On Your First Day

Your first day involves a medical assessment carried out by Professor Maria Fiatarone Singh. This thorough examination will determine whether the STRONG program can help with your current medical conditions and whether there are any factors that might make the program unsafe for you. The assessment is bulk billed for all eligible Medicare card holders.

Your comprehensive medical assessment and physical examination will include a screening ECG.

Please allow at least 90 minutes for your initial consultation and arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment in order to register.

On your first day you will need :

  • Your medical referral – from your Specialist and General Practitioner
  • Your Medicare Card or DVA Card
  • A list of your current medications and doses
  • Any test results (bloods, X-rays or CT’s) which relate to your health
  • Your reading glasses

After your initial appointment you will be scheduled for an assessment day usually requiring about 1-2 hrs. This will include disease and physiology measurements. As part of the assessment process, you may be required to complete a number of written questionnaires, some walking and balance tests and a strength test. Therefore comfortable clothing that doesn’t restrict movement and flat soled shoes are ideal.

At the completion of the medical assessment, exercise training and testing days and times along with future medical appointments will be made.

General Questions

Who will be supervising me?
  • All of your training sessions will be fully supervised by staff who all hold relevant university qualifications in medicine and exercise and health.

What costs are involved?

There are no out of pocket costs for medical appointments with Professor Maria Fiatarone Singh as they bulk billed to all eligible Medicare and DVA card holders.

Exercise sessions cost $70. Private health funds, Medicare, DVA and National Disability Insurance Scheme rebates may be available for the exercise sessions subject to availability. If you have any difficulties with finances, please discuss this directly with Professor Maria Fiatarone Singh during your initial appointment.

How do I get to the Centre?
  • The Centre is located at 37 Ryde Rd Pymble, between Pymble and Gordon stations.
  • There is a bus stop near the Centre
  • Ample car parking is available on site.
  • DVA Gold Card Holders can have transport arranged by The Centre for STRONG Medicine.
  • You may be able to benefit from an existing community transport provider.
  • We have ample free onsite parking available.
  • See our Contact page for more details.
How is this different to attending to a Physiotherapist?
  • The Centre for STRONG Medicine will develop an individualised exercise prescription that is fully integrated into a multi-disciplinary Geriatric Medical Management plan. In contrast, Physiotherapy is usually time-limited and often not integrated into the medical plan.
  • We see exercise as a necessary component of the treatment of specific diseases for the rest of your life. The exercise is carefully supervised by Accredited Exercise Physiologists who are experts in the prescription and delivery of exercise to manage chronic conditions. This is different to the expertise of Physiotherapists which focuses on acute injury rehabilitation.
  • The Centre for STRONG Medicine combines the expertise of our in house Consultant Geriatrician and Professor of Exercise and Sports Medicine with carefully prescribed and supervised exercise, which allows us to address any injuries or medical issues as they arise.
Am I eligible?
  • Almost anyone, of any age, with a disease or health problem that has been shown to respond to exercise is eligible to participate in the program. Commencement in the program is determined during the initial assessment with the doctor. See our Eligibility Criteria for a list of health problems for which exercise may be beneficial.
How often do I need to attend?
  • This is decided between you and your doctor during the initial assessment and will depend on a number of factors, though primarily the conditions that require treatment. Initially, it is most likely you will need to exercise 2 to 3 times a week to achieve a benefit.
Who supervises my training?
  • The Centre for STRONG Medicine’s staff are all university qualified in exercise physiology and have all been trained by Professor Maria Fiatarone Singh. All training sessions at the Centre are fully supervised.
What is the likelihood of injury?
  • Most of the prescribed exercises are performed on machines specifically designed to minimise the risk of injury. We cannot guarantee that an injury will not occur, however the program has a very low incidence rate of adverse events as described in our 10 year strength older adult training/testing safety report.
What happens if I miss a session?
  • Your appointment will be rescheduled. In order to achieve the best results it is important to have the right ‘dose’ of exercise.
Is the exercise strenuous?
  • Yes. To be effective, strength training is performed at high intensity but this intensity or relative to your abilities. For the muscles and bones to adapt and treat the problem that you have, heavy loads need to be applied to them. The exercises require considerable effort to perform, however the sessions will allow you enough rest in between each one. Your body will adjust to the training over time and your prescription will be adjusted as required.
  • We have trained close to 10,000 people aged 30-100 years, often with multiple chronic diseases, and almost all have been able to tolerate and benefit from the exercise.
  • Please view our Gallery for examples of clients exercising
Will I feel sore after exercise?
  • For the first few weeks of your training you may experience some muscle soreness, often 24-48 hours after you have exercised. This is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness DOMS) and is a normal part of the muscles’ adaptation to the load you have placed on it. Professor Maria Fiatarone Singh will assess any concerns you may have.
How soon will I start to see the benefits?
  • This will be different for everyone and will depend on a variety of factors including the health problem(s) you have.
  • Sometimes you will feel that you are not making progress with the exercise training because as you gain in strength, we increase your load. Regular strength testing is carried out to monitor changes and adaptations while functional testing will highlight improvements. You will also have an opportunity to discuss your progress with Professor Maria Fiatarone Singh and the supervising staff. 
How often do I see the doctor?
  • In general, formal review appointments following the initial consultation occur at 1 month, 3 months and then 3 monthly. This may vary according to need.
What should I wear to an exercise session?
  • Comfortable, loose clothing with flat soled shoes is most appropriate for performing the exercises.
  • Ladies should wear pants or slacks as skirts are inappropriate on some machines.
What times are the exercise sessions held?
  • We will do our best to accommodate the time you wish to train, though sessions will generally be held between 8am and 5pm Monday to Friday, noting we are closed on public holidays. Your appointments will be made in advance but can be adjusted with sufficient notice by calling us on (02) 8004 7655.
Is there somewhere to store my belongings while I train?
  • Yes, we have a room in the gym to store your bags.
How soon can I start exercise sessions?
  • Before doing any exercises, an appointment for a comprehensive medical consultation with Professor Maria Fiatarone Singh is required. As soon as you have been seen by Professor Maria Fiatarone Singh you will have exercise sessions scheduled to commence immediately.
How long can I continue with STRONG?
  • Our program is designed to continue indefinitely as exercise is a medicine being used to treat chronic problems. You are reviewed three monthly and our Team will regularly track and discuss your progress.

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    Before I was referred to The Centre For Strong Medicine I had lost all hope of ever seeing any improvement in my medical condition. Thanks to the comprehensive program developed by Professor Singh and with the help and guidance of his skilled staff, I have now resumed an active lifestyle having improved my physical strength and posture along with my mental health. I can’t thank all of them enough.”



    Stronger Healthcare is Our Mission

    We believe exercise TO BE a core treatment of chronic disease