Hi and welcome to the page that gives you a fairly comprehensive overview of what I can do for you, how I do it and my story of who I am. (Hold onto your hat.)
The first thing you need to know is that I am happiest when “using my full powers along the lines of excellence“. I love challenges such as solving chronic injuries and unwellness, creating corporate presentations, applying my sometimes maverick methods to designing periodised sports programmes (including learning and applying new sport and training philosophies on myself), structuring education or product manuals, and coaching athletes mental game so that they peak for a performance.
Above all I love helping all people “do their best today so that they are better tomorrow”.
If you are looking for a trainer that punishes you with hard workouts that leave you a broken, sweaty and sore mess on our very first lesson then unless you are Daniel Wu you are looking in the wrong place. I am conservative to start out, favouring appropriate exercise and correct technique over intensity. However once you are out of pain, know what athletic posture is and can move well, we will ramp up intensity/complexity to take you out of your comfort zone and stimulate gains.
I see my number one priority is to reveal your weaknesses (needs) and make them stronger; this prevents injuries and clears the path for more advanced exercises (advanced exercises increases fitness capacity and increases metabolic rate, lean body mass and weight loss).
Musculoskeletal, hormonal, emotional and mental weaknesses and the toll on your physiological load can be identified in many ways.
- Comprehensive health & lifestyle history.
- Clinical Posture, flexibility and movement ability assessment. (Including gait running assessment if required)
- Troubleshooting “freestyle” lesson that aim to alleviate a body-mind-spirit obstacle. (ROAM, mental strength, attitude, creative visualisation)
- After I have analysed the lifestyle history and physical assessment we get together to go over my findings for a lifestyle consult and or instruct you in the stretching and strengthening programme. (My “PRX”programme is a progressive lifestyle plan to build wellness, fitness and performance. Personalised lifestyle consults will drill down into critical modules of the PRX programme to make the biggest impact on your life with the least amount of effort.)
Programmes and coaching morph from level to level according to your mastery of the exercises or lifestyle action plans. Typically I change programmes emphasis every three weeks and exercise variations change as needed. Really this depends on the frequency of your self training and how often we met. (I am flexible on how often we meet.) For more detailed information see my elite performance coaching page.
Secondly, if you are looking for a high energy, cheerleader type trainer or what I call in my mentorship programme “Entertrainer” then, although I believe in a positive coaching environment and actively promote levity, my coaching style leans towards Coach-Technical-Athlete-Entertrainer; that is my cueing will be concise to what I think will make the biggest change, technical and science based, with small demonstrations, focused on correct technique and task orientated. The hive-fives, story telling and scintillating conversation come after you have mastered the current programme and probably only on a recovery day when that is the best course of action for the day. (Don’t get me wrong I am more focused on giving value for money and I am not adverse to coffee and conversation with clients.)
Thanks for reading this far. Getting this understanding up front paves the way for a good coach-pupil relationship. I can assure you that once I am part of your team I will match your efforts (if not surpass) in helping you to get better.
The next part of this page gives an overview of my methods, philosophies and programmes I have developed in order to share what I think people want and need to know if order to excel at life…
Wellness – Fitness – Performance
To me “Performance“ is testing your knowledge, skills, abilities and experience against the pressure of competition.
A “Performance Coach” empowers this successful performance by constantly adapting and off-setting the stress to recovery load according to the ever changing landscape of the individual.
The landscape I draw upon is holistic can be distilled into four key lessons:
- Love your life.
- Calm your mind.
- Eat real food.
- Enjoy, regular and varied exercise.
As each individual is unique in ambition, ability, condition and circumstance so too is the priority of how we layer all of these four factors into their life. With personalised coaching it is just requires a good rapport, an open mind and an understanding that podium places require an integration of lifestyle-mindset-nutrition into any exercise programme. as much as exercise. (I usually sew this into movement lessons but can be done systematically in a sit down lesson or self-paced through my online PRX programme.)
Movement – Personal Readiness – TEACH Mentorship:
Programme 1: ROAM Method: A progressive movement curriculum to Expand your Range of active Movement and “Enjoy, regular and varied exercise”.
