Thursday, September 8, 2011

Brunswick Vegetarians, this is for you!

Brunswick and the surrounding areas are the home of a variety of vegetarian or vegan specialist stores, restaurants, and NOW there's Brunswick Vegetarian Health and Fitness too.

Click through for all the details!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Add one kilogram of lean muscle mass per month

Here's how I added 6kg of muscle in 6 months this year. I thought you might like to know!

How scientific should your approach to nutrition be?

Here's an article I wrote a while back which seems to have vanished from the site I submitted it to. Whatever, screw those guys I'll just post it here instead!

I'm a recent convert to the IIFYM aka "If It Fits Your Macros" theory on nutrition, which basically says you can eat whatever you want and still lose weight, as long as you end up at the appropriate amount of calories from proteins, fats and carbohydrates. With that being said, here's the article... starting... NOW.

Depending on your goals, you may or may not require a very thorough and scientific approach to nutrition and calorie counting.

Nutrition plays a big part in any fitness program, whether you are trying to burn some fat and get into a healthy weight range, or trying to gain weight and lean muscle mass. How complicated it has to be depends a lot on how specific your goal is, and what sort of time frame or deadline you have set in which to reach it.

For people who simply want to get into better shape, be more lean and become healthier, you can expect some results just by cutting out junk food, drinking water instead of soda and starting a basic exercise program with walking and perhaps some bodyweight resistance exercises. For people with more specific or more ambitious goals, a more thorough approach will be required.

As an example, if you want to look like a bikini model you need to eat like a bikini model, and if you want to look like a competitive bodybuilder you will need to eat (and train!) like a competitive bodybuilder.

As a personal trainer I often tell my clients; if you want to look better than average, you need better than average nutrition. If you want to look like a fitness model, you need virtually flawless nutrition. For many people who have more ordinary goals, it's sufficient to have just "good" nutritional habits from day to day, with the occasional treat or cheat meal when they really feel like it. Combined with an effective training program and some patience this is enough for most people to progress towards their goal of improved health and fitness.

So before we continue I'll just reinforce the previous point, it is not always necessary for the average person to have highly strict and restrictive eating habits in order to achieve some results from a fitness program. However, those with more lofty ambitions or those who have reached a plateau where results seem to have become fewer and further between may need to look closer at their nutrition and develop a plan specific to their goal.

Whenever I am asked for advice from someone who feels like their progress has stalled, one of the first questions I ask will be "what is your daily calorie intake?". More often than not, they will not be able to answer this question, or even know what their daily target of calories should be. Most people feel that because they are working so hard in the gym or on the track they have earned the results that they desire, but without knowing your current intake of calories and being able to compare it to your required amounts, how can you really have any strong expectation of the specific results you should achieve? When you have a specific goal and time frame in mind, nutrition really is just as important, if not more important than exercise alone.

For these people it is not enough just to train hard - they need to take a very scientific and mathematical approach to nutrition. It is necessary to know the required amount of calories, and make sure their actual intake of calories is correct. This can be determined by calculating a maintenance level of calories and adding or subtracting depending on your goal (ie weight loss or weight gain). It's important to keep in mind, if the daily calorie intake is too low the body will attempt to store and conserve as much energy as possible, which makes it very difficult to achieve any fat loss regardless of how hard you might be training.

Having determined our maintenance and target levels of daily calories, we also need to ensure that the ratio of calories from protein, carbohydrates and fats is correct as well. Further to this, we should be concerned with the ratio of saturated to unsaturated fats, sugars to other carbohydrates, and the amount of dietary fibre consumed daily.

Every person is a unique individual and will achieve their best results from a different ratio, but taking 40% of calories from protein and 30% each from carbohydrates and fats is a good place to start. If necessary, each individual can experiment with slightly higher or lower carbs than fats and decide on which ratio works best for them.

There are numerous calorie and macronutrient counters available online, including many free resources.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Why you are not reaching your goal weight.

I made a post on my TUMBLR because there seems to be so many people doing it all wrong with starvation diets and so forth. Hopefully a couple of 'em will read this and get the right idea!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Get my new NEXT LEVEL Training Program for FREE

Yep, you heard me - I said for FREE!

No conditions or catches, you don't even have to sign up for anything. It's all available on my website under Personal Training in Melbourne. This is a really short, editted version of the video blog I shot talking about this program... just giving you the basic idea of the program and explaining that it's suitable for pretty much everyone, anywhere, with whatever equipment you have available.

Sounds good, right? Are you intrigued? Good then!

If you want the details and specifics of this FREE Resistance Training Program, all you have to do is click.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Coming soon to Melbourne CBD

So, this WAS my blog about the Oakleigh location but that didn't quite work out as planned for various reasons I don't need to go into.

