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Oct 12, 2014

What is muscle? How do they work? How do they get bigger?

Yes, everyone knows what a muscle is… in the sense that we all have them and we need them to move around…. BUT have you ever actually wondered what muscles actually are and how they work?

A lot of us probably take our muscles a little for granted. They are literally our ‘engine’. Our ideas and thoughts manifest in the brain but in order to convert those ideas into action we need muscles. Feel like smiling? For that you need all your facial muscles. Type a text message? You need the muscles in your fingers and arms. Want to dance around in your underwear? You need almost every muscle in your body to do that.

Clinically speaking ‘muscle’ is a bundle of fibrous tissue in a human (or animal) body that has the ability to contract, to produce movement within the body. Most people think biceps or triceps when they think of muscles, these are examples of ‘skeletal muscle’. Skeletal muscles are not the only types of muscles we have. In fact there are 3 types. Did you know that the heart is actually a muscle? Cardiac muscle is found only in the heart. The third type is smooth muscle which is found in our organs such as stomach, intestines and bladder.

For the purpose of this blog we are going to focus on SKELETAL muscle.

READ FULL BLOG HERE

Categories Exercise & fitness General Issues Health and Wellbeing Tags muscle strength strong hypertrophy eastsports physio training weights resistance health wellbeing lifestyle

Jul 2, 2014

Counting down to the City 2 Surf

It’s that time of the year again…. The foot race that stops a nation…and by nation I mean thousands and thousands of Sydneysiders.

It’s one of the most renowned fitness events on the running calendar, boasting 14 grueling km through the winding hills of the Sydney’s eastern suburbs. It also just happens to be one of my favourite days of the year. Over the past few years I traded in my running shoes for blue body paint and a smurf outfit, choosing to cheer people from the sidelines with beverage in hand rather than actually run the race. This year however, I’ve signed up to the pain train.

For many preparation for the big day is well and truly underway; for those of you a little more like me plans to prepare are in place but the actual act of it hasn’t quite started yet. Don’t stress, yesterday marked 6 weeks till the run and that is more than enough time to get some miles in those legs and make sure you are more than ready on race day.

READ FULL BLOG HERE

Categories Exercise & fitness General Issues Health and Wellbeing Tags running City 2 Surf exercise training fitness race day

Apr 7, 2014

5 of the best workouts to get your ticker going

Are you sick of spending hours slugging it out at the gym? 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 its 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…

How? Well I’m glad you asked….. 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!

1. STAIRS: One of the easiest and most challenging cardio workouts you can done. This is always a go to for me when I’m traveling… hotels have stairs & lots of them! 30 minutes of solid stair running is a 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?

(Read full post HERE)

Categories Exercise & fitness General Issues Health and Wellbeing Tags workout exercise fitness training running weights gym cardio

Feb 5, 2014

Curious about Crossfit?

Crossfit is literally taking over the world..  Ok so maybe that’s a little exaggeration but seriously crossfit gyms are EVERYWHERE. 6 months ago most of the fitness world probably thought this was just going to be another ‘fitness fad’, kind of like Zumba the ‘calorie burning dance fitness party’ that would trim and tone your buttocks; or my personal favourite the ‘power bracelet’ that promised improved athletic performance and endurance. Crossfit, despite its fair share of negative press seems to be ever growing in popularity.

Crossfit is a form of strength and conditioning that utilises functional movements and Olympic style lifts performed at high intensity.The demands of a crossfit workout are quite unique in that many of these ‘functional movements’ require unrestricted full range of movement; at multiple joints with perfect technique in order to prevent strain and injury. While many people may be under the impression that crossfit has a greater tendency to harm than other forms of exercise we must consider that all high intensity sports from rugby to running are prone to both traumatic acute injuries and overuse injuries.

FULL BLOG HERE:

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Categories Exercise & fitness General Issues Health and Wellbeing Tags crossfit workout exercise training injury prevention olympic lifting

Oct 17, 2013

HIIT your fitness peak this summer

I was chatting away on the phone to my darling mother the other day about this, that and the other when our conversation took its usual progression onto health / medical related topics. Mum always has some insightful new information about the latest study or trend in the medical world to share with me and it’s often something obscure like how mushrooms can actually provide humans with their daily vitamin D requirements. This particular calls topic was high intensity interval training and for the first time I think I was actually more knowledgeable on the topic that mum was.

High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a form of exercise that is growing in popularity in the fitness industry. No one has time to be slogging it out at the gym for 2 hours every day, which I guess is a good thing because research now shows that just 20- 30 minutes of high intensity exercise is actually better for you, both for fat loss and cardiovascular gains!

