Mentally tough, Whole Life Challenge is GO, Rise and Shine

Hi and welcome to another week,

I have really enjoyed my training in the past week.  Whilst I have been in Melbourne and missed ‘my’ gym a lot, it has been a great experience getting around to some of the elite facilities in Victoria to train.  Whilst I have had to resort to doing a couple of very ‘simple’ sessions at the hotel gym, I also had the opportunity to train at the Western Bulldogs Football Club, Melbourne Football Club and Carlton Football Club.  I know I have mentioned this before but one thing that always ‘strikes’ me when I visit these sort of facilities is just how similarly they are set up to Round 1.  A few treadmills – but not too many.  Spin bikes – but none of those electronic style exercise bikes.  Some Summit climbers or Versa Climbers.  Rowers.  Boxing gear (but obviously not as much as we have).  A couple of pin-loaded machines.  Rings.  Free weights.  Lifting platforms.  Done.

Not only is training at these facilities exciting – it is also a real test of independence.  It is hard going to a gym that you are unfamiliar with and doing a ‘good’ session – it is very easy to get caught up in a mode where you ‘try out’ a lot of different things but never really get ‘focussed’ – never really train ‘properly’.  I have to admit I fell into that trap a bit the day I trained at the Bulldogs – I did a bit of this and a bit of that – but the next two days I prepared a plan and made sure that what I had written down I did, and really made sure to work nice and hard.  Whilst it is definitely ‘easier’ to train when a session is laid out for you (like we do at R1F), it is still easy to just go through the motions rather than maximise the outcome.

I have been in Melbourne attending the first camp for the 2014 intake into the AFL-AIS Academy – a group of 30 x 16yo players selected from all over Australia.  The boys have been poked and prodded and sat through countless sessions on everything from Diet and Nutrition to Drug Awareness to building mental toughness – there was even some footy stuff mixed in there occasionally!  Out of all of that it was one of the ‘mental toughness’ sessions that I wanted to mention today.

In the session, there were a lot of words thrown around – persistent, courageous, determined, fearless – in an attempt to define exactly what mental toughness is.  But the group eventually settled on a definition – ‘The ability to remain focussed on a goal whilst managing the demands of our environment’ (aka ‘pressure’).  Which I think is not only pretty good, but one that really sums up the efforts of all us who try to hold down full-time jobs, raise families whilst ALSO trying to remain fit and healthy by being disciplined in our efforts to get to the gym and taking the time to cook fresh, nutritious meals.

The more I thought about it, the more I realised just how mentally strong so many of the members at Round 1 are.  You know when you finally put your keys in the ignition (feet in the foot-straps for a few out there!) that when you get to the gym there is a pretty hard session awaiting.  You are never sure exactly what you are going to be asked to do – but you are certain that you aren’t going to be allowed to ‘half-arse’ your way through it…well, unless you want a few extra burpees to ‘remind’ you of the need to remain on track!  So not only do you know you are in for a session that will challenge you physically, you also know that the hour or so the session is going to take is time when you not only COULD be doing something else, but the fact that you aren’t doing something else is going to mean either a later night than you would like – after all, that dinner is not going to cook itself! – or an earlier morning than you would like – those school lunches aren’t going to pack themselves!

So from me to you – congratulations on being so mentally tough – so able to maintain an unshakeable focus on your health and fitness goals despite the demands of modern life!

See you at Round 1,

Michael.

Gym Update #1 – Whole Life Challenge Starts Tuesday

As mentioned in the last couple of blogs, the October 2013 Whole Life Challenge is GO.  In our two previous life challenges, we have seen some great results with who see it through losing 4.5kgs in weight (on average) whilst seeing their measurements/skinfolds drop by around 10%.  People who make sure they score 3 food points every day – who really take it seriously – do even better than that.  So – if you are looking to maybe change your body composition before you need to squeeze into your bathers, maybe this challenge is the one for you??

