In case you missed Part 1 of our 2018 Year in Review, click here.
Precision Nutrition Coaching
Since 2012 when we first started offering Precision Nutrition Coaching in Kiama, we’ve delivered the info via Workshops, One on One Sessions, Group Sessions, Online Lessons, Food Diaries, Facebook posts and more. They’ve all had varying degrees of success but now we’ve got a Program where we keep you on track every day via Precision Nutrition’s successful 1 Year Curriculum
Here‘s one of the many reasons why PN is the world’s leading nutrition coaching company: (PS there are so many Success Stories here you will get sick of scrolling.)
Kicking off in July, was the next 12 Month intake of Precision Nutrition Coaching.
The entire thing is online including the actual learning of what Nutrition & Exercise stuff you need to know, Mindset shifts you need to make, understanding the deep down motivation behind what you want so you can stay on track when things get tough, how to create new habits, everything.
Their system has worked for over 200,000 people across 91 countries. BUT, completely online programs can be hard at times when you want to ask questions, troubleshoot areas you might be struggling with or just gain a deeper understanding of certain topics.
With their latest Program, we work together so Precision Nutrition deliver their world-class curriculum to you, and Oxygen oversees your journey through it. Every day, we get to see whether you did what you were supposed to do or not, what your answers to certain questions were, whether you feel like you’re going well or whether perhaps you’re struggling. We know where you’re supposed to be at any given time and what you should be focused on.
It’s the best of both world’s to have their successful Program and our Coaching to guide you towards better results. It only requires 10-20 minutes of your time each day to stay on track. If that sounds like too much effort you’re probably not in a position to transform right now anyway.
Each Year they give away $250,000 (US) to 10 people with the Best Transformations.
Mums Gone Strong
Throughout the middle part of the year we made a concerted push to attract more Mums into our community. We ran a great Series of Videos called the Super Mum Series which showcased some of the awesome Mums we had here already. This led to us offering our first Mums Gone Strong Makeover, a 4 Week Experience that empowers Mums to be strong inside & out, and boost their confidence. At ethe end of the 4 weeks the most deserving Mum would win an awesome 4 Week Makeover courtesy of the talented Alice Higgs Hairdressing.
We officially got on board with international movement Girls Gone Strong in 2017 after they launched their accreditation program for Pre & Post Natal fitness. My Sister in Law and Oxygen Member Rachel Henry had fallen pregnant with her Son Cooper and so we wanted to make sure she was guided safely through her Pregnancy and beyond. We’ve since guided other Mums through their Pre & Post Natal fitness and it’s become a very supportive community of Mums of all ages.
We’ll definitely be offering the Mums Gone Strong Makeovers again in 2019 as we look to continue building our awesome Mums Gone Strong Kiama community.
Check out the Awesome Super Mum Series Playlist below starting with our very own Coach Joy Briggs!
New Year’s Revolution Winner announced
Earlier this year in February we launched our longest ever Challenge, the New Year’s Revolution. The idea was very different to most fitness noise you see these days with 6 Minute Abs and 4 Week Body Transformation programs (really). This had a long term approach to getting the right Exercise Program in place, learning more about what healthy eating looks like based on your Goals, and realising these things will take time to learn, take even longer to create lasting change, and also that it’s perfectly normal for that to be the case.
Probably not that surprisingly, we didn’t pick up as many people as we would have liked from this marketing campaign, and unfortunately there were a few people who didn’t even finish it. Importantly though, a few Members we did attract and retain have turned out to be some pretty cool people with some great Results to boot.
In the Men’s, us Coaches gave a special mention to long term Member Val Perkovic, who’s progress in the big 3 Main Lifts (Squat/Bench Press/Deadlift) had never looked better or stronger. He also changed his look and shape and he’s generally healthy and happy looking every night he’s at the Gym. After enjoying a great holiday back in his homeland Croatia, Val and his family have since moved to Bondi to launch a great new business called Surf & Fries.
Also in the Men’s a shout out must go to Brian Guillaumier who managed to lose about 5kg and 5% Body Fat, change his body shape and massively improve his strength & fitness. Along the way Brian has worked around niggly injuries but has never let that stop him. He diligently rehabs his shoulder every morning he’s here waiting for his Wife Nardia to finish her session.
