Personal Training Success Story: Zoe

Client: Zoe
Goal: Increase strength and stamina to re-join martial arts


What were your fitness & health goals & why?

My fitness health and goals were to increase my strength and stamina enough so that I could rejoin a martial arts (which I had done during my high school years) and keep up in the classes.

How do you feel training with a PT helped you?

I wasn’t initially going to have a personal trainer, as I didn’t want to “get buff” or lose a drastic amount of weight, and I still wanted to be flexible enough to go the moves fluently. I got a free trial session and consultation through a friend of mine that was going to the gym and had a personal trainer, and thought I might as well ask and see. Then I met Patricia, who was the exact perfect trainer for what I was looking for.

She was a national Karate champion and knew how to train people with martial arts as the focus, and assured me that my training sessions would revolve around improving my technique. I had many fun sparing sessions with Patty 🙂

What do you feel was the most important factor in helping you accomplish your goals?

The most important factor was the constant support from Patty reminding me to keep up my weekly cardio, and her watching and correcting my technique.

What challenged you the most and was your biggest roadblock to overcome and achieve your goals?

The biggest challenge was juggling my work life and my time for training.

What are some tips you can give other people who want to achieve their health & fitness goals?

Keep at it and don’t give up, find the balance between work and health goals, you will feel a lot more relaxed. Listen to your trainer haha! they know what they are talking about!

What are your future fitness plans & new goals?

I want to continue to improve my Taekwondo, compete in some tournaments and become quicker during sparing matches.

Zoe’s Testimonial

success-story-zoe-certificatePatricia was a really good trainer for me. I lived in the suburbs and at Vision Personal Training (where Patty was located was in the city on Clarence St), she would help me out by suggesting workouts and things that I could do near my house. Once when it was raining she texted me a workout routine that I could do in the space of my living room! She would give me tips on how I could practice my technique at home, and take videos of my movements so I could see how my form was coming along, and would make sure I kept up the practice by constantly checking on my progress.

Patty was a well of wisdom when it came to a healthy eating plan that focused on my training and health (that also had some quick meals for when I come home late). She showed me the importance of protein to help with muscle recovery, and helped me balance the right levels I needed, dispelling many of the myths about weights and protein – you won’t turn into an over abundant muscle person, just because you do some weights and have a protein focused diet! Lean is the way to go! I feel so much healthier, happier and confident. 

Thanks Patty! 🙂

I would like to thank Zoe for being such an amazing client! She inspired me to finally get back in to my training again. I’m working hard towards my next goal of getting  a black belt!


By |June 1st, 2014|Challenges|0 Comments

The final push: Completing my first fitness model competition

The final push: Completing my first fitness model competition

My 12 weeks prep wasn’t all roses, sprinkles and ice-cream (well definitely not ice-cream!!).

The only thing that I know it’s that I put in the effort, and paid the price of being a beginner… but every step was so worth it. I have grown and learned so much on both a personal and professional level.

Focus and Preparation

With just a few weeks to go until my comp it was getting mentally tough for me. Eating such a restrictive diet can have an impact on your emotional well being – it’s amazing realising how much carbohydrates can affect your energy and state of mind!

I had a few days where I was really struggling to keep to my plan. I decided to focus and really make the final leg of my journey focused on my happiness to help me stay relaxed.

I spent a weekend morning working on what I needed to focus on:

  • No more cheat meals
  • Do 2 Light/Moderate and 2 Interval Cardio sessions
  • Stick to my weights program
  • Smile!
  • Eat 6 meals a day
  • Prepare my meals every week!
  • Think positive
  • Have fun! 🙂
  • Have all my vitamins

Screenshot 2014-04-28 21.14.47

Nutrition & Supplements

Monday to Sunday I was eating 6 meals a day. Most of my meals had a 100g portion of lean meat (usually Chicken) and 1 cup of vegetables. Because my meal plan was cutting out some food groups, to be safe I had some additional supplements including a multi, fish oil, a probiotic, vitamin D and magnesium.


My training program was very strict, I’d workout a different muscle group every day and at the end of the week I was doing whole body.

Every day I wake up around 4:30am to do my cardio before my first client. Low-medium intensity for about 40 minutes and HIIT 3 times a week. On top of this, whenever my clients where keen I’d go for a run outside for them which was really helpful to get some extra cardio in.

