Dave's Gym

You Are Viewing

A Blog Post

Diary of a meathead traveller Part VI: Wollongong & Byron Bay

Having listened to all the surfing and skate boarding lingo we could handle, we brought our time in Bondi to an end. Being far from the beach was never part of the plan, so naturally, we swapped the touristy sands of Sydney for the vast expanses of the Wollongong coastline. Those of you who have been lucky enough to travel in Australia will now be asking why, or indeed where is Wollongong? 

Answering the latter first, Wollongong is 50 miles south of Sydney by train; the former is slightly more interesting because it involves Dave’s Gym. Aleks Dummer, is a Dave’s gym lifer, whom has recently upped sticks to the convict isle after having decided on a previous migration that Japan is far too polite and formal for her liking. When we heard that she was not far from Sydney, plans were made for a visit. To narrow it down for those of you who are now checking your internal members database, Aleks is…- well she’s Polish. On a more serious note it may jog your memory when I say she was undoubtedly the one having expletives hurled at her, both in my kettlebell class and Dave’s Thai class for being bone idle. If not in a class or in a squat rack, you could always rely of her presence at the front desk distracting anyone who was trying to look busy behind the reception. 

But I digress… 

Honestly though, Aleks along with her family; husband Nick and son Frank, were simply fantastic hosts and we had a blast for five days, revelling in all the comforts of home that we had sorely missed over the previous months. Aleks was the first friend from back home I had seen on my travels and it was great to chew the fat on all the old and new gym gossip, interspersed with tales of travelling shenanigans.

Definite shenanigans here

In amongst all the catching up there was still a regiment to adhere to, which meant that facilities had to be sort out. Duping Fitness First (FF) into giving me free sessions had now become my rason d’etre as it were; therefore I was looking forward to the thrill I would get from getting one over the Wollongong branch. So desperate was I for my fix, I was even willing to coerce others in order to maintain my perfect record. Aleks made the call to FF and arranged the sales talk for the afternoon. 

After a short bus ride into town I confidently walked up to the front desk as punctual as it is possible to be. It all happened so fast after the initial pleasantries, it wasn’t until after I had left the gym that I realised the possible ramifications of what had transpired. I went Full Monty with my cover story, this time posing as Aleks’ husband. In order for me to sound convincing under a barrage of questions from the sequined jacket wearing receptionist, I gave at length, the entire back story of their recent emigration to Australia. It worked, sort of. 

Despite my Brannagh-like performance, Ms Sequins proved not 100% convinced and, as I found out later, called Aleks whilst I was training. Unprepared for this eventuality, Aleks filled in superbly saving my blushes, however, one feels at the cost of her ever using that particular FF anytime in the near future. To be honest, the Uni gym she now uses is much cheaper and closer but I’ll be the first to admit that I doubt these advantages outweigh my indiscretion, not yet at least. 

Aside from all my fraudster antics I had a particular good session in FF Wollongong, for the briefest of moments it was the best session ever. My bench pressing was going superbly well, the weights literally flying up. For my last set I had 110kg on the bar and all but stood on the bench preaching and praising Joe Defranco as a miracle worker. Alas, I should have listened to Richard Dawkins, there are no miracles – I had simply not realised I was using a 12.5kg barbell… In my defence, it was the same length as a normal 20kg barbell but that is of little consolidation against the embarrassment I felt at my arrogance. Karma! I hear you shout. I think Mr Dawkins just calls it stupidity.


MEUB Wollongong Fitness First
Amped warm up + mobility 10mins
Bench 97.5kg 5rep max
D/B bench 20kg 2sets max reps
BOR 62.5kg s/s Rev fly 7.5kg 4×12 90s rest
B/B shrugs 80kg 4×15 90s rest
Curls 15kg/12kg 4×12 90s rest

Finisher: 5 circuits of double battle ropes x15 + 3 Turkish get ups each arm 16kg

Comments: Bench felt more solid, was able to set scapula better. Guns have improved surprisingly. Shrugs were textbook if I do say so myself. Finisher was good and I think they are working for fat loss.

DELB Wollongong University
Amped warm up + mobility 10mins
Broad jumps 8×3 1min rest
Bulgarian split squat front leg raised w/ D/B 14kg 3×10 90s rest
RDL 3×12 90s rest
Hanging knee raises 2×15 swissball crunches 2×15 60s rest

Finisher: 5 circuits of 10 burpees with lateral jump over step + 20 kettlebell swings 16kg

Comments: should really measure the jumps over the next four weeks. Landings still good. Split squats lighter but bigger range of movement (ROM). Swiss ball crunches are harder than they appear.

Rest day: beach day in Wollongong

UBR Wollongong University
Amped warm up + mobility 10mins
Barbell bench 60kg 3xmax reps 2min rest (20/17/15) Wide chins s/s face pulls 4×12 90s rest
D/B military press 20/15kg 4×8-12 90s rest
D/B shrugs 40kg s/s D/B triceps extension 30 3×10 60s rest
Plate pinch grip 10s hold 10s rest 3×3 20kg plate

Finisher: 10x20s Sprint 10s rest on the spin bike

Comments: bench reps performed faster. Felt different not sure if that’s better? Increased weight on shrugs, also performed these more explosively. Again, not sure if this is better or not? Finisher was ugly.

LBME Byron Bay
Amped warm up + mobility 10mins
Squats 5rep max work up 75-85-90-95-100-110kg >3mins rest
D/B walking lunges 3×12 25kg
RDL 3×10 100kg
Abs circuit: sprinter sit ups, v sits, toe touches, reverse crunches 10reps each 1min x3.

Finisher: 10 x 20s sprints 20s rest rower

Comments: squats at 110kg were filthy but my ego is well massaged from the effort. Walking lunges up in weight again so all good. Increased ROM on Romanians felt better, hopefully DOMS tomorrow. Abs getting slightly easier so will change up for the next four weeks. Finisher was mentally tough, glad it’s over. Rest: beach walk to most easterly point of Australia

Rest: reading, reading, reading, reading

Measurements After Week4
Neck 16″
Chest 43″
Left bicep 15.5″
Right bicep 15.25″ 
Left forearm 13.25″ 
Right forearm 12″ and 7 eighths
Waist 35 Hips (including ass) 43″
Right quad upper/mid 26.25″ 22″ 
Left quad upper/mid 26″ / 20.5″ 
Right calf 16 Left calf 15.5″.

I bloody love this photo

I completed my first block of WS4SB in Byron Bay, having to pay $15 for the privilege due their monopoly on facilities in the area. Reflecting on that first month I have to conclude everything went swimmingly well, the amount of weight lifted each session increased, movements were well grooved and I had even changed shape a bit. 

At least according to the measurements! I suggest I owe a lot of the success to the GPP phase I had completed in Asia, which had given me a solid foundation, without which I would have surely seen far less gains and improvements than I did. Westside for skinny bastards was proving a success, and despite not mutating into a 17st behemoth I can say with confidence that I am just that little bit closer to achieving my goals. Surely, that is all that matters.

Thanks for reading.

Leave a Reply