Fitness Coaching and Personal Training

Anthony Gillespie


Know your numbers

This is a recurrent theme in the field of achieving goals. It all starts with awareness of where you are at. If you are training with us you will know what it was that finally triggered you in to action. It may have been a worrying milligrams of mercury reading for your  blood pressure result at a work ‘health day’. It may have been high numbers of  ‘cholesterol’  at an annual blood test A waist hip ratio that flags concern As personal trainers we deal in numbers and it is our job to get you to understand yours. But first you have to measure them. If fat loss is your goal it might be calories versus calories out or getting your body fat percentage in to a safe range. What I wanted to mention to you today is the multitude of apps and systems available to you to see where you are at. I have used a lot over the years and I want you to check out what works for you. If you have an I phone then check out the following: My net diary, Mapmyfitness, Myfitnesspal, Nike+GPS, Hundred Push ups, wateryourbody….. The list goes on and on but find something that resonates with you. The ease of use and the information it gives you could be a great strategy for getting your numbers in the right direction.

See what you want to see

The article I will give you a link to today later in this post reminded me of a story I had read from an AA meeting. The story goes that in an attempt to show the dramatic effects of alcohol, a learned man presenting to the group performed an experiment which had a surprising response from one attendee. Standing on the stage the man held up two clear vials of fluid for all to see. Picking up a worm with some tongs he dropped the worm in to the first vial. The worm happily swims around in the fluid. The man says simply, “this vial is water”. He then picks the worm up out of the first vial and drops it in the second only to see it instantly vaporise. “This”, he said “is pure alcohol”. Pausing for effect, he then says to the mostly speechless group, “What do we make of this?”. One man in the back pipes up and says drily, “I see if I drink alcohol I won’t have worms”. This is a classic example of seeing what you want to see from a situation which may not be the most valuable part. People often come to us looking for the answer to their fitness and health woes. We are only part of the solution. We are more the “catalyst” which when you look at the scientific definition of that word will find that it means “A substance (an entity) that increases the rate of a chemical reaction (rate of change) without itself undergoing any permanent chemical […]

Tracking change this year

I am super keen to have records of client progress this year. Even if you don’t train with us, this is something you should do. In the pipeline, is a purpose build best practice ‘wall’ calendar on which you can mark weekly sessions completed. The reason I like a wall calendar is that it is normally put somewhere you can see it daily. Online records and written diary’s are good but they can be ignored simply by not logging on or opening them up. Behaviour awareness comes from consistent and ‘in your face’ exposure to what is ACTUALLY happening on a DAILY basis. There is nothing like up to the minute feedback to affect your actions. So, in the time period between now and when we get our calendar, complete with inspirational photos (and probably stupid pictures of me on there somewhere too! Perhaps you got my Christmas card?), use one you already have or print one out off the internet. Then, what I want you to do, is simply mark with a red marker or pen each time you do an exercise session. Add up your number for the week and then the month. Add a cumulative total to each month and start tallying up the points. Here is how we will calculate your exercise points this year at Best Practice. 3 points for a strength training session (30-45 minutes is optimal), 2 points for a short intense (interval style) cardio sessions and half a point for a low intensity activity like golf or easy swimming for example. The […]

Diary of a ‘hard man’

Some recent musings from a computrainer fanatic and indeed a hard man (well done Dave)! If you want to know what it feels like to burn more calories than you can eat (well maybe depending on what you eat!), you will just have to try computrainer TUESDAY 0600 Strength Circuit – concentrating on Legs as did my rotator cuff over Christmas (don’t ask, OK I’ll tell, after throwing a 3yo repeatedly in the air in the pool…). At ~1100 I think, hey, there’s an empty CT room at the FV pool totally under-utilised….can’t waste this…. plus Tour Down Under is 2 weeks away! 1200 CT – 95_Nationals_Road_Race.  OK, looks suitable,20.92km, let’s give it a whirl.  Hey, no one told me ~2 mins into the ride it’d swing from -2% to +15% then ‘ease up’ to 8.5%! Nasty course…  47:00:46 – OK first hit-out on a course I didn’t know. 1700 Incredibly heavy legs walking up a hill to my home in the burbs…what idiot combines a legs weight session followed by the CT? WEDNESDAY 1200 CT – 95_Nationals_Road_Race. Swallowed a spoonful of concrete then hit the same course thinking it’s time to shrink yesterdays time.  Got the music pumping, set the floor fan directly on Bike #7 to blow a gale over the body, and got on with it!  45:26 (? wrote it up on the whiteboard anyway). Shaved 2 mins off previous days time without passing out – not bad, congratulations, you’re a ‘hard man’ I say to myself. THURSDAY 1200 CT Default CT Time Trial (9.98km) – note it wasn’t planned this way […]

