Posts in muscle
Habits of Successful Powerlifters

In today’s climate, the access to information is easier than it has ever been. Whether it’s the 1000s of articles written around sets/reps, exercises, and training methods, or the millions of training videos posted on social media. There is no denying there are many different ways of getting strong. But, in the age of information overload, what sets the best lifters apart from the rest of the population? 

What habits do the more successful lifters share?

  1. They play the long game

If you want to be strong, you have to be in it for the long run. No one became Andrey Malanichev after 6 months of training. You won’t find many top level lifters that regularly miss training sessions. To achieve even just a decent level of success in powerlifting, training must be a priority. Skipping sessions because you’ve got a headache or work was stressful that day just won’t cut it – Guess what? The weights don’t care! Physiologically the body can only adapt at a certain rate. After a year of training, adding 10kg to your squat PB isn’t going to happen overnight. In fact, at the top level, a 10kg PB after a whole year of training would be considered a success. 

There are no shortcuts, strength gains are earned and not given. They don’t come easily and you have to consistently put the work in week to week for a very long time.

  1. They Recover Properly 

Unfortunately, despite the previous rant, the training in the gym is only a small part of becoming a successful powerlifter. In order to maximize the training adaptations, optimal recovery is key. By this I don’t mean you need to be getting in a cryotherapy chamber every night and consuming ridiculous amounts of CBD oil (despite what you might see on Instagram). Often the most simple recovery methods are overlooked, despite being the most important:

  • Sleep – most people require 7-9 hours of sleep per night to function properly. Sleep is key in reducing your bodies fatigue. If you’re getting below 7 your recovery rate is going to be drastically reduced and injury risk will increase. Going to bed earlier and having a quality nighttime routine is a really simple way of improving your recovery rate

  • Food – Are you getting enough calories in? Without adequate nutrition, you’re not going to get the training adaptations you’re looking for. Strength gains are optimized when in a caloric surplus, so simple methods such as tracking your food can have a huge impact on your results

  •  Injury Prevention – During training, little nagging injuries will inevitably creep up. Keeping on top of these by doing mobility work, foam rolling, seeing a physiotherapist, can all aid in preventing these small problems turning into full-blown injuries. The athletes who continue to progress year after year are often those who are injured the least. Injuries = lost training time, so anything you can do to prevent them will be beneficial to your powerlifting career.

Overall, improving recovery will help reduce fatigue level, reduce injury risk and optimize training adaptations, and therefore is a key aspect in the sport of powerlifting.

  1. They Embrace the Mundane

Hitting PBs during training and on the platform is great. In fact, it’s the reason we’re in the sport in the first place. At times it can seem like the top lifters are hitting PBs during every training session when trawling through social media. However, we only see a small amount of each lifters training, and these are often only the highlights of their preparation. In reality, the work that goes behind those PBs is fairly monotonous – endless sets of 5 can be fairly dull and don’t pull in the ‘likes’ that a deadlift PB does. What beginner lifters need to understand is that those boring sets of 5 are where the strength gains truly come from. 

Training in the 75-85% range for multiple sets/reps/sessions, develops both the skeletal muscle and the nervous system and allows the lifter to improve their movement pattern during each lift. New lifters often get caught up on testing their strength levels, when they should be concerned about training at a high frequency and volume in order to build their work capacity. Great lifters give as much focus to this part of training as they do the ‘fun’ heavier training. Focusing on lifting technique and producing as much force as possible (treating the lighter weights like the heavy ones) is key in developing more efficient technique and building muscular strength and size. Paying attention to this ‘boring’ part of training will later translate to those big PBs on comp day.

  1. They Believe in Themselves

Self-belief is a huge part of powerlifting. Not only for when you’re getting under a heavy squat and need to have the confidence that you can lift it, but also for your long term success. It’s very easy to see the top level lifters lifting ridiculous amounts of weight, that currently you can’t even consider unracking and get discouraged. However, all these athletes were at one point where you are now. They didn’t just suddenly squat 400kg one day. How many times do you hear people (or yourself) say ‘I’ll never be able to lift that’? This can put you in a mindset where you’re restricting your lifting potential by consistently telling yourself you’re not good enough. The guys at the top believed they had the potential to be up there with the best at some point, despite not being there at the time. Although it may seem like there’s a huge gap between where you’re at now and the best lifters in the world, have the belief that you will put the work in and eventually you will get there. After all, they managed to do it, why not you?

Wrap Up

Although there are probably exceptions to the rule, these are 4 habits that the vast majority of high-caliber powerlifters sick to. When embarking on your powerlifting journey, adopting the same approach to your training as the top lifters can go a long way in speeding up the progression and breaking through those stubborn strength plateaus. 


Tom Smith

Strength Coach

Raw Strength Gym

PS - If you’d like to join STRONG (our Powerlifting program at RSG) here’s what you get:

  • 4 Powerlifting Sessions per week with your Coach so you develop your technique safely and see rapid strength gains

  • Customised training plan written specifically for you with your body type, weak points and goals in mind - we also give you a body scan and advise on nutrition

  • Accountability and support whilst training as part of a small private team with other novice powerlifters

We aim to help you eat better, feel motivated and LOVE powerlifting with a great sense of belonging with our Barbell Club.

