Challenges, Extras, 1%’ers and planning to get BETTER!

Hi and welcome to another week,

Get EXCITED – the new challenge starts TOMORROW so it is time to wrap your hands, pack your protein and your chalk and get into the gym!  25-classes during April is the challenge – simplest challenge EVER! – but it is going to be a massive effort to get to the end.  I have looked at the calendar and just can’t quite see how I can do more than 23 sessions in the time available…so I guess I am just going to have to figure some stuff out (I AM going to make it).  Registration link is HERE (‘Sign-up for the ALL CLASS Challenge’ )if you haven’t done it yet – just $10 for members.

OK – onto the bloggy stuff.  March is done which is a good time to look at attendance and session counts and all of that.  Since the end of the Feb challenge – where we experienced our highest participation rates since opening the gym in 2010 – we have seen participation drop off by 34 sessions per day (or about 3 people per class).  This is pretty similar to what we experienced 12-months ago (the drop off then from a marginally lower ‘peak’ was 35 people per day!) so I guess it was to be expected…I just get disappointed I suppose because after seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces when they get their results from the February challenge that somehow equals attending the gym LESS in February…then 12-months later the cycle repeats all over again.  I am really hoping this new challenge gets everyone back in the training groove so when it is time for the Feb challenge NEXT YEAR everyone is starting from a better place than they FINISHED this years challenge at, not back at the same point as they were before starting.  This isn’t about getting ‘ripped’ either team – have a look at this week’s article of the week (bottom of the blog) if you don’t believe me…

All of this thinking about training, gym attendance and what ultimately matters most – helping people get good results – has been swirling through my head for a week or so now…particularly as I have been determined to stick ‘steadfast’ to my resolution that the April Challenge will be a simple challenge that ‘ONLY’ involves group-training sessions.  I can hear a lot of people saying to themselves “What do you mean ‘ONLY’?”  and I totally get that…the group sessions are varied, full-body and more than enough for me as well.  BUT.  And there is always a ‘BUT’.  They aren’t necessarily ‘enough’ if you are trying to push ahead and make progress.  And the idea of ‘progress’ itself is an interesting one but please just keep with me for another moment or two because I know that not everyone is chasing ‘progress’.

We implemented the one-percenter program a fair while ago now – and the reason was a simple one.  We had gotten such great outcomes coming out of a challenge where our members needed to complete some extras (cardio, barbell circuit, hybrid cardio/strength circuit, each of 8-12minutes duration) either before or after a class – or even as a separate  stand-alone session which is what quite a few people seemed to prefer doing – that we decided to try and make the ‘extras’ a regular, ongoing thing.  Initially it seemed to work really well – lately, I have to admit – I hardly ever do the 1%’er myself…so how can I expect anyone else to do it???  Reading through the 1%’er chart as well, some of them do appear to be a little bit haphazard – the idea of having different categories of things to do (strength, mobility, cardio, core) SEEMS like a good one but it also seems to have created a bit of a ‘pick and choose’ mentality.

So – here is what I am proposing.  I want to create an ‘EXTRA’ one-percenter which I am only going to talk about here.  And in the month of April this is what it is going to be:  Improve your cardio on EITHER the bike of the rower.  And to give you a heads up, the challenge at the end of the month is going to be to complete either a 2000m row or a 3mile bike ride in the fastest time you are able.  The commitment required is going to be 3x sessions each week and I DO want you to have a go at the challenge in the final week.  Having said all that, this is what I would like you to do in the first week:

Rowing people:

Session 1:  3x 250m rows with 30 seconds break in between each one.  As fast as possible!

Session 2:  1x 1km row.

Session 3:  3x 400m rows with 1 minute break in between each one.  Again, as fast as possible!

Bike people:

Session 1:  5x minute ride, boys hold speed above 65 (experienced) or 60 (beginner) speeds, girls holding above 55/50rpm.

Session 2:  1x 2mile bike effort.

Session 3:  8x 1-minute bike efforts with 30 seconds break after each one.  As fast as possible.  Even in the last effort, your speed should not drop below the 65/60 (boys) or 55/50 (girls) you stuck too in session 1.

How does this help people who are trying to get stronger?  Well, it probably doesn’t I guess but remember, every single week we update our Strength board (in the power-rack area) and Full-body session board (in the globo-gym area upstairs) to provide workouts for anyone wanting a ‘weights’ only/’strength-focussed’ session.  The workouts are there for you to use guys and I would encourage you to follow them rather than just pottering about doing a bit of this and a bit of that.  And of course, if you want to follow the strength program, engaging in the Body Work classes, attending No-Rules and even committing a few bucks to either TANKS or Personal Training is a good option…I am pretty sure if you chat to any of the people doing TANKS or Personal Training they will tell you the outcomes are pretty positive.  Oh – and back to the original point – NEXT month (May) we will make this extra one-percenter thingy a strength based one!

Me?  Well, I am going to do that rowing program.  And I am re-committing to the one-percenter program.  This April challenge thing is really what I need to get me back in the groove of my training and get my act together – and if I can get to the end of the month having spent a bit of extra time on the rower then the outcome can only be positive right?

See you all in the gym!

Michael.

p.s.  Big congratulations to all the TANKS people who got through their 3km row efforts last week – we are going again in this week’s sessions so get ready to have a real crack at beating your time!

Gym Update #1 – “All Class” Challenge is GO!

So – Registration for the April Challenge – the so called ‘ALL CLASS’ challenge – is now up and available and you can access it from here:  ‘Sign-up for the ALL CLASS Challenge’.

It all kicks off on Monday, April 3rd and you will have until April 30th – 28-days – to get your 25-sessions done.  There are no ‘EXTRAS’ in this challenge but it will be REAL in every way – getting 25 classes done in a single month is going to be TOUGH.  As I have been saying over the past couple of weeks, this is truly a THROWBACK challenge – the first ever challenge we ran at Round 1 was constructed solely around classes and (until now) it is the only challenge we have ever run like that…

Looking back over my notes from that original 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 – Footy Tipping and Fantasy

So, my tipping was a disaster.  Not as much as a disaster as the Dockers performance (it is very hard not to at least smile!) but a disaster.  There were a ‘few’ people in our comp who went alright though – in fact ELEVEN people picked all 9 correct.  Dani Elsum is a perennial top tipster and she led the pack – Pete Brear, Aaron Taylor, Damien Kelly, Brad Galeao, Clarke Osborne, Craig Burleigh and Sionna Bourke were amongst the others.  If you missed a mention, it was only because you have a somewhat difficult to identify nickname OR a name so generic (I am talking about you Daz!) that I can’t figure out who it is!

Over in the Fantasy comp, week#1 is in the books and the results were incredibly close with most match-ups decided by only a few points.  Top scorers for the week were Brett and Lloyd who both scored 2121 points…I think Kim Dev was next best on 2061.  It looks like being another close season which is disappointing to be honest – I really would like to win a Fantasy league one day but I am starting to think it will never, ever happen!  Good luck next week everyone.

Link of the Week

Great health based article in Breaking Muscle this week:  https://breakingmuscle.com/fitness/your-belly-fat-could-be-the-death-of-you