Boxing Blog

    Technique vs Strength, The One Challenge, Running Club

    Hi and welcome to another week,

    Wednesday, Thursday, Friday…Bang, Bang, Bang.  For anyone who pushed through those three classes at the end of last week and lived to tell the tale, well done because that is as tough a series of sessions I can remember.  Really happy with the effort put forth by everyone and the way so many people just grit their teeth and pushed hard to the end.

    We have some cool stuff ahead this week as well.  The new Body Work sessions roll-in to the program tomorrow with six (6) new classes to roll through day by day over the next month or so.  Remember, what is on MONDAY this week will be on Saturday next week, Friday the week after, Thursday the week after etc etc.  So if you do BW on the same day each week, you will do all 6-classes…but if you do it Thursday this week and Wednesday next week, well, that will be the SAME program.  Boxing is also pretty cool with both a partners class AND a team challenge on the agenda.

    I have a couple of notes about our ‘The One’ challenge below but after putting together a heap of programs for the challenge it has given me a bit more insight into the things people are struggling with AND struggling to get better at.  I tried to give a bit of insight into all of that in the little blurb on the challenge in LAST WEEK’s blog but whether you know the exact details of the challenge or otherwise, if there is something you are unable to do (in the gym) it generally comes down to one of two (2) things:

    –       You don’t have the SKILL to do it.

    –       You don’t have the STRENGTH to do it.

    I know this is probably a bit of an ‘OBVIOUSLY’ moment for everyone reading who will be sadly shaking their head at me simply reciting what they already know, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true.  And it doesn’t necessarily mean the problem is what you think it is.  Or (consequently) that the way to fix it is what you think it is.  By this I mean sometimes when you think the answer is to get stronger, you actually just need to practice/get right the technique – yet other times all the technique in the world wont help unless you get stronger.

    I often see this reflected in Body Scan outcomes – where after a month or so of a focussed lifting program – and this often happens when people follow a relatively ‘simple’ program such as Stronglifts 5×5 (which is an EXCELLENT methodology with a great supporting app btw) – and when they do their Body Scan at the end of that one/two month block and find that their muscle mass has not changed much (and in some cases it has even dropped marginally).  The usual comment is ‘How can that be?  I am lifting WAY MORE than I was a month ago – I MUST be stronger’.  The answer of course is a pretty simple one.

    Due to the number of repetitions they have been doing the increase in the weights being lifted is not down to an increase in muscle – it is because they have simply gotten better at squatting/deadlifting/bench-pressing etc.  In fact, they ALWAYS had the capacity within them to lift those ‘heavier’ weights.  What they didn’t have was the technique that would permit them to do it and through the repetitions they have been going through, their technique has developed to a point where they are able to lift heavier weights despite no increase in muscle.

    Of course, in the example above the person in question will eventually reach a point where no matter what they do they can no longer progress in their training – at that point, they need to ask themselves the question is the problem my technique or that I am not strong enough…and seek an answer to that question by getting the trainers to assess their technique and potentially getting some help in putting together a program that will address any lack of muscle mass questions.

    The reality is that all of this training and body composition stuff is TRICKY and you don’t always get to choose the exact outcome you want because you are unable to take into account all the variables that will impact your progress when you embark on a training program.  Just as lifting weights everyday (as in the example above) wont necessarily cause you to add muscle, doing boxing classes or extra running each day wont necessarily cause you to lose weight.  It would be nice to think that embarking on a new training regime will immediately cause you to lose a few kilos, but the reality is that embarking on a new regime will primarily do is get you ‘BETTER’ at executing that new routine – be it running everyday, boxing every day, doing pilates, yoga, whatever it might be.  Doing those things will get you BETTER at doing those things (hence we have a running club for people who want to RUN the ‘City to Surf’!).   If your goal is to get better at running, go running everyday.  If your goal is to be fit and healthy and LOOK fit and healthy, then there is a lot more to the story.

    If you – like me and most of the people who train alongside you everyday – are participating in the classes at Round 1 in order to ‘lose weight’ or ‘tone-up’, well, you are on the right track but the results are only going to be there if you pay an equal amount of attention to the food and drink you are putting in your mouth, to the amount of sleep you get, to managing the stress in your life (or having a plan to manage it in any case).  As much as I wish it wasn’t true, doing a boxing session everyday will only get you so far and if you are not prepared to make a couple of sacrifices in other parts of your life then you wont make much forward progress.

    Much like the original question about it being ‘get stronger’ versus ‘improve technique’ in terms of reaching a lifting goal, when it comes to losing a few kilos and looking better in your board-shorts there will need to be a question about whether the change you need to make is related to your exercise or your diet…and as mentioned before, there are other factors in the mix (sleep, stress, hormones, genetics) that may need to be played out as well.

    So just like the person with a lifting goal who needs to talk to a trainer about whether they need to follow a more specific training goal to built some muscle or just adjust their technique, if you aren’t quite getting the outcomes you are chasing then you need to take the time to have a chat to one of the trainers about what you can do differently.  Some of the advice you get might be training related, other parts of it might be food related, but if you are honest with them and yourself about the reason you are training and what you are hoping to get out of it then you are going to get a great outcome.

    See you in the gym,


    Gym Update #1 – ‘The ONE’ Challenge

    So we are a couple of weeks down in our latest challenge and it really does give me a boost to see so many people slogging it out in their extra’s each week.  I have said it before (over and over) but the difference an extra 15-minutes can make post-session is unbelievable.  Jumping on the assault bike, treadmill, bench-press…whatever it might be – and working hard and too a plan for as little as 10-15 minutes after every class can really have an impact as long as you do it with some real intensity!

    Anyway, I will be sending out a note to all challenge participants late this week trying to set up some follow-up appointments for this coming Saturday morning.  Please keep an eye out for the message and let me know when you are available.

    Gym Update #2 – Round 1 “Help Line”

    This is a repeat of last week’s note – as mentioned, stay tuned as we continue to build our database!

    Been spending a bit of time working on getting a database of specialist services together lately – trying to use the experience we have garnered in the past Seven (7) years in Cockburn to be able to offer pretty basic consults for people who need help with medical services, external training services and a few other things.  The way I see this working is that if you need some physio help, we connect you with the physio and are able to discuss the issue with them directly before you arrive for your appointment (and in theory we can set up the appointments but that is a bit more of a work in progress).  Same for chiro, podiatry, OT…you name it.  Same for specialist training services (sprint coaching, olympic lifting etc).  Whilst I wish we could cover EVERYTHING in house, it simply isn’t realistic given the wide range of specialist services people are chasing…

    Anyway, in the short-term, if you need help with something and you are a member of the gym, dont be shy about asking for help and we can get you in touch with the people best positioned to help you.

    Gym Update #3 – New Gear and other Stuff

    So I KNOW I promised a heap of new MMA gloves and Bag mitts last week…they will DEFINITELY be in this week.  Apologies guys, when it comes to international shipping sometimes time-tables don’t always go to plan.

    There are also a heap of new dead balls/slam balls on the way…I know a few more have split and am doing what I can to try and keep up with demand…please do keep in mind these balls are > $100 each and to just trivially throw them away is not the greatest plan ever.

    Gym Update #4 – Running Club Off and Running

    Running club is now three (3) weeks in and the effort really spiked this weekend with a series of 400-200-100-60m pyramids for the crew to work through.  Everyone did really well and we are looking good for our first ‘away game’ in a couple of weeks (week 5).  Week 4 will again start at the gym/Anning Park.

    If you still want to jump in – jump in.  As I have been saying, if you follow the plan you WILL get to the end of the City to Surf event in great shape!

    Homework for this week?  1x 40 minute run – but really push it along.  If you need to stop and walk a little that’s fine but when you are running I want you going HARD…not quite at that 400m pace but not far off it.  Give it a go!

    Gym Update – Footy Tipping and Fantasy

    So, this weekend I really, REALLY don’t want to talk about football.  Between losing two games of juniors, one WAFL game and then watching the Bulldogs get smacked from one end of Etihad to the other, it has not been a great weekend.  A few people did well in the tipping though, notably the two Brad “M’s” – Merendino and Mahar – who both nailed 5 out of 6 winners.

    Michael Campbell remains on top of the ladder which has undergone a fair shake up – Michael is one point clear of “Dazza” and a further point ahead of Xavier Marszal with the chasing pack now 3-points off the lead.

    The Fantasy comp is still on a ‘BYE’ so no updates there for another 1x weeks.

    Link of the Week

    Awesome link about social media and it’s use:


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