11

Dec

Screw Monday

Put your hand up if  you’ve ever heard someone say, ‘I’ll start on Monday’ or ‘In the new year I will commit to…’ or ‘My new year’s resolution is…’ or ‘I will start on the first of the month’ or ‘I’ll start when the weather gets warmer’ or ‘When I have more money I will…?’

There is this deceptive notion that changing behaviour or achieving a goal needs to start in alignment with the an event; the beginning of the week or the start of a new year or a new personal circumstance that you find yourself in, until before you know it the year ends and nothing has changed! Sound familiar?

Don’t get me wrong, these are great moments to make change and set goals, but the truth is – ANYTIME is a good time to start making changes and set new goals for yourself and your life, provided your desire to make change is stronger than your desire to stay the same and exactly where you are!

Well you know what… Screw Monday!

START NOW! Start where you are. Start with what you have.

If there is something you REALLY want, not just kind of want, but REALLY want – START making plans now to achieve it.

Goal setting can be made complicated – but let me tell you, it’s very simple. Just get out your pen and paper and write them down. See – EASY! The setting process is relatively simple.

What is not EASY about this process is the consistent action/behaviour that is required to achieve the set goal/s. Consistency over time is key, and this is what we find hard. We are becoming a society that values instant gratification more than trusting in the process because it might cost blood sweat, tears and require sacrifice.

You might have all of the tools, strategies and support but ultimately your grit separates your ability to see actions through. Consistent repeated behaviour practises in alignment with your goals wins overall.

If you’re sitting here reading this and thinking, ‘Yeah…I need to set some new goals,’ then here are some general guidelines for doing so.

Also, if you’re interested in more information about grit and what that means regarding your ability for achievement then you MUST read ‘Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance’ by Angela Duckworth. You won’t be disappointed.

Outcome vs. Process Goals

Outcome (is the WHAT) – an outcome goal is an end goal. If I do X and Y for a specific amount of time, in a particular way, then the outcome will be Z.

Process (is the HOW) – a process goal is the X and Y, the smaller actions, sometimes smaller goals that need to be achieved and practised to achieve Z. (I hope you’re still with me on this!)

The SMART principal

Your outcome goal should be set using the SMART principal, and then your process goals can be derived from this. Set the desired outcome and work backwards.

What is the SMART goal setting principal you ask?

SMART goal setting is NOT a new concept and it gives a good foundation and a place to start.

S – Specific

Specific refers to ensuring something is clearly defined or detailed. Here are two examples, one is not specific and one is specific and detailed.

N/S – I want to lose weight.

S – I want to lose 5kg in 8 weeks.

M – Measureable

Measurable refers to; yes you guessed it, something that can be measured, a number; something quantifiable.

The above example is also that of something that is not measurable and measurable, respectively.

A – Attainable

Attainable refers to something that is possible, and as we know given the example I have used, that according to history and our knowledge on how the body works, weight loss is attainable. How attainable it is will depend on your personal circumstances and the commitment that you are willing to make to ensure it is attainable in the specific timeline you have chosen.

R – Realistic

Realistic refers to an idea of what can be expected or achieved – for you! It can depend on your personal circumstances and what you are willing to sacrifice to achieve the goal. What’s realistic/expected can differ for everyone. The level of commitment you are willing to give will alter what is realistic.

T – Time bound

Time bound, similar to measurement is a specific time frame you are allowing for your goal to be achieved. The goal might be attainable and realistic but you can go array but not having a realistic time frame set in order to achieve it successfully, given there is a consistent process to be followed and your consistency in this might waver during the process.

It’s important to understand that goals need to be revisited regularly, and you might find yourself tweaking the outcome or process goals as you go. This is more than okay, reflection is important here. Circumstances change!

The process above is the foundation. What you have here is the outcome goal and from this your process goals can be set.

  • Process Goal 1 – I will commit to training with a personal trainer once a week for 8 weeks
  • Process Goal 2 – I will commit to walking for 60 minutes and achieving 10,000 steps every other day
  • Process Goal 3 – I will drink 2 – 3 litres of water daily
  • Process Goal 4 – I will document my daily intake of food for review every week for 8 weeks

These are just examples of some process goals that might be set in relation to the outcome goal example I used above, but of course they will differ to suit you individually.

