Training through illness, Running Club, ITB Stretching May 21st, 2017

Hi and welcome to another week,

As always, a big thankyou to everyone who got along to the gym in the last week.  As the weather has turned a little bit cold and nasty – and it starts to get a little harder to get up every morning – it really is time to remind yourself that done is done, and just getting out of bed and into really is a ’10 minutes of discomfort for a long-term benefit’ situation…once you have gotten out of bed, you will find there really isn’t that much difference between June and January…

I was really happy with the way the classes turned out last week and – of course – the Friday team challenge was my favourite.  Hard to define exactly why the structure of these sessions encourages/inspires everyone to work just that little bit harder…they just do.  In the week ahead we have some fun sessions planned with our first 6-minute class for a few weeks planned for Friday.  Thursday also has a ‘long-cycle’ rowing effort which we haven’t done (outside of TANKS and No Rules) for quite a few months now…can’t wait.

It is cold and flu season at the moment – or at least it is in my house! – and I just wanted to talk a little bit about how to handle things should you be ‘dragged down’ by illness.

First off, when you have a runny nose, sore throat, headaches etc – well, you often just don’t feel well enough to get into the gym…at least for a few days.  Oftentimes, you might feel the symptoms ‘coming on’ and think you will be OK – but then feel devoid of energy when you do get to the gym.  Be SMART in this situation.  Finish your workout, but maybe drop back from the performance targets to the fitness options.  Take a bit of extra time throughout the session for water breaks.  Get through…but look after yourself.  Most of the time, us fit, healthy, gym-going people only ever get those ‘first level’ symptoms…looking after yourself and living a fit and healthy lifestyle generally means you recover quickly from illness.

If the cold/flu has been dragging on for a few days, the question then becomes ‘should I go to the gym?’.  Well, you don’t want to make anyone else sick – and you don’t want to make yourself any worse/impede recovery.  So the rule here is usually a pretty simple one – 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!

The next phase of things of course is returning to the gym after missing a bit of time.  Now this might be because you have been recovering from the flu or have had some ‘stuff’ going on that has held you out of the action for a bit.  When you are first back – particularly after illness – you cannot just expect to be ‘back to normal’ on day one.  Don’t even think about things in those terms – set yourself small, achievable targets throughout the session whilst making allowances for your recovery (extra drink breaks etc).  Don’t think about the end of the class, just focus on finishing each station to the best of your ability then move, reset and refocus.  Oftentimes when you are returning to the gym after illness, you are feeling better but still aren’t quite better…and what you might find ‘easy’ in the normal course of affairs will be a challenge for a session or two after you first get back.

So there you go.  In the meantime, keep up the healthy eating, get some good sleep (tired, rundown people are more likely to fall victim to illness) and I will see you all in the gym!

Michael.

Gym Update #1 – New Lights

So – in the next couple of weeks we will be cutting all of our gym lighting over to LED-type globes.  Not that I think our lighting is terrible – but the LED lights are both better and (hopefully!!!) a LOT less expensive to run.  When we do get them in, would be really keen to hear your feedback.

Gym Update #2 – Running Club – Coming Soon

OK.  Lot’s of questions lately about where this is at and it will all be kicking off on the first Sunday in June (June 3) at 7am.  Apologies for the early start on a Sunday morning, but with the gym open from 8am it is kind of the only opportunity we will get to do it…plus, most of the events we are talking about will be early Sunday morning starts and you may as well get used to it.

As noted last week, in week #1 we will meet at the gym and will base ourselves there for a couple of weeks – longest run in week #1 will be 200m (but there will be a few of them!).  As time progresses towards the City to Surf, we will be increasing the distances we cover each week…to support that, we will be putting up some running work ‘to do’ in between our group sessions and will publish it here.

Just a couple of points to note:

There is no charge for the running club but it is for members only.  Please don’t ask if your significant other/brother/sister/friend/whomever can come along…it just gets uncomfortable saying no to good clients.

