The Edge 2012

Its 5:20am on a sunday and I’m wide awake  because I’ve got Lady Gaga running through my head!

I’m on the edge…of glory….I’m hanging on the moment of truth…I’m on the edge…of glory…  (http://youtu.be/9fEZRnOV63w)

so what edge am I talking about?

The ANB Get The Edge Workshop of course!

Yesterday I was up bright an early looking forward to what promised to be an excellent day of learning, getting tips and catching up with friends and fellow competitors and meeting new people. Given that we were going to be getting posing tips from Vicky Arief – head ANB Judge, nutrition tips (and posing) with Lindy Olsen, and training tips from Lindys trainer, Greg Dolman, I knew we were in for a jam packed day of good advice – and I have to say that it exceeded all my expectations.

So the day started when I met up with the lovely gentleman journo Vance Ang (Australian Iron Man Magazine)  for a hearty breakfast – well, that is to say, I had a hearty breakfast (3rd for the day!) and Vance was more sensible. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting up with Vance a couple of times now and we always have plenty to talk about, today was no exception as we were both looking forward to the day and what it might bring.  I even managed to pay this time which is something that Vance has refused to hear of previously –  maybe it was the painkillers he was on after hurting his wrist…in the gym :-)

After breakky we headed down to the venue, Results Based Training gym in south Melbourne and did all the usual signing in and seeing who was around for a quick chat before getting started at 11am

First up Maria McCarter introduced herself and talked about how she got started in the ANB and came to run ANB Victoria, and it very soon became clear how passionate she is about the world of natural bodybuilding, where it is going, how it is growing and how privileged she felt to be part of such a wonderful sport. Maria spoke from the heart and what really impressed me was her unbiased approach and recognition of other federations, no ego, no disrespect – if it was good for the world of natural bodybuilding then it was a good thing. Great attitude! :-)

Next it was our turn – why were we there, what did we hope to get out of the day, where were we at in our bodybuilding journey? What a diverse group! there was a really good mix of total novices, people who’d never stepped on stage and were there to find out what was involved (along with a few supportive partners), there were experienced competitors, people who’d competed before and had stopped but wanted to get back into it, trainers who were thinking of competing or had competed and were there to support clients who wanted to compete, Maria acknowledged each and every one of us and made us all feel instantly at home and part of a family. I was becoming more and more impressed by the minute and was beginning to understand why every competitor I’d talked to who’d competed in ANB shows had such positive things to say.

Greg Dolman Vicki Arief Bruce Hatfield Nikki Smith ANB Get the Edge WorkshopANB get the edge workshopMAria McCarter Lindy Olsen ANB Get the Edge Workshop

As we were going round the group, Maria skipped over one person and said we’d get back to him…odd, whats that about? We didn’t have to wait long and Maria invited Dave Pate, last years ANB Most Inspirational competitor up to the front to tell his story. It’s amazing when you meet someone who seems so grounded and sorted and now obviously so fit and healthy that you just don’t know the story that lies behind who they are. Dave has done it tough and he’s turned himself and his life around – a truly deserving winner of the award.

After we had our say, it was Greg Dolmans turn. Greg is Lindy Olsens trainer so I was really interested to hear what he had to say. To say that Greg knows his stuff would probably be understatement of the century – he divulged more than a few of the things he works with Lindy on and particularly interesting was the fact that when he started working with Lindy (this was when she had already won a few world titles) the first thing he did was stop all training with any sort of weight and they went right back to basics. They worked on technique, form and most importantly muscle balance – for months. Just by standing in front of him, Greg can assess where your weaknesses are, where you’re holding tension, where you hold stress, which is your dominant side, where you have imbalances. By doing a basic squat Greg can identify which muscles are not switched on, which muscles are too tight, where you’re compensating. This is all particularly relevant to me at the moment with so many injuries all of which can ultimately be attributed to training with my body all out of alignment. It was fascinating, and it gives me lots to work with whilst I’m doing rehab. I’m also going to try and track down a muscle balance specialist here in Melbourne – if I can get myself into balance whilst I’m doing rehab then hopefully when I get back to training properly my body will be able to handle the ramping up of the weights.

Greg Dolman ANB Get the edge Workshop

Phew! It’s already been totally worth coming to the workshop and we’ve hardly got started yet!

Next up was posing class with ANB head judge Vicki Arief. Well what can I say…Vicki you should be still on stage…at the comedy festival!!! We were all in fits of laughter as Vicki showed us how to pose and how NOT to pose – brilliant and the routine she made up on the spot… I wish I had a video! :-)

there’s too many photos of Vicki to include in this post so I’ve created an entire album! I give you… The Vicki Arief Show

Then it our was our turn. On with the heels and pose!

After about 10 minutes I was stuffed! I’d forgotten how hard posing is – place foot here, bend this leg just so, straighten the other leg so, squeeze knees together,  twist torso just this much, poke bum out just this much, bring elbow round just a smidge, drop shoulder a touch, don’t lean back, flex back, relax arms, tense every single muscle and smile like you’re out for a sunday afternoon stroll!

is it lunchtime yet???

And then it was lunchtime…sort of. Lunchtime was a bit of a rolling concept – probably about half of the group was on competition preparation so they had all brought their own food and at various times of the morning there was always seemed to be someone eating according to whatever schedule they were on. Even though I had a huge breakfast, I still made sure I ate something every 3 hours. So lunchtime really was just a break for a chat. Lindy, as always was in the middle of it all, chatting to everybody who was asking questions – she really is an incredible person – very generous with her time and knowledge, so approachable, friendly and real. Always a total professional and a great role model for anybody no matter what line of work you are in.

After lunch we split into 2 groups – those who wanted advanced training tips went with Greg over to the weights section and those who were beginners or just getting in to bodybuilding sat with Maria and learnt about Supplements. The topic of supplements in bodybuilding circles will spark as much heated discussion as training splits or diet – everyone has an opinion, and everyone naturally is right! But there are ways of doing things and ways of not doing things and Maria displayed her extensive knowledge on the subject and provided a sensible no crap, overview to the best supplements to take for bodybuilding, what their purpose is, how they interact in the body and how and when to take them. For the people in the group who were complete beginners, Maria answered all questions and probably would have allayed more than a few fears.

I shuttled between Marias session and Gregs training tips – I really wanted to get some insight into how I could avoid injuring myself further and prevent ongoing niggling soft tissue injuries. It was a real eye opener! Someone would volunteer an exercise that they were having trouble with and Greg would get them to demonstrate how they performed that exercise. Then he would point out to us what was causing the issue and then he would demonstrate how to fix it – in some cases the fix was so astoundingly simple all of us would almost look on in disbelief. It really could just be a matter of moving a dumbell a few centimeters or dropping the weight being lifted by a small amount to make sure the technique was absolutely correct. Awesome. Lessons to be learnt by everyone no matter what their level of experience – even those in the group who were trainers would (should!) have learnt plenty. I can’t explain how helpful Gregs tips have been – you really must get to one of these workshops and hear what he has to say for yourselves.

By now you’d think we were all getting a bit tired – its been a long day with so much information, but not so – everyone was fully engaged and enjoying themselves and finally we got to hear from Lindy. She talked to us about her own journey to discovering and embracing this healthy way of living and how it has helped her find herself. She talked about competing and what it has meant to her and given her, she went through her golden rules of eating clean and how eating the correct foods at the correct times will turn your body into a supercharged fat burning machine. She took us through her own competition diet – thats gold! I was absolutely stunned at the large amounts of food she was talking about – yet Lindy is living proof that it works. For someone just starting out in this world the information Lindy imparted is priceless – and if you follow her rules you will NEVER have to starve yourself or pound yourself into the ground with ridiculous hours of cardio - Lindys rules will set you up right, right from the start and make sure your health is safe at all times.

Awesome.

They say time flies when you’re having fun and today it did!

Congratulations and thank you Maria for organizing such a fantastic day, it was wonderful to be in a room with such positive,  friendly people who are all passionate  about what they do, who so generously gave of their time and knowledge to ensure that all attendees got the best information that was delivered in an unbiased, professional and above all ethical manner. It didn’t matter if you were an experienced competitor, a relatively inexperienced competitor, someone who was just about to compete or even someone who was just trying to decide whether to compete – the information delivered catered for all levels of experience – every single one of us would have had something to take away from the day.

If you haven’t yet signed up for a workshop – just do it. Do it now!

If you have signed up – you’re in for a treat! Enjoy :-)

Lindy Olsen, Maria McCarter, Greg Dolman, Vance Ang, ANB Get the edge workshop

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