Tuesday Challenge 15/8/2017

Welcome back once again for another Tuesday Challenge. I hope that we have all got over the mental ordeal of doing 100 Burpees as part of our workout last week.

“I hate Burpees” is constantly something that I hear, I used to hate Burpees too. Even more than hating Burpees I hated Wall Balls, so every day for 28 days in a row my warm up was 10-8-6-4-2 reps of Wall Balls and Burpees. Very quickly I decided Burpees aren’t that bad anymore!

I think that rule applies to most things in life, it isn’t the actual movement that we hate but really the thought of doing them. Also, if you are honest with yourself the chances you “hate” whatever it may be is because you actually aren’t very good at it!

The only way to get better at something in most cases is to actually practie and do more of that movement. My weightlifting coach Andy Callard said to me once “You want to get better at Snatch then you probably want to Snatch. You want to get better at C&J then you want to C&J more”.

Check out this week’s Tuesday Challenge below. More Burpees are in there this week you’ll be pleased to hear, this one looks simple but will catch you off-guard if you aren’t ready for it!!

Tuesday Challenge 8/8/2017

Welcome back again guys and gals to another week of the Tuesday Challenge. I am going to keep the introduction brief this week as I have a lot going on today.

I have been coaching all morning and am very busy with admin and training myself this afternoon. Getting back into training has been a lot of fun this week although my body is really starting to feel the effects of my effort, doing lots of volume at light weights for the next 2 weeks.

After that I am going to start the Russian Squat routine and a new pulling cycle that I am hopeful will strengthen my back up so that we do not have any more episodes like the one from a couple of weeks ago!

Anyway, let’s take a look at what we are going to be getting up to for our Tuesday Challenge this week:

I can confirm this one is a lot of fun, trust me! With the Burpees try and keep moving as fast as possible through them. Pick a number and hit that every time, I went for 5 in a row then took a step back, a nice deep breath then cracked on with the next set of 5. You could also take this approach but work up to 4 if needed.

Have fun and I’ll catch you all next week, stay STRONG!!

Tuesday Challenge 18/7/2017

Welcome back once again to another chapter in the Tuesday Challenge chronicles! Last week we went slightly easier on things with a cheeky little number on the kettlebell complex in a superset with the always popular Burpee Box Jumps!

Things have been going well in the gym this past week for those of my athletes that are still in one piece! We discovered last week my kickboxer didn’t come out of his fight as unscathed as we though he was at first, turns out he has probably torn one of the ligaments in his hand! Not cool but it means he is going to be forced to rest for a week or so. Not the end of the world and will probably mean he will come out of it stronger in the long run, very frustrating for him in the short term however!

My training personally is very different at the moment. With my back still not at 100% I have decided I won’t be using a barbell until I get back from my holiday. This will be the first time since I opened a gym (August 2013) that I will be having some time off. I want to maximise this rest time so until I go away I will be training without doing any barbell movements.

I am going to use the football bar and possibly the Trap bar, but no flat-bar work at all. The majority of my training will be utilising Kettlebells and Bodyweight exercises, which I have done in the past when I have been injured. Far too many athletes get a little niggle somewhere and just slam the breaks on in training. ANY injury can be worked around, you just have to be smart about what you do and what intensity you take movements to.

In the past we have had athletes train with broken bones, dislocations and general aches/pains. Always remember being strong is a choice that only you can make, so if you are weak either physically or mentally then that is down to choices that you have made!!

Anyway, before I get carried away with a rant on weak people let’s get focussed on getting STRONG:

10-1 Reps of:

2x KB Thrusters

Box Jumps

Wall Balls

Heavy Russian KB Swing

***20m Sled Push @ 1.5 Bodyweight between rounds***

So you guys should all know the drill by now. First you do the thrusters, then the jumps, then the wall balls, then the swings before moving the sled for the 20m prescribed. Reps are decreasing by 1 every round, you should view the sled as your rest stop and look for continuous movement through the rest of the workout.

Have fun and make any changes that you need to. I did this workout last Friday with a couple of my athletes and we used an 8kg wall ball as that is the only one we have currently and a 32kg kettlebell for the swings. Sled was at 150kg and used 20kg KBs for the Thrusters, it got ugly towards the end but that’s the whole point!! Have fun and I’ll catch you all next time, stay STRONG!!

