Boxing Blog

    28-Days Later Challenge – Feedback Summary

    Hi and welcome to another week,


    First up – a big thanks to everyone who we saw in the gym during the past week.  Classes have been a LOT of fun – except that 6-minute round monstrosity last Wednesday…I mean, who WRITES THIS STUFF!!! – and the week ahead looks pretty cool as well.  For starters, Tanks this week features the first of what I am calling a ‘Dynamic Compound’ strength set – this week we have two of them one isolating upper body and another with an upper-lower-abs ‘triplet’.  So the Tanks crew should be excited for that because we have never really done anything like this before!  Second, uur boxing classes look ‘interesting’ as well.  I am pretty pleased to announce we will be running 1-minute rounds on Thursday (now THAT is old-school!) and that it will be followed with a ‘unique’ partners challenge on Friday (don’t worry, you don’t need a ‘partner’ to participate!).  Really looking forward to seeing how it all goes.  Last – this is NEARLY it for this ‘BLOCK’ of Body Work…so if you have somehow missed out on one of the sessions, well, now is the time.  Certainly I think the Bench Press focussed class is one of the best BW classes I have ever done and that will run this THURSDAY…so that might be a day to have a crack!

    Don’t forget as well that we have two brand new programs starting one week from now – immediately after Easter.  The first of these is our latest challenge – the April Elevator Challenge – in which you will be allocated just a ‘little bit extra’ work to do every week throughout the month.  The second is our first ever go at running a strength fundamentals session – one session per week (every Wednesday at 5pm) where we will teach you how to set up the racks, squat, deadlift, bench press, Met Con, superset, drop set…you name it.  The programs (the challenge + strength fundamentals) have both come together really well and I can’t wait to share them with you guys.  If you are keen to get involved, sign up using the appropriate link below:

    Elevator Challenge Portal

    Strength Fundamentals Portal

    The blog today has been handed over to the 28-days Later Feedback survey.  Below you will be able to see all of the written responses we have received and I have attempted to ‘respond’ to each one.  I think I have gotten them all – the data export process doesn’t make it simple – but hopefully I haven’t missed any.  With the feedback, I have copied in the responses EXACTLY as they were written – spelling errors, grammar mistakes, whatever…they are there AS THEY were written.  The feedback was all anonymous so if I have made a ‘please get in touch’ comment about some feedback you recognise as yours, well, please do get in touch.  Anyway, here goes:

    Category:  Why didn’t you participate

    Sometimes I get a bit over having sheets signed and I think I can do it on my own.

    I feel a bit this as well.  I guess getting your sheet signed off isn’t compulsory but a big part of the challenge for a lot of people is being held accountable (hence the sign-off sheet, checking diet etc).

    I had just come back from 2 months away and was barely motivated to get to classes let alone add a challenge in as well. Some may say this would have been the perfect time to do the challenge – and some would be absolutely correct. I just didn’t want to stress myself – 5am is a hard time to train at the best of times

    Makes total sense to me.  If your head isn’t in it, you would have just been setting yourself up to fail.

    Im pretty disciplined when it comes to food and training and generally only participate in the challenges for fun. This time there had been mention of a family option early on but it never came available, we prob would have participated as a family if there was an option but if I need to pay for 4 participants it becomes a pretty expensive excercise :-0

    100% understand.  The intention had been to offer a family offer and we certainly need to do that in the future…truthfully I think I just forgot about it and I wish you had come and asked me about it.

    Category:  Body Scan Process

    (No comments for this one AND generally everyone was pretty happy but FIVE (5) people have expressed that their scan wasn’t explained to them.  Please reach out guys…it can be chaos 3-ways with everyone lined up to get scanned and this can get skipped over…reach out so we can fix it!)

    Category:  ‘The Extras’

    They were too long I found the 3classes plus 3 work out didn’t leave me any time for crossfit workouts

    Hard to know what to say.  The fitness extras took approx. 15 minutes each…maybe if you wanted to maintain your crossfit sessions doing the fitness ‘EXTRAS’ would have been a good choice?  The extras took almost EXACTLY as long as indicated during the challenge promotion – 15 minutes (x3) for Fitness and 45 minutes (x3) for Performance.

