Fitness Log week beginning March 11, 2013

March 11, 2013

A most relaxing weekend left me chomping at the bit this morning. I started my day at 4am with my hour of power and then hit the gym at 5:30am sharp. Karen and I scheduled a bicep blast prior to RPM this morning. I found this list of Top 10 bicep exercises last night and whilst I am not that keen on having girls hanging off my arms (clearly aimed at the boys) it has some great tips. Females often focus too much on cardio without incorporating strength training to build lean muscle which will help you develop a toned physique. Don’t get me wrong, cardio is still essential. In fact high intensity training for 45 minutes first thing in the morning will boost your metabolism for the rest of the day and cause you to burn more calories over the next 14 hours even whilst at rest! Combining the two types of training in with the addition of stretch therapy and high quality nutrition will lead to optimum health and physique. Think of these components as your four quadrants of fitness.

Monday 11 March, 2013


chin ups

am:  Biceps: 21’s barbell curls (12.5 kg) bottom to 1/2 way x 7 reps, 1/2 to top by 7 reps, bottom to top 7 reps followed immediately without rest by dumbbell curls (descending reps 12-10-8-12 on 6-7-8 kg) just got through the 8’s so working to my limits at that range of reps. Military style chin ups (with arms and elbows actually tucked in closer than in this picture)  using descending reps 12-10-8-12 I started on pin#9 down to 6 but it was a bit too easy, I will start on pin#8 next week.

RPM class (45 minutes) and I also tried a new class Goodlife have launched called X Fit. The yummy mummies and I enjoyed an intense 45 minutes strength class in the group fitness room using the Pump gear. We did a short warm up and then three rounds of intense strength training (which you can easily replicate in your own time) followed by some core work and a warm down. The sets were a mix of resistance with barbell (I loaded up with 4 x 5kg plates) and against body weight incorporating principles of  plyometrics with intense heavy reps and no breaks in between except between rounds (30 second rest). The sets included: 15 squats, 15 cling and jerk, 15 straight leg deadlifts, 15 box jumps (up onto stage),15 tricep dips, 15 push ups and 30 second plank. By round three I was extremely fatigued and dropped 2 x 5kg weights off my barbell, however it was then far too easy, I should have added 2.5’s on in lieu of the 5’s.


I enjoyed a relaxing steam session afterward followed by a warm shower to sooth the muscles.

pm: Boxing class (45 minutes) followed by Stretch Therapy (1 hour) @ the Old Flour Mill. We did handstands tonight and I practiced my shoulder stand. After class I felt like trying a back bend, Trevor being so perceptive spotted my intention and offered assistance. I pushed up into the pose to begin with then he provided further instruction and support to help me move more deeply into the stretch.



am: 2 litres purified rainwater, 2 cups green tea, green smoothie (1/2 litre).


pm: tuna sashimi (one small raw tuna steak sliced up) with soy sauce and pickled ginger and 1/2 a fresh cucumber. 1 litre purified rainwater. Evening meal – pumpkin soup, steamed brocoli and walnuts. Broccoli is amazing food – cleansing, high in vitamin C, protein (45% of the calories) and fiber – whenever I even feel the slightest bit unwell I load up my plate. Pot of peppermint tea.


Tuesday 12 March, 2013


am: recovery (much needed after yesterday’s full on day!)

pm: Boxing class (1 hour) back to back with Balance class (1 hour). Squeezed in some back work tonight before class with  increased weights from last week and again using decreasing rep technique (12-10-8-12) – dumbbell rows : 9-10-12.5-9; lateral pull down (pin # 4, 4 +1, 4+2). I am feeling more energised after training tonight.


am: 1 litre purified rainwater, 1 cup green tea, 1 pomegranate which was a gift, (check the link for info about this amazing fruit).1 pot of chai. Intriguing – this morning I had very little appetite even after such a heavy training day yesterday with quite a light corresponding calorie intake.


pm: I picked up a lovely little pumpkin and some red onions from the Queen Bee at our very own farmer’s market stall “homegrown harvest” on Saturday in the Top of Town. Today I made the most delicious soup with them plus carrots, capsicum, courgette, brocoli, chickpeas, chilli and fresh rosemary from my garden. I finally began feeling hungry around 11:30am so I ate two big bowls of soup!


