Feeling stuck on your journey to get healthier and more fit? Wondering what could possibly be slowing you down? Fear not, it could be one simple thing you’re missing! Find out what big rocks you may have missed and how to NAIL them!Read More
The vast majority of people we've worked with believe that getting exceptional fitness and physique results requires endless hours of a strict exercise and nutrition program. Well...
We want you to know that it's just not true. In fact, many of our members at AMP Fitness have achieved exceptional results with a minimalist approach. Sometimes better. Find out how.Read More
Have you ever struggled to get started and then felt like making progress was an even bigger challenge? We have good news...there's a reason for this! And we're going to teach you how to get past that first hurdle and what you can do to stay consistent even when it feels like you're stuck?
Find out what our most successful members have learned in order to succeed..Read More
Whether you're a fitness beginner, weekend warrior or beast in the gym, how you start your training session matters.
For the average gym-goer, warming up involves touching your toes a few times, swinging your arms like a helicopter and jogging on a treadmill. Well, that's if it's done at all.
And while we believe something is better than nothing, we we've figured some things out over the years that we'd like to share.Read More
There are many smart training principles that will help you become strong AND minimize injury. Some of those include practicing the fundamentals, staying focused while you train, developing strength, getting a little better ever day, and learning how to control your body's tension.
Today we cover tension, comrades!Read More
Strength training is f#$%ing hard. Period. It takes copious amounts of time, effort, and a burning desire to keep getting better (at picking things up and putting them down). You must continuously challenge yourself and as you raise the bar you must continue to evolve. Some days are better than others and once you move past the beginner stages of strength you will quickly find that it gets more difficult to continue making progress and hitting PRs (personal records) aka 'making dem gainz'. Progress is not linear and that can be frustrating. I get it, trust me.
But despite the difficulty there's something utterly satisfying about lifting just a little more than you've ever done before. Whether you increase from an 8kg to a 12kg kettlebell press or just deadlift 5 more pounds than you did last week...that accomplishment is yours, you've earned it. Enjoy that shit!
To help you on your journey, here are 3 pro tips on how to keep smashing strength PRs...
As epic strength coach and philosopher Dan John always says, "The goal is to keep the goal, the goal." All to often I find that people focus on too many goals at once. They combine the goals of fat loss, movement, being strong AF, marathoning, and being America's next Ninja Warrior all at the same time. As a result they hit a plateau in all areas.
The fix: Avoid having goal ADD and do everything in your power to get it done! If your goal is to get stronger overall or at any one particular lift your focus should be just that. Prioritize the lift you want to get stronger at earlier in your training program when you are fresh. Also, focus on being mindful of how you are performing the lift. Be present.
2 - EAT
If you want you get stronger you must EAT! There is no ifs, ands or buts about this one. If you're not consuming adequate amounts of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats your body will not be recovering from each training session or building adequate strength and muscle. I can't stress enough how important nutrition is to getting stronger just as much as it is to burning fat and maintaining a healthy body weight. You can't out train a poor diet works in this instance as well!
- Consume 40-80 grams of carbs circa your training sessions to aid in recovery. My go-to is white rice and occasionally the tasty treat (insert tasty treat here). You don't need to go overboard on carbs every day but it is important when you crush your workouts.
- Consume 20-40 grams of protein circa your training session to aid in building muscle. Any good protein source is okay here depending on your dietary preferences. Personally, I'm a huge proponent of whey protein. It's super easy to prepare, digests easily, and is more bioavailable to your body. Basically, that means a greater percentage of what is digested gets used.
- Get adequate calories. A good litmus test is if you find you're not recovering well or making progress you may be eating too few calories. This is where you get to experiment to see what works for you!
3 - Be Patient
Good things come to those who wait and all that jazz. Nothing happens overnight and for strength training this is especially true when you have a whole plethora of other things going on in your life that drain you. Stress from work, relationships, other workouts, alcohol, kids, and general 'life stuff' are all cumulative.
The fix: Consistency is king and if you stick with your strength training long enough and are patient, I promise you will be handsomely rewarded with mountains of PRs. Nothing works better than patience and consistency. You will enter the PR city where the grass is green and the girls are pretty.
In conclusion, showing up is the easy part but you have to put in the work if you want to experience glorious gains in your strength and fitness. If your goal is to get stronger you want to make it a priority to learn how to, well, get stronger and focus there. What you eat matters so don't neglect what you're doing outside of the gym as well.
Now go hit some PRs and let us know how you're doing!
I was recently asked why we don't have a ton of variety in our kettlebell training and programming and why we spend so much time focused on helping our superheroes nail what are considered the fundamentals first. This is a FANTASTIC question and having a better understanding of the importance of nailing the fundamentals first will lead you to better results in your training efforts. Get ready for a little paradigm shift...
