Body Majic accelerated his online presence by starring on the Love Island TV show, as well as his online coaching, and personal training business. He has also recently been helping AFL players improve their body composition in the off season.
Highlights from the episode:
- Tips for instagram and tiktok posts
- His mentors and people who helped him
- His 8-week training program
- Fave movie or tv series
- What he’s excited about this 2022
- James Smith
- Brandon Matera
- Denver Granger
- Heath Chapman
- Luke Jackson
Jack: I’m your host, Jack McLean. And today my guest is Gerard Majda. He’s the founder of Body Majic, an online and face-to-face fitness business specializing in improving your body composition. Body Majic accelerated his online presence by starring on the ‘Love Island’ TV show. He’s an online coach and personal training business. He has recently been helping AFL players improve their body composition in the off-season.
Highlights from this episode: we discuss the importance of knowing your strengths and developing them to stand out from the pack; practical tips for online trainers, trying to develop a business; how to improve your marketing skills; and how being on the ‘Love Island’ TV show helped his business.
Before we start this episode, to connect with our guests, coaches, athletes, and fellow podcast listeners, make sure to follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube. It’d be great, if you could like, share and rate this episode, or even share it with a mate. The support goes a long way in helping us grow and reach more people.
Let’s get into today’s episode. Welcome, Gerard. Thanks for jumping on, mate.
Gerard: Thanksfor having me. Can’t wait. Let’s get on with it.
Jack: Let’s dive into the beginning, mate. What age did you discover you had a passion for personal training?
Gerard: I did my PT course when I was 18–19. And all the way through high school I absolutely loved going to the gym and playing sport and all that sort of thing. But I guess the whole passion for the actual gym started at about year 9 or 10. I actually had a really rough time all the way through school and very much used the gym as my escape from the week. Working out a really frustrating day at school, that sort of thing. And that’s where I’d go.
There was a gym just down the road. There was a Jetts down the road. I couldn’t get a membership yet, because I was only 15 and you can’t sign up until 16. So, I’d be waiting at the door, trying to see in, as soon as somebody came on out. I did that for a year. And the more I was in the gym, the more I learned to love it and also started to see the results in my body.
I was playing sport better. I felt better. My confidence was way more than before I started, which was the big thing that was lacking for me, I guess. And then all of a sudden I just got that great little growth spurts through puberty, put on all these thighs, got a bit taller, and then nobody fucked with me at school pretty much. That was great. So, that was how it all started.
Jack: Awesome, mate. Thanks for sharing. No doubt, that resonates. I made the same journey for myself, definitely it was a confidence boosting thing. So, the mental aspect, and then you get hooked into the benefits of it, like you said, as well, physically with improvement in efforts and just feeling better, and all the other benefits. I appreciate your honesty, mate. Sometimes for some people it’s purely aesthetic, but really deep down, if we look into it, the gym is also a good mental place for us to reset and feel good about ourselves.
You say, you started at a young age. Did that stood on from a mate to join Jetts? Or did you just do your own research?
Gerard: My dad is really fit. He’s always been into the gym, he cycles, he’s always played sports. And even as a kid, I’d be joining dad in for a work-out and do some squats with him and go for a run with him, kick the footy with him. So, I think it definitely stemmed from what I’ve learned from my dad’s side. I would say he’s the one that really saw that spark, that interest with it as well.
Jack: And then when did you start thinking about creating a business out of it?
Gerard: I did my PT course, my 3s and 4s when I was 18, 19. And as soon as I went and did that course, I went, ‘This is what I want to do.’ I just absolutely loved it. You know, when you just know that’s the thing that you want to do.
I always thought I was pretty good at it. But the problem with, obviously, as you know, with the fitness industry is, it’s overly saturated. And so, if you can get through the first two years of you running your business, particularly being a PT, then you’d be fine after. But it’s that first two years, that’s an absolute grind. And you’re trying to work out your training style, you’re trying to work out your points of difference. You’re trying to just work out your style and that sort of thing. And that was really, really tough.
And I found that really, really difficult until I started training. It’s my cousin’s fiancé, they got married. There was actually a party, I was seven hours out on the weekend. It was his idea for it. He’s got a big social media page here in Perth called ‘Perth Is Okay!’. And I started training him and he was just giving me these little tips going, ‘Hey, like, why don’t you try some of the social stuff?’
