Focus On Your Core To Reduce A Fall

As the body begins to age, fall prevention becomes an important issue to address. We all know of someone who as tripped and fallen accidently only to find they have fractured a bone. Osteoporosis is most often diagnosed after a fall and more and more research is pointing to the importance of fall prevention.In July 2013, an article was published by  a German university comparing 5 decades of review papers on the importance of trunk muscle strength training for balance, functional performance and fall prevention in seniors. After comparing the data it was concluded that core strength training and/or Pilates exercise training can be used as an adjunct or even alternative to traditional balance and/or resistance training programs for older adults. In addition to the positive outcome of this review, the application of this style of exercise is easily achievable in groups setting or by individuals because little equipment and space is needed to perform such exercises.

The “core” is often thought of as the six-pack group of muscles, but in fact, it encompasses a variety of muscles from the hips to shoulders and the abs are only a very small part of the puzzle. The core muscles are used as stabilisers of the spine and pelvis and run the entire length of the torso. When they contract they create a solid base of support.  These muscles help to control movement, transfer energy, shift body weight and move in any direction. Good examples of people with strong core muscles are surfers, snow board riders, yogis, bush walkers and even pole dancers. Any activity that requires a person to adjust to an uneven surface or engage in balance activates the core muscles.

The best core exercises are the ones that engage many muscles throughout the torso that cross several joints and work together to co-ordinate stability. Strengthening muscles via static workouts at the gym have limited effectiveness as they isolate muscles as opposed to working in combination during movement. Core conditioning exercise programs need to target all the muscles of the torso to be effective.

We have provided a workout sheet that will get you started on creating a more balanced and stronger torso.  Before commencing any exercise program, please consult your doctor who will assess your fitness level and address any issues that may hinder your plan.

I have supplied 6 suggested exercises to get you started. The “plank” and “side plank” exercises may be modified to your level of fitness by bending or balancing on your knees as this will decrease the intensity. Always start with only a few breaths, 3 -4 and build from there. Many people overestimate their initial capability which may cause an injury or leave them tender the next day. If you have the opportunity to exercise with a qualified instructor or join a class this will improve your form and decrease any possibility of harm.












Gym Noise – Judith – Janice you are right!!

links of interest 07-24

Gyms are places where many of us go to get healthy, fit and fabulous. Simply put, the intent is to get better rather than worse. To my chagrin and the collective chagrins of my fellow gym aficionados, more than once, we have left spin classes with not just sore legs and rears but sore and ringing ears. The latter is the problematic part, the former par for the course.


A paper titled Noise levels in fitness classes still too high was published in the Archives of Environmental & Occupational Health last month. As its title suggests, it backs up what many of us have long hypothesised – that sound levels in high-intensity gym classes are often way too high.

85 per cent of instructors found loud music motivating, whereas about one-fifth of clients found it stressful.

As part of the study, noise levels were tested during 35 low-intensity and 65 high-intensity classes in 1997-98 and again in 2009-11. The study assessed noise levels at four different gyms – two large gyms in Newcastle, north of Sydney, for the first study and eight separate gyms in Sydney for the second. Seven of those were Fitness First branches, which operate nationally. Permission was obtained from the management and instructors of the participating gyms to measure noise levels during selected classes and questionnaires distributed to clients and instructors.


Instructors and clients were asked about their preferred music volume levels and whether they found loud music “stressful” or “motivating”. Turns out, instructors prefer much higher volumes than clients for high-intensity classes. In both studies, about 85 per cent of instructors found loud music motivating, whereas about one-fifth of clients found it stressful.

Noise levels in both time periods were similar, averaging at about 93.1 decibels. Noise levels in low-intensity classes dropped from 88.9dB to 85.6dB. Happily that means classes like yoga are getting quieter, and given their very nature that makes sense, but sound levels in, for example, spin classes, are still spinning out of control.

Janette Thorburn, principal audiologist at Australian Hearing, says it is “astonishing” that some gyms are playing music at these levels. “We know that one gym in the United States has recorded a level of 106dB in a spin class,” she says. “That is insane. If you are an instructor and you do a few classes back to back at high levels it is definitely damaging to your hearing.”

This type of recreational noise is becoming more of a concern for Australian Hearing, Thorburn says. “Our research arm is now looking at noise levels in gyms. The Australian standard is 85dB of continuous noise over eight hours. If you raise the levels to 91dB then you can only be exposed for two hours safely and so on. Recreational noise is a hugely ignored public health problem.”

So what if your ears are ringing after spinning up a storm to Don Henley’s Boys of Summer? “This is a form of tinnitus,” Thorburn says. “It’s our ears signalling to us that the next step is damage and that if you keep going back, you will be asking for more damage, we are now seeing more and more people walking away with this type of ringing in the ears after high intensity gym classes.”

The author of the paper, research psychologist at the National Acoustic Laboratories, Elizabeth Beach, says it’s time for more awareness around the issue. “Fitness class providers are trying to make their classes like nightclubs to entice people in the doors which is not necessary,” she says. “Another strategy could be to vary tempo as opposed to turning the volume up to dangerous levels.” About 14 per cent of young Australians (aged 18-35) are being exposed to noise levels that are over the safe work place limit. The damage is often done during their leisure time when they listen to loud music on electronic devices or visit nightclubs or live concert venues. Often the damage is done, Beach says, and because hearing issues often don’t materialise until later in life, people tend to put off worrying about it.

“Hearing loss may not become evident for another 20 years but that’s why we talk about tinnitus now,” she says. “People need to imagine what it is like to have that tinnitus not go away. The human system is not designed to hear sounds like the ones pumping out of gym speakers over a long period of time, we simply have not evolved to deal with those sorts of sound levels.”

I have complained about decibel levels at my gym many times, in particular in instructors’ spin classes, only to be told to “wear ear plugs if you can’t handle it”. Question is, if members do develop hearing problems in the future could these matters be ones for the courts to handle? Do gyms have a duty of care to members?


Fitness First classes operate the same classes at all their branches across Australia. Head of fitness, Rob Hale, says: “We are guided by all relevant occupation health and safety standards, and actively participated in the noise study conducted in 2009-2011 to gain a better understanding of noise levels. We will continue to monitor our noise levels within our clubs to ensure that the approach remains consistent, and that all our staff understand the importance of maintaining the prescribed audio levels.”

Elizabeth Beach believes the onus is on gyms to look after patrons. She says that if you feel the music is too loud in your class, you should approach your instructor. “What’s worrying though is that instructors prefer higher noise levels than clients, suggesting that efforts to reduce noise levels may meet with some resistance. Given the possible health risks from excessively loud music, the fitness industry is encouraged to re-examine the role of loud music and to creatively explore new ways to motivate clients so that instructors’ hearing is protected and clients’ needs are met.”

Could it be that your gym is also pumping up the volume to unsafe levels? Beach hypothesises that indeed a trend appears be forming. “In my opinion the problem is widespread and you could expect to encounter similar noise levels wherever fitness classes are set to music. In another study we’ve done recently, we have another 32 recordings from fitness classes (some Fitness First and some independents) and the noise figures are very similar, a rule of thumb is that if you think the music is way too loud then it probably is.”

Fall Prevention

The need to focus on Falls among Older People

Falls are common among older people

  • More than one in four people aged 65 or over have at least one fall per year and many fall more than once. Falls are even more common among residents of aged care facilities, up to half of whom fall at least once a year.

Fall-related injury is a major cause of morbidity and mortality for older people

  • In 2009 26% of NSW residents aged 65 years or older fell at least once.
  • In NSW each year falls lead to approximately 27,000 hospitalisations and at least 400 deaths in people aged 65 years and older. The rate (age-standardised) of hospitalisations for falls is over three times higher among residents of aged care facilities than among the other older people.
  • Age-standardised rates of fall-related hospitalisations among older have been increasing for more than 10 years.
  • Even non-injuries falls can have negative impacts such as loss of confidence and activity restriction.
  • Falls are the most commonly reported adverse event among hospital inpatients.

Falls generate substantial costs for the health care system and aged care system

  • Hospital stays and rehabilitation can be long and expensive. Having had a recent fall is one of the leading reasons for premature admission to residential aged care.
  • In NSW, no other single injury cause, including road trauma, costs the health system more than fall injury.
  • In NSW in 2006/07 the total cost of health care associated with fall injury was estimated at $558.5 million. Hospital admitted cases accounted for an estimated 84.5% of total costs and ED presentations for 9% of total costs.

The burden from fall related harm among older people will grow unless action is taken.

  • Projections indicate that without preventative action, the health system costs from fall injury are likely to show a dramatic escalation due to expected large increase in the number of older people in NSW in upcoming years.

