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Body Composition

Another public holiday under the belt! The King's Birthday will be next and then we'll be halfway through the year. That might be a daunting thought if you're not making progress toward your goals. Conversely you may feel like 2024 has already been epic. I hope it's the latter, but if not it's not too late! Break your goals down into small steps and schedule them. It doesn't sound exciting, but it's a great way to find yourself celebrating your wins by NYE. 

If you're looking for a reason to get out of bed, the sunrises are amazing at this time of year. Wednesday put on quite a show. What a beautiful way to start the day!  

Exercising for longevity and good health makes a lot of sense, but many also hope to change their body composition, perhaps to become leaner or stronger. Unfortunately there's no quick fix to make your abs pop out, and no amount of tricep dips will give you lovely toned arms. If you're already doing some strength training, it's likely you've started to build the muscles you'll need, but you also need to reduce the padding that hides them. The only way to actually SEE the muscle is to reduce the fat. 

There are many factors to consider when altering body composition, and many ways to go about it, but in broad terms:

  1. Be in a calorie deficit while eating enough protein

  2. Do both cardio and strength training

  3. Prioritise rest, refueling and re-hydration

Strength training and sufficient protein in your diet will ensure you build the muscle it takes to achieve definition, but only so long as you also get enough rest. Eating enough protein will also help you feel full while being in a calorie deficit. The deficit and the cardio ensure your energy needs exceed your consumption, and the cardio helps to use up your fat stores. 

If you're showing up and giving it a go, but you aren't FEELING the changes to your strength and fitness, it's important to consider why. Perhaps you're lifting weights that are no longer heavy enough in relation to your increased strength, perhaps you're just going through the motions instead of exerting yourself and might need more rest, or perhaps your exercise frequency is insufficient to effect change. Exercising twice a week will always feel like work. Adding a third should feel more comfortable, but the magic is in the fourth. Change can be achieved with less, but it's harder to feel or see and therefore harder to stick with. In the long term its worth considering periodisation (which we'll look at in a future week), but if you're seeking change I'd strongly advocate for trying out a fourth session. Give it a month and see how you feel. When planning your week, don't forget to allow time for rest and recovery between heavy weight sessions. The muscle is built in between the work, but cardio is fine between heavy days.

In the next few weeks I'll look at the above ideas in more detail, but if you have something specific you'd like included, please don't hesitate to let me know!

Poppy will be in Balmain tomorrow and I'm sure she's got a great session lined up, for those who want to start the weekend out in the fresh air, with a welcome dose of endorphins. Enjoy this week's photos and have a fabulous weekend!

Exercise Review


Another compound exercise engaging multiple muscle groups and joints simultaneously. Through recruitment of the entire posterior chain, deadlifts offer the potential to lift heavier weights, making them efficient for overall strength development. Deadlifts also mimic everyday lifting movements, improving functional strength and reducing injury risk. If that's not enough, they enhance posture, increase metabolism, and stimulate bone density. Incorporating deadlifts into your workout routine can provide numerous benefits for strength, muscle mass, and overall fitness.

Please look past the fact this video was made by the guys at Men's Health, because it's spot on and to the point. A nice clear demonstration of what you want your deadlifts to look like. Most importantly, lower your hips not your head, and don't overextend your lower back at the top. I like the image of a puppet with string from the top of the head. Elongate your spine so that you are standing up tall, don't thrust your hips forward. 

Lastly, you can probably lift a lot more than you think. Here's a quick look at a tiny woman lifting more than three times her body weight, just to balance the testosterone in the video below. It's not for all of us, but it's possible!


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