The first picture on the left is me roughly 12 months ago and about 1 week after the birth of my little guy Cruz. I was ecstatic to finally have my little baby in my arms, but in the back of my mind I was troubled by the fact that I no longer recognised the girl staring back at me in the mirror. This wasn’t how I had pictured life as a new mum. This is one of only a handful of photos of me with Cruz from those first few weeks as I was so ashamed of how I looked that I avoided having my photo taken.
When Cruz was 2 weeks old I had a check up with my GP. When the nurse asked me to get on the scales, I’ll admit I was concerned that I’d put on some weight, but I was certainly not ready for what I was about to learn. I hopped on the scales to see that I now weighted 102kg, by far the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life and 30kg more than I was when I first fell pregnant! I was mortified, but it was the wakeup call I needed and at that moment I was committed to getting back to the old me.
Cruz was born by c-section and I was still recovering from surgery, so I wasn’t really able to do much in the way of exercise at that point. I started small with a bit of gentle walking along the Glebe foreshore. Over the next few weeks I built this up and by Christmas had gotten to a point where I was clocking up 8km per day. I had adjusted my diet and focused on eating low GI and watched my portion sizes. By February I had lost a total of 8kg (roughly 0.5kg per week) with still another 20 kg to go to get to my pre-baby weight this felt painfully slow so I decided it was time to up the intensity of my workouts. It was at this point I found Inner West Outdoor Fitness and saw the baby friendly classes which seemed like an ideal way for me to get back into it.
I was a little nervous before attending my first session. As someone who had always exercised fairly regularly (I’d run a half marathon just 18 months before this point), it was frustrating to see just how unfit I had gotten and how much the additional weight was affecting my ability to do things which used to come fairly easily. I needn’t have worried though, as my first session was great! Nick provided just the right level of intensity and motivation, but also took care to accommodate the fact that I was still in recovery (not to mention incredibly unfit).
Over the next few weeks I continued to attend 3 sessions a week where I met a lovely and supportive group of mums who had all been through their own experiences with trying to get back to their old selves after baby. I even corralled a number of the ladies from my mother’s group to join as well. As I continued to lose weight and my fitness improved, I was able to do more and I finally felt myself getting closer to my pre-bub self. Nick and Georgie were both excellent in ensuring that they changed the sessions up regularly and gave me just the right amount of encouragement to keep pushing myself towards my goal. At this stage my weight loss had increased to a steady 1 kg per week and I was now down a total of 13kg.
It was at this point that I thought I would have a go at one of the early morning bootcamp sessions. I’d heard that the bootcamps were pretty tough and that the group were a pretty fit bunch who had all been attending for a while. I was worried that I still wasn’t quite fit enough, but it was again time for me to up the ante. Once again there was no need for concern, the session was definitely tougher, but Nick encouraged me to go at my own pace and do what I could. The group were indeed all much fitter than I was but they were a fantastic bunch, everyone was so supportive and motivating. Having a new group to keep up with gave me a revised goal of not just losing the weight, but also striving to increase my fitness to keep up with the pack! Over the few weeks I gradually increased my sessions to 5-6 per week adding Boxing and On the Move (with Sasha) to the mix. I think that the varied nature of the sessions available really helped me avoid any significant weight loss plateaus, as did the encouragement of the trainers to keep pushing myself that little bit further each session.
When I went back to work in August I was a little concerned about how I was going to keep up the regime that had very much become a habit for me. Fortunately this didn’t prove to be an issue due to the number of classes offered and I was able to switch out some of my day time sessions for ones being offered in the morning and on the weekend. I’ve already mentioned the awesome trainers but another thing that sets Inner West Outdoor Fitness apart from other providers in the area is the number of sessions they offer. Having that flexibility has made it easy for me to stay on track.
So after what is possibly the longest testimonial in history, I wanted to share my results along with a couple photos.
In the last 9 months training with Inner West Outdoor Fitness I have lost 33kg, bringing my total weight loss to 42kg in 12 months (12kg past my original pre baby weight goal). Since reaching my goal, I have still been keeping up with my sessions and have set new goals for myself around continuing to improve my fitness and strength and even think I may try my hand at another half marathon next year!