DSW Tuesday Challenge 11/7/2017

Welcome back to another week of the Tuesday Challenge. Last week was a slightly easier one but none the less we still got you working hard! The most challenging part of last week was working back up the rep ladder after that round of 2.

The past week for myself personally has been a bit of a tough one. I have really struggled with my training due to a lower back issue. Normally when I feel like this I have a “go-to” routine of stretching that releases my glutes, piriformis, hips, quads, hamstrings and adductors. On this occasion of back pain however it has not helped in the slightest and I am now relatively resigned to the fact that maybe I have actually hurt my back!

I will not be seeking medical help with this however, all a doctor is going to do is tell me to rest and take it easy. This is not me and I really cannot understand the logic behind this type of thinking, I have a weakness so the best way for my body to fix that weakness is to REST? Usually when we find weakness surely the best thing to do would be to STRENGTHEN the weakness so that the dysfunction doesn’t continue?

Just my two cents for the day there and obviously I am not a medically trained professional! We’ll see how the next couple of weeks go, I am going on holiday for the first time in 3 and a bit years at the end of the month and I cannot wait for it. Perhaps what my body needs is actually just a good rest!

Despite not being able to do my usual mix of training that involves a lot of Olympic movements and squats is the best thing for me at present. I found in the weeks leading up to the injury I wasn’t enjoying my time under the bar as much as before and I had lost my fire and passion for each training session.

As I remind you guys each and every week this is meant to be a fun thing, the fact I wasn’t having fun doing it suggests I need the break away from the bar and a period of time doing other things. This doesn’t mean not training, I’d have to have a REAL injury for that to happen, but rather setting new goals and challenges away from the barbell.

For the next few weeks leading up to my holiday I have decided on doing no barbell movements whatsoever and instead have a period of time where I am just going to use kettlebell and bodyweight exercises to stay strong!

This is reflected in this weeks Tuesday Challenge where we will be using a kettlebell complex and bodyweight movement to have a super fun time and to gain some fitness. Check it out below:

KB Complex: 2-4-6-8-10 Reps Each Side
Burpee Box Jump Overs: 10-8-6-4-2

1 Reps of the KB Complex is as follows: Clean-Front Squat-Thruster-Push Press-Revers Lunge Right Leg- Reverse Lunge Left Leg

So you are to complete 2 full reps on your non-dominant side, then 2 full reps on your dominant side before moving on to the Burpee Box Jump Overs. You should know the drill from there people!

If you need a hand on this one then please give me a shout but having tested it on a couple of my athletes already today I have been told that this is a very “humbling” workout. As always make sure that you’re having fun and stay STRONG! I’ll atch you next time.

Tuesday Challenge 4/7/2017

Welcome back for another Tuesday Challenge boys and girls. I can’t believe how fast these things come round each week! We have been busy as usual over the past week, coaching athletes both in the gym and at a local rugby club for their pre-season training.

As well as that we ran a British Weightlifting Level 1 course over the weekend and had a fantastic group of coaches in who really threw themselves into the course content and arrived ready to learn some new things!

I have been swamped with work the last month or so, can’t remember the last time I had a day off! The funny thing with that however is that I seem to be a lot more productive with my time the more work that I take on.

I have ALWAYS been like that. Back in school everything was done at the last minute, exact same thing with assignments when I was at University and now in my own business the more pressure I put myself under the more work I produce and the quality also seems to be a lot higher!

Speaking of quality let’s get into this week’s Tuesday Challenge shall we. I have put this bad boy together this morning and completed it alongside one of my newer athletes who has been making superb progress since he started with us just over 4 weeks ago. Check it out below:

10-8-6-4-2-4-6-8-10 Reps of:

2x KB Deadlifts
Burpees
2x KB Cleans
Press Ups
2x KB Push Press
Recline Rows

I have been promising you guys something slightly “easier” after the beating of the last couple of weeks and so here we are. You must use the same weight of kettlebell for all of the KB movements. If you do not have access to kettlebells then sub them for dumbbells and seriously, find yourself a better gym to train in!!

Until next time have fun and stay STRONG!!

