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What a difference a few days makes. From this...



To this...



Don't forget next Friday evening we'll be meeting at The Red Lion Hotel in Rozelle. If you'd like to come and you haven't let Andy know yet, now's the time! WhatsApp suggests we're a group of 13. We're meeting at 6-6.30 pm, but obviously come when you can. Chloe and I are looking forward to being a part of the group for an evening.


The yogi's will be pleased to hear the hall will be back in use for yoga through the cooler months, hopefully starting in May. Watch this space.


Everyone loves sleep, don't they? Yet studies show about 45% of Australians experience insufficient or poor-quality sleep on a regular basis. Getting adequate sleep is essential for optimal physical, mental, and emotional functioning, but it also plays a huge role in dictating training outcomes. Here's why:


1. Muscle Recovery and Growth: During sleep, the body repairs and regenerates tissues, including muscles that have been stressed during exercise. Growth hormone, which plays a key role in muscle growth and repair, is primarily released during sleep.


2. Energy Restoration: Sleep helps replenish the body's energy stores. During deep sleep, the body restores glycogen and other energy resources, which are crucial for performing well in exercise.


3. Performance and Coordination: Good quality sleep improves physical performance, reaction time, and coordination. This is essential for both safety and effectiveness during exercise.


4. Mental Focus: Sleep helps improve focus, alertness, and concentration, which are vital for both exercise and other daily activities. Lack of sleep can lead to poor decision-making and reduced ability to focus.


5. Hormonal Balance: Sleep regulates hormones, including those that control appetite, stress, and metabolism. An imbalance in these hormones can negatively affect exercise performance and recovery.


6. Prevents Injuries: Adequate sleep helps improve coordination and balance, which can prevent injuries during exercise.


7. Immune Function: Sleep supports a healthy immune system, which helps protect against illness and infection that can interfere with exercise.


For many of us, sleep is hard to come by, but well worth prioritising whenever possible. It plays a key role in recovery, energy restoration, mental and physical performance, and overall health, all of which are important for effective and safe exercise and better quality of life.


Here's the photos from another week of training at Daybreak. Andy will be at Balmain at 7am tomorrow. Don't miss out on a great start to the weekend! 







Exercise Review

Squats


The squat is a fundamental exercise targeting multiple muscle groups. It increases strength in your legs, core and back, and because it works the largest muscles, it makes a very effective choice for raising your heart rate. It's also one of the most important functional exercises to maintain mobility into old age, as it mirrors movements such as sitting and lifting.


There are lots of variations on the squat. The first video below looks at a goblet squat, where the kettlebell could be replaced by anything (dumbbell, y-bell, medicine ball). The second video goes into more detail, particularly looking at the importance of a stable base.


Getting the most out of your squats can ensure you get maximum return for your time at training, without any injuries!




The temperature is still mild but the rain has certainly arrived! I hope it didn't derail your training plans this morning, but if it did, make tomorrow count. Don't forget the goals you've set for yourself.  

 


Andy's confirmed The Red Lion Hotel for Friday 19th April. The intention is to grab a drink before, at 6-6.30 pm. We're looking forward to catching up with those who can make it!


Poppy's going to be out of town for a few days this month, but sessions will go ahead as normal wherever possible. Andy will run Wednesday 17th April at 6 am, but there won't be any yoga that day. Thursday will only be on in Balmain (all are welcome) and Andy will do Saturday 20th April. If you're keen to pick up an extra session in Poppy's absence, don't forget there is now a circuit run alongside the Friday boxing session in Glebe. In the meantime, don't miss out on Poppy's session tomorrow morning!


This week is all about protein and not just for "the gains". Protein is required for so many processes we take for granted. It is used in enzyme production, hormone regulation, and immune function. It is a component of bone tissue and contributes to bone strength and density, helping to prevent conditions like osteoporosis. It also has a high satiety value, helping you feel full and satisfied after meals, reducing overall calorie intake and supporting weight management efforts.


But most of all, if you have strength or performance goals, protein is crucial! Here's a reminder of why:


  1. Muscle Repair and Growth: Exercise, especially resistance training, causes microscopic damage to muscle fibers. Protein provides the essential amino acids necessary for repairing and rebuilding these muscles, facilitating muscle growth and recovery.

  2. Protein Synthesis: Consuming protein after exercise stimulates muscle protein synthesis, the process by which new muscle tissue is formed. This helps to offset muscle breakdown and promote muscle repair and growth.

  3. Nutrient Timing: Consuming protein post-exercise maximizes the body's ability to utilize amino acids for muscle repair and growth, as muscles are particularly receptive to nutrient uptake during this time.

  4. Recovery: Protein intake after exercise helps to replenish glycogen stores and repair damaged tissues, speeding up recovery and reducing muscle soreness.

  5. Metabolic Rate: Protein has a higher thermic effect compared to carbohydrates or fats, meaning that the body expends more energy digesting and metabolizing protein. This can help support weight management and increase metabolic rate over time.

There are so many reasons to include protein in EVERY meal (and snacks if you can). The takeaway? More protein, more often. 


Daylight Savings ends this Sunday! I would say "don't forget to turn your clock back", but most of our time pieces now do that for us... perhaps the microwave and the oven still need a hand? Here's the wrap up of another great week. Have a fabulous weekend!  








Exercise Review 

Lunges


Lunges are a great all-rounder, working the legs, butt, hips and core. They're particularly beneficial for runners and cyclists, and anyone looking to improve their posture, range of motion or metabolic rate


Lunges can be incorporated in a number of different ways. Anyone who trains on Tuesday is familiar with walking lunges, but weighted lunges are an effective option for increasing strength and stability. As with all strength training, progressively adding weight is key. Aim to work to failure while maintaining form. Lunges make excellent compound exercises, when upper body work is incorporated to make the most of the time available (eg lunge with overhead press). 


The videos below give great detail on technique, but also gives some pointers to protect your knees. Happy lunging!




Hooray for a short week and a few days rest! I'm sure everyone is pleased to be back in the park (on dry days), now the mulch situation has been addressed.


Thank you to everyone who participated in the Good Friday Vote - the yays have it! Therefore, sessions starting at 7am will be held in the usual locations on Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Easter Monday. If you aren't going away, perhaps you could take advantage of the opportunity to move a little more this long weekend. 


We have a new save the date! We're really looking forward to another wine tasting in the near future, but in the interest of getting together before too much of the year slips by, we're hoping to grab a bite to eat on Friday 19th April. More details to follow.


There's only a little over a week until Daylight Savings Ends and the mornings will be a little lighter, together with the subsequent photographic wrap-up. Will this be the last of the dramatic light?


Have a fabulous long weekend and enjoy ALL the chocolate!








Exercise Review

Tricep Dips


In response to last week's question about ideas for an alternative to recipes, we had a suggestion to include instructional videos. This was so well-timed, as it's something I'd also been thinking about. There are so many ways to vary the exercises you do in the park, and while increasing load and intensity, or reducing it if need be, is great, having excellent technique is undoubtedly the most important factor. It will get you better results, and protect you from injury. So this is the first in a series. If there are any exercises you are particularly interested in, please let me know


When it comes to tricep dips, this video covers the important points. Ignore the mention of women in the openign title. Tricep dips are for EVERYONE! I'd also encourage you to keep your back (and glutes) close to the wall you are dipping from, to protect your shoulders and ensure you are engaging the triceps. Use your feet placement to adjust the load. If your legs are fully extended you will be maximising your own body weight in this exercise. 



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