It all starts with a feeling – healthy or hot? What is your driver?

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At Best Practice Personal Training here in Bowen hills, we see ourselves as the front line of healthcare and the future of ‘fitness or health coaching’ – this is what I and more and more professionals are calling, ‘personal training’ these days.

There is a lot of talk in the fitness industry right now of where everything is headed. I don’t want to sound like a ‘know it all’, but it is something that I suspected from the day I started this journey all the way back in 1990, when I completed my Fitness Leader’s Certificate (equivalent to Cert 3 today). I could see that the future was more than just aerobics and leotards, and believe me there were plenty around in those early days.  I saw it as being about the whole process of going from sedentary to active or unhealthy to healthy or fat to fit. This by definition incorporated – think, eat and move better elements and is incidentally the philosophy behind Best Practice Personal Training at Bowen Hills, arguably Brisbane’s Best Personal Trainers!

I had a thirst for knowledge about all things performance related and was very motivated to become an expert in this field. After all, when my dreams of being one of the best tennis players in the world didn’t come to fruition, there was a considerable vacuum that needed to be filled. The thing about sporting ‘performance’ is that it entails so many elements including motor learning, nutrition, psychology, biomechanics, anatomy and physiology, just to name a few. This fact guaranteed that I would never be bored as each area could literally keep one occupied for a life time. This constant intellectual stimulation was  another one of my ‘must haves’ for my life post tennis. I suppose this is why I started my business (as well as being possibly one of the world’s worst employees and therefore having no real alternatives!).

I always had an idea for a better way to do things, and if you are the average business owner, I was your worst nightmare and a frustrating person to have around. This attitude continues to this day, but this time as the boss. I believe nothing is ever really 100% right and there is always room for better. It is an attitude that I encourage in my team as multiple brains are always better than just one, even if one of them is mine! 🙂 I don’t want to be the type of people I worked for who often had become intellectually lazy. Tell me I’m wrong, suggest something better and I am so on board!

I recently watched a You Tube video which really echos what I feel is the way forward in personal training or fitness/health coaching. Check out that short video here!

If you have followed me much at all you will also know that I am a big fan of Precision Nutrition (PN) and John Beradi. I have personally studied their stuff and make sure any trainers working for Best Practice study it too.  I am always sharing their stuff to members – case in point: their recent article on the three steps to fix any problem diet. They talk about Eat, Move and Live better. I am not sure who came up with what first, but it is very close to our think, eat and move better mantra. I suspect I formed our philosophy over time, from constant exposure to their good sense and others I respect in the industry. I don’t think the boys and girls at PN will be hassling me about copyright and would only encourage their similar intelligent approach to be shared around as much as possible! I know they are super keen to teach others the best ways to help improve the health of the world, which is a job of huge significance if you are to believe the frightening statistics of what our future health will look like and how much it will cost. If you are in the health sector, understand that your future is safe as the demand for those with the skills needed to help turn this around, is growing by the day as more and more people are putting up their hand for help.

I don’t think there is any doubt most people think about their health and fitness on a fairly regular basis, if the shear number of searches on terms like ‘fat loss’ on google are any indication. It is HUGE, literally billions of searches. The term ‘health’ is not as widely searched because most of us are driven by some fairly basic things, but the concept of health is at the centre of it, even if we don’t actually verbalise or even acknowledge it as much. I mean, who doesn’t want to be healthy for as long as they can? It is something that a lot of us take for granted until it is gone, and others maybe have even forgotten what it actually feels like. I find this incredibly sad. We see both situations and we love coaching people to change because as cliched as it sounds, it makes the world a better place. The joy you see on someone’s face when they finally ‘get it’, is worth all the years of study and commitment to this field of study! I like to think we all have a higher purpose, and when you own a business, it compels you to articulate that, because that is the thing that will keep you going when the ‘challenges’ become seemingly insurmountable problems.

Personally, I got involved with all of this because of that unquenchable thirst for knowledge and basically just wanting to always to get better – I believe you either aim to go forward in some way in your life or you are really just taking up space, perhaps even an oxygen thief ( I love that saying). That doesn’t mean you will always succeed in going forward, but you are always trying, right? The question now and the point of this article is to get in your head and see where you are at on that journey of change. Perhaps you have seen the below image:

Stages of Change


In my experience with clients, members and the ones who are most successful in changing their life long habits, it all starts with a feeling – a gnawing inside that just builds until one day they are ready to do something about it and make a change. They say when you are making a buying decision that you need to get your emotions out of it… I say no way. The highest experiences of our life are in fact what makes us uniquely human, and these are emotional experiences. Think of how you feel in the face of great art, incredible music or theatre. It stirs things inside that lift the human spirit and create internal movement of some kind. Tap into this stuff when you are thinking about buying into fitness and health. It is these feelings that will spark action and keep the fire burning bright.

