Personal trainers talk: 'The worst way I've been fired'

Trainers have feelings too y’know…

Personal trainers talk: 'The worst way I've been fired'


If you think about your relationship with your personal trainer it’s probably one of the most intimate interactions you have in your life – this person is literally tasked with challenging your limits and making you a better version of yourself, often through lots of sweat and tears. It’s a bond built with trust and a taste of tough love. 

So when that connection doesn’t work out it can sometimes feel like a breakup – and if Sex and the City’s Jack Berger and his Post-it note are anything to go by, some people just suck at severing ties. 

Here a few personal trainers chew the fat with Body + Soul about some of the worst ways they’ve been fired by a client. 

Mel, Sydney – The ones that got away

“I was training some clients at a park and told them to go for a jog to warm up. There were a few moans and groans but as they went on their way I watched from a distance. They ran in a pack and as they circled around I saw three of the women run off track and toward a car. I watched as they opened the doors, got in and just left – never came back. Probably for the best if they couldn’t handle the warm up.”

Harry, Sydney: Fired by text, minutes before a dawn session was due to begin

“I was training one woman who was really keen to drop a lot of weight and was really dedicated to her training – seeing me three times a week for about a month. I thought we were going well but out of the blue 10 minutes before a 5am sand dunes session she texted saying she wasn’t coming to training… ever. 

“I tried to call and see what was up but she didn’t answer and never bothered to ring me back or call me again. Totally ghosted me. It was pretty frustrating because not only did I lose money and time but I was left wondering if it was something I did. 

“Months later I heard from a friend of hers that I trained that the client just wasn’t interested in getting into shape. It all caught up on her that morning and rather than possibly having to swat away my attempts to motivate her to come back she just texted and was done with it. But, even if she felt like that, it’s not the decent thing to do.”

Tim, Melbourne – Sacked and trapped

“I have a pretty exclusive client base – some of my regulars like me to travel with them. I had one gentleman, very successful, who flew me to Asia because he had been slipping with his exercise and felt like he really needed a kick start to his year to get on track. 

“The plan was meditation, training, yoga and recovery for two weeks – but when we got there it was a different story. He basically couldn’t cope with the heat and held me personally responsible for the humidity. After three days of trying to coax him into even the gentlest of exercises we had to call it a day. 

“Being the tight-ass that he was, he was peeved that he had essentially flown me over for two weeks in Thailand – but it was no picnic for me. 

“We had some serious conversations about money, he tried to wriggle out of payment and asked me to move to a ratty hotel because it would be cheaper and we weren’t training. I told him it was not going to happen. And since I couldn’t get a flight out of there immediately I spent a few days creeping around the resort trying not to let him spot me even having to mildest bit of enjoyment. 

“The lesson I learnt was to pick my clients to travel for more carefully – and get payment before boarding a plane.”

Samantha, Brisbane – The awkward aftermath

“I had a client who decided she wanted to part ways – no biggie. She just said she wasn’t wanting to do PT sessions anymore and just train on her own at the gym. 

“It was a shame because I hadn’t trained her for long but I thought she was lovely – she really confided in me a lot about her health battles, but I could see she was keen to move on without one-on-one training so we spilt.

“The thing was though when she would then see me in the gym she wouldn’t even say hi, and I could see when she spotted me she would duck and weave behind equipment just to avoid speaking to me. 

“I didn’t need to have a big ol’ chat with her but it was like she thought because I wasn’t training her I would be mad. I wasn’t but I did annoy me that she seemed to go to such massive efforts to not be civil. It was weird.”

Dean, Sydney – Fired via Facebook status

“Well this was super awkward. I had a client who after a PT session wrote on Facebook something to the effect of, ‘Who has a trainer that they can recommend? Mine is rubbish.’ He must have forgot that when I began training him he added me so I saw it and just liked it. 

“Obviously horrified he wrote me a message saying, ‘Sorry man,’ but I just deleted him online and texted him to say if he’s got something to complain about to do it to my face. He didn’t do that and I never saw him at the gym again.”

Ian, Melbourne – Sacked old school

“This was a while ago – before the days of mobile phones. I was training a lady for a few weeks and one day I asked her to warm up and stretch while I grabbed some equipment. 

“I was gone for a few minutes and when I came back she had put a note on the mat saying, ‘It’s not working out.’ I don’t even know if she saw the humour in her words but she must have got out of the gym quick as lightening because I didn’t see her grab her stuff and leave. 

