Boxing Trainer Q & A - with Dave Trotter

I've had plenty of Personal Trainers and Fitness Coaches in my time, stemming from as far back as Primary School. My Primary School Phys. Ed. teacher was called Mr Clarke and his intolerance for 10 year old shenanigans was what started me on a reasonably successful running pastime that lasted until just after I finished high school 8 years later.

Dave Trotter & his whipping boy

An active AFL boundary umpire, who ran till his nose bleeds was my High School running coach and he made sure we got the most out of ourselves. No running session was ever easy. I still have nightmares relating to sand dunes.... and same to goes for my current trainer and general overseer of fitness challenges at Dadbod2Boxer - Dave Trotter. A man who ensures that he get's the most out of their clients. Without YELLING.

So I thought I would go one-on-one with Dave and rip through some journalistic repartee, so I could give you an insight into a bit about the man himself and how he's seen through the training he's put me through since Day 1. So without further ado...

Dadbod2Boxer: So Dave, who are you? Tell us a bit about your background and your personal training approach?

Dave Trotter: I have always been active with a lot of different sports played under my belt. I have been boxing since I was 15 but didn't take it seriously until I finish my service in the Australian Army. I started fighting in amateur Boxing, then moved into Muay Thai and finally into MMA. I have always felt that boxing has been my strong suit so decided to focus on that which landed me a couple more boxing fights and the job I'm in today. My training style is to cater for what the client is after. Clients who want to fight, I will teach them. Clients who want to learn but want to get fit I will teach as well and push them to achieve 100% effort out of the session. I also train clients for strength and conditioning where I will also focus on teaching them correct form but push them too their limits. I am a firm trainer and don't believe I have to yell to achieve that.

Dadbod2Boxer: You've overseen the entire Dadbod2Boxer program, what sort of condition was Brandon in, in terms of fitness and skills before he started? You can be as brutally honest as you like!

Dave Trotter: Brandon wasn't in great shape both in body and fitness or skill. He definitely had weight to lose and his fitness levels were definitely below average. I didn't expect his skill levels with boxing to be anything special as I wouldn't expect from anyone else who has just starting out at boxing. It's a very hard sport to become good at and takes along time to reach it.

Dadbod2Boxer: How have you tried to structure Brandon's training program?

Dave Trotter: Brandon's program to start with was focused on fitness and conditioning and the boxing skills he needed for the FightFit Training Camp that he signed up to. Now we are expanding his skills in boxing with more advanced movements and footwork etc. We are also working on some kickboxing skills and advanced strength and conditioning.

Dadbod2Boxer: Did you think he was going to be able to achieve getting through your own program as well the FightFit Training Camp? Don't tell us you went easy on him!

Dave Trotter: My program for him was surrounded around what he needed for the FightFit Training Camp. I thought he had a good chance of passing the training camp as he was very focused on his training and diet requirements to lose the weight. I definitely wasn't easy on him and I'm confident that we/him did everything we could to get Brandon ready to pass the training camp. Unfortunately he didn't quite get there but that wasn't his failure as the training camps requirements were set very high and as I said I think he did what he could and left nothing behind leading into it and on the day of testing.

Dadbod2Boxer: So now that the first phase of Dadbod2Boxer is done and dusted, how do you feel Brandon went with the rigours of your training schedule and how much progress has he made compared to your very first session?

Dave Trotter: Brandon is a new person, he has lost a lot of weight, he seems happier and is always very keen to train. His boxing skills have come along way and he is now looking at taking part in one of our fight challenges next year which is definitely not for everyone. As I said earlier, we are doing some advanced boxing work as well as advanced strength and conditioning and kickboxing, so he has come along way in the space of time he has been training with me. His fitness levels are high now and can only keep getting higher.

Dadbod2Boxer: Overall, what's it been like training Brandon? Does he get grumpy when you give him too many burpees?

Dave Trotter: Brandon is a pleasure to train, I love to train clients who don't complain, want to train hard and want to learn. Brandon is great at all of these so training him is easy and enjoyable.

Dadbod2Boxer: So the training is still continuing, right? So then where to from here? Where is it you would like Brandon to be in the next 3-6 months?

Dave Trotter: Training is still going strong and as I said earlier, he is learning more and more skills from our sessions and is looking to take part in our next fight challenge next year so that is the next big focus for his training sessions with me.

Dadbod2Boxer: Well, thanks Dave. I best get out of here before you throw more burpees at me to do!

So there you have it. Seriously though, Dave has been and continues to a great trainer. There's so much more for me to learn, which always makes me eager to head in to the gym and get as many sessions underneath my belt as possible.

One of the key's to consistent training is to find something you love and do it. Don't over think it and feel you have to "mix it up" a bit if you don't want to. If you are happy just to run, then just run! Expanding your training horizons will come with time.

