“Got a bag, Got a gym”, Food Matters, Mo Farah

Hi and welcome to another week,

Another cold, rainy week…another busy week in the gym.  Not sure why everyone has been so much ‘more dedicated’ this year than in previous winters but I have to admit it really is pretty cool.  Our catch phrase for the August Challenge has been set as ‘Summer Bodies are Made in Winter’ and it seems that a lot of people out there have really taken it to heart.  I know for me I got home pretty late Saturday night (we had a game of footy in Carnarvon on Saturday and flew back after the event) and it was pretty cool to see so many people in the gym when I arrived there this morning for the 9:15am session…what wasn’t cool was having to lug that 32kg kettlebell around the class with me but apparently doing these things make us better…right?

The whole trip to Carnarvon for the game on the weekend was a real challenge for so many of the players – so many of the things so easily ‘taken for granted’ on a normal game-day were just not available to them.  Or to us as coaches for that matter.  In fact, there was even a marked difference between what was available at our most recent regional game (at Cunderdin a couple of weeks back) and what was available in Carnarvon simply because of the distance involved AND the duration of the trip…I remember travelling interstate for games in past years and it being pretty much ‘business as usual’ with all the ‘mod cons’ we would have in Perth being there and readily available – but heading to a relatively remote location and being gone for just 24hours really made it important to be ‘self sufficient’…and it reminded me that when it comes to performing well and simply ‘Getting the job done’ you really do need to be able to operate in an environment where things aren’t perfect but you simply have to just ‘push on’ as if they are.  And any time spent sooking about the stuff that “isn’t right” doesn’t help you find a solution to the situation you are being confronted with.

One of my favourite athletes of all time is former champion boxer Kostya Tsyzu who commonly said ‘If you have a bag you have a gym’ – referring to his willingness to simply go ‘low tech’ and ‘old school’ when it came to his fight preparation.  I guess a fictional equivalent to this can be found in the Rocky movies where at one point in Rocky 3 (I think) his trainer is heard to say ‘the worst thing happened to you that can happen to a fighter – you got civilized’ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5s9Rau0XN4).  And I guess at this point it is fair for everyone to ask exactly where the hell it is I am going with this!

Well, the gym has been open for more than six years now and we keep adding new stuff and we still change the classes everyday and we add new exercises and we run challenges every second month and now there is a program to improve your squat technique and we are about to introduce a new eating program and on and on and on it goes.  But if you want to break it down, if you have got a bag you have got a gym and no matter what new stuff we offer (and we want to keep offering new stuff) and no matter what new gear we have (and we plan on keeping on adding new gear) then none of that is going to make the difference in the progress you make.  What makes a difference is the consistency of your training and the effort you put in when you are in the gym.

Not everything is going to go your way.  You might only be able to get to the gym at a time when the ‘class’ running is not the one you would usually do – it might be a Beginners session and you might think you are ‘better than that’ – it might be Body Work and you might not think you are ‘not ready for it’.  Push those thoughts aside and get on with it and I guarantee if you just give it your best shot you will get a great workout and will keep moving forward.  “if you have got a bag you have got a gym’ – and if you approach the session with a positive mindset you will probably learn a little bit.  If things aren’t going your way, don’t look at it as a threat – just think of it as an opportunity to get a little bit better and maybe try something different…and remember that the outcome you get will be based on the effort that YOU put in once the bell rings – not on whether or not you had the ‘right’ pre-workout meal at the ‘right’ time.

See you all in the gym,

Michael.

Gym Update #1 – The 1608 Challenge – Week 1 DOWN!

‘Summer Bodies are made in Winter’ and the August Challenge is 1-week down.

Not sure how everyone else is tracking but I have somehow managed SIX (6) classes and ZERO (0) challenges.  So – I guess part of me is on track and the other part of me is very, very, very far from ‘ON TRACK’.  I have to admit to having loved the classes last week (which is great) – but I also have to admit having looked at back of my challenge sheet after my class this morning and had a bit of a ‘shake of my head’ at the complete lack of application to the ‘EXTRAS’.  I really must get on to that as there is no way I want to be in a situation where there are only a couple of days to go and I still have a heap of challenges to get through…’Do your work early’ is a great way to approach any of our challenges!

