Be the biggest winner
You probably remember “Commando” Steve Willis best from his role on The Biggest Loser, where he’d stomp around, normally wrapped in a tight black singlet and camouflage pants, angrily screaming at someone on his team to push that little bit harder on the treadmill. So it will probably come as a surprise to hear that, these days, TV’s fitness hard man is busy embracing his softer side, with Willis now more interested in the search for inner peace than he is in pushing reality-show contestants to breaking point.
The camouflage pants and black singlet are nowhere to be seen, either. In fact, the man you’d meet today couldn’t be further from the one who became a household name as the buff, brutal personal trainer.
These days, Willis said, inner strength is far more important than bulging biceps.
“Thich Nhat Hanh is this Zen Buddhist master and his approach, as I get older, I find I can really relate to it,” Willis said.
“He says we’ve usually got this goal, this place we want to be. But if right now isn’t enough for you, then when you get there, it won’t be enough either.
“So I’ve learnt to enjoy life, to have a better relationship with myself and other people, and just to be me.
“A lot of it was having kids — I knew I wanted to bring my children up in a different way to what I experienced.”
Despite his new-found outlook, Willis is still busy training and was this year named an ambassador for Coaching Zone. It’s just that these days the Commando mixes a bit more love with the lunges.
“You can absolutely be mindful while training,” he said. “You hear athletes talk about it all the time; how training is their meditation, their way to process things.
“And it’s no different for any of us. And it can add depth to the training and stop people quitting.
“That’s where a lot of people fall over in training — they have a goal that might be superficial, and that doesn’t carry much meaning and so it diminishes over time.
“Because most people want it yesterday, but it just doesn’t work like that.”
“Commando” Steve Willis has learnt the brain is the strongest muscle. Picture: Justin Lloyd