Habits can be good (and bad), Easter hours, Lots of new stuff April 15th, 2014

Hi and welcome to another week,

Great sessions last week.  The ‘ZUU’ inspired stuff (Coils, Hindus, Kick-throughs) are always a challenge and it was great to see so many people really pushing through to the end.  This week is a new challenge again – that great conditioning tool (the sled) is back in force and there is a little bit of a ‘back’ focus throughout the week – meaning some rows, split rows, fence pulls, reverse grip pull-ups etc etc.  This week is also sees three (3) public holidays in the course of one week (Good Friday, Easter Monday and ANZAC Day) – so be sure to check out the ‘Easter Opening Hours’ section of the blog (below) for info on exactly when we will be open.

Last week I wrote a pretty long post about food, diet and generally the easiest way to stick to a plan.  Now – without wanting to seem completely selfish these blog entries generally take me the best part of four (4) hours to write and last week there was a total of one comment on Facebook and zero via email.  What am I expecting?  Well, I am not sure but I do want to feel that there are more than one (1) or two (2) people who are interested before committing such a big chunk of time every Sunday to writing it. So – can I ask a favour this week – if you read the blog and find it useful, please either click the ‘Like’ button on the associated Facebook post, make a Facebook comment or send me back an email to mpratt@round1fitness.com.au.  I actually find writing it a little cathartic and will probably keep doing it regardless…but if people aren’t really interested in it or feel it is a ‘waste of time’ I will drop back to fortnightly or monthly or whatever.  I guess what I am looking to understand is ‘Do you read it and do you find it helpful’.

This past week was a particularly difficult one for me with regards my own training and diet – Lils headed off to Phuket joining Sean on leave – which meant that in addition to working each morning and Monday/Wednesday night, together with footy on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday night – I was in the gym all day on Monday, Thursday and Friday.  Once upon a time I was pretty organised with this – but I found that I really am in the groove of grabbing a snack at 4am before heading to the gym, cooking myself some brekky at 9am or so, training at lunch-time and then having ‘lunch’ around 3pm when I pick up Dempsey from school.  So much for that plan!

So, on both Thursday and Friday I found myself at work around 4:45am with no food for the day…and six classes to run.  With work/footy at night as well, I was quite literally left with no plan to train…and doing a class starting at 9:30pm is clearly not an option because there is no-one around to run it!  So…what to do?  And how will I get my act together next week?

Habits are amazing things.  They are both good and bad!  And sometimes even the good ones – or what you think are good ones, can contribute to your downfall if the circumstances around them change.  For me, this meant two days where I was up and working by 5am with no way of eating any food until after 3pm in the afternoon.  Clearly not great.  Not even close to great.  You would think that after it happened on Thursday I would have gotten my act together for Friday – but of course I didn’t get home until after 9pm on Thursday night and was tired and ‘decided’ I would get my breakfast/lunch organised when I got up the next day…this was NOT a good plan.  Each of you would understand that when you need to leave home by 4:30am in order to get to work on time, adding meal preparation into the pre- 4:30am window is a really bad idea.  It turned out to be a really bad idea.  I was tired the next morning, struggled to get out the door to get to the gym for the 5am class and just took the “I’ll be right” approach…by 9am I knew I wasn’t going to be right and knew I should have sorted it out the night before – of course, by then, it was way too late and a day fuelled by water and black coffee was the result.

Habits.  It all comes down to the habits you have formed and making sure you create ones that support your lifestyle – and more than that, being able to acknowledge those habits that you HAVE formed so that when you need to make a change you can do so relatively seamlessly.   Find yourself working late more often?  Time to start coming to sessions in the morning.  Boss away so you need to start earlier?  Change your schedule so that you can find a way to come in the evening.  Partner getting stressed out because you are at the gym during that ‘time’ when the kids are getting fed and ready for bed (between 6pm and 7:30pm in most houses)?  Change things up and come at 8pm.  Having a cappuccino at 10:30am every morning in the office?  Swap it for a long black or a green tea or even a bottle of water – remain part of the ‘coffee’ group but change your drink.  It all comes down to the habits you have formed, your ability to recognise them and ‘work through’ those changes you need to make in order to stay on track.

Me?  Well, this week I am in the gym running classes from 5am until 2:30pm each and every day.  Let’s see if I can do a better job than last week of modifying my behaviour, getting my diet sorted out and still find a way to get my training done.  Wish me luck!

See you at Round 1,

Michael.

Gym Update #1 – Easter Opening Hours

There are a LOT of public holidays coming up in the next couple of weeks:

Good Friday (April 18th) – Classes at 7:15am, 8:15am, 9:15am (All Boxing), 10:15am (Body Work).  No Beginners will run on this day – the gym will remain open until 12pm.

Easter Monday (April 21st) – Standard public holiday hours (refer to the website) with the addition of a 7:15am session for Round 1 Members ONLY.

ANZAC Day (April 25th) – Standard Public Holiday hours (refer to the website – first session at 08:15am).

I will put some signs up around the gym signifying the changes…as per my usual advice, if you are ever unsure just take a quick snapshot of the sign with your phone and you will always have the details ‘at the ready’.

Gym Update #2 – April (Mini) Challenge Week 3

The The April Mini-Challenge Is underway – and it is great to see so many names up on the board, so many people running, riding, lifting and swinging after each class.  But, lets face it – it wouldn’t be a challenge if there wasn’t a challenge so it is time to up the ante.  The NEW rules for the challenge are still pretty simple though:

-       Complete three (3) sessions per week.

-       At the end of each class, complete 1x Bin Run (or 1.5km bike in G16), 25x Squats (weighted – girls min 20kg, boys min 30kg), 25x Pushups and 50x KB Swings (girls min 16kg, boys min 24kg).

After all – since everyone has already been doing their squats and swings with the lighter weights everyone should be ready to progress!  Right?  Right??

Just another reminder that if you want to do your reps BEFORE a session rather than after, that is just fine with me!  Done is done for the purposes of the mini-challenge.

Gym Update #3 – 6-Month Life Plan

Month 4 is now well underway and it has been great to see so many people getting their barbell circuit completed.  As noted on Facebook during the week though guys, splitting the circuit in ‘half’ – doing one set at a time – is not acceptable.  You need to finish both efforts through the circuit to comply with the requirements of the plan.

