Our favourite app on the road is ‘Tripadvisor’ and we’ve been using it for years to help us choose the best places to stay and eat. It’s a fantastic resource if you are heading to a place and want to read reviews from other travellers about where to stay and where to eat. We’ve also just downloaded the WIKI app for campsites (free and paid sites) around Australia (thanks Susie Hunter for showing me how) which helps you to choose a campsite based on travellers who have just been where you are going! They’ll tell you what the state of the road is like getting to the camp; are there any dingoes in town; toilets clean?, bins empty, staff rude etc. Most of our decisions about where we stay, eat or grab a coffee is based on these two review sites. We felt so guilty on this trip, using the apps so much, that we also started leaving reviews for other travellers, so we share the goodwill. We leave reviews when it’s fantastic, and when it’s really bad. If its average, we don’t bother. We try to do it as soon as we leave a place, otherwise we don’t do it.
Tripadvisor is around 16 years old and we’ve been using it for about 5 years and it was the inspiration behind our new business, www.burpee.fitness, which is a very similar concept to all the review sites out there, but our version is for fitness classes around Australia. We were travelling and looking for local fitness classes wherever we went. We wanted to find a TRX, hot yoga or circuit session that we could join into on our weekends away, or whilst we were in another country. Our tagline is: Share your sweat online! And that pretty much sums it up: share where you sweat with others, so they can enjoy the facility too.
Our little website has around 8,000 local businesses listed in Australia and we need to fill it with heaps more. We know there are at least 20,000 more local fitness businesses, and sessions, out there doing their thing in every corner of Australia. We’ve been ‘testing’ Burpee as we travel, checking the website as we approach a local town to see what comes up. Sometimes, it’s nothing and then we do our own research and perhaps find a local class online, or via a notice board in the local supermarket. There are so many great things to do in the Australian outdoors, but sometimes the weather is crap, you only have a morning to spare or you feel like a good workout and need some motivation! That’s when we seek out something local.
We’ve found a few great little businesses, a few of which are mentioned below and I’ll post the workout from our circuit session with Joanne at the PCYC in Carnarvon, W.A.
When we hit Carnarvon mid-week, at around 3pm, we went straight to the local visitor centre and checked out what was happening in town. We saw a sign on the notice board for local fitness classes at the PCYC and noticed there was a class the following morning at 9am. We had to be on the road again by midday to get to our next spot – Coral Bay, but we figured it would be great to try this session. We turned up early to make sure it was going ahead and that we could join in. The lady running the session was Jo, who was our age (in her 40’s) and fit, healthy looking. She was so warm & open and glad that we came along. She was setting up an ‘old school’ style circuit session using mainly body weight – awesome! There were several other local mums and the PCYC ran a crèche for the kids whilst they got a workout.
Heres what we did: Hook, Line and Sinker (that’s what Jo called it!)
- 100 skips (Run 1 lap back to start)
- 100 skips plus yoga push-ups, which is go into downward dog and do push-ups (15 reps)
- 100 skips plus yoga push-ups plus 30 (15 each leg) scissor legs for abs
- 100 skips, yoga push-ups, scissor legs, plus hip raise with leg lift (20 each leg)
- 100 skips, yoga push-ups, scissor legs, hip raises plus Scorpion (in the plank position, extend 1 leg underneath and across the body and tap the floor with toe, repeat on the other side) 15 each leg.
- 100 skips, yoga push-ups, scissor legs, hip raises, Scorpion plus Russian twists (20 each side) with a 2kg dumbell.
- 100 skips, yoga push-ups, scissor legs, hip raises, Scorpion, Russian twists (20 each side) and 12 Burpees to finish!
Once we had finished (we were ‘finished) the pyramid we then did a Bodyblitz session…..ah, yes, there’s more!
20 secs lunges; 20 secs hold lunge with right knee down; 20 secs high knees; 20 secs lunges; 20 secs hold lunge with left knee down; 20 secs low-squat jumping jacks; 20 secs Lunges; 20 secs Hold Lunge with right knee down; 20 secs mountain climbers; 20 secs lunges; 20 secs lunge hold with left knee down; 20 secs Ice skaters – alternating legs.
90 sec break
20 secs squats with arms in front; 20 sec squat hold; 20 secs seal-clap jumping jacks; 20 secs squats with arms in front; 20 secs squat hold; 20 secs Brazillians (plank position alternating opp knee to opp elbow); 20 secs squats with arms in front; 20 sec squat hold; 20 secs Hindu push-ups or rolling push-ups; 20 secs squats with arms in front; 20 sec squat hold; 20 secs of sprints on the spot
AB Blast to finish!
1 min plank, 1 min sit-ups; 45 sec plank; 45 secs slow bicycles; 30 secs plank; 30 secs ankle taps; 15 secs plank; 15 secs leg raises.
All done!!! Was it a great workout? Yes, and Jo was a fantastic instructor, really knowledgable, professional and attentive. It cost us $7 each!! The venue was rough and ready but the workout was brilliant.
It’s funny, we’ve been to swish city centre gyms with buff looking trainers and paid $35 pp for a 45 min. class which was barely worth putting on our trainers for! One class we went to in Sydney, the workout was straight-off some app, with no modifications for injuries or fitness levels and the attention to detail was minor, as the instructor could barely look you in the eye. All in all, it wasn’t value for money!!
We left Jo a great review on Burpee, so anyone travelling to Carnarvon can pop in and get a great workout (she was running her classes during school hols as well).
Another shout out was for the ‘Ningaloo Reef’ gym, in Exmouth. We actually found them on Burpee! We went to visit on the day our Whale Shark swim was cancelled and the winds were between 30 and 40 knots. It was pretty blowy! The gym was fully equipped and the young fella on reception, James, was really helpful (currently studying his Cert III/IV Fitness). We paid $15 each for our visit and had access to everything, including showers if we wanted one. They had all the cardio equipment, weights and a functional workout area with boxing bags, medicine balls, kettle bells and a TRX! The whole thing was housed in one big shed. We found a vertical climber and had some fun on that; if you’ve never used one, they are hard!!! Nordic make a very good one and they use them for training to climb mountains! You work your arms and legs: it’s a cross trainer on steroids! It was good to be in a gym again and try out all the equipment…… and the next day we felt it! We met the owner, Dean, who runs the place with his wife, his sister and her partner. They have other jobs as well and all share the load, running classes, front of house etc. Lovely people, who are happy to be providing a fitness alternative in Exmouth. If the reef is closed for the day, then the gym is always open!
Last mention is for Gina, who is running Aqua classes at Broome Council pool. There are two sessions most days and they are packed with locals and those on holiday, staying at the caravan park. The sessions are run in the outdoor pool, which is much nicer than being indoors when it’s 22degrees at 9am! Gina was a participant before she became an instructor, but she loved it so much and there was such a need for aqua instructors that she decided to train up and she’s been teaching for just over a year. Because she is a local nurse as well, she knows most of the clientele and understands the needs of her older clientele. She did things that challenged me and I loved it!
In between, our other exercise is gorge walking, mountain climbing (Mt Bruce WA’s second highest mountain is one of the best walks/scrambles we’ve done in a long time, it’s a beauty) and bike riding and it does not matter how fit you are: if you’ve not done things like this in a while then you get sore the next day!