Tuesday, 26 May 2020

The Ritual HQ Rising after COVID-19

Rising After COVID-19

We all know how much COVID-19 has impacted on our friends, families, businesses and jobs. But for many of us it has had an even bigger impact on something equally, if not more, important.

Our sweet, juicy gains.

Okay, maybe this is not as important as friends and family…but I guess that might depend on who you are.

Why is everyone staring at me?

Anyway, as we start to see some restrictions being eased, I thought this would be a good opportunity to shed some light on returning to the gym and getting back into routine so we can rebuild that muscle! And see our pals in the gym again!

So, here are 5 things you should consider when going back into the gym

1.     Don’t go super heavy and max out

I feel like this is obvious. However, it probably still needs to be said. If you have just been chipping away with your at-home HIIT classes or smashing those 5kg dumbbell and resistance band workouts (kudos for keeping that habit established!), the next resistance-based workout you do in the gym will be quite a shock to the system.

Because you haven’t been lifting with much intensity (if any at all), the reality is that you probably are not as strong as you were before you went into isolation. However, this doesn’t mean you are far from you were before. When you get back into the gym, get used to lifting again, get used to the movement patterns and start to slowly increase your volume and load over the next 3-6 weeks. Those gains will be back in no time.

Not sure where to start? Get your coach to help you start back up again.

If you are one of the lucky ones with a sweet set up at home and not much has changed for you, keep on keepin’ on.

2.     Set new goals

Maybe isolation got the better of your focus and discipline and you are not sure where to start or what you should be aiming for?

Spend some time on this. It might only take you a few minutes. Think about what your short-term and long-term goals look like as you re-enter the gym environment. Maybe nothing has changed and you’re still on track? Or maybe all the wine, beer and chocolate disappeared from the cupboard and now your belly enters a room before you do…no judgement here. Iso has been tough on all of us.

3.     Develop a new routine

We are creatures of habit, we thrive on routine and schedules and blah blah blah…you get the idea.

Schedule your weeks, put a plan in place. Get really, really clear on your outcomes. This will help you understand what you need to do each day and each week to achieve your goals. Start now. Don’t wait for your local gym to open before you start thinking about what days you’ll go and what you’ll do on those days.

Pre-plan, get prepared and set yourself up for success by being organised. This includes planning your food and nutrition as well.

Time to put down the Tuesday night beers and the Wednesday night burgers…this is sad for me as well :’(

Maybe you are still working from home and have the luxury to cook each meal. That’s awesome! However, make sure they are healthy meals, of course. If you find yourself picking at rubbish food because it is just there, make the effort to re-establish that pre-ISO food prep routine. Meal prep on Sundays, prep for the next day the night before. Whatever worked for you, get back into that routine.

Just do it.

4.     Plan an extra gym day (The Bro Day)

This is critical. I know what will happen in my gym community and if you are part of an awesome gym with an awesome culture, you will experience this as well!


I am predicting that the most common thing out of my mouth in the coming weeks won’t be “one more rep” or “don’t put that in your mouth” or “yes, you can replicate this in the bedroom”. It is going to be, “SHUT THE FUCK UP AND TRAIN”.

I know that we all haven’t seen each other for a while and it is going to be super exciting to see everybody again. But maybe just add an extra workout day in your schedule where you do some curls, some mobility, some curls, maybe use the cables, more curls and just chat away (while curling).

That way, your actual gym routine won’t be affected. You’re welcome!

5.     Don’t be a dick!

We must follow restrictions, that’s the reality. Phase 2 of this whole shit show means we can have up to 20 people in the gym. Now, I’m sure that Ritual HQ will not have an issue maxing out at 20. However, if we do, or if your gym does max out at 20, please work with us. Don’t crack the shits, remember that we have been closed for many weeks now and the last thing we need is your impatience.

Sort it out princess.  