Hang tough with your diet – it is usually around now (a week or so into the new month) – that people start to have some slip ups.  Now is not the time for this guys – if you want good results at the next weigh-in, you need to be consistent throughout the month.  I would encourage you all to think twice about the things you are eating and really have a think about whether or not eating ‘that’ is aligned with the goals you are trying to achieve.  Phrases such as ‘It was only a little bit’ really need to be wiped out for a while – if you want results you have to earn them…changes to your body composition don’t arrive in the post.

The rules for the new month are as follows:

Training Rules
3 Classes per Calendar Week (Must be signed by trainer)
TWO (2) Barbell Circuits per Week (Mark with BB on the sheet)  Details of the barbell circuits have been included on the challenge sheets.
Diet Rules:
NO PASTA permitted – AT ALL!  One serve of rice permitted each week (Mark on sheet with a ‘R’).
Breakfast cereal allowed only ONCE per week – PORRIDGE (Oats) is the only acceptable cereal.
ONE SERVE of Sweets – Lollies, chocolate, cool drink (soda), icecream or biscuits/cakes etc PER WEEK.
No product with ANY added sugar or sweetener except as part of your ‘Free Eating day’ OR your once per week serve of ‘sweets’.
No bread – At ALL!
No more than THREE (3) pieces of fruit on any given day.  No Fruit Juice AT ALL.
Five (5) alcohol free days each week – and only two (2) drinks allowed on the other days.
Two (and ONLY 2) days during the month when you can eat/drink outside of the ‘rules’.
Prehab Rules
TWO (2) x 30 minute walk/stretch sessions per week.

Good luck (and stick with it).

Gym Update #4 – New Gear is on the way

Very excited to announce that some more training equipment is on the way to the gym.  There is a whole heap of stuff that has been ordered…arrival times will vary – but here is what to look out for.

A new piece of cardio equipment – a Versa Climber – will be in the gym soon.  This is a really high-end piece of equipment that provides one of the best workouts ever.  Most of the AFL clubs I have visited have a couple of these and use them for ‘off legs’ conditioning – they work really, really well.  Have a look at one here: http://versaclimber.com.

A couple of new Concept II rowers.  I want to continue to use the rowers more in the classes (See ‘Do you even row’ for more reasons why -  http://www.t-nation.com/training/interval-training-on-the-rowing-ergometer) and another couple just makes this possible.

The new combo bags and shields we have been waiting for have finished production and should be available soon.  I know that I am particularly keen to get the new shields up on the walls.

Gym Update #5 – New Retail Solution

We have recently bought a new retail / pos system to try and make the ‘store’ run a little more efficiently.  As with all new technology, I am sure getting it in and working will not be without its share of headaches – please bare with us as we get it all working and bedded in.  With everyone still away (Sean is back next week) I probably wont get really stuck into getting it working until the Easter holiday weekend…it is something to look out for though.

Gym Update #6 – Medium Bag Mitts

As mentioned on Facebook during the week, the medium bag mitts are again in stock – along with some new colours (purple and yellow) in small and medium sizes.  Another order of gloves is already in production so hopefully we don’t suffer a similar lapse in supply in the future.

Gym Update #7 – AFL Dreamteam and Footy Tipping

Exciting week in DreamTeam.  The mighty Bourbinators – last years’champs – have been defeated by a solitary point by the Beeliar Bogans.  The result looks like it was decided on the late withdrawal by Paul Chapman from todays Essendon team.  Magpieman was the high-scorer of the week with an amazing 2212 points!

Over in the tipping competition, chaos again reigned with no-one selecting all nine winners.  The best result in our competition was SEVEN correct – six people achieved that result let by Melinda Soltoggio.

Facebook Highlights

A good week of links on FACEBOOK this week:

Great photo from Live Lighter – https://www.facebook.com/LiveLighterCampaign – which reminded me of some of the things in this book!  http://beyondtrainingbook.com

A year without sugar:  http://m.perthnow.com.au/lifestyle/health/how-the-schuab-family-went-a-year-without-sugar/story-fnhqg9db-1226879803902

The Dynamic Duo of Shoulder Impingement:  http://breakingmuscle.com/mobility-recovery/the-dynamic-duo-of-shoulder-impingement

Adventure race for teens:  http://www.realteensfoundation.org

The Humour Code:  http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/features/2014/the_humor_code/why_do_humans_laugh_the_evolutionary_biology_of_laughter.html

The Death of Steady State Cardio:  http://www.t-nation.com/training/death-of-steady-state-cardio

Grass fed vs Grain Fed:  http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-differences-between-grass-fed-beef-and-grain-fed-beef/#axzz2yj5YRnt3

Enjoy!

Link of the week

Girls link this week – a bit of training motivation.  To be fair I am sure the male members will probably enjoy the link as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhRzkGpdQdk

See you in the gym!

Michael.

Food, Glorious Food, Life Plan Update, April Mini-Challenge Update April 6th, 2014

Hi and welcome to another week,

Thanks to everyone who made last week such a successful one at the gym.  It is fantastic to see so many new faces in the gym, but more to the point so many regular faces challenging themselves by joining in with a Body Work or Tanks session for the first time, or throwing a kettlebell around after the class as part of the April Challenge.  It really is a great feeling to be part of Round 1 – I quickly put together a ‘Mini-Challenge’ for April, the whiteboard we are using to track progress is chock full of names…and more to the point, the gym is filled with people who are doing the challenge ‘together’ and really encouraging one-another to stick at it and get to the end.  It is interesting to all of us who work in the gym as trainers – we all hope to provide a level of encouragement to everyone who comes in to train, but one truism of the gym is that those people who train consistently – and have trained consistently with us for a long time – do so in the company of friends who provide them with encouragement, inspiration (and I guess, keep them honest).

Given where things are at with the Life Plan at the moment (we are in the midst of measuring people at the conclusion of month 3) – I thought it would be worth talking a little bit about food this week.  The start of this little section could be the all-time “You can’t out-train a bad diet” quote, but more relevant would be what one of our Life Plan participants said during measurements last Friday night.  “I have been training at Round 1 a few times a week for three (3) years now.  And whilst I have gotten a lot fitter, it wasn’t until I started doing this (meaning the plan) that I started to really lose any weight.  And the more I have been watching what I eat the better my results have been.”  Now whilst this seems obvious, for a lot of people, it isn’t – there is always the “I train so I can eat what I want” ideology that is held by a lot of people, and whilst that is true up to a point, you can certainly train a lot harder and a lot more effectively if your diet is ‘right’.  The question everyone has of course is “What is ‘RIGHT’?”