What does this form of training involve? If you think about it it’s kind of self explanatory… Short bouts of HIGH (not medium) intensity work where you literally bust your guts and push yourself to your limits, followed by a short period of rest and away you go again. The work to rest ratio is the key component of the training and it will be determined by what you are setting out to achieve.

(READ FULL BLOG HERE)

 

Categories General Issues Health and Wellbeing Tags HIIT High Intensity Interval Training training exercise aerobic fitness fitness summer work/rest training

Sep 29, 2013

The road to becoming an Iron Man

Imagine the fittest person you know… and by fit I don’t just mean your mate who can run 20km with ease or your boyfriend who squats 100kg.. Now multiply that by 10 and you have Adam Becker. I’m not kidding this guy is on another level of fit. Mentally and physically he is the fittest person I know.

A few weeks ago he asked me if I wanted to do a running session with him. I considered it until I found out it was 100 x 100m efforts on the clock. The other option was 28 x 1km efforts. I’m not sure which is worse all I know was that there was no way I was attempting either session with this crazy kid!

I first met Adam when he playing footy down at East’s Rugby. He is now the manager of Parc Ftness, a small boutique gym chain in Bellevue Hill and Rose Bay, a personal trainer, Cranbrook rowing coach and IRON MAN.

I caught up with him following his first Iron Man in Japan a few weeks ago… (where he came 2nd in his age group I might add) to chat about his training scheduale and how he came to be the fittest human in the eastern suburbs.

(READ FULL INTERVIEW HERE)

 

 

Categories Athlete Interview General Issues Tags Iron Man training exercise running cycling triathlon Adam Becker East's Rugby Parc Fitness physiotherapy EastSports physiotehrapy

Jul 8, 2013

Are you guilty of 'overtraining'?

One of the biggest lessons I have learnt over the last year is that conditioning requires a balance between training and rest. At the end of the day rest is almost just as important as a regular exercise routine. If you don’t allow time for your muscles to repair and recover not only will your results plateau, weight loss will stall, you may begin to feel un-motivated, you won’t workout to your full potential and you will put yourself at higher risk of injury!

Put simply hard training sessions break you down, make you weaker. Rest allows repair, recovery and rejuvenation. An imbalance = lack of rejuvenation and drop in performance. You will have stressed your body beyond its capacity to recover resulting in a collection of emotional, physical and often psychological symptoms that are just NOT YOU.

Categories Health and Wellbeing Tags overtraining fatigue recovery repair rest training

May 12, 2013

Are you hilariously under-prepared for Sunday's half marathon?

So you have woken up this morning and realised that YES its less than a week till the Sydney Morning Herald half marathon that you were meant to be training super hard for over the last 3-4 months but with work and the kids and the cold dark mornings your training and preparation has been average to poor…..And now you’re seriously contemplating just pulling the pin and signing up for the next one??

STOP…… DON’T PANIC… This situation CAN be resurrected…… and yes you will be on that start line next Sunday morning!

READ FULL BLOG HERE

Categories General Issues Tags half marathon training race day hydration Sydney Morning Herald preparation running tapering massage

Apr 29, 2013

10 tips to help you tackle your first triathlon

A handful of my nearest and dearest friends are currently in full swing training for the up and coming Byron Bay Triathlon…. for 95% of them this will be their first experience in the weird and wonderful world of triathlon’s. And what a different experience it is… think it’s tough doing a 10km run of a morning? Try that after sitting on a bike for 40-50km, your quads are lactic and your legs feel like lead. It’s most certainly not a sport for the faint hearted!

It’s now four weeks out so obviously all their training programs are in full swing. BUT I thought they could all use a few little handy hints to ensure they are adequately prepared for race day. (READ FULL BLOG)

Categories General Issues Tags triathlon training preparation swimming cycling running tapering race day transition zone

Oct 21, 2012

Do you have what it takes to be an Iron Man?

I’m a pretty exercise minded kind of person, I do my fair share of running and I occasionally like a challenge BUT there are limits here. Attempting and completing a half marathon would be enough of an achievement on my bucket list, let alone the thought of a full marathon or an IRON MAN.

t’s the ultimate test of mind, body and spirit and in my opinion you have to have a little bit of crazy in you to even entertain the thought of participating in one of these bad boys.

This week I caught up with John Howes, three time iron man finisher and local Sydney running coach to ask him a few questions about his experiences with this event.

(READ FULL BLOG HERE)

Categories Athlete Interview Tags Iron Man athlete endurance training physiotherapist