I am so happy with my results and whilst it has definitely taken a lot of hard work on my part, I simply could not have done it without the help, guidance and motivation of Nick and his team. I really cannot thank them enough!
Twice a week I begin and end my day training with Nick. Without a doubt, opening and closing the day in the surrounds of Jubilee Park brings a welcome relief to my working week. However, more than this, Nick has a fantastic capacity to ensure that training is balanced by an atmosphere that is relaxed and professional. Nick knows that training is something that should enrich busy lives through the opportunity that it brings to do something for yourself, peppered with banter, laughter and the satisfaction of hard work.
Nick is a fantastic trainer who thankfully does not have to draw upon a “macho” approach but rather is assured by his knowledge of a good solid session that leaves you feeling better about yourself because of what you have achieved. Nick clearly has a strong understanding of developing and optimising fitness and, because of this, there is not a regular routine to sessions or a recipe for fitness that he draws upon. Rather, Nick evaluates and tracks progress across and within sessions so that they are always varied. Sessions are not shaped by exercises or circuits but rather around a range of incremental sets and challenges that have a phenomenal capacity to build fitness and take you beyond what you thought was achievable even at the beginning of a session.
Training with Nick means that you will be working with someone who will be supportive of your goals, in a place that gets you in amongst the community of park life and with a trainer who has a genuine ease in getting the best out of you.
It will undoubtedly be the best part of your day.
Danielle Rigg- Smith
6months ago, I made the a decision to look after myself and prioritise exercise as part of my daily routine. I haven’t looked back since joining Nick and the team at Inner West Outdoor fitness. With two children under two, I lost a sense of myself, felt exhausted and was caught in a vicious cycle of sleepless nights, then working full time. I used to be an elite athlete, so why have I become a couch potato?! Time to make a change. On August 1st, I started training with Nick and co. At first, I started with 2 sessions a week (one bootcamp and one run club), and across the duration of 6months have built to a minimum 4 sessions per week. I had zero stomach muscles and an incredibly weak back from carrying two children in such a short space of time, however Nick tailored the exercises to suit my current fitness status. Each session encompasses a combination of cardio and weights, along with exercises using your own body weight. Sometimes we partner up, other days it’s a race against the clock but the beauty of Inner West Outdoor fitness is that every session is different.
Fast forward to 6months of consistent outdoor fitness and I no longer wear my back brace, feel strong and energised to take on the day, more toned (I still have work to do!) and most importantly have my sense of confidence and pride in who I am back again. I have lost a safe amount of weight across this time and have a goal to lose more across the next 6months. Strong is the new sexy! This team have become my friends and I genuinely look forward to waking up and working out with everyone.
Thank you to Nick, Sascha and my bootcamp buddies.
I joined Inner West Outddor fitness about three years ago in my early 40’s. My wife was my inspiration as she had been going to boot camp a few years head of me and had more energy. I didn’t know quite what to expect. I knew I didn’t want a military style experience (been there done that when younger), but I did want to get fit. I was fed up of playing with my kids in the park and running out of puff! The first month is tough. I started with one session a week but to really benefit you need to aim to get to four and in reality make three a week. I transitioned to about three sessions a week after about a year and immediately felt the benefits. All my fellow exercisers are a great bunch of people. Different ages and fitness levels, but we all get on and have a laugh along the way. Seeing the regulars at 6 am is a good feeling because you feel like you are sharing the journey to fitness with like minded people. Most of the regulars have been going longer than me! I get out of bed wondering what is in store as every session is different. The variety is tremendous. All I know is that Tuesdays and Wednesdays are about overall fitness, Thursday morning is boxing and Fridays is lots of exercises along the foreshore at Glebe. Every three months or so we do a fitness test and get to see our progress (or if we have gone backwards). The trainers motivate and encourage everyone and I love the fact that no session is easy. You are pushed hard in a way that ensures you work you body and your mind. I feel positive and sharp after every session.