Go ahead and enroll now:  http://www.rawstrength.uk/strong-powerlifting-course

Or reply and we'll send you some more info.




Why Some People NEVER Lose Weight

90% of people fail on a summer body transformation when they go it alone
Of those 10% who are deemed successful

Guess what?

I'd say only 1% actually get what I call...

...wait for it...

'THE Important TWO'

(OK, that name needs some work but stay with me)

What are the 'important TWO' I hear you ask?

Let me tell you my lovely friend...

1) The transformation is healthy & sustainable

2) The transformation is dramatic

I'll illustrate this with a story.

A guy came to me a few years back

Let's call him Jim

Now Jim really wanted to drop 2 stone

to look A-M-A-Z-I-N-G on his upcoming holiday

Imagine the scene....

....you've just got off the plane

Baggage collected

Sun is shining

Cool, icy drink in your hand with those little beads of water running down the chilled glass...

And the body of a movie star

For Jim, this seemed very unbelievable when he first started

So he hesitated to take my advice on nutrition

Couldn't step up his intensity when it came to training hard

I could tell he wanted more than anything for me to take him to one side and tell him the 'secret' to transforming his body

You know, those claims you see on infomercials with cheesy american voiceovers

Jim wanted me to say...

"Jim, I've been lying to you, we don't have to get stronger, progressively train more intensely and at a more furious pace every session, you don't have to eat clean foods and fuel your body and stay disciplined for 3-6 months MINIMUM...

...instead just drink this shake 4 times per day, stick your fingers down your throat and vomit straight after and then every 3rd day at precisely 4 minutes past midnight...

...you need to dig a hole in the garden, howl like a wolf and make a peace offering to the gods of physique and muscle-dom and you'll be super-shredded in 4 weeks or less!!!"

^^^ this is a JOKE before anyone gets confused

But there is an important lesson there

Firstly, fad diets are just that

Unhealthy

Designed to steal your hard earned cash and keep you coming back for more with NEW NEW NEW products

Secondly, the key to transforming your body is to do it long term

Imagine losing 1-2lbs of bodyfat every few weeks

That would be around 3 stone lost this year

Another 3 next year

IF you have less than 6 stone to lose, basically what I'm saying is that by taking a slow, healthy and steady approach to improving your body and mind then

You will get 'THE important Two' of a dramatic yet lasting body transformation

Cos there's nothing worse than staying committed to a diet for 6-10 weeks and losing 'weight'

Yet not looking better

Feeling like crap

And when you 'stop' the diet you bounce back to previous weight, if not heavier

The key is to never stop

To make a lifestyle switch

And if you want my help to show you how to do it then listen up

I have space for 10 new men on our epic RISE program

I'll show you how to measure your body for results without using the scales

How to link those results to your calorie intake

What the '21 superfoods' are and how to incorporate those into your daily calories for more health

More health, by the way, means you feel alive, awake and have clear thinking 24/7

You'll have 3-5 sessions a week with a group of men just like you

We specialise in training men over the age of 35, who are stressed out, unfit and have been putting themselves last for YEARS.

And all this is led by your own coach to keep you accountable

So that's nutrition, training and health all included so you can get your beach body on and rock a healthy, lasting body transformation for GOOD

This is only £199 for 6 weeks and we are already at near capacity

Click here to find out more: http://rawstrength.co.uk/rise

Rise Above

Ant 


Anthony Shaw


Head Coach


Raw Strength Gym, Warrington


PS - if you want help, you can start a 6 week trial on our RISE program.


You get teamwork, support, advice and a solid direction for your life so that you can feel good, look better and live a life of purpose.


Click here to find out more: http://rawstrength.co.uk/rise



Eat on the go and stay healthy: PART TWO

wake-work-sleep-wake-work-sleep

We all get stuck in a rut.

In fact, I believe the way we live our lives is broken.

People in the UK spend less than 2 hours of their day outside

The average british citizen will spend 47 years working, probably in a job they hate

The fitness media does a terrible job of separating facts from fiction.

And so try as we do, after doing a diet 95% of us will regain the fat lost within 3 yrs.

Back to 'stuck in a rut' mode

wake-work-sleep-wake-work-sleep

I did this once.

I worked two jobs, studied for a masters degree and tried to start a business.

It was depressing being in that cycle and not feeling like I could break out.

I cracked.

I quit.

I made some tough decisions and quit one job, quit the masters degree and built the business into Raw Strength Gym.

But most people don’t quit, they crack in a different way.

They submit. Into the black hole of a meaningless life. Every day the same. No way out.

STUCK IN A RUT FOR 47 YEARS+

Why is this?

Humans have been removed from their natural environment and placed in air-conditioned boxes.

The natural stress of our ancient environment has been replaced with modern stressors such as work (and work colleagues!), deadlines, traffic jams, social media and financial pressure.

Our body responds to modern stress just like it responded to the old sabre-toothed tiger: fight or flight.

The problem is, we are not in great danger in modern life!

We begin to crave fats and sugars as the brain believes we need more energy to fuel a fight or flight.

We may feel the need to relax after an event (read: after a typical day at work), and thus emotional eating or binge eating is more likely to occur.

Meaning...

Your Job Is Killing You

Kinda...

Anyway, don't quit your job just yet.

Here are the best ways to break out of a rut:

1) TRAIN to MANAGE STRESS

Think of every stressful situation as 'priming' your body for a fight/flight, when in reality you're just sat at work.

You MUST use those primed responses (adrenaline, cortisol etc.) or your body will start to become inflamed, and over the long term this causes real damage

Damage from chronic inflammation includes:

fatigue.

fever.

mouth sores.

rashes.

abdominal pain.

chest pain.

You gotta avoid this at all costs, and training intensely is a great way to do so!

Lift weights: squat, deadlift, do pull-ups, press-ups, kettlebell swings, sled drags. Move with purpose and aggression to burn away all that stress AND build new muscle for a healthier body.

Sprint, run, jump, do yoga, go for a walk - do SOMETHING.

2) LEARN CHEEKY FOOD COMBOS

We are currently loving the 'vegan hijack strategy' for convenient foods, allow me to explain...

Lots of food retailers now stock vegan friendly meals, which is awesome for vegans AND for everyone else.

Vegan meals are high in nutrients, fibre and protein.

If you eat meat, buy some pre-cooked meat (chicken, beef, ham etc.) and throw it on top.

If you want some carbs, buy an instant rice pot and pour some boiling water on. DONE.

Easy, right?

Food marketing and point of sale stuff (meal deals, supersize options etc.) is there to appeal to your emotions.

Just be aware that you could be making a better choice for your own health, and then make a choice by thinking outside of the box.

What else could you combine that would make an unorthodox but healthy meal?

***

So there you are guys, part two of this weeks 'Eat On The Go' series.

Train to burn stress away. Eat to build your health up.

Have a great day

Rise Above

Ant

Anthony Shaw Head Coach

Raw Strength Gym, Warrington

PS - if you want help, we have a 6 week program called RISE. You get teamwork, support, advice and a solid direction for your life so that you can feel good, look better and live a life of purpose.

Click here to find out more: http://rawstrength.co.uk/built/

Why fitness is confusing.

Ever had one of those lightbulb moments?

 

I have them all the time.

 

not because I'm particularly clever

 

But usually because I'm doing things so arse-backwards that when I finally see the light it's a big revelation.

 

Take lifting weights, for example.

 

When I first realised that adding a little bit of weight to the bar every month gets better results versus crushing myself every workout, it was a nice moment of clarity!

 

Less pain and more results.

 

WIN/WIN

 

There are so many of these conflicting ideas within fitness...

 

So it is super easy to be led astray.

 

Here's just a few thoughts to inspire some 'lightbulbs' of your own:

 

1) Eating more means you can train harder and progress quicker. Don't starve.

 

2) Being mentally relaxed when lifting weights stops emotional burn out. Less raging and grunting, more calmness and jokes.

 

3) Running puts the body into a stressed state. Body fat can't be used for energy when you're stressed. Walk and lift weights for better results.

 

4) Sitting down causes back pain, not your zumba class or lifting weights or spinning. It's your posture. Stretch.

 

5) ^^^ related to this ^^^^ muscle is elastic tissue. Stretching once per week won't help much because the tissue springs back to prior poor flexibility. Stretch every day.

 

6) Use a food diary to plan what you're about to eat, not to record what you've already eaten.

 

7) Start worrying about your fat intake rather than your carb intake. Your body requires fat to produce many hormones. Poor hormones = poor fat loss and inefficient muscle gain.

 

8) Omega-3s are not just a supplement, they are crucial for your health.

 

Modern farming has removed omega-3s from our ancient sources: meat, fish, eggs. So the 'caveman' version of us had TONS of it. We have none.

 

From now on, see taking fish oil/omega-3 oil as putting back in the good stuff that commercial farming has removed.

 

9) Sleep in 90 minute sleep cycles, e.g. 6 hours is 10X better than 5.5 hours because it's 4 full 90 min cycles versus 3 full cycles. Nobody is quite sure why this is, but research confirms it.

 

How many 90 min cycles do you get right now? 4-5 every night is the goal.

 

10) ^^^related to this^^^ you CAN catch up on your sleep. So if you have a bad night, or lose a 90 min sleep cycle one night. Then add an extra one on the weekend, or have a 90 min nap.

 

Therefore, if aiming for 4 or 5 90 min cycles per night, you must aim for a weekly sleep target of 28-35 90 min cycles. Or 42-52.5 hours per week. This makes you feel less stressed about losing sleep believe me!

 

***

 

Have any lightbulb moments?

 

If you want more, join our 6 in 60 day shred because my team and I will change your lifestyle for good.

 

We'll give you step-by-step instructions

 

Potentially be straight up with the truth, the brutal truth, if you need to hear it....

 

....and you'll enjoy training with a team, with a coach helping you out, in our awesome, private gym.

