Is your Instagram addiction affecting your performance in the gym?

Chances are, you’re reading this on a mobile device. You’ve been staring at your screen with your neck tilted forward and your arms in what can only be described as ‘the T-Rex’. Chances are, it’s not news to you that spending long amounts of time on your phone or laptop isn’t great for your posture. And it’s almost certain that quite frankly, you gave up trying to spend less time on your phone or computer a long time ago.

Forward neck, rounded shoulders and a hunched upper back are all the result of prolonged periods of device use. Even more worryingly, as of recently these well-known signifiers of living your life online are turning into severe real-life conditions. Studies have reported a rise in cervical and lumbar spine injuries and even thumb ligament issues due to overuse of devices! If forgetting to look up from our screens are having this effect on our posture in general, how does this translate to our performance in the gym?

Getting fitter, lifting heavier and progressing with health in general has plenty of it’s own challenges. Now add in tight hip flexors. Shortening of the hip flexors due to prolonged sitting affects your range in squatting movements, not to mention making it harder to fire up your glutes and leads to weakness in the lower back. And if you were wondering why just holding the barbell for a front OR back squat is more painful for you that doing an actual squat, chances are your upper back muscles are too tight to create good rack positions, and your shoulders are rounded making it almost impossible to keep your elbows up. Not only does this hinder our progress, it also means longer recovery times, as the muscles that are already tight and overworked from sitting in a squat position all day and frozen in the ‘push position’ (from holding a tablet or phone) are put through more of the same (but with weight!) during a workout.

So what can we do to negate the effects of Text Neck and T-Rex arms? Firstly, limit the amount of time in one sitting that you spend using your device. Keep drinks or snacks in a separate location so you have more reasons to stand up. Secondly, STRETCH. If you know for a fact that you are tight in certain areas and are someone who trains, 2 minutes before and after a session is not enough. Invest in a proper warm up routine and flexibility techniques. Lastly and most importantly, look up! When was the last time you looked around you while walking down the street as opposed to at your phone? Try it, you might find a few new cafes to Instagram your meals in. And while you’re at it, stand a little taller, you look good when you’re not looking down.

–  Quincee


How Poor Posture Affects Your Health and Athletic Performance | BoxLife Magazine. (2018). Boxlifemagazine.com. Retrieved 1 May 2018, from http://boxlifemagazine.com/5193-2/

Hughes, A., & Labs, S. (2018). Can too much screen time affect your kid’s posture?Screen Time. Retrieved 30 April 2018, from https://screentimelabs.com/is-excess-mobile-device-use-harming-your-childs-posture/

Joshua M. Ammerman, M. (2018). Is Your Cell Phone Killing Your Back?SpineUniverse. Retrieved 30 April 2018, from https://www.spineuniverse.com/wellness/ergonomics/your-cell-phone-killing-your-back

Jung, S. I., Lee, N. K., Kang, K. W., Kim, K., & Lee, D. Y. (2016). The effect of smartphone usage time on posture and respiratory function. Journal of Physical Therapy Science28(1), 186–189. http://doi.org/10.1589/jpts.28.186



Long awaited Online Programming and Coaching now available

We are taking registrations of interest for our first initial intake for our online programming and coaching program.

This is a unique opportunity to work with our highly skilled and qualified coaches even if you don’t have the ability to head in to work with us here at the gym in South Melbourne.

This opportunity would be idea if you’re outside of Metropolitan Melbourne or if you’re someone who prefers training on your own rather than in a gym setting.

If you’re keen to be a part of our initial intake of only 10 individuals please get back to us immediately as this is an extremely limited first intake.

This limited intake will be able to take advantage of our unique Foundation membership 50% ongoing discount.

To take advantage of this foundation discount and lock in this ongoing rate head across to our online store via the links below and use the discount code: revoptonlinefoundationmember

Who will you be working with?

The coaches launching our online programming and coaching program are none other than Jaimie-Lee Brown and Nathan McCulloch.

Jaimie-Lee Brown: “Strength and happiness comes from finding balance.”

Before personal training, Jamie-Lee was a teacher for children with special needs.

While the classroom may seem worlds away from RevoPT, to Jamie-Lee they’re not so different.

In both roles, she helps people realise their best selves – something that takes patience, understanding, communication and trust.

She moved into training after using exercise as a personal stress-relief that offered mental and physical results. When people started asking her for advice, she knew she’d found a new career. With clients that range from their 20’s to their 70’s, Jamie-Lee doesn’t have a set training style. Her focus is on using your individual strengths and goals to create a tailored program that suits you.

