‘Aggregation of Marginal Gains’, Price Changes, XMAS Hours

Hi and welcome to another week,

Great week of training – the hollow rocks (which admittedly I have been doing on my own for a while) seemed to pop up in the classes every day which left me feeling sore all over the bottom of my rib-cage.  It is good to feel sore from working out – makes you feel like you have done something – whilst at the same time trying to do any abs related activity the next day proved a little bit of a battle.

What else?  The 9-minute rounds seem to be taking hold to the point where this week I am trying them out with a little bit more variety in the strength exercises.  One day we might get to the point where we can run different body weight/strength activities at each station but for now at least I think it works best with the ‘repetitive’ format – it cuts out (well, I guess it cuts down! J) on all the staring at the white board as people try to figure out what is being asked of them next.

The week ahead?  Well, the schedule looks amazing.  It is the last week of our first six week runs through ‘Starting Strength’ and ‘Challenge Team’.  I have been so impressed with the groups who have taken part – some incredibly challenging sessions but they have supported one another right to the end and made some great improvements in their SKILLS and their fitness levels.  This week also sees the start of our next 5-week Body Work block (Focus exercise = KB Deadlifts) and the program will maintain the same ‘rhythm’ as the last two – one weights-based ‘challenge’, one chipper, one escalating chipper, one ‘hybrid’ and one ‘triplet’ each week.  The way it is set up is that if you do Body Work once per week (on the same day) over 5-weeks you will complete 5x carefully programmed but very different sessions that all include some skills work on the monthly focus exercise…last month we must have taught 200 people how to Turkish Get-up!  In TANKS this week we will focus on Deadlifts as a strength activity, No-Rules features Deadlifts and Pull-ups and – most importantly to me as it is what I mostly do! – our Boxing classes will have a focus on core strength (including KB To and Fro’s) and body-weight conditioning.  As I said, this weeks sessions look amazing with tomorrow (Monday’s) and Friday’s probably the ones that I am the most excited to do personally.

I have been a bit slack with my reading lately but have been jumping back into ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger:  How Sports Science is Creating a New Generation of Super Athletes and What We can Learn From Them’ (McClusky) whenever I get a few minutes to spare and have found it to be a great read.  With all the chaos in the gym lately (Lils off having her baby, Sean leaving, hunting for new staff, membership price changes etc etc etc – there has been a lot going on) I have found my own training suffering – actually I have found everything relating to ‘me’ to be suffering.  Most of this is because I am pretty hopeless at getting myself organised – big things I am good at planning (getting the classes organised, managing my football life etc) but making time to have something to eat, a plan to stretch or even just a time set aside to have a ‘break’ I am terrible at.  ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger’ has some good lessons about all of this – about how making sure that you have a plan to ‘maximise’ your day is the best way to go.

There is a great little story in ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger’ about the 2012 Olympics (2012?  Were the Olympics really THAT long ago).  The British team was – as the home nation – pretty keen to do well at the games and the story specifically focuses on their cycling team. British cycling won ZERO gold medals in the Olympics from 1924 until 1992.  ZERO.  In ’92, a guy called Chris Boardman won a gold for Britain – which was awesome – but wasn’t really the sign of a great turnaround.  Somehow though, by 2012 they were the most successful cycling nation on earth and won 12-medals in track and road cycling, twice as many as any other nation.  The question is, how did they do it?

In ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger’ McCluskey writes that they did a lot of things – but foremost amongst them was the idea that improvement comes through the ‘aggregation of marginal gains’.  They made sure they got the ‘BIG’ stuff right (technology, training plans, etc) – but they also made certain that no ‘little’ elements were left to chance.  As an example, they identified early on that the track program included only a 1-hour break between the semi-final and final of the ‘team pursuit’.  One hour.  So a project team was established – ‘Project Golden Hour’ – to make sure that EVERYTHING was done correctly in that short period of time to maximise the team’s chance of winning.  As it turned out, the British were the only team to improve their time from the semi-final to the final and consequently marched away with the goal.

I guess my challenge to each of you is what is your ‘marginal gain’?  Is it making sure you get to bed a little earlier?  Making sure you don’t leave the house without breakfast each morning?  Is it changing from a cappuccino to a long black, or taking the time to walk and stretch during your lunch break twice each week?  The improvements you are looking for – and I am looking for – are hidden somewhere in the details of everything we are doing from day-to-day.  Pick something.  Make it better – you will be amazed at the difference a small change might make…especially when that one small change becomes a series of small changes that you have put in place over 3 months, or 6 months, or longer.