Save your cents…

I was wondering the other day if people really like to think that their personal trainer does everything right. You know,” nothing impure passes these lips” type thing! This time of year is a testing time for all including myself. It is confession time. I had to leave my car at the Story Bridge Hotel the other day on Christmas eve. In my defense, you really don’t have to drink that much to make it not wise to drive. As much as I would love to be famous in some way, being the star of an episode of RBT would not be a great PR exercise. I can just hear ‘what’s his name’ Daddo asking incredulously about how good an example ‘this Brisbane based personal trainer is as he blows over .05!’ Well anyway I did not drive and we caught a cab. The next day I jumped on my bike to ride over and grab my van. Now I am not trying to say I am a legend for doing this (because I guess a holier than thou PT would never have been in the pub in the first place!)  but the tendency to choose movement no matter how seemingly insignificant can add up to something worthwhile  if you do it enough times. I was not still over the limit the next day when I was on my bike, if you were wondering! So I guess here is my message from this post. Look after the ‘cents’ of fitness (choosing to walk to the shops instead of drive, taking […]

New Years Resolutions. A waste of time?

I know I have given New Year’s Resolutions (NYR’s) a hard time in the past but I saw a really cool movie the other night which may be changed my mind a little. There is no doubt that many lies are told at 11.59am on the 31st of December. Let’s face it, alcohol and nostalgia can be a heady mix. But at the risk of going all Bill Collins or David & Margaret on you, I would like to tell you some insights I had when watching a 5 star movie (AG rating system) called “New Year’s Eve”, the other night. Down on herself and excruciatingly timid city worker, Ingrid (played by an excellent Michelle Pfieffer) decided it was time to change her life on New Years Eve at about 3pm. The thing I really loved about her character was her determination to ACT on her list and employ the help she needed to get it done. She had a seemingly impossible list of things to achieve before the day/year ended. She employed a suitably motivated motorcycle courier played by Zac Effron to ‘use his imagination’ to help her realise her goal of ‘really living life’ perhaps for the first time. You will have to see the movie to see what I mean. It really is a fun and moving journey with many stars and yes a little cliched at times. I loved the overall theme in the movie however, which was the notion that the chance is always there for a new beginning at the end of each year. […]

Your program template for a pinnacle year in 2012

Research says strength training should be the cornerstone of your program because functional muscle is the MOST important aspect to body fat metabolism, disease prevention, a useful and yes a good looking body! Most people will do extremely well if they get 3-6 hours of dedicated exercise per week (1.5%-3% of your entire week btw) and this is enough to make some serious positive impact to your health….. if training (and eating) is done the right way. All programs should have  one and absolutely no more than four  resistance training sessions per week (2-3 is very good). Next you should have 1-2 intensive cardio sessions (quality is way better than quantity with this) and the last element is perhaps longer sessions of lower intensity – think fun stuff that is not exhaustive but ‘active’. What should the length of time of your training sessions be? The latest research says 30-45 minutes is plenty. Good news! You don’t have to do hours upon hours to get fantastic results. You just have to know what to do and when. A very important aspect to  consider is the universal principle of cycled training, meaning that you can’t have progress without recovery. Make sure there is some down time and transition between programs throughout the year. You will need this mentally just as much as physically. We can coordinate all this in 2012 for our clients. I am looking at helping a lot of people achieve amazing transformations next year and we will have various  structured programs to achieve this. If you are already […]

If you don’t know this cutting edge information you WILL not be getting the results you want!

I went to a conference on the weekend and listened to an expert in nutrition. Now I am not talking about some self proclaimed guru with outlandish claims of instant results from an obscure plant source or some such rubbish but a legitimate scientific researcher with real knowledge from years of practical experience, years of his own research and years of study in to literally hundreds of other scientifically and heavily scrutinised work in nutrition. So bottom line is, you can listen to what he says. He reminded me of something which we all intuitively know but need to be reminded of occasionally. Magazines like Mens Health and New Idea etc. are motivated primarily by sales and nothing else, so good stories get reported not scientific research. Okay, so what is it that is so important? Nutrient timing. It is WHEN you eat which is way more critical for muscle building and fat loss than WHAT you eat. Research is telling us there is a special ‘window of opportunity’ for making fantastic gains in fat loss and muscle building. It is also a time when you can get away with some things you won’t get away if you don’t exercise. So if you don’t exercise you don’t ever get a window. This is not to say that you can eat what you want at this time but certainly higher energy carbohydrates and faster absorbing protein is recommended at this time. So what is the window? About half an hour before to about 3 hours after your sessions. In fact research […]

Smith machine deadlift

The smith machine is one of the main pieces of equipment in Sweat. Below is a very short video of good form for a deadlift using the smith machine. This exercise is an awesome compound exercise. Read this excerpt on it. The information is spot on. Written by someone who has studied what we have at uni and with some clear practical experience.