Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired?

Training To Be The Best All-Around Athlete

In 2016 I traveled to Austin Texas to attend the PaleoFx Expo. While there I ended up competing in the 3 day 'RealFit' competition.

Despite no serious training in the 7 months prior, I ended up winning this 9 event against some well trained competitors.

If you're wondering exactly what this RealFit competition is, its 9 events testing all-around athletic ability. Events test for speed, agility, strength and endurance. 

 

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If you haven't heard about this amazing story and the secret behind my success please have a read of the following:

And take a listen to this podcast:

But that was last year. It is now 10 months since that event, and a lot has happened since then. I'm now living in a very remote part of NZ (we don't even have cell coverage!) I no longer work in a gym, instead I work solely online as a writer and coach, and I continue to experiement with diets, training programs and supplements. 

But the biggest change relevant to this article is the change to my training. No longer a can I do the Super Slow Body By Science protocol that lead me to my surprise victory in 2016.

Despite all this change, I plan on travelling back to Texas in May 2017 to defend my RealFit Title.

Given that I will be competing at the competition this year, I figured it would be a wise idea to build, and follow, a training program for the event.

In this blog I will share with you the program I intend to follow over the next 8 weeks, plus update it every week with my progress, thoughts and any changes.

Oh and if you're wondering what this Real fit competition is? be sure to check out the following page - RealFit

Why A New Training Program? Why Change Whats Not Broken?

I'm sure you're thinking, why change? Why not redo what you did last year?

Valid questions. Here are my answers to that question:

1. I can't do what I was doing last year here in NZ.

I live in a remote area and the closest gym is over an hours drive away. Last year I was working at Sydneys premier boutique gym PE Dept. Here I had access to an assortment of Cybex & Hammer strength machines. Perfect for Body By Science (BBS) training. (Actually tell a lie, the perfect machine for BBS training is the ARX machine in my opinion.)

Here in NZ I only have access to a squat rack and barbells. Great for big compound lifts, but I don't like using these lifts for superslow training.  I really like BBS super slow training, but I feel like you need to do it with machines to really load the muscle. Saying that, I'm still using super slow principles in this years plan (more on this below)

2. Last year I never intended to compete at the RealFit competition.

I knew about the event going over to the US, and I recalling thinking 'I wish I had been training prior to the event, it would be awesome to compete'. 

I was simply very busy with work and knew I could follow Dr. Doug McGuffs Body By Science program and stay in shape. 15 mins a week in the gym, that was it. It freed up a ton of time to work. 

When I got to PaleoFx I was with a friend who entered the Vertical Jump event. I was wearing trousers but decided to enter it for a laugh.

Later that day I saw the guys at the ARX stand. I had been wanting to try this machine for years. I was all setup and ready to do a set when they told me 'we'll test do the same strength test the RealFit competitors are doing'.

So I did this for the leg and chest strength tests.

Next thing you know I've done three out of the 9 events (and I was told my numbers were rather impressive!)

3. Sport specificity

The events for Realfit have been rather similar over the past few years. Assuming this will continue for 2017, I have a rough idea what sort of events will be included, so why not train for these events? 

For example, I'm confident there will be a jumping event (broad or vertical) so why not work on that.

Likewise with the 40yard and 20 yard agility - the first time I had done these was at competition day at Pfx, I didn't even know how to setup, what the rules were etc. So again, I might as well spend some time practicing them in this training program.

 

My Training Plan For 2017?

So what exactly do I plan on training for the next 8 weeks?

I put together a video where I cover everything in detail, check that out below: 

Otherwise, let me explain below.

I have broken my training into 3 parts:

1) Strength/Power 

2) Speed/Skills

3) Cardiovascular capacity.

Strength/Power Workouts

For this I have developed a 3 prong attack.

1. NeuroMass Training

Neuromass is a book by Jon Bruney. His 'NeuroSets' are split into 3 parts:

A grind set, followed by a dynamic power drill, ended by an isometric.