Every Saturday morning I’d go to the gym with my friend Andrew, also getting ready to compete, we would usually do full body workout for 1 or 2 hrs. Sunday was a fun day, Andrew and I would go to a park or somewhere away of the city to do fun cardio, we tried to keep it interesting for both of us, considering that we don’t really enjoy cardio at all ajjajaj!  In the afternoon we used to get together with a big team for posing classes, usually around 15 people, all getting ready for the competition. The team had a big impact on my journey. It was really helpful having a bunch of girls and guys going through the same experience, we were all hungry and anxious, a bit tired but that wasn’t important we were so focused on our goals that nothing would get in our way 😀

Posing & Presentation

I got a good understanding of what to expect from the comp when I went along to Dana Carmont’s fitness model seminar. She ended up organising my bikini too which was a bonus 🙂

I ended up finding the support of Mikes Team which really helped me with my posing and comp preparation and this is where I refined my poses. I also made really good friends there. Up until then I hadn’t really met any of the other girls competing so it was good to see what I was going to be up against.

The Big Day

The morning

On the morning of my comp, my friend who came along to help me with the comp had the uncomfortable role of helping me with my tan – lucky I trusted her! By the time I was done I was looking more Cuban than Chilean! Up at 4.30am it took an hour to get ready and on my way to have my make up done with Jessica who was doing makeup for some of the other girls in Mike’s Team.

Screenshot 2014-04-28 21.16.13
Here’s my before shot where I’m eating breakfast (yes, that’s breakfast!)
Screenshot 2014-04-28 21.16.20

And after!

Once my makeup was done I raced back to get to the comp registration. On the way I felt so lucky that I was able to skype my parents one last time before the comp. They wished me luck and gave me the last bit of confidence I needed.

After I registered and arrived it was time for my hair to be done! At the same time I was making some last moment changes to make sure the music for my routine was just right.

Screenshot 2014-04-28 21.16.33

And finally – on-stage!

When people asked me throughout my preparation for the competition what motivated me I told them that it was visualising being on stage and the thrill of being in that moment that kept me focused. I had a big day ahead of me so it was really important that I keep this in my mind to make it to the end of it.


I first went on stage around 9am to finally see if all the posing practice was going to work! I was so nervous I had to have a shot of vodka before going out on stage to help me relax jajaja! (I wasn’t the only one)

Screenshot 2014-04-28 21.16.43

My Performance

I decided to do a salsa dance to the song Tu Cariñito – Puerto Rican Power which I knew really well which helped me to be comfortable and myself on stage doing what I love – dancing!


I didn’t end up getting a place this time but I am honestly so happy with the results I achieved. I had already won personally before I had gone on stage and regardless of the outcome of the judging.

What I gained through this experience

Training for this competition was an incredible test of my discipline. There were so many temptations along the way where I could have eaten meals that weren’t on my plan, but by largely sticking to what I had to do for my preparation, I was able to get the result that I had set out to achieve in my mind.

So – what next?

Well I have to admit, the adrenalin of being on-stage really made me want to do it again! After a week or so off when the comp finished I got back in to my rhythm of preparation for my next comp which was on the 12th October – the Australian Nationals Oxygen’s Fitness & Model Championships

By |April 28th, 2014|Challenges|2 Comments

Healthy Recipe: Patty’s Low Carb Beef Meat loaf

My clients often think that eating healthy means eating things that aren’t tasty. This meat loaf recipe proves this theory wrong – it’s a must try for anyone wanting a low carb tasty meal.

Before we get in to the recipe I just wanted to clarify one thing…

We’re not talking about this meat loaf…

we’re talking about this meat loaf!

My clients know that I LOVE cooking. This recipe is going to be the first on my blog and I hope that you enjoy trying it.

Ingredients (a.k.a. shopping list!)

Serves 7 people

  • 1kg extra lean beef mince
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 3 medium carrots (or 1.5 large carrots), grated
  • 1 zucchini (medium), coarsely grated
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (wholegrain)
  • 7 tablespoons of organic pasta sauce
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon of mixed Italian herbs
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • Serve with mixed salad leaves or steamed vegetables

