The latest news from World Gym Challenge

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 A portal for promotion for gym challenges up and down the UK right now.

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Filed under: News — admin @ 10:54 am

Functional Fitness

Around five years ago a word starting circulating in the fitness industry that today would emerge as probably the most  incorrect use of one word to apply to another area of unrelated cohesiveness and that word is functional.  In some way functional fitness has managed to apply itself to the fitness industry in such a way that its a surprise to mankind how on earth we have managed to survive without it.

The dictionary definition

Functional fitness exercises train your muscles to work together and prepare them for daily tasks by simulating common movements you might do at home, at work or in sports. While using various muscles in the upper and lower body at the same time, functional fitness exercises also emphasize core stability.

The reality …

Between 70, 000 to 50, 000 years ago migrating homo sapiens humans migrated from Africa to influence modern man into what we have become today. That’s tens of thousands of years adapting to stress’s of world change, with wars, climate variations, famine, culturally and technological changes that have influenced our modern way of living to what we have become today. All of which in some bizarre way has manifested that in the last five years , exercise that can be manipulated into being called functional will in some way increase your ability to function better as human being. That’s five years of marketing basically as opposed to 50, 000 years of evolution to say that training has a functional element to it.

Functional Fitness as a workout

When looking at functional workouts these days I can see no evidence to suggest that mankind will evolve from this point forward into being a more efficient machine because in some way there has been a shift in what small proportion of the population exercise. In fact it could be argued that Functional Fitness has been brought around, by nothing more than a desire to create an influence of fear that if you are not performing functional movements you will in some way be cheating your body and that the course of your life will fall into a spiral of decay and waste and that the huge array of products and teaching that have been brought into the system to address the ‘non functional’ way of training has created an eager willing and grateful public who now feel saved because they are now functionally training.

Nothing can be further from the truth

If you are functionally training as some sort of saving grace to secure body movements, then I’m afraid you are wasting your money . It does not need to be done. You are however supporting a clever marketing strategy enabling you to feel as if you are becoming a more able person. When the truth is your body as it it is, is the perfect form body engineering designed already to be the most perfect machine to live a normal healthy life. You do not need to do anything to it. You do need to eat and you do need to exercise, but that exercise does not need to be functional, it needs to be practical or measurable.

Train for Performance not functionality.

Inactivity is now regarded as one of the biggest influences in premature death and has a bigger mortality rate then smoking, diabetes and cancer combined. So clearly this issue has to be addressed. But in what manner is acceptable ? If you look to Functional Fitness there is no measure of comparable results. You are being told that because you perform a certain exercise it will be functional and it will improve your lifestyle. Well you can go for a walk with the dog, run in the woods, throw sticks, cover terrain that goes uphills , downhills, and feel physically and emotionally enlightened and get the same results, what you won’t get is a performance relationship.

Performance - Time management in a gym.

Performance is more important then functionality. And for performance to be backed up by evidence, you need to record on a daily level the amount of exercise that you do and in my experience the most practical way to do this is time management. That is taking segments of the week and assigning a fixed amount of time to exercise with a pre prepared workout - that could be three or four times a week , with the emphasis on quality intensity as opposed to movement. And do this as a lifestyle choice.

Specific Physical Performance

Use the equipment in a gym to enhance your physical well being and look to performing better . A simple test would be a 2000 m row . If nothing else , just try to improve your time on a 2000 m row over one year and see how you increase your fitness .

Physical Performance will record the data to showcase your body is moving more efficiently and that you are becoming a better person with more capability to do more  and be more practical in the understanding of your body in what it can and can’t achieve. As time goes on, and habits develop you will continue to see marked improvements and the incentive to be better and more capable physically then you were when you first started.

FitBrit Final 2015

November 30, 2015
Filed under: News — admin @ 1:27 pm

Tracy Davies - Winner FitBrit 2014

There is a buzz in the air because the FitBrit final for 2015 is nearly here. Dec 5th at London Bridge Fitness First  will see those that have qualified race over a completely new gym challenge , to find the fittest gym member in the UK.

Over the last year, the search to find the fittest in gyms has been run by Fitness First and Men’s Fitness magazine. If reports of over 4000 entries are correct, that’s quite a sizable chunk of gym members, whittled down to just a few, to find the supreme champion.

Male Entries

Last years Male Champion AJ Orchard  will be competing in another event on the same day so can’t be there, which potentially leaves the door open for Nuno Barreto or Doug Harrison to try their hand at winning. Both of these guys are capable. Doug at 74 kg is the lighter of the two and could be argued the better athlete with his previous results compared against Nuno’s for the Gym Ironman in 2014 .. but Nuno has been training hard for this shorter event and has a tremendous run on the treadmill to maybe give him a slight edge.

Women’s Race

It is a shame that the current Women’s leader board has been showing the leader with a time of 8:09 and the person who entered that time claims that this is not true. I had in fact contacted Men’s Fitness to inform them, but they did not change it for some reason. So already we are looking at a competition with the wining time not being checked and validated. Athletes are training to try and better that time, which just isn’t possible , which may have put some women off.

One person who has not been put off is Tracy Davies (winner in 2014) and some serious full on training has been completed to give the best performance possible on the day. The women’s final is open to id imagine a five second window, it will be very fast and very close who wins this year.

FitBrit as an event.

The problem has always been with FitBrit, is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is a shame because the athletes who take part are training their hearts and lungs out to compete. Based on conversations with athletes over  previous years, it always come down to the same thing with FitBrit , the judging and the event do not live up to the level of input the athletes have trained for. This is mainly down to FitBrit is not there to find the fittest in gyms, but to sell magazines and gym membership. If it was a serious contender for finding the fittest, more effort would be made to ensure the final was well run, with a even balance of fair judging and competent judges. The athletes who take part deserve it.

The irony in this is that for all its faults, FitBrit is actually a great event, and with previous winners like Rich Vint and last years winners Tracy Davies and AJ Orchard has basically accomplished its task and found the fittest in gyms  and the future looks good for it to grow into a more serious event and competition.

Filed under: News — admin @ 1:13 pm

A Sport for Gyms …

Conclusion: Is needed but not wanted.

In the ten years of existence, World Gym Challenge has not been able to secure one gym, into the concept of a sport for gyms.

It could be argued that I am the worst salesman ever in selling sport based on fitness into a gym. But I can tell you, I have been the person at the other end and the reaction I get from gyms is that they are not interested.

Each gym I have visited, telephoned, emailed had meetings with. Gyms I have belonged to. Gyms that are already doing X Training events – simply do not want a sport for gyms, that is centrally governed by a single database that will record, the constant recording of Gym Based Sporting results. It is the actual data that makes it a sport. The ability to instantly publish a result onlineand compare that result to another person in your gym of the same age and gender, or indeed just anybody.

And to this day I wake up each day and ask myself why?

· Why is the concept of a sport for gyms so comprehensively repugnant to the fitness industry?

· Why is it that not a single gym on this planet will embrace a Sport for gyms?

· Why leaders in the industry and those that spend their lives working in fitness gyms all over the world will not embrace a sport for gyms?

· Why is it that each day I turn up at the gym, I am left as a member to create my own motivation and focus?

· And that for some bizzare reason the only measure of success in the modern gym is to look buff or lose weight.

And for some reason the cog keeps turning with no insight or vision to create a program that starts at schools and continues into mainstream gyms after school and college is competed and although this is indisputable in its concept and a crushing blow against diabetes, heart related illness and obesity   the resistance is so strong that the fitness industry and gyms absolutely slam their doors on the very thought of each gym creating their base of Gym Athletes .

· To show reward and inspiration to the other existing members.

· To create a community of similarly likeminded people who just want to get fitter

· To show that each day as you turn up to the gym there is a focus for you to train towards and achieve daily a small measure of fitness that can be benchmarked and improved on, with solid hard evidence data that is recorded.

And for those gyms that embrace a sport to challenge each other in sporting challenges that involve only the equipment and exercises that you are prescribing on a daily basis to your members to use to get fitter.

Conclusion …

I cannot understand the lack of vison in creating a Sport for Gyms

It does not make sense in any format.

Apart from one.

The Fitness Industry does not want it . The Fitness Industry does not want a single sport for gyms that is based on the equipment they provide, the members they have and the venues that are in place. Because …

· What were to happen if all of a sudden members became very focused and instead of turning up once a week, they turned up 3 or 4 times a week?

· What if members decided they wanted more variety and challenges each day so they could see how fit they were compared to others of the same age?

· What actually if the equipment they have been using and were sold on the principle that it would get them fit isn’t actually working?

· And what if they, the members have been there for a number of years, sold on the principle that they were going to get fitter and they actually hadn’t.

· And they had actually put on weight!


Now here is the dilemma the fitness Industry faces. If a sport for gyms did exist. A gym could no longer exist and not deliver on its promise to get you fitter because they would be held to account on its promise.

Ask yourself this question – Are you fitter in the gym now than when you first started?

It is the only logical explanation I can come to terms with. And the reason that I continue to fight and try and get gyms to accept a sport for gyms is overdue and demanded by those who go to gyms that are not gifted in the sporting field of high skill or are technically gifted individuals who genetically have the advantage with great genes and sporting abilities.

A Sport for Gyms is a sport for everybody who ever stepped inside a gym.

And the only people fighting it are gyms and those connected with the fitness industry. Members who have tried it in my experience love it and what more of it, so they

· Have a reason to train

· Remain Focused

· Achieve results daily

If this concept filtered through in to gyms, the evidence of increased fitness and performance would be overwhelming.  And each gym would have the data that conclusively and categorially ensures each member is accountable for their own fitness but have the data of increased level of fitness.

I challenge any fitness professional, industry leader, gym owner, personal trainer in fact anybody who is connected in the fitness industry to challenge the concept of Sport for Gyms and contact me at to publish their views and why they oppose the concept and I will gladly publish their views.

Just mention the gym you train at or the role you have in the fitness industry.

Filed under: News — admin @ 9:00 am

Looking at Gym Sports to create a new era of training at your gym

Filed under: News — admin @ 9:32 am

World Gym Challenge is pleased to introduce ‘Blitz’ into your training calendar. A gym challenge that will have you question your very own mental and physical strength.

Any Gym in the World that has a ….

  1. Rower
  2. Treadmill
  3. Bike
… Can introduce their members to this challenge .
  • 12 inch marker tape that the toes must travel over for the Alternate Squat Thrusts
  • Each distance must be completed before you move on to the next stage
  • Each split must be recorded as you finish the discipline
There is no recovery time  between transition - it is in your interest to set the bike rower and treadmill next to each other.
To enter results ..
  • Log in
  • Go to Enter my results
  • Click  Events
  • Search Blitz
  • Enter rolling splits … accumulative split timings
  • Press enter
  • View by clicking … View my results …
WGC - Blitz
WGC - Blitz

Filed under: Gym X Training - Training — admin @ 11:13 am

How to crate your own gym circuit continues ..

Lesson 2

Filed under: Gym X Training - Training — admin @ 12:39 pm

World Gym Challenge is a race against somebody of equal fitness. It is hard to find information in how to train for it, so there will be a series of training technique blogs. This is the first.

Part 1

Filed under: News — admin @ 12:04 pm

World Gym Challenge was created in 2006, roughly the same sort of time CrossFit was gaining ground in the US. The two have roughly the same concept by nature and that is to create a sport out of Fitness Challenges. One uses the components of fitness (CrossFIT) and the other uses the equipment and exercises found in mainstream gyms and create a sport from that (Gym X Training) .

The two have followed completely different paths and yet have striking similarities . CrossFit being extremely successful and gaining  a momentum that is sweeping globally and literally changing the way we train in gyms.

But there are more serous underlying questions as to why is CrossFit so successful and why is there a gap between Gyms and Boxes. And the answer lies in Performance and Community.

Performance and Community  markers are not  recorded in any shape or form at the gym I belong to and never have been. I simply walk through the door and am asked to get on with it  unlike a Box where you walk through the door and every body is challenged to do a WOD (Workout of the Day) and bang you have a community with a central driving force and a sense of belonging. It is that - that makes CrossFit grow … a sense of worth.

