Alright, I’m gunna start this off by saying in 2018 I am going to post more content to our Blog than ever before. We regularly produce content via Email, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube etc but the Blog is somewhere we can compile & recycle it all in one place.
The Yearly Wrap is a big deal. It takes a while to compile but it’s always worth it when you reflect back on all the cool stuff that happened this year. I recommend you do it in your own life to develop an attitude of gratitude. You don’t have to write a long Blog Post about it, but maybe like our 2 Time Member of the Year Leanne Williams you could just type out a letter and post it to relatives and friends at Xmas time. I know I really look forward to reading her letter.
Thanks to everyone who contributes to Oxygen Health & Fitness – Kiama’s Best Gym.
Here’s our 2017 Year in Review:
BioTrust Autoship re-introduced
Testing Week is something we do every 3 Months to gauge our Client’s Successes, Challenges & Progress. It’s a big week for both Staff & Clients alike Testing all the major lifts and this year we created a 3 Week Program around it called Strength101.
The first week, we focus on Technique and performing all the Lifts in the 5 Rep Max Range. We also get some sub maximal practice at the Body Weight exercises like Push Ups, Pull Ups & Planks. In Week 2, we bump up the weights and knock back the reps into the 3 Rep Range. We also get a little more practice at Push Ups, Pull Ups & Planks. The Final Week, is Testing Week and it helped everyone’s confidence when trying to hit those 1 Rep Max Attempts.
Moo the first FitChick to break 200kg barrier
Michelle Morunga (or Moo as she’s known) has an Athlete Membership with us here at Oxygen, having previously utilized our Boot Camp and Fit Chicks Club Services over the past few years.
One of the friendliest people you will ever meet, Moo has many sides to her. She’s a social worker by career, but could hold her own as a sensational Singer and can pull off a mean “Haka”, performing in shows across Australia & New Zealand. She also happens to be a weapon in Women’s Rugby League, playing in the strong Illawarra Comp for Berkeley Eagles and she was also selected to represent the New Zealand Maori Women’s Team in Hamilton last year.
Rach & Az get Married
Jade’s only Sister and my Best Mate, we were stoked to be part of the Bridal Party for Rachel Braun & Aaron Henry’s Wedding Day at Ravensthorpe in February. It was a sensational few days celebrating and it’s now a awesome union of families that have come together. It was also great to see so many Oxygen clients there to help them celebrate their commitment to each other.
Rach looked stunning and the big rig scrubbed up alright too. It brought back some nice memories for me personally, seeing Jade walk down the aisle and as usual she looked sensational as Maid of Honour too. I was really impressed with both Jade’s and Azza’s speeches at the Wedding as they are not noted speakers and they say it is one of the most common fears people have. Well done you two, nice words that certainly brought about some laughs and as well as a few tears.
Everyone did well in stifling conditions as the mercury topped 41 degrees on the day. Luckily a cool breeze came along right after and we all breathed a sigh of relief. Great food, drinks, venue, people, and we knew the musician and photographer would be great, they were the same ones Jade and I used last year.
Az & Rach celebrated their honeymoon in Airlie Beach with Rach surprising the big guy with a chopper flight and picnic lunch at the famous Whitehaven Beach for Valentine’s Day. Wow, Azza certainly has some lofty standards to try and live up to for Valentine’s Day from now on.
Free reign over Program Design
It was a big learning curve in February as we turned over responsibility to Members to design their own Programs for a change. It worked well for some, others needed more practice. It requires knowing which exercises work which muscle group. It requires knowing which Rep range to work in to focus on for your Goals. It requires an understanding that despite how hard you work in the Gym, what you feed yourself still makes up about 80% of your Results. It requires patience, and acceptance, that 3-6-12 Months of consistent effort at BOTH exercise and nutrition can give you the results you’ve always been after. There’s no other way.
