Shelley Stark – Bodybuilder; Deadlift World Record; Nutrition, Lifestyle Coaching & Education.

Shelley Stark – Bodybuilder; Deadlift World Record, Lifestyle Coaching & Education.

Everyone has a story!  You don’t have to be famous, successful or an “influencer”.  Our stories, the culmination of our experiences, can truly help and make a difference in someone else’s life.

Shelley Stark WR Deadlift 2015


I wrote my story once, long ago, in the form of two self-published books.  To be honest, I cringe at those now due my lack of knowledge and understanding and I’m no longer that person anymore.  I’m older, wiser, and a lot more educated.  However, those experiences helped me become who I am today, as cliché as that sounds.

 Until recently I sat behind the scenes, not wanting to put myself ‘out there.’  I was happy in life.  I worked in a job I loved, a lot, and when I decided to leave that position, due to circumstances beyond my control, I was left with what now?

Shelley Stark INBA trophies


Being involved in powerlifting, although no longer competing myself (maybe again one day), at the recent Masters Championships in Cairns I was speaking to a few people about nutrition and they all said you should be doing coaching yourself, you have so much knowledge around this.  So, I came home, thought more about it, and now here I am, providing nutrition/lifestyle coaching and education and helping clients achieve their goals in a safe, effective and sustainable manner using evidence-based practices.

Rewinding a bit, in 2008 and 2009 I competed in figure bodybuilding competitions, placing 2nd & 3rd in my first year and 4th in my second.  Prior to this I had a long dieting history.  After this I was diagnosed by a sports psychologist with binge eating disorder.  It took me a few years to overcome this and get some semblance of normalcy in my life again involving eating.  In 2013 I started powerlifting.  My greatest achievement in this sport was getting the World Record for Deadlift in both 2014 and 2015 in the 67.5kg Women’s M1 category.  As others’ have said I love that powerlifting focuses on what your body can do rather than how it looks.  I’ve been involved in powerlifting ever since.

Nutrition is simple, yet we over-complicate it.

I believe this is partly due to the misinformation spread by the media.  Rubbish like; you need to omit carbs if you want to lose body fat; fasting will produce greater fat loss; clean eating is the only way you should eat; donuts and burgers are out of the question.  With garbage like this spread, it’s no wonder we are confused about and how and what to eat, especially if we want to decrease body fat percentage.

Shelley Stark Coaching at Brisbane Fitness Expo July 2019


There are many ways to go about fat loss.  The bottom line is you must be in a calorie deficit in order to get rid of fat.  The best diet is the one you can stick to, without too many feelings of deprivation, one where enjoyment is kept high and you are consistent week after week for as long as it takes.  Patience and persistence are keys to fat loss as well as behavioural changes made along the way in order to maintain fat loss once the diet has ended.

Shelley Stark posing at the after party



I have been feeling quite vulnerable, if I’m honest, with my posts on social media but when I receive messages such as “I’m loving your posts” I know I’m doing good and on the right path.  I love helping people and I want to make a difference so that we can all be free of the neuroses and stigma surrounding dieting and fat loss.  Just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s easy.  The best piece of advice I can give is to educate yourself, work with a nutrition coach if needed, or read as much as you can from reputable sources on the internet.


If you would like to discuss your Nutrition with me, please get in touch by sending your details in the Contact Form below…

    Jenelle Schultz – from ‘Gym-Bunny’ to Oceania’s 2018 Champion!

    Jenelle Schultz – from ‘Gym-Bunny’ to Oceania’s 2018 Champion!

    Jenelle Schultz Powerlifter


    I used to be your typical ‘gym-bunny’ – for most of my 30’s, daily workouts consisted of bodybuilding splits (light weight; high reps only) mixed with pump classes and spin classes. Cardio, cardio and more cardio, sometimes 2 classes a day, before and after work, along with every variation of diet or eating plan I could find, all to achieve the perfect sports model look.

    Like 99% of humans on the planet, that combination didn’t actually work.  I didn’t look like a sports model and I was continually trying every type of new workout or exercise and/or diet I could find, looking for the magic combination. 