“I saw her a few times in the street after that but she always put her head down to avoid me.”

How to avoid an awful ending…

Sifting through the anecdotal evidence, one of the biggest reasons trainer’s seem to attribute to clients firing them so dramatically is because they feel the client wasn’t ready to put in the hard yards. And if the mental preparation is lacking for the gruelling fitness journey ahead then a lot of client’s tend to project their pent up frustrations about their health onto their trainer.

Personal trainer Dinny Morris, whose mantra is #toughlovenoexcuses, says the best way to avoid a bad ending to a PT/client relationship starts with a good beginning. 

“Some people are confused about the role of a personal trainer and what our realm of practice is,” explains Sydney-based Dinny. “And some of the time when you have a client who comes to you and just wants to try and talk for an hour about goals, they’re really coming to you because your one-on-one service is cheaper than that of a psychologist – which isn’t the right motivation. 

“I always make sure we have an end goal for the client at the beginning before we start training and we are measuring to ensure we are on track to hit that goal.”

Dinny adds that PT’s can avoid getting an awkward sacking by using the initial consultation as a chance for both trainer and client to assess their compatibility. 

“I’ve told clients things won’t work out between us after one session because I can see that they aren’t ready to do the hard work – when your a results driven personal trainer wanting your client to achieve their goals you must let them know this in the very first conversation. And, if they aren’t ready for the change or the process that is needed in order to succeed, they won’t get results. It’s not a happy combo for both of us.”

Read here for our guide on the best way to end it with a trainer.

*Note: Some interviews have been edited for length and clarity. 

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Eight elite trainers share how they recover after a long run

From ice baths to foam rolls, these top-notch runners share how they beat soreness.

Photo: iStock

We’ve all felt the burn – some of us, more potently so than others. But have you ever wondered, how do other people recover? Especially when you know your running routines can make your legs feel like lead. Here, Sydney’s best elite trainers share what works for them and hey… they more you know.

Foam rolling

“Foam roll and warm up prior to running to ensure that your muscles respond to the task at hand. Then stretch and foam roll afterwards to speed up your recovery and reduce the likelihood of injuries.”

– Moodi Dennaoui, Body Science.

Stretch it out at Yoga

“When it comes to recovering from training, I swear by yoga and hydration. After drinking water by the litre and completing a Yin Yoga session, I am a new man. When I am training hard, I try to fit in two yoga sessions per week.”

– Ben Lucas, Flow Athletic and Rebel Insider.

Sleep is key

“Sleep and nap as much as you can. Sleep is the key to recovery. Aim for 8-9 hours a night. If you can’t get that in, then a 20min recovery nap during the day will do you wonders, and not enough sleep increases your chance of injury and affects the level of intensity you can achieve during training.”

– Kevin Toonen, S+C Coach for the Special Forces and Body Science.

Take an ice bath

“When it comes to recovery I swear by ice baths. While opinions on this method vary between strength coaches and sport scientists, they always work for me, especially after a marathon. It’s so easy too. I just pick up few bags of ice from a petrol station, chuck it in a bathtub, add some cold water and submerge myself from waist down (I often keep on my jumper!)

“For me, ice baths help to reduce inflammation and reduce muscle soreness.

“Adequate nutrition and hydration, magnesium supplementation and compression are also great recovery methods post-long run. Sleep is probably the most important – no matter what you do.”

Go for a swim

“You can’t go past a swim to get the blood moving in a weightless environment. It’s the best way to flush out lactic acid after a tough workout or a run, especially if it’s cold! I then like to use a heat rub like the Deep Heat Pro sports recovery massage oil to further promote blood flow usually in the evening or whenever I can beg my girlfriend for a massage!”

– Tim Robards, founder of The Robards Method.

Walk it off

“Once you have finished your run, whether it be a long distance or sprints, spend a few minutes walking it out to allow your legs to cool down gradually. Also spend a few minutes doing a whole body stretch down to lengthen out your muscles post run and then again before bed.”

– Lauren Hannaford, former elite gymnast for Australia.

Get a massage

“I swear by self-myofascial release (or MFR) and stretching, in fact I feel that it should become a daily ritual for anyone who wants to lead an active lifestyle. If you don’t know how to execute this correctly, I suggest asking a trainer for guidance.

“Having said that, when preparing for a tough task, such as an endurance run where you are building up your kilometres each week, your body will require more attention.

“I suggest booking a reputable massage therapist once per week. Looking after your body enhances performance and proactively avoids injuries.”