Moving onto the Women’s, and that is where we saw the most dramatic transformations.
Kyla Reeves started here in February not knowing anyone and having just had her first Bub, little daughter Bowie. These two have now become regular faces here at Oxygen. Before starting she wasn’t feeling very strong mentally or physically but the confidence she now exudes is very inspiring. She’s completely transformed her body and she’s happier, healthier and stronger in every way.
Ultimately though, the Winner of the New Year’s Revolution Challenge went to Nic Lewis who juggled an awesome Body Transformation with being a New Mum to Lachy, a Full Time Job (which for a number of months was in Sydney), writing some really cool blog posts about motherhood (check out her blog Young Wild Fred), being part of our Oxygen Mixed Touch Footy Team at Jamberoo and just being an all round gym bad-ass.
By demonstrating to us what she was eating on a regular basis, by focusing on improving her performance (getting stronger, faster, better), by making the time for herself, by being consistent and by committing completely, her body has made an awesome transformation. She lost 36cm in Girth Measurements including 6cm from her Chest, 10.5cm from her Upper Arms, 8cm from her Waist, 5cm off her Abs and 5cm from her Hips .Well done Nic, we hope you’re enjoying your awesome Prize Pack valued at almost $5000.
Testing Week #3
Once again Testing Week was upon us. This 1 Week, right in the middle of Winter was Stage 2 of the Winter Warrior Challenge. As usual, we tested the 1 Rep Max on the Squat, Deadlift & Bench Press, Maximum Reps on the Push Up & Pull Up, a 2 Minute Plank and a few different distances on the Rower. Most people chose the 500m and 1km distances. Some did a 2km & 5km as well. A couple of peeps tested the Power Clean. We also had InBody Scans available to test Body Composition.
Congratulations to a number of newbies who did their first Testing Week with us. They didn’t really know what they were in for but I reckon a few people surprised themselves and the support from many of our regular long term Members was awesome.
I predicted a number of PB’s would be broken and I was spot on. There were way too many to mention, and sometimes it wasn’t necessarily the biggest weight that impressed us but a few of the standouts for me were:
- Squats: Grant Oliver progressed from 120kg-160kg! Jess Alaban was impressive in the Women’s with 85kg.
- Deadlifts: 145kg from High School student Rowey Worner-Butcher. In the Men’s Tyler Smith shook the earth with 245kg.
- Bench Press: Shout out to my mate Ryan Smith who has been stuck at 97.5kg since the Middle Ages and broke through finally for his 100kg. Jason Lynch knocked off his goal of 135kg.
- Metronome Push ups: Joy with 40, Ryan Smith 35, Kev Mikiliewicz 33, Rach Henry 21, Carolynn Mackenzie 17.
- Pull Ups: Nic Lewis 10, Liam Sheridan 10 after a long term elbow injury, Nardia 7 after 5 weeks holiday, Carolynn Mackenzie with her FIRST!
- Rowing: Grant Oliver 3:24.1 for a 1km, Nic Lewis 1:44.1 for a 500m, Jason Lynch 1:32 for a 500m, Ryan Smith 7:20 for a 2km, Geoff McIntyre 19:50 for a 5km on his Birthday!
Well done to everyone for having a go.
Winter Warrior Stage 3 – Shred
The Final installment covered the last 6 Weeks of Winter to carry us into Spring. It had a shift in focus towards, higher intensity via some of our typically classic Oxygen Full Body Strength & Conditioning Sessions. There were New Programs for both Fat Loss & Hypertrophy and Nutrition guidelines to match. In previous Programs we’ve offered 3 choices, with Strength being the 3rd option. What we’d figured out by this stage is the best formula throughout the Year will look something like this:
- Testing (1 Week)
- Hypertrophy or Fat Loss Program (4-6 Weeks)
- Strength Program (4-6 Weeks)
Rinse, wash, repeat every 3 Months.
There will of course be other events in there like Challenge Week, the Oxygen Olympics and other Novelty Weeks to break up our year, but generally this format works best.