I recently contacted YMCA Russell Square to see if they would run a Gym Challenge later on this year for their members to train towards. Firstly the service on the phone was very good. I was instructed to contact the marketing department and also reminded that YMCA is a non profit organisation( so baring this in  mind) I did.

Now the modern gym is based on membership and how to get members is very much  very complicated marketing strategy, so I would imagine you have to employ the very best for a global brand like YMCA. My offer was simple - Allow members to train towards an event for free . They could choose to create one themselves or use an existing template - either way it would be free and a good source of goal setting. Create a community to all aim towards a common goal.

Now its been  a few days since I wrote and like so many gyms before I suspect the nature of a fitness challenge is beyond this club. I checked their website for any such results or any challenges of significance and there wasn’t really anything of note, in fact I suspect the members there would find the whole concept intriguing and challenging, but the marketing dept whose job it is to create membership and sales , fail  to see the benefit.

And here lies the real difference in Community and Performance - A Box … any Box …  has a community ,exceptional athletes and daily publishes results - but the biggest club in London, with exceptional facilities  - prime location and members - has really just that.

Now I’m not saying that is a bad thing, as a business model I’m sure its incredibly  successful, But as a role model for the centre of London  and London’s largest gym , Id say if you challenged your local gym (nearest one to you or one 5 miles away ) … then you would be of comparing fitness results and really seeing how your members are doing . Its all about Performance and Community.

Whereas locally in Boxes .. these throw downs happen regularly and is one of the reasons Performance and Community is such a draw into increasing membership.

Filed under: News — admin @ 2:42 pm

Tracy Davies, from Fitness First Clapham Junction has completed her life long ambition of winning every major Advanced category Gym X Training Challenge  when she won the Female Advanced Gym Ironman which was held again at the Wildmoor Health Club and Spa in Sratford Upon Avon on the 7th March 2015.

The new Gym Ironman series of challenges  event created by Stuart Leng has had regular following with gym members travelling from all over the country to compete since 1999. The challenge, which include the famous 10% incline Treadmill run, Rowing , Cycling (Wattbike) Strength Endurance bench and Shoulder Press and other in its line up  sets out to be one of the more physically demanding courses  due to its extreme high intensity and duration. Both male and female athletes will experience challenging elements of this course from the off. It is relentless and probably deals more with mental issues as well as physical ones just to complete it.

This is what makes Tracy Davies such a incredible athlete. Since Dec 2015 , Tracy has embarked on a highly demanding routine just to prepare. A unique and very tailored platform of exercises designed by Sean Blyth has meant that every single day has had a meaning to it to get ready. A unique system which meant training online only and hitting specific training targets meant we didn’t actually meet for a single moment to prepare. We also stayed away from lifting heavy (very in at the moment) and avoided any complicated Olympic Lifts, which makes teaching online effective and safe. That is not to say we ignored the strength element - just made it very specific to the task in hand, without over training, which  separates our sport of ‘Gym X Training’ to that of CrossFit. You can train online for this which opens up very exciting opportunities in the days ahead.

This didn’t mean to push Tracy to the absolute limits of physical endurance day in and day out , it meant structuring a training programme that meant Tracy could continue her job as a personal trainer and still train effectively to win this event. So averaging a training programme of just below 4 hours  per week and two rests days in reach week meant that Tracy was prepared physically while getting the crucial recovery to build high end performance .

Tracy is not only a brilliant athlete, but she is a perfectionist, constantly pushing herself harder and harder to achieve what she wants. She never says she is the best - only the best from those that compete when she wins. Which means that possibly, out there somewhere is another Tracy Davies from another gym, who can challenge her to win next year.

But for this year Tracy’s reign is victorious, the winner of the 2014 Ultimate Gym Athlete has now earned every right to call herself the very best  female  Gym Athlete that World Gym Challenge has ever had and exciting times lay ahead for the rest of the events this year to see if any one else has what it takes to become or challenge the No 1 female UK Gym Athlete.