But the good news is, soon I'll be operating out of Melbourne CBD in the afternoons, in addition to my current schedule in Brunswick in the morning.

I know right. The location thing is getting a bit ridiculous with all these changes, but this is IT people, no more changes. Brunswick in the morning, CBD in the afternoon!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

So pretty much everything in the world is a scam now, right?

I'm becoming a cynical old bastard in my late 30s and ... well wait, don't get me wrong - I'm a pretty happy guy and I happen to be fortunate enough to work for myself doing something I enjoy. But DAMN, what is with all the blatant SCAMS out there, and are people really falling for this crap?

This is the latest one someone showed me the other day. Guys & girls, this is no joke! It's an actual product and (I assume?) people out there are buying it!

Seriously, does this take the cake, or what?

I checked out the website and apparently you are going to get lean, toned and muscular in 5 to 10 minutes a day BY PULLING A PIECE OF STRING WITH A LITTLE PIECE OF METAL ON IT!!!!????

Good god, man. Are these people for real?

If you actually want to achieve something, you've gotta work for it. Does this look like enough work to change the composition of your body? Really? Hell I used to make these when I was a kid, because the internet and video games where not invented yet. Sure it was fun but it did not give me the set of triceps I have now!

If you want to get into shape, lift some heavy weights and count your calories. It's SIMPLE, people!

What bugs me is that there's so many scams in the fitness industry, and I'm trying to run an ethical business without bullshitting anyone, selling fitness products and services that actually work. This crap makes us all look bad.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Summer training program vs winter training program, aka periodisation

So now that Summer is official over (although isn't it nice and sunny out there today?) it's time to start thinking about how to modify your training program for the Autumn & Winter period. If you've followed my blogs for a while you'll know I cut back as far as possible on calories, did more cardio and switched to a Metabolic Resistance type of training program for the Spring, and stayed on relatively low calories through the Summer while beginning my Progressive Power program.

It's pretty much standard practice to cut back in the warmer months for obvious reasons. You want to be nice and lean for hitting the beach or the pool. In the cooler months though it's time to up the calories and try to put on some muscle. Of course that's followed once again by cutting back to strip off any extra fat you've gained in the process, but the end result being that you're still lean and mean + a bit bigger next summer.

So as of today I am on a 3000 calorie vegetarian body building diet, in fact the exact same diet as is included in my Progressive Power For Vegetarians package on my website. I'll be sticking with the Progressive Power program for rest of March at the least, to really maximise my strength gains before moving on to a new program in April looking at maximum muscle hypertrophy.

This summer I was definitely in the best, most lean shape of my adult life... and this year I want to be my biggest AND also most lean.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Online Personal Training & Exercise Instruction By Video

So, this is something people have been asking me for for a while now, so over the past month or so I've been putting together my Online Personal Training Packages for all the good people out there who want to train with me but can't due to living far far away from Brunswick.

What I've come up with is my Hardcore Holistic Home Program which includes;

  • Home exercise program using resistance bands, exercise balls and bodyweight.
  • Video exercise instruction and demonstration.
  • Vegetarian or non-vegetarian weight loss meal plan.
  • Motivation, education and support.
The whole thing comes in the form of a 10 page e-book, along with a spreadsheet for tracking your calories, and a program card for recording your progress at training. I love this program (and so far so do my online clients who are following it) because to the best of my knowledge it is the only weight loss program that gives you pancakes for breakfast. Yep, pancakes! Much better than starvation diets, innit?

Of course being a holistic plan we look at all lifestyle choices that impact our health and happiness, as well as the nutritious meal planning and hardcore training you would expect from me by now.

As well as this I have my Progressive Power Program, which is my strength and size program for aspiring body builders. This e-book is a massive 17 pages of quality information, plus an extra 3 pages in the vegetarian version. Both the vegetarian and non-vegetarian editions of this program include a high protein, mass building nutrition plan.

You guys know by now that I am all about the stuff that works, that's also fun... and also I'm all about great results and great value for money. If you check out either of these programs you'll be very happy that you did.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Long term weight loss tips

There's all sorts of approaches to losing weight, some that work, some that don't. Some work at first but eventually the weight comes back with a vengeance.

The burning question is "how to lose weight, and manage your weight for the rest of your life" and to answer that question I've created a one week email course of weight loss and nutrition tips.  You can sign up by clicking that link, and learn how to manage your weight with your choice of foods, rather than following some unpleasant over-restrictive diet.

If you want to learn the one action that most dieters fail to take, which is the real difference between success or failure in weight loss and weight management, you'll want to sign up for this free newsletter right now!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Watch my friends' progress on this blog

I gave my friend Kim a meal plan and gym program to follow to slim down a bit and get into better health over all. She lives too far away to train with me in person so this was the next best thing...

