12 week remote challenge

I am too busy to exercise! It’s an excuse that we all have used at some time or other.

With our busy lifestyles & our long list of everyday commitments, sometimes getting to the gym, healthy eating and just keeping motivated to being fitter and healthier are the things that we let slide when everything gets busy and the world seems to be closing in.  But at Aspire Fitness & Rehabilitation, there are no excuses, only solutions!

We are excited to launch our newest fitness offering to get you firing on all cylinders as we head into the summer months.  The Aspire Fitness & Rehabilitation 12-Week Challenge is designed for those who because of work, family or travel commitments can’t get to the gym, but want to take charge of their health, fitness and well-being and work towards a goal to cement their commitment to training.

Over 12 weeks Aspire Fitness & Rehabilitation will help you maximise the benefits of your training by providing you with step-by-step workout session plans and guidelines to help you find a fitter, healthier and happier you.  This is a completely remote program – that means it can be done anywhere!   This is all about you using two very simple yet important things to achieve maximum results – Your Body and Your Mind.

So you officially have no excuse not to get into it and achieve life-changing health, well–being and lifestyle results from this program.  By the end of the 12 weeks you will see real results from all your hard work and you will feel revitalised and energised.

The difference between a goal and a dream is a deadline – so what are you waiting for?

For more information or to take on the 12-Week Challenge contact Jasmine Kirkwood at reception@aspirefitnessrehab.com.au 

Fitness seminar – training smart

Training Smart Seminar

FREE seminar for valued clients of Aspire Fitness & Rehabilitation – Saturday 1 October 9.30am

As a thank-you for being such an amazing client and supporting the gym through our first year, we’d like to invite you to a special “members only” seminar, given by our new trainer, Erin Haske.

Erin joined Aspire Fitness and Rehabilitation in August 2011. Erin brings to the team several years of experience working in Strength and Conditioning with elite and club sport. She is also a highly qualified personal trainer who brings an infectious level of enthusiasm to our team.

Training Smart will –

1. Outline the process of outcome based training
2. Assist you to tailor training towards your goals
3. Troubleshoot some common training problems
4. Help improve your progress and outcomes
We’d love to see you all there – and Erin would love to meet you if she hasn’t already.

Training Smart will be presented from 9:30 til 10:30 Saturday, October 1, at Aspire Fitness & Rehabilitation. The seminar is FREE OF CHARGE to all Aspire Fitness & Rehabilitation clients and places are limited. Please RSVP to Jasmine Kirkwood today to reserve your place.

Bridge to brisbane

Bridge to Brisbane

Join Team Aspire for the 2011 Bridge to Brisbane – Fun Run on Sunday 11 September

FREE 12 week training & FREE Race shirt

Everyone is encouraged to participate, just choose the 10km or 5km course then run or walk your way across the finish line, over the Gateway Bridge and into the RNA Showground.

Over the 12 weeks leading up to the event our Aspire Fitness and Rehabilitation Trainers will be delivering specific running programs each Monday and Friday to all Aspire group training clients. Aspire friends and family who register are also welcome to train for FREE with the race team to make sure we are all prepared for the day.*

Registration opens 12 June 2011. Your fee of $30 for the 10km run or $25 for the 5km run will raise valuable support to this year’s beneficiary, Legacy. Legacy is dedicated to caring for the families of deceased veterans and today is assisting over 100,000 widows and 1900 children and dependents with a disability.

What better way to keep up the momentum over the colder months than having the race as a goal with the added benefit of raising valuable funds for such a worthwhile charity.

Register for the race online at www.bridgetobrisbane.com.au then contact Jasmine to register for training with Team Aspire for the Bridge to Brisbane 2011.

*Free race shirt for Aspire members

From the trainers desk – June

Excitement is building around the gym this month as our 12 Week Challenge gets underway. With so many clients signed up and initial testing almost completed there is likely to be some fierce competition amongst Team Tuffy and Team Jenna to win the ultimate crown of “Fittest of the Fit”.

My team, Team Jenna, is looking pretty imposing, with a lot of girl power going on in the ranks. Tuffy’s team is also looking like strong contenders but I think we’ll take the challenge to them. Congratulations to those who have signed on to use some healthy competition and friendly rivalry as an incentive to get out of bed in these colder months and reach your fitness goals. With the first round of testing over I look forward to seeing everyone’s improvements at the 6 week testing mark.

