Go for the Gap, October Challenge, Halloween

Hi and welcome to another week,

I enjoyed my training last week and found the classes tough but achievable…with the exception of those minute 3 tabata efforts on Wednesday – those were tough and slightly disheartening given how few reps it seemed I was able to achieve during the ‘flat out’ efforts.  I was also really happy (and really sad) that the power-ropes were back out in the classes.  They are a great training tool and one that I have missed being able to use in the classes.  I am not sure how sustainable they are in the new location – obviously the ‘mess’ from the ropes has the potential to really impact on the functionality of the treadmills – but maybe it just means re-investing in the nylon wrapped ropes and moving forward from there.  We will use them again a couple of times in this coming week and then re-assess where things are at.

Before I start, really keen to understand if anyone is coming to the Halloween bask (24th of October) OR interested in our proposal for the beach training once per month.  If you are keen, just send me a message (info@round1fitness.com.au) and let me know – I would like to do these type of events but only if you guys want them…if no-one is keen, no stress!

I have been watching a little bit of the RWC and have been – coincidentally – also reading the excellent book by James Kerr on the All-Blacks and the efforts to change the culture of the team in the past decade or so.  The book is called ‘Legacy’ and I would recommend it to anyone who might be interested in team building, leadership and – I guess – striving to be just a little bit better.  It has a lot of stuff in there that you can read elsewhere – things like ‘aggregation of marginal gains’ and ‘begin with why’ can be found throughout the book – but I guess for me those are still ideas that always do with a little ‘extra’ reinforcement.  But the idea of ‘Go for the Gap’ – the idea that when everything is going WELL, that is when you should push to change and improve – is one that I haven’t seen presented quite as well anywhere else.

The concept of ‘Go for the Gap’ is presented pretty early on in the book (chapter 2 or 3 I think – hard to remember exactly!) but it is all about taking the chance to do or try ‘something new’ or ‘something different’, right at the moment when everything seems to be going ‘great’.  The more I read through and think about it the more sense it makes to me for all of us on this journey of trying to live a fit and healthy life – it just fits in so PERFECTLY to making sure that our cycle of improvement just continues on and on.

I know that sounds a tad ridiculous, but if you think about it in terms of someone just starting out at the gym looking to ‘lose 5kgs’.  Along they come and starting doing a couple of Beginners sessions each week – and they might quickly find that 3kgs disappears…but using the concept of ‘Go for the Gap’, it is then – just before that ‘FINAL’ goal has been reached, that the target needs to be reset and the actions re-aligned, in order to keep momentum going.

As much as just continually getting better, continually improving would be amazing – it rarely happens in a linear way.  If it did, you could start doing squats tomorrow with a 20kg bar and just add 5kgs to the bar every day ‘forever’…but  it just doesn’t work that way.  There will come a time where you just cannot lift the bar up any more – due to one limiting factor or another (quad strength, glute strength, back strength – it will be something) and in order to maintain momentum you need to make changes to your routing that DON’T involve just doing heavier squats!

I know personally that I so often find myself struggling with different elements of the classes (usually the bikes or rowers as my cardio falls away) and if my only acknowledgement is to say ‘man, those bikes kill me’ then the only outcome is that the next day (or the day after that) the bikes (or rowers) will come along again and once again I will struggle.  However, the times (and I regret to say this doesn’t really happen often enough for me) when I say ‘my cardio is down, I need to do something about it’ and spend a bit of time and effort ‘working on it’ (and I am only talking some 15-minute efforts) then what happens is I do a better job in the classes.  And because I do a better job in the classes, I am actually able to ‘keep going’ on the next station so my overall conditioning keeps going up – for a while at least.

But what happens next is pretty clear – the extra time being spent on cardio is time that is not being spent on ‘other stuff’.  And if (for the purposes of this blog) we define ‘other stuff’ not as the whole group of activities that includes everything from work to sleep to family time but as ‘physical elements’ and further say that the 15-minutes time that was being spent on cardio is still available but ONLY for ‘physical elements’ then the next stage becomes even more clear.  My cardio is great now but my back starts to get sore (which is what it does) so my 15 minutes of cardio time becomes 15 minutes of back rehab/prehab time…and my back slowly starts to ‘come around’….but by then I am starting to notice I could probably afford to work a bit harder on my strength – so the next ‘GAP’ to address becomes finding some time to do some more weights.  And now I am stronger, but those stupid bikes are just KILLING ME in the classes (or maybe there is another challenge that has come along?).  Going for the gap is is a matter of continually ‘changing course’ ever so marginally to make sure that you are able to stay ‘ahead’ of the curve…never quite plateauing in terms of your overall improvement and always just ‘nudging’ ahead.

Good luck.  I hope you get the chance to read ‘Legacy’ and I hope you can see a small gap in your current routine that will enable you to really get moving on a cycle of improvement.  It might be as simple as a little change to your diet or as complicated as starting down a pathway of a dedicated strength program…whatever the case, keep going for the gap.