And I really, really wasn’t bout social media. I wasn’t posting on Insta, I wasn’t posting on Facebook, TikTok, all that sort of thing. But he just gave me a few tips and pointed me in the right direction as to little bits to start doing. And as soon as I got into that, I absolutely loved it. And it just started to take off and got a lot more interest, a lot more people wanting to come and train. I guess that’s how it really excelled, from getting into the social game.
Jack: So, you mentioned your friend there that had built an online presence. What was your first step? Was it Instagram? Facebook? YouTube?
Gerard: It was Instagram. And the only goal was do one post today. Didn’t even matter what it was, just through one post today.
And when I look back, I had a flip-back three or four years ago of the stuff I was posting and the videos that I was creating, and you go ‘What the fuck was I thinking doing this?’ There’re all these things you just go, ‘Oh, my gosh.’ You thought that was all right, but, obviously, if you do something every single day for a few years, you tend to get pretty good at it.
It’s just getting that little bit better every day. How to deliver your message, how to speak to a camera and how to get your points across, all that sort of thing. The goal was just one post per day and you get better and better and better at it.
Jack: Was that through speaking to your friend, as well as researching or doing courses? Obviously, the repetition and you got better at it. Through trial and error.
Gerard: I think it’s very much through trial and error. So, except for doing my 3 and 4, that’s really the only official course that I’ve done. Also, learning bits and pieces in the gym.
But social media stuff is such you can really let your creative mind just run wild. There’re so many different directions that you can take it, which is the beauty of it. But yeah, it was really very much just trial and error and just saying, ‘Oh, try this video, try some more info stuff, try some funny stuff, try some gym stuff.’
It was just chucking stuff out there and just see what works. And then again, once you’re doing that every day, you work out what people like, what people don’t like, what they engage with, what they don’t and you begin to find your little style and rhythm. And then from there, it’s obviously much easier to create content, to get your message out, all that sort of thing. So, very much just trial and error.
Jack: Awesome, mate. It’s good. It’s inspiring for the speakers. It’s quite an important aspect now. We’ve always been diverse personal trainers, strength & conditioning coaches in skillsets are quite generalist in what we do. But now when you put the marketing business management banner into it as well, it’s even getting wider and wider, the skills that you need, the modern day trainer/coach. Do you have a schedule that you know over your week? Or, like you mentioned, is it purely just going with the flow, that creative juices, and just getting into the zone, maybe after a session where you feel your best and then you start posting? Like how organized is it?
Gerard: Honestly, it really depends. Still, the goal is I need to get two brand new videos done for the week and I do them at some point. Some days you definitely feel more creative than other days, but then other days you might bang out two or three videos and you’ve got them stockpiled. At the moment, for me it’s two brand new videos per week and then posting on TikTok each day as well.
But it definitely does get draining, coming up with all those different ideas and putting all that content together and trying to be on all the time. So, you definitely do need a bit of a spell from it at some point. And, like I said, it doesn’t flow every single day. But when the ideas come, you’re great and you just run with it. It is very much on the fly.
But the other thing is that, particularly with my socials as well, it all revolves around my personality and me and my sense of humor. And how I get it outside, it’s very much just being honest. If I’m feeling a bit flat that day, that’s fine. You can always do a video about it: ‘I’m feeling a bit flat, blah, blah, blah.’ But then when you feel it really on and up and about, or you think it’s something funny, you just go with that. I think that’s the beauty that I’ve got with mine, it does just very much revolve around whatever I come up with or whatever I think on the day.
Jack: Which not only is that authentic for your audience, but also I imagine it’s sustainable for yourself, because you’re not trying to be someone you’re not.
Gerard: Exactly. It’s very much just, like I said, if you wake up and you find something funny, bang, do that. If you find something that you want to make a point of, go do that. It’s a very nice style. And I’m very lucky that, well, not lucky, it’s happened because I’ve put steps in place and because I was posting per day and working out what my style was and knowing my audience and all that sort of thing. So, that’s good. I love it.
Jack: And we’ll get back to business growth in a second, but while we’re on the marketing aspect. ‘Love Island’, collaborating with friends… How important is it to build a brand? It doesn’t necessarily have to be a celebrity, but to build that presence, if you want an online business, do you think?
Gerard: You don’t necessarily need to go do something real big, like go on ‘Love Island’ or anything like that to get a bit of an audience behind you, like you said, to get a bit more of a presence. It’s just working on your style. There’re so many different ways that you can take it. And it just purely comes down to working out what your audience likes as well.
You don’t have to do anything massive or drastic. It’s just about doing the little 1% every day of whatever it is to then work out what your audience likes, what they respond to, what you’re good at as well. I don’t really think you need to have to do something massive.
Jack: And then you mentioned Instagram is where you started and that’s obviously worked well for you. Is that the only one that you’re on or focused on a few others as well?
Gerard: I’ve just recently, probably just the last six months, started doing a bit more TikTok stuff as well. But it is a little bit different in terms of the content that you want to post. TikTok is a little bit more sort of roar, and you can just slap a few things together and chuck it up.
And it’s more about volume on TikTok, while Insta is a little bit more about the quality of the content that you’re putting up. TikTok is bizarre. You could throw some stuff up on there and all of a sudden it goes ballistic. But then ones that you put a lot of work in do absolutely nothing, but go really well on Insta.
It’s good having a couple of different platforms as well, just so you can try out different styles of videos. But you also get different responses from both as well. So, it’s nice not having the focus just on one platform. It’s a little bit more diverse and you can try all sorts of different stuff on both.
Jack: So, six months since you added in TikTok, which makes a lot of sense because there’s huge growth with TikTok, of course. But before then you were on one. There would have been, I imagine, attraction to try other things, like Facebook and LinkedIn and YouTube shorts and all these other ones. Why have you stuck to one?
Gerard: I think I just knew what I was really good at, and that was the Instagram content. I know, you should work on your weaknesses, but a lot of the time, if you can make your strength really, really good, that’s just as good as being a little bit of a writer of all the different things.
I just knew I was particularly good and I knew how to engage with my Insta audience, how to grow that, how to make videos, how to make content, all that, and get a result out of that. So, there wasn’t too much point of needing to diversify too much and take the foot off the pedal of how well the Insta stuff was going, purely just to try the other ones out.
But it got to a point where I was like, ‘All right. Well, I think I can do similar content, make it a little bit different for TikTok.’ And that’s what I worked out and then that’s all gone quite well. I think it’s also, like I said, having the strength, we don’t necessarily have to diversify it so much. If you’re really good at one thing, go and go and hit that hard and make sure you’re doing it the best you possibly can.
Jack: Love that. That’s great message, mate. And on that, like you said, your Instagram audience was strong, so you kept pouring energy into that and it kept giving back. And you’re doing a good job, and so it makes sense. Success leaves clues, you don’t want to change a good thing when you’re on it.
Jack: For someone that’s trying to work that out, what is their audience, what is their niche, their personal style. Like you said, it’s very competitive, you can get pulled in all different directions, but you need to find your strength and what you’re good at, and what’s authentic to you. How did you come to that? Was it just through trial and error, like you mentioned, with learning marketing skills? Or did you know ‘This is me’, through training clients, so you were trying to attract the same clients?
Gerard: There’s definitely a bit of both. I think that the only rule for any PT out there, that’s wanting to grow brand or business, anything like that, what you’ve got to understand is that the only real difference between me and lots of other people that have got their 3 and 4, every second person has done their 3 and 4, is that you’re you and how you deliver the message.
So, it’s again finding your style and finding out how you’d like to train people and how people respond to you, all that sort of thing. And, obviously, the more sessions that you do, the more posts that you do, the more people that you speak to, the more experiences that you have in that industry and helping out people at achieving their goals, you become better at it.
It is very much just experience-based. Everything that I’ve achieved so far, it’s just through trial and error and trying different things and working out my style. And then, once you’ve worked that out, you just have to work hard.
Jack: Awesome, mate. Thank you for sharing. And on the challenges. I imagine you would have had a few or you probably still do, like all growing businesses will have challenges. Early days or currently up until you create at this point what has been your biggest challenge? And what did you learn and how did you grow from it?
Gerard: I think that’s literally every little stage that my business has gone through. There’s been so many challenges, but I think probably the biggest one, and you probably found this as well, like some other PTs and people in the fitness industry, was through COVID.
That was just such a wild thing to say ‘Hey, you can’t do gyms. No gyms.’ You can’t be training people. You can’t be in contact with people, but you still need to make an income. You still need to try to keep your clients fit. You’re still wanting to achieve things yourself. So, I guess that period of having to adapt to that 12–18 months of really heavy COVID stuff, that was probably the hardest.
