Blog Archives – Define Health & Fitness

Are Boot Camps Effective for Weight Loss?

An Introduction

The question we get asked a fair bit is ‘Are bootcamps effective for weight loss?’

The answer to that question really depends on the individual.

Are you coming from zero physical training, lead a fairly inactive lifestyle and just want to improve on your current condition? If this is true for you, then yes, bootcamps are a very effective method for fat loss.

Are you fairly active already and are trying to reach a specific goal? If the answer to this question is yes, you are better suited to look at personal training to help you reach your goals.

Put simple, bootcamps are a great social and inexpensive way to get in some good exercise each week however there is not the best option to help you reach your full potential. So it really depends on what you are trying to get out of your training.


What is Boot Camp Training?

Our boot camp sessions run 5 times per week, both morning and night. They are 45-minute sessions ran in a circuit style workout that allows everyone attending to work at their own pace. If you are fairly fit and like to push yourself, you can. If you have never trained before and just want to survive, you can. Noone is made to feel like they are holding anyone back, or made to feel like they are being held back.

There is a big emphasis on making the sessions enjoyable and social, after all, if you are enjoying your training, you are much more likely to continue to come back, and that’s when progress is found.


What to expect in Boot Camp?

What do they do at bootcamp?

Mondays – Ran outdoors at Bradshaw Park, Luwtyche, with bodyweight and lightweight circuits in combination with running to get a great full body workout.

Tuesdays: Ran at Define Health and Fitness Studio with access to more weights and cardio machines, circuits are designed using a combination of weight equipment and cardio equipment.

Wednesday: Ran at Define Health and Fitness Studio, sessions are often run as a team where everyone attending works together to complete a large amount of activities.

Thursday: Ran at Define Health and Fitness Studio, a full body workout with a focus on core training, postural training and functional training to ensure everyone remains fit and healthy long term. 
Saturday: Ran at Melrose Park, Wooloowin, every Saturday morning is a boxing class. Either pure boxing or a combination of boxing, lightweight circuit and cardio.


How long does each session go for? Each session runs for 45 minutes 

How fit do I need to be? We create all workouts to ensure all fitness levels can come and get a good workout.


How Many Times a Week Should I do Boot Camp?

Again, this depends on what your goals are and what you are doing yourself. Generally speaking, if you are utilising weights in the gym as your main source of training, then you only need to attend 1-2 bootcamps per week. 

If you are utilising boot camp as your only method of getting some fitness into your week, then I would be trying to attend a minimum of 3 times per week.  


Benefits of Boot Camp Training for Weight Loss

The real benefits of boot camps come from the social aspect. It’s a great way to meet new people. It is also a very inexpensive way to get in a lot of training. They allow you to get out of the gym and train in the park and are over fast. You will burn a lot of calories in just 45 minutes a feel very accomplished. All of our sessions are run by very qualified personal trainers who will make the session both effective and fun.


Wrap up – conclusion

Please wrap up the above mentioned and please be positive to answer to the question “are boot camps effective for weight loss?”.

For a lot of people, bootcamps are a good way to get in shape. We don’t want to pretend that this is the best and most effective way to get the best results. If you are looking to make some really good and long term changes, there is no better way to do this than with a personalised training program and sessing a personal training on a weekly basis. OUr suggestion would be that if you are new to exercise and want to start with boot camps, its a great introduction. Eventually, for the best results in terms of fat loss, getting toned, getting lean or building muscle, then you need to step inside of a gym and focus on resistance training.

Exercise Adherence | Benefits of Joining a Gym

Do you want to make an effective exercise a staple of your daily life? Your biggest obstacle to getting in shape and feeling energised to workout is you are overloaded with either kids, work or life and need the support to adhere to your routine. Joining a gym program can be one of the best ways to help you create an exercise adherence.

If you’re looking for lasting and impressive results, you need a long term plan, regardless if it is a plan set to improve finances, relationships or your health. The plan, of course, can change with time, evolve, and be modified to suit the needs of your current situation but it can’t be random. The body like the mind needs consistent and gradually progressed training stimulus to achieve the best possible durability.

The Power of Having a Consistent Routine

When each of us wakes up in the morning, we generally have a set routine. The routine has been perfected over time and some of us may have the ability to make each sequence of this routine roughly the same time length as we perform them each day. We become masters of efficiency within our own comfort and perform our daily rituals on auto-pilot before tackling a full day’s work.

Negative Response to a Disruption of Routine

Let’s for a minute just imagine that this changed and all of a sudden a new task arose in the morning that wasn’t traditionally apart of our auto-piloted routine. Imagine you have to take the car to the mechanic in the morning before work. We’ve all been there, it’s a pain, but you know there isn’t another alternative otherwise your car is at risk of breaking down or having issues arise because you didn’t take it in on time.

Maybe you were just listening to your car and weren’t exactly happy with how it was running so you scheduled it in early. Regardless, having to change up a perfectly good morning ritual is a complete pain in the ass and no matter what the issue with the car, you’ve still got to plan ahead to get it to the shop.

Overcoming Barriers & Settling into a New Routine

After the car is serviced however, things are good to go, you’re back on track, and you complete the rest of your morning tasks before you enter into the full swing of work. It might have been less comfortable than your normal morning waking up, but it’s one feat crossed off your list that you can add to the cookie jar. I guarantee that if this task of servicing your car became a weekly part of your routine, you’d get pretty damn good at that too and soon enough you’d be able to account for time just like you do now with your current rituals.

The same goes for your health, lifestyle and training goals. If we can plan things ahead like we do for our car service and stick to something regimented, then it allows our bodies to adapt as simply as they do to our morning rituals. Like the mechanic, it’s better to have a plan required for each service as a general guide and to adapt and evolve; making any adjustments and repairs that may be needed at the time of the service.

Creating (Exercise) Adherence to a Healthy Lifestyle

Start thinking of your body as a car and your mind the driver. You don’t want to be driving around in some busted ass, bad fuel efficient, slow powered vehicle covered in bird shit. Think of your body like a Ferrari or Lamborghini or whatever it is you idolise as your ride, but remember that it has the capabilities to adapt to the mileage and outputs that you put into it. It can always increase in fuel efficiency, always gain more horsepower and become a complete machine so as long as you plan for it and train the way that machine would run.

By doing this and committing to a specific training program, individuals and athletes are able to practice exercises generating muscle and muscle memory in formats that are designed to improve their overall performance and make their car fly. This maximises their response to athletic development and recovery from the physical demands of their chosen sport or fitness goal through their program which makes them a vastly superior machine.

By Regan Donghi

Do I Need a Personal Trainer to Lose Weight?

Put simply, the answer is no. In order to lose weight, you need to eat in a calorie deficit. This means, the total energy you consume through eating and drinking, needs to be less than the total energy your body uses. Our bodies use energy simply by existing and keeping us alive, however we also use energy through our general day to day activities, our work and of course, our exercise. And this is where a personal trainer can help you lose weight.

What Does A Personal Trainer Do For You?

◙ They customised an exercise program for you.

So many companies provide a one size fits all approach to fitness; classes designed to ‘make you sweat’ and ‘get your heart rate through the roof’ may be fun for a time, they may even get you some results in the short term, however if you are looking for long term, sustainable results, then the best way to do this is with a program that has been designed specifically for you. These programs should be written based upon how you move, your strengths, your weaknesses, and you current abilities in the gym. For example, can you perform a full range squat? Can you pick up a bar safely?

Once you get past the basics, your program should then become even more specific with some testing protocols introduced that you can then come back to and re test. One of the most common ways to test, is through 1 rm, 3rm and 5rm efforts. This will enable the person writing your program to know exactly which exercises you should be doing, how many reps and sets you should be doing, of said exercises and of course, at what weight you should be performing these exercises at.

From there, the key is progression. If your goal is losing weight, then the focus should be on building as much muscle as possible so that your body is burning as much fat as possible when you are not in the gym training. This will allow you to get long term, sustainable results. Rather than results that come and go.



◙ They teach you correct forms and techniques.

Again, so many companies offer a one size fits all approach ‘lets get as many numbers through the door as we can to optimise profit’ that they are taking away the most important role or a trainer; to teach clients how to safely and effectively implement the movements that will get them to their end goal in the fastest possible way.