See you in the gym.

Michael.

Gym Update #1 – Membership Price Rises have arrived

As mentioned in the blog over the last couple of weeks, from tomorrow (Monday, December 8th) onwards there will be some small rises in our membership fees for casual sessions, PT Sessions, 12-month Memberships (including FIFO) and Unlimited Memberships.  3-month packages and 10-round pass prices will remain unchanged.

In simple terms, the changes will be as follows:

Casual Class – Increase to $15.

10-round pass – No change

3-month membership – No Change

12-month Up-front membership – Increase from $715 to $780

12-month direct debit – Increase from $65/ month to $71.50 per month OR from $30/fortnight to /$33 per fortnight)

FIFO – Increase from $550 to $600 (same % change as 12-month contract)

Unlimited – Increase to $77 per month/$35.50 per fortnight.

PT:  Up to $35 per 30 mins, $60 per 60 minutes.

Remember – if you have an existing membership you will NOT (NOT) be impacted by the pricing changes.  The only time that there will be an impact is if you are on a 12-month or FIFO contract and your membership expires/needs to be renewed.

As part of the change, I will also be offering people the option of receiving $70 worth of PERKVILLE points in lieu of receiving a Round 1 Pack (gloves, bag, wraps, towel) when they renew their membership…that way, people will be able to use the points to get whatever they want from the gym.

Gym Update #2 – December ’12 Days of Christmas’ Challenge is here!

The challenge is ON and – as the weeks go by it is only going to get ‘tougher’.  I really do recommend that you have a plan in place to try and get all of your classes PLUS the 12x 12-Days of Christmas workouts DONE prior to the 24th of December.  Have a plan in place to do your SIX classes each week (you should have at least FIVE in the bank by now) and – if you fall short by one then you are still in with a shot.  There is nothing worse than looking at your schedule for the final week and realising that short of training at 5am AND 5pm every day in the last week (the 24th is a Wednesday) that you can’t make it to the end…that week I promise you will have a LOT of ‘non-gym’ stuff to do.

Now – with the ‘Get it Done’ T’s, when we (well, Clancy) collated the orders, we found a heap of girls had ordered their shirts as ‘Small’, ‘Medium’ etc – the girls sizes are 8, 10, 12 etc.  Just so you know, I am ordering anyone who requested a ‘SMALL’ a size 10, ‘Medium’ = 12 etc.  If you don’t want that – please tell me QUICKLY!

A reminder that the video for the circuit can be found on our YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCk0rPGfBb0Hso5traupLg8w.

When you get to that page, you should click ‘subscribe’ so you get notified each time we put up a new ‘technique’ video but if you want to link directly to the video, it is here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_2wvhZLRdc.

Gym Update #3 – Christmas Hours and Gym Refurb

Our artificial grass supplier is back and working and now it is back to us.  My current plan is to get it delivered immediately before Christmas and install it when the gym is closed…which moves us to the opening hours:

Normal opening hours up until the 23rd of December (Tuesday).

24th December:  Open until 2pm – Normal Classes until then.  **Tanks will run at 10am for anyone interested.

25th and 26th we will be closed.  Now I know I ran three (3) classes last year on Boxing day, but that is shaping as the day to install the artificial Turf.

27th (Saturday):  Normal classes resume until December 31st.

31st December (Wednesday):  Last class at 4pm – Gym will close at 5pm.

1st January (Thursday): Closed.

2nd January:  Back to normal.

Gym Update #4 – Spartan Up

There is a Spartan Event – a sprint race (7kms, 20 obstacles) coming up next April 18th.  This has never really been my thing but I just have an idea that – given the 7km distance – we could get 200 Round 1’ers signed up and ready to race in the event…I was thinking we might arrange t-shirts, a ‘special’ Sunday morning training squad (to help everyone get through the running) and who only knows what else!  Now – a heap of people have noted on Facebook that they are keen – awesome.  If you want to save $45 on registration, then you have to do it THIS WEEK!!!  Go to:

http://spartanrace.com.au/event/perth-sprint-18-april-2015

Our team name is ‘Round 1 Fitness’ – choose the ‘Intermediate’ category.  The team password is ‘speedball’.

Email info@round1fitness.com.au if you have registered so I can try and keep track of things!

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

With everyone about to head away on holidays, perhaps the following link might be helpful:  http://www.12minuteathlete.com/holiday-hiit-workouts/

It lays out a workout including times/reps/sets and each exercise listed includes a link to a demonstration video.

Thanks to Peter Brear for the link suggestion – it is cool!

Michael.