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  • The struggle is real - our tips to help get you through View Article

    We all have days where we really struggle to get through our
    class – it’s completely normal!  Low energy levels could be due to almost anything: what you have or haven’t eaten that day, dehydration, hormone levels, a bad sleep, stress, the list goes on.

    Here are our tips to get you through a challenging workout:

    1.     Break it down

    Break down the exercise into mini intervals.  10 seconds is manageable, count down from 10 and then repeat.  Or count the reps you are doing – or counting helps you disassociate from your discomfort – before you know it, you’ll be done.

    2.     Think of a specific source of motivation 

    Why are you here?  Are you training for an athletic event that’s coming up? Do you have an event or holiday coming up where you want to look your best?

    3.     Time to be selfish

    Think about what you want to get out of the session.  This is your time, and every minute you are bettering yourself.  Control, strength, focus – every effort counts.

    4.     Reward yourself

    What awaits you after your workout is done?  An amazing hot shower? A delicious glass of red?  A thirst quenching fresh juice?  A delicious bowl of pasta? A beautiful relaxing movie?  The cool down stretches?

    Think about your reward and focus on it to power you through your workout.

    5.     How far have you come?

    What was it like when you first started exercising or attending a new class? How far have you come since then?  We tend to only focus on the future and the many things we aspire to, and don’t often reflect on or realise how far we have come. 

    6.     Welcome the discomfort – it’s just another feeling isn’t it?

    If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you! Welcome the discomfort, it’s necessary for change to occur.  Get comfortable with the uncomfortable, sweat and fatigue are part of the deal.

    7.     Lastly – bring your friends!

    This in itself is a super easy way to make your workout more fun and you’ll actually work harder without realising it!

  • Pilates Complements Everything! By Faren MacDonald View Article

    Pilates Complements Everything!

    First of all, what is Pilates?  I've heard this question many times, and one of the first things I say is, 

    It's a completely different style of working out than anything else, and it pretty much complements every other style of physical activity or sport you can think of.”

    The reason that I say this is because of the logic and functionality behind Pilates.  The overall goal of Pilates is to return the body back to anatomical neutral (the best place for our bodies to be in) with the ability to move freely through our daily lives with efficiency and without pain. Sounds pretty nice, doesn't it?

    These days we spend so much time sitting at desks or looking down at our phones that we end up with many muscular dysfunctions like tight hips and hamstrings, low back, neck and shoulder pain, weakness within the glutes, core, and poor posture...just to name a few.

    The other major cause of pain and dysfunction in our bodies is repetitive movement and overworking the same joints and muscles causing over­compensation and imbalances throughout the body. This type of strain to the body can include playing the same sport for many years (such as running, cycling or any other sport where you are basically doing the same movement over and over).

    That's where Pilates can come in and help to re­balance, bring body awareness, stability, flexibility and strength back to your body. This is why Pilates is such a complementary workout regime to anything else you do!

    Going to a Pilates class with a certified Pilates Instructor, you can expect to work from head to toe with a focus on technique and alignment to ensure proper muscle firing patterns, less over compensation of dominant muscles and working slowly and mindfully through all exercises.

    Pilates will help to re-­balance your body, have you leaving class feeling taller, lighter and with less aches and pains. Over time, your body will learn how to use all layers of muscles and allow the weaker muscles to get strong rather than continuing to allow your more dominant muscles to take over.  You will learn how to activate your muscles properly, and move with more efficiency during sports, other workouts, and throughout your daily activities.  When you move more efficiently, you are far less likely to injure yourself.

  • Reasons we love winter workouts View Article

    The weather is getting colder and the mornings darker - winter is coming! 

    One of the things that I love about Melbourne is that we have four distinct seasons in the year, each is beautiful in its own way. There’s no reason why winter needs to be the season we dread! 

    For one thing, winter is the perfect time to exercise or get back into exercising if you were too busy enjoying summer. Here are some reasons we love to work out in winter: 

    1. It’s a fabulous, natural way of warming up your body 

    2. Building on 1., you’ll save money on your heating bill – being physically fit makes it easier for people to cope with cold. You’ll also be home less if you’re busy exercising. Or exercise at home for a quick warm up. 

    3. When you open your door to get to your 6.15am class – you’ll feel instantly fresh. Nothing like some cold fresh air to waken the senses! 