And just to make it less simple, your process goals can have process goals too!

If you’d like some support with your goal setting, ask any of our experienced trainers to assist you. It can be good to have someone in your corner helping and motivating you and someone to keep you accountable is always beneficial.

Furthermore, you may be familiar with the Swedish stationary brand Kiki K.

Kiki K offer Dream Life Workshops.

These workshops run you through the essentials when it comes to setting goals for your dream life. They can give you advice on where to start, and you receive a complimentary Dream Life Journal.

Now this is a gift that will keep on giving at Christmas time!

If you are interested follow the link to learn more about what they offer and locations in Victoria that these workshops run.

You can find the Kikki K Workshops here.

I hope you enjoyed this, and some of it resonated with you.

Krystal McCluskey

11

Oct

Get your system ROWing!

Here is what you need to know

– These pieces of equipment are unlike typical cardio machines. They will gas you immediately whilst having little to zero impact on your joints

– There are a variety of workouts you can do using one or all three of these pieces of equipment.

– Intervals can range from Time, Distance and a combination of the two. This article will show just how creative you can be.

Growing up and throughout my initial years as a fitness trainer, I was not too charitable when it came to the use of Cardio machines. Gyms for many years and even in present time are always full of treadmills and cross trainers which in my opinion were very isolated and didn’t have much carry over or bang for your buck. However With more years in the industry I have learnt the value of machines such as the Rowing machine or Erg and just how versatile and effective it was.

A little about me

Late last year I ruptured my ACL (Anterior Cruciate ligament) In my knee whilst training in Freestyle wrestling. I had been lucky to not suffer any significant injuries growing up as I played a lot of competitive sports and through Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and wrestling I had until December last year been injury free.

I had surgery In February this year and whilst I am starting to work my way back into running. With a significant injury such as an ACL tear It has limited me over the months. As a result My Conditioning has suffered immensely right until I decided to give Cardio machines a go. This is where I am going to share my love once again for Cardio equipment and Interval training once again!

So what makes interval training on the Rower so special? Why the love for this piece of equipment  of equipment?

– First of you can get in a lot of work in a very short amount of time

– It is non weight bearing and won’t cause the type of stress that running or sprinting would on a treadmill

– Following on from point two, The stress is distributed over your entire body and it won’t tax your lower body like treadmill running would

– It is a tough fitness challenge that can be used to help you recover from heavier and more taxing workouts which involve squatting and deadlifting

With all these points mentioned above it is fair to say that Interval training and using the Rower has my tick of approval BUT is it for everyone?

Here are some contraindications for using the Rowing machine

– You Have symptomatic lower back pain or a history of disc pathologies (Includes repeated flexion/extension of your spine particularly under compressive loading

– Hip pain of any sort. The full flexion of the rowing machine can flare up an exacerbate any injury you have.

– You sit for long periods a day (8-10 hours) This point is raised if you plan on spending large periods of time on the machine Over 20 minutes. However with a focus on doing intervals on the machine this should not be an issue but it is something to keep in mind. 

Are there other pieces of equipment which I can do instead of the Rower if any of the contraindications listed above apply to me

– Yes you can! The other two pieces of equipment which you can use to substitute the rower or do with are the Ski Erg and the Assault Bike.

Workouts that can be done on the Rower, Ski Erg or The AirBike

As mentioned above, using any of the three pieces of cardio equipment for short duration  intervals are most effective. Here are some workouts you can add to your training. Like any workout make sure you do plenty of warming up including mobility and activation work and lastly be prepared to work!

1) 30 seconds on 30 seconds off for 1KM

– One of my go too workouts on either pieces of the equipment. For the Rower and Ski erg it is a program already in their custom workout tab. You will row for 30 seconds as fast as you can and then rest for 30 seconds. The goal is to get to 1KM.

2) Meter Ladder 500-400-300-200-100 wth 60 seconds rest between sets.

– This is another low volume, shorter duration style of workout that is a bit easier to suffer through as the distance is slightly decreasing each round.

To Flip this you can also do this by making it an ascending ladder of 100-200-300-400-500 metres too.

