All things Bodyism – Interview with Simon Mitchell

OOHayman Island

When I recently visited ‘The One and Only Resort’ Hayman Island, I have to admit I was a little concerned about how we were going to maintain our healthy lifestyle at a remote island location. Sure, there would be coconut water and lots of time for rest and relaxation, but we were there for 3 days and we were a little concerned that if the resort didn’t have the food or facilities we were after, 3 days was a long time to make an exception.

However, all concerns were laid to rest almost as soon as we first stepped foot on the island. Yes, like most things at this stunning 6 star resort, they have the whole health and wellness aspects covered and from what I can understand, they have the Bodyism team (and a wonderful executive chef, Grant Murray), to thank for it.

What is Bodyism? What inspired the Clean and Lean menu? And how does someone come to land a gig working on one of the most beautiful islands in the world? I had the absolute pleasure of sitting down with Simon Mitchell, personal trainer at ‘The One and Only Hayman Island’ to talk all things health and wellbeing. 

Simon, thank you so much for having me and to Dan, for putting us through our first Bodyism/Clean and Lean work-out (you can read more about this here). Bodyism is a health and wellness branding that is taking the world by storm, can you tell me more about it’s origins? 

Sure, the Bodyism system was founded by James Duigan (now a best-selling author of the Clean & Lean diet). It is a wholistic approach to health and movement that encompasses all aspects of our daily life. The focus of the program is not about losing weight, it’s about gaining health.

SIDE NOTE: It was at this point, I could see that we’re going to get along just fine.

So it’s an international brand? 

Yes, James has done an amazing job getting studios set up all over the world, including London, Maldives, Turkey and now Australia, with more plans to expand. 2015 is going to be an incredible year.

What’s your typical client base? Is it true the brand has received glowing endorsements from celebrities such as Elle Macpherson, Lara Stone, Rosie Huntingdon Wheatley and Hugh Grant?  

Yes, indeed. Bodyism has a broad spectrum of clients from leading executives, pre and post natal mothers, actors and actresses, models and housewives. It’s really for anyone who wants to take control of their health. 

I just completed my first workout with Dan (one of the trainers here at the Bodyism gym on Hayman Island) and I have to say I was really impressed! I love the time dedicated to ‘warm-up’ or ‘pre-hab’ and the application of functional movement. Is this integral to the Bodyism philosophy? 

Absolutely, our pre-hab movements are a series of low-impact stretches, squats, floor exercises and the like that are designed to prepare the whole body for correct movement patterns. It’s a simple thing to do, but it encourages your body to switch on the right muscles at the right time. It’s not particularly challenging, but it’s one of the ways we ensure you get the most out of your work-out. 

Functional training is essential to our programs success. What use is a dumb-bell curl when we can rarely apply the same scenario to real-life? We want our clients to feel stronger and more empowered in every-day life and in turn, help them prevent injury – this is where functional training comes in. 

At Bodyism we use TRX bands, Pilates, Yoga, Thera bands, Boxing and our signature clean and lean warm-up. 

For most of us, weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise (that is of course done and done well), we have found that functional training is the best way to achieve this.

Now, whilst I can feel the effects of your 20% exercise philosophy (boy am I going to be sore tomorrow), tell me more about your the ‘Clean and Lean’ menu items on Hayman Island? 

Sure. We have been very fortunate to have the full support of executive chef Grant Murray, here at ‘The One and Only Hayman Island’. Together, we have worked together to ensure that each menu has at least a few options that fit the clean and lean philosophy. Each ‘clean and lean’ approved meal has a little ‘clean and lean’ symbol printed next to it. As a result, we believe it helps make healthy eating easy and accessible not just to our clients, but to everyone visiting the island. 

I have personally tried many of the ‘Clean and Lean’ approved dishes on the island and I can safely say they are DELICIOUS. 

(Laughs). I completely agree. Full credit to Grant Murray for that one. 

I have to ask, how does one land a gig like this one? I mean, you wake up to the stunning views of Hayman Island every morning?

To cut a long story short, I met James (Duigan) when we were both living in London. Previous to that I had studied Human Movement at Uni but moved into commercial radio not long after. When I was struggling to find media work in London, James offered me a job (I don’t know why) which was amazing! I worked with James for a year before heading back into radio in Canada and Australia. Unfortunately when some jobs were moved back to Sydney HQ’s I was out of work. It was then (again I don’t know why) James offered me a job here. I’ve been here since June 2014. It is an incredibly beautiful part of the world.

Last but not least, what are you top tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. 

I know it sounds cliche, but in all honesty the easiest thing you can do is ‘get it in when you can fit it in’. If that means getting off the bus a few stops early, taking the stairs instead, parking away from the shopping centre, movement doesn’t have to be difficult. 

I also believe you must have a plan. If you don’t have a plan, then you plan to fail. 

Preparation is key on the food front, you have to be organised. 

Last but not least, I supplement with Bodyism Omega 3 fish oil and drink green tea daily. 

Perfection. Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with me. Do you have time for a picture? 

Sure do!

The two of us and the Bodyism Team at The OO Hayman Island. Simon is second from left.
From Right to Left: My partner in crime, Andrew, Simon Mitchell, Dan (our incredible trainer), myself and Rose.
Bodyism Menu
Some of the DELICIOUS ‘Clean and Lean’ approved menu items at the ‘OO Hayman Island’