Fitness Friday .. Kettlebell qualifications ...

In last week's Fitness Friday I mentioned that I was going to a training workshop where I was going to learn all about using kettlebells and gain my Level 1 qualifications.

Well, I went, I conquered and I even managed to drive home! 

I'll start by saying that this would have been one of the best if not THE best training workshop that I have been to.

The guys were knowledgable, professional but most of all approachable!

So what are kettle bells and why do we want to train with them?

Kettlebells originated in Russia hundreds of years ago.  These guys even invented a kettlebell sport called Girevoy in which a man aims to get as many reps as he can in a certain time ... craziness I say but whatever blows your skirt up I say!

There are so many benefits to training with kettlebells and I'm not going to run you through dozens .. I'll list a couple of reasons why I am developing quite a fondness for these heavy little things ...
  • You can do a whole body workout in a short space of time .. more bang for your buck for those challenged for time ..
  • The workouts can be pretty intense so great for burning some serious calories ..
  • Great for strength and flexibility at the same time ..
  • An excellent change to the normal training routine .. no more boredom
  • This is a GREAT core workout!!
 Anyway, back to the course. 

When we arrived we watched the end of the cross fit session .. those guys and girls go pretty hard!

After the usual pleasantries we didn't waste any more time and went to choose our weapon of choice .. I attained myself a lovely purple 8kg number.  Let me just mention here that I was a little concerned about my ability to swing, push and pull an 8kg weight around for the entire day. 

Then the fun began and we spent the rest of the day apart from snack and lunch breaks on the floor learning how to maneuver the kettlebell.  After our lunch break, that weight seemed mighty heavy and my poor hands were starting to show a few calluses.  Apparently I was gripping the kettlebell too tight .. strangling it .. but I didn't want to let that bugger go! 

By the time 6pm Saturday night ( yes, 6pm Saturday night ) rolled around I was ready to go home.  I was looking forward to someone having ordered takeaway and I was going to have a nice hot shower and sit on the couch, without moving, my whole body was exhausted.
Alas, I arrived home to be informed that our dinner reservations were in 20 minutes and I needed to go and get changed!  My heart sank and there were nearly tears but I went out, ate dinner then calmly advised Mr FitMum that it was time for me to leave as I was struggling to sit up straight!  Home, sleep .. just what the doctor ordered!

The short version of the next day ... I felt like I was dragging my arms and legs at least 4 feet behind me and using cutlery by the end of the day hurt! 

Needless to say I still absolutely loved every minute of the course and can't wait to get into some more training with my new friends ( my pretty purple and vibrant yellow numbers .. ).
I can thoroughly recommend including kettlebells in your training program if you can find yourself a decent, qualified instructor!

These are the guys that I did my qualifications through and I cannot recommend them highly enough!  Their web address is

Have you trained with kettlebells?  Or would you love to give it a try?

Vicki x


What do you want to know?

Do you want to know how other's keep up their motivation, commitment, determination, consistency?

You know, those things that seem to elude us just when we really want them the most?

So, I'm putting a call out for questions that you would like answered, either by me or an athlete ( that would not be me! ).

Let me know .. what do you most want to know about health, fitness, nutrition and achieving your goals?

Either post your question as a comment or send me an email at

I can't wait to hear your questions!

Vicki x

Monday Motivation ....

It's still Monday so I made it in time! 

It's the winter school holidays here at the moment .. today was the first day. 

I have had quite a busy start to these holidays and I know for certain that there are quite a few mums out there feeling a little bit like me at the moment ... So, here's this week's motivation to keep you going ...

Enjoy the first week of the holidays!!

Vicki x

Fitness Friday .....

I don't know about you but this week seems to have flown by in quite a rush!

I almost can't even remember what my workouts have been this week.  I will admit that I have had an "easy-ish" week.  My workouts in the gym have been a little more cardio focused rather than strength and I also included some quick walks around the block with my four legged training partner .. he is not so fussed on walking though.

My decision to take it a bit easier this week is because I have registered to complete my Level 1 Kettle bell qualifications tomorrow.  This is a full day workshop which, of course, includes lots of practice with the kettle bells.

I have spoken to a few people who have completed this qualification and they have reported feeling pretty sore for quite a few days, so I'm having some rest my body time so that I can go in super fresh!

I must say I'm rather excited about this qualification and I'm excited about being able to start include more of this type of training into my routine.  I'm just not so excited about not being able to move .. but on a positive note I may milk it and get the rest of the family to finish the housework!

I will be back in a few days to let you know how I did! 

Vicki x

Dancing in mud puddles ...

If you have read some of my posts over the last 6 months you may remember that I have not identified any specific "goal" that I would like to work towards this year.  In fact, I haven't mentioned anything! 

That could be because in an off handed way my goal was to just be consistent with my training and maintain my strength, my general fitness and to keep the balance between training, work and spending more time with the family. 

Now that I have digressed I will come straight back to what this post is about ...

I now have a training goal ...

In some crazy ass brain explosion well thought out process .. oh who am I kidding, it just sounds like fun .. well, I think it might be fun ... it's certainly going to test my fitness, strength, commitment, determination, ability to wear head to toe mud ...

I have registered a team of girls I work with and some clients to participate in the Brisbane event of ...

This is how The Stampede is advertised on the website ...

"The Stampede is more than just a race, The Stampede is an epic challenge that will push you to your limits.
Run wild through a gruelling 5km or 10km obstacle course. You’ll crawl through thick mud, climb up cargo nets, slide down the giant slip & slide, run through live wires charged with 10,000 volts and wash it all down with a beer on one crazy day."

Ok, so I'm not really fussed on the idea of the 10,000 volts but I'll deal with that one later.

Not sure what training I'm going to subject myself to over the next 3 months but I'm damn sure that I'm going to finish this "race" in one hell of a fashion! 

I'll definitely keep you updated on my training progress!

Now, I know that you are all going to want to rush in and join me on my new quest so check out the website above and get some folks together and I'll see you on the day!

Vicki x

Fitness Friday ...

Back on Monday I suggested that everyone should add an extra few minutes of exercise to their day to move just that bit more? Did you add a bit extra?

I did, so I thought I would share what I included as an extra in a few of my workouts this week. 

My One minute workout ...

1 minute skipping
1 minute pushups
1 minute box jumps ( or squat jumps if no box )
1 minute burpees
1 minute ab crunches

On Monday I ran through this twice as it was a "rest" day but I really wanted to do at least 10 minutes ...

Wednesday I added one run through at the end of 30 minutes cardio .. you know, just because I felt like getting my heart rate even higher!

Today I mixed it in with my cardio .. I did a 10 minute run then ran through one repeat, then another 10 minute run and another run through.  30 minutes all up .. well spent I thought!
I didn't take a picture of my rather red, sweaty face at the end of this workout, I don't think it was all that photogenic by that stage!

Did you do any exciting workouts this week?

Vicki x

Tasty Thursday Treat ...

I was fast running out of after school snacks for the kids this week. There are only so many mini pizzas with cheese that I feel they should have!
And with a busy weekend coming up I thought I would use my spare 15 minutes before school pick up to get some muffins ready to stick in the oven when we got home from school. What is better than baking straight from the oven .. other than really hot!

This is what the kids had for afternoon tea ... Julie Goodwin's Cheesy Lunch Muffins. I know they are called lunch muffins but I'm a bit of a rebel ...

Cheesy Lunch Muffins

What you need

2 cups Self Raising Flour
3 cups vegetables**
1 1/3 cup grated tasty cheese
1/2 cup milk
3 eggs
60g butter, melted

What you do

Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan forced) and line a 12 hole muffin pan.
Place flour into a large mixing bowl and stir in grated vegetables and cheese. Mix well
Whisk milk and eggs together and add cooled melted butter. Pour into the flour mixture and stir gently until just incorporated. Divide evenly between muffin pans and bake 25 - 30 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.

It did make 12 but a few didn't last long enough for the pic ...

Can be wrapped into single serves and frozen in sealed container for up to 3 months. Mine don't last that long!

** Suggested veg include grated carrot, grated zucchini, grated onion, corn, shallots and some herbs
I used grated carrot, grated zucchini and an onion whizzed up as much as I could so there we no onion bits.

I wanted to try with a wholemeal flour but I didn't have enough.  Will try next time.
Let me know what you think. The kids quite liked them so these will be added to the regular baking list especially because of the veg!

Check out some of my other recipes here ...

You can even get my posts emailed to you now! 

Vicki x

The core of the matter ...

Core strength, core function, core stability ... I know you've heard of it.  It gets bandied around a bit by fitness professionals about how important it is.  You are probably doing your bit to strengthen it, but are you doing the right exercises?  Are you using the right muscles? 

I recommend that my clients regularly focus on these muscles in an effort to help build a strong base to support their daily activities be that exercise, housework or chasing the kids. 

I'm not going to bore you with the most in depth information as that really is beyond the scope of what I'm wanting to achieve here.    

So, what are the basics?
What is your core? 
Essentially, your "core" is the group of muscles deep in your torso.  Some of the muscles that make up your core are the Transverse Abdominus, Pelvic Floor, Obliques ( Internal and External ), Erector Spinae ( muscles down your back ), and your Rectus Abdominus ( these ones are your 6 pack muscles ).



What do your core muscles do?

Simply put, your core muscles help you keep your body stable, strong and balanced.
The muscles deep in your back and abs help to support your spine when you sit, stand, walk around, pick things up.  Pretty much everything you do throughout your day.

More specifically, your core muscles provide the rest of your body with the power and strength to get you through the activities that you want your body to do.  So, it makes sense to have a strong and powerful core to help the rest of your body able to work more efficiently.

Why do you need a strong core? 

Other than what I mentioned above which is really just going about your day to day activities a strong core can help to ...
  • Improve your posture.
  • Improve sports performance ie running, balance, agility, power and strength.
  • Reduce the risk of injury.
  • May help to alleviate or eliminate back pain**

What can you do to strengthen your core?

There are pages and pages of exercises that you can do to strengthen your core. These are some of my favourites when starting out.  Don't forget that nothing will beat the advice of a professional in this area. 


This one goes by a few names .. plank hold, hover, prone hold and it is one of the best all over core strengthening exercises.  It can be modified heaps of ways to really test your strength!  Some of them are really nasty too!






4 point kneeling



A great exercise for when you are starting out to practice activating the right muscles.  You can start out with just one arm or one leg at a time but make sure you maintain your strong, neutral spine.


Pilates is a range of exercises, usually in a group class format or on equipment called reformers, that is great for strengthening your mind and body. There is a focus on maintaining core stability throughout the range of exercises. 

Whilst doing any of your usual exercise or even when you are getting around doing the errands you should also ensure that you are engaging your core muscles to provide stability and protect your back.  This is incidentally working your core muscles and making them stronger at the same time, bonus!

Have a chat with your Pilates instructor, personal trainer or physio just to make sure that you are on the right track.

Good luck and keep working on your strong core!

Vicki x

** It is extremely important that you seek advice from a professional with regards to back pain to determine the exact cause of the pain.  Exercises done incorrectly or with too much load will only aggravate or worsen the injury / condition.







Monday Motivation ...

I know that it's not always easy to fit in a workout during the day with so many distractions in our life.  I'm just as good as anyone at finding an excuse too!
This is my reminder this week to move a bit more ...

Pinned Image

And as an activity this week to get you moving .. why choose one thing and do it for at least 5 minutes every day for the week.  This way YOU are making it happen EVERYDAY. 

This new activity is over and above what you would normally do ... do you want to get better at push ups, planks, stretching?

Here's some ideas ..

10 push ups everytime you go to the loo
Release your inner 7 year old and skip for 5 minutes each day, even if it's only for 1 minute at a time
10 squats or situps at every ad break while watching TV
Jog on the spot for 1 minute .. repeat several times a day
Stretch on the ads to improve your flexibility
Park further away from school or the shops or work

Get creative .. just get moving!

Let me know what you are doing to get moving for 5 extra minutes in your day ...

Oh, don't forget that you can sign up for email now so I can just appear in your inbox!

And, have a great week!

Vicki x

The Weekly Wrap up ...

I've been thinking about what I wanted to write for this week's wrap up.  

I should write something exciting about the health and fitness ventures I got up to this week but that would be in my imagination. 

I would have liked to have smashed out some seriously sweaty sessions and run at least 20km, but I didn't. 

My body was much preferring the slow, relaxing movements of yoga.

I've been feeling a little out of sync with my body this last week.  You know, not quite in the head space and some quiet time has been just what I think I needed.  Well, that and the admission that I have stayed in my pyjamas today just pottering around getting some bits and pieces caught up around the house.  I very slow day indeed in our house! 

Now I'm off to help Miss 10 make some chicken burgers for dinner .. homemade and taste amazing!

I hope everyone has had a great long weekend with lots of relaxing with family and friends! 

I can't wait to start the new week, what about you?

Vicki x

What did you do today?

What did you do today?

Did you do something that makes YOU happy?

Here's my day ...

Work.  Usual, boring bit.

After school stuff .. Dance lessons, errand running.  In the middle of this my sister and her kids came over for a shower as she has no water at her house!  It's freezing here at the moment so the thought of not being able to have a hot  shower will not be entertained!!  

Exercise ... today was the day I just didn't want to do anything.  So, I forced myself out onto the treadmill without thinking about it and completed 30 minutes and you know what, I'm so glad I did!  No excuses, no guilt!   I also completed my stretches for the day.  I am really needing these at the moment.  I see a massage in my future. 

Dinner ... A quick and easy mid week regular, Thai Chicken Mince.

And I threw together a batch of muesli as I had run out.  I know it's time for warm oats, but sometimes I still love a bowl of this in the morning with some fresh berries!

Now,  time to get the kids off to bed as I need to be sitting down and relaxed for Offspring!

How was your day?  Were you productive?

Vicki x

Monday Motivation ...

It really will be worth it ...

Keep making the effort ...

I'm right there with you making the effort too!

Vicki x

This week's FitMum update ...

I'm writing this post because I believe that it is Sunday.  I'm not sure how because I can't seem to remember what happened this last week.  I don't think that is a good sign ...

I didn't try to achieve anything super mum-ish this week .. there was a bit of crisis management and a bit of unsuccessfully convincing myself to finish folding the clothes.

But, back to my fitness endeavours ...

A couple of runs this week that I really enjoyed even if it was in the cold, dark mornings and you know I just don't like these mornings. 
Oh, and the winter solstice must be nearly here which means it will be lighter earlier and I much prefer sun and cold to dark and cold!  I fear I may suffer from a curious seasonal disorder ...

A boxing class .. usual stuff there.

And a PT session that left me with no doubt that I worked hard. 

Since then any further chance of a run has been rained out.

What happened in your health and fitness world this week?

Vicki x