3) 3x 1Min Max Outs with 2 minutes Rest

– This one will leave you red face, wheezing and gassed! A great finisher to any workout as it really empties the tank.

Set the Rower/Ski/Assault Bike to a 1Min timer and as fast as you can try work through as many metres as possible. Once complete take two minutes completely off and then repeat. A good target s aiming for 1000m overall for the 3 rounds!

4) Calorie/Meter Target Followed by an active rest

– This workout can be done by setting a distance lets say 10 calories on any of the pieces of equipment and during a rest perform 10x push ups, chin ups, squats etc. You can be pretty creative with this one. Best way to do this workout is a Every minute on the minute where you must complete the target followed by the active rest within the minute window before repeating. Do this for 5-10 rounds and you will be spent!

Interval Training is a very effective training method and when done correctly can have great carry over towards anyone’s training. Give it a go and you will be surprised on just how much volume you can accumulate in a short period of time!

4

Sep

Performance, persistence… and budgie smugglers.

We are a performance based gym. We predominantly work with people who have some type of performance goal in mind.

Whether that be to get stronger, to perform better at their chosen sport, to stay injury free while competing or to get the very best out of themselves as they compete or in their daily lives.

We also work with many people who are not competitive at all and focus on helping them to be able to enjoy their day to day life and to tackle any of the current or new challenges life may throw at them and enjoy them to their fullest. Like a desk bound tech entrepreneur tackling his first marathon, an 80 year old retiree setting a world record or a stay at home domestic engineer pulling a double body weight deadlift.

These things won’t pop up on your walk with your dog but if a friend asked you tomorrow would you like to hike throughout the grampians this weekend, would you be ready?

If you got the opportunity to go snowboarding, skiing or surfing this weekend would you be confident that your body would cope?

If you got the chance for a weekend on the beach in Hawaii would you be confident enough to rock out your best budgie smugglers or bikini?

We are not a body sculpting gym.

We are not a body building gym.

We are not a physique gym.

We are not a weight loss program.

We are not a body transformation centre.

We are here to help you to perform at your absolute best. We want to help you to get as strong as you possibly can.

We want to help you to become as fit as you possibly can by increasing your steady state and power endurance.

We want to help you to become supple and flexible yet strong throughout great ranges of movement and feel confident to tackle challenging tasks.

We want to empower you with this performance mindset to eat and fuel your body in a way that supports these outcomes, eating nutritious whole foods from a diverse range of sources.

We want you to focus on the practices that help you to recover well from each training session by being conscious of your sleep, movement, rest and work outside of the gym.

We want you to listen to your body and not thrash yourself when you’re under enormous stress loads either at work or within your personal life.

We want you to be able to achieve all that your desire in your professional life because your body and mind feel fresh, healthy and capable of the day to day rigours of your career.

What we want as a by product of all of this is for you to earn a body that you are proud of, that others notice and enjoy a level of health that is at your body’s pinnacle.

We understand that while everyone who walks through our door does not do so because they want to lose 5kgs or drop 5% body fat what we ALL want regardless of how many kilos we have been able to add to the barbell or how many seconds we have been able to shave off our 2k row, is to look better naked!

So whilst our focus isn’t on the aesthetic outcomes, the by product of all of your hard work, is that by following the process and continuing to put in place all that will enable you to perform at your body’s peak you will obtain the physique of a highly tuned athlete with the capability of one.

We want you to be strong, fit, mobile and to look the part.

That’s what we believe in.

14

Aug

Darren’s secret Super Shake!

Smoothies are an easy way to include super foods into your diet.

If your struggling to find a good combination of ingredients here’s my high performance daily recipe.

It’s great for a pre or post workout recovery shake or a quick meal on the run.