“Take rest days. Staying mobile and flexible is vital for not only performance and recovery, but also injury prevention. Throw in some yoga and a massage into your weekly schedule too.”

– Katie Williams, beach sprinting champion.

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Aerial Acrobatics: We give this new fitness trend a whirl

Ever dreamt of running away to a circus? This is the next best thing

Aerial Acrobatics: We give this new fitness trend a whirl

Now that we no longer have to chase our own food, I’m constantly amazed by the way humans choose to keep fit.

Treadmills, for example – what an odd invention. Can you even imagine the pitch meeting? “I’m looking to fund a machine that won’t let people go anywhere, do much of anything or get any fresh air or stimulation of any kind. They’ll walk on the spot and expend energy for the sake of it. What do you think?”

There are other, more artistic options. Like aerial acrobatics. This pursuit is more the Lady Gaga to your treadmill’s Margaret Thatcher. If you’ve ever taken in a Cirque du Soleil show, you’ve seen it done.

It basically involves wrapping your limbs around lengths of fabric bolted to the ceiling and then climbing up those lengths in increasingly imaginative ways. When done right you look like a lithe and sensual squirrel. When done poorly you come across as a moron, hog-tied in your own bed sheets. I won’t ruin the ending by telling you which one I was.

I started by signing up for the 90-minute beginners’ class at Wild Spirit Productions in Sydney’s Botany. Maggie Kelley is head honcho here and took our class of eight willing apprentices. If Jessica Rabbit and Pink had a love child it would be Maggie. She’s all red hair and toned limbs, minus the air of intimidation. 

What I hadn’t anticipated is that we’d spend 45 of our 90 minutes doing warm-up stretches. At the time it felt like pointless busy work. It became apparent the next morning, however, that without those stretches I wouldn’t have been able to wipe my own rear. I’m not exaggerating. You will use muscles you’ve probably never used unless you’ve had sex in space. And even then…

I quickly discovered I was the Rob Kardashian of our merry troupe. At one point I got my right foot so knotted up in my silk I had to just hang upside down until Maggie untied me. She was very patient – demonstrating each move before we tried it in pairs. It’s all quite choreographed and not at all like the scrambling-up-a-rope-in-gym-class I imagined it would be.

There are names for each climb, too. There’s the French: it’s dance-y and pretty, but slightly ineffectual. Then there’s the Russian: it’s gutsier and gets you where you’re going.

In the end, it was easier than I expected. The learning curve is steep but satisfying and by the end of it, we were all doing backflips. What a time to be alive. 

I admit the whole thing left me hurting more than Donald Trump after a John Oliver roast, but I’d choose this over running down my next meal. Unless that meal was piping-hot and waiting at the end of a stationary treadmill… We squirrely circus folk aren’t silly.

The Lowdown

What: Aerial silks. 

How much: $34 for a 90-minute class.

Where: 1/42 William St, Botany;

I loved: That you could get adept at this art very quickly – and that’s an excellent quality in a hobby.

I question: How long you have to keep at it before you’d be allowed to wear feathers. I mean it… I’d like a time stamp on that.

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Jodhi Meares secret to looking good? Endorphins

The founder and creative director of The Upside on why her beauty regime is more internal than external.

Photo: Instagram @jodhimeares

Jodhi Meares has been in the spotlight for over two decades in various roles – model, billionaire’s wife, entrepreneur, TV presenter and successful businesswoman. But a constant through this time has been her unwavering inner – and outer – beauty, and a love of the active lifestyle.

Nowadays as we focus more on what we put in our bodies than what we put on it, we could all learn a few things from the founder and creative director of The Upside, who has been living this motto for years. Here, she talk us through her beauty routine, her workout of choice and her daily rituals.

What did you learn about beauty from your mum?

That less is always more. Mum’s idea of beauty is that it comes from within. She always said that if you have “good nails, good hair & good teeth”, that you will always look amazing.

How does your beauty regime differ in each place you are in?

I don’t buy into the hype of the newest and greatest products. I only use organic products on my skin and stay as natural as possible. So my beauty regime doesn’t really change but I do shift my internal regime depending on the seasons. I eat for the seasons, so if I’m visiting a colder climate I change my diet to root vegetables, lentils and wholesome foods and in summer I’ll eat lighter foods like salads and fruits. My regime is more internal than external.

RELATED: Why Elle Macpherson loves the alkaline diet

What are your must have products for face, body and hair?

Face: Cetaphil products are my go-to gentle option for my face

Body: Keri Lotion – It’s a model’s secret and it is the best thing ever!

