Sports Specific Training-What is it?

Sport Movement

Optimal performance dependent on effective and efficient movement. Techniques to improve speed, agility, and quickness (SAQ) include functional readiness assessments, dynamic warm-up, balance and equilibrium, nervous system activation, multidirectional movement mechanics and deceleration in a scientific and practical format suitable for athlete training, teams, functional training and post injury return to action.

Sports Strength

Effective methods for improving an athlete’s ability to transfer force from the legs through the core to the upper body. By increasing an athlete’s muscle hypertrophy, strength, multi joint power, rotary power and segmental plyometrics through innovative multiplaner exercises we provide a cutting edge approach to developing a functional body that better expresses and integrates strength for life and sport, and enhances reactivity for muscle and joint durability.

Sport Balance

Game breaking plays are the result of power initiated from the perfect moment of transitional balance. Techniques designed to improve proprioception, stability, and muscular coordination will reduce the incidents of injury as well as improve joint stability required for improved power initiation. Static, dynamic, and “act and react” balance challenge concepts for legs, core and upper body, and fitness and rehabilitation.

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Exercise for Fat Loss: What To Do & How Much


           WHAT TO DO ?

Firstly, you need to get moving & you need to do it now !

When exercising for fat loss, there are two specific goals.

The first is to burn calories. How? Aerobic exercise- like walking, running, riding a bike or interval training like Tabata sets just to name a few. But if you only do Aerobic exercise, you may also lose muscle mass which is a problem as this will lower your metabolism. Also there is a good chance with aerobic exercise alone, you may not look as good as you can – as fast as you can.

So, the second goal is to preserve muscle & maybe even build some more. ( to stay strong, look good keep metabolism high & burn fat faster.) This means Resistance exercise- like weights, body weight training or circuit training.


Recent research indicates around 5 hours per week, on average.

But if you are currently doing a lot less or even nothing, than 5 hours straight up may be too much. The expectation that people can make big changes instantly in their lives -and make them last- is probably the main reason people fail to lose fat & keep it off. So, if you are doing nothing now, just focus on moving more & exercising an hour or two a week. If you are doing more already, gradually increase your volume until you reach 5 hours per week. Don’t forget to do both aerobic & resistance exercise.


Consistently challenge yourself to do a little more or a little better. Every time you exercise write down what you did, & the next time, improve on it. A little longer, a little faster, a little more intensity or a little more weight lifted.

Simple Habits for Fat Loss

Simple Habits for Fat Loss

People who design their own fat loss programs more often then not fail. (some research indicates up to 98% of the time) This is not because fat loss is hard. It’s because most people make fat loss hard by trying to learn & do too much at once. It’s “all or nothing” at it’s worst, and this it what leads to a staggeringly high rate of failure.

Successful, lasting change only happens by introducing new habits/behaviors slowly- and only when a person is truly confident they can do them.

So first up make a list of proven habits & behaviors that will help lose fat. For example:-

1.Exercise for 30 minutes

2.Drink at least 8 cups of water

3.Eat at least 4 one-cup servings of vegetables

4.Sleep at least 8 hours (including naps & night time sleep)

5.Take fish oil & perhaps a multivitamin daily

6.During each meal, stop eating when 80% full

7.Eat 4 to 5 meals

8.Eat lean protein with each meal

9.Replace grains with greens during each meal

Next, choose one that seems easy to you & ask yourself “On a scale of 1-10, how confident am I that I can do this habit every day for the next 14 days?” If the answer is a 9 or 10, get started. BUT if your answer is less than 9, choose a different habit or make that habit easier until you’re confident you can do it. For example, instead of exercising for 30 minutes could you do 15 minutes, or maybe even less. Give yourself permission to make it easier until you’re confident of a 9/10 on the scale. Then do it.

BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF. Forget what you think you should be able to do, what can you do, right now? People need to start with one, quick, easy habit that can be done  each day. Confidence in being able to do this is what separates those who succeed from those who fail.

So in summary-You can’t do it all at once, every day. But you don’t have to.

-Begin by choosing only one new habit that you’re confident you can do for 14 days & do it. Then add another habit only after you’ve mastered the first one. If you’re feeling confident & want to try a couple of new habits at the same time that’s OK BUT only if you’re at 9/10 on the confidence scale

The Best Way To Lose FAT. Not Just Weight.