    I don’t know whether turning 40 was some kind of tipping point – I have often heard that doing the same thing and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity, so I was probably keen to stop being nuts! I also had some nagging from a good friend to try powerlifting, so early in 2018 I turned up at yet another new gym and met Graham McDonald. The brave man agreed to give me shot at being a powerlifter, I’m still not sure why! I didn’t really fit into the powerlifting community – I don’t like heavy metal or donuts, and I have no tattoos, so I’m kind of a sparkly outlier – but the whole team embraced me anyway and my powerlifting adventures started from there.

    Jenelle Schultz Powerlifter SquatMy first comp was in May 2018 up at Airlie Beach (North Queensland, Australia) – I was super nervous and so grateful to have the McDonald Strength team, along with my husband Rob there to cheer me on – I actually got a medal in my first competition, coming 3rd in the 63kg class.

    From there I started to see significant changes in my body (remember, more muscle = more energy burnt!), and with some sensible nutrition I was able to go down into the 57kg class for Master’s Nationals 2018 where I won gold in my section.  I have great memories of that day, and that whole trip, where I got to share a flat and some great late night chats with my team mate Libby.Jenelle Schultz Powerlifter Bench

    The Oceania Championships in December 2018 was my absolute amazing, proudest and most devastating day in powerlifting to date, all in one. The amazing part was that I not only got to wear the green and gold and again won my section, but also came 1st overall in Master’s Women with a total of 330kg (Wilks 384.52).  I also had half the crowd cheering me on as a lot of family and friends came to see me lift – one of my best friends even made me a sparkly sign! But I was devastated when I missed my last deadlift – 150kg came off the floor easy but I couldn’t lock it out. This was my first failed deadlift in a competition and I felt like I’d let everyone down very badly. I know that sounds silly when I won literally everything I was eligible to win on the day, but it’s a personal goal that I was really looking forward to nailing… more to come on that. Jenelle Schultz Powerlifter Deadlift

    Oceanias was where I got to get more involved in the behind-the-scenes part of the sport too, by learning how to be involved on the technical desk, which also gave me a front row seat to the heavyweights session! I am also lined up to be a spotter & loader at an all-women competition later in the year.  That’s another thing about powerlifting – everyone helps out, which adds to the community spirit of the sport.

    Training is now my happy place, rather than just where I got to try and burn calories – the focus that each session requires means that the day’s problems are soon forgotten once warm ups are done. And no matter what my day has been like, I know that I’ll get to go and do something amazing when I get to training – what sort of person puts double their own body weight on their back and crouches down then stands up with it?! It really helps me put things in perspective – i.e. if I can do that, then the bad meeting I had with my boss, the slow traffic or the HR issue I have to deal with probably isn’t going to break me.

    Jenelle Schultz 2018 Oceania Best Womens Lifter

    Life feels very different now that I’m a powerlifter (and yes, I identify myself like that often enough to bug people!) – I no longer pine after the sports model look, I eat carbs, I wear short shorts. Life is good. I feel like I have found my thing, and my people.

    Of course I’m inspired by the superstars of powerlifting like Liz Craven and Marisa Inda – and more recently Jess Sewastenko – watching them always reminds me that any lift I attempt is actually possible. But I also love the diversity and opportunity for people of all shapes, sizes and ages to achieve.  I like to think that one day I’ll be an M5 lifter, still wearing sparkly stuff and listening to techo!

    For now my next goal is to defend my title at Master’s Nationals 2019 in Cairns. I also have that missed 150kg deadlift to reclaim from Oceanias – it had better be getting it’s affairs in order.

    Jenelle Schultz support crewI’m so happy that my story resonates… I can’t tell you just how much finding this sport has meant to me – the sense of purpose and belonging… hard to put into words but I hope I did it some justice… thankyou again for the opportunity to do this – it means a lot xxx – Jenelle Schultz

    Sarah Wheal – From CrossFit to Oceania Powerlifting Championships!

