A fresh year often goes hand in hand with new goals, resolutions and tweaks that so many of us like to make with the intention of starting the year off positively. So for those of us who like to mix up our fitness routines at the start of the year, read on!
In Australia we have so many amazing workouts, classes and studios available to us that there is no way you could get bored. Here are some of our top picks for the year ahead.
Results driven and community focused, there’s a reason why BFT members train on average 4.6 times a week! The concept was developed by Cameron Falloon who is a former strength and conditioning coach for several elite international soccer teams and local AFL teams. Workouts are programmed into 8-10 week progressive blocks, which is a method that has been used to train elite athletes for decades. Training this way helps you get results as the programs hit all planes of movement, muscle fiber types and energy systems every week.
BFT are also paving the way in fitness tech, having launched a bespoke heart rate system that personalises the sessions based on your own heart rate. The system doesn’t only reward high heart rates like other systems, it also rewards lower intensity heart rates for BFT’s strength programs. Your membership will also allow you to train at any BFT studio around the world, it’s a passport membership, so if you travel frequently you will still be able to workout without an additional cost.
Therapy Fitness is the first tri-concept fitness studio on the Gold Coast that encourages you to train based on your mood. You can think of your workouts here as “therapy”.
They have created three fully immersive studios under the one roof, so if you feel like staring yourself down in the mirror while pumping through a strength session, dancing away in a rhythm cycle class or connecting with yourself on a mat next to flickering candles you can do that. The concept was co-founded by international fitness personality Emma Masters and it will certainly be a destination for those both living in and visiting the Gold Coast. Every candle flicker, light and sound has been carefully curated to get members into the zone of their ideal workout for that day.
There is no doubt that barre is one of the best workouts to try if you enjoy a fast, fun workout that tones in all the right places. Xtend Barre is one style of barre workout that is super popular as it will leave you sweaty but wanting more. This is a workout for anyone who wants to improve their strength, power, cardio and confidence, with the beat of high-energy music and a fun and supportive atmosphere.
Xtend Barre mixes Pilates and dance to deliver a low-impact, full body workout so it is a great form of exercise to try if you have issues with your joints but still want to do a higher energy workout. .
With fun runs back and La Nina starting to fade away, run club is going to be a very popular way to train in 2023. After all, since 2019 we have had bushfires, a pandemic and floods, all of which kept us indoors, no doubt many of us are ‘chomping at the bit” to get out and about again.
Ben Lucas, the co founder of Flow Athletic who just completed his 42nd marathon with Athletes for Life says, “Running for me is so good for my mental health. I turned to it when I quit professional NRL as I needed an outlet and I turned to it again during the pandemic and it really got me through.”
“While many people think it is a solo sport, I have actually made some of my greatest friends through running, both by running together in the park with Run Club and by travelling to do a marathons around the world. It is a sport that can really take your places.”
Aside from joining a Run Club such as Flow Athletic’s for those who suffer from joint pain or injuries which prevent them from running on concrete, there is a brilliant concept called Fluid Running which delivers a full body cardiovascular workout in the water. The concept was created by Jennifer Conroyd who injured herself training for her 16th marathon but didn’t want to give up the sport.
Workouts which are delivered via an app range from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours and combine moderate aerobic running sets with high-intensity intervals and sprints as well as other movements to challenge different muscle groups. Aside from the workouts on the app, you can also purchase Fluid Running waterproof headphones or a flotation belt.
Another great way to workout now that the weather has cleared, Stand Up Paddle Boarding is one of those amazing workouts that is not only great for your mind as you are out in nature, but it works your entire body. Having to keep balanced means that your entire core, legs, arms and glutes are worked the entire time you are out there. What is extra exciting about exercising this way is that you can also go on adventures by paddling to different beaches or travelling to different places. Red Paddle Co is one company that gives you to ability to do that as their inflatable board fold into back packs, making it easier to hike to hidden waterways to discover new areas.
While breath work isn’t really a workout, it should absolutely be factored into your week as one. Breathing is something that so many of us take for granted as it is a natural thing to do, however thanks to the likes of the Wim Hoff method, more people are understanding that by controlling their breath they may be able to control their bodies reaction to certain stimulus and stressors.
Dean Gladstone, who is known for being a Bondi Lifeguard and for his “Power of Breath” workshops understands the importance of this more than many. Having rescued over 5000 people from stressful situations, Dean knows that learning to control your breath can help you when the going gets tough, but it can also help you in everyday life too.
“If you are someone who often wakes up tried despite getting a decent nights sleep with a dry mouth, odds are you are breathing dysfunctionally” says Dean.
“You should be breathing through your nose, many of us breath through out mouths though and that is why you often feel unwell in the morning.”
“Breath work is more than that though, there are exercises you can do to energise you, exercises you can do to relieve stress or wind down. It really is such a powerful tool that more people should learn to utilise as it can improve how they are feeling immensely.”
Quick breathing exercise
If you feel that you are in need of an energy boost, try afast breathing exercise such as a “Breath of Fire.”
To do this:
1.Sit comfortably on the couch or on a cushion and place one hand on your belly.
2. Take a deep breath in through the nose. Then push the breath powerfully out through the nose 10 times, increasing to 20 and then 30 over 3 rounds.
Concentrate on pushing the exhale out of your body and feel your stomach pull in with each breath. Don’t worry about the inhale. This is an extremely effective exercise for when you want to flood your body with oxygen and improve your energy levels and focus, so put the coffee down and give this a go instead.