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Member of the Month: Siân Peters

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][us_image image=”10454″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Once upon a time there was a warrior woman who sailed across the skies, all the way from the magical land of Swansea, Whales. This warrior woman could throw around weights with her bare hands, she could speak the magical language of the Welshmen and most of all she supported her warrior sisters to become stronger, fiercer and all around legends of BBB.

Our warrior woman is none other than Siân Peters and she is our May Member of the Month. Travelling far and deep to get the answers to the burning questions our readers desire. Siân allowed but a moment of her time to tell her story, so it is with pleasure I bring you the story of why Siân, Warrior of the early mornings, is our chosen one.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Naturally competitive Siân chose strength & conditioning; because quite simply it kept her motivated to perform better. However she faced her fair share of challenges before joining the elusive community of BBB. I was stuck in a rut and had no clue what I was doing, my nutrition sucked and I was paying a PT; who gave me no direction. Plus I was literally training for aesthetic reasons which is hardly fun.”

Choosing to surround herself with like-minded people, who all share the same mindset and goals was another part of why Siân choose strength & conditioning. When asked why she chose the lifestyle that is BBB, Siân giggled to herself before conveying in her native tongue “100 per cent because of the community. I’ve made some close friends and not only does that drive me to come every day; but we hold each other accountable… And we laugh every single day.”

However like most warriors there is always the initial fear before joining a tribe for Siân her confidence was a crucial factor. “I am so shy. So when I first came and saw wall to wall rigs, I was intimidated!!! I told myself that I wasn’t strong enough.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][us_image image=”10455″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text] Yet here Siân stands. One of our most committed members who chooses to get up before the sunrise. Training with her fellow 0530am legends, now proves she has what it takes to be one of the strongest in the gym; both mentally and physically. When she first walked into the gym on our special Friends & Family Week, Siân was HOOKED. Her goals changed from “I want to get in shape to I want to get better and stronger.”

One of the most exciting questions that our MOTM’s get asked is how the coaches and fellow members helped them along the way.

“I took the Rise challenge fairly seriously and gave that a good nudge. It helped me to shed that last bit of weight that is so hard to lose. Plus when you have friends who are doing the same workouts and the same things in life, you tend to support each other along the way. BBB give us the tools to pursue a healthy lifestyle, and the coaches make working out fun and enjoyable. It’s the whole package!”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Evidently while a warrior woman Siân also stands as one of us and still struggles with challenges. So when we asked what hers were, she replied with a smirk. “I am one of those people who puts things I don’t like/ can’t do at the bottom of my list and I have to learn to prioritise these things if I want to improve. And I need to stop smashing Messina and rosé like it’s going out of fashion…”

So where is she now you may be wondering? Off fighting the hordes of thirsty men who chase her down the street, or perhaps turning water into rosé for her fellow warrior women?

Well we found out where Siân was at and where the road has taken her, “I am the fittest I’ve ever been, plus I feel confident again, which is something I’ve battled with for so long. I also push myself out of my comfort zone a lot more than before.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][us_image image=”10456″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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3 ways to Instantly Improve Your 2km Row Time

[vc_row][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″ css=”.vc_custom_1554721210094{background-image: url(https://www.bodybybrando.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/AAA_8384.jpg?id=10389) !important;}”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][us_separator][vc_custom_heading text=”3 ways to instantly improve your 2km row time” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:center” google_fonts=”font_family:Montserrat%3Aregular%2C700|font_style:700%20bold%20regular%3A700%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]Written by Harry Howe

“It doesn’t get easier you just get fitter!”

We’ve all heard it before but what if you didn’t need to get fitter to have a faster 2km row time? Like any workout, efficiency is key, and the ergometer is no different. However, getting more efficient in a movement generally requires hours upon hours of work to improve, but not the erg.

Here are 3 techniques to instantly improve your 2km row time.

You wouldn’t deadlift with a rounded back, but we constantly see people rowing stroke after stroke rounded over. This is neither efficient nor safe. By rounding our backs during the stroke, we have broken the kinetic chain and are leaking potential energy. A 2km row is hard enough even before we create power with our legs, just to lose it by merely not engaging our core. I want you to imagine sitting on a rower at arms away with a string connected to the top of your head pulling your head, sternum and rib cage upwards. Doing so opens up our chest, turns on the core and tightens the hamstrings waiting to pull us down the slide. This is the start point for any successful stroke.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][us_image image=”10395″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][us_image image=”9964″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Now that we are not leaking energy, where is that energy coming from? Bigger muscles like the glutes and quadriceps create more power than smaller muscles like the biceps, so let’s use them! Starting again at arms away, keep sitting tall and take 4 strokes. First at ¼ slide, then ½, ¾ and finally a full stroke. Each time focusing on slowly coming down the slide, staying upright and keeping the tension in the hamstrings, then explosively pressing ourselves back to the starting position squeezing the glutes to finish the stroke. Now that we know where these points on the slide are, we’ll perform 3 rounds of 10 reps at each point as follows:

3 rounds

¼  slide x 10 reps

½ slide x 10 reps

¾ slide x 10 reps

Full slide x 10 reps[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][us_image image=”10396″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][us_image image=”10397″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Let’s talk about getting those arms moving quickly. Quick arms allow the machine’s fan to keep spinning and therefore, squeezing out a few extra meters per stroke which is always nice. What hinders most people in achieving this is missing it all together. What I mean, is that the stroke is taken, the handle touches the sternum and before you know it the athlete is heading back down the slide straightening their arms as they go. What we want to focus on is having a definitive distinction between finishing the pull and starting the next stroke. Two drills that I’ve found incredibly helpful for producing quick arms are:

  1.   Double arm pull– From the finish position the athlete pulls a full stroke, releases their arms quickly and takes another stroke with just the arms. This drill forces the athlete to let the arms out before heading down the slide as it makes it impossible to take another stroke with the arms, while traveling down the slide.
  2.   Double quick hands – From finish position the athlete moves their hands twice as fast as normal ‘double quick’. The rest of the recovery is executed at normal speed. This will feel very strange at first pressing the handle away so forcefully, but eventually it will ingrain a quickness in the arms that will transition into a smoother stroke.

Rowing may not be the most impressive looking exercise but, what is impressive is breezing past your peers in any workout that it comes up, and we all know it comes up often. Focusing on these three simple parts of the stroke will have you putting down the power effectively, breathing easier and even getting a few extra free meters as a result. Go jump on that rower and show it who’s boss![/vc_column_text][us_separator][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNY9yr8RH8I&t=5s” video_title=”1″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Try these workouts” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left” google_fonts=”font_family:Montserrat%3Aregular%2C700|font_style:700%20bold%20regular%3A700%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]

Workout 1
2 rounds
200m 70% easy until 2 minutes
200m 80% easy until 2 minutes
200m 85% easy until 2 minutes
200m 90% easy until 2 minutes
200m 100% easy until 2 minutes
Rest 3 minutes

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Workout 2: 2 rounds
3 mins at moderate pace
90s at easy recovery pace
45s fast pace
rest 2 mins
2 sets of
2 mins at moderate pace
60s at easy recovery pace
30s fast pace

 

Rest 2 mins
2 sets
1 mins at moderate pace
30s at easy recovery pace
15s fast pace

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Workout 3
1km row
100m Farmers carry
10 Wall Walks
15 Slamball over shoulder
10 wall walks
100m farmers carry
1km row

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Workout 4
2 Rounds 90s rest between
100m arms only
200m pause at arms away
300m 1/2 slide
400m Full slide

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Workout 5 :
4 x 2000 metre row
Rest 2 minutes between efforts

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Member of the Month: Troy Malcolm

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][us_image image=”10331″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]April isn’t just the month for crucifixions, bunnies and chocolate eggs. It is also the month for big dogs like Troy Malcolm, or as I like to call him, Troy…

When it comes to picking the next member of the month we watch members over the period of a couple months. We take in how they consistently train, their nutrition, goals they have conquered; whether they are in regards to reaching PB’s or even reaching a skill level they once thought impossible.

Which is why when it came to April, there wasn’t a more obvious member to celebrate than our millionaire real estate agent Troy. A legend that has been consistently training in classes and in PT’s with Coach Codie, he has made constant strides towards his training and reaching his goals. I asked him why he did the form of strength and conditioning that BBB programs.

“I had tried a lot of gym over the years and never really found one that fit. Having a background as a professional athlete, I find the strength and conditioning of BBB similar in its intensity to the way I trained over many years ago. Plus I am really enjoying being back with a group of like minded people determined to achieve phenomenal results every single session.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]If anyone has seen Troy train, then they would now how hard he pushes himself in every component of the classes. Asking why he specifically chose to train at BodyByBrando, well his answer gave us the butterflies.

“BBB gives me the ability to test my limits both physically and mentally, and with every element of the training. There is also a fantastic community and atmosphere in BBB that gets you addicted very quickly…. The BBB team (coaches and athletes) helps push my goals to the limits (in a good way) and then when I think I have achieved something pretty good, the coaches find a way to shift my mindset and push a little harder & further.” 

