We are so excited to be collaborating with Simon Ata on our Carbon Fiber and "Aggressive Red" accent shorts.
Pics of Simon in our Carbon Fiber collab coming soon... in the meantime, here is Simon in our Black Palms Shorts:
A native of Australia, Simon’s thriving fitness career as a trainer, educator and author just gets stronger every day – like the Simonster himself! We sat down with Simon to talk about his story, his philosophy and the new collaboration with Eagle Rock WERKSHOP®.
Your website describes a fascinating background in “martial arts, circus and breakdance." How does that unique combination of skills and experience enhance your personal fitness methodology, and how does that apply to training your clients?
My initial discipline was gymnastics, which has a very rigid, structured style. I enjoyed gymnastics, but after a year or so of training, I found a breakdancing class and much preferred the flexible nature of learning and training, rather than learning from a syllabus. Circus similarly showed me a discipline with freedom to be creative, but the importance of a sound technique was very salient when watching high-level athletes/artists. Martial arts, particularly jiu-jitsu, taught me the importance of applying concepts and principles, and adapting to individual situations. It also taught me the importance of questioning principles, ensuring they are founded and effectual, rather than relying on dogma. If you've ever rolled or sparred with an experienced grappler, it's quickly obvious how effective their techniques are. I think this experience is reflected in my style of teaching and training. I try to ensure my teachings are founded, effective, and based on reason rather than simply teaching skills the way I was taught. I often question if there is a better method, and reflect on why things are done a certain way. It has also helped me to keep my coaching highly individualized, realizing that each person has different goals and characteristics.
Folks appreciate human stories from experts like you about the ups and downs of a career in the fitness industry. Can you describe something challenging that has happened along your journey?
Many people can probably relate to my experience with injuries. I'm often asked if I've had a serious injury given the skills I use and how long I've been doing them. Injuries can be frightening, depressing and discouraging, and I've had my fair share, including a shoulder reconstruction and a knee surgery. Injuries take their toll both mentally and physically, and it can be difficult to keep a sound state of mind while you're recovering. At the time of my shoulder reconstruction, I was miserable and questioning whether I'd ever perform calisthenics or breakdancing at a high level again. Eight weeks after the surgery, I couldn't lift my arm over my head due to weakness, and I had a lengthy and uncertain rehab ahead of me. The recovery was frustrating, but from this experience and similar ones, I’ve learned how important it is to stay optimistic, keep yourself busy, and frame the situation in a positive manner, reflecting on what else you can work on during this time.
How about something triumphant - where you accomplished a difficult goal or a client's journey you were particularly proud of?
I think recovering from the shoulder surgery and going on to achieve skills I couldn't do previously, such as a clapping planche pushup, was a triumphant moment. It's also gratifying to watch clients progress with their own training. One that comes to mind is an Aussie client named Kyle who made tremendous progress with his human flag in a very short period of time.
Describe your health and fitness philosophy in three words.
Positive. Open. Receptive.
What is one bit of advice you would give to someone just starting a fitness/wellness journey?
Cherish small victories. It can be discouraging to have only long-term goals with no milestones to achieve in the interim. Small objective goals can keep you motivated and give direction on the way to the end goal.
What sets your WERKSHOP shorts apart from other fitness/workout gear you've used? Is there anything special about your collab?
The founder Tina is a really kind and caring person, that's something pretty cool about Werkshop. Regarding the shorts, they're stretchy, comfortable, dry quickly, with deep pockets so belongings don't fall out. The collab design and color scheme was intended to be simple but aggressive, which I hope reflects my style of training and performance.
What does the future hold for Simon?
Hopefully more tutorials, eBooks, and workshops allowing me to share my knowledge, skills, and methods with the world.
Stay in touch with Simon: