Testimonials

Matthew Dawson

Prior to starting with Upfront I had battled being overweight at times and feeling pretty weak and small. I could drop the weight (for a short time) but I just looked frail, not lean or fit like I wanted to. Starting out, I wasn’t sure if strength training was really for me, I couldn’t picture myself muscular or strong at all. I thought training in a garage would be unprofessional but nothing could be further from the truth. The attention to detail was huge and I learnt something every time I went to train. Quickly it became my gym and the private setting made it all the more comfortable.

With Upfront I was shocked at what I was able to achieve in my first 6 months. I went from being in pain trying to get under the bar, struggling to squat 17.5kg, to squatting 150kg for my first 1RM session. The biggest changes probably came to my lifestyle. I was able to train around aches and pains, a busy work schedule and my personal life. Upfront has taught me discipline and how to plan and predict what food I am going to eat to reach specific goals and it was done in such a way to meet my needs as an individual and at my pace. It sounds odd but gaining the tenacity to throw yourself at that barbell each week translated into other parts of my life and career in ways I truly didn’t expect.

Upfront lives up to its name; it’s Upfront, there is no gimmick, there is no magic formula. Ryan’s approach is key: lasting lifestyle change, taking each client as they are and working with their strengths and through their weaknesses. The thing I appreciated most was the genuine attitude. I never felt looked down on; Ryan was always compassionate, honest and understanding.

So far my greatest highlights have been my first 1RM session where I was able to achieve things I never thought I could. Watching my body change during our first 12 week cut and how much I learnt about training and food. I’m now the lightest I’ve been in years but damn do I look and feel a hell of a lot better. My mindset is also a lot better compared to how it used to be. I used to start a diet and be excited for where I would be 8 weeks from day one. Now I’m excited to see what a year of training and nutrition will look like because I know I’ll still be doing it. My confidence is through the roof! I’m now the ‘strong guy’ in the group, I am comfortable taking my shirt off at the beach, and I can easily pick my girlfriend up and feel strong.

I would definitely recommend Upfront to friends and family. The training alone is one thing, but the relationship you build with the trainer is something else. Ryan wants the best for you every session. Feeling good? Let’s pump it! Having an off day, sick or injured? No worries he can work around it or refer you to someone else who can. Do you have a bad back? Chat to Upfront. Weight loss? Chat to Upfront. Want to get bigger, learner, stronger and leave bad habits behind that don’t produce lasting results? You really better chat with Upfront.


Rebecca Holt

I really have to thank Upfront for helping me with some serious body image issues. Before starting with Ryan I spent much of my life being dissatisfied with how I looked. After gaining some weight during pregnancy I had stuck to a rigid calorie deficient diet and strictly cardio for my exercise in an attempt to get the body I wanted. It wasn’t working and I felt like I was spinning my wheels. I also knew that my mindset of “must be skinny” wasn’t right but I needed someone to help me change how I was thinking.

I was recommended to Upfront by my boyfriend after seeing the progress he was making. The home business was actually quite comforting because of the privacy and everything felt really down to earth. Ryan made me feel very welcome and from the start made it clear he was devoted to his clients achieving their results. I began with Upfront in Dec 2018 and so far I have lost 8cm from around my waist and 5cm from my hip; both are areas I have never been happy with. Beyond the physical improvements I think the psychological ones have been just as important. Ryan has helped me shift my mentality from needing to be really thin, to focusing a bit more on being stronger and more muscular in general, which has been really refreshing.

My view of my body is way better and I am constantly learning more about nutrition and training. The way it’s all been delivered so far has been easy to follow and enjoyable. This has really been a long battle since I was a teenager so it’s nice to have someone who is understanding and willing to work with me at my pace in order to make these adjustments last long term.

I’d really recommend Upfront to friends and family without hesitation. Anyone wanting someone down to earth, willing to work with you to achieve any goal you may have (weight loss, strength increases etc) should have no hesitations contacting Ryan. It has been an absolute pleasure embarking on my fitness journey with him and am looking to the progress I know I will make in the months and years to come. 



Ross Kilpatrick

I had known Ryan from Upfront Fitness for a while before I decided to start training. It was after I saw his own improvements and that of some of his clients that I thought he could help me with some of my goals. I really wanted to improve my appearance and put on some muscle and general strength overall. Over the last few years the only thing I noticed growing was my gut and I really wasn’t happy with this. Initially I was hesitant given the fact the business was still a start up and had relatively little experience at the time. I felt the garage setting could be aesthetically improved but was genuinely impressed with the effort that had gone into the equipment and the set up itself.

