Mini Challenge Timed Drill

This is a body weight workout which means you will not need equipment, or a gym. Find yourself a nice park or outdoor area to complete the workout. There is no right or wrong time to get this completed by, and your only competition is YOU! Let us know how you go and make sure to record your time down!

Image result for plank taps

  • Squat Jump + Plank Taps (x30/30, x20/20, x10/10)
  • Wall Sit 1 min 
  • V Sit- up + Star Jumps (x30/30, x20/20, x10/10)
  • Plank 1 min 
  • Push Ups + Dips (x30/30, x20/20, x10/10)
  • Push Up Hold 30 sec 
  • Mountain Climbers + Lunge Jumps (x30/30, x20/20, x10/10)
  • Pulse Squat 1 min 
  • Switches + High Knees (x30/30, x20/20, x10/10)
  • Prone Get Ups 1 min

How Heavy Should You Be Lifting?

Do you know how heavy you should be lifting?

Lifting weights are SO good for us in the sense that they make us look toned up and overall stronger. But if you are wondering how much weight you should really be lifting, and if lifting the heaviest weight you can possibly lift is the most beneficial – you may be wrong! A moderately heavy weight is all you need to see great results from your workouts.

When you lower the weight, you increase the reps to increase the intensity of the exercise. Rather than using a heavy weight that you can only do 1-12 res with, use a moderate or lighter weight to increase the number of times you can lift/ move it with GOOD form.

Let’s talk goals…..

Depending on your goal, either wanting to tone and burn body fat, or shred and grow your muscles, the weight amount can affect how fast you get there… To grow muscles fast, lifting a heavy weight will put your muscles under more stress and tear the muscle fibers. When muscles tear, this is when they can repair and grow in strength and size. In saying this, heavy weights is not the only way to tear and stress muscles for growth. A lighter weight can still be effective if used the right way, by performing higher rep numbers to fatigue the muscle. When wanting to shred fat from the body, it’s good to incorporate weight training with cardio, so lower weights and more reps will get you moving for longer, prolonging your burn time.

Choose what style of workout works for you…but maybe stick to weights. Studies show that using weights that are lighter and performing more reps will have a very similar effect as lifting heavy at lower reps.

Heavy lifting: 75-90% of our 1RM (one repetition maximum – the most you can lift safely in one move).

Moderate to light lifting: 30-50% of our 1RM

Lifting lighter weights allows the muscle to become fatigued over time, while fully engaging the muscle.Both ways of lifting weights are effective in increasing lean muscle, so don’t be too worried about which one you choose, it’s more about what type of training you prefer, whether it’s a quick low rep high weight session, or a longer high rep lower weight session.

Cardio Workout

Feeling sluggish after the Christmas break? Nothing like a cardio drill to fix that problem for you 🙂 

  • 1Km Jog around oval or street
  • 50 Mountain Climbers
  • 15 Jump Squats
  • 50 Switches
  • 15 Push Ups
  • 50 High Knees
  • 15 Crunches
  • 1 Min Skipping OR if no rope Butt Kicks

Repeat 1 or 2 times. Remember to listen to your body, if you are feeling pain at any time throughout your workout stop immediately.

Keeping on Track with Your Fitness Goals

Staying committed to an exercise regimen is hard work. There’s no way around that. These 5 tips may help you design a routine that you will want to stick to 🙂

PUSH YOURSELF!

When it comes to personal fitness, you are the biggest factor in the success of your program. Ultimately, you are the one who decides to book into class or run that extra kilometre. As you begin a new routine, being your own cheerleader will go a long way in making your desires results a reality!

KEEP TRACK OF YOUR PROGRESS – A JOURNAL

When you think about exercising, journaling probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. However, recording your progress in an important place will make a huge difference as you develop your routine. Whether you choose a physical notebook, an app, spreadsheet, a monthly calendar giving yourself a place to record your exercise will help you keep every week productive—and be a great way to reflect on how far you’ve come! 

REWARD YOURSELF

 Set a goal for yourself and choose a reward you get once you meet that goal. It doesn’t really matter what you set as your reward, but try to choose non food-related rewards, like a massage, a new outfit or a movie. Whether your goal is to lose weight, lift a certain weight, or exercise consistently for a period of time, knowing you have a new outfit, trip or treat at the end can do wonders to get you there!

VARIETY

People who are new to a fitness routine often burn out after their first few weeks because their workouts start becoming boring. Mixing different workouts will keep your mind and your muscles engaged! Try a variety of exercises as a great way to discover things you enjoy, which will ultimately help keep you motivated and having more fun each time you hit the gym. 

