A week at the AIS, New Memberships, New Classes, Bacon

Hi and welcome to another week,

After a little over a week out of the gym, I have to say that despite operating on pretty limited quantities of sleep just getting in there on Friday morning to be part of the morning sessions was a really great feeling.  Being away on camp with the AIS is great and all, but there is just something a little bit different about training people who are working hard ‘because’ vs people who are admittedly working pretty hard but are being compelled to train AND having any/all obstacles to their training moved ‘out of the way’ by others.  Like I said, the AIS is great and the experience was fantastic – but getting to watch the 7am Body Workers somehow manage to ‘hang-on’ to their kettlebell for 40minutes non-stop was equally amazing!!!  I guess the truth is that whilst being away at the AIS and having the opportunity to experience other environments is great it really does bring home the sacrifices and work-ethic shown every day by you guys training at Round One.

In terms of what actually happens in a dedicated training program like the one run by the AIS – well, it is both very interesting and incredibly simple.  Every day starts around 7am with a pre-breakfast stretching, mobility and core session that runs for around 30minutes or so.  The focus of the session is to both identify any potential issues that have eventuated from the previous days training as well as eliminate the ‘fuzziness’ from muscles.  What does this mean?  Well, check out this clip if you want a better idea of what I am talking about:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FtSP-tkSug .

What happens after that – off to breakfast where absolute mountains of food are on offer…great for athletes, not so great for coaches with low levels of will-power!  From breakfast it is off to training – either skill development or strength focused – and whilst the strength sessions are tough enough I think most people training at Round 1 would say that they are a lot ‘easier’ than most of the classes they have completed at the gym.  Regardless of workload, the sessions are focused solely on sports performance outcomes and technique is emphasized over ‘weights’ at all times.  These sessions (skills or gym) are followed by a recovery session of some type (pool, stretching etc) and more food.

The afternoon session was usually the main session of the day with regards sport specifics and was generally structured in a way that tried to emphasise skill development – activities would start ‘simple’ and slowly build up over 45 minutes or so to a point where the athletes needed to execute their fundamentals in a pressure situation.  Pretty standard coaching stuff I suppose you could say and not all that different to what you would experience in a school classroom or see at a local sporting club if a good/organised coach is involved.  The main difference was the focus/concentration of the athletes themselves – the intensity/effort put in by the players was of the highest level as was the way in which they took responsibility for encouraging their team-mates to ‘keep going’/’keep focussed’…certainly no need for burpee penalities (bin runs anyone?) to remind them to stay on track!

This session would (of course) be followed by another recovery session after which there would be the opportunity for  medical appointments, assessments, massages and all things of that nature – as well as time with the coaches.  Dinner was usually around 6pm – again, mountains of food on offer – and would be followed by a review of the afternoon training session where the athletes would be provided with some data about their performance (GPS for example) and video highlights and ‘learnings’ from the training session conducted that afternoon.  After that?  Oftentimes another lecture/guest presenter would come along to speak to the group before time was called around 8:30pm or so – lights out was either 9:30pm or 10pm depending on the workload planned for the following day.

So all of that stuff is pretty straight forward – I guess my challenge to each of you would be to have a look at the elite level program and identify those areas in your own training plan that might be lacking a little bit of ‘emphasis’.  I know I am continually surprised at just how much time the athletes spend doing rehab and recovery based activities – the idea being that they cannot get the maximum from their training if their bodies are not ‘ready to go’.  How to do this in our time challenged lives?  Well – I think it is different for everyone – and for some people out there just joining in the ‘post-class’ stretches might be a good step in the right direction…for others adding in a foam roller session every week or so would be a great benefit.  I don’t know – just getting to the gym is hard enough most of the time but I think if we could all just one thing – on thing that is new – to our routines then we would become a lot more resistant to training plateaus and remain on a path of continuous improvement.

See you at Round 1,

Michael.

Gym Update #1 – Membership Changes

Since opening the gym back in March/April 2010, we have only every offered ‘fixed term’ contracts – one month, three months, six months or twelve months. As mentioned a couple of weeks back, we are about to change the way we do things:

12-month memberships – including the Round 1 Pack – will STILL be available as up-front contracts or monthly/fortnightly debits…no changes to pricing or anything like that.

6-month contracts will no longer be available.

3-month contracts will be available as ‘up-front’ payments only – pricing is unchanged ($250).

1-month contracts will no longer be available.

A new contract type – UNLIMITED – will be introduced.  This will be slightly more expensive than a 12-month contract – an extra $5 per month – but you will be able to cancel this contract at any time (though written notification will be required).  This contract will NOT include a Round 1 Pack and will also require the payment of a Joining Fee ($75).

All of these changes are effective as of today (December 1st).  

Gym Update #2 – Changes to Opening Hours

Along with the changes to the membership contracts, we will be keeping the changes coming by adding a couple of extra hours to our timetable.  Now – these changes may or may not end up being ‘permanent’ – all I will promise at the moment is that our opening hours will expand to include 5am starts on both Tuesday and Thursday morning (so every single week day) from the start of December until the end of February…or right throughout summer.

We will run ‘Boxing for Fitness’ class at 5am on Tuesday’s and ‘1-Minute Rounds’ session at 5am on Thursday.

Gym Update #3 – New Gloves and Wraps on the WAY (I promise)

I will keep talking about this until they arrive!  The equipment has been at the airport for a little more than a week now but to my eternal frustration I cannot seem to get customs to clear the order.  Let’s hope this happens really soon and those cool new gloves and wraps are actually in the gym rather than in a warehouse somewhere!

Facebook Highlights

Some great stuff on our FACEBOOK site over the last couple of weeks – if you missed any of the links I have copied them all below:

Metabolic Efficiency (Podcast):  http://sportscoachradio.com/olympic-sports-nutrition-expert-bob-seebohar-on-metabolic-efficiency/

Vigorous Exercise works best:  http://www.sciencealert.com.au/news/20131511-25017.html

How to go gluten free: http://breakingmuscle.com/nutrition/10-ways-to-go-gluten-free-get-lean-and-stay-that-way

Girls guide to getting lean:  http://breakingmuscle.com/womens-fitness/the-female-guide-to-getting-lean

Technique:  http://www.brendanchaplin.co.uk/your-technique-needs-to-be-perfect/

Overcome temptation:  http://www.goodgirlfitness.net/blog/129-resist-your-temptations-solidify-your-willpower-forever.html

Enjoy!

Link of the week

Really enjoyable blog (though one that isn’t updated enough):
http://baconandskinnyjeans.blogspot.com.au/

See you in the gym!

Michael.