RPT Revised

Squats, Deadlifts, Bench press, Chins
Think you can’t get big with just these four? Tell that to Martin Berkhan.

I’m working through to update and improve all the training guides on the site to bring them up to date with my current thinking, as they were originally written three years ago. First to receive a full rewrite is Reverse Pyramid Training, the time-efficient training style made popular by Martin.

Who is it for? | When can it be used? | What are the pros and cons?

I’ve made it more of a ‘how-to’ guide, included workout and progression examples, along with a detailed FAQ. I hope you find it useful. Continue Reading ->

Scumrun – 3000 miles in £500 banger in aid of baby charity Tommy’s.

Scumrun 2014 AdHappy to see Redditors loving the photoshop skills here. I’m now internet famous – “torsoman“.
We wanted a team photo for the donations page, but as I live in Japan that wasn’t possible. So they pranked me by getting a short guy to stand in.

I need your help to raise money for a good cause.

I’ll be teaming up with Stock Services and RS Motors for a sponsored rally called the Scumrun in Europe from Thursday May 8th. 100 teams will drive across Europe for four daysnavigating to secret locations only revealed to us on the day.

The rules of the challenge state that we need to buy a car for no more than £500. So we’ll be driving a 10 year old stinking Renault Laguna that has sat stationary and steadily rotting for the last 4 years.

We’ve raised £2700 so far and are hoping to get to £5,000. I’ve put in £200 myself to get this rolling.

I’ve been asked several times now to put a donate button on this site, and if you’d consider sponsoring me for this great cause instead, even just the cost of a cup of coffee, it’d be most appreciated.

  • Personal donations - I’ll be giving away the last RippedBody.jp t-shirts I have to the ten most generous people. (Add .jp to the end of your name please so I know you’re a reader.)
  • Business owner? A £100/£250 donation will get your company logo sticker on the car. ‘More money, bigger sticker.) Deadline for that is April 30th.

The link to donate is HERE.

Big thank you to: Anthony, Chinmay, Steve, Richard, Suhail, Kris, “Andy’s obnoxious friend” [no idea], Chris, Mark, Stuart.

Tommy’s funds medical research into premature birth, stillbirth and miscarriage, as well as providing support and advice for parents-to-be to help them have a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby.

The Principle Of Progressive Overload

The Principle of Progressive Overload

What would you say is the number one thing that holds people back with their training?

I’d argue that it’s program hopping. We all know someone that does it – they start a new training routine with bounding enthusiasm, give it 2-3 weeks, then read some conflicting information elsewhere and decide that they need to switch things up. This programming ADHD – the search for the perfect training program - is the cause of the phenomenon of the perpetual beginner.

In the short-term the difference between an effective and ineffective exercise program is simply whether it was followed long enough for it to produce a noticeable training effect -which nearly anything will for a beginner. This will last around 4-6 weeks.

For a program to be effective past this phase however it needs to follow the Principle Of Progressive Overload’. If you feel you’ve been spinning your wheels down the gym lately, or want to check that your routine is capable of giving you the results that your efforts deserve, this may be the article that you need. Continue reading

3rd Podcast Interview – Part 1

Podcast Interviews

I was interviewed again for Chase and Jon’s “The Jack-n-Out Connection” fitness podcast a couple of weeks ago.

This first part (as it ended up running longer then planned) is mainly about the importance of tracking your progress, we discuss what people commonly do wrong, and we get into some mock client consulting scenarios (i.e. For ‘Bob’ in situation X,Y,Z, what would your advice be?). This is considerably more organised, clear and practically useful than the second podcast, though we do start off with the usual banter. Continue reading

Coaching Lessons 3# – One bite at a time…

John S. - RippedBody.jp Results

Updated Mar 10th: Scale weight trend data added.

For the Japanese, new year is like Christmas – people gather with family and, of course, there are special foods eaten. Those green things in the image below are mochi, soft, gooey rice sweets, about the size of a large soup spoon, and every year a handful of people choke to death in front of their families after a failed attempt to swallow the whole thing.

New Year Mochi

In the same way that these poor souls literally bite off more than they can chew, so do many people with their approach to dieting each new year. Ramping up activity to a vast degree and cutting calories to a heavy level is a terrible way to go about sustainable weight loss, but mainstream media have people convinced that you have to suffer to lose weight. And even though our logical minds understand that slow and sustainable is probably best way to go about making permanent changes, the heart often tells us that faster is better – and there’s always an event that you need to look good for, that can be used as an excuse to rush, right?

Here’s an interview with a man that’s tried it all, my longest running client, John. His words and results are testament to the fact that while ‘consistency’, ‘moderation’ and ‘modest deficits’ may have an unsexy ring to them, the results aren’t. Continue reading

The Nutritional Hierarchy of Importance – #5 Supplements

Nutritional Hierarchy of Importance - #5 Supplements

Cross your eyes, and imagine the pyramid above is one huge, layer cake and the little red blur at the top is a cherry.

Now, if the first four layers are made of mud, shit, snot and sawdust respectively, is that cherry going to make a difference to the taste? – Clearly not, yet this is how the supplement industry wants you to think about your nutrition.

Supplements can be broadly categorised by their physique, performance, or health benefits. How important they are depends on context, but in general, not very.

  1. Supplements can benefit a good nutrition plan, but they cannot make up for a poor one.
  2. Supplements are not needed to transform your physique and in many cases constitute an unnecessary expense.

Any article or advertisement that you come across which contradicts the above is likely aimed at your wallet. So, if you haven’t got the first four parts of the nutrition pyramid in place, please do so before reading any further, because no single supplement is going to have more impact on your diet than getting your diet right in the first place. Continue reading

Coaching Lessons – #2, Don’t Be Afraid To Be Firm

Rippedbody.jp Results - Shane - 5 months

Age: 58, Weight: 167lbs -> 165lbs, Stomach: 33.9” -> 30.0”
DL 195lbs -> 335lbs, SQ 185lbg -> 225lbs, BP 155lbs -> 195lbs

Though it is very hard to identify and accept for yourself, there are some cases where it is necessary to take one step backwards before you can take two steps forward. Two common situations where this is true:

  1. A guy that wants abs but doesn’t have enough lean mass at the moment to look good when shredded. Solution: put on more muscle mass and accept a little additional fat gain first before cutting.
  2. Someone that has dieted too hard for too long but still wants to lose more fat. Solution: Diet break, possibly reverse dieting to build the metabolism back up before resuming the diet.

Shane was in the latter camp. He was headed for a severe rebound after following a ~500kCal/day diet, for too long, and without good reason. The problem was that he hadn’t experienced any real ill effects yet (or convinced himself as such), and my challenge was convincing him to change to a more moderate approach before this crash diet ended badly. Specifically, I had to convince him to not worry about the scale for the short-term while we brought his carb intake up.

No-one wants to hear that they need to take a step backwards first, but good coaches in this for the long term will put their integrity before making a sale (more on this at the end). I’ll let the story tell itself in interview format. Continue reading