GET SOCIAL

Whether you’re a chatterbox or prefer a solo exercise sesh, there are plenty of ways to involve others to help keep you motivated. Distance running to weightlifting, chances are someone in your area enjoys the same type of exercise and would be thrilled to buddy up!If you aren’t interested in having a gym buddy, but still want a sense of community, online communities like RIMs FB groups are great and you can chat about progress with other clients with that same sense of support.

How To Stay Active Over The Xmas Break

1. Slip into a pair of runners! No matter what you’re doing whether it’s wrapping presents or cooking a feast theres always an opportunity to get moving – so while you’re waiting for your food to cook you can head out the door for walk/ jog.You can park further away and walk to your destination if you’re doing some Christmas shopping too.

2. Take the stairs. Don’t be lazy and just freaking do it. There’s nothing to lose but the calories!

3. Download a running/ fitness App. Working out with your mobile device or watching a video may help you get moving. Download videos and apps that will inspire you.

4. Find trails and tracks before you go travelling. This is great way to stay active on your holidays. Not only are hikes/ walks with a friend good for your physical health but also your mental and social well being.

5. Download some good tunes! Music always gets me going no matter what mood I’m in, I always turn to music to either lift my mood, get me pumped for a workout or any sort of occasion! I’ve got a playlist for every mood. If it’s YouTube, Spotify or iTunes store that tickles your fancy – get onto it!

6. Cleaning your house. Set aside a few hours to clean out the garage, your car, your room or whatever it may be – and REALLY clean it. Bending, squatting, running up and down stairs, standing while folding and putting away laundry etc all burns calories. Get workouts the old fashioned way.

7. Look for a holiday fun run. There are some fun runs that are held over the holidays which don’t cost a lot of money and are open to everyone of all fitness levels. Invite your family and friends and plan an outing with coffee or a meal together afterwards. You will feel better physically and mentally.

8. Build activity into family visits and outings. Encourage your guests to bring workout clothes suitable for walking, so you can get our for a family walk instead of diving head first into the leftovers.

10 Healthier Ways to Satifsy Your Craving For Sweets

If you’re someone who craves something sweet after dinner – don’t worry you aren’t alone. We all know that whatever may satisfy out sweet tooth isn’t going to be super healthy for you. Though these snacks contain sugar – they are lower sugar options that offer something beneficial whether it be a superfood (like strawberries or grapes) or additional nutrients like fiber or protein. Here are 10 less guilty ways to indulge any sweet tooth 🙂

  1. Frozen Chocolate Banana. This is the perfect frozen sweet treat with some extra nutritional punch! Bananas are a great source of Vitamin C and B6 and are also packed with fiber and potassium. Peel a banana and freeze it. Once solid, take out and roll in melted DARK chocolate, while the chocolate is still melty, roll in whichever crunchhy topping you like – nuts or granola all work well. Return to freezer until the chocolate is set (at least an hour)!
  2. Chocolate- Dipped Strawberry. Dip and let it set in the fridge until the chocolate coating has hardened 🙂 YUM!
  3. Yogurt Parfait. Top 1 cup Greek yoghurt (plain or vanilla) with your choice of toppings: crumbled graham crackers or granola, nuts, and fruit are all healthy choices. Add some shaved chocolate if you must!
  4. Fresh Fruit. Can’t get more simple than this. Any piece of fresh fruit should offer enough natural sugar to fill those cravings. Plus, it’s definitely the healthiest choice and you get added nutrients and fiber!
  5. Dark Chocolate. Sorry, friends—not any old chocolate bar will send you to healthful heaven. But dark chocolate (think more than 70 percent cacao), which lacks all the added fat and sugar of classic milk chocolate, can actually be a healthy treat in moderation. Dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants and can even help regulate levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.
  6. Smoothie. It’s easy to find an easy, healthy smoothie recipe for breakfast, a snack, or dessert. 
  7. Mocha Coffee. This is the perfect way to get a kick of caffeine and a serving of dark chocolate all at once. Opt for low-fat milk and stick to a small size to keep the calorie count low
  8. Cereal and Milk. You can make this one as healthy or unhealthy as you like. Opt for a high-fiber, whole-grain cereal if you’re going the healthy route and sweeten with a bit of honey or cinnamon. Of course, if you feel like going the “naughtier” route, there’s always chocolate coco pop chex.
  9. Sorbet. Especially during warmer months, keeping a pint of healthy homemade sorbet on hand is the perfect way to fill sugar cravings without overdoing it on the white stuff.
  10. Peanut Butter and Chocolate Pretzels. A little salty sweet combo can cure those sugary cravings. Microwave 1 square of dark chocolate and 1 teaspoon natural peanut butter until melted, and dip 1 large or 10 mini pretzel rods.

There you have it! No more excuses after these 10 delicious options. Now its your turn to try!

Are You Plateauing?

