For as far back as I can remember now, we’ve had two tracks of programming. There’s L1, the fitness track, and L2 the performance track. For a while there were even three tracks, one being for ‘competitors.’ That was a mistake, but a good lesson nonetheless! The primary reason for the two tracks is to ensure that we’re covering all bases of fitness for all levels of fitness.
Having two programming tracks also takes care of much of the modifying guidelines you and the coaches need to ensure that you achieve the intended benefits of the workout, which means getting a good workout. And it shows you where you could be going with your fitness. However, you don’t have to, and for a long won’t be, following just one or the other track.
New members are the exception here. You all start on the fitness track because that’s where we build a strong foundation. Depending on how you progress, you could be capable of completing some pieces of the performance track in six months. And as you progress over the years you’ll find yourself having to mix and match between the two tracks to ensure you are progressing. The ability and need to mix and match doesn’t stop there, though.
If you have been following the L2 track for a long time, are able to complete some of the workouts as prescribed, and are still progressing, the L1 track still has benefits for you. The best benefit is arguably a bit of regression work. Dial the technical demand, volume and intensity down a bit to practise good recovery habits and tidy up your fundamental movement patterns.
You do however need to be smart about this. There is no point mixing and matching so much that you end up with an entirely different workout because you won’t progress at all. Scaling up or down too much will have the same effect, and scaling up too much WILL leave you injured. And that’s where the advice of the coaches comes in. While you are ultimately responsible for the direction you take, you are coming to us for a service. You can pay for a good plate of food without eating it, but I’m sure there are better ways of wasting money 😉
On a side note, following the fitness (L1) track doesn’t mean your performance won’t increase, and following the performance track doesn’t mean your fitness won’t increase. They are merely terms we use to describe slightly different methods and stages in your fitness journey.
So blaze your own trail, but heed the advice of your tour guides, the coaches, for a fun but safe journey.
You’re fired up! It’s the start of the new year, you either beginning a new health and fitness journey or carrying on from last year, and you have goals. Your momentum is high, so you’re dialing in your nutrition and getting stuck into training. You’re doing everything you need to, all of the time.
That might not be the best approach.
You certainly need to work towards your goals, but perfection is impossible. Balance, however, is sustainable. What I’ve experienced over the years, in both nutrition and training, is that almost everyone who goes “strict” all the time, even if just for specific periods, ends up going the opposite way. And that usually happens at the end of their set period or after some sort of event–birthdays, holidays, parties, etc.
Whereas those who find a healthy balance of good food and treats experience ongoing results, and are generally happier.
It’s kind of a kid-in-candy-store analogy. A kid who has never been exposed to all those amazing colours and smells is likely to lose their sh*t in a candy store. But a kid who has had some exposure to candy over time is more likely to know what they want and don’t want, find it, and if the parents are smart enough they’ll be out of there!
If you try to keep it strict all of the time, you’re probably going to lose your sh*t like that first kid.
In my opinion, it’s a simple approach. Eat good food (veges, a variety of meats, nuts and seeds, some fruit and starch, a bit of dairy) MOST of the time, and go for less healthy foods (processed foods, takeaways) and sugary treats SOME of the time.
This is striving for sustainable. Excellence is sustainable.
What better way to return to a normal schedule in the new year than with some baseline testing? For many of you who’ve been with us for a long time it will almost feel like starting all over again–unfamiliar workouts, a surprise everyday, and a healthy dose of nervousness! We use fitness testing to evaluate the safety, effectiveness and efficacy of our methods, and as an opportunity for you to measure changes in your health and fitness. So if it feels like your December holidays are hurting more than they should during this week of training, don’t sweat it. You’re going to have an opportunity to redo these tests in 3 months 😉
Remember, we use testing days to evaluate your fitness. While the approach to the session is very much the same, the intention is specifically to test. Whereas the intent on training days is to develop your fitness.
Similarly, there’s a difference between doing and practising. On some days or in some parts of workouts we’re working towards increasing your work capacity. Those are doing days and pieces–you either have the ability to perform the movements as written, or some smart modifications are necessary to ensure that you are training effectively. On other days and pieces we dial the intensity right down to practise–learn a new skill, improve an existing skill, or simply allow for active recovery.
Your coaches will always explain the intent and purpose of the workout, but remember that unless you’re proficient at a movement, modify the workout to ensure you’re doing and training. And when practise or technique days come up, work on your ninja skills!
This week’s testing will give an insight into what sort of training you can expect in the coming training block.
The focus of the first block of the year will be to develop endurance and stamina while improving your speed and skill level. Endurance and stamina sort of go together to build what we refer to as your engine. A big engine means that you’ve got the ability to go far, get there quickly, and handle heavy loads along the way while maintaining good positions.
Speed is your ability to reduce the time cycle of a repeated movement, and you need good skill levels for that. This all follows on from the last cycle, and will get you nicely prepared for the Open!
So “gassy” metcons, learning how to cycle a barbell, and gymnastics practise. All of which go towards shedding those excess kilos you gained over the holidays, IF you’re sorting out your nutrition 😉
As we have been doing, there will be four training blocks in a year. Two of 13 weeks and two of 12. While we have previously used CrossFit’s benchmark workouts to evaluate your work capacity, there’ll be a change this year. There will still be fitness testing, but the tests will be unique to that training block. Instead of being familiar with the benchmark tests, you’re now exposed to something new!
The ladies and odd hero workout will still feature throughout the year, of course. Some for testing and others for training days. They’re great workouts that should form part of any fitness program.
The Barbell Club is going through a work capacity and stamina phase too, to ensure that all programs are tied in. Lots of complexes and percentage work for you guys.
The Endurance Club is kicking the year off with a rowing block to improve your rowing skill level and of course to grow your lungs and engine. It will be a good way of ensuring you’re getting endurance work in while recovering from training on Monday to Wednesday.
G.I. Jozi is there for the low skill, cardio-based workouts, and it shouldn’t be too long before the Concept Cardio room is good to go!
Don’t forget about the UpSkill plans and private coaching available for those of you wanting some individually tailored programming and coaching. Group classes aren’t all we do, they’re PART of our offering!
Enjoy the return to full training, and take care of your recovery!
Over the next couple of weeks your gym-based training options are going to become a bit limited. The gyms will be closed, you’ll be on holiday and not everywhere you go will have a well equipped gym that is also offering classes. Globo gyms will be open, as always, but there’s only so much ‘back & bi’s and chest & tri’s’ you can do, and limited tolerance for people in gyms looking at their bi’s. So what will you do?
Get out of the gym.
Get on a bike, go for hikes or runs, run on the beach, do hill sprints, swim, kayak, go rock climbing. The options are almost endless, and thanks to all the fitness you now have from training with us, you are capable of doing just about anything. Isn’t that the idea?
What is all that health and fitness worth if you aren’t actually using it? Your training in the gym develops your health and fitness. What (physical activity) you do outside of the gym is an expression of that health and fitness. And you’ll be surprised at just how capable you are now. So use the holiday period as a refreshing opportunity of using your newfound fitness.
Have a safe and enjoyable holiday season. Eat, sleep, switch off, and gear up for a big 2018!
“We encourage and assist our athletes to explore a variety of sports as a vehicle to express and apply their fitness.” –Greg Glassman, Foundations
This will be the final active week for the blog this year. The holiday period will be a good time for me to put down new content ideas and for you to to think of topics you’d like me to write about. If you’d like some reading to do on your down time, look to the right sidebar of this page and search the blog using the tags. There are 98 posts with the ‘nutrition’ tag! Sure, some of them will be repeats, but there’s a ton of information there.
New Years is still a few days away, but that’s why NOW is a good time to talk about getting started. Sure, you’re going on holiday and that’s a great time to indulge in food and drink. But that doesn’t mean you have to eat and drink everything including the kitchen sink. Changing your mindset is the first step to changing your health and fitness, and you don’t need to wait to get started to change your mindset. You just need to start.
I’ll get going on Monday.
I’ll start when winter is over.
I’m waiting for my friend to start with me.
I need to start that new job first.
Okay, I’ll start tomorrow.
No, you’re just full of excuses and bullsh*t.
Those are just a few of the familiar phrases people say when it comes to making changes that are needed to improve their health and fitness. Not the last phrase, though. That’s me calling them out 😉
Are you one of those people waiting for that perfect time, when all the conditions are just right, to make changes to your nutrition for the better of your health and fitness? Well, that time is either now or never. That sort of all-or-nothing approach (to anything) typically gets us nothing. If you want to make a difference to your health and fitness, truly want to, then the only time to start is now. Here are a few tips to get you out of that stuck feeling.
Change Your Mindset
That’s the first step. There will never be the perfect time to start. I’m not trying to be morbid, but you could be dead before that time comes. So get going on those changes now.
It’s often difficult to get going because you genuinely don’t know what changes to make. Book in for a nutrition consult, sign up for the next lifestyle challenge, and get yourself some books. Support, however, also comes from those you spend most of your time with – friends, family and work colleagues. Tell them about your goals and what you’re going to do to achieve them. Tell them when the going gets tough and share your successes with them because they’ll keep your fire burning.
If they don’t support you or belittle your goals and achievements, delete them.
Just Get Going
You are able to start right now, while reading this post. You don’t have to go to the supermarket before changing your mindset, you just need to change it. Write down your new intentions and post them to places you won’t miss them. They shouldn’t be grand goals and massive schemes, though. Think of the smallest change you could make in the next 10 minutes. Aim to be just 1% better everyday.
Make it a Priority
YOU have to make YOUR health and fitness a priority. IF it is a priority, good nutrition becomes a priority by default. IF nutrition is a priority, making the time to buy, prepare and eat healthy food won’t be a problem. Look at your schedule and find the time.
You are going to have challenges, but what matters is that you’ve started. It’s much easier to prevent a stopped train from moving forward than it is to stop a travelling train 😉-Imtiaz