City to Surf reflections, September Challenge, Jamie Eason

Hi and welcome to another week,

Great week of classes last week.  I actually missed two of the sessions (supposedly having a light week in preparation for the City to Surf) and really regret doing so – there is nothing quite like having a real go at a session side-by-side with a group of people to create a real sense of internal satisfaction.  This week is also looking great – heaps of variety in the round times, a couple of different barbell and kettlebell circuits and one of the more challenging Body Work classes I have ever put together.

I am writing this blog late on Sunday afternoon having completed the half-marathon in the City-to-Surf event this morning.  One thing running that far (and that slowly!) does give you is a heap of time for reflection – last week was a really tough week on the ‘business’ side of Round 1 (issues with parking, customs, suppliers and membership ‘churn’) and I have to admit to feeling pretty jaded about how things are going, particularly midweek.  But during the run I didn’t think about any of that stuff – I found myself focussing on the people aspect of the gym – particularly the people who were also running in the City to Surf event.

Without really wanting to single out individuals, the idea of Lloyd, Leigh, Tony and Aaron running a half-marathon 12-months ago would have been considered ludicrous…the same can be said for some of the entrants in the 12km event – in particular Daniel.  The way that these guys have transformed themselves – and their lives – in such a short period of time makes me really proud of what we have all created together at Round 1 and the way the gym facilitates people improving in a multitude of ways.

Lloyd has lost more than 20kgs.  20kgs!  From the first session he attended (just the two of us there on that first day from my recollection) he has really attacked his transformation and rather than being an ‘at risk’ 19yo who could have been looking at a lifetime of battling his weight and experiencing health issues, he is working as a trainer, has changed his Uni course to focus on health and fitness and (based on his time today) is one of the fittest people you could ever run into…certainly not too many people running his time over a 21km course could match his efforts in the weights room.

Leigh doesn’t smoke any more.  He lifts weights every afternoon – he barely lasted 20 minutes in his first class and now he runs a half-marathon in 1:45?  He really is a different guy – you can tell just by looking at his physique!  So is Tony, who attacked the course today (so much for starting off easy pal!!) and broke 1:45 – somehow he has added gym sessions and boxing classes and running sessions to his ridiculously busy university + part-time work + social life of a 19yo schedule.  He is fit and strong and looks it.  Aaron was in the same boat – not only could he not complete a class, he couldn’t even skip.  Now he skips like a boxer, uses the heaviest weights and kettlebells in all of the gym exercises – is very possibly the strongest through the core of anyone who attends the gym (he challenges himself by bridging on medicine balls and barbells EVERY time) and embarks on long runs to push himself every weekend.

Last December, Daniel was struggling to complete a Beginners class – today he has run the 12km even in 1:02 and commented after the race ‘I really could have gone a LOT harder’.  He is FIT.  He pushes through the Body Work class several times each week, and the physical transformation really is impressive – he just looks like he is cast out of iron these days.  The two of us are actually talking about doing a couple of REALLY long runs next year…when we drove back from Melbourne together at the end of 2008, neither of us could have successfully run around the block (as we proved when doing a mini-circuit in Apollo Bay).

So, after all of this I have finished the day and what was a difficult week with a much more positive outlook to the way I was feeling before it started…which reminds me – if you are still finding the sessions a struggle after a couple of weeks or months…don’t stress.  We ALL find the sessions tough.  Don’t focus on the struggle – think back to how things were when you began and marvel at your journey and your improvement.  Persistence is the key – and if you stick at it, you will be getting fitter, stronger and healthier in ways that you might not recognise, but I guarantee you those around you will be seeing the difference in your appearance, energy and outlook.

September Challenge – And we are OFF!

Challlenge…CHALLENGE….CHALLENGE.   It won’t start (officially) until September (Thursday) but this is the plan:

  • 1km run on the treadmill
  • 1 minute bridge
  • 25 clean and press (minimum weights:  10kg for girls, 15kg for boys)
  • 1km row (level 10)
  • 1 minute bridge
  • 25 clean and press (minimum weights:  10kg for girls, 15kg for boys)
  • 1km on the cross-trainer (level 16)

Details are on the white board so don’t worry, no need to remember it all.  It is a bit different to the other challenges (all of which could be ‘knocked off’ in 10 minutes or less – this takes 15minutes ++) but I figured coming into summer it would really ramp up everyone’s cardio and help them meet their fitness and weight loss goals.

Gym Update #1

Happy to note that there has been a bit of a change at Round 1 Fitness…our stark concrete walls have been covered in posters.  I would love to hear everyone’s thoughts on them – I know for me reading that “Tough Times don’t last, Tough People DO” during Jason’s heavy bag insanity on Saturday morning was a great boost…I hope you feel the same way.

Gym Update #2

Pleased also to announce new hand-towel dispensers have been installed in both the male and female toilets.  I hope this makes everyone’s life a bit easier.

Gym Update #3

Few issues last week – the new gloves are still not in due to problems with customs, the new speedballs did arrive but are proving a little trickier to hit than the old ones and a heap of parking bays were marked as ‘reserved’.

Parking first:  between the hours of 7am and 5pm, please respect the signage on the parking bays.  One of the bays will be remarked this week and two new bays marked out…outside of those hours, please feel free to park in any of the bays.  Guiding principle is to be sensible and respect our co-tenant – if we all do that (and this includes not throwing water bottles and other rubbish all over the car-park!) then there wont be any problems.

Speedballs second – Practise!  I am already getting better (a lot better) at stopping the speedballs from spinning in circles…be patient, pretend you are a beginner and you will get better.  The smaller the ball (there are 4-sizes up) the easier they are to hit – have a go at using all of the sizes and watch yourself improve.

Gloves last – I am at the stage of giving up on making any promises or claims as to when they will arrive.  Whatever commitments are made to me turn out to be false…what can I say – when they arrive, they arrive.  Apologies to everyone who is waiting on the gloves, but there is no-one more interested in them getting in than me!

Gym Update #4

Just reminding everyone about the personal training options available to Round 1 Fitness members:

  • $25 for 30-minutes.
  • $40 for 60-minutes.

Now, I like to think that these prices are pretty good (compared with the rest of the market in any case!) but again, like our weights area, PT services are not core to the Round 1 business and the primary point of offering them is the same as the recent purchase of the back extension machine – to ensure our members are able to access the full range of services available to members of other gyms.

Facebook Highlights

Another fun week on Facebook:

  • Lot’s of banter about the City to Surf event.
  • Lots and lots (and lots and lots) of comment about the Beginners Class, the numbers on Tuesday and Thursday nights and moving from Beginners to the ‘normal’ sessions.
  • Some back-and-forth about the temporary change to the schedule which saw the 1-minute round circle abandoned last week…what can I say – expect the unexpected!
  • A great article about one-person’s 48-day physical transformation:
    http://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/francis-dumali-body-transformation.html.  Be sure to check out the diet plan in the article.

Lots of other stuff on the site last week – as I have mentioned it is a great daily reminder about your training and WILL help keep you on track.  So have a look at the group (HERE) and get involved in the conversations.

Link of the week

Discovered a FANTASTIC series of video’s on YouTube this week.  Have a look at this one with Jamie Eason and click through a few of the others if you get something out of it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsMcVT7CPJ4&feature=relmfu

If you like what Jamie has to say, you might also get something out of this article:
http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/health/fitness-model-jamie-eason-her-workouts-wisdom-and-wake-up-call-to-get-healthy-154420 (Please also note, the links at the bottom of the article are also pretty cool!).

Anyway, that is it from me for another week.

See you in the gym!

Michael.