As I went over in my previous post, I have been using drop sets for strength gain. Drop sets are when you build up to a max effort of 2-10 reps, then drop to 90% of that weight and that will be your working weight. These are excellent for strength gains, at least when they’re programed correctly… Programing is just like cooking, it takes preparation and forethought to what the ultimate goal is and I have found an excellent resource in Quick Paleo Meal Prep for this area of my life. The book goes over the specific needs of individuals and how to structure your diet accordingly, I helped co-author this book so I fully support it’s contents. As for drop sets, I’ve learned that the programing for these requires a bit more thought than “JUST DO IT!” so let’s look into the smart way to get you as strong as possible using drop sets.
WHAT WORKS FOR OTHERS
Westside Barbell is a group that I’ve been following for about 2 years now, and aside from producing the strongest powerlifters on the face of the earth, the owner Louie Simmons is a wealth of knowledge about all things liftng. If you have studied Westside’s training at all you know the term “conjugate“, which basically means you’re not lifting exclusively heavy for the sake of lifting heavy, instead you’re training all aspects of the art of lifting heavy. With the conjugate method that Louie teaches you will lift for a max effort on one day and for speed on another day, this is incredibly helpful when you are at a meet or competition and are going through what would be a “grinder” (very slow and painful rep). Instead of just grinding through the rep in hopes of actually completing the lift you have trained to not only lift weights, but to lift them FAST. And along with learning to lift weights fast you have given your mind and muscles a break from the damaging affects of lifting heavy every single day!
So after running myself into the ground for a few weeks with drop sets with a PURE STRENGTH focus I’ve gone till the wheels started coming off and brought back a little common sense. So I will keep using drop sets in my strength program, but there will be designated days for speed training or “dynamic effort days” as Louie calls them to focus on lifting fast and efficient, along with allowing my body to rest the needed amount to continue on the gains train! I will still build up to a heavy double or triple on speed days, but instead of taking it down only 10% I’m going to bring it down 40-50% so that the weight is light enough to move at the right speed but heavy enough to be an actual stimulus. I think this will be a great switch and I recomend it for anyone who’s looking to get strong, and linear programing just isn’t working anymore.
MY TRAINING SPLIT NOW [FREE TEMPLATE]
(Drop Sets will be used every day to figure out the weight for the lifts, and the reps and lifts will vary depending on how you’re feeling that day and what weaknesses you need to work on. This is just a general outline, learn what you need and program that in to win!)
Monday- Squats DYNAMIC
Tuesday- Press HEAVY
Thursday- Deadlift HEAVY
Friday- Bench DYNAMIC
Monday- Squat HEAVY
Tuesday- Press DYNAMIC
Thursday- Deadlift DYNAMIC
Friday- Bench HEAVY
I don’t focus just on heavy lifting in all of my sessions, this is usually just what the first 20 mins looks like. After the strength work with drop sets I will use a crossfit/bodybuilding hybrid style of training to work on weak points and improve muscular endurance. But again you need to design your program for follow one that fits your needs.
If your focus is on strength right now, which it should always be if you’re looking to increase your lifting career, then take a few months to follow this outline. Check out Westside Barbell for ideas on how to use different lifts to fix your weaknesses and get stronger in all areas (not just the bench…). Strength is the key to everything!
heaven forbid you are a person who is gifted at whatever you take on, because that is your downfall. Being a failure is the fastest way to become a winner. I’ve failed in the kitchen like I’ve failed in the gym so many times, but I’ve become a winner through those failures. And I’ve used those failures with Quick Paleo Meal Prep, to bring the victories together to help you avoid my failures, and most of all wasted burnt food ;). And in all seriousness, if you want anything in life you need to be WILLING to fail.