Where I have ended up with my food these days – which, with the exception of some Ice Cream and some alcohol is pretty much 100% Paleo – has really been the result of what is going on a four (4) year experiment with my own body and what works for me.  Does this mean it will work for you?  Well, maybe not in exactly the same way – but if you stick too it for the long-term you will feel better…and you will lose weight.  But I am sort of getting off the track of what eating this way really means / what it really ‘looks’ like.  And I am certainly getting off the track of the traps that you fall into when you ‘simplify’ your eating choices – and I haven’t even mentioned the ‘trouble’ that eating ‘this way’ can cause.  So what does my daily food look like?

Breakfast.

I find breakfast really easy.  Really, really easy.  But two (2) years ago I would have said eating what I am about to propose is just too hard.  And two years before that – when I was immersed in corporate life – I would have said it was IMPOSSIBLE.  But breakfast for me is some eggs and some veggies – and if I am lucky, it is some bacon.  Making a quick omelette with three (3) eggs, some mushrooms, some English spinach and some coconut oil is a great way to start the day.  It gives me protein, it gives me energy – and I am full until lunchtime.  I guess this is a key to my eating – I really don’t eat between meals (or it is rare that I eat between meals) and the reason for this is my meals are such that I don’t NEED to eat between meals.

Lunch.

Now – if you aren’t prepared, lunch is HARD.  This is because if you aren’t eating grains – then all kinds of rolls, sandwiches, wraps, pasta salads, sushi rolls etc are all OUT.  So you have to be organised – because every cafe or lunch bar you walk into will be full of all kinds of delicious looking bread and pastry based dishes – with maybe some spaghetti or lasagne in a bain marie.  And if you are like me, then you simply can’t, won’t and don’t eat any of those things – but you are at work all day and you need to eat…so you have simply GOT TO GET ORGANISED.  Taking to work something like a tuna and salad wrap – when the ‘wrap’ is a lettuce leaf, is perfect.  And when all else fails, another omelette is great – but that only works if you are at home or have access to some cooking facilities.  The best plan is to eat for lunch what you ate for dinner the night before – in other words, have some ‘leftovers’.  In order to make sure you have leftovers, when you serve up dinner make sure you have your lunch box (lunch boxes) on the bench ready to go and serve it at the same time as you serve the evening meal.  That way, you reduce the chance of going back for seconds (and therefore not having enough for leftovers) is reduced and you have reduced your food preparation time by making dinner and lunch at the same time.

Dinner.

Best meal of the day.  Cook some steak.  Cook a roast.  Make some pork chops.  Slow cook some lamb shanks.  Bbq some pork bellies.  Grill some fish.  Cook up some broccoli.  Roast up some parsnip, some pumpkin – and maybe even some sweet potato.  Or put together a simple salad.  Done.  Simple.  Easy.  And super healthy.  If you are keen for dessert – and who amongst us isn’t? – then some fruit and berries is best.  Sure enough, have a real ‘treat’ every week or so, but if you are really keen to lose some weight and change your body composition, then keep the ‘treats’ to once every week or so.

So what are the traps?

Well, there are a few.  Nuts and fruit are the main one.  Because whilst nuts and fruit – including dried fruit – are ‘healthy’, it is really easy to overdo it.  Ten (10) nuts each day is probably enough as a ‘snack’.  And two pieces of fruit is a pretty good average – particularly fruits that are high in sugar such as bananas.  All of us have gone through stages where we decide to eat ‘healthy’ in an effort to lose some weight, which leads to us snacking on five (5) or so pieces of fruit every day…and then a month later we jump on the scales to find the number has moved north instead of south.

What about Dairy?

Well, I don’t really ‘do’ dairy these days.  I drink my coffee black, and I basically don’t eat cheese.  I still eat ice-cream as a treat though – and I have some yoghurt a couple of times each week.  To me it is a really simple and convenient snack and as long as I have one that is really low in sugar (unflavoured types are best to make sure of this) then I pretty comfortable with a serve or two each week.  Basically, my body is pretty happy with a little bit of dairy.  Other people are not so lucky and do a lot better when they drop it completely from their diet.

Anything else?  What about ‘Protein Shakes’?

My anything else is pretty simple.  Fish Oil is good for (reducing) joint inflammation and whilst I can’t tell when I am taking it I can certainly tell when I am not!  How much should you take?  Well, if I was you I would read THIS article, but if you want to cheat I have already read it and the answer is somewhere between 2 grams (for little people) to 4 grams (for big people).  As for taking protein, well – I try to get mine from my food rather than from a shake.  I generally supplement with one serve of the Boomers protein every week or so – usually on a Friday or Saturday when I am feeling particularly tired after a week of work/training (Saturday is my rest day).  I take Boomers for the same reason we sell it – it is from grass-fed cattle, contains no flavors (and therefore no extra sugar), no additives and is exactly what it claims to be – a protein supplement.

That – in a nutshell – is it.  Drop the breads and pastas and rices.  Eat enough meat and (lots and lots) of veggies so that you don’t need to snack between meals.  Eat some fruit (but not too much).  Stay away from sugar – and drink loads and loads of water.

See you at Round 1,

Michael.

Gym Update #1 – April (Mini) Challenge Week 2

The The April Mini-Challenge Is underway – and it is great to see so many names up on the board, so many people running, riding, lifting and swinging after each class.  But, lets face it – it wouldn’t be a challenge if there wasn’t a challenge so it is time to up the ante.  The NEW rules for the challenge are still pretty simple though:

-       Complete three (3) sessions per week.

-       At the end of each class, complete 1x Bin Run (or 1.5km bike in G16), 25x Squats (weighted – girls min 20kg, boys min 25kg), 25x Pushups and 50x KB Swings (girls min 16kg, boys min 20kg).

After all – since everyone has already been doing their squats and swings with the lighter weights everyone should be ready to progress!  Right?  Right??