By all means, you should use rational thought when appraising what you should do to get healthier. Who should I trust to help me (if you think you need it, hint: most people do so the answer is likely YES!)? How do I arrange my environment so I can make it easier to achieve what I am setting out to do? What should I be eating? etc. etc.

Let me share something with you. When I was a teenager, I remember seeing an advertisement at the movies. It was an advertisement for Levi jeans I am pretty sure and there was this atmosphere about it, that lit something up in my head and it wasn’t the jeans. The guy, for some reason I can’t remember, was doing these upside down abdominal exercises – you know, hanging from the roof strapped into special inversion boots — think American Gigolo if you ever saw it. He was in a dark room furnished with mahogany timbers reminiscent of a Western, with the old style fan in the corner and filtered light was coming through the room from shuttered windows, which created this atmosphere that just screamed ‘cool’, as in cool man! It inexplicably made me want to be an ‘athletic’ person (not wear Levi jeans interestingly!). It made me want to be an ‘athletic’ person not just for then in my youth, but actually my whole life.  Again I am not sure why. Perhaps there were some other subliminal messages in the ad, but for me it triggered feelings of rugged individualism or a desire to ‘stand out from the crowd’ or simply be different.

Now, whatever deep dark corner of  my mind this comes from (I suspect it is straight from the universal desire to be unique and or pick up chicks), this image of the fit guy doing upside down crunches still hovers in the back of my mind when I consider how I want to age. It affected me that much. You know what? Your deep emotional reason doesn’t even have to be virtuous. It just has to be super meaningful to you. No one is going to judge you. Unless of course you ARE a dick then you shall be judged thus! Okay back to topic: You could even start with some of the 7 deadly sins as your motivational driver. You know: pride, envy, lust, greed, gluttony, sloth and wrath. I am not sure that ‘sloth’ or ‘gluttony’ could work, but hey this is not my journey. It’s yours! And also I have that much confidence in the power of exercise that I suspect, that if your trigger is something less than altruistic, you will probably change anyway from a vain self-centred narcissist to one who just wants to see others simply enjoy what fitness brings in terms of the myriad of benefits. But hey, I am a dreamer!

Here is a super list put together by Helen Sanders on the subject too that reminds us it doesn’t even have to be formal exercise and this great article from Zoey Miller on the amazing ways running can improve your health and mood.

One of our very successful previous clients I believe used aspects of ‘pride’ exceedingly well to get him from heading rapidly towards being the ‘typical beer gutted middle aged guy’, whose kids mightn’t end up respecting him, to someone who I reckon looked in the mirror with his kids and felt proud of the athletic person he had become. At Best Practice, we generally focus more on achieving the ‘health’ part, and the ‘hot’ part is simply an added bonus. There are a lot of big gyms that push the ‘hot’ band wagon and I am sure you have seen the ads. We aim for those who are just starting the journey and whilst most people we work with will start and finish in zone 0 to 2 of our diagram below, zone 3 and beyond is open to those who want to go there. You just have to know where you want to go and importantly, WHY you want to go there!

At Best Practice Personal Training, I have coaches who are uniquely positioned to help you through any or all of the zones because they have the advanced education to take you from exercise rehabilitation all the way to advanced performance. To be honest, most people we coach just simply want to feel better and will only ever be interested in the basics of health and fitness. We all however, have our areas of special interest & expertise in Zone 3 and beyond. Mine personally is tennis, Katrina – dancing, Josh – rowing, Mike – track and field, Catherine – sailing & windsurfing and Devon – power lifting. It is worth noting too that all trainers have been hand picked by myself as down to earth and  motivated with an in-grained growth mindset, to guarantee you that you will always get access to the best methods of fitness, performance and health coaching that is available today.


If you have found your deep emotional connection with your ‘why’, give me a call. Or if you need help even in tapping in to that, look out for my next blog post called SLIDING DOORS and how we all have critical moments in our lives where what we decide can have huge and long lasting effects and choosing well at these times is super important to a happy life.

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