Thanks to everyone who has come along to the gym in the past week – the weather has 100% turned, summer (and our “Summer Slam” challenge) is just around the corner and there really is no better time to get into the gym!
To answer a couple of questions I am getting repeatedly about what’s coming with “Summer Slam”:
|Question: Is it going to be like last year’s challenge – a little bit less ‘stressful’ or is it going to be a traditional Round 1 style challenge?|
|Answer: Well…it’s going to be both. I am creating TWO challenges in one. |
The first is subtitled ‘Health Habits’ and will be a 30-day wellness style challenge – classes and two extras each week – plus some food ‘recommendations’ (not rules) and some ‘healthy habit’ challenges (walk outside for 15-mins each day etc). The idea here of course is to spend 30-days putting in some good habits before the craziness of December rolls around.
The second is (currently) subtitled ‘Highway to Hell’ and will be a 45-day challenge. This will be 4x classes + two challenge workouts AND three ‘cardio/abs’ workouts on top of all that. The food stuff will be RULES not recommendations. I don’t like the name (so send through your suggestions) but the idea is this version will CLEARLY be an extra level of training/food restriction over ‘normal operations’.
|Question: Are we going at the start of October or are we scheduling the challenge to fit around school holidays.|
|Answer: Well…school goes back on October 9th so we will kick it off then – body scans and info night on Friday night, October 6th (Highway to Hell people) with and option for the ‘Healthy Habits’ crew to weigh in on Saturday 7th. That means the final weigh-ins will be on November 11th (Healthy Habits) and November 24th (again, Friday night) for the High-way to Hell crew.|
If you have any questions, fire them through. It really does feel like forever since we’ve done a challenge (it was February!) and I can’t wait to get into this one.
This week, I wanted to interrupt ‘normal’ blog operations to provide a quick update on our class programming focusses as we head into September across Boxing, Functional Fitness and Fully Loaded.
Coming off a solid block of August sessions – though the class with the 3x long duration cardio efforts probably qualified as ‘slightly more’ than solid!! – we are entering into September with some new sessions and training emphasis. “Like what” you ask – well, here goes:
|Mini-sleds – Out an in use 1x session per week.|
|Kettlebell flow circuit and the use of the KB’s for some uneven pushups/uneven bridges etc.|
|Some new Floor to Ceiling ball drills|
Boxing: There’s MORE!
In addition to everything listed above, we will be also working in some ‘moving around’ classes into the schedule in September – ‘just like the old days’ I guess. These are proving a little tricky to implement given the post-COVID ‘structure’ of the gym where there are no distinct ‘blocks’ of equipment!) but as long as we have athletes listening to coaches (yes, I know – it’s probably not going to happen!) we can make it work. We have written up a couple and stepped them out…basically as soon as our next ‘bunch’ of white-boards arrive well, it’s going to be go-go-go…
I can hear the “A BUNCH of white-boards??” question being asked by all the ‘newbies’ (where a newbie is anyone who wasn’t with Round 1 pre- COVID)…well, yeah. If you are moving around the gym in a group, the instructor can’t be ‘everywhere at once’ so the instructions for each ‘station’ will be written on a board AT that station. Anyway, we need the whiteboards – once they arrive we will be trying to roll in a ‘move-around’ class every 4-days or so just to sort of see if we can make it all work ‘again’. To everyone saying ‘how hard can it be’ – well…it’s sort of hard. You have to remember, once upon a time all the skis were together, all the speedballs were together etc…now everything is spread everywhere. Pre-COVID we had 5-skis – now there are 16. Pre-COVID we had 8x bikes, now there are 14. Pre COVID we had 12x Floor to Ceiling balls – now there are 24. Pre-COVID we had 20-bags…now there are 45. We have more of EVERYTHING – a lot more – because in the post-COVID world there was no sharing so everyone needed ‘their own’ stuff – but in this case having more doesn’t make it easier because everything is SO SPREAD OUT! Once upon a time we had 16x barbells – 4x 10’s, 4x 15’s, 4x 20’s, 2x 25’s and 2x 30’s These could easily be stashed on 2x mobile racks and moved around the gym to where we needed them ‘that day’. Now – we have 64x fixed barbells – 4 times as many – and there are no racks to relocate them on (theyu are all on the hooks at each boxing cell…is this an IMPOSSIBLE challenge? Not exactly, but somehow more equipment (a lot more – together of course with the way everything is arranged now) has introduced a number of logistical problems…anyway – we’re 100% going to find out what’s possible.
