WLC Feedback, May Special, New Singlets and Foam Rolling!

Hi and welcome to another week,

Thanks to everyone who supported our sessions last week.  We had a great week in terms of class numbers despite the rain and colder weather and we really do appreciate your continued patronage…it really is motivating for all of us as trainers when there is a gym full of people trying their hardest to ‘Get it Done’!  What about the sessions themselves?  Well, most of the week had a bit of a quads and butts focus, with lots of sled, squats, good mornings and deadlifts.  Apologies for those of you wandering around on ‘tender’ legs but it will all be for the better (stronger?) in the long run.

Whilst on the topic of last week, I would like to make a special mention of Thursday’s one-minute rounds – I get fget feedback on lots of our sessions, but this one took the cake! I have received comments that range from ‘best session ever’ to ‘most boring session ever’.  OK.  Now – I never want to make the class ‘boring’ but I can understand how that structure – 5 lots of 5 stations back-to-back all featuring the same exercise (in this case, mini-sled, KB Deadlifts, Good Mornings, Wall Balls and Tricep blasters) could be perceived that way – but the intention was to overload each muscle group in turn.  For those who hated it – I do apologise, but as always the intention was to challenge you not put you to sleep or cause misery through drudgery!  The 5-round sequence is not something I do often with 1-minute rounds but do run occasionally – I personally find it a real challenge and try to take the opportunity to ‘beat’ my repetition count as I go to each station.  In any case, 1min rounds will be ‘back-to-normal’ this week and – as with all the sessions – I hope there is a little bit of something in there for everyone!

What’s on this week?  Well – a few less squats, that is for sure! TANKS features a really good looking Chipper that I am sure will challenge even our fittest/strongest members, BodyWork is tabata all the way and Boxing features a couple of Body Weight circuits, the introduction of Floor Wipers (often in BW and TANKS) to BfF and the ever challenging Bike/KB swing combo.  The feedback from the rest of the trainers has been a resounding “Can’t Wait” and I have to admit to being pretty keen to get into them myself…it is going to be a great week of sessions, that is for sure!

I guess it was pretty predictable that I would blog this week by stealing some of the stories and experiences from the Whole Life Challenge participants.  Before I do that though, I wanted to steal a quote from Allyson Felix who won the Olympic Silver medal in the 200m at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics before breaking through to win gold in 2012.  When asked about finally breaking through to win and ‘NOW WHAT’ she responded by saying:

I think the biggest thing is just kind of figuring out how to stay [motivated] and making sure that I’m working as hard as I was last year. That’s been the big challenge. I’m always kind of second-guessing myself, just making sure that the effort is the same.  (See the rest of what is a really cool article here.)

What do I mean by quoting that?  I guess it is a message to everyone who worked hard on their focus and achieved some great results by doing the challenge – the challenge might be over but the ‘CHALLENGE’ isn’t over.  If you want to maintain the results you achieved, now is not the time to relax – it is the time to refocus.  I am sure you all learnt some lessons about your diet in particular by doing it – if you want to stay on the right path then you need to maintain a high level of effort and focus.  Do you need to continue to be as strict as you were during April?  Well that of course is up to you.  But I would suggest that if you simply allow yourself to revert to your pre-challenge behaviours just because someone isn’t checking your points score every day, then you will not have achieved anything at all.  The quote that rings the truest to me on this subject is ‘If you always do what you have always done then you will always get what you have always got!’.

Anyway – on to the stories/quote from the WLC’ers!

Sugar would have to be what challenged me the most. It was a shock to realise each day the different things that actually did have sugar in them that I would have never thought before.

This challenge really has changed everything for me. I can now look at foods and have the complete will power to say no. It doesn’t have the same effect on me at all. My body is now not used to sugar and so when I have it, it rejects it.

By Week 2 of the challenge I was tired of spending half my life cooking – this led me to my second mistake – fruit OVERLOAD!!!! I was eating more bananas and apples then I though humanly possible. Sure, this was more convenient but my hunger was never satisfied.  I was still managing to go to the gym everyday but my energy levels were shot, my punches felt weaker, my stamina had taken a noticeable dip.  I think this is when you let me in on your sweet potato, steak, and veg dish. As soon as I tried that I felt better. My energy came back. Things were definitely looking up…except for the wheat withdrawals.

I pretty much spent some of my Sunday evening planning the week ahead, when I would do a class, when I would do the extra 30 mins, when I would do the extra weekly challenges – I had to plan these around family and work commitments which were already heavy for the month.  The plan was a great motivator to ‘Get it Done’ – I knew that the plan would help me achieve my goal and the time spent planning made answering the alarm call for a 6am class was a lot easier than it ‘usually’ is.

By week 3 of the challenge, everything was making sense, I admit I was feeling better, even looking better. Sweet potato had worn out its welcome by then and I moved onto other vegetables.  This week we also decided we needed a food processor. We got it and this greatly improved the time it took to prepare our meals. Finally the balance in our lives had been restored – now we were able to produce good “challenge friendly food” without spending hours in the kitchen.

What I can take away from this is that I can manage without sugar and can’t see myself using refined sugars again, that there are loads of other, healthier meal options available and that the clichés are true – “It’s not 80% exercise and 20% diet. It’s 100% commitment to both!!!” I have proven it and as of 30 April have lost 9.1Kg during the challenge.