Movement is my main modality. My main sport was gymnastics (I have been in national age group training squads since the age of 12-17), competed in around 10 World Sport Aerobics including one as National Coach and Head of Delegation. I have also played Premier level Rugby, Completed two 250km Ultramarathons in the Sahara and Atacama deserts, won a bronze medal in an over 40 Dragon Boat World Championship, practised Qi Gong, studied Yoga, completed a half-Ironman triathlon, played schoolboy tennis, corporate squash, was a sailing instructor, snowboarder, competed in 3 crossfit opens and three spartan events – phew. Right now (2020) I have an idea to do more Spartans as they fit into my ROAM methodology and philosophy, but I also yearn to be back on the water to master surf ski (and perhaps do the New Zealand Coast to Coast in 2022) and I have seen an epic bicycle ride that I like the madness aspect to training for and starting.
Now, I have rolled all this movement ability into my Tertiary qualifications of exercise science/sport coaching, with countless industry qualifications into developing my own movement curriculum which aims to expand range of active movement through 5/6 Life-Movements, a progressive spectrum of physical abilities and cornucopia of equipment modalities and formats.
ROAM: Movement Curriculum is a general fitness plan that is designed to progressive in complexity and intensity and take around 12 months to complete (with options to self-determine the various plans). ROAM is best suited to those who want to “enjoy, regular and varied exercise” without any specific goal apart from aging gracefully and being able to eat pizza and drink beer as one of my favourite clients use to tell me when I pressured her into provide it me with a training goal (she did do the Chicago marathon once).
ROAM is heavily influenced by functional fitness, strength and conditioning philosophies and is an expansion of my Bodyweight mobility book “ROAM: Movement as medicine” and the ROAM cycle I created to illustrate my structure. ROAM is available live or online and can be completed at your own pace.
Programme 2 – PRX: Is a holistic lifestyle programme that develops “Personal Readiness & the X-Factor“ to help you excel at what you really want to be better at (Sport, boardroom, life).
PRX is a programme of transformation and growth.
All successful and sustainable performance summits are organised around a principle of “a peak is only as high as the base is wide” of which I separate into three phases; wellness, fitness and performance…
- Wellness/health provides the and concerns the alignment of all factors that help you create balance in your life day to day.
- Fitness is the second level of the pyramid process and develops your purpose and your ability to adapt to change.
- Performance is the third level and is the most interesting because once we have established some health and resilience we look to clear away any obstacles to greatness, any intolerances of the body-mind-spirit. We structure our troubleshooting module here before we look to develop your X-factor creativity and your optimal performance and influence zone.
PRX is based on a logical progression through my Life-Cycle wheel and is available live and online and includes ROAM Method.
Programme 3 – TEACH: Holistic-Technical-Entertraining-Athletic-Coach Programme design and Delivery Mentorship.
This programme is for new trainers who want to gain confidence in how to coach people just as much as what to coach people with. TEACH draws on my 27 years plus of:
- learning various training methods – designing, implementing and tracking programmes (exercise selection, energy systems, acute variable selection priority) on myself and my clients.
- pedagogy of how to teach the programme to all sorts of people.
- having learnt from Olympic, International and national level coaches and product specific coaches.
- being a coach at multiple national squad meetings in gymnastics and various sports
- Attending & teaching various Master Training courses for ViPR, Trigger Point Therapy, Powerplate, LifeFitness, Hedstrom (Surge), Rocktape, Pavigym.
- Master Trainer role at the American Club (Hong Kong).
- Head Coach responsible for setting up a Boutique fitness studio including procurement of equipment, designing an exercise curriculum and packages and training the staff in the curriculum.
- Writing 3 books, 3 online programmes and designing an exercise app.
- Critiquing and helping develop some exercise courses, manuals and consultant to some fitness products.
- A 10 year plus journey of personal growth with TRX an Instructor, Master Instructor, Senior Master Instructor, Summit & Conference Presenter, launching STC, RTC, GSTC, SMSTC courses in multiple countries in the Asia-pacific region, leading train-the trainer events, and nurturing instructor candidates through a very rigorous technical and presentation evaluation and development process.
I have seen trainers come and go In 27 years, sadly there is an alarming statistic that 70% of trainers give up in within 12 months because they get frustrated with the results of their clients! I ask myself why this is? (Many times)
- It’s a tough, competitive and saturated industry to earn a living in.
- Clients may be attracted to you because you have an athletic body And can tell amusing anecdotes but past the first 10 sessions if you can’t design and coach appropriate and effective programmes then you wont retain them. (Most of my clients are multiple year clients and many trading with me for 5-10 years or more at 1-3 time per week.)