If we aren’t consistently getting 10+ people to the sessions, we aren’t going to run them.  Happy to get out of bed extra early on a Sunday to run the sessions, but it is a demand based system…if there is only one or two people who are interested, let’s just give it away and I will write up a couple of individual programs for you to follow.

Gym Update #3 – ‘The ONE’ Challenge – Coming Soon

As mentioned last week, our new challenge ‘The ONE’ will be kicking off in May.  This challenge is a bit special as participating gives you a 15-minute ‘sit down’ with one of the trainers to work through your food and training goals/plans – remember, it is all about getting BETTER at one training element and SACRIFICING one food element.

I am thinking that my ‘get better’ exercise is going to be barbell front squats – I tend to avoid them because of the stress on my wrists but the real solution would be to do them MORE not less…let’s see how it goes!

Gym Update #4 – Phase 2 1%’er

Week 4 of our strength/muscular development program is up and rolling.  Hopefully everyone who wants in has asked all the rack set up questions etc that they might have had…if not, track down a trainer and ask them this week!

Now, this program is again intended only to take up to 15-minutes of your time either before or after class…if you want a bit more, well, try the strength program (on the whiteboard in the power rack area) or the full-body program (on the whiteboard in the upstairs gym) OR get to Body Works OR get to TANKS (yes, I know it costs an extra $13.50 but it is pretty good!) or a PT session or 2.  Anyway, here goes:

Day 1:

Squat:  Warm-up with 2-3 light sets of 10 reps.  Pause at the bottom of each rep (count of 1) to work through your mobility.

Pull-ups:  Complete 3x sets of 5 strict pull-ups (10x fencepulls) to prepare your back for squats.

Squat:  Complete 3x sets of 5x HEAVY reps of back squats.  Pretty simple – add between 2.5kgs and 5kgs to the bar from the weight you used last session.

Day 2:

Bench Press:  Warm-up with 3x sets of 10-12 reps of bench press.  Focus on the bar going down ‘steady’, fast UP!

Push-ups:  Complete 3x sets of 10 strict pushups.

Bench Press:  Complete 3x sets of 5x HEAVY reps of Bench Press.  As with the squat, add between 2.5kgs and 5kgs to the weight you used last week.

Day 3:

Squat:  Repeat the warm-up from Day 1 (light squats and Pull-ups).

Pull-ups:  Complete 3x sets of 5 strict pull-ups (10x fencepulls) to prepare your back for squats.

Day 3:

Squat:  Repeat the warm-up from Day 1 (light squats and Pull-ups).

Deadlifts:  Perform 3-5 warm-up sets (slowly increment) then get 3x sets of 5-reps each.  As with our efforts back in week, these don’t need to be super heavy but I want them to be a ‘challenge’…you should finish your 3rd set with a little bit left in the tank though.

Gym Update – Footy Tipping and Fantasy

So a bit more of a ‘spread’ amongst tipsters this week.  Only 8 games on offer and a couple of people (Dodge and Rhino) were able to nail 7 of them – with only the Melbourne/North game and West Coast/Bombers games holding them back from perfection!

Michael Campbell has now taken a clear lead in the competition – he is one point ahead of Peter Brear and Clarke Osborne.

Over in the fantasy competition there were some massive scores recorded – 7 teams topped 2200 points and one topped 2300 points.  Two teams actually topped 2200 points and LOST (so it must suck to be them!).

Brendan was the top scorer of the week with 2308 points whilst Ash remains clear on top of the ladder.

Link of the Week

Great video on IT Band issues – have had a couple of people reporting on these in the last week or so and had to hunt way (way) back in the Mobility WOD archives:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdHah3xPx6E

You Gotta Stay Positive, New Stuff, Running Club May 14th, 2017

Hi and welcome to another week,

Happy Mothers Day everyone.  I hope you have all had a great weekend, enjoyed the Freo win (boooo) and got to spend some time with your families!  For me, it has been a fun day with junior sport and family time – Vanessa (as usual) stepped up and went into work at the gym on Mother’s Day so I could get along and watch boy child#1 play footy…given the outcome of that game, I probably got the short end of the deal but that aside her willingness to do stuff that saves me from doing stuff (if any of that makes sense) is why she is better than me, why girls are better people than boys, and why Mother’s Day is so important to so many of us!

