Stretching basics

the-triagle

walking-bear

Yep, that is my attempt at what some call the downward dog, and others the stiff legged bear… Yep, I’m not the most flexible guy on the planet, but I am getting much much better every single year.

We’ve all heard it :

“You should stretch after you’ve exercised.”

“Why?”

“Because you won’t feel sore afterwards.”

Well… Things were usually slightly more elaborate than that.

“You won’t get AS sore”

“You’ll keep your muscles long”

“You’ll get those knots out”

“You’ll feel better”

“It drains your muscles from toxins.”

“It flushes lactic acid out”…

So here is my take on this one : Stretching is far more important than you think it is. There is more to stretching than simply getting more flexible.

Stretching your muscles is as important for long term health as exercising in most cases. And depending on who you are and what you do for a living…. Sometimes more.

Simply put, stretching is the means by which you conserve your range of motion. Meaning how much you can move your bones around. If you look at small children, putting their own foot in their mouth seems like an easy thing. Lying on the floor with their legs in a W position, squatting down to their heels and playing with their toys for tens of minutes sitting on the floor seems totally normal.

Try it now. When is the last time you’ve comfortably sat for a long time on the floor?

Yep, thought so.

“But that’s what happens when you get older”.
Why should it?

This is not just due to not stretching, a large part of our loss of flexibility is just that. We’ve lost the ability to flex. Spending 8 hours a day sitting at a desk, and 8 hours sleeping… And the remaining 8 hours time is usually spent sitting in front of the TV, or sitting to eat, sitting for drinks, or sitting in a car… You caught my drift. We are sitting all over ourselves.

So this article is not a step by step program on where to stretch what, even if I will give you the stretches I do every day just as prevention. I just want to explain there are many differents ways to keep you mobile.

Here is the idea. Exercise can be considered as contracting and relaxing muscles. If your muscles cannot contract and relax in the full extent of their range, then the exercise is partially executed. Flexibility and mobility are major components of the quality of work you put into your session, which then defines the quality of your muscle itself. Become a quality person, stretch often, stretch smart.

So Stretching is when your muscle is relaxed at extreme ranges of motion, mobility is your capacity to contract muscles at end ranges of motion. And these two aspects work together.

In this article I will only cover static stretching as it is the easiest to execute and the least likely to bring any injury, which is the worst possible outcome. Anything you do here, take your time, and progressively go a step further. This website is not the called the Slow Method for nothing.

When to stretch:

Ideally, daily, and especially when you feel like you need it. And even more at the end of a training session, when your stressed out muscles desperately need care and attention so they don’t shrivel up and retain the stress of having been mistreated.

How to stretch :

If you haven’t exercised in a while, or you spend your days sitting down, or you just have a few aches and pains all over, here is a 10 min sequence of movements I want you to perform daily to start getting your flexibility back to normal. Each stretch should be performed for 30s.

You can make the whole sequence 5mins by stretching 15s per movement. “Don’t have the time” cannot be an excuse here. You won’t even sweat. But they will help, I promise it.

 

The Sequence :

  • Calf (1min – 30s per calf)
  • Thigh (1min – 30s per thigh)
  • Arm (1min – 30s per arm)
  • Jefferson curl (3 times) (1min – 20s per curl – 10s down/ 10s up)
  • Hamstring (1min – 30s per hamstring)
  • Triangles (1min  – 30s per side)
  • Oblique twists (1min – 30s per side)
  • Gluts (1min – 30s per side)

The Calf stretch :

calf-stretch

Put your hands against a wall, foot behind you flat on the floor point straight to the wall, leg stretched and hold the position.

Switch Sides.

Thigh stretch :

thigh-stretch

Grab your right foot with your right hand and pull your heel as close as you can towards your butt cheek. You can hold balance yourself against a wall with your left hand. Then switch leg.

Switch Sides.

Arm stretch :

arm-stretch

Stand facing the wall, toes touching it. Place your left hand, palm against the wall, at an upward 45 degree angle, arm straight. Once in position turn your whole body slowly to the right. Then switch arms.

Switch Sides.

Jefferson Curl (small back muscles):

lower-back-stretch

Feet shoulder width, hand on your thighs, start by tucking your chin in and sliding your hand along your legs toward your feet, keeping  your legs straight. Once you can’t go any lower, reverse the movement and roll back up. Do this three times. Do this very slowly and don’t force it.

Switch sides.

Hamstring stretch :

hamstring-stretch

Feet shoulder width, take a step forward. Lock your knees, keep your legs straight and lean down on the front leg. You should feel a strong stretch going from your front knee along the back of your leg right up to your butt.

Switch Sides.

Trikonasana or Triangle (lower back and adductor muscles ) :

the-triagle

Feet spread about 3 to 4 feet apart, open your right foot so it is perpendicular to the left. Facing forward hands shoulder height, arms straight, lean down right and try and place your right hand on the floor next to the outside of your right foot. Take your time going down and especially going back up.

You should feel a strong stretch on the left side of your lower back and on the inside of your right leg.

Switch sides.

Oblique twist :

back-stretch

On your back, knees tucked up against you, hands spread apart with your palms facing down, let both your knees slowly fall down to the floor on the right and hold the position. Using your right hand push on the floor to try and get your shoulders flat on the ground.

You should feel a stretch on your lower back, your stomach and maybe the top of your  hip.

If you feel your shoulders and pectoral muscles are tight on this exercise you need to focus on the arm stretch more. Switch sides.

Butt stretch :

butt-stretch

On your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor, put your right ankle on top of your left knee. place your hands under your left thigh and pull as fas as your can towards you (your right arm should be between your legs). You should feel a strong stretch on your left thigh. Switch sides.

Your stretching routine is done.

“But I don’t have time to do all that”. Yes me neither, so I just stretch in 15 to 30s intervals during the day. I get very tight hips, calfs and hamstrings. And I lose flexibility at a very fast rate if I am not careful which will impede my progression in my lifts.

My go to stretches are therefore the calf stretch, the butt stretch, the hamstring stretch and the Jefferson curl. When i’m waiting for a bus, for a client, in transport, waiting for my coffee to boil, instead of going on social media I take 15 to 30 seconds to do one of these stretches.

You should feel a difference after a week. If not, you either need a deep massage, or a physiotherapist to work on your issues.

I also recommend Becoming A Supple Leopard by Kelly Start which is a great book on unlocking issues yourself.

Have fun, take it slow, take it easy.
Morgan.

Creating Good Habits

creating_good_habits
Hey! So by now you must have read the basics on how to eat and how to train and I imagine you just can’t wait to get started….
Right?
No?
Oh….
Well, here’s an article on how to get things done and find your motivation (yes, in that order).
Why am I fit to speak about this? Because I am one very lazy and low energy type of guy.
But I strangely also have ambition…. So I’ve had to trick myself into doing stuff because otherwise I would sulk for weeks looking at myself and not understanding why I wasn’t getting anywhere, when I knew what I had to do, but just wouldn’t get around to do it… Sound familiar?
Not being the “go-getter”, “hustler” type of guy, I used to always try and do things when I felt like it. Which didn’t get me very far… Unless I had :  the idea, the motivation, the time and the tools, all at the same place and the same time. Then I would have an awesome 4 hours where I felt like superman and could achieve anything, until something out of my control meant I had to stop. I would then lose momentum for another month or two before I had another super day.
Yeah I know, not great.
I’ve wished so hard (yep we’ll talk about that type of mentality in another article) I could be that superawesome extra productive and motivated guy every single day…. Then I would be a super rich famous whatever and change the whole world. Hasnt’ happened yet.
The MINDSET :
So I read, tried stuff, new foods, sleeping patterns, reorganising my week and nothing got me going…. Until I found this little definition :
-Motivation come from motivus, which means “movement”-.
So what I understood was that motivation COMES FROM doing stuff rather than the opposite. Take a second this is important. You only get motivation once things have started moving. Like inertia. So instead of waiting to be motivated to do something, do something and start the motivation afterwards.
And that was it. But at first I used to try and go start a whole project, and it failed miserably because I was tired even before I started. I would avoid doing anything closely related in case i would have to get going on the project, and see myself grind like a maniac from hours on something I didn’t really want to do. Our minds really do play tricks on us…. So lets play tricks on IT!
The TRICKS :
The trick is to start small. Veeeeeery small. So small it seems insignificant. But you do it often and build up. And in no time you’ll have mastered something you thought woukd be impossible to accomplish. Yes it’s that easy.
And the best way I’ve found to help me get things done is actually just making them habits. So instead of having to get motivated to do anything, I just mechanically make myself do it a couple of times and then my subconscious does the rest of the work.  And then by magic…. Stuff happens.
Creating a HABIT :
So how do I create a habit? Well, first of all know it takes times. Ay first it seems like lot of time. Basically a month (30 days… kind of gave it away in the title of the article). But this is an investment in yourself, and THAT can multiply to infinity.
The picture in the header if this article is a typical 30-day challenge sheet. (I find it works better if I actually draw it myself instead of printing a sheet out. So I’ll let you draw it yourself instead of getting you to download one.)
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING : I start immediately doing the 30-day challenge the day I plan it out. I send myself on the path and I just keep going BEFORE I can start thinking about it. If start the habit by saying “tomorrow”, it will be 30 days of “tomorrow”. Yes you see exactly what I mean. Did that just strike a bulb?
Then, after 30-days, whatever I wanted to do is just part of my life.
Here are a few of the 30-day challenges I have done :
  • take a vitamin with breakfast
  • go to bed at 11pm
  • meditate for 10mins
  • write down what you are going to do the next day
  • do one important thing a day

