Bodybuilding.com Information Motivation Supplementation
in:
Terri Irwin Discusses Life Of Fitness After Crocodile Hunter's Untimely Death!

An advocate of staying strong and healthy, Terri has included exercise in her daily schedule throughout her life. In the following interview Terri discusses her fitness goals and much, much more... Read on.

By: David Robson

Article Summary:
  • Terri grew up with an active outdoor lifestyle.
  • She found that exercise helped her cope with the loss of her husband.
  • She is dedicated to preserving the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve.
  • dot
    An Interview With Wildlife Warrior Terri Irwin
    dot

    Managing Australia Zoo's conservation and research work coupled with protecting the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve along with raising her two children, Bindi and Robert, are a few of Terri Irwin's daily responsibilities. Her background in strength training and sports certainly serve as an asset in providing her with the endurance necessary to fulfil these to the best of her abilities.

    Married to iconic Australian Wildlife Warrior, Steve 'Crocodile Hunter' Irwin, for almost 15 years, Terri was certainly a suitable partner for the famed television personality and conservationist - the man with the unceasing energy, infectious love for life and the environment and incredible strength and endurance (try wrestling a crocodile sometime) was ably assisted by his equally energetic wife.

    An advocate of staying strong and healthy, Terri has included exercise in her daily schedule - in some form - throughout her life (just keeping up with her frenetically-paced husband was an intensive workout in itself). Over recent years she has increased the variety and intensity of her training to where she is now in the best shape of her life.

    Terri Is Now In The Best Shape Of Her Life.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Terri Is Now In The
    Best Shape Of Her Life.

    A fighter - metaphorically and figuratively - Terri welcomes the challenge in battling against those who threaten the natural environment she so loves, and engaging in adrenaline-charged workouts with some of the world's most ferocious MMA champions.

    Training has helped Terri in other ways. After the untimely death of Steve Irwin (22 February 1962 - 4 September 2006), Terri found she could cope better with the "crippling effects" of her grief by "taking care of myself, eating right and working out". Though dealing with her husband's death has been extremely hard for her she is testimony to the remarkable resiliency of the human spirit in her ability to continue the work Steve started while dealing with many of her own projects.

    Before moving to Australia from her native USA, Terri ran a construction company in Oregon and did wildlife rescue work with predatory mammals.

    Terri Welcomes The Challenge In Battling Against Those Who Threaten The Natural Environment She So Loves.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Terri Welcomes The Challenge In Battling Against
    Those Who Threaten The Natural Environment She So Loves.

    The one constant in her life throughout this and recent work has been a well-structured training program and healthy diet. With weights, endurance, martial arts and much outdoors exercise rounding out her training schedule she could be considered the ultimate cross-trainer.

    In the following interview Terri discusses how she has achieved her fitness goals, her current projects, future goals and life philosophy.

    dot
    Interview
    dot

    dot
    [ Q ] Hello Terri. I understand you are in very good physical shape these days. Could you describe the progress you have made?
    dot

      I've had a real desire to continue and expand Australia Zoo's conservation and research work. This includes hands-on work with everything from koalas to crocodiles. It pays to be in the best shape possible when you're wrangling the largest reptiles on Earth!

      I've also noticed that I am better able to cope on an emotional and spiritual level when I am physically healthy. Good nutrition and regular exercise definitely help you cope with life's dramas.

    It Pays To Be In The Best Shape Possible When You're Wrangling The Largest Reptiles On Earth!
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    It Pays To Be In The Best Shape Possible When
    You're Wrangling The Largest Reptiles On Earth!

    dot
    [ Q ] What background do you have in fitness training, and physical activity generally?
    dot

      I've grown up with an active outdoor lifestyle. Before I lived in Australia I ran a construction company in Oregon, USA. I also owned horses and would spend several weeks a year exploring Oregon's beautiful wilderness areas on horseback.

      I also enjoyed wildlife rescue work with predatory mammals, which included animals like bears, cougars, bobcats and wolves. Weight training has always been a favorite as I enjoy being fit and strong.

