Getting (and staying) fit can be a tricky business – and often it comes down to motivation. We chatted to some 2017 Tour de Office riders to find out what they did differently this year to spice up their exercise routine. Read on for some gems we found among our Tour de Office riders – the fighters and yogis among us.
David Purdie, Business Development Manager at Scout Talent: ‘Wimp to Warrior’
Wimp 2 Warrior, a 6 month MMA martial arts & fitness training camp, takes regular people out of their everyday routine and launches them into a different world – where pain means gain and every second counts.
After 22 weeks of gruelling training, both physically and mentally, David Purdie and a dozen other brave Brisbanites entered the MMA cage in August for their big fighting event. Family, friends and colleagues gathered to cheer on the fighters in the cage. No matter who would win the match, every single fighter had been transformed by the W2W challenge. Read on to learn how one Tour de Office rider stepped into the zone of the unknown to become a Warrior.
What does ‘Wimp 2 Warrior’ mean? We define ‘wimp’ as someone lacking ambition to go out and do what they want. W2W is all about people who actually put their money where their mouth is.
How did you get involved?
As a Scot, you’re either going to be fighter, or a drunk, or both. I was a fighter. When I saw the ad for the 22-week Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) course, I knew it was something I wanted to do. Unlike sports such as football, which you can watch on TV and readily play, only a very small percentage of people actually go and fight. W2W brings MMA to the masses so anyone could get involved.
What was induction like?
To make it into the program, we had to do a 3-hour intensive workout. It was the hardest workout ever! We did circuits, hammers on tyres, box jumps… It wasn’t a test of fitness, but mental agility.
People of all shapes and sizes were being sick and coming back for more – these are the people who would train well.
What was the training like?
We’re talking about 6 days of 4am wake-ups to be ready to hit the gym at 5am for a 1-hour workout. At one point, we were doing 17 workouts a week of MMA training, wrestling, cage class, kick-boxing and strengthening and conditioning.
What was the weirdest thing about it?
With Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, we found ourselves essentially cuddling other sweaty men at 5am!
By the time I walked into the office, I had already been punched in the face by 105kg guy, so I wouldn’t get stressed during the day – the worst thing that could happen that day would have already happened!
Did you enjoy it?
I gained so much from W2W. The main things I took away were high fitness levels and a regimented lifestyle. I was forced to cut out negative influences and prioritise my time. I realised that if people weren’t contributing to my life, then I should invest my time elsewhere.
I miss W2W for the social aspect. But I’m looking forward to heading back to MMA in December.
Sophie Dique and Karon Beattie, Employment Office: Muay Thai
Sophie and Karon (ninja name ‘Kronic’) from Employment Office also took up MMA this year – at Sassom in East Brisbane, to try something a little different. After a falling in love with the sport at their free trial, the pair signed up for a pack of ten sessions.
What does a Muay Thai class entail?
We start with circuit drills of four rounds of skipping and then x10 push-ups, sit-ups and squats – and that’s just the warm up!
Then we’re paired off and it’s time for drill work. The instructor shows us a series of techniques and then we (attempt!) to copy. You’ve really got to get the guard right or you risk a bloody nose. Be ready for hooks, upper-cuts and kicks. Don’t let anything come as a surprise or you’ll wake up the next day with some extra bruises!
Do you enjoy it?
Sophie: Heck yes! I love it. It’s the best. I would do it all the time if I could.
Karon: Yes! It’s exercise but it’s really fun so you don’t realise that you’re exercising. I love the sparring element – being taught a technique and then being told ‘just go for it!’ and then giving it a go, falling down and getting back up again.
How does it help you physically and mentally?
Sophie: It’s a really good holistic workout.
Karon: I have a lot of internal aggression that I need to get rid of. I have a pleasant and placid facade but inside is anger and turmoil that only comes out once a week on a Thursday.
What is the weirdest thing about it?