Filed under: News — admin @ 12:13 pm

The problem with the Fitness Industry is that it is unregulated. Ask anyone !

With it being unregulated comes the freedom to write and say anything you really like about it because there are no guidelines in place to which anybody is answerable.

Personal Trainers who are the troops on the ground have no National Governing Body (NGB). In today’s industry they are mainly self employed with questionable ability depending on length of service and knowledge in the industry. It could be reasonably argued they are a income source for the gyms they work at.

There is no regulation ! Courses vary on content. Nutrition guidelines are forever changing. Sport as  a science evolves. Classes are filled with changing fads.  Within these boundaries only one thing is certain a sate of confusion exists and as long as the confusion is there - the profit within the UK Fitness Industry at £3.92 Billion in 2013. And yet the UK is in a state of being the worst inactive state for physical activity for the whole of Europe for Physical Activity.

In its unregulated state it will continue to rise.

I have been personally battling with the Industry since 2006 to try and get evidence based figures to suggest that a Sport for Gyms will provide the much needed evidence to show performance figures within health clubs with year on year stats to show improvement.

A single sport for gyms can be regulated, implemented and has the infrastructure to submit figures on daily basis to show improvement in performance.

Yet , there has been nothing but closed ranks on the creation of a sport for gyms.

Sport England - UK Active are the ones who would endorse and support a complete regulated Sport for Gyms because there is no  National Governing Body, and yet when I spoke to both of them years ago - each one suggested I contacted the other to create such a sport. No significant development has happened within the UK since then.

A sport for gyms would see daily results published within gyms for those who want to see progress. Not weight loss per say - but real. physical performance. And monitored stats to say if they are within guideline of physical activity.

A sport for gyms would see a unified regulatory body along the lines of the FIFA - and FA implementing strategy, progress and regulating training and growth.

It is impossible not to see the results that CrossFIt has brought to the fitness Industry - the success in its growth based on performance has brought shame to the industry that has lacked in vision, where they could have been market leaders in promoting a sport within their own health clubs. And yet, even with the success and evidence based results at every event that CrossFIt organise,  there is still no forward planning on creating a sport for gyms.

I will say this - A sport for gyms only works once. It has to be totally united and driven towards the same goal. There can be no deviation, no splits in its make up , no unregulated implementation that is outside of its boundaries. It has to be managed with a Ironfist and clear determined focus, which will supply evidence towards finding excellence within its very own walls.

In my experience of the years in looking at the very best the industry has produced in terms of fitness, when they reach that level - they leave the industry and move on to CrossFit. There can be no greater  chain of evidence then seeing the fittest and best athletes the UK fitness industry has created in gyms, being ignored. Creating a level of athlete that is sustainable, and revered among its own environment, has to be a priority. Creating that success story and community is vital to the growth of a sport for gyms. We should take pride in what we have created. And within that creation we should expose it to the media so that it is tried to be replicated in as many clubs as possible. It is then you have a sport for gyms , to which there is already an entire global platform in place  to secure its future.

But it will only work once.

WGC is that platform for a global Sport for gyms. Nobody else looked at a unified sport for gyms, they looked at creating random events.

A sport for gyms is possible, practical and in this day and age, with all the evidence from the CrossFit games finding the Fittest Man and Woman on this Planet is a huge success. We now need to find the Ultimate Gym Athlete in the world’s boundaries to rival CrossFit and a single platform Sport for Gyms, which is regulated, well funded, with evidence based results to support its claims  is the only way.

The only way that will happen is only if Sport England endorse it.

The only way that will happen if is there is funding.

The only way that will happen if is there is regulation and National Governing Body.

The only way that will happen is if UK Active support a Sport for Gyms.

The only that will happen is if there is a unified, regulated well funded approach.

And the only way that can happen is if there is a existing infrastructure in place already to support it.

The only way that evidence can be submitted to is online data at source from gyms and health clubs to one central focus point. World Gym Challenge.

I’m not saying that this will happen - What I am saying is that from 2006 - this could have happened already.

A Sport for Gyms is a must. It really is that simple. The focus is now on activity and not weight loss from gyms. Never has there been a better time to focus on training and results.

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