• There is Always a Way!

    Kia Ora everyone.  Just thought I would touch base on the subject of working out in a remote location.  I have recently found myself in this situation for work where I had no gym close by.  I bought myself some resistance bands and a TRX suspension system to take with me which fit in my suitcase nicely.  You really need to put your thinking cap on in this situation and attempt a few different exercises to see if they are targeting the area you want to focus on.  I tried to keep my workouts to a similar routine as my gym routine.  There is always an alternative variation of an exercise.  You just have to get creative!!  And trial and error a little.  Bearing in mind you don’t want to cause injury.  Now generally speaking but not always, most of the exercises I have been using aren’t moving as much weight as what I would lift in a gym environment.  So be ready to increase your reps.  Still focus on fatiguing the targeted muscle.  Chin ups and push ups are your best friend in this situation and even when you have a gym for that matter!  Find a tree or a rafter for chin ups.  There is always a solution so I don’t want to hear any excuses.  Ab pull-ups and dips are also great exercises that can be done almost anywhere.  I do highly recommend a TRX suspension system.  They are fantastic and there is basically an alternative for any exercise you can think of.  And you will be amazed on the level of core required just to retain balance during most of the exercises.  Adding the resistance bands covers the more isolated exercises like bicep curls and triceps extension.  One area I found hard to find suitable exercises for was my legs.  So i focused more on plyometric training and added some jump squats on flat ground and then onto a meter high surface.  This won’t necessarily add size to your legs but will most certainly help with toning and maintaining size.  After completing the jump squats I wanted to add some load stress to my legs so I improvised and grabbed 4 x 5 litre water bottles.  Two in each hand and then repped out 30 lunges.  As you can see in the video below.  The point I want to make with this is that no matter where you are there is always something you can lift or use as an alternative.  water bottles, rocks, wood.  Get creative people!!  Now since being here I have managed to get hold of a rental car and find a gym only 17 minutes away which I’m using daily.  But I still throw the odd TRX workout in between my gym workouts to really strengthen my core.  Give it a go and see what you think.  I’ll post some of my workouts up over the next few weeks so you get an idea of some of the exercises possible.

    Get Creative!



  • Injuries and Illness-2

    Kia Ora there.  I seem to be apologising every time I post for how long its taken.  So you know how it is!  I just wanted to talk about injuries and illness.  Mainly because I have suffered from both recently.  Either of these or both at the same time can really knock you around physically and maybe even more so mentally!  Its important to know and remember that injuries or illness happen to the best of us at some point and that it will definitely set your training back!  Highly possible that you will lose size, strength and weight.  I guess the most important thing and probably the most difficult is to stay positive throughout your recovery.  And this is where a lot of us fail.  Its hard knowing that you are losing some of the progress you have been working so hard for!

    Now my advice worked for me and it may not for you.  But have a read anyway.  The most important battle you will face will be associated with DIET!  When you feel helpless it is common to want to eat badly.  And takeaways is always the easiest solution if you can hardly move or find the energy to want to prepare anything or even leave the house.  It’s a tough battle with yourself trust me!!  If you’re lucky enough you may have someone to help you.  Either cook for you or shop for you.  Now my recommendation would be to turn to one of the many food prep companies with home delivery.  If you’re already on a plan then great.  If not then truly consider it while you are recovering.  This way you will be less tempted to fall off the diet wagon.

    Water retention is a must! I know from recently that you do stop drinking as much water when battling a flu or virus.  It can be hard to stomach, or even sit up to have a sip.  Just try your hardest to drink loads of water.  It really does help flush your body and hydration is super important when your immune system is low and hard at work!

    Supplements.  Once again your supplements may be hard to swallow.  But you’re going to have to suck it up precious!  Vitamins will help your immune system and body fight the infection.  Or if its just an injury you’re nursing.  We don’t want the levels that our body is used to consuming to drop.  Prime example here is creatine intake.  If you let your daily level of creatine fade away then when you bounce back you will need to start a loading phase again and this can just add to the time period of building back to where you were before the injury or illness.

    Last but not least.  Try your absolute hardest to get in a little bit of exercise of any form.  If you can get to the gym for a light season then fantastic!  If you can manage a light session at home then great!  Just try your hardest to keep your muscles mobile.  Now if you are nursing an injury then getting to the gym shouldn’t be a problem.  Most importantly you will need to have a long hard think about what exercises you can perform that avoid the injury or put any sort of stress on the effected area.  If you are not a hundred percent sure then you may have to test yourself.  Most importantly start with super light weights, or even just your body weight.  And perform the exercise with total control.  Slow it right down and take your time.  Maybe even use assistance of some sort.  Test the exercise before increasing weights and do not push your limits until you are back to 100% health.

