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How long should I rest during my workout?

 How long should I rest during my workout?

You may or may not know of the importance of rest. That is resting between sets, exercises and training days. The amount of time you rest can play a significant role in both performance and also to how your body adapts. You may have experienced the difference in performance more than the adaptations (probably because you can’t feel the adaptations during your training session).

I know that some people will be in and out of the gym in an hour, 40 minutes and maybe even 20 minutes. Obviously the time spent resting can have an impact on how long you train for. But do you know how long you should rest for?

A study by S. Richmond and M. Godard, (2004) on the effects of rest periods and the effects on performance in a bench press revealed that resting 1 minute between sets halved the amount of repetitions being performed compared to resting 3 minutes and 5 minutes which both indicated a repetition range of 8-12 reps after completing 12 on the previous set and working to failure.

Another study by Willardson, Jeffery. M, Burkett and Lee. N, (2006) also showed that a rest period of 3 minutes showed significant improvement on the number of repetitions on both heavy loads (80% of 1RM) and light loads 50% 1RM)  of the bench press.

These Studies show that the right amount of resting can play a significant difference in how we perform.


I Plan the rest periods to optimize performance with each and every program I send out to my Online Coaching Clients Like Alex. Who Improved his Speed, Strength and body composition.

 Above: Alex- One of My Online coaching clients

The Science

I’m Going to Take you on a little Science lesson with this, (nothing too complicated)

The chemical your muscle uses during exercise is called Adenosine Triphosphate or ATP.

During a muscle contraction ATP which contains three Phosophate molecules is converted into Adenosine Diphosphate, or ADP, which contains only two Phosphate molecules. It is the reaction of the separation and utilisation of that Phosphate molecule which cause the muscle to contract. In order for your body to continue this process of ATP synthesis the body must utilise a series of processes using different ways to synthesise ATP, each one produces ATP at different rates. The way we synthesise ATP depends on how long we exercise for at anyone time.



Our ATP is created by various systems in the body each have a different time scale in how fast ATP can be replenished. Initially ATP is synthesised using Phosphogens which are stored our muscles. This cause ATP to be produced the fastest but on,y for. Short period of time, 0-6 seconds is when this is on,y used for ATP production. A process called fast glycolysis which produces ATP from carbohydrates in the form of blood glucose or muscle glycogen, is then coupled with this production of ATP from the muscle Phosphogen stores to further the fast production of ATP for a further 24 seconds approximately. After this the fast glycolysis process is the primary source of ATP production due to the depletion of the muscle Phosphogens. Once you this our body uses other fuels to perform movements, all of which are slower to cause the muscle to contract due to the less rapid production of ATP. This is why you won’t be able to maintain your top sprint speed for more than 30 seconds.



Glycolysis is the process of creating ATP using Carbohydrates as the source of energy. It happens by using a series of enzymatically catalysed reactions to synthesise ATP. The process is slower to occur than when using phosphates in the muscle as a fuel but can still happen fairly rapidly. Glycolysis has two levels of ATP synthesis, Fast Glycolysis also known as anaerobic Glycolysis and slow Glycolysis also known as aerobic glycolysis.

Fast Glycolysis (or anaerobic Glycolysis) uses the fast readily available Glycogen which is stored in the muscles and also the glucose in the blood stream (glycogen being stored glucose). Although this process is rapid it still takes longer to produce ATP than utilising the Phosphogens already in the muscle. The effects of fast glycolysis last for approximately two minutes maximum. As this process does not require oxygen to produce ATP meaning it is an anaerobic system.

Slow Glycolysis requires oxygen to take effect. When using glycolysis as the form of ATP production, the by produced of this is the formation of Pyruvate. This can be either diverted into lactic acid or if enough oxygen is present it will be shuttled into the mitochondria (special cells in the body with enable the use of oxygen) in the muscles to synthesise ATP through what is known as the Krebs cycle. This process is called Slow glycolysis, or as it is utilising oxygen it is aerobic it is also known as aerobic glycolysis. This process is slow to happen as it is essentially secondary to fast glycolysis which will always happen before slow glycolysis. This means that rapid powerful moments are not possible to be performed as the muscles cannot contract in the manner that they would need to. This process can last for a long period of time, depending on how well trained you are and the intensity of exercise being completed.


