Wayne’s world a game- changer
HE might be better known as Mitchell’s dad these days but Wayne Pearce remains a legend of rugby league who changed the game both as a player and a coach.
Before any other player focused on physical fitness, diet and mental preparation, the former Tigers star undertook an obsessive approach to all three, backing it up with university studies in science and psychology.
“When I was 14, my dad died of a heart attack. He had three brothers who all died quite young too, and I thought ‘Well, if I don’t want to die young I better start learning about health and fitness’,” he said.
Pearce, the father of Roosters star Mitchell Pearce, read everything he could on the subject and it quickly started paying dividends in his rugby league career.
“When I came in I was average height and average weight in a game where everyone’s pretty big. I had to get an edge some way and mine was finding different and better ways to get fit.”
Like most former players, Pearce’s knees have taken a beating, so now he’s finding innovative low-impact ways to preserve his body and get the most of it long term. “I do a bit of paddling on my kayak surfski and I cycle and do a bit of boxing and stuff at the gym,” he said.
Pearce, 57, is a firm believer in the importance of diet.
“I’ve never been overweight and that’s because food for me is pretty much 80 per cent of the equation. I’ve always been huge on exercise too but I’m convinced that the bigger factor is what you put in your mouth,” he said.
“I just try to eat reasonably healthy. I eat as natural a diet as I can and stay away from sugar.
“I start the day with some rolled oats with a little bit of whey protein on top, and I eat quite regularly throughout the day and snack on fruit between meals.”
Wayne Pearce paddling at Balmoral. Picture: John Fotiadis
FOOD AND FITNESS WITH RUGBY LEAGUELEGEND ADAM MACDOUGALL