Matching your VISION to your ACTIONS

Hi Everyone and welcome to another week!

I want to start this weeks update with a bit of a homily about my 8year old – something that wont come as much of a surprise to any of the footballers I have coached over the last 6 or 7 years.

A couple of months back, young Marshall had a bit of success in the athletics at school – first he won the cross-country race at school, and he then followed it up by also winning the cross-country race at the inter-school carnival.  He was pretty happy with that and decided that he was a really good ‘long distance’ runner.  As a good long-distance runner (his self-image), he was happy to get up in the morning and do his cross-country training at school, make sure he ate some good food (‘Runners eat healthy Dad’) and generally did some things that fit in with his new self-perception.

When Little Athletics season rolled around a couple of weeks back, he was very excited to see that as an u9 he would get to run the 800m (was’t on the schedule for him as an u8 last year) – “I’m good at long distance Dad” he was again keen to let me know.  He generally goes pretty well at Little Athletics without winning any of the events – I could see his mind ticking away…this is going to be an event that I win, I will get a gold medal at the end of the year, I will go to the state championships etc etc – all the hopes and dreams of success we have all had at various times.  Anyway, on the first day of the season the 800m was on the program, he was VERY confident and started out OK but it all got too much for him and he couldn’t finish the race.  As I like to say, there is no disappointment without expectation and given his expectation (of himself) was so high, he was crushed and VERY upset.

Now came the difficult part for him – did he stick at it, re-up the efforts and have another go or change his internal perception (‘I am NO good at long-distance’) and just accept dropping back his efforts in the event for the rest of the year?  To me, this is the battle we all constantly go through and it relates to the gym in a few ways:
- When you first start attending the classes, progress is usually pretty good.  The classes are really tough for the first couple of times, but you quickly find yourself getting through them ‘better’, you might lose a couple of kilos and you find yourself with a bit more energy.  As a result, your perception of yourself changes (I am a healthy person who goes to the gym/I am GOING to lose 5kgs/I look good in my bathers) and accordingly you make a few small changes to your diet that align with these new mental models (no drinking mid-week is a common one) and start to feel a bit better about yourself.

- Maybe a month or so in, you find the classes aren’t getting any easier, your body shape isn’t changing at the rate you had dreamed of and, as a consequence you begin wondering if the sacrifices you have been making in the rest of your life are worth it…you begin questioning the mental model of yourself that those first couple of weeks of classes had created.  Maybe you really AREN’T a good long-distance runner?

In Marshall’s case, his mental model was pretty strong – he realised that when he had some success it was about the time he was training really hard (for an 8yo anyway!) and that he hadn’t been doing that recently – preferring computer games and TV to running.  So, he re-aligned the model – ‘I am am a good long-distance runner and good runners train hard’ – refocused and had another go.  Thankfully from the perspective of a parent everything worked out and when the 800m rolled around 2 weeks later he ran well and won the event.

Similarly for you when it comes to your training and meeting your goals – when you hit plateaus or cop a couple of setbacks (and you will) – reinforce your positive mental models and double check that what you are DOING really does align to achieving your goals.

- ‘I AM a fit and healthy person’.
- ‘Fit and healthy people train HARD’ – and remind yourself the classes aren’t supposed to be easy and the reason they aren’t becoming easier isn’t because your fitness isn’t improving – rather it is because you are punching harder, punching more, doing more push-ups and generally performing BETTER.
- ‘Fit and healthy people eat well’.  Keep track of your diet (don’t obsess over it though) and make sure that what you are eating supports the picture in your mind of a lean, fit you.

Changing your internal vision of yourself is hard.  But the rewards are worth it and if you make sure that your actions are aligned to achieving the vision then you will get there in the end.

Gym Update

Well – the new gear has arrived.  The new Leg Press has arrived and been installed (thanks to the GymCare guys – www.gymcare.com.au), the scales are here, the ab mats are here, new skipping ropes are there…pretty much everything promised is now in place!  But rather than leave things at that, I will make a couple of extra promises:

- The new rubber flooring that will allow us to move all the weights upstairs will be here ‘soon’!
- An Olympic Incline Bench-press has also been ordered.
- A heap of additional dumbbells will also be arriving – 30kgs ==> 50kgs.

I have had a couple of people ask why so much money is being spent on the weights area when such a comparatively small number of members use that part of the gym?  Well, really it is all about providing infrastructure that enables everyone to meet their fitness and weight-loss goals – our gym area was a little bit ‘under equipped’ by comparison to a couple of other facilities in the area whereas now it is at least the equal (if not better) than the ‘other guys’ – if you are a member at Round 1 Fitness then you will have access to a full-range of the best equipment.  If you are considering adding a couple of weights sessions to your weekly training program to really ramp up your training pre-Christmas, come and see me and I will help you out – resistance training really is the key to toning and weight loss (hence our regular use of barbells, dumbbells and body-weight exercises in the circuits) and a structured weights program only increases the level of progress you can make.

Power Balance Bands

Next time you are in the gym you might see we are also now able to offer a limited range of products from Power Balance – http://www.powerbalance.com/australia/.  Now these are the magnetic bracelets you might have seen a few people wearing around that are supposed to improve sports performance.  Do they work?  Well – I don’t know!  But certainly the simple tests the company suggest you try (see the ‘Today Tonight’ article on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yd0Gb9EgkHA) seem to work for me as well so I am giving one a go.

Anyway, the bracelets are available in the gym at a cost of $40 which is significantly less than you will see them retailing for elsewhere…rrp from the Power Balance website is $59.95.

10 for $50 Packs

Just a reminder to all those people who purchased the ’10 Rounds for $50′ special offer that the last week to use those passes is THIS week – the final day of selling the passes was September 30th and they each had a 30-day expiry time.  Now I have had a few people ask if we will repeat the offer – and the answer is maybe, but not until next autumn at the earliest.  Remember though, if it is the $5/session pricing you are after, that our memberships offer far greater value than even the  ’10 classes for $50′ pack – attending even 2 classes per week on a 12-month membership rate works out to just over $6 per visit…if you consider most people target 3 sessions per week, all of a sudden the price is down to approximately $4.20 per session…add 2 weights/cardio sessions and the price is down below $3/visit.

If you are concerned about paying for your gym memberships when you are on holidays or cancellation fees or whatever it might be, have a look at our terms and conditions next time you are in the gym.  I think you will find we are more reasonable (and flexible) when it comes to these things than any other gym around.

November Training Competition

Just a reminder that the November barbell circuit contest kicks off in a few short days.  I really would encourage everyone just to ‘have a go’ at it…see how you go.  These things aren’t about the winning – more about setting yourself a challenge and striving to achieve it.  Don’t worry about the 8 minutes 30 time I mentioned once before – that is what I projected the winner might achieve.  If you think that is a pipe-dream, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a go – just getting the circuit finished in the first week of November and trying to improve your time by 10% before the end of the month would be a fantastic effort/achievement.  Remember why you come to the gym – to improve your fitness levels/lose weight – and pushing your way through this pretty testing circuit once a week for a month is one sure way to achieve both of those things.

Anyway, that’s it from me for another week.

See you in the gym!

Michael