‘The Pledge’ Challenge May 27th, 2018

Hi Everyone – and welcome to another week,

Awesome sessions last week – just so pleased with the way it all turned out.  I have been really focussed on making sure we get a really solid cardio ‘push’ at least twice each week and (for me at least) it feels like it is working.  I have really found that my ability to keep pushing continuously has improved so much over the last 3-months…to the point that now the ‘threat’ of back-to-back-to-back cardio efforts doesn’t scare me off – now I just look forward to the challenge of it.

We have another cool challenge set up for everyone doing boxing this week – it will feature for the first time in tomorrow’s (Monday’s) sessions.  Without giving too much away, I really think it is going to be possible for one of our teams to hit the number 1000 during the class…if they really give it everything they have got!  I guess we are going to find out!

On the subject of challenges, we are now just one week away from our next gym challenge – and the first since February’s 28-days Later that involves both training AND diet.  It is also a pretty unique challenge in that it is not a PRESCRITIVE challenge (where we tell you EXACTLY what to do) – rather we have created a training/diet FRAMEWORK which gives you all the tools but leaves a few of the details up to you.

What does that mean?

1/.  There is a 5-day eating plan with all new recipes (they are absolutely delicious!), food quantity guide etc.  There are recommendations around sugar, carbs and alcohol etc – but there are no hard and fast rules.

2/.  We have created TEN (10) new challenge workouts that look awesome, amazing and – above all – challenging.  You don’t have to do ANY of them – or you might make these ‘EXTRAS’ the basis of your training for the next week.  It is up to you.

3/.  There is a ‘TRACKING SHEET’ where you can get your classes signed off by the trainers.  But there is no minimum number of classes – you don’t have to do any at all.  We set a recommended number…but how many you do is COMPLETELY up-to-you!

Why is it like this?  Why haven’t we just ‘told you what to do’?  Well, before I ‘go there’, we do tell you what to do – the Challenge Pack is pretty clear that we recommend THREE (3) Classes and TWO (2) ‘EXTRAS’ each week and that sticking to a diet free of bread, pasta, added sweeteners and alcohol is what you should do…BUT.  There are people out there (believe it or not) who want to participate in a challenge but don’t want to be ‘bound’ by the number of classes they do (and when).  They might be very happy with their two (2) classes + walking around the local park with the dogs each day and not be capable of getting in more than that…this challenge will allow them to participate, help keep them accountable AND provide them with a great mechanism (Body Scans) to measure their progress.  Guess what else?  There are other people out there who want to do SIX (6) classes every week – but don’t like doing the extras – they just want to do classes.  This challenge enables you to do that and still fully participate.  It also allows you to come in every day and complete a weights workout upstairs AND still take part…there is a training log for recording your efforts in whatever form YOU CHOOSE.

What else?  Because there is MORE!!

This challenge is also different because it allows you to really ‘CHALLENGE’ yourself to achieve in whatever area you like – you could choose to challenge yourself to lose weight, lose body fat %, add muscle…or you could challenge yourself to complete a certain number of classes, or stick to a diet plan…or whatever it is.  It provides you with a way to target what YOU want – and the training/diet framework that will enable you to chase that goal.

FURTHER.  It allows you to complete the challenge ‘VERSUS’ someone else.  Or (I guess) – in a group against a few other people!  You could compete for biggest total weight loss, body fat % change, number of bike calories during the month…it is really only limited by your imagination (and of course our ability to MEASURE whatever it is you are ‘chasing’.

I know I have blogged about this/posted on Facebook about this challenge a few times – and I clearly want as many people as possible to do it!  Why is a good question…and based on the fact that it is just $30 to participate when 2x Body Scans (included as part of the challenge sign-up fee) are usually $50 I hope you understand that ‘revenue raising’ is way down the bottom of the list!  What I really want is to provide everyone out there – like ME – who has allowed their diet (in particular) and training (to a lesser extent) to slip slowly back into ‘old habits’ since the end of the February challenge to get BACK ON TRACK before all the positive stuff achieved back then is lost in a cloud of dust!

To make it even easier for everyone – and I know next weekend is a long weekend – we will do the ‘start-up’ body scans for anyone who wants to participate “anytime” this week in the gym.  Believe me, I didn’t want the challenge to kick off on a long-weekend (again) as I know it makes it hard for everyone…but the dates be the dates.  So the next best thing I can do is promise we will do everything we can to get you all scanned up BEFORE the weekend if you want to take part.

Costs are as follows:

  • Individual (Member) – $30
  • Partners (2x Members) – $50 (yes, includes 2x body scans each!)
  • Partners (1x member, 1x non-member) – $150 (includes full one month membership for the non-member).

Sign up HERE (Sign-up for ‘THE PLEDGE’ challenge) or we can do it for you at gym reception.  All of the paperwork has been done and we will be creating the packs during the week…if you need them before next weekend so you can do your food shopping etc, well, all you will need to do is ask!  I will be printing off packs starting from tomorrow morning so they should (in theory) be there for the taking as soon as you have signed up.

Really hoping we can make this challenge a massive success and be the gym that turns the ‘Quiet Winter Months’ into a time where everyone makes some real positive progress and has a heap of fun doing it!

