Energy in classes, Finding time to train, New Reception

Hi and welcome to another week,

Thanks for all the support in the gym last week.  Super impressed with the 5am people in particular last Monday and Tuesday – the temperature was 100000 degrees below zero and the place was still packed…I like to think the sessions were worth it (it has been a great week of training) and really hope everyone enjoyed themselves.

We are messing around with the class plans again a little bit this week – we have the first 1-minute rounds for a touch over 15-months in the gym this Wednesday.  Now – once upon a time these used to run every Thursday…the reason we used to isolate them on a single day is that these classes were a little bit polarising with people either loving them or hating them – eventually it got to the point where attendance on Thursday was significantly down on every other day during the week so we abandoned them altogether (with a promise of bringing them back on an ‘ad hoc’ basis for people who love them.  Well – it has been 15 months with no-sign of 1-minute rounds but this Wednesday they are back on…if you are one of the ‘haters’ I can only apologise and ask that you just give them a go – if you commit to the task it really is a great workout that enables you to concentrate on short duration, intense efforts as you move throughout the gym.  If you haven’t done them before, maybe check this video out before you come to the gym on Wednesday:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bitn0L3AE-I

So this talk of class types and x-minute rounds and what people love, hate or otherwise has had me thinking a lot lately.  I have been doing 5-6 classes every week in the gym pretty much since we opened the doors (so a long time) and some classes have been harder than others, some more memorable than others – but there is one thing that has been constant.  When the gym is filled with ‘ENERGY’, the sessions are amazing.  When there is no ‘energy’ or the session for some reason just feels ‘flat’, it really does become a go through the motions session when you get to the end and wonder why the hell you bothered doing anything at all…I mean, you probably still got sweaty but…

So I have been doing lots and lots (and lots) of thinking about this intangible thing called energy and trying to understand how to measure it, how to improve it and how to ensure that we are running ‘high energy’ classes all the time.  Please don’t confuse high energy with ‘fast paced’ – a session that is full of energy doesn’t have to be fast – what it needs is an environment where everyone – trainers and trainees – are all pushing one another (either verbally or through their actions) to do the best they can.

In trying to define what a high-energy class might be, I have been making notes about the training sessions I have enjoyed the most and have come up with the following list of ‘stuff’ that contribute to a great class.

  1. I am in the gym and ready to train early.  Ideally I get 5-minutes or so to skip before the class starts and have time for a bit of a chat with some of the people I am about to train alongside.  I just find a little bit of social engagement gets me in a positive mindset I suppose.
  2. The trainer does a good job of demos and makes sure that everyone knows what is going on.  I am probably different to everyone else but when I see things ‘glossed over’ that I am not sure everyone in the session knows how to do I am thinking to myself ‘I need to watch them when they do that – they might need some help’ etc.  Personally, a couple of exercise cues never go astray either – if I am fatigued, having a ‘cue’ to fall back on is always good.
  3. During demos I also like a bit of banter and humour – I train best when I am relaxed and when I can see everyone thinking about the challenges ahead as something ‘fun’ we are all going to overcome together, it really helps.
  4. I like it when the trainer is really active during the session and continually challenges me on technique, on reps – and maybe even dishes out a couple of ‘small’ penalties to keep me focussed.  ‘Dropped your hands – 5 burpees’ is a good one for me to get early in a boxing class.  ‘Chest to the ground – do that one again’ is another good one…big penalties bum me out because it often means missing large chunks of a class I was looking forward too.
  5. I like it when I am being challenged on my targets and really pushed to achieve.  Of course, there is a line between being pushed and harassed and I don’t like it when it is crossed, but I do find myself working just a bit harder/more intensely when I know I could do it IF I was to really go for it.  When I achieve the ‘upgraded’ targets, it gives me a great sense of achievement which helps get me through the back end of the class.
  6. I like it when the trainer is continually letting us know what is coming up – that continual ‘touch base’ from the trainer with the group I am in is a reminder to keep doing everything ‘right’ and a further reminder that there is work to be done.
  7. I like it when the group I am in engage in a bit of banter about the CLASS.  When the talk strays to last night’s T.V. or the upcoming game of footy, well – that is a distraction and takes away from my training…when we are ‘reminding’ each other about the burpees to do, to jump ‘high’ with our jump squats etc – well, that really pushes me along.  I am quite happy not to do any more than anyone else, but it is hard for me to live with just doing less…
  8. I can always tell when it was a great session – at the end we have really good participation in the 1%’er as we all hold one another accountable for doing just ‘a little bit’ extra.  When everyone ‘races off’ straight away (some people will have too – they have work to get back too, baby-sitters to relieve) it is generally a reflection of a bit of a ‘low energy’ class because most people CAN afford 3-5 minutes to do ‘one more’ thing (again, not everyone but most).

