Oxygenfitnesskiama 2016 Year in Review – Part 2

Welcome back to the Blog for Part 2 of the Yearly Wrap.

In case you missed it, Part 1 of our 2016 Year in Review is here:

Here’s Part 2 from July through to Xmas.


Sports Netting installed

Our Indoor Sports Netting arrived in July and transformed the type of sessions we could offer on the Turf side of the Gym. It opened up opportunities to work with all kinds of sportspeople. And let’s be clear, you don’t have to be an Elite athlete to benefit, we already have Athletes for Rugby League, AFL, Cricket, Hockey, Soccer and Volleyball. We’ve already been participating in specific drills for each of those Sports and with the Olympics about to hit our Schedules we were able to add a fun element to our sessions that clients really enjoy.

Over the years I’ve worked with over 1000 clients throughout the Illawarra and what I have found is that lots of people go to (or try to go) the Gym or play Sports to keep fit and healthy. Some people also Surf, Run, do Yoga or whatever, but many people are either Sportspeople, or Gym Junkies. Now, you can be both. At the same time.

Not everyone at Oxygen is into Sports and that’s ok. You don’t have to like them and you don;t have to participate. But we’ve had a lot of clients, who aren’t really into any Sports, and they’ve actually enjoyed themselves and had a bit of a laugh playing a bit of Touch, kicking a Footy or Soccer Ball around and even having a hit on the Bowling Machine. If you ever want to have a go, feel free to ask.

We took a bit of a risk investing in the Netting but it’s certainly been a good one. It was born out of wanting to offer our Athletes here at Oxygen something different and also to impress the Juniors (and parents) of those South Coast Cricket kids. We certainly did that. My Dad and I got the Netting installed just in time for the return session and the way I hit that 6 off the last ball got a few kids in love with the idea of having a regular hit each week and winning a free T shirt. Since then we’ve had 15 different kids from 5 different South Coast Cricket Clubs participating on a regular basis.

Like many other things at Oxygen we have a Facebook Group called CricFit where we regularly share snippets of Video of both our Senior and Junior Cricketers hitting some great shots. It helps the Juniors learn how to play with better technique and it teaches all of us to hit the ball into the gaps in the field. Something I’ve often struggled with until this Season.

Here’s a good little Video of the Henry brothers going berserk. Love Azza’s reaction at the end.

Tao Nutrition closes

My High School friends Michael & Bianca Perry, Founders of Tao Nutrition, shocked the world recently when they announced they would be ceasing production of their popular products. It’s no exaggeration to say that they shocked the world, as their products are shipped internationally and plans were well underway to start producing larger volumes from a warehouse in the US.
After a few selfish moments from myself, other clients and probably thousands worldwide thinking “what am I going to do now?” I can say I’m very happy for them both and proud of their efforts to grow such a cool company on a global scale after starting in little old Gerringong.
After falling out of touch after High School I remember re-uniting with them at an NPE conference we were both at and thinking they would go along way with their work ethic and those sort of contacts. They can be proud of what they achieved with Tao Nutrition and also recently with their new adventure in the Real Estate market. They appeared in last week’s Sunday Telegraph with Oxygen Client and fellow Ironman Jamie Williams after adding over $100k in value to a fire damaged home in Busby, near Liverpool.
P.S – fear not, I have another alternative Protein Powder that you can get your hands on called BioTrust. We used to sell this a lot and I still stand by this product, it was just great to support a locally grown product with Tao Nutrition. I still believe BioTrust is the tastiest Protein Powder I have ever used and it is top notch. If that’s not enough, it is rated #1 Protein for Quality and Taste by Fitness Professionals worldwide.

Doudee’s Debut

In July there a new kid on the block rocked up. Doudee Vannavong was referred into Oxygen by his mate Ryan Smith who brought him along for a Trial one Saturday. Although Doudee play a few different Sports he has had an inconsistent history with going to the gym. At his second Session here at Oxygen he broke Aaron Henry and Jason Lynch’s Trap Bar Deadlift Record with a jaw dropping 252.5kg effort! WOW, can’t wait to see what he can lift when he figures out what he’s actually doing. Awesome start Doudee!