This month’s newsletter has some great articles from our friendly physiotherapists over at QSMC about Hydration during your exercise regime and our Aspire Fitness & Rehabilitation Exercise Physiologists have prepared a great step by step guide to stretching out that Thoracic Spine when you feel those niggling pains. Be sure to check out Tuffy’s article on Boot Camp experiences and register your interest at reception with Jasmine.

You can also read about joining the Team Aspire Running crew for 12 weeks of free specific running based training leading up to the Bridge to Brisbane Run in September.

Even though the mornings are getting colder it is exciting to see so many of you still braving the elements to get to the sessions and working so hard. Keep up the good work all and I’ll see you in the gym!

Yours in fitness, Jenna.


Jenna Tristram 
Aspire Fitness & Rehabilitaiton

Bootcamp training

The boot camp style of training comes from the military and was primarily used to get Army recruits into shape ready for combat. Things have changed a bit now, not all fitness boot camps are run by screaming sergeant majors snarling in your face and shouting in your ear.

What is a typical Boot Camp workout?
A Boot Camp workout can be conducted in various ways. Tyres, sandbags, heavy rope, kettle bells, and med balls are used in Boot Camp sessions to work the entire body. Early in the morning and performed outdoors in rain, hail, or sunshine, boot camp sessions are a little different to the typical indoor group class.

Boot Camp training will help you achieve a higher fitness level. There’s little messing around at a boot camp, and generally you hit the ground running from the get-go. There are a lot of great advantages to this, including the fact that it helps you get over the hurdle of inertia very quickly.

Strength and cardiovascular conditioning is achieved from these particular workouts, by going from one exercise to another with no rest. Boot Camps also involve calisthenics like push ups, burpees, sit-ups and other body weight exercises. The difference lies in the intensity. In the Boot Camp, your challenge is to take your body to its limit.

You work, you sweat, and you burn calories.

Not only do you lose weight and body fat but, you will also build confidence, regain more energy, look better, feel better and learn new ways to a healthier life.

Aspire Fitness & Rehabilitation are excited to announce we will be launching the Aspire Boot Camp Experience commencing in August to make sure you all look great for Spring and of course the start of “beach weather”. Stay tuned for further details but in the interim to gauge interest please contact Jasmine at reception to let her know if you’re keen to check it out!

Yours in fitness, Tuffy



David Tough
Aspire Fitness and Rehabilitaiton

Thoracic spine

Improving the health of your thoracic spine (mid back)
Your spine consists of several parts. Your lower back or lumbar spine has 5 vertebrae (L1-L5). Each segment has about 2 degrees rotation which totals for 30° movement when turning. Your lumbar spine is designed for stability.

Your cervical spine or neck has 7 vertebrae (C1-C7). This area is responsible for about 40° movement in rotation. Your thoracic spine or middle back has 12 vertebrae (T1-T12). It is a very stable area of the spine as the ribs attach to it.

Lack of thoracic mobility is common and this article outlines some handy hints to improve your mobility and reduce your pain.

Pain in your thoracic spine
Pain in the thoracic spine is common in people who sit bent forwards for long periods in other words most people at a desk! The symptoms include pain between the shoulder blades (typically) and possibly difficulty in taking a deep breath. Sometimes the pain can be felt in the front of the chest.

Why Do You Need Thoracic Mobility?
Lack of thoracic mobility forces your body to function in ways it was not designed for. Lack of thoracic mobility also forces your lower back and/or neck to compensate. Both increase risks of injury.

Do You Lack Thoracic Mobility?
Lie with your back on the floor. Place your feet and buttocks flat on the floor. Bring your arms straight overhead (not the side). Keep your elbows locked and don’t hyper-extend your lower back.

If you can’t touch the floor with your wrists, you lack thoracic mobility. You can improve it using the recommended exercises.

There are often two main causes:
1. Chronic strain of the ligaments binding the vertebrae together due to poor posture
2. Stiff joints at the spine and where the ribs join the spine-usually due to injury, including lifting and falls.

