It seems like as soon as the 1st of December hit everyone was full throttle for Christmas, nights out, getting all the presents bought, buying the mince pies.
I want to take this chance while we are all chrimbo’ing up to discuss training, weight gain, your motivation, drinking, guilt and overindulging. Over the years I have noticed some trends with people not everyone but a handful. It is that training or the gym takes a back seat, the lead up to Christmas everyone is looking to tighten their purses, save where they can, if resistance training is not top of your priorities or just simply training in general then your gym membership can sometimes be the first thing to go.
We will all go out or maybe already have consumed our bodyweight in gluhwein at the Christmas market, then Christmas work party and we are hitting the shots! eating to excess and drinking to excess maybe not for us all, but we are definitely going to be eating more than usual, having the odd mince pie, I will probably eat a whole case. You may have many nights out, staying out late till the 5am licence getting minimal sleep or sleeping later changing your sleeping patterns or many dinner parties and Christmas parties planned. What this will lead to is lethargy, a reduction in performance be it cardiovascularly or in our strength or power or in our power endurance. Your drive to train your motivation may drop or completely go as you have many nights out, presents to buy, people to see, dinners to go too, you are hungover a lot feel slow and lethargic and lack the motivation to train to hit the gym, ontop of that its cold, its dark and you really don’t want to be made to ‘suffer’ today or work hard or be out of breath or feel the strain of heavy weights.
The good news is were all in the same boat, most of us will eat a little bit more over this month, we will drink a little more, we will socialise a little more and we will suffer more hangovers than usual, we may well put on a little weight, we may well get a little unfitter. You may well just lose absolutely all motivation to come in and train.
I am going to offer you some solutions to combating this, if you don’t feel like coming into a cold, gym, in a dark cold wet night or morning, if you don’t feel like suffering, like lifting heavy, like doing a crossfit workout, like doing a intense workout, I am going to offer you some solutions.
Ok so first things first embrace the mindset that doing something is better than doing absolutely fuck all. Its the one thing that will do the most damage to your strength and fitness gainz and overall health next too overeating or eating really badly or getting fucked up every night at Christmas. Sitting about for long periods watching tv, or sleeping for more than 6hrs and it will maybe make you more stiff or immobile basically squatting and deadlifting is going to be harder and you have more chance picking up an injury.
So to combat this try and do 5-10mins movement or mobility every day when you get up, before you go to bed, at lunch time, go for walks, my mum just rehabbed her 2nd hip surgery in the 8 weeks post op she did a hellova lot of walking with her doctor prescribed rehab plan.
So make time for mobility, use your door frame for some door frame squats, use your kitchen counter for some push backs, do some slow airsquats, do some curls ups. I am going to show you more about animal flow in the future but its particularly useful for my members just now as it enables you to have a savage whole body workout with just your body and a little space, for members who are going away I have been teaching them it and the basic moves and a basic flow and they have something they can do every day which hits everything, and I mean everything.
Once your in the mindset to do something each day that’s all you need, ok great if you can hit the gym lets get a workout in, but wait your beat up from all the sitting eating and drinking and tired as fuck and you cant face lifting heavy or pushing it to the pepsi max or just not feeling up for it lack motivation, then here is when we go light, go 70% pick an easier exercise, just concentrate in getting some good movement in. picking lower weights or percentages, picking easier exercises maybe a goblet squat over a backsquat, or some walking lunges, not doing too much volume, keeping it really simple, getting the breathing up but not feeling like I am strangling you with my bare hands. You have options don’t be the guy that has to hit beast mode every time he is in the gym, or has to do a crossfit workout every time he hits the gym, or has to finish the session lying on his back.
Dan Johns fraise my warmup is my workout is perfect. I have used it a lot this year, doing work with beginners, and people who need to lose a lot of weight. Turning your warmup into your workout could be just the thing you need this Christmas or maybe your coming back from a bad cold, or maybe you get half way into a session and think fuck it I’m done her I cant be bothered, Remember you can do a lot of good volume and work in your warmup, so if all you do is the warmup don’t feel bad you have still done a pretty decent workout. And you can always expand on that and just increase the rounds and use the warmup as a lower intensity workout for that day, if you add in some light rowing or airdyne or ski erg or run or walk or cycle to gym for 10mins at the start and finish then you got yourself a perfect workout to keep the wolf at bay.
I will be doing a facebook live post probably in the run up to Christmas going over some basic animal flow and maybe you can join in with me so look out for that.
Also potential new blog posts in the pipeline, tips for females to get their first chinup and pressup, and potential January beginner bootcamps for 2017.
From time to time I like to right a what I call a captains log post, a summary of my thoughts and summary of what has been going on in the gym the last few months and my thoughts on the gym and its continual development.