When you rest, the body attempts to return to its previous state before exercise began (homeostasis). This means the levels of glycogen, and Phosphogens will restore but at different rates. This also depends on how long you exercise for during each set and the level of intensity.

If your intensity is great and are training for about 10-15 seconds, for example a set of 3 repetitions of the snatch, then the recovery should be approximately 2-3 minutes rest as this would be how long it takes to replenish the Phosphogens in the muscle to enable the same intensity to be completed again. The rest period must be adequate to allow the body to produce the fuels needed to produce ATP for muscle contraction whether it is from glycogen synthesis or Phosphogen replenishment from Creatine-phosphate.

The best way to calculate the rest periods is understanding the work-rest-ratios related to the intensity and length of exercise. This is all based upon the amount of time required for you body to perform in the same manner as previously trained in the previous set and at the same or similar similar.

Use this table to help determine the resting time.

Effort/Intensity %.          Exercise time            Work:Rest                      Rest Time

       90-100                           10-15 Seconds.             1:12 – 1:20                        2-5 Mins

                      75-90                             15-30 Seconds.               1:3 – 1:5                       45 Secs – 2.5 Min

            30-75                           1-3 Minutes.                     1:3 – 1:4                          3-12 Mins

                         20-30                            >3 Minutes                     1:1 – 1:3              Exercise time X Rest ratio

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6 Fitness Myths That must be CRUSHED

6 Fitness Myths That must be CRUSHED


You only need to use the google machine for a quick search of strength training, or fitness or fat loss and you will find lots and lots of articles and videos and images of ‘experts’ telling you the got jacked in a super secret way. Or that you get shredded by doing hours of cardio every day and even some saying they lost 10lbs of fat in 3 days by taking this super special herbal remedy discovered in the deep dark underground of the amazon.



My Online Coaching client Alex came to me after believing a few of these (#1 and #6 specifically),

He really had put in an effort to get to where He wanted to be but couldn’t. He had

become frustrated and felt his efforts were wasted. After reassuring him that this is

completely normal We went to work to get the results He wanted.




I want to make sure that you are not fooled again by any of the rubbish distributed from the mouths of some fitness ‘experts’ and help you get the most out of your training and fat loss goals without being dragged into the trickery and nonsense of these Fitness Myths.


#1 Apple Cider Vinegar makes you lose fat

This is something that I have been asked a lot about in recent times. I think that it has started to sprout up in various gym environments. It has been popularised by crossfitters as a ‘secret of fat loss’ whereas realistically it does nothing to lose that belly fat or whatever they claim.

Drinking apple cider vinegar will NOT help you lose bodyfat. The only way to lose weight is by having a calorie deficit. Being consistent and having patience is the real key to dropping your weight over time.


#2 Deadlifts damage your back

This is a big one. As a powerlifter deadlifts are a staple of my training and I have NEVER one hurt my back doing them.

Realistically the only way you would hurt yourself doing any form of deadlifting is if your technique is bad, and your back is rounded.

What deadlifts do is build phenomenal back, leg, abdominal and grip strength. It is one of the only exercises which I consider a whole body movement due the amount of muscle recruitment required for the lift.


Not Only is the deadlift a great strength builder, but it can also burn a shed load of Calories and really ramp up your metabolic rate.

It doesn’t matter which variation of the deadlift (of which there are many, some more technical than others), just DO them. Period.



#3 Fasted Cardio Burns More fat

Fasted Cardio is something done a lot by bodybuilders who are looking to target purely fat loss as they enter the end stages of their competition prep. But does is work?

The answer is yes and no.

You see, doing cardio exercises such as walking or a gentle bike ride burns calories. Calories are a unit of energy measurement. When you do cardio for a long period of time (20+ minutes) then your body will use oxygen coupled with body fat as energy. Which means you will burn body fat whilst doing it. When doing cardio you will burn fat and glycogen (stored glucose used for energy) but if you then eat calories which is above or at maintenance level, your body weight will remain the same or you will put on fat. To lose weight you need to burn more calories daily than you eat in order to create a calorie deficit.