    4. Winter workout gear is far "cooler" - there are more legging styles to choose from than shorts, and the amazing long sleeves, hoodies, jackets, oh my 

    5. No FOMO - you’re not missing out on anything outside. The couch can wait an extra hour. 

    6. Your hot shower after class will feel amazing 

    7. You’re always ready for a beach holiday 

    8. My favourite - it’s not too hot to exercise! 

    And if this fails - just think of the benefits exercise brings you. You want to manage your stress, have more energy and feel good about yourself rather than falling asleep at your desk, feeling overwhelmed and sluggish.  

    Write down all the ways exercise adds to the quality of your life. Stick it on the fridge or bathroom mirror and read it regularly, particularly when you are feeling flat. 

    Let’s embrace winter 2016!

  • Goals - strong bones View Article

    Do you know someone who has recently broken a bone? It's not fun.   Once you break a bone you immediately realise how essential it is for performing every day activities.  

    We generally think about exercise and fitness as essential for maintaining our muscles, cardiovascular system and body weight. Exercise as a means of keeping your bones healthy may not spring to mind - but maybe it should!  For most people, bone mass peaks during your 30s.  Young women and men who exercise regularly generally achieve greater peak bone mass (maximum bone density and strength) than those who don't.   They're generally also less at risk of developing osteoporosis - a common disease in Australia (especially among women) that affects over one million people.  This disease makes bones brittle and causes them to break much more easily than normal bone. 

    Bone tissue is amazing – like muscle, it becomes stronger in response to exercise.  Exercise is recognised as one of the most effective lifestyle strategies to help make bones as strong as possible - the catch is that exercise must be regular (at least three times per week) and ongoing to have a meaningful benefit.  

    When our muscles pull on our bones through exercise, bone tissue becomes stronger through increased deposition of mineral salts and production of collagen fibres by osteoblasts. 

    So how can you ensure you have strong, healthy bones?   

    THE RIGHT KIND OF EXERCISE  

    When it comes to bone health, not all types of exercise are equal. Bone strength depends on the specific way that stress is applied to the bone during the exercise (so although swimming and cycling are great for our cardio health, they're not so great for bone strength).  The best kinds of exercise to keep your bones strong are weight-bearing aerobic activity and strength or resistance training.  

    WEIGHT-BEARING AEROBIC ACTIVITY (EXERCISE WHILE DONE ON YOUR FEET)  

    This includes both low impact and high impact activities such as Barre, HIIT, brisk walking, running, aerobics, tennis and dance, which all help to build and retain bone mass. Swimming and cycling, although great activities for general health and fitness, are not good forms of exercise to promote bone strength, as they are non-weight bearing.  

    RESISTANCE TRAINING (STRENGTH TRAINING)  

    This includes any exercise where the muscles have to work hard to overcome a resistance such as your body weight (as in a push-up) or a weight (such as a biceps curl with hand weights). Strength training has been shown to significantly increase bone density and reverse the effects of bone degeneration associated with aging.  

    Core Candy Barre,HIIT and Pilates Springboard classes all include resistance training.  

    GOOD NUTRITION 

    For strong bones, we need to consume Vitamins A, C and D, Calcium and Phosphorus.  

    Calcium intake is so important! Your calcium levels in your bones are not fixed so a drop in calcium in the body’s fluids causes the breakdown of mineral salts and the release of calcium from the bone.  

    IDEAS FOR FOODS HIGH IN CALCIUM  

    Dairy products (milk, yogurt and cheese);  broccoli; dark, leafy greens; edamame; figs; oranges;  sardines; canned salmon;  white beans;  nuts and seeds; tofu…and hold the salt (it can negatively affect bone strength)!

  • 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.

  • Why can’t that lower belly fat go away?? View Article

    It’s so frustrating!  You
    may be doing everything right – Pilates, Barre, HIIT, lots of core work, regular exercise, you make healthy eating choices most of the time – why do you still have lower belly fat??  Both underweight and overweight people can struggle with lower belly fat.

