About me

 

Since the beginning of 1999 I have worked in the fitness industry. I’m the guy they call the ‘energy bunny’ as I seem to have an endless supply of this life fuel. When I first started in fitness, all my focus (and there was a lot of focus) was on getting to the top position within this very competitive world. I sometimes re-read my goals from that period and it blows my mind how 'one' focused I was. Over the next few years I worked so hard on the path towards my biggest goal at that time, to be the best at this job in the world. 

During this intense time all my energy was on how I was going to get better. I didn’t stop to think about other peoples goals. I figured that if I achieved my goals those around me would benefit as well. Around four years after I started working in the industry I got to a level that I considered world class. Now I was representing one of the worlds biggest fitness companies (Les Mills) at the highest level. I suddenly had fans in countries that I couldn’t even find on a map. Surprisingly the achievement of being a world class instructor came as a bit of a let down to me. While I was proud of the level I had achieved I wasn’t fulfilled in ways I thought I would be. Now the questioning began! 

After sitting down and assessing why I felt dissatisfied with my achievement, it became clear to me that while I had been on an amazingly focused journey, my motivation was a little too selfish. I decided to make it my mission to continually improve myself by trying to help others in health and fitness. 

This change in attitude created a big shift in my thinking as now I was trying to look at the world through the eyes of others. I made some interesting discoveries by doing this and some of these contradicted what I thought was so important to people being successful in health and fitness. An example of this was my industry's continual insistence on using ‘the perfect body’ image as it’s main marketing tool. What they do puts way too much emphasis on just one aspect of fitness and neglects so many of the other great things that come with leading an active and healthy lifestyle.

One question that I’ve continually tried to answer since my ‘change in focus’ is: 'What does it take to create a life time love of fitness, one where people get all the benefits of a healthy lifestyle choices'. This question has made me discover a lot about why it is that some people seem to find it so easy while others just keep falling behind. 

The biggest thing I have discovered is that health and fitness isn’t about a certain exercise,  being on the latest diet or buying equipment that promises the world. Fitness is about behaviour. That statement is so important I’m going to say it again, fitness is about behaviour! The people I have seen who I know will be healthy and fit for life are the ones who have figured these behaviours out and made them work for themselves. 

When I do speaking arrangements I often ask this question: 

  • If your best friend who was overweight, came up to you and asked if you could help them with their dietary and exercise habits would you be able to give them basic advice about what they should should do to achieve this goal?  

I’m pretty sure that a high percentage of you would be able to help out in this situation. These examples show that the problem isn’t the ‘what’, you’ve shown that you know what to do, the problem is the ‘how’. And that’s how I want you to use this website. I’m going to give you a different way to look at fitness, one that teaches you behaviours that you can take with you for the rest of your life. One that will let you have all the benefits that come with a healthy lifestyle. 

I truly believe that everyone can have a love of fitness. Notice that I said love there, not habit. There’s a huge difference between the two. When you have a love you wake up early because you want to be out there doing it, you make good eating decisions because you are focused and have a target that requires that you make the best decisions for yourself. As a result you have a healthy looking body as a benefit of your love of fitness and you feel good about yourself. 

I’m not going to promise miracles, that's not realistic, but I do think that this website can open up your thinking and get you on the path to where you are loving fitness (and not just for 12 weeks) but for the rest of your life.

 

Here's a clip that was made about me and the things I do: 

This was created by: Matthew Cooke and Jessamy Benge

 

How to use this website

I'm using this website in a few different ways. It's a place where I'll put all my media pieces and I will be creating content just for here. When it comes to writing for magazines and newspapers there are word limits which can restrict the practical side of the areas that I am covering. On here I want to create content that is a lot more practical so you can get tools that can help you advance in the different areas. If you ever have an area that you want me to cover you can contact me here

 

Quick bits about me

 

Personality

In life I’m driven by these values: Love, Freedom, Honesty, Health, Growth and Happiness. While I’m often confronted by these I’m proud to say my life reflects these. 

  •     I’m a pretty simple man who gets the most pleasure by spending time with my family and friends. I can think of nothing better than spending time with my charismatic daughter Tyla and my wonderful partner Jo. 
  •     I’m passionate about music. I love getting my guitar out and just jamming away and I also play piano. 

Group Fitness

I have been a group fitness instructor with Les Mills since 1999. During this time I have achieved: 

  •     New Zealand Fitness instructor of the year, 2005, 2006 & 2008.
  •     Presented Les Mills International as a video presenter in the Body Attack and Body Step programs. 
  •     I’ve been lucky enough to travel both around New Zealand and throughout the world as a Training Facilitator and presenter for Les Mills. 

Athlete

I competed in Ironman Triathlon from 2003 to 2008. In this time I: 

  •     Raced in 8 Ironman races, including Ironman Hawaii.
  •     Won my age group at Ironman New Zealand. 
  •     Moved up the ranks to compete as a professional Ironman. 
  •     My Ironman personal best is 9:05
  •     Since retiring from Ironman I have been competing in Marathons. 
  •     I completed three Epic Camps. The craziest triathlon training camps. In one of these camps I had done over 63 hours of high intensity exercise in the first seven days. The camp went for thirteen days!

Podcaster

Along with John Newsom, I run the world's top Ironman Triathlon Podcast called IMTalk. John and I put together a weekly show that is listened to in over 100 countries. We also to Legends of Triathlon, you can check that out here: Legends of Triathlon

I also have Fitness Behavior which is the number 1 health and fitness podcast on itunes. Check it out here

Writer

I currently write for the Christchurch newspaper The Press and also some magazines.