The BANG Fitness Blog

How would you describe yourself in some of your daily tasks? Would you be motivated in all of your daily activities? Would you have the talent to achieve them? Do you lack motivation in some of them because you lack the talent (skills/experience) to complete them properly?

Performance Model

Think about the people that you work with (this is one you keep in your head folks, don’t be telling them where they fit in!).

We all know someone that appears to have low motivation to complete tasks and doesn’t seem to have the talent to complete them anyway. These people are the worst that any organisation can have. They drag everyone else down to their level until everyone is miserable. I would go so far as to say that some organisations cater their entire HR policies towards mollifying these people. That is a sure sign of business (and life) failure. Setting your standards to the lowest common denominator will retard growth, dulls any excitement that the staff have and leads to nothing but the same old, day in and day out.

Some people have all the motivation in the world, but still lack the talent, so they are generally of more value to the organisation but require some work on skill development. They can be coached. I meet a lot of these people in my club, they are keen to reach their goals, and simply need some coaching to enhance their skills to match their motivation.

Then there are those that have all the talent in the world but no motivation – these guys are actually some of the hardest to manage, and are very frustrating for an organisation. These guys are very common in life, they’re the ones that start projects and then drop off as quickly as they start, or when they don’t get instant results.

The last type is the superstar – highly motivated and highly talented. Despite what people think, these guys can also be hard to coach or manage as well. Managing their expectations and still providing an opportunity to further develop their skills is a challenge.

Where do you fit in to these models? Are you one type at work, and another at home? At the gym? In relationships? We will fit into these areas, and obviously there are some grey areas where we cross over at some times and with some tasks.

Your mission today is to choose one aspect of your life in which you feel a little disenchanted, and nearly all of us have that feeling somewhere in our lives. That’s not wrong, it’s human behaviour. Think about where you would put yourself in the chart above, and then think about what it might take to move you towards the high motivation/high talent box.

Even the low motivation/low talent people aren’t lost completely. They may just need to understand what their drivers are, and decide if they want to increase one or the other factor. It will take time to develop either, however we can all gain both over time.

You are a work in constant progress. If you reinforce the message that you are poorly motivated, or lack the talent you need, or both, you’ll continually put the barriers in place to ensure that stays the same. If you can find the key to change just one factor, you may just become a superstar yet.

If you want to be.

Do you?

Why elephants don’t read gossip Magazines


OK, so apart from the obvious, that they can’t read….

I went to the Melbourne Zoo recently and saw the new baby elephant that had been born. Cute and lovely and all that stuff but it did get me to thinking.

The cow (yes, that’s the mummy elephant, not the dairy cow – stay with me here), was very protective, making sure that the baby was always in the shade and even at this early age was showing the baby how to scoop up some dust and throw it over its back. Did you know that elephants do that as a form of sun protection? No? Well, it sort of matters a bit.

We teach our kids all manner of things from the day they are born, some of it consciously such as how to do up shoelaces, and some of it unconsciously, such as how to behave around others and how to prepare meals etc. Some of that we actually talk to the kids about, and some of it we just do and they observe.

Kids, despite the fact that they pretend otherwise, are very observant and are visual animals. They watch, they learn. At different times of their childhood they will be hungrier for knowledge than others, or for different types of knowledge.

Remember, if you have them, when your kids went through a stage of asking, “Why?” after every sentence? Drove you nuts most likely. But that was the kids trying to form a picture of their world and the rules we apply to it. Everything you said, was followed with, “But why?”

Do you remember when your kids stopped asking “Why?”? You probably don’t, it was just a relief to not have to answer questions like you were being interrogated by the CIA.

Part of the reason for that is you were teaching your kids stuff, and they didn’t have to ask why any more, you were showing them.

Now imagine if our elephant mum read the gossip magazines or the weekly publications that promise a bikini body in seven days. Yes, you thought about elephants in bikinis. The message from the magazines would be that the elephant was a social failure for a number of reasons. Let’s think about what an elephant looks like for a minute:

Massive booty
Enormous nose
Big ears
Huge toenails
Saggy skin
Stick out teeth
Floppy tummy (you try carrying a baby that weighs 130kgs)
Excess body hair (I’ve ridden one, they have hair on their heads in weird places)

We know that the elephant has all these features as evolutionary requirements for survival, and we never question them, but more importantly, the elephant doesn’t complain about them to her girlfriends in front of the kids or partner, and doesn’t head for the pantry because she doesn’t feel good about herself. She just gets on with eating as required without thinking about it, and eats the variety of foods that will sustain her.