- You get frustrated that your clients don’t get the results that textbooks promise. Remember that clients are training for themselves they are not training to satisfy you. The reality is that most clients have a life way different from the college aged athletes that those text book are based upon, you only see them for a fraction of the 168 hours of the week and you have little to no control of the amount of stress, sleep, cardio, stretching, eating, drinking and other circumstances in their lives (all impact of results). You can not “own their shit” but you can influence them and make an impact during your lessons by educating them as to what the cost-benefit of their choices are, design programme that increase attendance and adherence.
I am a study of the craft of coaching and watch what methods and philosophies are successful. To this end I developed my trainer style model called T.E.A.C.H:
- Technical – science, technique and task based
- Entertrainer – entertaining, cheerleading, fun times over results.
- Athlete – demonstrating, epitome of a movement specialist.
- Coach – Concise cueing and emphasise in the individuals best interest.
We identify your dominant style, explore how to develop the other style and when to best apply them over the type and life of your client (and your passions).
The other aspect of TEACH is the holistic nature of programme design. Meaning from Bodyweight mobility to Olympic Barbell lifts. Stretching, yoga, Traditional Chinese Medicine Qi Gong, Breathing, Corrective exercise, & functional fitness (as influenced by the CHEK Institute) strength and conditioning (Crossfit, Gym Jones, Westside barbell conjugate style), TRX suspension training, Swiss ball, medicine ball, cables, kettle bells, foam rolling, resistance bands.
A big part of this course is how to adapt the sample programme and the ones you design to the wellness-fitness and performance needs and wants to client presents with on any one day (the holistic part).
TEACH is designed as a 5 day intensive but can be broken down into modules to suit busy schedules, or taken as a self paced online course. (Includes ROAM Method and PRX).
I am flexible on how we work together the frequency of coaching depends on your ambition, condition, ability and circumstance. As everyone is unique I don’t want to limit you or lock you into anything you don’t feel comfortable with so I am happy to work within your budget if it means helping you get better. I am available for product reviews, mentoring and staff training, corporate wellness talks, programmes or offsite retreats.
Please contact me to discuss.
Now that what I can do for you stuff is out of the way let me give you an overview of my history…
I started studying exercise science 27 years ago to help me coach elite gymnastics. I switched to personal training in 1996 when introduced to the functional fitness and the realisation of how much positive impact on a persons results a holistic approach can make on health, injury correction, weight loss, stress optimisation, fitness, physique and high-performance of sports.
From 1997-2002 I competed in a silly amount of international Sport Aerobic and Mr Fitness championships without adequate recovery. This overtraining combined with poor food choices (protein bars, pop-corn, fast -food combos) and eating at irregular times to fit in training, digestion and clients, lack of sleep because of early morning starts and a late night study schedule, financial pressure to pay off credit-cards (from travelling to international competitions), niggly injuries and not getting the sporting results I wanted, burnt-out his adrenal glands.
Although a World Champion Mr Fitness, National Coach and leading New Zealand Personal Trainer I was far from the epitome of wellness – I propped myself up with caffeine and sugar, was irritable with loved ones and led me to question my passion, purpose and values I had invested in elite level sport and the work-life balance equation.
Fortunately, I recognised this loss of balance and took a busman sabbatical as Head Trainer at a Fitness and Well-being resort in Kenya, Africa. There I had an epiphany that one needs to adapt ones life (lifestyle, intention, food, exercise) to ones circumstances and ones stress levels, otherwise ones physical and mental health will suffer and manifest a disease (for me it was chronic fatigue).
Since that realisation in 2002 I has been studying & integrating holistic fitness (heavily influenced by the CHEK Institute) into clients coaching programmes and so that they feel, look, think and perform better.
From 2009 to present I has been developing my own framework of movement, personal readiness and trainer mentorship and this is what he offers you.
I have written three books:
- “ROAM: Movement as medicine” – a bodyweight mobility book that borrows from yoga, qigong and western flexibility techniques. (Released in 2016 I have since developed this into a movement curriculum that teaches safe and progressive movement competence along a spectrum of abilities and modalities.
- “The Bottom line of fat loss“ – which would be better titled “Holistic weight loss”.
- “How to Calm your mind“ which is a collection of my favourite sport psychology techniques to lower sports anxiety and prolong motivation.
- Strength and Conditioning coach (and sweep) to 5 Times Stanley Cup Mixed Champions (Trainer since 2005). (I have been privileged to witness the growth of this team and many of its members over the years. The Seagods started out a social team and remarkably has retained this ethos while being one of the most competitive mixed crews for the last two decades. I Coached their on-water programme for the disrupted 2020 season and also experienced growth in taking my knowledge of Dragonboating and team dynamics to another level.