Whilst this is a training only challenge I have also been making a pretty good fist of my food in the past week or so – how is it that whenever I hone in on my training my diet also improves…and whenever I ‘NAIL’ my diet, my commitment to my training lifts…

In case you have been hiding under a rock, the details are:

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 15x extra workouts to push through – some will be as short as ten minutes of effort, a couple of them will take a fair bit longer.  There are no ‘extra’ points for doing the longer challenges (you can do the same one eight (8) times if you like!) but it is about matching yourself to the challenges that best suit your own weaknesses/strengths AND the time that YOU have available.

Gym Update #2 – ‘Food Matters’

A bit of a teaser for a new program that will be ready for release in a little over one month – Round 1 ‘FOOD MATTERS’.  This is an instructor led, one-on-one eating program which aims to teach all participants how to make ‘better’ food choices for the rest of their lives.  Each participant will receive:

A one-hour initial consult to complete a body scan, eating assessment and set an initial plan.

3x follow-up consultations (again, one on one sessions) where fortnightly eating ‘goals’ will be set in consultation with a trainer.

A planning guide where your eating goals will be set, where you can record the challenges you have overcome (and the ones that tripped you up) and set strategies in place for the ‘next time’ such a situation arises.

Our plan at the moment is that the program will cost around the $200 mark – this will include the 1x 1-hour consult, 3x 30-minute follow-up consults, 2x body scans and the guidebook…which seems like pretty good value to me.  More info in the next couple of weeks as we firm up the offering, finish off the guide book and get the program ready for release.

Gym Update #3 – Product of the WEEK

Our product of the week is WRIST WRAPS!  No – not hand wraps (which you use for boxing) but WRIST WRAPS which you use to support your wrists during strength sessions.  These are particularly relevant for anyone trying to do front squats, barbell cleans and any of the various overhead pressing exercises (strict press, push press, push jerk, split jerk)…in other words, anyone doing TANKS or Body Work could do with throwing a set in their training bag.

The ones we have at Round 1 are a great product from Rock Tape and are a bargain at $22.50.

Gym Update #4 – New Gym Wear

There are still some of our awesome gym hoodies left (but no more in the small or extra small sizes) and these will be joined during the week by our new ‘Earned not Given’ muscle tees (boys) and singlets (girls).  These look pretty cool and I am excited about getting them up on the shelves…

Gym Update #5 – Squat Therapy

Thanks to everyone who has indicated an interest in our new ‘Squat Therapy’ program – a five (5) week program that is focussed on squat technique and progressions.  This program is limited to EIGHT (8) participants and is now fully subscribed…

We are looking forward to getting some awesome results for all participants in the program over the next 5x Friday’s.

Gym Update #6 – Weight Belts

We will very soon have our own weight belts in the gym for your wearing pleasure.  We have been going back and forth with a couple of manufacturers over the past couple of months and finally (finally!) have a couple of models we think we are happy with.  There will be a pretty ‘simple’ belt design which can be used for ‘most’ light to medium duty applications AND a more heavy duty, leather, double pronged job that will be more suited to people chasing PR’s over in the squat racks.

The best part is going to be the pricing…but I am pretty sure you could have guessed that already!

Footy Tips and DreamTeam

A great result for a couple of tippers this week (Amanda Dixon and someone calling themselves “kickittome”) who managed to get 8/9 results right – missing out only on Melbourne’s upset win over Hawthorn.  There were a heap of people (13 in fact) who managed 7/9 getting either of the Collingwood/Richmond or Bulldogs/NM results incorrect…the impact on the overall leaderboard has been marginal – Kristy in 2nd place fell back two points however and there is now a 4-point gap between 1st and 2nd, a further point to Michelle in 3rd.

In the Dream Team it was week 1 of the finals Lloyd and Travis won the two (2) x qualifying finals and advanced directly to the preliminary finals in 2 weeks.  In the elimination round, Rocco defied his 8th spot on the ladder to defeat Kim and move into the semi’s this week and Justin had an easy win over Brett to also move on…good luck to everyone this week.

Link of the week

OK.  It’s Olympics time…and that to me is all about the athletics.  Here is a little bit of a story about someone who will surely go down as one of the greatest runners of all time – and who was simply unbelievable at the games in London – Mo Farrah.  His main event – the 5k – will be on NEXT WEDNESDAY (17th) if you are keen to watch one of the best ever in action:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_shug-k45Oo