BE WILLING TO FAIL
This attitude will set you apart from the real losers in life. Because while they’re busy being losers and trying to win at what they know they’re good at, you’ve stepped up to the plate of something you weren’t sure about and are coming at it from a place of gaining wisdom instead of a trophy. And if the person who thought they would win loses then most of the time they leave frustrated and angry, whereas if you approach the task WILLING to fail then you’ve opened yourself up to insights beyond comprehension. Being willing to fail doesn’t mean you don’t give it your best, but it means you accept where you are as a person who doesn’t know everything about this one thing and you’re wanting to learn from this experience, and that is what will happen with that attitude. You are not a failure but a student when you approach things with a willingness to lose, because the next time you play you’re applying what you learned and getting better with every game!
FAILURE AS A TEACHER
Life is an excellent teacher in all areas, and will school you every day if you’re open to it. Life will send you failures daily, it’s what you do with those failures that determines your future. You can collect all your failures in your mind and set them up as your antagonists or your enemies of victory, or you can praise them and thank them for what they thought you. Whether you failed at completing a lift in a competition or ran your first startup into the ground, you now have an invaluable resource to draw knowledge from and will be able to play the game like a veteran next time. Our failures are the wisest source to draw knowledge from, if we trust in what we know about the future we will fail, if we learn from our past we will overcome.
LOVE FAILURE, BUT DON’T LIVE FOR IT
The takeaway from this is to love the opportunities you’ve been given to fail and learn, but this doesn’t mean that you should seek failure. A masichistic lifestyle like that would not result in much of anything. Give everything your best and always play to win! Never approach a challenge with and attitude of defeat before you try, apply what you do know about the situation, learn as you go and if you do happen to fail then your instinct should be to do it again and correct the failure to gain the victory!
Dig up some failures in your life and analyz what happened and why you failed. Don’t get down on yourself, but pick yourself up knowing that once you receive the gem from this failure, victory is now much closer!
RESOURCES: Stefan Pylarinos, Barbell Business, Tony Robbins, Tim Ferris
We all have kinks in our armour that we are aware of, whether it’s emotionally, physically or mentally no one is completely immune. Realizing this truth alone will be enough to catapult you far enough, but if you’re wanting to reach every bit of your potential then that requires change. And the best change is usually with your diet, we are only well from the inside out. The book Quick Paleo Meal Prep is a great resource to get your life back in line with your goals, by making failure impossible by removing the bad choices. Once you’ve realized these shortcomings then you have taken action, you will be amazed at what you’re truly capable of!
LOOK AT YOURSELF
Too often we are afraid to stand in front of a mirror for longer than ten seconds for fear that we might notice all our imperfections. Instead of seeing these things to work on as “flaws”, look at them as an item on the to-do list. Do this with your physical body first, and then you will learn how to spot things as something to work on and not a disaster. Once you’ve mastered this I would suggest taking time out to look at what most of your days consist of. I know when I did this I realized I was wasting 60% of my day with nothing…it was a sad reality :/. But you have the opportunity every day to look at the last few days, and analyze the choices you made and how that helped you or if it did anything at all. I know this sounds strange, but to know where to start you have to know what needs fixin’.
You wouldn’t want to pay for a brand new engine in your Ferrari if the only problem was it needed a new fan belt and that’s it.
Now the worst thing you could do is see the things you need to work on worse than they are. Tony Robbins’ quote has stuck with me since the first time I heard it, “See things as they are, don’t see them worse than they are.” So what I’m trying to say is accept where you are and be prepared to make changes. Simply looking at yourself and walking away to do nothing is the sign of giving up…period. Make a plan to change one thing at a time until you’re noticeably different. If that means shaving off your love handles then great, if that means adding an inch to your biceps so you feel proportional then great, if that means cutting out two episodes of Netflix before you go bed to start an online business then great! Just do something to get the thing done!!!
This afternoon or whenever, take 3 minutes to look at yourself in the mirror. Sounds simple but people have been known to cry after just one minute. Look at who you are physically and as a person. Acknowledge the good and write down the bad, this will be your list. Work down the list one at a time, with patients and joy, you’ll be amazed at the changes you can make!