Falls can be prevented

  • There has been extensive research demonstrating that many falls among older people can be prevented, even in frail older people.Reference for the above from – Prevention of Falls and Harm from Falls among Older People 2011-2015 NSW Health

Precision Nutrition – Lean Eating 5 day Course Free

Today I have a gift for all Precision Nutrition readers, a sneak peek at something
we’ve been working on for some time now, something new and
exceptionally cool . . .

A 5-day video course: Precision Nutrition for Fat Loss.

And the best part? It’s TOTALLY FREE.

If I do say so myself, this course is probably better than 90% of the
seminars I’ve ever attended on the subjects of exercise and nutrition
(and probably better than a few I’ve given myself, too).

To check out the free course, just click the link below.

For Women

For men

Why we created the course

We wanted to create a definitive resource for fat loss, a place where
you could learn everything you need to know to start losing fat
immediately. I think we’ve done that, but you can decide for yourself.

I see a LOT of nonsense being published about fat loss these days,
both on the web and in the mainstream media.

And at PN, we’re in a unique position to set the record straight about
what it REALLY takes — because in our Lean Eating Coaching Program,
we’ve essentially conducted the world’s largest fat loss research

For the last 3 years, we’ve kept enormous amounts of data on thousands
of clients, tracking nearly every measurable statistic available, from
body composition to psychometric markers.

And from that data, we can draw some clear conclusions: to lose fat
rapidly — but also PERMANENTLY — clients need to adopt a very
specific approach to fat loss.

Well, in this free fat loss course, I share that approach with you.
And most importantly, I show you exactly how to do it, right away.

What I cover in the course

* The 5 things you need to know about nutrition — the same things
we’ve taught our clients to help them collectively lose over 100,000
pounds of fat.

* Exactly what foods to eat to lose fat — at every meal

* How to make delicious meals with a few simple ingredients

* The best types of exercise for fat loss — don’t waste your time on
anything else

* Exactly how much time you need to exercise — no guesswork here, we
share the real data with you

* Supplements for fat loss: the two different approaches you can take

* Which four supplements we use with our clients when fat loss is the

* The one crucial reason why people fail at fat loss, and the two
simple things you can do to make sure you succeed

Last word

At PN, we’re out to change the way people think about fat loss — to
drown out the noise and the theories and share what we know REALLY
WORKS. And this course is the next step.

In it, I present some ideas that can be hard for people to accept. I
know, because for the last year I’ve been teaching this material to
fitness professionals around the world, and I see their reactions.
Mostly, it’s a mix of excitement and anxiety.

Why? Because as you’ll see in the course, not only CAN fat loss be
much simpler than the experts think — it HAS to be much simpler.
Otherwise, it doesn’t work.

To get the most out of the course, I encourage you to come in with an
open mind and consider that what I teach in the lessons might just be

Because, well, it is.

This is how the 2% who succeed at fat loss actually do it. This is how
to lose fat without overhauling your life.


To read more about the free 5-day video fat loss course, and to take
it, click the links below:

For Women

For Men

From all of us at PN, enjoy the courses — and here’s hoping they’ll
help you get in the best shape of your life.


John M. Berardi, PhD, CSCS
Chief Science Officer

Heartmoves New exciting program starting on May 11th at Virgin Active Health Club Frenchs Forest


Most people know that regular physical activity is good for your health. But you don’t have to exercise at a vigorous level to achieve health benefits. To help, the Heart Foundation has developed a low-to-moderate intensity exercise program called Heartmoves, designed for people who are living with health conditions.

What is Heartmoves?

Heart Foundation Heartmoves is a gentle physical activity program suitable for anyone who hasn’t done any exercise in a while. You can exercise at your own pace in a friendly atmosphere.

Heartmoves is open to everyone and is designed to be safe for people with stable long term health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or obesity.

Heartmoves is run by accredited exercise professionals specifically trained in managing safe, low to moderate intensity physical activity programs.

How Heartmoves can help you

Taking part in regular Heartmoves sessions can help:

  • lower blood pressure
  • improve cholesterol control
  • manage weight
  • improve well being and quality of life
  • manage diabetes
  • improve balance and flexibility
  • improve sleep
  • improve bone mineral density with arthritis management
  • prevent falls and injuries from falls

Heartmoves for people with multiple sclerosis

Heart Foundation and MS Australia – ACT/NSW/VIC have joined forces to get people moving in safe and appropriate Heartmoves programs.