The grind set is a slow, controlled move a la super slow/bodybyscience style. You hold tension for 8-12 reps. For example a non-lockout bench press with a 5 second tempo or non lock out back squats. 

The dynamic power drill is a short explosive set, for 15-60 seconds. for example clap pushups or squat jumps. 

The isometric is a 7-12 second hold, with the intention to 'empty the tank' and take the muscle to absolute fibre. Examples here would be a box crush or a wall sit.

You do all 3 consecutively without rest. That is one neuroset. 

This is where I incorporate my 'super slow' protocols into my programming. As I'll be using barbells I know it's going to be hard to really take the muscle to failure like I could with a well designed machine. 

But the added power and isometric drills afterwards will really help me stress every muscle fibre.

According to the NeuroMass protocol you should do this 2-4x a week as a split routine. But I'm only going to do 1 full body set a week. 1 or 2 sets for each body part. 

I found that I needed at least 6-7 days recovering from my 1 set to failure approach when using the BBS protocol, so I'm going to try and follow a similar approach - give it everything I have for the first set. If I feel like I have a bit left in the tan I may do a second set.

  

2. Jim Wendlers 5/3/1 

Prior to starting this program I was doing 1 full body strength session per week. My strength has increased a lot over this time. I wanted to keep some heavy lifting in my program in the run up to RealFit.

For this I will use Jim Wendlers 5/3/1 program. This is a program I have a lot of experience with (it was my core program in my powerlifting years and helped me squat 245kg raw). 

I plan on doing one full body 5/3/1 routine a week with the following lifts: 

  • Deadlift
  • Floor Press (I don't have a bench)
  • Pendlay Row
  • Front Squat

I will be sure to use the deload weeks in this program and I may even drop the 5/3/1 out of the program after one round (4 weeks) if my body isn't recovering adequately. I need to remember - less is more!

3. Grease the Groove

The final prong in my strength program is using Pavel Tsatsoulines' Grease the Groove concept.

I will be writing a standalone article on this in coming weeks so I won't go into too much detail here. 

I will be using the grease the groove concept 4-6x a week. Performing a pull-up as these have been in the Realfit competition the past two years.


Speed/Skill Training

With the strength side of training, I plan on dedicating a few hours a week to speed and skill training.

This was perhaps my weak point last year. Primarily because I hadn't done any sprint training or plyometric training for a very long time, but also because I had zero experience in some of the Realfit 2016 events. I simply had to jump in and hope for the best.

Events like the 40 yard dash, vertical jump, 20 yard agility and the medicine ball throw were all new to me. I did some sprinting at high school, but that was never anything serious. So when I saw all these Americans setting up for the 40 yard with their fancy shoes and special starting stances I knew I was quite literally on the back foot.

Likewise with the medicine ball throw. I don't think I had ever thrown a medicine ball in my life prior to the 2016 event. 

And don't get me started on the 20 yard agility event. Imagine a big truck trying to get around two round abouts in the quickest time possible. That was how I felt doing that event.

Given this, I figured a few hours practicing these skills over the next 8 weeks may do me a world of good. For that reason I plan on dedicating one training day to cover the following: 

  • Sprinting
  • Sprint starts
  • Agility 
  • Vertical & Horizontal Jumps
  • Medicine Ball Throws

My 'coach' for these skills will be the Tim Ferris 4 Hour Body book, in particular the section on hacking the NFL combine.


Cardiovascular Capacity

The final component of my training plan involves the fitness side of things. I am well aware of the cardiovascular benefits of a properly designed strength training protocol (remember the 2016 event had a rowing challenge in which I top scored, despite any form of 'cardio' for over 7 months). 

But given that there will no doubt be some form of rowing event in the 2017 competition AND that I have a rowing machine in my home gym, it makes sense to do some form of rowing training.

