Number 1. Jeremy Austin
Becoming a personal trainer is a gamble that has paid off for Jeremy Austin.
But then, the odds were on his side.
The CrossFit Gold Coast owner and instructor was a Rugby union professional in another life, before turning his hand to fixing poker machines when injury laid him low.
Not content to spend life on the sidelines, he used the discipline and mental strength learned through sport to roll the dice on a new career.
“I found out about this new training technique called CrossFit through my cousin … I did a 15-minute workout and spent two weeks feeling the burn,” says Jeremy.
“I knew this was something special — and I knew I wasn’t happy doing what I was doing … but it was still hard to take a chance on something new.”
With the Cross Fit craze set to sweep the Gold Coast, it turns out quitting his day job was a safe bet — and Jeremy won the jackpot.
“I started doing training just in my garage and I walked out one morning to find 16 guys there. I realised then that this was going to be big,” he says.
“Since then a lot of the clients I trained have gone on to set up their own Cross Fit gyms. In some ways it’s a shame to have more competition but I mostly see it as a compliment — they believe in what I taught them so I must be doing something right.”
Not only voted the Gold Coast’s top personal trainer by Bulletin readers, Jeremy is also PT of choice to some of our city’s finest athletes — including tennis ace Bernard Tomic.
But he says every client is individual — and important — to him.
“I think the thing that resonates the most with the way I train is my empathy.
“You name most places a person can be, and I’ve been there. I’ve weighed a 100kg and had to do the weight loss thing. I’ve been an elite athlete and had to do the extreme training. I’ve been injured and fought my way back into contention.
“I can relate to my clients but I also like to make sure we have a good time — we have a lot of laughs. I love walking into the gym at 5am and seeing 10 or 15 smiling faces. You can’t ask for a better workplace than that.”
Forced to choose a career highlight, however, Jeremy says training Tomic rates among them.
He says the 22-year-old champ is showing the results of months of dedicated gym time.
“Bernard put in an unbelievable effort in October, November and December and I think you can really see that,” he says.
“He’s a great guy. Yes, he’s made his mistakes but haven’t we all? He has a big heart and he wants to put in that effort to take it to the next level.
“There’s talk that I might fly out to the US to train him in the lead-up to the Open there and I’d love to be a part of that. As a trainer, you don’t get much bigger reward than that.”