Menopause – my own observations

This week my topic is “Menopause” there is so much to discuss and can’t all be said here but I’m starting with a little of what I have been learning and phew what we women go through, it can be a blessing and a curse! Now do not turn off yet, it may well effect you as a partner or son/daughter of someone going through it or gone through it. Of course exercise can help and it can definitely ease some symptoms and I highly promote it of course but I wanted to share some other things I’ve been discovering on the way. 

First off I have to say that I am enjoying my 50’s but as I’ve found out, the weight gain, the foggy memory, hot flushes, night sweats, insomnia and more can either be a little bothersome or acutely life changing. I’ve tried many things such as Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture which I did get some relief from, Evening Primrose Oil and, more recently I’ve taken the Dutch Test to see where my hormones and general well being is at.

As part of this journey the biggest is the change I’ve undertaken in my nutrition. We eat pretty well but I sneak in a lot of food when I’m around Jack & Jess, bread, lollies, biscuits but over the last month I cut out processed sugars, wheat, carbohydrates and dairy and no processed foods and the results have been great. In the first 5 days I noticed I wasn’t feeling or looking as bloated, in 10 days I lost weight and centimetres around my waist & hips, I don’t have the 3pm fatigues, I’m sleeping better and my snoring (yes I begrudgingly admit it) has dramatically reduced. This may not be for everyone but JC joined me as well and this was all in the first 10 days. I am continuing on this journey albeit not so strictly and the good results continue so if you’d like to know more let me know however before entering into any nutritional changes you should consult your health practitioner. 

Resistance Training – What is it and why should you do it?



An article from our team member – William Dutt, October 2018

Since July, I have been training the Wednesday morning Strength and Conditioning class. It seems only fitting my first article to be on resistance and strength training, in particular; What is resistance training? Should you be doing resistance training? and How to start doing resistance training?

What is Resistance Training?

When we think of resistance or strength training, too often we picture a buffed-up bloke in a gym ‘pumping iron’ (gym-junkie term for lifting weights). At ALTA Fitness, we’re proud to not be that person.

When you think of resistance or strength training, forget the gym-junkie body builder image and simply think of resistance training as moving a weight or force. This could include your own bodyweight, dumbbells, kettlebells, medicine balls or pushing JC on the sled. Resistance training doesn’t have to involve heavy weights either. Instead of concentrating on the weight, focus on the movement pattern and maintaining body position and posture. It is important to remember strength is relative and varies from person to person.

Should You Be Doing Resistance Training?

Short answer – YES. Whether you’re an athlete, retiree or loving parent, everyone can benefit from resistance training.

Research shows resistance training improves your muscle function and strength, increases bone and muscle mass and reduces body fat. Resistance exercises are also commonly prescribed in the treatment of many chronic conditions, including; lower back pain, musculoskeletal dysfunctions (eg. osteoporosis, arthritis, sarcopenia and injuries to the shoulders, hip or knees), diabetes, hypertension and even some forms of cancers. Ultimately, resistance training can improve how we move, feel, think and live.

How To Start Doing Resistance Training?

As a rule of thumb, start with small, manageable amounts and slowly progress with time. Try starting with small bouts of resistance exercise, 15 – 30 minutes, 2 – 3 days per week. When comfortable and confident, gradually progress to longer sessions (45+ minutes) and aim to perform resistance training 2 – 4 times per week, depending on your goal. Progressions may also include increases in; weight, the number of exercises performed, the number of sets performed, the number of reps performed or repetition timing.

If you’re not currently doing resistance training, try this ALTA Fitness Home-Based program which can be completed using light resistance bands or dumbbells.

Day 1

(Eg. Monday)

Day 2

(Eg. Wednesday)

Day 3

(Eg. Friday)

Squats Lunges Split Squats
Hip Raises Fitness Ball Leg Curls Banded Crab Walks
Chest Press or Push Up Shoulder Press Push Up
Resistance Band Row Thoracic Extensions Resistance Band Row
Plank Side Plank Dead Bugs

If you would like to know more about resistance or strength training, don’t hesitate to ask any of the friendly staff at ALTA Fitness.




Multi Directional Training


Johnny is an avid soccer player, coach and fan and also one of our team members (completing his Masters in Exercise Physiology), and his passion goes beyond this to helping us all to move better and be fitter and healthier so I asked him to write this week and he jumped at the chance to talk a little about Multi Directional Training.