What can be done to fix the problem?
1. Maintain a good posture by doing the following:

  • Keep your head erect.
  • Lift your chest up from the sternum.
  • Activate the muscles between your shoulder blades, and then release- the trick to this is practice many times a day.
  • Look after your posture at the office; have a good chair with a firm back support.
  • Maintain good posture at the gym. Keeping your chest up on Squats & Deadlifts prevents lower back rounding.  Improving thoracic mobility makes it easier to keep your chest up.


It also makes it easier to shift your torso under the bar during exercises such as the overhead press.

  • Maintain good posture to avoid lower back & neck injuries. If your thoracic spine is stiff, you risk forcing mobility in your lower back and neck. An example of this is rotating your torso to look behind you when parking your car. Stiffness can result in a tweaked lower back or neck if you lack thoracic mobility.
  • Maintain good posture to prevent rotator cuff injuries. Kyphosis prevents your shoulder blades from tilting back when raising your arms. This narrows the sub-acromial space, increasing risks of shoulder impingement. Frequent impingement causes rotator cuff injuries over time.


2. Exercises: Select some of the following that suit you and perform them a few times a day.


Exercise 1:Shoulder Stretch Release the shoulder blades as you sit or stand, by taking your clasped hands behind your back, extending your head back at the same time. Hold 20 seconds, repeat 5 times.
Exercise 2:Back Arch Lie face down. Lift your shoulders by drawing your shoulder blades together, hold for 10 seconds, and then relax. Repeat 10 times.
Exercise 3:Cobra Stretch with Rotation Lie face down. Lift from the waist, and rotate your upper trunk from side to side so that you feel a tight stretch in your back. 10 rotations each way.
Exercise 4:Broom – handle stretch & swing Place a long rod, such as a broom handle, behind your neck, grasp it as shown and rotate your body from side to side, reaching maximum stretch. Perform 10 rotations each way.
Exercise 5:Knees-to-elbows back arch Arch your back like a cat. Support yourself on both knees and elbows. If you need to exercise the upper part of the spine, place your elbows forward and lower your chest. For the lower part of the back, perform the exercise on your hands and knees. Hunch your back as you breathe in, and then arch it as you fully breathe out.
Exercise 6:Thoracic Foam Roller Lie back on the floor. Put the foam roller under your thoracic spine. Hug yourself so your shoulder blades shift to the side or stretch your arms above your head. Place your feet and buttocks flat on the floor. Roll back & forth. Stay away from your neck and lower back. Continue for 5 minutes, but take a break when needed. Your goal is to “arch” your thoracic spine. Try to wrap your upper-back around the foam roller. You alternatively can use two tennis balls in a sock, or taped together. Stay away from your lower back & neck.
Exercise 7:Side Lying Rotations Lie on your right side. Left hip & knee should be flexed at 90°. Keep your right leg straight. Rest your left leg on a cushion or foam roller so you can’t rotate at your lower back. Keep your right shoulder flexed to 90 degrees and flat on the floor. Bring your left hand to your right hand then rotate in an arc up and above your head. Perform a slow rotation 10 reps both sides. This exercise improves thoracic extension & rotation while improving your chest flexibility. Make sure you move from the thoracic spine, not from your lower back

The message is simple. By maintain your posture and following some easy to perform maintenance exercises, you can really remain pain free!!!

Hydration and the athlete

Our body is made up of 60% water. It is crucial for survival so it is important to be aware of our body’s need for hydration. Our body needs water for the following functions:

  • It transports materials throughout the body
  • It eliminates toxins and waste products
  • It acts as solvents for nutrients
  • It regulates body temperature
  • It is used for energy product in
  • It aids in digestion and absorption


Every system in the entire body depends on water and requires hydration! It is recommended that the average individual take in at least 3L of water a day…that figure is raised to 4L during hot days or in hot climates.

Sports and Hydration….
Caffeinated beverages, such as soft drinks, coffee, tea, act as diuretics and increase urination and this leads to dehydration. Drinking soft drinks or coffee pre activity, then performing hard exercise, can lead to the body shutting down. To increase performance (and for your safety), these beverages should be avoided. It is recommended to replace your fluids with water or electrolyte solution.

