TRAINER PROFILE – Robert Barrett
Bodies by Ryan’s smiling assassin Rob knows how to squeeze every last drop of energy out of you and tweak your form to maximise the intensity, all with a #sorrynotsorry smile. Fortunately, we still love him with his humourous intros and cheeky dance moves that distract us from the eternal hell of 50-seconds of squat pulses. As he leaps through the demonstrations, did you ever wonder how he got so springy and effortless in his movement? Rob gives us some insight into his own fitness journey, his motivations and how he wants more for us than simply shedding a few kilos.
How did you end up at Bodies by Ryan…
I started in the fitness industry in 2015 working at The Body Consultants while also doing my BSc. Exercise and Sports Science at ECU. So that meant very early mornings, long days at uni and then back in the gym in the evening for more classes and personal training.
In 2017, I finished up at The Body Consultants and moved into a completely different industry, the fine foods industry, where I worked for a start up company doing anything from putting the finishing touches on desserts to running stalls at expos.
I was looking for a spark regarding my future career so I decided to complete a personal development program run by Evolve Mind and Body Coaching called Practitioner Certificate in Neurolinguistic Programming and Time Line Therapy. This is where I met Ryan. While going through the course I made the decision that I definitely wanted to be back in the fitness industry and thanks to perfect timing, Ryan was looking for a new trainer.
Ryan and I caught up for coffee, and it was go, go, go right from the start. The morning after our first catch up over coffee I ventured into BBR at 5.15am to complete my first session. Straight after an absolutely gruelling session in the gym, Ryan had me assist in coaching the second session at 6.15am.
After those first two sessions I was hooked on the BBR style and I’ve been loving it ever since!
What’s your earliest memory of fitness, take us back to the ultimate starting point…
As a kid, my life was spent outside. Whether it was kicking the soccer ball against the wall, doing awesome gutter jumps on my blue Mongoose BMX bike or shooting hoops on our basketball ring, I always loved being active.
As I grew older, I became more interested in the gym. I started digesting any information I could on how to lift more, move better and be stronger all while being safe and smart.
During high school I became the go-to guy if you wanted your fitness information. If you wanted to know how to get stronger, lose fat or get more muscle then you asked me! When I look back on it, I probably should have started a business then – I would have killed it!
My fondest memories relating to sport or movement definitely all revolve around soccer. Whether it was a Sunday where I would play three games in a day, or the penalty shoot-out moments in the finals, or playing for school and travelling around our state to see if we could become the best… those were the best times.
Where was your first job (not just fitness… we want to hear if you were a paper boy!) and what was the biggest lesson you learnt from it?
My Mum and Dad owned a corner store so every so often I would stack the shelves or restock the fridge, but my first real job was as a sales assistant at Rebel Sport in Albury. I absolutely loved that job. I stayed there for about five years and slowly moved into full time position, taking care of the Footwear Department. That was great, although during my time there I think I accumulated about 16 pairs of runners. #hoardermuch?
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what the best lessons would be but all in all I would have to say… A smile and getting to know someone’s name goes so far. It can make a massive difference to both your ability to sell, but also make that sale an enjoyable experience for both people by getting to know someone’s name and actually caring about things like how their day has been or what sport they are playing.
What type of fitness do you partake in outside BBR, how are you so mobile and strong?!
At the moment I love my mountain bike riding, although I would love to do a lot more!
My fitness goes in massive ebbs and flows and I generally don’t stick to one thing for very long. In the past I’ve done lots of different classes such as; capoeira, ninja academy, swing dancing, calisthenics, gymnastics strength training, yoga, bootcamps, powerlifting… you get the gist.
I just love the moments where you use your body to express yourself when sometimes it is too difficult to do with words.
What do you love about working in the fitness industry?
I think some of the most fantastic moments are when you help someone make a deeper connection with their fitness. When it becomes no longer just about losing weight and lifting heavier weights but it becomes a practice of consistent development and exploration of both what your body can do and where your mind can go.
What would BBR members be surprised to learn about you?
I am probably even more open to working on the psychological side of life than I am to the physical side of life.
Which station at the HIIT gym is your favourite and why?
Strength and Conditioning, for sure. Those six-minute blocks just give you the best short amount of focus where you can work hard but know that you have a break coming soon. I like that short sharp battle.
If you could avoid any particular type of exercise, what would it be and why?
I don’t think I would deliberately avoid anything. I think there is something to gain from almost anything when approached with an open mind. You may not know what you gained/ learned at the time but experiences always come back around and fit into your life to teach you something somewhere.
What is your favourite local café and your order there?
I love love love the food at The Pearfect Pantry in Wembley. I love their Avocado and Dukkah breakfast with eggs, toast and beetroot. It is so full of flavour and just bloody astonishingly delicious.
They also do amazing vegan brownies. Like, even better than normal brownies. I don’t say that lightly. They are actually amazing. And I LOVE brownies. (Mental note: birthday brownies for Rob…)
When you’re in a motivation slump, what’s your favourite way to return to form?
In all honesty I’m not 100% sure. It’s a tricky one. I guess I try my best to go back to things that I love and take my focus away from any sort of result, increasing my focus on how I feel in the moment while performing the task.
So for me that would probably involve having a kick of my soccer ball or trying to get in on a soccer game near me.
Tell us about any of your daily health routines that help you achieve your goals?
I always try to get in some form of meditation. Whether it’s just deliberate focused breathing, a Headspace meditation, body scanning, or whatever I can fit in. That helps me the most!
What services do you invest in regularly to keep your body in fine tune?
To be honest I don’t do this anywhere near enough. The services that I am most willing to invest in revolve around fine-tuning my mind instead of my body! I am more than happy to commit mullah to psychologists, psychotherapists or anything that will improve my ability to experience lift as fully as possible!
What are you currently working on to improve yourself?
Honestly, the area I am working on the most at the moment is my mind. I am currently working with a psychotherapist to deliberately create a more whole and integrated version of myself. Probably not the most inspiring thing for the BBR members in regards to physical goals but that’s what I’m up to!
Fast five favourites
Love Bali. Contemplated moving to Zagreb or Istanbul when I travelled through in 2013.
My Mum’s lasagne. Oh My God, so good.
Song to train to?
I love, love, love Whiskey Story by Example or Guerilla Radio by Rage Against the Machine. When they come on, I’m ready to take over the world.
Book – Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. It’s the only fiction book I’ve really gotten into and there were some spine chilling sections. Loved it.
Well, once I went down to North Freo and did a guided Shamanic Journey Session (meditation and guided visualisations) and we had to find our spirit animal. At first I thought it was an ant and then I didn’t think that was cool enough. Then there was a massive anaconda and I thought that was pretty cool, but didn’t really cut the butter. Finally, I came across this epic eagle. So I would say eagle because they are pretty gnarly.