We still provided some clear guidelines but gave Clients a choice of One Lower Body Exercise from a List we came up with, One Upper Body Push and One Upper Body Pull. Those three functional movement patterns will form the basis of almost every Program you ever do here at Oxygen. That first 30 minute period of your Session is for quality Strength work and it’s the foundation of your Program regardless of your Goal.
After that first half hour, it allowed Clients roughly 15 mins at the end of the session for Accessory or Finisher work. Clients were asked to think about their Goals again before jumping into this section. What do you want from your training? Muscle Gain? Cut the Finisher work down and focus on Accessory Exercises that target the areas you want to build up. Fat Loss? Don’t worry about the targeted Accessory Exercises so much and concentrate on either a 15 Min Endurance style Finisher, or a a couple of rounds of a 3-4 Min High Intensity Finisher that really gets you gasping for air.
Overall it was a big eye-opener for everyone but a nice change.
Website Overhaul Begins
One of the long, never ending jobs I have had on my list for far too long was updating, deleting, adding and overhauling our Website. Our business has certainly changed a LOT in the 8 years we have been open, from Boot Camps outdoors, to hiring out Kiama High School, from working with large groups, to smaller semi private groups and back again. I was checking the About Us page on our website and it reminded me just how far we’ve come. Some people know the story, some people know some part of our history and other people may have no idea at all. Check out the evolution of Oxygen over the website here.
I was forced to take action on this in 2017 as Google decided that Websites that weren’t “Mobile Responsive” wouldn’t rank as highly as they used to (and fair enough too with so many people using mobile devices these days)
What that meant though was back and forth between me and my Web Designer to re-configure the design, pages, content, everything really. I was slack with this at times throughout the year but bit by bit I got it done and late this year we got an updated, more functional and much better looking Website which you can see here.
More Wedding Ring Stories
Jade and I spent an extra long weekend in Noosa in March as we celebrated our 1st Wedding Anniversary. It was an awesome little break starting in Brisbane on the Friday. We had a romantic night at the Footy witnessing another epic battle between the Broncos and the Cowboys. Jade and I don’t go for either of those Teams but the last 5 Games between these two clubs have produced such great entertainment and we had a feeling this one would be the same. Right we were, as the Cowboys won another Golden Point Extra Time Thriller.
The next day we hopped in our hire car and headed about 90 minutes north to Noosa to settle in for a few days. What a beautiful place,we said straight away we’ll definitely be back and nothing that happened over the following few days changed our minds on that decision. In the afternoon we got to catch up with former Oxygen Members Kylie Thomson and Kelli Campbell who moved up to the Sunshine Coast in the past 18 months. They showed us around their neck of the woods and we had a few drinks with them at the Coolum Surf Club as the sun was setting. Awesome.
The following day we thought we’d get up early and have a swim over at Noosa Beach in the lukewarm water. As we walked across the street, Jade made mention that she would take her Wedding Ring off and pop it on her necklace as not to lose it. For those that don’t know I lost my Wedding Ring on our honeymoon after diving into the ocean at Teahupoo in Tahiti.
So we get to the beach, pop our towels down and as Jade is undoing her necklace she drops her Wedding Ring onto the sand. We found the Engagement Ring straight away but searched for almost an hour and couldn’t find the Wedding Band. So we hopped on Google and found a guy in Noosa 8km away who was selling a brand new metal detector, still in the box, on Gumtree. Jade went and bought it, I stayed there on the spot and low and behold the metal detector works. We found the Ring! Like everyone keeps saying, we’ll definitely have a few stories for the grandkids one day.
Noosa is a great place, a little slice of paradise. As opposed to Port Douglas (which we’ve been to and loved) Noosa is closer to home with a pretty short flight from Sydney and ocean water you can swim in without fear of Box Jellyfish or Crocodiles. If you stay there we recommend Noosa Beach House Restaurant where the Sri Lankan Chef makes a delicious, healthy Fish Curry. On the cheat meal side of things, Betty’s Burgers is the bomb!