    RELATED VIDEO: TERRI IRWIN INTERVIEW


    Enough Rope With Andrew Denton:
    Terri Irwin Interview!

    Andrew talks to Terri Irwin about life one year on after the death of her husband, Wildlife Warrior, Steve.

    Click The Play Button To Start The Video.
    Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

    dot
    [ Q ] When did you begin training for your recent gains and was there a particular motivating factor prompting your decision to make such great progress?
    dot

      I really began training hard after losing Steve. I discovered on my own that I could cope better with the crippling effects of grief by taking care of myself, eating right and working out. Now I want to tell everyone that when the last thing you want to do is get up and get moving, that's exactly what you should do.

      I also felt a real need to lead by example. Steve had such incredible strength and endurance; it was a huge challenge just to keep up with him. I wanted to make sure I could continue all the projects he had started.

    I Discovered That I Could Cope Better With The Grief By Taking Care Of Myself.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    I Discovered That I Could Cope Better With
    The Grief By Taking Care Of Myself.

    dot
    [ Q ] Since you are more in the public eye these days, do you think there is a greater expectation that you present a certain appearance? If so, what kind of look would this be and what are your thoughts on the public's expectation that you look a certain way?
    dot

      A nice side effect of wanting to be as healthy as possible is that you look better too! I've had the opportunity to attend a number of red carpet events and I have noticed that I'm probably 10-15kg heavier than many of the women I share the carpet with. I'd love it if we gave women more encouragement to be curvy and healthy instead of just thin.

    2008 Women's Super Feature Bodybuilding.com:
    2008 Women's Super Feature.

    Women are you interested in losing that stubborn body fat for a strong sexy body or are you just looking for extra motivation to keep up with your training?

    [ Check Out The Women's Super Feature Here! ]

    dot
    [ Q ] You clearly appreciate the benefits of a healthy approach to life, but it must be difficult balancing all of your responsibilities. What are some of the ways you have ensured you stay healthy and fit, and how do you incorporate these into your daily routine?
    dot

      We all have such busy lives and we constantly hear the advice to take time for ourselves. I believe this is so true. I find it's so important to set an hour aside for good intense exercise.

      This isn't a huge ask. The average TV show lasts an hour and most of us manage to find time for that. The hour you dedicate to working out is just for you. It's a chance to clear your head and recharge.

    Working Out Allows You To Clear Your Head And Recharge.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Working Out Allows You To
    Clear Your Head And Recharge.

    dot
    [ Q ] What projects are you currently involved with and what are some of your immediate goals?
    dot

      My biggest project would have to be protecting the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve. This 320,000 acre reserve is located in Cape York, about 60km NE of Weipa. The land is bordered on the south by the Wenlock River with the highest biodiversity of freshwater fish of any river in the country.

    Cape York Peninsula:
    Cape York Peninsula is a large peninsula located in Far North Queensland, Australia. This remote peninsula is one of the last remaining wilderness areas on Earth.

    Its undisturbed tropical rainforests and savannas are now recognized for their global environmental significance. A nomination for World Natural Heritage is currently being considered by the Queensland and Australian Federal governments.

    Cape York Peninsula
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Cape York Peninsula.

      About 32,000 acres of the reserve is under threat of mining. The ore to be extracted is bauxite, which will be turned into aluminum for China. To prevent the bauxite perched springs, rainforest, endangered plants and animals, and Wenlock River being destroyed, please sign the petition here.

    RELATED VIDEO: STEVE IRWIN WILDLIFE RESERVE


    Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve:
    Sign The Petition!

    The proposed area for mining on the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve contains the head waters of irreplaceable waterways and unique biodiversity which will not recover after mining operations are finished.

    Click The Play Button To Start The Video.
    Click Here To Sign The Petition.

    dot
    [ Q ] Can you describe your current training program? How many days per week do you train and what system/style of training do you currently employ?
    dot

      I have two types of training. I have a maintenance training program, which includes 3-4 days per week of aerobic, and weight training. When I have an event that I'd like to train for, I amp it up to 7 days a week and get more strict with my diet for 8-10 weeks.

