Boxing Blog

    Programming Notes for March 2021

    Hey Team,

    Thanks for another awesome week…and another (of course) super busy Public Holiday with all sessions fully booked.  It is (of course) always terrible getting up and going to work on a holiday.  On the other side of the coin, it is super awesome to get in to work and find a gym full of hard-working, super motivated people.

    As we have left February in the rear view mirror – though due to the week long lock-down, unfortunately we are still a week away from finishing the Feb Challenge! – and move forward into March, I figured we were WELL overdue for a couple of programming notes for the month ahead.


    Our ‘End the Madness’ program is nearly finished with ALL classes excepting those commencing BEFORE 7am now extended to 35-minutes AND including a post-session stretch. We have been dealing with this issue for a little over 9-months now – mostly as a result of the 20-person class limit initially imposed on us post-COVID lockdown#1 – but it now seems unlikely we will be returning to such small class limits AND, well, this means a few things:

    An extension of time from 32-minutes to 35-minutes.  Now…I know this seems trivial BUT in the ‘old world’ we often ran 20x 2-minute rounds (40-minutes)…and when you consider there were only gaps of approx. 10-seconds between rounds, well…there was no real WAY we were getting 40-minutes of work.  6x minute rounds generally meant 42-minutes (7x stations), 9-minute rounds either 36 or occasionally 45…
    Time at the START of each class to do some pretty simple exercise demos.  I have been really keen to re-integrate pre-session demos for a while now – and we can now do this at all sessions BEFORE pressing ‘GO’ on the timer.
    Re-integration of simple extras such as birthday burpees, core work etc – I have found that this stuff has been getting neglected due to the strict time-caps and very limited (3-minute) gaps between classes.  With 10-minutes now available (even AFTER the extension of class time from 32-35 minutes) we now have to opportunity to do a few extras AND stretch down.
    Post-class stretching conducted as a group for all sessions commencing AFTER 7am.

    Please note that I still don’t really have a solution for the early morning classes yet and in the immediate term they will remain at 32-minutes with 3-minute breaks in between sessions.  I understand this means we are still not doing pre-class demos and instructor led stretches for these sessions – but short of moving the start time of the first class to 4:30AM (note:  I AM NOT KEEN!!!) I cannot see how to do this.  Ideas and suggestions 100% welcomed…

    Anyway – back to the plans for those sessions from 7am onwards each day – and all of this change has a time-table restructure.  I have communicated most of these over the past couple of weeks – but I had neglected to include the planned change to the mid-morning classes.  The 9:35am class has been removed from the timetable and the 9am class pushed back to the traditional start-time of 9:15am.This 9:15am start-time has been in-place at Round 1 since approximately 8-months after our opening when it was established to enable everyone trying to get to the gym after school drop-off to be there at the START of the class.  Whilst it is true that MOST people can make a start of 9am, most is not ALL – and returning the start-time to 9:15am is simply more inclusive.

    What else has changed in boxing?  Well – kind of everything…but it is hard to describe what has been done.  As noted when we re-opened post-COVID, the boxing programming really is going to be a ‘moving target’ as we have effectively lost TEN YEARS (10 years!) of intellectual property and class plans with the restructure of the gym and subsequent removal of our ‘circuit’ style programming model.  As with any major change, some things work better, others not as well and yet others not at all…we are kind of in a ‘trial and error’ type situation right now.

    As part of this, we have kind of taken the ‘long arm’ to our boxing programming as we put the lessons of the last 9-months into effect and really start moving towards a bit of a post-COVID world.  We are still not quite in a position to be ‘moving around’ the gym as yet – that will remain a Friday afternoon fixture for the time-being (when numbers are low and we can control what gear is being used and by who!).  BUT – expect to see a lot more of the ‘old stuff’ in the sessions with an increased emphasis on integrating each class component with the others…so less of the ’10-minutes of boxing only’ and more of 25-minutes rolling fluidly between boxing, cardio, body-weight and strength…I guess a little bit more like ‘Round 1’.  We have been creeping towards this over the last couple of weeks as some of the trainers trial different concepts in single classes…but overall the new model went live TODAY (Monday) which means those people who were in would have experienced the first edit of the ‘new world’ we have entered…I have written a couple of weeks worth of plans so far (to me they look great) but I am sure that the evolution will continue.

    Functional Fitness

    Last month we spent time developing our Front Squat and Push Press, while also getting A LOT of touches with the Sumo Deadlift. Back in Jan, we were doing lots (and lots…and lots) of tempo work – which was intended as an important teaching tool as we got everyone back up to speed post ‘Christmas break’ and made sure we were all back moving properly.

    To answer the question I keep getting – we haven’t really been building to a specific ‘testing week’.  What we have been doing is trying to do a pretty steady progression through manipulating rep-schemes – this has (hopefully) enabled everyone to focus on building up their weights whilst ‘moving well’ rather than worrying too much about lifting the heaviest thing they can (and potentially sacrificing form in so-doing).  I think it has been pretty successful and – when coupled with some pretty challenging Metcons (“Latman Begins” is one I wont forget soon!) I think the sessions have been awesome.

    The month ahead looks BUSY!  We have testing coming up for 5-rep maxes for Back Squat, Push-Press and Deadlift in the first couple of weeks of April so we are about to start prepping for that.  We will be starting off the month with some high-rep schemes for each of those exercises (Back Squat 10’s anyone??) and gradually decreasing reps/increasing weights (well…we HOPE you will be increasing weights!) throughout the month.

    Now – I can already hear the “I want to test my 5RM now so I will know how much I have improved” but we aren’t going to do that…you guys are training well and lifting consistently – don’t worry about EXACTLY where you are right now – just have a little faith that if you follow the program and push yourself that you WILL end up in a better place!

    What else?  There are some benchmark metcons coming up as well with the intention to re-test these during June-July – so when you see ‘Infinity Loop’, ‘Little Bear’ or ‘The Hulk’ come up on SugarWOD (or anything with the ‘BenchMark’ flag) – be sure to have a real crack at it so you can measure your progress with your conditioning as WELL as your strength.

    That’s about it for the month ahead – see you in the gym,



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