Tuesday Challenge 22/8/2017

Hello to everyone joining us this week. Welcome back to another edition of Tuesday Challenge and the penultimate one for August 2017. When I first started doing these back in January this year it was a way of me making sure I made use of the blog section on my website so to see so many people checking in every week for the next edition is awesome!

I hope that we had a lot of fun with last weeks brutal workouts, I don’t know about you guys but the Trap bar piece at the end toasted my forearms! Our Trap bar here at Unit G6 is particularly sharp as well so my new callus cream has been put to good use over the past week!

Last week’s Tuesday Challenge was a good test for my back as well and it held up well under the pressure. I’m back into the Oly lifting every day now too and have started the infamous Russian squat cycle yesterday too. I am hoping all of the pre-hab and core work I’ve been doing will be enough to see me through the next 6 weeks.

Anyway, back to the fitness that is on offer for you all this week. Check out this week’s Tuesday Challenge below:

Tuesday Challenge 1/8/2017

I can’t believe it’s August already, time flies by a lot faster now-a-days than when I was a kid I’m sure of it! Currently on my first holiday for a very long time!

At the moment I am sat in a restaurant just off of the beach in Tavira, Portugal.
It has been 34 degrees here today with not a cloud in the sky, like a true Brit I have been struggling with the heat and complaining about it non stop!
Life moves at a very different pace here, nothing is done in a hurry and it has taken me a few days to adjust to that. I have really enjoyed my time relaxing with nothing to stress over.
The gym is still open in my absence, I have left a couple of the inmates to run the asylum! They have reported back all is well and it would appear that nobody has burnt it to the ground which is always a positive!
Check out this weeks workouts below for your Tuesday Challenge. Full disclosure, I haven’t actually tested this one. However, a couple of my athletes at the gym have done it and have said it’s a good little barn burner! Check it out below…

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
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 6/6/2017

Welcome back once again to another Tuesday Challenge. We are having a hell of a week here at Unit G6, Off season training has already started for my field sport athletes and we are gearing up for our biggest and best pre season yet!

If you guys out there want to join us through the journey of pre season for the first time ever this summer we will be offering a subscription service which we will be launching over the coming weeks where we will send you every single workout that our athletes are doing this Pre Season.

Enough about the future, let’s talk about the past…The last couple of weeks at the gym have been CRAZY!!! We are busier than ever, thank goodness we doubled the size of our training facility last year because with the amount of interest in Unit G6 at the moment we are almost out of space in the new gaff!!

I wouldn’t change it for the world though, over the last few weeks we have welcomed athletes from a range of different sports including football, rugby, field hockey, K1, CrossFit, MMA, Powerlifting and a couple of people that just want to train to be better at life!

I have always said you do not have to be fit to join our facility, just willing to turn up a minimum of twice a week and give the session all that you got! As one of my athletes put it so eloquently to me once “Anyone can join, but it’s not for everyone”. I couldn’t have put it any better myself!

As much as I really love coaching I also love the training too. I haven’t been as active as I could have been over the past week. Not because I have been too busy coaching, I will always make the time to train myself as I think it is very important I lead by example.

The reason I couldn’t train as much as I would have wanted the past week is because I popped my hamstring demonstrating a 1 leg Deadlift last Monday. As the majority of my training is Olympic Lifting, where loading the hamstrings is very important, I decided just to take a complete rest week. As some of you may know hamstrings are a very dodgy muscle, once they go they are unlikely to ever mend themselves back to as strong as they were before.

Usually when it comes to injuries I am a bit of an idiot and tend to try and train around them. Last week however even I knew that wouldn’t be the smartest thing to do, so ended up just doing what I could. I feel so much better for it this week however both mentally and physically.

I snatched and front squatted Monday evening before I started coaching and despite my hamstring being a little tight after the session everything went awesome. I finished the day by testing out this week’s Tuesday Challenge once everyone had finished up for the day. Take a look at what we got for you this week below:

4 Rounds:

Double KB Front Rack Walk: x20m
Double KB Cleans: x10 reps
Double KB Front Rack Walk: x20m
Double KB Front Squats: x10 reps
Double KB Front Rack Walk: x20m
Double KB Push Press: x10 reps
Double KB Front Rack Walk: x20m
Double KB Alternate Leg Reverse Lunges: x10 total (5 each side)
Double KB Front Rack Walk: x20m

All of the movements above we have done previously so they shouldn’t need explaining. If you need a reminder on what any of the moments are then I’m more than certain that Google can help you out with that.

