How This Man Lost His Belly And Built The Biceps Of A Boxer

Here's how Tyson Brinkley unlocked his inner warrior.


Thaaqib Daniels, Photography by Casey Crafford |

My Inner Warrior, Awakened

Every day is a new challenge, and whether you choose to face it head-on or run away depends on how much steel you have in your mental armoury. Tyson Brinkley thought he’d lost his fighting spirit after his rugby days were over. But after completely devoting himself to a new, fit and healthy lifestyle, he is now equipped with the confidence and the muscle power to take on life’s obstacles. This is his story.

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  • Name: Tyson Brinkley
  • Occupation: Surgical Sales Executive
  • Age: 31
  • Height: 1.66m
  • Weight Before: 70kg
  • Weight After: 61.7kg
  • Time To Goal: 9 months

The Problem

“I’ve been a rugby player all my life; my training was largely power-based, and related to rugby and performance on the field. However, after hanging up my boots I gained some weight. Because I wasn’t used to being fit outside of rugby. I decided I needed to shift my training focus slightly, to balance it out.”

The lesson: Tyson realised he needed to drop a few kilos, but also increase the cardio and still maintain strength, which is needed in events such as Warrior races – his new-found passion.

The Change

“I decided to change gyms, and try something new. I was getting bored with the same old isolation and rugby-based exercises. So I decided to join Fitstrong (owned by MH Cover Guy Trevor Lagerwey). Fitstrong is a functional training gym, focusing on improving your functionality, flexibility and well-being through key body movements and obstacle-course- type training. After doing a few classes and finding myself gasping for air and sweating like never before, I decided this was home.”

The lesson: Although seeing results is key to staying motivated, you need to be realistic, and give yourself time to achieve your goals.

The Strategy

“Giving 110% commitment, forcing myself to do workouts and exercises that I usually wouldn’t do. It’s taught me to embrace various exercises, even when it’s the last thing I feel like doing, Another major feature has been my change in diet – which went from junk food to consistently healthy eating. Having someone like Trevor as a mentor is a great help, because he always tries to inspire his members, no matter what their circumstances.”

The lesson: Think outside the box. Don’t be afraid to try something new. And persevere – you may not see the results immediately, but you will benefit.

The Result

warrior transformation tyson brinkley

“The visible results have been my main motivation for training, I know losing almost 8kg isn’t such a lot. But I realised that the performance, lifestyle and aesthetic differences are what count. I’ve gone from entering obstacle-course races for fun – and to see what happens by the end – to competing and even winning an Impi, and coming fourth in a Warrior race. They never said it would be easy, they said it would be worth it – and it definitely has been. I’m not stopping here!”

The lesson: Having goals and surrounding yourself with inspiring people makes it easier to stay focused.

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