So far I have gained 6kg and reached my weight goal. This is certainly not the finish line; I want to spend this winter putting on as much muscle as I can before I cut back for the warmer months. Even without worrying too much about getting lean right now, I can still see noticeable differences in my appearance and it’s been really encouraging. My overall strength has gone up substantially since I started, which has also been very rewarding.

I think Upfront is set apart by Ryan the trainer. As I said the business may be in startup but Ryan’s passion for his clients really stands out. He openly shares everything he knows to make sure you know what’s going on at all times and will go out of his way to have a chat on the phone if you need clarification on anything. The biggest rewards so far have definitely been looking back and seeing the progress of my squat.

I think Upfront is really well suited to busy professionals who spend long times behind desks or travelling (as is my case). Anyone who isn’t looking to run a huge marathon should really consider doing some serious strength training with Upfront.



Joshua Phipps


For the last 20 years I have been overweight and haven’t been happy about it. As of January 2018 I decided I wanted to drop 15kgs but stalled at about the 6kg mark and couldn’t seem to get it to drop any further. Being a local business owner myself I thought I’d give Ryan from Upfront a go and found I really liked the privacy and relaxed atmosphere of his home gym. The best part about the 1:1 home sessions is the amount of attention to detail. No distractions, no unwanted noise, there is 100% focus on the client all the time and that’s what’s helped my drop nearly 4kgs in the last 4 week block we did together, plus 5cm from around my waist. I am really starting to notice the difference, fit into more clothes and feeling so much better.

The biggest milestones that have stood out so far are, again, the weight loss, but also the cardio and the strength. I try to do my cardio roughly 3 times per week and initially it was a very light walk as that’s all I could tolerate. Now I can continuously jog for about 30 minutes and usually average about 5km. On top of that I can now deadlift 100kgs when at one stage I was too fatigued to do multiple reps for 50kgs. Lastly, squatting; this has been a huge challenge. My first few weeks I could barely get under the bar I was that tight and sore, becoming out of breath squatting less than 20kgs but now I do multiple sets in the high 50’s and low 60’s which is huge.

My confidence is up and I am feeling great. I would definitely recommend Upfront to friends and family, to anyone wanting to make this kind of change in their life. I’ve learnt how important strength and conditioning is to everyone and for this Ryan is your man. He works at your pace with some pushing when necessary. He has a way of phrasing things that makes you want to push yourself harder and get the best out of yourself.


Josh Pullin

Before Upfront I had chronic low back pain. Any time I stood for extended periods or tried lifting certain things at work, I found myself in pain or very easily fatigued. At one point I began seeing a specialist (which was quite expensive) but after a number of scans and being told ‘looks good so far’ I was still in pain. My brother told me his low back pain had really improved since he spent a few months training with Upfront and that really encouraged me to try it. I was hesitant at first because I didn’t know if it would help and was worried lifting weights would actually make it worse. However after one week of training I noticed less back pain and my whole body felt better than it had in the months before. At that time I decided to commit to a 3 month block and it was worth every cent because 5 months later things have only continued to improve.

I’ve achieved far more than I initially thought I would after only 5 months. So far I have reached a 110kg squat and deadlift as well as a 67.5kg bench press which for me are amazing results. More than that I have much less back pain, if any at all, I am able to lift things at work and perform my duties and daily tasks without any issue. I’ve also gained an appreciation for the power of consistency, self discipline, time management and giving my eating consideration. I still eat the things I enjoy but I am aware of how to fit them in without compromising my progress and my goals. Upfront is more than just the weights, it’s had a positive impact on my entire lifestyle and Ryan’s approach made the whole experience comfortable and everything was well explained.

The gym is really well equipped and because it’s a private space I could have my own music, had access to every piece of equipment without waiting and that helped me feel pumped. All together this really helped me to look forward to and enjoy training each week. I cannot stress enough Ryans 100% commitment to seeing his clients succeed and helping them reach their goals. I’d absolutely recommend Upfront to friends and family because of the obvious value in resistance training and Upfront’s approach. Back pain especially was an big thing for me, but strengthening any part of your body I believe will help you with your job, life, daily tasks, whatever! I feel much better and I want others to feel that too.  


