The Summer Slam challenge is done for another year, we have a heap of new people living the dream (so to speak) in the ‘Summer Squad’ program and a whole heap of new teenagers testing their mettle in Developing Athlete. The 12-days-of-Christmas (the best challenge) is getting ready to kick off, there is an awesome new Pilates Primer kicking off…all up, exciting times at the gym.
I have been toying with this blog idea for a while now – and in my ‘minds eye’ I probably see it working best as a video series on YouTube – but I want to give it a go in written form first. It is all about the idea that for “THINGS” to change, the first thing that needs to change is YOU…or more likely, just the way you do things. One of our awesome members sent me the following in an email a couple of weeks ago:
“…Thought this was interesting below is my weight graph from when I came back to the Gym in August to the Start of October Challenge. So in the six (6) weeks following my return, I lost around 2/2.5 kgs. Which is great of course, but what happened AFTER the challenge started really highlights to me how bad heating habits are hard to get rid off.
…I have learnt that those snacks during the week or thinking the weekend is a holiday so you can eat what you like won’t burn off at the gym Mon-Fri…”
Again, for things to change first YOU must change. I guess the example I have given here is the one we most commonly see at the gym – new clients who lose 2-3kg’s in their first month or so at the gym, then their weight simply plateaus over the following 6-9-12-18-24 months…yes, they get FITTER, but until they commit to a food change, they don’t get the outcomes they are looking for.
Anyway, the whole philosophy behind this “for things to change” idea is that in every area of your training ‘life’, you can do things just a little better if you want to…and those ‘little’ changes are what ultimately make the difference. I guess I just like to believe that if you wish you could do something, then you just have to steadily work towards it and DO IT! I mean, sometimes we have the knowledge with which to ‘attack’ the challenge…but choose not too. Other times we need help to develop a plan first…and blame our lack of success on what is really the unwillingness to ask a question/type in a phrase into Dr Google! What tends to happen is that we come up with excuses that hold us at a ‘comfortable level’ rather than reasons to push ahead.
Back to the question at hand – CARDIO. For you to get better – to feel better, you need to treat the cardio efforts in the gym as a REWARD. And a CHALLENGE. Hand’s up (figuratively) if when you hear the “jump on your cardio” call you inwardly GROAN. Hand’s up if you AUDIBLY groan. I guess on one level that’s fair enough – it is probably going to hurt! – but at the same time it is one of the main reasons you are in the gym. Better cardio is good for your heart, it reduces stress, it improves your respiratory system, it is obviously key to burning the calories which equals key to weight control. it drives those exercise endorphins that make you feel good…hell, it does a lot. So DON’T go through the motions.
When the challenge is set to do ’20 calories’ for example, don’t pedal to 17 then cruise to 20. Pedal HARD to 20. Sprint for as hard as you can for as long as you can…then try to hold on until the end. Watch the RPM on the bikes/SPM on the SPARC…don’t let them drop. Likewise on the rowers and skis – watch your calories/hour or distance/500m metrics…challenge yourself! If it is running, get after it. No-one cares if you are last to finish today – this isn’t the Olympics – but the reward you will feel in a few months time when you are up in the middle of the pack because of your persistence and general ‘bustingyourarsedness’ is going to feel AMAZING. When you work hard and improve as a result, it feels GREAT.
For things to change first you need to change. Change your cardio apparatus EVERY DAMN DAY – if you find the ski hard, well…that’s GOOD! Over time you will find it less hard…and will have benefitted from the effort you have put in to improve. AND – that will give you confidence to overcome OTHER challenges.
For things to change first you must change. Yep – showing up to the gym is 9/10’s of the battle…but the ultimate benefit comes from taking yourself outside your comfort zone!
See you in the gym,
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