Can’t or WONT?

Hi and welcome to another week,

Really appreciate everyone getting into the gym so far in February.  Despite the gym being closed today (we had the Beach Workout in full swing) we are still on track to record our highest per day attendance for any single month since the gym opened back in 2010.  I don’t know about you guys but I am pretty proud of this – it has been absolute chaos from a staffing perspective throughout the month with Eden unwell and both Lloyd and Sarah departing but somehow we have been able to hold things together and help more people than ever before chase their health and fitness goals…feeling pretty proud of what we have been able to do AND of the efforts I see so many people putting in every single day.

The sessions this week do look pretty cool I have to say.  My core is preparing itself for the bear crawls, we have a little bit of an arms focus (bi’s and tri’s) when it comes to supplementary exercises – and most important, we have reached the week in our training schedule (week 13!) when we work through the same metabolic circuit/same every-minute-on-the-minute cardio challenge every day (though the round times still vary from day-to-day).  In my planning notes I record these weeks as ‘testing’ weeks when I encourage everyone to try and lift the bar with their training – really push the weights AND the intensity and finish the circuit just a little bit faster than they did the day before…buckle up everyone!

So – with the challenge running and quite a few email enquiries coming in recently I feel like I have been getting more than my usual share of emails recently (and that in itself is saying something).  Reading a couple of those last week, I kind of stumbled across a new theory – well, it’s new for me! – and it is all about the difference between two words:  CAN’T and WONT.

Things that people do in the gym – and at the dinner table – to make changes in their life are usually not particularly complicated.  You get to the gym 3-4 times each week and when you get there, you bust your butt.  You clean up your food by laying off the sugar and alcohol whilst making sure that you truly earn your carbs…6-9 months later (OK – maybe 12-months!), job done.  You are in pretty good shape – certainly better than you were – and are starting to become what society at large would call ‘FIT’.  That of course doesn’t mean the job is done but it does mean you have made a pretty good start!

You can’t really cheat the process though – it is going to take a significant amount of time (in his book and you are going to have to be consistent with your food and your training all the while…it can’t be two weeks good, one week bad, or good Mon-Fri, bad Sat-Sun.  It pretty much doesn’t work that way.  Sure, a ‘cheat’ day every couple of weeks is pretty important for your mental health, but in the main you need to ‘walk the line’.  Which brings me back to my little theory of “CAN’T versus WONT’.

To me, “CAN’T” is really simple.  There is something that is physically stopping you from doing something.  For me, I “CAN’T” train at 5am in the morning because I am working at 5am in the morning.  It’s pretty simple – whilst my day might flow a bit better if I could just get up early and get my training out of the way, it simply isn’t possible.  Other people suffer the same problem at the other end of the day…for example ”I CAN’T train at 6pm because I don’t get home from work until 5:30pm and I need to get dinner for the kids” is something I have heard quite a bit.  What other “CAN’Ts” are there?  Well, there are probably one million of them but being unable to do an exercise because of an injury is a great example.

Basically, to me – if you “CAN’T” do something, it is super easy.  There is no conversation (usually with yourself) or justification needed.  You simply cannot do it.

WONT is another word though – and it is completely and 100% different.  If you WONT do something it means that it is something you COULD DO if the outcome was truly important to you…but it isn’t (or at least, it isn’t important ENOUGH).  If I talk about the challenge, giving up sugar and alcohol for the month is something all of us COULD do – unless of course your job involves drinking beer (and I actually know a couple of members for who this is true!) then the ‘No Drinking’ thing is not a “I Can’t” thing…it is an “I WONT” thing.  Yes, you have your anniversary/birthday/whatever but this really, truly doesn’t mean that you “CANT”.  It just means that doing so isn’t that important to you – and by the way, that is perfectly fine.  Just don’t say “CAN’T” when what you mean is WONT.  The same thing applies to getting in that extra session on the weekend, or doing your challenge extras or whatever it is…I see the “WONT” thing so often at footy – we ask a lot of the guys of that there is no doubt, but when players don’t get through their scheduled weights sessions or don’t complete their hand-skills sessions, 99.9% of the time it isn’t because they “CAN’T” do it – it is because the WONT and usually it is because there are other things that are more important to them.

Similarly to the footballers I just mentioned, I find the “Can’t/Wont” battle in my own mind comes out most often when it comes to doing my extras – the things I know I should be doing to be in the shape I SAY I want to be in.  Classes are no problem – I love doing them and make time in my day to do one each and every day of the week.  Spending some time on the squat rack or sitting on an assault bike or running on the treadmill…all things I know will help me but all things that so often I say to myself “CAN’T” when it really comes down to it, what I really mean is “I WONT”.  I guess that I say “I Can’t” because it shuts up the little voice in my head that would demand an answer if I used that other language (WONT) particularly if it was related to something I had promised myself that I would do.

