Rhiannon Hughes is a unique person to have as part of our Premax Athlete Team, as she has experience on both sides of athletic performance. Having done rowing at University, competing at National and International levels, and triathlon, which took her to the 2018 Ironman 70.3 World Championships in South Africa, she knows what it means to be an athlete. Now, she runs Tweak Physio, and is a member of the Australian Physiotherapy Association. Rhiannon utilises her experience in Musculoskeletal private practices, Occupational Physiotherapy services, and her qualifications in Pilates and Fitness. This gives her a unique understanding of the science, research, and methods behind our products. All of this is why Premax Founder & CEO Randall wanted to sit down with Rhiannon Hughes to ask her about her advice to new triathletes, pushing yourself in sport, and her physio practice. Plus Rhiannon had a few questions for Randall too, about physiotherapy, the Warm Up Cream, and what makes Premax different from the rest.

Randall asked Rhiannon some questions:

You're a really accomplished athlete, triathlete, and an accomplished physio. What's your advice to triathletes in their late 20s and 30s, who are just starting to get into the sport?

I think one of the best things that you can do is join a club. It gives you the opportunity to ask questions, talk to the other members, and learn. I'm certainly not afraid to ask questions. We've got some fantastic people in our triathlon club here, such as multiple world champions. By speaking to them, whether it be about the best way to do a transition, or what goggles you should use, you can become better. That also just happens naturally when you are surrounded by people with similar interests. You push each other. I also think having a coach can be very important, certainly if you're wanting to reach the next step.

Rhiannon running

Sometimes people new to a sport want to push themselves too much too early. Your heart, lungs and muscles can adapt quite quickly, but tendons, tissues and bones take a little bit longer to adjust. What are your thoughts on this?

It’s true that a lot of people are living a somewhat sedentary lifestyle, such as working in an office all day. Then, after work, they might go off and run 20Ks, and the damage this can do if you don’t prepare properly becomes particularly obvious as you get older. Things tend to deteriorate a little bit quicker, and you develop more stress fractures, and things of that nature. I deal with a lot of triathletes in my clinic. Ultimately, proper education is really important to prevent injuries, in any scenario. In this particular scenario of pushing yourself in a new sport, you can’t underestimate the importance of strength and conditioning training. Newer athletes probably haven't learnt much about this aspect before, particularly if they don’t have any kind of background in sports, but I think it is always an important thing to do.

Rhiannon Cycling Triathlete

How is your physio practice, Tweak Physio, going now, two years on from its start?

Fantastic. I absolutely love it. It has been a great change from being a rower and triathlete. My job is made very interesting with all of the different clientele that we get coming through. Right now I'm doing a lot of screenings to determine their strengths and weaknesses. Then I put programs together for them, often particularly stressing the importance of strength and conditioning, because, as I said, it's just so important.

Rhiannon also asked Randall some questions:

As someone with an incredible past in physiotherapy, what advice can you give to someone wanting to pursue that career path?

My main piece of advice is be patient. I appreciate from past experience that a lot of people want to tick off all their big goals really quickly, so I often tell a story from when I was a young physiotherapist. After recently graduating from University I went and did the level one sports physiotherapy course, which was appropriate for my age and experience. However, I then wanted to do even more. So, I applied for the level two sports physiotherapy course. I got there and, honestly, it was just a week of me being absolutely out of my depth. I understood nothing, and all the physios there were a lot older than me. It was almost a waste of time and money in some ways. I remember thinking, "I wish I'd done this in three or four years' time, when I would have had more experience under my belt, and the course would have had much more impact."

There's so many young physios out there that say, "I want to be an IFL physio. How do I get that by the time I'm 27?" The honest answer is, you don’t, because you won't have nearly enough experience, which is the key. So.my advice is take it slow, and learn, not only formally, but informally, and who knows where that can take you.

Products and Rhi

With some Warm Up Creams you have to use gloves, or thoroughly wash your hands after use. What makes Premax Warm Up Cream different?

A lot of the other heat creams out there use a raw ingredient called Methyl Salicylate, which is a derivative of wintergreen. The heat or hotness experienced with that ingredient is around a four or five out of 10. We use a raw ingredient called HotFlux. This means that the vast majority of people will just feel a nice, mild, comfortable warmth. It's a slightly different experience than deep heat creams. Of course, with our product you can still get some people who experience less heat, and others who experience a really hot feeling. Equally, some users don't feel any heat at all, but on application it simply stops them from getting cold, even in the rain.

When we were creating the Warm Up Cream, the first thing we did was put an element of our Weather Defence Cream in the formula. Then, we included some natural ingredients and oils that sit just slightly on top of the skin, but will soak in slightly. They provide a layer of essential barrier protection. This also helps somewhat with thermal insulation, and protection from the elements too, which is really important. I suppose all of this together is what makes our Warm Up Cream different from a standard heat cream.

Can you apply the Warm Up Cream to your toes to keep them warm on cold days? Or is it more for warming up larger muscles?

I’m sure I've had every question in the book besides this one, but I'm very happy to answer it. There's no reason that you can't put it on your toes. Everyone who has applied our Warm Up Cream with their hands has felt it’s warming effects on them minutes, or even hours later, depending on how much you use. So, there's no reason that you can't use it on your feet as well. The only caution I would give is in relation to nerve endings. Make sure to try the Warm Up Cream on those less sensitive areas first. Then, if it's okay, then just do a light application around your feet and toes.

You can watch the full interview here.