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From Steve: Nov 2014

12/27/2013 4:00 PM

Hey friends of Calibre,

We are going through a sales 'purple patch' at Calibre Fitness!

We have thrown our support behind many leading brands such as Body-Solid, York, Horizon, Vision, Matrix, Concept 2, plus others and will continue to expand our product and brand offering over the coming months.

If it is big brand gym and fitness equipment you want, Calibre has it and at the lowest price on the market- we guarantee it!!

Now for those of you that missed out on our October Pre-Sale, you missed out on a plethora of great deals. Unfortunately I cannot turn back the clock, however, stay tuned as we are almost ready to launch our Christmas Sale so there is still time to grab an amazing Christmas present at a great price!

Finally, as part of our October Pre-Sale and Newsletter Calibre Fitness were giving away a $500 Gift Card. Congratulations to:

Bruce Waynecraft. You have won a $500 Gift Card simply for liking us on Facebook!
(Please contact us to claim your prize)

Look after your health!

Steve Callanan
Managing Director

Posted in Interview By Calibre Fitness

From Steve: Dec 2014

12/27/2013 4:00 PM

HO HO HO Calibre followers!

It is time to get merry because Santa Claus is coming to town once again.

Send your friends, family and loved ones the gift of health this Christmas. We have put together some perfect Gift Ideas that are sure to please, whatever your budget.

But get in quick while stocks last and to ensure you receive your goodies before Christmas.

2014 has been a massive year for Calibre Fitness. Thank-you so so much to our growing list of loyal and supportive customers that have made this possible!

Have a sensational Christmas and a Safe, Happy New Year!

Steve Callanan
Managing Director

PS- Congratulations to Jasmine Yeates, you have won a $500 Gift Card for signing up as a VIP!
(Please contact us to claim your prize)

Posted in Interview By Calibre Fitness

From Steve: Jan 2014

12/27/2013 4:00 PM

Happy New Year Calibre followers!

2015 is the year to take your health and fitness to the next level!

Calibre Fitness experienced massive growth throughout 2014 but with many new amazing products arriving soon we are expecting 2015 to be even bigger and better.

Once again thank you for your support and best wishes for a healthy and prosperous 2015!

Steve Callanan
General Manager

PS- Congratulations to Simone Lindner, you have won a $500 Gift Card for signing up as a VIP!
(Please contact us to claim your prize)

Posted in Interview By Calibre Fitness

From Steve: October 2014

11/27/2013 4:00 PM

Hey all health and fitness focussed people,

Calibre Fitness launched its first ever Pre-Sale a few weeks ago with great success! On offer were big brand cardio and strength equipment at heavily reduced prices.

Well, I have great news! We are ready to launch one more pre-sale with ETA end of December so this is the perfect opportunity to buy an awesome Xmas present at unbeatable pricing for that special someone or make sure you get what you want for Xmas and treat yourself.

But you better move fast as this massive sale is for a limited time only!

Additionally, we are expanding our range quickly, offering only the biggest and best brands such as PENDLAY, CONCEPT 2, YORK, BODY-SOLID, BOSU, HORIZON, KETTLER, MATRIX, TRX, VISION and more! Stay tuned for even more big brands to come.

Finally, as part of our last Pre-Sale and September Newsletter Calibre Fitness were giving away two fantastic prizes. Congratulations to:

  • Craig Ferrier. You have won a Commercial Home Gym for signing up as a VIP!
  • Pehi Graham. You have won a $500 Gift Card simply for liking us on Facebook!
    (Please contact us to claim your prize)

And don't forget to become a VIP customer to receive further discounts and rewards. To become a VIP, simply click here!

Look after your health!

Steve Callanan
Managing Director

Posted in Interview By Calibre Fitness

From Steve: September 2014

10/27/2013 5:00 PM

Hey everyone,

It has been a big year so far at Calibre Fitness!

Earlier this year we visited trade shows around the globe to see what the world's leading equipment suppliers and manufacturers have to offer to bring you an even better range at guaranteed lowest prices!

We believe that a healthy mind and body makes the world a better place, so our goal is to make the latest gym and fitness equipment more affordable to everyone.

For subscribers of Calibre News we have some great new offers on selected 'Calibre Xtreme' and 'Calibre Dual Motion' strength equipment. Additionally, we are now rewarding our VIP customers with even further discounts and rewards. To become a VIP, simply click here!

Finally, stay tuned for our huge 'Pre-Sale' offers coming very soon. Believe me, you will not want to miss out on these ridiculous deals!

To take advantage of any offer you can call myself or one of our sales specialists. We can provide you with expert advice and provide tailored packages to meet your individual requirements.

We are looking forward to a massive Spring and Summer at Calibre Fitness with lots of fantastic new products, giving you access to some of the world's most cutting edge gym and fitness equipment.

Look after your health!

Steve Callanan
Managing Director

Posted in Interview By Calibre Fitness

Steve: This is Steve from Calibre Fitness; I am speaking with Australian champion jockey, and my favourite jockey, Damien Oliver. How are you doing, Damien?

Damien: Yeh, well thanks, Steve.

Steve: Fantastic. Damien has had a career in horse racing that I am sure most jockeys are envious of and only ever dream about- 2 x Melbourne Cups, 4 x Caulfield Cups, 2 x Cox Plates... the list goes on. Understandably, he is in huge demand!!

Damien, a jockey must be extremely fit and strong to control the power of a thoroughbred race horse. Can you take us through a typical training week? What muscle groups do you generally focus on?

Damien: Um, yeh, riding a horse is quite unique. It's difficult to prepare yourself doing any other kind of fitness work other than actually riding a horse. You need to be quite aerobically fit, but it's a job that actually works most muscle groups in your body. I actually personally do a lot of boxing, which I find helps a lot, both with my cardio and also with the muscle groups and the strength and endurance I need. I also do a bit of bikram yoga as well.

Steve: Diet and nutrition are especially important for a jockey. What is your diet like? Do you have 'diet free' days and if so, what is at the top of your bad food list?

Damien: Haha, yeh. I've been doing a herbalife diet in recent times which I've found very helpful with stripping the weight off and keeping my body quite trim to ride the weight that I need to; I ride at about 54-55kg. I do have little breakouts occasionally, I do like having the odd beer or wine and I am partial to the odd few little sweet lollies and chocolates as well.

Steve: Haha, so you are human after all!

Damien: Absolutely.

Steve: What psychological skills have you learnt to get you through multiple races at a meeting?

Damien: Umm, I suppose focus is one important part. You need to be able to focus for certain stretches over a long period of time, so it's important to be able to switch off and relax for a time and then switch back on. Also, when you're dieting, that can be a little tricky as well, because you can find your mind start to wonder a bit and your body start to fatigue. So it's important to try to balance your day to focus at different times, but not for too long.

Steve: Yep, sure. Being a champion jockey is hard work- early mornings, strict dieting, frequent traveling. What makes you tick and all this hard work worthwhile for you?

Damien: I have quite a big desire to succeed and I suppose it's my passion for the sport too. I've grown up doing it for some time and I'm a really competitive person, so I love to compete and I love to succeed and I probably have a bit of a fear of failure as well. So it's probably all of those things that make me strive to be my best.

Steve: Just backtracking for a second to diet again, are there any tricks you use last minute to make correct weight?

Damien: Probably the sauna and sweating it out in a hot bath are the two most common methods for jockeys to drop weight.

Steve: Have you endured any particularly bad injuries during your career?

Damien: Ah yeh, a number. I've fractured my spine in two places and has a spinal fusion from T1 to T6. I've had about 3 hip operations, broken wrists, broken ankles, broken hand, broken collar bone... So yeh, quite a few.

Steve: Haha, yeah sure. I'm sure this is a tough question to answer, but who has been your favourite horse to ride and who do you think is the best horse of the modern era?

Damien: Testa Rossa was a favourite to ride, he was a really nice horse to ride. Hmmm... and the best horse of the modern era... well, probably in recent times, it'd have to be Black Caviar and Makybe Diva was pretty special as well.

Steve: Sure. You've had an incredible win rate since returning from a ban earlier this year and look incredibly focussed and determined. Was it hard coming back after such a long break and did you ever consider not returning to racing?

Damien: Um, yeh... I suppose there were moments when I may have considered not coming back, but it certainly wasn't the note that I wanted to end my career on and I wanted to come back and prove myself and finish my career on my terms. When I came back I made sure I was completely focussed, I had my body in really good shape and I was mentally in the right place as well. I was in the right frame of mind to come back and succeed.

Steve: Sure. What's the relationship like between jockeys? In the locker rooms is there more a sense of competition or camaraderie?

Damien: Probably a number of things. Definitely competition, but there's always a lot of banter among the jockeys as well. At different times of the year though as the big races come around it does get very competitive.

Steve: Yep, sure. You've been one of Australia's most successful jockey's; nearing in on 100 Career Group 1 wins which is an amazing feat. What do you consider to be the highlight of your career so far and what do you think it takes to make a great jockey?

Damien: Umm, not so much about the highlight, but probably the most memorable moment, or the moment that I'm the most well known for is my ride on Media Puzzle to win the Melbourne Cup in 2002. It takes a number of things to make a great jockey. Obviously you need to be talented rider and you need to be a good competitor. Being able to focus and adapt on a number of things in a race. You need to have good PR skills on and off the track. So yeh, there's a number of different facets to being a successful jockey.

Steve: Yeh, sure... and just finally Damien, what advice would you give to a young jockey starting out?

Damien: Just work hard and surround yourself with good people and even watch the successful jockeys to see how they apply the trade and you can learn a lot from them.

Steve: Yeh sure, that's great advice. Thanks Damien, I really appreciate your time and wish you the best for the remainder of the Spring Carnival and hopefully you can get up for your 3rd Melbourne Cup victory.

Damien: No Worries, Thanks Steve.

Posted in Interview By Calibre Fitness

Steve: Hi, this is Steve from Calibre Fitness, I’m here with Anna Meares. How are you, Anna?

Anna: Good, Thank you.

Steve: Anna, you entered the sport of cycling at the age of 11. With the assistance of your parents you travelled the 600km round trip from home to Mackay on weekends to compete. This is amazing determination and motivation at such a young age. What was it that inspired you to get into cycling and what drives you even now?

Anna: I just did it because my older sister Kerrie did it. My mother’s rule was that she wouldn’t take her 4 kids to 4 different sports, so the other ones had to follow and because I’m the youngest in the family, I never actually got to choose a single sport to participate in. Kerrie and I were watching the 1994 Commonwealth games and saw Kathy Watt win gold for Australia and that’s what kind of sparked the cycling interest. We were just very fortunate to have parents who were willing to go the whole 9 yards for us and give us a good example of what it was to be committed to something.

Steve: Yeh, sure. So you had your sister to thank for all your success, haha.

Anna: Haha, most of it.

Steve: So, as you said, your sister Kerrie is also an Australian cyclist. How competitive were you two growing up?

Anna: Very competitive. Not just us two, but also our older brother and sister as well. We were only a year apart in age, so we were together all our lives growing up. We were pretty great mates and still are. But, yeh, it was pretty heated at times. Sometimes it got a bit physical, sometimes it was psychological. She was a bit bigger in the body, so she could push me around a little bit, but I was a bit smarter, so I made it difficult for her on occasions, haha.

Steve: Haha, but I think that’s pretty normal between siblings growing up.

Anna: Yeah.

 Steve: What do you love about the sport and what’s your favourite cycling event?

Anna: One of the things I love about cycling is that it’s really social. As much as it can be a very individual-based sport, everyone is engaged. You always go with other people whether it’s riding on the road, working out in the gym or spending time on the ergo-bike or even in the velodrome; you’re always around other people and that’s one of the things I really love about it. My favourite event on the track is the 500m time trial, funnily enough the only event that’s not an Olympic event now.

 Steve: How much of cycling do you think is psychological and what psychological skills do you think you have learnt to get you through race meetings?

Anna: I think everything in life is psychological. When you talk percentages, I’m not really sure, but psychologically in terms of sports psychology, I’ve had a lot of help over the years in being able to dissect and analyse and determine what works and what doesn’t work, what my strengths are and what my weaknesses are and how I can be better placed in my mind to allow my best possible performance to come out physically. So yeah, I’ve leant a lot in my time about being patient, about dealing with failure, about communicating with people, about expectation and pressure. You name it; there are a lot of things that that question could roll into.

 Steve: What do you consider to be your main strength as a cyclist?

Anna: Oooooh, that’s a good question. Um, as a sprint cyclist, I’d say immensely my best strength is making decisions under pressure and physically, I’d probably say my booty... It’s my engine.

 Steve: Yep, sure, haha! At the London Olympics last year, you won a gold medal in the sprint and a bronze medal in the team sprint, how happy were you with your overall London Olympics performance and how much pressure did you feel going into the sprint final, leading Victoria Pendleton 1-0.

Anna: Ahh, when you’re in the moment of a race like that, leading 1-0, you don’t think about the pressure, you’re just kind of ‘in the moment’ and you’re trying to cope with it as best you can and stick to your race plan and rely on the people around you like your coach and your sports scientists and management of the team to keep you as relaxed and composed as possible. The pressure going into London was huge; I was really pleased with my Olympics experience in 2012. I would have really liked to have medalled in the Kirin, but I think disappointment there really allowed me to appreciate my success in the sprint.

 Steve: Yeh, sure. Was that an especially sweet victory considering the rivalry you’ve had with Victoria Pendleton over the years?

Anna: Well, it’s hard to just base it around Victoria because in the sprint, you have to beat 6 different women over 3 different days to be the victor. It definitely added to it as she was the best in the world for such a long period of time and she dominated the individual sprint like she did. So to be able to line up against the best at an event like the Olympic Games and to come away successful was huge. But, I really don’t know where I’d rate it on my list of achievements over my career because there’s been some really great ones as well and they’re not always gold or being on the top step. Sometimes my favourite moments of my career have been winning Silver medals or even just lining up for a certain race.

 Steve: You suffered a fall at the third round of the World Cup circuit in Los Angeles in January 2008, 7 months out from the Olympics, fracturing your c2 vertebra; you dislocated your right shoulder, suffered torn ligaments and tendons, a heavily bruised right hip and skin abrasions. Amazingly, you were back on the bike just 10 days later, somehow managed to secure a spot on the Australian team and then went on to win a silver medal in the Women’s individual sprint. Where does this super-human mental strength and determination come from and what keeps you motivated and makes you ‘tick’ as an athlete?

Anna: I think my stubbornness comes from my father. My drive, I think comes from the brush-off effect of having a family upbringing and parents like I had. I think it’s also in my nature as well, I remember when I was at school, if I had written something in my schoolbook on a page and it wasn’t neat, I’d rip out that page and rewrite it. So I’ve always been someone with a really strong work ethic that’s a little bit pedantic, a bit of a perfectionist and I think that comes across in my ability to be able to prepare and train myself on a daily basis and to be able to compete in big competitions like the Olympics. But, what keeps me motivated is the simple fact that I don’t want to see my hard work and sacrifices, not just of myself but of my family and my friends, my team, my coach, my sponsors, there’s a really big network of people that go into making me as an athlete, successful. I don’t want to let them down. I want to get what I feel is a justified reward for all that effort.

 Steve: Yep, sure. Anna, there have been so many career highlights; you’ve won gold in the 500m time trial at the 2004 Athens Olympics, Silver in the sprint at the Beijing Olympics and earned a triple world championship crown in 2011. I’m sure it’s hard to say, but what do you consider to be the highlight of our cycling career or your most memorable win to date?

Anna: It’s so hard to say, haha. Like you said, there’s a few to choose from. I still remember what that feeling was like, looking up to the scoreboard as a young 20 year old girl in my first Olympics and winning Gold. I remember what it was like to win my first ever sprint title; my first world title back in May 2004. Even just my first junior title when I was 16. A lot of people remember the more recent titles, but there are some a long way back that mean a lot to me, especially that Silver medal in Beijing. Nah, I’m not going to do it... I’ve been asked this question a lot and I literally can’t single out one particular moment, sorry.

Steve: Haha, no... That’s fair enough! Do you have any pre-race rituals?

Anna: Ummm, I paint my nails with the Aussie flags, haha. Once I get to the track, my ritual is very repetitive because I find peace and calm in normality of routine. Especially in an environment that can amp up the nerves and adrenaline in the body, so if I can get through that routine or have some comfort in that routine it keeps me sane, I guess you could say. But I’m not too pedantic in what I have to do when I’m outside of that velodrome.

 Steve: Yep, sure. What is your typical daily routine?

Anna: I don’t have a typical daily routine, haha. It’s a hard one to describe because, Sprint Cycling, most people would think I’d do a lot of kilometres on the road, but that’s just not the case. I try to explain to people that I’m like the Usain Bolt version of the cycling world. So I spend a lot of time in the gym, a lot of time on the track, ergo bike and because its strength/power focussed, there’s no real repetition on a day-to-day basis. So, on a week basis, I might do 2-3 gym sessions, 2-3 track sessions, 1 ergo session, 6 road rides and I’d have the 7th day off.

 Steve: Yeh, sure. I’m sure there’s a lot of specific strength training that you do off the bike, in the gym, as you just mentioned. What are some of your favourite exercises or training drills?

Anna: Love the deadlift, although that’s the one exercise that can cripple me. I have an old injury to my lower back that has to be very carefully maintained, and it gets a bit grumpy when I do the deadlift, haha. I really enjoy power cleans as well along with Plyometric box jumps as well.

Steve: You’ve listed all the exercises I really don’t like to do, haha.

Anna: Really?!

 Steve: I keep it very simple, all your old traditional exercises. Umm, Anna, diet and nutrition are so important for any athlete. What’s your diet like? Do you have diet-free days and if so, what’s at the top of your bad food list?

Anna: At the top of my bad food list is anything chocolate or cinnamon donuts. Yeh, diet and nutrition is important because obviously that’s the energy we use for our body, so for us it’s important to keep the body composition between fat-free mass and fat mass. It’s all well and good to be really lean and have lots of muscle, but if it’s not actually producing speed and power on the bike, then it’s not beneficial. So we spend a lot of time working out what the best body composition is for us as individuals. So, it’s important not to overeat, I’d probably have a higher protein component to my diet because of having to feed and repair the muscles from that explosive work that we do in the gym and on the bike and keep a balance of lots of healthy salads and vegetables.

 Steve: Yeh, sure. How much down-time do you get between major competitions?

Anna: Once the competition-season kicks of, we don’t get a great deal of down-time. We generally have one international competition a month, sometimes we’ll only get 2-3 weeks in between depending on when Oceania and Nationals fall and which competitions we target. So we’re busy between November and February, it’s generally one race-meet a month leading into the World Championships. Then we get 3 weeks off at the end of each season which is generally around the Easter Period, the rest of the time we’re training full time.

Steve: Yep... and just finally, Anna, what’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given in your cycling career?

Anna: Umm, that’s a tough one. I have a couple that I go with. One was from my first coach back when I was a teenager. He always used to tell me to pay attention to detail. The other one I really like is to always back yourself.

Steve: Yep, I like it. That’s all I have for you. I wish you all the best in the future, it’s been a pleasure speaking to you and you’ve inspired, I’m sure, every Australian.

Anna: Ohh, thank you. Too easy.

Posted in Interview By Calibre Fitness

Steve: This is Steve from Calibre Fitness speaking with Andrew Gaze. How are you Andrew?

Andrew: Good thanks.

Steve: Andrew Gaze is arguably the one of the greatest Australian basketballers and NBL players in the history of the game; he's a 5 time Olympian, his career spanned 20 years and he played a record 612 games at the top level here in Australia, he was top scorer in the league on 14 occasions and won 7 MVP awards which is now known as the Andrew Gaze trophy. He is also the all-time leading goal scorer in Olympic Basketball history.

Steve: Andrew, you competed in 5 Olympic Games, what were the highlights of your Olympic experiences?

Andrew: They were all great experiences. I think that when I was a youngster, I grew up wanting to follow in my father's footsteps and I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to do that at a relatively young age and then fulfil a boyhood dream makes it all very special. But, the 200 Olympics in Sydney made it all that little bit more special to share that experience with the people that you've grown up with and your family and friends and those types of elements made it a little bit more special.

Steve: Sure. It must have been a massive honour to be chosen as the flag-bearer for the Sydney Olympics back in 2000. Do you still remember the moment you stepped into the stadium?

Andrew: Oh, absolutely! Walking into Stadium Australia in front of 120,000 people and introducing some of the greatest athletes this country has produced to the rest of the world is something you don't forget. A lot of the time you need to pinch yourself and say 'did that really just happen or was that some sort of fanciful dream', but it was reality for me and it was a very unique experience but more than anything I had a strong sense of gratitude for just being selected and given that opportunity was a remarkable thing and as I said, yeh very grateful to have been able to have that experience.

Steve: Yeh, absolutely. I read that you think it would be best for the NBL to adopt a promotion-relegation style competition, could you tell us a bit about that? Is it gaining any traction?

Andrew: I think you're referring to a promotion/relegation type situation which is what we see in most team sports throughout Europe. Whether it's soccer, basketball or volleyball, most of the time it's done with a promotion/relegation system. It gives the smaller clubs, at the very least, an avenue to peruse to try to compete at the highest level. I think here in Australia, we have a closed system, but I think that there are many smaller clubs that have the potential to expand and those that have a long term vision to want to play at the highest level. But unfortunately our system really doesn't allow it. So I, having played in Europe, like that system. I think it's fair and it provides a set of rules and regulations for which associations could adopt to put in place a system whereby, at the very least, they have some avenue or pathway to the highest level.

Steve: Yep, sure. Andrew, what do you do to keep fit these days? Do you do any type of training still?

Andrew: Yeh, I still play on a Monday night, just in a domestic comp at the Melbourne sports and aquatics centre. Some of my old teammates, we get down there and have a bit of a run around. Certainly, even just at a recreational level, you're still running up and down and getting a pretty decent workout in. Then 3-4 times a week I just try to go to the gym and do some fairly passive resistance type training. It's always good to do that with a partner and for the past few months a former teammate of mine, Mark Bradtke, has been coming down once or twice a week to help me out. So, I wouldn't say it was necessarily as strenuous as it was when we were competing, but nevertheless, it's not too much about the wins and losses any more, it's just about life expectancy and longevity!

Steve: Exactly, haha. I like that. You led the Tigers to a couple of titles under your dad, Lindsay's, coaching. Have you ever thought about making the move into coaching yourself?

Andrew: Yeh, I currently coaching at the junior level, well... I shouldn't say junior, it's 'youth level', so 22 and under. Prior to that, I coached at the under 18 level and each year I have some senior coaching experience, where I take a team to China, like an all-star team. I select some players who are available from the current competition to play against some of the club teams in China. So I've definitely kept in touch with the sport and been able to maintain a bit of an interest through some of those experiences and right now I'm enjoying doing other things; I do a fair bit in the media and I'm on the board of Basketball Australia. They've both been a real challenge, but I'm enjoying them thoroughly. Hopefully the opportunity to coach at a senior level doesn't pass me by, but I can't see that in the immediate future that'd be something that I'd want to jump into, but perhaps down the track once things evolve a little bit, once I'm not enjoying the things I'm doing currently as much, then I might look to step into that.

Steve: Can you tell us a bit about your time playing College Basketball in the States?

Andrew: I played at the University Of Seton Hall; it was only a relatively short period of time. I went there back in the 1988-1989 season. It was only for 1 season; I was a student there, so I was part of the school community as well and played in the basketball team. I was fortunate enough that the team that I was on went all the way through to the championship game. Unfortunately we lost the championship game, it was played at the Kingdome which is no longer there, but it was an old indoor football stadium. There was something like 50,000 people at the game and unfortunately we lost by 1 point in overtime. So the fairytale never really eventuated as we would have liked, but it was a fantastic experience and I loved every minute of being over there and living the college life and having an opportunity to play at that level.

Steve: Yeh, sure. At the late age of 33, you headed across to play NBA with the San Antonio Spurs. I'm sure that would have been a great experience for you also...

Andrew: Yeh, it was. It was a pretty late call up, I'd had a little bit of NBA experience back in 1993 when I was about 28 with the Washington Bullets and that was great, but it was only a short-term contract near the end of the season, but at least I got that experience. I thought that was basically it and my time was up as far as NBA opportunities were concerned. But then in 1999, Gregg Popovich, the coach of the San Antonio Spurs, he saw me playing for Australia at the 1998 world championships. So, he was keen and thought that I could play a role. It was very much an insurance policy type role. I was there and I would work hard and play behind some of the superstars in the team. So I was there mainly just in case one of them were to break down. It was a relatively cheap insurance policy for them and although I didn't really get to play too much, the team did really well, went through and won the NBA title, and although I never really had a significant role in that title win, I was still very grateful for the opportunity and enjoyed my time competing for the San Antonio Spurs.

Steve: Have there been any particularly bad injuries you've endured while playing basketball?

Andrew: Well, I guess they're all relative, but I've had a couple of knee surgeries for meniscus cartilage type issues, I had a couple of ankle operations due to bone spurs and just some tendon problems. Probably the worst injury that kept me out for a while in terms of a straight sports-related injury was, I did some damage to a tendon in my ankle and I had to have a couple of surgeries to try to fix that one up, so that kept me out for about 3-4 months. So that was probably the nastiest of all in terms of sports injuries. Outside of sport, I got a graze on my knee and somehow got a streptococcal B virus in my knee, I shouldn't say virus, it was more of an infection and that was probably one of the most painful experiences I've ever had. I was in hospital for 10 days and I needed to have a couple of surgeries to try to drain it. So that was a nasty one and the other nasty one was, I had a blood clot in my right auxiliary vein in my arm. That caused a bit of trouble because it spread to my lungs a little bit, that was another time I was out for about 4-5 months mainly due to the medication that they had to put me on to try to help me through that one. Those two weren't specifically sports-related injuries, but never the less, the problems that I had with my health interfered with my competition program.

Steve: Yep. You have 4 kids, I believe. How old are they now and do you already have them playing basketball?

Andrew: Yeh, they all play. My eldest is turning 19 this year and she's actually off to college as well, she's off to the United States on a scholarship, so she's looking forward to that and then I've got another daughter who's turning 17 and she plays in the under 18s, I've got another daughter that's 14 and she's playing in the under 16s and my son is turning 12 and he's playing in the under 12s. They all love the game and get a lot of enjoyment out of it and hopefully they continue to develop and have fun with the sport, that's the most important thing.

Steve: Yeh, absolutely. If you could have complete power and change anything you want in the NBL, what would you change?

Andrew: I think the process, like we were talking about before, the process of expansion and the process of providing clubs the opportunity to compete at the highest level. I think that we've got a lot of great grassroots associations throughout the country who maybe, if they were given an avenue to compete at the highest level, then they would aspire to do that and continue to grow and develop their programs to allow their club to play at the highest level. So, I'd love to see an expansion of the competition and just provide more opportunities for players to play at the highest level.

Steve: Yep, sure... and just finally Andrew, are there any up-and-coming basketballers that you are particularly excited about? Other than your kids, of course!

Andrew: Haha, yeah, of course. There's a lot actually. Last year our under 18 national team won the silver medal at the world championships and I think that's indicative of some of the young talent that we've got coming through the ranks and, in fact, a couple of my former teammates have got sons that look like being bonafied superstars. Ben Simmons is the son of Dave Simmons, a teammate of mine who I played throughout the 90's with and his son is only 16-17, but he looks like a really strong prospect. Another one is, Dante Exum who is the son of Cecil Exum, who played here in Australia for a number of teams; he played one season with the Melbourne Tigers as well, and his son is highly regarded on the radar of many NBA teams as well. Although he's still only very young, he's been recognised as NBA talent. Another one is Jack Purchase, the son of Nigel Purchase, another former teammate of mine; he's 17 and was on that junior team that won the silver medal last year at the world junior championships. He's a 6'8 guy that can shoot. He's got a very bright future. Another one actually, Dane Pitto, another former teammate of mine, his son has just signed on to go to the university of St Mary's in the United States. So there's a lot of really good talent, them along with many others, bur I probably know more about those because they are sons of former teammates of mine that I kept an eye on.

Steve: Yeh, sure, fantastic. Well, thanks very much for your time Andrew, I really appreciate it and I hope everything works out for your kids and I'm excited to watch them play.

Andrew: No worries, Good on ya!

Posted in Interview By Calibre Fitness

Steve: This is Steve from Calibre Fitness talking with Australian soccer up-and-comer, Sam Gallagher. How's it going Sam?

Sam: Good thanks mate

Steve: That's good. Sam, what is your typical daily routine?

Sam: Well, when I was full-time training with Melbourne Victory, a normal day would be getting up around 7:30am to be at training at about 8 o'clock. We'd do pre-training gym stuff, all immobilising exercises to get us loosened up for training, then a short gym routine from 8:30-9:30, get screened by all the physios and docs before we head out to training. Then it's a pretty intense, minimum 70 minute session in the morning from about 10. We come back in and have lunch, go to the ice baths and do a bit of recovery in the pool. Go out to lunch for about an hour or so and have a bit of a break, a few of the boys would get massages or treatment from the physio if they needed it. Then we'd head into the gym for an afternoon session from about 2pm onwards, generally either a strength or cardio related exercise for an hour to an hour and a half.

Steve: That's a pretty full-on day!

Sam: Yeh, That's a double session day, but we'd have that maybe 2-3 times a week and then leading into the games we'd just have a morning session then recovery in the afternoon.

Steve: Yep, sure. How do your training sessions differ during the season to off-season?

Sam: So, pre-season for us is the toughest time. That's when we're coming off our off-season and trying to get fit for the season. So that was really a tough period that we had. Every Tuesday we'd have a conditioning session and we always had to give RPE's which is rating the perceived exertion of a session, so it was about a 9 or a 10 every Tuesday and every Saturday we'd also do a conditioning session or a game. Throughout the week we'd do a lot of stuff in the gym and out in the park at a quite high intensity throughout the pre-season. Then as we come into the season it's all about tapering it to try to handle the game loads, depending how many times we play, whether it's once a week or three games over a two week period, so that's just keeping us fit. So throughout the season this year with Melbourne Victory we still trained quite hard on a Tuesday to try to emulate the impact of an overseas team where you play two games a week. Then as we wind down towards the end of the season it's really all just about tapering off and giving everyone some rest and recovery time before we have to start again and slowly build back into it in pre-season.

