A challenge outside the challenge, Wired to Eat

Hi and welcome to another week,

Man-o-man it has been COLD.  Well done to everyone who has been getting into the gym and getting it done – it has been hard enough stripping off at lunchtime to train, let alone trying to drag yourself out of bed at 4:30am in the morning or off the couch at 7:30pm at night.  There is no doubt whatsoever though that training is good for you – and pushing on through the winter months (pushing on through when it really doesn’t seem all that appealing) will result in nothing but benefits as the weather warms up!

Before I start here I would like to encourage EVERYONE to have a watch (or at least a listen) to Robb Wolf in the link of the week.  It is a really interesting lecture – all about the reasons we find it so hard to lose weight in the modern world and how ‘eat less move more’ doesn’t work for most of us.  The lecture (of course) doesn’t cover everything in his latest book ‘Wired to Eat’ which I would also recommend if you are chasing a bit ‘MORE’ on this subject.  You can buy ‘Wired to Eat’ HERE if you are keen! (Note:  That is a KINDLE link!).

So I want to (and will) talk about a couple of specifics about our ‘The One’ challenge below, but before I do that I wanted to share a pretty simple observation.  The body scans I have been doing – well, me, Kiz, Loz, Alex and Zara have been doing! – generally speaking represent the BEST results seen by each of the participants since the END of the 28-days later challenge.  Which is awesome.  And also not that awesome.  I know that I put these challenges together to help motivate all of you guys out there to get to the gym, to watch your food intake (and drink intake) and to do just a little bit extra when time permits.  (And sometimes, MAKE time to do that little bit extra when there isn’t really enough time for it to be convenient).  So that we are able to achieve great outcomes is GOOD.

But why should it take a ‘CHALLENGE’ for people to get back on track – particularly when a lot of the people I am talking about are in the gym at least two-three times each week year round (and I know a few people are saying to themselves ‘What about me?  I am in the gym a LOT more than that’).

So as this challenge ends – whether you were a participant or not – I have another challenge for you.  It doesn’t involve anything more than creating a couple of recurring appointments in your diary.  And they are going to look like this:

Appointment 1 – 10am Friday Morning.

What have I done this week to stay on track with my training habits?

When this reminder pops up, I am hoping the answer is going to be ‘I have gotten to the gym a few times’ or “I have stuck to my promise of no alcohol during the work week” or whatever it might be.  But I want you to seriously think about it and – if you can’t answer it positively – commit to an action plan for the following week to get BACK ON TRACK.

This is why it is so important to make this appointment on a Friday – the week is NEARLY over…but it ISN’T over.  When Friday rolls around, there is still time to get a couple of training sessions at the gym in.  Go to the gym on Friday night after work.  Go to the gym on Saturday.  Go to the gym on Sunday.  Even if you have kids sport commitments, the gym is open from 6am on Saturday mornings…sure, there isn’t a Boxing class to do but there is a gym full of equipment to use if you are keen.  And remember, we aren’t a typical gym where you are left to your own devices – we always write a collection of workout plans on the walls for you to do outside of class times (4x new ones every single week)…I understand you will be outside of your comfort zone but that’s OK – what you are doing is finding a way to stay on track with your training and not leaving it to chance.

The other reason it is important to do it on Friday is that it gives you the chance to get your plans in order for the next week – don’t allow one missed week to become two.  Make a commitment to stop missing breakfast in the morning, or to pack your gym gear in the car before you leave for work each day…and go straight to the gym before heading home…we all have different circumstances to deal with so I don’t know the answers that you will be looking for, but put a plan in place to get on track and stick to it.

Appointment 2 – 10am Monday Morning

What am I going to do THIS week to remain on track with my training habits.

Straight after the weekend – straight after your mid-morning coffee, up pops the question.  What are you going to do this week!  You have already made the commitments (just two short days ago), now is the time to review them and reinforce them!  If you promised last Friday that your wouldn’t miss breakfast, well, how did you go?  If the answer is ‘Not Good’, then put in a plan/make a commitment to FIX IT tomorrow.  If you had planned a gym session Sunday but when the alarm clock went off staying in bed just seemed like a better idea – and don’t worry, I understand that emotion better than anyone I think – well what are your plans for training THIS WEEK.  How are you going to get on track?