 

Main thing is the RESULT for you, which will be a 6kg loss of body fat in 60 days or your money back.

 

best transformation wins £600 too!

 

....and more strength, more muscle, more fun, more health, more energy, more friends....

 

I could go on and on, but just go here to read about it:

 

men click here: http://www.rawstrength.uk/mens-60-day-challenge

 

women click here: http://www.rawstrength.uk/60-day-shred-challenge

 

talk soon

 

Ant

The truth! Nothin' but the truth!

Carrying on from yesterday's 'what they don't tell you about fitness' post....

 

here's a few more things:

 

1) you will NOT gain muscle from lifting weights

 

at least, not at the speeds you think

 

It takes 2-3 months of consistent weight lifting for a beginner to start gaining noticeable muscle.

 

Because the muscles prefer to improve neuromuscular aspects (co-ordination, muscle memory, technique etc.) first because they are less energy demanding.

 

Building muscle takes a lot of energy, so the body puts it as a last resort.

 

Even once you do start building muscle, 1-2 pounds per month is an amazing rate of progress.

 

2) You have ZERO chance of looking like a bodybuilder

 

When women (and men to be fair) tell me they don't want to look like a bodybuilder I sigh a long, bitter sigh. Because you won't.

 

Not only is it likely chemically/hormonally impossible for your body to look like someone elses.

 

But bodybuilders are some of the most disciplined athletes on the planet!

 

I doubt you are the top 1% of people in the world who can just pick up some weights and suddenly become the hulk.

 

That shit requires some serious work, sacrifice and persistence, not being mean but 100% of the problems you have right now with your physique are due to you not doing the work, making sacrifices and being persistence.

 

It's actually disrespectful to bodybuilders to say that you don't want to look like them, because you couldn't if you tried.

 

That said, there are of course a million great points us slightly lazier, weaker and less disciplined mortals can take from bodybuilders. Such as meal prep, supplements, recovery routines and the mindset.

 

****

 

Right now you may wonder, why the hell should I lift weights then?

 

Or, why Ant, do you get all your clients to lift weights and get them stronger?

 

Well, here's some more rapid-fire 'what they don't tell you' stuff:

 

> you can set black and white goals when lifting weights, e.g. have you lifted 100kg or not? Some people love that method of goal setting, me included.

 

> you can see a huge improvement in posture, decreased joint pain and a noticeably flatter stomach after 2-3 weeks of lifting weights, even with no muscle gain.

 

> the word 'tone' comes from the latin 'tonus' which is still used in physiology (I did a lot of that in my degree...yawn) to describe the partial/resting contractoin level of the muscle.

 

.....In short, want to be more toned? Lifting weights teaches your muscles to hold a higher involuntary level of contraction....kind of like when you pose in the bathroom mirror each night....you look a little better than normal, right?!

 

> You can lift with other people, compare what you can lift with what they can lift, share technique pointers, set some challenges, dream about how strong you are going to be in a few years, the social side of lifting is huge!

 

> Bone density increases with lifting, the stress to your skeleton triggers thicker bones. Would you agree this would be great for us all as we age?!

 

****

 

Anyway, if you want to learn how to lift weights from scratch inside our awesome gym, Raw Strength Gym....and with a coach and a friendly bunch of training partners behind you every step of the way

 

Then you may be interested in our next 60 day shred...

 

Program starts 24th April and we are RAPIDLY filling it up, 15 places left, I recommend you apply now if you're an action taker

 

If you're too slow, think you'll do it tomorrow or for whatever reason keep lying to yourself that you're an action taker.

 

That's fine, just know we can't help you if you don't apply.

 

So stop putting it off!

 

It will be JULY and the height of summer when this 60 day program ends, that time is going to pass whether you like it or not...

 

....so better to be your most super lean, strong and sexy self, right?!

 

Links are here:

 

women: http://www.rawstrength.uk/60-day-shred-challenge

 

men: http://www.rawstrength.uk/mens-60-day-challenge

 

Laters

 

Ant

 

PS - the number of people who jump on the phone with us after applying and say they've watched us for months online is INSANE.

 

Are you a shadow-watcher? Watching us for ages but not taking the plunge?

 

Be brave, step out of the shadows and apply, I guarantee this will be the best thing you ever do for yourself.

 

Forget the socials, the fun, the teamwork, the constant support in our private Facebook group......you'll get all that for sure...but do this for yourself. Apply below:

 

women: http://www.rawstrength.uk/60-day-shred-challenge

 

men: http://www.rawstrength.uk/mens-60-day-challenge

How to Build More Muscle and Strength

Most people struggle with building muscle more than any other goal

You may think fat loss is hard to achieve?

Maybe you can’t improve on your pull-up strength?

Is your nutrition and meal prep overwhelming you and not getting done at the moment?

Well…

ALL of those areas pale in comparison to building muscle.

Reason being it’s relatively simple to burn fat

on a basic level - develop fitness & eat optimally and you’re done

It’s also relatively simple to build strength

Simply repeat a technique, for example, deadlift - over and over again with progressively heavier weights and you’ll get stronger - simple right?

