YOU ARE INCREDIBLE

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Ok, so now i’ve got your attention with the completely unrelated ‘hot girl’ pic…

I just saw a Tweet earlier today (not of the hot girl), and it got me thinking, which is sometimes a dangerous thing… but it got me thinking all the same. Sometimes I come accross people who just don’t believe in their self worth. I’ve been guilty in the past of the same folly. For many years I was the guy who always doubted I had what it took to succeed at anything. Many times back in the day when I was trying to make a living out of singing (for anyone that doesn’t know, i’m a classically trainer tenor, believe it or not!) I would get doors shut in my face and I would just give up.

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That’s the one!

It would be fair to say that over the years ive made a shit-load of mistakes, but i’ve learned from them, and i’ve always tried to make myself better as a result of making them. I guess the two points are inextricably linked; having a lack of confidence and making mistakes, but what i’m trying to say is that they shouldn’t hold you back from being who or what you want to be. We are all incredibly versatile and adaptable, and at the end of the day, we can do whatever the hell we set our minds to. It’s not some mumbo jumbo psychobable BS, it’s the honest truth.

1. You are incredible!

You’d be amazed what you can do with a little self belief, a good support system and a sunny outlook on life! You are incredible! Have a little faith! F**k the ney sayers, doubters and haters. They don’t know what you can achieve. They don’t want to believe what you can achieve because deep down they don’t have damn guts to make it in anything. But you, you do, so start believing in your own ability, get your nose to the grindstone and watch those doors open!

2. You can create your own happiness.

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I guess this carries on nicely from number 1. It’s absolutely true as well. If you believe in number 1, you will have the potential right there to start out creating a happier you. If your job sucks, or you think you might lose your job, quit! If it doesn’t make you happy, why the f**k do it? Sure the money and security are great but I know i’d rather be scraping to get by and happy than loaded and miserable. The money and success will come when you have the freedom to do what you love!

* Note: It would be wise to make sure you have a plan in place before you go quitting your jobs! This is only my opinion and should be taken as such.

3. Mistakes are good. Learn from them.

As I mentioned earlier, if you never make a mistake, how the hell are you going to learn anything! There’s a great quote by Samuel Becket that i’d like to share with you to that affect:

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It’s ok to fail at things, just make damn sure you learn from them and move on!

4. Don’t be afraid to defy convention.

The last point is a poignant way to sign off I think. It’s something that we at Strength & Performance have always believed in passionately, which is why we set up our gym in the first place. If all the big chain gyms are doing the same thing and failing over and over again to make any significant changes to the way we all approach our Health and Wellness, we have to do something different. We’ve never been afraid to question the norm and we still do it to this day.

If I apply the theory in a training context for a sec; Since we opening for business back in 2010, we have been fortunate enough to train a number of talented figure athletes using our unconventional training methods. All of these athletes have gone on to win various national and in some cases international awards.

One of the obvious factors for me which certainly contributed greatly in their success was that they were all doing completely different things from that of a typical ‘bodybuilder’. I always say to our clients, would they rather be one of the hundreds of competitors doing the same kind of routine, or would they raher be the ones forging a different path and stickin two fingers up at the norm? This is just an example from our experiences at our gym.

I’m sure you can all find an example of a time when you were presented with a dilema or a choice, and maybe you wish you had plucked up the courage to make a radical change and change your destiny, but you didn’t?

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Maybe some day soon something else will crop up. How are you going to handle it?

It’s your call.

It’s your life.

Do what you will.

But i guarantee you this..

If you love what you do, and you do what you love..

And just have a little self belief.

You’ll be just fine.

Carpe Diem.

You can be whoever you want to be.

You are…

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Thanks for reading. Please feel free to Share, RT and above all Enjoy!

Zoran Dubaic

#TeamSandP

Strength Training For Women

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Yes I deadlift my bodyweight and can do chin ups for days!

The new era is upon us and as many of us have seen the paradigm shift towards women and strength training. Gone with the time when it was foolish to see a women in the free weight area let alone a group of them squatting, deadlifting and/or benching. So what has brought this on? why are some women now starting to out lift the alpha race?

Is it the industry which is putting pressure on women to move towards more traditional strength work? I say this because back in the eighties and nineties it was all about aerobics and spandex but as the industry has moved on through better education and knowledge are we know realising that there are better ways to stay fit and healthy, i.e lifting weights. Consequently, will this phase last for ever or will it move on and in ten to twenty years time will strength work be frowned upon!