Love you lots /T

Tyler Small
Head Strength and Nutrition Coach

Sunday, 24 May 2020

How finding your tribe can transform your life - by Lachlan Inch

Three years ago I hated my job, was so stressed that I would constantly forget what I wanted to say, had badly torn two hamstring playing football, and I was riding five years of chronic back pain due to herniated discs.

I was nearly debilitated by depression and anxiety.  

I won’t be as dramatic as to pretend I had a terrible life, but it certainly wasn’t enjoyable, or in any way fulfilling. It was boring, pointless and depressing. I had very little social life or friends, I had no discernable path or direction in my life and felt that being special or different was a bad thing.

I had a psychology degree which I had ultimately done nothing with. I had never deadlifted, could bench press 90kg and (terribly) squat 120kg, but I had never trained for strength because I had always felt like a small, weak person.

Today, I have a job I love, a team that I love and would consider each of them to be my friend. I am in the best physical shape of my life, and whilst I still battle with my mental health, it is a battle I win 99 days out of 100.

I occasionally struggle with back issues but I know how to manage them and they rarely impact my quality of life. I have never been a morning person but I roll out of bed at 4am every morning with purpose, and by the time I have had an hour to wake up, I am genuinely excited to see my first client at 5am.

I have been given, but also sought out, opportunities to further educate myself as a strength and powerlifting coach, which I have discovered a real passion (and I believe a talent) for. I know I have a purpose, role models, mentors and friends, things that I never thought were truly obtainable in a career and lifestyle.

And those lifts? I can now squat 190kg, bench 120kg and deadlift 210kg. I love pushing myself to improve every day but I don’t care how these number compare to anyone else other than the person I was three years ago. 

So what happened? Ritual HQ happened.

I met people who saw me, were interested in me, embraced me and cared about me. People who inspired me and made me discover my passion. With a psychology degree, I always held an innate desire to help people, but I thought my only route to this, particularly helping people with their mental heath, was as a psychologist.

It was not long after I joined as a member at RHQ that I latched on to the idea that I could become a coach and help people that way. I started my online certificates to become qualified. I now had some direction in life.

Having decided that my body was no longer up to the rigours of playing football, I was lacking a certain passion and competitive outlet in my life. I discovered powerlifting and for the first time, I actually had a purpose for training. So what else did I need? I needed to insert some desperation to make this dream a reality.

Two months before I finished my certificates, I quit my full-time job. I couldn’t take another day of stress. Two months of unemployment. I had never been without a job for this long.

I’ll be honest, when I envisioned working as a coach I always envisioned working at RHQ, but there were no guarantees so I set out applying for jobs everywhere. Fortunately the stars aligned, I was given an opportunity at RHQ and, with two months of financial commitments to catch up on, I had no choice but to hit the ground running and give this opportunity everything I had.

I finally felt I belonged somewhere, that Chantal and Tyler didn’t just want someone for a job, they wanted me for their family. This gave me the confidence to become the person and coach I am right now. To ask questions, to fail, to try again; to seek further education and not just be complacent with where I was but to always push to become better.

There are two things I believe strongly; the first is that no matter how good you are, there is always someone who is better. That means there is always more to be learnt, more people to ask and other ways to look at things. The second, I will share later.

It might seem serendipitous that I was the right person in the right place for these people to change my life. My walking into that gym was coincidence, yes; them changing people’s lives? Not even close.

After three years I have seen countless people enter our community and completely reshape their bodies, minds and lives. This isn’t a coincidence, it is the result of a team who give a crap about the people that walk in their door, fight for them relentlessly and connect with them as individuals to help them become the best version of themselves if they are willing to put in the work. I am now a part of that team and every day I get out of bed excited by the opportunity to help others the way they’ve helped me.

So, the second thing I strongly believe? You are only one choice, one meeting or one opportunity away from something that could change your life.