Super hungry again after classes tonight so evening meal was whipped up in a jiffy: sauté veggies (courgette, red onion, asparagus & cabbage) with lightly steamed broccoli and a tuna steak lightly pan fried.

Wednesday 13 March, 2013


leg press

am: Quads, shoulders and triceps this morning all mixed up and using a mix of decreasing rep technique (12-10-8-12) or straight reps where indicated: barbell step ups (15-17.5-20), barbell squats (15-17.5-20), barbell lunges (15-17.5-20), standing shoulder press (15-17.5-20), tricep dips with 5kg weight on lap (3 x 10 reps), stair sprints 2 x 3, seated leg press (pin # 9-10-11), triceps push ups (3 x 10 reps), leg extension (pin # 5-6-7). 10 minutes powerwalk on treadmill at 6km/hour (10% incline).

Women Boxing Together At Gym

pm: Kerri and I smoked through two 20 minute sessions in the park today. The ground was dry so no excuses not to drop into those push-ups and burpees! A heart pumping drill working the whole body: 50 high jabs, 40 uppercuts, 30 hooks, 10 full burpees, 10 pushups, 1 minute skipping, 10 repulsion lunges, 10 box jumps up onto step. Only rest was during transition between skipping reps (10 meters). We’ve been training together for a few months now, we take it in turns to prepare the sessions and during the hour we spend each week training, we also have time to touch base on life and catch up. Training together has helped us both stay accountable in other areas of our lives as well which has been a huge blessing to us both!


am: 1 litre purified rainwater, 2 cups green tea, 1 green smoothie. Latte.

pm: Tuna in springwater with cucumber, tomato, asparagus and red onion. Walnuts (30g), banana, two plums. 1 litre crystal springs water. Homemade vegetable soup, pasta spirals with vegetables.

Thursday 14 March, 2013


What a glorious Autumn morning to be alive…clear blue skies and crisp, fresh air, I envied the lucky people high up in the balloon early today!

early morning mist

am: I was reading about supersets this week so I decided to use this training principle to combine my hamstrings and chest this morning. Routine: chest dips (pin# 8-7-6) alternating with back extension with plates (5-7.5-10); dumbbell chest press on incline bench (9-10-12.5) alternating with lying leg curl (pin# 3) 3 x 12 reps; straight leg deadlifts with dumbbells (25-30-35) [whilst my legs were fine, I could hardly lift the  17.5kg weights with my arms which got hammered so I need to rethink that one] alternating with dumbbell chest fly 4 kg (3 x 12reps); hamstring curls on swiss ball alternating with hamstring stretch; core work: decline crunches (3 x 12 reps)


pm: recovery


am: 1 litre purified rainwater, 2 cups green tea, 2 gooey boiled eggs with sauté asparagus, broccoli and garlic.

pm:  Tuna in springwater with cucumber, tomato & spinach. Walnuts (30g). 1 litre crystal springs water. Homemade vegetable soup.

Friday 14 March, 2013


am: recovery

pm:  Body Balance



am: 1 litre purified rainwater, 2 cups green tea.


pm:  2 gooey boiled eggs. Homemade vegetable soup. Ginger chicken stir fry with shitake mushrooms and sauté veggies asparagus, broccoli, capsicum, red onion and garlic.



A friendship that began an incredible journey….

February 26, 2013

I love the tale of the Lord of the Rings – Tolkein has such a beautiful way of reminding us how important love, friendship, loyalty and journey are – the elements that bring true substance and meaning to our lives.

This afternoon I spent an hour skyping with a dear friend of mine who lives in a small town in North-East Thailand called Payak. Hannah and I begun a friendship via email after my husband connected with her and her family in 2002 on a trip he made with his father. We met over a year later when I spent a week with her community in Thailand and it felt as though we had been friends our whole lives. I was moved by Hannah’s love for the children in her community and the way she embraced those who needed her help despite her own limited means at the time


Our friendship saw us embark on an exciting venture together in 2006 when we partnered in founding Samuel’s House, a home for displaced children. Together with another amazing couple, we were able to see Hannah’s vision for providing a loving, family run home for abandoned kids realised. The journey has brought us, and many friends and family who have come on board, immeasurable joy and we always love a chance to spend a week with our ‘Thai family’.