Many of you know my favourite sport is soccer which I’ve played since I could walk. My favourite team is Manchester United (most successful team in England 😉) that play in the English Premier League. This is one of the toughest leagues in the world that has some of the most talented elite athletes. Elite athletes and yourself have more in common than you may think. No matter what your fitness levels are, multidirectional training should be done by everyone.

Multidirectional training is exercising in different planes. The sagittal plane involves flexion, extension, forward and backward movements eg. Squats or step ups. The frontal plane is sideway movements, some of you may have done this in the gym where you walk sideways with a resistance band (Crab walk). The transverse plane is rotational movements, e.g. Cable twists on the tower.

A recent research study looked at multidirectional movements in soccer players playing in the English Premier League. Their study found soccer players cover between 8-12km in total over a 90 minute match with 98% of that distance without the ball. The total distance covered comprised of 7.9% backwards, 3% sideways and 89% forwards movement in English Premier League players (Bloomfield, Polman and O’Donoghue (2007a)). This indicates how much multidirectional movements is used by soccer players at the elite level. However, there are many sports that require multidirectional movements and can relate to this study. Whether you play soccer or another sport that requires many directional changes throughout the match (e.g. Basketball, AFL, tennis etc.) you should be including multidirectional training as part of your exercise. This will not only help you be more efficient in your sport but can be utilised to prevent injuries and improve movement in everyday life.

Some of you may not play any sport or your glory days of playing regular sport are over and you’re thinking how does this relate to me?

Well, athletes shouldn’t be the only population using multidirectional training as part of their exercise routine. Many of the general population train only in the sagittal plane (forward/backward movements). Although, it’s important to train in the frontal plane (sideway movements) and the transverse plane (rotational movements). During day-to-day activities such as cooking, hanging out clothes, cleaning etc. we move in different directions. As you get older you lose muscle size and strength and if we neglect training muscles that allow us to move in different directions, this accelerates the loss of your muscle size and strength. In result those simple tasks can start to become very difficult.

So, it’s very important that you include multidirectional training in your exercise routine which will result in making you feel “FITTER, HEALTHIER & HAPPIER

Deadlifts – Give them a try!

This week I’m talking about something I am most passionate about in fitness and that is the Strength Training. I have done many sports, Basketball, Swimming, Running, Triathlons but none of these have made me as strong as doing Strength Training, particularly in the squat rack area. I can tell you when I was first introduced to Strength Training 5 years ago I was totally intimidated by the thought – “What lifting weights, building bulky muscles, that’s not for me!” However, what I did learn through persevering was it actually slimmed down my legs, helped my core and strengthened my whole body over and has made me stronger as well as giving me endurance. So, today I’m going to give some tips on doing deadlifts – my favorite!

  • Deadlift Rules! First up, don’t be intimated especially here at ALTA, your safe and among friends. Deadlifts are what we do in daily life however many of us are doing them incorrectly and suffer back, knee and shoulder problems, on the other hand, correct deadlifts is an overall body strengthening exercise making us move through life better.
    1. Form – Form matters! Can’t stress this enough, how we set up before the lift all the way to standing upright to setting the bar back down is the most important step and ensures you do not sustain any injuries. You have to be able to squat properly and for some this means we start outside the rack learning how to squat properly, keeping heels on the ground, nice curve to your lower back, good grip and also how to use your breathing to maximize the lift.
    2.  Focus – Yes sometimes getting your mind around the lift can be an exhilarating or inhibiting factor as your weight and sets and reps increases or decreases. Always start off at a suitable weight and keep track of how you are progressing i.e. this week 3 sets of 12 reps at 20kg or 5 sets of 5 reps at 60kg. Our bar weights 20kg then, as many of you know, we start adding small increments – trust your trainer and yourself to know when enough is enough and in time you will add more.
    3. Rest – When I say rest there are 2 types of rest. Rest 1 is between sets, resting for 1-2 minutes between lifts or as we often do an active recovery which can be a complimentary exercise in between. Rest 2 have a rest day, you don’t have to deadlift or lift weights every day. Waiting 48 hours after working a specific muscle group avoids overworking muscles and injury. You may do deadlifts once a week, or legs one day, arms another day but a rest in between means your body gets to recover properly.