Last week I had the pleasure of inviting Craig Punton into the gym to give him a workout on my Airdyne it was great to train with him as you always push yourself harder when you train with someone who is more advanced than you. It was great to hear his thoughts and feedback on the gym and it made me think. I am trying to create something special, different and not mainstream, I was glad to hear that that came across in the social media that I put out about the gym. Thank you Craig for the kind words and I hope to continue to live up to this standard and continue to progress into what my tagline says ‘no ordinary gym’
The last month we had our 2nd Do it For Dal event, it was an opportunity for us to come together as a community to support a member in need, to show Dal who is going through a difficult time right now recovering from a brain tumour, he has one major goal before his next MRI then surgery and that is too lose 2 stone and be as fit and as healthy as possible before his next surgery. This is one hell of a drive to make you focused and determined in the gym and outside to enable him to achieve his goals. Because of this he works very hard in the gym and others should be inspired even motivated by this. I see able bodied lazy and unmotivated people and they could take a good deal of insight from a man like Dal who will work probably 10x harder than they will.
The Do it for Dal event was supported and could not have happened without my friends from CrossFit MTS check them out here www.crossfitmts.co.uk Jonny and Jamie very kindly lent me 4 rowers for the event which was a simple rower relay, 10k row done in groups of 7 we have a ski erg so we had one group on the ski erg in the end. It was 30secs per player on the rower and then 10 strict burpees in your rest. It took just under 30mins, we had around 26 people in the gym, the atmosphere was electric, the buzz was massive and it truelly did inspire and show our support as a community for Dal. It was even timed perfectly at the end when we had Dal finishing the row at the end with us all cheering him on. My goal was clear with this it was to inspire and to fill Dal with a massive boost of energy from the support we gave him on that day as a community.
I try to really put as much effort into each member I train, I want to get the most out of them, change them where needed, instil a strong mindset, a strong mental strength, give them the tools to succeed and become stronger, fitter and healthier than they would have ever thought possible, I do this through individualisation, working with my mentorship group the Combined Strength group run by my mentor and coach Andy Mckenzie www.combinedstrength.com taking the time to find out where each new member is at start with the basics the fundamentals then progress from their, have a framework to work from and then build and a set of principles to work from I have done a lot of work with what I see the best therapist in Edinburgh right now Colin Gordon at Performance Sports Therapy http://www.performancesportstherapy.net/ A sports Therapist that lifts and understands the work that I do and the training that my members do. I have worked with him to help rehab and increase the performance of many of my members and with him I have massively developed the product and offering that #bobsgarage offers.
The business is constantly evolving just like myself and my coaching and my knowledge and experience and my development myself as an athlete. Taking the concept of the individualisation at the gym, we have developed it now that we have a base structure of 3 lifting days Monday squat, Tuesday press and Wednesday Deadlift and barbell complex and we have a bodyweight Thursday day then a Friday dedicated too just conditioning or as we call it Fuck you up Friday and then Saturdays a dedicated Core session or gymnastics core work if you will.
There is still individualisation that goes on towards people who cant do pullups and press-ups, every session they are in they are given regressions to build that skill and turn it into a strength eventually, we dedicate our time to strict movement also ‘no kip just strict’ as I see it you have an hour of your day and it is more beneficial to work a strict movement that has more benefit to your squat and your deadlift than a kipping pullup would. Added to that the joint stresses on the shoulder, back and elbow that occur when you kip a movement I will always go for a strict pullup.
The addition of the ski erg and the airdyne although costly was hugely worth it, the airdyne is a very potent and effective beast of a machine and is hugely effective and building aerobic and anaerobic capacity. It has developed our Friday sessions into something very special and really effective. The gym has many layers, we have the individualised aspect to it then the next layer where we get members to be able to think and move well on their own is crucial so you can go forth and work well in bigger groups being able to go forth and use your initiative and think for yourself is really crucial I will give you 6 months to guide you and install you into our mindset and culture and way of doing things in our gym but after that you must take the lead its a two way partnership and I am definitely not your baby sitter.
The last two months of the year are going to be a busy one, my last meet up with my combined strength coaches next weekend, the rig we have had for nearly 4 years is getting taken out and we are getting a completely new set up, we will no doubt start to attract many more people who see what we do and want to be part of such this amazing thing that we have got going on and we are more than ready to welcome new comers.
I have many new partnerships I wish to develop and start with specialists in Power lifting, Olympic lifting and conditioning Edinburgh and I am looking forward to the building and developing these new bonds and developing #BOBSGARAGE into the revolution I wanted it to be and truelly be ‘no ordinary gym’
Every single time I go to the box, I have to walk 20 minutes to go there and 20 minutes to go back to my house. A lot of times takes me longer, very few times less, but the 20 minutes are there. I could take a couple shortcuts and be faster, but I don’t do it. Those are my 20 minutes.
