Reflect on your improvement, Easter Opening Hours, April Whole Life Challenge

Hi and welcome to another week,

Great classes last week.  I loved Body Work, I loved the two no-rules sessions I did and most of all I loved Friday’s Boxing for Fitness session.  Nothing quite like getting through a session which challenges you to push beyond your normal capabilities to make you really feel good about yourself and the positive habits you have formed.

Today has seen me come to the gym in the morning, head off to the start of junior footy for both of the boys, get over to the little athletics end-of-year get together (which is before state-champs for some reason) before heading back into the gym to write this blog and do just a little bit of training.  It is the athletics wind-up though that has me thinking the most.

When we were kids – and even as adults – we would also get together as a group at the end of whatever ‘season’ we had been involved in, football, tennis, athletics and even academic – and reflect on what had been achieved.  Sure, we would acknowledge the efforts of the ‘best’ players/performers, but more importantly it was a great opportunity for everyone to have a bit of a think about how far they had come.  It is always amazing (as someone with kids) to look at their school year portfolio and look at the difference between the work done at the end of the year when compared to what was being done at the start.  At Little Athletics we have our kids times and distances to look at and marvel at the level of improvement that they have been able to achieve.  But what about us?  The changes and improvements we have made at the gym?  The changes and improvements we have made with our diets, our lifestyles etc?  When do we reflect on that?

I read a quote not long ago that said “Many of life’s failures are by people who did not realise how close to success they were when they gave up”.  When I read it I sort of dismissed it as another in a long line of ‘inspirational’ one-liners that hit my twitter feed every week.  But something about it has stuck with me because I have come back to it multiple times in the last couple of weeks – and realised that unless each of us take the time to truly reflect on what we have changed, on what we have achieved – that we run the risk of falling victim to that exact thing.  Becoming disheartened by a lack of ‘progress’ and deciding that we will never be quite good enough.

Every week people ask me ‘When is it going to get easier?’ – and every week I reply ‘Never’.  I tell people that they are hitting harder – and more often, lifting heavier – and more often, and jumping higher – and more often than they did when they started.  To compare the quality of their output NOW to when they began 6 weeks ago, 3 months ago or 2 years ago would be like comparing our little athletes going down the waterslide at Jandakot today to those at the Olympic games.  Sure, they are doing the same ‘sport’ – the same activities – but that is really where the comparison ends.  Because you continue to improve, because you continue to do things so much better, the sessions will continue to feel hard – or even harder – than they did on that very first day.  You are doing more.  A lot more.  And that is why they still feel like they are a challenge.

And having said all of that, I really hope that at least one of the classes I have put together for this week drives each of you to achieve just one little thing that – upon reflection – you wouldn’t have thought possible a month ago.  Maybe an unassisted chin-up, maybe a push-up with a clap (or clap behind the back), maybe finally getting your squat down below parallel – whatever it might be.  And at the end of the session, I hope you have a moment or two to think about exactly how far you have come and take a little bit of pride in your achievements.

See you in the gym,

Michael.

March ‘mini’ Challenge – Squats

It works like this – you do as many squats as you do in 20 minutes and record the total number of points you achieved:

Girls Boys
Bodyweight = 1 point per Squat Bodyweight = 1 point per Squat
+ 10 KG = 2 points per Squat + 20 KG = 2 points per Squat
+ 20 KG = 3 points per Squat + 40 KG = 3 points per Squat
+30 KG = 4 points per Squat +60 KG = 4 points per Squat
+40 KG = 5 points per Squat +80 KG = 5 points per Squat

A medicine ball must be used for each rep (your bum must touch it on the way down) and you ARE allowed to change weights within the 20 minutes.  For example, you might do 10 x Squats at 80kg (50 points), 10 more at 60kg (40points) and 30 reps at 40kg (90points)…your total score would be 180.  The time taken to change weights/bars etc is part of the 20 minutes though.

Beach Bootcamp – Saturday March 16th

A big thanks to all who attended the beach bootcamp yesterday morning.  By all reports a lot of fun was had by all attendees – I know for sure that Lloyd and Sean loved every second of it.

We really appreciate the way everyone has supported the bootcamps over the last few months – if there is interest come the NEXT lot of warmer weather we will certainly look to revisit the process.

