Why kids SHOULD lift weight!

Already, I feel some of you taking deep intakes of air through clenched teeth
"Let kids be kids", "You'll damage them", "You'll stop them growing!".

The myth of resistance training for kids being bad is one that needs to die out, along with your face sticking that way if the wind changes and saying 'bless you' when you sneeze to stop your soul escaping.

So, why is strength training for kids such a controversial topic?
Here are some of the most common concerns which parents (or just people who like to be offended) have on the subject.

  1. Growth stunt

    There is actually zero evidence that backs the the claim of growth stunt in children due to resistance training. There were a very few studies in the 70’s and ‘80s which reported negative effects, these were eventually proved to be due to bad technique and going too heavy, too often. 
    Lifting in a controlled environment didn’t hurt kids; bad technique hurt kids.
    This was the summary of this study:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3445252

  2. Lifting will make my child move slower and more bulky -  Ok, lets explain this one quickly and in a simple way.

    Let’s think of sports where physical speed is king:
    100m sprint - what do the athletes look like? Jacked and lean.

    American football (receivers) - what do the athletes look like? Jacked and lean.

    Olympic weightlifting - what do the athletes look like? Jacked and lean.

    Gymnastics - what do the athletes look like? Jacked and lean.

    Strength training doesn’t slow you down. Strength training creates a foundation to express more power.
    One of my favourite strength quotes is: "You can't fire a canon from a canoe!"
    Meaning, without a solid, steady foundation, you can't have full expression of power output.
     
  3. Increased risk of injury - My favourite. There seems to be a real problem seeing kids pick up and carry kettlebells, pick up dumbbells, barbells, medicine balls….all things that are DESIGNED to be picked up, by the way, but the same parents don't seem to have a problem with kids giving piggy back rides, play fighting, climbing walls, or playing contact sport. 
    A carefully organised resistance programme is actually reported to REDUCE the risk of injury in youth sports. As reported in this study: 
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20547668/ 

    Lifting in a controlled environment, with a knowledgable coach doesn't hurt kids.....bad technique and old fashioned 'character building' beasting sessions, hurts kids.

    Summary
    PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD, with the emphasis on PROGRESSIVE, is a key principle of strength. Age doesn't change the principle, only the application of it.
    Parents must take responsibility to be well informed when making decisions on their child's sport participation.  This means more than just reciting old myths that have no substance.

 

 

 

Why kids SHOULD lift weight!

Already, I feel some of you taking deep intakes of air through clenched teeth
"Let kids be kids", "You'll damage them", "You'll stop them growing!".

The myth of resistance training for kids being bad is one that needs to die out, along with your face sticking that way if the wind changes and saying 'bless you' when you sneeze to stop your soul escaping.

So, why is strength training for kids such a controversial topic?
Here are some of the most common concerns which parents (or just people who like to be offended) have on the subject.

  1. Growth stunt

    There is actually zero evidence that backs the the claim of growth stunt in children due to resistance training. There were a very few studies in the 70’s and ‘80s which reported negative effects, these were eventually proved to be due to bad technique and going too heavy, too often. 
    Lifting in a controlled environment didn’t hurt kids; bad technique hurt kids.
    This was the summary of this study:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3445252

  2. Lifting will make my child move slower and more bulky -  Ok, lets explain this one quickly and in a simple way.

    Let’s think of sports where physical speed is king:
    100m sprint - what do the athletes look like? Jacked and lean.

    American football (receivers) - what do the athletes look like? Jacked and lean.

    Olympic weightlifting - what do the athletes look like? Jacked and lean.

    Gymnastics - what do the athletes look like? Jacked and lean.

    Strength training doesn’t slow you down. Strength training creates a foundation to express more power.
    One of my favourite strength quotes is: "You can't fire a canon from a canoe!"
    Meaning, without a solid, steady foundation, you can't have full expression of power output.
     