What Is a Plateau and How Do You Fix It? 
An exercise plateau is what most people who regularly train absolutely dread! When you first start to workout it is easy to make quick progress, you see big changes, but after a few months, although you are continuing to train hard and eat clean – you’re no longer seeing results, WHAT THE !@#$????
The longer we’ve been training, the older we get, and the more advanced we get training wise the more likely it is we’ll hit plateaus. This all occurs because of different physiological reasons like lack of overload in your training and over training. Eventually, your muscles, body and joint connections adapt and get bored with your activity. 
So let us give you a few tips on how to break through the plateau and to reveal that “light” at the end of the tunnel 🙂
Breaking Through The Plateau
Track your meals. Food intake is probably responsible for more than half of the plateau cases out there. Have you been sticking to your meal plan 100% without ANY stuff ups? Rededicate yourself for two weeks, track your meals, and see if progress picks back up!
Plateau Busting Tips

How are your training sessions REALLY going? If you are starting to get bored of your workouts, or haven’t been training as hard as you used to, then it’s time to start tracking your workouts or find a way to be better today than yesterday – it’s all about making ANY sort of progresswhether it be your total amount of weight lifted, decreased time between sets, one extra rep or even one more kg lifted. RECORD EVERYTHING!

Adjust some of your goals. Shift your focus to something new and different! Instead of obsessing over WEIGHT loss and hopping onto the scales every night – try to put your focus on the process of getting STRONGER and eating better!
Nobody is perfect! If you notice that you have put on weight when needing to lose it, or you can’t lift as heavy as you usually would  – accept that we will ALL have bad days/ weeks. Shit happens sometimes but this does not make us bad people or failures, it makes us human! On the days when you do rock up to training and feel tired or rundown, then drop the weight and focus more on your technique and reps rather than the load!

What is Cryotherapy?

Cryotherapy means “cold therapy”. It’s a technique where the body is exposed to extremely cold temperatures for several minutes. Cryotherapy can be delivered to just one area, or you can also choose whole-body cryotherapy which is what we did on the weekend at the Alchemy Cryotherapy Centre in South Yarra. Localized cryotherapy can be administered in a number of ways, including through ice packs, ice massage, coolant sprays or ice baths.

The theory for whole-body cryotherapy (WBC) is that by immersing the body in extremely cold air for several minutes, you could receive a number of health benefits. The individual will stand in an enclosed chamber or a small enclosure that surrounds their body but has an opening for their head at the top. The enclosure we were in dropped to -110 degrees. We stood in the ultra-low temperature air for three minutes. You can get benefits from just one session of cryotherapy, but it’s most effective when used regularly. Some athletes use cryotherapy twice a day. Others will go daily for 10 days and then once a month afterwards.

Benefits of Cryo

1. Reduces migraine symptoms

Cryotherapy can help treat migraines by cooling and numbing nerves in the neck area. A study found that applying a neck wrap containing two frozen ice packs to the carotid arteries in the neck significantly reduced migraine pain in those tested. It’s thought that this works by cooling the blood passing through intracranial vessels. The carotid arteries are close to the skin’s surface and accessible. 

2. Numbs nerve irritation

Many athletes have been using cryotherapy to treat injuries for years, and one of the reasons why is that it can numb pain. The cold can actually numb an irritated nerve. Doctors will treat the affected area with a small probe inserted into the nearby tissue. This can help treat pinched nerves, chronic pain, or even acute injuries. 

3. Helps treat mood disorders

The ultra-cold temperatures in whole-body cryotherapy can cause physiological hormonal responses. This includes the release of adrenaline, noradrenaline, and endorphins. This can have a positive effect on those experiencing mood disorders like anxiety and depression. A study found that whole-body cryotherapy was actually effective in short-term treatment for both. 

4. Reduces arthritic pain

Localized cryotherapy treatment isn’t the only thing that’s effective at treating serious conditions; a study found that whole-body cryotherapy significantly reduced pain in people with arthritis. They found that the treatment was well-tolerated. It also allowed for more aggressive physiotherapy and occupational therapy as a result. This made rehabilitation programs more effective. 

5. Treats atopic dermatitis and other skin conditions

Atopic dermatitis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease with signature symptoms of dry and itchy skin. Because cryotherapy can improve antioxidant levels in the blood and can also reduce inflammation, it makes sense that both localized and whole-body cryotherapy can help treat atopic dermatitis. Another study (in mice) examined its effect for acne, targeting the sebaceous glands.

Risks and Side Effects

The most common side effects of any type of cryotherapy are numbness, tingling, redness, and irritation of the skin. These side effects are almost always temporary. Make an appointment with your doctor if they don’t resolve within 24 hours. 