Introduction of Open Gym
So, we kicked off Open Gym with firstly 4-6pm Timeslot each day. By the end of the year we had 9am-6pm and moving into 2018 I truly believe Open Gym Memberships will revolutionise the business.
Open Gym was designed for solo time to come in and get your own Training Session in. Coaches are on hand to help spot and give basic Technique help but it’s basically you on your own mission. That could be time to catch up the Strength session you missed during the week. It could be an additional Session to zero in on 1 or 2 exercises you really want to improve on like Squats and Pull Ups. It could be Conditioning, Mobility whatever.
In Open Gym times we won’t see every Set you perform. But we will see some of them. If we see something that doesn’t look right we’re not going to hide behind the Desk and pretend we didn’t see it. We’ll say something, correct you, demonstrate it again, or explain the consequences of the poor technique in question.
Our Staff have a wealth of knowledge and our Coaching and Programming are a few of the things that really help us differentiate from the average Gym Membership. Everyone wants Results from their training, but few people actually get what they’re really after. We Guarantee your Results if you follow through with our advice.
Workout of the Week introduced
At Oxygen Fitness Kiama Strength Training is our Foundation. We encourage Members to build their own Personal Timetables around TWO 1 Hour Strength Sessions each week, then top up their attendance with extra 30 minute bouts of Conditioning, Power a new Session, Workout of the Week.
The idea of these 30 Min Express Workouts is to get Intensity UP, knowing Duration is DOWN. It works a treat.
Usually our Workout of the Week will have Strength Training elements mixed in with bouts of Conditioning or Mobility work to keep the heart rate high throughout.
We added Workout of the Week as a Session onto our regular Timetable but it also made for some great free content we could share with the world. After all you don’t have to be at Oxygen, or even in Kiama, to benefit from it. This type of Free Content eventually led us to creating email newsletters & videos with the FitChick Workout of the Week and Spartan Workout of the Week. This is something we’ll again do in 2018 to help give the world a dose of Oxygen.
Green Win Series 14 of Challenge Week
We completed our 14th Season of our Kiama Fitness Challenge Week in April and I was stoked to be able to say that Green Team took out the win! Green got the lead late in the week and held on with a dominant display in the Finale. It was the first win for Green in two and a half years so it’s been a long time coming and was certainly very satisfying for a few Greens who have languished near the bottom of the table for far too long!
We were certainly helped by an injection of new talent, with a lot of Oxygen’s newest recruits topping up the numbers of a Team that has regularly had one of the smallest groups. Steve Boniface took out the MVP for Green with a huge week that saw him attend, and compete, at every Session. Steve starts work very early through the week and also works Saturday mornings so he usually only gets to the 4 night sessions in Challenge Week. This time around he had holidays booked and so was able to make it to all 11 sessions!
There together at every Session was Steve, Kerry Rowan and myself and we were helped by some great new talent in the way of Nathan Hore, Daniel Williamson and some awesome performances from Caitlyn Jamieson and Kevin Mikilewicz who had multiple wins in our killer Finale on the Saturday.
Well done to the other MVP’s – Kylie Strong (Blue) Kayla Wrigley (Yellow) and Nardia Guillaumier (Red)
Nardia breaks Record twice in 2 weeks
Since joining Oxygen Kiama in early 2016, Nardia Guillaumier found out she could Row. Pretty well actually. But during our April Testing Week, Nardia not only broke her own record as the Fastest Female Rower, she did it twice in 2 weeks coming up with a scorching time of 1:42.1 for the 500 metre distance. With long limbs and a good motor you could say “yeah but it’s easier for her” but that’s garbage. She puts in the hard yards on this thing regularly and is the most consistent Member at Oxygen who deserves the accolades. Look at this for power…
Jade has a long history of success at Soccer. She’s represented NSW and I’ll never forget an opportunity we got to meet the A-League All Stars for a kickaround at WIN Stadium a few years back. Juggling with Besart Berisha, Jade North and other Stars, the Fox Sports Cameras flocked to Jade doing her thing.
