Fitness Coaching and Personal Training

Anthony Gillespie


Keep it simple folks!

When it comes to nutrition we sometimes like to make it really complicated. And you know what? It certainly can be, but for the overwhelming majority it is simply about getting the basics right and then consistently doing that for a long enough period of time to truly evaluate how that works for you. If you do this, then I am confident that just about all of you will get the results you are looking for. It is amazing how many times I get asked about this supplement or that particular super food, when I know there are glaring issues that need attention before worrying about any possible acceleration methods. Here are some classic examples. “Hey Anthony, I have heard that goji berries have amazing fat burning properties. Where do I get those from?” or “Anthony, what do you think about me taking branched chain amino acids when I workout?”. Now these are fair enough questions but unless you can answer the following questions with a resounding YES!, then your focus needs to be on the basics and until you get that right, the rest of the complicated stuff can wait. So here is what you need to have squared away before anything else. How would you answer these questions if I asked them? Are you getting all the required nutrients from your diet, i.e. are you deficient in any major vitamins and minerals? [Hint: if you eat from a large variety of food sources including fruits, vegetables and quality proteins and fats AND you are feeling great with lots […]

Interested in Paleo but you aren’t fanatical?

I guess this describes me and probably more than just a few of you when it comes to Paleo. I read this recent article on someone who is an expert or at least very in to this way of eating. I have always thought that any approach which suggests eating more whole foods and closer to nature can’t be all bad 🙂 In fact, this seems like a seriously smart way to eat. Whilst I am not going to stop eating dairy, pasta, rice and grains any time soon I do see the sense in limiting these and for some people avoiding them would seem like a great move. Anyway check out this sensible piece from a blog I came across and a good summary of an intelligent alternative to the crappy way most people eat. Just think, over 60% of the population is obese and that probably didn’t happen from over eating vegetables and meat! Common sense folks. We need more of it.  

Supplement that caused liver failure!

I have written before about the lack of regulation in the supplement industry and statements like this about a ‘muscle building and weight loss’ product that has been linked to liver failure in more than just a few people and even one death,  should give you cause for concern – “….. manufacturers of dietary supplements are not required to provide proof of safety and effectiveness prior to marketing……….” US Food & Drug Administration website – see Reference. They are however supposed to provide proof of safety before being unleashed on the public. Please note, ‘supposed’ to and the fact that violations can be found months and months after the fact. You should be aware that the specific product referred to above is called Oxy Elite Pro or Versa 1 and has been recalled and bucket loads of it destroyed. There were ingredients in that which had not been tested for safety and so now some members of the public have been irreversibly damaged. So does this mean that one should be sworn off all supplements? I don’t believe this is the case because the efficacy of many supplements and vitamins have been shown with enough high quality research, that there is much to gain for those who need them. So who are those that need them? Check out this ABC interview with colleague Anthony Power, a nutritionist we recommend. He makes some really good points and is well worth a listen- it can be found here I use an authoritive resource called and the guide they produced. These guys […]

Motivation. How do I find it?

I had a potential client ask me how do I find this? My first reaction was to say that you need to find this yourself but soon realised that I hadn’t actually helped. I then started looking for different information around this subject and found that there was plenty about how to maintain it or strategies at least to maintain it, AFTER you had started. There was not much on how to get started. Here’s my angle on it. The word motivate has it’s origins in latin – ‘motare’ or ‘motivus’, meaning to shake or stir. I think the starting point for finding your motivation is to find a quiet place and think (really think) about what moves you on an emotional level when you consider your health and fitness. Often times it is to do with people around you. Is there a reason why you would like to be able to be there for somebody else and may be not only just, ‘be there’ but also be useful/fun/inspiring/attractive/healthy (fill in what ever term means something to you)  to them and or to yourself? My motivation was to be good at sport because (rightly or wrongly) that is how I defined myself. It also fits with the ‘story’ I developed about life that says being athletic, active, capable, sporty, adventurous and functionally useful, are qualities that make life worth living. That works for me because it is a constant and is always nagging away at me when I have more than a few days in a row of not really […]


It is customary to talk about goals at this time of year. The start of a new year is the time for new beginnings and optimism. Always. I have been watching the tennis and it made me think that  life is very much like it. You get a chance to start at zero (love) every game and every set, just like in January of every year we get to reset and start afresh with a ‘new year’, which in my opinion is awesome. I guess a lot of people get cynical as life goes on and say, “oh it’s the same thing every year, change, resolutions, goals, ……etc.  etc blah blah.” Whilst resolutions can be wild assertions made in a dubious state of mind with questionable intention and resolve, I encourage you not to throw the goal driven baby out with the cynical bath water . We are purpose built by nature. To not have something to aim for is like being a boat with out a rudder drifting aimlessly in an ocean of boredom and malcontent. When we stop being focussed on growth, quite frankly the game is, if not over already, very close to it. We all know people who feel there is nothing left to learn and who have got lazy in their thinking and their actions. Avoid these people because they will drag you down. Be that pain in the backside  always seeing the positive side and jumping out of your skin at the chance to do something new. Holidays are the time to do a […]

Open up the bod!

I was cycling this morning with some clients and we all worked hard and it was fun – my zone put out some interesting numbers but that is a story for another day about recovery and maximum heart rate changes. It got me thinking a little though. How does a ‘go hard’ cycle session fit in to the whole fitness, wellness and strength approach  for the average person? The thing is, you don’t want to focus on just one thing. I saw this old couple on one of those sensationalist current affair programs last night. They were in their 60s and running a marathon a day! Now far be it from me to criticize such an active couple but to be honest they didn’t look well from where I was sitting. There was evidence in their bodies of the massive pull of gravity that results when a particular muscle group is overworked. They had this stooped posture and the oxidation damage to their skin was huge. The alternative of sitting on a couch and getting more and more dysfunctional by the day is definitely a far worse option and clearly not what I am advocating (derrr!). My point is that we should be looking at a mix of activities and ones that open up the body not close it down. Too much flexion, both lumbar and hip (bending of the spine and movements that bring the thighs to the ribs) should not be overdone. How does cycling fit in to the equation getting back to my starting point? Too much […]

Not just a bunch of words…

Interested in your feedback. We have this sign in all three areas we work in here at the pool. We want you to know what guides us. We have thought long and hard about this. Values are enduring. ‘Useful fitness’ may be a guiding principle but the rest….Well they will define what we do ongoing, no matter what the business but I don’t think there is any better one than the business of making lives better.

Hey blokes!

Guy to guy, I gotta say this. How do you really want to be? Do you want to be the richest, fattest, most stressed guy, complete with strained relationships all around you? I didn’t think so. Is it just me or does being able to simply ‘do stuff’ mean more than virtually anything else because so much depends on it including self esteem, which by the way is critical to your quality of life. I understand the need for financial stability, I get it, but sacrificing everything else to pursue something more than this, that is highly questionable in delivering what you truly want anyway, is just plain stupid and short sighted. If being super well off  was the way to go then the happiest people you know would be the richest. I think we all know that that is not the case. I say keep it simple, prioritise your own health, your own strength, your own fitness, your own movement…..good things will follow may be even great wealth. But get the order right and you will enjoy the process. Outcomes follow! May be give me a call if you ready to make you a priority this coming year. Be great to start now and feel great going in to the end of the year know next year will be a fantastic one!

Are you sick of getting injured?

I have been listening to and watching some videos from legendary strength and conditioning coach Mike Boyle. Funny man. He says if a movement looks like dog [email protected] then it probably is, so you just gotta fix it if you don’t want to pile strength of top of dysfunction which is the classic train-injure-recover a bit- train – re injure cycle some of you may know. Anyway, he put up a slide which I suppose I already knew but when it was put the way it was put, it makes you think a little about your own body and why things may have happened the way they have. Basically from the ground up and in alternating order, your joints go like this. Feet stable, Ankles mobile, knees stable, hips mobile, lower back stable, mid back mobile (thoracic spine), shoulders stable, mid neck mobile and neck stable. If you have a lack of mobility in one of the mobile joints, you will likely have a pain or problem in the joint just above or sometimes below. If you have too much movement in a joint that should be stable (e.g. lower back) then you also will likely have problems. I know it has been true for me when I think about my mid back and the recurring issues I have had there, both above and below.  Both Mike Boyle and Gray Cook have elaborated greatly on this and it is not necessarily as simple as I just presented it, but as a starting point can get you thinking more about the […]