But from that, personally, that’s when I really started, it was actually just perfect timing. I already was building my online platform and actually pretty much was all finished about a month or two months after all the COVID stuff happens. It was just this perfect timing, it was already there to go.
Even with that, I still had to adapt lots of different things about the business. How to get new clients in, how to keep the clients I’ve got, how to keep people motivated, how to still get the results for everybody that’s coming on in. But on a different platform in a way that I definitely wasn’t used to doing.
But that would probably be the biggest one. I’m sure that was the same with you. With everything, just trying to adapt around that. I’d probably say COVID stuff for sure.
Jack: Yes, absolutely, mate. It threw us out of work, that’s for sure. And you had to think quick and, clearly, you did. You said you had some things in the making, and then it sounded like you were gifted some time with COVID, which you capitalized on at that point. Take us through your numbers in terms of what’s your ratio now with online to face-to-face of clients, not financial, but just how many clients you have online. And your following as well. So, you’ve got 80,000 followers at the moment. What was you record before pandemic?
Gerard: It was about 65-ish, around there, for Insta and on TikTok I had none, and there’s about 35,000 on that now. There’s just been a nice build-up over the last six months or so. But in terms of the challenges, I think I had 20–25 participants in the first eight-week challenge that I was doing at that time, a year and a half ago. And then in my most recent, in January, I had 150 just online. So, it’s been great. And, obviously, I’ve got that plus the actual group training site, that I’m doing as well.
It’s got really nicely. I think, obviously, it’s just the same, it’s the experience. That first challenge, that was my first time. I was trying to deliver a program online, to engage with everybody, to try to get the results and give the same experience as coming in and training with me, but through the website.
Obviously, it takes a lot of tinkering. It takes just more experience than doing it now. I’m better at trying to bring the message, better at getting the most out of people, even if I’m not physically there with them. So, I think it’s the same with everything. It is just experience. And the more you do it, the better you’re going to get with it.
Jack: And have you modeled yourself or have you been mentored by anyone that’s doing what you work towards?
Gerard: There’s, like I said, Luke, my cousin’s fiancé, that helped us really start it up with the social media stuff. He was a big influence early on, still is. And if I’ve ever got ideas to bounce off, I always go to him and he gives me some pretty good directions as to how to do bits and pieces.
In terms of the actual health and fitness game, I really like James Smith PT. He’s a big, I guess, role model of mine. I really like a lot of his content and how he delivers it. I think that would be really the benchmark of somewhere that I’d like to be able to get up to some day and hopefully build towards too. I really like his stuff.
Jack: Awesome, mate. And for those listening in that maybe have a family member that is interested in training with you, or they want to train with you themselves, you mentioned an eight-week training program, what does that entail?
Gerard: There’s online or group training available for that. For the online it’s getting at least four workouts done per week. And there’s an option to either there’s live videos of me doing the workout with you and you can follow along with that, or if you’d like to just go off the program, you can do that as well. And there’s all sorts of instructional videos to show you how to do all the exercises and take you through all these steps, really slowly and making sure you’re doing everything right.
And with that it also gives you full access to all my meal planning side of stuff as well. So, how I do the meal planning and diet aspect of it is I’ll give you a calorie target and a protein target, and then there’s 60 plus recipes on the site that you can choose. Pretty similar to using MyFitnessPal. You can choose whatever you like to fit in with those targets.
So, it’s not only just me coming and telling you what to do, you’re actually going away with the knowledge, to then be able to apply it after the eight weeks. There’s not much point of coming in and me being with you every step of the way and telling you, ‘This is exactly how you do it.’ If you’re not necessarily learning the skill of how to count calories, how to work out, how much protein’s in your food, how to program exercises and a program yourself. I want you to be able to go away from the eight weeks of training and be set up with all the tools that you need to excel with every aspect of the health and fitness.
Jack: Awesome, mate. So, you’re looking after them. It’s not like that yo-yo effect where they drop all that weight, which can happen in the industry, and then you put it on once more.
Gerard: Exactly right. If you’re coming in and doing it, and once you’re walking away and going, ‘I’ve learned something’, not just ‘I’ve done it.’
Jack: That’s great philosophy. And it’s with that 125 to 150, they can interact, almost build a bit of a community, if they come in for these live sessions, I imagine.