I'm going to keep this really simple. Once a week I will do:

1. High Intensity Interval Training

1 set of rowing intervals. 4 or 5 repeats. 90second rest. The distance for each interval will start at 200m, and each week I will add 50m to the distance while trying to maintain the average wattage output that I achieved the week before. 

Nothing fancy.

2. MAF Aerobic Training

1 capped heart rate recovery row. This will be a 145bpm or lower row, MAF method (check out Phil Maffetones book The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing for more). This will help build aerobic capacity, but I will be using it to help with recovery. This will be anything from 15minutes to 45minutes.

Training Schedule

I plan on piecing this all together as per the table below. I expect this to change, but I needed something to follow at the start.

A few important notes on this:

  • I have a few trips away over the next few weeks, on these weeks I will simply skip some training.
  • I will work in a deload phase every 4 weeks
  • I won't train if I have slept poorly, feel like rubbish or simply don't want to train.
  • If I start training and I feel sluggish, weights feel extra heavy or my numbers are poor, I will simply stop training then and call it a day.
  • I will stop all training at least 1 week prior to the trip. Ideally 10-14 days prior but I will make this call closer.

Recovery

Recovery is top priority for me. If I find I am not progressing in my training it will be a clear sign that my recovery is not rapid enough. If I can't improve my recovery time then I will have to cut back on the training front.

I will utilise the following recovery techniques to assist my performance:

  • Nutrient dense, low inflammatory, high calorie diet (more on this below)
  • At least one complete rest day a week (ideally 2-3 of these days, but at a minimum one)
  • Quality sleep 
  • Various supplements
  • Cold water swims

Diet & Supplements

My diet will be hard to beat. I have worked hard on my diet over the years and there are few areas that I can improve on. My diet will be a lot of organic, unprocessed foods. I will avoid grains, chemicals, additives, PUFAs, pesticides (XX) etc. 

My diet will consist of:

  • Free range eggs
  • Organ meats (at least once a week)
  • Bone Broth (at least one cup a day)
  • Organic/Pesticide free vegetables from our garden
  • Free range beef and lamb
  • Fresh fish caught 200m from my home
  • Raw milk from an organic farm (about 1.5L a day)
  • Lots of sweet potatoes and potatoes (from our garden)
  • Organic orange and apple juice (around training)
  • Occasional organic sugar, dates and raw honey (around training)
  • Lots of curries and stews and white rice

Yes I will be eating sugar, yes I will be drinking juice, yes I will be eating a lot of saturated fats, yes I will be snacking, yes I will be drinking milk.

It will be a higher carb, higher calorie diet. I don't want lack of calories or nutrients to be an issue during this 8-9 week training block.

And I definitely don't want to do any damage to my thyroid by following a restrictive diet during such an intense training block. No low carb keto diets here.

Supplements

I will continue to take my usual supplements as outlined in the following video: 

 

Daily Supplements:

The supplements are:

Note, if you order any of these from Iherb, use discount code BHS654

Pre Training Supplements:

 

I will use the following stack pre training:

  • Baking Soda
  • Thorne Aminos
  • Creatine
  • L-carntine (simply because I have a heap of it!)
  • Sugar (dates, honey or raw milk)

Post Training:

  • Raw milk with maple syrup
  • Orange juice with aminos
  • Raw milk with dates
  • Or simply a big meal for dinner.

Recovery:

  • 1-2x a week I will take 9 caps of capracleanse to help with recovery
  • I will also use topical Magnesium sprays each night for recovery

What I'll Track

I'll be using my Oura ring and the wealth of data the software spits out to track my sleep, resting heart rate, HRV, body temperature, activity level and more. I will include screen shots of this data each week. If you don't know what the Oura is, please see my review on it HERE.

My Plan

So thats it. Thats what I plan on doing. Each week going forward I will update this journal with a 'week review'. Leaving thoughts and feedback on what went well and what didn't', what I'll be changing and why and any other insights that I think you will like to know.

