Technique is the focus, 12-Days of Christmas, Time

Hi and welcome to another week,

Thanks to everyone who supported us in the gym over the last week.  November 2015 has proven to be our busiest month ever in terms of sessions per member – only by the tiny number of 0.18 sessions per member in a month but still, a new record is a new record.  It is particularly pleasing as the old record was from October 2015 (last month) and the record previous to that was August 2015 (September was slightly below April 2015).  All of us at the gym really appreciate the support you guys show to us in that most important way of all – turning up at the gym to train!  I know I mentioned it during the week as well, but another special thanks to everyone who made it along to our Sports Taping workshop with the guys from Aubin Grove Physio last week – it was not an easy decision for us to basically close the gym for 90minutes on the busiest night of our training week, but the attendance + learnings everyone got made it more than worthwhile…we are hoping to do more sessions like that in the future!

This week (tomorrow) marks the start of our annual ’12-days of Christmas’ Challenge – a tradition that is now in its fourth year (first time we ran it was in December 2011).  Things were a bit different back then, but it is the 2012 Christmas Challenge that will probably be the one to live on in the memory of everyone who finished it.  To finish the challenge in 2012 you had to complete 12x classes – 11x Boxing sessions and 1x Body Work class.  This was non-negotiable and Beginners sessions did not count towards the challenge total…you then had to finish a total of 12x different activities as follows:  12x 1km Bike Sprints, 12x Bin Runs (carrying a sledgehammer), 12x 500m rows, 12x 1km Cross Trainer efforts, 12x 1-minute efforts on the (now defunct) Summit Trainer, 12x run-throughs of the Cindy Workout (5x Pullups, 10x Pushups, 15x Squats), 12x Donkey Kong circuits (12x Box Jumps, 12x Burpees, 12x Kettlebell swings), 12x Barbell Circuit, 12x KB Circuit, 12x Hammer Circuit and lastly 12x Dumbbell Circuit.  I was going to detail all of the reps in all the circuits but decided it might be a bit easier just to say each circuit had at least four exercises = at least 48 reps each run through…now, I am not saying that the 2015 challenge is going to be a walk in the park but I AM saying that all of us who somehow got to the end of the challenge back in 2012 need to be retrospectively rewarded some kind of medal of honour!

And for the next person who tells me how much ‘easier’ the classes at Round 1 ‘used to be’, well, when you read through the requirements of that challenge I think you will be able to appreciate that whilst things might have been easier once upon a time, they certainly were not EASY!  And further to that, it has only been a few months since the introduction of the Fitness/Performance tracks in the Boxing classes…

Before signing off, this week I wanted to talk just a little bit about one of those items from my post- Crossfit Football course blog a couple of weeks back – EVERY REP COUNTS.

It has long been a ‘joke’ in the gym when a trainer asks someone about their reps ‘Did your chest touch the ground on those pushups?’ and the five (5) people closest to the person all answer in unison “I think he needs to start again’…well, of COURSE he (or she) needs to start again.  It is important not just to do the exercises but to do them properly into to get the results from your training that you like.  Now, of course there will be exercises that all of us struggle to get through a full-range of motion on – and (hopefully) the trainers will identify this and not simply pick on people who are doing their best but are unable to master the technique (yet) due to either strength, mobility or injury limitations…but those people should still be getting coached to move BETTER.

What I have been noticing a bit lately though is that – and this seems to impact the performance and fitness track people equally – when it comes to the boxing/punching stations how slack a lot of us (and yep, I am included here too) are getting with our punching technique.  Those punches need to be up or above HEAD HEIGHT.  With your straights (jabs and crosses) your shoulder and chin should be making a strong connection when your arm is at full extension.  With your hooks, your fist, wrist, elbow and shoulder should be forming a STRAIGHT LINE – certainly not with wrist and shoulder above elbow height.

Yes, the ‘extras’ are part of the classes and it is important to do your squats, pushups, burpees, shin-hops, whatevers RIGHT.  But the boxing is part of the class as well and should be the key conditioning element in each session.  You might not think of 50 hard punches as being as hard as 50 calories on the bike – but they should be as hard as 20 calories on the bike and should take about the same length of time…how often are we all racing through the boxing stations with little taps before complaining about the bikes?

Looking at things last week – particularly after a couple of really positive Beginners sessions on Tuesday and Thursday night – I could almost say that the Beginners group are punching harder and with better technique than those who have graduated onto the Boxing classes.  I have no doubt this is the fault of us as trainers – we haven’t been calling everyone out on their boxing as we have on everything else, hence allowing standards to drop over time…

To me, this is an easy one.  If we ALL were hit the bags HARDER and with a focus on our punching technique, we are all going to really benefit – and quickly.  It is an activity that we are all doing every day already…all it needs is a bit of focus and the results will soon follow – doing something better tomorrow than you did yesterday is the highway to improvement.

See you in the gym,

Michael.

p.s.  Be SURE to read down into the Perkville section.  Perkville is brilliant but it is actually reaching the point where it is causing us a couple of cash-flow dramas so the rules around how you can use the points are changing a little bit.

p.p.s.  The Beach workout and BBQ is on NEXT SUNDAY!  Repeat, NEXT SUNDAY, December 6th.

p.p.p.s.  Stay tuned for an email tomorrow about a couple of Christmas specials we will have running for both 10-round passes and PT Sessions.

