You just can’t fake it, 12-Days of Christmas, Doing Pull-ups

Hi and welcome to another week,

Another incredibly busy week in the gym and we would like to say a big thanks to everyone who got along to the gym to train with us.  I know the advent of a new challenge always ‘drives up’ session attendance but the numbers we are seeing lately are nearly 15% up on the same time last year which is quite remarkable…it is actually giving us a few problems with session planning (creating sessions that cater for all the people who have been rocking up!) but that is an awesome problem to have.  Really interested to see how numbers hold over the next couple of weeks as we head into what is a traditional ‘down time’ for most people…

Last week also saw the start of a new ‘block’ of Body Work classes and I was able to complete a couple of them myself.  I am really happy with the way this class has evolved over the years – it really is a true ‘Sports Performance’ program these days that anyone competing in a weekend sport activity (Football, Basketball, Netball, Soccer, Rugby, Cross Country, you name it) at ANY level would truly benefit from – but at the same time a few members have said to me lately that we have lost a little bit in the translation from the ‘old’ style Body Work classes (think 2012-2014) and the new evolution (2015-2016).  As such, the new training ‘BLOCK’ features an old-school style class (that I have called the ‘wild-card’) which will run once each week…So if you are one of those people who wanted to see a return of the old (Marvin, Shannon) I am trying to listen and once each week you will run into one of the ‘OLD’ Body Work sessions!

So what else?  Well, I hope you all have the time to flick through all the sections to follow that include details on the December Challenge, the Beach Fit program, some gym upgrades that are ‘just about’ to happen, Food Matters and some Christmas Specials that are about to kick off.  But in terms of ‘bloggy’ stuff this week I wanted to write about playing the guitar.

Much to the amusement of my family, I went and bought a guitar earlier this year and have been diligently attending my weekly lessons each Friday.  Plus looking at lots of pictures of cool guitars that I will never be good enough to play or wealthy enough to buy and videos of people who play guitar one thousand million trillion times better than I ever will with seemingly zero effort.  (Plug here for Ray who has put up with the world’s worst and most unco-ordinated guitar player as a student for nearly 12-months now).  Now despite my playing being terrible at best and a true crime against humanity at worst, I really do like it.  And the reason is simple:  You CANNOT FAKE IT.

Every week I drive my car out to see Ray and I will have had a series of homework tasks to complete.  And when I open up my guitar case, tune up and start playing, he will know in around about 3.5 seconds flat whether I have done the things that I committed to do the week before…or whether I simply decided to prioritise other things.  Do I get in trouble?  Well, no.  But I know I haven’t done it.  And he knows I haven’t done it.  And I know that he knows.  And we both know that what I said I would do – my words – don’t match up with what I was able to do…and there is no faking it.  I can either play it or I can’t…I can’t pretend and I can’t do it ‘a bit’ – it is either yes I have done it, or no I have not.

I suppose in some ways this guitar thing is a bit like my other great passion which is coaching a footy team – every weekend, the work you have been doing is put up against the work that has been getting done by your opponents…and you are either successful or otherwise based on the level of work you are done.  And yes, you will always have ‘explanations’ as to why the other team came out on top (and sometimes they might even be based in ‘facts’!) but the reality is always that when the time came to prove it, you weren’t able to step up to the mark.  Along similar lines, I have been really proud of both of the boys in my house lately who have been making a genuine and consistent efforts to improve their sporting skills – and the best part of that is that they are both starting to really see some tangible positive outcomes from their efforts.  No matter what I might say to them, the best lessons are always come from hard work and personal effort, not from what your parents/coach/friends might say to you.  Marshall in particular is finding that rather than telling your Dad that you have done your kicking practice, real change only comes when you actually DO your kicking practice!

When I was thinking about this blog – about the fact that my guitar playing can be a frustration and I just wished there was an easier way to ‘get better’ – the reality is that all the same stuff that I both love (and hate) about playing the guitar applies to my efforts in the gym every day.  I think we all have those moments where we say things to ourselves like ‘I really want to get better on the bikes’ or ‘I am going to get stronger – I will use an orange/yellow/blue whatever kettlebell from now on’…then the next month we have the same conversation with ourselves because nothing has changed!  I know myself that I have a really positive voice in my head before most sessions – then 20-minutes in to the session those positive voices about ‘doing more/better’ have been replaced by another one that says ‘just get to the end no matter how you do it’…but if you want to get ‘BETTER’ you just cant FAKE IT.  You HAVE to pick up the heavier kettlebells.  You HAVE to spend that 15 minutes on the bike after the class.  If you want things to change then YOU have to change them – no-one can do it for you and you cannot fake your way through it.

Almost anything you can think of that is gym and training related – as simple as hitting the speedball properly, as ambitious as doing a double body weight back squat or a muscle-up – is within your reach…but it wont just happen.  And you can’t fake it.  If you want to do something you have to practise hard and often – you have to do the work – and if you do it for long enough (and listen to the advice of a coach or two!) then you will get there in the end.

See you all in the gym.

Michael.

p.s.  Congrats to Di and Sez who both competed in the Crossfit comp ‘Underground Games’ on Saturday.  Sarah came in 12th and Di finished 6th…awesome work by both of you and we are all very proud! J

Gym Update #1 – Car Parking, Bin Runs and Everything

SO.  Everyone (meaning one of our neighbours on Hammond Rd) is getting a bit stressed about people running up and down Hammond Rd during business hours.  The ‘tipping point’ came earlier this week when (apparently) a couple of people stopped halfway down the road and did some sprints up and down the driveway of the other business…I still have trouble believing anyone would do that but the other company is absolutely INSISTENT that it happened.

