Come to the gym and TRAIN! April 22nd, 2018

Hi and welcome to another week,

Thanks so much to everyone who came along and trained with us last week.   As the days get darker and the mornings get colder, that alarm clock gets harder and harder to answer.  But the early morning crew make it so easy to jump out of bed!  As the nights get darker and colder, it gets harder and harder to stay motivated…but the crew at 7pm and 8pm always make our jobs fun and interesting by ‘coming out swinging’ each time the bell goes.  You guys are AMAZING – in your efforts and consistency in getting to the gym.

I know that attendance numbers don’t mean much to anyone except me, but when we are nearly 4-months in to a new year and January was the busiest JANUARY ever, February the busiest MONTH ever, March the busiest MARCH ever and April is on track to be the busiest APRIL ever…it kind of talks to the dedication each of you has to their training.  Really grateful for the opportunity I have to work with so many dedicated people at Round 1.

So.  I was out at junior footy a couple of times this weekend and (as always) it is a good chance to get to see ‘people’ – kids and adults – out and about and in what (should) be a positive environment.  And – without wanting to come across as ‘judgemental’ (though I am sure I am about too) – I honestly do wonder what exactly everyone is DOING with themselves.  I am pretty sure that what is vaguely referred too as the ‘modern’ diet is to blame in most cases…but I am equally sure that a general lack of physical activity is equally to blame.

So I have been thinking about all of ‘THIS’ since Friday night when there would have been a couple of hundred parents floating around Atwell Oval watching their kids (Dempsey had a kick on Friday, Marshall did the same today) and here’s what I have decided.

If you have just ONE HOUR available to you, the single best thing you can do for yourself would be to come to the gym and do a session.  Even if it is “ONLY” once each week – just one hour – then coming to the gym is going to be top of the list.  I know that is a massive call – after all, you might be a super talented environmental researcher who could dedicate that hour to solving the problem of global warming….but let’s just hang on to that thought for a second.

Even for the super talented environmental researcher who is ‘inches away’ from solving the problem of global warming, finding time to train is going to make them stronger and more resilient.  Hence they are less likely to miss work days due to illness – enabling them to continue their research.  Being FITTER, they would also have more energy each and every day – making them MORE productive in their work.  Not only that, the exercise will help them achieve BETTER SLEEP which will also aid in their productivity.

You want to know something else?  Even for our environmental researcher, I am pretty certain they are not going to find the answer in their lab at 5am on a Tuesday morning.  Or at 8pm on a Wednesday night.  Those times are real times for gym sessions and whilst you might be thinking to yourself ‘those times suck – too early/too late’…well, to that I have a couple of points to raise.

Once you have started to come to the gym at those times – after a few weeks they wont be too early or too late.  They will just be your gym times and they will be the BEST times because those are the times that you CAN attend.  What I have realised after having the gym for 8x years is that the people who do the best are those who just ‘find a way’ to make it work…working long hours – come before work so getting stuck at meetings doesn’t impact on gym time.  Young kids at home?  Come at 8pm at night after the kids are in bed.  Ideally we would all train at either 6am or 5pm I guess (or ideally, none of us were working and we would all meet in the gym around 10am after our 8-hours sleep and a leisurely breakfast!) but none of us live in an ideal world – we are all doing our best to make it work inside a busy schedule.

So whilst it is fair to say that the ‘best thing’ you can do in an hour would be in the form of a ‘service’ performed on behalf of someone else (you know, under the ‘GIVING IS BEST, everything else is just you being selfish’ rule) often the best thing you can do is something FOR YOURSELF.  After all, you can better help others if YOU are fit, healthy and good to go.  So come to the gym and train.

Come to the gym and TRAIN.  Don’t be one of the people – and based on my Friday night, there are a lot of people out there – who is keeping alive the story that all of us in Australia gain 10kgs every 10-years after we turn 40 years old.  Just don’t.  Come to the gym and train.  It is GOOD FOR YOU.  You will feel BETTER.  You will get STRONGER.  You will become FITTER.

Get your gear ready and set your alarm for tomorrow morning.  Or pack your gym bag for after work tomorrow night.  You will have a heap of chances (11 – I just checked the time-table!) to do the best thing possible for yourself TOMORROW.  And again the day after that.

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

See you in the gym,




A training ‘DAY’ is what it takes! April 15th, 2018

Hi and welcome to another week,

Thanks to everyone for having a go at the ‘SWITCH’ warmup song.  I KNOW it isn’t as easy to hear/interpret/do as ‘SALLY’.  I know.  BUT.  If all we ever do for an occasional, fun little warm-up song is ‘SALLY’ then life will be a little bit dreary…so….’SWITCH’.  We will continue to do ‘SALLY’ every now and again.  And we will occasionally do ‘SWITCH’ as well.  And hopefully one day someone gets a bit of inspiration and we will have a few more fun things to add to the mix…

Before I go any further this week, a big happy congratulations goes out to Alex and Cortney who tied the knot at St Joseph’s in Subiaco yesterday.  The ceremony was beautiful, the reception was a lot of fun and if someone wants to bribe me then a video of Elie performing the dance to ‘Nut Bush City’ is available…I feel it needs to be made available ‘SOMEWHERE’ on the internet!