Just another reminder that if you want to do your reps BEFORE a session rather than after, that is just fine with me!  Done is done for the purposes of the mini-challenge.

Gym Update #2 – 6-Month Life Plan

Month Four (4) of the Life Plan is underway as of tomorrow – April 7th.  The first group of measurements was completed last Friday night (April 4th) and once again the results were positive – weights, skinfolds and measurements generally trended in a southerly direction!  Most pleasing to me has been the number of people who have moved themselves from a position where they were at risk from some ‘REAL’ health concerns – using +40mm abdominal skinfold as a key marker – into a much (MUCH) better position…the trick now of course, is maintaining the trend (which of course is what month 4 is all about – see the rules bellow).

There have been a few people who have stuck at the challenge right throughout the 3-months but are yet to see any significant changes.  All I can say to you guys is that we might not know what the solution is yet but I am pretty certain that giving up is NOT it.  It is time to really focus in on the little things – write down every thing you eat and drink for a full week and bring your food diary in for us to look at – maybe there are some simple changes we can make together that will help get you some of the progress you are looking for.  Maybe we need to look at things a different way?  Maybe a lot of things.  Regardless, I am quite happy to keep trying to help as long as you are happy to keep pushing ahead…and if we need external help and support, then we can help you with that as well.

The rules for the new month are as follows:

Training Rules
3 Classes per Calendar Week (Must be signed by trainer)
TWO (2) Barbell Circuits per Week (Mark with BB on the sheet)  Details of the barbell circuits have been included on the challenge sheets.
Diet Rules:
NO PASTA permitted – AT ALL!  One serve of rice permitted each week (Mark on sheet with a ‘R’).
Breakfast cereal allowed only ONCE per week – PORRIDGE (Oats) is the only acceptable cereal.
ONE SERVE of Sweets – Lollies, chocolate, cool drink (soda), icecream or biscuits/cakes etc PER WEEK.
No product with ANY added sugar or sweetener except as part of your ‘Free Eating day’ OR your once per week serve of ‘sweets’.
No bread – At ALL!
No more than THREE (3) pieces of fruit on any given day.  No Fruit Juice AT ALL.
Five (5) alcohol free days each week – and only two (2) drinks allowed on the other days.
Two (and ONLY 2) days during the month when you can eat/drink outside of the ‘rules’.
Prehab Rules
TWO (2) x 30 minute walk/stretch sessions per week.

Good luck (and stick with it).

Gym Update #4 – Medium Bag Mitts

We have been ‘out’ of medium size bag mitts for nearly 3-weeks now.  The products are in transit and we hope to have them in stock sometime this week.  Apologies to everyone who has been waiting – we hope to have them on hand soon.

Gym Update #5 – AFL Dreamteam and Footy Tipping

Well, with two (2) games still to go, there is one person (Toffeeman – whoever the heck that is!!!) who has picked 7/7…and 18 others who have picked 6/7.  The one wrong selection that EVERY SINGLE ONE of those 18 people selected was – happily – the mighty Dogs getting across the line against the Tiges.  Isn’t that right Barry Doran??

Over in the DreamTeam comp, the leading score (as I type with two games to go) is held by the Beeliar Bogans with 1890 points – the Bogans are closely followed by the ‘Half-Time Heroes’ and ‘The Bourbinators’, both sitting just under 1800 points.  I can’t seem to find the ‘easy view’ that showed me all the games and showed the number of players who have yet to play – hopefully I can figure this out as the year goes on.

Facebook Highlights

A quieter week of links on FACEBOOK this week – there was some good stuff though:

Coffee:  http://www.outsideonline.com/fitness/bodywork/the-fit-list/A-Cup-or-Two-of-Excellent-Health.html

BMI:  http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/uncovering-true-health-costs-of-excess.html

Rant about dieting:  http://www.t-nation.com/powerful-words/dieting-a-rant

Caveman eating:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10737039/Caveman-diet-twice-as-effective-as-modern-diets.html

Enjoy!

Link of the week

Interesting food article this week:  ‘Seduced by Food’:  http://boingboing.net/2012/03/09/seduced-by-food-obesity-and-t.html

See you in the gym!

Michael.

Be Flexible – and be prepared to Sacrifice, April Mini-Challenge, Core Strength March 30th, 2014

Hi and welcome to another week,

Tough week for me last week – even though I own a gym somehow I wasn’t able to train last Saturday, Sunday, Monday or Tuesday…with staff away I was running extra classes, with staff sick I was working at reception, with footy starting I was off coaching – somehow life gets in the way sometimes and even when you are in the gym for 12 hours a day there STILL isn’t time to train.  The problem is of course, as a result of my lack of ‘sessions’ I also allowed my stretching and pre-hab to slip.  And as a result of the lack of training coupled with the lack of stretching, my back has been so sore – I know the solution is to get moving but somehow when I am ‘sore’ it is just that much harder to get up and going – which of course contributes to it further tightening up and being even more restrictive than ever.

It is amazing when these things happen.  We all ‘know’ – we know that if we eat some ‘bad’ food that the result will be feeling tired and lethargic – and oftentimes for a couple of days.  We know that if we don’t ‘get moving’ and do some real mobility work (and a boxing class is a good example of this!) our muscles will just tighten up and even ‘simple’ movements (getting up and down off the floor for example) will become hard.  But still, we allow these things to happen to us again and again and again.  And isn’t it always the way that when you let one element of your life ‘slip’ (for example, your food) that the other falls away as well?  That when you aren’t eating well, your training also falls away.  Or is it when you stop training that your diet slips?  And why do we do all of this stuff to ourselves when we KNOW what is best.

I think the first thing to do is just acknowledge what has happened and ‘WHY’ – and be honest.  In my case, I honestly looked back through my schedule from Saturday until Tuesday and really just shook my head.  I couldn’t have done a class but I COULD have done some training.  And I most definitely COULD have done some stretching.  Basically, I allowed myself to get a bit stressed out and overwhelmed by things and because of that just allowed my schedule to dictate to me rather than the other way round.  Somehow, it took me four days to see what was happening and get myself back and moving – and somehow on the day I was back training I also managed to teach eight (8) classes, spend two (2) hours at a business planning meeting and put together the template for month 4 of the Life Plan.  It wasn’t time that was holding me back (though I blamed it) – it was my own willingness to be ‘flexible’ with what I would/could do and maybe my own willingness to make a bit of sacrifice in order to ‘get it done’.

