Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
I just want to start the interview by saying thank you to Bulk Hackers for giving me the opportunity to be part of this great side-project interview and even considering me as a fitness hero.
Hey guys! My name is Robby and I’m a 30-year-old personal trainer based out in Sydney, Australia. To start the interview, I am going to take you guys back to when I was 17. I had a terrible ankle accident playing soccer resulting in a torn ligament. This outcome left me in a very bad place. I was in year 11 at the time and couldn’t go to school for six weeks cause of the injury case.
Before the injury, I had a very high metabolism. I was playing soccer for two separate clubs at the time. Under 18s and all age team in Winston hills on Sunday’s. In life we are all going to get setbacks and my set back was the injury I endured because it changed my life.
In the six weeks at home, I wasn’t allowed to move or do any movement to hinder my recovery. So, all I could do was read books, play video games and eat all day on repeat resulting in 13kilo weight gain.
To my understanding, I felt heavier and my clothes were tighter on me — to be specific, I’m talking about my soccer shorts. At the time, I was underage and I couldn’t get my own gym membership, so I started using my brother’s gym key until I was 18.
At the gym, I didn’t know what I was doing? I wanted to get stronger ’cause I would see people lifting heavy weights throwing heavy dumbbells around and I wanted to be like them: To feel strong, to be confident, and just know my way around the gym — this was 12 to 13 years ago. All I had to help me was YouTube. I would watch guys like Ronnie Coleman, Kevin Levrone, Jay Cutler for tips and training routines.
It took two years into my training for me to start seeing results. At this time, people started noticing and started giving me compliments. The more compliments I got, the hungrier I got with my goals. So, I enrolled at the Australian institute of Fitness and got qualified as Master Trainer and I have been working as PT since.
Describe a typical day of training
The way I look at training is like this: There is no bad day or a good day for training. Every day is good when you’ve trained. I train seven days a week.
I just want to highlight the turning in my training when I wasn’t making any progress at all: I was skipping leg day way too often because I never really understood the benefits of having a strong base to grow on. It was when I started training legs twice a week, I started seeing results. Just from that single approach, I gained 5-6 kilos.
My weight was stuck at 84kg and wanted to be 90kg but I didn’t want to dirty bulk. I wanted to be lean but strong to be aesthetic like classic bodybuilders (Frank Zane ) my inspiration. I eat 85% healthy and the other 15% is balanced.
I do 5 a.m. cardio 3 x 30min fasted. I do free weights compound training throughout the week. I work at the gym, so I find myself training some body parts twice a week. This has helped me maintain my aesthetic lifestyle for over 11 years now.
How do you keep going and push harder?
It is hard to start a fitness routine let alone maintain a fitness routine for a long time. I had to find a system that works for me. That system was simply to cut the CRAP: Carbonate drinks, refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, and processed foods. Just from eliminating these from your diet, you will feel and look better in time.
Don’t eat comfort food ’cause that’s exactly what will happen, you will get too comfortable. What happens in a comfort zone? Nothing! Dreams and ambition are lost in a comfort zone.
What really keeps me going with fitness is the number of people I help transformed over the years and continue to help today. My clients are my motivation. I help people to see the world through fitness.
Fitness has given me the platform to go help people whether it’s weight management, starting a routine or just understanding the different ways of how you can take control of your body back ’cause it’s never too late. If you are willing to work for it, nothing will stop you.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
Today, I’m doing great! My personal training business is doing well. I am smashing over 20 hours a week with clients. I’m doing what I was put on this earth to do.
I like reaching out to people and helping people understand fitness so they can take the initiative to change their lifestyle.
The future is looking promising for me. I’m a very optimistic person. I want to be in the fitness industry maybe open a gym of my own in the future.
How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
Recovery starts at the gym. I start my workout with a five-minute warm up using resistance bands or form roller or the TRX Training Conditioning Rope, and sometimes even five minutes on the treadmill.