But ah, the holy grail of training is building lean muscle

It’s hard, nigh-on impossible for 99% of men and women to do

But why?

Let’s dive in:

The body ADAPTS to training - because training is a stimulus

The first 6-10 weeks of your strength & fitness improvements on a program will OVERWHELMINGLY be neural

NOT building new muscle, but instead re-wiring the nervous system

This is a GOOD thing, or we’d all be building muscle from driving the car every day

Or learning to play the piano would result in forearms like Popeye!

Basically the body is smart with saving energy

And it takes a LOT of energy to build muscle

So I want you to think of your body as a Tony Soprano type character

And muscle building like being promoted within the ‘family’

You don’t just ask for a promotion and get it

Hell no!

You gotta earn it, kill, steal, extort and build up a reputation for months and years

THEN you get the promotion

Same with building muscle…

ATTACK 1: You hit the gym and work on chest for muscle growth

DEFENCE 1: The body will see that you are bench pressing and re-wire your nervous system to make you more efficient

Damn!

ATTACK 2: You hit the gym the week after and add more weight to the bar… this has gotta work!

DEFENCE 2: Nope! The body has DORMANT muscle fibres that are only awakened when you lift super heavy (Motor Units), these guys jump in and help, then also get re-wired and more efficient

Double damn!

Still no muscle growth!

ATTACK 3: You bench yet again on week 3! More reps and more weight, that’ll fix it!

DEFENCE 3: Foiled again! The body now brings in other muscle groups to help out, your shoulders and triceps now wake-up and join the fight to stop your chest from getting overly fatigued. Now the whole lot get re-wired and more efficient.

Around now, most people give up

The body goes back to rest mode

And over time the co-ordination and improved efficiency in the bench press wilts away

Meaning you have 3-4 weeks off heavy training, then hit the gym again and wonder why you can never build muscle….

….because the body doesn’t want you to, it’s the least efficient adaptation!

So how do we build muscle?

> Long-term approach

> Fuel the body so it has enough SURPLUS energy to allocate to muscle growth

> Constantly vary the exercises so you max-out neural adaptation and force the body to build muscle as a last resort

> Constantly vary the types of training, yet keep them fairly similar at the same time (I explain below)

Here’s the commandments:

1) push through a solid 8 week block of training with no expectation of muscle gain

2) constantly vary your exercises, same but different exercises, e.g. Squat, front squat, single leg squat are all similar but varied.

3) vary the amount of reps you lift, have an easy week 1 (10-30 reps per lift), then a high volume week 2 (40-50 reps per lift) whilst continuing to change the exercises as above.

3)  constantly vary the types of training, e.g. 4 weeks of heavy strength work, then 4 weeks of higher rep ‘bodybuilding’ work, then 4 weeks of low rep high volume work (EDT, supersets, GVT…things for you to google now!)

4) ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS do your strength work first. This wakes up the dormant muscle fibres so you optimise your later exercises in the same workouts. Getting stronger means you can lift more weight and stimulate more muscle fibres to grow. Strength drives muscle growth essentially.

And that’s pretty much it for the basics

Obviously eat clean, eat more than you think and be prepared to spend 1-2 years getting the body you want

That goes for ladies just as much as men

If you want my help to put together a 12 week plan for strength and muscle growth then it’s important that we know exactly where you are right now with your fitness

…What you want to achieve short term AND long term

…And exactly what your goal is.

Fill out THE FITNESS BREAKTHROUGH QUESTIONNAIRE as your first positive step today!

It’s right here: https://rawstrengthgym.wufoo.eu/forms/the-fitness-breakthrough-questionnaire/

Your situation doesn’t change until You do.

Speak soon

Anthony Shaw
Head Coach

Raw Strength Gym, Warrington

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Lifting Weights Will Build The Perfect Female Body
‘But I don’t want to look like one of those muscly women!’

…Ah, I have heard this a thousand times.

Almost from EVERY female member we’ve ever had in fact.

Yet it is what’s known as a COGNITIVE BIAS

Know what cognitive bias is? Anyone?

Basically, it’s when your brain uses set patterns to make decisions

Yet if those patterns are faulty, BAD decisions get made

Such as…. NOT lifting weights if you’re a female!


 

Here’s some examples:

> You may believe lifting weights is bad because the first ever time you went to a gym, a female bodybuilder walked past you and you didn’t like her physique (….yet she was on steroids to make her more masculine at the time…)

> You may not know anyone who lifts weights and has a slim and sexy figure, so your brain rationalises it’s not possible (but it is)

> You may have GROUPTHINK and simply repeat what your friends and co-workers say without looking at the facts

> You may have preconceptions about lifting weights, I.e. You think it makes woman look muscular, and only SEE things that support your ideas (‘she can’t possibly lift weights, she looks too good’ OR ‘see her manly arms? THAT’S why I never want to lift weights’)

….making sense so far?

OK just one more :-)

> You STEREOTYPE the ‘female weight lifters’ group or an individual female bodybuilder and expect them to have manly, ugly bodies WITHOUT having real information about them or the right methods for female weight training….

 

SO shall we dive into the right methods?! 