    Choice it was nice to get that off my shoulders.  I tore a back muscle and had a nasty virus at the same time.  Lost about 4kgs over this period.  Just remember you will take a step back.  But its just a reason to work harder to get back what you had and even progress beyond that!


  • Frequency and Intensity

    Kia Ora everyone.  Happy Friday.  I just wanted to talk briefly about intensity and frequency.  I watched a couple of videos on the internet recently which got me thinking.  One from Arnie too!  The main topic was all about over training a muscle group.  Arnie’s technique when he was in his prime was to really hammer a muscle group to get the best results.  Now this brought me back to training about a year ago.  I was throwing the 50 kg dumbbells around no worries.  I can do that now too.  But there was a period in between where my weights dropped considerably.  Anyway now that I look back to what was the difference in my training style back then was quite simple.  Now I wasn’t training legs simply because my knee was in rehab mode.  So i found myself doing dumbbell bench press everyday.  And I got great results out of that period.  I was certainly neglecting other body parts which I am aware of now but in terms of chest and strength I was looking good.  So this makes you question the whole training myth about “Do not train the same muscle group the next day.  Rest it”  I mean I don’t know how many people actually live by that these days anyway.  But if you are eating properly and getting a good nights sleep then I don’t think training the same muscle group two days in a row is necessarily a bad thing.  If done right it can really work for you.  But the main thing I will emphasis here is.  You must be eating a high protein diet.  You must get plenty of rest in between.  And if you feel sore in anyway in that particular area then stand down.  Without taking these into consideration seriously, the end result will be an injury.  Listen to your body.  I have often hit the gym and one set into my workout put the bar down and walked out.  You know when your body needs rest.  It will tell you.  Now this topic brings up another topic in my mind.  And that is intensity.  Are you really pushing yourself?  Are you walking out of the gym exhausted?  I believe you should.  And often I get home and think to myself.  Shit I could have lifted heavier then.  Or maybe do another set.  Fatigue that muscle I say.  I once drove home from a tricep workout and could barely turn the steering wheel.  Dangerous yes!  But shit I knew I had exhausted that muscle and that it was only going to come back stronger.  Lets make a goal to ourselves to up our intensity.  Make it hurt!  Not injury wise but energy wise.  Lets take it to the next level!  Sorry that sounds a bit cheesy but you know what I mean!  But Please keep in mind that TECHNIQUE is the most important thing.  If your technique drops then that means you are fatigued ok.  If you have pushed that exercise to the level where your technique becomes poor and dangerous then stop right there.  This is where you can use a training partner to analyse your form and tell you when to stop or if you want to get that little bit extra out of that muscle then your partner can add a little bit of help to complete the exercise correctly.  Train Hard But Train Correctly!  Go the All Blacks!

  • Turning Weaknesses into Strengths

    Have you noticed yet that you may be neglecting a particular muscle? Well I have recently. I kind of thought my calves were a bit out of proportion. But it wasn’t until I heard people comment on my tiny calves that I really noticed! And sometimes that’s what it takes. It may hurt a little at first but to be honest it’s some of the best criticism ever. If someone else notices it then we certainty have a problem there. The good thing about this is it can be fixed. The best thing to remember from this is don’t get down about it and think of it negatively.  You should be thankful to that person for pointing out a weakness. Now that we know this we can get on with fixing it right?  Damn straight!  And now we have a new goal. If anything, for me this is exciting! It’s like a wee challenge has been handed to us! Sweet as I say! Let’s smash this!  And its nice to have new challenges to work on.  Less chance of your routines becoming boring.  This also made me ask myself if there was any other areas that I think need work.  And sure enough there is.  I believe my Latissimus Dorsi, both left and right of course need some extra attention to make them pop out a little more.   So ask yourself the question.  Am I neglecting a muscle or area for that matter?  I think this is an important question to ask yourself regularly.  And alter your workout to compensate.  Increase the frequency for this particular muscle.  Increase the weights.  Do what ever you need to too improve this area.  Set new goals.

