Body Work sessions, All-Class Challenge, ANZAC Day Hours April 23rd, 2017

Hi and welcome to another week,

Many thanks to everyone who took time out of their day to come and train with us last week.  We had some great sessions – all driven by the energy created by our members.  Have to admit I am really loving being in the gym over the past couple of months – everyone just seems to be super motivated and enthusiastic.  Why?  Well – that part I cant really say.  I would like to say it is the amazingly awesome workouts we have all been programming (and I do hope that is part of it) but for all I know it could be the weather!

As I (no doubt) keep mentioning, I am super struggling with a dodgey right shoulder lately and have been really struggling to complete any of the punching stations in our Boxing classes.  This has meant a couple of things:

Replacing the punching efforts with alternate cardio stations when I do choose to do Boxing.  This usually looks like a mix of skipping and assault bike efforts integrating the ‘principles’ of each station as I go.  For example, if the station involved burpees, hard straights and a punching combination, I would do multi-jumps, double skips (for the hard straights) and ‘steady’ skipping for the combo.

The other thing I have been doing is a few more Body Work and No Rules classes than usual.  And if you aren’t doing Body Work, I have to say you are 100% missing out.

The Body Work programming (with the exception of the Wild Card class) has really evolved over time to the point that it has just become an awesome manifestation of everything a strength and conditioning session should be.  Are there some elements of it that can be intimidating – like setting up a rack, finding weights and putting them on a bar, terminology used (reps and sets anyone) etc?  Well, sure.  But when you first come to a Boxing session you could say the same thing about putting on a set of hand-wraps and understanding combos.  If you come along with a good attitude and are happy not to be an expert on your first day, it is all going to be OK in the end.

The sessions sort of go along like this:

Warm-up.  Obviously I guess.  But rather than the generic warm-up of the day, as there is ONE primary movement for each of the Body Work sessions, the warm-up is able to be designed to specifically target the part(s) of the body that you will be using for your primary lift later in the session – it is also supposed to be a CNS (central nervous system) ‘primer’ to get you in the groove of ‘moving’ for the session ahead.

From there, we go into our first phase Strength and Conditioning workout.  Here we do things similar to exercises commonly done in boxing – Ball slams, Burpees, Fence Pulls, kettlebell work, bike sprints, etc etc – usually on a time-cap of between 5 and 10 minutes.  This is all about going ‘flat out’, challenging yourself to really push through and get through as much work as possible in a relatively compressed time-frame.  Funnily enough though, this is actually a great opportunity for Beginners and people new to the gym to work at their own pace – rather than tracking to the sound of a bell, it really IS about continuously moving through at your own pace.  We had a couple of new people doing ‘No Rules’ last Thursday lunchtime (which kind of inspired this article) and I couldn’t help but notice that the ‘work through the exercises at your own pace’ structure of the class actually made the session MORE achievable for a newcomer than the boxing class that was running on the same day (which was that 6-minute monster with all the cardio efforts!).

With the first S&C effort done, we then move into the portion of the class that freaks people out – Strength.  This means racking up a bar, lifting weights that are uncomfortably heavy and really pushing hard.  And starting to get the understanding that when it says ‘5’-reps, that means ‘5’ at a weight you could probably only do 4-times just one short week ago.  But it is important to remember something else.  If you started TODAY and did 5 sets of 5 back squats at 20kilos, and then did that twice each week going up by just 2.5kgs each time (adding one extra of the little 1.25kg plates to each side of the bar each time you come to the gym) by this time next year you would be back-squatting 254kgs.  That is NOT a misprint.  If you go up by 2.5kgs every session and do 2x sessions every week, in 12-months you would go from 20kgs to 254kgs.  So – there is no point in getting worried about starting ‘light’ – the thing to be committed to is getting to the gym often enough so that you can start on a path of progression.

As a side note, I don’t think anyone in the gym today is squatting 250kgs and there is a little bit more to getting your lifting numbers ‘up’ than following a simple linear progression…BUT a simple linear progression will be more than enough ‘complexity’ in programming for 95% of people for at least 3-months (and probably for at least 6-months).

