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Health & Fitness

Chef’s Top Tips

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Long time member and ex-chef Adrian Bridge shares some of his tips that he’s learned over years in the kitchen. We certainly learned something new from the below tips:

  • Always bring your cooking equipment up to temperature before putting your produce in to cook and don’t overcrowd the pan. Crowding the pan leads to steaming or stewing and lowers the temperature of the pan so you won’t get the caramelisation you’re looking for.
  • Bring your meat to room temperature before cooking. It relaxes the meat, this will speed up cooking time and promote even cooking throughout.
  • Always rest your meat after cooking. Wrap the meat in the foil and let it sit for approximately five minutes. This allows the juices to settle before you cut into the meat. The meat will continue to cook while it is in the foil so if your cooking steak and prefer medium steak, you should take it off when it’s medium rare.
  • Its ok to cook in batches, not all vegetables cook at the same speed. Some recipes will say add this then add that and keep cooking. Experiment with this as not all recipes are correct. Some softer vegetables can be sealed first then added towards the end if you want to retain shape and colour.
  • Taste as you go and season as you go, you should know what the dish tastes like before serving it. Sometimes a little more salt or a dash of spice lifts a dish up. Don’t be afraid of salt since you’re cooking a fresh meal instead of eating a packaged one.
  • I also add some fresh herbs if required at the end of the process just prior to serving to maximise their flavour.
  • When blanching/ cooking vegetables in boiling water like broccoli, ensure water has come to the boil and don’t overcrowd the pot when cooking, put a lid on to bring it back to the boil quickly. Do not overcook, you want to retain the flavour in the vegetable not the water, remove from the heat prior to overcooking. To rapidly cool down have a bowl of ice water ready, strain the hot water off the vegetables and quickly put them in the ice water, this will retain flavour and colour. Once cold strain and place on paper towel to dry out. Great for when meal prepping.
  • Put a wet paper towel under a cutting board to stop slipping.
  • Before you cook, have everything measured, peeled, chopped, pans greased etc and clean as you go.

In It For The Long Term

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Sometimes you don’t have to make every session the hardest session ever! Sometimes just rocking up and getting it done is all you need to do to keep progressing. 

If you’re feeling stressed out, overly anxious, didn’t get enough sleep, feeling run down and like you’re about to get a cold, then smashing your self in the gym is going to make you feel worse. This isn’t a cop out and you have to be really honest with how you’re feeling on the day. Assessing your body and how you feel as you warm up and start getting in to the workout is very important. If you’re feeling great and full of energy then go ahead and smash it! If your body is telling you otherwise then listen to it, it’s giving you warning signs.

The way we program is based around progression over months and years…not days and weeks. If you take an easier day here and there it wont have any negative impact if you’re consistently making it to training. We don’t write workouts, we write training sessions and training plans with progression as the core focus. Anyone can write a workout that will get you sore and sweaty…that’s easy! But to write a training plan that will take someone towards their goals…that’s an art.

Sometimes an easier day here and there can be a good thing so don’t beat yourself up over it. Think about the big picture. Where do you want to be 1 year, 5 years, 10 years down the track? Not next week.

One of my favourite quotes is “look at training as if you have to move a big pile of dirt. Some days you get a shovel, and other days you get a spoon. But as long as you get to move a little dirt each day, you are moving towards your goal” – John Welbourn – CEO Power Athlete

 

Train smart,

Coach Cogs

4 Ways To Reduce Risk Of Muscle Strains

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  • Avoid over-doing it – Too many times I see people who have decided to carry all their groceries in one trip, or pick up a huge box of something on their own or dive straight into a 20km run after 6 months off. It always seems silly to decide to do those things in retrospect, but making two trips or getting a mate to help you lift something can save you weeks of pain, discomfort and inconvenience. Prevention is better than a cure!

 

  • Avoid being still for too long – As animals, we didn’t evolve to sit behind a desk. Our bodies are designed to move, lift, run, jump, climb and swim. Prolonged sitting or standing means our muscles stiffen up, so when we ask them to perform a task they can falter and tear. So make sure you’re balancing your desk job with plenty of scenic walks to the printer/bathroom/break room!

 

  • Strengthen your muscles – Resistance training is a sure fire way to prime your muscles to withstand the forces of day to day life. Being strong and flexible means that they can handle anything you throw at them. The weaker a muscle is, the easier it is for it to be overloaded and tear. It’s all about starting small and being consistent with what you lift, so you don’t over do it (see point number 1!)

