Basics for Beginners, April Whole Life Challenge, Easter Opening Hours

Hi and welcome to another week,

When I rolled into the gym to do TANKS last Thursday night – having done a very relentless ‘No Rules’ class a few short hours before – I think I might have actually felt a little bit like Amanda Dixon must have felt for the last 30 or so days…Amanda has set a new standard on the Round 1 Fitness ‘Wall of Pain’ – a total of 65 days in row when she managed to complete a class.  I don’t know whether to be impressed or to call the mental health authorities (my feelings seem to swing from one to the other from moment to moment) but in any case it does prove what is possible when you are focussed and determined.  65 sessions in a row – no misses with sleep-ins, managing to move around weekend commitments to ‘squeeze in’ a session, somehow, finding a way to free up 45 minutes ‘sometime’ every day to get through a class.  Now that I have typed out all of that, I take it back – I am totally, completely, 100% impressed.

Last week’s classes featured a couple of all-timers.  I don’t think I have had quite as much feedback about any class, ever, as the ’20 punches/3 thrusters’ every 10-seconds class we all slogged through last Monday.  It is funny – I asked a few of the trainers before we did it if they thought I might have taken it ‘too far’ – their response was ‘MAYBE’!  The response from most of you guys though was very different and of the ‘GIMME MORE’ variety.  The week also featured the legendary ‘Gym Jones’ (www.gymjones.com) ‘TAIL PIPE’ work-out in each of our TANKS sessions.  I have to congratulate each and every person who pushed their way through what was both a physically and mentally challenging workout.  I really do believe that if you can get yourself to the end of that session you can find a way to overcome pretty much any obstacle put in your path.  Tough Mudder anyone?

Now – with all this talk of hard work-outs and consecutive class streaks, I am going to change gears – a LOT – right now.  I want to talk about Beginners sessions – and I want to talk about people who have friends and family who they think need to get started at the gym in order to make sure they might have a healthy future.  For anyone who hasn’t figured it out by now, we fight a weekly battle to design classes that ‘everyone’ can do – and I think we mostly hit the mark.  As people get fitter and stronger, they hit harder, lift heavier and get ‘pushed’ more and more by the trainers to keep their individual curve on a continual upward trend.  Meanwhile, those who are just starting don’t hit as hard, use lighter barbells and – hopefully – have started with a few Beginners sessions!

If you are doing Beginners and making some steady progress – GREAT.  If you are wondering whether or not you are ready for a ‘normal’ class, the answer is YES!  If however you still can’t see how you might EVER get through a normal class, I have something slightly different to say.  First off, you absolutely will – and sooner than you think.  Secondly, you might want to add a couple of home-based 20/30 minute sessions to your Round 1 experience in order to help bridge the gap.

I have heard from a few people that they are supplementing their classes with some walking – and I think that is a great idea.  I also think it would be an even better idea if you could add a little bit of strength training into your walking routine.  Basic strength development is really one of the best gifts you can give yourself – it will allow you to complete simple, everyday tasks (getting up off the floor, carrying groceries, pushing a lawnmower) a lot easier whilst also improving some of your basic health indicators – specifically helping reduce blood pressure and helping increase bone density.  So – the question is, how can you supplement your walking with some strength training?

Pretty simple really – add a push-up and squat ‘ladder’ to your walks.  Here is what I would suggest you do:

-         Walk for 1 minute.

-         Stop and complete 5 pushups and 5 FULL squats.  Now – if you need to do your pushups on your knees (or even with your hands against a wall when you start), that is fine.  It is completing the reps that I want you to focus on.

-         Walk for 1 minute.

-         Stop and complete 6 pushups and 6 FULL squats.

-         Walk for 1 minute.

-         Stop and complete 7 pushups and 7 FULL squats.

-         Continue on rotating between walking and pushups/squats until you have completed 10 repetitions of each exercise – then work your way back down the ladder to 5 pushups/5 Squats.  As you progress, five (5) repetitions might be too easy – great – start at ten (10) and work in 2’s up to 20.  Or, add in some burpees in addition to the pushups or squats.  Or, if there is a fence or playground in the vicinity, add some inverted rows (fence pulls!) into the mix as well.

If you are able to add a bit of extra strength development to your extra cardio (whether it is walking, jogging, stationary bike riding or whatever it is) you will find that your body will respond a lot more quickly to the stimulus you are getting in the Beginners sessions at Round 1.  Good luck with your training!

See you in the gym,

Michael.

March ‘mini’ Challenge – Squats – 1 More Week!

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.

Gym Update #1 – Easter Opening hours

Easter is THIS WEEK!!!  Now we normally close on Good Friday – this year our plan is to run a couple of ‘special’ classes on Friday and then stay the course with our normal holiday hours.  I have detailed all of this in the table below:

Day Hours
Good Friday 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 (though you can eat fruit, and 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.  If you registered interest last week, please don’t panic – I haven’t sent anything through yet.  My plan is to do this on Tuesday (March 26th) having given everyone who might be interested a week or so to make up their minds whether they might be in or out!

Oh yeah – want to have a go but not sure what you would actually EAT?  Check out the link(s) of the week later in the blog!

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.

Gym Update #4 – Beanies are GO!

Our newest addition – Round 1 Beanies – are in for winter.  These are black and red with a little ‘Boxing for Fitness’ badge on them and look awesome – $15 from the gym.

Gym Update #5 – Treadmills back in action

Thanks to the GymCare crew for getting our misbehaving treadmill back and operational this week.  Great news!

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

I was a bit slack with the Facebook  links last week – but there were still some great articles and videos linked too.  A couple of highlights are listed below:

Treadmill:  http://breakingmuscle.com/running/treadhills-2-treadmill-workouts-improve-running-performance

Core roll-outs:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQd2E7ekWVU

Rituals:  http://squatrx.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/rituals-dan-john.html

Link of the week

What can you eat if you are doing the April Challenge???  Check out these websites:

http://www.robbwolf.com (look at the ‘What is the Paleo Diet’ link to find out what it is all about!)

http://www.paleomg.com (check out the cool shopping list function)

http://eatdrinkpaleo.com.au/

http://paleoaustralia.com/

And one last thing – don’t forget the March mini-challenge – 50 Back extensions every time you hit the gym this month!

See you in the gym!

Michael.