But as you can see then don’t have to be increadible changes. But each one feeds into the others, and the process becomes easier and easier. So start REALLY REALLY easy. Like :

If you want to start exercising :

  • do 10 squats at 8pm for 30 days straight
If you want to start eating healthy :
  • eat 1 apple a day for 30 days straight
If you want to have more friends :
  • say hi to 1 person a day for 30 days straight
If you want to create a business :
  • brainstorm 1 idea for 30 days straight
Once you got one of these down, do another one immediately afterwards. BUT never do 2 at the same time. Why? because you can’t. It will probably fail. You’ll go much faster doing one thing at a time. One after the other than trying to do them all at once.
As the Special Forces saying goes “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast”.
Can you imagine what kind of increadible things you could do if you kept on doing this for a year? Five years? Ten years?
3650 business ideas! At least one will be good!!
THE EXACT HOW TO :
  • Draw a 30 day calendar
  • Write todays date in the first square
  • Write all the days that are coming in the 30 following days
  • Write what your daily challenge is
  • Do it immediately
  • Draw a cross in the first square.

And now you’re on your way 🙂

Oh, and don’t beat yourself up if you miss 1 or 2 days, just never one after the other, and add an extra day every time you miss one.
The idea is to help you, not make you hate yourself.
Take it easy,
Morgan.

NUTRITION 101

nutrition-101
This is a long article, I have highlighted the important information, so if you are impatient you can reap 80% of the results by following what has been highlighted.

The holy grail myth….

If you are reading this article then you are probably looking for the holy grail of nutrition. The answer to all your energy, weight, and figure issues, and hoping that someone holds the answer.

I’m going to disappoint you : such an answer does not exist. Not out there in the world anyway. Depending on your genetics, daily activity, quantity of sleep, exercise, tastes, allergies, stress levels and so one there is only one specific answer : yours.

Some people are allergic to gluten, others are lactose or fructose intolerant, some have vitamin deficiencies, some are constantly poisoned by their environment (lead, mycotoxins, mercury etc), others want to lose weight, others gain some muscle mass… It all depends on who you are.

 

The almighty truths

What I CAN offer you are VERY generalistic guidelines to help you on your journey. There are very few things that are recurrent across all healthy diets (as in eating habits, not weight loss programs). I am going to list them here, try them out, see what works or doesn’t, what you like or dislike. And then you carry on researching.

Because this is what it is : a journey to understanding your body, what it thrives on for fuel and helps you feel and look great.

You are going to go through hundreds and thousands of pages of information, try out different diets, see what works for you and what doesn’t and finally reach something that works…. For now.

Yes because our diets need to change with time. You can’t eat the same thing when you are 5 than when you are 50. You are just not the same person. Whether it’s hormones or tastes, or how big you are, if you’re still growing, or how you move, or what strange reactions or habits your body may have developed along the way.

However! There are a few basics all professionals and doctors will agree on. And here they are :

A) The basics

1) Eat non processed foods :

This means :
Vegetables, of all kinds, raw and cooked
– A little fruit
– Herbs and spices
– Good fats (Extra virgin cold pressed olive oil, coconut oil, grass fed butter, and a drizzle of tasty dressing oils such as sesame, walnut, hazelnut ans so on)
-A little red meat, poultry, organ meats, fish, seafood, and eggs

Organic is better, simply because we have no idea what the long term effects of what is put in our food does. That is my take on this. Studies have found no difference in illness and death due to non organic consumption but lets stay on the safe side… We don’t know who lobbies the studies. Just go and check out “effects of glyphosate on…” and have fun.