    Here are some of the main reasons:

    1.     You’re doing the wrong workouts

    Pilates will absolutely tone your muscles and strengthen your core.  But for most people Pilates or yoga alone isn’t the answer.  To effectively burn fat to reveal your abs beneath, you need a combination of weight and cardio training.  Why?  You may have heard that muscle burns more calories than fat.  The importance of this is that you’ll naturally burn more calories throughout the day, (ie at rest) when you have more lean muscle.  You can’t spot burn fat so it’s important to get that heart rate up and sweat! 

    2. Your workout isn’t challenging enough.

    You may need to ramp up your workouts.  Challenge your body!

    In a study published in the journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, people who completed a high-intensity workout regimen lost more belly than those who followed a low-intensity plan. Once you’re comfortable with a certain exercise and are performing it with correct form, challenge yourself and choose the more advance option, or pick up a heavier weight.  Try to squeeze in more reps then you did the last class.

    3. You’re stressed

    We’ve become so busy, even trying to leave work or home to make your class is stressful!  When we have so many demands on us, it’s so hard not to be even just a little stressed out.  Unfortunately, stress also causes unwanted fat.  It’s not only because we tend to make bad food choices when we’re stressed or tired, it’s also because of the hormone cortisol.  Cortisol is associated with stress, and more stress reactive women release more cortisol and have higher amounts of belly fat whether they are thin or overweight.  If you are a woman doing everything right and still struggling with female belly fat, and especially a thin woman suffering from belly fat, the primary issue for you is stress management. Maybe it’s as simple as turning everything off for ten minutes, going into a room on your own, breathing and sipping a cup of tea. 

    4. You’re tired.

    Linked to number 3! Sleep is vital indicator of overall health and well-being - this is when our bodies recover and do magical stuff.  The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults aged between 26-64 get 7-9 hours of sleep per day.  Are you getting enough?  Prioritise your rest and recovery days. Working out and eating well isn’t enough if you’re not getting enough sleep.  You’ll workout harder and eat better after a good rest.

    Here are some exercises to do at home that target our lower abs:

    Bicycle legs

    To start: Lie down on your back with your arms down by your sides.  Extend your legs, keeping your knees slightly bent with your heels lifted about 10cm off the floor.  Engage your abs by pulling your navel in towards your spine. Imagine you are trying to poke someone with your toes! 

    Begin: Lift one knee towards your chest as far as you can while keeping the other leg extended (as if you are going to hug one knee into your chest). Pause at the top then lower and extend your leg to meet the other one.  Repeat on the other side.

    Scissor kicks (high)

    To start:  From the same start position, lift one leg to point to the ceiling while keeping your other leg extended along the floor.

    Begin: Pause for a beat then lower the top leg to bring your feet together.  Imagine your legs are as straight and strong as a soldier marching. Like your legs are the blades of scissors! Chop, chop, chop.

    Plank to Pike

    To start: Start in an elbow plank position – resting on your elbows directly beneath your shoulders and your feet hip-width apart.  Make sure that your body is in a completely straight line from your shoulders to ankles.  Press down firmly with your forearms to make your abs work harder.

    Begin: Engage your lower abs to lift hips up in the air, pressing chest back toward thighs (like in a V position or downward dog). Pause for a moment before lowering hips back into your plank.

    If you have any questions or would like us to show you some great ab exercises, just ask a Core Candy trainer!

  • BUTI Yoga Arrives in Melbourne View Article

    BUTI what? 

    Transform your body from the inside out! BUTI yoga is a movement practice that fuses power yoga, tribal dance and plyometrics into a high-intensity workout.

    Created in Las Vegas by trainer Bizzie Gold, the workout is super popular in the USA and is now practiced at gyms and yoga and fitness studios across the USA.  Celebrities are big fans, including Jennifer Love Hewitt and Julia Roberts.  Essentially it’s a yoga class set to cool beats, with flowing, sexy, feminine movements and a lot of core action.

    BUTI is a perfect complement to the Pilates, Barre and HIIT workouts we offer at Core Candy because BUTI yoga trains the deep abdominals, in a more intense and noticeable way than the regular yoga.  Whether you’re an advanced yogini or have never done yoga, Buti promises to offer you a soulful journey to female empowerment that will make you sweat and love every minute of it.

    From People Magazine: “BUTI yoga’s focus is on deep core engagement and working through stuck energy,” explains creator Bizzie Gold, who has trained Hewitt using the Buti yoga methodology. “Buti boosts feminine confidence, empowers women to love their bodies and builds positive body image.”