You can read more about Jaimie Lee here: revo.pt/jaimieleebrown

Nathan McCulloch: “Change is the best thing you can do.”

Like most people who’ve completed the Overland Track, Nathan has a natural sense of adventure and it comes through in the way he trains.

He loves clients who don’t just enjoy a challenge, but provide them too.

Whether it’s requesting a new type of exercise or working around a physical limitation, Nathan believes that every session should be something you shape together. He’s flexible, relaxed and always open to new ways of working.

Nathan believes that change is the single best thing a person can do. It’s what saw him move from Tassie to Melbourne, complete a degree in Exercise and Sports Science, change his lifestyle and ultimately start a career in Personal Training.

You can read more about Jaimie Lee here: revo.pt/nathanmcculloch

Hear Jaimie and Nathan’s recent appearances on our podcast here:





Don’t forget that you can catch up with any of our post episodes of the podcast via:

The Apple Podcast App or


BASIC Membership Normally $30 Per Week

Our Foundation BASIC member special ONLY $15 per week ongoing. Offer ends April 30th 2017!

Our Basic coaching package is the ideal way to get started with your Coach



  • Customised goal setting
  • Daily custom programming
  • FitBot online account
  • Up to 7 emails weekly

Sign Up NOW here.

ADVANCED Normally $50 Per Week

Our Foundation ADVANCED member special ONLY $30 per week ongoing. Offer ends April 30th 2017!

Includes all of the services offered with our Basic Coaching Package PLUS:

  • 1 hour initial assessment
  • Regular phone contact
  • Regular email contact
  • Input from multiple coaches

Sign Up NOW here.

Take advantage of our Foundation member ongoing 50% off rate

To take advantage of this foundation discount and lock in this ongoing rate head across to our online store here via the links below and use the discount code: revoptonlinefoundationmember



Can you get strong without bulking up?

Everyone’s perception of their ideal body varies. While many of us want definition, not everyone wants muscle bulk. There are many myths around that state lifting heavy weights will increase your muscle bulk but many of these are simply not true. An example could be that lifting lighter weights for more reps aims to tone, while lifting heavy builds bulk.

Lift Heavy – Why to lift heavy

A better understanding of basic weight training methodologies is first needed to understand why load bearing exercise is necessary. In very simple terms, there are three broad styles of resistance training. These are:

  • Strength
  • Hypertrophy
  • Muscular Endurance

Each of these styles has a recommended repetition scheme and intensity level associated with it. These are as follows:

  • Strength (2-5 sets of 1-6 repetitions at 85-95% of 1 rep max)
  • Hypertrophy (3-5 sets of 8-12 repetitions at 75-85% 1 rep max)
  • Muscular Endurance (2-3 sets of 12-20 repetitions at 50-75% 1 rep max)

Typically we see most gym goers using a hypertrophy program, usually associated with a bodybuilding approach, or a muscular endurance program, with a perceived “toning” effect as the ultimate goal. But why should we consider lifting heavy and using a Strength training approach?

Firstly, strength training improves bone density. This is hugely important as we age and helps increase our body’s longevity. Secondly, it does exactly what it says on the label – it gets us stronger! Why is this important? We need functional strength as we age, the ability to pick up a heavy weight from the ground and transport it to another destination – think picking up the kids or carrying shopping bags!

A huge misconception is that lifting heavy weights will make you bulky. Quite the opposite in fact – lifting heavy weights will tone and cause what’s referred to as “functional hypertrophy”. This means that the cross sectional area of your muscle will expand without holding on to excess sarcoplasm or water. “Non-functional hypertrophy” is typical of the bodybuilding approach where a trainee gets much bigger musculature without actually significantly increasing the force that can be applied by those muscles.

Work for shorter periods to fatigue – increases strength

A huge advantage to strength training is that you work for shorter periods of time prior to reaching fatigue. This means a shorter and yet, more effective workout.

Even better, it requires minimal equipment. Here is a list of recommended equipment to get you started:

How to get best results

As with any type of training, it is important to have routine and structure in order to maximise your results. It is wise to talk with a trained professional to get the best advice however, below are some links to some basic starter programs for strength training:

One final thing – ladies, the likelihood of you adding significant mass by doing any type of resistance training is incredibly minimal. Our primary growth hormone is testosterone and to foster significant changes in muscle size, one needs a significant amount of this hormone. Females simply don’t possess enough testosterone to “bulk up” in the same way as males. In fact, males produce 30 times more testosterone than females!