With Long Hours and Weekends being part of her Job as Business Manager at Wilson’s Holden she just hasn’t been able to play Soccer the last few years but in 2017 she made her comeback with Kiama Quarriers.
Minutes before her first Game, she was told by Coach Umberto (who I used to Train in Wollongong years ago) that she was Captain so she better go and Toss the Coin. Then during the Game when Kiama received a Penalty, she stepped up and slotted the first Goal. The Team which hasn’t tasted a lot of success in recent years Won their first Game 1-0. She’s back baby.
But then, we had a bit of bad luck. Shitty, terrible luck actually. You often don’t realise how lucky you are to be fit and healthy until it’s taken away from you. Only 10 Minutes into the second Game of the Season Jade tore her Anterior Cruciate Ligament. Another girl clipped Jades leg in a seemingly innocuous bump but MRI scans revealed that she was out for the Season and required surgery.
After shedding a few tears and letting a few f-bombs go, she was there at the Gym the very next night pumping out some great Upper Body combinations. I was so shattered for her that afternoon when we got the news but by that night seeing her rip into the few things she could control I couldn’t help but be inspired.
Jade had the Surgery done a few weeks later, she’s seeing the Team at BaiMed for the Return to Perform ACL Rehab process and she has the Gym to make it happen.
It’s a long road ahead but she’s committed to doing whatever it takes.
Lake Ilawarra Cricket Presentation Night
It was a great night for Oxygen at the Lake Illawarra Cricket Club Presentation in May. From left, thanks go to Sponsor Val Perkovic (Style Maintenance Services) represented by Ryan Smith, Dave Lambert 1st Grade Batting Aggregate & Average, 101* v Oak Flats, 101* v Shellharbour, Brendan White 200 1st Grade Games and 20/20 Century v Shellharbour, Aaron Henry 1st Grade Bowling Average & Two 5 Wicket Hauls, Mark Ulcigrai 1st Grade Bowling Aggregate and Lake Illawarra Cricketer of the Year.
After an enjoyable Season last year, we have attracted some great additions to the Squad this Season with Brendan White, Kerrod White & Scott Ulcigrai all helping us remain Undefeated at the halfway mark of the Season and already one of the three Trophies we want secured.
Kiama Winter Warrior Challenge
An exciting new event kicked off in June with the Kiama Winter Warrior Challenge. We first started Winter Warrior for Members back in 2012. It’s been run a number of different ways but never like this and never advertised externally to the public. Numbers for everything were been huge. The first Saturday Morning saw 36 committed peeps smashing their way into the weekend. Morning and Night there’s regularly been 20-30 people all training the house down in the name of Winter.
Warrior is a Session at Oxygen where people get a bit of Strength, Power, Core & Conditioning all in the one Session. So for the Winter Warrior Challenges there were 3 separate Warrior Workouts to complete each week and we either manipulated how long you had to go, or how much you had to lift. It challenged everyone. Many Members learnt how training, just 3 x week, CAN yield great Results if the intensity is right, and some structure is applied the right way. Yep just 3 x Week.
South Coast Institute of Cricket
For the 3rd time now we were asked by South Coast Cricket to conduct Pre and Post Fitness Assessments for their Off Season Institute Program. Nath was able to help me put the young Cricketers through the Functional Movement Screen, some Body Weight Strength Tests, a variety of Conditioning Assessments and a Batting Drill to assess shot selection, placement, footwork, running between wickets & more on our Indoor Bowling Machine. This led to a few young Cricketers pairing up for our first Pre Season Cricket Fitness Program coupled with South Coast Cricket Coaching.
Over 6 Weeks, Cricketers young and old competed against each other at 2/3/5/10 & 20 minute Cricket Fitness Batting Drills trying to score the most Runs and also avoid the dreaded Penalty of running a Set of Stairs for every time they got out. Great fun and good practice for Cricketers of any age.