Lachlan Inch

Everton Hills Manager
Strength Coach
RHQ Family Member

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Coaching at Ritual HQ as an introvert - by Shaun Morris

Coaching at Ritual HQ as an introvert 

I’m an introvert - what a shock! As introverts we rely on energy to keep us going, we often spend time by ourselves recharging our batteries or spend time with people who are the polar opposites of us. For instance, we tend to get on with people who have large personalities that psych us up. When we come across our own kind, well...we often struggle to get on because, plain and simple, we’re so similar and are in need of our energetic counterparts. We need stimulating conversations to keep our minds active and we don’t care much for idle chat. 

Why introverts are different than extroverts (we’re better… just sayin’)

What makes us different from extroverts? We really appreciate our alone time, while our extroverted friends would rather be surrounded by people all day, every day. We couldn’t think of anything worse than being the centre of attention. Not extroverts, they love the spotlight. We often appear shy, reserved or stand-offish - your textbook example of an introvert *eye-roll*.

We can be as talkative and friendly as extroverts, but first you need to just take a couple of minutes (actually weeks, but it’s worth it) to get to know us. We’re deep thinkers. We prefer to be proactive and not reactive and often think out our responses, over choosing to say it how it is. As coaches, we really value one-on-one training, and can find working with large groups terrifying - I guess that’s why they made me groupFIT Manager to push me out of my comfort zone. 

An introvert as a coach in the fitness industry? Why? 

Being a coach was a way for me to help people work towards becoming the best versions of themselves, both mentally and physically. For me, it’s so rewarding to see my clients raise the bar, and build strength and endurance. As an introvert, I’ve always liked listening and observing over talking. So, having the opportunity to get to know my clients and bond with them is a top priority for me. It’s about taking those extra steps to be better at my craft, and at the same time, add value in each and every session. 

Dead car battery? Huh? 

Have you ever forgotten that you’ve left your car lights on and come back in the morning to discover that the car battery is flat? That’s what talking is like for us. It’s not that we hate people - we just need excitement. Giving a lot of energy throughout the day often leaves us feeling drained, and that’s why we need to pull out the jumper leads. We also have our bad weeks, where we lack the motivation ourselves, and would prefer to be away from people. It’s not anyone’s fault, and it’s not personal - it’s just who we are. 

We want our clients to be enthusiastic and excited to show up for our sessions. We really struggle to train someone that has shown up physically, but not emotionally to a session. Not that we aren’t willing to get you in a good mind frame to train (that’s what we here for), it’s just in our personality to slowly lose interest. How I’ve tried to push past this is noticing this behaviour in myself and in a client by taking the time to raise it with them and find out if there is anything I can do to help. The outcome is always positive and it really helps turn the session around.

Just like bartenders we too sometimes have to take on the role of counsellor - if it means we can get our clients to where they need to be. Although sometimes this is a part of my role, in my experience, being an introvert has helped me to be more present in conversations by listening to the client, but not taking on their stresses. Being able to empathise with one client and then move on to the next without taking on that person's worries is a really powerful personality trait. I think that’s awesome. 

Right now, we’re all living through a pandemic. For introverts, it’s a blessing to be sitting at home and having minimum human-to-human contact. If I’m being honest, I’m enjoying it. I still get to do what I’m passionate about, but behind a screen. It's somewhat a “safety blanket”, I’m facing less of the anxieties that I normally would standing in-person in front of a group of 10 to 15 people. In saying that, it will be good to be back at the gym challenging myself, which is another reason for being in this industry. 

Why I’m so fabulous...

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve recognised that being an introvert is a side of my personality and I’ve accepted it. I might not be as outgoing as some of my colleagues, but I’m tall, I have tattoos, glorious facial hair, great socks, and will be there to help you through the personal challenges you face when training. 

Shaun Morris – 
Strength Coach, Functional Strength Coach, groupFIT Manager, Powerlifting Team Manager and Member of the RHQ Leadership Team


(07) 3300 5551



0417 737 066



0409 698 473


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Brisbane Women In Business 2016 - Finalist

Ritual HQ locations

858 Waterworks Road
The Gap
Brisbane 4061, QLD.

6/35 Queens Road
Everton Hills
QLD 4053.

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