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!
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:
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!).
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.
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!