    Sarah Wheal & Liz Craven

    Sarah Wheal – From CrossFit to Oceania Powerlifting Championships!

    My name is Sarah Wheal and I’m an Elite Master’s Powerlifter. I feel like this would be a good introduction at Powerlifter’s Anonymous…

    Sarah Wheal Oceania Powerlifting Championships 2018

    I can probably count the number of sporting successes I had before I turned 40 on one hand. I joined the Air Force in my early 20’s, but was by no means “fit” – I could barely pass my fitness test. I smoked, drank, was a little plump, and didn’t go to the gym except when I had to do “remedial” PT after failing my fitness test each year.

    Sarah Wheal Crossfit Training

    In about 2008 I decided I wanted to be an Instructor at Officers’ Training School and thought I should probably be at least as fit as the students I was planning to set an example for. I finally managed to quit smoking, lost some weight and started going to the gym. Over the next few years, I did some fun runs, cycled, tried the 12 Week Body Transformation a few times, and then in 2012 started doing CrossFit.


    Sarah Wheal Crossfitter

    CrossFit became my happy place for the next 5 years, taking me to some cool places, doing some great fast exercising, entering local competitions, volunteering at major events and finding an amazing community. I dabbled in competitive Olympic lifting, but the reality was that I was much better at squat and deadlift than anything else. I persisted with oly because I actually saw it as superior to powerlifting (I was so wrong!).

    Sarah Wheal Crossfit

    Roll on to December 2017 and I decided that I wanted to aim higher. I set myself a 5 year goal of making the top 200 in my age group for CrossFit. I started training twice a day. In January 2018 we did the CrossFit Total (squat, strict press and deadlift) and I added another 20kg to my total.

    A chance conversation inspired me to enter a local powerlifting competition. I turned up with no idea, the wrong socks, CrossFit technique and no handler or coach. I was really lucky that this tiny woman called Liz decided I looked lost and took pity on me. She got me through the meet, and I came second to the incredible Jesse Akister in 72kg class, with a total of 330kg.

    Sarah Wheal & Liz Craven


    Liz (who turned out to be none other than Liz Craven) suggested that it would be a good idea if I trained with her. She was right. Over 2018, I competed in the Matti Tikka Challenge, then Masters Nationals. At my first nationals appearance I came third, and was able to secure a place in the Australian team for the Oceania Powerlifting Championship, where I won my class and came second over all in Masters Women with a total of 362.5 (Wilks 356.48).



    I love powerlifting. I love that it’s about what you can do, not how you look. I love the strong women I have met and look forward to learning more from them all as I grow in this sport.

    Author: Sarah Wheal

    What is Maintenance? By Ruby Cherie

    Let’s Talk Calories, Body Weight, TDEE, NEAT and All Things Maintenance!

    So, there is the whole cutting and building that we all know so well – but there is also this little magic land called maintenance. Sometimes the magic of the maintenance phase is so far overlooked!

    What is Maintenance?

    Basically, you are sitting in a ball park measure of your calories where you aren’t really losing or gaining weight.

    But here is the thing. The body doesn’t do math and we don’t live in a vacuum – so our metabolism – our TDEE – even our intake (calorie counts aren’t 100% accurate on the nutritional labels) – are not to the exact dot point. Everything is dynamic. So, we adjust – play it out for about 3-4 weeks, assess our data, act on it. If our body weight is roughly the same, then we are in a maintenance.

    Ruby Glute work, calories, body weight, TDEE, NEAT, maintenance


    Maintenance doesn’t mean:

    1.] You can expect your weight to remain the same daily or even weekly or monthly

    2.] You cannot make progress



    1.] Attempting to “shred” a fair amount & continuously for too long leads to:

    Increased hunger

    Increased fatigue

    Satiety falls, moods worsen, sleep worsens, digestion worsens… etc., etc.…

    And most of all… decreased Performance…. TDEE and NEAT drop and your metabolism adapts, and you stall… your risk of losing muscle becomes exponential.

