The Talent Code (Deep Learning), April Challenge Underway

Hi and welcome to another week,

I really enjoyed my kettlebell ‘sprawl-to-snatch’ last week – and the rest of the sessions of course.  I guess it is new things than make me think and concentrate and focus that really help me get something ‘extra’ out of the session.  It is just the whole ‘How?  What?  OK – got it’ nature of trying something new that seems to trigger me to work just a little bit harder throughout the rest of each class.  I have found it another way to get the same result is to just add something ‘extra’ to a simple exercise – add a tuck-jump to a burpee, add a chest tap to a push-up…the list is endless.

All of this ‘stuff’ aligns with a book I have been reading called ‘The Talent Code’ over the past few weeks (in between trying to finish part 3 of ‘The Hunger Games’ so I can talk to Clancy! J) and the message it ‘sells’ about persistent learning and slow, steady progress is one worth repeating.  The author, who travelled around the world studying talent ‘hotbeds’ (areas around the world where an abnormal number of elite practitioners in one particular activity have come from – an example being a small tennis club in Russia with one indoor court which has produced 20 top 20 players) in an effort to understand ‘WHY’.  He describes the progress of the athletes or musicians as ‘a slow, fitful struggle.  Rather like a herd of deer had encountered a hillside covered in ice.’  He repeatedly walks the readers through the same process – failure, followed by slow, careful progress and eventual success.

The same message can be applied to all of us in our training as well – success comes not just from effort and persistence, but rather from pushing yourself to the absolute edge of your capabilities, failing, dragging yourself back from the edge and pushing through again.  He talks a great deal about ‘deep practice’ – about how it is a willingness to push to the edge, a preparedness to make mistakes and learn from them that brings real learnings.

Give it a go this week.  Push yourself in little ways during each and every exercise.  Don’t go through the motions.  Don’t just do something ‘half-way’ because it is easier.  Challenge yourself – get out on the ledge and make some mistakes – and reap the rewards that come from ‘deep learning’.

April Challenge:  IT IS ON!

Alright!  For me, signature number 1 is in the book – just 24 to go.  I was super impressed at those people who got a quick jump on things – nailing a double session (Running Club + Boxing for Fitness) on day number one.  Not sure how everyone else is feeling, but I want those 25 sessions and I want to wear that shirt KNOWING that I have earned it!

Rules?  We got rules!

1/.25 sessions must be completed within the calendar month.  Double sessions (more than 1 per day) can only be used twice in determining the final total.

2/.Tanks counts.  Running club counts.  PT does NOT count.

3/.Each person must nominate one additional personal ‘challenge’ that must be completed to the satisfaction of the trainers each WEEK during the month.  The challenge must be determined by the participant, but can be modified by the trainers if they consider it to be too easy or too hard.

Get thinking.  Plan out your sessions.  Get a contingency plan together.  Get it done.

March Special – Apollo Bike Draw this THURSDAY (April 5th)

To everyone who took advantage of our March Special – renew and go into the draw to win an Apollo Bike – the results are in.  The final count was 94 new contracts signed for the month – so you have a better in 1 in 100 shot of winning a terrific prize.

The draw will be conducted at the completion of the 5pm class this Thursday night, April 5th.

Easter Opening Hours

We will be open over Easter – normal hours on Saturday and Sunday, and Public Holiday hours (8am è 12pm) on Monday.

At the moment, I am planning to be closed this coming Friday.  Without trying to be a pain though – because of the April Challenge I am happy to open the gym for a couple of hours (say, 9am to 11:30am) to allow people to get their sessions done if there is demand.  In other words, if we are busy on Monday/Tuesday this week, we will make the call to open Friday.  If interest in Friday sessions seems low, we will close Good Friday as per the original plan.

Runners Club Special Note:  ANZAC Day Run

For all you runners out there, the ANZAC Day Run is almost upon us.  For more details and entry information, please visit the Athletics WA webpage at waathletics.org.au or go directly to the entry link at https://sitedesq.imgstg.com/eventsregform/index.cfm?fuseaction=display_event_detail&EventID=11548&OrgID=199.

Round 1 Social Day – April 21st

We will be heading out to Cannington Greyhounds on April 21st to enjoy a beer or two and watch skinny dogs run around an oval shaped track.  If you are interested in heading along, no need to let me know – just get there on the night!

Gym Update #1 – New gear, new gear…

Two new sledgehammers in the gym today – more to come when they are in stock – and they will be pressed into service for the first time on Thursday (one-minute rounds).  The new bumper plates, bars and other stuff is all on the way!

Gym Update #2 – Bags, Backpacks, Gloves and ‘OTHER’ stuff

As mentioned over the last week (or two!), we are temporarily out of bags for the 12-month members packs.  I received confirmation from the suppliers that the new bags – back pack style – have been shipped so I expect them to arrive this week.

On a positive note, we now have a full range of leather gloves – colours and sizes – in stock and available for $45.  These really are a terrific product – I use them in every session except 1-minute rounds (when I use the MMA-style gloves) and doing 5-8 sessions per week they are good for around 6 months of training…pretty good if you ask me.  Comfy, nice soft leather and a long wrist wrap for extra protection?  All good.

In addition, our new product – leather weightlifting gloves – are now also in stock and available for $25.  For those of you who have been spending some time lifting / doing some kettlebells outside of class time, these might be the perfect solution for calloused, blistering hands.

Gym Update #3 – Running Club and Tanks

Running club amped up quite a bit this morning – the celebratory dance at the end might have been a little bit much, but getting to the end was a terrific effort.  I have no doubt that those regular participants will get to the finish line of the 14km Run for a Reason in a little under 2-months time.

As for the Tanks groups, some different training this week (some higher rep work) meant no PR’s were set in terms of weight…but those Sat morning 7am’ers certainly set some in terms of effort with those repeat bike intervals in gear 20.  Great stuff.

Footy Tipping and Dream Team

It is not too late to get involved in the footy tipping contest – we are only one week in and if anyone else is like me, it is not as if they have escaped to a large lead.  So get on board the Round 1 Fitness tipping contest – it is not too late:

http://www.footytips.com.au/comps/Round_1_Fitness&p=speedball

Facebook Highlights

Busy week last week – probably busier than usual – but less links than usual…to me that just proves that topics driven by members are the best topics of all!

Ab wheel ‘how-to’:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwqJTPsI6i0&feature=digest_mon

Myths debunked by science:  http://lifehacker.com/5895140/10-stubborn-exercise-myths-that-wont-die-debunked-by-science

Which side are you on??  http://www.trainingforwarriors.com/2012/03/which-side-are-you-on-2/

Others topics included the potential of a 5am class, Tabella Restaurant, PT, TANKS, Runners club and of course the usual summaries of the boxing and body work sessions.  The daily activity on the Facebook site will help keep you focussed on your training.  Get involved!

Links of the week

‘Starting right guard – shot.  No longer in school.  Starting middle linebacker – shot.  No longer in school.  2 players fighting right in front of the coach, starting centre arrested.  For most coaches, that would pretty much be a careers worth of crap to deal with.  I think it sums up the last two weeks for me.’

This documentary – UNDEFEATED – won an Academy Award a month or so back – I am really looking forward to seeing it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckku5qEt-vA

See you in the gym!

Michael.