Boxing Blog – AFL Draft success (and how!), New Schedule starts, Christmas hours,

Hi and welcome to another week,

I am really looking forward to the sessions for this week.  A couple of new abs routines we started throwing into the mix last Friday will make an extended appearance on the program, together with a new barbell circuit…the program looks great.  It does look like being another hot week ahead, and given that, please:

1.       Bring a towel.  I can’t stress enough how important this is – it is pretty simple gym etiquette that I hope everyone understands.

2.       Take your water with you as you progress around the circuit.  Regularly replacing the fluid you are losing is the key to avoiding heat stress, feeling light headed etc.

All of those things aside, I thought I would write a little bit this week about the recent AFL Draft and my take on ‘what it takes’.  For those people who aren’t aware, I do have a second life away from the gym – for the past 8 years now I have been involved in coaching at u18 level and have happily seen a number of boys I have coached move onto the AFL.  This week, another of those players – Harley Bennell – was selected by the new Gold Coast team as the second overall selection in the draft.

Harley’s story is interesting though.  Talking to people in 2010, everyone seems to think he has always been amongst the ‘best of the best’ in his age group, a kid who has just gotten by on his raw talent and that his selection is a reward for choosing his parents well. The truth of the matter is somewhat different though.

In 2008, Harley played in the u16’s carnival for Peel Thunder but was not selected to represent WA in the national championships.  In other words, only two years ago he was not in the best 25 players in his age-group in WA.  At the start of the 2009 pre-season, it was suggested to me that Harley would be lucky to make the Colts squad due to his poor work ethic and less than optimal training habits.  Peel had a very talented group of players in 2009 and the idea that Harley would not be good enough to make the squad – let alone the team – side was not considered outlandish.

I found Harley to be a different type of kid though.  He had a passion and drive to be successful and – rather than just tell me what he was going to do – he was prepared to actually do the hard work required to achieve his goals.  He is also pretty self aware, and he quickly discovered that the working hard in one area is a waste of time if you are poor in others.  So he became less prepared to compromise – to take short cuts – in other parts of his life.  So his diet improved, his attention to detail improved, the quality of his training diary and match reviews improved…across the board he was doing things ‘better’.

Now, I am certainly not saying that through hard-work alone Harley went from being a nobody to the best junior footballer in Australia (recognised by winning the best player award at the 2010 u18 National Championships) – he was always a very talented and skilful player.  But I am saying that by improving his focus on one thing – in this case his willingness to train hard during the pre-season – his entire mindset changed and he found himself paying more attention to detail across the board.  He decided he wanted to be better, he took one step (a big one, I admit) by focussing hard on his conditioning – and having done that decided there would be no compromise in other areas.

If you are regularly training at ‘Round 1 Fitness’, then you have also taken the first step.  I guess I would ask you what – if any – changes you have made in the rest of your life to help you try and meet your goals?  Saying ‘my diet is pretty good’ doesn’t quite cut it –the first step to getting it ‘right’ is to start with a food diary and then move towards implementing a fully fledged eating plan.  And with your training, make sure if you are doing something – you are getting out of it what you need.  For example, if you have started lifting a few weights after a class – awesome.  Now is the time to get a plan and start focussing on improving.  Likewise, if you have decided to use the bike/cross-trainer/rower/treadmill after a class then I think that is a great idea.  But maybe now is the time to set yourself some performance targets and get after them.

Gym Update #1

This week sees the first change to our group class timetable since we opened back in April:

  • The 9am class has been moved to have a 9:15am start (and the 10am class dropped).
  • The ‘Intense’ class has been dropped.
  • ‘Boxing for Fitness’ is on at 5pm and 6pm every day.
  • ‘Body Work’ is on at 7pm every day.
  • A new ‘Round 1 Beginners’ class has been introduced and will run at 8pm on Tuesday and Thursday, as well as 11am on both Saturday and Sunday.

These changes have been made in direct response to class attendance patterns – basically, our busiest time periods (5pm and 6pm) noticeably drop off in numbers anytime a class other than ‘Boxing for Fitness’ is scheduled.  Not only is this bad for business, scheduling classes that people don’t want at key times is bad for members…if people don’t come to the gym because of the type of class scheduled then they will miss out on the fitness benefits of their membership.

To be honest, I also thought long and hard about whether or not to persist with the ‘Body Work’ class – there is nearly as big a drop in numbers for this class as there are for the ‘Intense’ sessions.  In the end, I kept the class on the program for two reasons:

1.       It is ‘different’.  Whereas the ‘Intense’ class was just an amped up version of the daily ‘Boxing for Fitness’ session, ‘Body Work’ does offer something else.  The greater focus on strengthening exercises is a point of difference and provides a different experience/type of fitness for members.

2.       I believe in it.  Talking to ‘Round 1 Fitness’ regulars, the ‘Body Work’ classes are often their favourite sessions – they often involve new and different exercises that really give the sessions a bit of a boost…and bring back the feelings of tightness and soreness that they had after their very first session at Round 1.

Gym Update #2

I don’t really have much of an update with regards to the move of the weights equipment.  The delivery date for the new rubber flooring has still not been confirmed so there is very little else I can do with regards to announcing any specific dates.  Apologies for the delay, however the plans remain current and moving the equipment is still a focus.

Gym Update #3

It has been terrific to see the arrival of some more supplements this week – specifically the first lot of men’s supplements from RedBak (www.redbak.net).  I would recommend that anyone interested does have a look at the RedBak website – there is some terrific information there about training, nutrition and supplementation.  And for those people who have invested in the FatBurner (LadyBird or RedBak) and Protein, terrific – I take them myself and have found them to be very beneficial.  But remember, a tablet or shake is not an excuse to let your diet or training slip – they will be of most benefit (and therefore most value for money) when your diet is right and you are training hard.

Christmas Opening Hours

I will be including a ‘Christmas Hours’ section in the blog for the rest of the year.  The plan at this stage is:

  • Christmas Eve:  Classes as normal until 6pm.  (5pm class will be the last class to run).
  • Christmas Day/Boxing Day:  Closed.
  • Christmas Day Holiday (December 27th):  Closed.
  • Boxing Day Holiday (December 28th):  Open Public Holiday Hours (9am – 1pm).
  • New Years Eve:  Classes as normal until 6pm.  (5pm class will be the last class to run).
  • New Years Day:  Closed.

I really would appreciate some feedback on what is being proposed – what I am trying to do is keep the gym open and available to people who want to train whilst also taking a couple of days off to spend with my own family.

Don’t Forget your Raffle Tickets

Remember the Christmas Raffle is still underway…every time you come to the gym you are entitled to a ticket.  Also remember you will receive a ticket for every month remaining on your membership on the date of the draw – and if you refer a new member you will also receive a ticket for every month of THEIR membership.

Anyway, that is it from me for another week.

See you in the gym!

Michael.