This is something called Periodisation. It’s a technique athletes, and weightlifters have used for decades but is equally if not more important for everyday people like you and I. The reason I say this is because, we have no major competition we’re planning for, no ultimate deadline we’re working towards, we’ve also got jobs and other responsibilities and we’re usually less motivated or talented than these professional athletes.
All that adds up to periods of our life where we’ll often be super motivated but also times when it all seems a bit too much. If there’s no plan towards your training then it’s harder to stay motivated and easier to fall completely off the wagon.
Conversely, if we plan out periods of heavier weights, moderate weights, high volume, recovery weeks, testing & other different challenges, you get to show up knowing we’ve got you covered.
This takes a LOT of planning on our part so rest assured we haven’t just slapped a bunch of random exercises together without thinking about it.
The One Percenters
Towards the end of Winter we put a focus on doing more of the One Percenters. Extra Exercises that everyone could use more work on. Things that’ll help you improve your Squat, Upper Back, Mobility & Shoulder Health. Stuff you could do if you arrive to a Session early, or you finish early, or you’re freestyling on a Friday.
These sort of things are the One Percenters that make a huge difference towards your Results. Stuff to help you stay strong, stable & injury free. Other things on the list of One Percenters were improved Technique and strategies like Pause Reps and Time under Tension.
Quality over quantity, always. Get it right, squeeze the target muscles properly, and then, if it still feels easy, speed it up.
Look, slowing your weights down, suffering under what already feels like a heavy weight, pause-repping, none of that stuff is as sexy as saying you lifted more weight, I get that. But you know what also isn’t sexy? Sloppy Reps. Going up in weight when you barely completed the weight you were on.
OWN YOUR REPS.
Members learnt to really dominate a weight by keeping it under control, under tension, for longer. When they could do that, it was time to try a heavier weight. It usually only needed to be the smallest increment too ie an extra 1.25kg on each end of the barbell.
We want you to push yourself we do. But we also want you to be able to keep pushing yourself, for weeks, months and years because that’s what it takes to get the results you’re after.
3 Year Anniversary of Oxygen HQ
This time three years ago we held the Grand Opening of Oxygen HQ with Member for Kiama Gareth Ward cutting the ribbon to officially open Oxygen Health & Fitness. It was great to have Gareth there as he was so helpful in speeding up the process between Kiama Council and Department of Planning. Yes, as much as it took 11 months for us to finally get in, it could have been longer had he not been cracking the whip. Gareth even hung around to push me on the Sled in a pair of jeans and blundstone boots, not an easy task.
On the day we took on a Conditioning Challenge, a seemingly simple short bout of 5 different exercises, all as fast as possible. A 250m Row, 4 x 12m Sled Runs, 2 x 12m Tyre Flips, 50 Battle Ropes and 5 Burpees. How hard could that be? I’ve never seen so much deep wheezing going on.
After that it was an afternoon of Strength Training with our signature Spartan Training Club and Fit Chicks Club sessions. The Olympic Lifting proved to be quite skill oriented for some (a great reminder to anyone struggling with the Power Clean at the moment) and afterwards we finished off with a few killer Tri-Sets that worked the whole body. A great day of training.
For a number of Years now we’ve periodically done a Program called 5-3-1 created by legendary Strength Coach Jim Wendler. The idea is you do a couple of weeks of 5 Rep Sets to groove the right lifting patterns and fine-tune technique, then you up the ante with a Week of heavier 3 Rep Sets and then a Week where you do a 5 Rep,3 Rep & 1 Rep Set. Some people have asked if we’re trying to find your 1 Rep Max during Testing Week, then why don’t we just practice 1 Rep Sets more often?
It’s a fair question and the simple answer is, it’s just too taxing. The closer you push to your absolute limits, the more often you train to failure, the more fatigue is left in your body and not necessarily physical fatigue.
Your central nervous system (CNS) takes a huge hit on a daily basis from stuff like stress, lack of sleep, tight muscles, hormonal imbalance as well as the extra demands we place on it when lifting heavy weights. When that’s combined with a nutrition approach that’s not completely dialed in, your recovery takes a hit and your CNS suffers.When you repeatedly push your CNS, you’ll find you start to lack energy, drive & motivation and more easily pick up colds, flus & niggly injuries.This wasn’t just some make it up as we go, “this looks pretty cool, let’s give it a try” Program. It was an organised approach to training with heavier weights, learning the required technique and building your confidence leading into our last Testing Week of 2018.