So bookmark this page and check back in once a week. Or better yet, subscribe to my newsletter as I will be sending out emails when i do update this journal.

Finally, make sure you follow me on Facebook and Instagram. I'll be sharing lots of candid 'stories' on instagram during my training week.

 

Week 1 Review  

Diet:
As per the plan above.

Training: 

NueroMass: surprisingly tough. Did 2 sets of each. Solid pump. Fitness was pathetic with the power/isos at the end. Did one set of Hamstrings - tried doing RDL instead, couldn't find suitable a suitable isometric. Will experiment.

Speed Training:On beach, not best surface, soft sand. experimenting with stance. Doing 9 yard dashs. 4 hour body style. Need to look into timing app to track progress. 

 

Beach sprints 🌊 🏃🏼 ☀️ 💪🏽

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Aerboic Training: Body still tight from monday. 20mins MAF training. Hamstrings very tight. Cold swim afterwards was good!

5/3/1 strength: Not feeling amazing. Deadlifts were tough. You can see the full workout in 33seconds below:

 

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Numbers were:

  • Deadlift - 175kg x 10
  • Floor Press - 90kg x 11
  • Pendlay - 60kg x 20
  • Front Squat - 110kg x 10

Slightly worried that the Neuromass session and 5/3/1 in one week may be too much. Will see how I feel next week.


Intervals: 200m repeats.

  • Average Watts - 631w

Felt like it was too easy. Tempted to push repeats up from 4 to 5. But then I know in coming weeks it will get harder as the distance increases. Also, I know the focus of this training program is strength and skill, not improved cardiovascular function.

So will stick to the plan.


Skill training: Took friday off, so did HIIT on sat. Decided I needed (want) the extra days off training. So going forward, the skill training will be combined with Tuesday sprint training. It will now be a skills/speed day.

Mobility will be worked into my morning routine. Doing some basic mobility stuff every morning..

Recovery

Tough. Body not used to this volume. Or fitness. Hamstrings were beat. Also lats are rooted, from grease the groove and all the heavy Deadlifts. 

Grease the groove may need to drop out?

OR - 5/3/1 may be too much? Will see how I go next week.

Need to eat more though. And sleep more.

Had three bad nights sleep - 1 night a cricket in room. 1 night blog  took way longer than usual to write (link) 1 night was thinking about work too much. Silly things and I know better. 

You can see from the OURA graph how my resting HR (the plotted numbers on the left graph) has increased in this first week of training - simply due to the excess stress (and poor sleep). If you look at the right graph you can see the low quality nights in the past week. 

Note - Sunday 26 of March is the end of Week 1, so look left of that point.

Week 2 Review  

Diet:
As per the plan above.

See a typical meal below:

Training: 

NueroMass:

Another tough session. 135kg back squats - 12 reps non lockout. Bloody hard, but then I have done numbers MUCH higher than this in my bodybuilding days.

For the hamstrings I did Nordic Hamstring Curls, into Lunge jumps into hamstring flexs. Only did one set as my hammies were cramping afterwards!

Speed/Skill Training:

Was working on my vertical jump and sprint starts today. Both went well.

I tried using a video timer app, but it was stupidly annoying so I'll probably give up on that.

With my vertical jumps I was working on driving shoulders down. I find I am squatting quite deep, reading some where that a 1/2 squat is all you need. Will experiment.

Aerboic Training: 

Skipped this this week due to being away for 3 days.

5/3/1 strength:

Felt a lot better than week 1 - maybe due to more recovery this week? Who knows.

Week 2 numbers are below:

Deadlift:

Week 1- 175kg x 10.

  • Deadlift. Week 1 - 175kgx10. Week 2 - 180kg x 10
  • Floor Press. Week 1 - 90kg x 11. Week 2 - 95kg x12.
  • Pendlay. Week 1 - 60kg x 20. Week 2 - 65kg x 20
  • Front Squat. Week 1 - 110kg x 10. Week 2 - 115kg x 13

Some big improvements there. Looking forwad to a heavy week next week.

 Below is a shot of my Front Squat depth:

Intervals: 200m repeats.

  • Average Watts - 688w (up from 633w in Week 1)

 

Pushed a lot harder this week. I really need to get on a Concept 2 erg for these intervals though.

Recovery

 

Felt a lot better this week. More rest days helped. So did the extra food I'm eating! Plus I had some solid sleep this week.

 

My OURA data shows how my sleep improved for the week. A lot more deeper sleep this week also. Though I did have one short sleep as I had a friends wedding. 

Readiness seems to bounce around a bit (readiness score is the blue chart, RHR is the dotted line).

Note - Sunday 2nd of April is the end of Week 2, so look left of that point.

 

Week 3 Review  

Diet:

Nothing out of the ordinary this week. Still trying to eat as much as possible!

Training: 

This week was quite disruptive with travelling an as a result I didn't do a full weeks worth of training. Though I'm starting to think this is for the better! #LessIsMore

NueroMass:

 

Due to time constraints I had to shorten this workout. I only did 1 set to failure for each set. Knowing this I made sure I really gave each set 100%. Actually, I think this is a better way to do the Neuromass sets. It's closer to the BBS workouts I used to do.

I also tweaked the protocol a bit. I still did the 8-12 non-lockout grind set, but then I only did 2-5 ‘explosive’ sets  (instead of the ~30second duration).

 Pretty much as soon as I noticed my form/power slipping I moved on…

And then I did the isometric hold. Rather than doing 7-15 seconds, I aimed to hold this as long as possible - ideally 30seconds plus.

The whole workout was over in 20minutes, but I was cooked!

Speed/Skill Training:

 

I didn't do this session this week. 

Aerboic Training: 

I didn't do this either.

5/3/1 strength:

This was my heavy week for 5/3/1

Week 3 numbers are below:

  • Deadlift. Week 1 - 175kgx10. Week 2 - 180kg x 10. Week 3 - 190kg x 8
  • Floor Press. Week 1 - 90kg x 11. Week 2 - 95kg x12. Week 3 - 100kg x 11
  • Pendlay. Week 1 - 60kg x 20. Week 2 - 65kg x 20. Week 3 - 70kg x 21
  • Front Squat. Week 1 - 110kg x 10. Week 2 - 115kg x 13. Week 3 - 120kg x 12

 

So some decent changes there. Front Squat is feeling the best. Numbers still look pretty low compared to my 180kg for rep days, but the good thing is I'm going A LOT deeper. 

Next week is the deload week, so I'll take the week off from heavy lifting, then I'll recalculate my max numbers for the second cycle of 5/3/1.

Intervals: 200m repeats.

  • Average Watts - 729w (up from 672w in Week 2)

I put the drag factor up high this time around. Oh and yeah I decided to just stick to 200m repeats for 4 rounds. Call me lazy, but as long as I'm improving each week and pushing harder I am happy with the shorter sprints. Plus I am really worried about pushing to hard and not recovering adequately. 

Recovery

Even though the volume was a lot lower this week, I definietly have felt the accumulative effects from the past 3 weeks. S

OURA shows sleep has improved again. Average score in week 1 was 82. 83 in Week 2 and 86 in week 3.data shows how my sleep improved for the week.

Next week is my 'deload week'. I'm not going to do any lifting - no Neuromass, no 5/3/1, no grease the groove.

I'm unsure if I'll even do the hiit sprints. I will still do my skill training however (as I missed it last week).  

 

Week 4 Review  

 

This was my deload/rest week. So I didn't do any training. Other than 4 short sprints on the beach while fishing (10m sprints - practicing my starts) I didn't do any training of any sort (no recovery rows, no grease the grooves, no weights nothing).

You can see a picture of me practicing my starts (while fishing!)

