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It turns out that all those hours spent pounding away on the treadmill or spinning the stationary bike might have been a big fat waste of time. The latest and unsurprisingly very popular thinking is that all you need is a 20-minute Express Workout at high intensity to achieve more than your average hour-long slog.


Burn more fat, grow muscle, build a stronger heart AND slow down ageing in 20 minutes — the typical High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout involves alternating short, very high-intensity intervals of exercise with longer intervals of low-to-moderate exercise for recovery. Not only does this express workout benefit your health and body so much more but, with such a short time commitment, it is psychologically and organisationally easier to fit into your day. And it can be done anywhere with no weights or machinery necessary.


Bodyweight training, using functional movements like lunges, squats, burpees, push-ups and planks, is on the ascendancy in 2015 and combines nicely with the express philosophy.


“It’s all about making your regime attainable and sustainable,” says Vann Dizon, personal trainer at Les Mills, Takapuna.


“The glory days of personal training are long gone. No longer can trainers charge people huge fees to have a chat about life and count to ten reps.”


These days people are after more, much more. The advent of small group training has a totally new spin; you get the critique and tuition of a good PT session combined with the energy and enthusiasm of any great team environment from your new peers. This ultimately has more longevity than does training for training’s sake.


And it’s more affordable. Trainers like Vann are now offering small group personal training where the session costs the same, no matter how many participants turn up. “It incorporates accountability into your training session,” he says. “It’s cheaper — if everyone turns up — and is part of creating a community.”



trudy_fitness article

How to make bulletproof coffee:


  • Take 2½ heaped tablespoons of ‘Bulletproof Coffee’ (or other beans grown at high altitude) and place in a plunger with one cup of just-off-the-boil water.
  • Add one tblsp unsalted butter.
  • Add one tblsp of coconut oil or ‘Bulletproof Brain Octane’.
  • Blend for 30 seconds until frothy on top.
  • Enjoy a sustained energy boost without that mid afternoon droop.


New Zealand importer of Bulletproof products and founder of Primal Culture, Trudy Northcott.



Digital engagement in exercise, using devices like Fitbit for tracking activity, goal setting, recording workouts and sharing, and apps like Zombies, Run! to motivate, is expected to keep growing in 2015 as ‘fast followers’ come on board.


But it’s not just about the new devices and exercise as we all know. This year will see the continuing rise of ‘mindful eating’: not dieting but eating real food.


“In the nineties and early 2000s, it was all about energy in/energy out and losing weight,” says Gareth O’Donnell, personal trainer and Crossfit coach at Southern Latitude in Newmarket.


“Now we want a nutritional system that gives us vitality and has longevity beyond a six-week challenge or a set date. Everyone has cottoned on to the fact that the choices we make now will affect how we feel later — be it in two weeks, in two years or two decades later.


“It’s a philosophical approach to nutrition; I choose to eat a certain way because I believe it will give me long-term benefits.”


Put simply, we are choosing (or should be choosing) foods that are products of nature more than they are products of industry: local fruit and veges, organically grown meat, full-fat dairy, nothing processed. Fat, protein and carbs — the good ones — are back on the healthy menu while refined sugar and wheat have been exiled to Siberia, with not much chance of returning.


The good news is that, apparently, coffee can be a completely guilt-free pleasure now with the arrival of bulletproof coffee or the fat black. In fact, this recent import from America is claiming it actually will sustain your health by providing you with a shot of long-lasting energy (through the addition of butter) and improve brain performance (with a tablespoon of MCT oil — super-strong coconut oil).


With the high fat content, this is definitely a drink geared more towards active people but butter is now firmly in the ‘good fat’ camp, along with coconut oil, avocados, olive oil and most nuts. Hurrah!



Words: Suzy Fraser