Heartmoves is a fun, social and safe exercise program that has been developed for people with stable long term health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and bone or joint problems, as well as multiple sclerosis (MS).

The program focuses on delivering safe, low to moderate intensity exercise incorporating gentle aerobic activity, weight bearing or resistance exercise and stretching- all of which help to build strength and fitness as well as improve balance.

“Physical activity plays an important role in assisting to minimise the symptoms of MS which is why we are delighted to be working with the Heart Foundation to offer Heartmoves classes to people living with MS. Joining a Heartmoves class and participating regularly can make an important contribution not only to increased muscular strength and endurance but also toward reducing fatigue and stress levels” said Bill Younger, CEO MS Australia – ACT/NSW/VIC

“We are very excited to see Heartmoves being made available for people with MS” says Tony Thirlwell, Heart Foundation CEO – NSW. It is a fantastic program that can offer great benefits to people who may have previously felt worried about exercise.

Heartmoves aims to make exercise fun and social and for clients to enjoy themselves. There are always chairs available and the trained and accredited leaders can adapt the exercises to be undertaken in the chairs. Heartmoves leaders explain each exercise to participants and exercises are adapted for those with special needs


Contact Virgin Active Gym Frenchs Forest
Galy O’Connor via email:

Your Treadmill Is Lying To You, And Other Calorie-Burning Myths – The Post Game

Tuesday August 16th 2011

If you rely on your treadmill readout, you may be burning fewer calories than you think.

But more important: If you rely on conventional exercise advice, you may be burning fewer calories than you could.

Let’s start with the treadmill. Anytime you see “calories burned” on an exercise machine display — or anywhere else, for that matter — it includes the amount of energy you expend when you’re just sitting around, says Alex Koch, Ph.D., an exercise scientist at Lenoir-Rhyne University. “For instance, depending on your size, you burn about 1.2 calories a minute while you’re sleeping,” explains Koch. “So to know how many extra calories you’re burning with exercise, you have to subtract that number from your total.” (Look below at: The Truth about the Calories You Eat.)

Example: A 180-pound guy might burn 120 calories while mowing his lawn, but that’s not 120 additional calories (as many people assume) — it’s 120 calories total. Turns out, it’s only 60 more calories than what he’d expend while surfing the Web.

The same rules apply to your workout. If you really want to know your true bonus-burn, you have to calculate the calories you would have expended had you not exercised — see the alternative “activities” in the chart below — then subtract them from your total. You might find that the 400 calories you burned at the gym was actually just 300 more calories than you would have burned at your desk.

Activity Calories per minute
Watching TV 1.4
Typing on a computer 2.5
Driving a car 2.7

Admittedly, this information is more interesting (and disappointing) than it is useful. After all, most of us only have so much time to exercise in the first place. As such, what truly matters — at least in terms of fat loss — is that we maximize every minute of our workouts. And perhaps that’s where we’ve been misled. (Watch out at the grocery store, too: These 18 Supermarket Lies could be making you fat.)

It’s well documented that an aerobic activity like moderate jogging burns more calories than weight training — an activity that’s highly anaerobic. In fact, if you go by the published numbers, you find that even golfing beats out a light circuit workout with weights. But recent research shows a new perspective. (Sorry, golfers!)

When Christopher Scott, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist at the University of Southern Maine, began using an advanced method to estimate energy expenditure during exercise, his data showed weight training burns more calories than originally thought — up to 71 percent more. Based on these findings, it’s estimated that performing just one circuit of eight exercises — which takes about eight minutes — can expend 159 to 231 calories. That’s about the same as running at a six-minute-mile pace for the same duration. (Yes, that’s total calorie-burn, just like the treadmill calculates.)

“Exercise physiologists often use the techniques for estimating the energy expenditure of walking and jogging and apply them to weightlifting,” says Scott. “But clearly, aerobic and anaerobic activities differ, and so too should the way we estimate their energy expenditures.”

Scott’s revelation is most certainly a relief to gym rats everywhere, who no doubt wondered why an intense, energy-sapping weight workout supposedly burned so few calories.

Case in point: Watch this video of the dumbbell lunge with single-arm overhead press, as demonstrated by Men’s Health fitness expert B.J. Gaddour. Then try doing 10 repetitions on each side, while using a challenging weight. Rest 60 seconds, and repeat two more times. This should convince just about anyone that you can torch a ton of energy with dumbbells.