    Shannon, who was trained in New York to teach BUTI, will lead you through this awesome booty shaking, empowering workout on Saturday mornings at 10.30am.  We can’t wait!

    For a limited time, drop in booty classes will be $15 and free for members. Free your hips and shake that bootay this summer!

  • Our tips to Spring in to Shape! View Article

    Today we felt the glorious, warm sunshine of Spring in Melbourne for the first time in a long time, and we are so excited!!!  Rooftop drinks, BBQs, weddings, parties, holidays, Spring Carnival– we say “Bring on summer!!”

    But most importantly Spring is for rejuvenation. Here are seven tips for springing into shape this year:

    (1) Set a goal

    Springtime is the perfect time to make new goals!  What are your goals? Would you like to be able to run along the beach and not stop after 100 metres? Feel more confident?  Look great for a special event? Sit or stand taller? Stretch your leg a little further?  Have more work/life balance?

    Set a goal – the more specific the better.  Your goal doesn’t have to be related to weight loss or your appearance – fitness is a lifestyle.

    (2) Mix up your workouts

    We really believe that it’s important to do balanced workouts that improve your strength, cardiovascular system, balance and flexibility.  Changing up your workouts helps relieve boredom, avoid plateaus and keep your mind engaged!

    If you’ve been a regular Pilates Springboard devotee – try Barre! If you love Barre – try Accelerate (HIIT)! If you love HIIT classes – deepen your core strength and coordination and head to Pilates Springboard! Each style of class that Core Candy offers has been carefully selected to complement each other and strengthen your body from the inside out. 

    (3) Think of the benefits

    We know, we know – exercising has so many benefits – you hear it all the time.  But it’s so true!!  Who ever regrets a workout?  Here are some of the benefits: better mood, better sleep (which contributes to better mood!), better concentration and decision making, more youthful appearance, weight loss, improved confidence, improved muscle strength, more efficient heart (= less heart disease), increased lung capacity (= better metabolic function), decreased risk of diabetes, higher bone density (= decreased risk of osteoporosis), the list goes on.  Exercise is so important in our sedentary lifestyle that more and more workplaces are implementing wellness programs – the benefits of exercise are clear. 

    (4) Schedule workouts in your calendar (the one that you look at the most) and stick to them!

    Treat your scheduled workouts like an important calendar entry – one that can’t be cancelled!  But be realistic – you don’t need to work out 7 times a week – schedule the number of workouts per week that you can stick to on a long term basis. Why?  You’ll put more into those workouts (even if it’s just one) and in turn get more out of them.

    (5) Exercise with a friend or family member and make it a regular thing

    Our clients are far more likely to make classes when they bring someone who they love spending time with. We all know it makes you feel more accountable but the real reasons are 1) you try harder in class and 2) socialising makes exercising more fun! 

    (6) Buy something new!

    Everyone looks forward to wearing new things!  Buy something that you can’t wait to wear to class.  It could be a fantastic new tank, new shoes, exercise tracker, even a new bag!

    (7) Reward yourself 

    What do you love to do after class?  Order yourself a well-deserved coffee after an early morning class?  Make or buy yourself a delicious fresh smoothie or juice?  Have a glass of red at the end of the day? Cook a delicious pasta? Book a massage or pedicure? Reward yourself, this in itself will make you look forward to your workout and create a routine that’s hard to break.

    For more information about any of the classes at Core Candy, call us on 9939 1084 or email info@corecandy.com.au.  We’re here to help!

  • Our round up of the best gym bags! View Article

     With the ever increasing, ever stylish selection of activewear in our stores these days it's hard to think of a reason not to wear it.  But when it becomes necessary to wear "other" clothes, what do you carry your  fun, comfy, activewear in?

    Here is our round up of the best studio bags - they're just as stylish as your kicks these days!

    For everyone:

    Lululemon Gym to Win

    We're loving the print and the pop of colour on the long strap.  It has heaps of pockets for everything you need post-class, and you can even secure a mat underneath it.

    For the classic lady:

    Country Road Metallic Logo Tote;

    The classic Country Road duffel never goes out of style.  This one has a fun metallic gold print.  Buy some cute metallic sneakers to match!