Now – all of the details are in the blog from a couple of week’s back which you can find HERE!  If you are looking for details on what you can eat – check out the Facebook group for either of the last couple of challenges…you will find that HERE.  Failing that, have a look at sites such as ‘marksdailyapple.com’ for inspiration – there are a tonne of these sorts of resources out there.  My advice – keep things super simple for a couple of weeks – omelets for breakfast, meat and salad for lunch, meat and veggies for dinner…and once you have your ‘rhythm’ you can start thinking about variety.  Trying to ‘eat the same food but with different ingredients’ is a flawed strategy and one that will see you fall off the wagon.  Simplify, change your habits and stick at it.

For everyone who has sent me a message asking to do the challenge – great.  I have a whole heap of emails and will be pulling together the google docs spreadsheet tomorrow (Monday 30th)…when you get the email, simply click on the link and – if you have already created your google id – you will have access.  This is super important guys – you MUST create your google id BEFORE you try to access the spreadsheet (in fact, BEFORE I CREATE the spreadsheet) in order for it to work.  If you haven’t, don’t stress – but you will more than likely need to ‘re-request’ access to the sheet before you can log-in to access it.

Remember also that the times for getting your pre/post challenge measurements done HAVE CHANGED!!! – Monday 30th is a public holiday!!!  So – the new times/dates for measurements are:

Pre-Challenge:  Tuesday, October 1st between 4:30pm and 9pm.

Post Challenge:  Friday November 1st between 4pm and 8pm.

The cost of having your measurements done is $5 per time – there is no cost to do the challenge BUT you will need to create yourself a Google ID in preparation for using the spreadsheet to keep your progress up-to-date.

Gym Update #2 – TANKS Sessions, Starting Strength Sessions, PT Sessions

For those of you looking to ‘up’ things in the lead-up to Christmas, remember that we offer three great options to enable you to do this.

TANKS are our small-group, functional training sessions that are designed to really take your training to a new level.  Adding a TANKS session to your training every week or so will not only show you a new way to train – the lessons you learn about pushing through will translate to your boxing sessions and you will find your overall training level just goes up.  TANKS are available to members only and cost $13.50 per session (on top of your membership price).

Starting Strength are our small-group ‘How To’ classes where we teach you ‘HOW’ to lift.  These classes are technical in nature and are intended to show you ‘HOW’ to lift rather than provide you with a work-out.  In essence, they are aimed at helping you become an independent (and safe) user of the weights room.  Starting Strength classes are available to members only and cost $13.50 per session (on top of your membership price).

Our personal trainers are great.  Sean, Lloyd and Leila do a terrific job in creating individual sessions targeting what YOU want to focus on.  Fat loss, muscle growth, technique questions?  PT is a great way to hit your goals.  $30 for 30 minutes is great value for real one-on-one attention…if you don’t believe me, ask for pricing at a few other gyms!

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

Well, the season is over and the race is won.  Before I announce it, a quick congratulations to all of the supporters of both Freo and Hawthorn – getting to the final week of the season doesn’t happen often so I hope you all got a lot of joy from the efforts of your teams this season.

Drum roll – Michelle Howley is the winner of this years contest.  She has held onto her lead and won by a single point from Leigh Rodgers.

Michelle wins a $100 voucher to use in the gym any way she might choose!  Congratulations Michelle.

Facebook Highlights

A super week on Facebook – thanks to everyone for keeping it going in my absence:

Stress:  http://www.catalystathletics.com/articles/article.php?articleID=82

Skippity skip:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eucfdDVOVrg

Bring Sally UP:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fc2mZkyb2so&feature=youtu.be

300 Burpee Challenge:  http://perth300challenge.eventbrite.com.au/

Rise and Shine:  https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=698443253518628

Drinking for Thirst:  http://m.runnersworld.com/drinks-hydration/8-hydration-myths-busted

Link of the week

I was inspired by the ‘Rise and Shine’ clip Rebecca Harris posted above…so I found my own!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbkZrOU1Zag

See you in the gym!

Michael.