20 minutes that I spend walking following the Water of Leith path, hearing the birds, away from cars, and sometimes, “enjoying the rain”. And I love every single one of those 20 minutes, because every single one of them is full of meaning.
They mean I’m going somewhere where I improve myself, or I’m coming back after testing myself.
And that’s one of the best things you can do.
When I first came to Bob’s Garage I hadn’t being in a gym for about 15 years, and crossfit was something some of my friends did, but never me. I came looking for a place where I could finally be pushed beyond I could push me.
I’ve been trying to lose weight and become healthier for a long time. I was very close to achieve it by myself with diets and some light exercise (I lost nearly 30 kilos) but life happened and I went back to square one. Bloody square one again.
The time of excuses or trying to be smart was over, I needed something and I was going to get it. I checked a few places, and Bob’s looked good. Not too big, the people there seemed to be nice and the guy in charge seemed to know what he was doing. So I gave it a shot and I went there a Saturday morning at 9:00.
It was eye opening. You don’t know your limits until you try to break them, and I discovered that my limits were nearly “walk and breathe at the same time”. Few weeks before going to the box ago I was able to run 1 hour nonstop, but I injured my left knee in the process, that’s the price of trying to outsmart your own body. I, as a fat version of Icarus, had paid a price too high for a reward too small.
So I went to the box, I learnt about the yoga flow and then I started doing some stuff…
Do you know the bear crawl? I was unable to do it properly. The part where you crawl back, well, not for me, my body didn’t knew how to do it. My brain knew, but my body was somewhere else, I literally was unable to make my legs and arms move back.
That was eye opening. That was the truth.
Let’s not talk about doing squats, or even burpees, out of the question. Hell, when I was doing my yoga flow I was already sweating big time (I still do, there’s enough DNA of me on the floor of the box to create and army of clones). So I finished the beginners session absolutely destroyed and feeling like shit.
It was time to do the only right thing to do: I got the monthly pass. Not a group of classes or anything, I paid the £70 without a second thought. That box was my place.
Everything has a price, and I was ready to pay it, to push myself, to accept the reality of my situation, and getting the help I needed (and still need). And I did it because I knew that the people there and Bob understood what was going on. Bob didn’t judge me, he studied me, I could see his brain work thinking about what to do with me, how to encourage me, how to take me to the limit and once there, take me beyond there to reach the next level.
I have been going there for nearly two months there and I’ve loved every single day there. I was able to feel the benefits of crossfit and Bob’s teachings since Day 1. Slowly, but constantly, I was gaining mobility, control, I was taking my body back. I didn’t care if meanwhile other people were doing awesome stuff (and trust me, the people there are able to do amazing stuff) I was unable to do a proper squat. They were examples to me, I saw them and I was thinking “Man, I want to be able to do that”. I’m reaching a point in my life where I don’t have time for envy or anything like that, I like seeing people pushing themselves just because they want to be better. I respect that, I want to do that.
So I kept going to the box: 20 minute walk, getting a 1 hour session with Bob and then another 20 minute walk, and after that going to the swimming pool just to recover and relax the muscles.
But it had an unexpected price: My left shoulder started to get angry, and he was really vocal about it. I started to feel pain, soreness, all kind of bad things were happening there.
The solution was obvious: I needed more help, and Bob sent me to the right place, to see Colin, a Sports Therapist that started treating me. And it was painful, but it worked. Again: everything has a price, and I paid it willingly. Because it was worth it.
Things started to improve. That bear walk? No problem now, look at me going and coming back, in fact you can follow my trail of sweat on the floor. Other people are better at it, but I’ve no problem with that, I’ll try my best to reach their level. Squats? The 21st of October I was able to do proper squats with 24 extra kilos (so that makes a total of nearly 145 kilos of squatting) without any pain. I’m able to get a kettlebell and raise it over my head with my left arm.
Pain is a thing of the past, but I also know that is going to be in my future. Let it come, if it’s the price I’ve to pay, I’ll pay it willingly, because now I know how to solve it, and if I don’t, I know the people that will tell me how to solve it.
Now when I go to the box and I check the whiteboard, I understand a lot of those strange names written there. Now I don’t use knee braces anymore, the pain has disappeared. Now my left arm is catching up with a vengeance. Now I’m walking the path I wanted to walk for years.
And that path is a 20 minute walk. I don’t care how tired I am, or how bad the weather is. I just keep walking. Because the only way to reach your destination, is to move towards it. And if it must be at walking speed, so be it. I’m loving every single step, every drop of sweat that hits the floor, every muscle that starts to burn but still keeps going, every breath that feels like it’s not going to be enough, but it is, every time that I feel that I’m done but then I look around and find myself doing another rep.
I don’t care if I’m not at my 100%, if I’m feeling a bit sick, if the last night I was out for too long and drank a little too much. I keep going. I don’t have time for excuses; they take time from my 20 minute walk.