    For the fashionista:

    Adidas by Stella McCartney Big Bag

    If it's quilted, it's for me.  This is a splurge but it's too pretty to only use as a gym bag.  Use it as your every day handbag!

    For those that run everywhere:

    Lululemon Kickin It Back Backpack

    Loving this backpack and the cool details.  It's a beautiful shade of purple, the zipper details are perfection and the wet/dry storage compartments are genius.  The perfect bag to take anywhere you need to go from the studio, work, the beach, you name it. Backpacks can be stylish!

  • How many classes per week should I do? It may be less than you think! View Article

    Our clients often ask us about how many classes they should do each week for effective results.

    The optimum amount of classes that we recommend per week depends on the type and intensity of the class you are doing.   The higher the intensity of the classes, the less you need to do, and the more time you need to allow your body to recover in between sessions.  In fact, less frequent, short, high intensity training sessions are not only super effective - they will allow you to enjoy other things in your life! Generally speaking, for beginners we recommend no more than two to three sessions a week.  For others, no more than four sessions per week.    Ideally everyone would do one HIIT session, and one to three Pilates or Barre sessions per week.   “Our bodies and minds need to be challenged. If your routine is the same every day your body goes into auto pilot mode. Switching it up creates a great kind of body/mind confusion. Not only will results start to happen but you will be an overall better athlete.” Why?  1. Rest days are so important: The changes to your body (increased strength, improved cardio fitness, fat loss) come after training – during the recovery period – not during the training session itself.  Allowing your body to heal and recover is an essential part of the training process. 2. Increasing the amount of training sessions per week that you do won’t result in more improvement – actually the opposite happens.  If you don’t allow your body to properly recover between sessions, it puts you at risk of “overtraining”.  Overtraining leads to diminishing returns (the more you train, the lower the rate of improvement), training plateaus and eventually injury.  If you’ve been injured before – you know how it can quickly remove any fitness achievements -  very discouraging! 3. Fitness and healthy eating is a lifestyle – not a sprint.  Very few people can keep up an exercise routine of 5-7 sessions per week for long periods of time.  You will eventually tire of this, your body will be fatigued and it will lead to taking “time off” from fitness and losing the benefits of all the hard work you have put in.

  • Let\'s care more about our bones! View Article

    Do you know someone who has recently broken a bone? It's not fun.   Once you break a bone you immediately realise how essential it is for performing every day activities.  


      Osteoporosis is a common disease in Australia (especially among women) – it affects over one million people.  This disease makes bones brittle and causes them to break much more easily than normal bone. We generally think about exercise and fitness as essential for maintaining our muscles, cardiovascular system and body weight. Exercise as a means of keeping your bones healthy may not spring to mind - but it should! 

    Bone tissue is amazing – like muscle, it becomes stronger in response to exercise.  Exercise is recognised as one of the most effective lifestyle strategies to help make bones as strong as possible - the catch is that exercise must be regular (at least three times per week) and ongoing to have a meaningful benefit. 

    When our muscles pull on our bones through exercise, bone tissue becomes stronger through increased deposition of mineral salts and production of collagen fibres by osteoblasts. For most people, bone mass peaks during your 30s.  Young women and men who exercise regularly generally achieve greater peak bone mass (maximum bone density and strength) than those who do not.  

    How can you ensure you have strong, healthy bones?  

    THE RIGHT KIND OF EXERCISE 

    When it comes to bone health, not all types of exercise are equal. Bone strength depends on the specific way that stress is applied to the bone during the exercise (so although swimming and cycling are great for our cardio health, they're not so great for bone strength).  The best kinds of exercise to keep your bones strong are weight-bearing aerobic activity and strength or resistance training. 

    WEIGHT-BEARING AEROBIC ACTIVITY (EXERCISE WHILE DONE ON YOUR FEET) 

    This includes both low impact and high impact activities such as Barre, HIIT, brisk walking, running, aerobics, tennis and dance, which all help to build and retain bone mass. Swimming and cycling, although great activities for general health and fitness, are not good forms of exercise to promote bone strength, as they are non-weight bearing. 