It’s not that your tired all the time, but you just need the energy to make it through the day right? Good food means good fuel, and one sure fire way to ensure good fuel is to limit the options of bad fuel. This can be done by pre-preparing meals and Quick Paleo Meal Prep is the best solution I’ve found so far to accomplish that! And anyone speaking from experience with proper nutrition knows that the quality of foods going into your body is paramount to your success in undertakings.
TO KNOW WHAT’S RIGHT, KNOW WHAT’S WRONG
In this day and age we do more to avoid the stick than we do to get the carrot, so let’s address the stick in our diet. The foods you want to avoid are obviously the things that are highly processed, and a great rule of thumb is that if its in a package and is white then leave it alone! Most foods that are white and processed at all are white due to the addition of bleach or chlorines to make it white. Even if you find the “honey breads”, they were once whitened with chemicals and then died another color to look tan and “natural”. Scary stuff but true. Also if you have the discipline then eliminating sugar is one of the best things you could do for yourself, along with high fructose anything. Our bodies aren’t meant to handle the levels of sugar that are being pushed on us daily. We get used to these high sugar doses and that’s why when you go on a paleo diet you never have that “satisfied”feeling, because we have gotten used to the high calorie content and abundance of sugar in everything, that it feels like we’re starving when it’s cut off.
TAKE SMALL STEPS
Big changes are never changes that last, it’s the small incremental shifts that shift the direction of the future. Start today by cleaning up just one meal per day, just one! Stick with that until it becomes habit and then make another SMALL change. If you keep taking these comfortable baby steps you’ll look up at a much slimmer and more energetic version of yourself! Remember though that this is not about this bikini season or fitting into that dress for a wedding next month, this change is about making a new you for the long lasting future. Anyone can be a flash in the pan and have a great one or two month testimony, but the person you want to be is the one who is consistent for life.
“I don’t fear the man who did a thousand kicks in one day, I fear the man who did one kick for a thousand days.”
Consistency is the secret sauce in life!
Make one change in your diet for the better TODAY, and hold onto that change until it becomes habit. Continue this and you will be able to change anything! Progress is preceded by action, so get to it
If you haven’t already, please check out the YouTube channel
Are you ever so tired after a long day at work that the thought of working out just sounds exhausting? Or you wake up in the morning after snoozing through 45 mins of alarms to avoid the workout? This could be related to your diet, which is easily remedied in the book Quick Paleo Meal Prep, this book outlines how to structure your meal plan and get ahead of the potential hindrances to your workouts. But above all else you need to find a way to get through the 5pm or morning blues, because you could be leaving hundreds if not thousands of dollars in revenue on the table!
WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL ABOUT WORKING OUT?
Well for starters there’s no better way to get yourself firing on all cylinders than to apply a jolt to your system! Let’s look at your morning workout, you’ve been asleep and mostly motionless for a good 5-8 hrs, and I’m assuming your not vibrating with energy once you get your 45 minutes of 5-10 minute broken sleep cycles from hitting the snooze over and over. This isn’t going to fade away as the day goes on either, you might get a pick me up if someone cuts you off in traffic or spills their coffee on you, but the tired feeling will stay with you.
Now I’m sure you know the inverse of this story, you wake up and force yourself out of bed and into your workout clothes, get a decent breakfast and head to the gym. After 45 minutes you would have spent half asleep and procrastinating, you’re now amount the top 20% of performers! You leave the gym with momentum and success on your mind. You get to work and hit the ground running, while leaving the other morning zombies in the dust! You out perform everyone consistently all day, and all because you made one decision to get the day started with activity! The same goes for the afternoon workouts.
WHICH WORKOUTS FOR THE MORNING
You want to do something that’s going to involve as much physiology as possible to get the full benefit. I recommend a compound movement that focuses on STRENGTH! Not only does heavy training get motor skills working, but if your training at or above 80% of your max then you’re involving the nervous system, and you’ll be vibrating by the time you’re done! Follow this up with some high intensity something or other and you have a recipe for a great start to the day! Stay strong!
