“THE ONLY THING THAT IS ULTIMATELY REAL ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY IS THE STEP THAT YOU’RE TAKING RIGHT NOW”
The journey through your training over the years will have you sweating, bursting with joy, loving life, fist bumping your training partner and embracing that feeling of being filled with all the powerful chemicals our brain dumps when we exercise.
I want to share something I’ve experienced more and more over my years of training. The more I discover about training, anatomy, programming, mindfulness and breath – the more I feel like I’m starting to understand the whole picture of movement, health and the real benefits of enjoying every workout.
No longer do I rush a workout or really focus on counting reps, instead I’m really big on achieving the most amount of tension and torque through the muscle. I still count the reps, 10 years of being a personal trainer means your brain automatically counts them as you go. It is still important to know where I am in a set and work to the program as that’s how we progress but what I feel has really changed the game for me is to turn inwards when I’m training. I really dial into what’s working, what’s moving, what’s failing and ensuring the challenged and target muscle is working as hard as it possibly can. This theory doesn’t apply to all training modalities like powerlifting or any real strength-based work, but for hypertrophy and building muscle, I’m a big believer in dialling into the movement.
I’ve trained for a lot of years, counting reps and ticking the box. Four sets of 10 reps, done. Four sets of 15 reps, done. Tick ,tick, tick, repeat workout, complete high five and we’re done. I feel great, smashed another workout. BUT! There can be so much more to it than that if you’re willing to go to the next level. I love training, I love feeling my body work and I love pushing it to extremes when it’s time to go. For me there’s no better feeling knowing you’ve given a workout absolutely everything you have. I don’t know if it’s something that’s been drilled into me from playing team sports at a young age, something in my DNA, but for myself and a lot of other people I train with and our members here at BBR are the same. Vibe attracts vibe.
Training phases and styles of training are also very important in regards to your goals, lifestyle and what you can get out of your body at the time. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some of the best bodybuilders, powerlifters and strength coaches in the industry. I’ve paid good money to be coached by them and to learn from them. I’m a very hands-on learner and I love to work through different training styles and methods. Over the last few years, I’ve been writing and testing all my own programs from the information I’ve taken in and knowing what training styles have been able to transform hundreds of members here at BBR.
A great way to get fully immersed in your training is by using a training technique called Giant Set training where you perform anywhere between 4 and 20 exercises in a row and can be done all on one muscle group which I really like or it can be split into upper and lower days or even full-body days. The challenge is to still lift heavy and apply the same amount of intensity into every rep as if you were doing single sets. That’s where the magic happens. By decreasing rest, we increase the density of the workout which means more work in less time. This has a greater metabolic effect on our system, which then means you’ll be burning fat and your heart rate will stay elevated for a much longer time after your workout.
That’s why you MUST work hard every rep, every set. Have the mentality of owning every INCH of every REP. When performing a giant set, you are forced to breathe hard and heavy and I really feel as though it pulls you into the “now”. You have to be present, you have to become fully aware of your whole body because your muscles are put under so much stress and fail much faster than they would in a normal work out. The endorphin hit after completing 6 to 7 exercises on the one muscle group is a serious rush and your muscles will be pumped up more than ever. If you love the feeling of a good muscle “pump” then these workouts will be perfect for you. It’s great to feel the body working and the mental challenge is real. You have to be all in, you have to push the envelope during these workouts. When you do, you’ll achieve great results both physically and mentally. Walking out of the gym after leaving it all on the floor with one of these workouts gives you a massive sense of achievement
While writing this blog I’m currently 18 weeks into a dieting phase and I’ve found these workouts have been absolutely key to preparing my body to be competition and photo shoot ready. I’ve dropped some extra body fat since starting this program and the efficiency of the programs means I have more energy for my second cardio workout later in the day.
The workout time is around an hour max including warm-ups and around 4 sets of core work as well. The structure I’m working with at the moment is training each muscle group twice biweekly and progressively adding more volume and sets each week. I successfully transformed my body using this method and this is how I recommend you approach it if you’re going to train using the Giant Set protocol.
My morning routine is 3am wake up and have 250ml water, 5 fish oil tablets, 1 multivitamin. Then I have a small amount of water with 20g of essential amino acids, 10g creatine monohydrate and 10g glutamine. On the way to the gym, I eat 100g banana and then once I arrive at the gym at 3:20am, I have my pre-workout while warming up. Then, it’s GO TIME! I decided to train early so there’s no one around and I can use all the machines when I need to. I also love the challenge of pushing myself early in the morning knowing that most of the world is still snuggled up under the blankets. I feel there’s no better way to start the day walking out of the gym at 4:45am and you’ve already crushed your workout. I only try to do this for four weeks at a time to ensure my body can recovery properly. Also, setting a bed time reminder is crucial if you’re going to hit the gym at an early time to get it done. Recovery is the most under utilised tool that needs more attention than most people give it. Sleep, hydration, nutrition, meditation, nature, connection and supplementation are all key elements to recovering properly. The e-book I’ve created that is available to purchase and is called GS330 which what I’ve named the program as I feel it will be best executed of done at 3:30-4:00 AM when the gyms are empty.
A sample workout of this giant set structure looks like this;
A1 Dumbbell Incline Press 4 x 12 (Tempo of 3,1,1,1)
A2 Dumbbell Flat Bench Press 4 x 6 drop set (3010)
A3 Dumbbell Flat Bench Press 4 x 12 (3010)
A4 Cable Fly (high to low) 4 x 15 (3111)
A5 Machine Chest Press 4×12-15 (3010)
A6 Push Ups 4 x Failure (3010)
A7 Incline Push Ups 4 x Failure (3010)
A8 GHD Reverse Crunch 4 x 10 (3010)
2-3 mins Rest Periods
32 Working Sets
50-60 Total working time
I hope this blog has inspired you to work hard towards your goals, to think more about what’s working when you’re working out and to see if you can get another 10% out of your workouts. Train hard, be efficient, be relentless, recovery currently, nourish your body. REPEAT REPEAT REPEAT!