What happens during exercise?
Heat is generated as a by-product of your working muscles. As body heat rises, body temperature and heart rate also rise. As the exercise continues, the body is limited in transferring heat from the muscles to the skin surface. The body will require hydration.
Exercising in hot, dry climates presents additional risks to dehydration. Body fluids will evaporate so rapidly so that you may not notice any symptoms. In humid climates, when your moisture increases, sweat decreases. When your sweating rate decreases, your body temperature rises and you will fatigue more easily and your risk of heat injury is greater.

What is heat injury?
Heat injuries include heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.

  • Heat cramps are severe muscle spasms resulting from heavy sweating.
  • Heat exhaustion is severe fatigue resulting from excessive exposure to heat that can lead to collapse.
  • Heat stroke is a life threatening condition that develops rapidly and may not have any warning signs. It is the third leading cause of death among athletes.

There are three factors that contribute to heat injuries. They are –

  • Increased body temperature
  • Loss of body fluids
  • Loss of electrolytes


Symptoms to look for include –

  • Weakness
  • Chills
  • Goose pimples on your chest and upper arms
  • Nausea
  • Headache faintness
  • Disorientation
  • Muscle cramping
  • Cessation of sweating


To reduce the risk of heat injuries, adequate fluid replacement is essential before, during and after exercise.

What fluid is best for rehydration?
Water is the appropriate drink before, during and after exercise. However, for exercise lasting longer than one hour and after exercise, it is important to replace electrolytes lost. Sodium replacement not only maintains blood concentration but also increases palatability, and therefore the desire to drink.

The addition of carbohydrates will delay the onset of fatigue and help to maintain blood glucose concentration. A sport drink with 4%-8% carbohydrate is recommended for replacement during exercise, especially with exercise bouts lasting longer than one hour.

So the next time you exercise, please be aware of the importance of hydration. It is a simple step that can save your life!

From the trainers desk – May

It’s Autumn at Aspire!

With the change of seasons and the cooler days and evenings comes a renewed time to rethink and restart.

Here are 10 ways to start making the most of the season.

1. Take advantage of the weather
Autumn can be a treat for the senses: the crisp air, a gorgeous canopy of autumn foliage, and the crunch of leaves underfoot. These months are a great time to exercise outdoors and enjoy cooler temperatures. Walking, hiking and cycling are all awesome in the fall. Discover park trails and take in some new scenery.

If you can get to the beach, get out and play volleyball, throw the Frisbee around, or play a vigorous game of fetch with your dog. It’s a great time to do beach activities because it’s so much less crowded.

If you’re near a lake or the river, try kayaking or canoeing for an excellent whole-body workout and a great change of pace.

2. Think outside the box
Always wanted to learn to dance? Attempt to box? Master the jump rope? Autumn is a great time to learn something new. Check out our classes or join into our Challenge. Look for something that intrigues you.

3. Be an active TV watcher
If you’re going to sit down and watch hours of TV, get moving. Make a date with exercise and TV. While you watch, you can walk or run in place, do standing lunges, do tricep dips off the couch, or lift weights. During commercials, do push-ups or sit-ups. In a one-hour show, you probably have close to 20 minutes worth of commercial interruption.

4. Integrate exercise into your life
You already know the obvious suggestions: park further away from your destination; take stairs instead of elevators; take a walk during your lunch break. Here are a few that are less obvious:

  • If you’re spending the afternoon taking kids to soccer practice, instead of reading a book or chatting with another parent, why not walk around the outside of the field while they practice?,
  • Or try “walking meetings”. Go for a walk with your workmates, brainstorm, and figure out who’s going to take what responsibilities. Things get achieved much more quickly and everyone feels better for doing it.
  • You can even get moving while you get motivated – for fitness or other life goals. Get some inspirational music or find a motivational talk and download it to your iPod. Walk while you listen for 30 minutes.


5. Rejuvenate yourself
Autumn is the time to rejuvenate body, mind and spirit. Get a massage after your run. Learn to meditate. Try some yoga. Treat yourself not just with exercise but other activities that promote wellness so you can feel good physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

6. Remember the 30-day rule
It takes about four weeks for the body to adapt to lifestyle changes. That’s why people who give up on their fitness programs tend to do so within the first 30 days.

