With the goal of losing 25 kilos for her wedding, Paula Pool started training in 2001 and never stopped, sculpting herself into a National Body Building Champion in six years. Now the weight-lifting mother-of-two gets the most pleasure out of seeing others transform.
Occupation: I’ve been a PT and coach for 12 years. I also own the BOD POD at Muscle & Fitness, Domain (a safe, non-invasive, highly accurate body composition testing machine).
How are you active? I train six days a week with free weights at the gym and do cardio on my treadmill at home. I get up at 3.45am and do 30 minutes while the kids are in bed, before I start work at 5am.
What activity makes you the happiest? I love lifting weights. I love feeling strong and seeing my strength get better each week.
“The wedding was in June 2002 and I started training in October 2001 and was hooked. I went on to lose 25kg, and have never put this back on” – Paula Pool
Are you a morning or afternoon mover? Either — I just work around the kids and clients.
What’s your favourite thing to do on a weekend in Townsville? Hang out with the family. It can be tough dividing yourself between two businesses, being a wife, lover and mother; so it’s great to have some down time.
How do you pep yourself up when you’re craving the couch? I’m quite robotic, as I just think: “This is what I need to do to get to where I want to go”. It’s never a question: It’s, “Righto, there’s the alarm, let’s go”. Don’t get me wrong, I do crave and have those days, but being a very stubborn head strong person I tend to win the battle with my head most of the time.
Your most motivating tune? Anything by ACDC.
What’s something we don’t know about you? I actually used to be really overweight. I smoked a packet of cigarettes a day and drank a fair bit as well. Although I always loved athletic bodies, I was a ‘gunna’ person. It wasn’t until I got engaged that I decided to lose weight. The wedding was in June 2002 and I started training in October 2001 and was hooked. I went on to lose 25kg, and have never put this back on.
What’s your greatest fitness achievement? In 2007 I won the Australian Title in bodybuilding. It was a hell of a lot of commitment. I started competing in 2002 and finished with the Aussie Title in 2007.
Motivational quote? “Your body achieves what your mind believes”. The mind can be your biggest enemy.
Best active moment? These days it’s training fitness, figure and body builders and watching them totally transform. I can see what they’re capable of; it’s making them see it that’s the hardest part.
What activity have you always wanted to try (and what’s holding you back)? Scuba diving – I don’t want to get eaten by a fish!
Most annoying fitness fad? Fads in general. Being fit and healthy is not a fad — it should be a way of life.
“Don’t fear the Hill — take your time and if you can’t get the whole way up don’t worry. I didn’t finish it the first time” – Paula Pool
What’s your next goal? I’d like to compete locally at the end of 2014 in the ANB Coral Coast Classic and North Queensland Naturals Bodybuilding Championships.
What are you doing to get there? Everything possible!
Most embarrassing moment on the go? An untimely incident with flaxseed oil and a protein shake.
Who would you most like to train with? Would love to train with Luke McNally (owner of Mass Nutrition) on a regular basis.
The training advice I wish I’d listened to was… “Just follow the diet”. I say it to my clients now (but I tend to say it with a little more passion than that!). Also, don’t read into fads. The thing is, we make things hard for ourselves. If we just ate a healthy well-balanced diet, weight trained and did regular cardio, it would lead to a much healthier lifestyle. Women in particular are afraid of lifting weights — they think that doing lots of cardio is the answer. Weight training is the answer for sure and it changes the shape of your body.
My best local fitness tip is… The Strand or Castle Hill — how could you not want to be out there? Don’t fear the Hill — take your time and if you can’t get the whole way up don’t worry. I didn’t finish it the first time.
Tell us a joke (why not)… Why did the chicken go to the gym? To work on his pecs!!
Last words? Take photos and document your journey. A photo can tell you more than the scales ever will. Don’t wait till Monday to start… start today — be the best version of yourself.