Obviously this is not everyone’s cup of tea but is this because they don’t understand why to do it? or have they never had a good coach to help them work towards their own goals or becoming a strong women.

BBC Sports Jounalist Sarah Mulkerrins states that “there’s been a big push in the media to represent women in sport. Icons like Jessica Ennis at the Olympic’s have given women role models and a can do attitude towards sport. Women can see these sport stars weight train and how it helps their performance and physique. The weights room is no longer off limits or the preserve of bodybuilding males”

So what do you need to do moving into 2015 and being that strong, powerful and confident female, here are a few tips;

1) Forget about the myth that you will get bulky from lifting weights. Unless you are taking some extra pharmaceutical help, you will be fine.

2) Stop using the word ‘toning’. Get this phrase out of your dictionary. Basically what you are asking is that you want to build some muscle and lose fat.

3) Get a good coach who is not afraid to get you off the treadmill and into the free weight area.

4) Don’t be afraid of the free weights and the people around you. If you do everything right then they will be intimidated of you, trust me!

5) Learn the basic movement patterns and base your training around these. Squat, deadlift, lunge variations, press up, recline rows and crawl variations.

6) Don’t be afraid to add some weight to the bar. You are starting a new phase of your own health and fitness so its time to get strong.

7) Eat more than a 1000 calories a day, and eat more like 1500 calories. This should involve a balanced diet of lean meats, fruit, vegetables, oils, eggs, nuts, seeds, rice, potatoes and pulses.

Check out this video of some of the girls down at S&P

Here is a sample day program that I would give to a new lifter once they had completed a GPP phase. They would only progress to this once I believed they were ready. Moving someone on to quick will increase their risk of injury and may also put them off from lifting in the future as the DOMS they may experience would not be pleasant. Remember just because you are sore does not mean that you had a good training session.

A1) Bulgarian Split Squat 3×8-10

A2) Assisted Chins 3×5

B1) Romanian Deadlift 3×12-15

B2) Flat DB ALT Press 3×10

B3) DB Rows 3×12

C1) KB Swings 3×20

C2) Band Pullaparts 3×20

C3) Plank 3x45seconds

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Although if your program currently looks something like below, then maybe its time for a change as you have probably been doing this time and time again and getting no where, while getting frustrated with not achieving your goals.

A1) Treadmill 15 mins

B1) Curl to Press 2×25

B2) Leg Extension 2×25

B3) Tricep Kickbacks 2×25

B4) Leg Curls 2×25

C1) X-Trainer 20 mins

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So for all the women out there its time to step it up and make a change. Go find a good coach, get some friends involved and have some fun working towards what you want to achieve. I can promise you this the investment you make will be nothing for the amount of confidence and self esteem you will gain, let alone numerous wolf whistles!

Thanks for reading

Sean

www.strengthandperformance.co.uk

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How To Warm up for the BIG Lifts

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This guy knew how to add weight to the bar properly

Time and time again I see and hear about how people warm up towards their training numbers for the day on the key lifts. If someone is working up to say 180kg on the deadlift, then they might do something like

Week 1 – 60kg x 5, 100kg x 5, 140kg x3, 180kg x 1…….Done (the aim was to hit 5) FAIL

Week 2 – 60kg x 5, 100kg x 5, 140kg x3, 180kg x 1…….Done (the aim was to hit 5) FAIL

Week 3 – 60kg x 5, 100kg x 5, 140kg x3, 180kg x 2…….Done (the aim was to hit 5) FAIL

Week 4 – 60kg x 5, 100kg x 5, 140kg x3, 180kg x 1…….Done (the aim was to hit 5) FAIL

And so on…see the theme. Good top end weight but no progression. This is an ego lift and will get them no where. You will always see similar issues with the bench press, as follows..

Week 1 – Bar x 5, 60kg x 5, 100kg x1….Done (again the aim was to hit 5) FAIL

Week 2 – Bar x 5, 60kg x 5, 100kg x1….Done (again the aim was to hit 5) FAIL

Week 3 – Bar x 5, 60kg x 5, 100kg x2….Done (again the aim was to hit 5) – a generous spot – FAIL

Week 4 – Bar x 5, 60kg x 5, 100kg x1….Done (again the aim was to hit 5) FAIL

For starters if you bench around 100kg then no way should you be jumping in 20kg plates, more like 5kg. And as for the deadlift if your lifting around 200kg then you have NO right at all to be jumping with 20kg plates, smaller jumps are needed between sets, so try 5-10kg.

