It’s a numbers game.

When you are trying to progress in anything – tracking and counting stuff is essential to success. What you cannot measure after all you really cannot improve…

This is particularly true in the training game. Weights lifted, number of reps, duration of session, total amount lifted in a session are the simple things to keep an eye on. 

Mini PB’s for max chins, air squats or press ups are also all worth tracking as well as your other body weight and submaximal lifts.

Here’s a couple of examples of playing the numbers game in training sessions.

Wave Training

Here are some easy ideas for the treadmill. 

  1. Building the base. Build up speed gradually to 6mph over 5 minutes. Then each minute try to go 0.5mph faster. Stop when this gets too hard and go back to 6mph. Then build again. Do 4 ‘waves’ over 20 minutes.

Note for the 1st few times you might only get to 7.5mph – and keep repeating 6.0-7.5mph. That’s fine, just keep a note. Do this twice per week.

Another session is as follows. Warm up build to 6mph. Set incline to 5%. Run for 30 seconds at 5% - rest for 30 seconds. Repeat for 15 minutes (or as many as you can). If you get tired do less time on the incline e.g. 20 seconds on, 40 off. Each week increase the incline by 1%. Once you get to 15% then work on building up the speed.


Another way I’ve used the numbers game for workouts dates right back to the original ultra fit competition. Hopefully a few of you will remember or may have even participated in that.

The order of exercise was as follows.

  • 1.5km Air Bike level 6
  • 500m Row
  • 50 Reps 40kg Lat pulldown
  • 60 Knee raises
  • 50 Press Ups
  • 100 Step Ups 10kg in each hand
  • 60 Ab crunches
  • 50 Reps 30kg Shoulder Press
  • 800m Incline run 10%
  • 50 Reps 40kg Bench

So applying a wave effect here, we’d start with the 1st 2 exercises, bike then row, then back to bike then row and lat pulldowns, then back to row, then lat pulldowns, then knee raises. Then back to lat pulldowns, knee raises and and onto press ups. The table below you can see the blocks more clearly.

There’s also a newer one which looks even more horrible;

  • 750m Row
  • 40 Reps x 30kg Shoulder press.
  • 60 Full sit ups.
  • 20 box jumps with 20kg weights vest.
  • 2km Air bike
  • 40 reps with 30kg power cleans
  • 60 step ups on 12 inch box with 30kg (15kg in each hand)
  • 60m farmers walk with 60kg.
  • 800m run at 10% incline.
  • 40 Reps with 50kg on bench….


So applying a wave effect here, we start with the 1st 2 exercises.

Row then shoulder press.

Then we go back to Row, Shoulder press and then onto Sit ups.

Now we simply go back one and forwards 2 exercises, so after we finish sit ups we go back to shoulders, then sit ups then box jumps.

When box jumps are finished, we go back to sit ups, then box jumps, then air bike.

And so on. Until we reach the finish.

That’s it. Easy. Lol.

Kettle Bell Pyramids Complexes.

Ok so these use a combination of kettle bell or DB complexes, combined with pyramid loads. These can be performed on their own or as part of an integral circuit with other moves. Here’s a couple of my favourites. 

  • Upright Row
  • Snatch
  • Push Press
  • Lateral Raise
  • Snatch 

Reps can be 3-15 depending on weight. Warm up with appropriate weight and go though one hand do all reps and then to the other hand. Typically I start with a 12kg KB, then 16kg, 20kg and 24kg. At moment the 24kg is my max but I’m working up to the 32kg.

This is another one (inspired by Javorek)

  • Curls
  • Upright row
  • Snatch
  • Press
  • Push Press
  • Laterals
  • Kick backs
  • Squat under upright row – Single legged stiff legged deadlift –

Both of these are upper body dominant, here’s a lower body emphasis KB complex for you to try;

Both of these are from Javorek’s DB Complexes text book which I thoroughly recommend.

  • Upright Row                            x 6
  • High Pull Snatch                      x 4
  • Squat Push Press                    x 4
  • Step Ups / Lunges                   x 16
  • Upright Row                            x 6
  • BOR or rear laterals                x 8
  • Snatch                                     x 4
  • ¼ or full squat                         x 10
  • Good morning                         x 16
  • Squat Jump                             x 6

Complex III

  • Squat under Upright Row
  • Snatch
  • Curls
  • Step Up / Lunges
  • Squat Push Press
  • BOR / Laterals
  • Good morning
  • Press Ups
  • Squat Upright Row
  • Squat Jump

Do 6-10 Reps on each. Have fun and feel the burn…