What’s up kettlebell fam? We’re here to talk about training volume today. Aside from getting your intensity right (lifting heavy enough), getting your training volume in order is CRITICAL to your results.
Before we start, let’s reflect on a quote here from Pavel’s PlanStrong workshop -
“In science and engineering the solution that meets all the set requirements at a minimal ‘cost’ is called optimal.”
In simple terms, if you are doing the minimal amount for YOU to make progress, then your training is optimal. If you are doing less OR more than is necessary, your approach is suboptimal. More isn’t always better, less isn’t always better, JUST RIGHT is better.
Volume is one of the most important factors in determining whether your body will continue to make adaptations or not.
Let’s define volume in a simple way - the number of lifts performed for a certain skill. If in one month you did 50 squats with 5RM and 100...
It's that time of year again! School, early wake up, extracurriculars and more. Life demands a lot of us every fall!
What about our training and nutrition? This is usually the part that goes out the window first. Today we wanted to share a sample week of food and also some hacks to help set you up for success during those busy seasons of life!
First you need to ask yourself a few questions (don't eat food you're allergic to or cannot tolerate!):
-How many people are you feeding per week?
-What types of protein do you like eating? (Chicken, Fish, Beef, Lamb, Pork, Beans, Milk, Greek Yogurt, Eggs, etc)
-What types of fruit do you like eating? (Berries, Apples, Watermelon, Bananas, Citrus, etc)
-What types of veggies do you like eating? (Broccoli, Asparagus, Spinach, Carrots, Peppers, Brussel Sprouts, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, etc)
-What types of fats do you like eating? (Avocado, Nuts, Oils, Nut butters)
-What types of grains do you enjoy? (Rices, Pastas,...
In the age of wearable tech, it can be overwhelming to figure out where to begin!
One way to start getting consistent is to begin tracking your steps. If you already have a smartphone, there is likely a tracker built into the phone. This would require no additional investment from you and can help you to get a sense for how much you're moving on a daily basis. As long as your phone is on your person, it will be relatively accurate. The iPhone has a Health app which can track steps daily, weekly, month and annually.
You can find the health app, HERE.
Once you establish your current trends, you can work towards making short term goals. If for the last month you've been averaging 1.5 miles per day, try to push the next 3 months to an average of 2 miles per day. And build from there!
If you're ready to take it to the next level, consider investing in a heart rate monitoring device. The most important thing we try to get our students to do is monitor their heart rate...
It's hard to make high-quality, healthy food that actually tastes good. You know what I'm talking about: the salad that tastes like leafy water, the bland, dry chicken breast, or the plain rice... It's time we stop settling for "food that sucks."
Ever tweak (insert body part) and then miss your workouts for a few weeks? What if you had the right tools in your toolbox so that you didn't need any breaks in training, even when injured?
At a basic level, any time we get injured it means that the load we're asking of our bodies in the moment exceeds its capacity. For example, if you're doing a broad jump (jumping straight out across a flat surface) and tweak your knee, whatever force you were asking of your knee in that jump was beyond it's ability to absorb the force required. It takes some detective work to figure out if you knee needs more flexion, extension, internal or external rotation. The best way to approach this is to train the knee in all of it's end ranges, so that when you jump the next time it's at a sub-maximal effort and your knee is familiar with bearing this load.
Before we get too deep into this discussion, if you have a serious or chronic injury, definitely see a doctor. Our opinions do not...
Feeling overwhelmed by all of the nutrition information out there? It can be hard to understand what to prioritize when so much information is put before us every single day. We like to think about consumption of fruit and vegetables in a few ways.
#1 Find Food that You Enjoy!
There's tons of varieties out there, so sometimes it just takes a little bit of experimentation. One thing is for sure, if you don't enjoy eating it, odds are pretty slim you're to continue with the habit!
#2 Research What is in Season!
Depending on where you live, certain fruit and veggies will be in season at different times of the year. There's a reason that oranges and other citrus fruit takes so great in the winter! It's not fun cutting up dry oranges in the middle of summer. Cherries and strawberries may be a better bet!
Here's a quick graphic for some seasonal foods to choose from:
#3 Maximize High Volume Foods
Some foods are nutrient...
The deadlift is a skill that comes with a mixed reputation. Some folks think all deadlifts will immediately hurt their back, while others (who know the truth) see it as one of the most diverse lifts out there.
Many athletes prefer this lift over others (like the back squat) because you can build tons of strength without adding a ton of muscle. It's optimal for folks who compete in weight classes or are endurance athletes. That may sound like a surprise to you! But having runners execute 10 heavy (3-5RM) lifts per week will bring only positive benefits to their running game.
If you're looking for hypertrophy (muscle gain), lighter intensities of deadlift variants may be your best bet. Things like good mornings, RDLs and single leg deadlifts can help build more muscle at the proper rep ranges.
Executing it properly is a must. Here's a brief look at the different ways you can set up your deadlift and things to keep in mind.
Before stepping up to the bar, we...
We all know that training our joints is something that we SHOULD do. But let's be honest, it's not the most exciting or sexy for Instagram and social media! However, if you do train your joints consistently, you will reap the benefits for a long time to come! Any time we get injured it means that the load we are asking of our joints is beyond the capacity that we have on that given day.
In order to remain consistent with moving our bodies, we must find a way to move without major hurdles or setbacks week over week. The system we've found the most success with are principles from Functional Range Conditioning and Kinstretch.
Here's 3 ways you can take action right now!
1) Begin each day with your full body CARs (controlled articular rotations). These intentional rotations allow you to MAINTAIN the range of motion that you currently have. They also serve as a self-assessment tool! If certain joints are limited on certain days, you will be able to take note...
You've probably heard it a million times, but it still rings true: having adequate protein is going to be one of the biggest contributors to getting strong and staying strong!
Protein is what fuels all of our lean tissue and having it consistently throughout the day and having enough of it can ensure that lean tissue is here to stay! Whether you're try to mass or lose body fat, you want to make sure that you're retaining as much muscle as possible throughout any sort of dieting phase. What good is it to lose 20lbs if that majority of it is muscle? That's no fun!
If you want to tackle anything regarding your nutrition, tackle protein intake first! One way to track protein would be using hand portioning. A general guide for women is one palm size of protein per meal. Men can have 1-2 palms of protein per meal. If you want to get even more accurate than this, we highly recommend investing in a food scale and measuring out your protein ONLY! Don't worry...
This past weekend, we competed in StrongFirst's TSC (Tactical Strength Challenge). Patrick hit a personal best for his deadlift at 501#!!
When we looked back at his training logs, he realized that he had not trained the barbell deadlift since competing in the last year's spring TSC.
How could he not train the deadlift for a YEAR and still pull over 500lbs?!
The answer is HEAVY GOBLET SQUATS! If you have heavy bells, these will make your leg strength sky rocket. They are extremely effective, safe for almost anyone and very simple to execute. Patrick trained heavy goblet squats between 2-4x per week with varying loads and reps. If you want to learn more about the exact way he programs, definitely shoot us an email!
Even Donnie Thompson who has back squatted over 1,000lbs would frequently squat 2x40kg bells to work the lower range of his front squat. He would get tired at 3 sets of 8 reps! It is no secret that using the bells certainly transfers over to...