60 Seconds With Top PT Shannon Ponton
As Australia’s leading fitness offering, Fitness First attracts some of the best Personal Trainers in the country. We sat down with celebrated PT Shannan Ponton (The Biggest Loser trainer), who calls Fitness First clubs home.
IS THERE A FITNESS PHILOSOPHY OR METHODOLOGY YOU LIVE BY?
‘Hard, but fair.’ I train myself and my clients the same way I live my life. Do the hard yards and avoid taking easy options. Always carried with a fair attitude and an open mind.
HOW MANY YEARS HAVE YOU BEEN A PT WITH FITNESS FIRST? HOW MANY YEARS HAVE YOU BEEN A PT GENERALLY?
I was originally with Healthlands and have been a PT and Instructor at Fitness First continuously, since its inception. I started as a Gym Floor Instructor in Fitness To Perfection in 1991.. Then, there was NO such thing as PT. So I’ve been in the Fitness Industry 26 years. Employed as Gym Floor Instructor, Receptionist, Maintenance, Group Ex. Instructor, Group Ex Co-Ordinator, Sales, Marketing and PT. Geeze that sounds old.
WHAT CERTIFICATES, ACCREDITATIONS, CERTIFIED COURSES HAVE YOU COMPLETED?
So much has changed.. I completed the original ACHPER Course…Face to Face. A written exam. No multiple choice and definitely no computers.
LEVEL 1, 2 & 3 Gym Instructor, PT and Freestyle Group Exercise (Fitness Australia)
LEVEL 1 & 2 Strength and Conditioning Coach (NSCA)
LEVEL 1 & 2 Sports Coach (ACC)
LEVEL 1 & 2 Sports Trainer (SMA)
Les Mills Master Instructor Trainer
Box Fit, Cycle, Step, Slide Reebok, Crank Straps & Vipr
WHAT’S YOUR SIGNATURE MOVE OR A SPECIALTY WORKOUT YOU’RE KNOWN FOR?
Teaching freestyle group exercise and spin have always been my favourite. The combination of a packed room, a hard workout and pumping music always lifts me. After so many years teaching I still get ‘that buzz’ every time.
AS SOMEONE WHO SPENDS THEIR DAY MOTIVATING OTHERS, WHAT GETS YOU OUT OF BED IN THE MORNING?
I’ve never struggled to get out of bed to go work in the gym. It’s something I genuinely love doing. I’m not a career path, goal setting type of bloke. I believe in going as hard I can, in every situation, and then when an opportunity arises be ready to rip straight in and have a go. I’ll try anything.
WHAT MUSIC PUMPS YOU UP AND GETS YOU IN THE MOOD TO SWEAT?
I’m sadly stuck in the 80’s and 90’s when bands played their own instruments.
ANGELS: Long Line
DEAD KENNEDY’S: Too Drunk to….
IT’S 4PM ON A SUNDAY. WHERE WOULD WE FIND YOU?
Walking off Freshwater Beach, having just finishing a surf with my son, swum and dug sandcastles with my daughter and chased the kids for a few hours, heading to the ‘Harbord Hilton’ beer garden for a ‘Gatorade’…or two?
ASIDE FROM THE PHYSICAL GAINS, WHAT DO YOU HOPE YOUR CLIENTS TAKE AWAY FROM A SESSION WITH YOU?
Physical gains don’t interest me anywhere near as much as what’s happening in my client’s heads. If you get the ‘head right’ the body has no choice but to follow.
YOUR CLIENT IS FEELING THE BURN WITH 60SECS TO GO ON THE BATTLE ROPES. WHAT MANTRA DO YOU TELL YOUR CLIENTS TO GET THEM THROUGH THE LAST 10SECS?
There’s definitely no ‘one shoe fits all approach’ to motivate and obtain optimum performance from individuals. It’s the skill of being a great Personal Trainer / Coach knowing which buttons to press, why and when. “Know when to kick and when to cuddle”.
IF YOU WERE A MOVIE CHARACTER, WHO WOULD YOU BE?
Ferdinand The Bull. Life is about being kind, humble and taking time to ‘smell the flowers’. Not trying to scare people with your imposing physical size and strength.
To find out more about Shannan Ponton, please visit his website.