Bondi boot camp, baby!

Is your TV remote getting more of a work-out than your gym membership as the weather cools down? Take some inspiration from Sydney local Daniella as she meets her inner morning-person and discovers the fit and healthy underground of Bondi at dawn.

Pop down to Bondi at 5.45am, and you would be forgiven for thinking you had entered an alternate universe where the gym has hit the beach. Yogis perform downward dog, surfers catch waves, as soft sand runners count laps. Couples walk dogs, as goggled swimmers breast stroke from north to south. Muscled men compete to see who can complete the most pull ups on the outdoor bars, while backpackers doze on the sand in an attempt to recover from the previous night.

There may be an autumn chill in the air, but that hasn’t stopped the perky crew at Bottoms Up Fitness and their trademark girly boot camp on the sand. One of only two fitness groups allowed to exercise on the beach itself, the signature red and white of the group’s trainers is a familiarly cheerful sight to locals in the morning.
Providing motivation for heeding an inhumanly early alarm clock, Head Trainer Libby is always ready to greet the “Bottoms” with smiley enthusiasm. With wrenching myself out of bed proving the most challenging part of my ordeal, watching the sun rise over the ocean as we run through a variety of drills is an uplifting reward to kick-start the day.

Tailored specifically to ladies, the Bottoms Up crew provide a series of high intensity workouts that continually keep the body guessing. They recognise that girls have unique goals and physiology, and focus on making the sessions fun to generate a positive association with exercise and fitness.
They mix cardio, movement, boxing and weights with yoga and dance classes, targeting the problem areas of women’s bodies and focusing on health and well being.

With a mission to get us fit and healthy, Libby, Ali, Jay and the crew have found an effective combination of ingredients to encourage exercise during the colder months – fun and different workouts to keep us guessing, spectacular sunrises to make us smile, and constant contagious energy and enthusiasm.

My first early start feels like torture, but after a week of jumping, burpies and boxing on the sand, I’m feeling motivated, energised and ready to join the alternate universe of fitness on the beach!
Bottoms Up! Social Fitness Head Trainer Libby Babet gives us her top tips for keeping your fitness and health up when temperatures start to drop…

Libby Babet

Libby Babet

1. Get out of the house and do something active – For at least 30-60 minutes every single day, ideally in the morning, so your motivation doesn’t wane as the day gets on. Getting exposure to ‘real’ outdoor light has been proven to have an incredibly positive effect on mindset. Add to that the mood-boosting serotonin that floods your brain when you work up a sweat and you’re guaranteed to be smiling ear-to-ear.
2. Make an effort to keep up your social life –A decrease in social activities during the winter can have an impact on your mood and energy levels, so why not link your social time in with your fitness regime by inviting a group of like-minded friends to get active with you, or join a group exercise program.
3. Nourish your body with good nutrition – Increase your fruit and vegetable intake, make sure you’re getting enough good quality protein in your diet, resist those stodgy carbs and snack on nuts and seeds to keep your body in tip-top condition and send your energy levels soaring.
4. A few ‘hot’ tips: Warm foods and drinks are more satisfying and comforting during cooler weather, so reach for homemade soups, roast veggies and stews to keep your appetite in check. Eat plenty of ‘good’ fats like fish, avocado, organic meats and olive oil and avoid excess sugars, as they’re more likely to be stored as fats during the winter, when your body’s in ‘store and save’ mode.
5. Remember that consistency is incredibly important – Make sure you do at least three good workouts per week during the winter, including resistance-based sessions to keep your lean muscle mass up and your metabolism high. You’ll be thankful when spring comes around and you’re still looking and feeling fantastic!
An Easy, Healthy Winter Recipe – Homemade Veggie Soup!
This recipe couldn’t be easier, just follow these easy steps…

  1. Choose a selection of your favourite veggies. We love pumpkin, broccoli or cauliflower, carrots and peas.
  2. Either steam all the veg, or bake them at 200 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until soft.
  3. Throw all your cooked veggies into a food processor or blender and blend them all up until smooth (or chunky, if you prefer your soup with a little oomph!)
  4. Add salt, pepper, spices and perhaps a little cream, coconut milk, or yoghurt to taste.


Serve immediately!
Libby is the founder of Bottoms Up! Social Fitness and is a passionate advocate of health, nutrition and fitness. You can read more from Libby and her team at

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