Dave Robertson is a Strength & Conditioning Coach with over a decade of industry experience. He enjoys blogging for Little Bloke Fitness and in the past has also owned a personal training studio in London & a CrossFit gym in Melbourne. He is completing postgraduate studies in Sports Coaching, is a former semi-professional rugby union player and has coached two national record holders in Powerlifting & one state champion in Olympic Weightlifting.



You don’t know SQUAT!

The squat is arguably the king of all strength exercises. It requires you to be able to sit in deep flexion of the hip, knee and ankle while maintaining a neutral spine. Couple this with load and you have a brutal exercise that challenges you not only physically, but mentally as well. Despite having only been the industry for a short time, I have seen some absolutely horrendous squats. Let’s go over the basics to get you moving better, help you stay injury free, and stack a whole heap more weight on the bar!


1. Start by lining up your hands by putting your pinky finger on the ring engraved into the bar. With your hands grasping the bar, move under it and sit the bar on your traps. If you don’t have the flexibility to have your hands in closer, play around with having them out wider. Not matter your hand position you should be pulling you shoulders BACK and DOWN. Keeping the muscles of the upper back activated and tight is crucial throughout the squat.

2. Unrack the bar then sit back into your butt slightly, turning your knees outwards and keeping your chest nice and big. Walk the weight out by taking three steps to get into position. One step back, and two steps outward.

3. Standing nice and tall with your head facing up and forward, descend into the squat with your hips travelling backward and your knees travelling outward.

4. Once you have reached depth, drive through the heels, push your knees out and your back hard and up into the bar. This will ensure you are recruiting all the right muscles to get the weight up.

Note: We are all individuals that possess different limb and torso lengths. These steps are to be used as a general guideline. It is highly recommended you seek an experienced personal trainer or strength coach to find the best squatting style for you.


1. Squat hold


2. Wall stretch


3. Ankle mobilisation


4. Diamond stretch



A common and effective way to increase your squat is complete 5 sets of 5 reps at a challenging weight, and increase this in small increments (e.g 2.5kg) each week. Say you reach the 4th week and you find that you are losing form or can’t make the reps, scale back a few KG’s or so and work your way up again. This way you will be making strong steady progression.

Example exercise diary log:
Week 1: 5×5 @ 60kg
Week 2: 5×5 @62.5kg
Week 3: 5×5 @ 65kg
Week 4: 3×5, 2×4 @ 67.5kg (Time to scale back)
Week 5: 5×5 @ 62.5kg


There are many other ways to program, but for a novice lifter this simple and easy to understand program will be more than enough. Main focuses should be on developing an efficient motor pattern, mobility work and simple and effective programming.

Included in most programs will be supplementary exercises called assistance/accessory lifts. These lifts can aid us in bringing up weak areas, but should never be prioritised over or be too different from the main movement.

Listed below are some common accessory lifts that lifters use to get them stacking more weight on the bar:

– High and low bar squats (High and low bar refers to the position of the bar on your back. Powerlifters will often squat with the bar sitting lower on their back to gain a better biomechanical advantage in order to squat more weight)
– Front squat
– Pause squat
– Safety bar squat
– One and a quarter squat
– Box squat
– Split squat


Below we have a beautifully constructed collage of some classic do’s, don’ts and differences in squat technique.

First up, we have the lazy ass…

alex do dont 1

 If you find your knees coming in like these, get a thera-band around your knees and aim for 50 bodyweight squats a day for the next month. That should get your new and efficient motor pattern happening nicely… and build up some strength in your butt!

Next we have the half squatter…

alex do dont 2

If your hip joint isn’t descending below or at least parallel to your knee joint, you ain’t getting’ low enough! Get some mobility happening through the mobility exercises outlined above and squat DEEP!

Lastly, we have the difference between a high bar and low bar squat position…

alex do dont 3

This was mentioned above in my list of squat variations. A low bar squat is typically only used by powerlifters in order to squat more weight. This is because it changes the biomechanics in a way that allows you to use your posterior chain muscles (think glutes and hamstrings) a lot more than a regular olympic style/high bar squat. Low bar squats are increasing in popularity in strength and conditioning programs for athletes, and are mainly used for variation and also the extra load the athlete will be able to move with the lower bar position as well as solid posterior chain development which is crucial in sport.