On our last visit in 2011, we discovered that Hannah and Nehamee had started a small mushroom business which was really doing well. I can’t recall exactly when Hannah and I first discussed the concept, but essentially we are now working together on a project called The Mushroom Project (30 second clip here) which empowers women in the region of Isaan to replicate her mushroom business. Isaan is one of the poorer areas of Thailand and is not frequented by tourists. Most people subsist on rice farming. The project incorporates a formalised micro-loan, business mentoring and gives an opportunity for women to add an additional stream of income to the family budget. Our first project started in April 2012 and is now completed with the funds rolled into Project #2. Today Hannah and I discussed a candidate for Project #3  who lives near the proprietor of Project #1 and has started learning the business from her which is super exciting as it incorporates the concept of paying it forward for the participants.

Han promo

I am so thankful to have begun this friendship with Hannah through a simple email. I have loved being a part of these life-giving projects and I wanted to share this story with you because it always makes me think “Who am I going to meet next and what exciting adventures await us….?” Building friendships is such a valuable investment in life – they can open doors you never expected, not only for you but for others whom you can also bless in the process.

A day in the life of vintage treasure hunters

February 19, 2013

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” ― C.S. Lewis

A friend mentioned recently that she had come across a vintage haunt in a posh suburb in Brisbane with fabulous finds. I looked up those in the area and found three. With a common love of vintage treasure hunting and being overdue for a proper catch-up, Megan and I decided to make an outing of it. Megan and I met twice, once over vintage bicycles and the next over vintage fashion. We then discovered so many other things we had in common and have become good friends.

We got off on time as planned (which was impressive for us both) but soon discovered navigation might be an issue (no GPS or UBD) but this was quickly remedied by a visit to a tech shop on the way.


Despite assistance from our new TomTom we somehow got onto the Clem tunnel and ended up on the other side of the city to where we were headed. Given we were in the area we decided to look for an op shop listed at Ascot. Unfortunately we couldn’t find it but stopped to pick up some peaches for morning tea. I then cleverly I missed my footing on some steps and tumbled elegantly down the stairs on platform heels on the way back to the car.

We decided to head back toward our destination posh suburb, another trip via Clem and parked down a side street. The street had limited signage so we stopped in at a realty and were given the wrong directions. Ah the perils of vintage treasure hunting in unfamiliar territory! After tramping up and down the high street of posh suburb with one small umbrella in pouring rain, both stumbling along on heels and me with sore knee from the tumble and a cut and grazed hand, we found one of the three listed right near street where we had parked. Books only!

We went back to the car and I was feeling quite forlorn. Megan suggested we try some haunts near the city on the way home as a plan b. I had been there before without a huge amount of luck and wasn’t really feeling up to any more walking in the rain. Poor Megan probably didn’t know what to do with this party pooper. As we drove on though she  just chatted away and the gentle presence of a good friend reminded me of why we were on an outing in the first place. I snapped out of my pity party and determined to have a great day no matter what – even if we didn’t find any good haunts, the most important thing was that we enjoyed a beautiful day together! Well we arrived at the plan b location and secured a park right near the spots we wanted to visit. Whilst the first two didn’t turn anything up, the third and final spot was a goldmine and both of us found some lovely pieces.

vintage treasures

Having satisfied our sartorial appetite it was then time for lunch and we enjoyed delicious vegan fare in West End before heading home. Our trip back was filled with the beautiful tunes of ABC classic FM, the rain softly falling and shared stories of treasured friends, places that we had been and those we still dream of.


The journey of success

February 11, 2013

True entrepreneurs are driven to serve as much as they are called to lead

– Jonathon Fields


I was most inspired by this quote recently. It made me think of a few awesome people I know and ponder that the level of success that they are currently achieving is a direct result of their genuine love of serving people. I did a little google search on Fields and found an article he wrote on the topic. We so often get things topsy turvy in life – as dream chasers we want the results, but sometimes do not realise the foundational principles which underpin success.

