When you read about Justin Wessels, it’s hard not to feel intimidated—Aviation firefighter with Airservices Australia, 2017 NABBA Masters Mr Universe champion, 2017 Mr Universe, 2x Mr World and 8x National Champion personal trainer, and brand new dad. But meet him in person and you’ll be blown away by his humble nature and positivity. He’s an all-round good guy with an international bodybuilding career spanning more than 20 years. Over the years, Justin has been a proud pro-athlete and fast became a valued part of the Gen-Tec Nutrition family, including forging an unshakable friendship with our founder, Nick Jones. So we thought we would take a few minutes to touch base with Justin to see what he’s been up to, what he’s doing to stay in shape and how he’s managing to balance family, work, life and training during COVID-19 quarantine.
Gen-Tec Nutrition: Justin, thanks for giving us some of your precious time. Let’s get right down to it. This coronavirus and isolating...how are you managing to stay sane?
Justin:I am a routine based person—with my job, with my bodybuilding, with my nutrition, with my lifestyle. Everything has an order, a day, a time. For me that works. Implementing and maintaining routine during the isolation is vitally important. And I’ve avoided watching the news. Limiting your exposure to the daily bombardment will do wonders for your head space.
Gen-Tec Nutrition: You’re very disciplined with your training and eating habits. What advice would you have for people who are struggling to stay on track with the coronavirus crisis?
Justin: Have a daily routine. With our newborn son Jesse, life has certainly changed. I still have routine, but the best laid plans can go out the window with a baby, so the ability to be flexible whilst staying positive, is my strategy for managing training, lifestyle and baby.
Life is precious and too short, so it’s important to take the time to appreciate your loved ones. I’m enjoying the time I spend with my family. Of course, staying in touch with friends and extended family is important too and video calls as a family are a great way for everyone to see each other and chat.
Eat nutritious and healthy meals. It makes sense to me whilst we are locked down in a pandemic crisis to be as physically fit and healthy as possible to negate or reduce your chance of illness. The same with supplementation. There are some great supplements that contribute to boosting your immune system to assist with this. It is wasted energy worrying about what others are doing, that’s beyond your control. Focus your attention on yourself - that is something you have direct control over.
Gen-Tec Nutrition: What does a day in the life of Justin Wessels look like?
Justin:My days off versus days at work vary in structure. On a day off in the morning is a fast walk with the dog. Breakfast and family time upon return. Generally another walk with Amy and bub followed by more family time.
After lunch I perform the crèche duties so Amy can train (a combination of core work, flexibility and stretching work, bodyweight activities, and some barbell and dumbbell exercises for her). In the afternoon, I will have a light train utilising the barbell and dumbbells I have at home.
I will restrict home workouts to 2 x sessions a week, usually smaller body parts like arms and shoulders, so I can support Amy as much as possible with Jesse. Evenings are generally reserved for more family time, and I will usually organise dinner.
I work 24-hour shifts at the airport as an Aviation Fire Fighter. Sydney Airport currently is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Normally it’s a hive of activity with nearly 45 million passengers flying through last year. I saw a statistic recently with the lockdowns in place indicating traffic is down 97%. Crazy!
I do 2 x 24-hour shifts per week and work is all about structure and routine. Whilst on shift for a 24-hour period of time, you need to manage all aspects of a 24-hour day. Inspections, maintenance, administration, workload (which in an emergency service role is unpredictable), conflict resolution, people (staff) management, all the while maintaining an operational focus and the readiness to respond to any incident or emergency. There are also the human factors built into a shift of that length – meal times, fatigue management, stress management, recline periods, physical activity.
During my shift I will train twice each shift (4 sessions per week). Usually 4.00pm and 5.30am. We have a small gym at the fire station. I will train my larger body parts there – back, legs, chest, core. My training regime has definitely changed with the lockdowns in place, I still manage 5-6 sessions in total per week to make the most out of what is available.
Gen-Tec Nutrition: Justin Wessels, thanks so much for spending five minutes with us. You can stay up to date with what Justin is up to on his socials, and also follow his beautiful partner Amy Fox at @myposingcoach.
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