My Training Philosophy

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"...Steal from those smarter than you. Watch what the strong do and relentlessly apply it to your own training" - Dave Tate

With this quote in mind, this article will present to you some thoughts, ideas and idealogies I have gathered over the last ten years or so, some are my own, others are from people I have learnt from during my career. No rhyme, reason or structure, just as they are! Enjoy!!

  1. Power, strength, size, speed, body comp. and enjoyment can ALL be trained simultaneously, and will provide the best results (Thibaudeau)
  2. A continuum of self- and training-improvement is synonymous with Dave Brailsford's 'Aggregation of Marginal Gains' - every small step is still a step forward.
  3. "Train, don't drain" (Paul Chek) aka "stimulate, don't annihilate"
  4. Whole body training should follow a heavy, medium, light approach (Zach Even-Esh) and is suitable for novice lifters 
  5.  A good ratio for displaying 'optimal' strength balance is bench press/squat/deadlift = 1/1.5/2
  6. Upper/lower split training should be a balance between strength and hypertrophy. The programme must have elements of each, but be properly balanced by intensity, volume and frequency. Use the hormone (testosterone, IGF-1) release of stimulating the legs in upper body sessions and upper body exercises in lower body sessions to add volume or conditioning.
  7. Conditioning is not optional, but must stay at either the very low or very high end of the intensity spectrum. Steady state, VO2max, and lactate threshold are not the only valid measures of intensity or suitability for 'cardiovascular' training. 
  8. Attitude will often trump science when it comes to programme design. 
  9. For long term success, it is crucial a client buys into the process as well as achieving the goal (Gunnar Peterson).
  10. The bench press is a glory exercise, not the gold standard of strength measurement. Military pressing and pull ups are a better measure of a man.
  11. The guy who can squat 200x5 will be bigger than the guy who's max is 130x5. Thus, place some focus on getting strong in order to build size.
  12. Manipulate volume, intensity and complexity of lifting in order to manage CNS fatigue. 
  13. In a week, make sure you jump, sprint, hinge, pull, push, carry, squat. Simple strength coupled with progressive overload breeds monsters. 
  14. Lifting weights does not make you big and strong, recovering from lifting weights makes you big and strong (Rippetoe). Along these lines, physical capital is the sum total of your training, nutrition and recovery tools. Always have a positive physical capital (Dan John)
  15. Plan ahead - don’t allow roadblocks. When issues arise, plow the fuck through them.
  16. “Training for me is a metaphor for life, period. The dedication, the determination, the desire, the work ethic, the great successes and the great failures – I take that into life.” (Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson)
  17. "You see someone in great shape, you automatically look at them differently. You think they have control over their lives. A strong body and a strong mind go hand in hand so you just assume that they are intelligent. You assume that they are hard working and dedicated. You even look up to them or admire them. A great physique commands respect and admiration." (Unknown)
  18. Successful focus is essential to progression - "Put the blinders on, don’t be afraid to say no to anything or anyone that is trying to stand in your way, and relentlessly attack your goal. This may be a tough pill to swallow for the “campfire & kumbaya crowd" (Unknown).
  19. "If you don't train, don't try to train others" - Jason Ferrugia
  20. Prioritise Heavy weights > mod weights/met con > cardio
  21. Prioritise Protein > good fats > carbs OR protein > carbs > good fats depending on your tolerances.
  22. More often than not, hit the sweet spot and no more.
  23. Use a 'goal filter' to aid in decision making. 
  24. Learn how to put out 100% when it pays to be a winner, and then how to rest

Everyone is individual. We're all driven to our goals by different values and motives. What values underpin your training and have you got clarity in your focus?