    RESISTANCE TRAINING (STRENGTH TRAINING) 

    This includes any exercise where the muscles have to work hard to overcome a resistance such as your body weight (as in a push-up) or a weight (such as a biceps curl with hand weights). Strength training has been shown to significantly increase bone density and reverse the effects of bone degeneration associated with aging.  Core Candy Barre,HIIT and Pilates Springboard classes all include resistance training. 

    GOOD NUTRITION

    For strong bones, we need to consume Vitamins A, C and D, Calcium and Phosphorus. 

    Calcium intake is so important! Your calcium levels in your bones are not fixed so a drop in calcium in the body’s fluids causes the breakdown of mineral salts and the release of calcium from the bone. 

    ideas for FOODS HIGH IN CALCIUM 

    Dairy products (milk, yogurt and cheese);  broccoli; dark, leafy greens; edamame; figs; oranges;  sardines; canned salmon;  white beans;  nuts and seeds; tofu  

    …and hold the salt (it can negatively affect bone strength)!

  • Lost Your Fitness Mojo? Six Tips To Beat Summer Fatigue. View Article

    It's the beginning of a brand new year and the "New Year, New You" campaigns surround us. We all have the best intentions to eat healthier, be more active, be more social, be more everything!  But it's also summer - woot!  We know you want to be out there enjoying yourself, resting and relaxing.  But the annoying truth is that when you make time for your body and your fitness, you'll feel better and more confident in your summer clothes, more energised for those long summer nights and generally fab!

    Here are some tips to help keep you on track this summer when you have other things to do: 

    When you’d rather make the most of your summer evenings at the bar rather than the barre… Start working out in the morning!  If you’re not a morning person – yes, it’s HARD to start.  You’ll think of lots of really good excuses for pressing your snooze button.  But once you get into the habit of waking up and actually getting out of bed (it may only be slightly earlier than your normal time) you won’t mind so much.    

    Book into your class the day before and tell someone that you are going – you’ll feel more compelled to go.  Set aside your workout clothes and anything else you need for your day the night before.   Most importantly - find a class or form of exercise that you actually like doing! If you workout out with people that motivate you and you’re doing something you enjoy,  you will be less likely to skip it.    

    When you work out first thing in the morning, you burn calories all day (especially if it's an Accelerate session!).  You will have more energy (thanks to your feel good hormones) and get more stuff done.  You are also far more likely to make healthy food choices.  Summer makes us feel more spontaneous, social and free so knock a session out in the morning and feel better about doing the other things you love.   

    When you go away and those 10 days away threaten your pre-holiday fitness ethic… Look at your schedule before your leave and plan ahead for when you get back. When you have your workouts already in your calendar, you don’t have too much to think about – you just have to turn up.  Sign up for a membership and start on your first day back from holidays so there’s no question that you’ll make your weekly sessions.   

    When you have a constant stream of friends or family visiting…Bring them along to a class. Show off how fit you have become! Or contact us to arrange a private group class with your fiends or family for a time that suits you all.    

    When your work schedule is too inconsistent… Keep your exercise clothes at the office.  If your schedule suddenly changes – your deadline was pushed back, your 5pm meeting cancelled, something that seemed urgent isn’t really – pick up that bag and head to a class instead!    

    Another thing to try is to start out slowly.  Commit to doing one non-negotiable class on the weekend every week and go from there.  You’ll love the way you feel after class and it will help make up for all that other time spent in the office.  

    When your weekends are filled with brunches, weddings, rooftop bars, kids activities, farmers markets… Make a commitment to do at least two classes during the week and leave your weekends free for other things.  Have fun on the weekend showing off your toned arms while sipping a drink!   

    When, despite all your efforts and best intentions, your schedule just doesn’t allow you to make a class… Let’s face it, there are times when your job or family or [fill in blank] has to come first.  If this is happening to you too regularly, take control of your schedule and book a private session with your favourite instructor. Schedule it in your calendar like you would schedule any other important appointment or meeting. You get one hour to spend on yourself, doing exactly what you want to reach your fitness goals. It’s your time to be selfish, focus on your form, your breath, your movement.  

    The best way to stay connected to your fitness routine is to remember why you love it. Your health shouldn’t be a chore, it should be a joy. If you love it, it will become easier!

  • 9 Nov 2014 - Introducing Fiona View Article

    Our new instructor Fiona Di Carlo hails from London, England.  Fiona is a professional musician as well as an amazing instructor! Fiona has over 9 years experience in the health, fitness and wellbeing industry, working in Personal Training, Group Fitness, Pilates and Management. She believes in a holistic and functional approach to exercise and draws on her Pilates, fitness and psychology background to ensure you are working to your full potential. Fiona is so inspiring - her classes are fun and challenging, and ultimately really rewarding.  You can catch Fiona teaching Accelerate and Pilates at Core Candy.

    Fiona shares with us the food she’s obsessed with, her secret talents, and more…

    1.     What food can you not live without?

    Any of my husband’s pasta dishes! He is Sicilian and definitely knows how to make a good pasta.

    2.     Last book you read? 

    Gone Girl

    3.     What are your biggest indulgences?

    Refer to question 2! Plus a glass or two of a good red.

    4.     Which beauty products do you swear by?

    Dr Bronner liquid soap in Lavender, Priori's Idebenone range, Lanolips lip ointment, Alpha Keri bath oil.

    5.     What's the best gift you've received?

    My new Volkswagen Golf...a surprise gift from my husband a few months ago! (Lucky girl!)

    6.     Which apps are you obsessed with?

    Essential Anatomy (a bit geeky I know!), Spotify, Pinterest, Instagram.

    7.     What is your go-to karaoke/shower song? 

    Roxette or Fleetwood Mac

    8.     What's the screensaver on your phone/computer?

    Me and my 3 siblings.

    9.     What item in your closet do you wear the most?

    My leather jacket

    10. What song instantly puts you in a good mood?

    Get Lucky by Daft Punk

    11. What's your secret talent? 

    I'm a professional cellist and used to play in a band for many years in London.

    12. Best advice you ever received?

    Don't let self-doubt hold you back from achieving your dreams!

    13. Favourite exercise?

    Favourite Pilates exercise: leg stretch with small stability ball under pelvis. Great for core strength but also challenges stability...plus it feels quite nice, which is a bonus!

  • Get out of the slump – tips for perfect posture View Article

    Have you ever noticed how babies and young children sit up perfectly
    straight with ease?  And they look so proud and happy? As we age, bad habits like slouching and inactivity cause muscle fatigue and tension and ultimately lead to poor posture.

    Why do we care? 

    Our posture really affects our appearance – standing tall makes you look taller, thinner and more confident.  One reason that clothes look immaculate on models is that models always stand tall, making the clothes fall and fit better.

    Our posture affects our health!  When we slouch, in addition to throwing off our natural balance, we crowd our internal organs.  This can result in sluggish digestion, which can lead to problems from dull skin to a protruding “pooch” of a stomach (when you slouch over, your internal organs have nowhere to go but down and out) and to overall weight gain.

    Let’s fix it

    The first step to better posture is simply being aware of it. Look in the mirror and ask yourself the following questions:

    -        do you stand with your weight on one leg? 

    -        do you lock your knees when you stand? 

    -        do you roll in or out on your feet (hint: check the soles or heels of your shoes!)

    -        are your shoulders rounded forward? 

    -        is your chest lifted?

    -        is one shoulder lower than the other?

    -        is any part of your back rounded?

    -        does your tummy stick out? 

    And when you checked yourself out – did you stand taller?  If so, keep that up – you’re one step close to better posture.

    Throughout the day, think about your posture and focus on the following tips:

    -        keep your chest lifted!  Imagine you have a large headlight on your chest – keep it steady and shining outward

    -        roll your shoulders back and keep them down – well away from your ears

    -        stay long in your waist to avoid crowding your organs.  Try to create space between your bottom ribs and hips - imagine you are wearing a corset.

    -        keep your knees soft (or a little bent) rather than locked in straight

    -        keep your stomach engaged – so rather than simply sucking in, pull your ab muscles “in”(towards your spine) and “up” (towards the back of your neck)  

    -        keep your spine in a straight line, from its base through to the crown of your head.  Imagine helium balloons are tied to your waist and lifting you up!

    -        don’t look down – keep your gaze up!

    -        breathe!

    The key to improving your posture in the long run is a stronger core  - a strong core is essential to any movement and helps stabilise and protect your spine.  Pilates is ideal for strengthening your core.