    What is TDEE? Total Daily Energy Expenditure – this gives you a great indication of what calories you need to eat each day so as to maintain your current weight.

    What is NEAT? Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis – is the energy used in your everyday life when you’re not sleeping, playing sports or sports-like activity and eating. It could be when you go for a walk, gardening or working in the yard, just fidgeting or even typing.

    2.] Attempting to “bro bulk” continuously for too long leads to:

    Decreased insulin sensitivity

    Increased injury risk as you keep hammering training volume and intensity

    Increased fatigue same reason above

    ==> All leading to: exponential higher fat gain, injury & over-training risk


    The human body wants to remain the same…

    The longer you try to push an imbalance i.e. try & lose or gain weight, the harder it will push. Think about trying to cycle uphill, at first, you’re all OK, however as time goes on you tire and the chances of falling back get higher.

    Ruby Quads Calories, body weight, TDEE, NEAT, maintenance

    So, my thoughts on “bulking” or building?

    Muscle gain is much slower than fat loss, and most should attempt to gain it around 2 to 4 times slower.

    Muscle takes much more time to grow than fat can be burned off, we all know this.

    Therefore, you’ll be looking to gain muscle LONG TERM! OVER MONTHS… even a year or so…

    BUT it is also important to consider periodization and cyclical nutrition with slower weight gain… why?

    1.] the increasing fat gain &

    2.] Adaptive Resistance which lead to

    3] decreasing insulin sensitivity.

    – the more you do something, the less responsive you become and the greater the ratio of fat: muscle you accrue. If you keep increasing the training volume… the more you become resistant to it and you have to keep increasing it to get an effect but there comes a point where it’s ridiculous to add even more… recovery needs to be had…. And there’s only so much time and energy you can put into your training. So, you NEED to phase your training approaches to

    1] allow desensitization and

    2] different focus – i.e. strength vs metabolite vs just volume accumulation.

    All of which are reasons I don’t believe in or like the term bulking – plus the more advanced you are in the weight room, the slower the actual muscle gain rate is…

    & Obviously the slower you gain the slower fat will accumulate,

    For both muscle gain and fat loss, training doesn’t look that different… and shouldn’t. We always want to train to build muscle as we aim to preserve it in fat loss phases.

    As there is phasic nutrition, there is also training that you phase between strength blocks and hypertrophy blocks…

    However in between the both you have to gradually build your way up as one desensitizes you from the other.  I.e.; if you’re doing strength training with high intensity and low volumes… when you go into hypertrophy phases again with high volume… you need to start somewhere otherwise you will be maxing out or overreaching your maximal recoverable volume and your soreness post workout will subtract from your quality of life and other daily activity…. So, you NEED to slowly build up the volume and frequency as you go which then gives you a great stimulus for progress & consistent overload once again!

    Same as going into strength phases… if you have been doing high volume high frequency the whole time and you jump into lower reps of heavier weights, you will find that the older heavy weights you did at the triples or the 5ers before are currently out of reach so you will be building up to those intensities again!

    I am a great example because I remember complaining that no matter how much I did for my back, it would never fatigue or feel any post exercise soreness… I could just keep upping it without detriment but then I got to a point where if I added anymore, it would be taking away from other muscle groups.

    Now… after going through a lot of desensitization of the strength phases and dropping back down A LOT – hardly anything even as the big 3, squat, bench press & deadlift, and their variations were my main bread and butter for months and months… I now feel the effects of even a third of what I used to do. Albeit now it is probably heavier, I actually even recruit my muscles more and can connect my mind to the contractions.

    So, don’t just put your progress measures to the weight on the bar because we can’t keep just racking up the kgs… even some weights I do the same now as I used to, I feel much more effectively as I now recruit my muscles and perform the exercise to a higher standard.


    Ruby Cherie – Ruby is an Approved Powerlifting 4 Women Strength & Conditioning Coach / Mindset Coach / Comp Prep Coach / Fat Loss Transformation Specialist / Metabolic Nutritionist / Accredited Sports Nutritionist ISSN-SNS

    Powerlifting Australia & World Powerlifting 2019 Calendar

    Powerlifting Australia & World Powerlifting 2019 Calendar

    Each year, Powerlifting Australia and the World Powerlifting Federation hold events on a Local, National and International level.