This week’s blog is a bit of a mind-dump that followed on from a Facebook messenger conversation I had with someone earlier this week.  As I replied to their messages, I noticed that the conversation history with this person went back nearly 6-months.  A bit more digging showed that they had ‘applied’ for a 7-day free trial on FIVE (5) separate occasions – and booked in to attend each time – but have never quite made it through the doors at the gym.

So this isn’t a replay of my response to them.  This is a bit of a summary of all the ‘stuff’ I was thinking about as the conversation (and how long and frustrating are Facebook direct message conversations???) went along.  As usual, it is a bit stream of consciousness so apologies if it doesn’t make as much sense as it should…one day I will get around to editing these posts (but I doubt it will be after a very late night attending an awesome wedding that was followed by a 5:30am alarm telling me to drive to Mandurah to coach a game of football…and of course we won!)

Right – back to the subject at hand.

Now that you’ve decided to make a bit of a change – and you have decided that you think that maybe we can help – you actually just have to come in and train.  Just show up and give it a crack.  I know from your questions that you have been watching every class video we put up – and there is pretty much one posted every single day – so you KNOW what you are in for.  Just come to the gym and have a go.

Now I also know you are nervous because some of those videos and photos would have shown people doing all sorts of stuff that you either “can’t do” (YET!!!!) or aren’t exactly sure how to do.  I promise that we will figure it out.  And if you are worried about other people watching you mess something up and being embarrassed…well, I have two things to say.  First off, most likely no one will notice.  They will all be trying to figure it out for themselves/be in their own personal pit of doom. Second, if they do notice they aren’t going to laugh.  They are going to help.  Because they have all been EXACTLY where you are right now.

Forget about the ‘tricky moves’.  You might be worried about not being ‘fit enough’ to go to the gym…you might be thinking you need to do a ‘pre-gym’ fitness program so that in a few months you might be able to ‘get through’ a class.  Well.  The thing you need to understand is that you are never, ever, ever going to be ‘FIT ENOUGH’ to do much more than ‘get through it’.  Because as your fitness improves you will hit the bags harder, lift heavier weights, graduate from the ‘Fitness’ stream to the ‘Performance’ stream.  As you improve, the sessions will become more challenging…you are forever going to feel that the sessions are ‘pushing your limit’.  Hell, I think the hardest class I have ever done was only a couple of weeks back – and I have been doing them since we opened 8-years ago.  Again, everyone in the class is in their own little individual pit of hell…it is going to be HARD but it is only going to be hard for 45-minutes!  And further to that, if you need to stop for a break and a drink – well, guess what?  Stop for a break and a drink…it will be OK and you aren’t going to get ‘in trouble’ (as if we care if you stop for a drink!).

There is something else.  All of the time you have spend watching videos and reading articles (maybe even ones like this?) and *thinking* about doing something?  None of that has put you on a path to looking and feeling better.  Just like me looking at pictures of guitars and reading guitar magazines, the only thing that helps me actually play the thing any better is to regularly pick it up and PLAY it.  The same is true for everything – you have to DO in order to improve.  Want to get better in the gym, fitter, stronger, healthier?  Don’t read about food preparation and search the interwebs for the ‘perfect’ containers for food storage and transportation…just DO your food prep – if you have to transport it around in a plastic bowl with glad wrap, well, that will work just fine!  Don’t READ about the benefits of recovery…go for a walk or get on a foam roller.  Don’t READ about amazing gym workouts…get to the gym, listen to the trainer and just work out.  Nothing works like compliance!!!

What else?  Whilst we all feel after a tough session that a sideways glance in the mirror will reveal a new leaner, more muscular version of the person who walked in…but it doesn’t work that way.  It actually doesn’t work that way at all.  It *SHOULD* because we all need positive reinforcement that the effort we are putting in is worthwhile but it DOESN’T.  What we have noticed since I have been doing some anecdotal tracking over the past few months in preparation for out ‘PRESCRIPTIVE MODEL’ program (the pilot is running now) is that about a “DAY” of sessions is a good line in the sand as to when you should start noticing some kind of positive change.  That is a ‘days worth’ of training – not a single training day.  It means that when you have gotten through about 20 classes or so – usually, that takes around about 2-months – that you and your immediate family should be able to notice ‘something’ different.  Certainly by that time you should be feeling BETTER and be more confident each session…hopefully you will also be genuinely ‘looking forward’ to the challenge of each session rather than dreading how hard it is going to be.  Just as an aside, the ‘DAY of Training’ rule also works as a good guide when you are returning from an extended injury or holiday break as to when you will be ‘back in the swing of it…again though, how long it takes that ‘training day’ to pass is down to how often you show up in the gym! J

If only I could promise you that the ‘day’ of training would be enough to last you a lifetime.  It wont.  But I sort of hope by the time you have gotten that far you will have a nice little rhythm going and will be well on your way…at least until you hit the next bump in the road where the whole cycle (for most of us!) will start again!

