Making Incremental Changes, Summer Slam Challenge

Hi and welcome to another week,

Pretty excited that I can finally announce all of the details for the new SUMMER SLAM challenge today.  I don’t want to spend a whole blog on it (there is a whole section below (under the Gym Update #1 heading) and a little blog post all of its own available HERE but in essence I am excited because HOPEFULLY it will enable all of ‘us’ to turn our year on its head – and rather than being in our best shape ‘EVER’ on March 1st when the 28-days Later challenge ends, we will be in our best shape ‘EVER’ on November 1st – when the SUMMER SLAM ends…and being in better shape at the start of summer means being in better shape at the end of summer (RIGHT!!!!)…

I am looking forward to this week’s classes.  1-minute rounds will be making a return to the schedule (in its traditional Thursday timeslot) so I am excited for that – the session does look a little cardio heavy though so I am equal part excited and nervous!  Secondly, we have the ‘toughest ever’ type of class plan on the schedule for this week…I don’t want to give away what I consider to be the ‘toughest type’ of session, but let me just say I am equal parts nervous and terrified at what is ahead – every time we do a class like ‘that’ it hurts!  Third, the week marks the start of a new ‘BLOCK’ of Body Work sessions – these ones programmed by Eden.  Lastly, we will be kicking off the week with my personal favourite type of session – Monday 6-minute rounds.  Basically, it all looks awesome and I cannot wait to get into it!

So our last challenge finished a week or so back and results have been slowly trickling in – scheduling the final weigh-ins for “Father’s Day” was possibly not the greatest idea but what were we to do – the calendar was the calendar!  Regardless of that, I would summarise the average results as follows:

Weight loss:  2.4kgs

Fat Loss:  2.8kgs

Muscle Gain:  0.5kgs

All up, I think you could say that it was a very effective challenge in terms of both body composition AND performance – reported strength gains of >30kg improvement for a 5-rep back squat or a 30-second reduction in 2000m row time have not been uncommon.  The question that keeps being asked by participants is ‘Now what?’.  Which is fair enough.

The reality is that in completing the challenge and performing a dedicated ‘BLOCK’ of either strength, cardio or core training for a month – on top of the regularly scheduled group training sessions – has led to some pretty immediate and significant gains.  The problem is that doubling down on the programming and repeating it all in the next month is unlikely to yield the same outcomes – yet at the same time, doing so could be all the more meaningful!

There is a pretty famous book called ‘What got you here wont get you there’ (you can pick it up HERE) that covers this idea in detail, but simply put the effort you put in to get (for example) from 30% bodyfat to 20% bodyfat is significant…but NOTHING comparted to the effort required to get from 20% to even 15%.  The same can be said for performance goals – to get your 2km row down from 8minutes to 7-minutes is one thing – to reduce it a further 30-seconds down to 6:30 is something again.  Call it the law of diminishing returns, call it what you will – I just call it what it is – bloody hard work.

If you have achieved some great improvements with your training/food recently (or not so recently!) – whether as part of the challenge or not it doesn’t really matter – that is awesome.  But in so many ways it is what you are able to achieve after you hit your ‘initial’ goal that will define how strong the life changes you have been able to make are.

If I change gears for a moment, I still remember way, way back when we did our first ever food based challenge at Round 1 – at the end of the challenge, we all celebrated by eating hotdogs and drinking beer at the gym on the final Sunday of the challenge.  Not that there is anything wrong with an occasional ‘cheat day’ (of course their isn’t) but the message it sent to each of the particpants was not great – ‘The challenge is over – let’s all get back to normal’.  What chance did any of us have of sticking with it?

The same is true of the challenge we have just completed – if you were one of the people who have been saying (or even thinking) that ‘THIS’ is something you want to/need to/should be persisting with – but haven’t followed through on that commitment for the past week since the challenge ended – well, what is stopping you?  Now is the time that you need to double down with your effort and create a lasting habit – if you have stopped cold turkey then you are most likely going to ‘STAY’ stopped…and like all of us who celebrated the end of a food based challenge by eating hot-dogs and drinking beer, all you are really doing is enforcing the idea that is what ‘normal’ behaviour looks like.