With the gym stuff, I know a few people have been knocked on their butt by the flu that has been swirling around and we saw a few quieter sessions in the afternoons last week – particularly in that 6pm time-slot.  Here’s hoping everyone is feeling a little bit better this week and is back smashing out there training…remember, that the habit to get to the gym and get your training done is hard won – and particularly as the weather gets colder it does get easier and easier to bypass the daily grind in favour of the couch, a tv and a warm fire.  Battle through guys – you will be thankful you did by the time the warmer days come back!

If you miss a few days (or weeks) of your training, no-one at the gym is upset or disappointed in you.  We just aren’t.  We ABSOLUTELY want you to come back and train with us – that is the truth…but when you do, we aren’t looking to ‘punish you’ for time lost…we are just glad you are making the effort to get back on track!  Your training – and the THOUGHT of getting to the gym and working out – should not be stressful to you in any way.  It is supposed to be a fun, positive part of your life.  If you are getting stressed out at the thought of doing a class because you haven’t done any exercise for two weeks and even BEFORE you took a break you were struggling to hit your targets on the assault bikes (for example), well, you are thinking about stuff the wrong way.  After all, even if you MISS the target – and get a little puffed out and ‘uncomfortable’ in the process – you would have done a darn sight more work than had you decided to take another day off.  Think about your efforts in a POSITIVE way.

The whole reason you come to the gym is to feel better about yourself – positive about your self – because of the effort that YOU have made to do something that is HARD and out of the ordinary.  Yeah – you might get a bit sweaty (and you might even have a few thoughts of the ‘I wish this was over’ nature) for 45-minutes or so…but you should be thinking back at the end and thinking about everything you achieved in a positive way.  Training/working out/going to the gym/whatever you want to call it is a POSITIVE part of your daily/weekly routine and something you should be proud of…it isn’t something that should be raising stress levels or making you think any negative thoughts about!

If you are injured and finding you can’t do ‘everything’ – well, just be proud that you are still doing SOMETHING.  If you have been coming for ages and are still following the ‘FITNESS’ track in the gym, that isn’t something to feel BAD about – you should be feeling satisfied that you have been coming for ages!  Showing up consistently and having a genuine crack at it (or even having an 80% crack at it and spending the rest of the time – when the trainer isn’t looking – catching up with friends) is a GOOD thing.  Your time at the gym is time well spent – it should be making you feel BETTER and – dare I say it – be something you are able to look back at the end of the week as one of the single BEST things you were able to ‘Get Done’.

So all of this comes back to the one simple point I tried to make back at the start…missing a couple of sessions (or weeks, or months, or years…) should not make thoughts of a return STRESSFUL.  It shouldn’t be like that at all.  You should be thinking positive thoughts about getting back into it, getting back to having a real positive element in your life again, getting back those 45-minute blocks where the whole focus is YOU and that bag (or barbell, or bike, or whatever) and the rests of life’s problems are elsewhere…just for a little while anyway.

See you all in the gym!

Michael.

p.s.  We have an awesome special really designed for casual users/people new to the gym at the moment – 5 Sessions for $49.  The offer ends at the end of this week and the passes can be used right up until the end of June 2017.

Gym Update #1 – New Gear and other stuff

So I have a bit of ground to cover here so let’s go.

First, we have a great new product in the drinks fridge in ‘Life Aid’.  This stuff is awesome and has a heap of products that many of you will already be supplementing with – ginger, cayenne and turmeric for anti-inflammatory, magnesium, vitamin c…only 45 calories and – as with the other products in the Fit Aid range, no artificial colours or sweeteners.  This product is designed to be a daily supplement…it is pretty awesome (and delicious!).

Heap of new Floor to Ceiling balls are about to go up.  And some new speedballs as well.

New range of MMA gloves is on the way.

New range of Bag Mitts (particularly in SMALL and XXL sizes) are on the way.

Working on getting in some new hoodies for winter…Black is the colour!