Feel free to comment with any questions or clarifications. Get squatting!

This article was written by Revolutions Strength Specialist Alex Deken. To learn a little more about Alex you can view his full personal trainer profile here. To book a session with Alex email us at hq@revopt.com.au or call 1300 362 311. Alex runs many of our Pure Strength classes which can be accessed with one of our Group Personal Training memberships.

For some more advice on mobilisation and stretching techniques to improve your squatting and overall performance you can grab a copy of Revolution’s Activation and Mobilisation eBook or our Stretching and Felxibility eBook.

They are both available for digital download on the Amazon Kindle and Apple iBooks stores by following the links below.

Activation and Mobilisation eBook (great for warm up and preparing yourself pre-training):

Amazon Kindle Store – revo.pt/activationebook

Apple iBooks Store – revo/pt/activationibook

Stretching and Flexibility eBook (great for cool down and flexibility work post training)

Amazon Kindle Store – revo.pt/stretchingebook



Vanilla Coconut Protein Pancakes

These are delicious. Give them a go and let us know your thoughts!

vanilla cocnut protein pancakestackIngredients

2 Tbsp spelt flour

2 Tbsp almond meal

3 Tbsp protein powder

1/2 Tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

1/2 Tsp chia seeds

1 Tbsp shredded coconut

1 Egg

2-4 Tbsp almond milk


Combine all dry ingredients into a bowl. Then add wet ingredients (start with 2 tbsp of almond milk and add accordingly. it will generally depend on the consistency of the protein powder as each is different) and stir together. Heat a pan and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Pour tbsp of batter to form each pancake. Once the batter starts to bubble on top flip the pancakes and cook for another minute or two.

Serve with toppings of your choice.

Suggestion – 2-3 tbsp of greek yogurt, 1 tbsp pure maple syrup, water to thin  out to preferred consistency and some shredded coconut on top!

This recipe makes 4 pancakes.



Explosive Training For Explosive Weight Loss

Revolution Personal Training

In general the battle to lose weight is all about the ‘energy in vs. energy out’ equation. Maintaining a healthy, well balanced diet goes a long way to helping make sure you stay on the right side of this, and getting lots of exercise will tip the scales even further in your favour. But finding the time to have a workout and burn off those unwanted calories can be difficult. If we were all able to devote a couple of hours every day to work out then I’m sure the whole world would be looking lean, fit & fantastic.

The fact of the matter is that there are very few people out there who have the luxury or the inclination to be able to devote that sort of time to exercising. So what we need to make sure we do is to maximise the time we do have to make sure our workouts are as efficient as possible. We need to ensure that even if we can only allocate 45 minutes to an exercise program, in that 45 minutes we must work as hard as possible and burn the highest number of calories possible, but more importantly cause the strongest calorie after burn possible.

A great way to do this is to incorporate some explosive training into your strength training routine; you can do this through the introduction of some basic plyometric exercises. This is a great way to increase the amount of calories your body uses for your workouts. Just be sure to get some proper instruction on correct technique before you go off on your own.

The reason that this plyometric type of exercise is capable of burning so much more energy than standard resistance training exercises is in the extra range of motion and added muscle recruitment that is required. Take the body-weight squat and jump squat, for example.

The body-weight squat is a great exercise for strengthening the glutes, hamstrings, quads, and lower back muscles. Traditionally, it goes from a standing position, down until the quads are at least parallel to the ground, and then back to standing, as if you were sitting on an invisible chair.

The jump squat can utilise those same muscles and the same range of motion, but in order to get off the ground we need to recruit more muscles from the calf, allowing us to extend up onto our toes, and then propel ourselves off the ground. In order to get off the ground we are required to apply considerably more force, and when you consider that the amount of energy used is a product of the force applied and distance moved, these types of exercises will come out a clear winner in energy-use, every time.

Some great basic exercises to start with are the squat jump and push ups with a clap. Try adding those into your program and start burning some extra calories today. If you want to see how to do those, click on the exercises to check out a video from our YouTube channel.

Aside from those there are loads of other exercises you can incorporate, you just need to use your imagination. But in the meantime here is a short list to get you on your way.

Box Jumps

Plyometric Lunges

Broad Jumps


Single Leg Hops

Medicine Ball Throw Variations

Plyometric Push Ups

If you have any favourite exercise you think should be added to this list we would love to hear from you. Just comment below.