See you in the gym,

Michael.

p.s.  It won’t matter how many books I read, I could never really see myself supporting the All-Blacks in any way. J

p.p.s.  Cheers to birthday boy Cam Gessner for helping move us a step closer to finding a long term solution for the continually breaking handles on the assault bikes.  We obviously have a long way to go, but leaving the gym on Saturday I felt (for almost the first time) that finding an answer that will keep the bikes in good working order is possible!

Gym Update #1 – Halloween

There has been a change to the date of our Halloween bash.  I am so sorry about this but we will be bringing the party FORWARDS one week (to the 24th of October) rather than having it on Halloween itself.  Why I hear you ask?  Well, I am over in Sydney on a course on the weekend of the 31st and don’t want it to go ahead without me…

Same party – new date – October 24th!  Get around it!  (p.s.  I guess we will kick off sometime around 7pm or so).

Gym Update #2 – October Challenge Starts NOW

The challenge is now one week down.  I am over those sugar withdrawals – though from memory they come back HARD around day 8 or so (then make another appearance around day 15) – and whilst there were a couple of days there where the change in diet left me feeling a little ‘flat’, overall I have found that FINALLY my diet includes really zero/none ‘inadvertent’ sugar.  Basically, I don’t eat anything with sweeteners and additives these days – well, except when I am doing it ON PURPOSE!  What does that mean?  Well, once upon of time these ‘challenges’ used to be a challenge because it meant mass change to my diet – with almost every pre-packaged food on the market having some kind of sweetener, I would hit a challenge like this and have no idea ‘WHAT’ to eat.  This time it (for me) has just been a matter of cutting out the ‘treats’ – lollies, ice-cream and tonic water!

For those of you still struggling with the ‘I can’t believe that they put sweeteners in my….’ (and you can insert the words bread, mayonnaise, sauce, breakfast cereal, yoghurt, whatever!) don’t stress.  Even those of us who have been through this type of challenge on multiple occasions still end up with an accidental slip up (or two) during the month – just keep reading your food lables and TRY to do the right thing.

This week’s NEW challenge is all about eating a healthy breakfast.  I sent out some suggestions late last week (I will add some lunch and dinner ideas towards the end of this week!) but don’t get too tied down to what I have suggested.  Just get your ‘macros’ (protein, carbs and healthy fats), watch your serving sizes (yes, the sizes I sent out ARE realistic) and get that breakfast rhythm going.

Good luck everyone – and if you stick at it for the 4-weeks, great results will be yours!

For anyone still uncertain about what might be what, specific details of the challenge include:

-       Complete 21x classes within the challenge time-frame (Monday October 5th until Sunday October 31st).  Double sessions are permitted.

-       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’.   We have recipes ready to go to help you here that include some portion size guidelines.

-       The October challenge will feature our first ever ‘SLEEP CHALLENGE’.  Now, we cannot regulate how LONG you sleep for, but the challenge will be a simple one – be in bed with the LIGHTS OUT and TV OFF at least EIGHT (8) hours before your alarm is scheduled to go off….shift-workers might need to have a chat to me on this one!

-       Remember, the details of the 2x weekly circuits can be found on the YouTube Channel.

Gym Update #3 – Perkville Update

All of the Perkville points should now be ‘back to normal’.  I know a few people got a little bit freaked out as they were receiving heaps of emails and points related to days when they hadn’t been in the gym…the system was (in theory) just catching up to all the missed transactions and everything should be back to normal as of last Friday.

Gym Update #4 – Summer Program – Monthly Beach training

We are planning to include a monthly ‘beach workout’ in the planning for this summer – starting in November.  I would love some feedback here on what you would like in terms of details (day?  Time?) to help in the planning.  At this stage we are looking at a Saturday morning around 09:30am …the idea will be just to have a bit of fun and do something a bit different.

Gym Update #5 – Beach Bodies#2 – Week 7 is Up

Week 7 of the program has been published and should be accessible to all participants.  We are approaching half way and everyone should be well in the rhythm of the program by now…I will be validating that all of the exercise demos are up in the next day or so – in the meantime, if you have any questions please give me a call.

Gym Update #6 – Hylete Gear

We have a new delivery from Hylete and a new logo ready to go…these will be getting printed up in the next couple of weeks.  As anyone who has tried the gear so far will attest, it is amazing and – more importantly – amazing gear to actually TRAIN in.  Get yourself into some of the Hylete wear – you will not regret the decision.

Link of the week

Cool article on Ross Training about skipping and the benefits of doing it.  As all of the beach bodies people can attest, there is a great benefit to your training of just grabbing your favourite rope and skipping for 15 minutes or so…you get up a nice sweat and you are warm and ready for pretty much ANY activity.

http://rosstraining.com/blog/2015/10/10/jumping-rope-for-weight-loss/