Monthly Archives

June 2013

How Grateful I am

By | Articles, Articles and Tips, Mindset, SUCCESS & MOTIVATION | No Comments

by: Ben Nowlan

I am currently about to embark on a 6 month hiatus from work. I have a few things I want to do to keep me busy but ultimately I hope to spend most of time breathing in the fresh mountain air of Whistler, BC and when the snow comes to do a whole lot of Skiing. It’s a few weeks before a take but I as I sit here and write this article I am reflecting on how grateful I am and how I came to this position.

I believe that I can sum it up in 3 reasons:

Persistence is the attitude to keep going, to pick yourself up after you have had a setback, to find another way round when you hit a dead end or to keep asking until you get the answer you want.

Willingness to Learn & Grow – is the attitude to ask questions, to challenge yourself and move beyond your comfort zone, to know what you don’t know, to learn what you don’t know and to surround yourself with people that are skilled at things you are not.

Think big and define the path is the behaviour of always having the big picture in mind and defining each step and milestone along the way. I have a vision of what my life will have in store for me and each decision I make is intended to lead me there.

What are you grateful for in your life right now?

 

About the Writer:

BBen Nowlan Is an exercise physiologist, weight loss expert, health business entrepreneur and blog writer. Ben’s latest project is weightopia.com – an online psychology weight loss platform and health community”. please use the URL – www.weightopia.com

Does your personality suck?

By | Articles, Articles and Tips, Mindset, SUCCESS & MOTIVATION | No Comments

by: Ben Nowlan

99% of the time I get my blog post ideas from genuine life experiences. I usually jot down the idea in my journal or my little ‘Evernote’ app and ill come back to it later when I’m ready [or have time] to write the blog post. When I was going back through blog ideas and came across this heading and notes I had a little cackle to myself. “Who in the hell rubbed me the wrong way when I had this idea?” I thought to my self. Then I remembered who this person was and the situation that prompted this blog post.

This person didn’t make me angry or overly frustrated, I found them quite challenging and at one point was not quite sure which way to turn but it was never that taxing. In fact, the situation gave me more positive insights and personal reflections then negatives. It made me more conscious of the impressions and perceptions I create for other people of me.“The perception others have of ourselves is entirely up to us”, said the great Stephen Covey.

This situation I encountered was fundamentally a lack of self-awareness and self-development on the other individual’s behalf, which I thought was sad. These fundamentals that I refer to are:

  1. Awareness – Self awareness & the ability to reflect and self-examine
  2. Communication – Its two way and isn’t just about talking.
  3. Perspective – Not everything ‘is’ as it seems; put ourselves in the shoes of the other person we are communicating with. Try to look through the lens that they see the world through.
  4. Humilityprofessor from Macquarie University, Sydney has a keynote on this topic that is fascinating. We are not the most important person on earth and we don’t have to pretend to others that we are or project our egos onto others. Be humble and modest and you will get the attention you deserve.
  5. Open Mind – Not everything we hear or see, or have to do, we have to agree with but we can always learn from. Be open to learning from every situation and be open to the fact that some things ‘just are’. This means we don’t have to learn from them or there doesn’t have to be some big universal reason.

Think about these 5 skills for yourself. Do any of them need developing?

Spend the rest of the week ahead observing yourself in conversations and interactions with others and see how they respond or how the conversation flows. Ask someone close to you for an honest opinion. I actually asked a couple of friends last week and I received some really helpful insights – we just have to be ok with whatever response we get when we try this exercise.

Don’t be one of those people at work or at the party that people try to avoid. Our success in building relationships is not genetically determined trait. All of the skills listed above can be improved and just like a muscle will get stronger with a workout.

 

About the Writer:

Ben Nowlan Is an exercise physiologist, weight loss expert, health business entrepreneur and blog writer. Ben’s latest project is weightopia.com – an online psychology weight loss platform and health community”.
 www.weightopia.com

Revitalise your outfit = Revitalise your workout

By | Style and Trends, Tips, TRAINING & WORKOUT | No Comments

I can’t go to the gym!? I have nothing to wear…!   Rarely do I hear these words..
Unlike a first date, a board meeting or client presentation, which what we wear is directly related to an impression we want to make, at the gym we tend to dress for ourselves, for a different purpose.