 

  • Recover well – Muscles, like any parts of our bodies, need some time off every once in a while. Challenge them with strength training, move them through their movements with mobility and stretching exercises, but then remember to care for them as well. Plenty of sleep and de-stress techniques like meditation can relieve muscle tension. Ensure you’re rehydrating with both water and wholefoods containing electrolytes to avoid cramping and fatigue. Chat to your physio/coach/trainer and make sure you’re employing rest days and de-load weeks into a training program to make sure you’re not going to crash and burn in a few weeks time.

 

Isabelle – Physiotherapist at The Movement Team

Planning the perfect nap

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We resisted as kids but love them as adults!

Having an afternoon siesta can have many health benefits and can improve mood and performance. If you don’t like to take naps from fear of waking up feeling worse or effecting your sleep later that night then timing your nap can help.   

There are 5 stages of sleep and it takes around 90 minutes to complete all 5, this includes a light and deep sleep state. The length of a full sleep cycle differs from person to person but making sure we don’t wake up during a deep sleep state is the key to a good power nap.

Lets go through a quick summary of each stage of sleep:

Stage 1

This usually last around 10mins. It is the stage where your muscles haven’t fully relaxed yet, you still have a sense of awareness and It’s quite easy to be woken up. During this stage people can experience what is know as the ‘Hypnic Jerk’ Which is an involuntary twitch of the muscles just as you start to fall asleep and this is what can cause you to awaken suddenly.

Knowlege bomb – Some say that the ‘Hypnic Jerk’ is a reflex that humans developed during the evolutionary process to prevent them from falling out of trees as they slept in them.

Stage 2

This lasts for about 20mins and it becomes harder to wake up towards the end of this stage as your body prepares to go into a deep sleep.

Stages 3 & 4

These two stages are considered a deep sleep state. The difference between the two are the types of brain waves they produce. Waking up during these stages is what can gives you that groggy and disorientated feeling. 

Knowlege bomb – It is in this deep sleep state that you produce your Growth Hormone (GH). This is a hormone that is essential for recovery and muscle growth. This is why it is important that we get good sleep. Substances like alcohol and caffeine can effect deep sleep and the prevent the release of GH.

REM (Rapid Eye Movement)

This is the final stage before you complete a full sleep cycle. It is the stage which you are at your deepest sleep. However your brain activity is similar to that of being awake, even though your muscles are paralysed. This is where you you have your most powerful dreams and lasts for about 10minutes.

Once you complete a full sleep cycle you start the process again. However, you spend less time in a deep sleep state and spend more time in stages 1 and 2 as morning approaches. Each stage will start to decrease and you will alternate between light sleep and REM.

So….whens the best time to take a nap?

Based on the time frames of the 5 stages of sleep. 10-20mins is an ideal nap time to wake up feeling more refreshed. If short nap isn’t going to cut the mustard, then a full 90 minute sleep cycle will help you feel more revived and avoid that sleep inertia.

Happy napping  : )

 

Coach Alex

GOALS & MOTIVATION 101

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Sometimes you set a goal, and you are super motivated.

Motivation for the first few days may feel like a “Hell Yeah!” but as the days & weeks dwindle past, your thoughts towards healthy eating and exercise may feel more like a “Hell No!!” Like, Hell No I do not want to go to the gym right now!! I’m just going to chill on this couch and watch another episode. And that is totally normal. Motivation may not always feel like a fire up your bum. Motivation may just be a slow burn. But however strong your motivation is, you need to realise why you need to change in order to pair motivation with adherence. Sometimes, we are in our own way!! We stop ourselves from change. Are you the type of person who sets goals but never quite reaches them? When was the last time you actually reached a goal?