What I loved about the challenge?  The way it made me feel; more energy, better concentration, not feeling lethargic, not feeling bloated, no hangovers.  Plus, finding healthy alternatives to all the “old” food, particularly “treats” e.g. pancakes with lemon and sugar is now coconut and almond pancakes with coconut cream and smashed berries.  It also gave us a great sense of achievement – and was much easier than I thought it would be.  We are going to continue with this eating “lifestyle” indefinitely.

The lessons learned here is that this “diet” is sustainable. I really think you need a good month to work that out, I could see how easily it would be for people to “give in” after the first two weeks.  Now that it’s finished I expect to maintain this diet 90% of the time with room for an occasional beer or “cheat” meal.

See you in the gym,

Michael.

Gym Update #1 – May Special is underway!

If you love your Round 1 sessions, then you will love the May Special – 10 classes for just $99.  Now – obviously if you are a member of the gym then you have unlimited classes included in your package, but if you are a casual user of the gym then this is a great way to go – you save more than 20% on the normal price ($120) and don’t have to mess about finding change/carrying credit cards etc when you want to hit the gym.

There are only 100 of these passes available and 41 are already gone…so – if you want one, be quick.  The passes are valid for 12-months – strictly one pass per user I am sorry.

Oh yeah – one other thing.  If you are a member and refer a new person who buys one of the 10-round specials, you will go into the draw for a free ‘Ring the Bell’ PT package – or 3 x free 30-minute PT sessions with the trainer of your choice.

Gym Update #2 – May Timetable ‘Trial’

The May time-table ‘trial’ is underway, with mixed results so far.  Whilst feedback has been positive for the idea of running a Beginners class on Friday at 5pm and a Body Work class on Saturday at 10:15am, numbers have been low.  I am more than happy to experiment a little with the timetable everyone but it isn’t enough to say it is a good idea…if you want the changes to stick then you need to support the sessions.

Get along to the gym, give the changes a try and let us know what you think!

Gym Update #3 – New Singlets on the way

As per the details in the ‘Facebook Check-in Prize’ section, we have some new R1F singlets on order with the ‘Is there any Danger’ slogan emblazoned across the front.  Hope to have them in the gym in the next couple of weeks.

Don’t forget the new hoodies – they look awesome and are very practical now that the weather has cooled right down – just $45 from the gym.

Gym Update #4 – Lost Property

Rightio – the lost property box is exploding yet again.  If you have left something at the gym, please seek it out THIS WEEK.  Next weekend is ‘D-Day’ and everything will be either getting thrown out or donated to charity.

Gym Update #5 – Round 1 Fitness Dream-team and Footy Tipping

I am the Super King!!!  Well – I am the DreamTeam winner for this week in any case – so, to everyone else in the competition – IN YOUR FACE!!!  I am sure this weekend is a clear pointer to the rise of a new DT Super Power so you may as all just quit now to save yourself from future humiliation.

In the tipping contest, there were a lot of perfect scores this weekend – getting even one wrong meant losing ground to the rest of the field.  Leigh and Ross have solidified their positions at the top of the table and are one point clear.

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

OK – I have not collated the check-in details for April…but I will do that this week.  The May check-in prize will be one of the new Round 1 Fitness ‘Is there any Danger’ singlets soon to arrive on our doorstep!

Remember also – if your car is spotted by me on the streets/in the car park at the shops/anywhere (except the gym, smarty!) then you will receive a free set of hand-wraps.  So get a cool new sticker on your car and win some wraps.

Gym Update #7 – Blog ‘Mini-Challenge’

The May Mini-Challenge is in FULL SWING…we have been practising it in the classes so everyone can have a taste of what it is all about.  There are one million things you can do in the gym to help increase your levels of fitness…and not all of them involve doing classes.  I have been setting the challenges so that everyone will have some ideas as to how they can fill those empty 10-minute periods whilst waiting for a class to start – just standing around waiting is not the most productive way to do it!

So – what was/is the May ‘mini-challenge’?  Each time you come to the gym, complete 100m in each gear on the bike from 14 to 24 and back down again.  This takes around about 12 minutes to complete and really gives you a bit of a ‘blast’ before/after your session.

Facebook Highlights

A really busy week on our Facebook group.  Setting aside all of the whining about sore quads and butts, there were some great links added:

Full Body Workout:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yL5A7wljN-o

Body Work, April 29thhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6JWHkwJt0s

Paleo Friendly cheat day:  http://blog.paleohacks.com/how-to-have-a-paleo-friendly-cheat-day/

Twice as hard for half as much:  http://www.catalystathletics.com/blog/blog.php?blogID=1784

These (speedballs) are defective:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnLMAT5UCt0

Link of the week

I read a great article this week called ‘When to Foam Roll’ in a magazine I subscribe too called ‘The Performance Menu’.  Now – you too can access this resource – but it is a little tricky.  You need to go to the Performance Menu website (http://www.performancemenu.com/) and click on the ‘Download Free Issue’ link.  When you do that, be sure to select ‘Issue 100’ if you want to see the Foam Roller article which goes into a lot of useful detail about using this simple tool to aid recovery and when it makes sense/does good and when it doesn’t!

As an aside, there is a tonne of other cool and useful articles in the magazine that you might enjoy and subscriptions are $30 per year.

See you in the gym!

Michael.