Cooking Method

  • Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees celcius and lightly grease a meat loaf pan.
  • Get a mixing bowl then add the following ingredients: extra lean mince, carrot, zucchini, oats, organic pasta sauce, garlic, herbs – as well as some salt and pepper. Combine all the ingredients to make sure that there is an even mix throughout.
  • Put the mixed ingredients in to the meat loaf pan using your hands and pack it to the edges.
  • Once the oven has been pre-heated, place the meat loaf tray in the oven for 1 hour (or until you see the meat loaf shrinking away from the edge of the meat loaf tin)
  • Remove the meat loaf from the oven and tip out any excess liquid from the bottom of the pan. Leave it to sit on the kitchen bench for 10 mins.
  • Get your kitchen scales out and slice the meat loaf to make sure that you create 7 equal serves of the meat loaf. If you’re sharing the meat loaf with your partner (it’s tough to share this one, it tastes so good!!) – females should have a smaller serve (around 120g) and for you boys around 150g.
  • Place the sliced meat loaf in to containers for your lunch with some salad or veggies or on to a dinner plate if you’re ready to eat it straight away.
  • If you’ve made extra you can place them in a container, individually wrapped in foil and pop the container in to the freezer so it can last throughout the week for you.

Calories & Macronutrients


Modifications to the recipe (choose your own adventure!)

  • Add chilli for a metabolic kick
  • Turn the meat loaf in to meat balls. Makes for a quick and easy breakfast if you’re willing to try the Meat and Nut breakfast


I hope you liked the recipe – if you have any tips on how I could improve it or any feedback or pictures, please send them to me! I’d love to hear from you 🙂


By |January 16th, 2014|Nutrition|0 Comments

Working Abroad – How I made my workplace feel like home

In this blog post I will share with you a little bit about how I’ve helped make working away from home easier for me


Living abroad isn’t easy. Unlike most people, you don’t have the luxury of being able to pick up the phone to speak to your family at any time of the day, or dropping in for lunch on a weekend. Instead my time with my family is condensed down to pre-planned skype calls where I wish they were closer to me and that I could hug them through the computer screen. My parents and family have been so supportive of me moving here to Australia and we do our best to stay connected but it’s still not the same and it means that I’ve had to adapt to make living here in Australia as close to feeling like home as it can get. I miss moments like cooking pastries with my cousins, or being around to be supportive of my family when they are hurt (my dad hurt his hand a few weeks ago and I wish I was there with him!)

baking-apple-pieI feel so fortunate to have the job I do – the environment is so fantastic and the people I work with in a small team and my clients are fantastic. I have a regular routine of seeing my colleagues every weekday and the very nature of my job in being a personal trainer means I build a rhythm of seeing my clients at the same times each week so I really get to know them and we share each others lives and happenings together each week.

Having lived in Australia now since 2009 I have come to the realisation that my colleagues and my clients are actually starting to feel like my family. I think having the distance and not being able to have the regular contact I was used to growing up, meant that here in Australia I’ve tried my best to fill that gap through building relationships with my team at work and my clients.

Here are 5 things I would like to share with you around how I’ve made my workplace feel more like home

  1. Socialise: I try my best to organise events that allow me and my team and also for my clients to interact with each other and get to know each other better.Whether it be encouraging clients to attend the City 2 Surf or the upcoming Glow Run – I always try to find opportunities for us to have fun and hang out together; often taking my clients out of their comfort zone jajaja! 😉
  2. Invite your work colleagues and clients in to your home: by having my work colleagues and clients visit me at my own home I have been able to create a closer bond with them. Whether it be watching a movie, playing a pool or going to the nearby coffee shop, I find that by doing this my clients and team can feel like they have a stronger connection with me (and I also do with them). I live with very close friends from Chile here in Sydney so it really does feel like I’m introducing them to my family when they come over my place.
  3. Share your interests: with so many clients I make an effort to know what they are interested in and also share my own hobbies. Doing this has led to so many fun times together. One example of this is that I LOVE DANCING! 🙂 I really miss being back home and spending so many nights with my friends dancing. So now, I have been dragging my work mates and clients along to salsa clubs and it’s really great because we get to share a new experience together.
  4. Ask for advice: just like any family you should be able to go them for advice. Not being able to have those small day to day conversations with my family back home has meant that I now have these conversations with colleagues and clients. I really appreciate this a lot as I work a long day at the gym (sometimes 6am to 8pm) so if I have something on my mind for that entire day it can really throw me off and I want to make sure I am being the best possible trainer for my clients. Talking about what’s on my mind helps keep me relaxed and happy – and also helps build a trust between me, my team, and my clients (by the way – why am I still calling everyone ‘team’ and ‘clients’ – they are my friends and family!!!)
  5. Communicate your thoughts: what you then need to realise is that some of your colleagues and clients will become close friends and feel like family. Communication is so important and honesty around your feelings will make sure people know exactly what is on your mind which will help them in supporting you. If you have something that is bothering you or something that you feel you need to get off your chest, I’ve learned it’s better to do it sooner rather than later. It really helps me clear my mind and stay focused.