- Trainer to Jockey Vincent Ho: – Once you delve into the details of a sport you see the nuances that make it difficult, none more so than the apparent ease of being a Jockey. The coach needs to be flexible to plan conditioning and recovery for a sport that has a 10 month long season, has 8-10 races (60-90 seconds long) twice per week and being weight conscious. Careful monitoring of HRV and workload is required as is changing the programme daily to keep wellness, fitness and performance enabled.
- Olympic hopeful Marathon runner Crystal Vut: My approach to running is to break down the gait into each phase and plug up any powers leaks to both prevent injury and increase efficiency and speed.
- Tennis player Coleman Wong: – Tennis is another sport that has small down time between travelling in between tournaments. This makes periodisation difficult. With Coleman we started with posture correction and general movement coordination.
- Professional football player Wong Wai & Eastern Eagles Football Team. – We did 10 zoom lessonS in the thick of Covid, with the players in their apartments and some even in Brazil. Creativity required!
- Strength & conditioning coach to professional boxer Rex Tso . – Boxing is complicated for sure and to fight for 12, 3 min rounds with 1 min rest in between requires a tremendous amount of fitness. Training was based around fitness, rotational power to deliver a knockout blow and ability to withstand punches. It has been a delight to coach Rex in 5 professional fight and throughout his campaign to represent Hong Kong at the Olympics.
- Trainer to “Explorers Grand Slam” record holder Vanessa O’Brien . – I coached Vanessa at the beginning of her mountain adventures and had some fun creating exercises to replicate what we thought would be physical challenges climbing mountains. Vanessa is still the strongest female I have coached.
- Worked with Golfer Nick Faldo and many podium places getters at international competitions. – Male Golfers need flexibility, Female golfers need stability – this equates to consistent swings and straight flight paths. Strength and power equates to distance.
- Presenter at Idea World in 2017. – Idea world is the Mecca of the Personal trainer world so to present to the fitness world here is a highlight. Happily I presented mobility for TRX, much of which was my own content, or take on their content.
- Presenter at AsiaFit Thailand and China, Nike Super Conference, Fibo in China, Active Masters in China.
- Barca Innovation Hub: Certificate in Sports psychology in the elite environment. – I am very much into mental strength as I think it makes the difference between podium and also ran. After searching for many online courses I came across Barca. I like their approach I have done two.
- Barca Innovation Hub: Certificate in Sport psychology elite athlete development
- CHEK Practitioner Level IV. Paul Chek is the pioneer of functional fitness and holistic wellbeing. There is no course of study that I am aware of (and I have done explored many) that comes close to the breadth and depth of what you learn in Pauls teachings. I am fortunate to have completed many of my internships with him as the teacher. By far does his influence permeate in what I do day to day.
- CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach III
- TRX Senior Master Instructor Asia Pacific
- BBS in Sports coaching and management (Major and minors completed). – I started this degree to complement my knowledge as an Junior Elite gymnastics coach and to propel my into the corporate sponsorship and event management world. I only had to complete my core papers when I was introduced to Paul Cheks teachings and 20 years later it is too late to finish this degree.
- Advanced Diploma in Exercise Science. – This 2 year full-time tertiary education course provides a solid background in exercise physiology, sports coaching and personal training.
- LIFE Fitness Master Trainer. – Helped launch their Synergy 360 product in China with my own content.
- Hedstrom Master Trainer. – Learnt their fluid dynamic Surge programme to teach to trainers.
- TP Therapy Master Trainer. – Learnt to teach their very useful protocols of foam rolling.
- Westside Barbell Athletic coach and personal trainer. I took this course after finishing 731st in the 40-45 age group in the Crossfit open when I realised I did not have enough absolute strength. This is an excellent course and the conjugate method transformed my programme design.
- Crossfit coach, gymnastics, mobility. – These courses are quite basic compared to Chek Institute and the NZGA Level 3 Gymnastics coach course but have some great ideas and the structure is very good to teaching a large group of people easily.
- Exuberant Animal. – Frank Forencich book “Play as if your life depends on it” came to me at just the right time and I think its the best book for fitness professionals to read.
- DNS “A”. This Dynamic neuromuscular stability course is very clinical and parallels the Clinical core and infant developmental patterns Of the Chek Institute.
- NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist. – to be honest I did this course to see what the fuss was about. It is very basic compared to CHEK courses.