So – what was my point there because I am sure that turned into a bit of a ramble (I keep saying I am going to edit these posts but honestly, that seems like a lot of work!).  It was supposed to say when it comes to completing the strength component in our Body Work sessions, it is all about starting at a ‘relatively’ comfortable weight BUT being consistent in your efforts in completing the sessions AND consistent in your willingness to keep adding small increments of weight to the bar every time you come to the gym.  Don’t be stressed if the person next to you has a LOT more weight on the bar than you do – that’s OK.  Once upon a time, the bar that they were using was the same as the one you have today!

After we finish the strength component we go into ANOTHER strength and conditioning workout – and this one is usually a bit of a ‘spin-off’ from the strength component you just completed – but using less weight (and probably a few more reps).  Again, it will be a ‘work at your own pace’ type workout with bike calories, rowing, kettlebell work – all the things you are used to doing in Boxing.  Hard?  Sure – but again, you will work through this at your own pace and there wont be a bell ringing to ‘hurry you along’…

We always end each Body Work class with a bit of a ‘beach muscle’ workout – we do some abs, some arms, some chest work – just try to spend 5-minutes chasing hypertrophy and a little bit of muscle building.

The Body Work sessions work on a rotating 6-week cycle where there are 5x primary classes (A-E) and one ‘wild card’ class.  The classes A-E follow the format detailed here whilst the wild-card class is a bit different again – there is no the same emphasis on strength efforts and it would be better to think of the ‘Wild Card’ as a 45-minute version of the 5-10 minute strength and conditioning ‘components’ that are part of the ‘primary’ body work classes already detailed above.  During each 6-week cycle, the workouts ‘roll’ between the days of the week throughout the cycle – for example, in week 1, Class ‘E’ is on Friday.  In week 2, we do that same ‘Class E’ workout on Thursday, then in Week 3 we would do it on Wednesday (etc etc).  Each workout includes one primary strength component which means that if you did Body Work at the same time every week (for example, 7pm Wednesday), one week you would be doing Bench Press, the next week Deadlifts, the week after that would be Power Cleans…and so it goes on!

And that is kind of how a Body Work class works.  As you might find if you give it a go, in many ways these workouts are more suitable for people starting out than some of the boxing sessions can be (unless you lob at the gym for the Body Work wild-card when all bets are off!).

Anyway – hopefully this answers a few of the ‘what happens in Body Work’ sessions questions I get and helps people approach/think about the sessions with a bit more of a positive outlook!

See you all in the gym!

Michael.

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

One week to go…and somehow I still have 8x classes still to do.  And since I am running all of the classes on Tuesday (ANZAC Day), that means I need to complete doubles sessions on at least two days…so one class Monday, none Tuesday, one Wednesday, double Thursday and Friday makes 6.  Then one Saturday and one Sunday makes 8.  That is pretty daunting I have to say – particularly trying to fit in around running classes, footy training, kids sport and, you know – WORK!  Oh well – I paid my $10 so I best figure it out!

I know there are quite a number of people who have already completed all of the requirements of the challenge – all I can say (again) is how impressed I am.  I am generally impressed by the efforts people make to get in and train (there are so many easier things you can choose to do!) but have to say that the guys/girls finishing 25 sessions in less than 20 days (and I think the count is up to 7 people have certainly taken things to another level.

Awesome work if you are done…good luck if you are still (like me) grinding away!

Gym Update #2 – ANZAC Day Hours

Looking forward to the service on Tuesday morning (and of course the game on Tuesday afternoon!).  If you are keen to attend the Dawn Service, I will be on the southern side of the Fremantle Monument at 5:45am.  Would be great to see a few others there…

With the classes that morning, we will be running them as follows:

7:15am:  Boxing

8:15am:  Boxing

9:15am:  Body Work

Please note that Body Work will consist of a special ANZAC Day workout that has been created in honour of a couple of Australian soldiers.  For more details on the workouts, try this link:  http://blog.thewodlife.com.au/anzac-day-2016-hero-wods/ .  I have Round 1’ed the two WOD’s I have selected a little bit but have essentially stuck with the programming.