      I do weight training with body sculptor Kelli Johnson and mixed martial arts work with Dan Higgins. I also have weight sets, a stationary bike and rowing machine at home. When I travel I still make the time whenever I have access to a gym or I just go for a run in the bush!

    I Do Weight Training With Body Sculptor Kelli Johnson.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    I Do Weight Training With
    Body Sculptor Kelli Johnson.

    dot
    [ Q ] I understand you are also pretty adept at boxing the heavy bag. Do you have a background in combat and or fighting sports/training? If so, please could you elaborate on this?
    dot

      Steve was mad keen on mixed martial arts and we loved doing everything together. We started training with one of our personal security staff members, Dan Higgins, about five years ago. Dan is a titleholder and also a great coach.

      Steve was so passionate about MMA that he built his own cage, or dojo to fight in. We have been honored to have the world famous coach, Greg Jackson, visit us on several occasions and fighters from America like Keith Jardine, come over for a spar and a roll!

    Steve Was Mad Keen On Mixed Martial Arts And We Loved Doing Everything Together.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Steve Was Mad Keen On Mixed Martial Arts
    And We Loved Doing Everything Together.

    dot
    [ Q ] What ways has martial arts training benefited you over the years?
    dot

      Mixed martial arts is such complete training. There's stand-up fighting which includes kicking and sparring and also the option to go to ground and grapple. This is terrific training for women as it is easily the best method of self-defense.

      Training includes jumping rope, running, bag work (including the bag on the mats for a bit of ground and pound), kettlebells, weight training, sit ups and push ups (lots), pad work, sparring, and a special kind of wrestling which includes a lot of leg work. We also incorporate yoga and stacks of stretching!

    RELATED PRODUCT
    Speed Rope Harbinger Presents:
    Speed Rope

    Harbinger's Speed Rope is perfect for the cardio portion of the Road Warrior Workout. Just 5 to 10 minutes of jumping will get that heart rate up and the calories burning.
    [ Click here to learn more. ]

    dot
    [ Q ] How would you describe your MMA fighting style? What attracted you to this sport?
    dot

      I enjoy MMA because it gives me such all around fitness for working in the bush (one day I might be climbing trees, the next sand dunes) and it makes me feel empowered and confident. Since I'm never going to fight in the ring, I'm not as concerned about developing a certain style. I just really appreciate having the opportunity to learn so much about fighting strategies and skill.

    RELATED ARTICLE

    [ Click here to learn more. ]
    Beginner MMA Tips!
    Mixed Martial Arts. It is the most explosive, fastest growing sport in the world and countless numbers of people are getting into it everyday.
    Author:
    Larry Pepe

    dot
    [ Q ] What is your approach to nutrition? How do you balance your diet for optimal performance and physical improvement?
    dot

      I am lucky to have a body shaping coach (Kelli Johnson) who is also a nutritionist. I eat five times a day and make sure I have protein with every meal. I cut out dairy and indulge in lots of green vegetables.

      I'm careful with carbs too, limiting it to rye bread, rice crackers and rice. The biggest difference in overall health is drinking at least four liters of water everyday. Post training I often have a banana.

    RELATED VIDEO: DRINK PLENTY OF WATER


    Video Tip Of The Week:
    Tip #6: Brandon Poe's Hydration Tip!

    This week, Brandon Poe teaches you the importance of proper hydration.

    Click The Play Button To Start The Video.
    Or Download Here:
    Windows Media (1.55 MB) - Video iPod (4.56 MB)
    [ Video Tip Of The Week Main Page ]

    dot
    [ Q ] Do you take any nutritional supplements? If so, what do you take and how do they benefit you do you think?
    dot

      Taking vitamins is important. Calcium intake is lowered when dairy is cut out of my diet, so vitamin supplements are very necessary. I take a multivitamin, iron, and others. I enjoy Goji juice every morning and utilize protein drinks when there isn't time for steaming chicken.

      I don't usually have protein powder more than once a day. For convenience when I travel I'll pack protein bars. It's just important to read the label because some protein bars are more like carbohydrate bars.