Till next time, Box On!

Dadbod2Boxer - The Results!

So here we are, the end of Dadbod2Boxer (well, not quite, but more about that later). This post was a little late in coming, but hopefully it'll be worth you reading!

My goals for this challenge was 2-fold:
(a) Transform my body from something that resembled something of a flat truck tyre to a low profile bit of race rubber;
(b) Get fit, stay fit and hopefully inspire by documenting my journey.

I'm pleased to say that after 12 weeks of hard work, pain and some logistical gymnastics on the home front, I'm confident I've achieved both, and more. I really couldn't have completed this without my beautiful wife Petra and my two kids, Isabelle and Kai.


In a number of ways I really had to put myself first, and in a family environment trying to live the day to day, that can be difficult but they've supported me every step of the way, emotionally, physically and financially. Thank you!

My workplace at SEEK ( have been super flexible, Hatchy and the team have been hugely supportive and made sure I stayed grounded with plenty of wisecracks and ribbing and my expense, but it kept me smiling! Thanks guys!

Bash, Sally and the whole team at FightFit who have encouraged me and supported this challenge from the start, you've been awesome and despite popular opinion Bash, you're actually pretty funny! Kudos team! Similarly, Stu from Primal Food who has ensured that I was eating right and supplementing where I needed to. But just learning the importance of eating and how you can't out train a bad diet has been critical. Thanks Stu, you're a champ!

Lastly but by no means least, my trainer and drill sergeant, Dave Trotter. Truth be known, when Bash at FightFit said that Dave would be the best man to train me, I naturally stalked him online to try and determine his creds.

My trainer Dave Trotter. Not quite as mean as he looks.
My trainer Dave Trotter. Not quite as mean as he looks.

Bash promised Dave would make me vomit (he hasn't yet, close, but not yet, kind soul he is). Dave is a former Military Gunner in the Army, a CrossFit Games 2015 competitor and former professional fighter competing in Boxing, Muay Thai and MMA. Indeed, I was crapping the proverbial, but I couldn't have asked for a more patient or awesome trainer/coach than Dave. Dave mate, thanks for opening my eyes to your world of boxing. I still have a long way to go, but a lot of my garnered fitness and overall result is thanks to your keen eye and punishing program. Legend!

Formalities done, let's get stuck into some of the results 'eh?

Dexa Scan - The Real Deal

During Dadbod2Boxer, I've been utilising Dexa Body Scan services from BodyScan Melbourne. This was my one true way to see the continual benefical affect my diet and training and been having on my body. When I started, I was surprised to learn, that by World Health Organisation standards, I was in fact just dipping into the first stage of Obesity. I weighed 84.6kg when I started and carrying 18kg of fat, mostly in my mid-section, which is a common place to have it when you have Eastern European heritage like my good-self. That's a 21.67 body fat percentage and according to the Fat Mass Index, I was well and truly overweight.

Roll on to 12 weeks later, and the results have been fantastic! All my hard work training and eating right have paid off based on the results. To quote the doctor taking the Dexa scan and reviewing the results with me, I really could not have done any better in terms of the results. I'm now down to 78kg and have dropped my amount of body fat to 13.9kg. That's now a body fat percentage of 17.45%. Over a 4% body fat change.

Wow, I had two of these in me!
Wow, I had two of these in me!

That may not sound like much, it's something that you can't visualise unless you are the person wearing my body, but thanks to a handy prop at BodyScan Melbourne, as you can see from the photo here, imagine two of these lumps and that's the sort of volume of fat I've lost!

From the Dexa image comparison you can see here, there's been a really noticeable loss of fat over my stomach and trimming down of fat everywhere else. The fat is in yellow and you can see how it's clearly dissipated over the 12 weeks. And from the graph image, you can see this fantastic linear trend going from overweight (purple) to well into the healthy range (orange) and heading straight for the lean range (green). Lean range is what I am aiming for, give me another 8 weeks and I'm there!

Before and after Dexa Scan
Before and after Dexa Scan
Mission: Target Lean!
Mission: Target Lean!

Fit & Trim

The Dexa Scan obviously tells a story, but the comments I've had from work colleagues, family and friends has been really were the results have been most obvious. I now catch myself in a reflection and my stomach, which used to reluctantly enter doorways before me, is replaced by a flatter, trimmer unit.

Goodbye Dadbod, not so nice knowing you!
Goodbye Dadbod, not so nice knowing you!

I can't begin to tell you how much more confidence it gives me. And there's no doubt that my fitness has gone to a whole other level now.