Tuesday Challenge 20/6/2017

So Pre-Season 2017 is upon us, as an athlete this used to be my most hated time of year! All the fitness testing and running, I just wanted to smash people and play rugby! Unfortunately however if you want to play all season long and play well, you will need to get fit during the summer months in order to do that!

For the first 4 weeks of our Pre season we are going to be focusing on General Physical Preparedness and a little bit of hypertrophy work for those that need it. For the majority however they have had some weeks off now just doing nothing but rest, so the initial priority with these guys is to get them moving again after their time off and set the expectations over the coming weeks.

I wrote this workout during our first ever pre season back in August 2014, everyone that has been a member of DSW fitness UK during the summer months has done this workout at some point. This workout has probably become our most infamous creation to date. This is a test of many things…character, endurance and most of all general work capacity. Ladies and not ladies, I give you DSW’s “The Spicy Peanut”

The Spicy Peanut

10 Rounds for Time: 

500m Run
40m Walking Lunge
30 Russian KB Swings (20kg men/12 ladies)
20 Burpees
10 Pull Ups

There is a 2 hour time cap on this workout so if you do not complete all 10 rounds once you have been going for 2 hours stop there and make a note of where exactly you got to. If you get all 10 rounds done in under 2 hours make sure you make a note of your time before collapsing into a sweaty heap on the floor!

For those of you that can’t do pull ups then either do 15x jumping pull ups or 20x recline rows as a sub. Know your limits before starting, leave your ego at the door on this one and be prepared to go deep into the pain cave!!

Any advice that you need from me then please contact me via email, death threats can also be sent there as I know precisely how this one feels! Have as much fun as you can with this one and I’ll see all of you back here next week for something not quite as terrible. Stay safe and stay STRONG!!

Tuesday Challenge 13/6/2017

Another week down in 2017 and it is time for a new Tuesday Challenge. The gym here at Unit G6 has gone crazy in the past few weeks so I am going to keep this weeks edition short and sweet.

This week is a good one. Will take you less than 20 minutes to get done but you’ll be feeling the effects of it for a lot longer than that I can assure you! We are going to do an interval style session, 1 minute of work followed by 1 minute of rest. This week is not for the faint hearted and although looks easy is a bit of a kick to the nuts, as is tradition!

Complete 3 Rounds of the below, 1 Minute of work followed by 1 minute of rest:

1 Min. Max Reps Box Squats @ 100% Bodyweight
1 Min. Rest
1 Min. Max Reps Bench Press @ 75% Bodyweight
1 Min. Rest
1 Min. Max Reps Deadlift @ 125% Bodyweight
1 Min. Rest

So the workout begins with 1 minute max reps on a box squat at 100% Bodyweight. So for example I weight 90kg so that is what I had on the bar, you complete as many good reps as possible in 60 seconds followed by a minute of complete rest.

Next you are on the bench. To work out what weight you need multiply your bodyweight in KG by 0.75. So my calculation was 90(KG)x0.75 which came out to 67.5kg as my working weight. I did the reps at 60kg as I have a weak bench and wanted a weight that was challenging but not going to crush me. Max reps in 1 minute of this followed by 1 minute of complete rest.

Next up was deadlifts, to calculate the weight needed I multiplied my bodyweight in kg by 1.25. My calculation was 90×1.25 which gives me a working weight of 112.5, I rounded this up to 120 to make up for the bench being weak. Following 1 minute of max reps I then had a minute of rest, then completed the above another 2 times through to give me 3 complete rounds.

If you work your weights out and they are too heavy to get a good amount of quality reps in the make the following adjustments:

Squats @ 75% BW (BW in KG x 0.75)
Bench @ 50% BW (BW in KG x 0.5)
Deadlifts @ 100% BW (Step on the scales and read what it tells you!)

Please be sensible with your weight selection for this workout. If you need a hand with judging what numbers you should be doing then please email me and I will endeavour to help you out and make reasonable choices. As always have fun, keep it tight and sexy and stay STRONG! Next week is a VERY spicy one, stay tuned……

“Ollie” – Tuesday Challenge 23/5/2017

Welcome back once again guys to another week of Tuesday Challenge. I hope we all had a good week taking the kettlebells down and your grip has managed to recover sufficiently for this week.