Let me know if any of this sounds good (or not) with an email to Michael@round1fitness.com.au

See you in the gym,

Michael.

 

 

Give yourself a break! May 20th, 2018

Hi Everyone – and welcome to another week,

I want to start with a real quick ‘thanks’ to all of the trainers at the gym.  Whilst on occasion they can get a ‘bit carried away’ (not mentioning anyone in particular Eden!) overall I have been super impressed by the positive way they have been running classes AND chasing their own health and fitness goals lately.  The guys are involved in all sorts of different things in and out of the gym and the way they have been managing their time AND still managing to get their training done is a real credit to them…I just think they are setting an excellent example to everyone that ‘busy’ is a good reason but should never be an excuse!

Right.  Last week my planned 200 words on bikes turned into an entire blog article…so this week I am going to try and write about what was in the plan for last week.  Which was “colds, flu’s and resilience”.  So here we go!

First off, I have written about the colds/flus/sick stuff before – and you can read all about THAT here:  http://round1fitness.com.au/20170521.  That post talked really specifically about managing your training when you are not feeling 100%, how to know when to train vs when to rest etc.  I guess reading it back the most important portion of the post is this bit:

 “… if ALL of your symptoms are ABOVE the neck (sore throat, runny nose etc) you should be FINE to train (albeit in a modified way).  But if you have issues below the neck – flemmy chest, upset stomach, temperature, aching body etc…well, you are NOT right to train.  Stay home and get better!  There is just no point in pushing things if you have symptoms like those – you will only do yourself more harm and probably take a few innocent bystanders out on the way through!…”

So that’s that bit.  But it isn’t really what I wanted to cover in this post.  What I wanted to talk about was the resilience piece – and specifically the hard time that so many people seem to give themselves over missed training sessions and ‘interesting’ food choices.

If you miss a training session – and the reason ‘WHY’ isn’t too important here – there is absolutely zero point in criticising yourself, telling yourself you are ‘lazy’, ‘no good’ and any number of things that I feel like I am hearing around the gym lately.  If you miss a session, well, it’s going to be OK.  I agree that once the session is ‘gone’ it is gone and you can’t really ‘get it back’…but so what?  Your energy would be WAY better spent on two things:

1/.  A little bit of positive reinforcement about the things you HAVE done lately.

2/.  A 5-second plan to get your next session done and a little internal ‘handshake agreement’ that you are going to get there.

You guys out there making an effort to get to the gym and do some exercise – you are already doing tremendously well.  If you have a week (or two, or three) where you miss some sessions, well, being negative about the whole thing is not going to help.  Your intentions were good…you WILL turn it around.  The fact that you are even TRYING to get it done is what you could call a ‘Good Sign’!

The same is true for your food/food choices.  Just because you have slipped for a day/a week/longer it doesn’t mean you criticise yourself and ‘give up’.  That doesn’t help.  Just give yourself a ‘pass’ for past sins and commit to jumping back onto the ‘right path’ (whatever that looks like for you) and getting going again.  Giving yourself a hard time, telling yourself that you “aren’t committed” or that you are “undisciplined”…what do you think that is doing other that convincing yourself for the long term that you lack commitment and are undisciplined?  Give yourself a BREAK.  Being well intentioned is a large part of the battle – and if you have the ability to recognise that you have slipped/are slipping then that is GOOD…you at least know what you are doing wrong so when your positive mindset returns, you will be 100% back on track.

I feel that more and more people who are doing WELL end up being so critical of themselves for the smallest things.  There are enough people out there who will be dragging you down as it is – telling you that you are ‘crazy’ to train so much, ‘not living life’ because you don’t want to have a beer with dinner every night of the week…don’t add to the external voices with one of your own every time you miss a workout or ‘slip’ on your food.

Let me know if any of this sounds good (or not) with an email to Michael@round1fitness.com.au

See you in the gym,

Michael.

 

 

The New Bike episode :-) (aka Concept 2 Bike Erg vs Assault Bikes) May 13th, 2018

Happy Mother’s Day Everyone!

Hope everyone has had a great week and you guys haven’t missed me – actually, I kind of hope no-one even noticed I was away!  I have been off on school camp with what seemed like an infinite number of 11 year olds – bush walking, rafting, zip lining and rock climbing…it has been a full-on few days though I did appreciate the sleep-ins (I truly believe the longest 2-hours in the day are the hours between 4am and 6am but only if you get to sleep!).

There have been a couple of changes to the gym whilst I was away…the first is that the assault bikes are now ‘G-O-N-E’.  The second (of course) is that our new Concept 2 Bike-Erg’s have arrived (well, the first batch of them have anyway).  There have been a few comments bouncing around about the change and I thought I would try and cover them all off here:

1/.  The assault bikes are nearly 4-years old and needed to be replaced.  So the new bikes shouldn’t really be that big as surprise.  (I hope they aren’t anyway – I like to think we regularly refresh the gear in the gym and if there is new ‘stuff’ you need, please let me know).