The Best Way To Lose Fat, Not Just Weight.

Recently we have seen a surge in “weight loss groups” driven by social media as a support medium. I think this is great & I wish all who participate every success. Given that it’s important we lose fat & NOT lean muscle mass than it raises the question, “What is the best way to lose fat & not just weight?”. Whilst the type of both aerobic & resistance exercises are important, we will address this topic another day. For the purpose of this article lets examine the results of a recent review “Effects of aerobic and/or resistance training on body mass and fat mass in overweight or obese adults. J Appl physiol.2012Dec;113(12):1831-7

This study used 3 groups:-Aerobic Training Group/ Resistance Training Group/ Combined Aerobic & Resistance Training Group

Key Results were:-       Aerobic Training Group                Resistance Training Group                     Combined Group

Exercise duration:-      130 minutes per week                       180 minutes per week                        5 hours(300 min.) per week

Weight :-                             Loss-1.76kg                                            Gain-0.83kg                                    Loss-1.63kg

Lean body mass:-             LOSS-0.10kg                                           Gain-1.09kg                                   Gain-0.81kg

FAT LOSS:-                         1.66kg                                                      0.26kg                                               2.44kg

In other words, combination training led to the greatest improvements in body composition.

As exercise adherence is key to achieving your goals over the longer term the study looked at drop out rates. The aerobic group had the highest with 34% followed by the combined group with 23% & the resistance group not far behind with 21%. Interestingly 44% of the aerobic group dropouts said it was due to time constraints & yet the combination group exercised twice as long as them & had a better retention rate.

Both groups who did resistance training showed lower drop out rates, which is important if the goal is long-term lifestyle change.


The combined aerobic/resistance training group lost the most fat while gaining muscle.

They had lower drop out rates.

They spent the most time working out, around 5 hours per week.(N.B. Metabolic Resistance Training can reduce this if you are time poor.)

I believe a combination IS the best way to achieve sustainable results whilst also addressing the functionality needs of our bodies that will improve not only longevity but also the quality of our life.

Remember, aerobic & resistance training are NOT distinct entities. Recently “Metabolic Resistance Training” (resistance training that is also aerobically demanding) is gaining favour with great results. More on this next time.

Metabolic Training

Metabolic Training or Metabolic Resistance Training

What is Metabolic Training?

Metobolic training is completing structural & compound exercises with little rest in between exercises in an effort to maximize calorie burn & increase metobolic rate (how many calories your body burns at rest) during & after your workout. Body weight & free weights are used to allow for maximum natural body movements. The free weights should be heavy enough to feel the burn, but not to the point where you cannot finish the entire circuit. Metabolic training focuses on a timed circuit as opposed to the normal volume workouts. The faster you lift, the more time you will have for recovery. But you’ll be more tired while you’re recovering. The idea is to create a high intensity workout, one that burns fat as it adds muscle tone.

Benefits of Metabolic Training.

1.Improved cardiovascular capacity.  Studies have shown anaerobic exercise like HIIT (high intensity interval training) can increase VO2 max beyond that experienced by people following an aerobic program.

2.Improved hormonal profile.  Several studies have shown that hormones that promote “lipolysis” (fat loss) increase as a result of high intensity strength training.

3.Calorie burning.   The “afterburn effect” as the body replaces the oxygen shortfall caused by the workout plus repairing the muscles to make you stronger & fitter. The body uses extra energy to achieve this.

4. Local muscular development& definition.  This training is not designed to bulk you up, instead, it will lean out your body, shedding body fat & allowing your muscle definition to show.

Who should do Metabolic Training?

In a word, everyone! Having said that, it is NOT for everyday use, but should be used as part of your entire workout process. Great as a break from heavy lifting, stuck on a plateau & need to shock the system, get lean & cut in a short period of time, a fast workout to get you in & out quickly or starting back after a break. Metabolic training is the way to go & used weekly with changing content as part of your overall fitness training will deliver results.

The Changing Face Of Fitness

The Changing Face Of Fitness

A few months back a new client approached me in my capacity as a Strength & Conditioning coach. She wanted to run in the first ever “Spartan Race” to be held in Qld. She had been going to a bootcamp for some time, had lost heaps of weight & was quite cardio fit but what she lacked was the functional strength (particularly upper body) to complete this kind of event (Obstacle Course Racing) with confidence. Obstacle Course Racing is a sport that requires a multi-faceted fitness preparation including cardio fitness to run distances ranging from 5km to 21km & now even 42km whilst along the way completing many obstacles that require various functional strength capacities.

Her situation re-inforced to me that no one type of training will give you everything you might need and that far too many “Fitness Professionals” come to believe that their particular “world” is perhaps the best or “one & only”

Some examples of this situation are:-

   1.In the industry we have the Isolationists & the Functional Trainers. Two different schools of thought. Whilst I am at heart a Functional Trainer I do also believe there is still need for isolation training in some situations.

   2.I’ve previously spoken of Metabolic Resistance Training (MRT) & it’s benefits. I get great results from this form of training but it too has it’s limitations. eg. It wont prepare you to say run a 20 km race.

   3.Bootcamps-(to some extent can be a form of MRT if heavier weights are utilized) Bootcamps are everywhere and yes, they do get great results with weight loss (but often some of this is muscle mass loss which is not a good thing)

   4.Crossfit-(probably the hardest form of MRT) Again, it definately works but is technicality differcult for the beginner with phsio’s claiming an increase in injury rates. My opinion is that they are good but not everyone’s cup of tea. Again, it does not prepare you for all things. eg. If your sport requires a fair component of running or cardio exertion over an extended period then crossfit wont give it to you.

So what is the answer? Basically the human body adapts specifically to the training regime so we need to train specifically for our choosen event or goal.

 What do you need?                                           Can AFS help you?                                                      STAY TUNED

Obstacle Course Race Training – Our Changing Face Of Fitness

Given my comments in previous blogs you may realise that here at Achievable Fitness Services we are ourselves evolving to give our clients what they need to achieve their fitness goals in an ever changing environment whilst getting MORE ENJOYMENT along the way.

Whilst maintaining our traditional services in the areas of Strength Training/ Rehab Training/ Older Adults/ Children/ Functional Fitness & Fat Loss utilising a variety of modalities like Metabolic Resistance Training (MRT) & Effective Movement Training (EMT) we now specialise in Obstacle Course Race Training (OCR Training)

WHY ?             Because:-

1. It’s Both Fun & Different. (As are the races for those who choose to do them. For those who don’t the training itself is still fun & different.)

2. It takes the best from popular options like bootcamp & crossfit plus options that should be popular like MRT & EMT & combines them all together with a bigger dollop of, yes you guessed it, FUN, then perhaps most of us would get from them individually.

3. For a standard group fitness session price you get the required specific combination of Foundation Strength Training, Cardio Training & Obstacle Training on real race like obstacles.

4. Having a well equipped , spacious studio gym with indoor / outdoor capabilities gave us the perfect platform to build onto to become a true OCR Specialist that can give the required specificity to the training for the sport.


Enquire about joining our closed facebook group “AFS Obstacle Racing and Training Group” where all our race events are listed along with photo albums of training & racing etc. This will give you a feel for what we have quickly come to call our new “sport”. It IS addictive ( and GOOD for you )   WIN WIN

Performance Pyramid

Below is a brief article I was asked to write in relation to OCR Training but the Performance Pyramid applys to any & all sports/fitness regimes.



   Do not neglect the “Performance Pyramid”. This consists of 3 levels:-

Level 1. Foundation- develope a full range of movement throughout numerous positions to maximize functionality including flexibility & stability.

Level 2. Movement Efficiency- via measurable strength & power.

Level 3. Performing a Sports Specific activity.

All too many people, both experienced & novice, in their enthusiasm to “perform” (Level 3) attempt too differcult a movement pattern BEFORE building a “foundation” (Level 1) – Result – Injury & performing below expectation or not even competing!

eg. To climb a rope or swing across monkey bars we need to hold AND control bodyweight via good core strength, shoulder stability, arm & grip strength in several different planes of movement during one motion. By all means come & try these obstacles asap but first attempts should be in a controlled range of movement & then progressively build upon that.

Some good basic foundation exercises you should be doing as part of your prep for an Obstacle Race are Chin Ups (Assisted initially), Farmers Walks, One Arm Overhead Kettlebell Carry & Finger Carries with plate weights to name but a few.