Military training learnings, Get it Done Challenge, Rocky 4 Montage

Hi and welcome to another week,

Wow – the first full week of 2014 certainly started with a big bang.  If there was a harder group of Boxing for Fitness sessions in one week I certainly can’t remember them.  It doesn’t matter what day you are referring too, the sessions were simply TOUGH with Friday being an all-time top 10’er!  Those ‘stay at a bag’ classes always seem hard – when I finish them I always marvel at exactly how much time I must ‘waste’ the rest of the time moving around the gym, gloves on/off etc…there is no opportunity for any of that in the ‘stay at a bag’ sessions.  What else happened?  TANKS happened!  Congratulations to everyone who got through what was a particularly challenging session – the front squat / hill sprint combination followed by the rowing intervals made for probably the most physically challenging TANKS session we have ever done.  Bring on this week (which means bring on the power-ropes…my all time favorite!).

Something else we did last week (in Starting Strength) was run a ‘military style’ training circuit. Starting Strength is about teaching people how to ‘train’ – which means sometimes we focus on a ‘type’ of lift (eg.  Deadlifts) and the technique associated with it – on others, we focus on a ‘concept’ such as Drop Sets or Super Sets or Ladders…this week we covered a ‘Military Style’ circuit as a concept.

Why does that matter I can hear everyone saying?  It matters because there were quite a few learnings from the sessions that would help everyone during the other group training sessions – and in any training you do away from the gym.  The basis behind the sessions wasn’t me yelling at the group ‘Full Metal Jacket’ style (STRONG LANGUAGE warning on the link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TNhS81w4bM) – rather it was about consistent movement, reps done at a steady pace (yes, as a group) and using good technique.  No rushing, no ‘half-reps’ and no ‘short-counts’.  When classes like the one we did on Friday come along, adopting a ‘Military’ style for your reps is a great approach – slow and steady really does win the race and see you pushing just as hard at the end of the session as you are at the start.

Does this mean I am saying that there is no place for ‘Full Speed Ahead’?  Well, I am not saying that but I certainly don’t believe that faster is better.  It is more important to get into a consistent rhythm where every rep (every step?) is completed through the full range of motion than it is to be the ‘FIRST’ to finish.  Sure – when it is time to complete a 500m bike or row, there is no problem in going ‘all out’ – but it is better to do 10 pushups properly than just to do them quickly.

At the end of each of the Starting Strength sessions we always talk about ‘How you can incorporate what you learned in your training – inside and outside of the gym’.  I guess I have just covered the ‘Inside the Gym’ stuff, but it is with the ‘Outside the gym’ stuff that a military style regime really does come into its own.  In the class, we integrated some simple dumbbell exercises – Goblet Squats, Deadlifts, Snatches – into a circuit that also included some push-ups and weighted ‘carries’.  For those people out there trying to do some running away from Round 1 and finding it a bit ‘hard’, rather than trying to run for 30 minutes straight, try this:

Jog for 30 seconds (or to the ‘next lamp-post’).

Do 5 pushups and 10 goblet squats.

Jog for 30 seconds, run ‘hard’ for 30 seconds.

Do 5 Deadlifts (each side) and 5 Snatches each side.

Rinse and repeat.

You can obviously modify the circuit you are doing (I a, modify the duration of the running efforts – harder or easier), change the exercises (maybe body-weight stuff only with dips and squats) – whatever – but having a clear plan and maintaining a steady pace throughout will really maximise the benefit you can get.

Now – I am off to the AIS again this coming week.  This will be my last commitment to the AIS during 2014 and will take me out of the gym for nearly 12-days.  Whilst I will certainly miss my gym (and all of you guys), the class plans are all written and I am sure that the team will continue to challenge and motivate you in my absence.  This time we are off touring NZ so I might miss writing a blog next weekend…hopefully I can find the time to pull something together.

See you at Round 1,

Michael.

Gym Update #1 – January Special

Our amazing January special is still running – Unlimited Membership (full access to classes + gym, cancel anytime) – is available without a joining fee.  So – for $70 per month (or less than $16 per week), you have full access to everything R1 has to offer.  And if your circumstances change there are no penalties involved in ‘moving on’!

Gym Update #2 – 6-Month Life Plan

Week two of month one of the 6-month plan is just about to start.  Remember:

-       Two (2) group training sessions per week.

-       One (1) 30-minute walk/stretch per week.

-       No bread, Monday to Friday.

-       Four (4) alcohol free days each week – and only two (2) drinks allowed on the other three (3) days.

-       Two (and ONLY 2) days during the month when you can eat/drink outside of the ‘rules’.

Now, for those people who think this is a bit too easy, I have a couple of comments.  First off – that is great for you, but these changes represent a challenge for a lot of people out there.  If you think you can do ‘better’ from the start, then feel free to do so.  Secondly, the rules ‘escalate’ from month-to-month.  The idea is that by the end of month one, everyone will be comfortable with the lifestyle change and ready to ‘step it up’.  We have done more extreme 30 and 45 day challenges in the past and whilst the results are amazing for the people who finish…but not enough people finish (because the ‘change’ is too extreme).  So – have faith and trust – the Life Plan is a journey and if you stick to the rules from month-to-month then you will get there in the end.

Gym Update #3 – New Equipment on the Way

We have some great news re- upgrades to the gym.  Some additional bumper plates are ‘on the boat’ and will be in Perth soon  – just the thing to help us get through our TANKS and Starting Strength sessions.  We ALSO have two new rowers (Concept II D’s) on the way – this will mean we will finally have 8 rowers available for use in the gym, meaning we can use them as a dedicated station within the group training sessions.  This is something I have been working towards for some time now and it will be great to finally achieve it.

Gym Update #4 – Australia Day Holiday

The Australia Day holiday is nearly upon us – and this year it falls on a Monday.

On that day, we will be operating using public holiday hours (standard Sunday) with an added Boxing for Fitness session at 07:15am.  The timetable with therefore be:

Boxing – 07:15am, 08:15am, 09:15am.

Body Work – 10:15am

Beginners – 11:15am

Gym Update #5 – Next ‘Get it Done’ Challenge is Coming

The February ‘Get it Done’ challenge is just around the corner.  During the month, you will need to do ‘25’ classes (Boxing, Beginners, Body Work, Tanks, SS) to earn your t-shirt.  You can count two x ‘double classes’ (two in one day) throughout the month if you are ‘running short’ of days to finish…but NO MORE than two.  Start planning, start getting organised…time to Get It Done.

Facebook Highlights

Bit of a quieter week on FACEBOOK site last week – sorry guys – the Life Plan stuff has knocked me sideways a little but I should be back posting a bit more this week!

DOMS:  http://journals.lww.com/nsca-scj/Abstract/2013/10000/Is_Postexercise_Muscle_Soreness_a_Valid_Indicator.2.aspx

Effects of alcohol:  http://www.tabatatimes.com/effects-alcohol-performance/

Enjoy!

Link of the week

We have a bit of fun this week – a Rocky IV training montage…(check out the fur lined jacket he is training in!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6w4XtsfyVo

See you in the gym!

Michael.