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Rick Gysberts

Hi everyone for those that don’t know me my name is Rick and I am one of the owners of Element Fitness Health Club .

We love to share and celebrate our members journey’s and we think it is an amazing part of our business being able to transform people’s lives for the better! Whether that is getting them in better shape, more confident or providing them a social network to make new friends.

I thought it was only fair I would share my journey with you so you can get to know me a little better and understand why fitness is so important to me.

The top right photo is me at about 19 years of age. I just started weight training with no real knowledge of what I was doing. I weighed 68 kg there.

The photo next to that is me during lock down in November. I was at my heaviest of all time at 103 kg (excuse the hair and beard I had just gotten out of bed 😂). I had taken a bunch of weights home and trained in my garage during lock down just doing compound movements. I hit some PB’s which was a 200kg squat for 5 sets of 5 reps. I also was deadlifting 200 kg for around 5 sets of 3 reps. Definitely missed the machines but it kept me going 💪

The bottom right photo is of me on Feb 3rd. I had put myself into a calorie deficit, upped my training to 6 days a week and added in some cardio at the end of my sessions. I currently weigh 97 kg. I made sure to keep heavy compound movements in my training sessions during the cut to help hold onto my muscle mass and kept my protein and fats high while reducing my carbohydrates.

I had never really cut before so going from 3100 calories to 2200 calories (about 500 below maintenance) in the space of a week had me a little light headed and the hunger was something that I struggled with for the first week. My body began to adjust and I started to feel normal again. I tried to start cutting just before Christmas but found that the thought of eating great food and having beers with people I had missed out on seeing for so long so tempting I decided that it was more important to enjoy myself over that period than restrict myself. I picked it up again around Jan 5th and have stuck to the plan and have definitely seen an improvement in the mirror as well as the scales.

Overall I still think I have some work to do but happy with the progress I have in just over a month.

Check out the Q&A below that I did with my staff

What got you into training and when did you start? 

I was always a skinny kid, my strength was ok compared to people my age but being 6’1 I was built like a tooth pick 😂 I was always a big fan of Arnie movies growing up and he definitely inspired me to start training and I started working out at about 19 years of age. 

You started at 19. How old are you now? 

I’m 34 now

OK so you have been training for 15 years? What have you learnt along the way?

So much 😂 Consistency is the biggest factor in getting results. My weight and strength have yo yo’d over the years and it is in the last few I have managed to be more consistent and the results have shown. At 103 I had managed to put on 35 kilos since I started which sounds like a lot but over 15 years that is probably only about 2.5 kilos a year!

Food has also been my biggest lesson over the years. I thought at times I was eating enough and it just wasn’t the case or I would try to keep my carbs low to keep lean. But I found when I fueled my body correctly with the right foods I would actually be in better shape while eating much more food.

What keeps you motivated to keep training? 

Motivation is a funny thing, if you only train when you are motivated you are going to find it hard 😂 I had a cardiac arrest when I was 23 and died on the spot. I was in ICU for a little while and came out with a hypoxic brain injury (lack of oxygen, I was dead for almost 15 minutes!!!). While I recovered I started to really think about being healthy long term and now I have a son with a baby on the way I really want to be healthy to play with them.

That is something I think about when motivation is lacking but really it is about routine and when you get into routine (usually about 3 – 4 weeks of consistency) it becomes much easier to get it done 👊 The biggest thing I have found also is that if I have had some time off is I ease back into it. I see so many people make that resolution that they are going to go so hard from day 1 where they should build up from 1 session to 3 sessions etc. or start at 70% of weight you lifted before and begin to add more as you get back into it

What is your favourite sporting teams?

Unfortunately a Collingwood supporter, I don’t know what is going on down there these days! Also love the Miami Heat in the NBA

Favourite cheat food?

Fish and chips. we have an amazing fish and chips near my house 😋

What made you get into the fitness industry?

It has done so much for me in my life and it really is my stress release if I have a bad day that hour or so I get in the gym where I listen to some music and push myself puts me in such a good place. I wanted to share that with the people and the community you get inside a good gym is second to none. A great place to have fun and meet people and now I get to deliver that to our members.  Our community at Element is something I am really proud of.

What are you excited about for Element?

Just excited to be back, it was really tough being locked down but so glad to see all the members back and getting some great results. We have been introducing a lot of new equipment which I think is so exciting for the gym and also our 28 day challenge we are launching in March I am super excited for.

Also adding some fun engagement with the members during the year. We have brought on myzone as a new way for the members to see how much effort they are putting in and will be able to compete for club supremacy over the year 🙋‍♂️


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