Above is actual unedited footage of Leon and I trying to figure out Zen Planner.  It is a great system once you have learned how to operate it. February 1st all membership billing should be rerouted through Zen Planner saving us many monthly hours of back end billing work plus allowing us to track member activity in real time so that we are better able to respond to your fitness needs and help you keep your training on track.  Of course, as per the video above, we do not expect the transition to be without a few minor glitches.  We’ll continue making the necessary adjustments over the next few days and hope there are few disruptions to your gym experience.  Thank you to all of you for helping us get this set up in time for month end, and apologies in advance for anything that doesn’t go perfectly smoothly with the transition, you can chalk it up to user error but I promise we will get better with practice!

Speaking of Learning Curves…
Welcome to everyone who has newly joined us in January both in class and on Zoom, we are excited to welcome you to Empower.  Here are some quick tips to help you adjust:

1) The complete workout of the day including warm up and cool down are posted the night before on our blog so you can preview it and be prepared.  The blog is also available on our Facebook page.

2) The WOD is also posted daily on its own page on the website titled WOD.

3) If you are attending Shades’ Athletics workout, you will also find it detailed in the blog with the title heading “Athletics”.

4) The link info for Zoom WODs is available on our Zen Planner calendar but the link & password info do not change daily.  The 5pm link for Monday is the same as 5pm Tuesday, etc.  So it is easiest just to save the link somewhere so that you can easily access it again.

4) Registration to open gym times is mandatory and due to COVID limited to 7 attendees.  Last minute registration is disabled and classes with fewer than 3 people registered will be cancelled from the schedule 8-12 hours before.  We will notify any registered members of cancellation.  The cancellation window for early morning classes is 8-hours, for afternoon and evening classes it is 2-hours.  Coaches will not cancel for you. 

5) If you do not show up for an in-gym or Zoom session for which you’re registered a 50 burpee penalty or $10 payout will assessed unless your absence is due to COVID symptoms experienced by you or a member of your household in which case we will request a COVID test or 14-day quarantine before your return to in-gym sessions.  Zoom is always open to you.

6) If you are attending an open gym that corresponds with a coached Zoom WOD we request that you arrive on time so that the coach can carry out the required COVID screen and help you fetch equipment without interrupting the Zoom class in session.  Late Zoom or in-gym arrivals will be asked to complete a 25 burpee warm up before participating.

Whew!  That’s a lot of information.  Don’t worry, we are all keen to help you get comfortable in your new community.  Do not be shy to ask your coach or any of the Empower veterans you are working out with, we’re happy to show you around and help you learn the ropes.

February 5th Update
Hard Rock tells us that the COVID unit is down to 50% capacity.  This is great news for Vancouver as COVID transmission rates continue to decline.  It suggests that what we are doing is working.  Bonnie Henry recently said that they are not seeing transmissions in gyms.  This is very promising.  Let us remain diligent in our observation of COVID safety protocols so we can continue to operate safely as we await the February 5th Provincial Health Authority update.  I think it is a bit premature to expect lifting of current restrictions especially with the recent arrival of two new strains and the vaccine delivery delays.  In all likelihood we will be asked to carry on as we have been doing.  And while it is certainly not our perfect operating scenario, looking across the country to all the regions where gyms are and have remained closed throughout much of the pandemic, we cannot help but count ourselves lucky that our doors remain open!  I believe it was Smash who noted that Vancouver generally has a wintery February that gives way quite suddenly to a spring-like March.  So if we can ride out one more chilly, damp month of darkness we may find the warm sun rising and inviting us outdoors as it did last year and COVID may make a dramatic retreat while it waits out the return of autumn by which time most who wish it will be vaccinated.  I’m very optimistic that we here in the Lower Mainland have almost made it through the worst of it.  One month more!

Unstoppable 20 in 2021
Our competition marches on.  I will be verifying the numbers this week to see who qualified in January for our Unstoppable 20 in 2021 competition.  My gut feeling is that there are more folks than last year and that we need to set aside a bigger T-shirt budget than in 2020.  Of course February is a short month and the momentum of new year motivation begins to wane in the damp, dark, chill of winter so this month will be the real test of who has the grit to hang in there!

Burpee Amnesty
In gratitude to everyone helping us get Zen Planner ready for billing we will grant a one time only burpee amnesty allowing our January burpee debtors off the hook just this once.  It has never happened before and will not happen again but we appreciate how much work you did getting all your profiles updated this month.  Thank you!


Monday WOD

Equipment: Barbell or alternative, PVC pipe or alternative

Warm Up
1 min Judo Push Up Rocks
1 min Full Body Rocks
1 min Hang Snatch Jump & Shrug
1 min Hang Snatch Jump & Shrug, Elbows High
1 min Hang Power Snatch

Prep Snatch weight

5 Rounds
Max Hang Power Snatch
Rest as needed

Cool Down
Shoulder Series