Too often we hear ‘I stopped squatting because my knees hurt’ or ‘I stopped deadlifting because my back hurts’. Strength training is not only the best way to get fat loss results, it’s also the best way to prevent injuries. A strong back is not a back that injuries easily. Strong legs should mean strong knees. If you are taught how to lift properly, not only will your fat loss results come faster, your overall quality of life will improve.

◙ They help you set realistic goals.

We have been in this industry for 10+ years. Our trainers and coaches have over 50 years combined experience. This means we have a pretty good idea of what is achievable and what is only going to lead to disappointment. Having goals that are sustainable, measurable, achievable, realistic and have a time frame attached to them, not only gives you, the client, really good drive and direction, it also helps you to feel really good about the progress you are making. It will allow you to implement changes to your lifestyle that you can maintain, so that when you do reach your goals, you keep them, you don’t go backwards. Furthermore, if you have goals that are unrealistic, you might be doing so well, however because you are not achieving the goals you have set, you feel as though you are failing. If you feel like you are failing, chances are, you won’t want to continue pushing toward that goal.

◙ They challenge you to push your limit.

Find a good gym, and it won’t just be the trainer doing this, it will be all the trainers in the gym as well as EVERYONE in the gym. A good environment breeds success. Sometimes in order to improve, to progress, it’s going to be hard. If you surround yourself by people in the same position as you, by people who succeed if you succeed, by people who want to encourage you and see you do your absolute best, then it’s going to be so much easier to be your absolute best.



How To Know If You Have A Good Personal Trainer?

They care more about you, than they do themselves. When you are in the process of finding a good personal trainer, make sure they first sit down with you, talk about your exercise history, injuries and ask you about your goals. From there, I would expect them to explain how they can help you achieve these goals and map out a plan that will help you get there.

◙ They hold a degree and certifications.

Any personal trainer you find should have a cert III and cert IV in fitness as a bare minimum. If this is their only degree, then make sure they have done further studies (rehab courses, strength and condition coaching etc) as well as have some good experience in the industry. If they are new to the industry, make sure they have some form of mentor.

Anyone who has a degree in sports science or exercise physiology SHOULD be worth your time and money, although I am sure there are some outliers here, as there is with all professions.

◙ They perform assessments.

One you have sat down and spoken about your training history, injury history and mapped out your goals, the next step should be an exercise assessment to see exactly what you can and cannot do in the gym. This will allow the trainer/coach to get an idea of what kind of training you need to do to get to your goals in the fastest and safest manner.

◙ They are happy to answer questions.

Make sure you ask questions. Why are we doing this? What’s the next step? How does this help?

◙ They follow a program.

If you find your trainer going from exercise to exercise without really having a plan, then you probably don’t have the best trainer you have. When finding a good personal trainer, just ask them, ‘What kind of program will you be placing me on?’

◙ They take time working on form and technique.

If you have a trainer who teaches you movements such as deadlifts, squats, bench press, over head squats, clean and jerk, clean and press; skill full movements that have many requirements one must meet in order to perform the movement in full, then you are more likely than not, in good hands. They don’t need to teach you all of these movements, however you training should be based around 3-4 of these movements and ensuring you are progressing through these. Either progressing on your form and technique, or progressing with the weight on the bar.

On the flip side, if you are looking for a good personal trainer and they keep you to very basic movements, body weight movements only, lightweight circuits only or do lots of machine based movements with you, then chances are that you are yet to find a good trainer. Of course, there is a time and a place for most of what I mentioned, but that time and place is not every sessions, every week.



How Often Should You See A Personal Trainer?

This depends on many things. The main questions are, what are your goals? how badly do you want to achieve your goals? Will you train by yourself on a consistent basis? The other main question is of course, what is your budget?

To standardise this question, my recommendation would be to train 2 times per week with a trainer and 2-3 times by yourself. You can join a bootcamp if you don’t like to have a one-on-one personal session. 

To perfect world this situation, train with a trainer each session.

We don’t live in a perfect world and not everyone can afford that. Not everyone can afford two sessions per week, then train once. If you can afford that and you won’t train by yourself, then train more. If you can afford that and want each session to be a session that allows you to work at your absolute best in terms of output, in terms of form and technique work, in terms of enjoyment, then train more.