Gerard: Definitely. I chat to the online clients every second day. So, I’ll have a check in, I would go, ‘Hey mate, how’re you going? How’s your workout going? Let me know how this section of the workout went. How did your meals go?’ That sort of thing. So, we’re in constant contact the whole time. It’s very much, ‘I am with you’ and just checking in, keeping accountability all throughout the eight weeks. But it’s more passing on the knowledge as well, so they do know exactly what to do once they’ve finished that program.
Jack: And then the AFL players that have started to come with you during the off-season how did that come about? Was that also organic? Is that something you’re interested in, athlete development with footballers and that sort of thing?
Gerard: It just started. My first AFL player, that was playing at that time, was Brandon Matero. And I knew Brandon from school. It was the off-season, and I said, ‘Hey, mate, come on down. I just want to do some sessions.’ He went, ‘Yeah. Great.’ And then he came down and Shaun was his housemate at the time. And then after Brandon started looking all right, looking pretty fit running around, and Shaun thought, ‘I will come down and do that.’ And then Shaun did it. And then when Shaun did it, lots more of the Freemantle guys did it. And then when that happened, there were more guys. It was just word of mouth and it’s just grown from there.
But I think that very much all the success that I’ve had with all the footballers has just been from their performances going from here to even better, performing really well whilst they’re playing or training. So, very much just word of mouth. And as soon as there was that chat, and word out there about it, more and more came. And it’s been a really big off-season, just going on the side. Yeah, love it.
Jack: That’s awesome, mate. So, that’s something you’ll look to continue to do as part of your business model? Like you mentioned, you were offered opening up a space. Take us through the facility.
Gerard: Yeah, it ought to be good. So, I’ve just been doing it out of my buddy’s mom and dad’s garage right now. I call it a studio. It’s a nice, it’s a double garage, so I’ve got all my bits and pieces in there. But the space has just got a little bit too small for what I need to cater for everybody coming on in.
So, I’m just looking at a couple of units in Kennynbellsly, where I am in Perth which will be exciting. Hopefully, I have that done in the next four to eight weeks. And get that crank in, which would be really good. A little bit scary, but definitely the next step in the journey, which would be good.
But it would be the same setup. It’ll be very much functional movements, strength & conditioning moves, a combination of different stuff, resistance programming, and then also cardio and jumping around and bits and pieces, and keeping you fit. So, it’s got to be great. Can’t wait. It’s a big step. It’s going to be a good one. Come and see.
Jack: For sure, if I’m allowed.
Gerard: We’ll sneak you in some way.
Jack: No doubt, mate, that’ll be exciting. Good thing to do. For the AFL boys that integrate into your group, how does that model work? Like are they literally training with the average Joe Blow or is it separate classes for those AFL boys that are training with Fremantle guys, but there might be a West Coast player as well? Or do you just have more individual sessions?
Gerard: It’s a combination of individual and then some of them will group up together as well, but they’re always training with other AFL or other footy guys.
There was one fun mixed group that I had. Jack Carol, Denver Grainger, Jack Bossini, and a couple of the Freo guys as well. Heath Chapman was in there. That was a bit of a mixed group and they’ve known each other from playing under 16–17 ratings, state level stuff. That was good fun. It was quite funny having everybody from a different team all training together and really getting around each other. So, that was really good.
And then other groups that I’ve got, I’ve got bigger groups of Fremantle guys that come together, that I also had through Melbourne. I had there guys that were just drafted this year along with Luke, they were all training together. So, a couple of combinations of a few different groups. And then otherwise I do individual training with them as well.
Jack: Nice. That’s awesome. It’s good asset for those boys to get a different environment, imagine different stimulus and, like you said, just to get that extra bit of competitive edge.
Gerard: As you know, the only time that you can really change your body composition is in the off-season, because you’re doing so much stuff during the year and the goal is always to perform on the Saturday or the Sunday. So, if you’re really wanting to change your body up, it can be done in the off-season. That’s the only real time that you’ve got to hammer that really hard or you can really just zero in on that.
And then the other part of it that comes with not just changing your body composition, looking good, it’s also the mental aspect of it. Because if you actually, ‘I’m looking good. I’m feeling great.’ You take that onto the field and you take that into training. And you can just see how much better they perform just from having that mental confidence of ‘I’ve done everything I can in the off-season. Look, how good I’m looking. Look, how good I’m feeling.’ And they take that into the games and back to the clubs, once they get training again.