    RELATED PRODUCT
    Goji Juice LifeTime Presents:
    Goji Juice

    LifeTime Goji Juice, also known as Wolfberry, formerly a Tibetan secret, was used in ancient recipes as a delicious-tasting elixir that provided many natural benefits.
    [ Click here to learn more. ]

    dot
    [ Q ] For you, is improving your conditioning - as you have done of late - beneficial to the kind of work you do?
    dot

      Each and every person can improve their life by improving their condition. You don't have to be climbing mountains and trekking through swamps (two of my favorite things) to see results. Keeping fit keeps you younger and more able to tackle life's stresses. It will also ensure that you can keep up with your kids!

    Each And Every Person Can Improve Their Life By Improving Their Condition.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Each And Every Person Can Improve
    Their Life By Improving Their Condition.

    dot
    [ Q ] Your training program combined with your work makes for a pretty physical lifestyle. What do you do to rest and recover?
    dot

      I don't train intensely all the time and a lot of my work is sitting in one spot. I might sit for a couple of hours to spot a platypus. When I'm travelling I'll catch a movie on the plane.

      The kids and I also set aside time to read. And hey, I'm sitting still right now! Actually the irony is that the more physically active you are, the less you like sitting still.

    dot
    [ Q ] How would you define success?
    dot

      I do not believe in failure, only varying degrees of success. I also believe that success is all about doing your personal best. Imagine what you would attempt if you knew you were going to succeed. This is how you should approach life's challenges!

    I Do Not Believe In Failure, Only Varying Degrees Of Success.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    I Do Not Believe In Failure,
    Only Varying Degrees Of Success.

    dot
    [ Q ] How would you describe yourself in one word?
    dot

      With two beautiful children and a mission to protect wildlife and wild places, I would have to describe myself as blessed.

    I Would Have To Describe Myself As Blessed.
    + Click To Enlarge.
    I Would Have To Describe
    Myself As Blessed.

    dot
    [ Q ] What are your long-term goals? What makes you most happy?
    dot

      My long-term goals include developing a world-class resort at the Australia Zoo, further our whale research to help stop whaling and protect the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve from being destroyed by a small mining company. Most of all I want to be here for my children. Bindi and Robert are the absolute joy of my life.

    My Long Term Goal Is To Protect The Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    My Long Term Goal Is To Protect
    The Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve.

    dot
    [ Q ] What message would you give those who have encountered adversity (whatever that may be for them) and are facing an uphill struggle?
    dot

      When facing life's challenges, never give up. I am always telling my children this and sometimes I have to remind myself of this. Never give up!

    I Am Always Telling My Children, Never Give Up.
    I Am Always Telling My
    Children, Never Give Up.

      I was lucky enough to share nearly fifteen years with the world's greatest Wildlife Warrior. Steve had put the definition of Warrior above his desk - "One who is engaged in battle". Steve inspired me to fight as a Wildlife Warrior. If nothing else, I owe it to him to never give up. I truly hope I can help inspire others to do the same.

    Terri Irwin Discusses Life Of Fitness After Crocodile Hunter's Untimely Death!
    davidrobson19@hotmail.co.nz

    Back To David Robson's Main Page

    Back To The Articles Main Page.

    Related Articles
    2013 Olympia Weekend: The Mr. Olympia Showdown Begins
    2013 Olympia Weekend Photos
    2013 Olympia Weekend: Phil Heath Is Mr. Olympia Champion



    RATE THIS ARTICLE
    POOR
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
    EXCELLENT
    OVERALL RATING
    N/A

    Out of 10

    0 Ratings

    0

    Comments

    Showing 0 - 0 of 0 Comments

    (5 characters minimum)

        • notify me when users reply to my comment
    Showing 0 - 0 of 0 Comments

    Featured Product

    Give Us Feedback:
    Report A Problem
    Site Feedback
    Follow Us:
    Twitter
    Facebook
    RSS Feeds
    Bodybuilding.com Newsletter

    Receive exciting features,
    news & special offers from Bodybuilding.com