Gorton Grueller Part 1
Gorton Grueller Part 2
Gorton Grueller Part 1
Gorton Grueller Part 2
Representing WGC at this years Gorton Grueller
So the battling duo meet once again at the next event. Gwen Fennel who won ladies Fit Brit in 2011 takes on again Kelly Friel, who beat her at the Hampshire last year. I am informed that tables were switched again at a more recent meeting in a fitness challenge to which Gwen won. You can be sure this will be a cracking race .
Richard Vint vs Steve Dowse
Last years winner of the Fit Brit , The Ultimate Gym Athlete , The York Fitness Challenge Richard Vint, takes on probably his biggest challenge yet on Saturday. … To break the Gorton Grueller record of 17:07 set by Ben Stroud in 2009 which he has equaled in 2011, was two seconds off in 2010 and has brought his original time down 18:56. Taking on a very determinded Steve Dowse will be a thrilling crowd pleaser.
Doug Harrison is climbing up the Gym X Training ladder. A remarkable performance at Hampshire in 2011which landed him in 5th place with a 17:45 takes on Steve Mead who finished the Hampshire in a time of 17:51. Just 6 seconds apart ….. This will be a fantastic race.
Returning to Gorton to compete Sean has decided to stick to where he most comfortable in the Intermediates. Having competed twice at Open level and finding it just a bit too much on the level of training he does these days - option to attack his pb of 10:51at Intermediate is his main focus point this year.
As soon as you walked through the doors you were swept along in a tide of bodies, fighting for space on the walkways. Everywhere you turned there was a enterprise into Fitness and strength and also combat. I do not think there was a product that wasn’t a major player displaying their top athletes and selling their top brands and noticeably in the show Ronnie Coleman.
But I wasn’t here to see the big guys, I wanted to see what was developing in the performance market and as I walked around I noticed a lot of challenges springing up.
I enjoyed the Dragan Challenge. For anybody who has picked up a couple of dumbbells at 20 kg and tried to curl and press a 100’s for time, you will know how hard this is. Even when I tried at 12 kg I found it tough. So these guys were performing a challenge which was tough physically, in every aspect of a strength and cardiovascular challenge and using only one piece of kit.
A great pleasure to see Worlds Strongest man winner Mariusz Pudzianowski appear on stage with father and son creators of the Dragan Challenge Rajko and Dragan Radovic who have created the Fitness 4 x 4 method of training which was demonstrated on stage and went to show what a very challenging group exercise class this particular format is and how it could improve your performance in the Dragan Challenge.
The event which has been supported by LA Fitness, Escape Fitness and Maximuscle throughout the year had females from the crowd taking part as well as last years winner using 8 kg dumbbells - and even when we hit 8 kg the lactic is just as painful and the woman’s winner sailed through this - awesome performance..
A thrilling spectacle of using one piece of kit and the power of exercise combined into a physical challenge - probably the most efficient workout in the world today - but choose your weight carefully, we had a ten minute class to watch and that was a very tough ten minutes.
A lot of challenges were happening elsewhere mainly being focused on the normal Pull Ups using CrossFit style Beaverfit apparatus - but MyZone had a interesting deadmans hang for duration, which I think think winning time was completed by a freeclimber of over 9 minutes! Fitnorama had a 15 kg weighted bag for a clean and press above the head in 45 seconds (I completed 29, winning amount was 36 or so) and a few others.
I was particularly interested in the Exertrain Challenge which I had seen spring up before I went. I noticed that this challenge looked immense. I had my concerns over what would happen when fatigue set in and heavy weights were involved and major lifts like the clean and Press and Deadlift.
I watched Rob Mills go through this challenge. Rob looked incredibly fit. A great physique and must have been near on 6feet 4 tall - obviously a trained athlete so well adapted to pushing himself. I caught him just as he neared the completion of the 1000 m Row. The Challenge was:
20 Burpee 20 kg med ball burpees with 20 kg weighted vest
1000 m Watt Bike (wearing weighted vest)
20 x 90 kg Deadlift (wearing weighted vest)
20 x 60 kg Clean and Press (wearing weighted vest)
20 High Box Jumps (wearing weighted vest)
20 Incline Press Ups (wearing weighted vest)
It was a brutal and grueling challenge - the weights alone is something that I could not manage. So this would be interesting to see what sort of participation would happen with arranging a lot of kit to showcase one event - of which was going to take some serious mental and physical capabilities to complete.
What you have to take into account is the need to practice for an event like this. I saw some very fit people walk on by and some were severely tempted, but like myself for one - hadn’t trained for this level of event , so I became a bystender waiting to view the very brave that had a go and they are out there, but not in the numbers at this show for this type of event.
On a personal note I would have liked to have seen less equipment and a two lane challenge, it would have been more of a spectacle and the results would have been amazing. But you could not fault the winning times - or even the completion of this event - it was hard brutal training and I would imagine the feeling of completion a very welcome and rewarding experience.
My favourite challenge for the day was the Fit - League Challenge. In here you have some serious technology. Mixed with cutting edge speed, strength power tests that will give you a overall percentage fitness ranking based on your results. In my reckoning nothing more then what WGC has been doing for the last six years but with more detailed instruments and readings. Fit - League I feel will be benchmark for performance athletes and great initiative which has Darren Campbell spearheading the venture.
The Challenge on the day consisted of:
Leap Height Test
Squat 70% Bodyweight
30 second Power 30 second Recovery Concept 2 Row
Now this is all about Performance and your results will be amazing for all athletes over the world to share.
I was a little bit annoyed about the brochure I received which said …”the first national and international website dedicated to the ranking of an individual or team on a gym based training methodology ….”
On that i disagree - that was World Gym Challenge.com and by name alone stands it ground in any argument. But … a big but here - no mistaking that this Fit-League is serious in performance technology and a great initiative and as with any venture like this that brings in performance recognition then at least we are not looking at weight loss anymore for the industry.
So this is where I conclude my visit to the BodyPower Expo - it still has all the hallmarks of a serious Bodybuilding show but has brought with it a clear message that the industry is changing . And where change occurs you have the balance of Power struggle to dominate and claim that their way is the right way. Leading sport coaches will say theirs is the method you should choose and more importantly stay away from other regimes because you are going to get injured or face long term injury. But the problem facing us all is that the world is looking at becoming a far bigger place in terms of obesity - diabetes - stroke and arteriosclerosis and these are the real dangers in the world today - excessive fatty (bad fat) food, smoking and alcohol - not exercise.
The Good news and the bad news.
Fit Brit final was held at Fitness First fenchurch Street on the 19th Nov 2011. This was the culmination of many , many weeks training repetitively in the gym with a firm goal in site - to be the Fit Brit Champ. Over 4000 entries and the final was whittled down to a mere fifty - the very best in the UK. It had to have everything, all the components to make a final fitting of one the men’s best selling health and fitness magazines , with the backing of the biggest health club in the UK, Fitness First. So how did they get it so wrong?
It’s actually quite easy to compare when Fitness First do something right, but you have to go to Dubai to get the answers. The Ultimate X Training Challenge is something that I have competed in and it is a fitting challenge for the standard and class of event. It is run by Gary Melluish who has years of experience in gym challenge formats in what works and whats needed to construct a really good challenge. years of experience in this field is something that simply cannot be looked at a text book and see what should work and what quite clearly doesn’t. For example the squats with dumbells in last years event.
So first major fault experience is something that is not taken on board when constructing a challenge. Ultra Fit magazine were the concept originators of Gym Challenges in a race format and although not running a challenge at the moment, theirs was a an established method which attracted the very best X Trainer , which an equally impressive duel finale. Darren Robson and Hywel Davies finals are still talked of today.
The problem with Fit Brit and final stage is that it is essentially a run bike row, meaning that it is totally cv based. Now the interesting part is that is not necessarily a bad thing - because the outcome will be a superbly conditioned athlete winning, but it will lead to problems. There is no back up in place for dead heat for example. Which WGC has introduced for it’s Ultimate Gym Athlete event (in the event of a dead heat the fastest row will win and so on) Now as Fit Brit does not record splits, that can’t happen - another major flaw.