    I just purchased a huge white board to hang on my bedroom wall so I can track my workouts, goals and improvements.  Its impossible to miss when I wake up or if I walk passed it.  I think this is a good way to improve or increase motivation.  The facts are right there in front of your face.  Every morning you can sit there and stare at the board and think to yourself ok what do I need to do today?  Where can I improve?  How can I improve? I’m also going to track diet and body weight.  If you think you need a little push then maybe jump on this boat too!

  • Todays Pump

    Hey guys.  Always apologising for how slack I am at posting.  Sorry again.  I had a week off the training there and it threw me off completely!  But I am back now and almost back to where I left.  Anyway this post is just what I did today at the gym.  Have a go and let me know what you think.  Pretty basic, but increased the weights and really tried to lift heavy.  So this session is all about going big.  Make it burn and push yourself to the limit.

    ExerciseSet 1Set 2Set 3Set 4Set 5Set 6Set 7Set 8
    SquatsBar Weight 20kgs x 1060kgs x 10100kgs x 10120kgs x 10140kgs x 1060kgs x 20
    Bench Press BarBar Weight 20kgs x 1560kgs x 10100kgs x 8100kgs x 10100kgs x 10105kgs x 10115kgs x 460kgs x 20
    Leg Press50kgs x 15160kgs x 10240kgs x 10260kgs x 10280kgs x 10300kgs x 10
    Incline Bench Press
    42kgs each x 842kgs each x 1042kgs each x 9
    Leg Extension Single Leg33kgs x 10 each Leg33kgs x 10 each Leg33kgs x 10 each Leg
    Fly Machine96kgs x 10103kgs x 10103kgs x 9




  • Its Technique Baby!

    Do you ever stop and stare at somebody at the gym and think holy shit that is poor technique.  And think they are going to hurt themselves.  Or wonder what on earth they are thinking?  The only thing that will do is ruin your back.  Haha!  Oh there is so much of it around isn’t there.  Far too much for my liking.  I even see personal trainers with poor form.  I was watching a trainer the other day doing bench press.  He was clearly lifting more than he should have been and the only way to complete the exercise was to bounce the bar off his chest.  Or another one I always cringe at is a so called fitness model/trainer that squats more than she should and performs the movement with a bounce at the bottom arched back and wobbly knees.  I just don’t understand why you would even bother.  I guarantee you will see better results dropping the weight a little and concentrating on performing the exercise with correct technique.  I can’t stress it enough.  Form is the most important aspect to any exercise.  I can see how some of us fall into the trap of wanting to lift more than the guy or girl beside you.  Lets be the bigger person here and not fall into that trap.  Or if you want to do a heavier session than usual with lower reps then that is fine but make sure you concentrate on technique and make sure you train with a partner who is capable of spotting you when needed.  Or if you can’t find someone then set the safety bars up on the cage or whatever machine you are using so that you can drop the weights if needed without hurting yourself mentally or physically.  I read a quote the other day and I can’t remember where or who said it but it went somewhere along the lines of ” It’s not how much you can lift, it’s how much you look like you can lift”.  And that really stuck in my head.  It’s so true.  After all we go to the gym to improve our physique right?  Well I certainly do.  Correct me if I’m wrong.

    Be careful when choosing a personal trainer too guys.  Unfortunately there are some bad ones out there.  As shallow as it sounds judge them off how fit they look I say.  Thats always a good way of seeing there results right.  It really is a shame that there are people out there teaching poor form.  Usually a long list of qualifications and achievements is a good way of knowing how good they are too.  In this case judge the book by its cover I say.  And if you’re not completely sure then ask.  I can always help and there are plenty of others out there that can too.  And thats my rant for the weekend.  Haha!  Good luck out there and stay cool!  Chur.

  • Holidays

    I’m about to embark on a wee holiday across the ditch to my home town of Wanaka in New Zealand for my sisters wedding.  Now I just wanted to brush on the importance of not neglecting exercise altogether.  I understand that it can be difficult in many ways.  Finding time or a gym is probably the biggest obstacle.  But just like using the busy work schedule excuse when you’re at home.  There is always time.  Make time.  A messily 30 mins everyday or maybe every second day is not impossible!  And if you can’t find a gym then you’ll have to look elsewhere.  There are hundreds maybe even thousands of body weight assisted exercises.  And you can’t tell  me you can’t go for a nice walk or run.  So no excuses people!  Something is always better than nothing!

    Now that last paragraph was before me wee break and now I am writing after my return home.  I managed to find a gym close to my parents house which I used 4 times out of the 7 days I was there.  So I did pretty well considering all the drinking going on around me.  And my will power isn’t strong trust me.  I managed to get in my full weights routines even though the gym was a little lacking in terms of the equipment I would usually use.  There is always an alternative exercise.  And if you’re unsure then the easiest solution is to just google the exercise.

