Tuesday Newsday – Horses for courses

Etihad Stadium's GlowFirstly, a big apology for my Tuesday post hitting the web on Wednesday this week!  I have been focused on my study as I participated in a coaching course over the weekend.  We also seem to be inundated with new and motivated Melbournian’s wanting to kick start their fitness regimes in the cold winter months to be ready for another hot Melbourne summer!  So Tuesday Newsday is here… On a Wednesday.

Anyhow Friday night I headed down to Etihad Stadium with a few friends from interstate and around 49,000 other Victorians.

My interstate friends hadn’t heard all of the whohaa about the surface down there at Etihad over the earlier part of the year.  They are Gold Coasters and the AFL hasn’t entirely invaded there community… Yet.

The ball was bounced and after the first contest and the noticeable slip and slide my interstate companions looked to me and asked “geez whats wrong with the surface?”.  Clearly a lot is wrong with the surface.

It needs a lot of work.  What needs to be done is not the topic of this post.  Enough is being said on every media outlet and talk back program, however the question I would like to ask is; What are the obligations of organizations to provide a safe playing surface for participants?  Personal Trainers included!

In my opinion it is inevitable with the state of the surface on Friday night that a serious injury would occur shortly as a result of the condition of the ground.  It was a blessing that no serious injuries had resulted that evening.  By all accounts by Saturday night there had been a considerable improvement.  A huge amount of work had been done over night with a positive result.  As you can see from the photo I took this morning whilst out with my morning customers the work to  repair the problem is continuing day and night.  Hopefully this weekend the result will be a safer state of play, and a greater spectacle for the supporters in the stand and sitting in front of their boxes at home.

All of that said as a neutral supporter that was one of the most exciting games I have watched live in a long time.  The draw for me was a fitting result!

However back to my question, as a personal trainer it is my responsibility to provide a safe location for my customers to train.  We are a mobile personal training company meaning we head out to see our customers all over Melbourne at varying locations and on a number of different surfaces.  It is our responsibility to ensure that wherever we train, our customers are safe and a duty of care is shown. My question is would you be happy to train on a surface such as Etihad?  Not if you are planted staying in one location, but if you are running, jumping, twisting, turning.  Would you feel comfortable with the risk?  If not, surely it is not appropriate for elite sport to be played on that kind of surface.  As a spectacle the the fans are not getting what they deserve and the athletes are not provided with a safe place of work.  I would love to know your thoughts.



Lazy Sunday @ The 1000 Steps

Along the way you will also find plaques with descriptions of the lives and struggles of the men who fought and died on the Kokoda trail during World War II.

The trail will generally take around 2 hours for a return trip so be sure to carry enough water, and possibly a small picnic to enjoy along with the sights from the top of the One Tree Hill Picnic Ground.

You can be sure this great trail will get your heart beating and your legs pretty sore. Which all in all will provide a great way to get some additional exercise on a quiet Sunday morning.

To Check out the location on Google maps clickhere

Enjoy your Lazy Sunday! We would love to hear how you go!

Image Source:



Tuesday Newsday – Is the best way to lose fat to do it quickly?

Personal TrainerI recently read an article in The Daily Telegraph on July 16, 2010.

The article refers to a study by Dietitian Katrina Purcell that was presented at a recent obesity conference. You can read the full article here. As I’m based here in Melbourne it’s great to be able to view all of newspapers online everyday!

The results of the study suggests that the best way to lose weight and keep it off might not be the slow and steady safe method that has been seen as the gold standard for so long after all.

It was suggested by Ms Purcell that one explanation for this could be psychological. Participants that achieved larger weekly results remained more motivated and did not stray from their path to weight loss as they were seeing measurable success. This is certainly a factor for many of the clients I have worked with closely in the past. Encouraging a focus on performance, health and fitness improvements will on fly for so long. People wanna see the numbers!

If your initial reason for starting on a life changing journey was weight loss you want to see some kilos off! It’s very likely you won’t care too much for your healthier blood pressure, or increased blood cell count. Not if these weren’t the motivator to get your butt into gear. At the very least you want to see your pants starting to slip around your waist to stay stead fast in your journey.

The results of this study however are initial. Unless new habits and behaviors that are sustainable have been established through out the journey my fear would be that once a goal weight is reach and the constant weight loss focus has diminished the kilos may begin to pile back on. The plan of the study is to follow up over the next three years, so I would be very interested to see the long term results of the study.