We are looking at athletes who have brought the magazine and joined the gym here. Its not about selling more memberships or selling more magazines at this stage, its about the athlete who has turned up from afar as Scotland to come to a venue in London and be given the very best of attention to detail in orgainsing an event. And so you would expect that for Fitness First to running this challenge throughout the year that the training would be up to scratch in judging a final - and sadly more than anything it wasn’t. It wasn’t even close. Yet, in Dubai you would be hard pressed to escape a dodgy rep. Not only that but because the weights involved of the reps is exceptionally light , the speed is too fast to really measure a fair degree equalness throughout the event.
The press ups are notoriously hard to judge, sagging back, arching back, arms too narrow , too wide, not reaching full extension etc etc the problems are endless. And yet we return constantly to this exercise - fantastic in training but for events finals, you are only ever going to get he didn’t do them properly or she didn’t. You will never get a happy medium - probably the chest to floor press up by CrossFit would be an option - but better to keep the press up as a training aid.
WGC were the first to introduce the A jump Squat into events as it ensures there can be no cheating on this type of discipline, the feet have to be firmly planted on the deck and the drive from the floor back to deck is a great explosive plyometric exercise.
The Good News.
Reading this sounds very derogatory towards the Fit Brit Finals - its not. It’s based on experience from knowledge of competing in events all over the world and having an insight into event construction and a deep understanding of what the gym athlete requires and expects at events and ultimately all he or she wants to do is compete, but compete on a level playing field - my advice would be to talk to Gary Meluish and take his event for next years finals … then you will have a Fitness First event that is world class.
The event was high charged atmosphere that had a thrilling final race as anybody could expect - just one second in it. There was obvious technical issues with Life Fitness equipment which is unsettling for the competitor but we are then looking into qualities outside of the control of the event if equipment fails. What is without question is that this final had all the qualities of a great event and a fitting tribute to the gym athlete who had not competed in a challenge such as this because the over riding question that keeps reoccurring is “Where do I compete for another similar challenge?” And that is exactly what Fit Brit has excelled in - introducing over 4000 potential gym athletes into a sport they never knew existed and that is crucial to the build up of the sport of Gym Gym X Training Challenges.
I hope Fit Brit runs again next year - it has learnt already from its mistakes of spinning the bike from previous years and as lesson in future events they changed their rulings for this year.
WGC would say as advice for a final to get rid of the press up - introduce the A jump Squat , lessen the bike distance, look seriously into alternate squat thrusts, increase the weight load or have a look at the Ultimate Gym X Training Challenge event in Dubai for a world class event.
WGC would like to thank Fitness First & Men’s Fitness for running Fit Brit and looks forward to another exciting Fit Brit final next year, of which I am sure will be dominated as this year was by the UK Gym Athlete.
Have a go at the first stage of becoming a gym athlete.
All you have to do is complete a time trial or race a friend in this exciting head to head challenge.
Great fun and something that will add a real wow to the show!
Enjoy the show and now take part in it too !
Please click on to the link for directions to the Good Health Show
The York Fitness ‘Gym - Fit’ Challenge is at the Interational Centre Telford on the 15th and 16th October.
The first come first served entry level for those wishing to take part is now listed below. Entries can take part from 1st Sept to the 8th October.
This one is for those of you who thought the treadmill was boring. Believe it isn’t. It’s one of the most versatile pieces of equipment in the gym, which can give very good workouts. But as always it depends on how much you are prepared to work on it.
warm up for five to ten minutes
Complete 5 circuits Advanced
Complete 4 Circuits Intermediate
Complete 3 Circuits Beginner
Each Circuit comprises of a 1000 m run. At each 200 m increase the incline by 2%, so at the last phase you are running at 8% for 200 m
Here’s the trick, you cannot adjust the speed. It must remain at a set level for each stage.
Here’s the good bit, after each 1000 m you have a 100 m recovery at 0% incline and at 3 kph. Your heart rate should come down during this phase. You then begin the next 1000m after the 100 m recovery.
What speed can you maintain? 8 kph, 10 Kph? 11kph, 12 kph, 13kph, 14 kph, maybe 15 kph?
If at any stage you have to lower the speed, you have failed the challenge.