Moo makes Maoris

Special mention went out in July to long time Oxygen client Michelle Moo Morunga who was selected to represent the New Zealand Maori Women’s Rugby League Team. Moo flew home to NZ to play a number of games against New Zealand’s best in Hamilton. Awesome Moo!


Touch Team wins a Grand Final!

Massive shout out to our Oxygen Mixed Touch Footy Team that took out the B Grade Grand Final last Sunday. After finishing 2nd out of 50+ Teams for the past 10 Competitions, (yeah read that again) we didn’t have our best Season with more losses than normal and a few Games with no subs or even worse, not a full side. This meant we didn’t qualify for A Grade for the first time but we still had to play and win three games on the day in very wet muddy conditions. It was a great day, we played some very slick footy and we all celebrated together in the sun on a Winter’s afternoon to top it off.

We have had some great Teams back to back every Comp since Autumn 2010. We’ve played in freezing cold, boiling hot, windy af and played brilliant razzle dazzle Touch at times but this current crop of Players is the best Team we have ever had. Touch Footy is such a massive part of my Week, I love it, I love playing alongside some of my best mates, my Wife, my Sister in Law and Bro in Law (is that what you are Azza?) and I will continue fielding a Team each Comp until we Win an A Grade Comp.


Oxygen Olympics

It’s an event watched by billions of people around the world. It only comes around every 4 years. Champions will stand up. Moments of glory will be captured. Dreams will be realized. Unfortunately so too comes heartbreak, disappointment and missed opportunities.

I wasn’t always that interested in the Olympics. I always loved watching the 100m Sprints and the odd Sport, but as I’ve grown older I’ve learned to appreciate many more of the Events and the spectacle itself.

The Olympics teaches us lots of different lessons and that’s one of the many things I appreciate about it. What it takes to be a Champion. What excuses people make up about why they failed. People’s reaction to winning and losing. What skills and training athletes of different Sports require. What it means (and doesn’t mean) to some athletes to compete on the biggest stage.

Plenty of those things can be used for self reflection – what are you prepared to do to reach your Goals? What excuses do you keep telling yourself and others?  What does it mean to you to achieve these things? How would you react if you did/didn’t achieve them?

Sport, and the Olympics especially teaches us lessons. I know you think I’m Sports Mad, and I am.

Sport been described by some people as humanity’s greatest creation. I agree. If you think that is an over the top statement, tell me one thing, besides religion, that has so strongly affected people of every walk of life. Actually, to be truthful to the definition, sports have become a religion for many people in the world today.

Think long and hard about that for a moment and you’ll understand why the Olympics is so important.

In 2012, we ran the Oxygen Olympics during the London Olympics and it was one of the most popular events we have ever run. This year, to coincide with Rio, it was on again.

We split all our clients into FOUR countries: Great Britain, China, USA and Russia. Realistically though it doesn’t matter what Country you are in as we have already had a number of events where we have mixed the Teams up.

We did Rowing, Weightlifting, Rugby 7’s, Tennis, Gymnastics, Basketball, Hockey, Soccer, Powerlifting just to name a few. A ton of fun again and a nice way to change up our training for a few weeks.



In the real thing, the Rio Olympics, I absolutely loved watching Usain Bolt’s “Triple Triple” and also Michael Phelps efforts, again. This photo/caption/message will live on forever.


Bob, Sam & Liam

It was in August we saw the arrival of some great new blokes to add to our morning crew of Trainers. Bob Willetts was referred in by Kylie Strong and we immediately liked what he had to offer. Pretty strong to start, willing to learn and a take-the-pi$$ attitude. He has come a long way and is one of only a handful of blokes under the 100kg mark in bodyweight who can do the Barbell Double of a 100kg Bench/200kg Deadlift. He brought his brother Sam along who has trained at lots of different timeslots to meet a number of our clients. At one point this year Sam re-wrote the Chin Up Records into the 20’s plus surprised a few people including himself to win one of our Squat Challenges. Sam picked up an injury towards the end of this year but we hope to see him back in 2017 along with another bloke Liam Sheridan who has improved well in lots of our main lifts and been a good competitor in our Kiama’s Greatest Athlete Challenge. Liam led me for 95% of our 4km Run a few weeks ago but was also solid in Cricket, Hockey, Footy drills and he even topped a number of good athletes in our the AFL kicking Challenge last week.