How do you approach the same thing if you have features that the magazines tell you are undesirable? If you have a bigger bum, or your skin isn’t blemish free, and you don’t look like the genetically gifted half a dozen people that we see recycled constantly in magazines, out of 7 billion people on the planet.

You complain about it in earshot of the kids, or worse, you set about eating the very foods what will exacerbate the big bum and blemished skin and excess body fat. You don’t even need to tell the kids “Why”. You just lead by example and they learn. Boy, do they learn.

So my message to you is to start acting like an elephant!

Eat the foods that will sustain you for what you need to do, not until the end of next week.

Be aware of answering your kids’ questions, even when they don’t ask them out loud. They’re always watching and learning from you.

Stop thinking you have to look like a genetically gifted minority of the population, accept that you’re you and you’re different from everyone else.

And stop reading gossip magazines. They really are rubbish. Spend time with your loved ones instead of pretending you live in Hollywood.

Because if you don’t, then that elephant may just be smarter than you!


A special experience

It’s about 30 degrees at 1am when the alarm goes off, and yes, you have only been asleep for about 2 hours. Whilst not exactly bouncing out of bed you’re up and about and before long our driver Komang is waiting for us at the front of the Villa.

A drive through Denpasar at 2.30am is surreal to say the least, in a city where the cars often create five lanes of traffic on a three lane highway, we are one of the few cars around, until we drive past the markets, people milling around, getting ready for what promises to be a long day. It’s a reminder that although we are in Bali for a week of Adventure, fitness and relaxtion, the world still goes to work, people still bargain and barter to pay their bills, wanting nothing more than to feed their families and make a few extra rupiah to buy their kids the things ours often take for granted.

On through the colder mountain areas, the temperature dropping to around 17 degrees, and Komang is complaining how cold it is. He’s never climbed Mt Batur before, but he is keen to see what the fuss is about. In a few hours he won’t be quite so excited about it all.

We get close to the town of Kintimani, and we are reduced to almost a crawl, with thick cloud covering the road. A simple message asking Komang if he has ever driven in conditions like this, common place in Australia elicits a one word answer, “No”,  whilst looking at me. A quick suggestion that he focus on the road again and we keep going, crawling behind some slow trucks that are already on their way to the bottom of Mt Batur where the volcanic rock is mined and taken to make all manner of things, including bricks and tiles seen in some of the temples elsewhere on the island.

We arrive to the tourist office, the next available guide beckons us to follow him on his motorbike and we head off to the carpark, make our introductions and find our guide Nyoman has had a four month break from guiding, but has over 20 years experience. The fact that he is wearing jeans and we are wearing shorts, we shrug our shoulders at.

We push on and before long Komang is asking how long we have been walking for. The news that it has been 15 minutes doesn’t sit well with him but we plod on, walking along what we later realise is simply a dirt path past some villages, using our torches to make sure we don’t take a tumble in the dark.

Soon enough the going gets a little steeper and we are introduced to another guide, and informed that he will carry our drinks, what they mean is he will carry soft drinks we are expected to buy from him later on, but he does his job and helps us all get up the steep incline and work our way past some slower moving groups. Eurpoeans that have all the trek gear and poles, people wearing dresses, some kitted out as though they are about to scale Everest.

Our mission is to reach the peak before sunrise, so we can watch that magnificent sight overlooking Lake Batur and towards Mt Abang, and behind it the sacred Mt Agung, all 3000 metres of it. Apparently you have to start climbing that at 1am to reach the peak by sunrise, and already the plans are hatched to get that one done next trip.

There is suddenly a shift in the light, and what previously felt like a massive presence in front of us starts to take shape, and  looking back down we can see the procession of people below us snaking their way up the mountain, their torches making a fairy light dance as they trudge their way up.


We pick up the pace, a few of our group going a little slower, but anxious not to miss the sunrise a couple of us push politely some people taking a breather, and then we are suddenly at a guest house area, where a group of people have congregated. This is apparently the end of the road for many people, with a few hardy souls prepared to push on another 20 minutes of hard scrabble up to the real peak. We are going hard now, anxious not to miss this experience, and it takes me back to some nasty hills on the Kokoda Trail, pushing through because there isn’t any other way to the top.