I have been promising you all something big and this week is the week. Before we get into the workout I want to explain to you all why we are doing what we are doing this week. This workout is in memory of someone who I had the pleasure of going to school with and playing rugby alongside for many years.

Lieutenant Oliver Richard Augustin

This week’s workout will be in memory of Lieutenant Oliver Richard Augustin of 42 Commando Royal Marines, who was killed in Afghanistan on Friday 27th May 2011.

Lieutenant Ollie Augustin Royal Marines was born in Kent on 16 March 1988. He attended Dartford Grammar School before leaving aged 18 to spend a year travelling.

During this time he spent two months volunteering at a school in Kenya before travelling down to South Africa through Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Botswana. He then flew on to Australia where he spent six months working, before concluding his travels in New Zealand, Fiji and Hawaii.

On return, whilst undergoing the application procedure to join the Royal Marines as a Commissioned Officer, he studied at Bexley College and was employed as a fitter and plasterer.

Lieutenant Augustin Royal Marines began Officer Training in September 2009, passing fit for duty in December 2010. His first appointment was in Command of Fire Support Group, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines.

He leaves behind his father Sean, his mother Jane and his sister Sarah.

“Ollie”

Buy In: 42 Burpees

7 Rounds:
16x Pull Ups
23x Squats
27x Press Ups

Buy Out: 42 Burpees

*THIS WORKOUT IS TO BE COMPLETED WEARING A WEIGHTED VEST*

This workout begins with a “Buy In”, this means you need to complete 42 Burpees before you an move into the 7 rounds of bodyweight movement.

Once you have completed the 42 Burpees you then begin your first round of 16x Pull Ups, 23x Squats and 27x Press Ups. You do not need to complete any Burpees before you start each round, you work through purely 7 rounds of the Pull Ups, Squats and Press Ups.

Once you have finished your 7 rounds of the above movements you finish the workout with 42 Burpees, so you “Buy Out” of the workout using these. This will mean you will do 84 Burpees in total, please do not do these at the start and end of each round!

All of the numbers and movements in this workout represent and mean something.

  • 42 (Burpees) was chosen as Ollie was in 42 Commando Royal Marines, an elite unit within the British Military.
  • 7 (Rounds) chosen as Ollie played as an openside flanker when we were at school. When we toured Canada in 2005 he was squad number 7 and Neil Back was his favourite player at the time.
  • 16 (Pull Ups) as Ollie was born 16th March 1988.
  • 23 (Squats) as this was the age Ollie was when he paid the greatest sacrifice.
  • 27 (Press Ups) as it was on Friday 27th May 2011 when he was taken from us.

All of the movements from the workout have been selected as these exercises are the most common on any military circuit. During basic training and selection Ollie and his team would have done countless amounts of them.

If you need to scale this workout then you have two options. The first would be to not wear a weighted vest when doing it. The second would be to swap the pull ups and do recline rows instead.

However, there is a reason behind the movements and the workout itself. Ollie paid the ultimate sacrifice so that we can live in a place where we have the freedom to choose what we do and when we do it. I think once a year getting something like this done as written is very little to ask and useful for reminding ourselves how lucky we are to have people like Ollie protecting our freedom.

Thank you for reading and as always have fun and stay STRONG!

Tuesday Challenge 2/5/2017

Welcome back to the blog for another week of our Tuesday Challenge. I hope that you all enjoyed last weeks session, the combination of kettlebells and bodyweight is one of my favourite things to programme. Now that the weather is getting a bit better here in the UK it will be time soon to start thinking about combinations of movements to take outdoors. To take that workout to your local park all you would need is something to hook your TRX up to or your gymnastics rings and then a kettlebell, simple!

A couple of my guys were relatively pleased with last week’s session, they thought that I went a bit easy on you guys. They do workouts like that all of the time and so for them it was just another day. If you have only just discovered the world of functional fitness and S&C however, it may well be  bit of a different story!

We had a good week at the gym to close out April. I have a new athlete that has joined us in order to pass their practical exams to get into the fire service. The practical tests that the fire service have devised are really interesting and creating a training programme for my new athlete has been interesting but is not too dissimilar to what we get up to day to day down here.