Combine the following ingredients in a blender:

  • – 1 x banana
  • – 3-5 x dates
  • – 1 x tsp. turmeric powder
  • – 1 x tsp. Cacao powder
  • – 1 x tbsp. super greens
  • – 1 x tsp. ginger powder
  • – 1 x tbsp. natural peanut butter
  • – ½ x cup blueberries
  • – 1 x Scoop protein powder (vanilla)
  • – 1 x handful spinach
  • – ½ cup x Coconut water
  • – ½ cup x Almond milk

Many of the ingredients like ginger and turmeric are great for recovery as they are anti-inflammatory but they also improve cognitive function, blueberries don’t only make the smoothie taste great but are also nature’s king of antioxidants which protects the body from the effects of free radicals, 1 cup of blueberries only contains 84 grams of carbohydrates so adding these wont significantly raise the caloric intake of the smoothie.

Dates don’t only combine well with the peanut butter flavour but they are high in fiber which will aid in digestion and this super food is also a source of minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus which all help to improved bone health.

Cacao is known to be a natural energy booster and also contains sulphur, which is a mineral that nails hair and skin will love you for adding to your smoothie.

Smoothies are a awesome way to include some of these super foods that otherwise we may be missing out on. Play around with ingredients and find something that works for you.

Your body and your taste buds will love you for it!

Let us know what you think.

12

Jul

Find your best fit and you’ll find your ultimate fitness

Where do you or why do you train where you train?

Like most people, when I first joined a gym, it was not for fun. It was because it was something I thought I ‘had’ to do.

I’ve been a competitive athlete for as long as I can remember, and until the age of 17 a large chunk of my days were spent sprinting on a track or trying to get a ball into an absurdly located hoop. Like a lot of young athletes, after graduating high school I felt aimless without the structure of classes and training. Oh sure I was still active, but after such a high level of activity for most of my life the drop in intensity affected me in ways that I did not anticipate. I no longer had to wake up early for practice, so I stayed up later. Without school and team trainings, I had to actually make plans to see my friends (ridiculous, I know). Worst of all, as expected when someone goes from training over 12 hours a week to not at all, my body started changing… So I decided to join a gym.

Joining a gym used to conjure up a bleak image of rows of treadmills, and oversized men grunting, in a room of mirrors whose sole purpose was to make you unhappy with yourself. When I did first join a gym, the reality was not far off at all, aside from the perky music constantly blaring to mask the sounds of discomfort. Luckily, that is no longer the case. Unless that’s what you’re into which is fine too. But sometime in the last decade or so, the definition of ‘fitness’ changed. Somewhere between activewear as acceptable streetwear and goji berries becoming a household staple, the concept of a gym became a much broader term, with Crossfit boxes, Yoga studios, Functional training studios like our own RevoPT, and everything in between. Exercise has became less about putting in the man hours against ones will, and more about what KIND of person YOU are, (and want to become).

I think we’re better and fitter for it!

Humans are tribal animals, always searching for a sense of belonging. Whether you are an accountant with a high stress work environment, a stay at home mum covered in pureed peas or a night owl of a university student, there is a training community for you. Or hell, you might even find more in common with someone from one of these other walks of life than you ever dreamed of. The right gym for you is no longer just the place that is located the closest with the cheapest membership. That is not what keeps someone going back. The place we choose to train is where someone else smiled and introduced themselves at your first class when they saw you were nervous. Where a guy you had never spoken to in your life cheers encouragingly at you that you can do it when you thought you couldn’t. The place you choose to train is where the other mums share the appreciation for some time to yourself and say they’ll see you next week.

The actual type of exercise, be it a 45-minute HIIT session or a 90 minute strength grind, is and always will be a factor in the progress you’re achieving, but that almost becomes a peripheral factor in your overall wellbeing. The connections we build within the wall of the places we choose to train at are what keeps us going back. Before you know it YOU are the person introducing yourself to a new face. YOU are the one shouting encouragement to someone you’ve never spoken to. And along the way you have become physically stronger, you’ve gotten leaner, and your energy levels are back up.

Seeing many of the bonds and friendships formed here at RevoPT between people from all walks of life that had never met before is one of the many highlights of working in an environment with a culture such as this. People regularly catch up out side of the gym, for fitness based activities but also simple social outings. This might not be the main reason you to start working towards a healthier version of yourself but I’m pretty darn sure it’s going to help you get your butt to the gym on those days that dragging yourself in here seems almost impossible.

