This blog will be about my training… if only I had little minions to film me, cut a sick training video  with pump up tracks and post it up I wouldn’t have to write it. One day…

MY TRAINING: So what does my training split look like at the moment?? Do you even care?? Apparently people do that don’t see me in the gym.

Monday – Hammies + full body circuit

Tuesday – Chest/Abs

Wednesday – Shoulders + circuit

Thursday – Legs/Calves

Friday – Back + circuit

Saturday – Arms/Abs (or do these Friday and have weekends off, or use weekends if my training was thrown off in the week)


  • Walk or Run from car to gym – 15 mins (carrying food/water and work gear)
  • Stairs to weights room – 4 flights ( I count this – stairs are an effort!)
  • Deadlifts – 2 warm up set 20reps (Olympic Bar + 25kg each side), 5 working sets – increasing weights, feeling it in my hammies each rep 8-12 reps (tend to do 9, pause for a few secs and squeeze out another 3) Minimal rest between sets (40 secs preferred) – one day I hope to be just repping out ridiculous amounts of weight with perfect form. I’m improving all the time, surprising myself. No ego, I don’t really pay attention.
  • Circuit – I tend to pick up little ideas for circuits from all over the place, aslong as I do everything with good form and I end up a sweaty mess, I’m happy
      • 10 hanging leg/knee raises
      • 10 push ups on toes (chest floor, big squeeze)
      • 10 mountain climbers (Mel had elbow to palm planks but I didn’t read it properly ha!)
      • 10 burpees (jump high)
      • 20 bicep curls (heavy/drop set)
      • 20 tricep rope press down (heavy/drop set)
      • 10 leg extensions using weight in feet and on a flat bench
      • 10 jump overs using flat bench (bench hops)
      • Sprint stairs of Fitness First City, rest 45 secs and repeat all (treadmill 1 minute 12% incline 12 speed was Mels option)
      • * 10 minute walk on treadmill to cool down, 10 minutes stretching of everything. I was disgustingly sweaty, hot mess if you ever saw one at 8am in the AM. Spent! Shower, get dressed, it’s work time.

NOTE: I also LOVE being outdoors, being stuck inside all day, if it’s a nice day – I’m getting my Vitamin D baby! Walks at lunch around the city or some sand sprints and hill sprints at night with my puppy. Circuits allow me to do things outside the gym which is awesome for me now it’s warmer. I just make sure I hit Legs, Back and Chest each week and do not wait my time or energy in the gym sessions. I fit in my social catch ups in my lunch breaks, after work or weekends. No excuses not to be social.

WHAT AM I LIKE WHEN I TRAIN: Music in, focused from the second I walk in the doors, just manage to say hi to the gorgeous girl at the desk (she’s so lovely I have too), have this attitude of please do not talk to me and 97% of the time I can get in an out without saying a word to anyone. I’m polite if people want to work in I let them, but our gym isn’t that busy. People tend to just do what they need to do. BEST! And I’m not one to chat in the changerooms. This may come across as rude, but really, it’s my time to just chill and not try and impress anyone. I banter all day anyway

WHEN DO ITRAIN:  I train either AM or PM. This week will be AM. Preferred time for me and weights is AM, this means leave home at around 6-630 to get into the city from Seacliff. The drive is the best – just me and my music, few cars, everyones half asleep.

MY GOALS: Training is actually my favourite time of the day – without a doubt! Bit of background – I joined my gym in 2006, got a PT in 2007 and learnt lots of crazy ‘functional’ things, fell in love with bodybuilding 2009, been lifting since.

A little too spontaneous with my training at the moment, throwing in circuits. I’m not in a constant headspace of ‘getting ripped’ or ‘getting hulky’ – which I get into. I’m more into a middle of the two. I also want to improve my endurance and really do more chin ups. I am NOT good at them and I want to be great at them (unassisted).

So since June ANB 2012 comps in Queensland I have:

  • Cycled in a mass building training plan (advice from MI40, Ben Pakulski – time under tension work, perfect form as described and applied)
  • Threw in a 12k’er fun run with the outcome being my worst effort for the last 5 years (why do I do these things?? For charity I told myself $1290 raised by myself alone)
  • Completed a 30 flight tower climb where I was a minute slower than 2011 (asthma for days from the dust….)
  • I have been spending a lot of time down the beach with my dog
  • Threw in some Crossfit workouts again
  • Continues a good split – I will never get rid of a good hammy or shoulder session – they psych me up too much
  • In terms of food, even dabbled in IF (fasting 16hrs, eating in the 8hr window) for a few months, researching a just generally trying things I read and hadn’t considered previously.

I don’t think I’m an idiot for testing some of these things and trying for myself – the joy I get from learning what works best for me in my life, what makes me happy, and keeps me challenged is best. I don’t think of myself as a bodybuilder, or an athlete. I’m just a girl you see everyday that likes to keep healthy and happy. I do get a little neurotic about things when I have a comp or a goal in mind – I didn’t think I did, however having abit of a break I know I was like ‘I need to do whatever is needed to get that goal’. It’s an all or nothing attitude but you need that work ethic and bit of crazy I believe. It’s what will set you apart. Just shut up and do it is the mindset. You stop listening to your emotions and just smash each day with what needs to be done. Healthy? Who cares. You are on a mission in that time and I’m glad to have a awesome mentor in Amelia from Living Beauty to have me doing things in a comp that aren’t to a detriment to my wellbeing.  She was is my rock, my mentor, and a great sounding board for me. I love working with her and she inspires me so much (

So in relation to my training I have started naturally dropping some fat. Main area I get my fat disposal I accept but want to change:

  • Tuckshops (back of arms)
  • Guts (waist)
  • Booty & Thighs

Day to day, I am actually happy the way I look/feel, but in the gym and with the mindset on my own expectations – happy is not the place I like to be. I do see how far I’ve come. I don’t look the same as I did months or years ago, so I will keep going as I see the hard work is worth is. Getting better with age is my mindset. For me I also need to have endurance not just strength. I need to be able to lift myself up, not just lift other things up. I need to be able to run and sprint, not just walk at a leisurely pace.

PS. I am not perfect, nor preach to others that I am. I’m not in a rush to prove I am either. If I sleep in I train PM! As long as I love what I do each day, can sleep at night and am loved by my family – I’m one happy pappy.

If you have any comments/questions please leave them here or email me at

Gemma Dawson

Blog writer for the Australian Natural Bodybuilding website

Featured Athlete/Competitive Fitness Model and Motivational Personality

Assistant Coach and Online Trainer through

‘Get HEALTHY and you NATURALLY get LEAN’ – Gemma Dawson