First off – and I know we are doing the testing this week so these comments are no doubt premature – but I think the renewed emphasis on using the ‘top-down’ teaching for both the snatch and clean has really helped people ‘get it’. From that improved understanding we have seen subsequent improvements in both form (technique) and the ability of athletes to increase their work capacity in terms of both lifting more ‘weight’ as well as being able to complete more reps efficiently throughout the training block. I know I said above that because our testing is happening THIS week that I am tempting fate by passing comments now…however I am expecting a heap of new PR’s to be recorded this week. Everyone’s efforts over the past few weeks have been simply outstanding (and I think the only time I am ever in the strength gym is to coach snatches!) and I just couldn’t be happier that everyone is ‘ready’ to give it a good go. All that said, I guess the hard part from my perspective is that whilst the athletes attending have been getting so much better, we still obviously struggle to get a lot of people ‘excited’ about Snatch day – people seem to be ambivalent about cleans and power-cleans but actively avoid ‘snatch’ days – so perhaps it isn’t the change in teaching approach (bottom up to top down) that is proving the difference but more that because I am seeing a smaller but more focussed group in the gym on those days it just feels like “EVERYONE” is getting it?
Anyway – I don’t want to do a lot of Oly work at Round 1 – one block per year and then use the lifts every couple of weeks outside of that as a bit of a skill/deload opportunity, but it would be really amazing if we could just all pull together on this and approach snatch day (and clean day) with ‘clear hearts and open minds’ and work on it together…the benefits in terms of speed of movement and mobility really do flow through to your other traditional S+C movements (particularly squat and deadlift).
ANYWAY – as we move into September we will be using it as primarily a prep month (as per the yearly planner you can find here: https://round1fitness.com.au/functional-fitness-programming-outlook-2023/) before kicking off the final strength cycle of the year in early October. This prep work will include Overhead Squat/Zercher squat AND Bench Press – those movements will be part of the October cycle. We will also be getting back to working on some heavier pulling from the ground (Deads, Sumo Deads etc) since as we have been talking about a fair bit there was really no lower body pulls – outside of Snatch/Clean movements – included in the Oly Cycle.
The conditioning focus will also start to shift from anaerobic back to aerobic – all of the ‘sprint’ workouts over the last few weeks will slowly morph into some longer ‘grindy’ type workouts as we are back to building our overall work capacity.
Each week you should see:
|1x Barbell Cycling day1x Bench Press day1x Overhead or Zercher squat Day1-2x Sprint style workouts2-3x Moderate-long workouts1x Long workout.|
As the month draws to a close we are reaching the end of our Shadow program and (hopefully) everyone has benefited from both the volume AND the ‘PUSH’ needed to hit those max-rep ‘Shadow’ sets. We have been getting through 3x Shadow splits each week – squats, bench press variants (standard, close grip, incline, dumbbell) and back variants (RDL’s and rows primarily) and *SHOULD* be adding great slabs of muscle…or maybe just small slabs of muscle?
We are entering a bit of a reload phase in early September (pretty similar to what’s happening in Funky I guess) as we prepare for the next strength block – the final one for 2023 – kicking off in late September. As we reset and reload there will be an emphasis on split loads and isolateral movements – upping the core-stabilisation challenge of the movements and really emphasing the ‘primal’ movements over the core lifts for a couple of weeks. I’ve been really happy with the way Fully Loaded has progressed with the big-lift + accessory focus and I hope those who have been able to attend consistently are getting great outcomes. I will continue to TRY and program ‘Fully Loaded’ such that it stays ‘in synch’ with the ‘Functional Fitness’ sessions (on a day-by-day basis – so upper body + lower bodies days match across the two programs) which should enable people to flip-flop between the sessions if they need to…this wont always be perfect though team!
Anyway – I hope that helps everyone with a bit of an outlook of what’s coming up…we can DO THIS!
See you in the gym,
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