Another flat out busy week in the gym last week. Thanks a million to Elie for the amazing boxing sessions – the cardio challenge was REAL. The baton is in my hand this week and we will be bike ‘RACING’, Rolling with the 6-minute Rounds Thunder, working through our little bike/skipping warmup AND there is a ‘pretty fun’ partners-style workout on the schedule. Focus exercises for the week include Dumbbell Power-Snatch, mini-sled, Barbell Thrusters, SOTS Press (go L-I-G-H-T) and glute raises.
As for Funky this week, well the team at boxprogramming.com have made some changes to stream-line the 6-phase warmup regime we have been working through…it looks like a great initiative (on the page at least) as it will enable us to get through the work a little quicker whilst still touching all bases with regards our movement prep. What else? Strength wise we are doubling down on the front squats and decline dumbbell bench press from last week and re-introducing the banded deadlifts into the program…metcons look to be as challenging as ever!
In other news, I am pretty happy to announce that Paul has completed his first 3-months at the gym and is now ‘Round 1 Official’. I obviously can’t speak for you guys but from my perspective he has delivered 110% of everything I wanted – happy, enthusiastic, really emphasising the padwork/1-1 work in boxing classes and providing a real ‘point of difference’ as a trainer. I love participating in sessions he is running – I both dread AND love the 1-on-1 attention – and really hope in 5-years time I am writing about him being a fixture in our gym!
Right. Over to it.
The challenge is done (and won) and whilst I haven’t finished ALL of the scans and therefore can’t write any ‘post challenge summaries’, anecdotally this has been our most successful challenge ever in terms of outcomes. Maybe it is ‘me’ FINALLY getting the food/workout balance right so that we don’t have as many people losing muscle…more likely it is just the familiarity with the structure that the participants have – in any case, I don’t think I have ever seen so many 4kg+ weight loss scans that show a muscle mass drop of < 0.2 kgs (which is what I like to call a ‘daily variation’).
Ultimately the aim of the challenge is for everyone to strive for ‘CONSISTENCY’ for an extended period of time rather than try to be ‘perfect’ for a week or two. The challenge is structured so that ‘consistent persistence’ with your training (3x classes each week is all – but 3x classes EVERY SINGLE WEEK) and your diet (2x ‘cheat’ days for the month, not every weekend!) is what brings success.
If you reflect on other elements of your life, you will see that this ‘consistency over perfection’ idea applies. Think about something else you ‘do’ – it might be recreational (sport, music, hobby), it might be family related and it might be work related and just think about how many times you are ‘great’ or ‘perfect’ at it? How many times you are firing on ALL cylinders, hitting it out of the park, flat out amazing?
Given that (I am assuming the answer is ‘not too often’ by the way), is this kind of performance level (perfection) reasonable to expect from yourself when it comes to your training and diet? Whilst it IS 100% reasonable to expect that you – for example – show up to work each day and steadily work through the tasks on your to-do list. But it is probably unreasonable for you to have an idea every day that creates $100000 in new revenue/saves $100000 in costs for your boss/business. Consistent effort needs to be the bench-mark – not perfection. I remember watching that documentary last year about ‘The Eagles’ (not really my favourite band but a great docco) and one of the band members (Glen Frey) was talking about living in an apartment next to Jackson Browne (another ‘80s muso) at the time.
The story was that he (Frey) couldn’t write songs – he would ‘wander through life’ waiting to be inspired (which happened intermittently) and he would write ‘a song’. But he learnt how to “write songs” from living next-door to Browne because every morning at around 9am the kettle in Browne’s apartment would whistle and soon thereafter the piano would be tapping away…he wrote a lot of songs because he got up every day and worked at writing songs – he didn’t wait around to be hit by inspiration or motivation or whatever it is – he just got out of bed and started writing – his consistent effort and approach yielded big rewards.
For anyone interested, you can see the video excerpt here (it only goes for a couple of minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVqbAZYCbMA
Being perfect from time-to-time – having a week where you get to the gym ‘every day’ and ‘hit all your targets’ is great…unless you somehow internalise that as an ongoing expectation for yourself. If you set ‘every day’ as your bench mark, well, what happens if you sleep in Monday morning? Or get caught up at work Monday afternoon? Are you going to beat yourself because you can’t be ‘perfect’? Or is your focus just going to be about being consistent, getting the week started on Tuesday and ‘rolling with it’.
Being perfect ‘now and again’ is great – but setting it as an expectation is B-A-D. It is a certain way to lose motivation about the whole process AND cause you to feel negative about your training – that nervous, anxious feeling you get when you know you were ‘supposed’ to do something but didn’t every time you miss a session…that isn’t great and it ISN’T the way it is supposed to be. Going to the gym is supposed to be a GOOD and POSITIVE thing in your life…not a process that causes anxiety!
Good ‘enough’ is good ENOUGH. If the challenge is set to be 3x per week + a couple of extra 20-minute blasts and people are getting great results…well, that’s good ENOUGH. Don’t get down on yourself if you don’t quite live up to your own expectations – just get back on the horse and try all over again.
Being consistent over a long period of time adds up to a LOT. 3x sessions per week for 12-months is 150/year (well, it’s actually 156). Imagine doing that 3x years running? That would be pretty bloody amazing. Continuous consistency = BIG OUTCOMES in the long run.
See you in the gym,
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