Boxing Blog

    Being the boundary umpire and GPP, 1608 Challenge

    Hi and welcome to another week,

    Thanks to everyone who got to the gym last week.  We actually had to restructure a couple of the session plans as a few more people than I anticipated got into the gym…that is an awesome problem for us to have and whilst it isn’t as if we are seeing ‘February numbers’ in the gym in July, we aren’t exactly seeing ‘July numbers’ either.  All of us at the gym really appreciate the support everyone has been showing us, particularly given the weather (freezing), it is cold and flu season and it seems as if everyone is just overrun by commitments relating to kids school and sport at this time of year.

    We have a new challenge starting this week – the August 1608 Challenge – and it has been great to see so many people jump on-board.  There is more info about this below in the blog (Gym Update#1) but in essence to finish the challenge there are 16x classes to do plus 8x ‘extras’ between the 1st of August (tomorrow) and the 28th.  If you are keen to get involved, registration link is here:  1608 Challenge

    I wanted to talk this week about the reason that I train (pretty much) every day and why I try to make sure I am continually doing different things.  Now the basis for this little rant was my experience filling in as a boundary umpire in the under 14’s a week or so back – but I will come back to that soon enough.  Anyway, I train pretty much every day and always try to do different things (and continually program different things for all of you guys) because of a little thing commonly called ‘GPP’.

    ‘GPP’ or ‘General Physical Preparedness’ – and there are one million definitions of it out there on the interwebs – is a term that came out of the athletic programs run in the old eastern bloc countries back in the 1950’s and ‘60s.  Back then, those various communist based governments believed that the way to show the superiority of their political system was to win loads of gold medals at each Olympics – and because of that they devoted masses of resources towards that end.  Now I agree that the very idea that “Gold Medals = Better Country/Society” seems a massive stretch but to be fair those same eastern bloc countries also made some pretty massive investments in their military as well so that even if the whole ‘win gold medal thing’ didn’t work out no-one would argue with them in any case!

    Enough of the history lesson and where the term originated– I am sure the other trainers at the gym will be saying that the only reason I am talking about this stuff is that I was there in the ‘50s and ‘60’s when it all happened anyway – and back to ‘GPP’.  The coaches (scientists??) who put together the training programs back in those eastern bloc countries used to split each athletes training up into two components – SPP and GPP.  The ‘SPP’ was the sport-specific preparation (sprinters sprint, swimmers swim, boxers box, weightlifters weightlift) and ‘SPP’ encompassed the training that was directly related to the sport – both the skill elements and conditioning elements.  For example, a boxer would complete sparring sessions which is very obviously ‘SPP’ or sport specific training.  But they would also get out of the bed every morning and do ‘road work’ which – as endurance is a key element of the sport – would also fall into the category of ‘SPP’.

    The GPP was ‘all the other stuff’ – and what you might hear professional athletes in our society call ‘cross-training’ or ‘off legs’ (for running based sports) or any number of other terms.  So the weight-lifters would do hill-sprints – and so would the swimmers.  The long-distance runners would swim and lift weights, the boxers would play ice-hockey – I am sure you get the idea.  All of this is pretty commonplace today as our elite athletes all do this kind of thing as it enhances both their athletic and physical bases and enables them to be ‘more effective’ in their chosen sport – but it was radical thinking back in the 1950’s and still quite a ‘stretch’ for western athletes as recently as the 1980’s.  As any old footballer what they used to do for pre-season training and the answer will be ‘long distance running’ and ‘football’…today, they will do weight sessions, boxing sessions, yoga, pilates, swimming…the list goes on.  It is all about building a base via GPP.

    Anyway, back to my story.  A week ago on the morning of Marshall’s football game an email came out from the team manager saying that the team’s regular boundary umpire had been called into work and someone else needed to volunteer to do it.  I have another job on match day so didn’t volunteer but through on a pair of runners before heading along to the game just in case.  As it turned out, I had to run the boundary because out of all the other parents at the game no-one was able to do the job.  And the story gets a little bit worse because the other team had no-one able to do the job either.  So out of 50 kids there is around 100 parents (give or take a handful) and no-one able to run up and down a grassed oval for 4x 20-minute quarters?  None of us should be living our lives that way…well, not unless there are some pretty serious injury concerns in our life (and maybe give 10% of people a pass for that one).

    I like to think the training we do at Round 1 is really training for ‘life’.  We don’t just lift weights, we don’t just run on the treadmill, we don’t sit on spinning bikes.  We are fit to do pretty much ‘whatever’ life throws at us and if an Adventure Race came up next weekend we could (work, family and social commitments aside) quickly put together a team 100 strong (or MORE) to get out there and tear the thing apart – with NO EXTRA TRAINING required!  I am not sure any of us would win the race – after all, there are people out there who are Adventure Racers who are doing a heap of the SPP relating to that sport who would have a pretty massive advantage – but we would be set to get to the end and have a heap of fun doing it.   Not only that, but we would wake up the next morning and feel ‘a bit sore but OK’ and probably be right to head back to the gym.

    Don’t be one of the people sitting in a outdoor chair saying “I can’t do it because…” – get active, get training and get ready for ANYTHING!

    See you all in the gym,


    Gym Update #1 – The 1608 Challenge Starts TOMORROW!

    ‘Summer Bodies are made in Winter’ and the August Challenge is UP and ready for registrations.  You can sign up HERE!

    This is a training only challenge – there is no food/diet component this time – and the way it works is pretty simple.  Starting from the 1st of AUGUST (that’s tomorrow!!!) you have 16x classes and 8x challenges to complete in 28-days.

    If you haven’t signed up yet but have been ‘thinking’ about it, well, no time like right now.  Every day you delay is one less day to finish the challenge…and I know for me I am going to need every available day to finish everything off.  If you haven’t had your scan/sorted your t-shirt size yet, don’t stress too much – we can sort that stuff out during the week – but getting your registration in so you can grab your form and starting getting your classes and challenges signed off is the important bit right now.

    In case you have been hiding under a rock, the details are:

    Classes – There will be 16x Boxing classes (or Body Work, or B+, or TANKS, or Beginners) to slog through during the month…it works out to a touch over 3 sessions per week.

    Extras – There will be 8x ‘EXTRAS’ to complete during the month.  We will be setting this up so that you have a choice of 15x extra workouts to push through – some will be as short as ten minutes of effort, a couple of them will take a fair bit longer.  There are no ‘extra’ points for doing the longer challenges (you can do the same one eight (8) times if you like!) but it is about matching yourself to the challenges that best suit your own weaknesses/strengths AND the time that YOU have available.

    The challenge does look amazing – the ‘extras’ give you options from the ‘simple’ to the ‘complicated’ with a couple of them designated for ‘experienced trainers only’.  In terms of creating a challenge that gives EVERYONE a real shot at finishing the challenge whilst still maintaining a close watch on their ‘other’ training efforts I really do think this is the best one we have ever put together…I think we learned a lot from creating the programs in our last challenge (‘THE ONE’) and it has really helped us put together a great schedule for August.

    Remember, ‘Summer bodies are made in Winter’ – jump on the 1608 Challenge!

    Gym Update #2 – Product of the WEEK

    We offer 2x awesome varieties of protein at Round 1 – our all natural whey from BOOMERS and a range of flavours (and easy mixing!) from Progenex.  If you are training regularly and NOT taking protein as part of your dietary regime you might want to have a think about doing it – getting in some easily digestible nutrients in the form of a shake immediately after your training session can really help with your recovery…not to mention giving your body some easily accessible fuel right when you need it the most.

    I have actually taking to sipping on my shake WHILST I train (when I am lifting, not boxing!) and have just found it has been really giving me a little bit more energy to get right to the end of my programmed reps…always a bonus!

    Gym Update #3 – New Gym Wear

    There are still some of our awesome gym hoodies left (but no more in the small or extra small sizes) and these will be joined during the week by our new ‘Earned not Given’ muscle tees (boys) and singlets (girls).  These look pretty cool and I am excited about getting them up on the shelves…

    Gym Update #4 – Squat Therapy

    If you have ever wanted to get your squat ‘RIGHT’ – to be able to use the power racks, squat weight for reps, understand how to manage a linear progression, understand how to add supplementary exercises in order to ‘push past’ plateaus in that linear progression, well, our ‘SQUAT THERAPY’ program might be for you.

    It will be limited to 8x participants and will consist of FIVE WEEKS of weekly ‘hands on’ group training sessions + weekly ‘homework’ and access to individual coaching/q+a as required.

    Expressions of interest to

    Gym Update #5 – Weight Belts

    We will very soon have our own weight belts in the gym for your wearing pleasure.  We have been going back and forth with a couple of manufacturers over the past couple of months and finally (finally!) have a couple of models we think we are happy with.  There will be a pretty ‘simple’ belt design which can be used for ‘most’ light to medium duty applications AND a more heavy duty, leather, double pronged job that will be more suited to people chasing PR’s over in the squat racks.

    The best part is going to be the pricing…but I am pretty sure you could have guessed that already!

    Footy Tips and DreamTeam

    Well, the simplest week of tipping ever has seen 10 people rack up all 9 correct winners…and receive a bonus point for doing exactly that.  Clint, KD#1, Nicole H, PB, Michelle H, Kristy M, Aaron P and Deb all picked every winner (along with yours truly of course) and as a result the leaderboard remains largely unchanged.  Of the leaders, only Luke Mora failed to pick all 9 winners and as a result lost two points (because of the bonus point) to the rest of the leaders.

    On another note, it seems that most people who did get one wrong had selected West Coast to beat Collingwood…I am not sure any of those people have been watching West Coast play a game after they have been on an aeroplane!

    Dream Team.  We are into the finals now and the top-8 is set.  Congratulations to Lloyd, Craig, Rocco, Kim, Travis, Brett, Daniel and Justin who will play off for the title this year.  I will be forever bitter about this season…as the 4th highest scoring team in the league (when all that matters is how many points you score) somehow I have not finished 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th or even 9th but 10th and it is pretty darn agitating.  Robbed!  Also a shout out to Andrew Oreb who also finished in the top 8 scoring sides (7th overall) and who also missed the finals.

    Link of the week

    In honour of our forthcoming Squat Therapy workshop, here is a pretty cool video from ‘Again, Faster’ all about exactly that – fixing the squat!


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