2/.  The assault bikes are/were amazing in terms of a pure training tool.  But they were a bit restrictive and I have been finding more and more people who are struggling with shoulder issues are struggling to use the assault bikes – I wanted the new bike solution to be suitable for as many people as possible.  I know, I know – those people could just use a SPARC instead of an assault bike to protect their shoulder – but in all honesty, what percentage of assault bike effort was upper body?  10%?  20%?  In theory it is a ‘full-body’ workout but the reality is that the assault bikes were primarily a leg based activity.

3/.  As good a training tool as they are, the assault bikes require a LOT of maintenance.  Anyone who attends the gym during the day would attest that there would always be a least one bike in a state of ‘deconstruction’ as we took it apart, regreased everything, adjusted chains, re-aligned hubs etc.  Our time allocation for the bikes was 8x hours per week – and that is without anything ‘breaking’.

4/.  As good a training tool as they are, the assault bikes BREAK a lot.  Everyone had there favorite bike (thanks for the good times bike #8!) and would have found that bike out of action from time to time…from simple things like a snapped chain (Simple?  Hah – you try replacing one!!) to more complicated ones like a ‘blown’ bottom bracket.  I swear that each of the trainers could fill in on a ‘Tour De France’ team as a mechanic after nearly 4-years of bike repairs.

5/.  As good a training tool as they are, the ‘technology’ that comes with the bikes – aka the screen – was flimsy and unreliable.  We were as frustrated as each of you guys with the inability to reset the screens and the difficulty in programming in pre-set ‘challenges’…as for swapping between kilometres and miles, well – that was something you could do in THEORY but in practice, well, not so much.

When seeking out a replacement, we didn’t rule a line through ‘new assault bikes’ as a solution (and as trainers I think part of each of us wanted to keep them – they are a very challenging training tool!) but I did go looking for something that would hopefully be more reliable, offer a way of eliminating the ‘arms’ function to support people with shoulder issues AND could be used as a pure ‘spinning’ bike for warm-ups etc.  The inclusion of a proven technology solution (screen and interface) was also important – and this of course had to be resilient as we use the bikes A LOT in our sessions…in many ways we were fortuitous that Concept 2 announced the Bike Erg late last year just as I was searching for a replacement bike solution for Round 1.

All of which begs the simple question?  Why did I choose the Concept 2 Bike Erg for our gym rather than simply replace the Assault Bikes OR select another product?

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Firstly, the technology (screen and user interface) is EXACTLY THE SAME as those on our rowers and ski-ergs.  They are reliable, easy to use and EVERYONE KNOWS how to work them (though I am sure people will still hit the wrong button when swapping between a calories display and a distance display…it’s the ’UNITS’ button people!).

Secondly, these bikes aren’t chain driven – they are BELT driven.  What this means to you guys is that they are a LOT quieter than the assault bikes…which means you might be able to ride a bike in the background whilst a trainer is talking to the class.  What it means to us is that the chains wont be BREAKING and they wont need continuous adjustment.  We should be able to adapt a similar maintenance plan to the rowers and skis – a quick wipe over once a week + take the covers off every 4-6 weeks and vacuum out all the dust…bingo, done!  To say that having an extra 8 hours available every week to do things other than ‘maintain bikes’ will be valuable to us is a huge understatement.

Lastly, these bikes offer a great compromise (to me) between a spin bike and an air bike.  As good as the assault bikes have been, they are not great for extended distance efforts – anyone who can think way, way back will be able to tell you we included things like 10km bike efforts in gym challenges back in the day…I would have never programmed anything over 20-minutes effort on the assault bikes (my 300cal challenge used to take me about 23 mins and that was about as long as I would recommend anyone sit on one – just uncomfortable and guaranteed to leave your back sore and tight).  The ski-ergs adjust in 1-million different ways (seat up, seat down, handlebars up, handlebars down, handlebars forward, handlebars back) and you CAN get comfortable for longer distance efforts.  To me, you can easily go from long distance work to high power interval sprints on these Concept Bike Ergs which is awesome for me in terms of programming LOTS of different stuff for you to do.

What else do I need to cover?  Of course we had TWELVE (12) assault bikes and as I type this there are only SEVEN (7) of the Bike Ergs in the gym.  Rest assured, I have ordered 12 units and the remainder will be in stock ‘soon’.  We were promised only TWO (2) units in the initial delivery to Australia but received SEVEN (7) and I am confident we will receive the remainder of the order around the end of the month.  So on that front, please be patient as the balance of the bikes have been ordered and the deposit paid – we are just waiting on the second delivery to arrive in Australia.

OK.  Now funnily enough my blog ‘sketch’ for today said ‘new bikes (paragraph)’ followed by ‘cold, flu, and resilience (body)’…but as I have already topped the 1200 words mark I am going to say enough is enough – it is after all Mother’s Day and I am very much doubting reading this blog is anyone’s priority!  So I guess next week you get ready to hear all about colds, flus and resilience – hopefully I am over this stupid cold I have been lugging up and down the gravel hills of Nanga bush camp by then!

So – Enjoy the new bikes, and please do let me know if any of this sounds good (or not) with an email to Michael@round1fitness.com.au

See you in the gym,

Michael.