Now – there is no doubt the trainer / TrainerS running the session have a massive input on the energy in the gym – and it is something we are really going to be challenging one another about moving forward (we are trying to work out an ‘Energy Assessment’ methodology we can use for each class!) but there is no doubt that everyone participating in the sessions has a part to play.  Remember that ‘HIGH ENERGY’ = maximum effort = maximum results.  Less than that?  Well, none of us will be getting the outcomes we want from the time we are spending in the gym.

Anyway – if you have any feedback or comments specific to this whole idea of ‘ENERGY’ (or anything else for that matter) I would really love to hear about it – email me at Michael@round1fitness.com.au.

See you all in the gym,

Michael.

p.s.  Please be sure to check out the link of the week this week – great article about finding time to train in a busy working week.

Gym Update #1 – Product of the WEEK

(or POW – cheers Sarah)

OK.  New part of the blog here where we tell you about the stuff we have available in the gym for you to take home with you…we have a tonne of stuff but even people who are in the gym every day seem surprised when they ask a “do you know where we can get…’ question only to be pointed at one of the shelves in our (newly beautiful) office area!

Anyway, product of the week number 1 are our BlackRoll rollers, mini-rollers and duo-balls.  If you have used these out in the gym area you will know how good these products are – they really are more than ‘just’ foam rollers (just like the slogan says).  We have a range of products in the gym including the standard rollers, mini-rollers, duo-balls and mini-duo balls all at pretty good prices (a roller will cost you $55.90).  Check out the Blackroll website here or ask us about the products in the gym.

p.s.  Sarah has coined the ‘POW’ acronym to define this little section…of course, I wasn’t quite clever enough to figure out what she had been going on about with all this ‘POW’ talk but now I know I am all over it!

Gym Update #2 – August Challenge – 08/16           

Our new challenge has moved a fair way past the ‘embryonic’ stage and is nearly ready to be ‘unleashed’.  The challenge is a training only one and will include 2x components:

Classes – There will be 16x Boxing classes (or Body Work, or B+, or TANKS, or Beginners) to slog through during the month…it works out to a touch over 3 sessions per week.

Extras – There will be 8x ‘EXTRAS’ to complete during the month.  We will be setting this up so that you have a choice of 16x extra workouts to push through – none will be scheduled to take more than 20minutes.  Eight of the challenges will be (predominantly) cardio based, the other eight will be predominantly strength-based and you will be able to mix and match the extras you do to suit yourself!  Actually, reading that back it should probably read ‘BIASED’ rather than ‘based’ because the majority of them are about a 70%-30% mix (or vice versa) of cardio/strength…

I am really happy with the way this is coming together so far and despite feeling a bit ‘jaded’ by the end of the last challenge somehow I am already looking forward to this new one.  Stay tuned for details over the next couple of weeks.

Gym Update #3 – Reception area changes

So, the second phase of our refurb is pretty well done and I would like to say a big thanks to everyone with their patience with us over the past week or so.  We still have a little bit (well, quite a bit but it is good for my sanity to say ‘a little bit’!) or work to be done before we are ‘finished’ but I hope everyone agrees we now have a reception/office area that is more welcoming and functional.

Gym Update #4 – MMA Gloves AND Small bag mitts.

As promised, all of the new MMA-gloves and the small bag mitts are now back in stock.  All of the products are available in a range of colours and I am sure you will be able to find something that suits!  As mentioned last week, our MMA gloves in particular are an amazing bargain at just $40 – leather grappling gloves similar to these are more than double the price at most other outlets…

Gym Update #5 – Gym Attire

We have a pretty cool range of hoodies and shirts that will be arriving in store pretty soon…meanwhile, don’t forget we have a heap of older stock we are trying to clear out with prices starting from just $5…there are a heap of sizes available (even if there aren’t a heap of sizes ‘on the rack’ so please ask if there is a particular size you are after.

Footy Tips and DreamTeam

Dream Team is back on this week and there are only a few weeks before finals are upon us.  Top scorers for the week are Travis (Yangebup Pigs), Justin (Beeliar Bogans) and Kim (Half Time Heroes).  Unfortunately for Justin, he was matched up against Travis so despite being the 2nd top scorer for the round his result for the week will go down as an ‘L’.

Over in the tipping it has been a bit of a catastrophe for a few people (particularly ME) with upset wins by Collingwood and Sydney in particular really reeking a bit of havoc on the results.  It was the Collingwood win that tripped up our top two of the round though – Daniel Folini and Damien Kelly both selected 8 out of 9.

Kristy, Justin and Michelle are all level on 101 points now – either equal in 2nd or 1st depending on your perspective!  If you don’t understand what I mean by that, you are welcome to log on to the tipping site and check the leaderboard for yourself!

Link of the week

This is a brilliantly written article that tries to dissect ‘hours in the day’ in terms of how much time you have available in your week to get your training done.  Now – it is clearly written from the perspective of someone who WANTS to get into the gym, but even I was surprised to read that despite 5x 14 hour workdays and 8x hours sleep each night (along with a few other things like family time) time available to train still capped out at 9 hours!:

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