You can train fasted or eat an hour or so before it does not matter, do whatever you prefer. But if you want to lose weight then your nutrition is what you should focus on the most.


#4 Eating Carbs at Night will make you fat

Simply untrue.

The notion that your body knows what time of day it is, and that after a certain time it decides to store calories as body fat is ridiculous.

Your body will use whatever calories we give it throughout the day. If we give too much, it will store it as fat, If we don’t give enough then it will use stored bodyfat as energy.

It is that basic.

Your body doesn’t care if you eat once a day, twice a day or even ten times a day. As long as your calories are in check then you will lose body fat.


#5 Lifting weights will make women big and bulky

If this was true then I know a lot of women who should have bigger arms than me!

Building muscle is hard. Even harder if you’re a woman.

Think Hormones. The biggest factor in building muscle is the level Testosterone, this Hormone is the Daddy of muscle building and is the main reason why it is quicker and easier to build muscle as a Man.

The second reason is that results of weight training are very specific depending on the methods.

It is possible to gain strength without putting on size, no matter the goal it is hard work.

What will happen to you women when you lift weights:

  • You will improve overall body function,
  • You will get stronger,
  • You will get toned
  • You will get shapes in all the right places (think legs and butt)
  • You will increase your metabolic rate meaning you can burn fat more efficiently.


There are so many benefits of lifting weights as women. I always program strength training for any all of my Female Online Coaching clients



#6 Sit-ups and crunches will strip fat from your stomach

This is a myth that has been around for quite sometime, ‘spot reduction’.

This is the thought that if you train a certain body part then you will lose fat in that particular area of your body.

Let’s take the Abs as an example. If you want to see some Abs showing in the mirror, and you think to yourself ‘Im gonna get a sick sixpack, all I need to do is do like a thousand sit-ups and crunches everyday’ you’re kidding yourself.

Despite popular belief you can’t decide where your body loses fat.

It is just down to your body, what your genetics are like. If you want to increase muscle definition you will need to do some form of strength training and drop body fat overall. You will improve your body definition however your body wants to.


Now that you know, We can crush these myths together.  It really is one of my pet peeves to see how much time and effort people put into their exercise and nutrition, but to only fall short due to one, if not more of these myths. I dont blame them at all. Often this advice comes from ‘Fitness professionals’ or a friend of a friend etc.

If they spent all of that time and effort doing what truly works based on scientific and evidence based methods, they would succeed big time.

I hope that this has clarified some of this confusion for you guys.



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5 Steps To a Bigger Bench!

5 Steps To a Bigger Bench!


How much can you bench bro? That’s what I get asked a lot as a powerlifter. My answer? not enough! You can never bench enough right? Whatever you can lift, I’m going to give you a crash course on how to improve your bench press almost instantly, and then to keep those numbers going up.


Matt Took advantage of my Online Coaching option, not only did

He gain huge amounts of strength and muscle but He got that body

He was always after! Hes a Monters deadlifter. Weighing just 180lbs

He can pull 485lbs in the deadlift! Thats serious strength!






#1 The Setup

The setup of your bench press plays an important role in how much you can lift. It might be the difference in hitting a new PB or failing to hit close to your capabilities. So here’s three things you should be doing I order to setup the bench efficiently.

Squeeze your shoulder blades together and towards your hips, create a slight arch in your kid back by pushing your hips to your shoulders and finally keep your feet flat just behind your knees and squeeze your Glutes (that’s your bum muscles) and drive your knees apart. By doing this you create a stable foundation from which you can create real pressing power.


#2 Choke and break the bar

If you haven’t guessed it by now the bench press is all about tension. We need to create as much torque and tension in order to maximize our force production. Following this trend, when you grab hold of the bar you must squeeze it as hard as possible to add to this tension and also helps to utilize your triceps more when your benching. What I mean by breaking the bar is that that you should try to bend the bar hard by twisting your hands towards your hips. You won’t be able to bend it (if you can then you must be Geoff Capes!) but by doing this you engage your lats. More muscle being recruited, the more force we can create and the bigger the weight we can lift.