Because you know those 20 minutes? Those are my reward. I’ve fought for them, I’ve pushed myself beyond my limits for them and I’ll keep doing it. Because I must earn them every single time I go to the box, only then I allow myself to enjoy the sounds of the birds, the peace of the walk, that moment when it starts raining, you pull your hoodie and you just keep walking with a smile on your face.
You smile because you know you have tried your best and know that you will do it again, and your only wish is to be able to do it better the next time.
Because the reward it’s in the price. That’s why you pay it.
I try to encourage as much as possible for my members to write about what drives them, what brought them to my garage, what changes they have gone through and the struggles and strains they go through while training at my gym. Its good to hear that your not alone in your struggle for weightloss and better health strength and fitness and it can show you that actually I could do this and that you could train here. JB has shown great commitment, consistency, drive, determination and discipline. These he brought to the gym from his past experiences but if you have a weak mentality, have no fear as this can be taught and developed through practices in the gym I will turn you into a strong, fit individual mentally and physically.
Here is JB’s update on his progress and his journey to reaching his goals:
I was at a dinner party a week ago and a (female) friend said I looked very different to the last time she’d seen me in June. In July, Bob posted something I’d sent him where I ‘checked in, put my new shoes on and decided to get a grip of myself.’ It appears, some three months later to be working. In discussion with my friend (who had been working hard at weight loss and had lost 1.5 stones) I told her about stepping up and embracing CrossFit again, cutting back on alcohol, some diet changes and training in general. She kindly said it was clearly having an effect.
That day I had worked out (the new core work) following a hard Fuck You Up Friday the evening before (ski erg, row, sled, airdyne, KBS, etc – hard work and yep, loved that one…). I genuinely believe that 3 months ago I would not have been able to complete the FYF and a workout the next day.
I took a look in the mirror the day after the dinner party and holy shit, I have hip bones !
I mean I can see them, defined ! Now, it is true to say I have not lost any weight per se which I assume means I am losing fat and gaining muscle. It is also true to say certain areas (including the hip bones) are a little better defined and I have lost some fat off my face… but it’s also true that I am still carrying too much fat around my stomach area and that will take time and effort to kill. At the age of 48, this is my problem area regarding weight and fat – if I do not train I put weight on and fat builds on a few areas – face (WTF ?), hips, stomach. When I get a grip and train, it pretty much goes, in the same order – face, hips, stomach but the stomach, shit, it takes a lot of work – months of work. So, slow progress is being made. How did that happen ? Here’s how:
After my last blog entry where I wrote about getting my shit together, I took a month off alcohol, stopped eating bread (I fucking love bread), ate more fruit, veg and salad and started training, on average, 4-5 days a week (1 or 2 days in Bobs Garage, the rest in a ‘normal gym’ but doing CrossFit style workouts). Those of you who know me only see me once or twice a week as I work down near London and commute weekly. I know that if I could get to the box in Edinburgh more often my results would be showing faster, but I cannot and that’s life – the upshot of that is having to work out on my own and persevere.
Well, so what ? I think what I have re-proved or proved to myself is a number of things and this is the point of me sending this blog to Bob; there is nothing earth-shattering in what I am about to say but this is a reminder that results can be achieved with discipline and if change is required, then change….
1. A month off alcohol is no big deal. I’ll do it more often.
2. Drinking less in general is not an issue once you break the habit of a drink or two every night. Not to say I am an absolute puritan now but my alcohol consumption is way down…I do feel better for it, I consume less calories and it helps the bank balance too .
3. Bread and wheat products definitely affect my well-being. When I eat it, I feel bloated, get excess mucus and feel sluggish. I felt a lot better for not eating it. I have discovered organic rye bread which tastes good and does not affect my health. I realised that not eating something I have taken for granted all my life is 99% achievable and not hard once you get used to it. If anything the issue is not being able to eat what is essentially a convenience food; often, it is difficult to find an alternative at lunchtime to a quick wrap or sandwich but it can be done. I think I found this harder than cutting out alcohol ! It’s clear though, breaking a habit can be good for you…sometimes you just need to find out what is causing your poor health issue – it may be something you take for granted and not associate with affecting your well-being.
4. Taking time and being disciplined about training regularly makes me happy. It allows me to blow out stress and know I am doing good for myself which is turn is good for my family as it helps my health. It’s important I remain healthy, not only for my personal well-being but also for my livelihood – if I get sick and can’t work, I don’t get paid…like all of us, I have bills to pay !