Gym Update #1 – Easter Opening hours

Well, we are rapidly approaching the Easter holiday break which has traditionally seen us CLOSED on Good Friday, open ‘As Normal’ on Saturday and Sunday followed by operating using Public Holiday hours on Easter Monday.  This year I want to try something new:

Day Hours
Good Friday Open at 08:00am.  Classes at 08:15am and 09:15.  Closed at 10.
Easter Saturday Open as normal.
Easter Sunday Open as normal.
Easter Monday Add an extra class at 07:15am on top of the ‘normal’ Public Holiday times (08:15am, 09:15am, 10:15am & 11:15am).

I hope that all makes at least a little bit of sense.

Gym Update #2 – April Challenge – Whole Life Challenge

Our next challenge will be a ‘repeat’ of last October’s whole life challenge – the challenge which saw the 25 participants who completed the challenge lose a combined 110kgs (more than 4kgs per person) and 207cms in waist measurements.  Now, for results like this there are certain sacrifices than need to be made:

-         No Grains or starches (sweet potatoes are allowed).

-         No Dairy (though WHEY protein will be allowed this time).

-         No Sugar (or sweetener of any kind).

-         No Alcohol, no soft drink, no FRUIT juice (vegetable juice is allowed).

This time, I will also be asking you to take 3mg of Fish Oil every day as well.

For those of you who remember how this works, you receive points for exercise (2 per class, 1 per ‘other’ block of 30 minutes – self assessed) and for stretching (10 mins per day) and LOSE points (up to 3 per day) for any kind of food transgression.  Points are recorded on a google docs spreadsheet and collated by me each week.

We will be taking measurements – skinfolds and weight – at the start and end of the challenge in an effort to correctly monitor everyone’s progress.

Please send me an email (mpratt@round1fitness.com.au) if you think you might be interested in having a go.

Gym Update #3 – Round 1 Fitness Dream-team and Footy Tipping

Both our AFL dreamteam competition AND our R1F footy tipping contest are ready to go.  If you are keen to play, use code 915592 on the www.afl.com.au/fantasy page to enter our Dreamteam contest and go directly to http://www.footytips.com.au/comps/Round_1_Fitness&p=speedball if you want to get involved in our Tipping contest.

Danielle Elsum took home the tipping chocolates last year…

Gym Update #4 – New Bag Mitts

The new bag mitts are in the club and look super!  If you need a new set of gloves, we have the two new colors available at the moment (green and white) and also a slightly modified design aimed to help these gloves last just a little bit longer!  Please also remember my comments from last week – the new XL and XXL sizes have been redone and if you have previously had trouble getting R1F gloves to fit you then give the new ones a try.

Gym Update #5 – Treadmills not working

We are still down to three (3) treadies.  We are waiting on a Motor Controller (basically, the bit that relays the instructions you type in to the motor) and it is taking a bit longer than anyone could have imagined.  Hopefully this week will see everything returned to normal.

Gym Update #6 – Facebook ‘Check-In’ prize

Don’t forget – if you want to win yourself a free ‘TANKS’ 10-pass then you need to ‘Check-In’ on Facebook everytime you come to the gym.  If you are looking to take your training up a level (or two, or three) then TANKS is the way to do it.  If you want to try it out for FREE (normally $13.50 per session on top of your membership) then you need to WIN the Check-In contest!

Gym Update #7 – Blog ‘Mini-Challenge’

Don’t forget that the ‘Blog Mini-Challenge’ is in full-swing.  The idea is that this month we will all be strengthening our core by doing 50 (unweighted) back extensions every time we walk in the doors at the gym.  I have managed to hit the target every day this month and am certainly beginning to feel the benefits…those days when I wake up with an ‘achy’ lower back seem to be a bit more intermittent than this time last month.

Give it a try.

Facebook Highlights

Great week on Facebook.   Another couple of member transformation stories were posted and I have to say, it is quite remarkable both what people are able to achieve.

There was also the usual collection of links and below are a few samples:

Preventing injury and illness  http://irun.org.au/news/index.cfm?fuseaction=NewsItem&NewsID=30381

Maintain fitness when injured:  http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/tipsandtricks/a/TrainThruInjury.htm

http://breakingmuscle.com/kettlebells/world-s-strongest-napkin-how-add-2lbs-muscle-week-kettlebells

http://breakingmuscle.com/health-medicine/8-habits-build-better-night-s-sleep

Missing lifts in training:  http://www.catalystathletics.com/blog/blog.php?blogID=1777

Link of the week

Who says you can’t improve your core with a barbell?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OcOVcktT5w&feature=em-subs_digest&list=TLkWJzZ6KJ58M

Don’t forget the mini-challenge – 50 Back extensions every time you hit the gym this week.

See you in the gym!

Michael.