I Survived Eight Days in Australia Without Exercise


I’ve been home for a week now since my 12-day marathon travel schedule from Boston to Australia to New York City. As I mentioned in my post “The Reason”, in the weeks leading up to this whirlwind tour of international and national travel, I was nervous for how I was going to defy jet lag, handle being out of my exercise and sleeping routine, stay on track of my nutrition, and be “on” for so long teaching and socializing.

Somehow it all worked out, as things usually do, and I didn’t fall asleep in the middle of teaching I Am Not Afraid To Lift Australia during Day One of the workshop, because it was the middle of the night in the United States at 3 p.m. Australia time. In fact I seemed to adjust to Australia time just fine even though Brisbane, Australia is an entire day (15 hours) ahead of Boston, Massachusetts.


I think it comes down to when you know you have to do something, you set your mindset accordingly to get it done, and then when it’s all over with you can rest. REST is what my body was fighting for this past week after I returned home from all my travels at 11:15 p.m. last Sunday.

Australia was beautiful and balls hot (it hit 100 degrees on a few days), just how I like it. I wish I could have spent more time there but I guess that is a reason to go back.

Compared to the United States, everything is upside-down and backwards. As Piers Kwan, Owner of Queensland Kettlebells said to me at one point, “Well, you ARE technically standing upside down right now 😉 … ”

Australia sort of reminded me of that Episode from Seinfeld the “Bizarro World”. Everything in Australia is similar to the U.S. but slightly different. You really have to experience it for yourself to truly understand.

Bizarro World:

In Australia they drive on the left side of the road and the steering wheel is on the right side of their cars. Many times while riding in the passenger seat of the car I had an “OH SHIT!” moment thinking we were driving on the wrong side of the road and then I remembered I was in Australia.

Yield signs read “Give Way”

Exit signs read “Way Out”

Occupied signs on public bathrooms read “Engaged”

They speak English but they abbreviate everything and add a ‘y’ or “os” to the end of every word so you have no idea what they are talking about, like this:

People kept talking about the “Mozzies” and I finally asked what that was and learned that it meant “Mosquitos”. Which were plentiful and fierce by the way.

When I was at the beach two women told me what sounded like to me, “I like your toes.” And I thought, “They like my toes?? Like my toe polish??” Instead of questioning it I just nodded politely and replied “Thank you!” with a smile. Shortly afterwards Piers explained to me that they were telling me that they liked my “Togs” which meant bathing suit, so they liked my bathing suit.

In addition, I noticed that many men stuff their feet into plastic flip flops that are three sizes too small for them so it looks like they’re either wearing their girlfriend’s flip flops or picked up a pair of young girls’ flip flops at the store.


Or they just go completely barefoot which I saw first hand when we took a ferry ride through the center of Brisbane. There was a man completely barefoot. Not carrying his shoes in his hand or in a bag, just barefoot walking through the city and this was completely normal.

Oh and of course I was able to cuddle with a koala bear…


This moment was pretty much my favorite part of the whole trip and almost made me leave my job as a coach in the U.S. to work at the zoo in Australia as a trainer to the koala bears.

I thoroughly enjoyed visiting Australia and experiencing the small part of the country and its culture that I was able to experience. While I was there I was not too concerned with trying to stay in my regular exercise and eating routine. Stress is stress and travel and a drastic time zone change was enough stress on my body so I didn’t need to add to that with additional stress from exercise. My main concern was to get on a good sleep schedule and to get enough sleep to reduce the effects of jet lag and to make the best choices I could make when it came to nutrition; but at the same time allow myself to experience and enjoy the food whether it was the best choice or not.

While I was in Australia I did not exercise at all. My days were full and I was active, teaching a workshop for two days, and then touring around when I was not working, but I did not engage in any structured exercise or lifting. In addition, although most of the time I made smart choices for most meals, I also allowed myself to indulge in bread, quite a bit of it actually, ice cream, tams tams, lamingtons, bacon, cheese, and beer. This indulgence became a bit of a contest while I was there in that Piers joked that his goal while I was there was to get me to lose my abs. On day eight of my travels this is what my abs looked like:


Apparently it was going to take a little bit longer than eight days, and little more indulgence, for me to undo the results of my regular strength training and clean eating routine.

Following a consistent exercise routine that is strength training, with the goal of lifting heavy weights, 85-90% of the time and engaging in non traditional cardiovascular conditioning (e.g. kettlebell swings and snatches) 10-15% of the time is the reason why I can forgo exercise for eight days and not worry too much about my diet and still look the same in a bathing suit on day eight as I would have looked in the bathing suit on day one.

Remember Xena can eat cake!

“Absolute strength is the glass.  Everything else is the liquid inside the glass.  The bigger the glass, the more of everything else you can do.” ~Dan John, Intervention

The more of everything else you can do, including forgoing exercise for eight days and eating Aussie treats!

Read more in this Facebook post…

In fact, beyond the aesthetics, when I got back to lifting I noticed that I had not lost any strength and the only thing that suffered a bit was my capacity for conditioning. I found that I was a bit more winded than usual. But I know that with a few weeks of regular training that I will get this back in no time.

Eight days away from your regular fitness and nutrition routine will not undo all of your hard work, not in one’s strength nor aesthetically in one’s physical appearance, if you are regularly consistent 80-90% of the time with strength training and clean eating.

If you’d like to learn more about strength training and programming and how to follow these unsexy methods for sexy results along with building a strong mindset for lifting and maintaining healthy habits, then I hope that you will join me for one of my upcoming I Am Not Afraid To Lift Workshops on either April 2, 2016 in Severna Park, Maryland at Dauntless Fitness and Health or at Results Driven Fitness Systems on April 17, 2016 in Monroe-Woodbury, New York.

Lift Australia 2016

Learn more and register for I Am Not Afraid To Lift below…

Learn more about the workshop HERE.

Read and watch testimonials and footage from past workshops HERE.

Register for the workshop HERE under the “Events” tab.

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