Let’s face it – we’re all busy! Between full time jobs, side hustles, kids, partners, social commitments and everything in between – we struggle to find that little bit of ‘me time’ to take care of ourselves and our bodies.
Back in June that was me – frustrated by the lack of winter motivation, I decided it was time to do something about it which lead me to team up with trainer extraordinaire Jonathan – otherwise known as the brains and face behind Athletes’ Society .
Inspired by his love of sports and the team spirit, Jonathan saw the a gap in the market and a need for a personalized program designed to get clients the best possible results – whatever their needs are.
We sat down to discuss all things fitness, health and the journey that lead him to changing lives …
How did your journey lead you to personal training?
Throughout my entire life, I’ve always been surrounded by sports. In high school I played a wide variety of sports including soccer, volleyball, tennis and softball. I also played for a local footy club – I was always into sports. This passion then led me to further study sports and events.
During my studies, I coached a local footy team which inspired me to personal training as a career.
At that moment I felt like I found my calling and I have never looked back. I love being a trainer and training different types of people. This job allows me to meet lots of different people and help them with their fitness and health needs.
Do you have a slogan?
“Welcome to the Club.”
The slogan further portrays my vision and adds to the business’s community feel and its team morale.
How did you come up with the name?
Having a sporting life I’ve always been around a team so, I wanted to create a business that had a team and community feeling to it a community feel. Athletes’ Society is my representative of that ‘group’ element.
I’ve created a society of not only aspiring athletes, but of individuals with a shared common goal of fitness.
What is your approach to training your clients?
By engaging with my clients. I love getting involved with my clients when I train them. One of the things I love doing is cranking up the tunes and working out with them!
I train a group of girls, and we smash through a session playing some Queen Bee and Destiny’s Child – I’m not kidding.
If they’re doing squat jumps, I’ll be doing a squat jump with them. If they’re doing a plank, I’ll jump into a plank.
Being interactive with my clients is important to me.
I always like to have fun with my clients. I don’t want to be just standing there in the corner counting down the exercises.
It just gets boring and it’s not motivating.
I like to just get involved with the clients. It just makes exercise and the experience a lot of fun.
How do you create a plan for every client?
When speaking with a potential client, I endeavour to know what they are wanting to achieve. It’s important to get to know their fitness journey.
I ask them if they’ve got any injuries or medical problems, what results they’d like to achieve, if they’ve been to a gym before, what are their dislikes and likes about the types of exercises they did, etc. and then I just tailor it purely on their needs and what their targets are.
Every single client’s program is completely different from one another and I make sure I change them every few weeks. It keeps me (and them) on our toes.
All of my clients’ programs are tailored – tailored to the clients’ needs to achieve their fitness goals.
What do you think is the secret to a healthy and balanced life?
Sleep well, eat well, live well!
The best place to start is to have about seven to nine hours of sleep per night.
In the morning you can kick start the day by having a muesli or acai bowl. Have some snacks every once in a while, like nuts, have a salad for lunch, and for dinner, have a protein with some vegetables.
The biggest factor to not having a healthy and balanced lifestyle is stress. Stress will never get you anywhere and it’s important to remove any stress you have.
The one thing I love to do with my clients when they feel stressed from a long days work, we throw on the mitts and we just smash it out.
When it comes to dieting – I’m not a dietician or a nutritionist, but after speaking to some dieticians, we all agree, “everything in moderation.”
We’re human and as Melburnians who have a great food culture it’s important to sometimes treat yourself every once in a while.
But it’s also true, if you deprive yourself, that’s when you binge. If you eat in moderation, you don’t feel the need to binge, I think.
I always provide my clients with my opinion on healthy and balanced eating. Recently I gave my client an idea to cut down on an unhealthy habit of eating ice cream daily.
It’s hard to cut down cold turkey, so it’s important to moderate the intake to slowly kick the habit so that you don’t go back to binging after a short period of time. I told her to minimise the ice cream intake
There’s definitely been a shift in our culture where we’re more into fitness.
We’ve seen the rise of kale, this and that. What do you think has caused this massive shift for everyone to all of a sudden wake up and go – “All right – Let’s get our lives a little healthier.”
Social media has definitely promoted the importance of healthy eating and living.
Who is your fitness inspiration?
My fitness inspiration is Duffy Gaver.
He is a trainer for the Avenger films. He lives by saying that “Everything you do when it comes to the gym is necessary, your effort is a necessary thing, your discipline is a necessary thing, your intensity is a necessary thing.” So, when you come to the gym, just bring your A-game. Bring it all! There’s nothing to it. No one can sell you that – it’s all on you.
His approach, which I’ve taken on board, is that he doesn’t do a lot of body checks, like body fat checks or those type of tests that you see all the time nowadays.
If a client trains with me and hits a certain capacity on one day, but then a week later or 6 months later they can do more, that person won’t look the same. So, if I can push the client further, and they look and feel good, then that’s what we’re after
All my clients have different types of goals, for example a client wanted to lose 10 kilos before she started a new job, and she lost that within about five or six months, two months shy of her starting the job.
They reached the goal and they’re so happy – that’s what it’s all about for me.
That’s the thing – I cut through the bullshit and just help them achieve their goals.
And yes, it’s hard work, but let’s get there together
Do people generally come to you for weight loss or just as general fitness?
I have a mixture of clients who want to lose weight, tone up, increase their general fitness and improve their core.
I always ask new clients their fitness needs and ensure all my clients achieve their goals.
One thing that I remember saying to you when we started training is that I didn’t necessarily want this to be about weight loss – but more about showing that it’s not impossible finding balance in your life no matter how busy you are, how cold it is or if you’re just intimidated about going to the gym.
Because it can be intimidating sometimes when you go to the gym and you’re not naturally sporty or because now it’s also a trend.
That is exactly right – I know it’s a niche market but it’s for those who don’t have the time, who have their own businesses or have younger kids, who are not big fans of the gym or the gym environment and everything that comes along with it.
And they may just love to be outdoors or want to be in the comfort of their own home.
I’ve had some clients who have had their dinner, they’ve put their kids to bed, they want to go to the gym and they want to watch the latest TV shows at the same time. If they have time in between and if the gym is too far away or they don’t feel comfortable at the gym they call me.
I come to all my clients, whenever and wherever it suits them.
I’ve got the equipment to smash out a session for the half-hour, 45 minutes or 1 hour of the time that clients do have, so they can meet their fitness needs, continue to look and feel great and then go about their lives. I schedule my sessions around the clients.
What do you love the most about being a personal trainer?
I love the ability to help change someone’s life.
As I’ve mentioned before, when my clients want to lose weight, I help them achieve and lose that weight and seeing them achieve their goal is, for me, like being a part of that person’s journey, not just the health and fitness journey, but helping them be the person they’ve ultimately wanted to be.
When I was doing a placement at a gym in Caulfield with my trainer he had been training his client for about almost two years at the time. The trainer let me take the reins for part of the session and the client told me his journey.
He had lost 90 kilos in 12 months and weighed 180 kilos before he started training.
He’d train three to four times a week and had a nutritionist – he had changed his whole lifestyle for his health and his family.
He used to wake up every morning and ate junk food all the time, drank slabs of Red Bull and ended up in hospital with heart problems. He promised himself he would do anything to change his life around and although his friends did not believe there was a remedy for him, he still lost all that weight and changed his entire lifestyle.
His story really motivated me and further pushed me to become a personal trainer.
I love my job because I help my clients on a daily basis. I love to have that type of impact on my clients to help them achieve their goals.
If you’re ready to get some balance in you life – contact: www.athletessociety.com.au
Image courtesy of @purefitnessinternational