We're starting out with VERY low calories to kickstart the weight loss progress, and we'll tweak the meal plan as we go to make sure we have a sustainable approach. We'll end up adding a few hundred calories to the current plan once.

Follow Kim's progress at

Thursday, January 20, 2011

10 days until the grand opening and....

we're already looking for a bigger place!

yep, we're getting lots of interest and also decided there's lots more we want to do... so we'll need a bigger and better space.

Watch the blog for more information!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Brunswick is getting busy

The leg room at Doherty's Gym in Brunswick.
It's a little ironic; I've been focussing on promoting the new Oakleigh Personal Training studio that I've neglected the Brunswick side of my business a little bit. For some reason things have kicked up a notch in Brunswick anyway and I've added quite a few more sessions with new clients already this year.

It looks like I'll be spending my mornings in Oakleigh and mid afternoon through to evenings in Brunswick now, and there's still a few sessions left Monday - Thursday. So if you're looking for Personal Training in the Brunswick area, now's the time to get in while the getting is good!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Video demonstration: Overhead lateral raise

Here's a little video I made demonstrating one of my new favourite exercises for shoulders. Usually the side lateral raise is used to target the middle deltoid muscle, but this variation adds some emphasis to the rear delt and trapezius muscles, which happen to be two muscle groups I am trying my best to develop at the moment.

Give this one a try, it's a nice one!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Counting down to the grand opening of DHPT & The Combat Academy in Oakleigh

It's getting exciting and a little bit nerve racking because the days are ticking over really fast and my planned date for the grand opening is getting closer!

As you might know I'm showcasing the new studio with a small "home workout workshop" which will be giving people everything they need to know to train at home. Ideally this is the sort of routine people can do in between personal training sessions, but really this is a full body program that people can just stick with and expect great results when combined with a sensible calorie controlled eating plan.

So anyway this is all making me ANXIOUS because I'm a bit of a control freak and and not actually in charge of getting the place set up and stocked with equipment (other than the stuff I'm taking in myself). I'm told that the studio has been cleaned and the power is on, so that's a good start! Next step is the flooring and then the weight equipment can go in, and finally I'll take in the resistance bands, stability balls, and other stuff I've got piled up in my spare room at the moment. Eventually there'll be a TV hooked up to a computer and sound system that I'll have some great 80s party music playing on for most of the sessions.

Hopefully the equipment will all show up on time and we'll be open on schedule on February first!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What's the deal with aerobic steps?

I've been looking in to getting some aerobic steps for my Oakleigh Personal Training studio and wow, how expensive are these things? Expensive isn't really an issue, if you need something you need something and it costs what it costs... BUT... is it just me or all these things not high enough to be of any use?

Mainly I intend to use these for step - ups and also for teaching people how to correctly perform a squat. For those who don't know already, the correct form for a squat is a lot like putting your butt out behind you as if you're going to sit down on something... it's not supposed to be coming forward at the knees as if to kneel down in front, or bending too much forward at the hips as if to do a deadlift. Along with doing squats with an exercise ball against a wall, I find getting people to sit on a low bench or a high step, then stand up, then sit down again is a good way to learn good squatting form.

The problem is that unless you buy stackable steps and put one on top of the other, they don't seem to be high enough to be used for this purpose. And they're overpriced in the first place, even without doubling up on them!

So I think I am going to take a leaf out of the crossfit people's book in custom building my own damn steps to meet my requirements, as well as some plyometric boxes for the new studio. Actually that's a half-truth, I want to be sure these things are safe(!), so I'll be asking a friend who's a bodybuilder and also a carpenter to make some up for me and then test them out against his weight. If they can hold him, they can hold most people!

By the way we are still on track to open at the end of January, so if you want to book in for Personal Training or Group Fitness in February, just shoot me a message. Anyone who joins in February will get a LOT of special bonuses as a foundation member, so get in while the getting is good!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Why you should come to Group Training in Oakleigh

Man have you noticed how popular bootcamps are these days? They're everywhere! I know there's a lot of trainers doing really well out of them and that's great because it means lots of people getting active and having some fun and hopefully seeing results in terms of better health, weight loss, cardiovascular fitness and so on.

Why are they so popular though? Well I think mostly because they're a lot of fun and it's a great social activity as well. I think for a lot of people it's easier to stay motivated about fitness and training when there's also a social element, as you're with a group of people on the same wavelength who are doing something positive and enjoyable, and having a great time. Can you ever really know enough people like that? I don't think so!

Starting the day with a great exercise session like this will leave energised and in a great mood for the working day ahead, and you'll be burning a lot of calories throughout the day.

Personal Training has some advantages over group fitness in that you get the trainer's undivided attention, and the program should be custom built specifically to address your needs and abilities. I have had some personal training clients comment that they have tried bootcamps but did not find it challenging enough. I can't speak for other trainers but I also include nutrition planning with personal training packages, which is not usually applicable to group sessions.