These 5 things are the things that come to mind when I think about how I cope here in Australia being far away from my family. It’s made me start to feel more stable and at home. It’s also really make me enjoy going to work and I feel so lucky because when I go to work, I now feel like I’m spending time with my family.

If you’re living abroad or know someone who is (or maybe you just have good advice!) please share your story in the comments about and tips on how you’ve made living and working overseas easier and more like home 🙂

By |August 20th, 2013|Challenges|0 Comments

New Challenge: My first fitness model competition (and my first blog post!)

My first blog post and my first fitness model competition

I’ve committed to entering a fitness model competition in September this year. Stay tuned to my blog to keep track of my journey!

My dreams of entering the National Karate Championships were delayed

Ever since I can remember, I’ve always challenged myself to reach my full potential. One of my earliest memories of challenging myself goes back to when I first took up a competitive sport, Karate, back home in Chile.

My cousin was begging me to go along with them so I decided to go along and see what it was all about. It became something I really enjoyed and after years of training I ended up getting to competition level entering various tournaments.

I was preparing myself for the AKF National Karate Championships in August this year until very recently when I injured my lower back. This was a major setback for me because I was mentally focused on reaching my goal of entering the national comp.

Fitness Modelling Competition – the new challenge!

2011 inba nat univ

I recently had the opportunity to see Arnold Schwarzenegger in Sydney during his Australian speaking tour. It was a tough day as we had to wait over 7 hours for him to finally come out on stage and present, but during that time I was able to hang out with my friends and colleagues – (oh, and the wait was well worth it! so inspiring).

One of the conversations I had with a colleague ultimately led to me considering doing a fitness model competition. He suggested that I could enter a figure competition and I didn’t hesitate for a moment in agreeing (I’m always ready for anything jajaja!!)

It was the perfect opportunity for me to replace my Karate Kid dreams with a new challenge of entering a fitness modelling competition in September and held by the International Bodybuilding Association (Australia). With my training I could work around my back injury and it wouldn’t stop me from getting the results I wanted to achieve.

Competition Preparation: Nutrition

As you would expect, training for a bodybuilding competition is not easy – but who ever achieved anything without a bit of hard work? I am up for it! I’ve always been very active and energetic with sports and outdoor / recreational activities and haven’t specifically had to go on a diet in order to achieve my health goals ever before. Nutrition is so so important, so for the first time ever I will be following a very strict diet.

I am a personal trainer and because 70% of your weight loss and body transformation results come from nutrition I’m constantly on my clients back telling them to eat clean  and giving them meal plans that will help them get the results they want. I see this competition as a way to ‘get in their shoes’ and see what it’s like to go through the process of strict diet in order to reach a weight loss / toning goal.

IMG_4815I have begun my dieting with 2 weeks of strictly protein and only carbohydrates through non-starchy vegetables and salad. My meals take a lot of time to prepare as I have to eat 5-6 meals a day.

To put myself on a level ground with the other girls competing I’m also taking a number of supplements to help me get the best result in the 12 week period. I’ll share with you more information about my nutrition in a future blog post.

Competition Preparation: Training

Being a personal trainer I am very fortunate to have the support of other trainers at my gym to help me with my training.

I’m training 4 days per week focusing on strength and conditioning. My weights sessions usually go for 1 hour and beyond that I am doing just 1 day a week of cardio to help me shred down. I’ll post up more about my training plan soon.

Competition Preparation: Posing & Presentation

dana-carmont-bikiniThis part is the part I have the least amount of experience with so I really needed to do my research. I came across a “Get Comp Ready Workshop” being held by Dana Carmont who is a bikini designer and body reshaping coach and will be going along to learn everything I can about the process!

The day involves Dana sharing her experience around the judging criteria for comps, eating plans, training and posing – the critical knowledge I’ll need to do well in the competition.

Presentation is also so important so I’ll be spending time in the afternoon picking a bikini and other accessories to help me look my best on the day.

Stay tuned for more progress updates!

Thanks for reading my first blog post!! I’ll be keeping you updated throughout the competition when I can. I hope my blog posts will inspire other people who are also considering to compete. If you are planning to compete soon or have competed in the past I would love to hear from you in the comments below!

By |July 11th, 2013|Challenges|3 Comments