Of note is curbing any issues you feel about not training. I try not to beat myself up if I miss training but I am definitely in a mode whereby I get a bit concerned about not training. I have been here before but several months ago, when my shit was not in order, this was not a mode I was in. I think it is a pretty healthy attitude to have a slight concern if you miss training but if you are stressed about it in a big way or you beat yourself up about it, perhaps you need a re-think. As an example, last week I was on the road in S.Korea for work; result – travel, work and associated socialising means I have missed a week of training. On day two I found myself stressing about it so I consciously focussed on thinking about the coming week whereby I would focus on recovering from an ‘unhealthy work week’ and I found this helped a lot. So, this week a puritanical approach will be taken and I’ll be back ‘on mode.’
5. Committing to get to Bob’s gym as often as I can is something I have been doing for the last three months since my last blog. I’d be in 6 days a week if it was an option. Regardless, I have been reminded that enjoy the workouts. I like the box. I like the camaraderie and the craic. I like Bob’s approach and coaching technique. I like the suffering and the pain and the feeling of achievement that comes from completing a hard session. I cannot see a point in my future where CrossFit does not happen. I have been doing CrossFit on and off since 2008 and when I commit, the results show. They have started showing after my self-aware wake-up call in July.
3 months ago I made a commitment to myself and I have pretty much stuck with it. I am reaffirming that commitment in this blog; I quite like having hip bones.
I have a guilty secret when I was younger I used to watch Star Trek. I am drawn back to this phrase they used to say a lot. Captains Log as they detailed the events of the day. I think I will do these from time to time to serve as a way point to show you where I am at where the business is at and the project that is #bobsgarage is at. This is because like everything the only thing constant is change, ideas develop, people develop and so does the character of a person and how they view life and carry out their work.
At the moment I am waiting on picking my mum up from hospital, she has had probably one of the biggest weeks of her life having her second hip replacement. She is a strong women and much of my mental and physical strength I have developed has come from her. This past 6months has been brutal for her and has resulted in a slow decline into shuffling about the house and having to slowing go down backwards down stairs and dealing with constant pain. Constant pain can really get to someone, it can wear you down and erode your personality or it can change you for the better, strengthen you through the hardship you have gone through. I think it has done just that for my mum strengthen her as it has been her greatest challenge in her life dealing with this pain.
If the last 3 years has taught me anything it is that periods where you are overwhelmed are followed by periods of huge success if you can ride the wave manage the stress, anxiety of dealing with new concepts, new knowledge, being around and learning from coaches who are maybe more knowledgeable and experienced than you then you will have great success.
The feelings you feel of being overwhelmed is maybe even a auto response from your brain when it has absorbed all the information possible and is unable to process any more of the information that is being given to you. It can only understand and process so much before cognitive fatigue sets in.
This weekend saw my mentor Andy Mckenzie come up and host a Bodyweight seminar teaching a back to basics approach about training and bodyweight training and how it relates to everything else warming up and preparing the body and integrating range of movement to preparing the body most effectively to get the most bang for your buck and be the most efficient in your warmup process. As usual there was a lot of information from the man and it does get overwhelming as you can only take so much in. I am always amazed at how much knowledge he has and passes on when he does these seminars and each time I am with him I manage to absorb and understand I little bit more I then go back try to understand it for myself and then develop it and use it and pass it on to others.
He also made me think about belief, continually testing and challenging is always the way and always helps you to develop your confidence and ability to carry out a task, if you have the belief then you will finish the task, belief in #BOBSGARAGE and what I want to achieve and develop as a business, belief in carrying out the training that I do and pushing myself to hit my goals and the belief in myself when I am coaching in the gym and dealing with clients.
As I hit 29 I am beginning to understand what I need to do to progress as I person and as a coach and as a athlete and I am looking forward to the future and I am more confident about dealing with challenges and looking at the upside of most things. Continual development is the only way.
And finally I was reminded today about the responsibility that is given when you become a coach, you may be in the middle of something personal and someone may just phone you up and look for your help, make sure to not ignore this responsibility to help and to support where the client needs your help at dealing with physical problems or emotional ones. As a coach I have the responsibility to create and develop a community and culture that is what I envision one that is built on suffering together and building bonds from that that last a life time, one that makes us push ourselves to develop our capabilities in our strength, fitness, health and mindset but does not make us compete against each other but rather we work together as a team to become better together.
We are constantly evolving in our training, bodies and mindset just like the project that is #BOBSARAGE is stay tuned to the next captains log.
I was grateful for the opportunity to take over the Lululemon Train Hard Thursday session at their store this week. I was super excited for it and really looking forward to coaching and training new people. However only 1 person turned up for it, but this one person her name was Adrian did amazing.
So on Thursdays I have just recently implemented a new session in which we just use our body, it is called BODYWEIGHT and its a mixture of Mobility and flexibility work, lots of different crawling patterns handstand practice progressions and a bodyweight finisher.
The emphasis is on using your body and that you can get a really good workout from just using your bodyweight. Let me tell you some of the crawl progressions use every part of your body and just doing 3mins worth can feel like a lifetime.
