DID you ever really believe that the Netflix launch coinciding with the beginning of winter was just a coincidence? Surely those execs weren’t insinuating that you were going to be lazing in front of the TV, liberally applying chips and Menulog treats for the next three to four months.

Or were they?

[showads ad=MREC]We’ve all done it. Woken up to another normal, unassuming day. Logged onto Facebook or Twitter and then get bombarded with “happy first of spring!” or “yay! Winter is finally over” sorts of posts. The brief moment of elation is cut short during the usually-painless routine of getting undressed for the shower — until you realise it’s the first day of spring and you look like Moby Dick. The ensuing fitness rampage is enough to burn out Usain Bolt and rarely leads to the desired result of looking like Leonardo Dicaprio in The Beach.

The truth is, winter does not need to be the inactive, blubber-building void that we are led to believe. The fitness industry does not sleep and there are literally thousands of activity options right at your door. The question is, which of those options is right for you? What do you actually want?

I take a look at the three most common requests for body transformations I get as a personal trainer, and offer advice on where to get the best help:

“I want to be huge”

If you’re looking for a physique like Arnold Schwarzenegger then the gym is the place for you. Whether it be one of the more prominent chains or a back alley studio, you’re going to need to push heavy weights. A lot of heavy weights. Many larger chains offer free or cheap personal training sessions when you join, and this is a must. You would not attempt to completely re-wire your home without the help of a professional, so do not attempt the same with your body. Crossfit is another great option for putting on size, but prepare yourself — they will break you. Crossfit is not for the faint-hearted.

“I want to be toned, but not too big”, or “I want to lose a few kilos”

Bootcamp or group fitness is the way to achieve this. These sessions are perfect for those who aren’t looking to stack on a huge amount of muscle but want to look and feel fit. They usually blend bodyweight exercise and cardio routines, a perfect combination for those who are focused more on a smaller but more defined body. Yoga is another great option.

“I want to be thin”

This is a tough one. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be slight, but please bear in mind that as a fitness professional I would never condone practices that are detrimental to one’s health. To achieve a healthy thin frame, cast your eyes toward endurance cardio exercise. Think long distance running or cycling, triathlons and swimming. They can be great options but bear in mind the inevitable muscle growth around your shoulders from swimming. However, prolonged calorie burn and lack of resistance will keep you slim.


Liam Barrett is a professional personal trainer who has worked in the fitness industry for the last five years. He operates gay-friendly The Camp Fitness bootcamp in Sydney. You can also follow him on Instagram: Liam.lovesyou

If you’re interested in joining The Camp Fitness, every Star Observer reader can claim a free trial week at www.thecampfitness.com. Click on “sign up” and type “Star Observer” into the message section.

PHOTOS: Photographer Markham Lane (www.markhamimages.com)

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