Hair: My amazing friend and hairdresser Di Gorgievski has put me onto Oribe Supershine light moisturizing cream. It’s a leave-in conditioner that makes your hair shiny and soft.

What is your morning regime?

I wake up, jump in the shower, get to yoga and go about my day. I’m a ‘wash and wear’ kind of person so my regime is minimal. I prefer it that way! There is a certain effort that goes with it and health is very important. I focus a lot on my inner health and taking care of myself so that I have the ability to be natural with my regime.

RELATED: A dietitian rates what top celebrities have for breakfast

What is your evening regime?

Similar to the morning but reversed; I wash everything off and read a book that I love. Reading makes me glow. It’s the internal things that affect the external things. Without reading, yoga and the like I don’t sleep or feel as well.

What are your quick-fix and inexpensive tips and tricks?

Workout! Whatever it is that you love doing, do that! Go to yoga, box, soul cycle – whatever works for you, you just need to find something that gives you joy or at the very least, you don’t loathe!

I also always soak in Epsom salts, it’s the cure-all for jet lag and sore muscles post training.

What is your ritual for getting ready to go out at night?

These days I don’t really have a ritual. If I do have an event on at night I try to spend less time on my hair and make-up and more time working out. I love that internal glow exercise brings. It’s all endorphins! If you have a big night that you want to feel good for, my recommendation is to spend the day doing what you love and get a good sweat going, you’ll feel all the better for it.

Want is your ritual for unwinding when you need to relax?

Yoga. Yoga. Yoga.

What are your makeup bag essentials?

Mascara – as minimal as I am, I always love a lash.

RELATED: What Gigi Hadid eats for breakie will surprise you

What are the superfoods and drinks that help you feel your best?

Anything that hydrates me! Particularly something with electrolytes and minerals for post work out recovery. We love Hydralytes at THE UPSIDE, we call them Upside-dralytes! We also love Elle McPherson’s Super Elixir Alkalising Greens, so good for your insides and great in a smoothie.

What enhances your beauty outside of products?

My family always make me feel more peaceful and happier. Especially my little sister, she’s my favourite person and always makes me feel incredible. Family is what I treasure more than anything!

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How to find an awesome personal trainer

It could be the difference between becoming ripped and being ripped off.

Photo: Stocksy

Hiring a personal trainer can be one of the best investments you’ll make in your health. But gyms seem to be crawling with them. So how do you find the one for you? Here are five things every great trainer should have.

#1 Solid qualifications

Of course, like most industries, being qualified is a no-brainer. But take a closer look at what exactly your potential trainer is qualified in. It’s not actually that difficult to get qualified as a trainer; certificates III and IV in fitness, and First Aid/CPR training are all that’s required. But that’s just the bare minimum. Every trainer worth his or her salt will up-skill and broaden their qualifications, not just because it’s a legal requirement, but because it’s their business and hopefully their passion.

Don’t be afraid to ask where they’ve done further training and check that those qualifications align with your personal goals.

#2 They walk the walk

Look around your gym at the personal trainers – you’ll learn so much from the way they operate. How do they present themselves? A good trainer will lead by example. They don’t have to look like a body-builder – in fact, most won’t because that’s not their goal. How buff you are is definitely not a sign of how good you are as a coach. However, trainers do need to be fit, healthy and clean. If someone has trouble getting themself into shape, how can they inspire you to do it?

RELATED: The six different people you meet at the gym

#3 Social proof and proof of results

Okay, your potential trainer doesn’t need to be an Instagram star. To be honest, those who have enough time to post photos of themselves training all day clearly aren’t training anyone else. But if someone is running a reputable business, they’ll have some kind of social proof, whether it be a good website, Facebook page or recommendations from other clients. The longer they’ve been in the game, the more recommendations and proof of results they’ll be able to show you. Whatever your goal, be it fat loss, posture correction, or bulking up, if a trainer says they can help you, ask them to show you proof that they’ve helped others.

#4 A thorough assessment procedure

If you launch straight into a workout in your first session, alarm bells should ring. Before you even pick up a weight the two of you should discuss in detail your exercise and illness history, goals and any concerns you might have. Your trainer should also do a full posture and mobility assessment so they know exactly how you move, in order to keep you safe. A clear, contractual agreement is also a must.

