Boxing Blog

    The Problem(s) with Programming a new session EVERY day!

    Hey Everyone,

    Thanks again for a great week of training.  With footy finished I have been able to get a couple of extra sessions done this past week – even been able to do a couple of ‘doubles’ (not back to back, but lunchtime + afternoon) which has been nice…Whilst I’m sure that time will quickly fill with some variety of work (running classes, PT, other less palatable stuff like accounts!) in this little period of time I have been able to ‘make hay while the sun shines’ so to speak!

    I did make somewhat of a strategic error early in the week – Tuesday – when I decided it would be a good idea (well, an idea!) to complete a shoulder press related Funky Fit class since my sore shoulder hadn’t been bothering me ‘too much’ lately…as it turns out, not doing any shoulder press or pull-ups for a couple of months was probably the reason it hasn’t been quite as sore because that pain has just come roaring back!  Maybe I should get that checked out right?

    I wanted to tell a little bit of a story about the gym today.  For a long time now, we have prided ourselves on having a new workout everyday and I can quite honestly point at thousands and thousands of sessions we have used since 2010.  But when the gym was put together, it wasn’t really ‘supposed’ to be that way.  The idea was that you would come in and move around the circuit – 3 minutes skipping, 3 minutes on the heavy bag, 3 minutes on the speedball, 3 minutes on a bike, etc.  And whilst ‘we’ (though there was really only ‘me’) would change things up in terms of having some different barbell movements, well…we didn’t really specify anything in particular for the bag stations.  I mean, there was bag there.  You hit it.  Everyone worked stuff out for themselves.

    Now – within 12-months this all became pretty prescriptive as I quickly worked out that everyone (well, most people) needed a little more guidance.  So – there were directions for the bag stations, targets for the cardio stations (I say cardio but there were only two choices – bike or run!), more instructor led work in the warmups…from there, team challenges, more equipment (hello kettlebells, hello dumbbells that weighed more than 5kgs, hello olympic rings, hello rowers, hello skis, hello slam balls, hello wrist rollers etc etc) and even more exercises.  And the classes become – well, a LOT more complicated.

    At this point I’m going to end the history lesson.  Obviously COVID happened and there was the introduction of the cell-based system and no equipment sharing and all of that – and with the exceptions of the post-session disinfecting process most of those restrictions are now in the rear view mirror in any case.  But what I can say is that for those of us who have been training at Round 1 for a long-time, the sessions are pretty straight forward – yes, challenging, but straight forward.  For a lot of newcomers though, the biggest criticism we receive is ‘it is confusing’.

    Why?  Well – boxing sessions are fast and there is a LOT going on and – whilst for all of ‘US’ being able to execute a large range of exercises is just ‘normal’ (this week in boxing alone we completed more than 70 different movements NOT including the boxing activities) for people coming into the gym and starting from ‘scratch’?  Not so much.  I know this sounds bad but for most new people simply being able to punch the bags and remember to keep their elbows IN when doing a pushup is a big deal…let alone having inch worms, burpees, multi-jumps etc all thrown at them.  

    Anyway.  Back to my story.  I’ve been looking pretty closely at things recently and have made a decision that I am going to trial ‘something’ new.  Here goes.  During OCTOBER (so in a couple of weeks) we are only going to run FIVE (5) different classes throughout the month.  We will roll the classes from day-to-day (so Monday = Class A, Tuesday = Class B etc through to Friday, then Saturday back to Class A again, Sunday Class B, Monday Class C etc) throughout the month.  And I can feel everyone’s eyes rolling at me a little bit because, well, that sounds ‘boring’ and it sounds like the OPPOSITE of Round 1 where we do a new session EVERY day.

    But bear with me for a moment (and yep, I had to look up whether it was ‘bear’ with me or ‘bare’ with me – lucky I did!).

    Having a ‘few’ set classes for the month will allow for a few things.  The obvious one for me is it will enable everyone to complete the session with a little more CONFIDENCE that they know all of the movements and can do them – if not ‘well’, at least ‘well enough’ to get through.  Having people leave the gym feeling good about themselves is – although you might not always believe it after a class I have taken – pretty important to me.

    Next – as well as giving people CONFIDENCE they can ‘DO’ everything, it also gives everyone who is ‘comfortable’ with the speed of the classes AND the exercise variations to actually challenge themselves by increasing weights/changing cardio stimulus.  One thing we do really (really, really) well in our Functional Fitness classes is use clearly defined programming blocks to enable people to go up in weight over a period of a few weeks – and the sense of accomplishment they are able to get is REAL (I wanted to say palpable but since I was accused a couple of weeks ago of using words ‘people’ don’t understand on purpose I’ll stick with REAL).  I guess I want to see if we can transfer that feeling to the boxing gym.

    Lastly – it is about COACHING.   

    With me changing class plans EVERY day and the coaches not working every day, it’s like there is a constant pressure on them to quickly display that they KNOW the class like the back of their hand AND make their own little ‘personality based’ tweeks all in the blink of an eye and in front of an audience.  We have a coaches meeting every Tuesday to go through all of the classes for the next week and make sure everyone ‘understands’ what is coming up in Boxing, Functional, Developing Athlete AND Body Work, until you actually do it (RUN a session) and understand the ‘flow’, well, it can be really hard to get it right.  For me, 12 + years in and responsible for writing each session, well, sure…”no problemo”.  For some of the newer coaches – and even for Alex and Trace who have done literally YEARS at Round 1 now – because they might only get to run any given Boxing class ‘once’, it can be a really uncomfortable experience trying to make it ‘fun’ AND ‘effective’…take today for example (Sunday, September 11th).  That class was run twice – both times by me – and now it is gone forever never to be seen/used again.  And yep, every class is a variation on a theme but they are all different enough to make standing in front of that white board just a little more uncomfortable than it probably needs to be.

    With a set ‘block’ of classes to know and learn for a month, I’m hoping/expecting that each class will simply ‘flow’ right out of the blocks – I mean, by the middle of the month all of the coaches should have these sessions 100% down and be able to focus more time on coaching the class versus trying to work out what is coming ‘next’.

    Anyway, that’s that.  We are going to be trying something different during the month of October (believe it or not, only a couple of weeks away!) and I just wanted to give everyone a quick heads-up on what is happening and why!

    See you in the gym,



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