August 15, 2013
by ASP Admin

Today’s post is a guest post by the newest member to the ASP Team – Brian Zaugg. Brian is a Bachelor of Physical Education (BPhEd) graduate from New Zealand with a double major in Exercise Science and Prescription, and has been training with ASP for some time now. For more information or posts of Brian’s check out his brand new blog at

After travelling and working around the United States for over a year, my journey brought to Melbourne, Australia where I was in search for some work. After a few weeks of searching, I landed a job at Fitness First Melbourne Central, one of the cities most popular gyms. While spending some time there I was fortunate enough to meet a trainer by the name of Ben Siong. A few talks later and we soon found each other appreciating the same training methods and principles. It was then that I was introduced to his company – Australian Strength Performance. Ben and his elite team of trainers take a scientific approach to achieve results for clientele, which include but are not limited to optimal body composition, body transformations, sport specific training, and strength work. Ben, one of Australia’s leading body composition experts founded the operation after experiencing years in the fitness industry and countless certifications in an effort to keep progressing and expanding his knowledge. He follows the methods and teachings of expert lifestyle, strength and conditioning coaches, including world-renowned Charles Poliquin.

While I could list all of Ben’s credentials, it is more important to specify that Ben’s Bachelor of Science and Psychology Honours, PICP Level 4 (theory qualified), and BioSignature certification speak for themselves. It is this knowledge that has drawn me to ASP allowing me to be fortunate enough to work with them as a consultant and now, fitness writer on their website!

Well, enough of the formalities! I’m sure you are all curious to know whether I train with them and the answer is YES. Along with my own personalised program and nutritional/supplemental biosignature program, we all do a team workout once a week together that is devised by Ben. Every Thursday theASP Team and myself hesitantly prepare ourselves for what is about to be revealed. None of us know what the program will look like until it gets handed out to us at the briefing prior to the session. This is Ben’s idea of “being in the trenches” style learning with a hard lesson in session planning, training protocol (rep ranges, sets, and tempos), as well as exercise selection and technique all occurring the week prior to the session.

Now, I will start off by saying I’m not a novice by any standard of my training age, I’ve been doing this for a few years now for myself and as a profession, and this training style is not for the faint hearted. There’s none of this bodybuilding style, set, rest, mirror flex, set, rest, and bang out as much weight (even if your technique is dangerously terrible) as possible stuff. All of it is a precisely calculated programming with each aspect having a specific purpose. I can’t give away too many secrets but I can say that there were definitely times where I thought I was going to throw up, pass out, curl up in a foetal position and cry as it broke me. Don’t even get me started on the rigor mortis feeling of delayed onset muscle soreness the next day when you try to get out of bed! But there is something very humbling when you complete such a session; you feel a sense of achievement as well as mental growth. I have never been one of those trainers who just read sources and prescribes. How could I, being in an industry that is based on physical activity? With such an attitude, how would I know what it is like to truly go through the pain and commitment of a client for the resulting effect?

Speaking of such an effect, I am currently working with Ben through a 12-week transformation challenge. The abovementioned year of travelling brought all of its challenges such as lack of gym access (at $30US a workout 5 times a week, you do the math), less then ideal nutrition, and the ever-present peer pressure of late night socialising. I realise many of you reading this will think that a serious trainer would have found a way but honestly, that would have taken away from my entire globetrotting experience. Now that I have got that out of my system, I’m itching to get back and surpass how I once was. I am roughly halfway through the transformation process and will be posting final results in a ‘Part 2′ of this article. So stay tuned for progress pictures, stats, thoughts, and some more insight about what ASP has to offer. But if you can’t wait that long, contact either myself, or Ben through the website and go through it yourself!


Above is a sneak peak of Brian’s progress in his ASP Evolution Transformation. Along with his 12 week program mentioned above, Brian was also part of a ‘two week trainer challenge’ where ASP had the privilege of transforming three trainers from varied backgrounds into the best shape of their lives, in less than fourteen days! Incredible changes already Brian, and only two of twelve weeks down!

For full details and images of the two week trainer transformations, head to our Trainer Challenge: A Lot Can Happen In Two Weeks! blog post.