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Top 4 Transformation Tips

By | GET LEAN, GET STRONG, TRAINING & WORKOUT, Weight Loss | No Comments

So you’ve made the decision to focus on losing weight and becoming fit and healthy. Great! That’s the hard part over. Everything you do now is a positive, even when you feel like you have made a mistake…think of it as a learning experience. After tipping the scales at over 115kgs, to now being a fit and active personal trainer and gym owner, believe me I know there are plenty of speed bumps along the way! I Here are my top tips that helped me on my transformation journey.

1. Small Changes
Setting out on a body transformation journey can easily leave you feeling quite overwhelmed. So many changes and so many choices to make! It all adds up to too much noise!! An easy way to handle this is to simply incorporate a few small habit changes at a time. Write down a list of things you want to change, maybe start with five. It can be anything, such as drinking more water, cutting out soft drink, going to bed earlier, getting up earlier, running further. Whatever you like. Choose your biggest ‘small’ change and make a pact to change it. Right now. Add another in a few days and so on. You will see a difference.

2. Eat Mindfully
Eat for the love of food, cooking, flavour, colour, and taste. Coming from someone who had always struggled with the term “emotional eater”, as I regarded it to be a negative. Now, my opinion is that you can be emotional about food. You can love to eat. You can be adventurous. You can plan and prepare. You can enjoy how it fuels you. But, you need to make smart, balanced choices across all food groups (carbohydrates, proteins and fats). Choose to eat real food, not food-like products. A balanced approach to food can and will feed your soul, fuel your body and never leave you feeling deprived. This process is further simplified if you don’t use food as a reward or sneak food. If you find this is something you do, then perhaps it needs go on your small changes list.

3. Plan, plan and plan again
You know the saying “He who fails to plan, plans to fail.” Well, that’s your new motto. Plan your week in advance. Know when you’re exercising. Know what you’re eating. Don’t allow fast food joints or savvy placed advertising make you feel like you don’t have the time or intelligence to feed yourself or your family. Have a back up plan for when you’re too tired to cook or if you’re out. Take control and relish in the power. I like to set aside 20 minutes on a Sunday to write down the meal plan for the week, for the whole family! Remember to keep it simple at first, you’re not Jamie Oliver, so nobody is expecting a three course gourmet extravaganza. Jot down the meals, plan for dinner leftovers to become next day lunches, work in late night contingency plans and then figure out what needs to be purchased. Meal prep is a great Sunday tradition at our house, make it part of your routine and you will see changes.

4. Girls just wanna have fun
At my gym, Pretty Fit, we train women exclusively. My girls know I make the work hard but the golden rule is that that it also has to be fun! Having a good time is paramount to you sticking with this whole exercise thing. Of course we all know the benefits of working out, but really if you were miserable why on earth would you come back for more? Make sure “fun exercise” is on your list. Take a dance class, train at a gym with an exciting and motivating trainer, climb up a hill to see an awesome view, run while the kids ride their bikes. You can also make your exercise journey fun by working out with a bud, buying new workout gear or making a cool playlist of motivating music.

5 Badass Workouts To Get Your Blood Pumping


by Emma Esslemont

Feel like you ‘don’t have time’ to workout effectively? Would you like to burn some serious calories in just 30 minutes?
Yes all of the above is possible. In fact, it’s proven to be better for you to perform shorter workouts at a higher intensity. Imagine if you could squeeze a killer workout into your lunch break so you could be home every night to tuck your kids into bed? That’s some serious brownie points with the wives fellas!

Here are 5 of my absolute favourite workouts to get a serious sweat in a short space of time. I’ve mixed it up a little with some weights and cardio ideas for you!


One of the easiest and most challenging cardio workouts you can do. This is always a go to for me when I’m traveling, hotels have stairs & lots of them! 30 minutes of solid stair running gets the ticker going but also uses all those ‘big muscles’. Think glutes, hamstrings, quads which is a great way to sculpt those pins. Ladies do you want long lean legs?