Jack: And then you mentioned the angst that comes with opening up a new space, of course, which I imagine any gym owner would be facing with the new venture. Was that always a dream on the horizon for you or was it just something that’s come on now, that the business is flourishing and the business needs it?
Gerard: Well, I always really just wanted to take everything more online and I was very adamant the last couple of years, going, ‘No. Don’t want a gym, don’t want a gym. Happy doing it here and just focus on online.’
So, that stuff started to grow even more, but it’s just got a little bit too big to cater with the demand that I’ve go of people wanting to come and train. And I think with all the COVID stuff happening, I don’t exactly want 30 people come around to my house every day. You know, what I mean?
I’d much rather have a space. And I think mom and dad have absolutely had it with all the noise that goes on there in the garage. And I’m very, very lucky that all the neighbours around here have been all pretty cool about it as well. And I’m not going to wait for a knock on the door from the council just going, ‘Ok, that’s it. Get out of here.’ It’s just time.
Jack: You’ve outgrown it.
Gerard: That’s exactly right. So, that should be good. I’m super excited.
Jack: Awesome, mate. It’s super exciting and, no doubt, a hundred percent when I’m allowed in, I’ll come for a session.
Gerard: We’ll get you down. Absolutely.
Jack: But we’ll move into the personal side, mate. This is a bit of fun. The light side of the podcast. We’ll start of with, which movie or TV series has impacted you the most and why?
Gerard: Well, movie? ‘Finding Nemo.’ I love that movie. It’s just one of my little weird things. I’ve got lots of different hobbies that I’m into. I’m into footy cards, I’m into collecting all sorts of different things, I’m into aquariums. That’s what I did before Peter, I built aquariums. This is what I did for work. I’ve got a pretty cool marine tank set up. It’s got a lot of fish in there and it’s got corals and all that sort of thing. So, ‘Finding Nemo’. I keep that all off in 2003. And then after that I got my first fish tank and that’s what took that interest and hobby for me off a little bit.
So, that was the movie, but then TV show. You’re trying to bait me here, but the ‘Love Island’, for sure. That was a very interesting experience. Don’t regret doing it, but I would never, ever, ever do it again. So, that would be the two, I reckon.
Jack: Awesome. Well, I’m naïve. I’ve never watched the show.
Gerard: That’s all right. I don’t think you’re missing out on anything. Trust me.
Jack: Jackie did mention, ‘Make sure you ask him a few things about ‘Love Island’.’ You mentioned that you wouldn’t do it again, but you don’t regret it. So, there were some perks. I imagine with brand development and building your brand. There’s some perks there. And feel free to add in more, if there was. I imagine, from personal growth, just getting out of your comfort zone, those sort of things. What are the areas that you didn’t like? So, tell us the pros and cons of going on a show like that.
Gerard: Obviously, I didn’t really know what to expect from it. And I had watched the previous seasons and to my eyes it looked pretty fun. And it was just sort of, ‘Oh, you know, maybe we should jump on a show? That would obviously be a good fit for Insta and the business. There’s that aspect and it’d just be a cool experience as well.’ ‘Well, all right.’ So, we just went and did the process of it and went on further and got on in.
It was nothing what I thought it was going to be like at all. You’re sleep-deprived. You’re having these awkward conversations with people all day, every day. You’re living in a full fish bubble environment. You’ve got no news. You’ve got no stimulant, you’ve got no phones. You’ve got no contact with your friends, your family, the outside world. The only thing you know is everybody that’s inside the house. And all you’re doing is talking about your feelings and what you’re feeling now and this and that and everything, except for what’s going on in the house, you just cannot think about.
It was a very intense environment. It was very emotional and your emotions, they’re just times by a hundred. So, if you’re happy, you are the happiest you’ve ever been. If you’re sad, you are so sad. If you think you’re in love, you think you’re absolutely in love with them within two minutes. And everybody watching are saying, ‘How could you possibly be feeling that? And why are you so upset? Or why are you so happy about that?’ It’s just the intensity of the whole environment. You don’t even understand until you’re in there. And a day, I’m not even exaggerating this, a day feels like seven days. It’s just the longest, longest day.
And you don’t have the time either. You’ve got no concept of the time. They tell you when to get up, they tell you when to go to sleep. They don’t turn the lights off until a certain time. You’ve got to have an idea about what’s going on, but the day just feels so long. And then you come off and people go, ‘I can’t believe you’re doing this, feeling that or crying about this.’ But you just don’t understand a tear in there, because that is your life. It’s so intense.
