Incredibly selfless, Ashby rose to fame in Australia this year following a successful campaign on TV juggernaut The Voice, and has since used his profile to inspire and better the lives of others.
Having already found musical fame in his native homeland of New Zealand as a member of X Factor-formed band Moorhouse, Brock is focused on ‘transforming bodies and changing lives’. Motivation, commitment and passion underpin every task Ashby tackles, musical or physical, and the results for both himself and his clients are evident.
The busiest man in fitness took the time to answer some of MH’s burning questions about building a body (and empire) to be proud of. Take note lads, Ashby is clearly a man in the know.
MH: What set you off on your fitness journey?
BA: Sport. I played 6 sports growing up, all at representative level. Touch Rugby, Rugby Union, Rugby League, Volleyball, Softball and Athletics. If I wasn’t at training after schools, my dad and I would go down to the park and practice until it was too dark to see the ball anymore. I fell in love with leading the team (often being put in charge as captain) and the challenge of becoming the best player I could be. As I grew older, that lead me to the weights room where I became addicted. 95% of my lunchtimes from the age of 14-18 were spent in the gym working out. It had nothing to with looking good but everything to do with seeing how far I could push my body.
What is your ‘why’?
To inspire and motivate people to be the best version of themselves, regardless of any hardship they have been through or are going through. Hardship can be used as motivation, not an excuse! I lost my mum at 12 years old to pancreatic cancer… but does that stop me? NO! Does that drive me? YES!
I want to leave a legacy of health, wellness, hard work and success. I want people to remember me for the positivity I put in to the world with nothing expected in return but genuine happiness for others and for them to be the best person they can.
What are the biggest hurdles you’ve faced on your journey?
My mothers death. She was so connected into my sport life, I felt like I didn’t want to commit to sport without her. She was my number one fan. I’ll never forget how she would bring MILO, iced buns and bacon & egg pie to my tournaments. When I lost her, my sporting career wasn’t the same. At the age of 12, I had to grow up very fast and now I understand it has made me into the mature man I am today. I am grateful for it. It taught me the value of life. When you know what it’s like to lose life, you know what it’s like to truly live life.
What are the biggest problems you see in the fitness industry, and how do you hope to change them?
Lack of education. There are too many opinions and not enough facts. I have seen to many “fitness experts” step outside of their expertise and give advice out of ego or financial benefit, as opposed to giving advice that is backed by science. I will only give advice that I know is backed by science and that I have studied as a professional in the fitness industry. Sure, this is my passion but that doesn’t mean I should give advice out of passion. People that ask for fitness advice will take my word for the bible so they deserve to know the truth, and it's my role as a body transformation coach to share that. I will change the industry client by client, follower by follower by only giving advice that I know is backed by science.
Talking the talk. Too many times, I have seen fitness personalities, coaches or role models communicate a lifestyle of health, wellness and positivity but live a life that is different to what they share to others. Professionals in the industry should understand WHY they are in the fitness industry and be honest with what they fuel there body with and ensure their lifestyle mirrors what they preach. I will lead the industry by only preaching what I live. I can preach no drugs, no alcohol and no negativity because that’s what I live!
Too much emphasis on the body, not on the mind. The body truly transforms happens when the mind transforms. If we place more emphasis on equipping yourself with the right mindset to transform I believe there will be more long term life changes for people wanting to make a big difference in their life. Tools such as finding your “why” to what you’re trying to achieve, forgetting fear of failure, becoming the best version of yourself and using hardship as motivation are just as important as the macros you eat, the program you train and the amount of sleep you have. I will change the industry by being more vocal about the mindset behind a transformation.
What are your top tips for clients who say they struggle to find time to work out?
Discover your WHY. Once you know why you are working out, it is easier to find time to work out. I’m not talking about getting a 6 pack for summer, I’m talking about being a role model to your unhealthy husband, being healthy enough to play with your kids, being able to walk upstairs without getting out of breath, avoiding diabetes or being the best version of yourself. Once you find that something to train for, you’ll make time to work out. The deeper the reason, the bigger the commitment, the more you will prioritise your training.
Take your TIME seriously. One thing every human has in common is the amount of time in the day he, or she, has. How we spend it dictates the outcome of our life. If you want to find time to workout, do that as opposed to scrolling aimlessly on Insta, watching videos on Facebook or on the couch watching The Batchelor. When you lay in bed at night, will you be happy that you wasted time on your phone or that set aside time for yourself to make you healthier? Time is one thing in this world we can never get back.
Make it SOCIAL. If you struggle to find time to work out, find someone to work out with. We are social creatures and will be more likely to associate fun with working out, if we do it with someone. This is a massive necessity because one of the main motivational drivers for humans is pleasure. Therefore if you find pleasure when you work out, you will be more likely to prioritise time to workout as it is simply, fun.
What does a week of training look like for you?
7 opportunities to push my body beyond it’s limits. I set aside 60-90mins daily to train…. HARD. I hit every plane of movement once per week and spend Sunday working on what my body needs. A typical week looks like this:
Monday - Horizontal Push (Chest) and biceps
Tuesday - Vertical Pull (Lat focused back) and triceps
Wednesday - Hip Dominant (Glute + Ham focused lower body) and abs
Thursday - Vertical Push (Shoulders) and biceps
Friday - Horizontal Pull (Rhomboid focused back) and triceps
Saturday - Knee Dominant (Quad focused lower body) and abs
Sunday - whatever I need
Working out is much more than working out for me. The disciplines of training have a ripple effect into my professional life, relationships and mindset.
What does a day on a plate look like?
4,500 calories… A LOT OF FOOD. I follow a set of macronutrients customised to my goals and my body. Currently I’m at 700g carbs, 200g protein and 100g fat. I call this goal-specific eating. Majority of my diet (62%) comes from carbs because I’m so active. Most of it is rice, pasta and wraps and just to break the biggest myth in the fitness industry; I eat most of my carbs when the sun goes down. I eat organic, unprocessed, grass fed and hormone free, whole foods as much as possible but once or twice a week find myself at Messina with a 0.5L tub all to myself…
I don’t believe in clean/dirty/healthy/unhealthy foods. I believe in goal-specific eating.
Music or fitness?
Both. When I first started it was very simple… Music was therapy and fitness was a release. They make me who I am and I would never change that. They both allow me to inspire and motivate people to be the best version of themselves, regardless of any hardship they have been through or are going through. As long as I know “WHY” i’m doing what I’m doing, I don’t mind if its music, fitness, life coaching or motivational speaking!