From the Military to the Slopes to the One Playground Gym Floor: Meet Coach Ray Bishop

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Meet Ray Bishop, a coach at Surry Hills with a journey unlike any other. From Wales to Sydney having worked in over 10 countries in between, Ray brings a wealth of experiences to One Playground, experiences most of us can’t even imagine.

What is military training?

Ray’s background is as unique as his skillset. As a veteran of the British Army, he brings high standards and a dedication to pushing his clients towards their goals through challenging yet supportive sessions.


“Military training is a blend of strength, endurance, and HIIT workouts,” explains Ray. “We often use bodyweight movements combined with longer endurance training to build both mental and physical resilience. It’s about discovering your true limits.”


Expect workouts ranging from push-ups, pull-ups, and everyone’s favourite, burpees, to 1.5-mile runs, rack pulls, sandbag throws, and weighted vests for an extra challenge.


Back when he was in the military, Ray’s training was pretty intense! “Each day always had an endurance element to it, ranging from either a 1.5-mile trainer run or a 2-mile boot run best effort. A loaded fast paced march carrying weight over a longer duration of miles.


Bodyweight exercises are engrained so they become easy, which of course helps when on the assault course climbing ropes and pulling your weight up and over walls. These types of training sessions were more battle-related and would be part of an exercise over a few days”.


Benefits of high-intensity training


For some, the thought of this style of training might seem a bit daunting, pushing them further out of their comfort zone than they would perhaps like.


However, Ray attracts a dedicated group ready to take on the challenge.


“The clients I see are already pretty highly motivated and I can push them with intensity and keep challenging them beyond what they think is capable”.


“If you have a goal, you’ve got to put in the work,” says Ray. “You’re not going to get your goals if you’re chilling, cruising through your workouts. By pushing yourself that bit harder, you’re hitting those short to medium-term goals as well as preventing injury and keeping the body moving for the long term”.


“Keeping yourself fit in this day and age will give you physical and mental rewards. Our daily lives can be very stressful, and we need to break away from that where we can express that inner demon to work hard. Find something enjoyable and stick with the process. The short-term pain is worth the success and results of consistency and hard work”.


From Battleground to the Slopes

Ray found a new environment to explore: The mountains.


After the army, Ray found a new battlefield to conquer: the mountains. A ski trip ignited a passion that led him to become a fully qualified instructor, living and teaching in Japan, New Zealand, Europe, and the States.


“I love the teaching side, seeing the rewards from helping my clients to progress from point A to point B” or achieve a specific goal at all levels and abilities.


While Ray might have swapped the snowy mountains for Sydney’s sunny beaches, the skills he developed on the slopes still shine through in his coaching.


“I often work with clients with upcoming winter holidays. A specific design of a 6-week programme to help them make the most of their holiday and also prevent common skiers and snowboarders injuries”.


Ski-specific training

“For skiers”, Ray explains, “I’ll focus on the lower body, slowly lowering the weight down through the eccentric part of the movement. Squats and the leg press are great for this and unilateral exercises. Not only does this build the strength and endurance needed to hit the snow all day, but it helps to prevent knee injuries commonly seen in skiers such as ACL and MCL tears”.


Snowboarder-specific training

“Snowboarders need a strong lower body but will have more upper body focus,” Ray continues. “Falls can impact wrists and collarbones, so exercises to strengthen the core will help with balance to prevent falls and overhead presses, box squats, and plyometric work are essential.”


3 Tips for getting yourself through a tough workout.

Getting through a tough workout is all about preparing yourself for those challenging workouts ahead.

  1. Hydration and calorie-dense foods the night before.
  2. Your mind is the first thing that will give, remain focused on something that brings a smile to your face.
  3. Don’t stop!


Looking for more beginner-friendly training?


This higher-intensity, more advanced training isn’t the only coaching that Ray offers and whether you’re looking to shift your body composition, change your physical appearance, fat loss or muscle gain, Ray can help you get there.


Interested in training with Ray? 

Book in a free PT session here.

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