Blog: The Fitness Zone

You're never too old or too fat to uncover the competitor within. The Nelson Mail's Peter Gibbs helps readers to overcome their fears and discover the pleasures and benefits of being fit.

How about a spot of torture just for fun?

05:00am 30 May 2014


Noticed any well-built Greek soldiers walking around Nelson lately?

What am I talking about?

Apparently, when the cast of the 2007 movie 300 were training for their portrayal of the battle of Thermopylae, they were put on a rigorous training schedule, resulting in 300 soldiers with very impressive physiques, who were able to overcome a Persian army of thousands.

Members of Migym in Bridge St have been challenged to undertake the same schedule during May, June and July.

As well as the daunting challenge undertaken by the movie cast, Migym has adapted the challenge with two lower levels, so participants can build, improving their times on the easier levels before stepping up.

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Competition not a dirty word

05:00am 23 May 2014


It's not the winning that counts, it's the taking part.

Yeah right.

I blame my generation of parents for being so PC that they didn't want anyone to come second (or last). In doing so, they created a whole generation with a sense of entitlement that they would never have sand kicked in their face (an allusion familiar to an older generation).

I had to teach my own children not to feel guilty about their achievements, although they seem to pretty well have the hang of it now.

It's wired into our human system that we're competitive. It's a survival instinct - to deny it is to somehow miss the point of being alive.

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Know what you want to achieve then set goals

05:00am 16 May 2014


To achieve any fitness goal, first you need to define the desired outcome.

Maybe you want to run a half marathon. The outcome may be to finish, to run without stopping, to achieve a certain time, to gain a certain placing or to beat a certain person.

Once the outcome is in focus, then some planning needs to take place. Designing a realistic and achievable programme may take time and effort, but once it's in place you have a framework in which to operate.

My goals have changed over the years. Where once I wanted to compete at the highest level I could, now I'm happy if I can compete at all.

In fact my current goals have to do with keeping my body moving, staying fit and not putting on weight. Above all my goal is to stay motivated enough just to do that.

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Stu's run open to all comers

05:00am 09 May 2014


You meet some exuberant characters in sport. One of them is Stu Cottam, who lives just up the street from me.

Stu, 49, is an early childhood teacher in Tahunanui.

He was born in Nottingham, famed for its links to Robin Hood. It's also reputed to be the most haunted town in England.

Despite having lived in New Zealand for 20 years, he has an accent broad enough to frighten away any ghosts.

Brought up in a council estate, he desperately wanted to be a soccer player, but was haunted by a lack of talent.

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Trust helps keep talent on target

05:00am 02 May 2014


Katie Thompson is one of the best young female sprinter-jumpers Nelson has yet produced.

Thompson, 16, holds the Waimea College record for the 100m sprint and the Tasman Athletic Club record for long jump.

Her ambition is to represent New Zealand and last week that goal came a step closer when she was given a grant by the Sports Nelson Tasman Trust.

She hopes to qualify for the Young Olympians Tour next January which will require a top-three finish in a senior event at the New Zealand secondary schools athletics championships in December. The tour includes attendance at three major Classic meeting in Hastings, Whanganui and Wellington.

Thompson's chances are good, given that last year, competing against opposition as old as 19, she finished sixth in the long jump and 14th in the 100m.

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