Challenge Week Series 17
Oxygen Health & Fitness first began in October 2009. Since then we’ve hijacked the entire Month, renamed it Oxober and celebrated our Birthday each year in style.
Tuesday 2nd Oxober, it was Testing Week. For the final time in 2018, we tested the Squat, Deadlift, Bench Press, Pull Ups, Push Ups, Plank & 2 Rowing distances. A few people also tested the Power Clean. It as another great Testing Week with heaps of PBs.
The biggest part of Oxober though has always been Challenge Week, where all our clients split into Four Teams – BLUE, GREEN, RED & YELLOW. Over the course of ONE WEEK participants are put through a barrage of Team & Individual Fitness Challenges to see who can earn the most points and raise the Challenge Week Cup. It’s the fitness equivalent of Winning the Premiership in Sport and it’s our best week of the Year.
We truly appreciate how much effort some of you go to rearranging your normal weekly timetable of commitments, juggling newborn children, toddlers, teenagers and lots of other things to attend as many of our 6am & 6:30pm Sessions during Challenge Week.
We realise that not everyone normally trains at those times but it is just for one week so we can maximise attendance and put on a good show for you all. It just wouldn’t have the same effect if we asked you to do some of those things at an off-peak session of 7 people. It’s all part of the whole rise to the challenge motto.
So Series 17 remained a very close affair all week, with all 4 Teams in the hunt coming into the Finale.GREEN ended up taking out Series 17, which was their first Challenge Week in a while. They led going into the last Session, but then had a huge performance in the Finale to shoot further ahead on the leaderboard. They were short on numbers a few times in the week, but they were helped by a large contingent of guys each night and a couple of hard working chicks. Coach Nath did his first ever full Challenge Week, and was a beast at everything. He single handedly kept Green alive earlier in the week and kept up the morning & night heroics all week as well as organising with Joy and myself. By week’s end, he deserved the MVP and a Sunday sleep in.In the 6 days of Challenge Week, over 4 million kilograms of weight were lifted!!!
Member of the Year Awards
Over a 2 Course Dinner at Silica Restaurant on Surf Beach, we kicked off with some arrival Drinks and Entrees before announcing the Challenge Week Champions. It always sets the tone for a great night of Awards and this Year was no different. Dinner was delicious and topped off a great night with all the awards.
This Year we celebrated our 9th Birthday and I thanked a number of Members for their Long Term Loyalty, I praised a number of people on their dramatic Transformations and I filled a few people in on Oxygen‘s history.
Congratulations to all these Major Award Winners:
These Awards represent those Members who have demonstrated the best Strength, Technique and Performance. Not necessarily the heaviest lift, or most reps, but the best overall package. Most of them were very closely contested.
- Squats – Joy Briggs & Dave Lambert
- Deadlift – Rowey Worner Butcher & Tyler Smith
- Bench Press – Jess Alaban & Jason Lynch
- Power Clean – Kat Hayward & Myles Bradley
- Pull Ups – Leanne Williams & Kraig Crowther
- Push up – Nic Lewis & Kev Mikiliewicz
- Plank – Kylie Strong & Liam Sheridan
- Rower – Nardia Guillaumier & Nathan Hore
Spartan of the Year:
- Jason Lynch
FitChick of the Year:
- Nardia Guillaumier
- Faye Worner
- Ryan Smith
Rookie of the Year:
- Kyla Reeves
Mums Gone Strong Award
- Kelly Lynch
- Joy Briggs
The Member of the Year is something us Coaches get together and discuss in the weeks leading up to the event. A number of factors go into determining this Award and points are allocated for things like Consistency, Results, Attitude, Application, Effort, Referrals and more to determine what sort of asset that person is to have around our community.
