Weekend at the Barracks, LifePlan Month 5, Bar Brothers

Hi and welcome to another week,

Great sessions last week.  I always enjoy those sessions that mix up barbell training with heavy bag conditioning – and last week featured heaps of those exercises.  The only problem was of course – having done Body Work and all of those ‘Snatch-grip Hi-Pulls’ on Tuesday, my traps were so sore on Wednesday and Thursday that doing much of anything felt like a battle…like everyone else though, I battled through and getting moving helped make the DOMS go away.

I have spent the last couple of days / nights at the SAS Campbell Barracks bunkered down with this years State u18’s Football team.  The camp is always a great part of the program – whilst it is pretty tough in terms of both physical and mental workload, it really does help everyone involved in the program get to know one another which is so important as we move towards the ‘pointy end’ – in other words the games!  It is amazing what you learn about someone when they are being physically challenged whilst they are mentally exhausted…so often you expect to get their worst – but what you really get is their best!

I have blogged about the gym at the SAS before and how similar the gym is to what you find at Round 1.  Heaps of kettlebells, heaps of rowers and spin bikes, power ropes, deadballs all over the place, box jumps of various heights, power racks with a wide range of bumper plates – and of course, lots of bags to hit!  Sure, they have some unique equipment that we don’t (a trapeze that you can strap into using some kind of military style vest anyone) but what I saw their over the past couple of days was a group of exceptionally fit looking guys working very hard – and doing the same stuff you would see happening in Round 1 every day.  Chinups and kettlebell swings seemed a popular combination – it seemed everyone was doing rowing intervals – and the StrongLifts 5×5 was a popular program (look it up) according to a couple of the guys I was chatting too.

What I wanted to talk about today though was the message the players were given by a couple of recent graduates from our WA Football Academy (State 18’s) who are now part of the AFL system.  The messages that they passed on to the current group were pretty amazing given the ages of the guys passing them on – I guess there is something about living your life in a ‘competition’ every single day that forces you to mature quickly…or be spat out the other end of the ‘system’.  In any case, a lot of the messages they had are ones that apply to most of us no matter what stage of life we are in – certainly as a 40-something person with a small business and a family I found myself making notes on words spoken by a few guys who have not yet hit 21!

1/.Stay true to yourself.  There are always going to be people out there who knock you and criticise you no matter what you do.  If you step to the left, they will say you should have stepped to the right.  They will criticise your hair cut, your clothes – everything about you.  Don’t change to please them – stay true to yourself and stay focussed on the job you are there to do.

2/.When others say you “CAN’T”, don’t fight with them about it – prove them WRONG.  I found this particularly relevant in my situation (leaving what was a pretty lucrative career in IT to start a small business) and by extension for so many Round 1’ers who have been told by friends/colleagues that their personal battle to lose weight/get stronger/get healthy is just a waste of time and something they will never achieve.  Now in my case Round 1 is not exactly making me a millionaire (in fact, if it was about money there is no doubt I should have stayed in IT!) but after 4-years we are still open and trying to grow stronger.  For everyone else, I hope that every time a session gets tough or sticking to the Life Plan diet gets hard, you are able to reflect on all those people who have said you CAN’T and show them that you CAN and WILL!

3/.If you are going to do something, do it properly.  This was a huge focus from one of the boys (well, one of the men is what I should be saying!).  The talk was about making sure that whenever he was training/learning that he was truly focussed on doing it PROPERLY – not just going through the motions.  If you want to get better, you really need to work at it – not just ‘get through it’ but really focus on getting the most out of it.  After all, if time is truly precious – and for me (and most of you) I know it is – then why only give half of the effort??

4/.Training properly means training hard.  Really hard.  The point here was that if you never really ‘have a go’ then you never really find out what you are capable of.  It is a reason why I encourage so many Boxing regulars to have a go at a Body Work class – it is just a different ‘type’ of training that forces you to take a bit of a different approach – it can be a little ‘relentless’ and pushing through one Body Work class each week will really ‘teach’ you how to up your rating in a Boxing class.  I have said it quite a bit – I try to do four (4) boxing classes per week plus one Body Work and one No Rules…I find completing the ‘other’ sessions really helps me in the boxing classes – they make me stronger (physically and mentally) and teach me that it is not only possible to ‘finish’ a barbell (or kettlebell, or Body Weight etc) circuit – but that it is what you are EXPECTED to do!

5/.Nothing is more important than recovery.  If you are sore – don’t take the day off, just take the day off training.  Foam rollers are amazing, walking is great, stretching really helps and if you are really sore, nothing beats jumping in the ocean.  The guys complete a recovery element every day – every day – in order to be able to train at the level they need to in order to compete.  Imagine if all of us took that advice on-board and spent just 10 minutes on a foam roller every day – even whilst watching tv.  It would help with mobility and make sure we are all able to train at our best the next day – which in turn would mean getting the absolute best results.

That’s it from me.  Good luck to everyone getting started on Life Plan month 5 this week (details below) and I cant wait to see all of you in the gym this week.

Michael.

Gym Update #1 – 6-Month Life Plan

OK.  The new month – month 5 – starts tomorrow.  For anyone who has not been measured yet, I will be measuring this Monday night (4pm until 7pm) and Wednesday night (4pm until 7pm).  I will also do measurements on Friday night by appointment.

The rules for the new month are pretty same as the rules for the old month:

 

Training

3x Round 1 Group classes each week.

Complete the kettlebell and Barbell program detailed in the ‘Weights’ section each week.

Prehab

Two (2) x 30 minute walk/stretch sessions per week.