As Troy said, he comes from a professional sports background and like many sports stars Troy’s sports path resulted in injury. However Troy found a new passion and dedicated himself to making a life for himself out of sport. And we are sure that there were some challenges along the road, so we got him to get down to the nitty gritty of some of his challenges.

“Mobility was a reason I avoided the gym for so long after a shoulder injury ended my sporting career some years ago. Now finding time as well as the mobility have been my biggest enemies to date. At times with work I can travel around Australia 3 days per week, speaking in front of 100’s of people. While this is no excuse I find at the end of the day I was emotionally and physically drained. To be honest the last thing on my mind was going to the gym to train and try to create a program that I can follow to get results. However with BBB I know that there will always be a killer session every time I walk in to the gym.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][us_image image=”10328″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Obviously there are general fears that everyone has when they come into our gym and just because Troy is the big dog about town makes him no different.

“Committing the time to achieve my goals at the gym & of course looking silly in some of the more technical movements.”

I know what you are all asking, so what made him take the leap? What made him join the family of BBB?

“I can’t really remember if there was really one thing that made me take the leap, but a number of little things. I was on a flight back from a presentation in Melbourne and I remember feeling really uncomfortable in the seat on the plane. Feeling slightly annoyed that I couldn’t change my working schedule, I came to the conclusion that instead of thinking I didn’t have great time management because of my career, I needed to change what I was prioritising in my choices. I now use the time management vs choice management thinking to make decisions on the consistency of my work and life balance.” 

 So where is he now in terms of training, mindset and finding the priority in what is important to him.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][us_image image=”10329″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]“I complete most workouts now at the RX standard and I have lost over 9kgs with my BF% also dropping over 10%. Yet probably the most important part for me is that I have noticed is I am even more focused at work & relaxed at home. I find its really getting the small stuff right and not ‘sweating it’, has been the most satisfying thing for me.” 

While we believe that our members are their own motivators at times when the going gets tough, I know for a fact that all our coaches are their cheerleaders. On the sidelines, out the back, in class and everywhere else we can. So I had to ask Troy how we might have helped him along the road.

“The mix of sessions has definitely put me on the path to achieve my goals faster than I thought was possible. The fact that I can rely and call on the advice from the coaching team who know their stuff and that they genuinely care is the greatest. Every question I have asked has been met with incredible recommendations that have made me a better athlete. The online app has also allowed me to stay focused on breaking my goals up to smaller ones and building on them over time.” [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Yet as any athlete knows there will always be pain points and challenges to their next goal. Troy told us that mobility is something that he wants and needs to continue to work on, including extra exercises to overcome his injuries. I would also love to master most of the gymnastics & technical movements, snatch, muscle ups & double-unders, but that is a continual work in progress.” 

So what is Troy’s next step, his next goals to carry into winter, well of course we wanted to find out as well.

“I want to complete one RX workout, loose 5kgs & start enjoying the gym again.”

 Well we can tell you already that Troy is fast on his way to conquering those goals and I know for a resounding fact that all of the coaches, old and new look forward to seeing Troy succeed.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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How to Set Real Goals And Actually Achieve Them

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]April isn’t just the month for crucifixions, bunnies and chocolate eggs. It is also the month for big dogs like Troy Malcolm, or as I like to call him, Troy…[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1501650547414{margin-left: 20px !important;}”]

WELCOME TO SPARKS ELITE GYM

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][us_image][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]When it comes to picking the next member of the month we watch members over the period of a couple months. We take in how they consistently train, their nutrition, goals they have conquered; whether they are in regards to reaching PB’s or even reaching a skill level they once thought impossible.

Which is why when it came to April, there wasn’t a more obvious member to celebrate than our millionaire real estate agent Troy. A legend that has been consistently training in classes and in PT’s with Coach Codie, he has made constant strides towards his training and reaching his goals. I asked him why he did the form of strength and conditioning that BBB programs.

“I had tried a lot of gym over the years and never really found one that fit. Having a background as a professional athlete, I find the strength and conditioning of BBB similar in its intensity to the way I trained over many years ago. Plus I am really enjoying being back with a group of like minded people determined to achieve phenomenal results every single session.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Beginners Who Want to start Strength Training

Strength training can reap so many great benefits, so why avoid it?

For many women who are just starting out, strength can be a hard concept to grasp.

Whether you’re intimidated, scared of becoming ‘too bulky’ or simply don’t know what you’re doing; I’ve heard it all before. You’re definitely not on your own.

The Beginner’s “Fundamentals Package” here at Body By Brando combines Strength and Conditioning techniques with aspects of Crossfit, Gymnastics, Mobility and Calisthenics, to transform your body into a ‘Strength machine’ and leave you injury free.

Our constantly and ever changing training regimes enable you to always be learning and developing new skills, an essential part in helping you achieve extraordinary things with your body.

 

You need to begin with simple movements with a low learning curve. The  fundamental movements of any strength program include the deadlift, squat, pull up, push up, and handstand. All of which have progressions and regressions depending on your experience.

Forget the machines you use at the gym, you need to build and utilise your own machine first. You have to control the way you move before you can control the way it looks!

 

A common misunderstanding, is that training is all about fatigue. Instead, it’s about improvements;. Don’t worry if you don’t leave every session feeling absolutely exhausted. Improvements in strength will actually be gained through smaller, simpler movements but under tension.

So,  there is no need to ‘smash yourself’ every workout in order to make progress in strength training.

 

It is also essential that you get comfortable with doing the exercises before adding weight, to avoid injury. Begin with about 6 reps, and 6 sets of each exercise and slowly work your way up to 1o reps, this of course will depend on your overall strength goals and progressions.

See, until you can understand how to move properly and master the connection between your mind and your muscles, your body won’t allow you to look the way you want it to.

If you want to learn how to train properly without the risk of injury, as well as gain strength like we do here; why not join us and be surrounded by beginners like yourself.

After the results we have seen from our beginners in the first few weeks, spots are selling out fast. So, join our newsletter and keep your eyes peeled for the next program.

 

Let’s start the building process together!

 

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How these 2 stretches can improve your concentration

Often we tend to think, the brain and body relationship only goes one way. Our brain tells our muscles how to move and our muscles listen.

But in fact, the relationship between the mind and the body works both ways. Our mind is influenced by the body and its environment.

This philosophy is known as “embodied cognition.”

Have you ever been sitting at your desk, arched over glaring at your computer screen, wondering why you can’t focus on the task at hand?

Our bodily experience can affect our cognitive and emotional state. So, once the brain receives signals with information about bodily posture, it translates those signals into emotions.

While it may not be an obvious connection, if you spend 8-12 hours of your day sitting at a desk, or working on a keyboard (lets face it, majority of us do nowadays), your posture can impact your mood and your ability to concentrate.

Bad posture causes poor breathing patterns, restricted circulation, and repetitive strain injuries, all of which can drain your energy (as negative patterns of muscular use, use more energy than positive ones) and in turn limit your capacity to concentrate.

Our opinions and cognitive ability are subconsciously influenced by our physical behavior. Sitting up straight for example leads to a positive emotional state and increased concentration, even making us feel more enthusiastic about the task at hand.

A 2012 study suggested that since posture affects our mood and thoughts so much, the increase of collapsed sitting and walking may have an affect on a rise of depression in recent years.

Whilst this study was looking at our emotional state, rather than concentration, it demonstrates the link between the mind and the muscles, and how posture can influence our thought processes.

However, for most of us, sitting has become a fundamental aspect of our daily lives.

So, here are my two absolute favourite stretches for eliminating tension in the upper traps (neck), improving anterior shoulder mobility, increasing blood flow to restricted areas, and ultimately improving posture.

 

A)     Using a standard doorway, place a hand either side, around the height of your arm pit to use as supports for your body weight. From here, begin leaning forward taking more and more weight through your arms and forcing a stretch where your biceps meet your pecs. Spend 40 seconds in this position gradually increasing the tension. Complete a few reps of dynamic arm swings across and around your body to promote blood flow and cellular regeneration.

B)     If you are restricted to your seated desk, you can stretch your upper traps by sitting on one of your hands and extending your neck to the opposite side. E.g. sitting on your right hand and trying to get your left ear to touch your left shoulder. Hold each side for 40 seconds. You can use your free hand to gently massage the neck as you do so to replicate an active release technique, which allows the neuromuscular system to promote recovery. If space permits and you are a little more daring, you can check out our range of stretches and mobility drills at bodybybrando.com

My absolute recommendation would be to increase your ROM and therefore your concentration through active movement. The perfect scenario involves setting a 1 hour timer for each hour you’re at work. Each time the timer goes off, you perform a quick 30-60 seconds of a designated exercise. Ranging from squats, push ups, mobility drills, stretches etc. Over the course of the day it may only be 8 minutes of exercise, but it will ensure your body is receiving blood flow all day, improving your physical function and ultimately your cognitive performance.