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Are You Strong Enough?

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L-R Head Coach Rob and Tom

What if I told you about a place that could make you a better athlete. A place where you could become stronger, faster and more agile. A place that won’t only improve your physical health but also your mental health. Let me introduce you to Hunter Strength and Performance at Singleton.

Recently I sat down with miner turned gym owner Tom Clark at his brand-new gym in Maison Dieu, which specialises in Strongman, Powerlifting, Bodybuilding and Sports Team Strength and Conditioning.

But more than that, Tom explains it’s a place where people can come along and be part of a community where everyone is welcome, and every fitness journey is encouraged.

At 22, Tom moved to Singleton to work as an operator, and it was the mates he was working with at the time that first introduced him to a gym. Not long after that he discovered Strongman.

Strongman, also referred to as strength athletics, is a sport in which competitors are tested for their pure strength using a variety of different tasks. While variations of it have been around for a long time, the first official World’s Strongest Man competition began in 1977.

At Hunter Strength and Performance, they are all about increasing awareness of the sport of Strongman, as well as Powerlifting and Bodybuilding. While they have professionals coming along, Tom’s goal is to encourage newcomers to come along and try it.

“We have sizes and weights for all levels from beginners to advanced. Our classes are run by knowledgeable and experienced athletes and fully qualified coaches, who can help you learn techniques and start you off slow to ensure injuries are prevented. Come on down and try it out for free if it’s your first time,” encouraged Tom.

“We also host Strongman open days. We had some of our state’s best competitors come along to do event work for the last NSW Strongest event, alongside people coming for the first time. We hope these open days continue to grow as we love seeing the mix of people, from those at the very top, to those whose passion is just being ignited.”

A lot of gyms can be quite intimidating and Tom is aware of that, which is why he has created a space that is inclusive for everyone. From dedicated fully equipped workout areas, to the kitchen where you can refuel and sit down for a chat, to the kids play area where you can park the kids while you take a little time to focus on yourself.

“I know gyms can be daunting. That why we make a real effort to have everyone feel welcome. The goal is for every single person who walks in our door to walk back out feeling like they are a part of our community and that’s something that everyone from our coaches to our members contributes to.”

So back to the sport side of things. These days, strength and conditioning is now a part of most athlete’s programs. Tom’s a man on a mission to promote the benefits of strength and conditioning, and working in conjunction with some local clubs, he’s already on the way, building development programs for young athletes so they can maximise performance.

With initial conditioning assessments to establish each individual starting point to compare with how they perform at the end of the program, it’s about forming a solid base for them to build upon throughout not just their sporting journeys, but for their overall health throughout their entire life.

Tom knows firsthand how looking after your body also helps to look after your health. “”Having experienced anxiety and depression myself, I have learnt that strengthening your body also strengthens your mind. Not only that, being here with people who are all supporting and encouraging each other means I always walk out the door feeling better than I walked in. And that’s something I want everyone else who comes here to feel too.”

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