It has been a challenging year for everyone.  More than a year now in fact.  Too much of my time each week over the past 14 months has been spent talking members and coaches down from ledges (figuratively, not literally, thankfully) and addressing member complaints on just about any and every subject.  It is weary and time consuming work and certainly sucks the fun out of the day.

The complaints of the hour are as follows:

1) Masks
Masks are no fun.  Sure they may be stylish and trendy as the Princess Bride correctly foretold 34 years ago but they are uncomfortable to work out in especially when you are gasping for air.  Unlike some provinces we are fortunate that gyms are allowed to remain open for operation.  Unfortunately, we cannot do so without wearing masks.  I have had complaints from members, non-members and even a call from the Health Authority on this issue.  The bottom line is that you must wear a mask at all times in the gym.  It must cover your mouth AND nose.  I don’t like it.  You don’t like it.  But failure to abide by this guideline will result in the Health Authority closing us down and I think we can agree we would both like that a lot less.  So if you need to sneak a breath of air or grab a sip of water, please step outside before pulling down your mask.  Other members don’t appreciate it when you remove your mask in the gym.  And as we are surrounded by windows, passersby also bear witness to our in-gym behaviours.  All that said, we still have a few members who cannot safely wear a mask while training.  We know who they are so please don’t ask.  If we haven’t asked them to mask up, we have good reason.  We know it’s not fun but it is only temporary.  If you really hate masks, you can join us via zoom where masks are not mandatory. 

2) Open Gym vs “Open Gym”
We are not allowed to run group classes yet.  It is frustrating to us all.  But when there is a Zoom WOD in progress, the coach on duty is available to fetch equipment to your station or give you pointers on correct movement mechanics.  Yes, we are coaching the Zoom class but once they’re into their workout we can usually spare a few minutes to circulate and help you with your individualized workout.    

You will also notice on our schedule Open Gym times with no associated Zoom WOD.  These are times when a coach is present but not on duty.  The coach may be using this time to get their own workout done, complete some pressing admin work or even coaching personal training clients.  Yes, they will still be responsible for COVID screening and helping you fetch equipment to your station but they are not on duty to provide coaching support as they may be otherwise engaged. 

These unsupervised times were added because of the severe attendance limitations imposed upon us by COVID.  We thought it would help members if we provided a few extra times when you could come in to use equipment unsupervised. 

If you are a newer member, these are not the best times for you to attend unless you are working on something simple that involves movements you are familiar with.  Please do not attend these times expecting coaching instruction on unfamiliar movements.  If you do attend these times, please come prepared with your own workout. 

In short:
Open gyms with associated Zoom WODS: Coach on duty, best for new members
Open gyms without associated Zoom WODs: unsupervised play time, best for experienced members

If you prove unable to use the unsupervised times in a safe and COVID-compliant manner or continuously interrupt personal training clients in session we will ask you to limit yourself to times with an on-duty coach.

3) Waitlists
Yes, some time zones are fully booked.  This is why we ask everyone to be conscientious regarding booking.  Only book Open Gym times you know you will attend and if you must cancel please do so in advance (2 hours for most times, 8 hours for early mornings and weekends).  Please be considerate of other members hoping to get into popular time zones!  If you are a waitlist, please check your spot after the cancellation window to see if you got in or, if you decide you will not attend, please remove yourself from the waitlist so others can get in.  We understand that emergencies occasionally derail us but calamities should not befall the same few people on a regular basis.  If your dog gets off its leash and into traffic every month, it is time to invest in a new leash.

How I’d Rather Spend My Time
Yes, it’s been a long year but we’re nearly through it now.  A couple more months of vaccinations and numbers will be down enough to lift most restrictions.  We’ve made it this far together, let’s get through this last little bit.  Instead of fielding complaints, I would prefer to spend my time building excitement for our upcoming Empower COVID Games. 

This is the stuff that pumps me up and makes me love my job and our fantastic community.  I’ve seen lots of teams forming and heard a lot of excitement but so far only 4 teams have officially registered: the “Stampeders”, “Not Fast, Just Furious”, “Like Fine Whine” and “Two Young Chicks and an Old Dog”.  If you do not yet have a team, Smash is eager to help.  Let us know and we’ll get you registered.  This game is for everyone so don’t be shy, your team is waiting for you!

Friday WOD

Equipment: barbell or dumbbells or alternatives, pull up options, PVC Pipe

Warm Up
Shoulder Series
1 min PVC Shoulder Pass Throughs
1 min DB Scott’s Press
1 min Lat Pull Ups
1 min Barbell Bradford Press
1 min Ring Rows

Pressing Complex:
(complete in one unbroken set with empty barbell or PVC pipe)
10 Shoulder Presses
10 Push Presses
10 Push Jerks

Strict Pull Up or Alternatives

3 Sets Max Shoulder Press
3 Sets Max Strict Pull Ups
3 Sets Max Push Press
3 Sets Max Strict Pull Ups
3 Sets Max Push Jerk
3 Sets Max Strict Pull Ups
Rest 30 seconds between each set

Use the same weight for all presses
Score = Total reps performed

Cool Down
Scap Rocks
Scap Rotations
Scap Retractions