Gym Update #2 – Running Club – Coming Soon

OK.  Lot’s of questions lately about where this is at and it will all be kicking off on the first Sunday in June (June 3) at 7am.  Apologies for the early start on a Sunday morning, but with the gym open from 8am it is kind of the only opportunity we will get to do it…plus, most of the events we are talking about will be early Sunday morning starts and you may as well get used to it.

As noted last week, in week #1 we will meet at the gym and will base ourselves there for a couple of weeks – longest run in week #1 will be 200m (but there will be a few of them!).  As time progresses towards the City to Surf, we will be increasing the distances we cover each week…to support that, we will be putting up some running work ‘to do’ in between our group sessions and will publish it here.

Just a couple of points to note:

There is no charge for the running club but it is for members only.  Please don’t ask if your significant other/brother/sister/friend/whomever can come along…it just gets uncomfortable saying no to good clients.

If we aren’t consistently getting 10+ people to the sessions, we aren’t going to run them.  Happy to get out of bed extra early on a Sunday to run the sessions, but it is a demand based system…if there is only one or two people who are interested, let’s just give it away and I will write up a couple of individual programs for you to follow.

Gym Update #3 – ‘The ONE’ Challenge – Coming Soon

As mentioned last week, our new challenge ‘The ONE’ will be kicking off in May.  This challenge is a bit special as participating gives you a 15-minute ‘sit down’ with one of the trainers to work through your food and training goals/plans – remember, it is all about getting BETTER at one training element and SACRIFICING one food element.

I am thinking that my ‘get better’ exercise is going to be barbell front squats – I tend to avoid them because of the stress on my wrists but the real solution would be to do them MORE not less…let’s see how it goes!

Gym Update #4 – Phase 2 1%’er

Week 3 of our strength/muscular development program is up and rolling.  Hopefully everyone who wants in has asked all the rack set up questions etc that they might have had…if not, track down a trainer and ask them this week!

Now, this program is again intended only to take up to 15-minutes of your time either before or after class…if you want a bit more, well, try the strength program (on the whiteboard in the power rack area) or the full-body program (on the whiteboard in the upstairs gym) OR get to Body Works OR get to TANKS (yes, I know it costs an extra $13.50 but it is pretty good!) or a PT session or 2.  Anyway, here goes:

Day 1:

Squat:  Warm-up with 2-3 light sets of 10 reps.  Pause at the bottom of each rep (count of 1) to work through your mobility.

Pull-ups:  Complete 3x sets of 5 strict pull-ups (10x fencepulls) to prepare your back for squats.

Squat:  Complete 3x sets of 5x HEAVY reps of back squats.  Pretty simple – add between 2.5kgs and 5kgs to the bar from the weight you used last session.

Day 2:

Bench Press:  Warm-up with 3x sets of 10-12 reps of bench press.  Focus on the bar going down ‘steady’, fast UP!

Push-ups:  Complete 3x sets of 10 strict pushups.

Bench Press:  Complete 3x sets of 5x HEAVY reps of Bench Press.  As with the squat, add between 2.5kgs and 5kgs to the weight you used last week.

Day 3:

Squat:  Repeat the warm-up from Day 1 (light squats and Pull-ups).

Pull-ups:  Complete 3x sets of 5 strict pull-ups (10x fencepulls) to prepare your back for squats.

Squat:  Complete 3x sets of 5x HEAVY reps of back squats.  Pretty simple – add between 2.5kgs and 5kgs to the bar from the weight you used last session (back on day 1).  I don’t really like to deadlift too often so the dead’s will only be an ‘every second week’ effort.

Gym Update – Footy Tipping and Fantasy

Another disastrous week for most tipsters with Brad Merendino and ‘Guzz’ (whomever that might be!) winning the week on just 7 points.  Overall, Michael Campbell and Craig Burleigh retain a slight edge on what seems like 110000 tipsters just a point or so back…it definitely is ‘anyones’ as we pass the 1/3 mark of the 2017 season.

