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Jim Wibskov – Personal Trainer


I’ve trained with a few Personal Trainers throughout the years (as well as being one myself many moons ago) – so I am extremely particular with what I need and am looking for in a trainer.

One of the best PT crew that I’ve trained with to date are the guy’s from Trewhealth at Melbourne Sports Aquatic Centre (MSAC). They get results and know what they are talking about. They are also super nice people and a bunch of fun, all of which is quite important when you have to get up at the crack of dawn in readiness to get caned before you’ve even had a coffee and seen the light of day. (Melbourne winters at 6am are not hugely fun!)

Some of Trewhealth’s better known clients are Grant Smillie (DJ/Producer), Olivia Wells (Miss Universe 2013), Ella Keddie (Jobe Watson’s better half), Amanda Briskin (Fashion Executive, Designer), Fiona Scanlan (Designer), Linley Frame (Olympic Swimmer), Michael Klim (Olympic Swimmer), Ben Meikle (Ex-elite Surf Life Saving Competior at the Coolangatta Gold), Lisandra Cavalho (200m Masters Butterfly Long Course Holder), Jules Lund (TV Personality) to name but a few…

I have always left my sessions feeling like I’ve been worked and done something that I probably wouldn’t have done or pushed myself to do had I been doing my own fitness regime.

I was recently introduced to kettle bells and power ropes as part of my training… Man, I left my sessions feeling like I was getting ready for the navy seals… super cool stuff.

Trust me – PT requires creativity. To keep a clients sessions interesting, unpredictable and engaging requires skill and experience. The trainer needs to really understand what motivates the client and be able to connect with them. During my years of training my own clients – one could say there is also a fair bit of psychology that comes into play as well.

I’ve trained with a few of the guy’s at Trewhealth over the years – however, my main man has always been ‘Big Jim’… I’ve asked him a few questions about his fitness career and what it takes to become a PT should anyone out there be wondering what’s involved.

To check out Trewhealth or (GET) Group Exercise Therapy go to:


Q & A:

1) You studied a Bachelor of Science/Movement Degree… Can you give us a bit of background on how you got to where you are today? Do you gravitate towards the business side of the Personal Training Industry, or do you try and stick to the physical side of the business?

I have always been active and played sports throughout my entire life and being apart of the health and fitness industry was just another extension of this post high school. I interviewed for a pool lifeguard position and subsequently was employed 2 hours after my final VCE exam in 1996 and held several positions via junior and middle management until I enrolled as a mature age student at the University of Ballarat (UB) in 2003 to complete my Bachelor of Applied Science: Human Movement and a further Honours degree (published thesis) in 2006.

During my 2nd year (2004) at UB I sought further work experience as a personal trainer and I was offered a position with trewhealth after meeting with Tory Trewhitt over 2-weeks on a Saturday morning prior to his 8.30am running group.

During my initial 18-month employment with Trewhealth I was only focussed on the training aspect of the business and continuing to grow my client base, whilst my ever-expanding knowledge base grew from the various opportunities within the company.

Being a natural leader I will always gravitate towards the business side and enjoy the various challenges presented in such a role, though my first love will always be training clients and watching their transformation throughout their personal journey toward their next goal(s).

I currently hold a senior role within trewhealth and shared ownership with Group Exercise Therapy (GET) our Corporate Group Training arm of the company and split my time between the administration and training aspects of both businesses.

2) Did you always want to be a Personal Trainer? And if you weren’t a PT, what do you think you’d be doing?

Having always been fit, active and around the health and fitness industry it seemed a natural progression and complimented my university studies perfectly. I honestly couldn’t see myself doing anything outside of the fitness industry. Once my days of waking at 5.15am are over I see myself transitioning into a mentoring/lecturing role for future aspiring personal trainers, so we can continue to educate and prepare our next generation of fitness leaders in the best possible manner.

3) How would you describe your personal training style or point of view on fitness and well being, and do you feel it has changed over the years as you’ve learned and experienced more on your own journey?

