Meet Ryan, the strength specialist and level-7 paladin behind Modern Strength.
- Specialisation: Strength Training.
- Diploma of Fitness (2009) through Southbank Institute of Technology.
- Certificate III and IV in Fitness (2008) through Southbank Institute of Technology.
- Gold medalist in Powerlifting (2013) through International Powerlifting Federation: Iron Fest Open.
- Doesn’t pack chicken breast, broccoli or sweet potato for lunch.
Sheena was my first ever client. She was a young, pretty, 24 year old who made my horny colleagues jealous. But just as a pastry chef doesn’t spend all day eating sweets, I made a point of not doing anything to warrant that envy, and have always maintained that air of professionalism.
Sheena was really cute and had a great shape, but she also had a high bodyfat percentage. There was nothing groundbreaking about the training we did together — she learned to squat, hinge, push, pull, lunge and carry heavy objects. In just a couple months she went from being “skinny-fat” to showing off a toned back. She generally found her activities of daily living easier to do, which was the logical outcome of having gotten stronger in the gym.
Andy had been going to the gym for 3 years, and had gone through several personal trainers while he was at it. At the time, I was training in a gym that required me to sell 5, 10 or 20 sessions at a time. Andy bought a 10-pack up front to test me out. We trained together once a week, and he followed a program I had written him throughout the remainder of the week. Once his 10 sessions were up, he was pleased to purchase another pack because, in his words: “I’ve gotten more out of training with you in 3 months than I had in 3 years with other trainers.”
Jimmy used to do Crossfit down in Melbourne, but when he moved up to Brisbane for a new job, life happened. 4 months later, he started training with me. In our first session, he felt he had done all he could without lifting anything above 40kg. By his third week, he was squatting 60kg, deadlifted a 1RM of 130kg, and had lost over 3kg of bodyfat.
His wife, Chelsea, was also quick to bench press 67% of her bodyweight, squat her whole bodyweight, and deadlift 133% of her bodyweight. She remained slim, but improved her muscle definition and physical health.
Helen, a fellow personal trainer, came to me with a back injury that impacted her own training, her ability to train clients, and her activities of daily living. Under my supervision, she has now bench pressed 50kg, squatted 75kg and deadlifted 105kg, pain-free. Her bodyweight hasn’t changed much, however her bodyfat percentage has dropped, her arms are more toned and her butt’s much rounder.
Normally these things start with an inspirational quote, or a story of athletic prowess honed into a lifelong passion to help others.
I’m not normal.
The first time I decided to train, I was 12 years old and weighed 25kg. I could count all my ribs, and if I sucked my belly in I could squeeze through gaps about 10cm wide. Cool party trick, but not worth the cost of being bullied and unable to throw a ball half as far as my peers. So I affirmed the goal of being the next Arnold Schwarzenegger, then immediately replaced it with the goal to become either Cloud Strife or a Super-Saiyan.
Four years of bodyweight training, kung fu and swordfighting later, I was still markedly underweight. At the age of 16 I got my first gym membership, powerfully motivated by my desire to never lose an arm wrestling match against a 12 year old girl (again). By the age of 20 I had become a personal trainer with a healthy body weight and a low frequency of lost matches against tweenagers.
In 2010 I developed an interest in powerlifting, and consequently spent a long time mastering the barbell. In 2013 I finally competed in powerlifting for the first time, and (expecting to be the weakest guy in my weight class) surprised myself with a gold medal.
Within those 3 years, I trained a variety of clients and made a variety of mistakes. None with devastating consequences, but they were all big enough for me to learn what wasn’t working so that I could give better instruction, make people feel more at ease in the gym and get people better results. I still aspire to cringe at something I was doing 12 months ago at any given time, knowing that I’ve found a better way to do it. Because of this ongoing pursuit of better, I now see clients regularly developing within months the same strength that took me years to build.
So far, my best lifts are (all at 67.3kg):
- Squat: 172.5kg
- Bench Press: 102.5kg
- Deadlift: 200kg
- Overhead Press: 62.5kg
Personal training services
I train clients 1:1 and in small groups. We stick to simple but effective methods and use strength training to improve both your physical abilities and the way you look in the mirror. No experience is necessary to start — just a willingness to listen, learn and push yourself.
If you want to improve your body composition, develop your physique and see your strength soar, this might be right for you. If you have any health issues that would make intense training dangerous, there are other trainers and facilities better suited to your needs. If you’re allergic to work, this probably isn’t for you.
One on one sessions start at $40 per 30min or $70 per 60min. Small groups start at $20 each for 30min or $40 each for 60min.