Over in fantasy, scores were ‘OK’ and there was not much change on top of the ladder.  Good scores this week by Daniel ‘Pity about my Basketball team’ Augustine on 2213 and Craig ‘I will win the tipping and the fantasy but Geelong still wont win the flag’ Burleigh on 2226.

Good luck next week everyone.

Link of the Week

I was going to blog about client expectations this week…but as it turned out, Mike Robertson already did it!

http://robertsontrainingsystems.com/blog/3-things-i-expect-from-every-athlete/

Three simple food tips, Running Club, ‘The ONE’ Challenge May 7th, 2017

Hi and welcome to another week,

Loved my training last week – and thanks so much to everyone else who got along to have a crack.  I have to say, that ‘long, slow effort’ on the bikes on Thursday (5 minutes, 75 calories) was a real shock to the system and  – even though I had built the programming up to this for 2-weeks preceding Thursday, it was a real challenge and left me feeling pretty unhappy at the end.  I actually called it ‘The Grind’ on the class plan and it really felt like it as I worked through it…congratulations to everyone who really went after it with a positive attitude and got it done (either inside or ‘just outside’ the allocated time limit!).

Had a great moment in the gym last week when one of our clients who is going through a bit of a diet ‘revolution’ at the moment announced she had manage to drop nearly 3.5kgs inside a month.  A great effort.  She topped the story off by telling me how just before jumping on the scales, she had decided she was a ‘bit tired’ to go for her nightly walk that she has added to her current training routine as part of the weight loss push – funnily enough, the great result with the weight loss had her throwing on her walking shoes and hitting the road…all this stuff is connected!  Your eat well, you train well – you train well, you eat well.  And if you are just consistent with your habits then you will stay ‘on track’ for (ever?) a really long time!

If you are struggling a bit with your food, here are a few things I have been working through with some Food Matters people that you might find worth checking out in your own diet…none of these are earth shattering ideas but they are worth ‘giving a go’ if you are thinking about throwing your hands in the air and giving up.

Firstly – do you know that some foods are just more ‘filling’ than others?  Do you know that there is some science behind this and there is something called a ‘Satiety Index’ (check the link here – http://www.mendosa.com/satiety.htm) which gives you some good ideas about things you can eat that ‘fill you up’ and reduce the likelihood of you feeling the need for a post-meal snack?  You will see fruits including Oranges and Apples, carb sources including OATS and Boiled potatoes are AWESOME – other things are not so good…and unfortunately the ‘not so good’ group includes some typical snack foods such as candy bars, muffins and yoghurt.  Have a read of the link, maybe think about adding some OATS to your morning routine, or having an orange in the middle of the afternoon might be a super addition to your routine!

Tricking yourself into ‘slowing down’ your eating is another great way to get on top of things.  I’m sure we all know that the “I’m Full” signal being sent from stomach to brain isn’t instantaneous…after all, food has to be chewed and swallowed etc before your body knows it is there…and by that time, it is too late to say ‘NO MORE’ – it has already off the fork and in your mouth.  So trying things such as one drink of water after three bites of food is effective for a lot of people…but there is one even more effective method.  Eating with others in a social situation is a great way to slow your eating – you can’t talk and eat at the same time so your eating will naturally be slowed down.  So, go to the lunch room at work – don’t eat at your desk.  Not only will it give your eyes a break from your computer screen AND help you build relationships with your co-workers, it is also a pretty valid weight loss tool.

Lastly, make sure your protein is ‘up’.  There are two pretty simple ‘rules of thumb’ here:

First, you want between 20-30% of your TOTAL calories at EACH MEAL to be protein.  Now the reason here (and you can read more about it in this study:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18469287) is that protein generally increases satiety to a greater extent than fat or carbs.  Of course, the fact that higher protein diets are associated with stimulating lean muscle growth doesn’t exactly hurt either!

Second, you want to have between 1.0g and 1.5g of protein PER KG of body weight PER DAY.  I know some people have more than this (up to 2.0g is generally considered ‘OK’ but as per the link shared on Facebook during the week, ‘overdosing’ on protein is not a massive problem either – click here for the link:  http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/1103993) but keep in mind we aren’t chasing protein here for muscle growth but – as noted earlier, lean muscle growth is not exactly a negative side effect.