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

See you in the gym,


Heart – Mind Connection April 8th, 2018

Hi and welcome to another week,

It’s been a tough week of classes with the session on Wednesday (all the long duration cardio) really standing out to me as a tough challenge.  I have to admit to finding it quite noticeable when we ‘flip-flop’ from the shorter, power based cardio efforts (such as 15 cals each minute or even the 35/cals in 2-minutes) type efforts to the longer efforts that are greater than 4-minutes in duration.  No matter what way we ‘flip-flop’, the changeover always reveals an area of weakness in my training that leaves me sucking for air and really wishing I was ‘anywhere’ else…but then soon enough the session is over and I am pleased to have overcome the challenge.  It is funny how this works – in the moment it is the worst thing imaginable, at the end getting to the end is something to be proud of!

Getting to the end of these cardio efforts in the gym might be helping with something else as well.  There has been a heap of stuff on Neurology.Org over the past couple of years about the connection between ‘heart and brain’ connection – specifically whether or not being “FIT” (or otherwise) is a contributing factor to avoiding neurological issues later in life.  Now obviously everyone has an ‘opinion’ here but whatever those might be more and more studies seem to be coming out supporting the healthy body = healthy mind corollary.

According to a study posted a few weeks ago on the same site (Neurology.Org -the abstract is here if you want to read it: getting your cardio fitness ‘UP’ might just be the difference between living a long, HAPPY life and just living a long life.  I will try to summarise it as simply as I can:

Way, way back in 1968, Swedish researchers evaluated the cardiovascular fitness of 191 women aged between 38 and 60.  They assessed their fitness level in a pretty simple way (please, no debate as to whether boxers are fitter than triathletes who are fitter than weightlifters who are fitter than ping pong players…none of that was considered relevant with regards the study and I doubt it is!) – they threw them on a bike erg (which I guess would be a 1968 version of a spin bike because I couldn’t find any photos) and ‘tested’ them!

As well as it being a ‘simple’ test – peak workload on a bike erg is pretty simple – they were also pretty simple with the ‘classification’ of fitness – ‘Low’, ‘Medium’ and ‘High’.  All of the subsequent results were based on the initial fitness assessment ‘groups’ each of the participants was assigned.

Each of the people in the study were examined ‘periodically’ (another 6x times at intervals ranging from 4-years to 12-years…I am unsure why there was a variance in assessment periods) and over time forty-four (44) of the participants in the study developed a neurological condition (dementia).

Now this is where it gets interesting and the time you are spending on the assault bike (or rower, or ski-erg) might become a little more meaningful to you.  The incidence of dementia in the ‘LOW’ fitness group was 32%, it was 25% in the ‘MEDIUM’ group and just 5% amongst the group who had been placed in the ‘HIGH’ fitness group.

Further.  The incidence of dementia was ELEVEN (11) years LATER for people in the ‘HIGH’ fitness category than people in the ‘MEDIUM’ fitness category.

So not only are you way less likely to get dementia if you are at a ‘HIGH’ level of cardio-vascular fitness than a ‘MEDIUM’ level, in the event you DO get it the onset will be a LOT, LOT later.  And that is comparing ‘HIGH’ to ‘MEDIUM’…interestingly enough the difference between ‘MEDIUM’ and ‘LOW’ really doesn’t seem to be as significant.  The question is I guess is what exactly is a ‘HIGH’ level of cardio fitness?  Maybe that’s a question for another week!

Not sure what you guys think but all of this sounds like important information to me.  The study quotes that being at a ‘HIGH’ level of fitness decreases the risk of dementia by 88% when compared to ‘MEDIUM’ fitness…now I can’t quite figure out how they plucked that number but I am going with it…it seems quite amazing and has given me a lot of reasons to jump on the assault bike.

I guess all of these details tie in to all of the ‘STUFF’ I regularly talk about on here about the ‘important’ things we all need to do in terms of living a healthy life – getting to the gym a few times each week and eating like an adult – and how they really are super SIMPLE.  Not that they are EASY (after all, who wouldn’t like to get a little bit more Netflix and chill with icecream time and a little less assault bike and broccoli time) but they are SIMPLE…and we all know the basics…the part where we each get off our collective butts and do it, well, that is inside our own control!  (BTW – if you don’t think you know the basics, that’s why we are here…just reach out and ask for some assistance).

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

See you in the gym,