So, when the alarm goes off in the morning and it’s darker and colder, don’t roll over and hit the snooze button. Try to stick with a program for a month. After a month, behaviour patterns will have adapted and it will be much easier to stick with it after that.

 7. Strive for the 3 Cs
Commitment, convenience, and consistency are “the three Cs”. Having all three will lead to a successful fitness program.

First, exercise takes commitment. You have to start planning exercise, just like you do everything else, like meetings, dinners, and getting kids to lessons and practice. Put it in your calendar, because later always turns into never.

Convenience means choosing a class at a time at the gym that you can get to or an activity you can do at home, at a time when you’re not likely to be interrupted.

Finally, there’s consistency. We’d rather see a brand-new client work out for 10 minutes a day rather than one hour every month.

8. Deal with darkness
The best way to enjoy autumn is to exercise outdoors. But it is getting darker earlier, and staying dark later in the morning, so be smart and safe.

  • Just because it’s 6 p.m. (or a.m.) and dark doesn’t mean you can’t work out. If walking or running outdoors wear something so you’re seen. Or get motivated and get into the gym during the darker months.
  • When cycling, affix a light to your helmet or bike.
  • If possible, use trails or a local school track to avoid vehicle traffic. Try to work out at the same time every day, so drivers get used to seeing you.


9. Dress in layers
When exercising outside, layer your clothing. Before your body warms up, you may feel chilled, but once the blood gets pumping, you’ll feel overdressed.

These days, there’s no lack of great weather gear. Try wicking fabrics like “DriFit.”‘ This fabric wicks moisture away from your skin so you’re not exercising with wet fabric hanging on you.

10. Find your motivation
People are motivated by different things. It’s important to first discover what your individual goals are, whether it’s losing weight, strengthening and toning, or preparing for a race or event.

But goals aren’t enough to get you there; you have to be motivated by the day-to-day workouts. So choose something you’ll enjoy doing and will be likely to keep up, whether working with a personal trainer, or taking part in a class.

Creating a challenge for yourself will motivate you, as will encouragement and accountability. You want to know when you’re doing a good job, and when you’re not. Remember too, that anything worth having takes work.

If you want any ideas on how to keep motivated into the cooler months don’t hesitate to grab me for a chat.
Yours in fitness, Tuffy


David Tough
Aspire Fitness and Rehabilitaiton

Meet the trainers – Adam

Hey Guys,

I hope everyone had a great Easter and is refreshed and revitalise after the last two long weekends, motivated and ready to work and train hard. I have been working as a part of Aspire Fitness and Rehabilitation team since October last year and thought I would use this newsletter to share a little about myself and my experience in the sport and fitness industry as a professional.

My current role at Aspire is as an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and Performance Coach were I specialised in musculoskeletal injury rehabilitation and sport specific performance training. Before joining the team here at Aspire I worked as Athletic performance director for the University of Queensland Rugby Academy and Club for the past 5 years, in this time also performing roles with the QLD Reds, QLD Reds Academy and Melbourne Rebels. I have a strong interest and passion for rugby and certainly enjoyed being immersed in it for such a period of time, but have definitely enjoyed the change in scenery since coming to Aspire.

I have a strong passion for being able to make and influence a change in someone else’s life, and have found great satisfaction in helping and getting too know my rehab clients here at Aspire. I have also been able to use my experience in sport specific performance training – working with two Olympic Swimmers and the Redlands Bay Football Club who play in the newly formed NEAFL.

I personally have a strong interest in fitness and sport, having a sporting background in Swimming and Rugby. Where I competed at state and national level as a swimmer until I was 18, the early mornings and the lack of a social life became too much and I then focussed on playing rugby where I enjoyed the change to a team sport and a more social atmosphere. Since finishing playing rugby I have become obsessed with wanting to run a marathon, and although my body doesn’t always agree with it I have been training strongly for the past few months and hoping to run my first towards the end of the year.

Lastly I hope everyone is enjoying training here at Aspire, and look forward to seeing everyone training hard and having fun with the wonderful team we have here at Aspire.

Cheers, Ads


Adam Garred
Exerise Physiologist
Aspire Fitness and Rehabilitation