So getting back to the Lululemon session I had planned, I brought the 28 minute workout that Bobby Maximus showed me last year at my GymJones level 1. Its a great workout and can be used for anything and only lasts 28mins which is under half an hour and can be fitted into your day. More than that it will deliver a intense workout, get your heart rate up, sweating, out of breath, and feel all your muscles working with just 28mins and you get to have rest!
The reason why I say less is more and quality over quantity is that this one person that turned up to the session was from Banff, Canada. A place that is very special to me as I spent a lot of time their when I was younger in the winter and in the summer snowboarding, mountaineering, climbing, hiking and eventually doing CrossFit the last time I was their. So it was cool to train someone from somewhere that meant so much to me!
So here are the details of the workout:
We warmed up with some bear crawls, serratus press-ups and RKC planks
then we took 5 exercises:
Jump squats, negative press-ups, jumping lunges, straight arm burpees and airsquats and did one for each round of the workout.
we used the work to rest ratio of 30:30 and did this 4 times with a 2mins rest at the end looking like this:
30:30 x4 2min rest
A whole round of Jump squats then a whole round of Negative press-ups and so on, you could use this workout just for press-ups, burpees, rkc planks its a really good format and works really well.
By the way Adrian killed it and got through it all she sweated, got out of breath, could feel her muscles working and the rest stopped her from doing any bad reps with bad form. Form is always number one as Dan John says “Always Strive for a quiet head, efficient movements and sense of calm while training” so we went over technique and took careful note when it broke down and took the time to correct it.
We took the time after the session to go over some details like intra abdominal bracing, and making use of the hamstrings and glutes when squatting and doing some simple drills to get them firing before we squat also as she was feeling the airsquats mostly in the quads/hip flexors, doing a bit of movement work and activation and practicing proper bracing and the airsquats felt completely different.
This one point just underlined how important it is to get down to the fundamentals when I meet a new person, how important going over breathing and going over proper bracing strategies and then looking at simple activation drills like partnered kneeling hamstring curls or single leg unweighted hinges or just practicing sending your butt back to the wall to ingrain a good hinge. As well as the fundamentals its important to treat every person as an individual going over specific problems and looking at how to fix or improve movement issues. I would definitely not have been able to give Adrian the level of training she got last night if there was 20 of us and would not have been able to help her solve her movement issue so here is to dealing with people as individuals!
I could have been down trodden and gutted about only having one person to train instead of a group but I made the most of it and got the most out of it for Adrian and had a great time at Lululemons Train Hard Thursday, you never know I maybe back for more as I thought it was a really good opportunity to reach out to new people and speak to potential new members in a fun and relaxed environment in the heart of the city and could be the potential stepping stone for new members to make the first step in joining #BOBSGARAGE stay tuned for more developments on this.
This weekend was many things. A chance to get out of the day to day running of my business to get away from the actual running of the business and actually work on the business. Getting straight to the point and seeing what I had to work on then actually getting it done for once, no procrastination, no putting it off but some actual focused work on how to develop #BOBSGARAGE.
We really looked at the business and got to grips what needs to be worked on and how to progress it where do I go from here and how to take the next step. Through focused discussion we worked out what needed improved and what needed developed and starting to plan how to take it to the next level.
If it has shown me one thing it is that you can get caught up in the notion that the way you are doing things now has to be the way you always have to do them. And that’s just not the case and anything is possible be it training groups or programming or business, if you just put your mind too it open yourself up to criticism, feedback and development and then go about working on how to make it better.
It may seem scary at first, making the leap, taking the next step forward when you are comfortable just going along as it is, but the point of the immersion is too fully immerse yourself in what needs doing to take your coaching, business and life to the next level.
Ontop of this we had new insights into coaching and training our clients and members at Matej gym Vigor Ground Fitness and Performance we went over movement prep together, I coached the group through a tough conditioning session, and we learnt from two of their experienced coaches more on movement.
This was interspersed with relaxed casual nights out in the Ljubljana where we could relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of the beautiful city and culture and relaxed coffee and sightseeing in the day time.
We visited another Gym as well something completely different to Vigor it was Marck Goran’s gym based out of Maribor. He was such an interesting individual an incredible athlete and we resonated with him on many levels. He showed us methods of training and we experienced the full effects of them and he put us through them. An amazing day and we took away many ideas on conditioning, strength, mentality and how to create a culture which aspires to coming in at 8pm at night for an absolute gruelling session and chill out after like they really didn’t want to be anywhere else on a Saturday night.
Moving on from this weekend, I feel inspired and refreshed and cant wait to get back to the gym to coach, train and get stuck in even more to developing #BOBSGARAGE and its members truelly start taking it to the next level and behond. You can bet this wont be the last immersion and that the Combined Strength group will now go from strength to strength as so will #BOBSGARAGE and its members and anyone else that chooses to become part of such a driving force in Edinburgh.
Up at slightly earlier than usual Thursday morning around 3.45 should do it to get a red eye flight to Slovenia. The reason being to meet up with Andy Mckenzie and the Combined Strength group. I am really looking forward to this weekend to spend with other coaches talk about the problems I face coaching and and programming for my members and looking at way to solve them. Ontop of this there will be focused time on learning with Andy, every time I am around him I get that bit better at abosorbing what he is talking about and relating it back to what I am doing day to day.
It could have been all to easy for me to say I was too busy, or wasn’t able to get time off, but it is more than worth the effort, and the expense to get their and spend time with my group. It is all about accountability, this group has been great for that holding you accountable to things you said you would do, or holding you accountable to things you have done or not done or said or not said. That’s the best way to learn from your mistakes or even better from other peoples mistakes, learning to take criticism rebounding it and then building on it and getting stronger from it is the best form of self development.
It has been a long year, I remember coming back from Salt Lake City thinking what the fuck. But then I took the plunge and signed up to Combined Strength and it forced me to get better at marketing, no sorry actually think about doing daily social media marketing, and work on getting new members through the door. It all came down to accountability, when your tired been up since 4.30am and all you want to do is nap it will be the one thing that makes you get that piece of business done in the day that makes you work on your business or do some learning or do some training or makes you confront a problem in your business that needs addressed.
Andy has been the guiding light in my last 3 and a half years of this business and the reason I went towards Individualised CrossFit which to this day I still don’t know anyone else that is doing it this way. Putting the time and effort into each member I train has served a massive investment over the years and I am not about to stop doing that, I want to do as much as I can to develop the individual and the group community by being part of more social events and not making it primarily about the training because I know that’s so much more and that’s something that I am just beginning to understand as a concept yes individualisation is important and goal focused training is important as I want to see you progress and develop but I also want to develop commitment and cohesiveness which can be brought about by delving deeper into more social occasions with everyone in the gym creating a life long bond.
Its really important to spend time with other coaches that think differently to you, are more knowledgeable than you, that will force you to coach and talk about your concepts of coaching and your ideas of programming be it right or wrong to other more experienced coaches and in return if its wrong or if there is a better way of doing things then you can learn about it, not being arrogant or being my way or the high way about it but open and honest and ready for feedback or ready to learn from your mistakes and from this you can progress as a coach and as a individual.
I am looking forward to some time away from my most prized thing that is #BOBSGARAGE I literally loves this place. Its an amazing gift I was given and I try my best to help as many people as I can that reach out to me, after all my duty is to serve and help people and I love it even though it drains me so much sometimes I really love a 4.30am start and Monday is my favourite day. Any way I got distracted their, it will be good to get out of the gym and gain some new perspective and clarity on the problems I am facing and about to face, I am looking forward to talking about the problems my members face in training and getting advice on programming, feedback on coaching and business development on how #BOBSGARAGE will develop over the next 3 years and further.
I will leave you with a sunset below, its the same sunset I viewed 4 years ago when I went from San Diego to San Francisco. The road trip that lead to me meeting Greg Glassman and getting sponsored for a Level 1 the same sunset that inspires me 3 years on, why because its full of hope, I still feel that I am on that road trip that journey that adventure to that day every morning when I wake up at 4.15am and get ready for my members at 6am to light them up and get the best from them. I never used to be a morning person and when I started this I didn’t really put much thought into the early mornings, tough but worth it is what I would say, a certain level of fatigue that you get used to, getting used to 6 hours sleep and getting good at taking naps in the afternoon before class in the PM, getting my training done, working on the business and doing the admin needed to run a business. Sacrafices had to be made but they were worth it because the satisfaction in helping people is more than worth it. Developing that and managing that work life balance and developing it as a business is the next step and developing it with the same level of high quality service and consistency is going to be crucial if it expands and never forgetting that its not a job, its not a lifestyle but its a responsibility, coaching is a responsibility. Don’t Fuck it up.
2, commit to at least 3 sessions at least and look to build this to 4-5 sessions a week in 6months to a year.
3, set goals, doesn’t matter how small, 1 monthly and a handful for 3 months,
4, take note write your training down. There is no better way to see progress then to see how far you have come.
5, pick a couple of base level measures, could be a 500m row could be a weight lifted or a workout you have done. And look back and perhaps ask me to test it in a few months time.
6, write a food diary or use my fitness pal to see what your diet is like throughout be week.
7, keep note of what your weekly alcahol consumption is. You want a solution in a bottle then quit the bottle for 30 days.
8, pay attention to technique once that’s dialed in then work with your weight on lift and progressively overload that.
9, be prepared to work hard, get out of breath, have your heart rate raised sweat and be taken out of your comfort zone. At time it will feel hard if not impossible but if you push through that hardship you will not only be fitter and stronger but more mentally robust, because if we train the mind first then the body will follow.