Gym Update #1– 12 Days of Christmas

The latest 12-days of Christmas Challenge Challenge starts TOMORROW (Monday, November 30th).  Register online HERE or at reception next time you are in…cost to participate in the challenge is $10.

The requirements for this challenge are SUPER simple.

1/.Complete 12x classes.  The class load is always ‘LIGHT’ for the 12-days of Christmas Challenge to acknowledge all of the social activities that sabotage our training time each December.

2/.Complete the 12-days of Christmas challenge circuit TWELVE times.  Details of the circuit can be found on the Challenge forms (you get one after you register) and there is also an explanation video up on our YouTube channel HERE!

Get involved – use the challenge to keep yourself focussed on your training over the festive season and hold onto those gains you have worked so hard to achieve over the past 12-months.

Oh yeah – one other thing.  Forms have been created for everyone and anyone who registered BEFORE lunchtime on Friday and are available at the reception desk.  For anyone who registered after that time, please let us know and we will create a sheet for you when you are next in the gym…

Gym Update #2 – Beach Training and Christmas BBQ

Here we go – Beach Training day number ONE will be on Sunday December 6th and will kick off at 09:30am.  Our plan is to spend 60-minutes or so doing a beach workout and then follow-up with a bbq and a bit of a get together from 11am.  We will be meeting down at C.Y. O’Connor beach (there is a grassed area where the kids can play plus a couple of bbq’s)…save the date, get along and lets have some fun in the workout then spend a bit of time enjoying one another’s company.

Gym Update #3 – Perkville        

As from December 1st we are making a change to the way our Perkville system operates.  The points will still be accumulated in the same way – membership fees and gym check-ins – but when you use them (redeem them) you will only be able to use them for 50% of the total cost of the item you are buying.  For example, if you are buying a bag of Boomers protein for $50, you will be able to use $25 in vouchers but the other $25 must be paid in cash/eftpos etc.

This is a bit of a reluctant decision on my behalf but we really do suffer a cash flow crunch when new deliveries of protein/gloves etc come in…we definitely want to keep the program and reward our members for their support but would also like to stay in business!

Gym Update #4– Movember Fundraiser      

Tomorrow is the last day of MOVEMBER (thank god!) and many thanks to everyone who signed up to grow a mo’, be a mo’-sister or donated to our fundraiser throughout the month.  We have raised a heap of money in the name of Men’s Health and (maybe) had a little bit of fun talking about everyone’s moustache growing efforts – or lack of moustache growing efforts in the case of Eden!  If you are interested in donating we would still LOVE to have you – the gym’s fundraising site can be found here:

http://moteam.co/round-1-fitness

As promised, we finished off the month with our “Man’s Workout” in the normal Body Work slot yesterday (Saturday) and Kirei put together a class full of sledgehammers, sandbags, heavy kettlebell and barbell work…all stuff done only by the manliest of men!  It was tough but a lot of fun and – typical of things done only by the “manliest of men” the girls in the class did the tasks a lot better than us guys! 

Gym Update #5 – Strength Testing Day

Thanks for everyone who got along to our strength testing day this afternoon.  This is something we hope to run every 6-months or so when people can come along and find out what improvements they have made in their strength/lifting technique…Just remember, it is supposed to be a FUN event where we support one another in an effort to lift just a little bit more weight and NOT a pissing contest…

Today’s event was a lot of fun – we had near enough to 20-people pushing pretty hard in the four (4) main lifts (Bench Press, Back Squat, Overhead Press and Deadlift) and Eden working the iPAD pretty hard to make sure that all participants had their max efforts recorded AND they received a valid WILKS score for the day – a WILKS score is supposed to allow people of different body weight to compare their strength efforts against one another as it is unreasonable to expect a 55kg person to lift as much weight as a 70kg person.

Anyway, I had fun.  We ALMOST kept to the published times (everyone was out by 2:20pm when we had hoped to be finished by 2pm) and hopefully when we go again in about 6-months time we will have a few people who can target improved performances.

Gym Update #6 – Beach Bodies#2 is OVER

The second cycle of Beach Bodies has now finished and a big congratulations to everyone who has stuck with the training to the bitter end.  We will be giving the beach bodies a program a break for the next couple of months but it will be rebooting at the beginning of February in 2016.  For all the participants out there who have been enjoying the strength gains and body composition changes this type of training has been bringing you, don’t despair.  The strength workout of the week whiteboard was restructured a couple of weeks back to cover a 7-day cycle in a very similar pattern to the composition of beach bodies.  Keep up with your lifting via the structure outlined on the whiteboard, add some of the smart warm-ups and plyo segments you learned during Beach Bodies and add a couple of boxing classes every week…come February you will be good to go with Cycle 3!

Link of the week

Great article on Breaking Muscle on finding time to train – so pertinent at this time of year:

http://breakingmuscle.com/strength-conditioning/be-better-at-life-how-to-find-more-time-to-train