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  • Our fave motivational quotes to get you through your next workout View Article

    Do you get energy from words? 

    Often our mind tells us to stop or slow down, way before our
    body is ready to.

    So we’ve put together five of our favourite inspirational quotes to help you fight back the little downer voice in your head that tells you that you can’t.

    Go on, try chanting them in your mind during that next set of burpees!

    "Nothing great ever came from comfort zones"

    Being out of your comfort zone, no matter what you are doing, is scary, stressful and hard – and our body doesn't like it!

    It’s OK to be out of breath, to feel discomfort, to push yourself to your limits – your body will adjust. That adjustment is exactly the reason you are working out – it’s that adjustment that causes wonderful changes in your body.

    “Make every move count”

    Why do something if you’re not going to do it properly?  This is important whether you’re warming up, in the middle of some tough glute work at the barre or stretching and cooling down after class. 

    At Core Candy we are always for quality not quantity.  One fabulous rep of an exercise is so much better than five sets of the same exercise performed with poor form (*another reason coming to Core Candy is better than working out alone at the gym!) We’d rather you slow down, check in with your body and do the movements with correct posture and form than give up and cheat your way through the movements.

    You made a huge effort to get to class – make every movement count.

    "One workout closer to being sexy as &%$*!"

    We work out to feel more powerful and confident, both emotionally and physically – do you agree? Power and confidence are sexy, no matter your gender. 

    "Better for it"

    This was one of the tag lines on the Nike NTC Tour that was held recently in Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland – a fantastic event!

    “If you can push through these tuck jumps you’ll be BETTER FOR IT”.  We love this – it’s simple and true. We always feel better after a good sweat sesh and we're healthier for it.

    "If it doesn’t challenge me, it won’t change me"

    An oldie but a goodie because it's so true!  Your workouts need to be physically challenging or you’ll stop seeing results. In order to improve your fitness, strength and stamina, you need to challenge yourself. 

    Switching up your fitness routine and exercises will ensure your body is always challenged.   Look forward to doing the exercises that you hate because they’re hard – when you suddenly realise you can do them you’ll love them!

    So – clear your mind of can’t (woop there’s another!) – and start pumping yourself up instead with inspirational words that speak to you.  

    What inspires you to get through a tough workout?  Hit us up with your favourite motivational quotes!

  • Which class is for me? By Candice Ota View Article

    The styles of classes that Core Candy offers are all so different and we always get asked “Which one will I like best?”, “Which class is better for [x, y, z] issue?” “Is Accelerate too hard?”


      Honestly we love them all and believe for best all over results, it's best to do at least one style of class each week (eg one Pilates, one Barre and one HIIT class).  This is because the focus of each class is very different, and by doing all of the different styles you will continue to challenge your body – avoiding fitness plateaus.   

    Here is the low down on our three main styles of class (and their variations):

    Barre (or Ballet Barre Workout)

      A Barre workout is a fitness class inspired by ballet training.  It’s super popular in the US and quickly gaining popularity in Australia.  Why? Barre workouts focus on isolating and working particular muscles to effectively shape and tone your body.  We also want you to get fitter doing it so we incorporate a little cardio in each  Barre class to get a more rounded work out.  We believe that cardio and strength training are key to a fitter, healthier body.  But don’t worry, it’s not the intense, red-faced, sweat dripping cardio – you’re not in sneakers after all!   

    VARIATIONS: Power Pilates Barre is a less intense version of our Barre class (and includes more Pilates Mat core work). Barre Cardio is the most intense Barre class with more cardio incorporated.   

    Barre is best for those:  who crave an effective full body workout but don’t like to sweat too much, who like to imagine they are a ballerina while working out, get bored easily as there is no set routine for each class, who want to improve strength, posture and flexibility.    

    HIIT (Accelerate and Boxing)   

    Our Accelerate class is a metabolic resistance training, circuit style class technique that mixes high intensity cardio with resistance training.   

    Accelerate is a more athletic and fat burning alternative to our other classes.  Class programs vary daily – perfect for those who get easily bored with workouts!   

    Accelerate is the opposite of a barre class.   Rather than concentrating on working individual muscles, classes focus on functional movement and work many muscles groups at the same time.  Equipment used includes springs for resistance, kettlebells, bands, free weights, medicine balls, plyo boxes, slideboards and anything else we may throw in to challenge you!  

    You will sweat.  You may be sore. You will increase your endurance, strength and flexibility and will have better all over functional movement.   

    VARIATIONS: Boxing HIIT. This class incorporates boxing drills and combos and as well as cardio, strength and core training intervals.   

    HIIT is best for those: who are time poor and need effective workouts with as little time spent doing it as possible, people who like to be challenged physically, people that get bored easily, people who like a good sweat.   