Fundamentals Doesn't Mean Basic. It Means FUNDAMENTAL.
The first thing to understand is when we talk about the fundamentals, we don't mean that you're doing something that is basic or easy or even that you are at the beginner level. It could mean those things but that's not why we have everyone spend so much time on them.
To get a better picture of what we're talking about, you'll need to understand the basic definition of 'fundamental':
forming a necessary base or core; of central importance."the fundamentals of strength training are important as fu&%"
Think of them as the building blocks of any structure. Without them, the structure will crumble or at the very least not last.
In strength training, and in basic human motor function for that matter, we break down the fundamentals as being able to squat, hinge, push, pull, and stabilize. This will vary a bit (just a bit) depending on the implement/modality of training you use so I'll break it down like this for kettlebell training:
- *KB Goblet Squat: Men should be able to do 5 clean reps with the 24kg; women should be able to do 5 clean reps with the 16kg
- *KB Deadlift: Men should be able to do 5 clean reps with the 24kg; women should be able to do 5 clean reps with the 16kg
- *KB Swing: Once you master the fundamentals of the deadlift men should be able to do 5 clean reps with the 24kg; women should be able to do 5 clean reps with the 16kg
- Push Up: Men should be able to do 10 perfect reps; women should be able to do 5 perfect reps
- *KB Strict Press: Men should be able to do 5 clean reps with the 20kg; women should be able to do 5 clean reps with the 12kg
- Stabilize: EVERYONE should be able to
*We use Strong First standards for these.
It will take time and some practice but this is the path that will lead you to the best results in the long term. Skipping these to do what might seem more 'advanced' or flashy because you think it will help you get results faster will only hinder progress, make you sore and tired, or even worse, injured.
So how do you nail the fundamentals and get stronger?
Strength Is A Skill
One of the most important things to understand when it comes to nailing the fundamentals is that strength in and of itself is a skill. One of our Strong First mentors and the man who broughtkettle bell training to the United States, Pavel Tsatsouline teaches "Strength is a skill. Training must be approached as a practice, not a workout."
We like to encourage our clients to always practice with good form for obvious reasons. So when it comes to hitting the fundamentals standards I listed above, you must do so with pretty damn good form.
For example, if you're doing a goblet squat or overhead press and can't move from an 8kg kettlebell to a 12kg or 16kg kettlebell with out technique going down the crapper you haven't mastered the fundamentals. Or if you can't go from doing an 8kg goblet squat to doing bodyweight with stellar posture and alignment you also haven't mastered the fundamental either.
There's nothing wrong with that, it just means you should spend more time practicing. Now, if you're with me on this, amazing things will happen if you're patient. You're going to get results far beyond the average, trust me.
Make Yourself Better, Not Burnt Out
Our main philosophy when it comes to training our clients at AMP is: "Better Every Day". Think about where you are with all this fundamental stuff right now. Seriously, think about it. Now tell yourself you're just going to get a little better each time you train. Focus on progress, not perfection!
If you want lasting results, the focus shouldn't be on 'just getting through another workout' it should be on getting better. It can be hard to weed through all the memes and t-shirsts that still espouse the "no pain, no gain" philosophy but it's imperative to understand that there's a better way. One that will lead you to everlasting results and happiness....and no pain!
Within that mindset, it is also important to understand that your body doesn't care how tired you make it or what it "feels" like but rather it adapts to the stimulus you provide it. If you're practicing well and creating progressive overload (trainer speak for 'going up in weight') you will get significantly more badass with your training. That's how it works.
If your goal is to make yourself tired and minimally more fit, that's okay I guess. But if you want to get stronger, have more energy, move better, feel better and look amazing then taking the time to nail your training goals will get you there.
(Quick Trainer Note: If your goal is fat loss, you can't out train your diet. You can't out train your diet. You can't out train your diet. Seriously. You can't out train your diet.)
This is where spending time nailing the fundamentals will really pay off and help you make continuous improvement and get results that last! Because you can!
Now, how do you want to train?
I'm fairly certain that spending 5 minutes foam rolling before you train and/or on a regular basis is quite possibly the best return on investment you can spend at the gym. Most of our clients are coming to us straight from sitting at a desk or right from commuting in the early morning so we use foam rolling as part of the warm up to bridge the gap between being sedentary and moving like a ninja and training like a beast! In our video series, Foam Rolling 101, we're going explain how and why we foam roll and then show you some of the basic techniques we take all of our clients through at AMP Fitness. Get ready to be edutained! That's educated and entertained...because we like to make up words!