Listen – Try – Practise, Refurb Project Update, New Shirts, Skipping Video

Hi and welcome to another week,

Great classes last week.  I was really pleased with the way the new Body Work classes went (though I certainly enjoyed session ‘D’ more than session ‘A) and whilst it has been a bit frustrating not being able to program mini-sleds, bear crawls or even skipping pending the gym refurb changes, the extra body weight exercises (and even the split jumps) have been a nice change.  What’s coming this week?  Hindu and half-hindu pushups, some coils, power ropes are out (hooray!) and a bit of fun on the rings!  The class plans are a little ‘compromised’ at the moment (they were written assuming the new flooring was in/power racks had moved) but I am pretty confident that despite the ‘on the fly’ modifications we have a good collection of sessions for you all.

I have been doing a heap of review of things at the gym in the past couple of weeks – primary amongst them trying to find a way to ‘reboot’ starting strength to broaden its appeal and create a more ‘valuable’ experience for everyone.  At the moment it is ALL technique and I want to create a session that keeps that element but also adds a more ‘applicable’ workout to each session.  Why?  Well, one thing that both the Life Plan and Muscle Plan are showing me is that there is a great number of people who train at R1 who are really eager to become stronger and more physically resilient – but at the same time they are a tad nervous to give things a go.  Further – despite running Starting Strength for more than 18months now, and putting up a number of ‘How To’ videos on our YouTube channel – many people are still unclear/uncertain of how to get started (even simple stuff like “face the rack” when you are using the power racks let alone ‘how to deadlift’).  Now – setting Starting Strength aside for a moment – when I think back to all of my coaching experience (in the gym and at footy) the people who progress the most quickly/perform the most consistently have THREE characteristics in common.

Firstly, they have a real willingness to listen to their coaches.  They show they want to be better not by saying “I know” (after all, if you knew you would be doing it ‘right’ and wouldn’t be receiving instruction!) but rather by asking questions to identify exactly what they should be doing.  ‘More like this?’/’Do you mean iike this?’  A lot of time when you are doing something right you can sense it through what you feel rather than by what you see.  With a football – you can be blindfolded and ‘know’ it has gone straight/spun correctly by the way it feels when it hits your foot.  It is the same thing with a punch when it hits the bag – or a squat as you drive through your heels back to a standing position.  You don’t need to see it (though it can help) but you do need to concentrate on the way your body feels when you are doing the movement to ensure you have done it correctly.  The best progress is made when things are done properly – and things are done properly when you listen the coach and apply the feedback.

Secondly, being prepared to TRY – to just have a go – is a key attribute for people who achieve success.  When the coach asks you to do something, they have a fair idea of whether or not you are physically able to complete the task.  But they also know something else – if you don’t just ‘get started’ and realise yourself that nothing ‘bad’ will happen, then you will never be able to progress.  There is nothing more gratifying as a coach than providing some feedback and watching someone really ‘have a go’ at doing it correctly – whether they are perfect or not is hardly the point.  Taking the previous point (listen) into consideration, you can’t listen to the coaches unless they can give you some instruction – and it is hard for them to help you if you haven’t first TRIED to do the movement.  Pay attention at the start of the class when the demo’s are done.  If you aren’t certain of what you have been asked to do – ASK A QUESTION – after all, if you aren’t sure, other people are probably in the same boat and once the session starts it will be a lot harder to get the question answered.  Focus hard – as you start the exercise, think back to the demonstrations and apply the key elements to your effort – and remember the names of the exercises so you can repeat them in the future.

Thirdly, people who succeed don’t just train, they also practice.  I know that this sounds completely stupid – after all, isn’t training the same as practising?  But if you think about your school days, the most successful students didn’t just do their home-work (training), they also studied (practised) the class-room material.  From a sporting sense, you always read about the ‘work ethic’ of top athletes – how they always come in on their days off, rehearsing their skills, doing a little bit extra.  I guess from the perspective of coaching, training is completing the assigned tasks of the day – practise is taking the time outside of that to work on your weaknesses and further build on your strengths.  What does this look like in the gym?  It might be as simple as doing some mobility before a class so that when the bell rings, you are completely ready to go.  That’s right – ‘practise’ doesn’t need to take hours – it might just mean spending an extra 5 minutes.

What else can ‘practise’ look like?  Well, maybe you KNOW you are struggling with your squats, so for you practise looks like spending some time doing squat progressions.  Or – you might be really good at squats but because you want to STAY good at them you still spend 5-minutes practising them before the class starts. This applies to everyone who ‘hates it’ when pull-ups are scheduled because you “can’t do them”, for everyone who “can’t” hit the speedball. There is a 7m pull-up bar in the gym, there are 10 speedballs hanging up…when you are waiting around before the class, have a go at doing a couple of pullups, have a go at hitting the speedball, have a PRACTISE at something – and if you do that every single time you are in the gym (if you practice as well as train), you will be amazed at how much you improve.  And before you know it, you will be successfully doing the exercise you were struggling with – and you WILL feel a huge sense of achievement.  And you will deserve it!

Of course – when you first start you will make progress no matter what – just the mere fact of showing up and rolling through the circuit will be enough to trigger improvement.  But if you want to keep getting ‘better’ as time moves on, it really is simple.  Listen to what you are being asked to do.  Have a really go at doing it.  If you are struggling with something, don’t wait till it is programmed again and then complain that you can’t – practice.

See you in the gym.

Michael.

Gym Update #1 – Life Plan / Muscle Plan Underway

We are about to start our second week of month two (2) – hopefully you have (quickly) adapted to the additional diet restrictions and have planned out your ‘Free Eating’ (aka cheat) days for the month ahead.  The reason you should plan your ‘free eating’ days is simple – if you are going to ‘cheat’, make it for something you REALLY want, make it for a celebration that means something to you.  I am saying this because whilst ‘ad hoc’ pizza nights and ‘friends dropping in’ are always a lot of fun at the time, remember that you have a goal you are chasing – and remember, giving in to Pizza on Tuesday night means no celebrating at your friends wedding/21st/40th whatever coming up this weekend.  You have two cheat days for the month – plan them out and use them wisely – and get the best results possible.

Muscle plan people – your workout this week is your first ‘WAVES’ session.  You will need to have your 1RM for Squats and Bench Press this week.  It is a German Volume Training plan (10 sets, 10 reps, strict 1-minute rest) so please be sure to allow yourself enough time to finish all your reps…allow 70minutes for the session please.

Gym Update #2 – Gym Refurb Project

Well, everything came to a shuddering halt last week.  The new stereo and tv’s are super awesome – but without the new floor we can’t move the power racks/reclaim the ‘middle’ of our gym.  Which is obviously important!  Our new plan is also based around Wednesday (this Wednesday, October 8th) so here’s hoping we can get back on track.  At this stage, expect a few interruptions throughout the day on Wednesday but classes will run as per the schedule.

Gym Update #3 – Quick Wraps and new gym shirts!

The new Quick Wraps are in the gym and available in four (4) sizes – XL, L, M and S – and 3 colors (Red, Black and Pink).  They are a great product which has been too long coming (because of me really) and hopefully they fit the bill for people who want the protection hand wraps offer without the hassle of having to wrap your hands.  These quick wraps offer good support and I am really happy with the way they have turned out.

Our next order of t-shirts will be in the gym in the next few days – similar to the existing design but in blue or black rather than red/white.  The samples look cool – here’s hoping the ‘real thing’ is even better.  These will be $20 – same price as the existing t’s.

Gym Update #4 – October Mini Challenge

If you missed week 1, just write your name on the board and get started from week two.  The little challenge circuit takes around 15 minutes to complete…just get started.  It is a great little workout that will really help you be ready for the beach weather that is just around the corner.  What does it involve? One VERY simple circuit (based on the ‘Perfect Pair’ workout)!

20 Kettlebell Swings

10 Push Ups OR 10 Goblet Squats

20 Kettlebell Swings

9 Push Ups OR 10 Goblet Squats

Complete 10 circuits reducing the Push Ups/Squats down my 1 each round until you reach 0.

To answer a question, you can do Pushups one day and Goblet Squats the next but you cannot alternate between the two in the same workout!

That’s it.  Simple as!  3 times each week.  Ready for summer!  The white board is up and ready to go – if you missed week 1, no matter.  Jump in on week 2.  I have been completing the workouts and it is a great little boost to your week!

Gym Update #5 – Join PERKVILLE.  Join NOW!!!

Perkville is awesome.  It is a rewards scheme that gives you ‘credit’ in the gym for every time you pay for your membership/every time you scan your membership card at the front counter.  You can then turn that ‘credit’ into TANKS classes, InBody Scans, Personal Training, Protein, new Boxing Gloves etc – whatever you want really!

Signing up really is simple – go to www.perkville.com , enter the same email address that you have registered at the gym and everything else is done for you.

Free stuff at the gym just for turning up?  Sounds alright to me!

Link of the week

A bit of a skipping video with ‘slow motion’ footwork showing you how to do the different styles that are demonstrated:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-CmdHxYlp0

Lot’s of fun – especially with a speed rope.

See you in the gym!

Michael.