Trainer Profile – Marcus Burgess

Marcus Burgess – Muaythai Trainer and Founder of Heart Start Fitness


Now that he has returned to the gym from a little break to bring a son into the world, I got a chance catch up with Marcus, our very talented Muaythai Personal Trainer.


First of all, congratulations on the new addition to your family!! I’m glad you’ve still got brainpower to talk to me after the lack of sleep… how does it feel to be a dad?


It’s awesome! It’s an amazing feeling.


Ah no words, your smile says it all, I’ll move on… How long have you been training and fighting for?


I’ve been training in martial arts for 29 years; I started competing when I was 14 years old, and 2 or 3 years later I started training people. I retired from competition in 2004 – so about 20 years of competition in different disciplines, both Muaythai and Karate.


You’re very active in the Muaythai community here – between having your own business, starting a new family and working in security, you’re also a referee at most local contests. When did you start doing that?


I wanted to keep involved in the sport after I finished competing, and I started that in 2013.


What’s it like to watch a fight inside the ring?


It’s a different experience to watching it normally, you’re not really watching the fight even. There’s so much going on that you don’t really get to enjoy it as a spectator; you’re watching for technique, fouls, and the fighters’ safety. You have to be ready to jump in if a fighter needs protection; it’s almost like having a heightened awareness of what’s going on.


What’s the most memorable fight you’ve reffed?


Any of the big show main events – they’re the best experiences but the most nerve wracking. You have a lot of pressure to make sure you’ve done it correctly and you have to control your nerves so you don’t impact the fight at all – you can’t jump in too early, or stop a fight too quickly. The biggest fight I’ve reffed recently was between – Wanchana and Ghot at Coastal Warfare. They’re both incredibly talented fighters, and because they were both Thais representing their country’s sport in Australia, there was a bit of extra tension for one to come away the best.


That was a good fight, very cool that you got to be a part of that. So, what made you start Heart Start Fitness, and what is it?


The main reason was that I wanted to start using Muaythai as a personal training option to show people that you don’t have to be aggressive or have trained for years in the sport to love to do it. You can use Muaythai as a form of stress release, fitness, and – to a certain extent, so long as its structured correctly – for rehab as well.


Heart Start is where you can come to achieve things you never thought you’d be able to achieve, whether it be confidence in a sport field or your own personal goals. For me to get the best out of somebody, I have to know what goes on in their mind, what they want, and we get there together.



What can people expect if they train with you?


They can expect me to give them everything I’ve got. Whatever their goals are, I’m here to help them get there, pass their boundaries and achieve whatever it is they want to achieve. Heart Start is a Personal Training program with a mixture of Martial Arts and fitness – I try to incorporate a few things, Muaythai, Karate, and strength and conditioning.


And what do you do when you’re not here?


Spending time with the little fella now. My wife and I run together, keep fit and active together, and catch up with friends.


What have you learned about yourself from training other people? Have you changed much? 


I’ve learned a lot about how to communicate with a wide variety of people. They can be from all walks of life, no matter who they are and what they do, I’ve had to develop the ability to talk to them on different levels.


Did you ever struggle with that?


It was a little challenging in the early days, but about 10 or 12 years ago I started to realise that Personal Training is as much, if not more, about the psychological than the physical. It’s about figuring out what holds them back from being their best; there’s usually something going on in their head that’s stopping them, because everyone is physically capable of doing it.


Have you noticed a pattern in people?


For most people, crazily enough, it’s a fear of succeeding. They’re afraid of reaching their goal for some reason – usually a variety of reasons.


How do you get them through that?


Talking usually – asking about their past and what’s stopping them from committing to being happy. That’s what personal training is – anyone can give themselves a work out, but for most people that take on a personal trainer, there’s something that they need help to get past in order to achieve their goals.  A lot of times they don’t even know what it is until they start trying things.


I’ve had one guy in particular that’s been training for 7 years, and all he really wants is just some guy time to do guy stuff – it’s not about weight loss or personal bests, it’s just a great way to unwind and do man stuff. Everyone trains for a different reason, and I work with them to make it exactly what they want.


Any last words?


Just give it a go! Either Muaythai or personal training or both; we’ve all got something we want to achieve, and Muaythai is a perfect sport to help break down any barriers and get your goals. Whether it be physical or personal, we can get you there!



Come in to Urban Fight Gym any day of the week and meet the Crew! View Class Timetable here: http://www.urbanfightgym.com/classes/class-timetable/



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