What is the purpose?
To wear something comfortable maybe, non restrictive, something you can sweat in, (which usually means old t-shirts) or maybe something that just what you wear when you workout has a very strong purpose. To make you get the best out of your exercise and you must dress for the occasion.

You don’t wear motorcycle gloves to do the washing up? Or your ugg boots to the office?

Then why would we settle for “ordinary clothes” for the gym. Some people like to complain about their fellow gym goers overdressing for the gym, (jealous much?)
Stop missing the point people!!

The gym is where you go to work out for yourself, your body, your well being, NO ONE ELSE.
It is amazing how we care so much about what other people think of us, when was the last time you stopped to think about what you think about yourself?

I was at yoga last week, marvelling at the amazingly patterned and colourful selection of yoga pants with another fellow yogi.

Me: “Wow, those are so funky, love them definitely get them” (pointing to the rad tights in pink and yellow animal print she was holding)

Her:” Oh they’re incredible! ..but I couldn’t wear them, they wouldn’t look good on me..”

Me: “Don’t be ridiculous, you are doing yoga! I’ll bet you would feel good in them..”

liquidopants-930x280I suggested that if those tights could make her feel like she would have a better yoga practice, then she would improve her yoga practice.

 

 

Guys and gals give yourselves some credit! Respect that bod! We humans anchor certain feelings to clothes and I doubt those ratty old armpit sweat stained t-shirt, pilling leggings and odd socks with holes do not harbour the kind of positive, inspiring and motivating emotions to achieving the best from your work out.

My advice..
Look after yourself on the outside as well as the inside! Working in fashion has taught me that it’s not just about looking good, but that looking good is feeling good and that self belief can come from knowing you look great on the outside. Working out has as much to do with your mind as your body.
If you don’t think you can, you probably won’t do an extra rep or set or kilometre.

Amp up your fitness routine with a fabulous outfit to match that “can-and-will-do more,” attitude with these 3 awesome tips for confidence boosting gym gear that will make you feel just as good as you look. Bring on the floor to ceiling mirrors.

mens1. Add colour – although black hides sweat, let’s be realistic, you are going to get sweaty regardless and you feel it more than you see it! Reds and yellows for heat and intense workouts. Blues and purples for the weights training for focus and a calm mind. Runners, add a bit of neon for visibility as the days get shorter and the mornings and evenings darker and darker- also that futuristic vibe will have you darting along at a record breaking pace towards your goals!

 

 

nike-neon-running2. Buy the correct gym gear ¬- Just like we have experts designing the latest gadgets and apps, the technology is evolving in the fitness wear realm. Advancements in materials and fibres mean less sweat, less stink, more comfort and a better work out. Did I mention you get to look good too?

 

 

vicsecret3. Throw out the old stuff – think about how you are representing yourself.
If there are holes in your gym shorts there are most likely holes in your workout. Step up, buy a new pair, discard the old and you’ll be that much closer to the ultimate you. Give your body the support and adornment it deserves to give your mind the confidence it needs.

 

 

 

Let your workout clothing serve you, support you and nurture you in order for you to be challenged to take your body and your mind to the next level. Without out challenges we can often get bored, we do not learn and grow, which is imperative for success. Turbo charge your gym kit and give that beautiful body you’ve been working so hard on, the revitalise it deserves.

 

Our Pick on the Latest Fitness Fashion Trends

By | Healthy Living, Style and Trends | No Comments

Here are the quick tips for you fitness fashion trend setters!

LOUD NEON

neon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SLEEK LIGHTWEIGHT SHOES

Nike-Free-Advantage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few other essentials you should get your hands on to complete your fashion forward workout gear are:

Mens-Sport-Fashion-500x353

  • Some great running shoes; Nike offers the best technology built right into their shoes to make them light and sturdy, offering the best support. Always explain to the store consultants what you will be using your shoes for to ensure you get the right style and design for your workout needs.
  • Get a leather kitbag to keep all your gear in; these designs are tough and will last you a lifetime.
  • Find a stainless steel water bottle; when you re-use plastic it could become toxic and bacteria can build up over time. By switching to stainless steel your water stays fresh and clean for longer.

Andy Anderson Interview with Bodybuilder Aaron Curtis

By | featured : magazine, Interviews, Men's Interview | No Comments

Hey Aaron! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your story – How did you get into bodybuilding / Have you always been into health and fitness?

I have been involved in competitive sport since I was 6 years old. I got into competitive bodybuilding at the age of 24. I had been training with weights since the age of 14, but was never interested in competing, until I ceased football/athletics, due to various injuries.

aaron C1

What is your approach to training & competition in terms of mental and physical? For instance do you believe in time off training/ Do you have off seasons and off days?

I train because I love training hard and trying to better myself. If I didn’t compete, it would be offseason 365 days a year! I have never been interested in trying to look good, I just want to get bigger/stronger. I have generally always had 2-3 off days/week. My body responds better when training less frequently.

How did you develop the discipline that you have to meal prep, train, work hard and resist all other temptations?

I am not sure. I just do the things I need to do, that keep me progressing in the gym.

I’m curious about the environment you have created for yourself to support the success of your goals, could you tell us about that?

To be honest I would rather isolate myself, to create the most advantageous environment for me. I work better alone. That being said, I have a very supportive fiancé and my parents have always supported me in everything I have done.

Andy Anderson Interview with Bodybuilder Aaron Curtis

Can you run us through what your daily diet looks like?

  • 0530 – Breakfast: Chicken Breast, Brown Rice, Chili, Salt, Pepper.
  • 0930 – Pre Bed: Salmon, Lettuce, Celery, Tomato, Mushroom, Nuts, Seeds.
  • –==SLEEP==–
    1430 – Pre Workout: Kangaroo, Brown Rice, Chili, Salt, Pepper.
  • 1700 – *Pre Workout Shake: WPI, BCAA’s, Creatine.
  • 1710 –==Training==– *Intra Workout Shake: BCAA
  • 1830 – *Post Workout Shake: WPI, BCAA, Creatine, Dextrose.
  • 1850 – Post Workout: Kangaroo, Potatoes, Chilli, Salt, Pepper.
  • 2200 – Dinner: Chicken/Beef with Steamed Green Vegetables or Salad.
  • 0030 – Pre Bed: Eggs, Salmon, Salt, Pepper.
    –==SLEEP==–

What’s your favorite method of training and why?

Low volume. One set to failure.

 

What are your top 3 favourite exercises to do and why?

Squat, Deadlift, Bench. I like trying to lift heavy weights.

 

What would be your top 3 fat burning tips?

Lift weights. Eat as many calories as possible, whilst still at a deficit. Drop weight SLOWLY.

 

What would you say to people starting out on their health & fitness journey to help them achieve success?

Well that depends on their goals and what they see as ‘success’.

So a few general tips: Find a form of training you enjoy and do it well. Get your nutrition in check. Be consistent and give yourself time, nothing great happens over night.

 

What are your goals & vision for your bodybuilding career in the future?

I just want to get as big and strong as possible!

I will be competing this Sep/Oct and plan to present the biggest and most shredded physique I have displayed to date.

That is my only goal each time I compete.

 

 

Biography:

Aaron Curtis was once a skinny boy, who dreamed of running marathons, surfing Pipeline and Waimea Bay, playing Australian rules football and competing in the Hawaiian Ironman triathlon.

Throughout his younger years, he participated mainly in track and field, cross country and Australian rules football. He also participated in Gymnastics from ages 6-10.

Aaron began training with weights for no apparent reason in 1998. After numerous injuries, he began spending less time running track and playing football and more time in the school gymnasium.