What do I mean by ‘be flexible’?  Well, I like to do the classes – I just do.  I am happy to do some cardio / lifting / kettlebells (whatever in all honesty) as an ‘extra’ (20 minutes or so after a class) but really do struggle to make that my session.  So on the days when I couldn’t do a session (even though we do eleven classes a day, when you are running eight or so of them it can still be hard to do one of them) I still could have done ‘something’…in all honesty, I just should have done something – a 15 minute run, 15 minute kettlebell circuit followed by some squats is pretty easy to do – I just made it too hard.

What do I mean by ‘sacrifice’?  As stupid as it sounds when you are at work from 5am until 9pm, there is still time available to train and stretch.  Getting to the gym 15 minutes earlier and laying on the foam roller – even with a 5am start – would not have been impossible.  Likewise, making sure to roll at the end of the day – either after I finished packing up/setting up but before heading home or when I got home would not have been that hard.  I have also told myself 3million times that my back gets sore when I get lazy and forget to do my back extensions…yet even as my back was getting sorer I still didn’t find the 5 minutes (and it really is, only 5 minutes!) to knock out 30 or so (3 sets of 10) and start to get it all working.  As much as I have said it is ‘sacrifice’ and ‘flexibility’, sometimes it is just a matter of getting your lazy butt in the gym, pressing the reset button and getting started.

See you at Round 1,

Michael.

Gym Update #1 – April (Mini) Challenge

The April Mini-Challenge starts on April 1st.  The rules for the challenge are pretty simple:

-       Complete three (3) sessions per week.

-       At the end of each class, complete 1x Bin Run (or 1.5km bike in G16), 25x Squats (weighted – girls min 15kg, boys min 20kg), 25x Pushups and 50x KB Swings.

We will do a really simple ‘weigh in’ test (weight only pre/post April measure) and record our progress on the white board adjacent to the treadmills.  For anyone looking to just ‘change it up’ a little bit, this might be just the trick to break through a plateau and put you back on the pathway to improvement.

One other thing – you guys who train in the morning and need to leave ‘on the dot’ to get to work – no trouble.  Do your reps BEFORE the class and you will still receive sign-off.

Gym Update #2 – 6-Month Life Plan

This Friday is the first Friday of the month of April – which means this Friday is ‘weigh-in’ day.  Unfortunately given Sean’s absence and Elie being sick, I will be running classes next Sunday so it is ‘Friday or Never’ with regards getting your measurements done.

Whilst the new rules are only a week away from coming into play (see the Life Plan Facebook site for a preview!), the Month 3 rules will continue to apply until April 7th – one last reminder of what they are:

Training: 

Three (3) Classes per Calendar Week (Must be signed by trainer)

Diet Rules:
NO PASTA permitted – AT ALL!
NO BREAKFAST CEREAL permitted – Monday to Friday
ONE SERVE of Sweets – Lollies, chocolate, cool drink (soda), icecream or biscuits/cakes etc PER WEEK.
No bread – At ALL!
Five (5) alcohol free days each week – and only two (2) drinks allowed on the other days.
Two (and ONLY 2) days during the month when you can eat/drink outside of the ‘rules’.
 

Prehab rules:

1 x 30 minute walk/stretch per week. (Mark on sheet with PH)

Remain focussed, keep your sheets up to date and stay positive – after all, if you aren’t getting results by following the plan, do you really think that falling off the wagon is going to help??

Gym Update #3 – Delicious and Nutritious

Long-time member Kylie Stevens has a great new business – Delicious and Nutritious.  (Find more info here: ).  As part of launching her new idea, we have some ‘Green Smoothy’ jars in the fridge at Round 1 for people to try – these are valued at $5 (you get a $1 refund for returning the jar) and are a great value, nutritious snack.  Green smoothies aside, Ky is offering a range of ‘JARS’ to suit any (every?) occasion and I would encourage everyone to check out her website and give it a try.

Gym Update #4 – Medium Bag Mitts

We have been ‘out’ of medium size bag mitts for nearly 3-weeks now.  The products are in transit and we hope to have them in stock sometime this week.  Apologies to everyone who has been waiting – we hope to have them on hand soon.

Gym Update #5 – AFL Dreamteam and Footy Tipping

DreamTeam still doesn’t start ‘for real’ until next week so it is a bit difficult to update you on the ‘progress’ – I will say though that my season is looking miserable before it has even started.  Somehow, the collection of players I have put together scored really (really, really) poorly during Round 1 and I cannot seem to figure out how to spend the money I have a bit more wisely!  It looks like ‘Professor Max’ is going to be off to a winning start in Dream Team Round 1 (next week).

The tipping is a bit easier to figure out.  Six (6) games into Round 2 of the season (there are three games today), Oatesy has already raced to 14 points which means he has only gotten one match result wrong to this point.  Let’s just say that I am currently 42nd on the leader board and have gotten quite a few more wrong than that.

Facebook Highlights

Lots and lots and lots of links on FACEBOOK this week – get into them!

Paleo desserts:  http://www.thepaleomom.com/2011/12/breaking-habit-of-dessert.html

National training in Russia:  http://www.businessinsider.com/russia-fitness-program-2014-3?IR=T

Sports parents: http://breakingmuscle.com/family-kids/how-not-to-be-that-sport-parent-6-positive-actions-you-can-take

Exercise on an empty stomach:  http://greatist.com/fitness/why-you-should-exercise-on-an-empty-stomach

Bridget’s jump for cancer:  https://acrf.everydayhero.com/au/bridget

How fast can you make (and pack) breakfast and lunch:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfAIeMd0bXU

A fun 30 seconds – it’s a supplements ad but a fun one:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtEMlg-e8D8&list=UUluEX7NZWCtiGoZg5xLcAPw&app=desktop

Jogging?  http://www.t-nation.com/training/jogging-delusion

Enjoy!

Link of the week

Good video on building and developing your core strength:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfV8ukfVYhg

See you in the gym!

Michael.