Think about this….

….it’s a hot, summer’s day and you’re throwing a fat, juicy beef burger onto the BBQ….

Look at the size of the burger right now, raw and fresh.

AFTER cooking, is it bigger? Or smaller?

Smaller, right?!

Why?

 

Because

> THE FAT HAS MELTED (LOST WEIGHT)

> THE PROTEIN FIBRES ARE PACKED CLOSER TOGETHER (DENSER)

> THE TEXTURE AND FEEL HAS BECOME HARDER (TONED)

 

In NO way has this burger become bigger.

Nope, it’s now smaller, tightly packed and harder to the touch.

 

Another way of looking at this is:

> it’s lost weight, become denser and more toned!

This is EXACTLY what lifting weights does.

Yet most ladies think weight lifting is about GROWING bigger muscles

That’s actually REALLY hard to do and many of our men struggle to do so

The body doesn’t want to grow big and bulky, it’s inefficient

It DOES want to become better co-ordinated, more neurologically efficient (you use more of the muscle you already have, also known as getting stronger) and STAY the same size.

From a survival perspective, if you started growing so large that any predator could push you over and kill you

Would that be a benefit?

 

Nope, being small, lean, fast and super strong IS totally a benefit though

Luckily for us, our bodies are designed to be lean, fast and athletic

And lifting weights is the ONLY way to stress a muscle to become denser, more toned and lose the body fat surrounding it.

Running, spinning and any other cardio exercise may burn fat….

….but if the muscles themselves do not get stressed to tighten up and look better….

Then a soft, weak body is the result - no matter how much body fat is burned away

 

FINAL point:

Arnold Schwarzenegger and thousands of male bodybuilders STRUGGLE to build muscle

They train almost every day, sometimes twice per day for HOURS

Adding 10-20lbs per year is INCREDIBLE progress for them and is NOT common

Yet, you think you’re going to add MORE muscle than a bodybuilder just from lifting weights?

 

Ain’t gonna happen lady

The body wants to be lean, small and athletic looking

Lifting weights is the fastest route to get there!

 

PS - In 7 weeks time it will be the START of august and the height of summer!

Our programs are designed to get you 1-2 stone lighter, leaner and more confident about your body

IS that something you want to achieve?

To apply right now click the link below

https://rawstrengthgym.wufoo.eu/forms/your-application/

3 Ways to Expand Your Mind…

 

The power of the mind can unlock massive gains in strength, muscle growth and athletic performance (aerobic/anaerobic power)…

 

So how much do you care for your brain?

I’m going to show you three incredible ways that I’ve used with myself and my clients to help the mind expand into new beliefs, behaviours and strengths that will take you to a higher physical level that you are on right now.

 

 

#1 – Take a Walk

 

The modern weekday is full of too much stress. Your work, personal goals, relationships, family, friends, commuting, shopping, training, eating and on and on…

 

It can be too much to take sometimes.

 

So…

 

Take a walk, and reflect on each day to note your successes, think about how grateful you are for every person in your life and take a few minutes to think about how lucky you are to live in an advanced country like ours.

 

Drop all those ‘first world problems’ and you might just be able to relax!

 

Not to mention walking is an impact free, easy way to burn up some energy and is great for recovery from more intense training. So take a walk, decompress your mind and take 20-30 mins each day to look after yourself.

 

 

#2 – Write down your goals

 

It is WAY too easy to get yourself all hyped up for an incredible year of training and nutrition – saying things like “This year is THE year” and other such nonsense – yet what really happens is you lose your focus after about 3 weeks.

 

In fact, 3 weeks is the MINIMUM time necessary to commit to a new habit becoming permanent.

 

So in order to change your behavior you MUST stay focused for longer than 3 weeks.

 

But how do you do that?

 

Simple.

 

Just write your goals down. A seemingly trivial action such as this can lead to twice as much more success. That means that if you have a piece of paper stuck on your fridge that says, “I am going to eat healthy 90% of the time this year in order to lose 3 stone of fat and keep it off forever”, then you’re much more likely to do so compared to just saying it to yourself.

 

You will literally FORGET to stay on course to smash your goals.

 

Writing your goals down is like a compass, just nudging you constantly in the right direction.

 

#3 – Ignore Your Feelings

 

Your mind is wired to keep you safe.

 

So putting a heavy bar on your back in order to complete a killer set of 20 reps of back squat will inspire your brain to talk you out of it.

 

Ignore it.

 

When you’re running the last kilometer of a 5k and your muscles are screaming for you to stop and take a rest.

 

Ignore it.

 

When the barbell is loaded to a NEW PB for deadlift and you’re stood there, getting psyched up and preparing to lift and break some records. A little part of your brain will whisper that you can’t do it…

 

Ignore it.

 

 

Training and nutrition in these modern times is EXCEPTIONAL. If you do what an expert tells you, you WILL get in shape. You will get stronger, leaner, faster, bigger or whatever the hell you’re training for.

 

But the very process of change is painful for both the body and the mind.

 

Stay safe, but don’t be afraid of ignoring the little voices inside your head.

 

Who knows, you might actually be successful.