Those are the disadvantages of group training rather than one on one personal training, but lets look at the positives. Aside from the social aspect we've already discussed, group fitness is usually quite inexpensive and great for those on a tight budget. The training is usually fast paced, incorporating circuit and interval training, boxing drills and other highly enjoyable exercises and activities.

So we've established that group training is awesome, but why should you come to DHPT early morning indoor bootcamps? Well for all the reasons we've already discussed, but also we're indoors and not likely to get stuck out in the rain and cold. Also being at the Combat Academy you can be sure we'll be utilising real boxing and kickboxing techniques. As well as this, count on lots of bodyweight resistance exercise to build toned muscles, change body composition and put your body into a calorie burning mode for the rest of the day.

We start in February, sign up now for unbeatable, never to be repeated, ridiculous special packages.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Special Offer On Personal Training

As part of our Grand Opening Specials at the Combat Academy in Oakleigh, I'll be offering a massive $50 off when you sign on for 3 sessions of Personal Training for 5 weeks. Do the maths, that adds up to an enormous $250 off over the five weeks!

Like I keep saying, this is UNBEATABLE VALUE!

This offer is valid only until the end of February 2011, and you need to show this Discount Personal Training Coupon to claim it. Print it out, or just show it on your phone.

Look out for some incredible special offers on early morning indoor bootcamps, coming very soon!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

My "home workout workshop" & grand opening of the new studio.

You know I'm always thinking a few steps a head because I've only taken one look at the new location, haven't even got the power turned on yet much less started moving equipment in, and I've already started inviting people to the grand opening!

It's that time of year where people are making new year's resolutions (well, I guess it goes without saying that this is the time of year that happens!) to get into shape, so a few people have been asking me what sort of home workout equipment they should be looking into. So to give all my friends a look at the new place as well as to answer this question, I'll be holding a "home workout workshop" teaching people how to train at home using some of my favourite low cost options, namely resistance bands, stability balls and body weight exercises.

I have big plans for the Oakleigh Personal Training studio in the new year and this seems like the perfect way to start it off with a nice fun group training session with some of my friends. You can be sure I'll take some photos and perhaps some videos too and post them up here afterwards.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Double Two Day Split Program

What do you guys think is worse? A personal trainer who thinks he/she knows EVERYTHING just because they have a certificate, or a trainer who's aware of how many different approaches there are to training and nutrition, and is still trying to learn? I spend a lot of time networking with other trainers, bodybuilders and so forth and I ask a lot of questions and take a lot of stuff on board. Sometimes I wonder if people are thinking "this guy is a trainer, why is he asking questions? He should know this stuff!" but my attitude is "I know some things, but I'm still trying to learn more". I think that's better than just arrogantly insisting that you know it all already and anything you don't know is not worth learning, wouldn't you agree?

Here's one of my favourite quotes:

"What is wisdom? It has little to do with beliefs. These change year by year from person to person. Only one who does not dare give up beliefs because he has no wisdom will insist that others believe as he does.Cleverness learns something, but wisdom gives up some certainty every day."

So anyway I was thinking a lot about my own training and reading a bit and discussing things with other guys and girls, and I've decided to change my approach a little. As you might know, I like to train a different body part each day in what's known as a "five day split", which means I can do a hell of a lot of exercises on each body part and then give them a full week to recover. I mix it up a bit with some other approaches from time to time but the 5 day split is what I always come back to.

Well, I was thinking about this and how certain body parts seem to be responding & progressing better than others. For example I think my arms and shoulders (front delts at least) are doing pretty well, but I'm a little frustrated that chest and legs aren't really keeping up with them. So why would that be? I apply pretty much the same approach to each body part with most of my programs.

I'll tell you what I decided. In actual fact I am training arms TWICE a week and everything else once a week. If you understand exercise and physiology to some extent you'll be aware that when training chest, the tricep also contributes, and when training back, the biceps contribute. So for example I would really be training triceps on Monday, biceps on Tuesday, and then biceps and triceps together on Friday. It's no wonder my arms are showing better results than any other body part, they get worked twice as often!

So I'm changing my approach and starting out with what I call a "double two day split". How it works is that on day one I am doing all PUSHing exercises such as for chest, triceps, quadriceps and calves, and on day two it's all PULLing exercises such as for back, biceps and hamstrings. There's a rest day after this, and then I start over again but with some different exercises for each day. This way I will be hitting every muscle group twice every week, just like I've always been doing with my arms.

I'm sticking with more or less the same exercises and rep ranges as I utilised in my previous 5 day split program, but just spread out over the whole week instead of one day at a time. I made good progress overall with this program last month, so with this new strategy I'm sure to get even greater results.

Happy new year everyone! Make this a great year by training hard, eating right, and being good to yourself and the people you care about!