‘Software’ upgrade, Delicious and Nutritious, 45 years old? No problem! March 23rd, 2014

Hi and welcome to another week,

I just loved my training last week.  Last Monday’s session, featuring HL Pushups and Squats every bell, add a sled – and add a weight vest for those of us who train at 12pm – and a really challenging session that leaves you battling DOMS in your chest and quads for a couple of days is the outcome.  Tuesday was fast paced (2:30 rounds, one lap around the gym), Wednesday was abs central, Thursday’s one-minute rounds were great – medicine ball throws for explosive power and single leg-deadlifts – and then there was all the fun on Friday with a relay, isometric barbell work and a group bridge with burpees.  Speaking of the ‘group bridge’, a big congratulations to the 4pm crew who – in three (3) efforts – only incurred one penalty.  Which means that all 26 people in the class successfully completed 2x 2 minute bridges and only one (1) person failed on the third – and even then, only once!  It really was a great effort (and one that the 6am’ers and 6pm’ers are probably quite jealous of given the number of burpees they had to complete!).

What else happened last week?  Our Starting Strength crew learned how to do Turkish Get-ups, we had numerous people achieve a personal best when doing their deadlifts in the TANKS sessions – and, as I said on Facebook, the Body Work class was the ‘TRUTH’.  A couple of people – OK, more than a couple – asked me what I meant by that, and the answer is that I just thought that doing the session really showed you exactly where you were at from a training perspective.  Their were two barbell circuits – a really variety of exercises – to challenge your strength.  Some running and burpees to really test out your cardio ability, and some box jumps, kettlebell swings and wall balls to challenge your muscular endurance/explosive power.  It was just an awesome circuit – challenging but achievable – and one that really showed you exactly where you are at.

Not that I really want to talk about the footy this weekend, but I was playing around with my DreamTeam squad during the week and – setting my team aside – I was just so impressed with all of the improvements they have made to the software.  It is easier to use, faster simpler, better.  And just thinking about all of these things made me think firstly about my old IT days and the size of the project that must have been involved in making the changes, but more importantly it made me think abut the effort involved in changing the ‘software’ that manages the habits of people new to the gym.

Now, almost without fail people come to the gym looking to get healthier and lose a few kilos – but pretty much everyone insists they eat ‘pretty healthy’ and just need to ‘tone-up’.  This is fine – I had an office career for 20 years and I understand where they are coming from.  But what seems to happen from there is in the first 3-6 months of their membership is that people make a bit of a change in their outlook – they go from expecting change in 1-2 sessions per week to making their training almost a daily habit – getting through 3-5 sessions in any given week and making time to walk and stretch outside of the gym.  Or they fall by the wayside.  Then in the next 12-18 months those same people who ‘got through’ the first challenge either start to really restrict their intake of things such as bread and pasta and essentially eliminate pre-packaged foods – particularly anything with an added sweetener – from their diets altogether OR they fall by the wayside and ‘drop out’.

What I wish I could do is find a way to ‘upgrade’ the software that is managing everyone – just like Dream Team did! – so that we could somehow skip the first 12-18 months of yo-yo training and inconsistent eating and get straight to the part where eating well and exercising regularly – balancing some resistance work with some classes and maybe even some cardio once in a while! – is a part of the way people run their lives.  Basically, I wish I could apply the DreamTeam upgrade to everyone the moment they walk through the door!

Of course I know that the lessons learned during that first 12-18 months are just so critical if people are to finally achieve the results they want (and I want for them).  Learning things for yourself is the best way to learn – but sometimes I just wish a few more people would believe me when I tell them not to stick their hand in the fire (it is hot) rather than insisting on doing everything themselves and finding things out the hard way.  The problem is – and lots of people are finding this out as part of the Life Plan process – that making change is really, really hard.  That achieving outcomes takes enormous effort and focus over an extended time…and if you take a ‘stop-start’ approach to your diet and training then not only will you not move forwards – you might actually go backwards.

So how would I change things for people?  I would make is so no-one left things to chance.   That everyone – when they went to bed at night, had a plan for their breakfast and lunch for the next day so they would eat a decent breakfast (including some protein) and could avoid the temptations of the café at lunchtime the next day.  I would change it so everyone would complete three (3) or four (4) classes next week – and the week after that and the week after that.  Everyone would squeeze in a weights session – even if it was just a simple 5-3-1 squats program that takes 20 minutes.  Everyone would have a foam roller at home and would roll on it a coTake the time to stretch on one or two other days. And I would change it so that everyone could approach these things as ‘just something I do’ rather than feeling it is something that they ‘HAVE’ to do.

See you at Round 1,

Michael.

Gym Update #1 – Parking, parking, parking.

This message is specific to Saturday’s but really applies ALL the time.  If you park in front of the business that surround the gym – and I don’t mean on the street but in their carparks – then the owners of those businesses have every right to get upset.  The ‘SkillBuilders’ business – directly to the south of the gym – only have three parking bays and often on Saturday mornings all three are filled by Round 1 clients…this makes it incredibly difficult for their clients – who often have disabled kids in-tow – to access the premises.  I know it can be difficult to find a bay – particularly on Saturday mornings and after hours – and the ‘only’ spots to park are in the carparks owned by other businesses.  This is generally OK but if those businesses are ‘OPEN’ then you can see why they might get upset.

Gym Update #2 – April (Mini) Challenge

I want to run a mini-challenge for the month of April.  In this challenge, the requirements will be as follows:

-       Complete three (3) sessions per week.

-       At the end of each class, complete 1x Bin Run (or 1.5km bike in G16), 25x Squats (weighted – girls min 15kg, boys min 20kg), 25x Pushups and 50x KB Swings.

We will do a really simple ‘weigh in’ test (weight only pre/post April measure) and record our progress on the white board adjacent to the treadmills.  For anyone looking to just ‘change it up’ a little bit, this might be just the trick to break through a plateau and put you back on the pathway to improvement.

One other thing – you guys who train in the morning and need to leave ‘on the dot’ to get to work – no trouble.  Do your reps BEFORE the class and you will still receive sign-off.

Gym Update #3 – 6-Month Life Plan

We are well into month 3 now…and, again, I feel like I am signing a few less forms that I was a couple of months ago.  For anyone who has ‘dropped out’, I hope you have a real think about what you are walking away from and recommit to the plan.  If getting your food/training/prehab all in sync and working together is proving too much, remember, that is only a momentary feeling.  Once you have been doing something for a couple of weeks, that is ‘just the way you live’ and all of the rules you are struggling with will become second nature.  You will get used to it and it will become easier.

