The other day I received a very poignant email from an Empower member and to me it was worth a whole lot more than the Cristal, the Escalade, the fame, the bling and the fancy crib on MTV.  It was a powerful affirmation of my vocational choice.  It was one of many heart warming messages I’ve received through the years that validate all the struggles we’ve been through to create Empower.

It was a reminder of why I never would have made it in the world of Hip Hop because for me it is not about the dollar bills y’all.  That’s not why I coach and it’s not why I opened Empower.  Getting paid may be necessary but there are many ways to make more money with less effort and I did not choose them.  I chose this.

We only walk through this life one time.  And all that really matters is that we make a positive difference for someone else in whatever small way we can.  We have an interview question for prospective Empower team coaches: “What gives you your feeling of importance?”  For me the answer is “To be a contribution.”  If I have made a positive contribution directly or indirectly in your life, if I have brought a little piece of joy into your world, then my life has been meaningful.  And I am fulfilled.  It’s a feeling of fulfillment that no pay cheque can ever deliver.  It brings a value that no bank account can ever hold.

When I opened Empower, I was certainly naive.  I’ve learned the hard way that of course money matters.  To quote Big Boss circa 2014: “If you cannot afford to keep the doors open, you cannot be a contribution to anyone.”  Many gyms run by dedicated, hard working, warm hearted, well-intentioned coaches, discovered this the hard way when COVID put them out of business forever.  We were lucky not to be among them and we have taken major steps to ensure that we will continue to be here for you.  So yes, money matters.  But not as an end in itself.  Money is only important in so much as it allows us to continue to be of service to you.

In my daily gratitude journal and again in my evening prayers I always give thanks for being given the opportunity to be of service.  The days aren’t always easy but they don’t need to be because they are worth it.  At days’ end I am grateful to have made my small contribution to the world and to have that contribution received.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to make a contribution in your life!

Monday Sprints
Physiologically there is nothing more potent than the sprint, an all out effort that lasts roughly 30 to 60 seconds.  This high intensity effort supercharges your body triggering both physiological and neurological adaptations.  In fact, a recent study showed that a 4 second sprint every hour acutely improves fat metabolism and other measures of health.  Enter Monday’s 200m sprint.

This is a great workout!  There is, however, one problem.  Our running route is not optimal for hitting the desired intensity for this workout.  You cannot take the corner safely at top speed, especially with pedestrians, cars, dogs and a blanket of wet, slippery leaves.  In this case, the very act of self preservation impedes the effectiveness of the programmed workout.  It is for this reason that we will NOT be running outside on Monday.

To ensure that you are able to hit and sustain the desired intensity, we will move our sprints indoors to the rowers, ski erg and airbikes where there will be no obstacles preventing you from peak performance.  With 4 minutes between sprints, there will be room for you to share equipment with a classmate if you have a favourite machine to train on.  The distance on the Echo will be 600m, on the Airdyne it will be 300m.  On rowers it will be 250m.  The ski erg will be 200m.  Use the same machine for all 7 sprints and average your finish time across all 7 to get your score.  Experienced athletes should be aiming to finish in under a minute, newer athletes should try to get as close to a minute as possible.  Try to maintain a negative split throughout. 

Warm Up

Group A Group B
Minute 1: warm up row/ski/bike @50%
Minute 2: 70% effort
Minute 3: 30 sec @80%, 30 sec recover
Minute 4: 30 sec @80%, 30 sec recover
Minute 5: 10 sec @90%, 50 sec recover
Minute 6: 10 sec @90%, 50 sec recover
In teams of 3:

Sled Push Relay

Starting Drill ¼ pull, ½ pull, full pull
Programming Distance

7 Rounds:
Every 4 minutes: Sprint