Happy ‘RETURN TO NORMAL’ week. School’s back, the great Easter-ANZAC Day mega-holiday is in the rear-view mirror and ‘everything’ should be back to normal. Well. Back to relative normal!
Before I get started on the blog this week (which is all about the how vs the ‘what’ of your training) I wanted to talk about a little MINI CHALLENGE that will be kicking off this week:
“The MAY 2K”.
The idea is that during the month of May we will all have a crack at doing our fastest 2km time on either the ROWER or the SKI-erg. And writing that time down on the white-boards inside the office of the gym (kind of in the way so many people had a go at the 1-hour bike challenge last year). Hopefully (given I want to run this throughout the month) we will have people having a few ‘cracks at it’ to try and improve their time over the month. At the end of the month, we will do a raffle up for all participants (so your 8-minutes of work will be your entry ‘ticket’) and award a prize pack of some sort…that’s all in the details but man-o-man it is gonna be good!
Right. On with our show.
Going to the gym (aka – ‘TRAINING’) is pretty simple. Now, I know if you read exercise blogs, magazines and talk to various PT’s at social events you will be given the clear impression that there is only ONE WAY to do it – one ‘RIGHT’ way in any case! I don’t want to be the one calling ‘B.S.’ on that sort of commentary (which includes idea that the only way to get a ‘wolverine’ physique is to follow the ‘wolverine’ workout and diet plan ‘to the letter’ – it wont work that way unless you’re Hugh Jackman!) but it is absolute B.S.
What works is pretty simple. Follow a varied routine that challenges you in different ways from day to day and from week to week. Make sure you are getting a balance of high-intesity cardio and strength work. Don’t forget to pay attention to your core. Pay attention when you are training and if you find something that you aren’t any good at, well, do something about it (aka continually look to improve your weaknesses).
What works with your food stuff (the other part of the equation) is also pretty simple. Megan from Hardy Nutrition told us all about this a couple of weeks ago – balanced eating involves more veggies than most of us are used too…and less meat, less bread, less pasta and less potato than most of us are used to. It also means staying away (staying the heck away) from that stuff called ‘discretionary’ foods – lollies, sweets, cakes, chocolate…and alcohol! I know, I know – the discretionary stuff is the FUN stuff. And it is OK to indulge from time-to-time – but you need to treat your food stuff like one long ‘marathon’ where you stay on the ‘righteous path’…not a series of short ‘good behaviour’ sprints (say, from Monday to Thursday each week) followed by regular blow-outs! Planned cheating (planned indulgances!) are the best way to do it.
The next thing for me is the most important of all and it is something that has been really ‘spotlighted’ to me at the footy club this year. It isn’t what you do (in the gym I’m talking now) – but HOW you do it that really counts. In every session we run at Round 1 – I’m talking Boxing, Funky, Body Blitz, Hammer Time, Barbell Club – there are ways that you can ‘weave your way between the edges of the session’. You can find ways to cheat your calories on the bike (or, maybe the targets are too easy for you so you just do the minimum!), lift lighter weights than you should, ‘rest’ on the bag stations (effort when boxing is still the biggest ‘difference maker’ – sorry, POTENTIAL ‘difference maker’ for most of us in Boxing and Blitz sessions), not going full range of motion with your body weight exercises…basically, allowing a little bit of ‘soft mindedness’ (is that a word?) to impact on your training and not so much ‘drag you down’ as preventing you from ‘stepping up’.
Where does the footy stuff come in? The players who are on the improve with both their physical development AND more particularly their skill development have found some ‘JOY’ in the process of doing the work ‘well’ and slow, steady improvement. And now the season is underway, they are reaping real, tangible benefits. Those who have found ways to take shortcuts because things are either too hard or too ‘boring’ (take your pick) – well, they have been left behind and are annoyed with life because (apparently) they have been ‘doing the work’. Well, they have been turning up I guess. Sometimes things are ‘boring’ and ‘repetitive’ – but you have to find the positives and look for small improvements whilst you are doing them…that, after all, is how you get ‘REALLY’ good at something.
Back to it – it isn’t what you do – it is HOW you do it. Do it well and get great outcomes. Do it ‘half-arsed’ and get ‘half-arsed’ outcomes.
That’s it. Let’s have a real crack at things this week and get into the ‘MAY 2K’ challenge!
See you in the gym,
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