Diet

-       No Pasta permitted at all.

-       One serve of rice permitted each week.

-       Breakfast cereal permitted only ONCE per week.  Oats is the only acceptable cereal.

-       One serve of sweets (lollies, chocolate, cool drink etc) per week.

-       No product with any added sugar/sweeteners except as part of your ‘Free Eating Day’ (or your one serve of sweets each week’).

-       No Bread.  At ALL!

-       No more than three (3) pieces of fruit on any given day.  No Fruit Juice AT ALL.

-       FIVE (5) alcohol free days each week – only two (2) drinks permitted on those days when you can drink.

-       TWO (2) free eating days per month.

-       Three (3) serves of dairy per week.

Weights

Kettlebells

- Two sets of 100 swings each week.  You may break up the swings as you please (eg.  5 sets of 20) but all 100 must be completed during one ‘session’.

Barbells

-       Two sessions per week.

-       Session 1 = 5 Sets of 5 Squats AND 5 sets of 5 Benchpress + core circuit.

-       Session 2 = 5 Sets of 5 Deadlifts AND 5 sets of 5 Overhead Press + core circuit.

The core circuit is 3x 60 second bridge, 1x 60 second side bridge (each side) + 3x MAX Rep chin-ups (30-seconds between sets)

 

Good luck everyone.  Everyone has been doing so well to this point – the lifestyle changes should be WELL ingrained now that we are up to month number 5…making the changes (dairy) this month should be pretty straight forward!

Gym Update #2– April (Mini) Challenge is OVER

Well done to everyone who fought their way through the April Mini-Challenge.  Completing 3x sessions each week – as well as a series of barbell / kettlebell / cardio exercises after each of those classes really ups the ‘effort’ put out and provides some short term results and a long term ‘kick’.  I am sure most people understand the ‘short-term’ bit, but remember it is the ‘long-term’ benefit that really makes a difference – by increasing both your strength (through the extra – and escalating – weights program) you will be able to push just a little bit harder during the classes.  This in turn, means you get just a little bit more out of every session you do moving forward!

Gym Update #3 – Bags and Shields

Our two brand spanking new combo bags are already up in the gym – they are still ‘settling’ and will need to have some extra stuffing added in the next week or so before they are completely ‘in service’…that said, they are hanging so if you want to hit them now, knock yourself out!

The two new shields are also up on the walls – the difference is AMAZING!  I have six new foam inners for the remaining shields that I will be installing over the next couple of weeks…putting them in is a pretty horrible job but I will try and knock over a couple each day!

Gym Update #4 – Retail Gear

As per the message last week, we now have full stock of colors in our hand wraps – and a heap of bag mitts available in ALL sizes / colors.  I am really proud of where these products have got too over the past couple of years and am happy to hold up the Round 1 products – from both a quality and price perspective – against anything on the market!

In the next week or so our next range of sleeveless t-shirts will arrive.  These are a really simple design and will be available for a cost of $20 each.

Gym Update #5 – New Retail Solution

The new POSiSales retail solution is up and running.  The team are still ‘learning’ to use the product and whilst it is pretty simple it does present a new way of doing things for everyone who works at the gym.  Simple is good – but even a quick and simple product requires a little bit more time and brain power than taking cash and throwing it in a cash-box.  As such, please have a little bit of patience with everyone as we bed the system down/iron out the kinks and make sure that we have a much more professional way of managing our ‘store’.

Gym Update #6 – AFL Dreamteam and Footy Tipping

As I am typing this, the Dockers have just defeated West Coast (well, the game ended an hour or so back) so all of the results are in!

Tipping:  A great effort by Kell Burdett who picked eight out of nine – she picked the Gold Coast to knock over North and missed out only on the Melbourne/Adelaide result.  Great effort.  Following close behind Kelly were a whole range of people on seven (7) points.  Up on top of the table, Toffeeman (who I still don’t know!) holds a 1-point lead over Glen Howley and Ben McManus.

DreamTeam:  Kade’s Kings – run by young Kade Mahar – has topped the table with 2197 points, ahead of Lloyd’s ‘Gym Gods’ and – to keep it in the family – Brad Mahar’s team known as ‘Mahars Maulers’.  Me?  Crashed and burned again.  Stupidest game ever!

Facebook Highlights

A great week of links on FACEBOOK this week – including a few needed for month 5 of the Life Plan:

Brussell Sprout Chips:  http://nomnompaleo.com/post/15661311142/brussels-sprouts-chips

Paleo Beef Stew:  http://www.paleoplan.com/2009/12-03/paleo-beef-stew/

How to Overhead Press:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3QY5vMz_6I

How to Bench Press:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRVjAtPip0Y

How to Dead Lift:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WP8lEbeY4LM

How to Squat:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnV7vEi7Sz8

Strength vs Aerobic Intervals:  http://breakingmuscle.com/strength-conditioning/what-kind-of-exercise-improves-inflammation-the-most

Squats and Knees:  https://www.facebook.com/OfficialTestosteroneNation/posts/10152324789551117:0

F U Hormones:  http://www.jtsstrength.com/articles/2014/04/25/f-hormones/

The Scales (and the trouble with them):  http://everydaypaleo.com/attention-scale-addicts/

Hip Thrusts for strong glutes:  http://www.t-nation.com/training/bigger-better-glutes

Enjoy!

Link of the week

Bar brothers this week – this time, bar brothers for the girls.  Great video!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6ePL8OFb6M&list=UUSeD0P39ujjI_EXVY5Y6BIQ

See you in the gym!

Michael.