Like I said, don’t regret doing it, because there’s lots of good perks that have come from that. But would never, ever, ever do it again. Nor really recommend it to any of my friends to do so.
Jack: That’s fair enough. It doesn’t sound very appealing.
Gerard: It was shit. It was just hard work.
Jack: How long did it go for?
Gerard: I think I was there for like 40 days or 42 days, or something like that. And that whole time you don’t have contact with your family or friends. That’s the bit that I found the hardest. Because I’m very tight with my mom and dad, my friends, my sister, everything, so it’s a very weird thing. I don’t think there’d be any other time in my life, where I’m going to be 30 or 40 days without speaking to them ever. You’re completely shut off and not being able to call them up, and if I’m sad or if I’m happy, tell them about it. That was probably the hardest thing.
And everybody else in there you’ve only known for, you don’t even know them because you’re inside the villa, the house together. So, it’s just such a weird artificial fishbowl environment and you just don’t have that same support as what you do at home. You definitely don’t take that for granted, as soon as you come home and see how good you’ve got everything and how important everybody else, not just yourself, is in your life to making you feel happy, I guess.
Jack: And then on the perk side, how many followers did you have going in and how many followers did you have a month after it?
Gerard: I had just over 10,000 when I went in and then I came out with about 50-ish, it was around about 50. And then, every now and then, it’s funny, you’ll get a little bit of a spike of 500–1,000 followers from a random place around the world. It might be from like Sweden, because they’ve started showing the season on Netflix in Sweden. And then all of a sudden you’re still getting messages a year and a half later about, ‘Oh my gosh. You know, I loved your ‘Love Island’.’ So, it’s just funny to have these little random patches all around the world every now and then. But, like I said, don’t regret doing it, but would never, ever, ever do it again.
Jack: Fair enough. Next question. Favorite inspirational quote or life motto?
Gerard: I don’t really have a quote. But, I guess, sort of what I was saying before, and this is what I say to a lot of my clients and one of the things I preach about on Instagram as well. There’s not a lot of difference between today and tomorrow in terms of you’re going to wake up tomorrow feeling pretty similar to what you’re feeling today. But as long as you’re doing just all those little bits that you know you need to do to not tomorrow, not the next day, but maybe a month down the track, two months, a year, whatever, as long as you’re doing all of those 1% bits every day, you’re on the right track.
It’s not really about making these big, giant life-changing decisions or behaviors overnight. It’s just about working out what you can do a tiny little bit each day, that you don’t even realize that you’re doing, but in 6 months, 12 months has made a big, significant difference. And I’m sure you found that as well, if you’re preaching to athletes, to clients, people wanting to start businesses, all that sort of thing, it’s not the big changes that make the success. It’s all those little bits that you’re doing every single day that you don’t even notice and you look back and you go, ‘Oh, wow. Look where I am now.’ I think that would be the motto that I preach about the most, I would say.
Jack: The 1%, love it. And what about in your work life, what makes you angry? What are your pet peeves?
Gerard: Social media stuff is just an absolute pain. At the moment there’s this full cancel culture. You can’t have any fun with it. Someone’s always going to be offended about something that you’re doing. The sense of humor and the videos and that sort of thing that I do as well, it is very much just taking the piece out of myself. It’s not directed at anyone.
But there’s always someone that’s unhappy with it and someone that wants to have a crack for this, and it does get very draining as well. And, obviously, as you get a bigger following and there’s more people watching your stuff, you’re bound to upset more people or people aren’t going to agree with you or feel very passionately about something completely opposite to what you said.
I think it’s needing to build that little bit of a thicker skin when it comes to social media stuff. But, honestly, it’s just a bit of a pain. And the beauty of it is that it does give everyone a voice and an opinion, but the downside of it, it also gives everybody a voice and opinion about stuff that maybe they shouldn’t have, or they don’t know enough about, or they don’t have the right info about. So, social media. It’s great. But I hate it.
Jack: How do you manage it? Is it something that you just try and if it’s not relevant and you know that you haven’t offended anyone, like you said, do you just brush it under the rug and move on? Or is there a routine that you do at the end of the week, a mindfulness practice or anything like that, that you think is helpful?
