Welcome To The Online Programming Hub.


Welcome to the online programming members area. You will need to have the Truecoach app downloaded on your phone to receive the workouts. It's available from the app store if you're on iOS (Apple). Android users will have to log in to the website on a browser to access your workouts.

http://www.truecoach.co

I'll assign you to the online programme and you'll get an email every Sunday with the coming week. You also get notifications the night before as well. 

Android Users.

The Truecoach app is currently not available on Android. To work around this you can access your account via your web browser. The workouts can be viewed, filled in, and videos can be uploaded in the same way as using the app.

**PLEASE MAKE SURE TO FILL IN YOUR WORKOUTS**

It's important to keep track of your numbers over time. It'll help identify your progress and any time you go to train if you are unsure what weight you have recently been lifting on a movement a record will be there. This means you constantly work where you should be with weight. Progress will come quicker this way.

PRINCIPLES.

Before I jump in to explaining how a typical session works I would like to lay out the principles that underpin the online programming and how days, weeks and months are put together. This may or may not interest you, but as a coach I think it's important to show your methodology. It's quite easy for someone to throw a few movements together and get someone to do it. When training somewhere or with someone and you have a goal, whether it be broad or more specific, you still need to know someone competent is looking after your programming (if there even IS programming).

The correct principles guiding your training will keep you injury free, it'll be fun to do, and most importantly it will lead you on the quickest route to your goal.

Have a look at the image below to see the principle behind your journey on Strong Body Strong Mind online programming over the weeks and months.

GETTING STARTED

The workouts for the coming week are sent to your email on a Sunday. They then get delivered day by day Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday. This is just the way the app delivers the 4 workouts.

It's important to note that you can pick what days you do them on as per the examples below.

Do the days in sequence. If you miss a workout or multiple workouts you can go back and complete them. If you miss workouts and it moves in to the next week forget about the old workouts and move on.

If you are wondering if it's possible to do 4 days in a row, that comes down to how you feel. If you feel good, train. A general rule of thumb is to do 3 days on, 1 rest, then do your fourth day.

TRAINING THROUGH PAIN.

Before I get started on the importance of the pieces of the puzzle in your training day I want to state that it's incredibly important you do not train through pain. The workouts can be tough, that's a different kind of pain. I mean a pull, a strain, a nerve type pain.

If you are injured or feel an injury in any way do not try and work through it. Stop your session, or stop the movement causing the pain.

No matter how much we focus on smart, intelligent programming, niggles will happen. These can be dealt with and generally don't take long to recover from, but if you try and work through pain that's when niggles become bigger problems.

WARM-UPS AND COOL DOWNS.

At the start and end of each session. The first thing you will do is warm-up for the session ahead with a small section which should take anywhere from 5-10 minutes. The cool down ends the session and usually consists of breathing and/or stretching to kick start the recovery process.

It's important that you do not skip these as they are a hugely important part of the session.

The warm-up sequence prepares your body for the work to come. It's a huge component in keeping you injury free and priming you to get the most out of the work to come. There will be movements you are unfamiliar with, and that you probably haven't seen anyone else doing in your gym. This is cutting edge, highly intelligent programming and that's why.

A couple of examples are the bird dog and quadruped extension rotation (QER) as pictured below.

The bird dog teaches you to keep a stable spine and tight core while working through shoulder and hip motion. 

The QER is great for working on mobility in your thoracic spine (mid to upper back) and is helpful for anyone who sits all day.

You don't specifically need to know that information, I've just told so you understand there are very important principles underlying every single movement you're doing. Don't skip them.

What about your cooldown. Do you skip it? Do you skip some of the movements? What about the 90/90 recovery breathing? Do you skip it because you don't want to look silly in the gym?

The recovery breathing is an extremely important component of your session. This will promote a switch to a parasympathetic state which means you're immediately promoting recovery and regeneration directly after a session.

You're setting yourself up to squeeze a huge amount of progress out of the work you've just done and are switching from a stressful state to one of recovery. Do yourself a favour - DO NOT skip this. 

Get it out of your head that everything needs to be done at 1 million miles per hour, and if you're not sweating then something isn't going to help you. You'll sweat, trust me, but all the other components are so important as well.

Here's an example of a typical warm-up.

STRENGTH/ACCESSORY WORK.

Once you finish warming up you will typically move in to a strength piece or multiple pieces e.g. A1 A2 A3 and then B1 B2 B3. The strength piece is focused on technical mastery and doing things perfectly. This will maximise progress and minimise injury risk. DO NOT aim to do things as quickly as possible.

Technique, technique, technique.

The key to you making progress and staying injury free is focusing on your technique with every single movement that you do. Have you ever heard the saying 'how you do one thing is how you do everything'? I want you to do every single movement in your workout with 100% focus on doing the movement with proper technique.

This takes time and experience, but the mindset can be applied from day 1.

Every movement has several steps or cues you need to focus on. Look at the picture of the barbell bench press below.

There are 3 areas highlighted that just some of the pieces of the puzzle. Foot position, back position and hand position. You may not know what they are now, but in time you should be able to tell me the simple pointers here to make sure I'm doing this movement correctly.