Sophie: Punching yourself in the face. Well, that’s only if you don’t hold your guard right. Also, if you don’t bring your gloves, you have to put your hands in communal sweaty gloves. The group is made up of 80 per cent men and only 20 per cent women. So this is just something you need to get used to.
Karon: To do it right, you kind of have to get really, really close to people. Nothing solidifies a friendship more than punching each other in the face and wrestling them to the ground.
Would you recommend it to others?
Sophie: Yes, it’s a really good full body work out that targets literally every muscle. You feel like you’re going to die after the warm up. It’s also great for agility – I would never do skipping otherwise.
Karon: Yes. I have a former knee injury so I was skeptical – but if you’re careful and let your instructor know, you’ll be fine!
Ana Avner, Digital Marketing Specialist, Scout Talent: Pole Fitness
Two years ago, Ana was a dedicated Pole Fitness athlete. But after a few too many injuries (including a dislocated rib!), she thought it would be best to give the sport a break and let her body recover. But after a fluke win in a recent contest, Ana’s prize of a free Pole Fitness term will see her re-acquainted her with her old love in January 2018!
Tell me about Pole Fitness.
Before my injury, I did a weekly 1-hour Pole Fitness class, with a lot of practice at the studio in between. We often worked with partners, with one person giving feedback to the person on the pole, helping them improve their form and prevent any injuries.
There are eight different skill levels. The first level focuses on simple climbs and spins on the pole. As the levels go up, the moves become increasingly complex – such as inverting (hanging upside-down on the pole). It’s a lot of fun for both beginners and advanced athletes because there’s an opportunity to perform at every level.
What do you love about it?
Although it’s not exactly the safest sport, it’s a real full-body workout. It’s so energetic and you’ll get to use muscles you didn’t even know existed. I love how at the end of only 6 weeks you have a complete routine that you can show off to your friends and family at performance night. You also make really great friends as you spend so much time together and get to know each other quite intimately.
What is the weirdest thing about Pole Fitness?
There are so many stigmas! Yes, we wear clothes! And a lot of guys do it too! It’s also funny how unsexy it can be! There’s a misconception about Pole Fitness as being for strippers when it’s anything but! Pole Fitness is for all shapes and sizes – it gives people body confidence, especially with so many pole athletes of all shapes and sizes competing nationally.
Andrea Davey, General Manager at Scout Talent: Baby Yoga.
In April 2017, Scout Talent General Manager, Andj Davey gave birth to her first baby – a beautiful girl named Freyja. For Andj, Baby Yoga has been an opportunity to spend quality time bonding with her daughter and strengthen her body after giving birth. For Freyja, it has been a chance to learn yoga before she can even walk!
What does Baby Yoga entail?
According to Yogababy, “Mums and Bubs yoga classes focus on yoga postures specifically designed for the postnatal months by helping your body regain strength and tone in a safe and effective way. The emphasis is on strengthening the pelvic floor, the abdomen, legs and back as well as on opening and relaxing tensions in the shoulders, neck and arms. The yoga taught in these classes is gentle and slow, giving you time to integrate the experiences of your body after birth.”
What do you love about it?
It has been really good for my mind and body – relaxing, but also a challenge. I’d recommend Baby Yoga to mums who are easing back into exercise as I’ve learned a lot of poses that Freyja and I can do at home. Some moves even help calm her down if she’s being a little irritable! As the poses are specific to mums who have just given birth, many poses have helped reduce lower back pain and increase blood flow around the body, helping me wake up.
Freyja seems to appreciate the extra bit of variety to her day, and it has been great for me to get out of the house. It’s a fun way to meet other new mums!
What is the weirdest thing about it?
At first, I was worried the moves might be too intense for a baby – I was watching the instructor demonstrate with a doll at the front of the room and thought to myself, “Can I really push Freyja’s foot up to her ear?!” Turns out babies are very flexible, and Freyja loves it!
What does the New Year have in store? Will you try something different to step out of your comfort zone…?