One more thing – please remember that you don’t need to justify yourself to me.  You can do whatever it is you want to do.  Just don’t say “CAN’T” when you mean “WONT”.  They are not the same thing.  Be honest with yourself and consistent in your actions…Can’t is CAN’T but WONT is different.

See you all in the gym!

Michael.

p.s.  Please save the date for next SUNDAY – we would love to see everyone heading down to the QUARRIE from 3pm for a beer and a bite…nominally this is to celebrate the end of the 28-days Later challenge but – participant or not, we would love to see you down there.

p.p.s:  We have all of the 28-days Later challenge shirts in the gym now and will have then all ready to hand out by Wednesday or so…the design is pretty cool and I cannot wait to wear mine!

Gym Update #1 – 28-Days Later – One Week to GO!

So – we are nearly there – 3-weeks down, just one to go.  I am going to talk about my own experience first and let me just say that last week was tough – I really struggled to find time to get my extras done…and further to that, my ambition for the 4-weeks (to complete my 2km row sub 7-minutes) really is starting to look like a bridge too far.  I completed the task in 7:04 and the problem was I simply couldn’t ‘hold on’ in the last 500m…that is a BAD SIGN.  Anyway, I guess I have one more chance – but it does speak to me quite loudly about where my endurance training is at the moment…so rarely in my training (I really do get 95% of my cardio in classes) do I ‘GO’ for more than 5-minutes and the challenge of this row really is proving difficult.  I seem to remember a time when going OVER 7-minutes seemed slow – now going under it seems impossible…gotta stick at it I guess and it is all about recognising these sort of weaknesses and working through them.

With the food I actually haven’t had too much trouble and my ‘STREAK’ is intact.  When I got home from footy yesterday though (and I went straight to footy from work) I went outside for a swim…the temptation of having a swim then relaxing with a beer was pretty strong let me tell you.  It wasn’t really the idea of having to do 500calories on the bike that stopped me – it was just the idea of not making it through the 28-days!

Despite all of this training effort and food discipline, I guess I am in that group of people who haven’t noticed much of a physical change – nor can I see one on the scales.  I guess I have probably been snacking on fruit a bit too much (how nice are the grapes at the moment!) and have gone from my once per week oats to 2-3 days per week…so my carbs are definitely up…but still – I would have hoped for a more positive outcome when I look in the mirror.  The reality is though I did need this challenge – particularly from a drinking perspective as what once was a couple of drinks on Friday and Saturday had kind of morphed into a couple on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday! – and I do feel better for it…just trying to take the positives really.

Whether you are like me and battling through but struggling to see a change or if you have really seen some change both on the scales and around your waist, now is not the time to either give up or relax…we have one week to go.  I know I am more determined than ever to see through my 28-day streak and it is going to make relaxing with everyone next Sunday afternoon more enjoyable than ever!

(Post challenge note:  Our next challenge – the ‘ALL CLASS’ challenge – will be kicking off in the first week of April…this will be a training only challenge so buckle up for what is looking like a fun time!).

Gym Update #2 – Beach Workout

Thanks to everyone who made it along to our Beach Training Day today.  We (well, Eden remembered a camera!) took a heap of photos and videos which I think will be slowly leaking out on to the various social media platforms over the next day or so.  It seemed to be a lot of fun (though the soft sand walking lunges seemed less of hit than I thought they would be when writing the plan!) and it was great seeing so many people challenge themselves in a different way to a ‘normal’ boxing or Body Work class…certainly the difference between doing burpees and jump squats on astro turf vs doing the same exercises on soft sand is bigger than you might imagine!

Everything will be back to normal next weekend with Saturday and Sunday classes running as normal!

Gym Update #3– New Gear

Just a quick update on what is happening:

-       New order of MMA gloves has arrived – these are now available in our latest ‘double wrap’ design in all sizes.

-       New bag mitts are here and if you like the idea of some ‘electric silver’ gloves, they are in the gym as well.

-       New order of QuickWraps has arrived – these are now available in all sizes again (unfortunately only in black at this time).

Link of the Week

So – if there is such a thing as being politically agnostic then I am politically agnostic.  But I challenge you not to laugh when you watch this video which replays a series of POTUS tweets in the style of a 90’s EMO band (think Fall Out Boy or The Get Up Kids).  It is just 3-minutes of fun:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CopDK_jI6DI