    Pilates Springboard   

    Pilates is a full body, low impact workout – the aim is to strengthen your whole body, correct any asymmetries and weaknesses in your body (these lead to injury!) and bring the body back into balance.  We’ll focus on strengthening your core (including abs and back), lengthening your spine, building lean muscle tone and improving your flexibility.   

    Pilates is sometimes compared with yoga but unlike yoga, you do not hold positions in Pilates.  The movements are flowing and the exercises flow from one to another.  It’s all about controlling your muscles, moving freely, gracefully and evenly.   

    Our Pilates Springboard classes incorporate Pilates mat-work and springs attached to the wall for resistance training.   The different spring tensions are used to strengthen and tone your body and improve your core stability.  The Pilates Springboard is perfect to use in a group class as the instructor can keep an eye on everyone’s technique much more easily than in a Reformer class, where everyone is spread out or hidden.     

    VARIATIONS: Power Pilates Springboard.  Power Pilates Springboard incorporates some higher intensity exercises to get your blood pumping in a circuit style format.   

    Pilates is best for: everyone!  We believe that everyone (men, women, athletes, non-athletes) should do a bit of Pilates.  It helps with injury prevention and rehabilitation, strengthens and tones all muscles and is one of the safest forms of exercise.      But particularly best for those:  with balance issues, those that want all over body strength, who are pre or post natal, who don’t like to sweat during a workout (hey – you may need to rush to work or to dinner straight after class), who hate cardio but want a good all over body workout, who want to strengthen their core, improve posture and flexibility.  

    What is your favourite class?  We’d love to hear!

  • The benefits of foam rolling by Faren MacDonald View Article

    the benefits of rolling it out

    These days there are so many fun and challenging workouts to choose from. I love that there is always something new coming out, you can never get bored! At Core Candy we have seven varieties of classes, all with varying degrees of intensity. We totally love a good butt­-kicking, sweaty workout, but life is about balance, right?

    Anything to the extreme is never good - everything in moderation! We want to be healthy, strong and sweet to our bodies, so we need to think about how to balance out these high intensity workouts. One of the easiest ways to do this is by foam rolling.

    Foam rolling sometimes gets a bad wrap because we always hear about how painful it is... and yes, it can be, but think about it as a deep tissue massage you do on yourself.  It may be a bit painful at the time, but you feel amazing after…and way cheaper than a massage too!

    So what is foam rolling? Is it worth my time?

    It is a self­myofascial release technique, which can provide fantastic relief to tight, sore muscles. We love the good burn of a hard Accelerate (HIIT) or Barre Cardio class but it’s also important to care for your sore muscles so you can get back to your favourite class again without pain.

    If your muscles are tight and knotted, they won't perform efficiently and won't have the proper movement patterns, causing injury and over compensation of other muscles. To release these tight muscles, deep compression is needed to help break up the tissue and allow it to return to a normal healthy state of elasticity. The deep compression that foam rolling provides may feel a little painful, this is normal, you want it to be an intense feeling, but not unbearable. Go very slow, put as much pressure as you can handle and let your body build up to more intensity. This compression helps to break up and relax the muscles and allows proper blood flow to return to the muscles allowing your body to heal. Rolling also gives you control over where you need the relief the most, so you can get the most benefit, recover faster and reestablish proper movement patterns within the joints.

    Here are a few of my favourite foam rolling exercises:

    Thoracic (upper back/ trapezius)

    Lie the foam roller behind you under the lower tips of your shoulder blades, cradle your head in your hands, let your neck totally relax. Allow your head and shoulders to relax as far back over the foam roller as your flexibility will allow. With your knees bent, feet flat, hover your hips off the floor and very slowly start rolling up and down your spine, never going below your ribcage, stay out of the low back. Feel free to shift a bit to one side or the other, finding any tight spots and and holding there for a 10-­30 seconds.

    Gluteus medius (outside hip area)

    Sit on top of foam roller with your hands behind on the floor to support you. Knees bent, feet flat, cross right ankle over left knee, roll your weight into the right glute/hip and slowly roll up and down, maybe rock a bit back and forth, again, just finding any tight spots and holding the pressure on the tight spot to allow it to relax. Repeat on other side.

    Iliotibial Band (IT/ outer thigh)

    Lie foam roller in front of you off to the right a bit, place your right thigh on the roller, left foot planted on the floor for support, roll onto outer thigh, place hands or forearms on the floor in front, allow most or all of your weight on your thigh and very slowly roll up and down the outer thigh, hold on tight spots. Repeat on other side.

    Ultimately rolling will help your muscles to heal quicker, function pain free and to their highest ability, so you can get the most out of all of your work outs and maintain a healthy, strong body! Come join me at Core Candy for our new Stretch & Roll class on Wednesday evenings at 7pm.