When it comes to change, and goal setting, it helps to ask a few questions:

  1. Who do I have to become to achieve this goal? Do you think the YOU that’s 5kg lighter, and the YOU that’s more active/happier/fitter/stronger/faster/healthier would sit on the couch? The new YOU probably needs to put in a little more work than the current You that’s feeling like crap right now.
  2. Do I have any negative influences in my life? Maybe it’s your co-worker who keeps bringing cake into work and teases you for being on a diet. Maybe it’s your friends who call you a pussy for not drinking another round. Maybe it’s your mother who tells you that you are getting fatter every time she sees you. Whoever it is, you need to either cut them out of your life for now, or have a serious chat to them about your goals and why they are so important. Tell them you would appreciate a little more positivity.
  3. What do you like about yourself today? Stop the negative self talk. We all do it. It’s a hard cycle to break. Start recognising the little things you tell yourself when you look in the mirror every day. Replace them with kind words. e.g. I like my stomach today. I am strong. I am vibrant.
  4. What foods make me feel good? Take the pressure off. If you gave yourself permission to eat anything and everything you want, it’s more than likely that you would get sick of eating processed foods and sugars all the time. Your body would crave the greens, and grains and some healthy colourful food. You are not a bad person for wanting to eat unhealthy food.

Ok, so let’s say you’ve answered those questions, you are ready to light that fire! Chase that goal! and….GO!!! Then, two weeks later, the fire goes out, and you are left sitting on that couch again, caught up in the same cycle you always do. Dammit!!  So, now we can look at a few more questions:

  1. What behaviours do you have now that aren’t benefiting you? Is it sitting on the couch after work and eating mindlessly? Are those afternoon drinks on the weekend setting back your fat loss? Is it that you aren’t giving yourself enough rest? Are you going half-arsed at the gym?
  2. Why are you continuing to perform these unhelpful behaviours? You need to find out if deep down you believe that “not changing” is benefiting you.

You need to realise that you are the only one that can make yourself change. You can decide to change, and you must also carry out the change.

One last tip: Motivation and willpower go hand in hand. Willpower increases as your consistency increases. Draw from your success to empower your next obstacle. You have more willpower than you think.

Coach – Soni

IG – @Sonijay

My BIGGEST takeaway after 7 years in the industry

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I was thinking about this a while back. Ive been in this industry for 7 years now, and WHAT specifically has influenced my coaching development…..

“QUALITY over QUANTITY”
Every aspect of training is becoming increasingly confusing with each day. There are guru’s in every corner, instafamous fitness models and “athletes” with supposedly the latest and greatest exercises, but at the end of the day here’s what they focus on….QUANTITY. They want to hit a large audience, with information for the masses, thats generic and mis leading. Over time, this has lead people to focus more of their training towards this exact training factor of trying to get MORE and MORE down with each session. As coaches we see it time and time again, injuries, or a very poor movement quality. The 1 thing they could have done to avoid any bad situation is prioritising ‘Quality’.

SO, let’s talk about what has lead to me priorities this over the years.

CONVERSATIONS

Im always talking to past, current and new clients, with so many having the same conversation in common…..”what about this person on instagram?”, “This person trains every day though..” or “I need to train more often”. These all arise from our age of “Information Overload”.

Let me break it down simply:

– if you never build a great foundation there will always be gaps that need to be filled

– everyone is individual

– we are all in different stages of development with all aspects of training

– lifestyles will always play a factor (most ‘cross fitters’ you see doing amazing things, or athletes always training are doing it full time…..never compare yourself because thats stupid and unrealistic)

EDUCATION

After years of developing myself under the best coaches around the world they all have one thing in common. Quality first, foundations first, the INDIVIDUAL first. If the best in our industry push this why are we not seeing this incorporated. Stigma? Does everyone prioritise getting MORE done, believing that in return they will see greater results?

EXPERIENCE

Over the 7 years I have coached a LOT of people…..and put simply the ones who have achieved the best results have the HIGHEST “Quality” training patterns. They come in and put effort in with great quality, they produce the greatest stimulus they can every session and recover with good quality recovery sessions. Science based, simple training, executed properly is the king of results. Always has been and always will be!

WHAT I WANT YOU TO TAKE AWAY…….

YES hard work is important, YES you will always need to do a little more and stress your body a little more…..BUT…..

NEVER CHOOSE QUANTITY over QUALITY!

If you want a result, prioritise QUALITY!

 

Coach Cal – Chief of Programming at Perform 360

INSTAGRAMS DISTORTED REALITY

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Today I was scrolling through my Instagram, and spotted one of my fitness idols sitting on the beach, looking lean, shredded, tanned and beautiful in her tiny bikini. Next to her was a protein shaker containing a fat burner. Her post was about how she was staying lean thanks to this fat burner…. is she serious? How misleading???!!! Fair enough they are probably paying her for the post, but she’s giving women a distorted reality of what it actually takes to get that lean.

This chick recently competed in a body building competition so was still at a very low body fat percentage. Her diet would have been immaculate for months leading up to her compettion, and her body 1 week post competition would still be almost just as lean as she was stepping on stage (for those who don’t know how lean, 10-15% Body Fat). I am saddened that she is basically discrediting her 6 months of hard work, sweat and determination by saying she’s lean thanks to a fat burner.

Statistically, supplementation accounts for a mere 1 or 2 % (if that) of performance or body composition (think, if you are on a 2000cal diet, thats only 20 calories!!). Most fat burners (if legal by the FDA) in the majority of studies come up short when it comes to containing an evidence based amount of substance to elicit a therapeutic benefit.

She’s lean because she probably has great eating habits, high metabolism, plenty of lean muscle and has just competed in a body building competition. She’s lean because she’s conditioned to be lean.

At the end of the day, remember:

  1. Instagram posts can be misleading. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  2. Don’t waste your money on fat burners or supps unless you are also investing your money in a good gym program and good nutrition.
  3. There are no magic bullets .. nothing can be found in a pill that a shit ton of hard training and long calorie restriction can’t do when it comes to lean body composition…  I would love to be proven wrong on this.

On another note – https://thebutterflyfoundation.org.au September 3-9 is the Butterfly Foundations promotion of “love you body week for schools” – the impressionable age where students can promote positive body image and  build body confidence … unfortunately all IG images like this don’t promote health, let’s learn to love our bodies and appreciate what they can do for us without thinking we need pills to get lean and feel good about ourselves.

Coach – Soni

My Kids Brought Out My Inner Superhero

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“My kids gave me the most powerful moment of my life…”

Just the other day, I caught up with a member outside of the typical ‘gasping for air’ setting which is common post workout and actually had an in-depth conversation about a few important topics around training. One of the topics we spoke about and the one that stood out the most for me was how training can change your role model status with your kids.

It was a great ‘chin wag’ to say the very least and fair to say that this conversation struck a very powerful chord.

The biggest take home for me during our flowing conversation was that her three kids now saw and thought of their mum in a completely different light since she began her exercise regime.

She began to explain a particular scenario when all three of her children came to the gym with her. The intention was for the kids to sit quietly and do their homework in the gymnastics area whilst mum busted out a sensational session.

However, sitting quietly on this day was not an option for these star struck children. They were in awe of what their mum was doing and they couldn’t help but to cheer her on in support which ultimately gave her a huge boost.

I’m sure you could imagine how powerful this was for Mum and trumps any coach saying, “You can do it!”

“Having my kids support me during training was one of the proudest moments of my life!” she said. And to know that this was the first time they’d cheered for her, as opposed to the usual scenario of a mum cheering on her kids, was a truly humbling experience.  Even if you don’t have kids, you can appreciate how this moment would be a life changing one. At the very least, this moment has encouraged this particular mum to want to keep going.

To know her kids are proud of her is the epitome of motivation.

Everyone wins here… Not only is this mum motivated to continue with her training but she’s also setting an awesome example for her kids to follow. So, my question is this; what type of role model are you? And what type of role model do you want to be? Because whether you are aware of it or not, you are a role model to someone. So how do you want them to live their life? Remember, most kids don’t listen to what we tell them but they certainly do what they see.

 

Jason Clark – Co Founder of Perform 360

THE ART OF BEING SELFISH

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Sometimes I feel sad. I feel down. Sometimes you get down too. We all get down moments. Whether it’s because you lost someone, you have money problems, you broke up with your partner, hate your job or feel overwhelmed with life. It happens. Sometimes we just lose our way and need a little help finding the path again.

I sat down recently with a friend who reached out to me for help. The day she called me, I could tell she needed help. She was less chatty, not as enthusiastic as she normally is and just seemed down. We arranged a catch up over coffee for the following week.

That next week, as we sat down in the sun with our warm cup of coffee, she said to me, “It’s funny, as soon as I told you I needed help, I felt as though a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders.” She said she then went on and spent the whole weekend  doing things for herself. She drove to the beach, sat in the sun, read a book and just spent time enjoying her own company. I could tell her entire manner had changed. She was happier. Since she shared her deepest thoughts with me, she focused on herself, and she now had hope for change. Sometimes even just sharing your feelings with someone makes all the difference.

