Fitness, Gym, University, Women's Health

Sunday Funday exercise quickie routine

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Its Sunday Afternoon, you might be finishing off an assignment that’s due in a few days. or catching up on repeats of your favourite TV show…

You probably don’t feel like doing a full on workout session right now because this is supposed to be your Sunday Funday chill day…but if you’re feeling a bit active and want to get a little strength hit to finish off the week then you can do this little routine!

This will take 15 minutes and is a great way to break up your study session. You can do this in front of the TV or whilst watching your online lecture (multi-tasking is a great way to find the time to exercise)…

There are 3 exercises, each lasting a duration of 5 minutes…

  1. Jump Squat

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Get your heart rate up and work your butt with this great little exercise. Work for 30 seconds, and then rest for 30 seconds until 5 minutes is up (you will do 5 x 30 seconds of jump squatting with 5 rest periods).


2. Mountain climber

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This exercise is great for strengthening your core. Hold a plank position and then rapidly ‘pump’ your knees so they almost touch your elbows (kind of like you are running against the ground). Again, work for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds for a total of 5 minutes.


3. Burpee

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Burpees are the favourite exercise of many Personal Trainers as they work just about every major muscle in your body. The above diagram depicts how to do a burpee. Again work for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds for a total of 5 minutes.


So there you go…this is a good little work out for your Sunday afternoon.



Fitness, Gym, UNSW

The UNSW Gym Open Day: 3 reasons you should attend

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The UNSW fitness and Aquatic Centre (UNSW gym) is hosting an open day on the 20th of October. This is a day for members as well as newcomers to come and learn some new skills, enter some competitions (possibly win some prizes) and have a ton of fun.

Here are three reasons you should come along…

  1. Freebies up for grabs

We all love free stuff! The open will consist of many fun challenges and games in which some pretty cool prizes can be won. Yep you’re a student… we don’t have a ton of money floating around… therefore, come and win some freebies!


2. Introduce your friends to the gym

This is amazing opportunity to get your friends to try the gym! If you’ve got a friend that you’ve been trying to convince to come to the gym for ages this is the perfect way to do it.  This Open Day is designed to be fun and exciting and will make newcomers want to come back for more.


3. Improve your lifting technique

There will be classes held through out the day to assist women with strength training. Whether you know your way around the gym and want to perfect your deadlift with a personal trainer or a newcomer wanting to learn a few simple exercises, the Open Day will be beneficial for you.



Fitness, Gym, Women's Health

Keeping it real: 5 ‘truths’ about the gym

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When the word ‘gym’ comes to mind some people may think… Yes! the gym is my place of sanctuary where I can go let off some steam. Others may think… No thanks, I’d rather not  go lift heavy stuff in a crowded room of sweaty young people. Others may think…. hmm I probably should go to the gym but I’d rather run laps around the oval like a robot….

Each to their own. The point made is that everyone thinks of gym in different ways. Everyone has different ideas of what goes on in this environment. So let’s tackle 5 ‘truths’ (and bust a couple of myths) about the gym.

  1. The gym is full of grunting blokes

Let’s start by saying this is pretty much not true. Firstly, there are plenty of women who go to the gym.. not just men. Secondly, hardly anyone grunts. Maybe 1 in 15 blokes grunt when they lift (feel free to giggle to yourself when they do).

2. It Reeks of sweat

This is somewhat true in small, enclosed work out rooms with poor ventilation. But apart from this, the gym doesn’t reek of sweat. But seriously, you’re too busy focusing on your deadlifting technique to even think about sweat.

3. Using your phone in the gym

Okay this is a touchy subject. When using a bit of equipment, such as the squat rack or some Dumbbells, try not to procrastinate between sets on your phone and spend 2 hours doing the one exercise because other people may want to use that equipment as well. Seriously…. this is no 1. in gym etiquette. If you really need to stalk people on Facebook don’t do it whilst ‘using’ the equipment.

4. Music in the gym

When someone has their earphones in and listening to some pump up music/podcast/whatever…. this means ‘Do not talk to me please’. Whereas if someone does not have earphones in you may be able to get in a sneaky chat.

5. If I take selfies at the gym will I be frowned upon?

Yes. You will. So put the phone down and get lifting!






Strengthen and tone your legs with these simple exercises

Many think that lower body strength exercises will make you ‘bulky’… however doing these exercises will tone your leg muscle instead. This is because women lack the testosterone levels needed to bulk their muscles.

Therefore, doing leg strengthening exercises is a great way to tone your lower body and get stronger and healthier at the same time!

With this in mind lets look at two amazing exercises that you can do to work those leg muscles…


Calf Raises


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Calf Raises are a simple exercise that can be done at the gym, at home, whilst brushing your teeth or just about anywhere. To make it harder try doing your calf raises off a step with your heels hanging off the edge of the step. This will increase the range of motion that your calves will have to work through making it more effective. Also, once doing calf raises with two legs (like in the picture above) try using one leg only. Try doing 20 calf raises 3 times in a session with a minute break between each set (3 sets of 20 repetitions)



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Lunges are a great way to work your butt and your quads (thighs) and hamstrings (the back of your thighs). When in the lunge position make sure your front knee is facing straight and not pointing inwards. This is extremely important in maintain good knee health and reducing the risk on knee injury. Try get your back leg as close to the ground as possible without actually touching it (we want your back leg ‘hovering’ above the ground). Try doing lunges holding a weight (such as a dumbbell) in both hands. This will make it harder and work those leg muscles more. Try doing 10 lunges 4 times in a session with a minute break between each set (4 sets of 10 repetitions).




Uni has got you down in the dumps? Here are some great stretches to reduce study stress

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It is well known that exercise is a great way to destress and improve your mental wellbeing. For many this is a crazy time of year as the semester is drawing to an end and everything starts to get serious.

This is the time where you start to freak out because your exam is coming up in a couple of weeks and you haven’t been to any lectures. You may be staying awake until 3am reading the lectures slides (because you can’t be bothered watching the lecture recordings) from the past 11 weeks. Am I right?.. I totally am.

Yes this can be a somewhat stressful time of the year. But the UNSW gym is here to help!

As part of Stress Less week UNSW fitness centre in association with Arc UNSW are giving students the chance to stretch out the stress! You can participate in Stress Less week yoga classes that will be held in the on the uni Quadrangle lawn.

If you would rather stretch it out on your own, here are some great stretches that you can do…


The Downward Dog

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Place your hands and your feet flat on the ground and lift your butt up in the air to make a triangle shape with your body.


The Upward Dog

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This is a great way to stretch your back after you have been slouching in front of your laptop for hours on end. Arch your back and use your arms to lift your hips off the ground.


The Child’s Pose

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This is a fantastic stretch because it takes ZERO effort. Try get your butt as close to the ground as you can and reach with your arms as far in front of you as you can. This way you will get the full benefits of the stretch.

Make sure when you stretch you focus on your breathing. Focus on taking deep long breaths and relax your body.




No weights… no worries. Alternate ways to improve your strength

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If you not terribly excited by the thought of lifting weights then that is okay! Because there are other great ways to improve your strength that don’t involving ‘pumping iron’.

Boxing is a great way to improve your upper body and core strength. Boxing is super fun (evidence- the above pic) and is a great way to incorporate your friends into a work out session.

The UNSW gym run regular boxing training sessions for members which are popular amoungst female members. Boxing is also a great way to combine strength training with the benefits of cardio, making it a total body work out experience!

Self-defence classes and martial arts based classes are also a great way to improve your strength as well as provide you with helpful tips in regards to being able to defend yourself if in a situation. As a result, these classes (as well as boxing) massively improve self-confidence in one’s body and is great for mental health. Examples of these classes include Karate, Jiu Jitsu, Taekwondo and Judo.

UNSW has organised social community clubs that provide you with a social experience as well as providing you with the ability to try your hand at one of these activities. For example, the UNSW Judo club is one of the most popular sporting clubs on campus.

For more information on the UNSW gym visit their website here:

Check out the UNSW judo club’s Facebook page here:



Fitness, Gym, Women's Health

“I don’t know what to do at the gym”…. Have a read of this and you will know what to do

So maybe you’ve signed up to the gym… you walk in for the first time and you stand there doing nothing because you are unsure what to do next……

Don’t worry, this happens to just about everyone when they first sign up to the gym. So we went on a little tour of the UNSW gym to give you the run down of what exercises you can do.

So you walk into the gym and spot these…


These are Kettlebells. Kettlebells are a versatile old thing that you can use to strengthen both your lower body and upper body.

Gobletsquats- Grip the handle of the kettlebell with both hands and hold the kettlebell against your chest and squat. This is a perfect way to make the body squat (squatting using your body weight only) harder.

Okay, so you know you done some squats you look around the gym and see these….


These are called fixed weight barbells, and they are truly fantastic. There are so many exercises you can do with these such as….

Bicep Curls- To ‘tone’ your arms go for a weight in which you can do about 10-12 reps (AKA repetitions) before you get tired and have to stop. For example,   12 bicep curls with a 10kg Barbell instead of lifting 20kg and only being able to do 6 reps. If you want more ‘muscular’ arms lift a heavier barbell and aim for about 4-6 reps.