Gym Update #3 – Adventure Racing and Other Stuff.

Hopefully everyone has seen the big ‘Calendar of Events’ on the wall as you walk inside the main gym area?  Well, if not, I promise it is there and it includes the dates and details of things like the HBF Run for a Reason, City to Surf, and now both the True Grit event AND the Southwest Mud Fest.

Now, our plan is to run a once per week running squad for the ‘City to Surf’ event – but that isn’t what this is about.  We have put up some ‘registration’ forms in the reception area for the Mud Fest and for True Grit.  Last year we had a heap of members compete in both, but most people didn’t know who else was doing it…the idea here is that you register, record your name and can see who else is involved – that way, if you are looking for people to share rides (and accommodation) and to be a race-day buddy you can quickly find out who else is ‘IN’.  If you don’t know the other names on the list, have a chat to the trainers and we will help connect you with the other participants.

Gym Update #4 – Phase 2 1%’er

We are up to our last week of our conditioning progression.  As with last week, there are two options – Rowers or Assault Bikes.  Next week we will swing over to a strength based formula which I will split into two parts: Squats and Bench Press.  Again, I know this is simplistic but keep in mind I am trying to keep each of these ‘extra’ sessions to < 15 minutes of effort.  If you need MORE, well, come and see me (or even better, follow the FREE programming that we provide you on the white boards around the gym!).

Rowing people:

Session 1:  1km row, rest 30 secs, 500m row, rest 30 seconds, 1km row.

Session 2:  2x 1500m rows with one minute rest in between.

Session 3:  This is IT!  2km row as fast as possible.

Bike people:

Session 1:  10 minute ride.  Speeds alternate between 60-70-65-70-60 each minute for boys and 50-60-55-60-50 for girls.  You will complete 2x ‘circuits’ of the pyramid.

Session 2:  2x 2mile bike effort with 2-mins rest between efforts.

Session 3:  This is IT.  3-mile ride, as fast as possible.

As noted last week, if your goal is strength rather than conditioning, that will be the focus of this new program in MAY!

Gym Update – Footy Tipping and Fantasy

There’s still a couple of games to go guys – not much point in worrying about tips or fantasy scores at this point.  Good luck for the rest of the round!

Link of the Week

Love this – boys want one thing, girls want 1-million things…simplify!

http://tonygentilcore.com/2017/04/wish-female-fitness-less-talk-less/

The No-Blog, Blog. April 18th, 2017

Hi Everyone.

I had decided ‘no blog’ this week (due to the Easter holidays, School holidays and all of that) but somehow it has gotten to Tuesday and I have realised that there is a bit of stuff I need to get out there.  Before I get into it, I would like to thank everyone who made their way into the gym over the long-weekend…as always, our sessions were really well supported which does make me feel that dragging my sorry butt out of bed and heading in to run some classes is a worthwhile plan.

As for the rest of it, well I will keep it all super quick so here goes:

1.  Quick Challenge Update

The first point of business is to say a massive ‘Well Done’ to Lisa and Claire who finished the April ‘All Class’ challenge in 12-days and 13-days respectively.  You don’t have to be a mathematical genius to realise that means that both of these ladies had to finish 2x sessions every day (more than that on a few occasions as the challenge didn’t commence until the 3rd!) and that is on top of work AND family life.

The simple thing to say is that the girls are both ‘CRAZY’ but I suppose it depends on your definition.  I am going with ‘DRIVEN’ and ‘DETERMINED’ as my words…Lisa was ‘DETERMINED’ to finish the challenge no matter what – and was not going to let her planned holiday to Bali stand between her and finishing.  So she planned out her sessions and just got them done.  Claire was ‘DRIVEN’.  She looked at the challenge and said to herself, ‘You do 25 classes every month already – where is the challenge’…and challenged herself to finish 2x sessions every day until it was done.