2) What NOT to eat :

Yes because what you don’t eat is as important as what you do eat.

So stay away from :

-Predatory fish (tuna, shark, swordfish…) : The sea is full of toxic waste and it has infected the livestock. Small fish accumulate a little. Then the fish that eat those fish accumulate more, and so on along the food chain. These heavy metals are stored in your fat, and is really hard to dislodge. And when you lose weight it spills out in your system making you tired, mooning, frothy mouth, bleeding gums… Be careful.

-Farmed fish :
these fish are grown so close to each other they need high levels of antibiotics so they don’t get sick. You then eat them… Not a good plan.

-Gluten  : Pasta, bread and anything wheat bases that has been processed are both fast carb and contain gluten. Now I know you may think this whole gluten thing may just be a fad, and be disproven later on, but I personally feel better not eating it. Do as you please, but start off doing without and see how you feel.

-Dairy :  Same goes here. Dairy contains lactose and the methods to produce milk just makes me cringe. Either you seperate a mother from her veal in a stressful agonising process, or you inject a cow with hormones to make her spontaneously produce milk. Both just seem unethical to me. And I feel better not drinking it.
However…. Organic grass fed butter makes MY life better. I try to only use it for my Bulletproof Coffee in the morning which I love.

-Unfiltered tap water : Have you ever see what your pipes look like? Yes me neither. Filter it, you never know. Or just drink bottled mineral water.

-“Sugars” : Sucrose, glucose, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, maltodextrine etc … these are sweet, are used in all the stuff that makes you fat, sluggish and addicted. They induce cavities, high insulin response, increases sugar cravings, less sex drive, and on and on and on…. Go “no go” and see how actually addicted you are to this. If you are training hard, go for these high insulin response foods after it. Apart from that try not to eat any.

-Alcohol : this stuff dehydrates you, could actually be put in the sugar section, messes with you hormones, liver cells, cholesterol…. BUT! Going out for social drinks once a week is good for your life. Just don’t go crazy every weekend, and If you’re drinking to chill at night because your life is hard, just stick to one glass of red wine. Or maybe its time your life changed. Just saying…

-Cooked oils : if you want to fry anything in a pan, prefer coconut oil or grapseed oil that can sustain higher cooking temperatures. Just try not to burn anything. And do not do this every day. If you can steam or boil and add fats after, it is better for you.

Sidenote : I would advise you start training as soon as you decide to change your diet. When you train you want eat healthy, and when you eat healthy you want to get to the gym. These two are powerful allies that will get you to your health and fitness goals (I will write another seperate article on training). It sounds absurd, but each of them will make the other easier to achieve and accelerate the process.

3) Magic foods!

So if you’ve read up to here then you deserve to know what life changing foods can drastically make you feel better in a matter of hours. Here are the top 5 Foods I recommend you should implement on a regular basis :

-Coffee : antioxydant, fat burning, magnesium, vitamins B12, B5 and B3,  energy, decreased cances of developing diabetes, protects from Alzheimers, dementia, Parkinsn’s, cirrhosis, some forms of cancer, stroke,   and focus increase… what are you caiting for? just don’t mix it with milk or sugar. These just destroy its benefits.

-Lemons :
vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin A, vitamin E, folate, niacin thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, copper,  calcium, iron,  magnesium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, protects against diabetes, constipation, high blood pressure, dental problems, fever, kidney stones, and is great for your skin and teeth.

-Garlic* : Antioxydants, boosts your immune system, protects from general sickness and the common cold, Alzheimers, Deùentia, reduce blood pressure, lowers cholesterol levels, detoxify from heavy metal intoxication, increases bone density.

-Ginger* : Gingerol (anti-infection properties), anti-inflammotary, antioxydants, decreases nausea, less muscle pain and soreness, lower blood sugar, indigestion, lowers cholesterol, immune system boost, energy increase

-Parsly : High Vitamin C, K, B12, and A, immue system boost, heart protective properties, anti-inflammatory, high iron, described as cancer protective.

-Coconut oil :
Medium Chain Triglycerides (brain protective and healing benefits), fat burning,  anti-bacterial, kills harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi, and dangerous yeasts, reduces hunger, improves blood cholesterol, good for hair and skin when applied, boost brain function for Alzheimer’s,

I would try to have each of these daily. In any shape or form, just to give you an extra edge. This is my top 5 list, but I also add cilantro, turmuric and oregano because they help me also.