Focus on technique and your physique will follow. Plus you'll stay injury free.

Here's an example of a typical strength piece.

It won't always be like this however, here's an example of a different layout I like putting in every so often but the principles remain the same.

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1.

The 10 to 1 format can be programmed as either a strength piece or a conditioning piece. With the strength work it's incredibly important you do not try and finish it as quickly as possible. The goal is to walk through everything and do all the movements with excellent technique.

Rest as needed. If you need 20-30 seconds take it, if you need to grab a drink, do it.

Aside from that you'll work your way down (or up) from 10 reps of everything through 9, 8 etc. until you finish on one.

Guidance for the weight here is that if it's a barbell movement and you know your 1 rep maximum to take 50-60% of that as your load.

If you don't, you should have notes from previous workouts and know what you can manage for 10 reps without form breaking down.

If you don't have notes pick something light and take notes so you have a guide for the next time you do it.

This format is quite demanding as a strength piece especially if you know your weights and are using 50%-60% on multiple barbell movements so keep that in mind. Don't try and overdo things on weight.

CONDITIONING.

The conditioning piece is what people would typically consider to be cardio. Bikes, rowers, treadmills or Ski-Ergs are used here to train the cardiovascular system. It's important for longevity and to keep our joints and spine in good health that we focus on strength movements and conditioning as separate entities. There may be some movements involved in our conditioning pieces, but they will be low skill/low risk/high reward.

Remember, we train SMART. Each conditioning session will have an RPE number attached to it. Refer to this chart to know how hard you should be pushing.

The more sessions you do, the more you will learn and remember how to pace appropriately.

The huge problem with many classes and exercise programmes people are given or go to is that they are hammered every single time. 

'If I crawl out it means I've done a great great workout'. This is not the best way to approach things.

You are much better served working on a programme with a mix of intensities and where the workouts progress in a planned manner across the weeks. We may not be professional athletes, but structure and intelligent design is still needed to help get us to our goals.

Aside from that it's cool to have that structure and to be keeping track of everything. Along with being able to see your progress it makes it far more interesting as well.

THE RATE OF PERCEIVED EXERTION SCALE FOR CONDITIONING.

The rate of perceived exertion scale is used to help pace our conditioning sessions. You'll quickly learn that efforts of 9-10 cannot be done for more than very short periods of time and that most of our sessions will be done below that intensity anyway.

Remember, we train SMART. Each conditioning session will have an RPE number attached to it. Refer to this chart to know how hard you should be pushing.

The more sessions you do, the more you will learn and remember how to pace appropriately.

'ON THE MINUTE' WORKOUTS EXPLAINED.

The 'on the minute' format is a nice, safe and structured way of getting some top quality work in. An example here is that I would prescribe something like this:

ON THE MINUTE FOR 15 MINUTES

  • 45 seconds cardio
  • 12 dumbbell thrusters
  • 30 seconds of situps

You will need a timer or watch here. When you start the clock the in the first 1 minute you need to do 45 seconds of cardio. This leaves you with 15 seconds rest until the next minute starts. When the next minute counts in you immediately move to 12 thrusters. This will take approximately 30 seconds, which leaves around 30 seconds rest until the top of the next minute. Once that minute counts in you immediately begin 30 seconds of situps. When the 30 seconds is up you have 30 seconds rest and then you begin the sequence again and move back to cardio.

On the start of each minute you do the work in order. There is ALWAYS rest time and it should NEVER be a full 60 seconds of work and then you have to immediately start the next exercise with no rest.

This should never happen. You can see with the cardio and the situps the time constraint looks after this.

With the thruster it is a number of reps and it can take different times for people to do this. It will always be programmed that it should be done within 45 seconds thus leaving you with a minimum of 15 seconds rest before you move on to the next movement.

If you are attempting something like 12 thrusters and the clock hits 45 seconds in that minute STOP IMMEDITATELY. Take the 15 seconds rest and move on.

The cardio, thrusters and situps for 15 minutes works out at doing it for 5 rounds in sequence. Check out the video for a visual description.

'AMRAPs' EXPLAINED.

'90 SECONDS WORK, 90 SECONDS REST' EXPLAINED.

The 90 seconds work, 90 seconds rest format is at the higher end of the RPE scale for us. We are looking to work between 7-9 here (depending on the number of rounds), so while it should be quite uncomfortable by the time the 90 seconds work is finished, we should be able to recover and do it again.

If I was to prescribe 6 rounds I would want you to set a calorie score in round 1 which was tough, but you need to be able to repeat it for 5 more rounds.

A good workout is rounds 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 all having the same calorie score within 1 or 2. E.g. 25/26/25/26/26/26.

A poor workout is going too hard in round 1 and then tailing off. E.g. 30/28/24/22/22/18.

ARTICLES AND VIDEOS.

How much does activity contribute to fat loss? Can I train my way to weight loss and the body I want? The following two videos run through the fundamental principles which underpin how much activity does contribute and where it fits in, and I also touch on my own personal principles on how I think things should be done.