RELATED: If you hate the gym, you need to read this

#5 A likeable and friendly personality

At the end of the day, you actually have to like your trainer – and vice versa. This person is responsible for motivating you when you’d rather be in bed or at the pub. They could have all the qualifications under the sun, but if you don’t actually like them as a human being, your sessions will feel lifetimes long. Rapport is just as important to personal training as the workout itself and great coaches care about their clients. They know your birthday, ask about your life outside the gym, check in on you regularly and sometimes even shout you coffee.

Your trainer should also be able to read you. Not immediately, but after a few months they hopefully know you well enough to understand when it’s time to push or time to lighten the load – without you even saying a word.

Likewise, you need to be the right fit for them, too. Coaches give a lot to their clients. It’s a high-energy, high-demand and, at-times, tiring job. But they do it because they love to help people. PT is a two-way street and no trainer wants to spend time with energy vampires, rude people or flakes who have no respect for their time.

Cassie White is a Sydney-based personal trainer, yoga coach and health journalist.

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The Australian gym franchise taking on US fitness industry

Fit Aussies are making their mark in Hollywood, and the locals love it.

This article originally appeared on and is published here with permission.

It’s no secret that Aussie actors have been taking Hollywood A-list roles in the past decade. Now the US fitness industry is under siege by Aussie gym franchise, Training Mate.

“You don’t burn more calories while you’re training just because you’re a douchebag,” says Training Mate founder and former Wallaby rugby player, Luke Milton. It’s this typical Aussie attitude that has put a dent in the highly competitive gym market in Los Angeles where maintaining the body beautiful is a very serious business.

Our Aussie expats have given Hollywood a much needed attitude adjustment. “Gyms in Hollywood can be an intimidating experience. Professionally speaking, I’m at the highest level in the world but even I will walk in to some of these places and think, ‘Oh my goodness. What am I in for?’ We offer a very supportive environment.”

Hard Yards

Milton founded Training Mate in Sydney in 2009, and relocated to LA in 2013. The trainers, almost all of them Australian, are largely comprised of former athletes and together they create an atmosphere of camaraderie.

“You’ll hear some pretty bad jokes during the workout,” Mr Milton laughs. “Everyone gets a nickname and we specialise in bad dad jokes. We make sure everyone feels welcome.”

Each of the high intensity workouts has an Aussie-centric name.

“They’re geared towards specific body parts. On a Monday and Thursday we have our upper body program, Bondi Burn; Tuesday is Thunder Down Under, which is glutes, legs, and abs. Wednesday is Sydney Circuit, an all body circuit style program, and Fridays and weekends, Mighty Mate, a traditional full body circuit.”

The atmosphere may be lighthearted and full of ‘bad’ jokes but the training program is no joke. Going along to see what the fuss is about, I’m placed into one of the small teams. Each exercise lasts for 45 seconds and the teams are rotated using all the equipment until three circuits are completed.

RELATED: “I tried to change the body part I disliked the most”

Given that I’m in their flagship gym in West Hollywood, it’s no surprise that my team includes two models, and by the end of the session I realise I’m squatting alongside Allan Leech, who plays chauffer-turned son-in-law on Downtown Abbey.

In between lunges, I ask him what makes Training Mate special. Leech answers, breathlessly: “I come here every time I fly in from London. I’m comfortable here. I like that the workout can be as difficult or easy as you want it to be. And by now some of the trainers have become friends.” Milton agrees. “Yeah, we’re mates. I’ll throw Leech under the bus sometimes.”

Other celebrities seen in the gym include Rachel McAdams, Adrien Grenier, Freida Pinto, former Spice Girl Mel B, and Teri Hatcher.

Not only do the locals walk out knowing they did a good thing for their body, they tend to pick up some Aussie slang in the process.

“Yeah, we’re infiltrating the American market and some of them are using Aussie slang. Some have even adopted the accent,” Milton laughs.

With the huge invasion in recent years there is a strong ‘koala mafia’ presence. “We are waiting for our own Little Australia to be marked out on the geographic boards. With the success of Chris and Liam Hemsworth, Margot Robbie, Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe, I feel that the exposure to the Australian lifestyle is probably at its peak now.”

Training Mate has inadvertently replaced the idea of the local pub for new Aussies landing in LA and acts as a base for the community.

“We’re a central hub for a lot of Aussie actors who come here, particularly around pilot season. They’re looking for a home away from home. It can be overwhelming or shell-shocking to move here to LA and people come to us with questions, like, how to get a visa, an agent or manager,” he says.

