30 September 2022

Five minutes with Rees Machell, Hale Gym

| Lottie Twyford
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man on rope

When Rees Machell isn’t at work at Hale you’ll find him competing at CrossFit. Photo: Supplied.

Who is Rees Machell? I’m a certified personal trainer and fitness instructor at Hale Gym in Barton. I’ve been in and out of the industry for a decade as a competitor, coach, and PT.

How did you get into fitness? Growing up I was very active and sport was very important. I loved footy and motorbike racing in particular.

Later, a couple of my mates opened a fighting gym in Tumut which they later transitioned into a CrossFit gym. I saw what they were doing and thought it might be helpful to my sports so I transitioned away from more traditional strength training.

man running

Rees has competed at the CrossFit Games on the world stage. Photo: Supplied.

A typical day for you: As you’d probably imagine, I start my day with a couple of morning classes which run from 5:30 am to 8:30 am.

Luckily for me, my job as a trainer means I can balance my own training for CrossFit competition sessions. So, I’ll train mid-morning before doing PT and programming around lunchtime and then train again in the afternoon.

I’ll finish my day by taking our afternoon/evening classes.

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Favourite excercise: The kettlebell clean and press as it requires skill and multiple muscle groups.

Least favourite exercise: That is hard to say as I train myself to try and enjoy them all but one I struggle with is a kettlebell overhead squat.

Proudest fitness achievement: When I was a teenager, I made it to the worlds for the CrossFit Games and came in third place as an individual.

Method program at Hale Gym. Photo: Doma Group.

Next big thing in the fitness scene: If it’s not too cheeky to say, I think it’s our Method program.

It’s basically a 12-week program which is split into blocks of four weeks. Three weeks of that are “on” so the training volume and intensity gradually increase until people hit their maximum. We then de-load for a week to help the body recover, which is essentially just a reduction in training volume and a little more mobility work.

The program is a mixture of strength and conditioning – both aerobic and anaerobic – so there’s lots of variety and you develop a strong base.

Aerobic conditioning is about helping your body get better at exercising for longer and anaerobic is more like interval training. Everything is also adjustable depending on the client’s level of fitness.

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A day on your plate: I always start the day with eggs on toast and then the rest of my meals are pre-prepared – generally meat, vegetables and some kind of carb. I also snack on high-energy foods like honey, crumpets and fruit because I’m so active.

(By the way, I’m not qualified to give out nutrition advice so I can only give my clients general healthy eating advice, but nutrition plans are available with the Method program).

gym equipment

All the equipment you need at Hale. Photo: Doma Group.

How I trained through the pandemic: I had a set-up in my shed so I was very fortunate to be able to train there. I know that wasn’t the same for everyone.

What do most people want out of the gym: A lot of people come to the Method program because they want to lose weight and look better, which is achievable in the 12-week timeframe. I also have clients who want to get fitter and be able to move better.

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My three fitness tips:

  1. Consistency. With the busy schedules we all have, it’s not about getting a crazy amount of intensity with every session, it’s about being consistent with showing up for them.
  2. How often you should train is different for everyone. Method sessions are four times a week and I believe that if you do those as good quality sessions a week it’s a good bang for your buck.
  3. Just give it a go. Twelve weeks is long enough to see results if you put in some work.

Hale Gym & Spa is located at 10 to 14 Macquarie Street in Barton.

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