#3 Drive with your feet

Now this something that many people forget or just don’t think about. Think of it as reverse electricity, rather than ending in the ground, that’s where it starts for the bench. When the bar has hit our chest (it’s not really a proper bench if it doesn’t) we start the press by driving our feet through the floor, this force then travels though our body, which is full of tension, and culminates in a huge output of force being place into the bar as it is powered upwards.


#4 Train your weak points

Everyone will have their own sticking point when it comes to the bench. Which means you will need to train specific muscles in order to overcome these sticking points. So if you struggle with pushing the bar off your chest then you will need to supplement your training with extra chest/pec exercises to tackle this issue. The same goes for if you struggle with the lockout, this is weakness in your triceps, so doing exercises for them is important to over come that. Here are three exercises for each sticking point you can add in to overcome these weaknesses.


Struggle off the chest

-Flat Dumbell press

-Rack press/Pause Press

-Military Press

Struggle with Lockout

-Tate Press

-Close Grip Benchpress

-Board Press


#5 Train your back

I see a lot of people who struggle with bench press who never train their back. These are the people you see with shoulders pointing forward and arms rotating inwards which says to me two things, they don’t stretch and they don’t effectively train those back muscles. You need to work on this as these help reduce a phenomenon which is known as inhibition. If your back is weak it will cap the amount of force you can produce during your bench so it reduces the risk of injuring itself.

You can also create more tension in the setup when you have a stronger back. Remember that we are aiming to recruit those lats when we bench too, so make sure you are doing plenty of pulling work to complement all the pushing stuff.


The Lesson

The Benchpress is much more than just an exercise and as you can see improving your bench is much more than cable flyes and incline bench. It is a whole body movemnet which means you need to train your whole body to get it bigger and you stronger.


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3 Mind Hack to Keep Your Motivation to Lose Weight

3 Mind Hack to Keep Your Motivation to Lose Weight


Keeping yourself motivated is hard. Some days your motivated as hell and you can’t wait to hit the gym and destroy your workout. And others its damn hard to even get up off the sofa, let alone track your nutrition.

Motivation is all about perspective, Your perspective to be exact.


What has Perspective got to do with it I hear you say.

Well, let’s say your 4 weeks into your diet and you’ve lost 4 pounds. If you look at that and think to yourself that 4lbs is terrible and you should have lost more especially with the work you have put in. That is a perspective which almost demonises the results you have achieved.

In reality, you are smashing your fat loss. Having changed your eating habits and sustainably dropping fat.

Your Normal!

Let’s say your exercising 5 days each week, and eating healthy foods but you’re staying the same weight.

Or the scales keep on telling you that you haven’t lost any weight.


If you feel that’s all is lost or “what’s the point”, then that’s ok. It’s totally normal to feel this way.


You see it IS possible to create weight loss motivation. Whether you have never had any motivation or struggle with it is possible to use strategies to help generate it.

I’m going to give you 3 mind-hack methods which can help you ignite your motivation and get everything rolling for you again.


#1 F**k the Scales

Now this may sound like blasphemy in the weight loss world, and the title is perhaps a little misleading. But it is important you do not put all your eggs in one basket so to speak.

Have you ever popped on the scales excited to see a huge drop in weight because you’ve had a really good couple of weeks, only to see that the scales have barely budged and though ‘Screw this, I quit!’?

Each time you look at the scales and the numbers say the same thing day in day out, it can really demotivate you.


What you need to do is learn ‘Scale language’.

‘WTF is That?’

Scale Language is what may stop you understanding real progress and even shadow the great progress you are making.

In other words, the numbers on the scale are not everything.


Some people say not to weigh yourself at all, but in reality weighing yourself can help you keep track progress and even help maintain a healthy bodyweight.

The scale is a useful tool for fat loss and is simply that, a tool. If used in the most optimal way it can play a big part on your motivation.


My online coaching client Matt had struggled to get the body he wanted. He had been overweight for years. After getting into a much better shape, he came to me to help him push himself further than He had ever done before. Learning to speak scale language was part of the battle. Following the coaching I laid out was key to getting himself where He wanted to be.

Scale Language #1

The scale will NOT go down every day or week

It just won’t.

The scale will fluctuate up and down no matter how on point you are with your nutrition.

