A PT Paying it Forward

A PT Paying it Forward

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A PT Paying it Forward


Zak Taylor-Kleckin
City: Sydney, NSW
Occupation: Personal Trainer
Age: 22  


The moment that changed my life was on the night of my 21st birthday. I got in trouble with the law after a big night of partying. It made me reflect on my life choices and what path I wanted to take. It was in that moment that I decided who I wanted to be and what had to be done to get there. I straightened up my act and my training became my partying.


Before I started training I used to live day to day, not really focused on bettering myself. I was content with floating through life, giving the bare minimum to anything I did. I was insecure and didn’t really believe in myself.

Now, I train daily. And words cannot express how much of an impact it has had on me. I used to think that being in the gym was just about lifting heavy things up and down. But I now know that it is so much more than that.

Training affects me emotionally; mentally as well as physically. Every time I leave the gym after a hard session I feel motivated and most importantly, happy.It ignites a spark in me to push forward and challenge myself in all aspects of life, from career goals to self-development.

I was introduced to training at a young age. My father and grandpa got me into the gym. I remember sitting and idolising them, hoping that one day I could be as strong as them. This love for training stayed with me through childhood and into my teens. Even before I had finished high school, I knew I wanted a career that:

  1. A)   Would help others
  2. B)   Was based around health and sport
  3. C)   Was not behind a desk 9-5 every day
  4. D)   Provides a comfortable living and security for my family

Personal Training had all the boxes checked, so after graduating I immediately completed my certificate III and IV in fitness, along with my first aid, CPR and advanced boxing. I was ready to set out and follow my passion.

The most important thing when you get into the gym is that you leave your ego at home! Nothing pains me more than seeing some egotistical guy throwing around heavy weights with bad technique, or leaving his weights on the rack and eyeing everybody up. Not only are you putting yourself in a position where you have a higher chance of injury, but also you’re limiting growth potential, both mental and physical. I’ve learnt so much from my fellow gym-goers. They’re the ones who have helped me take my training to another level. How much help are you going to get if people don’t want to talk to you, let alone stand training in the same room as you?

Before I had set the goal to compete, I was chatting to a client about the challenges he faced during his body transformation journey. He had a lot of stressful things happening in his life and found it hard to sacrifice his vices and push himself outside of his comfort zone. That’s when I knew I had to walk the walk. I had to inspire him and lead the way; to show him that if I could do it, so could he.

So I made some calls, and a few days later I showed him the email confirming my registration to the Australian National Bodybuilding competition. We teamed up for the next 12 weeks; I achieved my goal of 6% body fat and he lost 18kg.

On the day of my competition I was nervous. But I felt confident from the first second I stepped on stage. I had fun and enjoyed being able to show off what I’m most passionate about. Placing second in the Asia Pacifics Male Model Under-30 was definitely a career highlight. I couldn’t stop smiling knowing that all the hard work I put in paid off.

Competing is a great experience and the achievement of a huge goal. But the most rewarding part of training for a competition is the messages I get from friends, clients and people on Facebook who have been kind enough to support and thank me for helping them achieve their own goals. I am very humbled knowing that in one way or another I am helping other people inch closer to a better life.

When you set yourself a long-term goal, like transforming your body or stepping on stage, motivation will come and go. But it’s habit that will keep you going. Make training a part of your life. Find friends to do a session with. It’s such a great experience having someone there to teach you new things and try different methods to spark the body into transforming. It forces you to work outside of your comfort zone and take it to the next level.

To any guy out there who wants to get in the best shape of their life, answer me this: how bad do you want it? Do you want six-pack abs more than you want a six-pack of beer? If the answer is yes, then set a goal. Write it down, get a coach and lay out a plan to get you there. You need to ask yourself “Why am I doing this?” and find a compelling reason; a reason that hits you in the face like a ton of bricks and gets you up off the couch and into the gym.

There’s a lot in store for my future and there’s so much I want to do. I want to prove to myself that with enough hard work and consistent effort I can be successful and change the way people think about their own health. I want to give others belief in themself knowing that if I can do it, so can they!

My first training session was with my Dad when I was about 15 years old. I remember being inspired by, and wanting to be like him. I like to think that now I inspire others to become their best version of themselves.

Zak’s Diet

“Without proper nutrition you really aren’t going to get anywhere. It’s great to go all out when you’re at the gym but what matters most is what you do when you’re outside of the gym.”

Meal 1: 50g oats, 50g strawberries, 50g blueberries and 1 scoop of whey protein isolate with water, and an espresso coffee
Meal 2: 1 whole egg, 1 cup egg whites scrambled with 100g red capsicum and 100g mushroom, seasoned with cayenne pepper and minced chilli, accompanied by a green tea
Meal 3: 180g white fish with asparagus
Meal 4: 180g lean beefsteak or salmon with a large green salad
Meal 5: 180g chicken breast, 200g sweet potato and 100g broccoli (pre-workout meal)
Meal 6: Whey protein isolate (post-workout)
Meal 7: 180g chicken breast, 200g sweet potato and 100g broccoli (post-workout meal)
Meal 8: 250g low fat cottage cheese, 50g strawberries, ½ scoop casein protein

Zak’s Workout Week  

Monday: abs (am), chest and biceps (pm)
Tuesday: legs (pm)
Wednesday: back and triceps (pm
Thursday: abs (am), shoulders (pm)
Friday: rest and stretch
Saturday: abs (am), chest and biceps (pm)
Sunday: legs (pm)

Repeat, 4 days on 1 day off




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