Don’t make this Killer Mistake when returning to training!

One of the hardest things is coming back to training after a long lay off.   It is great you are coming back but the majority of people make this one Killer Mistake.  If you make this mistake you are really setting yourself up for failure as you will be bound to fall off the bandwagon again.   If you take this advice on however it can really set you up for long term success with your health.

So you are about to get back into training.  At this point you are probably super motivated! You want to be fit and strong again YESTERDAY! So what do you do?   Charge full steam ahead and make this BIG mistake! The mistake I’m talking about here is going from Zero to Hero!   I liken this to signing up and trying to run a marathon with no running training at all.   You wouldn’t do it.  You would call someone stupid for doing it.   So why are you trying to train hard so often when your base you’re working from is working, stressing, running around after kids and being sedentary?

The reason this approach of zero to hero is a mistake is for the following reasons:

  • Your body is adapted to being sedentary so you actually don’t need a big stimulis to start changing your body positively.  Do the minimum effective dosage and focus on recovery and overall health habits.
  • Training hard 5-6 x per week is very taxing on the body and you set yourself up for the chance of injuries.  Training 5-6x per week is great if your body is adapted to it but we recommend you build up and keep yourself in the game.
  • Mentally you are setting yourself up to fail.   If you had the goal of training 3 x per week and accomplished it you will feel great and be encouraged to keep going.  If on the other hand, you are aiming for 6 x and you ‘only’ accomplish 3 x you will most likely beat yourself up and feel like you failed.  This will make it much more likely that you will fall off the bandwagon of training and be stuck again.

A couple of solutions that we suggest our members start with to ensure consistency and longevity (the key to health).  

  • Start training 2-3 x per week strength
  • Walk or do incidental exercise on the other days that are just part of your life (walk to the bus)
  • Focus on sleep hygiene and one habit with your eating to improve it towards your ideal

Once these all become habits and you are successful at them (normally one month or more) look at the next step to keep working towards your ideal self.


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What Shoes Should You Squat In?


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What sort of shoe should you squat in? Does it matter? I’m going to run you through these common questions so by the end of the article you have a clear understanding of pros and cons of wearing different shoes.

The majority of our members turn up in ‘trainers’. These are typically made to be light and with a large foamy sole to ‘cushion’ impact. Wearing of these in general is another whole blog article, but in terms of squatting I am going to start off with a blanket statement by saying they are not ideal.


The problem with a ‘trainer’

Trainer type shoes are not ideal for a couple of reasons. The first reason being a very large percentage (I would guess 80%) of new members are found to be lacking in ankle range as we assess their knee to wall test in the initial consult. There is admittingly some bias to this test with respect to different limb length but it gives us a great starting point.  With limited dorsi flexion (the ability of the knee to travel forward whilst keeping heel down) it is almost impossible to have a natural squat that is not completely hip dominant (placing no stress on the knee extensors).   Often what happens with a ‘soft’ shoe like a trainer the trainee will collapse in at the ankle under load.   Secondly, the soft sole disperses much of your force you have generated.  We really want all of that force to be straight into the ground.   If you think the extreme version of ‘soft’ think about standing on a big piece of thick foam and thinking how well you could squat. Not great right?


Factors affecting the shoe you should wear 

So if you shouldn’t wear the typical sports shoe what should you wear? This depends on a number of factors:

  • How much ankle range do you have? Does having more make your squat look and feel better? Remember the more range you have at the ankle, the more knees can travel forward, the more upright your torso and therefore the more emphasis on your quadriceps and the less on your back.
  • What is your main training game? Are you a Weightlifter, a Crossfitter, a Powerlifter or just someone that enjoys getting stronger?
  • Do you have any injuries you need to work around?


If you are a weightlifter your primary goal is to lift as much weight as you can in the clean and jerk and the snatch. The more upright you can receive the bar in these lifts the higher chance you have of making the lift. In this scenario you would definitely be going with a traditional weight lifting shoe. This has a very hard sole and also a raised heel which is going to let the knees travel forward more (hence keeping you more upright). Easy to obtain examples would be the Nike Romaleos and the Adidas Adipower.


If you train Crossfit or a similar type of training that involves heavy lifts but also a large range of other movements a shoe that still has a very firm sole with minimal rise will work best.   Reebok have the standard ‘Nano’ whilst Nike have the ‘Metcon’ and many others have a comparative shoe now.


If you are a Powerlifter you are only concerned with lifting the most weight you can on the squat and not whether you are more upright or not. A firm shoe (Converse Chuck is a standard powerlifting shoe) will do the job nicely.


If you are just looking to get stronger and don’t compete in any way then it really comes down to your goal with your squat and what it currently looks like.   Once again if you struggle to get good depth with your squat and your ankle range on a knee to wall test is less than 12cm than you can most likely benefit from a weightlifting shoe. If you are not sure still if lack of ankle range is your problem, refer to our last article here to run through a checklist.  Although more expensive than a trainer type shoe they can literally last you 10 years if you treat them right. (I have had the ones in the picture for about 6 years and have worn them at least a few times per week since then).


