Stuff I learned last year, 28-Days Challenge, PA Radio

Hi and welcome to another week,

Thanks everyone who got down to the gym last week.  Was really pleased with the way everyone got after their training – a couple of the sessions were particularly tough (Monday especially) and to see so many people back up and continue to push themselves to improve was really impressive.  In the week ahead we have the mini-sleds out and in action, we have some shadow boxing later in the week and tomorrow (Monday) the volume is getting turned all the way up to ‘11’ to celebrate the 11th day of the new year.  In addition, this week marks the debut of our new ‘block’ of Body Work classes which is pretty exciting for all the BW addicts out there.

I promised this week I was going to post my ’Stuff I learned in 2015’ list this week…and I am.  When I read back through my notes this morning though I did start to wonder if this is really stuff I learned in 2015 or just stuff that I (and everyone really) already knew but just realised in 2015 was probably more important than I used to think.  I also worry that the list of stuff ‘I learned’ might be a bit ‘preachy’ as well, and I sure as heck don’t wont to be Mike ‘The Reverand’.  So please excuse me if I cross the line – I am not meaning too…with all of that in mind, here we go!

You are in charge.  I will start with one of my favourite sayings – “If it is to be, it is up to me”.  For everyone who says they want to be ‘something else’ – or maybe wants things to be just a little bit better than they are right now, well, the answer is right there in the mirror.  If it is time or money holding you back from achieving your goals – and these are the reasons I hear the most – well, buy an alarm clock (or just set your phone!), ask for a pay-rise or find a new job/career.  I know things are not that simple (well, they never seem that simple that is for sure) but the truth is if you want something you just have to make it happen yourself – there is no-one else who is going to do it for you.  If you can’t get to the gym because of work and kids and whatever, well, there is a class at 5am.  There is a class at 8pm.  There are ten more classes in the middle – if you say you want it and you really mean it then you will find a way.

It is about time, it isn’t about $.  Money might seem to be the answer, but it isn’t the answer.  Time and effort are the answer.  This is true whether you want to get yourself in shape (training, diet), be a better partner/friend/parent or become more ‘skilled’ at something (be it work related, sport related or something else entirely – piano playing anyone?).  If you dedicate time to something – and FOCUS when you are doing it (put down the social media portal and give your attention to the task at hand) you will improve and get better.  It might seem that money is the key – after all, if you had ‘those’ shoes then you could do ‘that’, if you had that ‘bike’ you could do ‘that’ – but it is about time spent and effort imparted, not about new equipment or whatever other ‘solutions’ money might offer.

Be consistent.  Consistency remains the key.  When I read Shaun Miller’s profile (I find re-reading a member profile or two is a good way to find focus and motivation for the week ahead) and he says ‘you just gotta show up’ it really is the starting point for so many things.  Just doing something all the time – whether you feel good or bad, whether you feel tired or whether you feel stressed is just so, so important.  If you only do the stuff that makes you better on the days that you ‘feel like it’, well, that isn’t going to help you move forward.  And if you only do things on the days you feel like it that will not help you establish a pattern of behaviour that makes you a ‘better’ person for the long term.

Be willing to fall flat on your face.  You have to regularly do things you aren’t sure you can, and you have to do things that you know you aren’t good at.  If you never, ever have a go then you are never, ever going to know.  We all need to realise that pretty much no-one will do anything other than offer us encouragement when we are having a go at something new – our little voices in our head will be telling us that we will look silly and people will laugh and point and whatever else are wrong…every time you try something new you will be supported all the way through by anyone and everyone.

Move fast.  In the gym, move things around as FAST as you can.  I feel I have blogged about this a few times in the last 6-months or so – but it does seem to be a truth I have been particularly late in discovering.  Whatever you are doing, move the weight FAST (even if the weight is YOU).  When effort is needed, try to bring everything you have to the movement – be it pushing or pulling, move FAST.  Every week in the gym I tell someone to do it ‘faster and they reply that ‘Slow and Steady wins the race’.  Now I know that is the moral of the fable ‘The Tortoise and the Hare’ but that story was about applying consistent effort (see above) not about moving slowly – after all, the Tortoise won the race because the hare kept stopping to rest or sleep or whatever else he did.  Move fast and you will be fast.  Move fast and you will be able to do more reps, be able to lift more weight.  Move fast and you will become better.

