Random thoughts from the road, October Challenge

Hi and welcome to another week,

I am writing today (well, this morning actually) from what is generously called a ‘lobby’ of the hotel I am staying at in Melbourne.  I headed over here on Friday night to catch up with some friends and allow the Bulldogs to break my heart in a final once again…successful on all counts it would (unfortunately) seem.

It has been great being back in Melbourne though – Vanessa and I lived over here for a few years back in the mid-2000’s and our youngest kid (Dempsey) is actually a little Victorian…though happily for him he has not followed me into the pits of despair by becoming a Bulldogs supporter!

Today’s blog is going to be a series of random thoughts from the weekend:

-       There are a lot of people – a lot – who still smoke cigarettes.  Way more than I thought.  I am not sure how they think it is going to turn out but it is probably not going to be ‘good’.

-       The MCG is by far the best sporting arena I have ever been too.  When I was living in Melbourne I used to take it for granted.  Subiaco is a relic and really wrecks the experience of going to the footy.

-       Going to the gym on holiday is one of the most under-rated experiences you can have.  You are out of your comfort zone, don’t know where anything is, don’t know the rules so you are forced to really ‘lock in’ on your training.  Did I mention there were also ‘no distractions’ because you don’t know anyone so again, you are forced to really ‘lock in’ on your training.  Had great sessions on both Saturday and Sunday morning.

-       Everyone knows that ‘muffins’ are really ‘cakes’ right?  Why is it that so many people seem to want to put together a cappuccino (120 calories) with a chocolate muffin (350 calories) is beyond me.  Do you know how much assault bike riding would be needed to burn that off?  Drink your coffee black and swap the muffin for – I don’t know, half an  apple and a few almonds maybe?  Be smart.  Small indulgences aren’t so ‘small’ if you do them every day.

-       Buskers are great but since when were they allowed to use amplifiers powerful enough to be heard in the next time-zone?  The duelling buskers on Collins St on Saturday afternoon created a wall of noise.

-       The Corner Hotel is a great place to watch a band but I swear it used to be bigger.  Watching bands play in small venues is also under-rated – though all I felt by the time they were done was very, very old.

-       Mini-supermarkets are everywhere in the city over here.  They all seem to be busy and everyone is buying energy drinks and lollies.  Why do so many people need energy drinks early on a Sunday morning?  They weren’t dressed for running and there were only a handful of people in the gym.

-       Front squats are a really, really hard exercise and whenever they appear I my program I have negative thoughts about them.  I need to change my mindset here – first off, with my sore back they are a safer option than back squats.  Secondly, if I just start and get on with it, they will be over soon!  As someone told me last week – ‘It is only 50-minutes until I can be done and feel good about myself’.

-       Cheap hotel accommodation is great.  Whenever I am ‘on holiday’, I feel like I am never in the hotel anyway so anything more than a bed and bathroom is a waste of space.  If it is clean and everything works, what more do you need?

-       There are some amazingly talented footballers at u18 level all over Australia – watching the TAC Cup games at Princes Park today (Sunday) was a lot of fun…the footy is not perfect but that is what makes it so enjoyable – you can watch the game and embrace the effort and intent rather than worry about outcomes and results.  And remember that when you were 18 anything seemed possible and it would be nice to find a way to ‘recapture’ that attitude more often.

-       Melbourne taxis are great.  They seem to be literally everywhere and even if it is just a 5-minute journey they will take you there.

-       The walk from the city down to the MCG (or up to Etihad) is a great Melbourne experience and to do it with 20000 others on Saturday was amazing.  The walk back after losing?  Not so much fun.

-       At the gym, we take it for granted that the things we ‘need’ will be there.  Whether it is a machine, a space, a class, a whatever – we just get so used to it being around that when it is not there, it causes a ‘drama’.  Doherty’s was great – but no foam rollers, no poly pipe or broom sticks, no Olympic rings, no power bands – all things that are part of my daily life these days.  Glad I packed a massage ball!