*Not to eat every day. 3 days on, 4 days off. Eaten too frequently, these foods lose their beneficial effects.

B) How to eat

So there you go. You have all the basic information to have a better diet than most. The quantity you eat in this case should regulate itself automatically, because it is hard to overeat good nutritious foods (have you noticed that?).

However if you have even a slight eating disorder (which is most probably the case if you are researching how to eat, I did anyway), then here is what you should do :

Start off with no carbs. Eat one full plate of food and that’s it.

Yes, no carbs. Why? Because you can live without them. Your body needs glucose so badly it can make it in almost any situation, with mostly anything you give to it. So why give it something it can produce?

I was hooked to sugar and didn’t know it until I tried stopping. I battled this for over 2 years, and once I didn’t crave that sweet taste I found myself free of binge eating kitkat bars because I was sad.

Why just a plate of food? Because this teaches you that you don’t need starters, main course, dairy and dessert.  That is a direct route to overeating. Once you’ll be in touch with what your body needs, (and this will happen over time), you can start eating more complex meals. But start off simple, or you’ll just go back to your old habits.

WORD OF WARNING : this is going to take a VERY long time.
Studies show that habits change over 66 days. That’s the minimal amount of time a habit needs to kick in.

Not seeing change after a few days? after a week? This is normal. Your body doesn’t like change. Be patient. Wait at least three weeks, and don’t give up. It is a slow process.

You’ve embarked on a journey that will be at least a year and a half to see any lasting, satisfying change.

You’ll try, fail, beat yourself up, then try again, fail worse, and again, do better this time, change a few things around and be on a great few weeks, then a work / family / friend / love/ catastrophy will barge in and screw everything up.

This is normal. This is life. But just get back on that horse, and try again. Change something. And get better at this. As time goes on it will be easier, and faster, because you’ll understand yourself much much better. And you’ll be in control.

Once you get past the sugar hurdle
, seen you’ve lost the extra fat, that your training is getting harder and making you really really hungry…you can get back to carbs and starches.

What your plate should looks like :
1/2 a plate of vegetables
1/4 of a plate of a protein source
1/4 starch

BUT Breakfast?!?!? What can I eat at breakfast?!?!

How about 2-3 whole eggs, an orange and a banana. Done.

OR…..

C) Intermittent fasting : the art of skipping breakfast.

So you might have heard breakfast is the most important meal of the day…. But why? Who said that?

“They” or “people” said it…. Never listen to “they” or “people”, they are wrong 99% of the time.

Look up intermittent fasting on the web, and try having either Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof Coffee or Tim Ferrisses Tea in the morning instead.

The idea is to cleanse your system every day by fasting long enough to get health benefits
 without being hungry because you injested good fats for your body and your brain.

This is also great because it resets your hunger signals. So you learn how much to eat, what to eat and when to eat it by tuning in more deeply to you body signals.

Because this is the ultimate ressource you have and carry around with yourself : your ability to truly know who you are and what you need. What is good and bad for you. What helps you and what stops you.

So find out and don’t be scared to try.

And get healthy 🙂

PS : if you have ANY chronic, metabolic or allergic issues, please consult a professional doctor before trying any of the above.

TRAINING PRINCIPLES 101

training-principles-101
It’s 2017, HAPPY NEW YEAR!! My resolution was to start this blog and share what I’ve have learnt, and what I am currently learning. And for some of you, one of your resolutions might have been to start exercising…. So here is my quick take on the subject.
You’ve decided that you want to take action and get in shape. Great. You’re on your way!
But wait… What does it mean to get in shape?

Your own definition: 

Because a bodybuilder and a marathon runner both consider themselves as “in shape”, those are very different shapes.
So first of all decide what “being in shape” means and make it measurable. Be it getting off the couch easily, to weighing 100 pounds less, to having a sixpack, to being able to run a marathon…
Define what being in shape means to you. If you have a target you can aim. You will otherwise have too many options of “getting into shape”, and too much choice means you won’t be getting anywhere.
This is 40% of the effort.
I want to (fill in the gap and be precise) :
  • Lose _______ kilos of fat
  • Lift ________ kilos in bench press / squat / deadlift / bicep curl
  • Run _______ kms
  • Get into (a set pair of clothing I bought and love but never got to wear)
  • Etc
And secondly, define a date at which you will achieve this. If you don’t have a deadline, you will procrastinate endlessly. Then break it down into weekly steps to help you anchor it into reality and maybe revise your numbers.
I want to ___________ by (This precise date) , which means I will have to _____________ every week for X number of weeks.
And finally have yourself a sheet of paper on a fridge, a journal you will write into, an app on your phone to follow and measure your progress.

Find your reason :

Then define WHY. This is another 40% of the effort. If you define exactly WHY you are going to put in the effort, then when things get hard or temptation comes up, your mind will go straight to your reason and help you out.
  • Because I want more energy
  • Because I want to find a boyfriend/ girlfriend and I am sure this will boost my confidence
  • Because I need to change something in my life to make it better

This is critical. Stop reading and do this now!

If you know what and why you want it, the mechanics are easy to implement.
This is the carrot method… But some of you respond better to the stick. You can make a bet with someone, and make sure the cost of not executing will be morally painful.
  • Take pictures of yourself in underwear in the worst lighting possible, and bad angles and if you don’t achieve your goal at X date the pictures go on Facebook or Instagram
  • Give a large sum of money to one of your friends, and each time you achieve a weekly goal he give you part of it back. If not he gives it to a cause you absolutely do not believe in. This one hurts.
However you want to do this, do it so you stick to your plan.

Mechanics :

Quality and Intensity is better than sheer volume of training :

More is not always better. Here is how training works. You do something with your body that creates a stress reaction. Once you have stopped the activity, your body responds by become stronger so that next time this stress occurs your body can take it.

So you need to stress your body, rest long enough and feed it so it can become stronger, then stress it a little bit harder to start the process again.

As a general rule, here are the steps you want to go through :

  • Learn great Technique
  • Figure out your Maxes and work at a minimum of 80% intensity of that value on your exercises
  • If you hit a Plateau, change your Program
  • Go yoga, or Stretch
This is the TIPS method.
So that’s the basic plan. Now what does it mean in real life?

Two examples to illustrate :

Endurance example :Your plan is to run a 10k.
Strength example : Your plan is to lift your bodyweight in Bench Press which is 80kg.
1) First you learn proper technique.
Running : I recommend the POSE method. Don’t try and be perfect, just get a grasp of the principles. Yes there is a technique to running.
Bench press : I recommend following Alan Thrall, Mark Bell, Richard Hawthorne on youtube and following their recommendations. They strive to get better even though they have been at it for decades, and I find their advice extremely helpful, especially that they take into account personal differences, which isn’t true for all advice out there.
2) you have to figure out your max :
Running :  You do a leger-boucher test which is how far can you run in 12mins going as fast as you can. This will give you your lactic threshold speed. Your endurance running max basically.
(Distance/12)x60=max running speed
Bench press : have someone “spot” you, or make sure you don’t injure yourself if you are starting. Then you take 1/3 of your body weight and increase 2,5kg at a time doing 2 reps at a time. Take 3mins rest. Repeat. When you can only do one. Stop. That’s your max.
3) work at a minumum of 80% of that value
Running : Say this speed was 15km/h. You take 80% of that value, so 12km/h, and never run under that value. A simple plan I used for my marathon run was : monday – technique drills // thursday – intermittent sprints // saturday – long run going at 12km/h starting at 5km and adding 2km everyweek. Once I get to 30 k running at 12km/h. I stop. I’m ready for a marathon.
Bench press: lets say you got up to 1 rep at 70kg. 80% is 56 kg. So you take 56kg and do 5 sets of 5. You rest 5mins in between sets. If you manage it, add 2,5kg to your bar the following week. Keep the same weight until you can do 5 sets of 5 again. And repeat.
4) when you hit a plateau, change your program
So you’ll get massive progress to begin with and then you’ll hit a hurdle. This is perfectly normal. Your technique is better, your nervous system is getting used to the exercices, and you’ll put on some muscle and change your metabolisme. You are getting stronger and healthier. But you see no more progress….
This is when you change your program.
Running : you could try and include a 5k challenge and see how fast you can run it. Then add some heavy squats during your week.
Bench press : go for 3×3 and heavier for 3 weeks.
Or… Just find something else. You’ll have increased your knowledge, found forums, other programs. Try something else, and find new ideas, gains, sensations. And understand what works best FOR YOU.
This is your program. Go with something, learn, adapt, and progress.
You’ll go through several different programs during your life that will, or won’t help you. Great. You’ll learn in both cases. So just stick to something long enough to stop seeing progress. Then change.
And even more important :
Have fun 🙂
Morgan