Elite training experience, managing diet whilst away and core training program

Hi and welcome to another week,

There is another varied week of sessions on the schedule for this week; kicking off with a different sort of 5-minute class tomorrow (Monday).  I am particularly interested to see how the intermix of bikes and barbells goes…all I can say is given the total rearrangement of the gym required for that combination of exercises I am hoping the answer is ‘hard’ and ‘good’.

No blog last week as I was away in Melbourne at the National u18 Championships (AFL) and thanks to everyone who sent through messages of support on Facebook.  Whilst the gameday results didn’t exactly go the way I had hoped, a lot of fun was had by everyone…and a lot of learning as well.  Whilst there we visited 3 different AFL clubs – as well as separate catch-ups with different players and coaching staff – and they all had stories to tell and knowledge to impart.

The main thing I took away from it all was simple though – if you want success then you do everything ‘right’.  Eat, drink, sleep, train – get it right and you will get results…take shortcuts and you won’t – maybe not right away, but eventually ‘cheating’ will come back to bite you.  So, the question is what constitutes ‘cheating’ for those of us just trying to weigh a little less/feel a little better/fitter versus elite athletes heading into competition every single week for 6 months?

On the basis that most people who read this are getting to the gym / doing 3+ sessions each week, I think the answer is pretty simple – it is all down to what we put in our mouths.  For me, being away and staying at a hotel where the catering was set up specifically for 17/18 year olds who had to play 2 games of high-level footy plus approx 8-10 training sessions of varying intensity within 7-days staying on top of my diet was difficult…well, somewhere between difficult and impossible.  Countless pasta meals (serve yourself!), bread rolls, pancakes for breakfast…you name it.  2 days in I had to have a personal ‘intervention’ – enough was enough!

Now, dinner was dinner so that was tough to change – and it was pasta every night.  But I could control the portion size and add a couple of pieces of fruit at the end of the meal – after all, that was available in plentiful supply.  Breakfast was easy as well – walk straight past the bread/spaghetti/baked beans etc and grab some whole-grain cereal.  Again, add a piece of fruit…sorted.  Lunch I found the hardest to change – every day there were two options – one cooked (yes, more pasta!) and the other a cold meat/salad/bread roll selection…neither option was great for a (very) nearly 40 yo not training as much as usual.  But, leaving the bread and cold meat out, grabbing a few pieces of salad and some fruit was certainly a healthier option.  So that is what I did (on week days anyway).

Now – did I cop a hard time from everyone because of this?  Well, of course I did.  And would I have preferred a ham and salad roll to a salad plate?  Of course I would have.  But that is sort of the point.  On week days I stuck to a plan – on the days over the weekend, I relaxed a bit and added some bread back in…and after basically 8-days away I somehow managed to get away with only gaining 1kg which was a pretty good result.

The interesting thing is with ‘cheating’ is that once you do it once, it becomes really easy to do it again – and before you know it you have established a pattern of behaviour that includes two chocolate biscuits with afternoon tea or half a block of chocolate whilst watching tv every night.  The absolute elite don’t take short-cuts – they have defined patterns of behaviour that they commit too and only deviate from when the results dictate that they should.

Now, do we need to go to those extremes or be that strict?  Well, I don’t think so.  But we do need to be strict with our patterns of behaviour, and make sure that we don’t allow ‘short-term’ changes or ‘treats’ to become a pattern by repeating them.  Whether it is a missed session at the gym or a lapse at morning tea involving a sausage roll, make it a one-off and not a habit.

Gym Update #1

The additional 20kg barbells (and rack) arrived…at long last.  There are now 8 bars available in all sizes (just like the kettles) which means everyone in a group has their choice of ‘size’.

Here’s to upping our weights (and our reps) and going just that little bit harder.

Gym Update #2

I have been looking at getting a few tornado balls into the gym to give us a few more ways to torture you challenge you and improve your fitness/core strength.  Have a look at this article and let me know what you think:

http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/tornado_training_part_2

Gym Update #3

The sale on all of the Round 1 Fitness singlets continues…all of the Supatuff hoodies and singlets are now gone.  As mentioned last week, the singlets are available for just $10 (only available in the sizes on display) and whilst it might be too cold to wear them now, before we know it we will be sooking about the Perth summer heat all over again!

Facebook Highlights

Thanks heaps to the Round 1 trainers (and members) for keeping up the group activity in my absence.  Some of the highlights were:

  • Details of the ‘TANKS’ call during the beginners classes (5-pushups for every ‘non-beginner’ for anyone who missed Lloyd’s initiative).
  • How to do a ‘triple-clap’ pushup:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUSdLtzy4M8&feature=player_embedded
  • Some member initiated debate about the ‘impact’ of the cold weather on the 6am regulars.

Make sure you join the group (HERE) and get involved in the conversation.

Link of the week

A ‘Core’ training circuit this week from one of my YouTube favourites – Vince DelMonte.  You will have seen most of these exercises before but in this case it is the combination that gets you.  Give it a try next time you have 10-minutes spare before the start of a class.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ne7bv88_kno&feature=related

Anyway, that is it from me for another week.

See you in the gym!

Michael.