You should be using the same weight of kettlebell for all movements in the round. So you shouldn’t use 20s for the walk then pick up 16s to do the cleans. I want you to do round 1 at a fairly light weight and then use heavier kettlebells every round thereafter.

If you do need a hand with this one or have any questions for me at all then hit me up on the emails. If not then have fun and get this one done. In my opinion this is not as bad as some of the previous kettlebell complexes we have had on here! Stay STRONG and I’ll catch you all next week!

Tuesday Challenge 16/5/2017

Hello to one and all, welcome back for another week of DSW fitness UK’s Tuesday Challenge workout. I hope that we all put a proper shift in on last week’s workout, some new movements in there that we haven’t seen before. This week we are going back to basics, beautifully simple movements combined for a brutally effective outcome!

This last week for me has flown by! As well as my usual coaching going on at Unit G6 I was also at BodyPower, the world’s largest fitness expo, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I was there in my role as Senior Coach Educator for KBT Education and initially was a bit sceptical about how things would go. I have to say however it was an AMAZING experience. So many awesome and inspirational people all together under one roof, I had a great time. I would highly recommend going next year to anyone that is interested in the fitness community.

On the Saturday I was invited to give a lecture on the “Back to Basics” stage on the subject of Strength and Conditioning for Competitive CrossFit Athletes. I thought that because of the subject matter I wouldn’t really get that much interest but I have to say my email inbox has exploded since the weekend with people saying how much they really enjoyed my perspective on the subject, I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every person that has got in contact and I promise I will personally respond back to you one I have the chance!

Anyway, enough about the past. I have been full steam ahead with my own training so far this week, gym was nice and busy on Monday evening and all my athletes are getting a lot stronger! I have tested this week’s workout on my boxer and also on myself, it’s a good one this week but is going to take me a while to explain! The workout in it’s most simple form is below:

10-1 Reps of:

10M Deadwalk Complex (M@24KG/F@20KG)
2x KB Clean & Press (M@20KG/F@16KG)
10M Deadwalk Complex
2x KB Thrusters (M@16KG/F@12KG)

(Deadwalk Complex is 5x Deadlifts into a 10M Farmer’s Walk into 5x Deadlifts)

Above is a very poor drawing of the set up of the workout. You will have 2 separate stations 10M apart. One will where you will complete C&P and the other one you will complete Thrusters, you will move between the two doing a farmer’s walk at 24KG each hand if you are a boy, 20kg each hand if you are a girl.

You start at point “B”, do 5x Double KB Deadlifts with 2x 24KG Kettlebells if you are a boy, 2x 20KG Kettlebells if you are a girl. Once you have done your 5 deadlifts at point “B” you then Farmers walk holding the KBs to point “A” and do 5 more deadlifts.

At this point you then set the 24s/20s down and complete 10x Double KB Clean & Press with 2 20KG KBs if you are male, 16KGs if you are a female. Once the 10 reps are completed you then pick up your 2x  24KG/20KG kettlebells from point “A” and do 5x Deadlifts, 10M walk to point “B” holding them and then 5 more deadlifts.

At this point you then complete 10x Double KB Thrusters, men at 16KG and females at 12KG. Once the ten reps are complete you are back where the workout began. You then go through the above complex again as you did from the start but decrease the reps by 1 on the C&P and Thruster stations. the Deadlifts always remain 5 at point A and B. You keep going until you complete all of the reps at station A and B, finishing with 1x Thruster!

This is a beast of a workout, it gets very tough on your grip strength and if you do not employ proper technique on the Thrusters and C&P then you will fatigue very quickly. Make sure you are using your legs as much as you can for both of those movements, as well as keeping your back nice and tight on the deadlifts and farmers walk.

I’m off now guys as I have emails to reply to, athletes to coach and weights to lift! If you need any more help or explanation for this workout then email me on info@dswfitness.co.uk and I will be more than happy to help you out. Until next time, have fun, get comfortable being in-comfortable 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!