And we are there, and just in time to see the sun slowly rise. The cloud at 1717 metres is inconsistent, and the entire bowl of the volcano is obscured. But for brief moments we can see across the lake at what is a stunning view, we are all pretty damn proud of ourselves, and there are hugs all round for us. Even Komang has made it as far as the guesthouse , below, and Lyne, 65 and a veteran of my previous Kokoda Trek appears below us, having shown the same determination that saw her complete that trip the year before.


Feeling pretty damn proud of ourselves, we get the photos done, some video and are then asked if we want a coffee and a hardboiled egg from the elderly lady that has climbed the volcano an hour before we arrived carrying eggs, bread, milk, bananas and firewood. The fact that she is about 80 stuns us and puts us back in our place very quickly, full of admiration for the Balinese spirit, their willingness to do what has to be done to get the job done.

We spend a few minutes at the peak, enjoying our efforts and then make our way down, passing a troop of monkeys that call the mountain home, passing within a few feet of us. These are not the feral critters that roam the Monkey Forest at Ubud, these are truly wild creatures that will respond to aggression in the only way they know how. So we make like statues until they pass serenely by us, and we continue down, getting a few more snaps to record our first volcano climb, all the while looking across at Mt Agung and determined to add that to our list next time.



For more information on our upcoming Bali Fitness Adventure please click here. Trips departing in September 2013, and May 2014

Where did I put my motivation?

Our performance in life, sport, relationships – anything – mirrors our attitude towards those things.

If your attitude is one of success, then you will put all the little things into place to make them successful. If your attitude is one where you constantly reinforce the internal dialogue that says you won’t be successful, then subconsciously, and even consciously at times you will put the little things into place that stop you achieving what you would really like to do.

Over the years I have probably trained more women than men and one of the issues that stops women from being able to train the frequency they would like is their role in bringing up their children. No doubt bringing up children is exhausting. I recall surviving on 4 hours sleep a night for months at a time with 2 children, changing nappies, doing the feeds, comforting crying babies and still trying to work 14 hours a day, as well as keeping up with housework and bills, so I know what it is like to not feel like you have enough time for anything, let alone exercise or doing things for yourself. (Yes, I was one of those dads that made an effort to be involved in bringing up his children, crazy huh?)

Over time we develop a series of thought processes, and we reinforce them daily, that we don’t have time to exercise and that becomes our reality. So many women I have trained could have had fantastic success with their training and eating and everything else they wanted to do in life, however they listened to that internal dialogue, repeated over and over, that they wouldn’t be successful.

They never gave themselves permission to be successful. Without even going to deeply into why we tell ourselves we won’t be successful at any given endeavour, we all need to stop for a moment and tell ourselves that it is ok to be successful at them.

This is something that we as Australians don’t do very well. We’ve never been the sort of people that stand up and yell out publicly how good we are. We tend to leave that to our cousins across the Pacific Ocean, who leave us well behind. But think about this for a moment: You don’t need to make it public. The dialogue you have with yourself is internal. Some people like to make public announcements of their goals and achievements. Some people are more reserved and keep it very private. However, regardless of how public you make it, one of the keys to succeeding is to give yourself permission to succeed. Allow yourself to achieve your goals.

In my own life, I’ve been most successful when I have accepted that what I want is so important to me that I will put the practices into place that will allow that to happen, even when they were confronting and made me uncomfortable at times. When I haven’t given myself permission to succeed, I’ve subconsciously done the things that would prevent me from achieving those goals.

Such a simple mission today – develop your own mantra around being successful. If you have ever heard any of Anthony Robbins work, you’ll know that this is one of the keys to instilling behaviour change within ourselves. So try it. Tell yourself you will be successful at one task today. Don’t put expectations that you’ll have a massive transformation of your mindset in one day. But it takes just one change today to build for tomorrow.

Try it. With anything. Give yourself permission to be successful today and see what it does for you. Can’t wait to get some feedback from you guys on how good that feels!!


Why don’t puppy dogs make New Years Resolutions?

At this time of year most us take a few moments in amongst all the hectic partying and end of year craziness to reflect on what sort of year it has been for us.Whilst it is always good to be able to have a chance to reflect upon what we have done, and what we hope to achieve the following year, I always wonder why people need calendars to mark off their motivation.We know the statistics on New Year’s Resolutions – 97% of New Years Resolutions will be forgotten about by January 7. Actually, I just made that up, but it’s probably close. We’ll set a goal that is just too unrealistic, and not based on evidence that we can achieve it.If you haven’t already set up a habit of exercising on a regular basis and being mindful of your nutrition, what difference does a change in a calendar make? Why does next Monday or the start of a new month make any difference? If you are putting things off until then, or tomorrow, or when you have time to get around to it, I can tell you – it ain’t gonna happen.

