Steve ‘Stoofa’ Lewry could never be accused of lacking motivation or enthusiasm for his life as a PT, coach and motivational speaker. His childhood nickname proved to be the ideal business name; as the brains and face behind Stoofa’s Fitness in Geelong, Victoria he has built his business over the last 15 years and has trained AFL footballers, elite athletes, school kids and thousands of Geelong locals who want to create a healthier lifestyle.
“I was a fitness coach in athletics when I started to realise I didn’t want to follow the ‘norm’ when it comes to health and fitness,” Stoofa said, “I wanted the space to think more creatively and come up with safe, functional, varied programs that are fun and deliver results.” His fitness programs all revolve around a sense of fun. “Over the course of my career, I’ve seen that if people are having fun, relationships form and improve much more quickly than when every workout is serious and intense.”
As Stoofa’s career has progressed, he has found another passion; mentoring young people. He combined his passion for fitness with the skills he’d developed through a counselling diploma to become part of the wellbeing team at a local school and built a program that helps students transition into the senior year levels. “Throughout my career, I’d seen how exercise changes mindsets in adults of all fitness levels and abilities and I believed that a similar approach could help kids navigate those tricky teen years. I call my approach EAT, which stands for energy, attitude and technique. If you can improve these areas in young people, you really can improve their mindset.”
Stoofa’s one piece of advice to PTs just starting out? Treat every client with the same level of respect and dedication. “I live by the principle of be interested, not interesting.This applies to Olympic athletes, AFL footballers, school kids, mums wanting to move more after having a baby, and anyone in the street who wants to improve their fitness. Everything in this business comes back to relationships. Everyone has the same goal – to improve. It’s your job to help them do that.”