    The first Powerlifting Australia powerlifting competition for 2019 will be held in Melbourne on the 3rd February 2019, this being the Australian Para Powerlifting Championships, with many more events held across Australia from Tasmania, Melbourne, Woolongong, Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth, right up to Darwin throughout the year!

    Check out powerlifting events and register to compete on the 2019 Calendar of Powerlifting Australia Events!

    Jan Roesch PA Nationals 2018 APU


    Powerlifting Australia also runs NCAS Coaching Courses and NOAS Referee Courses at these events.

    The listed NCAS Coaching Courses for 2019

    19/20 JanuaryMelbourneApex Strength, CoburgEnrol Now
    16/17 FebruarySydney Lift Performance Centre, RedfernEnrol Now
    23/24 MarchBrisbaneIron Underground, AlbionEnrol Now


    The listed NOAS Referee Courses for 2019

    2/3 FebruaryMelbourneHawthorn Powerlifting ClubEnrol Now
    2/3 MarchTownsvilleTownsville OpenEnrol Now
    2/3 MarchHobartRaw Strength OpenEnrol Now
    15/16 MarchMt IsaTBCEnrol Now
    16/17 MarchSydneyLift Performance Centre, RedfernEnrol Now
    22/23 MarchPerthLegendary LiftingEnrol Now

    You’ll need to be familiar with the Rules of Competition!

    You’ll be able to find information about the events, register online for all Powerlifting Australia competitions (once they have been opened for registration and if there are still available spots) right up to 5.00pm 10 days prior to a Local event or 21 days prior to a National event.

    The Entry Form for each event will have the Meet Director listed as well as other relevant contacts, where you should direct any enquiries.

    To compete in these powerlifting events, you must be a current PA Member. This applies also to Coaches and Referees.

    All PA Members are subject to the PA Anti-Doping Policy, year round! Also, these events are subject to ASADA drug-testing.

    Australian Records can be set and broken at all of the Local and National Competitions (for National Records, there must be 3 National Refs Officiating the attempts, along with all regulations being met).

    World Records can also be made and broken at these great events!


    Lauren O’Sullivan THRIVING!

    Lauren O’Sullivan is THRIVING!

    Growing up in a household where sport was the basic undertone of day to day life, I always knew that in one way or another it was going to guide and shape who I am. I never could have imagined though how influential the synergy between powerlifting and other aspects of my life would be.

    Lauren O'Sullivan QBL- 2017I’ve played basketball since the age of five and always had promise surrounding my ability. Being a solidly framed girl, I was constantly swinging between owning my power and not feeling worthy because I didn’t at the time for the stereotypical basketball body type. I played strong and hard and while I did achieve some great things in basketball that I am proud of, I can honestly say I never really felt like I thrived.

    Read more

    Sports Nutrition

    Sports Nutrition

    What is the difference between Nutrition and Sports Nutrition?

    Nutrition – according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Nutrition is the intake of food, considered in relation to the body’s dietary needs.

    Sports Nutrition – is a specific study of food with relevant nutrition for athletic performance.

    Sports Nutrition has short and long term effects on metabolism, body composition and the performance abilities of athletes.

    You can’t out-train a bad diet!

    You can't out train a bad diet


    Some Tell Tale Signs Of Poor Nutrition In An Athlete…

    Ill Health          Failure          Injury

    Poor Mental Health       Longer Recovery Periods



    What Are Some Benefits Of Good Sports Nutrition?

    Delays fatigue ::  Helps you to reach your fat loss/muscle gain goals

    Improves your performance ::  Helps and enhances your concentration levels

    Boosts your immune system ::  Refuels energy stores

    Protects you against injury ::  Fights and helps to prevent disease


    Essential Nutrients For Life…

     Major Nutrients of Food










    Contact Us for more information on Nutrition

    to suite your Powerlifting Training.