Shortcut To Strength – Day 21 – Shoulders

Day 21 of the #shortcuttostrength trainer and I trained shoulders today. I got to the gym in the morning as I was still in Manchester and had my pass to use. I went to a gym called Total Fitness and it was a bit of a strange experience. I walked in and the place is nice it had a cafe area overlooking a pool area, it had a family gym area which had climbing frame and kids gym equipment next to a few pieces of normal gym kit so parents can workout with their kids which I think is great! I then went upstairs to the gym area which was surrounded by several studios with things like spin, karate, boxercise classes going on. The gym area itself was good as there was a range of different kit suitable for all sorts of training. They even had a selection of hammer strength equipment which I was keen to use. I started in the hammer strength plate loaded shoulder press and worked up to some heavy sets with that before doing some heavy barbell press. From there I just used all kind of machines and equipment to hit my shoulders from different angles. The gym itself was in a complete mess though. Everywhere you looked there were dumbells on the floor, barbells left next to their rack rather than on them, weight plates left on machines and bars all over the place which is really annoying as every time I wanted to use something I would have to take off what people were using or wander around and look for kit! I didn’t do any dumbell work really as they were all missing and spread around the gym! Looking at some of the people there as well didn’t help as they were doing all kinds of weird stuff! I don’t really blame them as if they are not used to going the gym then their technique and knowledge of machines isn’t great then people start doing weird stuff. The problem was there was no gym staff around at all! I saw one trainer and he was just working with someone for ten minutes and then disappeared! Just to have one person on the gym floor encouraging people to tidy their stuff up and helping to correct people’s form would be better than nothing! I am probably moaning a little too much but I’m sure I’m not the only one to get annoyed at this stuff!!

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Shortcut To Strength – Day 20 – Rest Day

Day 20 of the #shortcuttostrength trainer and today was a pretty special day as I attended a PT business seminar with @phillearney I have followed Phil’s work for a while now and had the opportunity to listen to him speak a few times and every time I come away with a whole new perspective on training, business and life in general. I have some real fears and concerns about starting my own PT business which is why I went on this course. I’m glad I went as it has given me plenty to think about before diving in head first. I would highly recommend Phil and his work to anyone even those not in personal training as he has a lot of good experience and knowledge to share! I will be signing up for his ACA academy for definite! I wanted to train shoulders today and I bought a pass to use one of the gyms just outside Manchester but I got there 15mins before it closed! I decided not to train which is annoying as after sitting down all day I wanted to throw a few weights around. We are staying at my girlfriends sisters house so I will use my pass tomorrow morning and get my session in then.

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Shortcut To Strength – Day 18 – Back

Day 18 of the #shortcuttostrength trainer and today was back day. I finished work but had to shoot off to go and do a few chores before coming back and teaching a couple of classes. I only had about 45 mins to get my session in so I started with deadlifts. I did much better than last weeks efforts! I used 135kg for 5 sets of 5 reps. It wasn’t easy but i managed to complete all the reps which was good. I then hit some bent over rows with 70kg for 5 reps. I then did some heavy pull downs which I felt surprisingly strong on and that was it. I could and probably should have done a bit more but I had to get my stuff sorted to take a spin class and then a kettlebell class. I was happy with the training that I got in so that’s the main thing.

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H.I.I.T Workout – “I went to the gym and did…”

Do you ever remember playing a memory game where there are a group of you and the first person would say “I went to the shop and bought…..a bucket”. The next person would then have to say “I went to the shop and bought a bucket…..and a bag of peas”. It would then keep going round the group adding things until someone forgot what was on the list.

Well this session I created is similar to that kind of thing. Each round gets longer and longer with new exercises added each time. Let me explain it further.

Each exercise is to be done for 30 seconds, just try to get as many reps as possible.

There is 30 seconds rest at the end of each round – this doesn’t change!

10 rounds in total.

I wrote down the exercises to be performed and numbered them:

  1. Step Ups
  2. Kettlebell Swings
  3. Squats
  4. Jumping Jacks
  5. Sit Ups
  6. Clean and Press
  7. Lunges
  8. Leg Raises
  9. Tricep Dips
  10. Burpees

Each round then looked like this:

Round 1: 1

Round 2: 1, 2

Round 3: 1, 2, 3

Round 4: 1, 2, 3, 4

Round 5: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Round 6: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Round 7: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Round 8: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Round 9: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Round 10: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

The first couple of rounds are not to bad as there is only one or two exercises to do and you get a good 30 seconds rest. From rounds 3/4 onwards it starts to get a bit challenging. You can obviously change the exercises you do, however, I would say keep the first few exercises relatively easy as you will be doing quite a few sets of them. This is why I put burpees at the end! Add weights and kettlebells in as desired to make it even more challenging.

Give it a go and let me know how you get on!

Have FUN!


Shortcut To Strength – Day 17 – Arms


Day 17 of the #shortcuttostrength trainer and today was supposed to be a rest day but I trained arms instead as I missed them yesterday. I started with some heavy bicep cable curls going for 5 sets of 5. I then moved on to these 👆🏻close grip bench presses. I managed to work up to 70kg for 5 reps which felt pretty good. Things then got a bit weird as my mate said he was training biceps as well so we started messing about and trying different bigs such as weighted pull ups, strict barbell curls, incline dumbell curls and barbell drags. By the end both our arms and forearms were shot! It was good fun though and it’s good to try new things every so often even if they don’t quite work.

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Shortcut To Strength – Day 16 – Chest


Day 16 of the #shortcuttostrength and today was chest day. I had a really good workout and was really happy with the weights and technique I was pushing. I had to do my 5 sets of 5 at 85% which worked out to be 90kg. The last set was tough but I just about got the last rep in. I’m not sure if it’s a result of the training or the technique tweaks I have been making or both but the weights felt good and went up relatively easy compared to other weeks. I only trained chest today as didn’t have time to fit arms and shoulders in but that’s OK I can make that up another day in the week. My appetite seems to have gone up a bit recently which is a good sign! My legs are pretty sore today mainly my quads but they aren’t quite as bad as I thought they would be, although it’s usually two days after that it really kicks in!!

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Shortcut To Strength – Day 15 – Legs

Day 15 of the #shortcuttostrength trainer and it was legs today. The training changes slightly this week in regards to the reps and weight. It is based on 5 sets of 5 reps at 85% of my 1 rep max. I trained at my works gym today as I had work in the afternoon. What I didn’t do was pre book the squat rack (we only have one!) so when I got to the gym there was no free slots. Luckily my mate was about to start his leg session just as I got there so I jumped in there with him. 85% of my 1 rep max is 102kg so I put 102.5kg on as that’s as close as I could get it. Because we didn’t have much time on the squat rack we had to rush our warm up and somehow try to get 5 sets each in within our 20 minute slot. My warm up sets felt terrible and my right quad felt really tight for some reason. I tried rolling and massaging it in between sets which helped a little. The more sets I did though the better it felt. I got the 5 sets done just in time and they felt pretty good considering I was only really having 1-2 minutes rest between each set. I did kick myself a bit after as I think I should have tried it with 105kg. My form felt ok but I was leaning forward quite a bit which wasn’t great, I still got the weight up and my knees felt fine but I think I could have sat upright a little more. The rest of the session we just kind of made up as we went along and so did some kettlebell front squat, leg extensions, leg press, hamstring curls and lunges. It was a tough session but felt good. Its always good to have a training partner at times as it can get competitive and push you that little bit harder. Quads are getting sore already though so the next few days will be fun! 

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