The Top 10 Countdown to the Member of the Year was as follows:
10) Kev Mikiliewicz
9) Val Perkovic
8) Leanne Williams
7) Ryan Smith
6) Nardia Guillaumier
5) Jason Lynch
4) Kyla Reeves
3) Kat Hayward
2) Kelly Lynch
1) Nic Lewis
Nic has done it all this Year. Despite living in Albion Park and driving south to Kiama to train consistently at 6am almost every day, she’d then turn around, head home feed herself, her man Luke and her little man Lachie (who recently turned 1) and then drive to Bankstown for work.
Just to keep that routine up would be worth a round of applause but she has bounced back from one of the longest labours you’ll ever hear about to become stronger & fitter than she’s ever been and transform her body in the process.
And that’s just it, IT IS A PROCESS. She’s followed our advice by turning up consistently, even when she’s tired and not feeling her best. She’s shown us what she eats, consistently sometimes Breakfast, sometimes Lunch sometimes Dinner to give us a snapshot of the other 23 hours a day when we don’t see you guys.
She’s committed to slowly getting better, sometimes by adding weight or reps, but other times by taking it back a notch because you’ve jumped ahead to quick and your form could use improvement.
Nic is already ell accomplished in the Gym but she listens intently every time we’ve got something to say and she applies herself consistently.
To top off a great week from Challenge Week and then winning the Member of the Year, Nic married her best friend Luke Smith on Tuesday at Seacliff House and Joy and I were invited to be there in attendance for the big day. As a side note, Seacliff House is where Jade and I got married in 2016 where Joy was a Bridesmaid so plenty of awesome Oxygen memories have now come out of that place!
2018 Finale Program
We worked hard putting together a Program that was gunna bring home 2018 with a bang and it certainly did. It’s not easy coming up with a Program that suits every Goal, with enough variety to keep things interesting but also enough continuity to be able to gauge some real improvements. We also have to factor in the available equipment, a vast array of experience levels and the general order of exercises in a Session.
At the start of a Program, we sometimes realise what we’ve designed may work well for a small number of people but we often need to make some subtle changes so that the Session flows better for a larger group. It is often hard to predict exactly how many people to expect at any given Timeslot. But we’ve made a few of those subtle changes and I think now we’re set.
Almost the entire Session was on the clock. On the 1 Minute, 2 Minute or 3 Minute Timer for the first half of each Session.
There’s a choice of Power exercises to kickstart your Session and get those Fast-Twitch Muscle Fibres ready for action. Those peeps who’ve been ripping into the Power Clean over the past month now get to continue practicing, only now there’s 4 straight days of it. For those not so interested in that, there’s some other great options so really make those Reps as explosive as possible.
Once those Fast-Twitch Fibres were ready, it was on to the Strength portion of the workout. Monday & Wednesday was Deadlifts, Tuesday & Thursday was Squats, with different workloads each time. The Strength portion of your workout is as slow as your Session gets so appreciate the Rest Breaks and own those Reps.
The next part of your Session was where the Tempo started to rise. Heart Rates started climbing a bit more and the sweat glands starting to work. That’s especially the case on days where the temperature &/or humidity was up.
At around this stage of the Session it’s into the second half of the Hour. This is where you need to think about what’s more important to you: Upper Body, Lower Body or a bit of both. 30 Seconds on & 30 Seconds off for the next 12 minutes. There’s a mix of Body Weight Exercises, Weights & Conditioning during this time and we saw people really going for it.
There were some great Finisher options too after all of that which drained every ounce of Strength & Effort we had left each Session.
All up, us Coaches were happy with the design, and the feedback across the board was another popular Program to round out another Year of Oxygen Health & Fitness.
Oxygen Team expands
She was sucking that gas down like there was no tomorrow and actually tricked me at one point by saying “can you check if this gas is still working?“. So after a couple of little puffs on the gas I was delirious and it made me appreciate what pain she must have been in.
Charli has lots of dark brown hair and big blue eyes. She’s feeding and sleeping very well. Actually she’s feeding outstandingly well. Wonder where she gets that.
She’s got some proud Aunties, Uncles, Grandparents & Cousins. We’re obviously chuffed at our new family Member and slowly adapting to life as Parents. I know things will change. I know we don’t have it sorted by any means. One day you’ve got this parenting thing nailed. The next day you suck. Kinda like any challenge you take on but nothing like it at the same time. We’ll be right.