    Were good but had to come seperate day and do all at once as hard to complete when classes on. Maybe set up some rowers or equipment in an area for when challenge is on for people to complete? Even just popping rowers and some equipment out the front as a challenge zone?

    So totally understand.  But classes have priority and for this reason I didn’t program rowers and ski’s together in a class during Feb. AND the challenge gave you an option of choosing between Row and Ski.  This is always going to be a challenge I think and there isn’t always a ‘spot’ in the gym where we can just allocate room for people doing challenges…I wish we had an extra 100m2 but we kind of don’t…and since we change the class around every day (and there are other people coming in doing their own workout that may or may not be challenge related!)…I guess I understand and empathise (I lived through it as well) but am not sure that I have a solution.

    I liked the extras but two of them i would do in a separate day altoghther to get it done. I think it did make a difference though.

    100% they make a difference…little things mean a lot.

    Good fun to do with someone else doing the challenge

    Totally agree…having a buddy makes it all a bit more fun…and the challenge (hopefully) give everyone a little something in common!

    I understood WHY you put in the extra strength focus, as many people lost muscle in previous challenges, however, it seemed like the extras were based on equipment in the gym where there was only one of – e.g leg press. In saying this, I didn’t do the extras or participate in the challenge so not sure if it was an issue or not.

    Well…maybe.  But if you look at the workouts, there were multiple sets of leg-press with other exercises in between…a couple of people ‘working in’ on a single piece of equipment is just standard practice in gyms all over the world. 

    I could not get the challenges done on top of my 7 classes so had to decide what i would get more benefit from.

    You sound like me.  Personally I would prefer to do a class over an extra every day of the week – which is exactly (EXACTLY) why I needed to change it up and do the extras that had been programmed/sacrifice a couple of classes.

    OK but I would have prefered to replace the Pro extra with Body Work or Boxing classes.

    See previous answer.  ME TOO.  But…doing ‘more’ of the same type of thing you always do is not going to trigger those ‘stress to progress’ type performance improvements.

    I have a competitive nature and some weeks I did not plan well which resulted in a high load. Doing the upper extras followed by Killer Kardio resulted in a strain limiting my capacity to train. I enjoyed the leg workouts. I train for life fitness and bike and think I might have had a better result if I did not do the pro. That is my gut feeling.

    OK.  I guess I did things differently and positioned the Kardio Killa before a class on the Wednesday and did the strength sessions either on a day independent of a class OR after a class.  I suspect the strain would be more technique related than anything associated with combining the exercises together?

    Im no fitness expert but in terms of calorie expenditure an extra class is better bang for youre buck but i expect there is way more science than that too to program

    Um.  Maybe.  I found the 30minute Kardio Killa was hitting higher calorie numbers for me than a class, but it isn’t always about calories burned.  We were trying to drive some hypertrophy during the 2x fitness circuits as well as the two x Pro- challenges…each of the cardio focussed challenges (Performance and Fitness) were straight forward calorie burners!

    I really liked doing the extras upstairs there is actually a lot up there and i found myself in the gym an extra 3 times a week as well as the classes. It seems impossible to get to at non challenge times but so manageable during the challenge.its all about mindset i guess.

    Me too.  Somehow I struggle to get my planned ‘extras’ done during a normal week but just find a way when a challenge is on.  Somehow the fact there is a challenge makes it all feel a bit more important I guess…

    I did the cardio of performace and the other fitness great options all over!


    Category:  Other comments about the challenge or FUTURE Challenges

    Good accountability, checking that food rules were adhered to and extras were being completed.  Trainers were always available to answer questions, and provide encouragement.  Some of the extras that relied on equipment (ski erg, sparc, etc) were a little tricky to complete while another class was happening, and it’s not possible for everyone to come during a time where classes aren’t running to ensure equipment is available.

