Health & Fitness Tips from Australia's Personal Training Professionals
Health & Fitness Magazine

Health & Fitness Magazine

Bruce Ritchie, Editor of Men’s Health Australia

“In the digital age, it’s about empowering the customer to the point where they decide when and what they want to do, rather than the fitness establishment.”

In 2001, Bruce Ritchie became editor of the leading lifestyle magazine, Men’s Health Australia. This is a resource which helps men to try and get the most out of their life. The magazine and website focuses on improving fitness, losing weight, having better nutrition and even style and grooming advice.

Ten years later, in 2011, Bruce took a jump away from Men’s Health and launched Pacific Magazine’s new road cycling magazine, Bike.

Bruce returned to the editor's chair at Men’s Health in August 2014 as editor-in-chief, while recruiting for a new editor took place. However, going forward, Bruce will have responsibility for both titles.

1 What are the latest trends in the fitness industry amongst men in Australia?

Functional training and events are really popular at the moment, rather than just pure gym work and cardio for health and appearance benefits. Think Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) training, Crossfit and on the events side, adventure races like our own Urbanathlon and Tough Mudder, along with others.

2 Why are these types of event so popular at the moment?

The events put more hair on the chest than a fun run or ocean swim, for example. By entering teams and helping each other out, there's an increased sense of camaraderie too. Plus, they're dirty, sweaty and pseudo-dangerous, which definitely adds to the appeal.

3 What does the training consist of?

MMA training is a mix of Brazilian jujitsu and other martial arts. It’s part-wresting, part-conditioning, part-defence and part-offence. Crossfit, on the other-hand, prides itself on building strength and conditioning for real world movements, like lifting and carrying heavy weights.

4 What are the benefits of this type of exercise?

It helps you develop a strong, healthy body that is also functionally fit, so you can lift heavy boxes or wield an axe with greater power. You could even drag yourself up a tree quicker to escape a marauding elephant (of limited use in Australia, admittedly).

5 What is the secret to staying relevant in the fitness industry?

Like anything in the digital age, it’s about empowering the customer to the point that they decide when and what they want to do, rather than the fitness establishment. Because of this, it’s likely we’ll see the continued growth of 24-hour, card-access gyms, which don't lock you in for long contracts!

6 Changing gears a bit, what are the latest nutritional trends in Australia amongst men and what are the benefits?

I’m not sure men will readily adopt too many new diets, but certainly the Paleo diet has an appropriately male spin to it and focuses on removing carbohydrates from the equation, which can only be a good thing. I think if you can sell the benefits of some of the newer superfoods like chia, some men will give it a try. Juices, via the home or a juice bar, are also very much on the up and provide an easy way to get a lot of nutrients into your diet, fast.

Are you interested in getting into the fitness industry? Hear more real life stories from industry professionals here.

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