What to do? If you have a killer playlist an up/down repeat session is a good way to get started. If you are working somewhere with multiple flights you can do stair suicides. Run up to the top of the first flight & back to the bottom, up to the second & back down all the way to the top. Depending on how many flights you can then work your way back down! 25-30 minutes is more than enough time to burn some serious calories.


If you are lucky enough to have access to a beach, soft sand is amazing! Said to be twice as intense as road running but less impact on those knees!

What to do? I generally run sand at Bondi which is about 1km long so I will often do 1km efforts with a 30 seconds recovery at each end. Otherwise use some markers such as ramps, beach exits & work through some shorter intervals. If you do this the efforts have to me close to max efforts with a static recovery or slow active recovery back to your start point. For a real leg busting addition incorporate some backwards running too.


Want to look like Gerard Butler did in 300? If you don’t know what I’m talking about Google it now! I tend to find this workout harder when done in a gym as you have more equipment at your disposal. If you don’t have a gym membership find an outdoor gym & you will be able to create a pretty cool little workout there. So 300 means 300 reps in total. Pick 6 exercises: for example box jumps, chin ups, push ups, squat & press & window wipers. Perform 50 reps of each but in-between each exercise do a 600m sprint. Time yourself. It should take around 28-30 minutes & you should barely be able to move by the end. These exercises are an example as long as its a combination of upper and lower body exercises you will have yourself a pretty challenging session. Other exercise include: deadlifts, bicep curl & press, dips, step ups, chest press, burpees, med ball sit ups. Use your imagination!!! A little side note if you can pump out 50 reps of the exercise without stopping you are capable of using heavier weights.


Another love / hate relationship I seem to have developed. Sydney isn’t short on hills so there’s really no excuse. Short, maximum effort, high intense hill runs make for a perfect sweat session. A word of warning if you haven’t done hill sprints before…start very easy, and by easy I mean walk or ‘shuffle’ and eventually work towards faster running intensities.

What to do? Hill repeats with a slow jog or walk back recovery. Rest periods at the bottom can vary, you want to keep your heart rate elevated but also rest long enough so your form doesn’t drop off during the work period. If this sounds too boring, set up a little shuttle with markers & work your way up & back with those. For an extra challenge add some push ups or burpees at the bottom of each sprint.

5. 21.15.9

Another one I definitely prefer doing in the gym. Pick 6-8 exercises (fitness junkies you could probably handle 8). Time yourself & do 21 reps of each exercise then an 800m run, 15 reps of each, run and 9 reps of each & run to finish. It should ideally take around 30 minutes. Any shorter & you could either add an exercise or go a little heavier with your weights. Here’s an example: Lunges (each leg), squat, leg press, chin ups, bicep curls, prone row, closed grip pull down & 800m treadmill effort. Mix up the exercises just make sure you include upper & lower body for a great total body workout!

Happy Exercising!


About the Author

Em is a sports physiotherapist & personal trainer who loves just about anything related to fitness & food. Her website ‘Your Sports Physio’ has articles dedicated to health and wellbeing as well as information about common sports injuries, their management and how they can be prevented! Check it out at www.yoursportsphysioblog.com. You can also follow her on instagram @emesslemont


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5 Amazing Reasons To Build A Strong Core

By | GET STRONG, Strength & Resistance, TRAINING & WORKOUT | No Comments

Getting your torso back in shape is more than just maintaining your ab muscles. Your core is considered by most as the powerhouse of your body. Aside from the fact that your core muscles help facilitate most of your movements in an efficient manner, it is also home to your internal organs and to the spinal column, which is a part your central nervous system.

Want to find out more about what having a stronger core can bring you? Well, here are some of the benefits that you should know about:

1. Injury Prevention

If you have suffered from an injury before, then you already know how the pain feels like and you may never wish to experience the same way again. By building your core, you are able to build the muscles necessary for a better overall fitness. Keep in mind that movements start from the center and moves out. With a strong core, you are rest assured that all your movements will come from a strong midsection. In addition to this, the core muscles help protect delicate internal organs and prevent debilitating injuries involving the spine.