    Yeah – 100% on all of that.  The Fitness cardio circuit (which needed MULTIPLE pieces of equipment) was configured so it could be completed – in theory – between one class ending and the next one starting.  I am not sure what to really do here though – without setting something up that makes all the cardio extras based on running outside, how can we make it so there is always extra equipment ‘just waiting’ for people to use.  I am not trying to be a smart-arse…just genuinely curious about how everyone thinks we could better manage this?

    It was my first challenge it was a little tough at times but I am so happy I did it. I feel so much healthier and a few kilos lighter haha. Would definitely do it again ????

    Great news!

    Amazing. Hopefully can keep up the weight loss and gym commitment and continue gaining muscle.       Challenge was as challenging and full on as I thought it would be and thoroughly enjoyed it. I ummed and ahhhed at the challenges before but it made me feel super confident in they way I can work harder in boxing classes and I can push for the high performance calories once I really put my mind to it all thanks to the challenge.

    Well, all of that kind of summarises why we do them.  You learn stuff about yourself completing some ‘extras’ over a relatively short time frame…and that learning leads to everyday improvements in your group training sessions which has a positive ongoing impact.

    Challenge was awesome. But I’m very fussy with food so the recipes I didnt use and the work out were to many or too long   But was awesome all the same.

    Wish I could have hit the mark with the food a little better.  The performance workouts or the fitness ones were too long? 

    Similar to what do with boxing classes in having fitness & performance levels. May want to have fitness & performance levels extras so you have intro type challenge for people doing it first time but haven’t got their body conditioned to performance based extras. If I compare latest extras to extras when I did 1st challenge couple years back, I would’ve been more intimated than challenged by intensity of extras.

    But we DID have separate challenges for Performance and Fitness…and we did last December in 12-days of Christmas, and in Summer Slam…trying to be as inclusive as possible here and set workouts that enable everyone to participate.

    Electronic copy of recipes would be great 🙂

    Cool.  Happy to do this but where should I put them?

    Loved it!! Such an eye opener to what you consume unintentionally!     Well done guys and thanks for the support!!    Had an absolute blast doing the challenge. Would definitely do it again and totally kick started my fitness journey. Thankyou so much.

    That all sounds awesome.

    I think bring back the 3 month life plan challenge to allow more long term results & also the idea of a designated area to do extras when specific machines involved that aren’t easy to access during class like rowers.

    Don’t mind the 3-month Life Plan idea…but when we did that we had a completion rate of less than 20%.  I think it was just too long for most participants but do have it on the plans for 2018 (post the ‘Strength Fundamentals’ course which is next cab off the rank).  I kind of answered the other part earlier but in short, I DO understand.  But.  Classes have priority and for this reason I didn’t program rowers and ski’s together in a class during Feb. AND the challenge gave you an option of choosing between Row and Ski.  This is always going to be a challenge I think and there isn’t always a ‘spot’ in the gym where we can just allocate room for people doing challenges…I wish we had an extra 100m2 but we kind of don’t

    The challenges are brilliant and it is clear that Mike puts a lot of effort into them. They are worth doing as a kick start for healthier habits.   Some stuff in the pack was a bit confusing e.g. no cooking with fruit rule but then one or two recipes had fruit. one part of the booklet said three meals a day and try not to snack, then a chart, further along, had shakes and much more than 3 meals a day.   Lots of helpful material in the pack and was a good tool to get started.  It’s a challenge for yourself , you guys give us all the tools we just need to commit and do it!

    OK.  All of that is fair…sorta, kinda.  BUT I guess I just wish you had come to chat to me so I could have tried to clear it up.  The meal prep guide that had 4x meals (well, 5 really) + snacks…well, that was the MEAL PREP guide and was supposed to cover everything someone put in their mouths.  In the ‘Survival Guide’ it talks about ‘NO SNACKING’…now that is about un-planned extras.  What has happened in challenges in the past is we have people ‘supplementing’ their breakfast-lunch-dinner with 5-6 pieces of fruit per day and handful upon handful of nuts…to me there is a difference, apologies if you became confused by it.

    I understand your comment about cooking with fruit…with the exception of the pears though I don’t think we cooked with fruit – rather we added fruit…semantics I know but I am sticking to it LOL.

    Extra’s were great but was hard to work in with equipment as alot of people did the pro challenge.  The extra’s were great in the challenge, it would be good if next time all the info was included in the one area of the sheet for example abs etc.  Recipes were good could possibly improve the lay out how they are written (ingredients list, method)

    Simply, I couldn’t fit the abs on the same page.  That’s why it was separated.  With the recipes, I know what you are saying about the layout BUT I am going to end up with a recipe book sized pack if I add too much more detail.

    I always love the challenges and I would have participated in this one if I was here for it 🙂 I would definitely sign up for a food / extra workout based challenge in the future

    Awesome.  Next one is never too far away!

    Hard to do body scan on long weekend

    Yep – I wrestled with this but what do you do…the challenge is always in Feb so it was either move the whole thing back a couple of weeks or just work around everyone…we are always open on long weekends to support you guys…things could have been worse – you could have been like us and worked all long weekend to do Body Scans or been on the other end of it and found 5-mins before leaving/after getting back to do the scan.  I guess I understand what you are saying but when Feb rolls around it is kind of now or never…the next challenge starts NEXT weekend and had we ‘pushed back’ the Feb challenge they would have been almost back-to-back.

    It was my first challenge and I really enjoyed it.  Although I found it tough I stayed focused and on track with the help of the gym community.  It was the first time I managed to stick with a food diet and it worked.  Thank you so much for the effort of the staff and input to the challenge.

    Awesome.  Thanks.

    Maybe using an app like trainerise for tracking workouts. And menus online or email.  the challenges are bloody awesome, well the extras can suck when you are half way through, but you feel amazing once you crush it!

    So – I have been kicking around with Train Heroic (and trainerise is another option) but people would be looking at an EXTRA $10 per month to use a facility like that…with the planned 3-month challenge plan that will be compulsory but it just seemed completely ott for a 1-month participation based challenge.

    Sometimes keeping it simple is best. Maybe have the Feb challenge as a weight loss challenge and the October challenge as a Strength/Muscle challenge. Having both seemed like a lot and confusing at times.

    Yeah…but we have been losing muscle (a lot) in the last couple of Feb challenges and that is not great for people.  So re-arranging this challenge as we did changed average muscle loss from 0.47kg per person down to less than 0.1kg…all whilst INCREASING the average weight loss.  I understand the sentiment but based on data alone we have hit the mark pretty well here getting both the weight loss we wanted without having to sacrifice muscle.

    I found the diet component the biggest challenge. I went hungry a few times because I didn’t have anything ‘challenge approved’ available. I think I personally need access to a few easy carbs sometimes to keep up the energy levels. I have always struggled with gaining weight / maintaining weight while training hard. Don’t think I would do this challenge again for this reason only.

    I don’t disagree and that happened to me in the first couple of challenges.  That is why having things like bacon and egg cups (the sweet potato versions in this years recipe pack) are so awesomely amazing!  It all comes down to prep and I would love to talk to you about how to manage it!

    Booklet was helpful, but it took a while to understand portions. Wasn’t sure if the portion was per meal (chicken, meat fish) or per day.  Just adding either per day , or per meal would help.

    OK.  I wish you had asked me…in each of the meals (recipes) the quantity is per meal (which I guess is obvious)…then in the other section (‘The Simple Method’) it says at the bottom of the table that quantities are ‘per meal’.  Never mind…wish I had known you needed help though.

    I really enjoyed this challenge and once I got my eating times/meals right it was even better!

    Well…that’s exactly how it is supposed to work.  Well done.

    I was disappointed I didn’t participate the best I could have. I wish I did it properly

    OK.  So what do WE need to do to help you get the most out of things like this???.

    The challenges help me to keep on track and they help me to increase my training by doing the extras. When it becomes easier to have a chat before training since this is the best friendly gym in WA

    Perfect!  (And thanks!).

    This is my second 28 Days Later challenge. It was good but I did have the occasional thought “why am I doing this?”. In reflection, I have been on this path since Summer Slam 2017. I was doing at least 6 classers per week and 3 extras (except week 2). Fatigue was high. In Week 2 I got sick and mentally was struggling with work and home and maybe the challenge / eating which could have contributed to the question, “why am I doing this?”. I had mixed feelings about the results. No one will argue with an 8kg weight loss but I wasn’t happy with the muscle loss and how little my body fat percentage came down. Actually it was mostly the 2% body fat reduction I wasn’t happy with as I always knew I would lose muscle. I started to mess around with my eating from week 2 by simplifying my food to basically the same thing every day and reduced the carbs to as low as possible to see how that would work in an attempt to enter ketosis. Side note, I did not answer the question about the meal plan in the survey as I didn’t use it, not that it wasn’t great, I was doing my own thing. Also the 95% on question about the booklet was because I didn’t use the meal plan. Everything else was good. I enjoy the catch-up at The Quarie at the end of the challenge. Sadly I dropped out of ketosis and it has set me back 2 weeks. The team at the gym is great. Huge amount of support and encouragement. Always happy to chat about training, technique, food, experience, life, general stuff. I still have more work to do. I will continue as long as I can and have no issues about doing Summer Slam or 28 Days Later in the future.

    Mate – given everything you have achieved over the last 12-months in general and last 6-months in particular I just think you are being too hard on yourself.  The obvious problem is trying to continue to do 7x group sessions each and every week AND add the challenges on top of that.  From what I have seen from you over the last couple of weeks you are well and truly back ‘on the horse’ and I am sure will have further good outcomes over the next couple of months as well.

    Love the challenge. It always helps me to reign myself back in to what I should be doing, a helpful reminder of what I know works for me ??

    It works for me as well – gets my eye back on the ‘bits round the edge’ that start to blur (bread, sugar, alcohol + icecream) as I get further away from each challenge.

    I have answered some of these questions even though I didn’t participate as there wasn’t an option to select not applicable.

    Yeah – sorry.  It turns out that my ability to drive survey monkey is pretty much the same level as my ability to do most things in life (i.e. MARGINAL!)

    Great challenges….perhaps instead of printing everything put all the details and recipes etc on the Facebook page.

    A few people have suggested an electronic method.  I guess I just need to figure out what that might look like?  A dedicated web process would probably be ‘best’ so I guess engaging a developer and getting on with it is the only option.  I don’t really think Facebook is an option…

    I really enjoyed the PRO version of this challenge and although it meant 6 days a week in the gym the rewards were worth the effort. It would be good to provide some sort of guidance as to whats next after a challenge of this nature. i.e ‘You lost heaps of muscle therefore I suggest…….’ or ‘You gained heaps of muscle but retained body fat and therefore I suggest…..’

    Congrats on the results.  I agree with the second part – I guess that is what is driving the newest program we are running (the ‘Prescriptive Method’) and based on the pilot so far that takes around 30-minutes per person to get through…
    Need to find a way I guess.  In the short term, come and see me about a prescriptive model template for you.

    Enjoyed the challenges – timing myself on each activity over 4 weeks added extra motivation to get my times down and increase my weights. And am learning more about what fuel my body needs / how to eat better.

    Perfect.  Challenging yourself to improve your performance is a great way to make sure you are fully benefitting from the program.  Really pleased to hear you really got after it.

    28 days is my favourite challenge at the gym each time round! Having these challenges are great for goal setting and making sure you stay on track. Without these challenges, I find that im more likely to work later, eat less favourable food choices etc.

    Yep.  Me too.

    Once again a fabulous challenge especially post festive season. I continue to learn more and more as the challenges go on- thanks for all the hard work with putting it together and look forward to see what April brings.

    Awesome.  And April is bringing us the 2018 Elevator Challenge which you can register for here:  Elevator Challenge Portal

    ….and that’s all folks.  Let me know if any of this sounds good (or not) with an email to

    See you in the gym,




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