Let me say now that I know not everyone is looking to ‘make progress’ or ‘make changes’ – but for most people going to the gym is part of living a healthy lifestyle and (hopefully) looking good in a pair of board-shorts (or a bikini).  I am happy that so many people benefit from the challenges we run – that is why we run a challenge every second month, to help people get closer to their goals – but if your training year is going to be based around losing 5kgs or fat and adding 2kgs of muscle during the February Challenge each year but then spending the next 11-months putting the fat back on/losing the muscle gained and doing it all again, well, I think with just a little bit of self management you can do a bit better than that!

My business coach was a big believer in rewarding yourself for achieving goals and targets – on committing to a reward for yourself then HONOURING it no matter what if you achieved whatever it was you had targeted.  For example, I remember once upon a time he purchased himself a new (well, it was 2nd-hand but new for him!) time-trial bike for the upcoming triathlon season after hitting a client number target one quarter.  When I asked him about the actual financial implications of the purchase – the bike cost more than the $ brought in by the new clients (at least in the immediate term) – he said that the reward was all about the ACTION and the EFFORT – not about the outcome.  He said it was about taking the long term view and without following through on his commitment to upgrade his bike, how would his subconscious mind be motivated by any future rewards he promised himself based on achieving targets or accomplishing goals?

Now the idea of spending more than $50 on a bike (OK, $500!) seems a touch insane to me but truthfully it isn’t the VALUE of the reward that is important here – it is attaching the reward to achievement that is important.  If eating brekky every day and getting 3x training sessions done each week is your GOAL, then maybe going OUT for breakfast with the family at the end of the month is the motivation?  Stick to it – off you go!  Don’t stick to it?  Well, you eat your soggy cornflakes (not that I particularly want you eating cornflakes!) at home.

You don’t need a gym challenge to stay on track – help yourself by adding a couple of simple calendar reminders to your life!  And offer yourself a carrot to stick with the plan…how can it hurt?

See you in the gym,

Michael.

Gym Update #1 – ‘The ONE’ Challenge

So – for most people anyway, the challenge is O-V-E-R.  I have been super impressed with the results everyone has been able to achieve – well, everyone except me of course!  As with all of the challenges lately, when the end comes along my body scan shows that I have lost muscle and that my body fat % has gone up…which is pretty frustrating to say the least.  I have no doubt that being on the challenge and watching my food a little more carefully than normal is behind it – my training goes up, my food goes down, I therefore burn up some muscle and whilst my total fat doesn’t change, my overall % does (because my muscle drops).  Super annoying.

All of that said, my overall target for the challenge was to improve my front squats and whilst I haven’t really managed to move my ‘maximum’ lift up too much, it is certainly a movement that I am a whole lot more comfortable with and just performing a lot more smoothly…which was the idea of the whole thing.

I have seen so many people making terrific improvements with their pull-ups, cardio, upper body strength…the idea of this challenge really is awesome because it forces you to hone in on an area of weakness – and the consistent repetition improves your performance.  The next phase of the challenge starts now of course – maintaining proficiency in the newly improved skill area so that wen June 2018 rolls around, we are all trying to improve something ‘else’!

Gym Update #2 – Essential Oils/Stretching Workshop (July 23rd)

On Sunday 23 July at 9am (following the 8:15am class – so lets say 9am kick-off!) Kelly and Lauren will be collaborating to provide you with some great information to help you assist your body to run at optimal levels. Kelly will share her knowledge of essential oils and how they can provide natural and effective solutions for everyday health. She will explain how you can reduce the toxic load in your house and use essential oils to support your immune system, increase energy, balance emotions, improve sleep quality, manage stress levels, natural pain management an keeping your family healthy.

Lauren will demonstrate how you can supplement your workout routine with some stretching that will help your body recover better from those tough workouts. Find out how to improve your flexibility & core strength to get the best out of your training.

Gym Update #3 – Running Club Off and Running

Today was a particularly tough day at Running Club with our 80m/30m grid in full swing.  The session went like this:

12 repetitions of sprint 80m, recover for 30m on the 40 seconds.

Walk one lap of the grid.

12 repetitions of sprint 80m, recover for 30m on the 35 seconds.

Walk one lap of the grid.

12 repetitions of sprint 80m, recover for 30m on the 30 seconds.

Walk one lap of the grid.

If you feel like challenging yourself, put out some markers and give it a go!

Runners we will be meeting at Cottesloe Beach SLSC next Sunday morning at 7am – and our course will be from Cottesloe to Port Beach and back – a run of around 8kms.  Hope to see a few people there and we will find ourselves a café somewhere in Cottesloe after our run for a coffee and (maybe!) some breakfast!