    At Core Candy we incorporate simple Pilates exercises in all styles of classes – including Barre and Accelerate – and focus on your form so that you get the most out of the work you are putting in to your workout.

    For any questions or tips on improving your posture or areas you feel you need more work on, feel free to contact one of the Core Candy team members.

  • 23 Oct 2014 - ​Barre – have you tried it yet? View Article

    Miranda Kerr, Sarah Murdoch, Samantha Armytage, Megan Gale, Jessica Alba, Natalie Portman, Madonna, and the Victoria’s Secret models have been doing this style of workout for years  - but what exactly is Barre?

    Barre workouts have been popular in the US for many years now but are relatively new to Australia.  The low-impact, full body workout is designed to give you a long, lean, dancer-like physique including a firm, lifted bottom! The reason they have become so popular in recent years is that they actually provide results.  With consistency, you will find that your body becomes slimmer and more toned – perfect for summer!

    While all Barre workouts differ, most methods incorporate exercises done at the ballet barre for support, combined with elements of ballet, cardio dance and Pilates. The basic technique was developed by German dancer Lotte Berk, who opened a studio in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York in the 1970s.  Lotte Berke inspired many of the current Barre methods. 

    Candice Brown developed the Core Candy Barre method based on her years of experience in dance performance and teaching Pilates and Barre in some of the most popular studios in New York and San Francisco.  Candice found that form and technique would often take a backseat in many of the popular Barre workout classes and consequently, the classes were not as effective or as safe as they could be.  She developed the Core Candy Barre method based on sound Pilates principles and exercises that are safe for the body without sacrificing fun or results. 

    Participating in our Barre classes will strengthen, tone and balance your whole body, as well as increase your flexibility.  Our method consists of highly effective sequences of toning and resistance exercises.  We focus on your core, arms, seat and thighs, and then stretch out and lengthen your worked muscles to promote flexibility. We will use light weights, therabands, small balls and of course the ballet barre to help you get that dancer’s body. You'll walk out after this class with a skip in your step, glistening brow and the upstanding posture of a trained dancer.  

    Core Candy’s Barre classes are multi-level and are appropriate all fitness levels, experience and body sizes.  The class is primarily a fitness class and so no dance experience is necessary!!

    Feel free to email us at info@corecandy.com.au if you have any questions about our Barre classes or any of the other classes that we offer (Pilates and HIIT). We’re here to help you!

  • 20 Oct 2014 - What is HIIT? View Article

    A lot of people have asked us “What is HIIT?”  HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval
    Training and describes any workout that alternates between short, intense bursts of activity and fixed periods of less intense activity (or rest).  The aim is to keep up your heart rate and fire up your metabolism (thanks to “afterburn”).  What does this mean for me? You’ll burn calories and fat for many hours after the workout.

    HIIT workouts are really popular in the US for many reasons, but mainly because they are effective, efficient and make you feel really good (well, at least after you are done!)

    It sounds frightening, I know.  Although I love fitness I am more of a low impact workout person (love lying down on squishy mats and reformers!)  The thought of going to a HIIT class after a tiring day in the office (or even more tiring, a day at home with my 2 little ones!) was dreadful.  But I’m a working mum with little spare time and I wanted an efficient workout that I didn’t have to do every day to see results.

    After my first HIIT workout, I felt exhausted and emotional.  Yet I also felt like an athlete ready to take on the world! I made myself go to a second HIIT class and a third, and now I can honestly say that I love them.  I love the feeling of accomplishment that you get after the workout is done, when the lights are dimmed and we are stretching out to fantastic cool down music.  I also love that I know that I got in a good workout -- sometimes it’s hard to tell.

    Accelerate is Core Candy’s signature HIIT workout.  Derived from popular workouts currently offered in New York City, the Accelerate class is a strength cardio hybrid class.  We use springs, kettle bells, medicine balls, resistance bands and other props to challenge you. Every day offers a new combination of exercises and props to keep you on your toes and avoid boredom!

    The best part?  Everyone in the class participates in the exercises at the same time.  We find that the group setting really helps with motivation, provides encouragement and increases personal energy levels.  The other day in a class, a guy doing the exercises next to me said “come on, you can do it!” (goodness knows what my face looked like at that moment!), and that pushed me to find the energy to get it done.

    Try it out – I’ll see you in class!

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