2. Better Posture

Weak core muscles lead to slouching. Aside from that, it can promote wear and tear of the back bones, which in turn can lead to osteoporosis or other incapacitating disk injuries which may ultimately result in compression of the ribcage ending in difficulty of breathing and asphyxia. Proper posture will facilitate safer exercises which lessens the likelihood of getting back injuries.

3. Healthier Back

As we all know, back aches (most especially on the lower part of the back) can be quite debilitating. A lot of us think that this is brought about by excessive stress and fatigue. It is true that fatigue and stress are contributing factors but the main reason why you feel back aches is the fact that your abdominal muscles are quite weak. By strengthening your core muscles, you can be able to restore balance in between the back and front part of your body. As a result, back pain will be minimized.

4. Efficient Daily Movement

As mentioned above, core muscles play a big role in helping you carry out movements in a much more efficient manner. A strong core makes it easier for you to carry out simple daily tasks such as going up the stairs, carrying heavy items and maintaining good balance. With a stronger midsection, you will be able to have full control over your muscles. In addition to that, having a stronger core prevents you from overworking your other muscles.

5. Enhanced Physical Ability

Again, the strongest force of the body originates from the core. The closer it is to the center, the stronger the force. In fact, there is no athletic movement that does not involve the use of this set of muscles. Since having a stronger core allows you to do so much without producing any pain, you will be able to go longer when it comes to playing a sport or performing a workout.

The next time that you are tempted to shy away from doing core strengthening exercises, it is best that you think about these amazing benefits. In this way, you will be a lot motivated to perform those much needed core strengthening exercises that can benefit you in more ways than one.


thumbnail photo credit: ottawamassageblog.com

5 Strength Training Myths You Must Bust

By | GET STRONG, Strength & Resistance, TRAINING & WORKOUT | No Comments

Many people have bought gym memberships and worked their butts out non-stop and are pretty much surprised why their training is not building the way they have it in mind. The problem here, my friend, is education. A little research goes a long way; a reliable source of course.

1.      Strength Training Always Involve Heavy Weights

Athletes would have to disagree on that. Go to an MMA gym and you will find out what these people do to gain strength. Strength is not all about being big and bulky. In fact, these people lift less and do more body weight training exercise and sparring. You might be surprised seeing them ascending on rope without leg assistance. There is no denying that strength can be achieved even without the iron.

2.      Strength Training Will Make You Big

A lot of women, especially, believe that strength training will make them big. Well, in fact, it may; but it also depends on the modality of training. Training for strength will cause you to develop muscle and this is inevitable. The method of training, however, determines if you will grow big or lean. Weight lifting makes you stronger and same goes for running, cycling, swimming etc. The key is, if you don’t want to gain some muscle mass, avoid working out with extremely heavy objects. Nevertheless, training makes you stronger, definitely.

3.      Strength Training Will Render Me Stiff and Inflexible

Being big and strong requires you a little more room for movement because of your size but when we talk about flexibility, this idea is a hoax. In fact, proper training form makes you more flexible because joints, tendons and muscles gets more accustomed to performing more strenuous exercise, especially those involving  full range of motion exercises.

4.      Strength Training and Isolation Exercises

Many people believe isolation exercises will dramatically reduce adipose tissues and result in sculpted physique. Doing a hundred crunches will do very little in reducing the amount of adiposities surrounding your belly. Lowering your body fat percentage and adding up muscle mass is attributed greatly on diet and quality nutrition.

5.      Discontinuation of Strength Training Will Transform Muscle Into Fat

When you started doing strenuous physical exercise, you burn more calories every day. In turn, your nutritional requirement increased and naturally, the body required more food. The problem is, when you decided not to train anymore, the habit of eating more stayed. Unspent calories are stored in the body in the form of fat. Muscle transforming into fat will not happen.