It’s Patience, not practice. Or at least it is Patience + Practice!

Hi and welcome to another week,

Many thanks to everyone who came along to train with us last week – whilst we saw a little bit of a drop in numbers from the madness that has been the 6am sessions (I guess the February Challenge is over so we have a few people relaxing their goals a little bit) but overall participation rates have been amazing…as I have said one million times and will continue to say – the support we get from everyone is really what makes our jobs worthwhile!  In terms of classes, it was probably the Thursday/Friday 1-minute rounds/7-minute rounds double act that were the most challenging sessions of the week.  Certainly the cardio challenge on Friday was pretty real – and assault bikes to goblet squats is never a fun transition!  The 1-minute rounds on Thursday – love them or hate them – was a great challenge with the little ‘SPARC Sprint’ / ‘Ski-erg’ calories 7-station run at the front end of the gym being a real heart breaker.

What’s in store this week?  Well, we have split jumps back on the agenda to work on our mobility, explosive strength and (a little bit) of cardio development, our core focus of the past 3-weeks continues (2 weeks to go), the sled relay is back on the agenda, and we have another one of those ‘back to back’ barbell to kettlebell strength challenges towards the end of the week.  It was a funny week in terms of putting the program together – I was explaining to the team early last week that it seemed every session I put together needed ‘more time’ than I had planned for during the first draft – so 2 minute rounds became 2:30minute rounds, 3 minute rounds became 4’s, 4’s became 5’s etc.  Or maybe it is that I am getting soft and wanted to give everyone a bit more time to work through each station.

This week I am going to try and work through something my guitar teacher spoke to me about a couple of weeks ago.  I know I seem to be constantly going back to the ‘guitar lesson well’ for my blogs over the past year or so but honestly, I just find so many correlations between the struggle that is learning a new skill (not that it is much of a skill in my case!) and the training / diet components of my life that it is hard not to put them to paper.

Anyway, the background to the story is that I continue to struggle with a couple of chord transitions – and struggle badly – and this is despite making those transitions the main focus of my practice time for a few weeks now.  It doesn’t look hard – certainly my instructor doesn’t seem to have any trouble at all! – but I just struggle, struggle and struggle some more to get it…not only are my transitions not in time, they couldn’t exactly be described as ‘perfect’.  So not only am I slow, it STILL doesn’t sound right.

I am obviously frustrated with it and my teacher said something to me that is so relevant to my training life.  “You need to just have faith – and a little bit more of that word that starts with ‘P’ and ends in ‘E’.”  Given I felt my entire practice life had been focussed on that one thing – it wasn’t exactly what I wanted to hear…but then he said something else.  “I don’t mean ‘PracticE’, I mean ‘PatiencE’.”

Clearly this guitar stuff is hard but his point is that it just takes time.  And this training and eating stuff is hard and IT just takes time.  And what you have to be is persistent in your efforts – and patient with your expectations.  I have been running a few Food Matters sessions with clients recently and doing some nutrition coaching – and what I am continually amazed by is how hard it is to get everyone to simply give themselves a break for their missteps.  I guess these comments apply to challenge people as well – but what I am trying to say is that changing the eating and exercise habits of a lifetime just cant be done in a few weeks.  You are going to stuff up and that doesn’t really matter.  What DOES matter is that you understand why you stuffed up and are able to put a plan in place to not make the same mistake next time…and then when you STILL make the same mistake again two weeks later, you just remain patient with yourself and tweak the plan a little more to make sure it doesn’t happen again…and – well, that’s just the cycle you go through for the rest of your life.  Though hopefully the missteps are a little more infrequent as time goes by.

I have told this story before as well but even in my house we really struggled with limiting bread/pasta etc for the first couple of food challenges we did in the gym.  And as soon as the challenge was over, we were all eating those foods again the very next day – for goodness sakes, all of the participants in the first eating challenge we did ordered in Hotdogs from ‘Run Amuck’ in South Freo as our post challenge celebration!  They were delicious but when I look back I do wonder what the message was…I like to think it was that if you are good most of the time it is (more than) OK to ‘cheat’ every now and again but part of me knows that at the time it happened the thought was “Well, that’s over so now everything can get back to normal!”.  A couple of years down the line, if I am out for a burger there is a 99% chance I am ordering it without the bun…over time, with persistence and patience, things have changed and new habits are established.  But like I said, it takes time and I do think I have told this story before.  And more than once.