Outcomes?  Well, I have seen Lisa’s scan and she lost one kilo of FAT (not weight, FAT) and gained one kilo of muscle in 13-days.  Which is amazing verging on incredible and to be truthful I was a bit stunned by that level of muscle gain achieved whilst completing cardio focussed sessions.  I admit whilst writing this I don’t have any numbers based outcomes for Claire but I can say she – as always – looks amazing!  Hard to put into words just how impressed I am by the efforts of both Claire and Lisa – I do hope they are super proud of themselves and what they have achieved.

What about the rest of us?  Well, we are all running our own races and facing our own challenges!  For example, I still have 12x sessions to do in order to complete the challenge (and I have signed off a few people who might even need a couple more than that).  I am a bit behind where I would like to be but am pretty happy that I can look myself in the mirror and know I have been giving it a pretty good crack – all there is to do now is just see it through!  I know that trying to get to 25 is going to be tough for me, but if I can channel the attitude shown by either of the two girls profiled here then I think I will get there ‘EASY’!

2.  Phase 2 1%’er

For anyone doing the phase 2 1%’er program, this weeks efforts are:

Rower Session 1:  1km Row, 30 seconds rest, 750m row, 30 seconds rest, 500m row, 30 seconds rest, 1km row (NOT A TYPO!!!).

Rower Session 2:  3km row.

Rower Session 3:  8x 500m rows with 1 minute break between each.  MAX EFFORT.

Bike Session 1:  12 Minute Ride.  M1-2: 60, M3: 65.  M4-5: 60, M6: 70.  M7-8: 60, M9:75.  M10-11:60, M12: 80.  As always, girls -5RPM.

Bike Session 2:  3x 1 mile bike efforts on 1 minute rest.

Bike Session 3:  8x .5mile bike efforts on 30 seconds rest.

3.  ANZAC Day

ANZAC Day is NEXT Tuesday.  As usual, our plan will be to meet on the SOUTHERN SIDE of the Fremantle War Memorial at 5:45am if there is anyone out there interested in attending the Dawn Service.  Certainly we will be lucky if the address we receive this year is as interesting and inspiring as the one last year.  From there, we will be running the following sessions in the gym:

7:15am:  Boxing

8:15am:  Boxing

9:15am:  Body Work

10:30am:  Close

Food – How much and when and tracking it (and stuff). April 9th, 2017

Hi and welcome to another week,

Amazing numbers in the gym last week.  It is incredible really – it seems that whenever a challenge kicks off the gym is packed to the rafters…makes our jobs a lot of fun I have to say and brings so much energy to the place.  What I need to discover is how to create the ‘psychology’ of a challenge 12-months of the year rather than running actual challenges every second month.  Firstly, it would save me a lot of work putting challenges together!  Secondly, we would get those ‘challenge week#1’ enthusiasm levels 52-weeks of the year when (and there is no doubting this) the energy/attitude in the gym is at its absolute highest.  I guess what I should be saying is ‘awesome work everyone, keep it going’ rather than trying to look for reasons why but, well, you have to admit it makes you think.

So I have been doing some ‘Food Matters’ work and general diet ‘stuff’ with more than a few people lately and I wanted to share a few of the things that I am learning about the ins and outs of what is working (and not working) for people.

The first one is around ‘frequency’ of meals – or more  simply, how many meals each day you eat.  Now, when you read diet plans and things online (as many people seem determined to do) many of them talk about having 4-meals per day, 5-meals per day, 6-meals per day, 3-meals per day…my advise to everyone is to not get caught up in this!  I continue to be convinced that what you are eating (and how much!) is more important than how often – and you need to have the flexibility in your day to eat according to the demands of your life.  If eating 3x per day works best for you, well, eat 3x per day.  If you want to eat 6x per day because that works for you, well, eat 6x per day.  The overall calories + macro breakdown of your day (fats/protein/carbs) is going to be the same however many meals you eat.  Don’t STRESS about it.  Just roll with the punches and be flexible.