But there’s another benefit to resistance training. Unlike aerobic exercise, lifting increases the calories you burn while you’re sitting on the couch. One reason: Your muscles need energy to repair and upgrade your muscle fibers after each weight workout. For instance, a University of Wisconsin study found that a total-body workout elevated metabolism for 39 hours afterward. What’s more, these folks also burned a greater percentage of their calories from fat during their downtime, compared with those who weren’t hitting the weights. (By the way, a good dose of hard sprints may offer a similar benefit.)

The upshot: If you want to burn more calories per minute — both during and after your workout — you need to lift weights. Yes, you might have been told that going at a moderate pace on the treadmill, stationary bike, or elliptical machine — often called the “fat-burning zone” — is the best way to fight fat. But the truth is, the numbers and the science just don’t add up.

Now don’t misinterpret the message: Aerobic exercise is still a great activity for health and fitness, and yes, it burns calories, too. So I’m not suggesting that anyone exclude it. Just don’t skip the weights entirely because you think you’re going to “burn more calories” on the treadmill. Chances are, you won’t.

Like the idea of weights, but not sure where to start?

Well, you can’t expect great results if you spend more time sitting or talking than you do lifting. You need a weight-training plan that’s specifically designed to help you burn flab.


It’s a basic unit tied to a tricky concept. But learn these secrets and you’ll start dropping pounds

By Clint Carter, Photographs by Bartholomew Cooke, Posted Date: June 17, 2011

YOU CAN’T GO ANYWHERE WITHOUT being confronted by calories. Restaurants now print calorie counts on menus. You go to the supermarket and there they are, stamped on every box and bottle. You hop on the treadmill and watch your “calories burned” click upward. 

But just what are calories? The more calories we take in, the more flab we add—and if we cut back on them, then flab starts to recede too, right? After all, at face value, calories seem to be the factor by which all foods should be judged. But if that were true, 500 calories of parsnips would equal 500 calories of Double Stuff Oreos. Only that’s not quite right. Learn the distinctions and lose the lard.

Calories Fuel Our Bodies

Actually, they don’t

A calorie is simply a unit of measurement for heat; in the early 19th century, it was used to explain the theory of heat conservation and steam engines. The term entered the food world around 1890, when the USDA appropriated it for a report on nutrition. Specifically, a calorie was defined as the unit of heat required to raise 1 gram of water 1 degree Celsius.
 To apply this concept to foods like sandwiches, scientists used to set food on fire (really!) and then gauge how well the flaming sample warmed a water bath. The warmer the water, the more calories the food contained. (Today, a food’s calorie count is estimated from its carbohydrate, protein, and fat content.) In the calorie’s leap to nutrition, its definition evolved. The calorie we now see cited on nutrition labels is the amount of heat required to raise 1 kilogram of water by 1 degree Celsius.
Here’s the problem: Your body isn’t a steam engine. Instead of heat, it runs on chemical energy, fueled by the oxidation of carbohydrates, fat, and protein that occurs in your cells’ mitochondria. “You could say mitochondria are like small power plants,” says Maciej Buchowski, Ph.D., a research professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University medical center. “Instead of one central plant, you have several billion, so it’s more efficient.”

Your move
- track carbohydrates, fats, and protein—not just calories—when you’re evaluating foods.

All Calories Are Created Equal

Not exactly
- our fuel comes from three sources: protein, carbohydrates, and fat. “They’re handled by the body differently,” says Alan Aragon, M.S., a Men’s Health nutrition advisor. So that old “calories in, calories out” formula can be misleading, he says. “Carbohydrates, protein, and fat have different effects on the equation.”

Example: For every 100-carbohydrate calorie you consume, your body expends 5 to 10 in digestion. With fats, you expend slightly less (although thin people seem to break down more fat than heavy people do). The calorie-burn champion is protein: For every 100-protein calorie you consume, your body needs 20 to 30 for digestion, Buchowski says. Carbohydrates and fat give up their calories easily: They’re built to supply quick energy. In effect, carbs and fat yield more usable energy than protein does.

Your move – 
If you want to lose weight, make protein a priority at every meal.

A Calorie Ingested Is a Calorie Digested

It’s not that simple

Just because the food is swallowed doesn’t mean it will be digested. It passes through your stomach and then reaches your small intestine, which slurps up all the nutrients it can through its spongy walls. But 5 to 10 percent of calories slide through unabsorbed. Fat digestion is relatively efficient—fat easily enters your intestinal walls. As for protein, animal sources are more digestible than plant sources, so a top sirloin’s protein will be better absorbed than tofu’s. 
Different carbs are processed at different rates, too: Glucose and starch are rapidly absorbed, while fiber dawdles in the digestive tract. In fact, the insoluble fiber in some complex carbs, such as that in vegetables and whole grains, tends to block the absorption of other calories. “With a very high-fiber diet, say 60 grams a day, you might lose as much as 20 percent of the calories you consume,” says Wanda Howell, Ph.D., a professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Arizona. 

 So a useful measure of calories is difficult. A lab technician might find that a piece of rock candy and a piece of broccoli have the same number of calories. But in action, the broccoli’s fiber ensures that the vegetable contributes less energy. A study in the Journal of Nutrition found that a high-fiber diet leaves roughly twice as many calories undigested as a low-fiber diet does. And fewer calories means less flab.

Your move – 
aim to consume at least 35 to 40 grams of fiber every day.

Exercise Burns Most of Our Calories

Not even close

Even the most fanatical fitness nuts burn no more than 30 percent of their daily calories at the gym. Most of your calories burn at a constant simmer, fueling the automated processes that keep you alive—that is, your basal metabolism, says Warren Willey, D.O., author of Better Than Steroids. If you want to burn fuel, hit the gas in your everyday activities. 

 “Some 60 to 70 percent of our total caloric expenditure goes toward normal bodily functions,” says Howell. This includes replacing old tissue, transporting oxygen, mending minor shaving wounds, and so on. For men, these processes require about 11 calories per pound of body weight a day, so a 200-pound man will incinerate 2,200 calories a day—even if he sat in front of the TV all day. 

 And then there are the calories you lose to N.E.A.T., or non-exercise activity thermo-genesis. N.E.A.T. consists of the countless daily motions you make outside the gym—the calories you burn while making breakfast, playing Nerf football in the office, or chasing the bus. Brandon Alderman, Ph.D., director of the exercise psychophysiology lab at Rutgers University, says emerging evidence suggests that “a conscious effort to spend more time on your feet might net a greater calorie burn than 30 minutes of daily exercise.”

Your move
- Take frequent breaks from your desk (and couch) to move your body and burn bonus calories.

Low-calorie Foods Help You Lose Weight

Not always

Processed low-calorie foods can be weak allies in the weight-loss war. Take sugar-free foods. Omitting sugar is perhaps the easiest way to cut calories. But food manufacturers generally replace those sugars with calorie-free sweeteners, such as sucralose or aspartame. And artificial sweeteners can backfire. One University of Texas study found that consuming as few as three diet sodas a week increases a person’s risk of obesity by more than 40 percent. And in a 2008 Purdue study, rats that ate artificially sweetened yogurt took in more calories at subsequent meals, resulting in more flab. The theory is that the promise of sugar—without the caloric payoff—may actually lead to overeating. 
”Too many people are counting calories instead of focusing on the content of food,” says Alderman. “This just misses the boat.”

Your move – 
Avoid artificial sweeteners and load up your plate with the bona fide low-calorie saviors: fruits and vegetables.

Try Stevia..a great alternative to Sweetener…

“Is my gym program effective?” Or “Why do I not achieve what I want from a gym program?”

When at the gym think about the following 5 things:








1. Develop a plan

One of the most common mistake I see is people coming into the gym with no particular plan of what they want to get out of the session. Accordingly, people tend to wander from exercise to exercise without any real structure or aim for the drill.

Start out with your goals for a three-month period. Break this down into monthly, then weekly and then session units. If you do not know ask one of the personal trainers in the gym to help you with this. At Virgin there is a ignition and reprogram which comes with your membership. Definitely worth it! This way, you’ll ensure that you go in and build upon what you achieved in the previous session and build a platform for the next session. Each session should be a piece in the total program jigsaw.

2. Don’t spend too long in the gym

I try to limit my sessions to less than an hour. I’ve found that with anything more than this, I see a reduction in intensity and quality of the session. I’ve seen people stay in a gym for three hours doing a session and there’s no way that you can maintain the intensity throughout this entire time. I pretty much draw the line at anything over 8 exercises per session.

