Be the King (or Queen) of Low Hanging Fruit, Christmas Specials

Hi and welcome to another week,

Wow – what a week of sessions we had last week.  I have heard the whispers that our Boxing sessions had been getting harder ‘lately’ for about the last five (5) years or so…after the last week of sessions I suspect that the whispers might actually be true – or perhaps I am just getting older and softer and the weather is getting a little warmer?  Whatever the case, I found last weeks sessions to be very challenging and was pretty much ‘done’ when each class was over.  Not sure if this weeks program will be as tough as last week – after all, it never looks as bad on paper as it feels half way through a class – but there certainly looks like there is some fun to be had.

In last week’s blog I mentioned that we were on world record pace in terms of gym attendance for a calendar month – but predicted that things would fall away quickly as December ‘got social’.  We have already seen the drop off start (December week 2 was down around 15% on December week 1) and I suspect as Christmas gets ever closer we will see an even greater drop in attendance.  This all makes perfect sense – there are times when life just gets in the way of training – but at the same time it is important to make sure that you don’t throw away 3-months of ‘gains’ within two short weeks.  To do this you really do need to become the ‘King (or Queen) of Low Hanging Fruit’.

What does that even mean?  Well – just like the low hanging fruit is the easiest to harvest, there are heaps (and heaps) of  ‘easy’ ways to keep moving and watch your food/drink intake no matter how busy life becomes – and at this time of year it is important to make sure you are 100% on top of all the ‘easy’ things.

1/.  Eat breakfast – a GOOD breakfast.  When your training becomes a little less frequent and your late nights become a little more frequent, nailing your breakfast is one EASY way to stay on course.  Grabbing a piece of toast as you walk out the door and eating in the car driving down the freeway is not a good plan – get together a nice balanced meal with some protein, fat and carbs (maybe a two egg omelette with spinach, mushrooms and avocado?) and get each day off to a great start.

2/.  DON’T fall for the ‘party food’ trap.  This is the time of year when not only are their lunches and dinners to be eaten – but there are morning tea fruit mince pies and trays of nuts and chocolates and all sorts of goodies.  Stay away from that stuff.  Stay right away from it.  These are cheap calories that are not all that satisfying (you will still be hungry afterwards) and do not represent ‘balance’.  If you LOVE fruit mince pies – awesome.  Maybe pick a couple of days during the month when you will eat them but the rest of the time stay away.

3/.  Keep drinking from your water bottle.  Keep your water bottle with you – yes, even out shopping – and regularly drink from it.  It is going to be hot over the next couple of weeks and too often we confuse a ‘thirst’ signal for a ‘hunger’ signal.  Regularly drinking from your water bottle will keep you hydrated and feeling good – and help you resist the desire to snack on junk food (see point 2).

4/.  If you have the chance to move – MOVE.  Since your gym time might be restricted, maybe try and find a couple of other opportunities to boost your activity levels.  Walking up a couple of flights of stairs rather than taking the elevator/lift is a good plan.  Down the beach?  Walk down to the point and back – or play a game of beach cricket with the kids.  At a friends bbq?  Get in the pool and swim around a bit – take the chances to ‘move’ when they are presented to you.

5/.  Go to the gym.  This might not really seem like ‘low hanging fruit’ but it is all about maintaining a good habit that you have worked so hard to establish.  So what if you can only make it to the ‘Beginners’ class.  Go.  Train.  You might learn something and I guarantee the workout will be BETTER than you think it might…and that you will find it HARDER than you think you will.  If you usually get in four (4) sessions each week, make a commitment to yourself that you will get there at LEAST TWICE.  You can manage that if you really want to.  It might mean getting up early on a Saturday or Sunday morning – but it will be a small sacrifice for a great benefit.

6/.  If you have a night ‘off’ (no social engagements), go to bed EARLY!  Don’t sit up changing channels – you know it is a time of late nights so if you are at home, don’t flick from one show you are half interested in to another you have never heard of.  Go to bed and get some sleep – sleep is the best form of recovery and an extra couple of hours on Tuesday night will be super important by the time Saturday night comes around.  Take the chance to get to bed early when you can.