-       Lastly, how is it that the new Terminal (T4) in Melbourne airport has a 3m tv screen but it is showing a program about an art exhibition in Sydney rather than the footy.  Very sad day.

That’s it.  I am looking forward to getting home later tonight – see you all in the gym tomorrow!

Gym Update #1 – Beach Bodies#2 – Week 3 is Up

Week #3 of the latest Beach Bodies program has been published and is available to all participants.  I have put up about eight (8) or so videos on our YouTube channel in the past couple of weeks covering off some of the supplementary exercises I will be getting you doing throughout the program…remember to check the program early after it is released and hit me up for details of anything that you are unsure of.

I also just wanted to put a little reminder in here – move the bar QUICKLY.  Drive the bar up when you are squatting and pressing (and pulling for that matter).  Drive it up FAST.  If you practice moving fast, you will be FAST.  Drive the bar up – don’t make the effort ‘slow and controlled’ (unless the program says too of course!) – move it from the bottom of the movement to the top of the movement with speed and power.

For anyone still wondering whether or not to get involved, the structure of the program will be similar but different to BB#1 – each day will consist of 2x programming streams.  Stream 1 will be for those people just getting started and will (for example) include a linear progression similar to the one that we followed for nine-weeks in the current program.  Stream 2 will be more focussed on the supportive exercises etc that we are all doing now in the ‘back end’ of BB#1.

Other elements of the program – classes, conditioning, stretching and pre-hab – will be largely unchanged.

How will you know when to move from the linear progression to the supportive work?  Well – you’ll ‘know’!  As those people who did BB#1 can no doubt attest, after nine weeks of progressions they were pretty much ‘ready’ to jump across to the supportive work because ALL of their progressions had pretty much plateaued.  If your linear progressions are still going UP – well, stay on the linear path until your progressions stop and then jump across…

Costs will be pretty straight-forward:

-       $99 for new participants.

-       $49 for anyone continuing on the training pathway who participated in BB#1.

As with BB#1, these prices include monthly Body Scans for participants – if you have participated in BB#1, the price you will pay is less than 50% of just getting the four (4) body scans done!

Registration link is below:

https://tms.ezfacility.com/OnlineRegistrations/Register.aspx?CompanyID=1214&GroupID=1369966

Gym Update #2 – October Challenge is under development

The October Challenge is moving ahead and I have a couple more details I would like to share.  First off, last week I told you that the challenge would include:

1/. Two new challenge circuits – each one must be completed in each of the 4-weeks of the challenge.

2/. Escalating food restrictions.  A new ‘exclusion’ will be added every week to challenge everyone to think about their food and prepare meals ahead of time.

To this I would like to add:

-       As well as having a ‘food restriction’, each week of the challenge will include a food challenge!  An example of this is to ‘Eat a healthy, balanced breakfast every day this week’.

-       There will be a requirement to complete Twenty One classes throughout the month.  As with the last challenge, unlimited ‘double’ sessions (two classes in one day) will be permitted.

Last week I mentioned getting the videos for the two (2) x challenge circuits completed and published…clearly that didn’t happen but I promise that they will be up this week!

Gym Update #3 – New Bag Mitts

Just following up from my note last week – the small bag mitts are in transit and will arrive within the next couple of days.  I know a couple of people are waiting on them to complete their members packs.  The new ‘share’ gloves are a couple of days behind them but will be here either late this week or early next.

Gym Update #4 – Hylete Gear

I will keep talking about this until they arrive – and they will be available for sale ‘soon’.  When they arrive, there will be a choice between a couple of different slogans and (hopefully) one of them strikes a particular chord with you.  We have gone with a limited choice of colors to start with (grey or charcoal for boys, pink or charcoal for girls).

There will also be a range of crops (3/4 pants) available for the girls – in fact there are some more of these on the way.

As noted last week, when they go up the t’s and singlets will be $35, the crops will be $65.

Link of the week

Cool little ‘How to Squat’ video.  I really like the language used here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEZRknTyYIY