As temperatures start to plummet, the people of Brisbane begin to panic. Accustomed to sunny, summer days all year long, we can’t seem to wrap our heads around the unusually cool weather of late. On a chilly, winter morning, many of us coyly retreat to the comfort of our cosy doonas and the warm embrace of a scorching hot shower, and a rather indulgent breakfast to follow. We use the cold as an excuse to completely disregard the diet and work out plans we so diligently followed in the warmer months, only to have a subsequent meltdown come summer when the bikini beckons once more.
To avoid this destructive (yet delicious) cycle, we sat down with Chris Rose, boxing coach from Unique Physiques, to find out the best way to beat our winter funk and investigate the revolutionary concept of working hard in Winter for the summer body we all so desperately desire.
BT: Tell us a bit about Unique Physiques. Who is your typical client?
CR: Unique Physiques Boxing and Conditioning is a high-performance facility that caters for everyone from kids, to middle aged women and men, to the elderly. I work with players from professional sporting teams such as the QLD Bulls, the Brisbane Heat and the Australian cricket team and I am also the boxing coach for the Brisbane Lions. But I really try and cater for all needs, for everyone who is interested in health and fitness and wants to improve their lifestyle.
BT: What are the benefits of boxing as a workout?
CR: There are many benefits of boxing in that it is a full body workout. A variety of muscles are used which in turn, creates a lot of blood flow throughout your body, making it a high calorie burning exercise. I find that the thing people like most about it is its variety. It relates closely to so many different sports because of its use of balance, foot work and coordination. All the things that we do, even in everyday life, have a massive focus in boxing, so you can relate it specifically to a sport or just to your general needs and interests.
BT: What are some of the biggest improvements you’ve seen in your clients?
CR: Throughout my time as a trainer, I’ve seen plenty of big improvements, whether it be weight loss or muscle gain. Personally, I love to see the change in lifestyle and the goals that people reach through their will and their intent to succeed. Anyone that sets a goal to do with their sport, or even just changing their lifestyle and their habits, it’s such a high for me knowing that I’ve been useful in their endeavours. I find that that’s the biggest improvement, the change in themselves. I also like to see the boys I train reach their football goals, or help out a Mum who just wants to lose a couple of kilos. Those sort of things are just great.
BT: What are your tips for staying motivated as the temperatures begin to drop?
CR: I find that the biggest challenge in my job is the change in weather. As it gets colder, I find that people tend to hibernate. My advice would be to set your goals, short term and long term, and make sure they’re realistic and achievable. You don’t want to set a goal that you know you won’t get to because it’s not obtainable. Keep them where you can see them, on the fridge or above the bed, somewhere you will pass by and look it and know, “yep, that’s what I’ve gotta do.” Stay in your routine. If you go to the gym four times a week, keep doing that. It doesn’t matter if it’s cold or dark, you’ll be right. It’s just about getting out the door. I find that if you just get out the door and will yourself to get up, that’s half the battle. Once you get there, it’s just like every other day.
Also, I find that there are programs around to cater for the situation with the cold. One program that I have done with the ladies who are the partners of the Brisbane Lions boys was called ‘Winter Won’t Win’ and that was pretty much named as a reminder that we weren’t going to let the cold defeat us. We were going to stick to our goals and stay on track with our training as a group and just think about it as another week. We had to think about those goals, whether you wanted to get into that bikini come summer or if you just wanted to feel a bit better. Doing it with people is also really handy. I find that if you train in groups, it can be a really good social experience too. You don’t have to be out there all alone. If you know that you’re going to see your friends, it can be easier when you know that you’re going to have a chat along the way.
BT: How do you resist the temptation to indulge in comfort food in the cold?
CR: A big thing with food is your routine. If you have your food prepared for the week, you can’t go wrong. Preparing your food for the week whether that is having it ready to go or even just knowing what you’re going to eat, will help you beat the temptation. Sometimes it’s hard in the cold, but I find that rewarding yourself with something nice or a ‘cheat meal’ as they call it, will help your resistance rather than holding off indefinitely. Stick to your food diary, but as always it’s everything in moderation. We all want to indulge at times, but we have to make sure that we’re catering for it with our training and also, once we’ve had our treat, we get back on track.
BT: How do your busy, working clients schedule their workouts around their other commitments?
CR: One of the biggest challenges for people is fitting working out into their schedules. We’re all busy these days, whether it be with work or kids or other commitments. The way that I try to fit it all in is I try to work when everybody else isn’t. An average day for me might start at 4.30 am and it might go until maybe 10 am. Then I’m back at 2.30/3pm where I might see some kids after school and then I go all the way through to 7/8pm at night. You do get some shift workers during the day, but it also depends on where you are. I find that our here in the suburbs, people are generally working 9am-5pm, but in the city you might find people who want to fit it in during their lunch hour which is handy too. Scheduling people in can be difficult at times, but we always find a way. If you’re willing to get up early, I’m usually always willing to be here.
BT: How can people get involved with Unique Physiques?
CR: For anyone that is interested in coming down and having a look at where we are and what goes on, you can find us at Coorparoo Boxing Gym at 48 Clarence St in Coorparoo or visit Unique Physiques Boxing and Conditioning on Facebook or @unique.physiques on Instagram. Jump on, have a look and we can go from there.
Now we have absolutely no excuse to sloth around in our sweats, what better way to get warm this winter than with a workout! Be sure to jump online and check out Unique Physiques – you can thank us later!