 

 

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 I also introduced a new supplement in my protocols. This was Mike Mahlers Agressive Strength Testosterone Supplement. I used this a few years ago and did some before and after DUTCH hormone tests. My testosterone increased by 26% after a full 12 week cycle (8 weeks on, 4 weeks off).

You can read more about this experiment HERE.

Anyway, I will be taking 3 capsules a day every day right up until PaleoFx. I take these on an empty stomach.

 

Recovery

My rest and recovery was magnified by my increasing sleep quality. My average sleep score continued to improve. Hitting an average of 89 for Week 4! 

Next week I will start training again. I have 4.5 weeks until PaleoFx. So I plan on doing one more '3 week' block, and then having 1.5 weeks doing nothing prior to Pfx. 

Week 5 Review  

Diet:

Much of the same, lots of fat, lots of raw milk, plenty of broth and organic vege. If you're curious to see what my diet looks like be sure to follow me on Instagram here

Below you can see my weeks worth of raw milk consumption:

 

 

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Back into training this week after the deload week off. I ended up only doing two training sessions this week. The NeuroMass workout and the 5/3/1 protocol (as well as a few Grease the Groove days). No aerobic, intervals or skill workouts.

 

NueroMass:

Continued with the 1 set to failure workout. It means the session only takes 15-20minutes. Which I love.

Ended up doing some big numbers, including 145kg slow temp back squats (followed by the squat jumps and wall sit isometric). I was puffing for a while afterwards!

And my legs were shot for a few days, hence why I didn't do the interval or sprint training.

5/3/1 strength:

Started a new phase for my 5/3/1 routine, using new 1 rep maxes calculated from the previous months workout.

Week 1 numbers are below:

Deadlift. Week 1 - 185kgx10. 
Floor Press. Week 1 - 100kg x 10
Pendlay. Week 1 - 85kg x 12
Front Squat. Week 1 - 125kg x 12
 

Numbers were up across the board. So that is good.

 

Recovery

Another solid week on the sleep front, my average sleep score was 88 (down from 89 the previous week but up from the first few weeks). Readiness score was a bit more volatile after the week off.

Two more weeks of training before I back off.

To be honest, my strength is pretty solid. I probably need to do a few more interval sessions and I still haven't done any agility skill training. That needs to be a priority next week.

The two big strength sessions in one week are quite tough - the neuromass and the 5/3/1 - so I may only do one more week doing both. We shall see.

 

 

Week 6 Review  

Diet: 

No changes here. I went fishing, caught a fish and ate that one night :)  

 

Going fishing 🎣 #WishMeLuck

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Another low volume training week this week. I've been getting pretty slack to be honest! I'm probably doing about 25% of the plan outlined at the start! This week I did the NeuroMass workout, and my skill sessions.

That was it. No aerobic recovery row, no HIIT and I didn't even do the 5/3/1. 

I felt quite stiff after the skill session (agility shuttle and starts) so I took another day off, and that ended up being 3 days off. Whoops

 

NueroMass:

 

Again, 1 set to failure. I'm sticking with this going forward. It's intense but short.

I'm sure it's not the best way to train for hypertrophy, but that isn't my goal.

I did 150kg back squats with the 12 rep non-lockout grind set. Felt heavy!

 

Skill Session:

I practiced my 9yard sprints (focusing on starts and acceleration). I'm not timing these so it's hard to know if I'm improving or not. But I feel more confident with my starts.

I occasionally record them in slow-mo so I can nit pick my technique.

This week I also started practicing the 20 yard agility shuttle. These feel so awkward for me! I'm slow at the turns, so I need a lot more work. And I kept slipping. In fact I don't think I finished any at full pace.

More practice needed!

Recovery

Sleep dropped slightly again this week. Average of 86. Still really good, but not as great as it could be. The main reason was one shorter sleep during the week. 

Recovery is solid though. Saying that I only did 45minutes of activity during the week! So it should be good.