It got me thinking about what I do when I get down, and how I pull myself out of the slump. It seems, to me, that sometimes that life can feel all too much when we aren’t focusing on the small things in life that matter. Self Care. Self Love.

Here a a few things I have found over the years that help me feel alive, and feel happier within.

  1. S U N S H I N E….. Sit in the sun for one meal a day. Wait for your morning coffee in the sun. Go for a walk. Expose your skin. But make sure you build up your tolerance to the sun slowly. Start with just 3-5 minutes then increase by a few minutes every week. Decreased sun exposure has been associated with a drop in serotonin which is a chemical made in our body, which stabilises our mood and regulates anxiety and happiness (among others). The light-induced effects of serotonin are triggered by sunlight that goes through the eye, so try to get a little exposure without sunglasses on.
  2. P R O B I O T I C S  &  F E R M E N T E D F O O D S….. Studies are showing, that your brain and gut are closely connected. You can improve your gut health by consuming more fermented foods. But if fermented foods are too ‘hippy’ for you, opt for a probiotic every day. But if you are keen on giving it a go, kombucha, sauerkraut and kimchi make a great addition to your health.
  3. C L E A N  Y O U R S E L F  U P….. Sounds silly right? But think about it, when you are feeling lazy, lethargic and unmotivated, the last thing you want to do is get off the couch and shower, brush your teeth or put on moisturiser right? So get off your butt, allow 15 minutes, take a shower (for extra invigoration = 10 minutes of cold water), do a body scrub, clip your toenails, paint your fingernails, pluck your eyebrows, put on moisturiser. Go on, treat yo-self. If you don’t feel better after that, then keep reading….
  4. P O W E R  P O S E….. Open your chest, stand proud. Fake smile. They all trick your body into thinking it’s happier and it will release all those feel-good endorphins.
  5. P L A Y  M U S I C….. Pump it. Feel the Beat. Do a little wiggle in the kitchen while you are cooking.
  6. G O  O U T D O O R S….. Ever heard the saying “You need some fresh air.”? Be with nature. Wriggle your bare toes in the grass, sand or dirt. Research negative ions. They are abundant in nature, not so much in the cities. They can contribute to a healthier body and mind.
  7. T H E  B I G G E R  P I C T U R E….. If all else fails. Look at the bigger picture. You could have a worse job, live in a 3rd world country, not have one of your limbs etc etc etc. Come to think of it, you are pretty lucky. Right?

Simply, it’s just about being a little selfish, looking after yourself first, and do things that light a spark within.

 

Coach Soni

Instagram – @Sonijay

Compound Your Health

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The Government forces you to put aside/invest 9.5% of your wage (which will no doubt rise with inflation) for Superannuation because it doesn’t trust that you’ll be financially fit when you retire.

What if the Government insisted you put aside/invest a measly 2-2.5% of your wage into health & fitness? Would you object or would you welcome this idea?

I do believe in investing in Super and I also strongly believe in investing in your health for the long term (like in your 60’s, 70’s and beyond).

After all, you only have one shot at life and to live life on your terms with fulfilment in both wealth and health as a retiree is how life is meant to be lived. Right?

Have you heard of the story of a lady whose life goal was to walk a section of the Great Wall of China? Well if you haven’t, I’ll summarise it for you now.

Let’s call this woman, Mrs Jones. Mrs Jones’ life goal or bucket list adventure was to walk the Great Wall of China. When Mrs Jones finally had the freedom in terms of time and finances she was able to book her once in a life time trip.

The only problem was Mrs Jones had let her health deteriorate as she aged. In fact, her health plummeted so much that she was unable to walk more than a few meters at a time.

What did Mrs Jones do? Well, she still went to China but only to see the wall…not to walk it like she’d dreamt of for so many years.

It’s so sad to hear of bucket list adventures being stripped away from millions of people due to poor health and ignorance. If only they took their health a little more seriously whilst in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s.

The problem is, most people think they’ll live to Don Bradman’s average of 99.9 with a full functioning body. Hate to break it to you, but the odds are definitely not stacked in your favour.

So, my question is this – what are you going to do about it? Like Super, are you chipping away and investing in long term health? If not, do you think you should start thinking about it? Do you think you should start slow and “compound” your health?

Well, all of this depends on the aspirations you have for when you retire…but ultimately, the choice is yours for the taking. I know what I’d prefer!

Coach Jay – Co-founder at P360