That, in my humble opinion, is one of the main reasons why we choose to train where we train. So if you are still stuck in a cycle of dragging yourself to a gym and seeing no progress, or simply struggling with motivation incessantly, perhaps it is time to consider that it isn’t that exercise is just ‘hard’, but that you have yet to find the place that serves who you are on your strength and fitness journey.

Find your tribe!

27

Jun

Strength, Stamina and… Suppleness?

The three S’s that make up what it means to be fit and healthy, but before studying to be working in the fitness industry, strength was pretty much the only S that I was interested in and that featured in my training regime.

Before I became a PT I was working as an electrician, only interested in being strong for work and looking good down at the beach. I made the career switch to become a trainer a couple of years ago and it was during my studies that I learned about the other two S’s of fitness.

I knew being fit was good for you, but the importance of stamina became clear to me when I got back into boxing a couple of years ago. It was only then that i realised being fit and having Stamina was something I needed if i was going to last more than one round.

Playing team sports throughout school meant that you never had to be super fit to do well, because you would have your teammates to cover your back if you needed it, or if you knew your sport well you could manipulate your position and lacking in fitness and still be a successful contributor to the team. Boxing on the other hand, well, there’s no one that you can sub in and have your back when you’re out of breath, It’s just you vs your opponent till the end! It was then when I started to introduce some Stamina training into my Strength routine and it was not long before I noticed improvements in my fitness when I was boxing.

I started to introduce flexibility and mobility work into my training plan after hearing one of the boxing trainers say to me one day “Matty, you’re a little too tense, just relax and let your punches flow smoothly. Your striking will become much less predictable”. It was a very simple request but I found performing this basic task a little difficult. He then suggested “maybe you try out the yoga class we run here. It might help you loosen up and relax”. What a perfect up sell! I took the fries with that…

Yoga was something I would have never considered doing in the past but after hearing about all the health benefits from stretching and meditating and knowing this may improve my boxing so I could soon step into the ring, I thought why not give it a go.

I knew I needed to stretch more. I was always tight from training but never made time for the third S “suppleness”. I thought that if I went to a class I would have no choice but to participate in a good hour of stretching. I was struggling to do a lot of the yoga poses at first, but luckily for me, doing yoga at a martial arts gym meant there was a lot of other beginner students and people like me who were really tight and struggled with some of the basics.

Just like strength and stamina training, it was only a matter of time before my suppleness improved. After a couple of months of 1-2 yoga classes a week and stretching for a couple of minutes after my strength sessions and my flexibility had improved dramatically!

I was finally able to do most of the yoga poses, my posture had improved, I was recovering faster from my strength sessions and not pulling up as sore. I also found myself in a more relaxed state not just while I was boxing, but throughout the day!

Unfortunately for most people (including myself until recently) suppleness is nearly the most overlooked and neglected S out of all three areas of health and fitness. We always focus on being stronger, faster and fitter, but why not more mobile and flexible? Why do we always overlook joint health until we are injured and have pain?

Flexibility can be defined as the range of motion that a muscle has before it reaches end range, or the ability to move muscles and joints through their full range of motion. The more flexible we are means the greater our range of motion during our lifts resulting in a larger area of the muscle being worked. This improves our muscle blood flow resulting in faster recovery time from our strength training. Being more flexible also reduces muscle tension resulting in a decreased chance of injury.

If you find yourself in a certain position for too long, you’ll notice the tightness in certain areas. If you are a person that is in a position for a long period of time, you may want to be doing regular stretches which oppose the contracted muscles in those positions. Doing so will assist with keeping correct posture and helping your body to be better balanced.

If you’re like myself and find it hard to make time for stretching, try our mobility classes that run on Thursdays. It’s a great way to finish off a big week of strength training and reset the body and also to start to increase or improve the areas in which you might be lacking in movement. Generally we focus on a different area of the body each week and test out your mobility and flexibility to combat being stuck in those common bad posture positions.

If you think you could be doing more stretching or you’ve considered the thought of what it would be like to be a bit a little more flexible and more mobile but you’re not sure where to start, please don’t hesitate to ask a trainer for some help and specific guidance on what you should be doing to assist with achieving your other health and fitness goals.

Thanks for reading and make sure you leave me a comment if you have any questions at all.

Thanks.

Matt