  3. Increased risk of injury - My favourite. There seems to be a real problem seeing kids pick up and carry kettlebells, pick up dumbbells, barbells, medicine balls….all things that are DESIGNED to be picked up, by the way, but the same parents don't seem to have a problem with kids giving piggy back rides, play fighting, climbing walls, or playing contact sport. 
    A carefully organised resistance programme is actually reported to REDUCE the risk of injury in youth sports. As reported in this study: 
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20547668/     

    Lifting in a controlled environment, with a knowledgable coach doesn't hurt kids.....bad technique and old fashioned 'character building' beasting sessions, hurts kids.

    Summary
    PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD, with the emphasis on PROGRESSIVE, is a key principle of strength. Age doesn't change the principle, only the application of it.
    Parents must take responsibility to be well informed when making decisions on their child's sport participation.  This means more than just reciting old myths that have no substance.

 

 

 

How to manage yourself mentally when training for your goals.........it's simple.

First of all, I'm not going to tell you what you shouldn't be doing; everyone knows what they shouldn't do. Everyone knows they shouldn't eat that delicious little b*****d of a doughnut or neck a barrel full of beer after a tough day dealing with f**kwits.  We KNOW what we shouldn't do........we just don't always know how to resist from doing it. 
My method of dealing with this is by simply placing your body into 2 states of existence, 'You're either training, or recovering.' If you're not doing one, you're doing the other.  Think of it like this, when you train you put your body under stress, the harder you train the greater the stress. Makes sense, right? Obviously, training isn't the only stress cause. Didn't sleep well? Late for work? Bills piling up? Hate your Job? Fell out with someone? Bad food/drink choices? The list can be endless.
Now your body doesn't care where the stress comes from, it just knows that it needs to 'steady the ship' as quickly as possible so you can get back to being your normal self. Lets make up a scenario.  Say you're having a night out with friends and you're really looking forward to it as you've had a really sh***y week (stress 1). You think, 'I'll have a big session in the gym to counter-act any bad food/drink choices I make' (stress 2 & 3), you get home around 3am, sleep terribly and are wide awake after 5-6 hours sleep (stress 4), you spend the rest of the day gorging on stodgy food to get rid of your hangover (stress 5).
Now from that, your body is smashed. You've essentially given your body stress overload...but is it really surprising?
Treat your body like s**t, expect to feel that way.
This isn't a post about how to prevent a hangover though, so lets get back to our second state of existence, recovery.
Everyone gets a sense of achievement when they leave the gym feeling like they've been put through hell and lived to post about it on Facebook. I get it, I do it too. I also feel great when I've put myself through a recovery/regeneration workout, but again that's bordering on another topic for another post.  The reality is, you shouldn't be feeling smashed when you leave the gym, you should have already started your recovery phase before you even left the gym floor, a 30 second stretch doesn't cut it by the way. For example Buddy Morris (google him) makes sure his athletes spend at least 10 minutes lying on their back, going through diaphragmatic breathing drills; 10 deep breaths per minute, which kick-starts parasympathetic responses  leading to the body returning to it's balanced state (homeostasis). It's something I've introduced to my athletes and recovery times have noticeably improved when incorporated with other methods. Try it and if someone calls you out on it, tell them you're kick-starting your parasympathetic response......then tell them to go back to their bosu ball!

Other things on the 'Must do to recover' list include:

  • Eat clean, that means no processed food or anything including ingredients you can't pronounce.
  • Stay hydrated. You want to lose weight, don't make me water-board you. Drink it and drink plenty!
  • Plan your day. Spend 10 minutes going through what you plan to do.
  • Meditate. Get a good app (I use Headspace).

If you train every day at a super high intensity, stop! You'll only be able to do so much before you feel like s**t.  Throw in some recovery sessions and see how your training improves.

What methods do you use to recover that work? Let me know by dropping a comment in the section below.

A

The importance of accountability.