The second one is all about snacks, shakes and relying on them to keep up your energy levels during the day.  Now, I know a lot of people want to have a post-workout shake after their session – and this is a great way to replace depleted glycogen levels and get a head start on your recovery – but like everything there is no doubt it works more effectively for some people than others.  If you love your post workout shake – have it.  If you don’t love it, well, don’t have it.  You aren’t going to shrivel up and see all your hard gained muscle ‘waste away’ because you didn’t have a shake.  Snacks are another thing entirely and we need to talk about them as such.  Planned snacks aren’t snacks – they are MEALS.  And those ‘meals’ really do need to fit in with your overall nutrition for the day – they cannot consist solely of fats or solely of carbs or solely of protein – they SHOULD be a balance (as much as possible) and they shouldn’t be used to ‘cover up’ short-comings in your overall nutrition plan.  For example, eating a snack at 3pm in the afternoon because you are tired on that day, well, that’s smart.  Eating a snack at 3pm EVERY day because you are ALWAYS tired at that time?  Well, that points to a deficiency in your nutrition earlier in the day that you probably need to address – and for the long term, addressing the planned meals is a MUCH better plan than depending on the snacks to fulfil your nutritional requirements.

The third one is a really simple one.  When it comes to protein, not all ‘meat’ is the same.  I am not going to talk here about red meat versus chicken because that doesn’t really phase me – you should eat what you like to eat.  But I am going to talk about red meat and chicken versus FISH.  Now – fish is amazing, it surely is.  BUT, 100g of red meat/chicken has approx. 20% more protein than 100g of fish.  So if you are depending on tinned tuna as your protein source at lunch time, well, make sure you are getting enough to hit your protein target for the day.

Now those three little tips are probably a bit rudimentary and I can see everyone scratching their heads and thinking to themselves, ‘Well, that’s great but what about if I am still struggling with what to eat and how much to eat…how does any of that help?’  I am going to set the ‘what’ aside for this article – we have been over and over the whole ‘fresh meat, fresh fish, fresh veggies + stay away from pretty much anything pre-packaged’ stuff 1000001 times already, but I will do a paragraph (or two) on the how much part.

So – how much of everything should you be eating?  Well, that is definitely where the rubber meets the road when it comes to food and lifestyle plays a big part – but a great place to start is using the calculators at the ‘Eat for Health’ site.  If you go through the calorie calculator AND the nutrition calculator, the things you need to record are your PROTEIN number (from the nutrition calculator) and your total kilojoules from the ENERGY calculator.  THEN, if you want to start getting on top of your food and diet, create yourself an account at ‘My Fitness Pal’ and start logging what you are eating – including how much – and seeing how you go versus the recommendations on ‘Eat for Health’.  Are you over?  Are you under?  How do you feel – tired?  How do you feel – energised?  Start tracking this stuff.  I can hear the groans from everyone – it is a pain in the bum, it is too hard, I don’t have the time (and on it goes) but truthfully if what you REALLY want to do is drop a couple of kilos and you aren’t tracking your food then you aren’t giving yourself the best chance of success.

When you are tracking your food, this is what you can do really easily.  If you are tracking your food and gaining weight – you know EXACTLY what you have been eating so can make changes to WHAT and HOW MUCH with a fair bit of certainty.  You can measure, change, re-measure, change, rinse and repeat over and over.  The same thing happens if you are always feeling tired or losing muscle (obviously body scan required to measure)…some of the adjustments might just be around food types, others will be about food quantities, others will be about timing – but ALL of the changes you make will be because you took the time to record the data in the first place.  And to be honest, the establishment and continuous review of a food log is the basis of the Food Matters program…

That’s kind of it.

See you all in the gym!

Michael.

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

One week down and all is….well????

I know for me I have managed to get 6x classes in since Monday – which is not a bad effort as I was involved in running every class except the 1pm’er last Wednesday and between TANKS and football am pretty much never able to complete a session on Saturday.  It did mean doing back-to-back Boxing/No-Rules classes Thursday lunch time (FAR from ideal) but I made it through and no have to figure out how to do it all again next week…whilst also dealing with the Easter Holiday hours and the fact that wipes me out from doing classes on Friday, Sunday and Monday.  Hmmmmmmm.