“Sullivan Stapleton (Blindspot) comes in, Esther Anderson and Pia Miller (Home and Away) as well. Actually Danny MacPherson said, ‘Mate, there are so many Aussies here I haven’t seen since I was back home.” He smiles. “The Aussie community over here is as close as I’ve ever seen it.”

Many Americans enjoy the Aussie accent, and with the trainers being so easy on the eye, it’s a winning combination for Training Mate.

RELATED: Why you have sex dreams about your personal trainer

“Fitness is the new frontier for Australia taking over, absolutely. I’m really proud of that.” Looking to expand the franchise, he says, “We’re looking at opening up in the East Coast and possibly across the pond to London. The thing I’m most proud of is that we’ve changed the perception of working out. We have a lot of people who generally wouldn’t work out but because of Training Mate, they have a much better lifestyle now.”

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“I’ve cried numerous times in yoga”

How Kaley Cuoco is using exercise to get through her divorce.

Photo: Instagram

As a Big Bang Theory obsessive, I hate to think about brilliant Kaley Cuoco doing anything other than doing what she does best – smile. But in a very open and honest interview in the December issue of US Women’s Health magazine she’s opened up about how she coped with her divorce from ex-husband Ryan Sweeting. They split in September last year after just 21 months of marriage.

Kaley, 30, says, “I’ve cried numerous times in yoga. The best part is I’m sweating so bad no one can tell.”

Her focused workouts didn’t end there; she also found SoulCycle classes therapeutic. “It’s so dark, you can cry in there too. Everyone’s going through stuff in their lives, every single person.”

Kaley, who’s a keen rider with several horses at her ranch in Simi Valley, California, turned to them for comfort. “For a month straight I would talk to my horse and just bawl,” she says. “Finally I went out and the crying didn’t come. I was like ‘I think I actually got through this’.”

RELATED: 8 surprising celebrity yogis

On yoga:

“I used to not enjoy working out and I found something that I love and it is yoga. I absolutely love it. Sometimes, do I want to get up and do it in the morning? No. But when I get out, I feel a million bucks.”

On her daily diet:

Morning: “When I wake up in the morning I have the same little peanut butter on one piece of toast every single morning.”

Midday: “I have a sandwich halfway through the day. Half. Always eat half… we eat our entire plate and by the end we just want to fall over because we’ve totally overeaten.”

Later: “If you’re still hungry eat it later, but if you think abut it you don’t really need it. So that’s been a really good tip for me.”

Night: “When I get very hungry at night – which is my biggest problem – I go for some fruit. So just like an apple, an apple and peanut butter or celery or something to curb my appetite.”

RELATED: This is what the “fittest woman on earth” eats every day

On being a pescatarian:

“I eat a little it of fish, but no more meat – I’m done [with eating meat]. So a piece of salmon for dinner and vegetables.”

On cosmetic surgery:

“Years ago I had my nose done. And my boobs – best thing I ever did. Recently I had a filler in a line in my neck I’ve had since I was 12… I don’t think you should do it for a man or anyone else. But if it makes you feel confidence, that’s amazing.”

Exercise will help you deal with stress and release unwanted emotions. It’s a fast way to channel your energy into something positive.

RELATED: A dietitian rates what top celebrities have for breakfast

Best breakup workouts…

• Yoga: focus on your inner self and let any tears mix with sweat as you focus on your downward facing dog. Will also help you sleep more peacefully.

• Spinning: sweating it out to high-energy music and flooding your body with endorphins will help you heal a broken heart.

• Circuits: intense exercise will give you a break from your overwhelming thoughts and emotional pain for a while.

• Running: set yourself a target and train towards it. Get your earphones in, start running and chase that runner’s high.

• Boxing: take out all your anger and frustration on the bag. Throwing punches will relieve your stress.

• Swimming: tears? What tears? Keep your focus on hitting 50 or 100 lengths.

• Weight training: will literally help you build your strength, feel powerful and build your willpower.

• Crossfit: no time for thinking and you’ll join a community of supportive people focused on their health.

For more from Corrine, follow her on Facebook here.

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Should you add a strange ritual to your day like an Olympian?

If it’s good enough for Usain Bolt…

Photo: Getty/Editorial

Hurdler Michelle Jenneke has her famous warm-up dance, long-jumper Fabrice Lapierre competes with a gold chain in his mouth, Usain Bolt points to the sky before breaking yet another world record, while Michael Phelps blasts Eminem to fire him up before hitting the pool.

Rio 2016 is awash with athletes and their pre-competition quirks, but do they actually work? And, more importantly, should us mere mortals get in on the act?