Gym Update #4 – Kanvas Kraft

Congratulations to Ben Williamson who has ‘gone it alone’ with a new business – Kanvas Kraft.  I guarantee you have seen Ben around the gym – he was the #1 attendee during 2016 and is right up on the leaderboard again this year – and after 15-years in the industry he has decided to have a go at creating PVC and Canvas products under his own banner – and that banner is KANVAS KRAFT!  Ben is located just around the corner from the gym (on Blackly Row) and can help you with pretty much anything you can imagine – Custom Bags, Caravan Annexes, Custom Made Covers, Outdoor Furniture and Squabs, Roller Awnings, Screens, Shade Sails, Sporting Goods, Tonneau Covers, Trailer Covers, Ute Canopies, Canvas Tarpaulins and Tarpaulins…I am sure that barely touches the surface of the stuff he can do!

Ben also mentioned he is happy to do repair work so if you already have stuff made out of canvas or PVC but it is maybe looking a bit worse for wear or not working the way it used to, well, give him a call on 0432 154 825 and I am sure he will do everything he can to help!

Gym Update #5 – New Gear and other Stuff

Happy to say our new MMA gloves, Bag mitts and HOODIES all arrived in the gym last week.  You will hopefully have noticed all of our gloves are now coming in Round 1 carry bags and (hopefully) this will allow us to revamp all of the shelving etc in the gym over the next month or so…we will see how we go!

Thanks to everyone who picked up one of our new ‘TRAINING’ branded hoodies – they look pretty cool – and we are still missing a portion of the order.  Once the rest of these arrive, I will set up an online ordering system (similar to what we use for the challenges) for anyone who missed out but still wants a hoodie…

The new slam balls I mentioned last week also arrived – 9kg and 15kg sizes – so I am hoping we are well set with that gear for the time being.

Gym Update #6 – Round 1 “Help Line”

This is a repeat of last week’s note – as mentioned, stay tuned as we continue to build our database!

Been spending a bit of time working on getting a database of specialist services together lately – trying to use the experience we have garnered in the past Seven (7) years in Cockburn to be able to offer pretty basic consults for people who need help with medical services, external training services and a few other things.  The way I see this working is that if you need some physio help, we connect you with the physio and are able to discuss the issue with them directly before you arrive for your appointment (and in theory we can set up the appointments but that is a bit more of a work in progress).  Same for chiro, podiatry, OT…you name it.  Same for specialist training services (sprint coaching, olympic lifting etc).  Whilst I wish we could cover EVERYTHING in house, it simply isn’t realistic given the wide range of specialist services people are chasing…

Anyway, in the short-term, if you need help with something and you are a member of the gym, dont be shy about asking for help and we can get you in touch with the people best positioned to help you.

Gym Update – Footy Tipping and Fantasy

Well, the tipping world has gone a touch crazy!  Two tipsters from W-A-Y back in the pack – ‘The G-Train’ and ‘WOFTAM’ have won the day by selecting 8 correct winners.  I actually have no idea who either of them are which is a bit sad – but regardless of that both have flung off their early season form and hit back hard in a weekend of difficult results!

Up at the top of the ladder though, what can I say – A change is gonna come!  After a couple of weeks of shaky results our long-time leader Michael Campbell has fallen from the top spot – replaced by Xavier Marszal (traditionally not even the best tipster in his own FAMILY!!! – C’mon Nicole!) and ‘DAZZA’.  The chasing pack is still hot on the heels of that pair with 12x tipsters within 3 points of the lead.

In the Fantasy competition there were some MASSIVE scores with Travis, Craig and Justin all topping 2300 points and John just a touch short.  Interestingly, Travis and John are actually outside of the top 8 at the moment and with just 3-weeks until finals really need to get a shuffle on if they are hoping to make it.

Link of the Week

This is pretty long (just on 60mins) but well worth the time – it is all about the reasons why we struggle to implement food and diet changes and the way in which we are ‘wired to eat’.  The slides are a little hard to read though:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOv-vP4mY9A

Robb’s new book (‘Wired to Eat’) is awesome and as anyone who has read ‘The Paleo Solution’ will be able to tell you, is a pretty easy read (he is an entertaining guy and despite the relatively dry subject matter the books are quite funny).  He talks about why ‘eat less move more’ doesn’t work and why it is so hard in the modern environment to lose weight/get on the right track!