Anyway, I hope all of you guys are pushing through/pushing ahead and getting it done.  It certainly is going to be an awesome achievement to get to the end of this one.

Gym Update #2 – Easter Opening Hours

It is hard to believe but Easter 2017 is already upon us.  And this is when we will be open:

Good Friday:  Boxing at 7:15am, Boxing at 8:15am, Body Work at 9:15am, close at 10:30am.

Saturday:  NORMAL HOURS.  Boxing at 7:15, Boxing at 8:15, Boxing at 9:15, Body Work at 10:15, Beginners at 11:15am.

Sunday:  Boxing at 7:15am, Boxing at 8:15am, No Rules at 9:15am, close at 10:30am.

Monday:  Boxing at 7:15am, Boxing at 8:15am, Body Work at 9:15am, close at 10:30am.

I hope all of that makes sense.  There are signs up all over the gym detailing these hours (so take a picture of one of the signs with your phone!!!).

Gym Update #3 – Adventure Racing and Other Stuff.

Hopefully everyone has seen the big ‘Calendar of Events’ on the wall as you walk inside the main gym area?  Well, if not, I promise it is there and it includes the dates and details of things like the HBF Run for a Reason, City to Surf, and now both the True Grit event AND the Southwest Mud Fest.

Now, our plan is to run a once per week running squad for the ‘City to Surf’ event – but that isn’t what this is about.  We have put up some ‘registration’ forms in the reception area for the Mud Fest and for True Grit.  Last year we had a heap of members compete in both, but most people didn’t know who else was doing it…the idea here is that you register, record your name and can see who else is involved – that way, if you are looking for people to share rides (and accommodation) and to be a race-day buddy you can quickly find out who else is ‘IN’.  If you don’t know the other names on the list, have a chat to the trainers and we will help connect you with the other participants.

Gym Update #4 – Phase 2 1%’er

We started this last week – a specific ‘cardio’ effort to be completed either before or after class for anyone wanting to improve their overall endurance/conditioning.  As with last week, there are two options – Rowers or Assault Bikes:

Rowing people:

Session 1:  750m row, rest 30 secs, 500m row, rest 30 seconds, 250m row.

Session 2:  2x 1km row with one minute rest in between.

Session 3:  500m warm-up effort followed by 1x 2000m row.  Be sure to record your time for the 2km.

Bike people:

Session 1:  10 minute ride.  Speeds alternate between 60-65-70-65-60 each minute for boys and 50-55-60-55-50 for girls.  You will complete 2x ‘circuits’ of the pyramid.

Session 2:  1x 2mile bike effort.

Session 3:  Complete the 20:10 tabata program at around 50-60% of maximum effort.  THEN complete a 3mile ride and be sure to record your time.

As noted last week, if your goal is strength rather than conditioning, that will be the focus of this new program in MAY!

Gym Update – Footy Tipping and Fantasy

Well, the less said about the results this week the better, right?  Well done to all the Dockers supporters out there – I am sort of happy you guys got a win but did it have to be about my boys???  Between that game and the upset wins by Gold Coast and Carlton, everyone’s tips turned a bit ugly since Saturday night.

On a positive note, someone did manage to be the sole winner of our tipping comp this week – ME.  So that’s good right?  Peter Brear has also skipped a point clear in the overall contest by one point from Chantelle and someone else calling themselves ‘Kentucky’!!!

Dream Team was another round of massive scores with more than a couple of teams topping the 2200 points mark.  Brian Smith (welcome back to the gym!) won the week with 2243 whilst Ash Bachman showed he will be up the top of the ladder (at least until the finals) with 2237!

Link of the Week

Yo Elliot – Why am I tired all the time:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mH7iCGDKdq0

I haven’t linked to Strength Camp for a while but the content is always interesting!