Strength, Conditioning and Skill, Bringing Friends and Family to the Gym, April Challenge

Hi and welcome to another week,

Thanks to everyone who has supported us by getting along to the gym over the past week or so.  The sessions have been pretty cool – really loved the ‘double barbell’ thing last Monday – and energy has been really high.  Our Good Friday session with the escalating Body Weight circuit again confirmed my opinion that these are the single most challenging ‘types’ of classes we run…the Good Friday class also led to the me writing the section below called ‘Bringing Family and Friends to the Gym’ which I hope everyone gets the chance to read.

Just a bit of a quick blog this week (it is Easter Sunday after all!) which is intended to simplify the way you think about your training.

Every week I have people say to me that “I can’t do that” referring to one exercise or another.  What the exercise is that “can’t” be done isn’t really important for the sake of this – we are simply talking about an exercise that has reached the “CAN’T” level in someones mind.

Rather than telling yourself you “CAN’T” do it, it would be worth trying to figure out what it is you might need to do in order to succeed.  And the reason is going to be one of two (well, three, but let’s go with two for the moment) things – you aren’t strong enough to do it OR you are not conditioned enough to enable you to do the activity in question under fatigue.  In other words, the answer is really simple – if you want to do the exercise, you need to be stronger and you need to be fitter.  What part of you in particular needs to be stronger is going to depend on the exercise.

If we use push-ups as the example and you “CANT” do them on your toes, the limiting factor is going to be your chest/triceps AND your core strength.  So if you want to be able to do them, you can work on your chest (do some bench press/floor press/pushups outside of class times or away from the gym) and be sure to work on your ability to stabilise your core – do your bridging, back extensions, supermans, hollow-rocks etc – to build in these areas.  If you want to be able to do more than one, that is where your conditioning comes into play and building that capability within your

If it is pull-ups, the same is going to apply.  We have put together a whole video series on how to do pull-ups so I don’t want to go through all of that here, but the same principles apply as with the push-ups (and any other exercise).  Identify the limiting factors and address them.  It isn’t that you “CAN’T”, it is that you simply can’t do them YET!  With continued effort, focus and development, you will be able too.  If you aren’t strong enough, in what area are you ‘weak’ and how can you address that.  If you aren’t conditioned enough, again, in what area and how can you address that?  It might be as simple as spending 15-minutes on a rower once each week. It might be as hard as taking up a dedicated strength program 3-times each week…without considering what is happening though, you will not be able to move forward.

As for the ‘THIRD’ element – as in, I am strong ‘enough’ and I am conditioned ‘enough’ but I still “CANT”, well, I think we all know the answer to that.  Practice and coaching, coaching and practice.  It is the reason why you see so many of the trainers off at courses, experiencing sessions at other gyms and doing things ‘on their own’ whilst classes are running and the easiest way to stay in shape would be just to jump into the class.  To get better at something there are times when it is all about practicing and perfecting technique – and with somethings it just takes time.  One thing is for sure, if you avoid doing a movement because you “CANT”, then it is likely that you never will.  Have a go – you might be amazed at the outcome.

See you in the gym,

Michael.

p.s.  Don’t forget to check out the April Challenge – sign up here:  https://tms.ezfacility.com/OnlineRegistrations/Register.aspx?CompanyID=1214&GroupID=1535611

Gym Update #1 – April 2016 Elevator Challenge

The next challenge is up and ready to roll – the April 2016 Elevator Challenge.  Details are as follows:

4x classes per week for each week of April.

3x cardio challenges each week during April.

4x ‘extras’ (they are simple extras!) each week during April.

The number of reps in the ‘extras’ and the number of calories in the cardio increase each week during the month – for example in week 1 there are ’30 reps’ of each exercise to do, ’40 reps’ in week 2 etc etc.  This is where the ‘elevator’ comes from – every week, we go UP!  So if you want to give your training a bit of a kick-along and really re-invigorate things as we head into Autumn, this might be just the thing – the gym challenges keep everyone accountable for getting into the gym and getting their training DONE!

To participate in the challenge, click on this link and choose the option that best suits you:

Option 1:  Participate + T-shirt + Scans.  If you want to have a go at the challenge AND want a unique ‘Elevator’ t-shirt AND want to do before and after body scans (those alone are worth $50) the cost is $30!

Option 2:  Participate.  Participation only is $10.

Option 3:  Participate + one-month membership.  Following on with some feedback from the 28-Days Later challenge, we have included an option whereby people can fully participate in the challenge (including scans and t-shirt) – including access to all classes in the gym for a month – for $99.   This one is really there if you have a buddy who wants to join you in the challenge but who isn’t currently a member of the gym.