Why?

Well remember with the goal of getting stronger you need to look at all angles. Most people are so narrow minded that all they want to do is add weight to the bar. For most of us we need to be working on technique, technique and mastering technique, then we can look at speed and repetition work through good technique. Your not going to be working on technique when you are trying to lift a weight above 90%.

Here is my warm up that I use for most of the big lifts, this was my deadlift session

Bar x 15-20

60kg 4×5 with 10 seconds rest between (approx 25-30%) – rep work

80kg 3×5 with 10 seconds rest between (approx 35-40%) – rep work

100kg 4×3 with 45 seconds rest between (approx 40-50%) – speed work

120kg x5 (approx 55-60%)  – rep work

140kg x5 (approx 65-70%) – rep work

160kg 2,2,2,12 (approx 75-80%) – working sets

I dont really use percentages but this is just to show what percents I was using. You can see I only did 4 working sets although I totalled at 17, however for all my sets the form and technique were dialed in. Too many?? Not for me it wasn’t. Like I said its all about grooving the technique and if you rush through the weights then this will not be possible.

So next time you step up to the bar, keep this in mind and remember what you are working towards…….getting stronger, so leave your ego behind and train smart

Thanks for reading

Sean

www.strengthandperformance.co.uk

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10 Tips to be a Strong DAD

So after having my second little boy I thought it would be a good time to give you all some pointers on how to structure and plan your training when your routine has been turned on its head thanks to a little baby. This period may last from 8 to 32 weeks depending on how good your new baby is so be ready to make some changes to your life and training.

1) First and foremost is KEEP IT SIMPLE – This is not a time to be trying out some crazy training template using all sorts of methods. Keeping it simple and as people have said before this is done by using the most bang for your buck exercises such as deadlifts, squats, bench, military, chins, rows, press ups and lunges.

2) Stop kidding yourself and making excuses for getting weaker, or telling yourself that it is ok to miss a set or two because you are tired. B******t. This is just as good as anytime to try and get stronger so keep this in your head. Stay positive!

3) Time is not your friend right now so make your sessions short and keep the intensity up.

4) Don’t feel like you need to follow a plan. When I say this it doesn’t mean you can go and do anything you want in each session as this then becomes a pointless journey. The goal for most of us is always to get stronger, so this is best done by using the key exercises or focus lifts such as the deadlift, squat, bench and military which you can monitor on a weekly and monthly basis. Keeping these or variations of these in your training program is a recipe for success whatever you goal is.

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5) Use a total body training system. I believe this is not a time to be doing any form of splits. The main reason is you just don’t know what is going to happen at home, especially the night before your training session. Any parent will understand and appreciate this, plus after a long night, the thought of a monster leg session the following day may not be your cup of tea.

6) If you are tired then don’t beat yourself up. Remember getting stronger is not always about adding weight to the bar. Spending some time on simple soft tissue and GPP work can be much more rewarding than heavy deadlifts after a long night of crying. So autoregulating your training sessions should be done when needed. If you feel good then do more accessory work and add some extra volume, however if you don’t feel good then don’t be afraid to cut it short.

7) If you are tired but still want to go hard, then just hit your main lifts and leave it there.

8) Don’t stress about your food, eat when you can and if you miss a meal then so be it. This is not a time to be adding more stress to yourself through worrying about the macro nutrients of carbohydrates, fats and protein. However don’t jump the gun here and go eat all sorts of rubbish, as this can then have a negative effect on both your energy and concentration levels. So keep things in moderation.

9) If you can squeeze in a 10-20 minute nap throughout the day then jump on it. Get off your phone and get your head down. This will add kilo’s to your main lifts for sure.

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10) MOST IMPORTANT. Help out your partner as much as you can, even if it means you getting less sleep and missing training, its not the end of the world. You will feel a great sense of reward by letting her get some extra sleep. Plus the time you get to spend with your newborn is priceless. Remember time is something you will never get back, whereas a training session you will.

Although this was written for new dads, I feel this can be applied to any busy or stressful situation in life. There are times in life where we sometimes need to take a step back and look at life.

One final point. Go out there and be the best DAD you can in all areas of life.

Thanks for reading

Sean

#teamSandP

www.strengthandperformance.co.uk

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