Functional fitness training and how it enabled Ryan Greasley to become a model
If someone sat me down a few years ago and said “you are going to be on the cover of a fitness magazine”, I would have laughed. Looking at photos of myself from my teens or even back four years ago, I can hardly see the resemblance.
When I was a ten-year-old kid growing up, I went to my first fashion show at the Royal Brisbane Exhibition (The Ekka) and it was from that moment on, I wanted to be a model.
I would find any excuse to pose or pretend I was in a fashion show while walking down a long hall (embarrassing!). While I had the posing and the walk down, I didn’t then know the hard work ahead of me that would be needed to reach my goals. For eight years, I knocked on doors and was rejected by every single modelling agency I approached. It was devastating!
So I turned to fitness. I knew something about me had to change, so I teamed up with a personal trainer who gave me all the information and knowledge I needed to transform my body and get into shape.
I learnt so much through resistance training and pushed myself harder than ever before. The result? Finding the second love of my life: fitness.
I became obsessed with health and fitness. Over a few years of non-stop training, I completely transformed my body, going from an uncomfortable 86kg to a very happy weight of 76kg. I finally got the confidence to jump on a plane to Sydney and meet with one of the biggest modelling agencies in Australia: Chadwick Models. Before I knew it, I was a signed professional model.
It wasn’t long after that, I realised my dreams had actually come true. In fact, they had become bigger than I had possibly ever imagined. I landed my first two magazine covers, DNA Magazine and Fitness First Magazine, and then went on to be signed by DT Model Management in Los Angeles. From there, it just kept getting better, I scored another two magazine covers, Spartacus International Gay Guide and Men’s Muscle & Health and got to meet some seriously talented people.
I’ve tried and tested almost every training style possible. I’ve learnt how to train functionally to get maximum results, but also what to eat to stay in shape.
When I saw the results I’d been working so hard for, I finally then got the modelling work I had been dreaming of. Which only made my bond with health and fitness even stronger. I continued to train harder and kept getting booked for modelling jobs, which only drove and pushed me further into the fitness industry, also becoming a successful personal trainer in the process.
Functional training is a style of exercise which involves training the body for everyday life activities. These exercises equip your body to handle real life situations. It’s an awesome way to train and it works best for me as it fits perfectly into my hectic lifestyle.
If I’ve learnt anything from my experience, it’s that living a healthy lifestyle has helped me in more ways than I can count. Try this all-body functional circuit routine.
- Place both hands on the floor slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Position your feet almost together, behind your body and in a straight line.
- Tense your ab muscles, butt and thighs.
- Lower your body until your chest is two fists away from the floor; pause for one second, then return to the top.
- Start in a standing position, slightly bending your knees.
- Hold your hands out at chest height.
- Lower your body quickly into a squat position, then explode upwards bringing your knees up towards your chest.
Table Top Crunches
- Lie on your back, with your feet on an elevated surface.
- Your legs should be up at a 90 degree angle, with your elbows bent and your hands resting slightly behind your ears.
- Using only your abs,exhale and lift your shoulders slightly off the mat.
- Make sure you don’t pull your head up with your hands.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent.
- Squeeze your buttocks together and lift your hips off the floor.
- Hold for one second and then return to the starting position.
- Position your hands shoulder-width apart on a box or step.
- Position your butt in front of the box and bend your knees at 90 degrees.
- Make sure your arms and back are straight.
- Lower your butt to the ground, by bending your elbows at 90 degrees.
- Maintaining a straight back, press down into the box and straighten your elbows and then return to the starting position.
- Stand behind a step (average height of 30cm) with your ab muscles, butt and thighs tensed.
- Elevate your left foot and place it on the step.
- Draw your right leg up, and bring your knee in line with your chest, until your left leg is fully extended.
- Return your right foot to the ground, followed by your left foot.
- Complete half the recommended repetitions (reps) on one leg before completing the remaining reps on the other.
Reps: 20 (10 each leg)
- Stand tall, with your legs hip-width apart.
- Step one foot out in front.
- Lower your back knee so it’s approximately under your hip. This should now create a right angle in both knees.
- Push through your front foot and bring your back foot forward; repeating the movement and moving forward one step at a time.
Reps: 20 (10 each leg)
Repeat this circuit three times through with a one minute break at the end of each circuit set.
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