#StrongHealthyMen Father's Day Edition: Shannan Ponton


Shannan Ponton is an iconic Aussie guy who loves the beach.

During a career spanning more than 25 years in the tness industry, he has built extensive experience and knowledge in the areas of exercise, fitness, nutrition, health, motivation and people management.

Always motivated to find ways to make fitness fresh and interesting, Shannan has developed and delivered innovative personal training, fitness, motivational and general life solutions to many individuals, companies and teams, at a state, national and international level.

By gaining trust, Shannan gets the most from people - driving them harder than they could ever have imagined. After all, despite his bright personality, this dedicated trainer is known for sayings like ‘pain is just weakness leaving the body’.

Shannan trains the same way he lives his life - with respect, integrity, physical and mental discipline as well as strength in mind and body.

In 2016, he returned to Series 11 of The Biggest Loser - Transformed as fitness trainer and mentor. The Biggest Loser continued to be amongst one of the highest rating shows on the Ten Network, with Shannan the most successful Biggest Loser trainer, having trained ve (5) of the Series’ winners.

Shannan is in demand as a corporate speaker and has conducted training sessions and workshops for companies such as MBF, Abbott Nutrition, ASICS, West Farmers and Coles to name a few.

He is a proud Ambassador for charity organisations McGrath Foundation, Cancer Council Australia and Canteen.

Outside of his work commitments, Shannan is a devout husband and father to three gorgeous children and when not in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, he can be found on the beach in Bali - his favourite indulgence.

Hi Shannan! Thank you for being part of the Health and Fitness Travel, Strong Healthy Men Interview Series – Father’s Day Edition, with the goal to shine a light on the importance of self-care for physical and mental well-being, not just for fathers but for men across Australia!


Is there such a thing as a typical day and what does that look like?

For me, a typical day starts earlier than most. Usually an alarm (or crying 10 month old) breaks the air at 5:15am. I’m ‘back on the tools’ personal training and teaching classes at Fitness First, something I’m reveling in doing.


I try to work ‘back to back’ sessions 05:30 or 06:00 until 13:00 or so. It’s a long grind but the payoff is a valuable, early finish. Head home for a quick bite, pick my kids up from school/daycare and that’s when the real workout starts.


Both my older kids are full of energy and I love taking an active role in their post school curriculum. Skating, scootering, gymnastics, ninja warrior training, dancing and rugby league, are just some of the activities we undertake together. When was the last time you tried a cart wheel? They’re harder than I remember but more fun.


Funnily enough, all the things my wife used to rouse on me for doing…. now I’m being praised!?






Can you share a time when you felt your well-being was challenged in the past and what you did to overcome this?

I’ve had plenty of setbacks not only throughout my career but throughout my life. At 17 I had a Rugby League career ending shoulder injury. To that point all I’d ever wanted was to play professional Rugby League. I was shattered physically but more deeply emotionally, I’d lost my worth, my identity. I perceived it as the greatest travesty…


15 years down the track after starting off as strength and conditioning coach with the North Sydney Bears (my old team mates) and then vigorously and determinedly advancing that career I was rewarded with my role on the TV show ‘The Biggest Loser’.




With that 20/20 hindsight I could clearly see that my shoulder injury was a blessing! I had made far more of an impact as a trainer that I ever would have as a Rugby League Player that was too small and lacked natural flair.


I’ve kept that lesson in mind for the following 4 shoulder recons, wrist recon, full knee recon and proceeding 4 knee surgeries. As I have with most events that could be perceived as ‘bad’


What lesson do I need to take from this?


How can I turn something so detrimental into a positive?


How can I use my resilience, toughness and gratitude for all the other great parts of my life to overcome this adversity?


Do you feel being a father motivates you to stay focused on your well-being?

My motivation for training and health and fitness has changed greatly since having kids. It used to be about biceps and abs and therefore, feeling good from looking fit and healthy.


I’m happily married with 3 kids and my motivation is now about staying fit, healthy and active but most importantly mobile to live the life I want with my kids. It frightens me to think one day I will have to say no to my kids because my body has let me down. I still surf, skate, dance, climb, train, run, skip, pass, kick and ride with plenty of ‘weird’ looks from other parents as I climb along the monkey bars with the kids.


I know who the weird ones are! Sitting there, talking to their virtual friends on the phones!LOL!!




What is your advice to people who want to make healthier lifestyle changes?

If you want to make a change get started! ‘Don’t let the START be the thing that STOPS you!


Too many procrastinate on trivial details of training, health and nutrition. Just go. Is running better than walking?? It doesn’t matter just do the one you CAN.


The best, most effective training is the one you enjoy!


Have you ever taken a health focused holiday? If so where did you go and what did you do?

I’ve been running Boot Camps in Bali for over 5 years now. They encompass the best of training, nutrition and importantly mindset. They are life changing for all involved.

We train twice daily (scaled for all levels) and have two lessons per day. Topics include beating fear of failure, boosting energy, optimum fat loss, self-talk, motivation, breaking habits and more.




Everyone's idea of self-care is different, please tell us about yours?

For me, self-care is a holistic overview of my wellbeing. It encompasses physical and mental: health, performance, energy, interactions, fun and enjoyment. I take it very seriously and regularly take time for introspection. It takes a fair amount of truth and practice to be brutally honest with yourself. In my experience the benefits far outweigh the challenges.


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