“On some level, it seems that these pre-race superstitions are a means for the athletes to help sink themselves into the present moment,” says Nikki Jankelowitz, co-founder of Centered Meditation.

“A form of mindfulness if you will. A reminder to plug into ‘The Now’ and align mentally, emotionally and physically for the race to come”.

And if you count Bolt and Phelps combined amount of gold medals, that’s proof enough you should be choreographing a jig before heading into an important meeting or taking on that undefeated team at your local netball courts.

“In the lead up to some sort of a ‘big-deal’ situation, our mind often goes haywire contemplating all the possible things that could go wrong,” explains Jankelowitz.

“This subsequently sends our body into fight-or-flight mode, which is why we start to perspire, our tummy feels off, our heart races and our breathing increases.”

In order to stay centred, Jankelowitz recommends applying a similar strategy to these athletes. Find a ritual that resonates with you – it can be as complicated or as simple as you like – that calms you and allows you to focus on the task at hand.

“It can be deepening your breathing by focusing on the rise and fall of our belly, scanning your body systematically for all the various sensations we can feel, or scanning your five sense-organs for what sounds, sights, smells, tastes, and feelings we can are experiencing in this given moment,” suggests Jankelowitz.

Before guiding meditations, Janekelowitz herself always fills up a tea, mindfully walks to the front of the room, place the tea on the side table and smiles at her guests.

“This is my version of ‘getting in the zone’. It’s my chance to switch from host to guide, put conversations behind me, and prepare to lull my guests into a place of calm and stillness.”

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The six different people you meet at the gym

Photo: Stocksy

If, like thousands of other Australians, your week’s not complete without a trip to your local gym, then you’ll be all too aware of the ‘types’ that visit on a regular basis.

Whilst mythical opinion may place all exercise types in the same box, it’s far from true. And just because you may go to the gym to purely workout, doesn’t necessarily mean others do the same.

Here are the six most common personality types you’re likely to meet at the gym;

The tattooed body builder

Distinguished by his bulging biceps, triceps and everything in between, this gym goer is a regular and doesn’t do anything by halves.

Most commonly sweating up a storm amongst the heaviest of heavy weights, this member wears short shorts – which leave little to the imagination – branded singlets and bright coloured runners. He also proudly displays his plethora of tattoos.

These tatts are a jumbled mixture of outdated discoloured barbed wires, tributes to loved ones and motivational slogans or allegiances to Australia.

Type of workout – Hardcore weights and machines

Gym motto – “The harder the better”

RELATED: How to build a strong, lean body

The poser

Distinguished by his or her perfectly made up and groomed appearance, this member is most commonly found anywhere a mirror is located, and, subsequently, spends half their session checking out their reflection.

Decked out head-to-toe in designer active wear, this regular takes pride in doing little other than looking good and ensuring others notice too.

Workouts consist of lifting measly weights (in front of the mirror), accompanied with huffing, puffing and grunts and concluding with the obligatory ‘just worked out’ selfie.

Type of workout – Stylised rep mirror workouts

Gym motto – “Too hot to handle”

The socialite

Distinguished by their social knowledge of every member in the gym, this regular is renowned for their loud chatter, banter and over shared phone conversations.

With all the gear, but no idea, workouts for the socialite are generally low key and raise eyebrows more than heart rates.

RELATED: This could be the only exercise you need to do

Machines of choice include the bike, step and a slow paced treadmill – basically anything where they can still talk whilst also updating Facebook to ‘check in’

Classes are usually avoided, as breathlessness and loud music are not conducive to carrying out conversations with fellow socialites or planning your weekend’s partying.

Type of workout – Anything that doesn’t break out a sweat or interfere with gossip

Gym motto – “Be seen to be keen”

The first timer

Distinguished by their shiny new runners and hesitant face, this member will avoid all eye contact with other gym goers for fear of having to strike up a conversation and pretend to know anything about exercise.

Workouts are usually comprised of trying out every single machine in one workout with minimal weights and minimal reps, and are usually over within half an hour.

Members are distinguishable amongst a class for their lack of coordination, inability to keep up and positioning at the furthest part of the gym away from the instructor and closest to the exit.

Type of workout – Anything to get it over and done with

Gym motto – “The first time hurts”

The excessive exerciser

Distinguished by their constant attendance at the gym and rippling, toned body, this regular lives, breathes and most likely works exercise.