The recovery process begins as soon as I finish my workout. I start off by going through stretches then drinking post shake followed by a high protein and carb meal depending on my goals. I drink a gallon of water a day to keep my muscles hydrated.
The next step of recovery is sleep. I take my sleep very seriously. I try to get five to six hours a night, if you can do eight hours of sleep, great! I give my body plenty of time to adjust and recover this can take 24 to 48 hours sometimes.
How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
Food is the most important part of any training. Food is everything to someone who wants to build a healthy body. Early on in my training before I got qualified as a personal trainer my nutrition knowledge was zero. All I knew was eating tuna cans, I didn’t know the influence of macronutrients to weight training.
When it comes to supplements, I don’t consider myself as someone who is big on supplementation. I take muscle mass gainer (Venom protein) to help balance out my daily caloric intake. My diet is 85% on point.
If you don’t get out of shape, you won’t need to get in shape. I don’t know who said that, but I do believe being mindful of the choices we make when it comes to food because not all foods are good, food can heal, or it can kill not now not tomorrow or next week but in few years of eating unhealthy can leave you feeling like you’ve lost yourself.
What has inspired and motivated you?
I think there are so many ways to be inspired and get motivated. Being the youngest out of three brothers, I could always count on my brothers to protect me from bullies. As a kid I had my fair share of being in a situation where I felt defenseless and my brothers had to help me.
140lbs 17-year-old kid with fast metabolism who wanted to gain weight but had no idea where to start. To make things even worse, I was the kid who had a big mouth. I didn’t have big muscles, but I could muscle my way out of situations by talking and it’s only when things got physical, I felt weak. I wanted to get strong and have a body like Mr Olympia.
I found motivation in bodybuilding. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dexter Jackson, Ronnie Colman, and Flex Wheeler just a few names I type into YouTube if I was ever not motivated to train.
The day I really got inspired was when I walked into a supplement store five months into my training because I wasn’t seeing any results. I wanted to be strong like all the other people I see in the gym. So, I walked to this bodybuilding supplement store and saw the owner over the counter. I walked up to him and said: “Excuse me, sir, do you know here I can get steroids, I want to be big like you”.
I don’t know him, and he hasn’t seen me before. Still today I am so thankful for what he said to me on that day changed my life forever. To this day I have not shared this story with anyone. People think I take steroids. For me this is greatest compliment I can receive as a natural athlete. 11 years of training will make you look a type of way. This gives me great motivation to be compared to someone who is not natural.
Back to the supplement store story:
He said and I quote: “You don’t need steroids, you are African. Your genetics combined with hard work will build muscles twice faster than a Caucasian male”. I had no idea what the hell he was talking about, so I did more research.
At the time, his words meant so much to me because I didn’t want take drugs and there must be another way. This was the day I made a commitment to myself to never skip gym unless I was sick.
I just want to say for someone out there who is willing to work hard for something and put in time and effort religiously and not make excuses no matter how tough things get? Keep fighting and working at your vision whatever that is.
First it may seem like you are in isolation but soon or later you will not feel alone. It will take time but soon people will see you differently and want to be around you because you are the definition of success if not to the world but to your damn self.
Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
There is so many reasons to get fit and healthy. You should know the only reason you should get into fitness or start eating healthy is to love yourself more.
By being fit, you are telling yourself that you are in control of the system (the human body). So many people out there out of shape because they are not in control.
As human beings, we have choices to do good or do bad and we all know that actions have consequences. For every action there is a reaction, yet we still choose to do all the wrong things that put us in a position to feel sorry for our selves.
I love working with people and understanding the psychological side of why people do things and what thought process was implanted before making the decision. The best advice I can give someone is to be mindful in everything that you do.
Are you taking on clients right now?
If you are looking for a friendly/aesthetic trainer who is driven not only to help you feel good but look great as well. I help my clients through a 4-8-week transformation. This result work best one-o-one in the gym but for someone out there who needs online coaching, I can also assist in key areas.