  • How to get more joy out of your workout by Candice Ota View Article

    “Why do you like to exercise?” When I first started Core Candy  I asked almost everyone this question. I also spent a lot of time thinking about it myself.

    When I was younger I thought of exercise as a chore. Just another item on my “to do” list, something that I really only did for vanity reasons. Definitely not a source of happiness! 

    It wasn’t until I moved to New York that my attitude toward exercise changed. I was working at a large law firm in Manhattan – long hours, stressful deadlines and high expectations. I loved my work but I started to feel really sluggish and blah – gray is the word that comes to me.  

    Something needed to change! 

    I really admired the New Yorkers that I saw jogging around the City so I started jogging too. But I didn’t love running – it required a lot of motivation for me to do and when winter arrived (it doesn’t get nearly that cold in Melbourne!), I knew I had to find something else. 

    Not being a fan of the gym, I found a little Pilates studio that I absolutely loved. I felt taller, calmer and I took pride in my posture. I thought of my morning class as my moment of calm before the storm that my day could bring. Pilates unwound me, both physically and emotionally.

    Once I had kids, I wanted to incorporate more cardio into my workouts. New York has an unbelievable selection of workouts on offer – there is something for everyone. I discovered some amazing studios and workouts that I loved– Barre, HIIT and Pilates were my favorites.

    I now no longer exercise for vanity reasons. I exercise because it is my passion – it truly makes me happy. These are some of the ways that exercising makes me happier.

    Exercising calms my mind and makes me less stressed

    “It ain’t about the ass.  It’s about the brain.”  I think Lena Dunham nailed it when she said this. 2015 was a pretty stressful year for me. I had two fulltime jobs – raising my two young children and running a small business for the first time. In the early days of opening Core Candy I was also working fulltime as a lawyer.

    Exercise classes are my form of meditation - exercising helps me deal with my stress and calm my mind.  Exercising is my down time, the time when I can switch off from the needs and demands of others and really clear my head. All I have to do is follow instructions, concentrate on my form and try to keep up.

    Exercising energiSes me

    After I exercise, everything seems easier and better because it gives me more energy. Few people, apart from perhaps professional athletes, feel like they always have the time and energy for exercise - I’m no different. I know if I can get myself to class and get through the first 10-15 minutes, the energy boost will come and I’ll forget that I was exhausted just before.

    Exercising puts me in a happy mood

    Some mornings I wake up and for whatever reason – hormones, bad sleep, my kids waking in the night – and I’m not in a great mood.  Exercise is a sure way to improve my mood. I especially see this in my family – they can’t wipe the smiles off their faces when they’re running around outside or jumping around the house like frogs. Exercise brings us genuine joy.

    Exercising has improved my confidence and body image

    I feel like I’m at my personal best, both physically and emotionally.  I love feeling stronger. I am a petite person – but when I’m carrying my kids or too many shopping bags, I no longer look like I’m overwhelmed. I can handle it. I can get my bag down from the overhead locker in an airplane without worrying whether I’ll lose control and drop it on someone’s head. I have muscle definition that I’m proud of.

    Seeing others exercising makes me happy

    The positive energy of our clients and staff is so uplifting.  I think our clients look absolutely beautiful when they walk out of class – they are smiling and have that gorgeous, sweaty glow. The contagious energy and positivity of our instructors makes me happy – they genuinely love what they do and want you to love it to.  You can’t help but feel happy.

  • Some awesome stretches to increase your flexibility View Article

    Flexibility is really important in athletic performance and helps us carry out the activities of daily lives.  Have you ever been unable to bend your knee?  Try walking up steps!  A lack of flexibility may also make you more susceptible to injury.  Small muscles aches and pains and even issues with form generally spring from a lack of flexibility.

    Flexibility refers to the range of motion of a joint or group of joints.  It is joint specific – so someone can be really flexible in the right shoulder, but struggle to do the same movements with the left shoulder.  

    Unfortunately losing flexibility is a part of aging – babies can easily touch their toes with no effort, but for many of us, touching your toes is no longer within our range of motion. 

    The good news is that we can improve our flexibility through physical activity and stretching.  Here are three of our favourite full body stretches to try at home.  But remember, ease into a stretch when your body is warm – don’t even push beyond your limit.  Always perform stretches slowly and with control.

    Pigeon pose

    Start in downward facing dog.  Shift weight forward and step your right foot to the outside of right hand, knee stacked over ankle, back leg fully extended. Lower hips down as far as you can. If you’re able, come to forearms or lean over fully.

    Forward bend holding barre

    Keeping spine neutral and a soft bend in your knees, bend at the waist, reaching for the barre sticking out your bottom, head in between your arms.  

    Upper back bend over ball

    Lie down on your back, with a soft ball placed in between your shoulder blades, legs extended along the ground.  Drop your shoulders down around the ball, with your forearms resting on the ground.

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