Armed with a workout bag much akin to a suitcase, this keen bean arrives at the gym the minute it opens and appears only to leave to fuel up on a protein ball or two at lunch or when they’re kicked out at the end of the day.

Workouts consist of all classes and all equipment – preferably on the same day -and their day ends with a 10kms jog home just because they can.

Type of workout – Every class, machine and weight

Gym motto – “Less is never more”

RELATED: 5 ways you could be sabotaging your gym goals

The mum

Distinguished by droopy eye bags, disinterest in socialising and ability to zone out to Dr Phil on the gym TV’s for at least an hour, this member is enjoying their gym membership like never before.

With no other opportunity to sit down and watch any show in full or check Facebook uninterrupted, this member is fully embracing the onsite crèche and the only chance for some down time.

Workouts usually incorporate perching on a bike and occasionally remembering to pedal, strolling on a treadmill at minimum speed or very slowly cross training no further than 2kms.

Type of workout – Anything that means time out from their child

Gym motto – I’ve earned this break

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The best stretches to relieve a sore neck

While improving your posture, your breathing and your strength.

Photo: Stocksy

Neck pain? Back cramps? The struggle is real. Thanks to all that time on the computer (hello, anyone with an office job) and your smartphone – which you might has well have surgically attached to your hand – neck, shoulder and upper back issues have become increasingly part of our everyday lives – and brought poor posture along with it.

These neck stretches and strengthening exercises, from Barre Attack founder and Pilates instructor Renee Scott, will help bring awareness and better posture habits to your neck and upper back, and should slowly – but surely – improve your posture and breathing flow.

The best bit? All of these stretches are best performed seated on a chair – so instead of checking Instagram when you catch an elusive break at work, try one of these instead… and thank us later.

1. The seated neck stretch

This exercise is fantastic to do in 30 minute intervals throughout the day – it will stop you from creating more tension through your dominant side that you hold your phone (or mouse… or kids!) on.


Sit on a chair with both feet on the floor.

Place the right hand palm up and under the right buttocks cheek, sitting on your hand will stabilise that side of the shoulder and neck.

Gently tilt the head and ear towards the left shoulder, so it is lengthening over to the left side, breathe and hold for 40 seconds.

You will feel a stretch along the side of the neck, if you wish to increase the stretch bring the left hand on the ear and elongate the neck further – but please, be kind to your neck.

Return to the centre and stretch the other side.

Repeat 2-3 times.

2. The crossed arm, upper back and neck stretch

This exercise is great for relieving the tension built up through the upper back and neck from slouching, studying for long hours or, again, looking at our phones.


Reach the arms out parallel to the floor, palms up towards the ceiling.

Cross the arms in front of the torso so the right arm is above the left, and then bend your elbows stacking the right elbow over the left and bring your palms to touch (or wrists if you can’t quite get there).

Press your palms together and bring the elbows up to shoulder height, gently lengthen the elbows forward opening up the shoulder blades and reaching the fingertips up towards the ceiling.

You should feel the release through the upper back and shoulders; and you can also add a tilt of the neck to the side or forward to increase the neck stretch.

Hold for 40-60 seconds, deepening and lengthening the breathe and relieving the muscles.

Stretch the other side and repeat 2-3 times.

3. The double-chin neck-strengthening exercise

This exercise is perfect for preventing the couch slouch, where we round our shoulders and curve our upper spines over.


Start with the feet flat on the floor and the spine upright and on the back of the chair if possible.

Lengthen through the torso creating the tallest longest spine you can, gently activating the lower abdominals to draw in and up towards the ceiling.

Press the back of the head and neck into the back on the chair (if its tall enough) and imagine you are creating a double chin.

Hold the double chin and the back of the neck lengthened for 30-60 seconds and release.

Repeat 4-5 times.

4. The arm waving posture-strengthening exercise

This exercise strengthens the upper back and allows the shoulders and chest to open and realign, promoting larger lung capacity and increasing postural awareness. This is perfect for creating and sustaining more energy and vitality.

Siting up straight with the back up against the back of the chair and feet firmly planted on the floor.

Reach the arms up towards the ceiling keeping the shoulders down; bend the elbows down towards the waist keeping the shoulders and arms pulling back.

Try and imagine there is a wall behind the body and you are sliding the back of the arms up and down the wall in a waving action.

Keep the abdominals and ribcage connected – not overarching the spine to pull the arms back.

You will feel the chest and shoulders opening as you draw the shoulder blades down and inwards towards the spine.

Upper back and posture will improve when performed regularly.

Repeat 8-10 times.

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