“That was in 2006” says Rob.
“Cross Fit has done a lot of good things, but there are good and bad versions of it out there” says Rob. “What it does do, is get people moving using Olympic lifting, gymnastics and track and field training. Technique is everything with Cross Fit and I couldn’t get enough of this knowledge”. Although Rob has since claimed qualifications as a Cross Fit
Level 1 Coach and completed Cross Fit Strong Man, mobility, goal setting, gymnastics, Olympic weight-lifting and endurance programs, his was still unsatisfied with his knowledge around the body’s functionality.
What he had learnt though, was movement was at the heart of his quest for further knowledge.
Rob is inspired by many people, including his grandfather and father who shared their wonderful work ethic. He was also privileged to work with ex SAS Soldier Keith Fennell, facilitating ‘extreme condition’ corporate programs for firms like Boral. Rob has also worked with his mentor and friend, Greg Chamberlain, a 37 year veteran of the Army, to lead Kokoda adventures with Glenn Azar’s business, Adventure Professionals.
Rob is most inspired by the movement maestro, Ido Portal, for his vision and interpretation of fitness. “There is so much to learn from this visionary man about movement” says Rob.
Rob continued his search, discovering yoga and Pilates as fundamental assets to what he had learned through Cross Fit. “There is no one thing that does it all” says Rob. “But what had become very clear to me was that fitness was less about the
I asked Rob what he wanted to be famous for, and he replied “I don’t want to be famous. I just want to invoke some curiosity or passion in others to connect with their bodies through movement”.
When asked “Why does fitness matter to you?” Rob replied “It’s what keeps us connected to what really
Move it or lose it! Doing the common, uncommonly well…
Recently making the Sunshine Coast his home, Rob Appleton, known as ‘Appo’ to his friends, has been on the move his whole life. Only recently did it become clear to Rob that everything he has done in his life, the places in the world he has been, the people he has sought out to meet and work with, the sports and training that have inspired him, have all had one common element running through them all. That is his fascination and understanding of the life-changing benefits, quality of life and ultimately, longevity, that simply moving your body can bring.
Rob’s father and grandfather had worked on the land and it was of course expected that Rob would too.
“I completed an electrical trade and managed a cattle station for Dad in my early twenties. But an opportunity to play Division 3 Rugby Union in Ireland came my way and I took it” says Rob.
Rob grew up on farming properties in central Queensland and ever since he can remember has had a love of sports and movement, becoming involved in athletics, boxing, bull -riding and rugby union during his teenage years.
Rob eventually returned to Australia and spent a year and half with the army “I was searching for something, but this wasn’t it’ says Rob. After being honourably discharged, Rob completed a carpentry trade and spent some time back on the tools on the farm, before eventually heading to Brisbane with his trade for work.
“…. aesthetic changes exercise is so often coveted for, and more about the longevity of a quality life” says Rob.
One of the most significant life changing experiences Rob shared with me was around the six week Ronin body guard/remote emergency medical assistant training course he completed in South Africa with Tony Smith. “Unlike most training courses, this was not simulated in any way. Every night for six weeks we were on the streets of South Africa, dealing with gunshot wounds and stabbings” says Rob. “I learnt more about myself there than at any other time in my life. To be a player and not a spectator in the game of ‘live or die’ made me see the world very differently”.
“When I wasn’t working I loved training but could never find a trainer who understood my needs. So I began to train myself and soon other people wanted to do what I was doing. So I gave up my trade and became a personal trainer” says Rob. Soon after I stumbled upon a gym that was different from anything I had ever seen before. It was called Cross Fit FX and was headed up by Mick Shaw and Steve Willis, better known these days for his famed TV role as ‘the Commando’. “I had some knee issues from my rugby days and was looking for a way to train that would help my injuries and strengthen the rest of my body at the same time. Cross Fit ticked all the boxes.”
I also asked Rob “Why do you do what you do?”. He said “it satisfies my thirst for knowledge as a coach and a student – and at any point in time we are both those things”.
Rob operates his programs at Cross Fit Noosa which is headed up by Danny Mellor and Woogie Marsh. Rob still regularly travels the world as a remote emergency medical assistant, leading adventure groups to remote places. Rob can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org