Remember, help is available on this stuff – just ask.  You are going to need to put in a bit of work of your own (and stick at it of course) but if you are trying to lose some kgs/’fix’ your diet, those are some of the reasons we are here.

See you all in the gym!

Michael.

Gym Update #1 – Running Club – Coming Soon

OK.  Lot’s of questions lately about where this is at and it will all be kicking off on the first Sunday in June (June 3) at 7am.  Apologies for the early start on a Sunday morning, but with the gym open from 8am it is kind of the only opportunity we will get to do it…plus, most of the events we are talking about will be early Sunday morning starts and you may as well get used to it.

Week #1 we will meet at the gym and will base ourselves there for a couple of weeks – longest run in week #1 will be 200m.

Gym Update #2 – ‘The ONE’ Challenge – Coming Soon

As mentioned last week, our new challenge ‘The ONE’ will be kicking off in May.  This challenge is a bit special as participating gives you a 15-minute ‘sit down’ with one of the trainers to work through your food and training goals/plans – remember, it is all about getting BETTER at one training element and SACRIFICING one food element.

I am thinking that my ‘get better’ exercise is going to be barbell front squats – I tend to avoid them because of the stress on my wrists but the real solution would be to do them MORE not less…let’s see how it goes!

Gym Update #3 – Phase 2 1%’er

Week 2 of our strength/muscular development program is up and rolling.  Hopefully everyone who wants in has asked all the rack set up questions etc that they might have had…if not, track down a trainer and ask them this week!

Now, this program is again intended only to take up to 15-minutes of your time either before or after class…if you want a bit more, well, try the strength program (on the whiteboard in the power rack area) or the full-body program (on the whiteboard in the upstairs gym) OR get to Body Works OR get to TANKS (yes, I know it costs an extra $13.50 but it is pretty good!) or a PT session or 2.  Anyway, here goes:

Day 1:

Squat:  Warm-up with 2-3 light sets of 10 reps.  Pause at the bottom of each rep (count of 1) to work through your mobility.

Pull-ups:  Complete 3x sets of 5 strict pull-ups (10x fencepulls) to prepare your back for squats.

Squat:  Complete 3x sets of 5x HEAVY reps of back squats.  Pretty simple – add between 2.5kgs and 5kgs to the bar from the weight you used last session.

Day 2:

Bench Press:  Warm-up with 3x sets of 10-12 reps of bench press.  Focus on the bar going down ‘steady’, fast UP!

Push-ups:  Complete 3x sets of 10 strict pushups.

Bench Press:  Complete 3x sets of 5x HEAVY reps of Bench Press.  As with the squat, add between 2.5kgs and 5kgs to the weight you used last week.

Day 3:

Squat:  Repeat the warm-up from Day 1 (light squats and Pull-ups).

Deadlifts:  Perform 3-5 warm-up sets (slowly increment) then get 3x sets of 5-reps each.  As with our efforts last week, these don’t need to be super heavy but I want them to be a ‘challenge’…you should finish your 3rd set with a little bit left in the tank though.

Gym Update – Footy Tipping and Fantasy

Well, there was a clear tipping disaster with pretty much every result being an upset – and in EVERY game (yep, every single one) the team that won had started the weekend lower on the ladder than its opponent.  Regardless of all that, someone had to win…and that person was the proud new Dad, Dave MacFarlane.  Dave selected 5 correct which had him one clear of a whole heap of people on 4 (there were 11 of them so I am not going to mention names!).

Things are tight on top of the ladder with Peter Brear and Craig Burleigh (both Cats supporters) leading the way on 42 with 17 others within 3 points of the lead.

Over in Fantasy, things were a bit more normal with some good scoring by the top teams.  Liam top scored for the week with 2179, Justin (struggling in the middle of the ladder) returned to form and other big totals were posted by Brett and Kim.

Link of the Week

With the strength based 1%’er up at the moment, this is a cool little article to read:

https://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/strength-training-101-how-to-squat-properly/