Keep warm in winter and exercise – Summer Bodies are made in Winter

I haven’t written anything for awhile, we’ve been super busy doing workshops at our studio and outside of it, helping our local community but with the cold settling in Melbourne and the leaves falling off the trees around our beautiful suburbs of Canterbury, Surrey Hills and Camberwell many of our friends, family and clients are heading off for some warmth but now is not the time to stop your fitness regime. So I have put together 5 quick tips and activities you can do whilst away – be mindful when choosing exercises that they suit your level of fitness and capability and we’ll still be here waiting for you on return to boost your fitness for the warmer months to come!

  1. Walk or go for a run – holidays are the best time to walk be it a leisurely walk to the market or a run. The beauty is that on holiday’s you have more time to look around and you are guaranteed to always see something interesting like the local flora or fauna or a beautiful sunrise.
  2. Plank it – You can do a plank really anywhere, try in your holiday room/house depending on your level do 5 sets of 10-60 seconds
  3. Squats – Again can be done anywhere, find a park bench/chair and just lightly touch the seat with your behind and stand up again, try 3 sets of 10
  4. Spiky Balls – take a spiky ball in your bag or suitcase, they are small and light weight and take the time to run along the soles of your feet, or against a wall and find any of those tender spots, especially if you have been sitting in a plane or long car ride
  5. Push ups – Now don’t go saying what I can’t do a push up! – you can beginning with the simplest being up against a wall, on the back of a park bench/chair, do knee push ups or full push ups, try doing 3 sets of 5-10

Exercise Now It Is Never Too Late – The Proof is Out There…

It feels like every time I read a new blog or article there is research confirming what we believe – it is never too late to start exercising. And we personally see it everyday in our studio and over time whilst we still have the younger generation coming through it is the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s & 70’s that we are seeing the biggest improvements and joy that is experienced by these age groups!

There is no doubt our niche is over 40’s – JC and I are in our 50’s and for me I have never been fitter and I didn’t start focussing on my health and exercising until I was 35. But still we hear “I go for a walk each day, I’m fit, I eat well” but we know this is not enough –  underlying that is what we don’t see and won’t see until we are older and beginning to experience health issues such as muscle, bone strength and cardiovascular health declining. 

Exercising to live healthier and longer is not just a walk or a once a week Yoga or group class – it’s getting out there minimum 3 – 5 times a week and doing something meaningful.

  • Get your heart pounding – interval sets are proven to improve the heart and lungs, increase metabolism, or simply going for a quick walk, run (I recently read about a lady who is still running at 101 years of age and started when she was 93!). The key is to get your heart rate up and your blood flowing and your lungs working harder
  • Stretch – Yoga, Pilates are always great and help build up strength too
  • Strength & Conditioning – build up your strength be it your own body weight through to using barbells, hand weights – we have clients, women and men in their 60’s & 70’s, doing deadlifts and lifting weights and feeling stronger than ever before.

We ourselves personally incorporate all of the above in our week. My week looks something like Yoga on Mondays, Strength & Conditioning Class Wednesday, Thursday Bike Ride, Friday Boxing for Fitness Class, Saturday 5km Park Run (which is free!) and Sunday a family activity.

If you want more information or proof we are here ready to get you going so that you can live a fuller, happier life. We can change that – YOU can change that! Start exercising seriously, put some real effort in and yes to start there may be discomfort, its hard to breathe well, your muscles are sore afterwards, you are tired…then again even within a short period of time 6-12 weeks you will feel better, sleep better, be hungry and want to eat better and have more endurance to get through the day.

Below are just a few of the articles I have read this week..

Enjoy, I love sharing what we experience and helping to teach you to be fitter, healthier and happier!

What are we grateful for?

Well I am grateful for many things and in fact every night with the family over dinner at the table with our 12 year old twins we have a ritual that gets our dinner conversation going. It starts like this ( and any of us will start it, more often than not the kids will)

  • What was your favourite thing today?
  • What are you grateful for?
  • What did you learn today? (that you can use tomorrow, next week etc)
  • What did you do for the community today? (This is a recently added one that includes people, animals, the environment)

It is well researched and document that writing down, saying and acknowledging what you are grateful for can help you to achieve a longer more, satisfying life. For us it is also a reminder for what we have, not what we don’t have or want and makes us realise just how truly lucky we are. As I say to my children ‘We lead extraordinary lives’, we have a roof over our head, food on the table, things we need and don’t need and we are surrounded by family and friends – we are indeed lucky!

So I saw this idea somewhere (sorry can’t remember now!) and we have borrowed with pride – Now at ALTA Fitness we have a gratitude jar that can be found on the table near reception – the idea is to share something that you are grateful for. At anytime you can write on a note what it is you are grateful for and at our end of year party we are going to read them out.

Today I am grateful to write this blog as I have a great business where we can change peoples lives but it also changes ours too – for the better!

Bring A Friend Week 15th – 20th Jan

Show your friends the joy and benefits of exercise and have a bit of fun!

Next week is Bring a Friend week at ALTA Fitness and we have already heard that we have some guests coming along to join in the joy of exercise with their friends or family..

Obviously the primary reason is to share the gift of health and fitness with your friends, family or work colleagues but it doesn’t hurt that you both get your session for free and we hope that they will join us again!

Also, for every friend who joins ALTA Fitness for 3 month term you receive $100 cash as a sincere thank you from us.

This is a great opportunity to show your friends what we are all about…and really for you to change his or her life.  If they’re scared or skeptical, even better.  Let us take care of them.

We really appreciate having people like you who are truly committed to their goals and the success of their own fitness, and we would like more people like you to join us.

PS. If you’re bringing your friend in with you, let us know so we can welcome them.


2017 In Review….

2017 whizzed by and for JC, myself,  Jack & Jessica it could be put down to the busiest year we’ve ever had. What with the business growing, Jack moving to a new school at Abbotsford Convent and Jessica playing Football and getting into a Rep basketball team it felt at times we were just running from spot to spot but it was all worth it! We have so much to be grateful for and we wanted to share with you a little reflection and hopes this prompts you to do the same. So here goes…

Jack moving to a new school has been our biggest change but the driving 2 hours a day there and back has been absolutely worth it, his reading and knowledge continues to surprise us. We are also as equally proud of Jessica who works at school so hard and a dream come true for her, she was awarded School Captain for 2018. My studies continue and JC & Lisa have been continually updating their skills. Lisa also has had a big year with a busy family and working around shift work with her husband and she is now pretty much booked out here on the days she works. JC and I have joined in a few running, skiing and bike riding events which we love doing often with Jen & Ellie who are clients as well good friends.

We travelled more than expected – all family related, New Zealand to my sisters and twice to see JC’s families and as many of you know that they are 95 & 90 years old and Liz had a fall so going over for Christmas was important plus I love JC’s family as my own.

Luckily for us our health & our family’s has been great for the most part but we know for many of our clients the year has not been so kind and our thoughts, condolences and deepest wishes is that 2018 is kinder to you and hope that you find some peace in those trying events life sends our way.

We have much to be grateful for at ALTA, we have welcomed many a new client, we hosted our first birthday party, had talks from Sexton Chiropractic, Peter Johnston on Nutrition, the Ski Erg Challenge, we started Mission 100 and in all donated and raised (including Febfast) over $500 as a personal commitment to our community and of course we got to celebrate the lovely Kay’s 90th birthday which was a highlight for me. We also had lots of other activities and more planned for 2018.

We’d love to hear your reflections of 2017 and if you would ever like to offer up some tidbit or advice on your experiences let us know we love hearing them and implementing them when we can such as information on Dementia and tips on how to prevent thanks to Margaret.

Next step is thinking about want we want to achieve in 2018, for me finish study, for JC more time at home and to do his own exercise and I can’t speak for Lisa but I know for her family is priority, her son starts High School and her daughter is very sporty, in fact a really fast runner we hear.

Lastly, quick updates we have Bring a Friend Week for the week of the 15th Jan and we are starting a ‘Happiness Jar’ where we ask you in joining us to write down the good things that happened and we can share some of them at next years End of Year party BUT too soon to be thinking of that!

For now, welcome back to everyone returning this week and the following weeks we are looking forward to holiday stories and really looking forward to 2018 and helping all our clients to be fitter, healthier and happier.


Cheers Jean-Claude, Linda & Lisa – the ALTA Fitness team

One of our rides into Melbourne with the family


Ski Erg World Sprints Competition Nov 9 – 12

Come and join us for the 1000 meter Ski Erg Sprint Challenge at ALTA Fitness in Canterbury

Between Thursday 9th – Sunday 12th 2017

Open Hours 6 – 8pm

Any one can come down whether you are a client or not – bring your partners, family, friends, mates.

Call us on 9077 8946 or 0410 544 759 Linda or 0478 616 210 JC

to tell us when you are coming down so we can slot you in on our time sheet.