Real gyms are about COACHING and ‘REAL’ training

Hi Everyone – and welcome to another week,

Just over a couple of months ago, Round 1 turned EIGHT years old.  To say that there have been a few changes in the interim years is a MASSIVE understatement.  I know I have been kind of letting gym birthday’s fade into insignificance over the past couple of years – just like birthdays after age 40 (30??) it just seems a bit narcissistic shouting out to the world that 365 days have passed since you last celebrated ‘ME’ – but we are on the verge of launching our new website and in going through a heap of photos to put it together, I stumbled across a bunch of ‘stuff’ showing exactly how much things have changed…

IMG00404-20110525-1430-1 26895_1217006909909_6465015_n 25113_1249414280073_8276796_n 469951_3058803753679_578165925_o 340040_10151097109442917_1587437013_o 65379_10151189106312917_1287257975_n 197824_10151209774427917_867326203_n 382022_10151232958247917_393420121_n 551358_4555240243656_1252611989_n 26093_1266775554094_1716358_n 308374_10150376161452869_1707007473_n 149308_161704320625933_26206052_n 478448_3492266700229_1101718696_o 480133_10151151120533042_663874046_n

…and funnily enough, how much they have stayed EXACTLY the same.

When I opened the gym, we didn’t have much gear – as was regularly pointed out to me by people who came in ‘for a look’.  Not only that, we didn’t have a ‘launch’ budget – let alone an advertising budget – and my entire plan was to rely on my clients to spread the word about Round 1.  Looking back I think having zero money to spend was a bit of an advantage for the long term – our focus HAD to be on creating unique, quality training sessions that get results for ‘real’ clients as opposed to ‘selling’ a whole heap of equipment that looks good when people come in the gym ‘for a look’ but then sits idle every day.

So in our gym we had a heap of bags to hit, rowers, bikes, barbells, dumbbells and medicine balls.  The equipment ‘expansion’ plan that I had in my top drawer has been followed pretty closely – kettlebells, bumper plates and pull-up rigs all followed in the first couple of years after we opened.

I have to admit, when we finished installing all of the pull-up rigs just before Christmas 2015 (we also replaced the Spin Bikes with Assault bikes at the same time) to looking about the place and saying ‘this is all I am ever going to need’.  And it kind of was.  We got people SUPER fit.  We had people losing weight, gaining muscle and achieving goals including adventure racing, fun runs, marathons, triathlons and CrossFit competitions.

These days, I can afford to buy more equipment.  But – as you might have noticed – what I buy is more of the SAME equipment.  This year we have put in new heavy bags, upgraded from the assault bikes to the Concept 2 Bike Ergs, purchased new deadballs and got some more barbells.  Last year it was the Ski-ergs (to me, the single best piece of conditioning equipment in the world) and the SPARC’s to enable EVERYONE to complete the ‘running’ activities we program safely and without impact.  But that’s kind of it.  When you come to Round 1, you are going to hit the bags, row the boats (rowers!), do squats, pushups and kettlebell swings.  Because THAT is what works.

People who TRAIN know that having a variety of training equipment available is not a solution.  Because 90% of it you will never use.  You WILL use a squat rack, swing a kettlebell and throw a medicine ball.  You will row, run, ride and – if you are lucky – ski!  Comfortable, padded machines undoubtedly look COOL – and we have a few upstairs for people who need that accessory work – but that stuff isn’t CORE…it is the stuff you use to supplement your training if you have spare time, it is NOT the basis of what you should be doing.  If you want to get fitter and stronger, you don’t need more equipment – you need to do more WORK!

Almost everyone who comes to Round 1 has lived the globo gym life and said things like “gyms don’t work for me” – read Aleks profile here under ‘Advice to Share’ for a typical story – and they are right.  Gym’s don’t work.  Coaches do.  If you want to train, you need to get coached and managed through every session – held accountable for the things you are doing every time you get in there…well, you do if you want to get results because none of us try as hard by ourselves as we do when someone else is watching.

I’ve said it before but if you get the chance to visit the gym of a professional sporting club, you will see it looks a LOT like Round 1.  Well – there wont be as many bags, but there WILL be a boxing ring.  And rows upon rows of squat racks, pull-up bars, kettlebells, dumbbells and rowers.  ‘Cos that’s the stuff that works!  I’m lucky enough to have seen (more than) a few, and rather than ask you to believe me, here’s a couple of shots to prove the point:
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Since we started the gym back in 2010, we certainly have MORE gear.  But it is still the SAME gear.  The coaching is a LOT better (offering 10+ sessions every day tends to help coaches get the reps they need to improve!)…and that ultimately is what it is all about!

Let me know if any of this sounds good (or not) with an email to

See you in the gym,