Estabish a ‘new’ normal.  Stick at the strength stuff…or the cardio stuff…or the core stuff.  If you forever do the same, you will forever BE the same.  Incremental changes 100% add up to incremental improvements – take advantage of the new things you do by creating habits around them and you really will benefit!

See you in the gym,

Michael.

Gym Update #1 – SUMMER SLAM (October Challenge) is COMING

OK.  As mentioned over the past couple of weeks our latest and newest challenge is only a couple of weeks away – SUMMER SLAM!  The idea here is to replicate the ‘ideology’ of our February ’28-days Later’ challenge in October – so that everyone’s body composition is at its best just as you have to START wearing a bathing suit, as opposed to at the END of summer when we are all just trying to ‘undo’ the damage of the silly season.

You can read all about it below or jump straight to the Challenge info page by clicking HERE!

Here’s what the challenge will entail:

1-month of food restrictions

Group Class participation target (20 sessions or 4/week).

3x ‘Summer Slam’ workouts which each must be completed EACH WEEK of the challenge.  (Estimated time for completing the workouts is between 12-15 minutes).

Here’s what you will get for your participation:

7-Day eating plan with ALL NEW recipes

Challenge Survival Guide

2x Body Scans

Folder containing the Class signoff sheet, workout recording sheet AND food compliance tracking sheet.

Workout booklet detailing each of the Summer Slam workouts

Video demonstrations of all workouts

Dedicated Challenge Facebook group for coaching support/recipe exchange etc

Keen to do it?  Sign up for the challenge HERE!

I am not sure why I didn’t decide to do this 7-years ago – after all, since the main reason we all – well, most of us! -  get ourselves into the gym each day is to hopefully look a little bit better come summer time, it makes sense for us all to get into super shape as summer comes around.

Costs for participation are as follows:

  • $60 – Challenge participation (including body scans, diet plan etc!)
  • $80 – Challenge participation (including body scans, diet plan etc!) AND your own ‘Challenge T-shirt’
  • $180 – Option for non-members – one month membership at Round 1 PLUS Challenge participation (including body scans, diet plan etc!) AND your own ‘Challenge T-shirt’

Please note that these prices will be available UNTIL WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 27th at which point they will all be going up by $20/package…apologies for this but it gets way too hectic trying to put all of the packs together, getting folders organised etc…so get in early, save $ and make my life just a little bit easier.

More details can be found HERE!

Register for the challenge HERE!

Gym Update #2 – Football, Developing Athletes and Other Stuff

So – there is all sorts of stuff happening in the background at the gym.  As a few people would be aware I am a fair way down the rabbit hole in creating a specialist sports preparation program for ‘Developing’ athletes – specifically teenagers playing physical sports (football, basketball, rugby) who want to get faster, stronger and generally ‘move’ better.  The programming has all been put together and I am just sort of holding off for all of the traditional ‘winter’ sports to finish before announcing the program and starting to take enrollments…so if you know a random teenager who wants to be better at their sport and believes getting stronger/faster could help, stay tuned.

Further to that, there is also going to be a football specific skills program announced in the next couple of weeks.  This will be offered either as an extension to the above ‘Developing Athletes Program’ or as a stand-alone skills assessment/skills tutoring.  Again, stay tuned.

All up, pretty excited about the work that has been done to this point and (hopefully) what we can do to help people!

Gym Update #3 – Hoodies, Hats and Stuff

So – good news.  We have some of our black and silver ‘TRAINING’ hoodies up on the shelves for the last time.  These really are a ‘what is on the shelf is what we have’ type situation but when I checked this morning we had every size under the rainbow!

These hoodies are super nice – warm, comfortable, all of that! – plus they say ‘Round 1’…how can you go wrong!

In addition to all of that – we also have a few of our trucker hats still left on the shelf (those are $20 each) and a new supply of both hand-wraps and quick-wraps are on the way!

Link of the Week

Back to the well with Functional Patterns this week – and it is all about hamstring stretching and management.  Great vid for people suffering lower back soreness and hamstring tightness so common amongst people who spend a large portion of their work day staring at a monitor!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AzNMkq8wBU