- Student of Shamanism. – I had a chapter in my Lifestyle book on Spirituality and felt I needed some authenticity and the Paul Chek Level 4 Internship contain some Shamanistic techniques so I taught out a teacher in Hong Kong. Like Yoga I had no intention of becoming a teacher but I do weave aspects into my intention, troubleshooting and X-factor teachings. I spent over 5 years and over 300 journeys, including a year long apprenticeship so, in fact I can teach and perform many aspects of Shamanic healing. It still remains a “weird” subject to broach and talk about with most people but I have found the learnings to be very useful in dealing with perfectionism, obsession and mental health. I learnt “to get out of my head”, “it is what it is” and compassion. There is much that I can write hear but will have to expand on when the time is right.
- NKT Level 1 course completed. – Useful for sure, I confused myself with is complex simplicity and the parallels with the way I do things.
- Qi Gong Practitioner course. – I took Five palms schools course to understand what Chi was about and to pride some authenticity to the project I was working with the Mandarin group with.
- Yoga Alliance Instructor course (150/250 hours). I took this course not to become an instructor but to understand this system and why it has lasted 3500 years. I distilled my understanding into my ROAM Method. (I repeat I am not a yoga instructor.)
- Rehab Express Elite course. Some very good leading techniques for rehabilitation for trainers.
- Rocktape Master Trainer course. Sceptical at first but with experimentation on my injuries I can say it helps.
- IBF & NABBA World Mr Fitness. – Dave Nuku recommended I do these competitions as an aside to my sport aerobics. I followed his advice up and came away with a World Title.
- New Zealand Champion and representative at over 10 world sport aerobic championships. My natural flexibility, power and background in gymnastics meant I could score high in this sport (until they devalued the difficulty and increased the artistic contribution. I trained like a professional athlete (without the money) and have the experience of competing at a very high level. Best result was 16th Male in the world.
- New Zealand National Coach for Sport Aerobics. – When I retired from competing I was asked to take the vacant national coach position. (I can tell you the transition from being a team member to a coach is a huge learning curve for all parties.)
- Wellington Provincial rugby representative. – I have always played rugby at a good skill level. A two year hiatus from 19-21 probably dashed my hopes of playing higher, that and probably being 10kgs to light.
- Bronze medal world crew championship for Dragon boating. I first started dragon boating in 1990 and have been involved in training four teams including the RHYC X-MEN and Women. In 2012 I paddled for the first time for the Seagods team. From 2017 I have steered their team.
- 250 km ultramarathons in Sahara and Atacama deserts. – When I first heard about these events in 2008 I thought that anyone who did these things were mad. Still do. I was inspired to do one from witnessing the commeraderie of the finish line in the Kashgar 2008. They are a study in enduring great pain, foot care, packweight, calories and cardiovascular fitness at a slow pace.
- First in Dragon Run outrigger race OC2. – My dragon boat world extended to outrigging in 2009/2010 (concurrent to the Sahara 250km 3 weeks earlier). Another simple but technical sport where being efficient is paramount.
- HKCC Raiders rugby team league champions 2017. – I got drafted in to play half back for this team for one game. These rest they say is history. I am very proud that I was awarded players player and coaches player of the year whilst being in this team.
- Spartan Sprint finisher. The Spartan idea of fitness runs parallel to my ROAM Method idea. Sadly there is just not enough competitions in Hong Kong to really make the training required to excel worthwhile or sustain my motivation.
- Spartan Super finisher
- Spartan Hurricane competitor. This was brutal. The weight was too heavy for my condition at the time, I was not prepared enough and my mind was not committed enough to carry on another 4 hours to reach the 12 hour mark. I still have not got my head around this event, many of the missions are pointless and that’s the point. I also think that if I was fit enough and did not have to work the next day that I would not be making these excuses.
5 Little known facts about Me:
- Ran with the bulls in the Festival San Fermin, Pamplona, Spain. – by far the most exhilarating and irresponsible thing I have done in my life. (I would like to return as part of the St James way pilgrimage one day.)
- Worked as a sailing instructor in the South of France. – Up there with Wildfitness as a lifestyle and job, but unlike Wildfitness the pay was crap.
- Caddied at the Omega Hong Kong Open. – Quite a thrill to do this, not thrilling when your Golfer has a bad day. First and last time I will ever caddy.
- Gave a Lifestyle talk in Kona, Hawaii that was only accessible by helicopter. – My second iteration of what is now my Life-print talk.
- First real job was an Accounts Clerk for a Finance Company. Hated this job and only did it to save money for a university degree I never got accepted into. Got sucked into the corporate life and stayed way longer than was good for me.