We’re back with UK based trainer Alistair Ramsay. In part 1 of the interview, we talked about the biggest myths and misconceptions that hold us back from achieving our results. Coach Ramsay also taught us how to progress with our workouts and make them harder each and every time.
Lets get to today’s lessons:
Parth Shah – Care to share with us some unique training strategies from your manual?
Alistair Ramsay – One of the best features of the manual is the progressive exercise library. Each of the movement categories (lower body, pushing, pulling, stabilisation, sprinting) are broken down into a series of progressions from very easy to very challenging. This allows anyone to safely and effectively develop their strength and muscular endurance whether they are a complete beginner or more advanced athlete. For example the push up series starts with gentle incline push ups which literally anyone is able to perform, twelve progressions later you are able to perform explosive push ups.
I am not sure there are many ‘unique’ training strategies in the world of fitness but there are certainly methods that work and those that don’t. Through years of coaching and studying in this field I have been able to discover the former and dispose of the latter which I share with you in the manual. One of the best strategies I preach is the use of a powerful lactate finisher at the end of your workouts. This serves two purposes 1) it enhances your metabolic conditioning 2) it increases lactic acid levels in the body thus helping to created the desired biochemical environment for fat loss and muscle gain to occur.
Parth Shah – You hear people talking about no-equipment training, but really, you need a pullup bar. Don’t you? Any way to train you back muscles without using a pulup bar?
Alistair Ramsay – There is certainly a lot you can do without any equipment whatsoever but for a complete bodyweight training program I do think you need access to a pull up bar or something similar like an adjustable suspension trainer. This will allow you to perform vertical and horizontal pulling exercises to balance out your upper body training and tap into the large strength reservoirs located in your powerful back muscles.
If you don’t have access to a pull up bar, resistance bands and cables can make a good substitute. Affordable and lightweight equipment like the TNT Cable Set can be easily hooked up to a door or fixed post and makes a great station to perform horizontal pulling movements from.
Parth Shah – Earlier on, I’ve done some workouts that have caused knee problems. What are some types of workouts to avoid?
Alistair Ramsay – One of my fitness philosophies is not every exercise is the perfect fit. We all come in different shapes, sizes and with varying injury histories. An exercise that works well for one person may not necessarily work well for someone else. With this in mind you need to emphasise exercises that stengthen your body and eliminate exercises that weaken it. Two typical scenarios where people complain of knee pain are long distance running and squatting.
I don’t ever advise long distance running unless a person is training for a specific event which will require them to run a long way. Instead I recommend shorter more intense conditioning sessions. The obvious benefit to your knees is that you are running a much smaller distance. Lower volume = lower incidence of overuse injuries. Another good strategy if you have knee issues is to try hill sprints, here the gradient of the hill reduces the impact on the joints whilst running.
Squatting – First and foremost make sure you have your technique dialled in. Often folks who complain about squatting causing knee problems are simply not performing the movement correctly. You may need to spend some time working on your ankle and hip mobility in order to perform the movement effectively. For the vast majority of the population squatting is a superb exercise, so spend some time dialling in your technique and you will be able to reap all the benefits this exercise has to offer without any associated knee issues. For a certain % of the population however squatting may not be the best movement available. Some people will have poor anthropometrics for squatting (long thigh bones and a short torso.) In this instance try raising your heel whilst performing the exercise. In many cases I have found this greatly helps eliminate knee issues. Still causing problems? Switch it for another lower body movement, there is no point persisting with an exercise/workout that is hurting your body!
Parth Shah – Last question – why is your GTS Manual awesome?
Alistair Ramsay – It grants you complete freedom to burn fat and build muscle wherever you choose. Train at home, on the beach, in the park, on your travels. I think that is pretty awesome 🙂
Thats all folks! If you have any specific questions that Alistair did not cover, then please post to comments, and we’ll try to do a follow up interview. Until then, check out his training manual at GymlessTrainingSystem1.com.