Boxing Blog

    My Friend Harley and the Definition of Hard Work and Persistence

    Hi and welcome to another week,

    As always, I want to start this with a big thanks to everyone who trained at Round 1 Fitness last week.  I have had a couple of people tell me that these ‘thank you’ notes sound a bit ‘by the numbers’ but they sure aren’t meant too…I hope you all realise how much all of us at R1 appreciate that you choose to come and train with us (and alongside us) every day/week/month and without each of you there would be no gym.  And with no gym I am sitting in IT planning meetings all day, spending my time writing reports that no-one reads and explaining to problem managers that even systems that are available 99.995% of the time (though to be fair, 5×9’s or 99.999% has long been the buzzword) need to be shutdown/restarted/reset/reconfigured/renewed at least once every 12 months!  Helping someone with their squat, ‘encouraging’ them on the assault bike or chatting with them about healthy breakfast options sounds like a lot more my scene!

    Anyone who knows me would know already what today’s blog was going to be about – my friend Harley.

    Back in October 2009 I was about to start my 2nd year as coach of the Peel Thunder colts team and the younger brother of one of our 2008 players had been invited to training.  The story we got was that he was ‘bigger’ than his brother (a pretty fair player himself who was drafted by Collingwood) but wasn’t too keen on training (or hard work in general) and was pretty averse to winning his own ball – preferring to stay ‘outside’ the contest and wait for his team-mates to get it for him.

    Anyway – I am sure I have told this story before but none of those stories turned out to be true…the kid who showed up was a happy, friendly (everyone loves Harley) kid who was at the front of all the running sessions (not a bad effort as a 16yo in an team of 18yo’s!) and was more than willing to risk life, limb and even beheading to win the ball.  He finished in the top couple in our best and fairest, played a big part in getting us to the grand final that year (though clearly superb coaching was the main reason for that!!!) and then backed it all up again the next year…adding state footy and league footy (at age 17 no less) to his resume.

    As I think everyone knows, he was drafted by the Gold Coast Suns (number 2 overall) and headed away from home at age 18 to try and make his way in the game…as it turned out the footy stuff was no trouble – he quickly showed his on-field value to the Suns and finished in the top 10 in the club best and fairest every year…let’s face it, the kid can play.  Off field things obviously weren’t as rosy with the drugs controversy in 2015 ultimately leading to his trade to Fremantle.  I don’t really know much about the drugs stuff – I have never asked him about it – but as I said to the media at the time it all happened, H is a terrific person and ALL of us make a mistake or two.

    The last couple of years have been a misery for H – of that there is no doubt.  As I mentioned earlier in this piece, HE TRAINS HARD.  His running efforts at training are as good as anyone I have seen in footy (and, for example, today’s game between Richmond and Fremantle featured 11 players I have coached – Brad Hill, Ballantyne, Tucker, Weller, Deluca, Bennell, Hamling and McCarthy for Fremantle and Houli, McIntosh and Broad for the Tiges so that is not a lightly made statement) – and his calf muscle keeps blowing up DURING TRAINING.  So if your plan has always been to overcome through hard work, how do you work hard to overcome when your body keeps breaking?????

    I mean, how are you supposed to play if you can’t run?  And how can you run hard if your calf keeps ‘breaking’.  And if your whole life and personality has been build around being a ‘footballer’, well, how are you supposed to do that?  And how do you trust the people around you if they keep telling you what to do and you do it EXACTLY and it still keeps ‘breaking’?

    I know these guys – and H is no exception – get paid really well for what they do, but that doesn’t mean it is easy.  And when all you want to do is play – but your body just wont let you, and no-one can explain what course of action it is that you need to take, well….

    Anyway, long story short, H played footy today against Richmond.  And Freo got belted (again)…but I think it was the first time I have watched a full game played by the Dockers in a few months just to make sure he got through.  And he did.  So the ‘next part’ of the story that was put on hold with the trade back to Fremantle nearly two years ago can finally start!

    Is there a moral of the story?  I don’t know about that – but there is a story there somewhere that is about hard work and persistence and having faith in both yourself and those around you.  One thing is certain, if you have something that you want to do, you can’t just sit there and wait for it to ‘happen to you’ – you just have to work as hard as you possibly can AND persist no matter what people not part of ‘your circle’ are saying.

    If H believed articles like THIS he never would have run out on Subiaco Oval today.  If you believe it when your ‘friends’ tell you that you will NEVER achieve the things you are chasing in the gym every day (whether those things are performance related, muscle related, fat-loss related doesn’t really matter) then you will just give up and never will make it…as the saying goings, if you are thinking about quitting, remember why you started because if you cannot lose that 5kgs in the gym, it is for sure and certain that you wont lose them on the couch!

    I am pretty happy for H today.

    See you in the gym,


    Gym Update #1 – August Challenge…All GO!

    Our challenge is 3-weeks in…and I don’t want to do the week 4 core stuff ‘cos it means I need to do another 100 teapots! 🙁

    In all seriousness though, this challenge has been brilliant as a participant (my core stuff has really gotten better and it is amazing what an extra 60 minutes per week can do when it is time spent with a FOCUS) and as a coach (it is so awesome seeing new people in the squat racks, different people on the treadmills…).  Anyway, well done to everyone to this point – let’s just all stay focused for the last two weeks in order to really maximise our results.

    Just remember, if you are stuck trying to figure out an exercise, don’t forget to check our YouTube channel (HERE:  Round 1 Videos on YouTube) and/or ask one of the trainers in the gym for some help.

    Gym Update #2 – October Challenge (is coming).

    Every year, our biggest challenge – both in terms of participation and outcomes (meaning specifically weight-loss) is the 28-days Later challenge that runs in February.  This challenge is awesome for a few reasons, but I guess the main one is it enables everyone to get the new year ‘off and running’ after a period of holidays and misbehaviour over the Christmas holidays.


    This year we want to try and duplicate that challenge – but BEFORE Christmas.  Rather than everyone be looking their leanest and best in March, we want to make sure everyone is ready for the beach when summer rolls around…not only that, the idea is that come February Challenge time, we are all ‘making progress’ rather than just ‘getting back to normal’ after a few too many beers and bbq’s through December/Jan.


    So – we are busily working on the structure of the challenge and a book of new recipes and all those sort of things…and wondered if there might be some people who would like to tie in the END of this new challenge with a dinner-dance style event early in November.  I envision tickets to such an event would cost around-abouts $120 or so…if this is something you might be interested in, please let us know via email ( so we can work out if it is worth organising or not!

    Gym Update #3 – Running Club Off and Running

    Well today was our last running club for a little while – and the crew bashed their way through the famous (infamous!) ‘DEEK’ workout.  This was one of the ‘go to’ sessions Rob De Castella used when prepping for the Olympics in ’84 (which actually didn’t go so well – he was favoured to win the gold medal but lost touch with the leading group at a drinks station and was unable to regain touch with the leaders…I seem to remember he fought on pretty hard to finish in the top 10 but am far too lazy (unlike the amazing Deek!) to look it up right now.

    The workout goes like this:  Eight (8) sets of 400m (sprint) + 200m recovery jog.  That’s it.  If it sounds easy, I suggest you give it a crack yourself one day because it is a bloodbath of pretty epic proportions and a 400m sprint is approximately 350m too long to be ‘sprinting’ in my books.  The crew gritted their teeth hard though and pushed all the way through to the end.

    With the City to Surf on next week we will be taking a bit of a break from running club for a few weeks but the intention is to ‘crank it up’ from around the start of October to enable people participating in the Spartan event to get their legs ready for the event…like all adventure races, the Spartan organisers like to highlight all of the ‘obstacles’ in their advertising but the reality of them is that you need to show up on the day, ready to RUN!

    Gym Update #4 – Hoodies, Hats and Stuff

    So – Hopefully everyone has seen the cool new trucker hats in the gym by now – there are only a few of these available (they are in a couple of different colours) and you can pick one up for $20.

    As the crew who ordered hoodies (pre-ordered!) would be aware, in the next week or so there will be a limited number of kids hoodies going up for sale – these were either an accident or a mistake (it depends on your point of view) and once I can figure out which I will get a price set and get them up on display.

    Lastly, we have a heap of quick-wraps and hand-wraps on the way – so if you need some quick wraps all sizes/colours will soon be available…just keep an eye on the shelves as they will soon be up on display.

    Gym Update – Footy Tipping and Fantasy

    Just one week left in both competitions and it all looks like this:

    Tipping is pretty well poised with FOUR (4) tipsters tied for the lead.  Michael Campbell has been on top for most of the year but has had a shaky last month and has been joined by Ryan, Kentucky and Craig B with Xavier one point further back.  Someone is going to have to pick a couple of roughies in an effort to win it – and with teams who have secured finals spots resting players (yep, Adelaide, I am looking directly at you!) who knows which way the results will go.  Good luck guys.

    Over in fantasy, we are down to two teams for next weeks Grand Final – my team will fight it out against Brian Smith in the first ever battle of the top 2 since the Round 1 fantasy league started way back in 2011.

    Commiserations to Brett and Craig (especially Craig who lost by just 9 points) on missing out on the big game but congratulations on the great seasons you have both had.

    Link of the Week

    Since I spoke about Rob DeCastella earlier in the blog, I hunted down this article that I enjoyed a couple of months back – it is an awesome story and I am sure if you take the time you will really enjoy the read:


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