We all know stories of those who have achieved great things and changed their bodies only to be back to their starting weight (and then some!) after a rapid weight loss experience. This is the last thing we want to see. Rapid gains and losses of body weight place a lot of strain on over all health.

Whether the method you choose for weight loss is working with a nutritionist, a dietitian, a personal trainer, heading to the gym or a fitness center make sure it’s something you can stick with.

My advice. If your wanting a healthy body weight for the long term, don’t worry about the weight! Put everything in place to that will help you achieve the end result. Don’t stress about the time frame. And If you have put the appropriate steps in place required to changed your life to something that is sustainable for the long term the resultant weight loss from your change in lifestyle will be the most maintainable you can achieve.



Lazy Sunday

This week for a great Lazy Sunday of fun activity, why not grab a friend and head to your nearest indoor rock climbing center. There are some Rock Climbing centers scattered around and there is sure to one not too far from you and a session will generally cost less than $30. Check them out below:

Carrum Downs

There are also some great physical benefits from rock climbing. It is a fantastic full body workout with great strength benefits. This is largely due to the fact that it requires such dynamic strength. You will be required to use muscles and strength in ways you will not use them for anything else. It is also great for your flexibility especially when you have to stretch out that little bit extra to reach the rock that is just out of your grasp.

I hope you enjoy your Lazy Sunday and we would love to hear about your Rock climbing experience.

Image Credit: http://travel.ninemsn.com.au/holidaytype/adventure/655048/out-there-10-aussie-extreme-sports



Tuesday Newsday – Leadership

Mark WilliamsFor Tuesday Newsday this week I’m going to continue along with the AFL theme given the media here (as always) is currently overwhelmed with AFL news, particularly with the topic at hand.

Late last week another coach bowed out.  Stuffing punched out of him, and kicked when on the canvas.  He was a coach who had achieved a lot and hopefully his memory wont be soured in the way his career ended at a club in which he had so much history.  It’s amazing how quickly the media and football community will turn on a coach as soon as they smell a hint of blood.  Circling until they have their kill.  Today it seems that the pack has turn onto its next victim.  Bomberland looks like their next hunting ground, and dare I say it we may have another media driven kill before the end of the year if things don’t settle down.

But do the media have to shoulder all of the blame?  Surely not.  But yes, they would certainly contribute.

However this is not the focus of this post.  I wanted to focus on leadership.  What makes a good leader.  What can make an athlete, at any level, in any sport, want to run through brick walls, put their body on the line and achieve greatness?

Great coaches make a huge difference to sporting performance.  We all know of stories where a change of coach in a sporting organization has resulted in greatness with little change in personal or staffing, besides the person at the helm.

So what does that mean?  Does it mean the new coach has the superior game plan?  A greater understanding of the game?  An ability to gee up their chargers in manner that is truly heart felt?  Or is it a little of all of these?

Athletes firstly must respect their coach.  They have to want to play for their leader, enjoy being around their team mates and the institution they are involved with.  This is all ultimately driven by the coach.  They are in charge and ultimately shoulder the blame when things aren’t going well.

Teams need to be committed to a common goal and respect the person pulling the strings, even if they don’t like them.  When a coach needs to win the respect of the players mid season they are up for a huge task.  This is why I think Matthew Primus is a fantastic choice at Port Adelaide.  Given he is a past club hero, respect is not one thing he needs to earn.

But respect is definitely not the only thing a coach needs to have to be successful at the helm.  Making people feel appreciated, reward for hard work, knowing what makes someone tick.  All of these are things that are required.

So what type of coaching gets the best out of you?  Ra Ra ranting and pump ups, or clinical tactical coaching?  I think is is a very individual thing but one thing is for sure, with out the hearts and minds of your athletes a coach is always going to be pushing uphill to get results out of their team.  This goes for sport, business and life.

What are some attributes of great leaders you have worked under in the past?

image credit: www.kick2kick.net



Lazy Sunday

Kicking off our Lazy Sunday series of ideas for a lovely Sunday afternoon packed full of activity and exercise is the brand new ice skating facility in The Docklands ‘Icehouse’

Icehouse has 2 olympic sized ice skating rinks so there is plenty of room for you to get your skates on carve up the ice. Skate sessions generally last for about 2 hours with numerous sessions through out the day. Be sure to check out the website below for all the timetable info.

Cost per session in around $20 including skate hire, but dont be afraid if you have never skated before you can get a 15 minute introductory lesson prior to the session for $5.

For more details click here to go to the Icehouse website

Image Credit: http://inkywrists.ie/category/news/