So at the start of the week I decided to take the plunge and go for 30days of not drinking and cleaning up what I eat. I wrote about being honest with yourself and that while self assessment though hard at time is necessary and hugely beneficial to find out where your falling down in life, training and nutrition and where you can make progress. It is difficult, challenging and sometimes hurts but if you dust yourself off and look at it as a chance to get better and improve then you will only progress.
Support is important at these times and mine was initiated by my colleague from my combined strength group Joe Stoker, Joe has also been on the Gym Jones level 1 and knows all about cutting the bullshit and results based training. So when he said to me he sees me training so hard but my body didn’t reflect that, well it struck a cord and lit a fire for me to focus more on my nutrition.
There is another point to this as well, it is to inspire, to lead my members, you see a lot of motivational posts these days but the best ones are of your colleagues or friends pushing themselves to their limits. If you see someone else work their hardest then it rubs off on you and can lead to inspiring you too push yourself more, make a change or join me in the training I do at #BOBSGARAGE.
It had inspired one of my members to do just that JB so here is his update on his life long journey:
I’ve Got my New Shoes On
Hi, JB checking in…and I need a check in. A recent FB post by Bob chimed with my recent thinking:
“Honest self assessment is difficult at times. But necessary.”
My last blog entry was in December 2015 and at that stage I was making progress; getting fitter, stronger, healthier. I was working towards the 2016 Edinburgh marathon, planning to do Hadrian’s Wall as a personal ultra at some stage in 2016 and I think I set some realistic goals with Bob. How things change.
I am now 16.28 stone – the heaviest I have ever weighed. I am unfit and out of shape; and I look it. I seriously need to sort my shit out.
So what happened ?
By March 2016 I was running 15km comfortably and about to step up mileage for the marathon, working to a definitive plan. I was on track. I then headed off on the Fife Coastal Path for a 4 day trek and somehow injured my left foot cutting short my trek by two days. Recovery by no running – not what I needed with an impending marathon. No worries thinks I, I’ll just man up and work harder when recovered. Which is what I did. Then 5 weeks before the marathon, flu, chest infection and three weeks before I could even think about running. Even then, my chest was heavy. No go on the marathon which was hugely disappointing.
Nevertheless, CrossFit continued although a building work load in my job, which is high pressure, started pushing training, when I am away at work, out of the window as the hours stepped up in the office and the toll of weekly commuting takes its place. Never mind, ‘there’s always next week to get back in gear’…which became a boring, repetitive refrain. I suppose inevitably, the sporadic approach took its toll and during one session, my sciatic nerve tweaked in a big way and I was off the road again. Fortunately, around this time I had started physio for my left shoulder/left hand side of my neck which are trashed as I have been carrying old injuries for years and ignoring them until I got to the point where the pain was too much. Several months physio has made a difference but I still live with continuous pain – I suspect surgery looms. Anyway the point was, my physio knew my history, was on hand and set about fixing my lower back and sciatic pain with a vengeance. So, recovery mode again.
Then I decided to get my left elbow fixed which had reached a point of me being in intense, continual pain. I thought this would mean keyhole surgery to fix a traumatized bursa and a bone spur which were both the result of an old ice hockey injury. It was not keyhole surgery; a lengthy scar is testament to this and the surgeons comment, “one of the worst cases of impacted, traumatized bursa I have seen…” The good news – it is fixed. The bad news ? It was debilitating and stopped me training for weeks – but then, I could have worked around it. I should have worked around it. When I get the right elbow done later this year (old rugby injury, similar problem), I WILL work around it.
So all of the above happened and then I set about moving flat in England where I work, I started the process of buying a house in Edinburgh (which is where I live with my family) and the work load just kept building. A little busy to say the least. So work load is fine – I deal with pressure pretty well, in fact I thrive on it but it comes at a price and normally that price is training is the first casualty. As I said to Bob, this is dumbness personified as all CrossFitters will know. By giving up training to save myself an hour a day, I lose the space and place and challenge I love. I start losing fitness, feel like shit, feel bad generally and on the whole become miserable.
So, I hit the point whereby I knew I had to get myself back on track; for my health, for my family, for me. Again. On holiday, in the USA, I took a look in the mirror and gave myself an ‘honest self assessment… difficult… but necessary.” I gave myself a stiff talking to, issued myself a MTFU* pill and set about getting it together again.
This was the week I put my new shoes on, reset and restarted.
See you soon Bob.
*MTFU – Man the f**k up
If this post has served as a timely reminder to get your shite in order then good. Don’t wait for tomorrow, start today. If it has helped you to renew your focus on something that you have been ignoring or putting your head in the sand then start to address it. If you want to make a change in your lifestyle become fitter, healthier and stronger then use this link below to book your free trial session: