Blog Archives

Stuff I Read Last Week

I make a huge effort to read every single day. Whether it’s online or books, Health or Fitness related or self development, I know that becoming the trainer I want to be requires me to continue learning for the rest of my career. I figure Ill share with you some of the posts I’ve read in the last week so you can meet the people I learn from.

First up is Nia Shanks.

Nia is one of the ladies from the Girls Gone Strong movement that has made it their mission to change the way women train. You can check out their page here.

She has written an article on the six female strength training myths that just won’t die. It’s simple, easy to read but gets the point home without complicating it all. Check it out:

Nia Shanks: 6 Female Strength Training Myths That Won’t Die

Next up is Tony Gentilcore. I’ll admit I freaking love his blog. It’s funny, doesn’t take himself too seriously (well at all) and it’s educational. What more could you want? His post was on trainers being walking advertisements for Health and Fitness.

Tony Gentilcore Walking Advertisments

The last one is by Chad Lander who I have not read before but enjoyed this post. He highlights that while Health and Fitness has changed over the years, it doesn’t necessarily mean what works hasn’t.

Chad Lander From 1879 To Today Nothing Has Changed

Enjoy the reads and let me know what you think.



Client Spotlight: Mathilda!

Welcome to my first client focus blog! These will be the chance for me to brag about the people I have been working with and share their successes with you. Hopefully they’ll inspire you as much as they have me.

Without further adieu I present: Mathilda! Mathilda came to me as a one off comp session through the gym I work at. We sat down first to chat about what she was looking for training wise. She had been in two car accidents and was just looking to get some of her strength and mobility back, plus rid herself of the pain she was in. I decided not to do any exercise whatsoever in the first session and instead taught her foam rolling and some mobility drills for her to complete. She immediately felt some relief and tension leave from the foam rolling (seriously if you’re not doing this, start, like right now!) and drills. So we began with one session a week to get her back training. Along with the foam rolling and mobility drills we have now added some strength training and interval work. Slowly but surely her pain has alleviated and her quality of life has improved.

Mathilda is also one of those clients that comes in with a smile on her face and she always cracks me up through her sessions. Getting up at 6am is not a chore for someone like her. Even when I come in and she looks at me with a very serious face and goes ‘We have a problem’. At this point I do freak out a little, has she hurt herself again, have I hurt her?? Uh no, she looks at me and goes ‘I forgot to wear a bra’. Come again? Yep she managed to put a singlet and Tshirt on, but forgot the bra. I laughed so hard I cried and continued to laugh for the entire session, plus give her hassle for the next week about it.

Here’s what she had to say about training with me:

To Whom It May Concern,

Testimonial for Dion Stewert:

My name is Mathilda Straw and I came to train with Dion after I had been involved in a serious car crash and was suffering from chronic back pain. After seeing a physio therapist for a while without results, I was eager to get back into exercising and increasing my strength and fitness in order to get well. After meeting with Dion she advised a training regime in which I would be able to gain back some of the strength I had lost since the accident.

After 1 – 2 sessions, my mobility increased dramatically and my pain and discomfort decreased considerably. It has now been 5(?) weeks and I am well and truly on the road to recovering. I am also beginning to increase my strength, confidence and energy levels and am able to foresee a future involving a much healthier lifestyle, post injury. I not only thoroughly enjoy the sessions and the level of attention Dion gives me during the sessions but find the ongoing support outside of the gym invaluable. As a passionate cooking enthusiast, the information Dion has provided me in regards to nutrition, I believe, is directly linked to my current feelings of increased wellness and control in my quest for leading a healthier lifestyle.

I believe that any changes that are beginning to show in both my mental and physical wellbeing are directly attributed to my ongoing involvement in personal training with Dion. Her support, motivation and confidence in me have and will continue to be a vital part of my training development.



Mathilda Straw

Words like that make me feel so good, it really is great to know that I am making a difference in someone’s life.

Mathilda thank you, I look forward to our future sessions and getting even more results with you!


Celebrating Strength In Every Way

I don’t know whether this is just me noticing it more or whether it’s an actual change in the fitness industry (I would say a combination of the two) but there’s a renewed focus on feats of strength in the gym setting. There’s motivational posters everywhere, feel good quotes every day, pictures to inspire and videos to demonstrate and before you say anything yes I know I post them as well!

Now I know I love these posts, I love seeing people lifting heavy stuff and getting stronger. I celebrate and encourage it! But there are other forms of strength when it comes to health and fitness, other things that need to be acknowledged and celebrated. Things that I think sometime we (yes me included) forget. This is just some reminders to all of us to celebrate everyone’s strength, regardless of what they are.

First of all my Mum. Last December she had surgery on her left shoulder. A ligament was torn, the surgeon shaved off part of shoulder bone and then the shoulder froze after surgery. She spent four weeks in a sling not being able to use that arm at all. Once the sling came off, the rehab was supposed to begin but she couldn’t even lift her arm 10cm from her body and physiotherapy hurt her. The surgeon actually gave her a cortisone injection (side note: I’m not a supporter of these injections, but that is part of the story) so she could commence rehab. Finally she was at least able to do physiotherapy in a pool, with her  first goal being 10 laps of 25m each. I’ve received random texts as she accomplish those laps, at first it was just 3 laps before her arm hurt, then it was 8, then she made that 10, surpassed it and went to 13. Keep in mind this entire process has taken her from January this year until April to do those laps. I saw her two days ago and she can actually raise her arm parallel to her shoulder. This small feat which many of us would take for granted has taken her six months. The strength she has shown is incredible and I’m so proud of her. She still has a long way to go before she regains full use of her arm, but I have no doubt she will get there. For the record when Mum watched the clips of me doing my deadlifts she laughed and said to me her next goal is to mop the floors at home all in one go with no break. Go Mum!

The brother of a very close friend has been overweight since I’ve known him. Obese in fact. He tipped the scales at 200kg and still didn’t have the need to lose weight. Until he realised he couldn’t walk from his front door to his letterbox without taking a break. This is something that I couldn’t even fathom as something I could not do, as would most other people. These little things that you and I do every day were an immense struggle for him. Well I’m pleased to say that as of the last update from my friend he is down 36kgs! He can walk to his letterbox and further, he is doing walks around his local park instead! At his heaviest he was looking at buying a new car because he couldn’t fit his seat belt around him. Now he’s looking at a new car because the options available to fit his smaller frame have increased! This is an amazing show of his strength-it doesn’t matter that it took him a while to realise that he needed to lose weight, what matters is he’s doing it!

To everyone who may read this, strength is not just the ability to lift really heavy things in the gym. Your strength may be joining a gym and starting your health and fitness journey, it could be the slow process of rehabbing an injury to even just move normally again or just admitting that you may need help.

Whatever it is, celebrate it and celebrate the strength of others around you.