The Exercise Menu

What do you really want?

Do you want long term results that stick, or do you want to feel better in the instant but pretty much get what you’ve always gotten?

This is the question. The crux. The dichotomy that most people suffer from when they travel along their fitness journey.

Can you delay your gratification? Can you take the long road, work hard, be diligent and be consistent? Or do you need your gratification instantly, at the cost of the long term, to make you feel validated in the here and now, no matter how fleeting?

Can you work away, knowing that in 80% of your workouts you could have done more? Or do you need to end every session as a limp sweating heap on the floor?

You know which path you should take. These are all loaded questions. But why do people take the short cut, the one that burns up any chance of long term success?

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Five Misunderstood Kettlebell Cues

A swing is not a squat

Maximum hip bend, minimal knee. This is the mantra which has led many who will do exactly what you tell them to do to hit themselves in the butt with their own kettlebell. The fitness world now seems to understand that a swing is not a ‘squat-swing’, but the pendulum now seems to have swung to the opposite extent to where no knee bend is allowed.

You are allowed to bend your knees in a swing! But due to individual body mechanics (we are all unique butterflies) no two swings will look identical.

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Off to meet the Wizard…


The organisations that govern the professions of Medicine, Engineering, Teaching, Accountancy, etc, require that to call yourself things like Doctor, Chartered Engineer/Accountant, Teacher, etc, that you complete a certain amount of Continuing Professional Education (CPD) every two years.

The fitness industry is lacking in that regard. A lot of trainers get a qualification and never do any further education than wikipedia college or youtube university.

Not so this Coach. Next week I’m off to meet the Wizard/s. I’m privileged enough to be attending the StrongFirst Level 1 Kettlebell Instructor Certification. Some of you may be thinking: “But Colin, ain’t you a level 2?”

Yes, but there are a few things to consider here.

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Training is only 10% – Part Deux

In the first part I laid out that if training is only 10% of achieving your physical goals, then the remainder is made up from:

Sleep – Training equals trauma, sleep is when you repair. Poor sleep means little improvement.

Nutrition – If you ain’t got the bricks and mortar, you ain’t building the body you want to live in.

Stress free lifestyle – Stress induces hormones which work against looking like a movie star, fact

The first part detailed how focusing on specific strength goals, along with a nutritional plan, are necessary to more easily accomplish any body composition (aka ‘fat loss’) goal. This article is going to focus more on that last part.


Stress free lifestyle

Nobody leads a stress free lifestyle. In fact I think if we did then we’d all become too slovenly to actually do anything. We need moderate amounts of stress to make us more productive and to do things. Who would do their tax return if there wasn’t an April deadline (and a fine)?

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The humble goblet squat

One of my female students who I see twice a month was training in a chain gym. It’s common for me to only see my clients twice a month, but I harass them a couple of times a week via email about training/dietary compliance. You see, I’m all about ‘teaching students’ rather than ‘working out clients’. My aim, is to get to the point where my students only really need me for training programmes, technique tweaks and accountability calls. One of the biggest scams in the Personal Training industry is that you actually need a Personal Trainer.

But I digress. This female, let’s call her Strong Girl, was doing goblet squats with a kettlebell as a part of her warm up. A member of staff tried to correct her and so began a debate about what the goblet squat actually is and what it does.

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Fitness is fitness, right?

One of the most important abilities of a coach who is training a student over the long term is the ability to sit and listen. Using the occasionally prod to get the students to keep talking, it’s amazing how many of their problems they already have the answer to inside themselves. The process of vocalising (or even writing things down) seems to help ‘congnitise’ an issue (I know that’s not a word, but it fits).

Discussing the transferability of aspects of fitness between different sports one client recently stated:

“But fitness, is fitness. Isn’t it?”

That statement pretty much summed up that they already knew the answer. Which is ‘yes and no’.

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