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Calibre Fitness Blog

With the warmer weather finally here, many of us like to indulge in an alcoholic beverage here and there. In a recent study, researchers have analysed the effects on how alcohol hinders our recovery.

Because your body is not designed to store alcohol, it tries to expel it as quickly as possible. This interrupts the body's ability to absorb nutrients and burn fat. So as well as slowing down the burning of calories, alcohol gets in the way of the nutritional benefits of the healthy meals you eat.

The study tested physically active participants; following exercise the participants consumed protein, protein & alcohol, or protein & carbohydrates. In an interesting experiment the participants were given the alcoholic drink the 'screwdriver' (orange juice & vodka) every 30 minutes, they had in total 12 standard drinks over the period to mimic the levels of binge drinking reported among sports teams. I think it is pretty safe to say the participants would be fairly hammered at the end of the study. The results showed alcohol impaired protein synthesis by 24% when ingested with optimal nutrition (whey protein).

Therefore if you plan on have a few celebratory drinks this summer after a game or work out, be aware of the limiting effects it may have on your recovery and adaptations.

Posted in Latest News By Calibre Fitness

How bad you want to succeed

November 02, 2013

Posted in Training Videos By Calibre Fitness

From Steve: September 2014

October 27, 2013

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

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has again become a popular trend in the fitness industry, although we have to wonder whether it actually ever left?

While it's come back into the spotlight from books such as Fast Exercise, by the BBC's Dr Michael Mosley, leading fitness experts have touted the benefits of HIIT for the past 20 years, and popular programs including Body For Life have utilised the concept of hard, short periods of exercise to improve cardiovascular health and increase metabolic rate for up to 24 hours afterwards.

It was originally developed by athletic coaches to train runners, but it has crossed over to the fitness industry due to its fat-burning benefits confirmed many times over in scientific studies.

In fact, one of the first studies to discover that HIIT was more effective for fat loss was done in 1994 study by researchers at Laval University (Ste-Foy, Quebec, Canada). They reported that young men and women who followed a 15-week HIIT program lost significantly more body fat than those following a 20-week continuous steady-state endurance program. This, despite the fact that the steady-state program burned about 15,000 calories more than the HIIT program.

The Laval University study that found a decrease in body fat with HIIT also discovered that the HIIT subjects' muscle fibres had significantly higher markers for fat oxidation (fat burning) than those in the continuous steady-state exercise group.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, a mere two weeks of HIIT training can improve aerobic capacity as much as six to eight weeks of endurance training.

Another wonderful benefit of interval training is that unlike endurance training, which often leads to muscle loss, HIIT training allows you to retain that hard-earned muscle.

And – to top it all off – it stimulates the production of human growth hormone in the body, which slows down the ageing process.

For those of you who aren't familiar with HIIT, it involves intervals of high-intensity exercise (such as running at 90% of your max heart rate) followed by low intensity (walking at a moderate pace) or complete rest. This is in sharp contrast to the typical steady-state cardio most people do at a moderate intensity, such as walking on a treadmill at 60–70% of their max heart rate.

HIIT sessions can go for as little as 5 minutes, incorporating bouts of 15 – 60 second intervals of intensity.

Posted in Latest News By Calibre Fitness

New research indicates that regular physical exercise is just as effective as prescription medications in treating chronic diseases - and without all of the associated side effects of drugs.

According to a study published recently in the British Medical Journal, scientists from the London School of Economics, Harvard Medical School and Stanford University School of Medicine wanted to see if the benefits of exercise and drugs from past clinical trials were comparable, in a bid to see if they could extend a person's life.

"What we have is a body of research that looks at benefits of exercise alone and then a separate body of research that looks at benefits of drugs on their own," lead researcher Huseyin Naci, a researcher at the London School of Economics and a pharmaceutical policy research fellow at the Harvard Medical School, said.

"There's never been a study that compares these two together, so that's the rationale for this research."

Four areas of health where the evidence suggests or has shown that exercise can have some lifesaving benefits were studied by Naci's team. Those areas were secondary prevention of heart disease, prevention of diabetes, stroke rehabilitation and treatment of heart failure.

Researchers compiled a list of the different classes of drugs people commonly take to manage these conditions, and ultimately came up with 305 randomised clinical trials to analyse. The study involved 339,274 people, 15,000 of whom received physical intervention for their health conditions while the rest were included in drug trials.

Overall, the researchers saw no significant difference between exercise and drug intervention for the secondary prevention of heart disease and the prevention of diabetes. And in the case of stroke patients, exercise was found to be more effective than drug treatment at extending a person's mortality.

Given their findings, Naci argued that the study's results should not dissuade heart disease and diabetes patients from changing their current treatments.

"One thing that is very much not a takeaway is that patients should stop taking their medications without consulting with their doctors," Naci said. "However, doctors do need to have really candid conversations with patients about the lifesaving benefits of exercise."

Combination therapies utilising both diet and exercise may not be the answer either. A recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that statins, commonly prescribed cholesterol lowering medications, may actually block some of the health benefits seen from exercise.

Naci said that patients instead deserve a better understanding of which treatment option is best and that more clinical research is needed to address this knowledge gap.

"We need a lot more research to really tease out the lifesaving benefits from exercise," Naci said, "as well as which exercise works best for different types of individuals."

Posted in Latest News By Calibre Fitness

If your goal is to lose weight and maintain optimal health and fitness, the quality of your exercise and diet regimen matters more than the quantity, according to a new study.

In a paper published by The Journal of Applied Physiology, exercise scientist Paul Arciero from Skidmore College in New York, and several colleagues report the clear benefits of a multi-dimensional exercise regimen that includes resistance exercise, interval sprint exercise, stretching (including yoga or pilates), and endurance exercise. Add moderate amounts of protein regularly throughout your day, and you'll be well on your way toward decreasing total and abdominal fat, increasing lean body mass, and achieving optimal levels for blood pressure, blood glucose, and insulin.

Arciero enlisted 36 female and 21 male volunteers between the ages of 35 and 57 who could clearly be described as out of shape. They exercised less than 60 minutes per week, had done no resistance training within the last ten years, and could be described as obese or overweight, with an average body mass index of 28.6 and average body fat percentage of 36.6.

Dividing his subjects randomly into three groups, Arciero conducted a 16-week trial in which all subjects consumed the same amount of whey protein - 60 grams daily - but exercised differently. One group was sedentary, another was called on to perform intense resistance training four times per week, and the third followed a multidimensional regimen that included resistance exercise, interval sprint exercise, stretching led by a yoga instructor, and endurance exercise.

When the trial ended, Arciero found that those who had followed the multidimensional regimen showed the greatest health improvements, including the greatest reductions in body weight, total and abdominal fat mass, waist circumference, and blood glucose. In addition, this group experienced the greatest increase in percentage of lean body mass.

Interestingly, all groups showed improvements, even those who maintained a sedentary lifestyle during the period and simply ate the assigned daily regimen of 60 grams of whey protein. That finding supports an earlier study by Arciero's team that found increasing the amount of protein in one's diet to as much as 35 percent will tend to decrease total and abdominal fat.

Overall, the study supports a rethinking of current assumptions about exercise, which Arciero believes place too much focus on the quantity of exercise people do rather than the quality of that exercise.

To make the regimen easy for the public to remember, Arciero has coined the acronym, "PRISE." The "P" stands for protein, the "R" stands for "resistance," the "I" stands for "interval," the "S" stands for stretching, and the "E" stands for endurance.

For Arciero, this study was the culmination of research he has conducted and published over the last 20 years in an attempt to identify the most effective lifestyle strategies to improve health and physical performance. When the time came to capture the meaning of it all, the name "PRISE" jumped out at him.

"After all, it's about 'keeping your 'eye on the PRISE' in order to achieve optimal health," he says.

Posted in Latest News By Calibre Fitness

Apple has just launched a new health platform called HealthKit, designed to bring together all of its users' health and fitness metrics into the one app.

There are already more than 40,000 health apps and devices monitoring everything from activity levels and sleep quality to weight control. Apple's new Health application will pull in data from third-party apps and consolidate them into one health profile.

The initiative works with companies like Nike to bring all your health information into one place and enables customisation of the stats you want tracked and how you want it presented.

Beyond exercise applications, HealthKit is working with health care providers to provide up-to-date information on patient vitals in real time so that users can share health information with their doctors.

The new HealthKit, which will be released in September, could potentially interact with wearable devices like Apple's much-anticipated iWatch.

Posted in Latest News By Calibre Fitness
Posted in Training Videos 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

There are a lot of contributing factors to being a strong arm wrestler; technique, arm length, muscle density, hand grip size, wrist endurance just to name a few! Daniel Racoveanu (Bodybuilder) challenges Ion Oncescu (Arm-wrestler) to an arm wrestle. Who's going to take the crown?.

Posted in Latest News By Calibre Fitness

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