Steve: Yep, sure. Is there any specific strength training you do for soccer?

Sam: Yeh, we actually do quite a lot of stuff in the gym. When we first got in there this season we each got individual programs depending on individual specific needs, so positions that we played or role that we had in the team. As a defender, me and some of the other boys had programs quite similar to each other, so we'd do our sessions together and do a lot of power exercises for strength, then just some exercises for pace and muscle loading so we'd be able to get through the sessions and the games looking after ourselves and some of the other smaller players who needed to be fast and agile would do exercises relating to that, like ladder work or fast exercises with less weight because they didn't really need to bulk up. So that's pretty much what we did throughout the year, in pre-season we did a lot of cardio in the gym or repeated sprints or repeated exercises, an example would be maybe a circuit of 10 chin-ups, 10 pull-ups, 10 squats or 10 bar pull-ups on the ground, do 3 sets of that then go onto another exercise. So it differed throughout the year, during the season it's probably just a bit more about looking after your muscles and not going crazy in the gym, but in the pre-season it was quite intense.

Steve: Absolutely. Obviously diet and nutrition is an important part of any athlete's daily routine. How is your diet and how important do you see it for yourself?

Sam: Yeh, I think it's very important. Each club that I've played at, they've really focussed on diet and nutrition, getting various people in to speak to us about what we should be eating and what we should be avoiding. But, I think it's just about what feels right. After playing for a while you figure out what works best for you. It's good that we have lunch at training all together as a team after the sessions in the morning so we're all eating the right food and stuff. Hydration is extremely important as any athlete would know so we make sure we stay right on top of that. A lot of the other players take vitamins and things. Each player's individual though, so I generally just like to drink a lot of Gatorade, drink a lot of water and get a lot of hydrolytes throughout the week. Then I just try to eat foods that work with my stomach, like I've figured out that I can't really have any milk on the morning of a training because it just doesn't sit right, so I'll generally just have toast with eggs. But other players are completely different. That's something I think is really important, you can't just sit down and tell a whole footballing team or even an individual what they need to eat, they need to figure it out by themselves. Of course, you can't just eat whatever you want, but what works for one person isn't necessarily going to work for someone else.

Steve: Yep, sure. Could you tell us a bit about your sporting background? Have you always just played soccer or have you played other sports also?

Sam: When I was younger, I pretty much liked every sport. When I was 5-6 coming into school, I liked playing as bit of rugby, cricket and athletics; I did a bit of everything when I was younger. I decided to do soccer over rugby when I was about 6-7, I initially tried to play both at the same time, but it didn't really work so I had to make the choice. Then I've just played soccer ever since, I still did athletics in the summer, but I didn't really like the individual side of it, I liked being part of a team. I just played locally for a long time when I was younger, just enjoyed it and never really thought too much about it. Then when I was about 15, I was lucky enough to make a state team in New South Wales where I'm from and get into the New South Wales Institute of Sport when I was 16 which helped me develop a lot under a good coach when I was there. I had to go back and play for my state team of Manly United for a while, then got into Sydney FCU and then it all just went from there.

Steve: Yeh, awesome. In your soccer career, you've predominantly spent time in the backline, but have also played forward. Which do you prefer?

Sam: Yeh, I think it's a tough one for me because when I grew up, I was always a striker until I was about 15, I played up front and in the midfield. Then as a lot of people say, when you get to about 16-18 you kind of specify a position for yourself and I was lucky enough to get a trial for the state team as a left back which I'd never played before and I just went with it and quite enjoyed it. I thought I did quite well there and my coach said he saw me as a better player when I was facing the whole pitch. I always liked scoring goals and being up front but I've also really liked being a defender and it's suited me more over the years. I still consider myself to be able to play a midfield role, but I think one of my strongest positions is probably centre back at the moment.

Steve: Yep. You had a trial with Birmingham City back a few years ago, how was the experience training abroad?

Sam: Yeh, for me that was a massive turning point. Until that point, I was just playing for my local club, I hadn't signed with an A-league team or done anything major and it was just a bit of a turning point to me to really crack down and be serious about football and to go overseas for 3 or so weeks and trial at Birmingham was just a massive eye-opening experience for me and ever since then, I've just decided that this is what I want to do just from my experiencing the lifestyle over there. Then coming back to Australia and making my way into A-League squads at the moment just makes me realise that soccer over here's at a really high level. The Birmingham experience just really showed me how much I love football and that this is what I want to do as a profession.

Steve: Yeh, sure. You've had a few injury troubles over the past few years, as with most athletes, what's the worst injury you've endured while playing soccer?

Sam: I had to have an operation on my left foot after having a lot of problems with the bone joint in my left big toe, which put me out for about 4 months or so after coming out of the New South Wales Institute of Sport. It came at a pretty bad time, because a lot of players were moving onto the AIS or Junior A-league teams, so it put me back to the State League where I had to do my recovery and then make my way back up from there. A lot of people have had a lot worse injuries than me; I've only really had little knocks along the way apart from that one. I consider myself very lucky that I've never had anything too bad. I've never had any soft tissue injuries either, so I do consider myself very lucky.

Steve: Yeh, absolutely. Do you have any pre-game rituals?

Sam: Just a few little things really. I generally like to do things the same before each game, like clean my boots before I get to the game or if I'm in the change rooms just set all my gear up in a certain way. Just a bit of a routine that makes me feel a bit more comfortable. I always listen to the same sort of music on the way to a game. I generally eat the same sort of meals before a game. So mine aren't too bad, just a few little things like that to make you feel a bit more comfortable. But I've seen a lot of crazy rituals from other players, but I don't have anything like that.

Steve: Yeh, sure. Who do you feel like is the best soccer player you've played with or against?

Sam: Umm, it's a tough one... But probably for me at the moment, Archie Thompson from the Melbourne Victory is definitely one of the best players I've ever been in a squad with or even played against at one point. For his age, he's still just such a phenomenal player and some of the things he can do with the football are just astonishing. But I've been lucky enough to play with quite a good bunch of players throughout my short time playing in the A-League so far. Mark Milligan, I was with him in Melbourne this year and then a couple of the boys back at the Mariners have done really well, but for me I think Archie Thompson is one of the best players I've ever been a part of a team with.

Steve: Yeh, sure. What do you consider as the highlight of your soccer career?

Sam: When I was 18, I was lucky enough to get picked for a World Cup squad for the under 20s. I was quite young, one of the younger players in the squad and I was pretty fortunate to go across there to Egypt and play in the Under 20s World Cup for Australia. I was a squad player at the time and didn't play in the first 2 games, but loved the experience anyway. We weren't doing so well and the coach chucked me in for the last game and I got to play against Brazil. We were actually 1-0 up for a good portion of the game and it was just one of the best experiences I've ever had, to play against a Brazilian National team. There are some players I played against that are now playing in the Champion's league or all over the world stage, so for me, I think that was a massive highlight.

Steve: Yeh, absolutely. We've seen a lot of rule changes in recent years in other sport codes, do you think there are any rules in soccer that need to be updated or changed?

Sam: There's none really I can think of. I think it's all pretty smooth in soccer at the moment. People are always going to whinge about decisions and stuff about calls that don't go their way, that's just part of football. I know there have been problems with AFL rules and NRL rules, but I don't think we really have anything that needs to change. I think it's a lot less complicated than those other sports and everything seems to be sorted out already.

Steve: Yeh, sure... and just finally Sam, who do you think will win the English Premier League this year?

Sam: Look, well... Man U have wrapped it up, but hopefully next year my team, Liverpool, can finally get back up and win the Premier League. We haven't done it for a while and it'd be nice to see them win it!

Steve: Yeh, sure, haha. Well, that's all I've got for you Sam. Thanks very much for your time, I really appreciate it.

Sam: No worries at all, Steve! 

Posted in Interview By Calibre Fitness

Glenn Archer is a former professional Australian Rules Footballer that played his entire career with the North Melbourne Football Club. Glenn had a reputation as one of the most courageous players ever to play the game signified by the AFLPA awarding him the Robert Rose Award for Most Courageous Player six times in nine years between 1998 and 2006, the most of any player in the award's history. In recognition as one of the best players in the AFL, Archer achieved All-Australian selection three times and also represented Victoria in the State of Origin.

A fearless defender who intimidated opponents and inspired teammates, Glenn was a vital member of the Kangaroos AFL premiership sides in 1996 and 1999. His Norm Smith medal-winning performance in the 1996 Grand Final, where he had the unenviable task of standing in front of Sydney full-forward Tony Lockett, sums up his career. Arch plays brave, uncompromising football, often whilst injured and is constantly willing to sacrifice his game for the betterment of his team.

Archer is one of the Kangaroos’ greatest players, a dual-premiership and Norm Smith Medallist, he holds the second most games record for the Kangaroos’, is a member of the Kangaroos Team of the Century and is widely recognised with the title the "Shinboner of the Century"‘having embodied the Shinboner spirit throughout his career.

A tireless worker, Glenn is recognized not only for his on-field brilliance, but also for a throng of selfless charity-based events to which he has given his time. A true legend of the game, Arch’s off-field endeavours, combined with his unquestionable playing record, re-affirms all that is great about Australian Rules Football.

 Steve: I recently read that you accidentally threw out your two premiership medals, Madden medal and Norm Smith Medal last year! Have you been able to retrieve them yet?

Glenn: No, unfortunately not, it was a bit of a mistake. I gave them to my daughter for her show-and-tell at school, she had some sort of a presentation and she didn’t put them back in the office, so I was cleaning out her bag one day and poured everything in the bin and the medals were in there. So I sent out the APB through the media hoping that the old needle in the haystack would appear. But it hasn’t appeared as yet.

 Steve: Oh, that’s a shame. What have you been doing with yourself since retiring from the AFL, Glenn?

Glenn: I’ve got a couple of businesses. I’ve got a Sports Management business called Stride Sports Management, where we basically manage a chunk of AFL Players, there’s 110 AFL players we look after along with some netballers, about 8 netballers on our books as well. So that’s been going for about 8 years, I actually started that when I was still playing. Also, I started another business called Kode Entertainment Group, which I started about 4 years ago with Leigh Colbert, so we concentrate a lot on different types of corporate hospitality. Our core business is overseas sporting tours; we travel to all the big sporting events around the world; US Masters, Superbowl, Monaco Grand Prix, The Ashes, World Cup, the Olympics... All that. We do it at a real premium end; all our tours incorporate special guests. We had dinner with Mark Webber before the Monaco Grand Prix, a game of golf with Greg Norman in Miami before the US Masters, so just try to offer those real ‘money can’t buy’ experiences.

Steve: Wow, sounds fantastic! You were an electrician before you started playing footy, was it a bit touch and go in the early years as to whether you’d actually be able to make a career out of football?

Glenn: Oh, absolutely. I was a bit of a late bloomer in footy, I played footy all my life since I was 5 years old, but I was never at an elite level as a junior, I was one of the better players, but nobody really spoke to me until I was about 17. I got asked to go down to North Melbourne to train in the Under 19s. I lasted about 3 weeks there, and then went back to Noble Park. Then the following year, I got asked to come back and play a game in the Under 19s, I played one game and it went okay, so I figured I’d stick this out for a little bit longer and then 17 years later I was still there. North Melbourne were the only club that ever spoke to me.

Steve: Fantastic. In your early years when you were not being paid a very high salary as most other footballers at North Melbourne, Sydney offered you a massive deal over 3 years and you turned it down to be loyal to your club. How hard was that decision to make?

Glenn: It wasn’t overly hard. I think I was on about $5,000 at the time at North Melbourne and Sydney offered me $450,000 over 3 years. It opened my eyes to the fact that I probably wasn’t being paid market value. But I’ve always been a big believer that you get paid well once you get some runs on the board and that’s what happened at North. I stuck around and once I put some runs on the board, I got paid well. At the end of the day, it was probably the best decision I made, because it was at that stage of North development where we started to have success and played in Grand Finals and won Grand Finals, so yeh I was lucky I didn’t chase the money.

Steve: Yep, sure. How did you used to prepare for games? Did you have a pre-game ritual?

Glenn: Yeh, I was fairly superstitious. I always had the same meal before every game, which was just one of your basic pastas. Where I live in Warrandyte, I have my house then up the back of my property I’ve got a pool house. So my general pre-game ritual would be to have my pasta with the kids and the wife, I’d have a little bag packed with plenty of water and Gatorade, I’d head up the back the night before and watch a movie or read a book, go through about 3 litres of fluid then come down in the morning, have a shower and go to the game. One of my rituals as well is that I’d usually spend about 15 minutes in my office before I actually left the house. I was big on visualisation so I spent 15 minutes just closing my eyes and visualising what I wanted to get out of that game, I’d write down 3 goals for myself and then head off to the game.

Steve: Sure. You have played on a lot of AFL superstars, who do you regard as the toughest opponent you played on in your career?

Glenn: Oh, well... There were a number of them. But, if I had to choose one, I’d probably say Tony Modra. I played on Tony at the height of his powers in the early-mid 90s and he was just an amazing player. Particularly when you were playing at AAMI stadium and they packed it out. Whenever he went near the ball the crowd would absolutely erupt. He had really strong hands, a great leap, great kick, great lead. He really was the quintessential full forward so he was really hard to stop.

Steve: Yeh, sure. I’m sure you’ve suffered many injuries through football; what has been the worst injury you’ve endured?

Glenn: I was pretty lucky. I never really had many injuries or ankle problems or anything. The worst was probably when I broke my hand fairly severely in 2004. One of the bones in my hand sort of disintegrated, so that kept me out for about 8 weeks and they had to put plates and screws everything to keep it in place. Even today, I can’t make a fist and it’s a little bit numb because I had all the intrinsic muscles damaged, I got carpal tunnel syndrome and all this sort of stuff. But, I was playing for 17 years, so if that’s the worst thing I came away with; I think I was pretty lucky.

Steve: Yeh, absolutely. Are you still involved with the North Melbourne Football club?

Glenn: Ah, not in an official capacity. It’s hard these days with 4 kids and 3 businesses. I help out as much as I can, they’ll often ring and ask me to do the odd sponsors function and I do as much as I can. But yeh, I’m not involved in any official capacity.

Steve: How are your kids at footy? Any chance to follow in their father’s footsteps?

Glenn: Ah, I’ve got 3 girls and just the one boy. The one boy, Jackson, is 10 years old and, yeh, he goes alright. He loves it, he’s really passionate about the game and I think that anyone that’s obsessed and passionate about any sport, they generally go okay. I’m coaching him this year for the first time, so that’ll be interesting. But, yeh... He goes okay.

Steve: Yeh, fantastic. Do you still manage to get some fitness training in these days?

Glenn: Yeh, I do. I do probably about 4 sessions a week. A combination of gym and running. I’ve got a running track near me which is like a 7km track, so I try to do that as much as I can. I’ve got into a good habit I suppose, but if I don’t train, I feel like crap, so as soon as I go through a busy period and I don’t get a chance to train, I start to feel tired and lethargic, so I force myself to get those sessions in. I also try to sign up for things, like a half marathon every now and then. I do the Mark Webber challenge every December over in Tassie which is a big adventure race and I’ve found once you sign up for something, it forces you to train as well.

Steve: Yeh, absolutely. It gives you something to work towards. What are your views on the modern game and how it’s changing? Being such a rough and tough player, do you feel like the game’s getting too soft?

Glenn: Nah, I don’t think it’s soft. But, i guess probably the one negative is that it can be confusing. The real problem with the AFL is that they’re constantly changing rules, introducing new rules or changing the interpretation of existing rules, so the players have become confused. You actually see it in games now, particularly with this new rule that if you dive on the ball and your head actually hits someone in the leg, you get a free kick against you which I actually find astounding because that’s part of the game we’ve always admired, guys that throw their bodies on the ball. So you actually see guys a little bit hesitant now when the ball’s on the ground that they’re not sure what to do. They’re thinking, ‘well, I can’t slide in with my feet... But I can’t go in with my head’, then that creates a bit of confusion and it’s just a really bad rule. I’m glad they change rules, because certain things look a bit ugly, but they’ve actually painted themselves into a corner with these rules because it’s making it really ugly for a footy-lover to watch, because they see guys pull up and think about what they’re going to do and as an old-school footballer, you look at that and it looks terrible.

Steve: Yeh, absolutely. You have won a lot of big football accolades, but what do you consider as the highlight of your football career?

Glenn: Oh, definitely the premierships. We played in ’96 and then won in ’99. I think that anyone that starts playing the game at any level, the ultimate goal is always to play in a premiership at AFL level. So to actually achieve that is something that sits far and above any other award you can win. To do it with 21 of your close mates and to actually get to that final siren and be in front, it’s an amazing feeling.

Steve: Yeh, I’m sure. Just finally Glenn, who do you regard as the best player you played with or against in your 310 AFL game career.

Glenn: Ahh, for me, I think Wayne Carey sits above anyone. I have to be a little bit bias, because I played alongside him 200 times, but yeh, he was absolutely amazing. I always liken him to, in junior football when you’re playing under 14s, there’s always one kid in the league that is bigger, stronger and absolutely tears it apart, Wayne was doing that at AFL level. He was one of those guys that, when the game is in the balance, that’s when he really loved it and he’d turn it on for 5 minutes and kick 3, take 6 strong marks. Also Gary Ablett, he was just purely a freakish footballer, who was right up there as well. But for consistency, Wayne is the one for me.

Steve: Well, that’s all I have for you Glenn. Thanks for your time, I really appreciate it. Good luck with your business interests. I’m pretty excited to hear about your next trip through Kode. I like hearing the stories from my brother-in-law.

Glenn: Yeh, Nick’s coming to Darwin again with us for the Darwin Cup; he definitely enjoys himself, haha.

Steve: Yeh, fantastic.

Posted in Interview By Calibre Fitness

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