They do make one particularly good point though – that too often people are running right up and down the middle of the street with no awareness/respect for other road users which is dangerous in the extreme.  Yes, pedestrians have right of way…but if a car and a person collide, it is certainly the person who will be worse off after the collision.  So this is what I want to do.

During BUSINESS HOURS – from 7am-5pm Monday to Friday – any Bin Runs/Half Bin Runs that are done will be completed by running on the footpath along Hammond Road proper.  Now, this (of course) brings its own level of risk as it means when we run in and out of the gym we all need to be careful to check (look right, look left, look right again) for cars before crossing the road…and then do the same thing again on the way back.  Please note, you only need to cross the SERVICE ROAD in front of the gym (this is the road you would usually run along) so it shouldn’t be a big stress for anyone…

This is not really going to be an issue at the early morning sessions or those from 5pm – but please take instruction/advice from the trainer BEFORE the class starts about where we are running in the session you are doing…

Gym Update #2 – 12-Days of Christmas

So – if you are still keen to have a crack at the 12-days of Christmas challenge, you could still register NOW and jump in…it is ‘ONLY’ 12x sessions and there are STILL 19-days left before the challenge is over…the cost is $10 to participate (and it is .online registration only -Register for the 12-Days of Christmas Challenge).

Now – for everyone who is in already, please stay FOCUSSED on getting your classes ‘ticked off’.  From personal experience, at this time of year things can quickly get away from you – and a situation where you are ‘on track’ to finish your sessions vs ‘in trouble’ seems to happen in the blink of an eye…a class AND a circuit every second day will get you to the end – just be consistent (and persistent) and you will get there.

On the circuit, there is a permanent white board up in the gym with details of the circuit AND of course there is a video up on YouTube…credit be to Wolfgang for the assist!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ertYQBDf9DI&t=3s

Gym Update #3 – Beach Fit 2016 – Workout of the Week

As per last weeks post, here is the Beach Fit rotation for Week#3.  If you are following your own rhythm, AWESOME – continue to do that.  If you are looking for a little more guidance, then here goes:

If you are following a ‘1-workout per week’ rhythm, you should do WORKOUT#3 this week.

If you are following a ‘3-workout per week’ rhythm, you should do WORKOUT#7, #8 and #9 this week.

Remember, whether you are on a 1x session per week cycle OR a 3x session per week cycle, it is finding the time to get your food prep done (the beach fit menu is pretty cool, and don’t forget the ‘Food Matters’ Blog each Wednesday – see below) as well as actually DOING your Beach Blasts – as hard and heavy as you are able – that will make all the difference.

Gym Update #4 – Gym Changes and Upgrades

Over the next few weeks, there will be some interruptions to ‘normal service’ as we do some upgrades in the gym and office areas.  The first thing that is going to happen is that the upstairs gym and office are going to be repainted.  Now the exact date all of this will be happening remains a little uncertain – but I can say it will be happening during the week commencing December 12th.  It is going to be a bit crappy but the gym upstairs will be out of action for a day (day and a half MAX) and there will be some ‘interruptions’ in the downstairs office area for a day or so…

From there, early in January the final stage of the office upgrade will be happening with some replacement furniture going in and some ‘moves’ of some gear to try and improve access through the main door into the gym proper (no more lines outside the front door or pushing past people at the desk.

Lastly – and I cannot put a date on this yet – we are approaching the point where we will be pushing the ‘go’ button on a cardio equipment upgrade with all of the current treadmills AND the Life-Fitness treadmill being replaced with brand new equipment.  We are not trying to implement a ‘one-for-one’ solution here -  there will be a few less treadmills in place in the new solution – but rather looking to put in place a couple of absolutely top line treadmills together with what we are calling some ‘destination’ cardio infrastructure…unique pieces of equipment which are worth coming to the gym just to access.  It is pretty exciting and has been taking up a lot of time in reviews and product assessments lately…really hoping to have a decision finalised by the end of this week.

Gym Update #5 – Food Matters Blog

So, week 5 of the ‘Food Matters’ Blog went up last week with some advice about eating fruit – specifically, details on what constitutes a “SERVE” and how much you should be eating!  The recipe of the week is ‘Peachy Chicken’ which also came with recipe for a quick and dirty salsa to serve it on.  I had a couple of people suggest to me that I should have done a recipe for a mango salsa…yeah – well, I don’t ‘DO’ mangos – most disgusting tasting food ever (except for egg plant) so if you are waiting for a mango recipe you will be waiting forever!  Here’s a link to the blog:

Food Matters Blog, Week#5

Gym Update #6 – Christmas at Round 1

As mentioned last week, we are hoping to have a heap of cool Christmas presenty type stuff at the gym this year.  We have just taken delivery of a new range of Black Roll foam rolling gear – this amazing stuff (which is on our Black Roll rack in the gym) is quite simply best of breed and being adapted by more and more of the elite sporting organisations in this country and around the world…

There are also going to be some new t’shirts on the racks in the next couple of weeks, and a special on 3-month memberships if you are hoping to get a friend/buddy/wife/girlfriend/husband/boyfriend into the gym with you over the summer months.  Stay tuned to all of the social media channels for details on all of this.

Link of the Week

Just an awesomely, brilliantly amazing article about girls doing pull-ups:  http://mollygalbraith.com/2016/11/the-secret-to-getting-better-at-chin-ups-pull-ups/

If you are keen, remember we have our series of pull-up progressions up on the website:

Phase#1:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hy5KMDOTUUI

Phase#2:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9eVHA1XYDk

Phase#3:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbQw1xUMBmo

Phase#4:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQHdf6KpTmg