Overhead Press- start with the barbell resting just above your chest (around about where your collarbones are) then push it above your head. Make sure you look straight ahead at all times. Try not to look up because you may lose your balance. For this exercise, it is recommended that you start of with a light weight barbell (10-15kg) and then increase this weight as you get more confident.

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So there are some great exercises that you can do to kickstart your strength training journey.




The Best work out pump up tunes… as voted by UNSW students

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We asked 15 UNSW gym members what their favourite work out song is and here are their answers…

Kate, 21: Toxic, Britney Spears

Sam, 19: Strip that Down, Liam Payne

Jess, 20: Work, Rihanna & Drake

Rebecca, 20: Thunder, Imagine Dragons

Mandy, 23: Bootylicious, Destiny’s Child

Jane, 18: Say it, Flume

Kate, 22: Wild Thoughts, DJ Khaled

Beth, 20: Famous, Kanye West

Taylor, 20: Congratulations, Post Malone

Grace, 22: Friends, Justin Bieber & BloodPop

Lin, 24: The Louvre, Lorde

Teigan, 22: Chameleon, PNAU

Taylah, 18: SexyBack, Justin Timberlake

Jay, 19: Sorry, Justin Bieber

Summer, 20: Starboy, The Weeknd

Fi, 21: Slide, Calvin Harris


Okay, so now that you have had your say… these are our top 3 work out songs…

3.  Fake Magic, Peking Duk

Third Spot goes to Aussie locals Peking Duk with their track Fake Magic. Its just a really uplifting tune that will get you pumping the weights in time with the beat. Well done boys.

2. Mi Gente, J Balvin & Willy William

Runner up goes to Mi Gente…. a Spanish song that’s like Despacito 2.0 but much better. This song has an amazing beat, and you can’t help but dance around the gym when you hear it. You will probably have no idea what the lyrics are saying but its seriously doesn’t matter because the song is just that good.

1. More Than You Know, Axwell & Ingrosso

The top spot goes to relative newcomers Axwell and Ingrosso! This tune has got to be one of the best of the year, and is the perfect song to get you in the mood for a serious work out.




The two best exercises to develop a strong core

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Have you always wanted to improve your posture?

Do you spend 10 hours a day slouching in front of your computer and as a result have a sore back?

Then core training is for you!

The basis of every strength training program starts with having a strong core. Having a strong core is important in improving bad posture and preventing back pain (which are common in the student population).

Ab crunches are boring as.. plus they aren’t as effective in strengthening your core as many other core exercises. So here are two other amazing exercise that you can add to your gym routine to improve your core strength…


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The plank is the simplest, yet most effective exercise in targeting the core region as well your arms. It requires no equipment and can be done anywhere. For beginners, try holding the plank position for 30 seconds 1-3 times a day, and then gradually increase as you get stronger. For good technique, make sure that your body is flat and in a horizontal straight line (see above pic).


Romanian Twist

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The Romanian Twist involves sitting on your butt, lifting your legs up off the ground and twisting your body from side to side. At first you can do this with no extra weight (just your body weight) however, as you get stronger try holding a weight (dumbbell, kettlebell) in your hands whilst twisting your body.


So there are two great exercises that can be done at the gym or at home that will tone and strengthen that core of yours!




What’s on at the UNSW gym this spring?

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Alright, the doom and gloom of winter is over and spring is here! This is the perfect time to come out of hibernation and start your strength training program!

The University of New South Wales Fitness and Aquatic centre (UNSW gym) has all the equipment and resources you need to kick start your journey to a stronger you.

The UNSW gym has a main strength training area which is downstairs and is where you will find most people working out. This is great if you want to put your earphones in, block out the world, and just be in the zone. However, this space can often get a bit crowded when in peak hours. Therefore, to avoid the crowd this spring, it is highly recommended that you use this area in the morning before the masses of uni kids wake up in the afternoon and crawl out of bed to come to the gym.

The gym also has a wide range of group physical activity classes that run everyday throughout spring. These include High Intensity Training classes (great if you want a mix of cardio and strength training) and Spin Classes (awesome for strengthening your leg muscles). These group classes are great if you are looking for a fun, social work out experience. They are also very popular with female gym members, as there is a greater emphasis on having fun compared to working out by yourself.

If you are a little unsure about how to use the equipment, or have any questions you can ask one of the awesome Personal Trainers that work at the gym.


Check out the Timetable for all group fitness classes at the UNSW gym here: