Men's Health's City Guide to Sydney | Men's Health Magazine Australia

Men’s Health’s City Guide to Sydney

1/ The T-shirt / Citizen Wolf, Surry Hills

A perfectly fitted T-shirt is a work of art – think James Dean. An ill-fitting tee is an abomination – think Simon Cowell. This is why Citizen Wolf is promising to make the T-shirt great again. You choose your style (ranging from tanks to V-necks), you choose your fabric (linen, merino, more cotton blends than you can poke a loom at), your dimensions are taken and a week or two later your personal creation arrives in the mail. With prices starting at $89, you won’t find a more economical way to add some bespoke luxury to your wardrobe.


Match your tee to your outfit with this guide from Citizen Wolf co-founder Zoltan Csaki.


With boardies…

“You want a deep scoop neck with raw edges on the hem and sleeves. Hemp cotton’s a good fabric – it’s light and drapes well.” 

With a blazer…

“I’d go for a V-neck – not too deep – and a fitted cut. A slightly heavier cotton works well here.”

With jeans…

“I like long sleeves with a regular crew neck. I also reckon a simple Breton stripe works really well with jeans.”

2/ The Spruce-up / The Barberhood, Sydney CBD

From the handshake at the door to the complimentary glass of Scotch on Friday afternoons, a visit to The Barberhood is less like getting a trim and more like gaining entry to an old-world gentleman’s club. Settle down in one of the sumptuous Takara Belmont chairs for a lather shave – the cut-throat razor and lemongrass-scented towels make it a masculine equivalent to the French manicure. 


Ditch the vague “just a bit of a tidy up, thanks”. Get the haircut you want with these tips from Louis Calmet, manager at The Barberhood, Martin Place


1 / Set clear parameters “Start by telling your barber what length of hair you really don’t like,” says Calmet. 

2 / Tell your barber your line of work “Your haircut is very much connected to your lifestyle.” 

3 / Don’t be afraid to bring a picture “This makes our job very easy.”


Peter Donnelly/

3/ The Gym / Lift Performance Centre, Redfern

Weightlifting? Tick. Gymnastics? Tick. Powerlifting? Tick. Strongman? Tick. Whatever your training ambitions, this converted Victorian warehouse has you covered. But the best thing about this gym is the blessed absence of chest-thumping machismo. Instead of floor-to-ceiling mirrors, the walls are adorned with murals; instead of flat-screen TVs, the pylons are hung with pot plants. Probably explains why so many women choose to train here…

4/ The Splurge / Andrew McDonald Shoemaker, Sydney CBD

“This man sits right at the top of the shoe tree,” says MH style editor Jeff Lack, author of IndulGENT. These classic investment pieces don’t come cheap but, hell, this is a city where you can’t buy a shoebox apartment for less than a mill.

5/ The Snack / Bourke St Bakery, Surry Hills

Lamb, harissa and almond, or pork and fennel? It’s a question that divides the MH office. One thing that’s beyond question: the sublime taste of these sausage rolls. At $4.80 you’re not going to get a better value snack in this city. 

6/ The Bar / Hotel Palisade, Millers Point

In the ground-floor pub the zinc-topped bar and green wall tiles recall the days when this place was the drinking hole of choice for Walsh Bay wharfies. At the fifth floor cocktail lounge a well-stocked shelf of single-malt whiskies and a clever cocktail list complement the finest views the Harbour City has to offer.

7/ The Workout / Cronulla Sand Dunes, Wanda Beach

Rising in a dazzling white wave out of the dense coastal scrub, these unearthly dunes formed the apocalyptic backdrop in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. And, trust us, they can dish out a similarly apocalyptic burn to unsuspecting quads. If you’re new to the soft stuff, start on the lower dunes that rise out of the lake. If you fancy yourself, sink your feet into the vertiginous upper dunes that climb towards the sunbaked ridgeline. Want to spot some sporting royalty? Head down to the dunes at first light on a Saturday morning and you’ll find a host of pro footballers and cricketers sweating themselves senseless.


Peter Donnelly/

8/ The Breakfast / Showbox Coffee Brewers, Manly

Hayden Quinn reckons the best brekkie in Sydney is the one he cooks up in his own kitchen. But according to the co-author of Surfing the Menu and owner of The Cube Gym, a close second is Showbox’s Southern Man washed down with a Mudhoney. Translation: corn bread with pulled pork and fried eggs washed down with a cacao and almond milk smoothie – strong espresso optional. 



Sharpen your appetite with this nasty little pre-breakfast hit-out devised by Quinn. For best results, punch this out on the soft sand of Manly Beach



Warm-up with a 10-minute jog. Do a 20m sprint, then do one of the following exercises. Without rest, repeat the 5 exercises twice for a total of 10 sprints. 


1 / 20 body-weight squats

2 / 20 push-ups

3 / 20m bear crawl

4 / Reverse lunge (10 each leg)

5 / 30-second plank

9/ The Outdoor Session / North Bondi Outdoor Gym, Bondi Beach

If Australia has an answer to LA’s Muscle Beach, then this is it – a collection of bars that teems with Bondi’s bold and beautiful. But in the egalitarian spirit of Sydney, this gym is open to all, with calisthenics kings slamming out muscle-ups alongside grand-dads creaking out crunches. Wander past on the first Sunday of each month to see the Bondi Beach Bar Brutes doing some truly astonishing things on chin bars.



Do it like a local with this “super-shred” workout from Bar Brutes’ member and Guinness World Record holder for rope climbing, Marcus Bondi (above)


1 / 20 push-ups (or 80% of max)

2 / 10 chin-ups (or 80% of max)

3 / 20 jump squats (or 80% of max)

4 / 20 Dips (or 80% of max)



Rest 30-60 seconds between each set. Do 4 sets before moving to the next exercise.

10/ The Pool / Bronte Baths, Bronte Beach

According to Simon Duffin, editor of (and a man who has dipped his toe in every ocean pool this city has to offer), you can’t go past Bronte’s cliff-hewn gem. “In a king tide it can get pretty dramatic, but on a low tide or calm day it has the feel of a 5-star luxury hotel pool.” Budgie smugglers mandatory.



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