Jessica Yates upped her training to take on the infamous Kokoda Track. The Fox Sports Supercars host and rugby league presenter trained for months ahead of the grueling seven-day hike, which she took part in at the end of October — which was also filmed for an upcoming documentary.
“I’ve been training hard. I didn’t have a lot of time in my preparation to walk, but I asked my trainer what we can do in the gym to simulate some of that stuff. So she has had me on the sled, I’ve been marching back and forth with 100kg on my back and doing step-ups and lots and lots of squats.
“It’s been really fun to have this goal.”
Fortunately for Jessica, fitness comes easily to her family. The presenter is married to former surfing world champ Luke Egan, and with another budding young surfer in the family — the couple’s four-year-old daughter Isabella — trips to the beach are a very regular occurrence.
“We’re absolutely at the beach all the time. Isabella loves the water, and she got a surfboard for Christmas last year, so we love to get out and about with her,” she says.
“I think as a mum with young kids, I want my daughter to live a long life, and that means a healthy life. And we make that a really important part of our family values now.”
FEEL THE POWER
“I really love weight training. I’m really into it. The gym we train in is a powerlifting gym, so there are lots of really strong, hardcore people that are really inspiring to me,” she says.
“I don’t have any aspirations to necessarily become a powerlifter, but I really get off on that energy. It’s really cool to train in a gym like that.”
TRAIN IN TWOS
The secret, Jessica says, is to partner up with somebody so that you both feel motivated to turn up.
“I buddy-up, I train with someone and I feel like I have to be accountable to somebody.
WITH her Italian heritage and a grandmother who is a master in the kitchen, Jessica takes on the chef duties at home. But she also sees the kitchen as an opportunity to teach young Isabella about the importance of nutrition.
“Nutrition is really important too, and that’s something I want to instill in Isabella — that she’s got to take responsibility for the things she’s putting in her body. So we’re really trying to cook at home as much as we can and to make that a really fun thing for everybody.
“It’s monkey see, monkey do, and I’ve really noticed that as she’s been growing up. She copies everything I say and everything I do. So it’s really important that I’m setting good habits for her and if she can see me eating all the things that I’m asking her to eat, then there’s nowhere for her to go with that.
“But we do have one night a week where we might have a pizza or something.”
Adam MacDougall with Jessica Yates for Sunday Fit. Photo Jeremy Piper