"In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently." Tony Robbins

We've all met someone who declared they will be a huge success, famous and earning a ton of money when they 'grow up'.  When you ask how they will achieve this, the answer is rarely a detailed plan that covers each phase of the process and what possible pitfalls there may be, it's more like '.....er.......I'll be a singer'. A little flippant, I know but you get my point. Success doesn't come by chance and the perfect plan amounts to nothing if you're not prepared to follow it through.
I used to really take it personally when a client would contact me after a week or two of training and say things like, "I'm not feeling any better and haven't lost any weight" or "I've been training 'x' number of weeks and I haven't set a personal best since week 1" or what I call 'non-emergency emergencies' (last minute reasons that they can't attend e.g. "I've had a long day") , I'm sure other trainers or coaches have heard it before.  What I did though was spend hours and hours trying to put my finger on why they weren't getting the results. The programme that they would be following was covering everything that was picked up on assessment, I was giving regular calls or emails to see how they were doing with the nutrition side of it, their callorie and macro allowance was set to promote the adaptation to the individual goal. Something was just not right.
My next step was to ask them to send me a log of what they did over the last 3 days. I find this realistically easy to do with any client. When I got this information back I would see things like, 'skipped breakfast so had a huge lunch to make up for it' or 'only did part of a workout as I ran out of time'.  I couldn't believe that I was being asked why their plan wasn't working when it turns out they weren't even following the thing! I get most people in the gym twice a week, sometimes only once though. For that session I am totally accountable. I write the programme, I make changes when needed, I make the calls on whether to push hard or ease back during a workout.
Outside of the gym however, it's all you!
You decide what you eat, you decide whether you're going to do workouts I write for you to do on your own, you decide what you'll be doing at the weekend.  It is because of this that I make the decision that if I feel a client isn't showing signs that they are fully committed to the cause, I ask them to train somewhere else. I admit that not all situations are the same and we may have to do some real support work to uncover certain issues, but I think we can all tell when someone is bullsh***ing. If you put in half-arsed efforts, expect half-arsed results.......and get those half-arsed results from someone else, not from me.  
That goes for all walks of life, not just training. Name me one successful person who only tried a little bit to be successful, who didn't sacrifice anything at all to get to where they were/still are.  You won't get far.

Be accountable for what you do outside of the gym. It's ok to mess up, everyone does. It's not ok to look at others for excuses and kid yourself you did everything when you didn't.
People can tell.


 

 

 

5 things I urge you to do to be happier.

To be happy is a basic right, not a privedge. So why do I see so many people being miserable and moaning on Facebook and Twitter? 'I hate Mondays!' WTF?? Some people may have seen their last Monday and would do anything to see another. If you do something over and over, every day, week after week that makes you feel like shit, then why are you doing it? As kids we wanted to be superheroes, what the f**k happened to make us settle for traffic wardens??

Here are 5 things I urge everyone to add to their routine. Not just once or now and then but every day! 

1. Take the leap 

The most common reason I see people being miserable about is there job. Unless they enjoy being miserable, they don't change because of fear. That's it, there is no other explanation. 

The harsh reality is that no one really cares that you don't like Mondays, or your boss is a dick, or you have to work overtime this weekend. They certainly won't do anything for you to change it either, that's all you. 

Find a way, change your path.  

2. Stop Chasing Money

It's always going to be faster than you. I'd rather work 16hrs a day doing something I love for less money than doing something that not only I hate, but makes me miserable for triple the money. 

Plus if you wear oversized chains, ridiculous sunglasses, carry dogs in handbags, drive a Land Rover in the city and have way too much fake tan......everyone thinks you're a dick. 

3. Train at least 3 days a week

No arguments, no excuses just get this shit done. The benefits of regular exercise and eating right are forever documented. So no excuses. Seriously, get your arse down to the gym! 

4. Meditate

No, I don't mean sit crossed legged, arms out chanting "Ummmmm".

Taking 10 minutes out each day to plan your day, organise your thoughts and accept the different emotions you'll experience pays back big! Do it!

5. Turn the vibrate function off your phone

By far the best short term fix I have ever made. Every few minutes was the annoying buzz that bored into my skull, a lot of the time coming from useless emails or nuisance calls. Turn that shit off! Set a time window when you receive work calls, anything outside of that, the phone goes on silent and the vibration mode is off. Try it for a week and feel the urge to throw your phone at the wall drift away 😌

Like I said at the start though, no one will take that leap for you. You'll get help along the way from various people, but wiping your arse stopped when you were a baby.

Miserable?

Time to do something about it.