Graham has been a key member of the FIAFitnation family for over five years. However, before coming to FIA, Graham was a professional ballet dancer for 13 years. He started with the Queensland Ballet and then spend the majority of his dance career working for international companies. On retiring as a dancer, Graham made the transition into the fitness industry.
For the last seventeen years, he has run his own Personal Training business, worked in additional roles as a Personal Training manager, as well as being a Les Mills Presenter for Body Balance. His interest in fitness is broad and inclusive, however he has a fondness for CrossFit, Corrective Exercise and everything in between.
Graham took some time out of a (very) busy schedule to answer some questions for us:
What made you decide to pursue a career in the health and fitness industry?
I worked as a Professional Classical Dancer around the world for 13 years, so I have always been exercising, and trained myself at an elite level. Once my wife and I decided to return to Australia to start a family, it seemed natural to make the transition into the fitness industry. After spending all those years of training and performing you get a real intimate understanding how the body works and how it responds to training. That understanding transferred across very easily to working with others and helping them with the issues that they have with faulty movement and muscle imbalances.
What is the most rewarding thing about being a Personal Trainer?
I am really interested in how people move and why they move the way that they do. Helping clients to move better, move pain-free, and to do things that they couldn’t in the past is always great. On top of that, as a Personal Trainer you get to work clients on a variety of things at once… It might be working on motivation and goal setting, losing weight, getting stronger, working on improving their nutrition choices, as well as improving their self-confidence, all at once through exercise, nutrition and mindset.
What’s a piece of advice you have for aspiring Personal Trainers?
Be a sponge and keep an open mind! I have been working in the fitness industry for 16 years, and I am still learning some really cool stuff. There is always new stuff coming out, and we can always improve what we do as trainers. Aspiring trainers should always have that growth mindset and seek out new information, learn from different people and perspectives… This allows you to bring a wealth of understanding to your clients, which you can tailor to their individual needs and goals.
What’s one piece of wisdom that you apply to your practice?
Listen twice as much as you speak. You never learn anything when you are speaking, you only learn when you listen.
What motivates you?
My main motivation is growth. I love learning and understanding new things. Each day I try and be a little better than yesterday, so I like to learn new things that I can apply to my life. Whether that be to my exercise, nutrition, my clients, or my relationships with my wife and kids. Everything!
What’s something unexpected you have learnt through your profession?
How little I know! The more I learn, the more I realise how much more there is to learn. I am cool with that, as this motivates and inspires me.
What does an average day in your life look like?
My days are pretty long Monday to Friday! I am usually up at 4.15am to start working with clients at 5.30am. I usually training four to five clients every morning, then ride my bike into FIAFitnation. Usually starting at 8.30am through to 4.30pm, mostly looking after the Cert III students online.
Normally have a couple of kids to pick up or drop off at after school activities, and home around 5.30pm to get dinner ready for the kids. My wife works most evenings, so I take over from 5.30pm. After dinner and getting the chores done, I try and squeeze a workout in before I start getting the kids ready for bed, and the next day of school. I normally catch up on the news and social media for about 30 minutes and then head to bed around 9.30pm.
Which FIAFitnation course would you recommend to an aspiring Personal Trainer?
The course that I would recommend is our Master Coach course. This course gives you lots of options and a broad skill set for when you start working in the industry.
There are so many different areas within the fitness industry that you can work in, from large commercial gyms and private training studios, to outdoor sessions and working in the corporate market (to name a few). The Master Coach course sets you up for all of that!
Do you have a favourite song or go-to workout playlist?
I am right into Imagine Dragons at the moment, but mostly I like to train in silence. There is something strangely therapeutic about hearing yourself breathe hard and suffering during working out. Maybe the silence thing might have something to do with having three kids and silence is precious when you have it so little!