But make no mistake, everything I have done till now has been extremely hard work. The hardest I have ever worked on my fitness since I did competitive state level running back in high school over 25 years ago. As many as 4 sessions a week for 12 weeks is what it took and the first 2-4 weeks were the hardest by far. But the rewards for sticking it out have been astronomical! I am the fittest now that I have been almost since I left high school and that just allows me to train more consistently and with more intensity. This is the knock on effect, by sticking it out, am now on an uphill trend where I now want to train more and I just get fitter and fitter by doing so.


I recall when I first recorded video for Dadbod2Boxer and remember seeing myself not even being able to do a sit-up almost because quite frankly, my stomach got in the way. That stomach is now gone as too have the less-than-sexy love handles and I am doing core strength exercises that I only dreamed of 12 weeks prior.

I am just so happy with the results that it's hard to express truly. All I know is that I want more and I am excited for the future!

Becoming the Boxer - bloody hard caper this boxing - seriously

I chose boxing as my go to strategy for getting fit. I took an introductory lesson at FightFit Boxing Centre and saw how physically demanding it was and just knew this is how I was going to get results super quick. And not to mention, after doing a bit of Karate as a kid and recently as an adult for a grand total of 2 sessions), I'd always been interested in giving boxing a try and I wasn't disappointed. It wasn't just intense physical exercise, it was fun also!

I came into the whole deal being overly confident in how I would adapt to boxing training. How hard can it be to punch the crap out of a punching bag right? WRONG! Wow, what an absolute eye-opener! The technique, the form, the physical strength & conditioning and most importantly, the mental strength to hold it altogether and do boxing effectively and efficiently is so, so hard. But that's the challenge of any fight sport as I've learnt there are so many elements to it.

The first 6 weeks I spent more time at the physio than I would care to remember. Injured shoulders, wrists, knuckles and elbows, all the impact points in boxing, it took at least that 6 weeks to get any sort of base conditioning into my body to throw any sort of effective punch. Other than strained rotator cuffs in both shoulders, the skin off my thumbs have since turned into callouses and I feel accustomed to the daily pain in my knuckles and hands.

It's a mighty tough game, but I am now so addicted to the training, the learning, the continual upwards trend of my conditioning that I don't see myself stopping any time soon. And look, the guys are so great down at FightFit. Bash, Dave, Mark, Ruan, Eric, Percy and Sally, it's great to have a laugh with them as well. It's not always so serious down there!

Transformation Time

In most respects, I achieved what I set out to do, I'm pumped to continue the way I'm going and I have transformed my body, but also my lifestyle, my head space and my outlook on health and fitness, especially after hitting the big 4-0 this year. As you'll see from a number of the pics loaded into this blog, the change has been noticeable on the outside as well as the inside. My plan is to continue exactly how I am training and eating right now, I don't see any reason not to and I don't want to go back to the body I used to have, otherwise what was all this for? It would be contradictory to the whole premise of this challenge.

Boxing or TimTam's. Yeah, the former!

Further more, it's been really humbling to hear from a few people about how my journey has inspired them to undertake their own fitness journey. That was one of the goals of this blog was to inspire and I'm so happy I was able to achieve that, as from the outset I thought that might be one of the more far fetched goals! For those of you who are undertaking your own personal challenge, don't give up. Push through that hard, initial 2-4 weeks and always remember the hard work you put in know, will make it easier on you in the future. I'm living testament to that. Just check out this promo image I did at the start of the journey compared to now.

What next for Dadbod2Boxer?

That's the biggest question I get asked now, is now that you've completed the challenge, now what? Well, like I mentioned, I'm enjoying the lifestyle and the training and I still believe I have so much more to achieve, that I consider this to be just the first Phase of many.

My trainer Dave made a very good point "Well, you're not a boxer yet!". I let that sink in for a moment and he was right. I've really just got my body to a point where the Dadbod is gone, but the journey to Boxer is still in progress!

My goal for the next phase of Dadbod2Boxer is to continue my skills training and increase my strength and conditioning and get into the ring to spar with my trainer. Ominously, another poor bugger under Dave's tutelege who recently sparred with him is nursing tender that usual ribs! But right now, I'm not going to let that bother me (I'm gonna worry about the ribs when they hurt!) and that will sparring will be a true stepping stone of transforming to Boxer.

I hope to provide more video and blog content from here running through some practical tips and tricks for the boxing gym and for general fitness and keep you all up to date on my training to get up to sparring standard. And after that? Well, do I get in the ring? At least once? Only time will tell!

In the coming days I'll be putting up a Q&A session I've had with my trainer so you can get a bit of insight into how he's seem the journey pan out. So stay tuned for that!

Till then, thanks to everyone for helping me get this far and I hope you continue to follow me on my journey of... Dadbod2Boxer!

As always, Box on!

Final Dadbod2Boxer Training Session

The Final Training Session of Phase 1 of Dadbod2Boxer