Expecting it to drop every day is a sure-fire way to drive yourself nuts, lose motivation and quit. Weight loss is not linear, and shouldn’t be compared day-in day-out as really this means zilch.


Instead comparing every 2 weeks will give you much more measurable numbers. Making sure you compare Monday of week 1 with Monday of week 3, and Monday of week 2 with Monday of week 4 etc. I’ve put together a little chart (below) to help you understand.


Week 1

Week 2 Week 3 Week 4









Generally speaking, you should see a downward spiral on the scale every 14 days.

The best way is to calculate an average over a month (4 weeks), that way we can see our progress for real. We would hope to see a downward trend of around 0.5-2lbs weekly depending on the individual.


Anything within this range is optimal and means that your smashing it.



Scale Language #2

One good day of dieting does not mean you will lose weight the next day

This is just how the body works. I always have been say to me “Ive been really good the last 2 days, I’ve hit my Calories but I wasn’t any lighter today!”. I simply say to them that Rome wasn’t built in a day. What I mean is that it takes more than just two good days.

Expecting it to work this way for you is a sure fire way to eat away at your motivation until you quit.


Weight loss takes time, it takes more than just 1 or 2 good days to make a difference on your weight loss. As long as you are aware of this you will keep your motivation sky high. Just be patient.


#2 It is Impossible to Screw up your diet

Its true I promise.

Right now I bet your thinking ‘I can give you 1 million and 1 ways I could screw up my diet’.

It is very common for people to feel like they have completely trashed their diet if they eat a single ‘bad’ piece of food. But let me tell you that this perception is not necessarily true. I have said many times to my clients and people who message me, you will never ever get fat by eating one doughnut, or a slice of birthday cake or whatever.


Lets look at a scenario. You go out with some friends on a Saturday night and you down a few beers, eat a few too many slices of pizza and maybe you go through a tub of Ben & Jerrys (phishfood of course).


You have two ways to think about that.

Mindset 1:Ive blown my diet, all the hard work I have put in is now pointless. I’ve gone way over my Calories, I might as well eat the rest of this bar of chocolate and indulge over the weekend!”


Mindset 2: “Wow, that was a great night. I’ve probably gone way over my Calories but I know as long as I jump straight back into my diet I know I’ll keep on dropping body fat!”


You see, if you have a day where you’ve gone a little bit off track, you have most definitely not screwed up your diet. You simply need to get back on track as quickly as possible.


2# You Are Always Just One Meal Away From Getting Back On Track

I have said this many times, to many people. It’s completely true and something I always point out when people tell me they have ‘failed’ on their diet.


You really Can’t screw up your diet, I don’t care if you’re eating ice cream, pizza, cupcakes or fast food, saying that your have is just an excuse. An excuse so you can carry on eating like crap, you see its far easier to quit and say you’re a failure than it is to believe in yourself and succeed.


The choice is yours, either carry on eating crap food and never get back on track, or get back on track with that one meal which will get you headed in the right direction. You see it doesn’t matter if your eaten some ‘bad’ food, as long you get back on track you will continue making progress.


#3 Think of weight loss like saving money

Looking at your savings at the start can be a little depressive, to see how little there is in there.

You gradually ad in a little more each time you get your paycheque, but you continue to do this month in month out over a period of a few years.

Then one day you look a t your savings, and you see how much money you’ve saved over the period of time you’ve done it for. You feel a great sense of achievement and even proud of yourself for doing it.


You see weight loss is much the same.


At first you look at your weight loss in the first couple of weeks and it is little, you feel like there is nothing. You haven’t lost anything or at least very little maybe 0.5lbs, but that’s the first week. At week 30, that’s 15lbs!


Losing body fat and improving your body composition is a game of patience, it isn’t something that happens overnight, or a week or even a month. Significant fat loss happens after being consistently in a Calorie deficit over a series of months. Just like saving money where you will be able to save a little more than in other months, some months you will lose more fat than others.


This is 100% normal, I promise.


Being consistent with your nutrition is the ONLY way to be healthy and drop body fat.


Be patient and I promise that those scales will go down, you will look and feel better.


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‘The Big Secret of Fatloss’

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