Briana Araujo-Tough

When starting I was really dissatisfied with my lack of exercise and motivation to exercise. I knew that I should, but I also didn’t know the best way to exercise to meet my goals. I knew the benefits of strength training and its impact on long term health, but not knowing where to start I needed guidance. I was worried it would take me a long time to learn even the basics and about how much it would cost. To my surprise Ryan kept things really simple and easy to pick up for a beginner, only making things more complex when I was ready for them.

Weight has come off slowly and it’s been really motivating to see the weight actually staying off rather than spiking up and down. I feel really comfortable with all my lifts, I’ve noticed aesthetic improvements in muscle tone (something I am still working on!) and I’ve lifted weights much heavier than I expected.

I expected that I would care more about the weight loss than anything else, but as time goes on and you feel and see the benefits of strength training you realize aesthetics matter less and less and you just start enjoying the process and health benefits more. I also used to get occasional back pain and was worried I wouldn’t be able to lift because of my back, but as time went on and I got stronger I’ve noticed I hardly ever get back pain now and can sit up straight for longer. Pretty cool!

After starting with Upfront I started going to the gym by myself for the first time. Ryan prepared me really well for this, so I felt confident to do everything in my program. It’s still a bit daunting for me to gym by myself and I do prefer going with others. But I never would have had the bit of confidence I do have without the practice and privacy of Upfront’s gym first.

Having a very busy schedule makes it hard sometimes to stick to my nutrition and program as designed. But Ryan has not been judgmental or pushy, rather he has listened in order to understand my personal lifestyle and encouraged me to work around it. Ryan has tailored my programs and has motivated me in different ways according to my own personal busyness. It has been so helpful! If it wasn’t for this I probably would have given up a while ago. 

Upfront is such a great service to learn how to make healthy lifestyle changes and be accountable in sticking with your goals. The privacy, being taught proper technique, lack of judgment and personalization of the programs really makes Upfront unique and beneficial to anyone!



John Croall

Before starting with Upfront Fitness I’d had some chronic back pain for over 10 years. More recently due to my work as a concreter I often  end my days with intense pain and stiffness which frequently leave me unable to walk upright and  perform day to day tasks post work. On top of this, I’ve also had reasonably low self-esteem with the way  I perceive my body and how I felt others saw me. I wanted to feel confident in myself and the way I looked.

The financial outlay quickly became worth it after I started seeing the benefits and value of training with Upfront. I was concerned I would be hindered by my home gym in a half single garage, but Ryan was able to tailor everything to suit my needs. I sometimes  work a very mismatched scheduled, not ever knowing when I may finish work, whether it be 11am or 8 pm at night with little notice. Ryan and Upfront has be so understanding, allowing me to be more flexible with my training times and fitting me in at times where it suits both parties.

 I have achieved more than I could have hoped for since starting at upfront. After only 3 months I was confidently posting a topless progress photo on social media and feeling good about what I looked like.

My back pain has reduced dramatically, enabling me to no longer need daily pain medication and has also given me the ability and energy to not only move around the house after a full day of work, but even to come home and do renovations on my house. This in great part is due to the increase of my strength and mobility which has made my work life considerably easier and much less draining.

Through Upfront I have learned so much about how the body works and how much I had misunderstood nutrition. The few simple changes Ryan gave me made my mealtimes so much more enjoyable and fulfilling.

Upfront excels at being accessible, whether you need help with motivation, have a question about nutrition or if you need your form checked out, Ryan is only ever a quick message away and is very responsive.

As someone who was recommended to Upfront by a friend I have to endorse it too. I am always recommending Upfront whenever I’m chatting with someone about weight loss, muscles gain or help with general aches and pains after what Upfront has done for me.  


Jasmine Jansen

I came to Upfront dissatisfied with three things about myself:

  1. not having a sustainable diet,
  2. not knowing what to do in the gym,
  3. and not being able to control my weight.

I have experienced a lot of yo-yo dieting and never really had a clear idea of what I was doing in the gym or where I was going. This all lead to a lack of motivation which only made everything worse.

I’ve tried other personal trainers who all meant well, but never went into as much depth or scope as Upfront Fitness. I was given programs that were never explained, didn’t make sense or just felt meaningless. I was shown how many carbs, fats and protein I was supposed to have but then never taught how to use that information.  

