Friday Fitness with Alexa Towersey
WOWZA! I love this woman! Alexa has over 15 years experience in the health & fitness industry as a sports & fitness model, athlete and personal trainer, nutrition and lifestyle coach. She started her career as a body double for top American fitness model Victoria Pratt, was part of the judging panel for the internationally acclaimed Body for Life competition and has worked with NZ’s world champion rugby team, the All Blacks. She has qualified for the Ironman 70.3 World Champs, and was named as one of the 5 “Toughest Trainers in Asia”. She is one of only a handful of female trainers worldwide to be a fully certified Instructor under the infamous Gym Jones (the US based outfit responsible for the physiques in 300 and Man of Steel), in addition to being an internationally certified Polestar Pilates Instructor, and completing in-house training and practical internships with industry leaders Poliquin, Marinovich, Martin Rooney and Gray Cook.
Alongside Sally “Super Shredder” Matterson, she has co-founded the Weights for Women retreats. The retreats launched in December 2015 at The Real Movement Project facility in Byron Bay, and will be rolling out throughout Australia and internationally, with the aim of empowering women everywhere to get comfortable and confident using weights in the gym.
Alexa is a Precision Nutrition coach and Bio Signature Practitioner. She works with her clients to identify any potential hormonal imbalances within the body, which allows for the creation of a very comprehensive and individualized plan of attack, inclusive of all aspects of training, nutrition and lifestyle.
Alexa has appeared on CNN and Bloomberg in her capacity as a fitness expert, in addition to being Channel 9's Weekend Today Fitness Expert and the trainer and taskmaster for Season 5 of Asia's very own Supermodel Me. She is a regular contributor to international lifestyle publications inclusive of Cosmopolitan, Women's Health, Women's Fitness, Cleo, The Daily Mail Online and The Daily Telegraph.
Without further adieu, Alexa shares with us her fitness, food and style ethos;
1. What fitness activity do you schedule into your daily routine to keep healthy?
I used to be all about hard core training. I was always too busy to recover. Then I started getting niggling injuries that didn't fix themselves as quick as I wanted them to. Now, I buy into the importance of putting back in what you take out, and I notice a big difference in how my body feels and performs, if I include at least 30 mins of foam rolling or trigger point therapy every day. I like the analogy of the body being a bank account. If you keep withdrawing money (all your training sessions), and never make any deposits (your recovery sessions), then you'll eventually end up overdrawn (sick or injured)!
I love training legs, and this is my favorite booty burner that requires no equipment, minimal space and less than 30 mins of your time.
20 x squat (ass to grass)
20 x lunge
12 x split jump (lunge jump)
10 x squat jump
10 x burpees (chest to ground)
For time. 90 secs rest. 5 rounds.
2. Describe your dream meal - what could we expect to find on your plate?
I am such a food lover, but I'm sad to say that my culinary skills don't quite match up to my eating ability! I'm also intolerant to a lot of the foods that I'd really like to get stuck into, including some healthy options too. I was devastated when I found out I couldn't have coconut, as I used to love making kumara (kiwi for sweet potato) fries coated in coconut oil! I tried scallops for the first time this year, and now I live out at A Fish Called Coogee - they make the best scallops and garlic prawns around. If I'm having a cheat meal (yes I do have them!!!), my go-to is anything salted caramel. I'd be in trouble if I lived near Messina (a famous gelato place in Sydney) because their salted caramel ice cream with white chocolate chips is to die for, though I wish they'd stop asking me if I really wanted all 3 scoops! I do!
To be honest, I typically create really simple meals that are fish or white meat based with either salad or veges, and I don't need a recipe for those. However I do love a good breakfast, and one of my quick and easy go-to brekkie dishes is Avocado, Cottage Cheese and cherry tomatoes on Ezekial toast. I'm also a fan of green smoothies.
Green Smoothie recipe
Put all the following in a blender
1 cup spinach
1 cup kale
1 TBSP hemp seeds
1 TBSP chia seeds
1 cup water/coconut water
1/4 fresh lemon juice
3. Who's your go-to style icon - who have you always admired for their style and why?
I was never really into fashion. I'm probably about as far away from a girlie girl as you can get. In fact, before I came to Sydney, I barely owned a dress or a pair of heels! If I could turn up to events in sports gear, I would! However, living with Renae (Ayris) and having to go to events with her has meant that I've had to adjust a little and even don some makeup - sometimes she has to force me to put mascara and lip gloss on before I leave the house. Surprisingly enough, I love watching what Victoria Beckham, Olivia Palermo, Rosie Huntington-Whitely and Nicole Richie do with their style, but I would probably emulate the likes of Gwen Stefani, Rita Ora or even Jessica Hart, since they're more sporty chic. I'm loving the Adidas Originals collection at the moment.
4. What's a childhood habit or mannerism that has followed you into adulthood?
It's not really a habit, but I have this irrational fear of sharks that I've had since I was a little kid. My Dad used to tell me that the movie Jaws ruined my life! I actually took up Half Ironman Training partly to prove to myself that I could overcome my fear and swim in the open water. That was in Asia though, I don't think that philosophy would hold in Australia! Oh and my love of cream eggs. I once won a cream egg eating competition, and they are still the way to my heart!
5. Name three things you can't leave the house without and why?
My headphones - Music is what pumps me up. When I'm walking to work at 4am, it's what gets me going and puts me in a good mood. When I'm training, it's like headphones on, world off! At the moment I'm loving my girl power - Jessie J, Paloma Faith, Little Mix, Arianne Grande and Rihanna.
My water bottle. I have this awesome BPA free water bottle that I take everywhere with me. If I don't have water on me, I won't drink enough during the day. And when I get dehydrated, I get a headache. Having a headache makes me grumpy. You get the picture! I also have a mantra that I wrote on the bottle which says "You are not a quitter", so I'm reminded of that every time I look at it, and it keeps me motivated.
My iPhone. I know that social media takes up so much of our time these days, but I actually think I have my entire life up "in the cloud". My tunes, my photos, my emails, my contacts and my schedule are all on there. And of course you never know when you're going to need to take a selfie or a photo of your food! haha. My friends and I actually have a screen ban when we catch up with each other now, where everyone hands their phones over and doesn't get them back until they leave. Otherwise we would never have an actual conversation!
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BIG LOVE to Alexa, thanks so much for taking 5 minutes to share your healthy life with us. I love following you on Instagram, you are such an inspiration to many and one mean motivating machine. Can't wait to have you next time and meet you in person next time I am in Sydney or you are here in Melbourne.
Happy (Fit) Friday!