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Fitness Guide to Sydney

Life’s been pretty busy for Melbourne-based personal trainer Sam Wood since he first was Australia’s third leading man in The Bachelor. He’s set up his own personal fitness program – 28 by Sam Wood – which gives people a fitness and nutrition plan every 28 days, has expanded his gym The Woodshed, and has moved in with his ‘Bachelorette’ Snezana Markoski and her daughter, Eve. So, in light of all of this, we thought he’d be the perfect person to share Melbourne’s best kept fitness secrets….

Sam! Tell us, what is the best place for a healthy brunch (and what should we order)?
I love Serotonin in Burnley because it’s all about healthy food that brings you happiness. You have to get the awesome ‘Positive Pancakes’ which are flourless – they’re made from organic banana flour served with home made banana rice cream and coconut yoghurt. They are just amazing. There’s also good omelettes and turmeric lattes – those are Snez’s favourites, I’m more of a main stream coffee man. They also have swings as seats, which are great fun.

What’s your favourite running route?
You can’t beat the Royal Botanical Gardens. It’s a 4km loop and you have the gardens inside which are just beautiful all year round. I put my dog Hendrix on the leash and crank out a couple of laps. If you want to do a lap and then hill sprints, it’s a brilliant spot.

And best indoor gym?
I’d have to say my gym The Woodshed down in Brighton! It’s got big high ceilings, functional equipment and trainers who really know what they’re doing. We pride ourselves on having a good atmosphere and making it fun and quite social. I train there myself four times a week.

Where is a great place to run/play with your dog?
We’ll run down along the St Kilda foreshore as it’s just a 10-minute walk from my house. There’s a lot of dog beaches along the bay side strip. I’ll normally do some soft sand sprints and Hendrix will do a dip.

Do you have a suggestion for stair sprints in Melbourne?
The Royal Avenue Stairs in Sandringham are great, and if you don’t mind a bit of a drive you can’t beat the 1000 Steps Kokoda Track Memorial Walk in the Dandenong Ranges National Park. It’s only about 45 mins out of Melbourne and is just magic, all misty in the bush. It takes around 25 minutes to get to the top and is a solid work out.

Sam Wood
Where would we find you on a Saturday morning?
We bought Snez a bike for her birthday recently and then Eve twisted my arm to get her a new one as well! So on a Saturday morning normally we will go for a bike ride along the St Kilda foreshore then stop at a café for a bite.

What’s your favourite post workout snack?
Usually a smoothie with a bit of raw protein powder in there. I don’t like eating anything straight after training, so I would have that about an hour after a workout.

Where do you recommend for an adventure weekend close to Melbourne?
Wilson’s Promontory is fantastic for camping and bushwalks. Growing up in Tasmania I love anything to do with the bush and being outdoors.

Do you have a favourite swimming spot?
When I get the chance I head out to Brighton Baths and will do some laps – mainly in the warmer months. I’m too much of a woose in winter!

In your opinion, what’s the best Melbourne fitness event worth visiting for?
The Melbourne Marathon is great, and the Run For the Kids fun run is also a favourite. I also love the Aussie Open Tennis tournament. It just gets you in the mood to dust off racket and have a hit yourself.


For more travel fitness guides, check out our Urban Adventures section.