Adding more muscle to his little frame with each passing year, he no longer excelled in the sports he was most genetically gifted at (middle distance running/cross country/football) and moved more towards the throwing events to make the school track and field team.

In late 2002 Aaron fell out of a tree (yes srs) and tore a chunk of cartilage off the bottom of his femur, also tearing his medial ligament in the process. This forced Aaron to be far more inactive (cardio wise) than he was used to and he started spending even more time in the gym. After waiting around 12 months, he underwent a cartilage graft, which involved removing some of his own cartilage cells, culturing them up in the hospital and then later grafting the cartilage back into the injured knee. The recovery process meant spending 3 months on crutches whilst the graft hardened and set into place, during which time he hired a wheelchair and spend most of his spare time ‘tricking’ in the chair and seeing how fast it could go down his street. Six months post op, he started rehabbing the knee in the gym with very light bodyweight movements, extensions and curls. Twelve months post op, his knee was 100% and his legs were starting to take shape.

Starting up a muck-around basketball team with some friends around 2004, who’s uniform included rather tight singlets and short shorts (they were actually underwearz) he tried to get back into competitive sports, athletics/football/basketball.

Struggling to be as competetive as he once was, he was plagued by soft tissue injuries and was becoming more and more frustrated.

After tearing his hamstring for the 1647th time (not quite srs) running a 400m race in early 2008, he decided to hang up his spikes/football boots and focus solely on becoming a competitive bodybuilder.

He had been eating/training like a bodybuilder since 2003, so the lifestyle was there already. He thought he would give in to the constant pressure from others and may as well compete in a bodybuilding show and see how he faired.

The 2008 season went well and although overdieting left him flat and a little smaller than what he should have been, he won the INBA Mr Novice Australia title.

Having to sit out the 2009 bodybuilding season after tearing his medial ligament, vastus medialis, and adductor magnus, whilst participating in a wrestling/rugby match during a ‘foam party’ at a nightclub in Indonesia (also srs), he focussed on the 2010 season.

2010 was a very interesting year for Aaron Curtis. After having focussed on winning the state ‘intermediate’ title for the past 2 years, Aaron found himself winning the ANB state overall title and coming a close 2nd in the INBA state titles. He then went on to get a close 2nd yet again at the INBA nationals titles and came home from the 2010 ANB Australian Championships as the overall national champion, I title he had never dreamed of winning in 2010, as he believed he was 5-10 years of training, away from such a title.

Around 2 weeks after nationals, Aaron became aware of many athletes testing positive to methylhexaneamine due to use of many popular bodybuilding pre workout supplements. Methylhexaneamine is a dietry supplement which is legal for use ‘out of competition’ periods but is prohibited ‘in competition’ periods. Aaron had been using the product ‘jack3d’ around the time of his comps and realised that he would soon be receiving a letter from ASADA/WADA informing him of his positive test/s.

Aaron was later banned from all ASADA/WADA sanctioned sports for 2 years and stripped of his ANB national U90kgs and overall title and also his INBA state and national intermediate titles. He still holds the 2010 ANB Mr Victoria overall state title, as he did not test positive in that competition.

Aaron is now training hard during his forced offseason, focussing on being the biggest and best bodybuilder he can be, when he next gets up on stage.

Aaron is a lifetime natural athlete, with no use of any pro hormones, anabolic steroids, growth hormones or peptides. At this stage of his life he has no desire to ‘enhance’ and make the transition across to the ‘untested’ competitions.

During his ban from natural competition, Aaron will be getting up on stage in 2012 in the IFBB and NABBA federations. He is looking forward to getting up on stage with the BIG boys and displaying the best physique that he can. Although competing in untested shows in 2012, Aaron will be competing as natural athlete and will not be taking any substances that are prohibited within the natural bodybuilding federations that he competes in.

With the sole goal of becoming the best natural bodybuilder that he can be, Aaron puts very little emphasis on how he looks/places compared to any other athlete. He focuses on bettering his past performances in regards to size/symmetry/proportion and definition of his own physique. For Aaron, bodybuilding competition is a way of measuring his own personal progress, not about winning titles or trophies.