This week will probably be my last big week (not that I've had many big training weeks of late!) I am to do a 5/3/1, a neuromass, more skill training and maybe a HIIT.

The next week I'll probably do a neuromass and a skill session and then that will be it!

 

 

Week 7 Review  

 

This week has been crazy.  A lot going on on the work side meant very little training. I know, I know... no excuses. But honestly I just couldn't make the time to train this week.

What did I do? I did the 5/3/1 session that I missed from last night, and a few grease the groove chin-up sessions.

I also reeled in a 6kg snapper - so that was a bit of a workout! (Check out the catch here).

 

5/3/1 strength:

Second week of my second phase on this program.

Week 1 and 2 numbers are below (Week 2 in bold)

Deadlift. Week 1 - 185kgx10. 195kg x 8
Floor Press. Week 1 - 100kg x 10. 105kg x 7
Pendlay. Week 1 - 85kg x 12. 90kg x 11.
Front Squat. Week 1 - 125kg x 12. 130kg x 12

Looking back over all my 5/3/1 numbers, I have increased my calculated 1 rep max for all lifts.

 

 

Recovery

Again, I did 1 session this week and that was on Monday. So my readiness score has been high (No surprise) and my sleep has been amazing.

I had a 92% sleep score one night this week: 

 My data for the week is below:

 

I have 1.5 weeks left before I get on the plane.

In that time I think I will do one more NeuroMass session and maybe some more skill/sprint sessions. Oh and a few more days doing Grease The Groove chins.

And that will be it. No training at all from a week out. Focusing on getting lots of sleep, lots of food in and maybe a massage!

 

 

Week 8 Review  

 

So this was my last week training. A lower volume week due to work coming out of my ears and beginning of the taper (no 5/3/1 this week).

Anyway, this week I did a NeuroMass session, Grease the Groove sessions and some skills/sprints. Oh and a few cold (very cold) water swims!
 

NeuroMass: 

A solid session, numbers all up and the body feeling really good. I stuck with the 1 set to failure and just made sure I pushed everything to absolute failure. 

I act a massive pump after these sets. Here's a video my lower body set:

➖Time under tension grinds (here in doing 150kg controlled tempo non lockout back squats. Yes they burn)
➖explosive reps (here I do squat jumps aiming for max height. Legs are piss weak at this stage)
➖isometric / static hold as a finish (here I do weighted wall sits. Legs are screaming now).

And that's it.
I do one set to failure. 1 neuroset for each body part (chest, back, quads and hammies). 1 session a week. Job done.

Sprint / Skill Session:

Some more work on my starts and practicing the agility shuttles. Shuttles aren't the best on sand, I kept slipping at the turns. 

I recorded one of my sprint warmups. Not the prettiest technique: 

 

Working on my sprints 🏃🏼 Nice cold river swim afterwards as well ❄️ 🌊 💪🏽

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Recovery

The body felt good this week and I'm looking forward to a full 8-9 days off before I attend Paleo Fx next week.

My data for the week is below:

 

The Oura Ring app was updated to include Heart Rate Variability tracking this week! A very neat feature, so I included my screen shots from that above. It would have been useful having this data earlier on to see how my body was handling the stress.

Anyway it's nice and high today and has been trending up since the update came out. I have seen people who have really low numbers (18-30), so I must be doing something right!

Sleep was pretty solid for me this week. Averaging around 87%.

At the time of writing I'm only a few days out from travelling to USA. It will be a lot of flying (4 flights), rubbish sleep, sub par food and disrupted circadian rhythms.

When I get to Austin I'll be going straight to a recovery centre for IV drips, compression boots and maybe a hyperbaric chamber session. 

Stay tuned and wish me luck! Next time I update this the comp will be all over.

 

The Result: Post Competition Thoughts

I won!