Gerard: As of recent, I’ve turned notifications off for all my socials now. I’ve done that probably for the last six months or so. Because otherwise you’re constantly, and I’m sure you’re finding it as well, constantly looking at this message that comes through, someone comments on this, whatever.
You’re always looking. It was always just a big distraction, and that was what was on my mind a lot of the times. So, turning that off. At least I have to go onto my phone to have a look at what’s going on. That was probably halving my time that I was on it anyway.
So, that was a very good move. And then the other thing I’ve just started doing as of recently, just taking a few days every now and then just go, ‘No, I’m not going to do anything at all.’ At the early stages, if I was taking a day off, I’ll be going, ‘Oh, you know, I’m missing out on that one post today.’
But now it’s rolling, and it’s out there and it’s all much easier. And the following’s there and all that sort of thing, it doesn’t really matter. You can have a day off, you can have a week off, you can have whatever it is to be off, just to mentally recharge.
In that time I’m often still making content. So, when I’m back, it’s all ready to go. But I’m actually just taking some time off and not worrying about what’s going on too much.
Jack: On that note, what is your favorite way to spend your day off?
Gerard: I’ve taken Fridays off permanently now, which is great. So, on Friday I’ll play squash with a couple of my mates. That’s been pretty good. And then I go and get a massage and then I go do a cryotherapy session. Then I’ll do sometimes a sauna. And then I usually go to a fish shop and buy something for my tank. And then that’s my day, pretty much. So, that’s just about every Friday for me, which is a pretty good routine. I quite love that.
Jack: That’s awesome. And then what about, in a COVID-free world, favorite holiday destination and why?
Gerard: I absolutely love Europe. I’ve done two Europe trips and I was so lucky, I got the last one just before COVID hit. Absolutely loved it over there. I did go party over there, see everything that’s over there. And it’s pretty awesome. Itching to get back as soon as everything’s all good to go.
The least busy period for me is during winter, it gets a little bit cold and nobody exactly wants to have a shredded six pack and looking their best in winter with all your clothes on. It’s usually a little bit more quiet for me. So, I try to nick off somewhere for six to eight weeks and enjoy that chilled out time. And then come back and chase the sun a little bit. I haven’t got to do that in the last couple of years. So, hopefully, getting back into that routine a little bit more.
Jack: Absolutely. Everyone’s feeling pretty pent up and keen to get out. And we can imagine what your answer is going to be here, but for our final question, what are you most excited about for 2022? What’s on the horizon for you?
Gerard: Getting this buddy gym going, getting the gym going. I want franchises. I want one in Melbourne. I want one north river in Perth, one in Sydney. We’re going to get it cracking. Should be good. We start with the first one this year. And then we’ll see how we go, I reckon.
Jack: So, expansion’s on the cards.
Gerard: Definitely. I think how I’m going to set it up is very much linked in with the online platform and the gym sessions, all in one. So, you’re able to see what’s going on in the gym, and you can go do that yourself wherever you are, in Australia or the world. And then, hopefully again, how it’s being set up, that it will be an easy plugin to franchise it out or have different multiple locations for it. Very exciting times, a bit scary, but I think it’ll work. It’ll be good. That’d be great.
Jack: Absolutely, mate. You’ve got heaps of the momentum behind you and it’s ready, so, no doubt, big things ahead. Well, thank you so much for jumping on and sharing your time with us and your journey throughout the industry so far. And plenty more years ahead, of course, in your career and looking forward to watching your journey and popping over and checking out this new gym, mate.
Gerard: Absolutely. Awesome. Thanks, mate. I appreciate it. Love your staff. Thank you.
Jack: And thank you for everyone tuning in, either on YouTube or the Instagram. If you want to watch this or listen to this recording, it will be on our YouTube channel. If you jumped on late, as well as the audio podcasters, we’ll be in the next couple of weeks. We’ll post it on Instagram, when the release is out. So, stay tuned. We’re on all your podcast directories. Our next live chat is with Robert Aughey, who’s a professor and sport scientist at Victoria University. That’ll be 8:30 PM Australian Eastern Standard Time, this Thursday. See you, guys.
Gerard: Thanks, guys.
Jack: Thank you for listening to the ‘Prepare Like A Pro’ podcast. If you liked this episode, it’d be a massive help, if you could like, follow, rate, give a review or even share with your mates. The show is recorded in Melbourne, Australia. Be sure to follow our Instagram page for all updates on our latest and greatest.
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