High intensity functional training with a strong focus on core recruitment. My style has definitely changed over the years, as I have been exposed to and researched other training methods. I am forever learning, watching, reading and absorbing what other trainers have to offer. Imagination is my only limitation and mine is VERY open to new ideas, concepts and alternative ways to bring fun and challenges into my sessions.

4) You’ve worked with many well known personalities, sports teams and clients over the years with all varying levels of fitness and health goals – do you have any great success stories you’d like to share?

I have been blessed to work with an amazing calibre of client during my involvement in the industry yes. From retired athletes returning to competition and setting masters world records in the pool, to clients losing weight, gaining confidence and completing a half marathon, rehabilitating elite surf lifesavers and having him back on the road running and training for an upcoming iron man event, introducing junior athletes to the rigours of weight training and watching them develop into Olympic standard competitors and representing Australia at the International level are all great joys and pleasures of working within the industry.

I am currently working closely with our newest Miss Universe contestant, Olivia Wells, and preparing her physically for the upcoming Miss Universe pageant later this year. Liv is a past elite swimmer and has a brilliant work ethic in the gym, so she loves to work hard and get the most out her sessions, whilst being challenged and sweating the house down. Perhaps not glamorous in the gym, but certainly when wearing her dresses and various outfits for the judging.

5) What is your idea of great training session (personal and in regards to your clients)?

One where the client is challenged to her or his own level of exertion. We all love to live within our own comfort zones and it’s my job to challenge that level of comfort and show you how hard you can work, whilst being smart and considerate to the actual goals we are striving to achieve.

6) Being a fitness instructor – what does your own weekly graft consist of?

26-30 contact hours with clients, 4-5 hours admin, 4-5 hours of travel between training locations and then my own training of course, which consists of 7 session per week – 3 in the gym and 2 soccer training nights, 1 personal 1 on 1 goalkeeping session and a match on Saturday’s. Sunday is a day of REST…!

7) What do you believe makes a great Personal Trainer?

An ability to safely and intelligently get the most out of your client, whilst educating them on the all things health and wellness. Life is a balance and many of us, have such a poor balance we struggle to fit in the really important things and spend too long on the un-necessary! It is our job to assist in this work: life balance and creating a healthier you in the process, so the better things in life can be enjoyed to the fullest and not compromised by injury and poor health.

8) Who and what inspires you, or motivates you to do better?

Might sound wanky, but life and people inspire me to become a better trainer and mentor to my clients and those within my network of friends and family. My motto is: Life is a journey not a destination; so live, love, laugh, cry, share, scream and enjoy the things you find most valuable to yourself. Happiness is a state of being and one which allows good things to come.

9) I know that you’re into good coffee and food – what are some of your favourite Melbourne food/coffee haunts?

I am massive lover of Mexican cuisine and love nothing more than to sit at the bar at either Mamasita or Touché Hombre enjoying a couple of fish taco’s and sipping on an Anejo tequila.

Baker: Baker D. Chirico on Fitzroy Street for all things bread and also a cheeky brew

Coffee is a Melbourne signature move and there are soooo many to choose from. South of the river I would suggest the following:
• Clement @ South Melbourne Market
• St Ali, South Melbourne

North of the river:
• 7 Grams @ Church Street, Richmond
• 3 Bags Full, Nicholson Street, Abbotsford

10) What next for you and/or the business? Any other interesting projects on the horizon/future goals you are yet to achieve?

I am relocating to LA later in the year to be closer to my actress girlfriend who moved over early this year. I have work lined up in the fabulous and VERY luxe Equinox Health Club and Spa in West Hollywood, as a senior personal trainer, so very much looking forward to the new adventure and opportunities that will present with such a move.

As mentioned previously, I will continue to challenge myself to become a better trainer, whilst adapting my sessions to include new and various routines for my clients, so they too can be challenged and taken to another level they thought not possible.

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