 

I won! 🥇 Back to back 'RealFit' champ 💪🏽 This was a 9 event competition over 3 days, testing for strength, agility, skill, movement, strength endurance and power. The events included: ➖20 yard agility shuttle ➖vertical leap ➖chest strength (peak concentric, eccentric and total force over 30seconds) ➖leg strength (as per above) ➖ammo can lift (as per US marine rules) ➖Obstacle course (tree flips, crawls, jumps, throws, carries, drags etc) ➖ 1k row ➖medicine ball throw ➖40yard sprint A wide variety of events - including a lot i had little to no experience with (i.e. obstacle courses - wtf!?!😳) But I put up some great numbers, took out top spot on nearly half of the events and came out number one. This was held at the paleo fx health and fitness conference in Austin Texas and was a great occasion! Time to go eat some BBQ before I sit on a plane for 15 hours tomorrow✈️

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 And I won rather convincingly!

Going into the final event (the 1000m row) I was told I only needed to finish the event to secure first place (you need to finish every event to register a score). But I still pushed hard on the row, coming in at 3:03 for a 1000m. 

Despite some rubbish sleep during the event I felt really good over the 3 days. My strength numbers were up from last year (on the ARX). Both chest and leg strength were up.

 

Back on this epic/intense/crazy machine 😝💪🏽 @arxfit apparently I did pretty good 👌🏼

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My vertical jump was WELL up (2 or 3 inches I think) from 2016.

 

My 20 yard agility time was 0.4 seconds faster than last year.

So whatever I did this year worked! 

Unfortunatley those 4 events were the only events that I did in 2016, the other 5 events were all new. So I couldn't compare the other times/scores etc.

But in a nutshell, I was stronger, faster and more explosive.

As for the Oura Data, you can see how bad my sleep was below:

The event took place from the 19th to the 21st. 

Anyway, now that I'm back in NZ you can see how my sleep is improving! I have slept over 9 hours the last 3 nights:

But enough about my sleep.

What were my lessons learnt from this years win.

Here goes:

  • Cut your program in half! As you will notice I ended up doing far less than my initial program
  • Listen to your body, if you feel sluggish don't train
  • Use technology to help monitor progress (i.e. I'm a big fan of temperature tracking  and sleep and recovery tracking with the Oura Ring)
  • Sleep as much as possible! 
  • Aim to get as strong as possible. I used 5/3/1 for this, and my numbers increased. Though there may be better ways (less intensive!) to build strength. If I have an ARX machine I would use that.
  • Skill training was hugely beneficial. A few sessions practicing my starts and turns helped me with my agility and 40 yard

Also, I recommend reading the comments section as there was a good conversation going on in there about what was working and what wasn't (prior to me competing).

If you want an in-depth review of what worked and what my 'secret to success' was, be sure to read an article I wrote on the flight home. This is titled - 15 Valuable Secrets to Sporting Success.

What Next?

I won a ticket for the 2018 event, so I guess I'll see if I can go back for a triple. In the mean time I'm looking forward to experimenting with a new training protocol and playing around with my diet.

Actually I felt really good on the rowing machine, I toyed with some rowing last year - the 2000m event - but I think the shorter sprint rows are much more enjoyable.

So I might look at doing some sprint work. My 1000m time was a persona best at 3:03. But it's not that impressive, considering my best prior was 3:04 and that was 10 years ago at 19 years old... when I weighed only 72kgs (I am now 96 kgs!)

I think it would be great to smash that 3minute mark for the 1000m and to be honest I think I could do it. The 1000m I did in Austin was the last event on the 3rd day. I did it 20minutes after my ARX session (where my numbers broke the scoring scale system!) and 45minutes after the 40 yard. Plus I only slept 5hours the night before.

So I imagine if I was fresh I could smash the 3minute mark. The best row time at RealFit was 2:55, so that is something I could aim for.

Otherwise there is the 500m event. My best for that is 1:16second.

Anyway, time will tell!

If you have any ideas for where I should pour my energy into please let me know! 

 Oh and thanks for all the support and encouragement over the past few months : ) 

 

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