You should never use cryotherapy for longer than is recommended for the method of therapy you’re using. For whole body cryotherapy, this would be more than four minutes. If you’re using an ice pack or ice bath at home, you should never apply ice to the area for more than 20 minutes. Wrap ice packs in a towel so you don’t damage your skin. Those with diabetes or any conditions that affect their nerves should not use cryotherapy. They may be unable to fully feel its effect, which could lead to further nerve damage.

Advice for Dealing with Injuries

Getting an unexpected injury SUCKS! When fitness is a major part of your identity, it can seem like your whole life is thrown off track. Without spiralling into a world of sadness, know there is light at the end of the tunnel. An injury can help you realise you’re not defined by your workouts, and it may even open the door to discover new passions or different ways to exercise!

While it is perfectly fine to be sad, angry, and disappointed for a little while, it’s important to remember there is more to you than your sport or fitness passion. Even professional athletes who do this for a living have other interests and hobbies. There are so many other activities out there that can make you happy. Go find them.

With serious injuries, you just have to realise that your life has changed. It’s tough, but you need to move old goals to the back and start finding new ones.

– Plot your comeback. Work with your doctor or physical therapist to define a realistic timeline for when you can expect to be fully recovered. Then sign up for a race, plan a hike, or register for a competition—and plan your comeback in detail. Research shown that planning and anticipation can be a real happiness booster.

– Trust the process! Realising how long the road to recovery is can be very difficult. You’re going to want to get back out there as soon as you can. But going out too hard too soon will only hurt you. Trainers, doctors, and physical therapists will help keep you on track and see to it that you make it through.

– Think of rehab as training. Active people are really good at following training regimens. Apply an athlete’s mentality and discipline to your rehab program. Do the work and do it every single day. Just like in training, you will see progress and hit new goals, giving you that much-needed sense of accomplishment.

– Challenge yourself! Active people need to do something to work off energy. Being unable to do your favourite activity forces you to get creative. It’s not a bad thing to be reminded that there are so many ways to stay active. Who knows, maybe you’ll fall in love with a form of exercise you wouldn’t have tried were it not for your injury.

Revisit your priorities. An injury can be the wake-up call you need to realise what your true priorities are. If you love working out and want to do it for a long time, you may need to take a step back and be less hard on yourself in your training!

Benefits of Sports Specific Training

Athletes of all types rely on strength and agility in specific areas of their body in order to excel in their sport and perform at their optimum level. Sport-specific training programs are carefully crafted to focus on conditioning the body and mind to smash through the demands for endurance, speed, agility, balance and recovery required by each sport as well as minimise injury.

General strength exercises develop general muscle strength and include movements like Kb squats, Lunges and deadlifts among many others.

Special strength exercises attempt to convert general strength to power, but are still strength oriented. Most explosive lifts and movements fit into this category and include snatches, jump squats, battling rope and various kettlebell swings and exercises.

Specific strength exercises are designed to provide power improvements in a way that is very specific to the required technique of the athlete. Exercises may include plyometric exercises and sprint drills. The most specific strength exercise for any given movement is the actual movement skill itself and it is in this category where you will focus on those movements repetitively.

An important part of each of the above strength classifications are drills that help establish quicknessspeed and agility for quick stops, change of direction and acceleration:

  • Sprint training such as suicides, resistance sprinting (using a resistance band) and cone drills develop explosive speed

  • Agility work often includes an agility ladder to develop quick feet

By committing to a sport-specific training program, athletes are able to practice muscle memory drills and conditioning formats that are designed to improve their overall performance in their sport while maximizing their response to and recovery from the physical demands of their sport, which are very different from sport to sport. Research conducted on golfers showed the amount of force traveling through the spine during a vigorous swing is an average of eight times their body weight. With that amount of force traveling down the spine, it’s imperative that a golf program is designed to maintain range of motion while simultaneously improving strength and stability through the core and spine.

Football on the other hand is a collision sport and requires several layers of training for both skill and power positions that includes a series of weight liftingagility drillsplyometrics and nutrition.

A truly sport-specific exercise must:

  • Duplicate the exact movement witnessed in certain actions of sport

  • Involve the same type of muscular contraction used in the skill execution

  • Develop strength and flexibility in the same range of motion as the actual skill

An athlete will extremely benefit from this type of training, most likely seeing dramatic improvements in their level of fitness and strength. Benefits of sport-specific training include:

  • Increased speed
  • Increased agility
  • Improved conditioning
  • Injury prevention
  • Gaining a competitive edge
  • Increased acceleration and power
  • Improved balance and body awareness
  • Increased flexibility
  • Increased strength
  • Improved endurance and ability to quickly recover from training and competition

Sport-specific training isn’t just for extreme athletes. The more recreational or “weekend warrior” types can benefit from training routines designed for their respective sport. Runners, cyclists, Ironmen and recreational team players can train their bodies to endure physical stress for longer periods of time and recover faster, allowing them to set and reach successive goals instead of plateauing.