Happy Lifting. Any Questions? Please feel free to comment or email us luke@thewildmovement.com.au




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Results with a Strong Decision

This week I wanted to change the tune and simply tell you about one of our members. The purpose of this is to simply show you what is possible. When we hear more positive stories we are more likely to take action.

Steve completed his initial consult the week prior to my gym The Wild Movement opening. I remember it being a little hard to tie him down for the initial consult and wondering how serious he was.

His initial consult after doing the screening that was necessary we got some bench mark numbers of his strength.

Initial Results

• Rounded Shoulders
• Right hip sitting higher than left
• Lumbar Flexion poor
• Hamstring Length 30 degrees short of ideal
• Trapbar Deadlift 1 RM 80kg
• Chin Up x 5 reps
• Bench Press 1 RM 60kg
• Back Squat 1 RM 67.5kg
• 79kg Body weight with a body fat of 23.9% (InBody Scan tested)

Steve hadn’t trained in 3-6 months due to a number of different personal factors. When we spoke initially he said he was ready to start looking after himself and feel good again.

Steve committed to an initial 4 week block of training that involved training 4 x per week. This is a big commitment for someone that hasn’t been doing any training but it was a strong decision. If we fast-forward 18 weeks we will see some amazing progress.

Current Results

• Posture neutral including hips not hiked. This is strength training correctly and also working with the amazing Athletica Physical Health.
• Fingers to floor Standing Pike (previously 20cm short)
• Trapbar Deadlift 1 RM 127.5kg
• Chin Up x 13 reps and 1 rep max of 29kg added to bodyweight
• Bench Press 1 RM 81kg
• Back Squat 85kg last testing Estimated 90kg Currently
• 79kg Body weight with a body fat of 15 %. That’s 4.5kg of muscle on And 5kg of fat down.
• Juggling 60 seconds (Couldn’t juggle previously)
• Kicking up to handstands in the open. Progress from never being upside down.

Steve’s commitment I believe has increased each time he has set goals and ticked them off. It is very powerful to see yourself improving. It builds mental resilience. Steve’s openness to really work on himself in all areas not just physical has really meant he has grown so much more than his physical results show. He borrows books from our library and is always looking to learn more about himself and what we are doing.

I am really excited to see where Steve can take his training and his life through the continued growth he has been experiencing.

What started out as a 4 week commitment of 16 days training has turned into 4 days every single week (sometimes 5) for the past 18 weeks. There has never been a session missed. This doesn’t mean he has not struggled on some days and weeks with feeling flat, having niggles or fighting colds but we have always worked around it to ensure there is long term progress.

As I always say consistency is king. Do the basics well over a long period of time and you will go far.

In Steve’s own words – ‘Train hard, train often, eat good food and sleep well!”

PS If you would like to transform your health, physical capacities and life then reach out to us with an email to luke@thewildmovement.com.au we would love to hear from you.

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Learnings from Mass and Strength Holiday

Last week a client and myself completed Strength and Mass Holiday. This is a program designed by famous German Strength Coach Wolfgang Unsoeld. The goal of the program is for the trainee to put on weight and strength quickly. The program is 10 sessions across five days. It is not for the faint hearted. If you need to put on some kilos of muscle and increase strength though then this could be your answer however.

I have completed intensive blocks of lifting before similar to this but this is the most comprehensively I have followed the nutrition protocol (as did my client) with a given program. The nutrition protocol is more food than most people are used to eating.

We started Monday morning as the plan suggested and finished Friday afternoon. The sessions were maximum of 60 minutes but with a lot of volume, especially considering all sets had long eccentrics to increase time under tension of the muscle.

Most days we both felt good, with the only exception Wednesday. During the second session I felt completely flogged and wasn’t too sure how I would bounce back for the next morning let alone get through the session on hand.


• Doing something that questions your mental and physical strength sometimes is a good thing. When you do it with another person it’s an even better experience.
• When you have a decent training age squats don’t tax you nearly as much as deadlifts. We did 58 sets pretty heavy sets across the week and there was very little muscle soreness from them.
• Eating enough for people that want to put on muscle aggressively should be just as hard as training. Eating 7 eggs or a bowl of rissoles at 430am was tough – but part of the process.
• When you are strength training effectively and progressively there is such a massive adaptation that the body wants to go through. If you don’t feed it there will be no positive effect.
• Being on a clock and aiming to keep our sessions under the hour meant more focused training and less time fluffing.


We kept our data very simple. We both weighed in Monday Morning pre training and weighed in again 7 days later at the same time. My client’s weight started at 80.1kg and finished at 81.9kg. My weight started at 95.8kg and finished at 97.7kg. We both gained close to 2kg. Unfortunately we did not complete any skinfolds or scans to get a more accurate picture of fat versus lean mass. I will definitely do this next time. We are both very happy with the result on the scales and I know I definitely feel just as lean if not leaner than before.

From here I plan to go back to moderate volume and intensity training over the next month or so with my lifting and capitalise on some good strength gains. I will be opening up a few spots in the future to complete the program at The Wild Movement for motivated individuals. Keep an eye out for this.

Thanks for reading and I would love to hear any questions you have or you can check out the Ebook from Wolfgang Here.

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