Don’t skip your next workout, and implement some sort of moderately heavy training followed by high intensity cardio for 4-8 minutes. I promise you that you’ll be able to note a lasting surge in energy for the rest of the day!
the only people who should lift heavy are those with a pulse, period. And the key to lifting heavy is proper nutrition, which is covered in Quick Paleo Meal Prep. Nutrition is the foundation to fitness, and preparing food ahead of time to succeed eliminates options of cheating so check it out. As for the lifting, I’m not saying you need to go find your grandma and tell her to suck it up cause she’s about to board the pain train in route to a 315 bench record. But I think we can all agree that there’s a requisite amount of strength we all need for daily life.
SHOULD GRANDMA LIFT ?
If you care about grandma then she is the first person you should explain this to. The reason elderly people become so frail later on in life is they’ve trained themselves not to move. I don’t mean they’re zen masters and have found enlightenment through days of stationary meditation, but they’ve sat down for close to 6 hours of the 12 hour days for years and have let their legs deteriorate to brittle sticks. The reason it’s so hard for older people to get up is because it’s basically a one rep max squat from a pause every time! Again I’m not saying older people should be thrown under a bar and made to do 5×5 every day, but at least get the functionality back with mobility work and body weight movements that translate to life.
ATHLETES WHO SHOULD LIFT MOST
I’m about to say something that just might get me banned from the internet folks, so strap in! MARATHONERS ARE THE FIRST PEOPLE WHO SHOULD HAVE RELATIVE MAXIMAL STRENGTH AS A PRIORITY. Yup I just said it, and before you virtually crucify me, hear me out. As a runner your main objective is to move your body long distances right? So if your legs have a constant relative strength threshold then it doesn’t matter how efficient you move, you don’t have the POWER to move your body any faster. You may be able to run longer with that training, but not faster because speed is a product of power or force (force=(mass x distance ) / time ). If you take a runner whose max back squat is 115 for 2, and another whose max back squat is 315 for 2, and they train the same outside of strength. Then the one who squats more will move faster AND more efficiently because he’s used to carrying a heavier load, so when he has to move his body around it’ much easier.
If you’ve never lifted over moderately heavy, get your form nailed down PERFECT for the squat, bench and deadlift. Then take 90 days to follow whichever beginner strength program you want. Mark your mile times at the beginning and end of the program, don’t stop running all together but ease up enough to recover.
Too many times in life we accept ourselves as someone with nothing to offer. We have things that we know, but shrink ourselves so as to not stand out. Nothing could be further from the truth!
YOU KNOW IT ALL
Not in the literal sense of knowing everything, but your life has afforded you the unique experiences to grant you knowledge in different areas. You may have grown up in an area that is filled with wealth, therefore you have the inate knowledge of sophisticated living that others couldn’t attain through years of study. The opposite is just as true, you could have bee so poor that you learned to appreciate life in it’s most simple elements. Either way, you and your experiences MATTER!
YOU HOLD THE KEY
There are things that you have a passion for that no one else does. You’ve taken the time to learn and grow your knowledge in this area, and that is an invaluable resource! Whether it’s fashion, investing, history or door knob shining, you hold the key to that information. Without people like you this world would be filled with the same person multiplied hundreds of thousands of times. It would be LAME! So thank you for your interest and passions.
YOU EARNED IT!
I wanted to share this with you because I was involved (hopefully we have more content headed your way!) with the writing of a short kindle book “Quick Paleo Meal Prep“. It’s in the Amazon kindle store, just search the title and it’s either free or .99. But after it was done I couldn’t help but realize that if it weren’t for two people being passionate about something, things and information would never be shared like that. So anyway, you’re special and I support you!
Find an area of your life that you’ve excelled in and take a moment to realize the joy it’s brought you. Also how that knowledge has been able to affect others lives.