do all the thinking for them.
Whilst it`s warranted, I will, but if you can’t add up and put plates on a bar yourself when taught, that isn`t good… The more you understand, the better your results will be.
Initially, I felt awkward putting the responsibility on a client, but I don’t now as it`s important the client takes responsibility for the numbers on the bar too…
I train a young autistic guy who`s brilliant at learning the form but finds it really hard to warm up and add his plates correctly, but he does, and now he gets it right most of the time.. and I bollock him when he gets it wrong the same as everyone else.. and as a result, the more responsibility I give him, the better he responds.
Everyone gets treated the same, and as a result, we`re good friends too.
I`ve now invited him to train for free for the third day, when I`m training simultaneously, with the expectation he’s going to be a training partner rather than someone I do everything for.
In fact, he`s one of the few chaps I do train with who`s not scared to give me feedback on my own lifting lol which is great for me 🙂
I made many mistakes in the past, and one of them was doing as many workouts a week as there were days in the week.
Then I cut back till I was on 2x a week. I wasted ooooh on and off 15 years like that.
This time I started on 2 days, went to 3 and when I got 3x a week training`s interpretation correct I recently retried a 4-day split, basically due to how limited I am for cardio options with my back.
Essentially, I don`t try as hard on 2 of the days, cycle my INTENSITY, and my poundages and deload or cutback regularly in relation to where I am in the training cycle.
My 3-days split goes as follows.
Bench press (5 working sets all done to failure. I take a little weight off the bar each set.)
Shoulder press DB or BB (3-5 working sets all done to failure.)
Close grip DB press 2×10 reps+
Skull crushers 2×10 reps+ to failure
Triceps cable pushdowns 3-5 sets 10+ reps to failure.
Deadlifts (basically a modified version of Wendler’s 5 3 1 meaning I`ve cut back on some of the volume)
Stiff leg deadlifts 2×10
Glute/ham raise (3 working sets cumulative fatigue style rather than failure on every set.)
Calves 4×20 with a 1kg increase every week. 1-minute rest between sets
Bicep curls DB or BB altho EZ 5 sets of 10+ to failure
Trap Bar (best money I’ve spent in my life!) or squats.
Either done using Wendlers 5 3 1 format of %.
Roman chair sissy squat 2×10+ done slow
Back (doesn’t matter if you chin, seated row, wide grip pulldown or close grip, 3-5 sets, all cumulative fatigue style and tbh something I think of as an accessory exercise and never push that hard, you find if you can deadlift or trap bar, your back grows, in fact, it’s by far the most reliable growth zone all my clients have)
Calves again for me 4×20 with a 1kg increase every fcuking workout.
Whatever day you start your training week on is irrelevant, but the splits must be adhered to, done in the correct order and with the correct amount of rest days in between!!!
I usually try to have a client in with me after a couple of months and as odd as this sounds I`ve turned housewives with just an average attitude, to serious trainers literally overnight.
My 4-day split
Now then, I am acutely aware of the realities of over training and any signs of it will result in deload weeks or if appropriate a week off.
It`s now even more important to cycle INTENSITY and cut back on the volume.
Again, whatever day you start your training week on is irrelevant, but the splits must bee adhered to, done in the correct order and with the correct amount of rest days in between!!!
Bench press currently with a football bar (3 sets cumulative fatigue style, with 3 mins rest, 2 back downs sets with only 1 minutes rest at 70% of my working weight)
Back (5 sets of whatever rows I choose for a 3 month done cumulative fatigue style)
Deads (Wendlers 5 3 1)
Stiff leg deadlifts 2×10 (cumulutive fatigue style)
Glute/ham raise (2 sets cumulative fatigue style with 1 mins rest)
Calves 4×20 with a 1 kg increase every workout.
Dumbbell press (5 sets cumulative fatigue style with 90 secs to 2 mins rest)
Biceps (5 sets to failure on all sets. 1kg increase every week.
Skull crushers 2×10
Pushdowns 2-5 sets till I’m dead, 1 min rest.
Trap Bar ( Wendlers 5 3 1 style)
Calves again lol
If your a beginner don’t try and take 1-minute rests, you`ll under perform, and your form will get shit very quickly.
Don`t get hooked up, as I have in the past on gaining mass, my wasted years squatting post-fusion when I should have carried on with trap bar was so pointless.
As soon as I refocused on getting stronger, the mass started to come too. I went from a constantly aching back with even THE most anal of form, squatting basically nowhere near my potential and pulling 600lbs on my trap bar within a year with no increase in my daily back pain. I`m easily in the best shape of my life too… Doh!
The secret is, there is no secret…
I take clients through precisely what I`ve described showing them the pitfalls and how to avoid them along the way.
I will take you through a “training cycle” and show you how to grow, be it male or female, heavy or underweight, desiring muscle mass or simple toning, how to create a diet that will accentuate curves or hone 6 packs…
I find that stereotypical trainers plateau after 6-8 weeks in the gym, then either give up or try harder and not get anywhere…
I can guarantee you won’t plateau again unless it’s a personal best which we will then regroup and show you how to beat it again and again. Once you can do this for one exercise, you can do it for others…
You will then essentially not need a Personal Trainer.
That is my goal with all my clients.
Ideally, after 4 months I`ll have enthused you enough to buy a bench and some basic weights which won’t take up much space, rather than joining a mainstream gym.
Ideally, start training 1x week with me and 1x a week on your own and ultimately training on your own with occasional revisits every couple of months to make sure progress is optimal.
It`s not about the money it`s about getting results, which lead to referrals 🙂
When you lift you should be “A portrait of controlled fury”
I took 6 months to build up to this weight, a week off beforehand and 10 years to prepare for it. All week, I was thinking about what I was going to do and how I would do it. Fcuk yeah, I was scared, but only of failing.