Gym Update #2 – Bringing friends and family to the gym

I want to talk quickly about one of the issues we have with managing our classes that is a bit of an uncomfortable subject.  We have been really pushing hard for ‘casuals must book into EVERY class’ over the past six months or so and appreciate those people out there who have been ‘playing by the rules’.  We do seem to struggle every public holiday though (and Friday was a good example) where members bring along friends and family to ‘try it out’ without booking and it ends up being a terrible experience for everyone – member, new client and staff.  The member is unhappy because they promised/encouraged their friend to come along and things aren’t going smoothly (particularly because there is unlikely to be anyone at the desk).  Staff are unhappy because they are in an uncomfortable position of sticking to the rules (must book, must start with Beginners etc) whilst also trying to keep the member/new client happy and allowing them to train.  The new client is unhappy because they feel uncomfortable from the moment they walk in the door…they weren’t aware of the ‘must book’ rule, once the class starts they have no idea what happens next (or what each exercise is, or what happens when the bell rings).  The other clients in the gym end up trying to support the new person through the session – particularly a busy class – as the trainer has 40 other gym users to worry about as well (and most people want to try and help) which means they don’t get the workout/results they otherwise would…it just works out horribly for everyone.

We had a policy on Good Friday where we were not accepting any casual bookings – we knew numbers were going to be high and wanted to keep the sessions reserved for our members.  That isn’t trying to say that we don’t want new people and new members – of course we do – it is just saying that on a day where we are only running three (3) classes we wanted to protect the experience our members would get from the class…making sure there was enough equipment, that they got adequate support from the trainer, that the class ran smoothly.  08:15am in particular did not work this way because we allowed people to come and train who had not been to the gym before – it meant we had to add in extra stations (not ideal) which also delayed the start time to the class.  It meant we had confusion with people not following the ‘circuit’.  It meant we had a couple of people not prepared for the intensity of the session outside heaving in the garden (which no-one wants).

We have a really simple system for new people coming to the gym.  START WITH BEGINNERS.  It means you get a week of free training.  It means you get a gentle introduction to the gym and start understanding what to do when the bell rings, what each type of bag is called, how to adjust the bikes, how to swing a kettlebell (hell – how to do a pushup!) and you can do it all in a pretty relaxed environment where EVERYONE is there to learn/get started.  The 7-day Free Pass program ONLY APPLIES to people starting with Beginners.

Gym Update #3 – The Trouble with the BIKES

So – our continued struggles with the bikes continue to be a struggle!  Just to let everyone know, when the pedal are lose it is not because they haven’t been ‘tightened’.  They have (and are continually being adjusted).  It is because one of two (2) cranks is damaged and therefore not ‘locking’ into position correctly…and therefore pretty much loosening itself over and over again.   

We know what the problem is – but solving it is proving a challenge.  The team at assault bike (who are being pretty helpful) aren’t reporting this issue elsewhere…and there are a couple of gyms around who do ALL of their cardio on an assault bike…in other words, whilst we use them a lot, they also use them a lot at other gyms.

I am not sure where I am going with this.  If a pedal is loose, don’t keep pedalling and then tell us when you jump off – more irreparable damage is being done whilst you ‘finish up’.  Just jump off straight away…

Whilst we continue to seek for a long term solution to the current issues, we will be (over the next couple of weeks anyway) rowing a little more and assault biking a little less.  I hope you understand.

Gym Update #4 – New Gear – Next Steps

As mentioned last week, a heap of new gear has already arrived and been installed this year.  Our current challenges are as follows:

-       Assault bikes spares, repairs and everything else.  We had a batch of spares arrive last week which was kind of helpful – unfortunately not EVERYTHING arrived so we still cannot get two of the bikes functioning.  Please help us keep these going by letting us know when things aren’t working properly rather than just riding them till something ‘falls off’ and then shrugging your shoulders!  If it doesn’t ‘feel’ right and you are unsure, let one of the trainers know.

-       Dead ball spares, repairs and everything else.  We are struggling to keep up with demand with the dead-balls (they split) but have found a new supplier who promises a ‘more reliable, long lasting’ product.  In the meantime, please don’t slam the balls on the concrete outside – ever!

-       Ski-Ergs.  I have mentioned these a few times and we are inching ever closer to getting them in.  So everyone knows what I am talking about, please check this video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lnpd38Quh0o  Don’t worry, if I manage to squeeze them in it will be as if we are all living the dream, ski-ing around the gym on a pocket of air.  (Or at least that is what I took from the video…looks pretty easy right?).

Link of the week

So, the link of the week this week is a ‘financial review of your gym membership’.  Which sort of makes me laugh a little bit but at the same time it is worth thinking about the REAL costs/benefits of doing things for yourself.

Real costs of your gym membership