Grand Final Season

We saw some of our Athletes qualify for Grand Finals in their chosen Sports. Oxygen Volleyball Athlete Nardia Guillaumier won another Grand Final to add to her long list of Trophies. After a nail biting Golden Point Semi Final Win over arch-rivals Shellharbour, Warilla Gorillas Captain Aaron Henry went down in one of the toughest Grand Finals you’l see against the strong Gerringong Team. On a perfect day full of Grand Finals at Collegians, torrential rain started just before kick-off and made for a tough 10-0 loss. Hard luck Azza, it sucks losing a GF but at least you weren’t as bad off as the Milton girls who have driven 2 hours up the Coast 2 years in a row and only lost 2 Games in 2 Seasons – the Grand Final both times.

Kelli Campbell departs

Gerringong girl Kelli Campbell did Oxygen on and off since 2009 and recently packed her bags for sunny Queensland. Kelli was a huge supporter of Oxygen at at a time when we really needed her and she really needed us. She managed to win a Challenge Week with RED Team, all of our hearts and half of our bladders in the time she was with us.  The only bloody reason she moved to Qld and left us was to be closer to her great friend Kylie Thomson, also a previous RED Team member. Her man David, also a RED has since moved up shortly to start a new life on the Sunshine Coast. Kel displayed great fitness for a FitChick in her 50’s and was always a barrel of laughs at training. Kel has known my family for many ages after being both my Mum and Dad’s Double’s Tennis Partner many many years ago. Hope Team K is having a ball up in QLD. I loved this from our Wedding below.


Kiama’s Greatest Athlete Challenge comes along

Following on from the success of our Members Only Ultimate Athlete Challenge earlier this year, Registrations are now open for our next big Challenge – Kiama’s Greatest Athlete. We had lots of questions from our Members when we would run our next challenge and here it is.
Strength, Power, Endurance and Skill were all tested as well just the ability to keep turning up and challenging each other. Challenge Week (Monday 10th- Saturday 15th October 2016) was to Week 1. Beyond that, each week we’ve taken on a combination of:
  • Strength Training
  • Conditioning Sessions
  • Indoor & Outdoor Sports
  • Easy to stick to Nutrition Habits

We’ve been overhauling everyone’s health & fitness by challenging them more ways than ever to determine Kiama’s Greatest Athlete. The winner will be announced live on Facebook at our Xmas Party this Saturday 17th December at 630pm.


Challenge Week Series 13

I can’t believe we have now done 13 Series of Kiama’s best fitness challenges. The rivalry of Blue, Green, Red & Yellow first began back in early 2010 and as usual, the competition was as fierce as ever. In fact, it ened up being our closest Series ever with just 8 points separating 4th and 1st place. We had our largest ever session 3 nights in a row with 34, 35 and 36 people smashing it out at Oxygen HQ. The atmosphere was electric and we were definitely drew some attention.

When Joy and I checked out the Teams a few months in advance it looked as though the Greens were struggling for numbers so I made the decision to come out of retirement and participate for Green again for the first time since Series 1. I never really wanted to step down, but over the years the numbers have reached as many as 82 in a single session and the sheer logistics of how to carry out Session  plans has required someone to organise. The feedback has always been awesome, and some of our Members claim that it has got better every single time. That’s something I’m very proud of but at times I’ve been a bit jealous that I haven’t been able to participate in all the fun. Well this time, I did and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I tried hard and was stoked to win a couple of challenges but ultimately I couldn’t help the Greens that much and we finished 4th. Only by a couple of points mind you.We had a great new Team member in Jay Gaffey who fought hard all week to collect the MVP

Yellow were next in the pecking order and as usual, they turned out in massive numbers all week. They not only turn up in numbers though, they always compete morning and night at every challenge. They’re a very well balanced Team led by experienced campaigners like Kat Hayward (MVP) and the Williams family. Again, 3rd doesn’t sound great but it was only a matter of 6 points and they would’ve claimed yet another Challenge Week Cup.

