Janna Johnson O'Toole finds six-pack-spiration working with an Exercise Scientist
With studios in Sydney's Bondi Junction and Coogee, exercise scientist and pro-athlete trainer, Damien Kelly's small-group training philosophy specialises in intense circuit workouts that emphasise cardio and strength, plus twice-weekly core sessions for that extra burn. And his Mums & Bubs programme gets new mothers in flight-form fast.
"Speaking to Damien about fitness is like discussing breakfast with Bill Granger (yes, I equate a workout to pancakes): the man has genius-level knowledge. We discuss the three components of a total core workout, all of which require equal attention: brace, flection and twist, and then get to work.
To practise bracing he suggests the core climber: assume a high plank with shoulders over wrists, then, alternating knees, bring them in without dropping the hips. Next, flection. Lay flat on your back, knees bent and - with your feet grounded - sit up without using momentum. Finish with weighted twists (use a medicine ball or a bag of flour) to work the obliques. 'It's not about moving the ball but rather twisting from the core while maintaining good posture,' he tells me. I follow his prescribed routine: 20 sets of each for three rounds and my abs are seriously sore for the next three days.