A reminder of the rules for month 3:

Training: 

Three (3) Classes per Calendar Week (Must be signed by trainer)

Diet Rules:
NO PASTA permitted – AT ALL!
NO BREAKFAST CEREAL permitted – Monday to Friday
ONE SERVE of Sweets – Lollies, chocolate, cool drink (soda), icecream or biscuits/cakes etc PER WEEK.
No bread – At ALL!
Five (5) alcohol free days each week – and only two (2) drinks allowed on the other days.
Two (and ONLY 2) days during the month when you can eat/drink outside of the ‘rules’.
 

Prehab rules:

1 x 30 minute walk/stretch per week. (Mark on sheet with PH)

So the big ‘changes’ are the addition of PASTA and Breakfast Cereal to the exclusions list – and the restriction of the ‘sweets’ from ‘On Weekends’ to ‘One Serve Per Week’.

Remain focussed, keep your sheets up to date and stay positive – after all, if you aren’t getting results by following the plan, do you really think that falling off the wagon is going to help??

Gym Update #4 – Delicious and Nutritious

Long-time member Kylie Stevens has a great new business – Delicious and Nutritious.  (Find more info here: ).  As part of launching her new idea, we have some ‘Green Smoothy’ jars in the fridge at Round 1 for people to try – these are valued at $5 (you get a $1 refund for returning the jar) and are a great value, nutritious snack.  Green smoothies aside, Ky is offering a range of ‘JARS’ to suit any (every?) occasion and I would encourage everyone to check out her website and give it a try.

Gym Update #5 – New Equipment has arrived

In another desperate attempt to ensure that costs exceed revenue, we have invested in some fantastic new bumper plates plus another Olympic Barbell AND some new collars.  As keen watchers of the Tanks area will tell you, there are now more 10kg bumpers, 20kg bumpers and some amazing 25kg bumpers.  I know this might be a bit of a ‘so what’ case for a lot of ‘Boxing only’ clients, but please keep in mind that adding just a little bit of lifting to your own program can really accelerate your progress.

This week in Starting Strength we are covering that most fundamental of lifting exercises – SQUATS.  If you are keen to learn how to do it properly (and safely, and deeply), thinking about booking into one of the ‘SS’ sessions…they are just $11 per class.

Gym Update #6 – Gear is on the way

Our new short sleeve hoodies have shipped, our next lot of bag mitts will ship tomorrow (including the medium ones we have been waiting for) – get excited.  I have had a couple of questions about pricing for the hoodies – it will depend on the import duties that we get charged but will be in the $45 range at a guess.

Gym Update #7 – AFL Dreamteam and Footy Tipping

No updates yet – the split round has meant the season is off to a bit of a slow start but rest assured R2 is a full round and we will all be playing (and tipping) for pride and glory.  Feel free to throw whatever sledges you like my way about the Bulldogs or my dismal tipping results – I promise that there will be no payback when it comes to burpees etc…promise.

Facebook Highlights

Lots and lots and lots of links on FACEBOOK this week – get into them!

Delicious and Nutritious – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Nutritious/274421516056886

Dark chocolate = good – http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140318154725.htm

SealFit – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bxin0tml_Y#t=18

Sexy by Nature – http://everydaypaleo.com/sexy-nature/?utm_campaign=sexy-by-nature-a-book-review

Pistol Progressions – http://breakingmuscle.com/gymnastics/2-flexibility-drills-the-keys-to-progressing-your-pistol

Enjoy!

Link of the week

‘The joy of the process is the constant battle with myself and the growth is the true reward’  45years old?  Well, so what!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsTjXesSgLs

See you in the gym!

Michael.

Intrinsically Motivated, Wahls’ Protocol March 16th, 2014

Hi and welcome to another week,

Great sessions last week – I think the Body Work class really showed that sometimes the simplest exercise combinations can be the best.  Do some military press then do some squats.  When you have done some squats, do some military press – add in some Kettlebell swings and situps as a ‘punishment’ and some cardio to start and finish.  Perfect.  The Boxing classes were pretty cool as well – Static Holds and Mini-sleds were featured all week and I know for me that completing the 90-second hold on the chin-up bar was a real moment of achievement.  I saw a heap of people maintain their fence pull holds for more than 1 minute and even more than that accomplish the same feat in push-up position – great work from everyone.  We probably wont do the statics for another couple of months so if you want to work on them in the mean time, well, all the ‘gear’ you need is always available for you to use – inside and outside of class times.

I wanted to talk a little bit this week about what drives and motivates each person to get to the gym and ONCE you arrive.  I have been reading a great book this week (‘Drive:  The Surprising Truth about what Motivates Us’ by Daniel Pink) which is all about intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation and what works in what circumstances.  The more I get into it, the more it becomes clear that when it comes to your fitness, when it comes to your diet – the journey really MUST be the reward.

Why?  Well, because when it comes to your training there are simply no guarantees.  If you are only at the gym because you want to look like the girl/guy on the front of the magazine, then how are you going to feel when the scales don’t seem to change – and nor (in your eyes at least) does the image you see reflected in the mirror every morning?  My guess is that you will quickly become disheartened and wonder why it isn’t happening – especially because you are ‘working so hard’.

From there, it will quickly become a bit of a downward spiral – because you aren’t seeing the results that were driving your behaviour (attending the gym, watching your food etc) then you will have a lot of trouble sticking with those good habits you have developed.  You will ask yourself what the point is, and from there, you will drop the gym sessions and head back to the counter at McDonalds.  When all of your motivation is coming from the ‘outside’ it is pretty darned hard to stick at it when all of the outside pointers are that it just “isn’t working”.

If you are able to base your training on a more ‘intrinsic’ level – based on your goal to lead a ‘healthy lifestyle’, together with physical accomplishments/improvements both inside and outside of the gym (“I DO pushups on my toes now”, “I did my first chin-up”, “I used the blue Kettlebell today”, “I held my bridge for two minutes”, “I haven’t had a drink during the week for ten weeks now”, “I just don’t eat bread” etc) then you will find that it is a LOT easier to maintain your diet and training even if ‘the outcomes’ aren’t there.  To be honest, the outcomes wont really be a factor for you unless they involve maintaining the lifestyle perceptions you have set for yourself.  Even better, in these circumstances  – because you are likely to maintain your training AND stick at your diet – then the external results will come your way (like it or not).