If your goal meant that much to you, you would already be putting steps into place to make it happen.

So don’t set a goal for 2013 that is completely beyond your capacity to achieve. What do I mean?

If you haven’t been able to ‘make’ time to exercise every day, and nothing will change in your work or personal life to allow that to happen, January 1 won’t make a difference.

If you haven’t realised by now that what you’ve been eating is killing you insidiously, there will be no epiphany on January 1 that will last any more than your hangover or the left over mince pies.

If you haven’t by now worked out that the pain in your knee is not because you do too much on it, but you don’t move enough, then January 1 will not make an iota of difference.

January 1 doesn’t actually mean anything to the Universe. The earth rotates inexorably, never stopping for a moment to ensure that we’re ready for the next phase of our life. We age constantly, we regenerate new cells every moment of our life. Waiting for a day in the future to make something amazing happen simply means we don’t want amazing to happen enough.

Do it now, today, this very moment. Whatever it is you plan to start on January 1, make a start right now and put the wheels in motion. The Universe is not waiting for you to get your shit together!

So do yourself a favour and stop crapping on to yourself and everyone else about what your goals are going to be. If they meant anything to you, you’d already be doing them. Whatever you are doing now is what is most important to you. If you don’t like what you are doing now, then stop doing that, and do something that you want to do. It’s not that hard!

And the answer to the question? Why don’t puppy dogs make New Years Resolutions? You tell me. If you haven’t worked it out by now, you’re probably going to make a New Years Resolution…


Why your goal of losing 5 kilograms is a terrible one!

I remember many years ago being told by a fellow Fitness Professional that the most common goals I would hear when speaking to prospective clients would be for them to, “Get fit, lose weight, tone up.” He told me, correctly as it turns out, that those six words would haunt me over and over again.
He was right! One of my major frustrations as a coach and trainer is how the first and third of those goals are so bland and non-specific to be almost meaningless, and the middle one is simply too specific!

Now before you all try and jump all over me, and no doubt someone will, I am ALWAYS advocating specificity of your goals. But there is a difference in being specific and being unrealistic and focussing on the wrong things.

We’ll ignore the get fit and tone up goals for today, but suffice to say before you say that to a Fitness Professional you should consider extensions of those: Get fit for WHAT? Tone up compared to WHAT? As soon as you exercise if you haven’t exercised for some time, you are going to get fitter. At what point do you reach your goal? As soon as you start exercising and doing some resistance work, and hopefully get some good nutrition going you are going to become leaner, and by definition you are ‘toning’ up. Is that where you stop? Of course not, you’d want to keep going

So why is wanting to lose 5 kilograms such a bad goal? For some people, losing 5 kilograms of body fat would be the perfect amount to lose, would see all of your body’s organs and systems working in harmony and you’d be flying. Happy days!

But what is it about the number 5 that is so important? I have people come to me and say they would like to be 5 kgs lighter, when clearly another 20 would be life changing for them. Why do we limit ourselves to just 5? Would 6kgs or 9 be better? Or are you thinking about the wrong things?

There are a number of factors behind it I believe.

  1. People are applying past performance to future goals. They’ve been able to lose 5kgs before, and that is what they think they can achieve again. But one must ask the question, why do they have to lose 5kgs again, or in the first place?
  2. A small goal is something that isn’t too scary, even if they have no idea of whether they should lose more fat, or gain muscle, or being the same weight but being leaner would be more beneficial for them. 5kgs is achievable within a month if you get everything right. Will you commit to even one month of putting the right plans in place? If you’re focussed and are ready to make it happen you will. If you deep down don’t believe that you can do it, then you can train for a year and still not achieve that goal.
  3. Their friends lost 5 kgs and they don’t want to be left behind. Seriously, that may be why people want to lose that number! Why does what someone else achieves make any difference to your health?

So what am I on about this time?

It is almost impossible for the average punter to measure 5kgs of fat loss. You’ll gain some muscle, you’ll lose some fat, but what happens on the days when you jump on the scales after a great workout and you’ve gained? How much does that play with your mind? Makes you feel like giving up and that none of it is worth it. Go on, tell me that has never happened to you.

