Liam Lawlor is a former elite cyclist who has scaled back his cycling commitments so he can focus on his first year of Masters of Physiotherapy at UniSA. While he was studying his undergraduate degree in Sports Science, Liam cycled for UniSA at the UniNationals. That involvement led Liam to become a UniSA facilities member and he is now a frequent visitor at the UniSA City East gym. Liam is the first member featured in our #TeamUniSA Facility Member Profile series.
Tell us more about your cycling career.
I rode for a team in SA that did a lot of racing in the National Road Series, which involved a lot of travelling interstate and competing against other Australian riders. I did that for three years, but I was planning on stopping this year to focus on study. Because of coronavirus though, the Series got moved online via Zwift, so I did compete in that for some fun. I ended up coming 12th overall, so I was pretty happy with that.
How did working out at the gym help your cycling?
I found that specifically when I did exercises like deadlifts, I'd probably put on a little bit of muscle mass. You usually want to be light when you’re cycling but that muscle mass gave me more power and I got stronger on the bike. The core training as well, sometimes if you'd go for like four or five hour ride, you’d get a sore lower back, but if you do a lot of core strength, you don't feel that fatigue in your back at the end. So, it gave me that strength component that I could use for cycling. And when I couldn't train on the bike it just gave me something a little bit different, it gave me that advantage for when I was on the bike.
What is your favourite part of working out?
I like feeling good about yourself. You definitely feel better, you’ve got more energy during the day. You feel strong, athletic, feel more confident in yourself, you just feel fit.
How convenient is it to train where you study?
It’s heaps easier when I’m here all the time. I study in the morning, or get to the gym earlier. I try to go every day I’m at uni, four or five times a week. I go to the Magill campus gym as well if I'm not at uni, because that's 10 minutes away from my house and I find that one pretty good as well.
What is your favourite workout song?
Whatever UniSA is playing. I just listen to whatever is on and it's pretty good music, they play some good songs.
What advice do you have for anyone wanting to start their fitness journey?
I'd say start off doing something that you like. If you don't like cardio, don't start just doing just that. Slowly increase it every time and you might start to enjoy it more. Do stuff you enjoy and have your goals in the back of your mind and train for them. I just like to look for improvement, because I think improvement is a good motivator. Keep going until you find some improvement and you won’t stop going.