Say Oui! Get health, happiness & the body you want.

HeraldSun July 2012 - Living Live To The Max

Age is no barrier to looking and feeling great for this super woman, writes KAMAHL COGDON

LESLEY Maxwell has a body that most women half her age would die for. The 56-year-old mother of three refuses to age gracefully. Indeed, she refuses to age at all.

"I like to feel like I'm 20 all the time," she says.

"I'm not ready to surrender feeling this good.

"I've always had an incredible interest in feeling as young and as fantastic as I can all the time."

Now the Melbourne-based personal trainer and bodysculpting champion is spreading her message with her new book Get the Body You Want, How to Look and Feel Great at Any Age.

While she admits to having had breast augmentation, Maxwell's enviable physique is the result of weight training and "clean" and clever eating.

"Clean eating is eating food that hasn't been processed in any way. The only ingredient in the food is the food itself," Maxwell explains.

"I would never buy anything in a box with all these ingredients you don't even recognise."

Maxwell says that when it comes to getting the body you want, 70 to 80 per cent of your results come down to what you put in your mouth.

"So it's really worth going over and knowing what you're eating," she says.

She says most women don't eat enough protein, which is needed to maintain the body's lean muscle.

"You need at least 1g of protein per kilo of body weight, even if you're not training," she says.

An egg contains about 6g of protein, while organic chicken breast contains about 25-30g of protein. Lean red meat and fish are other good sources of protein.

Maxwell says a key is not to over-eat, using the palm of your hand as a guide to appropriate protein portion size.

Another key is to eat just one carbohydrate at each meal, rather than the three or four many of us stack on our plates. "If you just stick to one carb at a time, with your protein, your salad or leafy green and your good fat, you've got a perfectly balanced meal," she says.

"It keeps you feeling like you're full and it's enough to give you energy and fibre."

Maxwell, who usually eats five times a day, says snacking is fine, provided you eat mini versions of a healthy main meal rather than junk such as chips and biscuits.

Almonds, fruit, eggs or cottage cheese on a brown rice cake make great "mini meals", Maxwell says.

The other essential part of Maxwell's fitness philosophy is weight training, which she says counteracts the body's natural process of replacing lean muscle that is not being used with soft body fat after the age of 25.

She says women should not be scared of muscle.

"Women associate it with men and being masculine, but it's really nice to feel firm and not feel any wobble," she says.

"As well as giving you shape, it's your fat-burning tissue. If you have lean muscle on you, it burns calories even when you're not working out."

FINDING time to exercise can be hard when there are kids to raise, a house to keep and a paid job to hold down. So you want to make sure you're getting reward for effort from the workout you choose.

Squats, push-ups, dips and abdominal bicycles are the "bigvalue exercises" which should be part of every woman's workout routine, says personal trainer and body-sculpting champion Lesley Maxwell.

"If I had 30 minutes, there's no way I'd spend it on a treadmill," she says. "I'd be doing big-value exercises such as squats or push-ups or lunges, exercises that work seven different muscles all at once and give you value for your time."

Maxwell says too many women make the mistake of focusing on their cardio fitness, such as running on a treadmill, at the expense of strength building. "The minute you stop on the cardio that's when the benefit of that exercise stops.

"Cardio is great for your lungs and your heart but it doesn't do anything to give you a shapely body or a strong back or shapely arms or a nice chest."

Maxwell says strength training, using hand weights, or even just your body weight, creates more lean muscle, which is much more efficient than body fat at burning the energy we consume in our food.

She says doing "big-value exercises" for just 20 minutes three or four times a week will boost strength and create a more toned body within a few weeks.

Maxwell has created two "ad break workouts" so busy women can exercise at home while watching their favourite TV show.

She says these workouts are great for beginners, with the second workout slightly more difficult than the first and designed to exercise different parts of the body.

Workout 1

SQUATS: 30 seconds


PUSH-UPS: 30 seconds

AB BICYCLE: 30 seconds

STRETCH: Until your show resumes or while watching your show

Workout 2

LUNGES: 30 seconds


DIPS: 20 seconds

HALF OR FULL PLANK: 30 seconds

STRETCH: Until your show resumes or while watching your show



Benefit: Tone triceps

(the muscles on the back of your arms)

How: Take a seat on a bench or solid chair with your hands by your sides, holding the edge. Keep your elbows close to your sides and facing the back of the room. Extend your legs and place your heels on the ground (beginners can keep their feet a bit closer and extend them as they progress). Keep your body close to the bench or chair and while breathing in slowly lower your body down in a straight line until your elbows are at right angles. Breathe out as you slowly push back up and your arms straighten. Take care not to lock your elbows.

(Click here to download PDF article)