At the end of the day, strength is never going to be a weakness and that is exactly what my new athlete needs in order to pass their exams to get into the fire service. Strength training paired with some energy system training will be 99% of the programme although we do not do things by halves here at Unit G6. I do not just want my athlete to pass the practical test, I want them to stand out and put on a performance. I want all the other candidates to be standing there thinking: “Holy s**t, I am nowhere near as good as that” and I want the people making the selection to have my athlete’s name top of their list.

Anyway, back to this weeks Tuesday Challenge. Take a look at what we have in store for you below:

As fast as possible complete:

Double Unders: x100
Burpees: x20
Calories on Rowing Machine: x80
Burpees: x20
Hand to Hand Swings: x60
Burpees: x20
Press Ups: x40
Burpees: x20
Pull Ups: x20
Burpees: x20

If you can’t do double unders then I want you to complete 100 reps of just a single under, with a view to building up your skipping skills over the coming days and months so you an do double unders in a workout. If you do not have access to a rowing machine like me then use either an Airdyne/ski erg or if you really have to an upright bike.

That’s it from me for now as I need to get back out in the gym and train! Let me know how you get on with this, it’s a nice little session just to get you back moving after the bank holiday weekend. Remember smile and have fun, stay STRONG and I’ll see you next time!

Tuesday Challenge 25/4/2017

Welcome back to Tuesday Challenge where we provide you with a weekly does of getting comfortable being un-comfortable. Last week was an interval session with an equal amount of work to rest ration, this week we are looking for you to take as little rest as possible during the session.

I have a busy week ahead, on Tuesday I will be at Northwood HQ which is the UK’s principal military headquarters and is home to the joint forces command centre…serious stuff so I will be bringing the HEAT and have my A-game on point. I will be delivering a Strength & Conditioning Level 2 to the top PTIs from the Army, Navy and RAF.

I love working alongside and delivering these courses to military because they train with intensity and want to implement the new ideas, techniques and movements immediately. They know that there is no perfect time to start new things, the best way to grown and learn is to practice, try, possibly fail and then learn from that new experience.

This weekend will be the first ever “Day with Dunc” where I will be teaching a specially selected group of strength coaches and PTs the training system that we use here at Unit G6 to build strong a$$-kicking mo’ fo’s. To say I am excited about it is an understatement! The only thing I am struggling with at the moment is condensing everything I want the guys to know into the short time that we have together!!

Back to today’s fitness and the workout that we have planned for you today is a good one. I personally have not done this one myself today but have done it previously. This workout first featured on our Instagram page back in July 2014, so has been tested a lot! I also got 3 of my athletes to do it again on Monday, a Trip-Advisor style review was left for me on the whiteboard and it received 4/5 stars with the comment “…could be more challenging”. Now I’m not saying that it’s easy this week but I certainly do not think it is going to be harder that last week!

You’re going to need a kettlebell and a suspension trainer for this one, we used a TRX which is the most common one but others are available and all do pretty much the same thing! Check it out below:

Straps & Bells

5 Rounds of:

TRX Press Ups: x10
Hand to Hand KB Swings: x10 (total)
TRX Recline Rows: x10
KB Snatch: x5 Weak Side – x5 Strong Side
TRX Standing Roll-Outs: x10 Reps
KB Clean & Press: x5 Weak Side – x5 Strong Side
TRX Bicep Clutch: x10 Reps
KB Alternate Leg Reverse Lunge: x10 (Total Reps)

I want you to try and use just one weight of kettlebell for the whole workout, I don’t care what it weighs but I want it to be a challenge for you! It is going to be easier to move through some movements with it more than others.

For the rollouts on the TRX I would like for you to use this as a time under tension exercise, pause in the bottom position every rep. If you are unsure on any of the movements you can just throw them into the YouTube search bar and they will pop up on there for you to have a look at.

I love using a TRX or suspension trainer, I have spoken previously on here about the benefits bodyweight training can have on S&C and I think that calisthenics play a crucial role in the building of an athlete. A suspension trainer, or even gymnastic rings, are a very useful tool in adding a new challenge to something as simple as a press up. I have used a TRX in my training for roughly 8 years now and love combining the movements with things like dumbbells or kettlebells.

As always have fun and please let us know how you get on. I’ll be back next week with your new challenge and will give you an update on how things went on our “Day with Dunc” coming up this Saturday! Until then get your straps and bells out and stay STRONG!