    I’m off to the gym now but when I get back I will sit down and put together some routines for you guys to try out.  I haven’t put up any workouts for ages and I apologise for that.  So stay tuned.


  • Neglecting Cardio? Maybe Not!

    I was asked the other day by a friend what cardio work I do.  He had me stumped there for a while to be honest!  Not many people enjoy cardio work or as I like to look at it boring high intensity repetition.  Now don’t get me wrong I think it is a necessity for sure!  But I am happy to admit I have neglected it a lot lately.  Now increasing your cardiovascular system can be done in so many forms its probably impossible to count.  Boxing was my favourite by far and I still believe is one of the most effective and enjoyable forms out there.  But I have recently moved house and now live nowhere near the boxing gym I was a member at so I cancelled my membership.  Resulting in neglecting cardio.  But was I really neglecting it or was I finding it elsewhere without realising it?  Well this is where I discovered how intense weight training really is!  It’s really quite amazing what your body goes through during a large compound exercise or any simple weight assisted movement.  When you read or hear that a squat is not only good for you legs but also your core and back if not more areas of your body then they would be spot on right there!  And when they describe the squat as a large compound exercise they really mean large!  When the body is engaging that many body parts and muscles just take a second to think about your heart rate.  And you know what?  If you feel like you need to loose more fat, then after lifting a heavy weight drop to a lighter weight and increase the repetitions to really get that heart pumping.  Believe it or not but you are not only increasing the strength of your muscles but burning fat and increasing your cardiovascular’s capacity very effectively!  So anyway what I’m trying to say here is don’t underestimate the power of weight training.  BUT!  And thats a large but, I’m not saying to neglect cardio at all.  It has its purpose for sure!  If you need to loose weight and fat fast then there is no faster way than hitting the treadmill.  But combine it with a nice weight session.  And find a way to make it enjoyable for yourself.  If you hate the treadmill then try the rower.  Or one of my favourites is the stair climb machine.  Not every gym has them though.  So if they don’t find some stairs outside.  Theres heaps of the around Sydney and I guarantee there will be where ever you live in the world.  Ever tried playing a sport?  Not only is it fun and sociable but great fitness!  Even a game of squash with a friend is the best fitness.  Give it a go!  I guess the bottom line of all of this is cardio comes in so many forms it is ridiculous!  And all you need to do is find the one that suits you best.  Enjoyment is what is going to get you back the next day doing it again.  So find that special form that suits you.  And remember that weight training is also a form of cardio.  Well in my books anyway.



    125gms of Honey                              ½ Cup of Olive Oil

    3 eggs                                                    4 Bananas

    ½ Cup of Natural Yoghurt            1 tsp of Vanilla Extract

    2 tsp of Baking Powder                  2 tsp of Cinnamon

    ½ Cup of Walnuts                            80-100gms of Protein Powder

    (Your choice of flavour)                Coconut oil or Almond oil (to grease the tin)

    2 Cups of Finely Grounded Almonds 

    Preheat the oven to 170 Degrees Celsius. Separate the eggs and cream the yolks with the honey until light and fluffy. I use my magic bullet blender for this. Add the Olive oil, Vanilla. Mash up the bananas with a fork and chuck them in too, along with the yoghurt, cinnamon and baking powder. Blend up 2 cups of almonds, once again I just throw them in the bullet and wiz them up very finely. Ends up looking like flour. Throw the almonds into the mixture too and mix it all together. In a separate bowl or in the blender again beat the egg whites until they form a stiff peak. Fold them into the mixture along with the protein powder. Then lastly chop up the walnuts to your desired consistency and in they go too. Mix it all together one last time. Then pour the mixture into a loaf tin oiled up with the coconut or almond oil. Then throw that bad boy in the oven for 45 minutes. Too easy bro!  Now if you’re feeling a little lazier than usual.  Have a look at the picture with the baking for kids box.  It’s an easy alternative and still very heathy.  You can find it in the most supermarkets in the health food section.  And also you will see I’ve added a picture of a loaf I made with blueberries added.  Get inventive and add whatever you like.

    IMG_3602 IMG_3606 IMG_3614 IMG_3620 IMG_3622 IMG_3626 IMG_3629 IMG_3638 IMG_5129 IMG_5155 IMG_5167 IMG_5181