 

 

*      *      *

 

So try these 3 things. I’ve really noticed a difference since using each of these tactics regularly, with both an increase in strength, muscle size and a relaxed feeling in my mind because I know that I can achieve anything.

 

You just have to convince your mind that you can achieve MORE than you are right now.

 

And if you want a daily kick up the arse to stay motivated, committed and stress-free when training for your goals, then sign-up for my email newsletter right HERE.

 

 

Ant

 

 

Anthony Shaw

 

Founder & Head Strength and Conditioning Coach

 

Raw Strength Gym, Birchwood Park, Warrington.  

3 Secrets to Dramatic & Lasting Body Transformations: PART ONE

This is a three part series to help men like you BREAKTHROUGH the barriers and myths of training, nutrition and mindset so you can create a DRAMATIC and LASTING body transformation.  

PART ONE: How Training Sessions Should Really Feel…..

 

 

 

Let’s take a trip back through time.

 

It’s 1975 and you are in Gold’s Gym, Venice Beach, California with Mr Arnold Schwarzenegger. …

 

You are his training partner charged with the sole mission of getting him in shape for his next Mr Olympia contest.

 

This is DAY ONE.

 

Today you are both going to obliterate and stimulate the chest muscles in order to gain some freaky size.

 

First up, BENCH PRESS…

 

Arnold hands you the bar as you take your position lying down on the bench.

 

The game plan is simple; All you have to do is PUSH until you’re on the last couple of reps. Then keep pushing through to absolute muscular failure. Only then, Arnie says, will you stimulate your muscles to GROW!

 

So you begin…

 

REP ONE

 

REP TWO

 

REP THREE

 

 

And on, and on, and on until your muscles finally start to give out around the 11th rep…

 

But Arnold tells you to push on in his thick Austrian accent…

 

“Come on! Push it now! Come on!”  (…and I challenge you to read that without doing the accent in your head, impossible!)

 

So you DO push harder and slowly grind through the 11th and 12th reps, sweat is pouring down your head and into your armpits in the heavy, Californian climate…

 

But Arnold doesn’t give a crap, he just wants you to lift.

 

Halfway through the 13th rep the bar slows down and starts to stall, hovering above your chest in a frustrating mix of the painful lactic acid burn and the helplessness you now feel as you’re about to be trapped under the bar.

 

So Arnie grabs the bar and slowly gives you some more pressure to help you through the upper part of the 13th rep.

 

Then you rack the bar.

 

Good set!

 

But it’s not over yet, just as you think you were done Arnie takes one plate off each side of the bar to lighten the load…

 

“5 more reps! Do it now!”

 

Shit. You’re tired. You’re sweating. You’re chest and triceps are pumped full of blood to the point of being useless.

 

But hey, Arnie said to do it, so you’re gonna do it!

 

 

5 more painful grinding reps go by in the haze of exhaustion and with a little help from Mr Olympia.

 

 

That’s set one complete.

 

4 more sets to go.

 

Then repeat the process on 5 more carefully selected exercises to build the chest of a Champion.

 

 

*          *          *

 

If you’ll forgive the storytelling approach to introduce this article you’ll be able to see what I’m getting at here.

 

Training should be tough. It should feel as though you can’t go on, yet, somehow you do.

 

I speak to a lot of men who want to get in shape and what I hear is ALWAYS the same.

 

“I’m not happy with my level of body fat”

 

“I want my chest to be leaner and stick out more”

 

“I’m losing deals at work because I don’t have the confidence to look the other guy square in the eye, shake his hand HARD and know I’m a bad ass”

 

 

I want you to know that it is SIMPLE to build a great looking body. All you have to do is train the same movements over and over again focusing on getting stronger.

 

The first thing you need to understand are the main human that need to be improved, strengthened and perfected.

 

Once you start working on these movements you’ll notice immediate improvements in your body shape, muscle size and see a much leaner stomach & chest staring back at you in the mirror.

 

 

THE 5 HUMAN MOVEMENTS:

  •   SQUAT
  •  PUSH
  •  PULL
  •  HINGE
  •  CARRY

 

 

The 5 human movements are the only ways that the body can move. What you  need to do is take all of your exercises from these categories and progressively improve your performance in each.

 

So here are a few examples of exercises that come under each category:

 

SQUAT:

 

 

Lunge, front squat, box squat, back squat, safety bar squat, leg press, split-squat, 1-legged squat.

 

 

PUSH:

 

Press-ups, bench press, overhead press, floor press, board press, dips.

 

 

PULL:

 

Pull-ups, inverted row, lat pulldown, 1-arm row, seated row, hand-over-hand rope pulling, tug of war.

 

 

HINGE:

 

Deadlift, kettlebell swing, 1-leg deadlift, Romanian deadlift, jump shrugs.

 

 

CARRY:

 

Farmers walk, yoke carry, keg carry, sled dragging, lorry pulling, sandbag carry.

 

 

 

HOW TO TRAIN THEM…

 

Now the process of training here is VERY simple.

 

Just pick ONE exercise from each category and put them into the SAME workout 3 days each week.

 

For example:

 

  • Press-Ups
  • Pull-ups
  • Front Squat
  • Romanian Deadlift
  • Farmers Walk

 

 

Now pair up one lower body movement with one upper body movement:

 

Press-ups with Romanian Deadlift

Pull-ups with Front Squat

 

 

Then perform the carry by itself at the end.

 

 

Let’s recap what you’ve learned so far today:

 

1) You understand just how hard you have to train (like Arnold in 1975)

 

2) You understand WHY you are training (more confidence, get leaner, look better)

 

3) You understand WHAT exercises you should train using the 5 human movements

 

4) You understand that you are going to train all movements on the SAME workout, 3 times each week.

 

 

Now finally all you have to do is pick a method of sets/reps and GET ON WITH IT!

 

Here are a few REALLY EFFECTIVE METHODS to choose from:

 

  • 5 sets x 5 reps
  • 10sets x 3 reps
  • 5 sets x 10 reps

 

 

 

Or just mix and match your own method.

 

 

A NOTE ABOUT CARRYS….

 

For the carrys you need to move the weight for DISTANCE not for reps. So what I recommend is a minimum of 3 sets of 40m.

 

You can have some fun with the carries and go balls to the wall with 1-3 sets of maximum distance. Use the carry as the icing on the cake, a bit of conditioning and a little competitiveness with your training partner.

 

So you’ve learned all about training; the effort required, the movements required, the amount of workouts required, the sets/reps required.

 

With that we will conclude PART ONE.

 

 

FOR MEN READY TO COMMIT TO TRANSFORMING THEIR BODIES INTO MACHINES OF MUSCLE AND PRIDE….

 

You can apply for a free trial of my Body Transformation Program which will help you lose 5-7lbs of fat every 3 weeks – which is 2 stone over the full 12 weeks – whilst adding 7-10lbs of muscle and improving strength, health and athletic performance.

 

Apply Here: https://rawstrengthgym.wufoo.com/forms/apply-to-start-the-free-week-trial-of-built/

 

 

Until part two, train hard!

 

Anthony Shaw

 

Head Strength and Conditioning Coach

 

Raw Strength Gym, Birchwood Park, Warrington. 

 

Spartans! How Did You All Get So Lean?! (in 3 weeks…)

Getting the EXACT results you want from an exercise plan can be hard, right?  

Whether it’s losing weight, gaining muscle, running a bit faster or simply feeling better about yourself – sometimes this difficulty in matching your effort with some sort of TANGIBLE reward can make you feel like shit, or get you down, and ultimately may cause you to give up on your goals.

 

Or WORSE….put you off even starting out!

 

So last month I started a 6 week transformation challenge called The Spartan Body Challenge. Cool name right?

Here's a picture of a Spartan just for fun:

 

 

And with the Spartan Body Challenge my goal was to provide a group of 10 people with a really simple DONE-FOR-YOU and FOOL-PROOF system to help them get leaner, stronger and healthier. Combining strength and conditioning principles with a great team atmosphere, think: band of brothers.

 

Whilst also teaching them how to fully understand nutritional concepts in an EASY and fun way to CREATE their own AWESOME eating plan (I hate calling it a 'diet' as that implies that it's temporary or limited in calories, neither is true here).

 

So what would you do if I told you that these guys are only 3 weeks in and they are getting results like:

- LOSING a stone of fat

- Improving posture

- Easily preparing each days meals in advance either the night before or that morning….in 5 mins or less!

- And other cool stuff….just wait for the pictures!

 

You’d think I was full of crap wouldn’t you?!

 

And what would you do if I said that you can get this too in just 3 HOURS of exercise each week?

 

And you will look forward to each day with more energy and a NEW attitude about eating REAL food to help you look leaner and fitter (or for you men, more BUFF and muscular!)

 

So f*ck that, I’m going to SHOW you what I can do to YOU in just 3 WEEKS!

 

Check these pictures out – and remember, this is only HALF-WAY through a 6 week program, just imagine what they’ll look like at the end (actually, you won’t have to imagine as I’ll be shouting about their transformation very soon all over the place. But don’t blame me, I’m just trying to get you training with us and making a change like this for yourself!).

 

 These guys have killed it! I'm so excited to take their after pictures at the end of the 6 weeks and show you the full transformations.

In terms of training we've focused on the 5 human movements: Squat, push, pull, hinge, carry.

Each workout focuses on at least 2 of these 5 movements.

The first exercise is a heavy basic lift then we move through fast, power exercises and then gradually reduce the resistance with each exercise but extend the duration of each set. See pic below for details. Essentially we're training using 'strength circuits' at a fast pace.

 

 

I wanted to show you these pictures to INSPIRE you to take some action.

Changing yourself starts with ONE thing and one thing only: The decision to take action.

You have that power. Just DECIDE!

Is it simple? Yes. Lift weights eat real food.

Is it easy? No. You're trying to alter old habits and behaviours and become a new person.

 

If these guys have done it (remember this is only 3 weeks in to a 6 week program!) then I KNOW you can do it too.

 

Click HERE to sign-up for the next program.

 

Ant