Adding value to the communities in which we live and contribute is the common feature of all great leaders, no matter what level they operate and with or without the label. Inspiring leaders are in fact always the greatest servants and this is why we follow them – they call out the best within themselves and in doing so they call forth the best from us. Respect and compassion for others and a commitment to ensure that everyone has access to the same opportunity are the hallmarks of great leaders.

The path to success brings with it a great sense of accomplishment but it also adds great responsibility. Whilst this may give one pause, it is the person that we grow into as we pursue these dreams that can give us the greatest sense of personal achievement. For in conquering the mountains, we conquer our fears and insecurities…. indeed we conquer ourselves when we reach the summit and know deep within “I can do anything I put my hand to!” Keep striving for your goals, never give up, for in the journey there is great joy!


12 minutes per month to change your life

January 9, 2013


There was a very interesting documentary on SBS recently called “The Truth about Exercise”. The study tracked the progress of the participants over a month using scientific testing. It was based on research which now shows that  high intensity training for just three short, sharp cardio bursts of 20 seconds each three times per week can change the way your body metabolises fat and utilises blood sugar. HIIT gives the heart a nice intense rev up and there can be no more excuses about not having enough time! So consider incorporating HIIT into your fitness schedule this year. So who’s keen for a run?

Seeing their dreams take flight

January 7, 2013


Recently we watched the heart warming film “The Odd life of Timothy Green” – a magical little film that juxtaposes two strikingly opposite human traits. One being the heartache that we put ourselves through in our passionate attachment to strongly desired outcomes. The other being the joy of investing in others and seeing their dreams take flight. Whilst this film focuses on the parent child relationship, parallels can be drawn into other spheres where we seek to influence and encourage others. True contentment and joy in life I believe comes from a healthy and balanced fusion of these two concepts.

little pilots

One of my favourite authors on leadership and business is John Maxwell. If you have never come across any of his material, I’d highly recommend having a read. His writings on influence are based on timeless principles that will serve you in many areas where you wish to see growth – business, relationships, community and personal development. I am coaching a friend in her own personal health and fitness goals for the month of January and whilst we have just begun, the growth and transformation she is already experiencing is such a kick! As part of your plans for 2013 why not incorporate a personal growth plan that includes opening a door of opportunity for someone, coaching someone, perhaps committing to a personal achievement event together or a simple, genuine word of encouragement to those around you from time to time. No matter who we are – we all have something that we can give to others. The joy of being at the finish line to cheer someone on as they cross the line is hard to match, come on and give it a try – I know you’ll be hooked!

A beautiful Christmas in the mountains

December 30, 2012


We have spent a wonderful few days over Christmas in the mountainous Granite Belt. Our family own the old boulangerie in the French inspired village of Amiens near Stanthorpe. The lovely little village was developed in the years following  WW1 after servicemen were resettled in the area. It one of my favourite places to visit where I can find rest and think of the gentle reprieve and solace our forefathers would have found in this  beautiful place. With minimal passing traffic one is enveloped in the serenity of lush alpine pasteurs dappled with granite, grazing donkey and doe eyed cows that gently wake you up in the morning as they slowly amble past the bedroom window. Crisp mountain air cools everything down and it is easy to loose track of time lazing under the willow in the garden, reading, writing or just enjoying a snooze. The milder temperatures also lend to abundant birdlife – parrots, rosella, cockatoos, magpies, cheeky little willy wagtails and finches that flitter about.  We enjoyed a lovely dinner party with our French hostess and new friend Claudine, a neighbour from up the road. A stroll to say hello to the goats before dinner led us through an orchard of figs, olives and plum trees covered in ripe, ruby red fruit – yum and it didn’t take much encouragement to get the bush poetry, Irish ballads and song flowing freely after dinner. Christmas and Boxing Days were full of family, music, laughter and all the festive trimmings. I could not think of a more enjoyable way to spend Christmas and find myself refreshed and ready for a new year.

Life Drawing….