I guess the main part of being patient – or the point of that story – is being patient with yourself.  With my guitar stuff, it is just so easy to get disheartened and just give up – after all, I gave it a go and maybe it is just something I am ‘never’ going to be able to do.  The same applies to your training and exercise life – after all, you gave it a go, maybe you are ‘NEVER’ going to lose any weight.  Or ‘NEVER’ be able to skip/hit the speedball/do a ninja roll/complete a pull-up…You gave it a go, maybe you are ‘NEVER’ going to be able to row 2kms in 8 minutes.  Or do a back squat with your body weight (double your body weight?) on the bar.  whatever it might be.  You gave it a go and tried as hard as you could – and you have watched people who started at the gym after you make progress faster than you – maybe you are just ‘NEVER’ going to be able to do it.  At least that is what the voices in our head tell us.

Back to the original point from my guitar teacher – you have to do the work but you HAVE to have PATIENCE.  It takes time to establish a pattern of exercise and eating that will help you achieve your targets and there are going to be times along the way when you feel like you simply aren’t getting anywhere, that you are never going to get anywhere and that it is all just a massive waste of your time.  But just as I can’t do a 30-minute practice session on my guitar and be transformed into a virtuoso (just ask my family!) unfortunately we don’t get to finish a hard workout, look in the mirror on the way out of the gym and see an amazing transformation, nor do we get to choose a grilled fish and salad over a chicken parma and find when we jump on the scales the next morning we have lost 2kgs.  But if you consistently do the workouts to the best of your ability and consistently make good decisions with your food, over time the improvements just look after themselves.

Anyway, that’s my stream of consciousness thoughts of the day.  One day I will get around to editing this stuff and trying to make sure it makes sense, but until then let’s all just train hard, eat well and have some fun together.

See you all in the gym!

Michael.

Gym Update #1 – Membership Special

Thanks to everyone who supported our Nike Special last week.  In case you missed the details, we gave every new membership for the week a bonus $50 Nike voucher…the bad news is that it is OVER.  The good news is, we still have a couple of vouchers left and if you sneak into the gym in the next day or so you might be lucky enough to get one with a new membership.  And yes – tell your friends!

It is such a cool reward and one million thanks to everyone at the Nike Store at Cockburn Gateways for helping us out.

Gym Update #2 – “All Class” Challenge

The ‘All Class’ challenge is drawing ever nearer and I am hoping to have registration details up by the end of this week.  Despite their being no ‘EXTRAS’ in this one, the challenge will be R-E-A-L – getting 25 classes done in a single month will be tough.  A little bit of trivia is that the first ever challenge we ran at Round 1 was constructed solely around challenges (just like this one) and it is the only challenge we have ever run like that…

Looking back over my notes from the challenge, there are a lot of comments about how motivating it was just to have to keep ‘driving ahead’ to get the classes done.  It also created a secondary competition with people pushing themselves to get the 25 sessions done in the fastest possible time.  According to my notes, that battle was won in 16 days by Anthony Lacey (who completed a session every day from Monday to Saturday then did THREE each Sunday to take the prize).

Anyway, I am looking forward to this one!

Gym Update #3– New Gear

So – we have updated some equipment in the last week or so with new speedballs and uppercut shields going in.  I understand there is some unhappiness about how ‘hard’ the new style of shields we are using now are – I guess to me this helps reinforce the importance of correctly wrapping your hands and punching with good technique.  Remember everything that you learned at Beginners – and maybe get along to a Beginners class for a refresher if you need one!

Here’s a cool ‘How to use an uppercut shield’ vid if you have a spare minute or two:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQ-5-hZhIBY

Link of the Week

Should you eat before you train and the benefits or otherwise of so-called ‘fasted’ cardio.  Warning – real data in this one!

http://weightology.net/fat-loss/fasted-cardio-an-undeserved-good-reputation.html/