28-Days Later Review and Assessment

Hi and welcome to another week,

Well – if you got a few sessions done last week you are AMAZING.  It was very hot and the sessions on Monday and Wednesday in particular just dumped all of us into cardio hell for 45 minutes!  Now – I know some people love this and scream more, more, more.  Others can’t stand it and would rather double up on the weights and do no bikes/running/SPARC/rowing/ski – and that’s fine.  But the classes are going to try and cover all bases over the course of each 5-week cycle and there are going to be days when all of us get something other than our ‘ideal’.  Remember though – just being positive about the work that has been assigned, focussing on getting through your cardio efforts as quickly as possible (for calories/distance targets), lifting heavy barbells/dumbbells/kettlebells and completing ALL assigned reps, and boxing with good technique and power is the way to achieve the best possible outcomes.

For the blog this week I want to talk about the outcomes of the 28-Days Later challenge that concluded last week.  Not all of the data is complete (not everyone who participated has done their final weigh-in), but enough people have for me to be able to draw a few conclusions!

Overall this year participants averaged 3.55kgs (actually, 3.458kgs!) of weight loss and as a group we have achieved total weight loss of 403kg – personally I am very happy to have cracked 400kgs.  This is an improvement of last year’s return where there was an average of 3.47kgs of weight loss.  The top weight loss number this year was 12.3kgs and 4x participants actually GAINED weight – though to be fair, that was the intention going into the challenge for 2 of them!  For those people a little more into the stats, the median fat loss was 3.1kgs or just under 1kg per week.  21% of participants lost in excess of 5.0 kgs.

Muscle mass was another story.  This year on average people lost 0.19kgs of muscle.  Last year participants gained nearly 0.3kgs of muscle on average so it is quite a turnaround.  The largest muscle change we had (positive) was a gain of 1.3kgs – pretty amazing in 4-weeks in what was primarily a cardio based program.  The largest muscle loss we saw was 1.7kgs however that participant lost a total of 9.3 kgs of weight – losing muscle whilst experiencing significant short term weigh loss is certainly not ideal but it is at least explainable.  Overall, 62% of participants lost SOME muscle (me included!) which was certainly not the intention going in.

So – what conclusions can we draw from all of this???

The removal of bread, pasta, sweeteners and alcohol from diets worked as a weight loss mechanism with 68% of people achieving at least 5% of their starting body weight as weight loss.  So that’s good.  Unfortunately we have not ticked some boxes in terms of food quantity AND post workout nutrition in order to better support our muscle maintenance and even growth.  Now – I obviously have some suspicions here as to what has happened (and I will go into them below) but please note that these are not scientific…they can’t be because we don’t have access to food logs for participants – and we certainly don’t have access to food logs that include weights and measures!

When the food restrictions were put in place – and keep in mind that more than 55% of participants had completed the 2016 28-Days Later challenge – the calories lost with the removal of bread/pasta/sweeteners was not being adequately replaced by the ‘healthier’ replacements.  This doesn’t mean that the meal suggestions were inadequate – but it does mean that there was insufficient information about exactly ‘how much’/’how many’ vegetables needed to be consumed to eliminate the caloric deficit.  Now – this could be as simple as being as prescriptive for the vegetable quantities in the meal ideas as we were when it came to the meat quantities…or it could be that we take a more data driven approach in the future in terms of setting participants daily targets for calories, protein and carbs and getting everyone to use a service such as MyFitnessPal to log their food.  It also might be advisable to initiate a mid-term scan/review for participants to make sure both weight loss and muscle growth are indeed on track…and if all of this is starting to sound like the ‘Food Matters’ program which is a dedicated food based program we offer then I guess it is!

When I look back at 28-days Later and its evolution over the past few years I am pretty proud of what we have been able to implement and what participants have been able to achieve.  It does make me wonder sometimes though that given the goals of almost every person who works into the gym are aesthetically based rather than fitness/performance based (I want to look better, I don’t care about anything else) whether would be advised to set up a series of desks at the front of the gym to conduct one-on-one diet follow-ups with people and hide some power racks and heavy bags in the back corner…but what would the fun be in that?  Now I have said that though, for everyone out there who DOES have performance based goals, well, that nutrition plank is probably more important for you that it is for people who have a purely aesthetic focus!

The more we run programs like the 28-days Later Challenge (and the more we are able to engage with people on our Food Matters program) the more obvious it is that everyone’s nutrition is the ‘PLANK’ upon which their success towards their body goals is based.  Well – I don’t know if it could be any MORE obvious (the old “you can’t out-train a bad diet” cliché is up on the wall as part of our gym ‘philosophy’) but I am sure you know what I mean.  There is just so much sugar in our everyday food, we don’t drink enough water, we (generally speaking) eat way too many carbs in the form of bread and pasta and nowhere near enough veggies, we fill our coffee cups with milk and syrup (frappacino anyone?)…Do simple but sweeping statements like this one mean we need to live life 365-days per year as if the 28-Days Later challenge is in effect?  Well, no – we don’t.  But we DO need to be aware of what we are eating and continually making ourselves aware that whatever body goals we might have are being directly impacted by whatever we have on our forks and spoons and whatever is in our glass!