7/.  Stretch and roll and rehab and recover.  When you are sitting down watching the cricket, spend some time on your foam roller.  Spend some time stretching.  It is no harder to sit on a foam roller than it is on a chair – so sit on your roller.  Leave a roller (or duo-ball, or massage ball) in the lounge room and sit on it instead of the couch – you will have a bit more relaxing time, a bit more down time…if you can’t spend as much time on your training, perhaps spending a bit more on your recovery will set you up with a great new habit for 2016.

8/.  When you are out for dinner – and when there are a LOT of food options – don’t limit yourself for choice.  Sample EVERYTHING, but just sample it.  You don’t need a bowl of fruit salad AND a bowl of trifle…but one bowl or plate with a little bit of each will be perfectly satisfying and leave a lot less of a mark on your waist line.  This same rule applies equally for main courses as it does for deserts!

Be the King (or Queen) of Low Hanging Fruit this festive season.  And if you have any suggestions or ideas about other simple strategies that other people could put in place to keep in shape during this time of year when getting to the gym is a little harder and the temptations of food/drink are a lot greater, please share them with us on Facebook!

See you in the gym,

Michael.

p.s.  Quick note that there is an AMAZING Christmas light display over in Kennack Vista in Atwell.  The residents there (including 5am/6am regular Damien Boyle) have been raising money for charity with their lights for a number of years now and this SATURDAY (December 19th) is the date of their annual Christmas BBQ/Santa visit.  So, head over to Kennack Vista (lights every night, Santa + BBQ this Saturday) and enjoy the lights, and maybe help raise a little bit of money for Breast Cancer Care WA.

Gym Update #1 – Christmas Opening Hours

Just a reminder that opening hours / class times will be modified from Monday, December 21st through until New Years Day.  If you haven’t taken a quick snap-shot of one of the time-tables up around the gym, please do that in the next few days…nothing worse than creating time in your schedule to train only to find out that the class you had wanted to do isn’t actually running!

Gym Update #2 – Christmas Specials

It is about this time every year where we start getting some ad hoc requests from people about Christmas gift ideas that Round 1 can offer…normally we kind of smile and nod and talk about our usual packages but this year we have tried to do something different.

For everyone out there who is a casual user of the gym or has a friend who you would like to get to come along with you, we are offering a “Beginners Pack”.  It gives you access to 10x Group Training sessions, a pair of bag mitts and a set of hand-wraps (usual cost = $155) for just $99.

For those of you who are already members we have a bit of a ‘bigger’ package – a 5-pack of 30-minute PT sessions plus a t-shirt/singlet (Hylete variety) and a snapback (usual cost of $225) for $175 (or a $50 saving).

You can grab either of these via the website HERE or from Reception next time you are in the gym.

Gym Update #3– 12 Days of Christmas (Go – Go – Go)

Two weeks down and I have noticed some people have already completed the entire challenge – 12x classes AND 12x circuits.  Pretty impressive effort guys – and whether you have been ‘forced’ into an early finish (going away mid December for example) or you have just done it ‘because’ please don’t diminish the achievement or the effort you have put in…however you cut it, 12x classes and 12x challenge circuits in 12-days is really something.

To the rest of you (well – the rest of US because I haven’t finished yet either) it really is just a matter of sticking at it…there is still a couple of weeks to go which is more than enough time to get it done.  Remember why you started this challenge – to remain focussed on your training during what is a busy social period…so don’t give up.  Refocus and you CAN finish!

Gym Update #4 – 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!

Link of the week

We have been trying (super hard actually) to really get everyone up and ready to go with more active warm-ups…and – for those people who have been regular Body Work and Tanks participants, also spending time doing some CNS warm-ups and body ‘awareness’ / co-ordination drills.  This is also super cool and as you will see from this video getting warm and ready to move/train needs more than just sitting on a spin bike for a couple of minutes.

AMNAcademy