You grew up in Queensland, the eldest of four boys and joined the army after finishing school. Did you have any idea what lay ahead for you back then?
Ever since I was young there was a gut feeling that I would be a part of something bigger in the way of helping people but I was unsure of what and how that would happen.
You rose quickly through the ranks with the Australian Special Forces and eventually became a Counter Terrorism Team Commander. What was the most important thing you learnt in the army?
To plan and prepare, then make it a reality, but even the best of plans fall apart and you need to be prepared to pick up what is salvageable and continue.
The qualifications that you acquired in the Australian Special Forces include parachuting on land and water, fast driving, weapons, close quarter combat, survival, airborne rappelling, amphibious operator, small boat handler and many more. Which of these was your favourite? Tell us why?
They are all fantastic skill sets to obtain but for me it would have to be fast driving. I’ve always enjoyed driving and the skill that goes into handling a vehicle at high speeds on varying surfaces is something I thoroughly enjoy.
In 2004, you left your successful military career behind to become a fitness professional and made it your goal to transform the lives of others through physical fitness. What does it mean to you to help people achieve their goals?
It means everything to be able to have a direct impact on the way people live and lead their lives. I feel it is my higher purpose in life.
You became a household name on Channel 10’s ‘The Biggest Loser’. What was the biggest challenge you faced in transitioning to a TV personality?
Being comfortable in who I am and the reasons why I, as an individual, do what I do.
In 2009, you wrote No Excuses, which explores your journey as well as the fitness philosophies you so passionately believe in. Last year, you established your own online fitness program: ‘Get Commando Fit’, and this year, you are launching cookbooks with Hachette Australia. How important is managing nutrition when training hard?
Nutrition is the foundation upon which everything is built, it provides us with the vital macro and micro nutrients to help build, repair and replenish our bodies so we can continue leading a healthy vibrant lifestyle.
We’ve all had ‘one of those days’ when we’re just not in the mood to train. How do you stay motivated to make it happen?
It all falls on the reasons why you are doing it in the first place. Sometimes we just need a rest but most of the time we are just looking for an excuse to get out of it. Remind yourself of what you’re working towards and why you’re doing it. That will generally give you enough of a boost to get off your butt and get it done.
At Sage were we were delighted to announce recently that you’ve become the Sage Institute of Fitness brand ambassador. What advice do have for Sage students embarking on their new careers as personal trainers?
Know your craft inside and out and always work on improving yourself both personally and professionally.
You are known for inspiring contestants to commit to levels of physical and mental fitness that they never even dreamed of. What advice would you give to Sage Institute of Fitness students when trying to motivate a client?
You’ve got to find what makes them tick, listen to them, observe how they do things and devise a plan for how you can help them achieve their goals. The toughest clients are usually the ones you learn the most from, so accept the challenge and go on a journey with them.
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