Packing up, moving house and finishing up at her job has destroyed Juz’s daily ritual of waking up, heading to the gym and working out before going to work. Now that things have settled down a bit and with just over two weeks to go before we leave for our trip, Juz is focusing on getting back into some sort of routine with her exercise regime.
Andrew at Pivotal Health & Fitness had scheduled a ViPR training session at the 1000 Steps Kokoda Memorial Trail in the Dandenong Ranges National Park so Juz invited herself along.
Where is it?
The 1000 Steps is located to the east of the CBD in Ferntree Gully.
You can get there by catching the train towards Belgrave and it is a short walk from Upper Ferntree Gully station, or if you are travelling by car, head east along Burwood Highway and the car park for the track is located at the intersection with Mount Dandenong Tourist Road.
GPS Coordinates: -37.88637,145.317833
The 1000 Steps Kokoda Memorial Trail was made in the early 1900s and is one of the most treasured spots for outdoor fitness enthusiasts. Despite what the name suggests, there are only about 770 steps, but the path weaves through lush forest full of ferns, moss and eucalypts. Dotted along the way are commemorative plaques that offer a perspective into the experiences of Australian soldiers of 1942.
The track is a 1.5km stairway that ascends about 275m up Tree Fern Gully Track and requires a reasonable level of fitness to complete. There are benches at a few locations on the way if you need to sit down and catch your breath. Andrew brought his ViPR tubes along for some additional exercises once we got to the top. He carried the 12kg ViPR up the track while Juz had a 6kg ViPR.
We reached the top of the stairs after about 20 minutes and once we had a quick drink, we started our ViPR session. ViPR stands for Vitality, Performance and Reconditioning and is a whole-body training system that revolutionises free-weight exercise and “bridges the gap between movement and strength”.
Andrew is a qualified national ViPR trainer and put together a selection of exercises that were completed in 30 second intervals.
Set #1 – repeated twice
3-point lunges with lateral shift
Side shuffles with lateral tilt
Set #2 – repeated twice
Plank lateral drags
Lyrebird Track is the usual return route but it was closed for fitness facility upgrades so we took the stairs back down. The downward journey back to the car was a lot cruisier and allowed us to soak up the scenery around us. Cockatoos were squawking overhead and crimson rosellas were romping around in the trees, getting close enough to pinch some sandwich crusts from a group of school girls.
At the base of the track is a memorial terrace that was completed in August 2012, just in time for the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Isurava. There is a panelled wall that provides historical insight and photographs of the war, as well as four pillars that represent the Kokoda values – courage, endurance, mateship and sacrifice.
For more information about ViPR Personal Training, contact Andrew at http://www.pivotalfitness.com.au/
Check out the Parks Victoria website for info on the Dandenong Ranges National Park.