Focus on doing things ‘better’, ‘heavier’ and for ‘longer’.  Hit ‘harder’.  Squat ‘lower’.  Don’t worry about what the scales say or what you think the mirror says.  Focus on doing the little things well and the other stuff will look after itself.

See you at Round 1,

Michael.

Gym Update #1 – Elie

OK.  I have a bit of news to share which kind of fits into the “I can’t believe it” category.  The most recent addition to our training staff – Elie Griege (a Round 1 regular for just over three (3) years) has been diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma.  It is currently in stage 3 and he commenced chemo-therapy treatment last week.

What exactly is happening to Elie is pretty upsetting and a little difficult to explain, but in essence he is scheduled to undertake his therapy in six (6) by three (3) week cycles.  It will kind of play out like this:

Days 1-3 he will stay in hospital and undergo three (3) different types of chemo treatments.  From there, he goes home to recover before returning to hospital on day eight (8) for more treatment – but this time, no overnight stay.  Right throughout this time (and for another week afterwards) he is taking chemo drugs orally as well.  On day 15, he has a week off the treatment before starting the whole process again on day 21.

Whilst none of this is brilliant news, I think it is worth adding that the medical team are really confident that Elie will pull through the procedure in 4-6 months and be as good as new – and certainly that is the news that all of us are pretty desperate to hear.

So – Elie will be out of the gym for a while (whilst he undergoes his FIRST stage of therapy) and after that he will be in running sessions when he feels he is able.  For me, I already feel that we are missing his friendly, instructive nature around the place – and we are obviously pretty keen to have him back whenever he feels he is up to it.

Gym Update #2 – February Challenge + T-Shirts

With the challenge over and the dust settled (well, settling!), it is time to distribute the goodies.  I have a box of awesome ‘Get it Done’ T’s in various sizes from Girls size 8-14 and Boys Med-XL ready to go.   If we run out (and not that many people finished the challenge so don’t worry) or we can’t fit you or whatever, don’t stress…I will get you the shirt you earned.

So – what happens now?  I have a little spread sheet sitting on the very laptop I am typing this blog on with name/t-shirt size written on it.  Basically, all of those people who have finished the challenge, let me know via email what shirt size you are and they will be in alphabetical order in reception for each of you to pick up from Tuesday afternoon.

Gym Update #3 – 6-Month Life Plan

We are one week into week 3 – I hope everyone is tracking well and coping with the removal of both pasta and breakfast cereal from their diets…and the ADDITION of an extra gym session (we have pushed from 2 workouts per week up to 3).  I am hopeful that everyone is pretty comfortable/confident in constructing their daily meals without bread and all of those issues in dealing with sugar withdrawal are in the rear-view mirror.

A reminder of the rules for month 3:

Training: 

Three (3) Classes per Calendar Week (Must be signed by trainer)

Diet Rules:
NO PASTA permitted – AT ALL!
NO BREAKFAST CEREAL permitted – Monday to Friday
ONE SERVE of Sweets – Lollies, chocolate, cool drink (soda), icecream or biscuits/cakes etc PER WEEK.
No bread – At ALL!
Five (5) alcohol free days each week – and only two (2) drinks allowed on the other days.
Two (and ONLY 2) days during the month when you can eat/drink outside of the ‘rules’.
 

Prehab rules:

1 x 30 minute walk/stretch per week. (Mark on sheet with PH)

So the big ‘changes’ are the addition of PASTA and Breakfast Cereal to the exclusions list – and the restriction of the ‘sweets’ from ‘On Weekends’ to ‘One Serve Per Week’.

Remain focussed, keep your sheets up to date and stay positive – after all, if you aren’t getting results by following the plan, do you really think that falling off the wagon is going to help??

Gym Update #4 – New Equipment IS HERE

The new KrankCycle IS IN THE GYM.  I have been doing some tabata work on it (20 seconds flat out, 10 seconds rest) every day and already I am feeling the benefits.  If you aren’t sure how to use it – just ask.  The new Krank has a computer on it to measure time/revolutions etc and it really is a great piece of kit and one that really does give you ‘something different’ (upper body based cardio) in the gym.

Gym Update #5 – AFL Dreamteam and Footy Tipping

Both the Dream Team league and the Footy Tipping contest are underway.  DreamTeam is FULL so I can’t add any more people there.  If you are interested in joining the tipping contest though, please let me know and I will make sure you get the link.

Facebook Highlights

Lots and lots and lots of links on FACEBOOK this week – get into them!

Shoulder rehab:  http://breakingmuscle.com/video/video-ben-musholt-4-exercises-for-shoulder-rehabilitation

Pushups post pregnancy:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsC0bi-nZmY

The Wahls Protocol / The Wahls Diet:  http://terrywahls.com/about-the-wahls-protocol/

Dry Hands now available at Round One:  http://dryhands.com.au/testimonials

The TRUTH about Metabolic Damage:  http://www.t-nation.com/diet-fat-loss/truth-about-metabolic-damage

Turkish Get-ups:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2KYussrXxk

Why we all need to run: http://breakingmuscle.com/running/because-we-can-why-we-all-need-to-run

As mentioned last week, feel free to put links up on the Facebook site guys…if you read something that resonates, give others the same opportunity to benefit.

Enjoy!

Link of the week

This is a follow-up from the link I posted on Facebook this week about the Wahls’ protocol.  It is the link to a podcast conducted between Robb Wolf (‘The Paleo Solution’) and Dr.  Terry Wahls’ who developed the Wahls’ protocol in response to her own M.S. episode.  It really is amazing stuff.

http://robbwolf.com/2014/03/11/episode-216-dr-terry-wahls/

Of course, if you still haven’t read ‘The Paleo Solution’, you absolutely have to.  Find the link here:

http://www.amazon.com/Paleo-Solution-Original-Human-Diet-ebook/dp/B00466H5MU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1394965458&sr=1-1&keywords=the+paleo+solution

(It is only $9.00 for all you Kindle users…you just have to read the book!).

See you in the gym!

Michael.