Do the easy stuff.  You know that eating chocolate after dinner is bad for you.  So stop it.  It is the lowest of low hanging fruit.  You know that having a large cappuccino and a choc-chip muffin for morning tea at work each day is bad for you.  So stop it.  There are things you know are bad for you – skipping breakfast, taking shortcuts in the gym, drinking during the week, whatever they are – but you consistently (persistently?) do them anyway.  Just stop it.  If you know it is bad for you – stop it.  If you know it is good for you (drinking water, stretching, getting enough sleep) then do it.  Saying “I know it’s my diet” or whatever it is you are saying is fine…but wouldn’t it be better just to do the things you know are right.  We all have bad habits that are holding us back from our goals (watching tv instead of reading is another example) but we keep doing it anyway.

‘It’ always takes longer than you would like.  We all know someone who lost 10kgs in a month.  Or gained 3kg’s of muscle in 8 weeks.  Whatever we are trying to achieve, there is always someone we know – or someone we have seen or been told about – who has managed to achieve exactly what you are ‘fighting’ so hard for in half the time with less than half the effort (apparently).  It doesn’t work that way.  If you want something it always takes twice as long as you would like.  And that time will be filled with moments where you just want to give it all away…and the decision you make to either ‘give up’ or ‘keep on grinding’ in those moments will determine whether or not you are ultimately successful in achieving what you are chasing or it always remains out of reach.  If you are forever ‘starting again’ you never get there.  You just have to keep the faith, keep on pushing through and understand that if you do the right things for ‘long enough’ then success will come your way.

Lastly, we just all need to complain a bit less, appreciate a bit more and just try to live in a ‘happier place’.  One of our 7.05am J regulars often says to me “Are you complaining again?” and – to be blunt – she is right.  I often find myself looking at the gloomy side of things (particularly late in the week) and really, I need to be better than that.  Focussing on the stuff you have and the great things in your life rather than those things getting in the way of the life you are hoping to live is just so important.

See you in the gym,

Michael.

p.s.  Phase 2 of information on the Feb Challenge is in ‘Gym Update #3’…just scroll down a little bit!

Gym Update #1 – Casual Bookings (Including 10-pass Holders)

So – over the past month or so there seems to have developed a whole heap of confusion over which classes casual gym users need to book for and which ones they don’t.  So we have decided to make it easy for everyone – if you aren’t a member of the gym, please book for ALL CLASSES.  We are headed into what is generally a really busy time at the gym so if you are a casual user please just call the gym on 9414 1141 to book in for any/all classes you want to attend.  If you are a member you don’t need to book.  We will figure it out and find a way whenever you come in! J

If you aren’t sure when the classes are – or, more topically, when Body Work is vs when Boxing is! – check the timetable here:  Round 1 Fitness Class Timetable

Gym Update #2 – Some staff changes…

Since way (way, way) back when we opened the gym in 2010 we have only ever had one trainer running our classes in the morning – whereas we (usually) have two people in charge at night.  From tomorrow we are trialling a new system that will see a couple of staff in each morning to try and really push those people along just a little bit more – it will also mean there is someone around to help with Body Scans, memberships etc at the start of each day.

Gym Update #3 – February ’28 days Later’ Challenge…It’s coming.

OK.  Our latest 28-Days Later Challenge will be available for registration towards the end of this week.  The challenge will include a t-shirt (a unique, challenge specific t specially produced for the challenge!), 2x body scans, and 10-days worth of eating plans…as well as the usual sign off sheet, video of the challenges etc.

The requirements will be:

Three (3) classes completed each week.

Three (3) challenges completed each week.  Each challenge will require less than ten (10) minutes of additional time and have been designed so that they can be completed before/after a class.

Food restrictions (no alcohol, no food items with added sweeteners, no bread, no pasta) for all 28-days.  There will be provision for 2x ‘cheat’ days during the challenge.

As you will see by reading the above, the classes/training requirements are not onerous here – and it is the same routine that enabled participants in the same challenge in 2015 to drop more than 300kilos…you of course CAN do more, but if your goal is to lose a few of the Christmas kgs and get 2016 off to a flying start, this will be enough to get your year started right.

Registration for the challenge will be ONLINE ONLY and the link will be circulated via a specific mail-out later this week.

Good luck!

Link of the week

Right.  Everyone complains whenever I make the link of the week a podcast but too bad.  This week I want you to listen to the first 25 minutes of the Power Athlete Symposium podcast.  It is a talk by former Navy Seal Andy Stampf about mental toughness and domino theory.  The sound quality is terrible but if you persist you wont regret it.  The link is here:

http://pahq.co/1muK9sr

Oh – that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t listen to the rest of the Podcast (it goes for about an hour) – you should of course.  But the piece with Andy is the most relevant to most of us ‘regular folks’.  If you are not a regular podcast listener, I would encourage you to use the Downcast app rather than the iTunes Podcast thing – it just ‘works’ which I cannot say for the Apple product.  If you use an Android you are on your own! J