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Getting back in Shape

So I Guess the place to start is at the beginning, but first a quote.

Something my dear friend Jaden said to me years ago when experimenting with food and exercise, ” you are your own greatest experiment” – this has stuck with me.

And Actually let me just say, as there are many ideas on how this whole process works, this is what I am doing for me, there could be better or different ways to do it and realistically if nothing else this is a conversation starter where we can share ideas and experiences and everyone can benefit from it. I know of course there are people that know more about this than me and that’s awesome and any advice is much appreciated I’ll try most anything once and if it works and I like it, I’ll keep doing it

As many of you will remember, my house burnt down just after my dog passed a couple years back and it sent me into a pretty dark spiral. Long story and short relocation to Tauranga later, I joined up a at gym. The main reason at that time was to focus on my energy into something positive with lots of little goals etc.

Over the course of the next 5 of so months ( while the house was being re-built, this is what I did with that,

Oh, important thing to note, that will come back up later. I was training at Aspire Fitness in Tauranga, which is an epic facility with every machine you can think of, spaces and classes for everything. Spa / Sauna / Pool, the works it was really state of the art and had a really good community there, made some mates that I’m still mates with now.

Fast forward two years ish of being back in Auckland and not going to the gym and not really riding much, It all came back pretty much. I’d watch videos of me on YouTube and think damn I’ve really put it all back on, and it started getting to me. I basically fatshamed myself back into the gym. Comments here and there don’t really bother me as no one is harder on me than me, which I actually like about myself as it means I don’t need external forces to push me to achieve.

Over the Summer, spending time with the lads on Bike riding trips or friends that are fitness models and shooting them, I started to feel kinda on the outside cause I didn’t look like them. That was kinda the thing that got me to sign up to my local gym. Now going back to Aspire, being state of the art. Forge Fitness in Helensville is the closest Gym to me. There’s nothing wrong with it all, but much like the cars we get to review its kinda hard going from a brand new Camaro back into the old Daily SV6 ya know? Forge has most everything I need to get the job done but not much in the way of frills, I do miss the Sauna sessions after a work out.

So that brings us up to date on the why I guess, now for the how.

First thing to note, I’m not a personal trainer, I don’t have any qualifications at all I’ve just learnt over time what works for me and what doesn’t.


Diet is a huge part of getting in shape, however I love food. I like making food, I like eating food and of course for all the reviews we do I love trying new foods. So I have a pretty simple thing about it – I typically gym mid to late afternoon ( its just what works for me, not a morning person at all) so I usually try and get in and out of the gym before the after work crowd comes, thus I usually have the place to myself or close to it, and I dont have to wait for any machines or whatever, So what this means Is I’ll generally have a pretty light morning meal, it’l be clean and certainly not any red meat.

Red meat and things like bacon really give your system a hard time trying to process it all. Have you ever noticed after a mad feed of bacon you actually feel lethargic? that’s your body saying ” hold up, I’m not in the mood for exercise right now, I’m dealing with all this shit you put in me” which for someone like me who loves a cooked breakfast can be challenging at times, but what I have found is i’ll make up for blandness with food in the mornings with an interesting evening meal post work out. As i started with Jadens quote. you just need to find what works best for you. A typical morning meal for me might be something like an omlette with saussage and spinach, or some tuna on toast with a banana, nothing heavy that’s gona sit for ages. and certainly no less than an hour before working out. I’ll also make an effort to keep up my water intake which i always forget to do after but I’m pretty good in the mornings and during work outs.

but I’m not counting calories, I’m not denying myself anything. if I wana go for pizza I’ll have the pizza. For many reasons I’ve not denied myself when it comes to food. I don’t want to get into a situation where I’m not enjoying what I’m doing, if it got to that point I just wouldn’t do it. I’m quite happy to do the aforementioned bland mornings on work out days but hey, if I wana try a new place or catch up with friends over food, you can bet your ass I’m gona do it. I think overall if you’re unhappy with the process it will make it that much harder and less likely to stick with it, at least for me anyway.


So my goals are pretty simple really, I carry most of my excess in my belly which is often on camera and something that I really dont like, so step one is focus on that, anything else is secondary.

So my focus has been circuit training and Cardio, The idea being. if I do my stretching and then Circuit Training and then my cardio, by the time I get to the cardio I’ve already got my body in a state that its ready to smash cardio and it will be more effective than if I walk into the gym and jump straight onto the treadmill cold.

So the basic idea is trim all the excess and then maybe think about sorting out proportions and selling some tickets to the gun show. in terms of actual body fat loss, I have no desire to be ripped as fuck, I just don’t want to have all the excess I have now so a manageable trim is good enough for me.

The Work Out


I like to stretch everything out before I do anything so the first thing I’ll do is go pull up a mat, work through all the majors and just wake the whole body up and kinda prep it for the next step – I tend to use a lot of Yoga style stretching as I find it really effective and being hypermobile already I kinda need to use what I can to get everything woken up and warmed up.

Step 2 Circuit Training, – Now the idea with this is to set up a few exercises in a row for both a bit of resistance training but also cardio for example

10 x Shoulder Raises with Dumbbells @ 10kg each
10 x tricept extensions behind the head @ 14kg each
10 x Deadlifts with a slight squat using a kettle Bell @24 KGs
10x Bicept curl with various types @ 18kg
10x Chest press laying on a inclined bench also @ 18kg

2 min rest Then repeat that. It’s not often I’ll vary this part but if I find something new to add I’ll do that

I find this hits all the majors, the idea isn’t to go for heavy weights, its to give the muscles a wake up and a bit of a go while getting the heart rate up and keeping it up while working, your ideal BPM is something you’d need to figure for yourself via a professional perhaps and using my Samsung I can track it via my watch in real time, but in time you’ll find you can understand yourself and work accordingly.

Step 3 – Focus

So this is where you might choose your ” leg day” for example, what I’ll do is a pick a group of things I want to work on and put on the heavier weights and do lower reps. Ideally 3 things that work together and and repeat 3 times so for example

6x row pull + 6x lat pull down + 6x reverse butterflys

And do that twice, then go find 3 more things and repeat, sometimes depending on the day I’ll do less weight and more reps its really just down to how I feel on the day.

Step 4 Cardio

Pretty simple, I’ll run a bit and the gym has a glider thing that gives a similar workout to a stair machine.

I’ll try mix it up and keep it interesting, there’s also bikes but I tend not to use those as im already really bike fit and I dont find it as effective.

So i might do 10 or 15 mins on the stair glider thing and then 2.4 or 4km Run, or sometimes I’l just run 10km..

The main thing I am Focusing on is being in the fat burning heart rate for ideally 30-40 mins

Step 5 Cool down

I’ll go hide up on the mezzanine up stairs and chill out, focus on breathing for a couple mins then go into some warm stretching, Keep in mind when your muscles are hot they are more limber and its easier to over stretch, you should always remove ego from any part of your work out, you lift too much to show off infront of your mates and you can be on your ass for weeks and was it really worth it? same goes for stretching. I actually find this rather amusing to myself, I dont think people look at me and think ” oh yeah he does yoga for sure” that being said I do get some squirly looks at the gym, but I think that’s just cause I have resting bitch face at the gym and I’m not really there to socialize and make friends, I just wana get it done..

So yeah, all that then i’ll go smash some pizza and do it all again the next day.

I’ve not really had a solid schedule for training at the moment, i’ve been traveling a lot and not being able to make it but Ideally I’d wana do 5days on and 2 days off – longer term really once I’ve got rid of most of the excess like I’ve planned, to just maintain that.

I hope this is helpful or insightful, at the very least I hope it can kick of a discussion either where you see this post or with your friends, I find going to the gym really fun and I get a good buzz after a good workout. those endorphins are great for my energy!

If you guys are into this I’ll keep you updated? just let me know


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Empire motoring Journalist, Vlogger and general larakin. Pro food and lifting heavy things.

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