December 12, 2012

LifeDrawing003Artwork by Tom Grevera []

A few months ago I attended my first life drawing class at the Old Ipswich Courthouse, a beautiful historical building now home to the Ipswich Art Society. It was inspired by a ladies day out earlier this year visiting the Matisse exhibition at GoMA. It was delightful, I loved the work inspired by his travels to the middle east and orient, rich colours, garments, fruits and the exotic contours of his subjects eyes. We had a break for morning tea before spending some lovely time in the drawing room where a lovely young lady serenaded us with classical pieces on the violin – I was in heaven! I brought along my little love heart tin box with walnuts for a snack and enjoyed them with a nice tart cranberry juice whilst the other ladies had some lovely teas and espresso with Italian shortbread. The four of us discussed all sorts – art, fashion, photography, our dreams and goals for this year and beyond. One of the ladies suggested that we have another outing to the Life Drawing class in Ipswich and whilst we couldn’t quite make the diaries match together, I eventually made it along taking my sister-in-law who is herself an amazing artist and mother of three young boys. For her it was a lovely way to reconnect with her love of drawing, take some time out and the two of us enjoyed a lovely evening. I found it such a relaxing way to spend a couple of hours and as my little drawing debut unfolded, my appreciation for Matisse and his work that I had viewed earlier this year certainly deepened to a new level.

Life Drawing classes are on certain Wednesday evenings and open to the public.

Why women do….

December 3, 2012


As women we seem to have an auto pilot function to connect with one another. Some say we are from Venus where we talk en masse, others put it down to nest protection and social insurance that our great-grandmothers invested into whilst the men went out hunting. Whatever theory you subscribe to, there is nothing more apparent than the natural gravitation that women have toward socialising and connecting. I know that one of my favourite things is catching up with a good friend over a nice macchiato and perhaps a good vintage scurrage.

cafe date

Whilst we can be one another greatest advocates and supporters, there is another side to women’s society. There probably isn’t a female reading this that won’t have a painful memory spring to mind when I mention the notions of  betrayal, lies, control, manipulation, jealousy and gossip.

grocery run

(“Celebrating Inner Confidence” – Schick Quattro campaign 2010)

I was discussing this issue with a friend who has recently been through a difficult period in her relationships with female friends. She referred to a series from Oprah’s Lifeclass that had really helped her so I decided to have a look. I found five short (4 minute) videos and spent a few moments watching them. The information really helped me to process some situations that I had personally been confronted with at the time and reminded me of how important it is to operate from a position of peace with yourself. Building your own platform of confidence and self-respect is the key not only to treating others with dignity and respect but also having the wisdom to recognise the underpinning issues of fear and low self-esteem when those near us are pulling out the claws.


Acknowledging that we are all far from perfect can give us the grace to forgive. If the behaviour continues, then comes the difficult decision of what I call the platonic break up. Maybe temporary but most times permanent, it is an essential part of our self-development and is natures way of helping us develop a positive peer group. Consider the five people that influence you the most, think about their attitude, the words they speak, the way they treat others and any other value that is important to you? Would you be satisfied to be an average of those five? We have limited space in life so consider your standards and make your inner circle count!

One of my favourite things!

November 27, 2012

On a beautiful day, full of sunshine and warmth, one of my most favourite things in the world is spending time at the seaside, swimming in the ocean and taking walks along the beach.  Nothing compares to the exhilaration of running into the sea and being engulfed by waves, hearing the laughter and squeals of kids of all ages playing in nature’s water park playground.

Joy abounds, children build castles of sand, families recline together and couples stroll hand in hand. It’s a place to forget everything and feel completely happy and carefree. We had a lovely morning at Burleigh Heads on Sunday, swimming and playing in the waves, it’s one of our favourite spots. As I was swimming I couldn’t help seeing flashes of Heavenly Creatures,  the recent Vogue shoot (November edition) celebrating the golden jubilee of the Australian Ballet Company. I was absolutely enraptured by strength and beauty of the dancers perfectly juxtaposed against the raw beauty of ocean and sand. For me the behind the scenes video far surpassed the stills. The music and editing was  simply enchanting…..enjoi!