‘Get massive.’ – Aaron Curtis =]

 

What is BCAA (branch chain amino acids)

By | Supplement, Supplements, TRAINING & WORKOUT | No Comments

BCAAs GREAT WORKOUT SUPPLEMENT!!

I often get asked by clients and gym goers alike, “what is the best work out supplement” Women are usually asking because the want fat lose and the guys are normally after muscle gain. Either way ill say the same thing every time…. “B.C.A.A’s my friend”!!

 

THE LOW DOWN

BCAA’s or (branch chain amino acids)) is the name given to three of the eight essential amino acids needed to make protein: leucine, isoleucine and valine. They are called branched-chain because their structure has a ‘branch’ off the main trunk of the molecule. The combination of these three essential amino acids makes up approximately one-third of skeletal muscle in the human body.

Now, from personal experience I can tell you that BCAA’s  work a treat and when I hit a plateau they helped me get through it big time! Two weeks after I started taking them I put on 2.5 kg, which I was obviously stoked about and also, dropped 1% bodyfat!

 

THE GOOD STUFF!

What can you expect from these bad boys?

  1. BCAAs help with recovery
  2. BCAAs decrease bodyfat. This is especially true with visceral fat, which is the fat that accumulates inside the abdomen and results in the bloated beer gut!
  3. BCAAs consumed during training raise both growth hormone and insulin, a combination that increases anti-catabolism and anabolism.
  4. BCAAS prevent muscle fatigue during exercise.
  5. Aid increase in endurance
  6. Boosting immune function, When you train at high intensity or high volume you risk immune suppression and infections. By supplementing with BCAAs you’ll help reverse glutamine loss, which is essential for immune function.

 

So although in an ideal world we would be getting enough BCAAs from our high protein foods such as meat & eggs most people out there wont even know what there protein goals are and will fall victim to under eating and bad food selection. Keep in mind that NO supplement out there will work miracles on its own and you can never go past good nutrition & hydration but these things plus taking BCAAs during training just might be the difference between you putting on a few kg of lean muscle or losing a few %  bodyfat!

 

Fight or Flight: How our body respond to environment

By | Articles, Healthy Living | No Comments

 

In relation to the health of your body, we can no longer deny the importance of our state of mind, our food choices and how we move our body.

What I find quite interesting is your amazing ability to adapt to changing situations and environments. This ability to deal with potentially stressful or dangerous situations is commonly called the fight or flight response. It’s designed to be a short term response, giving you enough time to change your circumstances and distance yourself from the potential threat. But what could happen if you were forcing your body to be in this survival state for long periods of time? Could it affect your health?

92816298Let me introduce you to the concept of allostasis, the ongoing adaptive efforts of the body to maintain stability in response to environmental stressors.

In this concept the body’s ‘set points’ may change based on the demands of the environment. Set points like resting heart rate, breathing rate, hormone levels and metabolic activity. For example, if we measured your oxygen saturation levels at sea level compared to altitude, they would be very different. Both normal for each environment, however if we look purely at the numbers without considering the environment, it could be possible to inaccurately diagnose an illness, instead of an intelligent adaptation to the demands of the environment.

These days there are a wide variety of physical, chemical, emotional and electromagnetic demands our environment places on our bodies. Can you think of one month where there has been no stress on your body at all?

 

Allostaic load: The price the body pays over long periods of time for adapting to challenges.

Think of it like a backpack. When you are born you are given a backpack to carry with you every day of your life. Along the way you collect little rocks (life challenges and lifestyle stress). As life goes on you collect more and more little rocks, each time adding to your collection. By the time you notice your backpack getting heavy you may have collected enough rocks that your body is starting to show you signs of fatigue. But life doesn’t stop and you keep on going collecting little rocks, before you know it you are buckling under the heavy load of a lifetime of accumulated stress and allostaic load.

If you would like to find out more about managing the impacts of stress, how eating well, moving well and thinking well could work for you, then we would like to invite you to our living balance workshops.