Q and A with Libby Babet, from Bottoms Up Fitness and Agoga

Posted on 27 November 2013

Libby wears the Libby Hoody

Vie Active's great friend and fitness inspiration, Libby Babet from Bottoms Up! Fitness had the goal of making exercise a fun, social experience that not only got great results, but provided a non threatening, easy going and accessible environment for all women. Today her mission is simple, she is there to provide health and fitness education that empowers women and inspires happy and healthy communities.

Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I live in Rose Bay with my husband Justin. We’ve been there since we got married and I love being close to the beach (Bondi) but just a little bit out of the bubble where it’s quieter! I run two fitness businesses, Bottoms Up! Fitness (www.bottomsupfitness.com.au), which is an outdoor boot camp for girls in the Eastern suburbs and AGOGA (www.agoga.com.au) which is a group personal training studio on Bondi Rd, Bondi. I’m also the fitness expert for Women’s Fitness Magazine and as an ex journalist, I love to blog and write for a bunch of other publications and websites, including my own.

What is your favourite thing to do on the weekend?

I’m an outdoors kinda gal, so after teaching weekend classes, I love to head to Bondi for a swim or a surf, or even a SUP around Rose Bay.

What’s your style like when you’re not working out?

I’m in lycra all day, so I like to wear loose, comfortable clothes when I’m not training. That’s probably why I love summer so much because I can throw on a dress and some thongs and I’m done.

Favourite healthy foods? Can you share a recipe with us?

It’s not always comfortable to run a training session on a full stomach, so I love a good light smoothie. I usually throw in some protein powder (I use Sunwarrior), frozen berries, sometimes a frozen banana, chia seeds, a handful of nuts, coconut water and some cacao powder. Add some ice and blend it up! 

What do you think sets your businesses apart?

We don’t try to be all things to all people, we have very specific niches, which allows us to create clear and consistent messaging and experiences that are perfect for our clients. We also like to lead from the front, we do our research and focus on delivering cutting edge sessions and events, plus a first class customer experience.

In your workouts, you always add a bit of conversation into the mix. Why do you feel like your workouts need to be more conversational and themed as opposed to just telling people, “Lift this and then run over there”?

At the end of the day, I’m just a little bit corny and I really love telling a good story! Seriously though, I think people push themselves harder when they understand exactly why they’re doing a particular workout, or have an appreciation for where it originated from. I mean, if you were doing the very same workout Usain Bolt did in the lead up to his last medal-winning event, you’d want to know about it, right? And if the session you’d just completed was scientifically designed by the Institute of Sport to help improve speed and torch fat, you’d want to know, rather than just be oblivious… because that knowledge would probably make you push all the harder! I think it’s so important to have a “why” behind everything you do, so we always try to explain the context of an exercise, or workout to the clients. We have themes because it makes it more interesting and again helps you to push harder when you can visualise. For example, imaging you’re running from zombies is a little more motivating than plodding along on a treadmill… ;)

What motivates and inspires you?
I’ve got a really clear vision of where I want to get to and it’s so nice to be surrounded by staff who are as excited as I am about where we can take things. The amazing crew at BUF! & AGOGA inspire me everyday.

What is your workout routine like? How often do you workout and what exercises are your favorites?
I workout 4 to 6 times per week, depending on my schedule. I make sure I lock in one session each week with my mentor Craig, who is a world class Olympic coach and extremely knowledgeable, so I learn a lot while getting a great workout. The rest of my sessions are usually either jumping in on an AGOGA or BUF! class, or trying out the following week’s sessions with the team.

My favourite workout is AGOGA Signature. It’s a metabolic workout and works through all your major energy systems to really get your body going. The session takes you through 1 minute of plyometrics, 7 minutes of resistance (weights and body weight), 15 minutes of high intensity cardio, then it’s back through the same 7 minutes of resistance and 1 minute of plyo training to finish off. You’re absolutely spent by the end but you feel amazing!

You’ve got a lot of things on your plate right now. Between, your bootcamp businesses, your athletic gym-training, your website and your journalistic responsibilities, how do you juggle all of those responsibilities and find balance?

It’s very hard to juggle it all and so getting any kind of balance requires plenty of planning! I’m up at 4:15am, six mornings per week and out of the office most days until at least 3pm, running training sessions or at meetings. I work from my home office until around 8pm most nights (sometimes later if I have a deadline or a late class), trying to catch up on articles, business operations and email (which usually comes last).

I have quite a high threshold for stress, so all that energy expenditure is cool with my, but I do try to make sure I break up each day with a workout or some kind of down time (a dip in the ocean, or brunch with a friend/colleague). A good night’s sleep is obviously essential for me, so I try to get off the computer or phone at least an hour before bed and chill out with a book instead (I’m a MASSIVE book nerd, I love novels so much!).

Sundays are sacred in our household and I try to stay offline most of the day to give my brain a chance to unwind.

How is living an active life important for your confidence and success in your career?
It’s part of who I am, in every way, so it’s essential for me. I’d go crazy sitting in an office all day long! It’s not so much about body confidence for me, it’s more about getting outside and feeling healthy, happy, active and engaged with life.

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