I have to admit to being a little bit taken aback/shaken up by the persistence of the muscle loss amongst challenge participant this year.  I am happy that the program has achieved its goals in terms of weight loss but concerned we have not ticked enough boxes in terms of providing support for people to maintain their muscle mass (which is obviously key to keeping up your metabolic rate and therefore to supporting future weight loss!).  I guess if we didn’t have the InBody 570 scanner reporting on this I would be happily oblivious and just celebrating the fat loss that everyone has achieved but the more we run this program – and to be truthful, the more we run the ‘Food Matters’ program and are able to spend time coaching clients one-on-one with their nutrition – the more I realise how many areas we can tweak to improve it.  Now, some of those things will make the program more complicated (and I know part of the appeal is that it is EASY to follow) so I can see a ‘stepped’ based implementation of the program next year…

What next?  Well, I guess the important thing for all of us is not who lost the most weight during the 28-days of the challenge but who does the best job of maintaining their eating/keeping that weight off over the next 12-months.  I guess the challenge for everyone should be that you don’t wait for the next challenge to get back on the horse – you (and the link of the week this week is all about this) just get started today, get your food right, seek help if you need it and make sure that bottom ‘plank’ of your fitness pyramid is supporting everything else you are trying to achieve (be those goals based around aesthetics or performance).

See you all in the gym!

Michael.

p.s.  Public Holiday tomorrow (Monday, March 6th).  Our opening hours will be:

7:15am Boxing

8:15am Boxing

9:15am Body Work.

10:30am close.

We will finalise the decision on what our Public Holiday opening hours will be (for the rest of 2017 anyway) at the conclusion of tomorrow’s sessions.

Gym Update #1 – Membership Special coming this week.

Tell your friends, tell your families…we have possibly the coolest ever membership promotion starting this coming TUESDAY – March 7th.  I have seen a few ‘March Madness’ type advertisements lately…but they didn’t really seem that ‘MAD’.  Ours is.  Promise.

Details up Tuesday morning.

Gym Update #2 – “All Class” Challenge

So the 28-Days Later Challenge is over…and already it is time for ‘MORE’.  Remember we run challenges at R1 every second month which means when April rolls around, we will be ‘ON’ again.  As per the rhythm of these things, the next challenge will not include a food component – it will be the ‘ALL CLASS’ challenge.

Whilst it is of course aimed at ‘classy’ people, it has also been put together for those people out there who have felt a bit excluded from our recent challenges because they include ‘extras’ – extra weights, extra cardio, extra ‘stuff’ – and all they want to do is complete as many classes as they can at the gym!  I can hear a chorus now – ‘it is all the extra stuff that MAKES it a challenge though’…well, never fear, I have a PLAN!  More details over the next couple of weeks with the challenge scheduled to start on Monday, April 3rd.

Gym Update #3– New Gear

Just a quick update on what is happening:

  • Boomers is now back in stock.  We also have the new 400g travel size containers – I have been holding off on getting these just because I couldn’t really see the point…you get less product and the price point is a bit higher on a ‘per gram’ basis.  But the Boomers guys tell me they are selling really well out in the world (small size = easy to transport around) so they are now on the shelf for $32.50.
  • Filament cold brew coffee is back in stock.
  • We have a new set of speed balls that is ready to go up – will probably happen on Tuesday.  I have been really struggling sourcing these lately…the ones I like wont last and the ones that last I don’t like.  We are working with a manufacturer to try and close the gap between ‘ease of use’ and ‘longevity’ but in the meantime I am giving a new brand a try.

Gym Update #4 – New Member Business #1

Kristy Bailey has had one of the ‘cooler’ business ideas ever – and is running day tours from Perth to Margaret River via sea-plane!  You take off on the Swan, fly down to Marg’s in a luxury Cessna turboprop jet sea-plane – flying at low level of course so you can really experience the coastline in a new way!  Upon landing, you are greeted by a team who will take you off on a winery experience (including lunch) before heading back to Perth via Cape Naturaliste and Sugarloaf Rock (and if you check the website you will see the scenery from the plane is pretty amazing).

It honestly all sounds pretty amazing and really would be one of those trips that you would remember forever.

Get in touch with Kristy and Swan River Seaplanes at ‘www.swanriverseaplanes.com.au’ or take the old-school approach and ring them on 9417 8005.

Gym Update #5 – New Member Business #2

Kristin Everard has kicked off her amazing new business as well.  I have known Kristin since she was like – 8-years old – and when she wrote in saying that she started up her Make-up Artistry business, well, that made total sense to me…she has always been so passionate about makeup and design!  Anyway, last year she went off and completed her Certificate IV in Makeup Artistry and now has started a business specialising in bridal makeup, theatrical, airbrushing and all other such stuff that boys like me know nothing about.

 

As Kristin said in her blurb to me – because it is a new business and one she is working hard to get established, her clients will benefit from the excellent quality makeup, her fresh new and modern skills at affordable prices.

 

If you would like to get in touch with Kristin, Facebook seems to be the best way!  Her page is called https://www.facebook.com/kristeneverardmua J

 

Link of the Week

Well, the struggle is real!

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/pause-button-mentality

I really like this article because I think there is a bit of this in everyone…I will happily admit my willingness to complete group training sessions is pretty good – I don’t ever really think of pause/restart etc.  But the other stuff – the cardio specific slog sessions, the time under the squat bar…well, those I do for 2-3 weeks then somehow ‘forget’ or ‘run out of time’ and find myself effectively starting all over again.  If only I could get my head right and instead of making plans to restart just ‘keep going’ I would be way better off.