3. Keep your body guessing

One of the biggest problems I see is a gym program that is the same for every session. The body adapts to the demands imposed upon it and it needs variety in order to keep improving. It needs a program tweak (not necessarily an entire overall) every 3 to 4 weeks for amateur gym goers

4. Lift heavy things!

Somewhat tied to the previous two points, if we want the body to get stronger, we need to challenge it to lift heavier and heavier weights. There are many people that are happy to do 2-3 sets of 10 reps of a weight that, realistically, they could perform 15+ reps if they needed to. This may give you some muscular endurance but it won’t do much to get you strong. Aim to pick a weight that is heavy enough that would see you fail (really need a rest) after lifting it less than 6-8 times.

5. Eat!

Don’t let all your hard work in the gym go to waste by not consuming some protein and carbohydrates with 20-30 minutes the conclusion of the session. You don’t need to go too technical, a boiled egg and a piece of fruit will do the trick.

Whilst there are many aspects to a strengthening program, if you take heed of these five basic tenets, there’s no doubt that you’ll be well on track to achieving your gym goals.



Exercise for People Over 40

Begin by standing on a comfortable surface, where you have plenty of room at each side

With a 5kg potato bag in each hand, extend your arms straight out from

your sides and hold them there as long as you can

Try to reach a full minute, and then relax

Each day you’ll find you can hold this position for just a bit longer

After a couple of weeks, move up to a 10kg potato bags.

Then try a 50kg potato bags and then eventually try to get to where you can and lift a 100kg potato bag in each hand and hold your arms straight for more then a full minute (I’m at this level)

After you feel confident at that level, put a potato in each bag 🙂

Starting Exercise & Staying Motivated

Starting Exercise & Staying Motivated 

There are really only two reasons why people don’t exercise regularly, and that is either not knowing what to do or not being motivated.
Introduction Exercise Programs
If you are not terribly fit but you know you need to do more exercise, setting yourself an exercise program
 is pretty straight forward if you stick to a few guidelines.  The important thing is to try to and exercise everyday.  This is all about getting into the habit of exercise.  There is no specific work out you have to do but the best approach is to stick to exercise that you enjoy.  Also when you start, for the first week or two, don’t push yourself too hard.  Listen to your body and progress at a rate you feel comfortable with.  The benefits of regular exercise far out weight the benefits of a few hard workouts.If your just starting exercise, the idea is to build up from 15 – 20 minutes to around a 1 hour workout.  Walking is great to get yourself started but you really want to do some form of exercise that gets your heart rate up.  The reason for this is that aside from improving your fitness, an elevated heart rate will increase your metabolic rate and consequently burn more calories.  Some great activities to get you started include:
–    Jogging
–    Cycling
–    Swimming
–    Aerobic Class
–    Spin Class
–    Skipping
–    Tennis
–    Basketball
–    Walking

Remember that consistency is the key!  A good idea is to plan your week and write down all the exercise you plan to perform.  When you wake up each day think; what exercise am I doing today? At what time?

Staying Motivated
Most people have a pretty good idea of what exercise they should be doing, at least on a broad level.  The problem is getting started and making it part of your routine.  Often the hardest part about exercise is getting out of bed! But once the mental commitment is made we feel better, and once the exercise is finished we feel great.  When we exercise our body releases endorphins that make us feel good.  When was the last time you exercised and didn’t feel good after finishing?  Most of us feel fantastic, so you need to keep reminding yourself how good you will feel once you finish.
There is no doubt that motivation comes from within but sometimes it is difficult to harness.  One of the key factors towards motivation is having a goal.  When your goal appears to be unattainable motivation is lost.  That is why it’s important to firstly have clear, achievable goals.  However there is nothing wrong with having big goals, in fact it is important to have goals that are truly worth fighting for.  The important thing is to set out clear steps to achieve them.  When you break a big job down into smaller ones,  it becomes more manageable.  So in the case of weight loss  you may have the goal of losing 20kg in 6months, however break that down into daily, weekly and monthly goals.  You can even break it down further into healthy eating and exercise goals.  You can set any goal you want, just make it clear, coupled with a strategy to achieve it.In addition to writing goals down it is important to reward yourself when you achieve your goals.  Go and buy yourself a top or go to the movies, something to reward yourself for a job well done.

Motivation is much more powerful when a goal is set with someone else.  Set your goals with a friend or family member.  The more minds working together, the more powerful the drive and greater chance of success.

You will be amazed at what you can achieve.  You just need to give yourself a chance! Have a good think about what you want to achieve and why, then set your goals with a clear path to achieving them.  It is true – you can do anything that you set your mind to!