There’s no set ‘this is how often you should train’ – it’s a case by case scenario.

How Long Should You Have A Personal Trainer?

How long do you want to be working at your best? How long do you want training to be really enjoyable? How long do you want to continue to grow and progress?

So, do you really need a personal trainer to achieve your fitness goals?

Did Michael Jordan have a basketball coach? Did Tiger Woods have a golf coach? Does Rodger Federer have a tennis coach? Does Simone Biles have a gymnastics coach?

Yes, they all do, and they all are (or where) the best at what they did. Would they have been good without a coach? Probably. But if you want to get the absolute most out of your training, then get a personal coach.

Top 5 Trail Running Routes in Brisbane

trail running

Kingsford Smith Drive

Rating: mostly flat | Length: 8.4km | Route taken

Nestled next to the river on Brisbane’s northside, the riverwalk – which is currently undergoing an upgrade – makes for a fantastic running trail. There are rest stops along the riverwalk with platforms that capture views towards the CBD – this is definitely one of the finest of Brisbane’s running routes.

Kedron Brook

Rating: mostly flat | Length: 10km | Route taken

There’s 10 glorious kilometers of paved running bliss, along Kedron Brook Bikeway.

Parts of this lovely bikeway that regularly hosts runners, walkers and their canine companions features sections where the lawn, copses of trees and brook bubbling nearby overtake your senses and you find yourself pounding the footpath for longer than you thought possible!


Rating: a bit hilly | Length: 12km | Route taken

Bunyaville Conservation Park is located to the north west of central Brisbane, nestled between Albany Creek and Everton Hills. Come see what all the fuss is about, and experience one a popular favourite of Brisbane’s running routes. Start at James Drysdale Reserve at the Bunyaville parkrun area off Jinker Track, and make a big counterclockwise circle by Collins Road Break, Jinker Track and stop off at the Northern Break for a rest and to observe the local wildlife. After a few more kilometers north you’ll be on the home straight – just head south on Bike Trail 1, and along Bowers Break until you arrive back at James Drysdale Reserve.

If you prefer to run with a group, why not join the Bunyaville Trail Runners who offer group trail running in Brisbane on various trails from D’Aguilar National Park to the Glasshouse Mountains.

Bannister Park to Boondall Wetlands

Rating: mostly flat | Length: 15km | Route taken

Boondall Wetlands, located in Brisbane’s north-east, is best known for its amazing variety of birdlife, but is also home to a range of wildlife including possums, squirrel gliders, and butterflies. There are two birdhides located in the wetlands which provide excellent vantage points for viewing birdlife.

To get there, start in Hendra and make your way along Kedron Brook Bikeway past the airport. Stop off at Anne Beasley’s lookout for a great view of the wetlands and out towards Moreton Island. The Boondall wetlands is a great track for cycling or trail running in Brisbane with some bridges and road crossings, but mostly paved running bliss. Along the way there are several things to keep an eye out for including the Nurri Millen Totem Trail: a series of aluminium totems symbolising aspects of Indigenous culture in the wetlands, and the Boondall Wetlands Environment Centre which has displays and information on the reserve.

Kedron Brook to Mt Coot-tha

Rating: really hilly | Length: 19km | Route taken

You’ve made it to the elite of trail running in Brisbane. This one is a “toughie” and will put you through your paces. Jog along the familiar Kedron Brook Bikeway by the Banks Street Reserve and along Ithaca Creek Bikeway, before making your way to Mt Coot-tha, up the Powerful Owl Trail on the west side of the mountain.

The eureka moment at the top provides you with a beautiful view overlooking the city: all the way from Moreton Island to the southern ranges.

If you’d prefer a slightly easier slog, you can park your car at JC Slaughter falls and head up the Summit Track instead.

Interested in exploring? There are heaps of running (and hiking) trails throughout the Mt Coot-tha reserve, which you can check out here. Once you reach the top, why not reward yourself with a cooling drink from the Summit cafe, lie back on the grassy areas nearby and take in the view.

Wrapping up

Now that you’ve tackled a variety of of Brisbane’s trail running circuits, why not get yourself a personal trainer from Define, to work on resistance training which can greatly improve your running and recovery rate! Get in touch now.