Blues, like Yellow, were there in numbers yet again but unfortunately they collected the Bridesmaids Trophy for Runners Up. I would have to go back and check but Blue have either come 1st or 2nd for about the last 5 Series I reckon. They’re easily the most consistent performers in recent years. Usually led by Joy Briggs & Jade Lambert, it was pleasing to see people like Kylie Strong, Rachel Braun & newcomer Nic Lewis really step up. Nic collected the MVP for Blues too.

The fairytale story was Red Team, who clicked into top gear in the back half of the week to claim the Cup. A deserved MVP went to Nardia Guillaumier who attended all but one session and single handedly kept Red in the hunt until she eventually got some reinforcements in the morning. There was a mammoth effort mid week when the big Red guys deadlifted a monumental 61 tonnes in 6 minutes but they were solid in every challenge and collected the Trophy on saturday night and a hangover Sunday morning. Well done Reds and congrats to everyone on another great Challenge Week – it really is the best week of our year.


Member of the Year Awards

What a great night! The Challenge Week Presentation is always awesome, but when we do it in Oxober we tie it in with our Red Carpet Event – the Member of the Year Awards. Lots of Award winners and special mentions this year but I’ll do my best to remember them all below:
  • 7th Birthday – Oxygen Health & Fitness
  • Conditioning King – Kraig Crowther
  • Conditioning Queen  – Joy Briggs
  • Rookie of the Year – Tyler Smith
  • Spartan of the Year – Aaron Henry
  • FitChick of the year – Kylie Strong
  • Male Athlete of the Year – Brendan White
  • Female Athlete of the Year – Rachel Braun
  • Junior Athlete of the Year – Jackson Williams
  • Top Squat – Steve Boniface & Joy Briggs
  • Top Deadlift – Jason Lynch & Moo Morunga
  • Top Bench Press – Dean Alaban & Jade Lambert
  • Top Chin Ups – Jamie & Leanne Williams
  • Top Power Cleans – Dave Lambert & Julia Naylor
  • Top Push Ups – Guy Farland & Joy Briggs
  • Top Plank – Guy Farland & Kylie Strong
  • Top Rowers – Aaron Henry & Nardia Guillaumier
  • Oxygen MVPs – Joy Briggs, Mal, Jan and Jade Lambert
  • Member of the Year – Ryan Smith

Unisex Timetable Announced

We were very excited to announce that post Challenge Week we would launch a Unisex Timetable of STRENGTH, CONDITIONING and WORKOUT OF THE WEEK Sessions. All clients are now able to attend more sessions than ever. Couples who like to train together can now do that and prospective partners looking to join Oxygen will also likely find it attractive. This change also allows us to add in new Timeslots more easily. As we grow, it is our plan to run both 10am & 4pm sessions Monday-Friday. We also want to add in new timeslots like 7am, 8am & 5pm.
The end results is larger, higher energy sessions for both Men & Women all week long.
Everyone still gets to train alongside their usual workout partners but now there’s a few extra people from both sexes to spur you on.
Unisex sessions work, we proved that with Challenge Week Series 13. Actually we’ve proved that heaps of times with previous Challenge Weeks and all the Saturday sessions we usually run.
Does it suit everyone perfectly? No. Will it ever? No
However, we constantly have to adapt to what works best and what’s profitable for the business. If a timeslot has been poorly attended for 6 weeks or more we usually look at why, how and what to do to fix that.

Jade’s Birthday Soccer Tournament

Jade Birthday fell on a Saturday and she actually had a day off work for once which was nice. Being the former Soccer star we threw a Party with a little 2 on 2 Soccer Tournament. We put the end some big rough REDs in the way of Aaron Henry and Dale Chapman proved too good to take out the Win but not before one Rachel braun sat the big fella on his a$$ whch definitely got the crows roaring. I do have it on Video somewhere but I’m not sure where.

Kiama’s Greatest JUNIOR Athlete Challenge

Alongside our Adult Challengers, we have 8 Junior Cricketers who are all taking on the Kiama’s Greatest Athlete Challenge
I scored all the boys on a 4/3/2/1 points basis for Cricket/Fitness/Sport/Attitude and the Player of the Week.
Each week different Groups excelled and before this final week there was only 3 points separating all 4 Teams. I remember one week a phenomenal effort from Jaiden & Bohdi Robinson who did what no Adult Batsmen, me included, had done yet and scored 300 runs in 20 minutes. Pretty good when you consider that Bohdi was only 6 years old at the time. They broke new ground for us older blokes and each week different Record Scores have been re-written.
The winners will be announced at 6:15pm this Saturday Night at our Xmas Party at Blue Diamond Bar.

Dave’s Best Start to a Season

After missing large chunks of the past 2 Seasons through Injury and also getting Married, I was looking forward to the Start of the 2016/2017 Cricket Season. With 3 of our most experienced Players retiring this Year, it was up to myself and some of the other Senior Players at Lake to step up this year. I am proud to say that after getting the most practice I have had in years, it has so far paid off.

I kicked off the Season with Scores of 47, 50, 101 Not Out, 101 Not Out again and after a few hiccups I was back to it again last week with what I thought was my best Innings of the Year. I hit up 66 with Seven 4’s and Three 6’s. I must mention it has been great to see Captain Mark Ulcigrai leading from the front scoring lots of runs with an 80 last week and also bowling well too lately. Our best Bowler though has been the big guy Aaron Henry who when he has been there has taken heaps of Wickets and given our Team another dimension. Lastly on Cricket it’s been good to see one of the Junior players I have been working with, young Blake Roach make his 1st Grade debut at the age of 15 and show plenty of potential to take some wickets and also Score Runs. I was stoked to take the catch that gave Blake his first Wicket in 1st Grade.

Oxober over…nearly

It’s always been the busiest month of our Year. After 7 years of Oxygen, I’ve figured that out. This year was as big as any of them and I just about made it through… except for the last night. It was our first attempt at Halloween and it was good to see a few of our clients dressing up. We did seem to get spooked that night, with our technology (music, clock timer) going silent and we just couldn’t figure out how to get it working. Halloween curse? Nope, I got struck down by the last day of Oxober.

It’s been a massive month for me with the anticipation of knowing what everyone was in for this month, a Funeral and a long drive out west, a Century and a really good start to the Cricket Season, our 13th Challenge Week, Member of the Year Awards, launching both a Kiama’s Greatest Athlete (a Project I’ve worked on for years) and there’s been lots of new faces to introduce, then I added in a Junior Athlete Challenge to coincide with it, then a huge shift in how our Timetable operates with Unisex sessions and then a loooong night celebrating Jade’s Bday on Saturday.

As soon as I went horizontal on the Foam Roller next to Whitey and Lynchy I felt dizzy lightheaded and suddenly exhausted. I went out for air but all I could suddenly do was sleep. Thanks to the in-laws Rach & Azza for making sure I got home ok. I literally went home layed down in the bed and didn’t move until 5:30am.

Then I felt great and very relieved the next morning but wow, what a shock.

I know it was pure exhaustion from just how much mental energy I used up during Oxober. This is what I was talking about at the start of the Newsletter. We’re all busy. Whoever you are, you need exercise, healthy food, water, rest and relaxation strategies to deal with “the busy-ness of life”. It’s called stress and everyone gets it.

Time to start some better rituals.

For me that involves getting up early. Like real early. It may sound strange to add getting up at 3:50am to my “methods to beating stress” but I know I perform my best when I do it. Silence & relaxation. 10 min of exercise. Reading. Coffee. Writing what I’m grateful for.

I feel better, I organise my time better and I get $hit done.

Truth is, I had’t done that consistently for months.

Your strategy may be different, but figure it out and get back on track.

Thanks to everyone for their concerns.


We’ve been getting great feedback about our STRENGTH/MOBILITY Session on Friday mornings at 6am. For our morning crew, it flows perfectly to allow them to get 3 STRENGTH Sessions in each week. If they want.
A couple of our night-time clients are even getting up early 1 day per week so they can do it. Others, are using this session to recover and rejuvenate their bodies with Mobility work, Zuu (those funny animal exercises), foam rollers, lacrosse balls, yoga, stretching.
Some clients do a 50/50 split of strength & mobility. Some just get some extra practice at things like Chin Ups or other accessory work.
That’s why it’s getting a name as Freestyle Friday.
Get up early, get it done and you can do almost whatever you like on Fridays. Don’t rock up with no plan though. think about it, ask me and make it happen each week.

Yellow for Life

We sent a massive Thanks You and Shout Out in November to some long term people at Oxygen. Kayla Wrigley recently re-committed to a 4th year with Oxygen whilst Leanne Williams has just begun her 6th. These Yellow chicks have seen some serious changes during their time at Oxygen and I’m glad to have them on board again after all these years. Kat Hayward has since joined the list of loyal Yellows to commit to another year. Thanks chicks.

We also welcomed some more new faces in November with Kevin Mikilewicz and also Kelly Lynch. Kev’s strength and over all fitness improvement has been great to see. He has some solid form on the bench press lowering that bar with control all the way to the chest and he just really listens to learn how to get the best from his training. Kelly showed some of her potential to join FitChicks powerhouses Jade and Rach with a 120kg 3RM Trap Bar Deadlift just this week. When you add that to Jason’s 240kg 3RM there should never be any trouble moving furniture at the Lynchs.

Williams kids growing up fast

We saw one of our long term clients Jess Williams finish High School this year. Jess has been training with us since she was a young teenager but she’s grown into a beautiful young woman with the world at her feet. She very talented at Art but she also polite, thankful, fit, strong, hard working and committed. There not qualities you’d associate with a lot of 18 year olds these days but Jess is going places in this world and it’s bee great to watch her grow up over the years. Her brother Jackson also came of age a bit more this year, opening up for some conversation but also showing some real athleticism with his training at Oxygen, distance running at School and also his Moustache growing. I think he ended up raising a couple of grand with that thing for a great cause close to my heart –  Men’s mental health. Seriously, with parents like our Chin Up Champs Leanne & Jamie, what a family?




Putting together this Blog Post I understand now what a MASSIVE Year I have had. That’s why I reckon I have just hit the wall these past few weeks. But so has everyone. We’re all busy these days and this time of year only intensifies things.

Just this Month there;s also been some Highlights with some different Training in the way of a 4km Run from OxygenHQ, down around the Lighthouse and back to the Gym again. It was a nice change, a good challenge and a number of people really enjoyed it somehow. We’ve also done 3RM Testing this week which is different, a 1km Row instead of 500m and Ring Pull Ups instead of the Bar. Another funny Highlight was Myles Bradley who took on the Plank Challenge before I could warn him that I had changed it slightly. Instead of using a 20/10 Timer like I had stated for our Three-point Plank, I had a quick practice and realised there was too much rest. Well after Planking for a 100 plus 20 second sets in a Session with Joy, which took an entire Session to complete, I told Myles about my change  to a 30/30 Timer. He laughed and cried and still took out one of our Top4 spots when he did the challenge again. Sorry Myles.

And that’s it. We’ve got our Kiama’s Greatest Athlete Grand Final Day from 6am tomorrow at Surf Beach and then our usual Weekend Warrior strength to finish it off. A few of us will be playing a 20/20 Cricket Game and then it’s our Xmas Party from 6pm at Blue Diamond Bar. I hope to see everyone there so we can relax after a MASSIVE 2016,


Merry Christmas from Oxygen Health & Fitness



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