Ryan has taught me how to track food properly, and helped me to be a better understand the content of the food in front of me, no matter what I am eating. This has helped immensely with how I view food, I have a greater understanding of how portions work, I know there is no such thing as good and bad food and I finally feel like I have a sustainable approach to my food and gym routine. It really stands out to me for the most part, how easy and routine food and gym have become, I started in March and have been almost perfectly consistent since.

One of my fears was that doing resistance training would make me get really big and bulky and I didn’t understand how Upfront’s approach would help me lose weight and look how I wanted. I thought I wouldn’t enjoy non-cardio based exercise and was afraid I’d be made to do things I didn’t like.

As it turns out, Upfront has helped me to fall in love with lifting and I love feeling strong. I’ve learnt how diverse weight lifting is and how it can be used in different ways to reach your goals; whether they be toning, gaining weight, maintaining weight, losing weight, whatever. I’m certainly not scared of being a bulky woman anymore; I think this is the best I’ve looked.

Upfront fitness is truly set apart by how much Ryan wants you to achieve your goals. Ryan doesn’t mess around. When you come to him he equips you in all aspects of your life to have better health outcomes. He doesn’t just see you once a week and not care about you for the rest of the week. He wants to see you succeed in all aspects of your life: sleep, routine, food, dealing with stress, mental health etc.

I highly recommend Upfront Fitness to friends and family, in fact, I already have!


Laura Pullin

This was my second time working with Upfront after taking some time off. I came back because I was dissatisfied with my commitment to working out and I wanted to make exercise a bigger part of my life and actually enjoy it. I also hoped Upfront could help me with a hip condition that leaves me stiff and in a lot pain from just walking more than an hour.

I was really concerned my hips wouldn’t cope and that I wouldn’t be able to train properly. I also wasn’t sure if I could commit to hitting the gym 3 days a week like I wanted to. To Ryan’s credit, he dedicated a lot of time and even a good sum of money for a private consultation with a specialist from the US to discuss my hip and to make sure training would be safe and beneficial for me. This really helped shaped my training and I’ve been able to achieve above and beyond my initial goals.

My first goal was to walk at an incline for over an hour because of a holiday coming up. After about 6 weeks of training with Ryan I went on that holiday and sent him videos of me running up and down mountain paths in Tasmania (and that’s after about 5 hours of hiking)!

I am now able to squat again with increasing weight without the fear or experience of pain. I’ve been going to the gym more often than ever and I’m genuinely enjoying it. I didn’t expect to be this driven but now I am!

Upfront is set apart by tailoring everything to suit me as an individual. This experience is far better than other gyms and PT’s I’ve been with. Ryan is constantly trying to educate and equip me with the skills to be as independent as possible, always explaining why he makes the choices he does with my programming.I would definitely recommend Upfront to friends and family.


Scott Perrin

Before I started with Upfront Fitness, I was 21, and weighed 60kg. I came to Upfront because I wanted to improve some of the things that I was dissatisfied with about myself. I’m quite a tall guy and thin, which has made the heavy lifting at work difficult, and finding clothes that sat well on me, a challenge. My physical health also needed some work, I get sick regularly, and even when I’m not I still don’t look healthy.

I wanted to change these things, but I was hesitant to commit to anything long term, being a Uni student with shift work. This was an area where Upfront really exceled for me. One of Ryan’s strengths as a trainer is his ability to help you make things work well. He’s very supportive and is great at motivating you to achieve and stay on top of your goals, and flexible enough to change things up when something isn’t working.

We spent a lot of time strategizing my training blocks, troubleshooting issues, talking nutrition, healthy living and organization, all the while working through the ups and downs of everyday life. Ryan doesn’t pretend to have any magical answers and is constantly working on improving his own knowledge to better help his clients, as a student, I really respected this attitude.

Since training with Upfront Fitness I have been able to reach a level that I am much happier with; I’ve put on weight, I fill out my clothes better, work tasks are easier and I am more motivated than ever to keep improving and to continue getting stronger. I can already squat, deadlift and bench above my bodyweight, and it has been so nice to have people comment that I am looking stronger and healthier.

So far, I’ve referred two friends and one family member to Upfront and all of them have seen progress. From my experience Ryan is excellent with beginners who have no clue what they are doing, he provides incentives and clear direction to ensure people can not only start living healthier but maintain it for the future.

See what Upfront Fitness can do for you!