Our focus, your focus, my focus should be on health outcomes. Reducing body fat is a major part of improving your health outcomes, however thinking about a specific number of kilograms to lose, unless you are an elite athlete and know exactly what you need to weigh to compete, is just counterproductive to achieving some even better goals.

Throw out the idea of 5kgs, for you own sense of self-worth, your overall health and if nothing else, for MY sake!

Set some great goals, goals that will mean so much more to you than just focussing on your numerical relationship with gravity. So instead of focussing on losing 5 kilograms, focus on the goal that would be achievable if you achieved a leaner, healthier body.

So enough with the limiting self-belief that 5kgs will make your life complete, and get about creating some amazing goals. You can dream better than that. You deserve it. But only you can make it happen.

The Three Reasons why you can’t do anything

The old phrase about education being about ‘The Three R’s’ has been around for a very long time, and it pretty much still rings true today. Of course the irony of The Three R’s being ‘Reading, Writing and Arithmetic’ is that two of the three words don’t start with R, however judging by many of the posts on Facebook these days it’s a fair bet a lot of people glossed over that bit at school anyway.

The problem, as I see it, is that there is a new group of The Three R’s that is responsible for many people’s dramas and issues today. People find themselves unable to achieve their goals, be it saving for a holiday, losing unwanted body fat, in fact just about anything relates back to the modern Three R’s:




To take each of these in turn, many people lack resilience: fail to lose 10kgs in the first week of a new gym membership, it’s obvious that the gym is crap and that they need to jump ship and try another one, preferably with free start up sessions. Of course they need free sessions, because every other gym they joined, or meal program they started didn’t work in the first week, so why would you pay for it when it is obviously not going to work?

In fact, why bother at all with going to the gym, when you’re only going to get sweaty and tired, and you’re a little too busy to go anyway, you know, with all the other stuff that you have going on. Work, kids, meetings, Big Brother…

Those people that go to the gym obviously don’t have kids/partners/houses to look after, they’re blessed with the perfect carefree life, right?

They probably can also eat whatever they want whenever they want, unlike you, because you have that…hereditary condition, glandular condition, slow metabolism, incurable disease. (Pick one, or pick them all, whichever fits the bill)

They probably never have to show any restraint, and certainly not for any longer than it takes to walk past the cafeteria at work where they practically force feed you fried food and cakes.

They almost certainly know nothing about respect, they don’t even understand your feelings when you tell them how hard it is to lose weight, and how you simply had to have 15 glasses of wine at the wedding you went to on the weekend? Right? It would be rude not to drink? I can tell you, it would be a damn site more rude to drop dead of a heart attack at somebody’s wedding, just sayin’.

So back to the reason why YOU can’t….anything….

You need to develop some new skills and values, or you simply won’t get to your goals.

Resilience – this falls under the suck it up Sally theory. You had your fun and lazy days, ate all the rubbish you wanted to – now you have to suck it up longer than you want to. Picture a Heavyweight contender, going toe to toe with the champ. How bad he wants to win the title will be shown in whether he can stay on his feet 10 seconds longer than his opponent. Nobody says you have to train for 3 hours a day, but at least have a crack at 30 minutes.

Restraint – nobody holds you down and forces you to eat rubbish – that’s all down to you. Don’t blame your husband for bringing home takeaway – you make the choice as to what food you put in your mouth. If he doesn’t like it or gets offended, too bad too sad. Any partner that deliberately tries to sabotage your health regime should be put on notice anyway.

Respect – this isn’t really about anyone else respecting you. You care too much about what other people think of you anyway. You post something on Facebook and don’t get a comment or like and it’s like the sky is falling in. Respect is all about how you see yourself, what you will put into place to achieve your goals. If you don’t respect yourself, you can kiss it goodbye, whatever it is.

So when you want to come and tell me that you can’t achieve your goals, be they fat loss, improved running times, climbing a dirty big mountain – make sure you’ve been studying your Three R’s – or you might just get yourself some extra homework!

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Matt Jolley has been coaching fitness and sports for over 25 years. He has led several treks to complete the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea as well as operating a multi day trek along the Great Ocean Walk several times a year and also runs a Bali Fitness Adventure and a Lombok Trek Adventure - encouraging everyone to take on a challenge and grow from it

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