“Working with Stu I went from being afraid and never squatting to being less than 15kg away from my goal of being able to squat my bodyweight - and only 5kg away from my dream of hitting a 100kg deadlift.”
- Alicia R, Richmond
Before I started training with Stu I hated squatting. It never felt 'right' yet squats were the star of every single program I followed at the gym. After 1.5 years of avoiding them in favour of alternatives, I eventually realised that the only way to get good at squats is to squat...but I needed someone to coach my form.
Finding an expert I could trust, having to travel too far or pay too much were major factors for me to consider when I started searching. I quickly found The Squat Mechanic webpage which was informative and definitely gave me the impression that he was the squat expert. Fortunately for me, my boyfriend bought me my first set of sessions and it was a complete fluke that the expert also just happened to train in my hood.
Since I started training with Stu 8 months ago, I have much better form. I feel confident that Stu understands my physiology and makes corrections and suggestions that are right for ME and not just generic cues. He'll attend to something small again and again and again and is always thinking outside the box on how to improve my performance. I know that he's not simply there to watch me work out and keep me accountable - he's making me a better machine.
What keeps me training with Stu is the fact that he is absolutely the loveliest guy in any gym anywhere. He's not a bro, he's passionate and dedicated and I love that he's constantly seeking further education to improve his services. I feel attended to, cared about, and like he's rooting for me. He never berates me, always believes in me and gives me positive reinforcement.
For me, the benefit of training with Stu is the results we achieve and how supported I feel on the pursuit of my goals. Even though I'm focusing on weight loss at the moment my lifts are still improving every week. I went from never squatting at all to being less than 15kg away from my goal of being able to squat my bodyweight - and only 5kg away from my dream of hitting a 100kg deadlift. When I train with Stu he gives me all the tools I need to make those results achievable and this is something I could not do on my own, nor have I experienced with other trainers.
If you’re looking to go beyond a superficial interest in your fitness, are struggling like I was and want to deep dive into the minutiae of your performance then you’ll absolutely value Stu’s time the way I do and I’d push you through his door if I could.
"Not only did he improve my core and fitness he also eliminated the pain in my legs. I thought it would take major surgery to get this kind of result."
- Jason R, Richmond
My name is Jason. I've been training with Stu since April 2019, about three months before a trip I had planned to Italy. I reached out to Stu because I wanted to improve my fitness before the trip but I also didn't want to make things worse by injuring myself.
To be honest, I wasn't sure about signing up with a personal trainer as I had bad experiences in the past. I had been to personal trainers that would always push me to go harder before I was ready and I would end up getting injured, but I had heard that Stu had a way of locating the cause of pain and I knew I'd be doing a lot of walking on my trip to Italy so I decided to give him a go.
Before I started training with Stu I had constant pain in my legs, especially in my knees, that I thought I would have to live with for the rest of my life. I had a couple of operations on my left leg in the years before, and after the operations my fitness had deteriorated. I had been having regular visits to a physio after my operation and whilst they helped with managing my pain, it would always return days later.
Now thanks to Stu I am pain free and able to train without causing injury to myself. My core is stronger and with Stu I never felt like I was being pushed that hard but I could feel results. I had an amazing three week holiday in Italy, pain free and walking for hours everyday. No one told me that there would be so many steps in Italy. The Xmas beforehand I couldn't even walk up the staircase at my business without being in a lot of pain.
The best thing about working with Stu is that I feel like I have made a new friend. You can see that Stu cares about what he does and is focused on getting results. He gets more excited about the little victories I have than I do. Not only did he improve my core and fitness he also eliminated the pain in my legs. I thought it would take major surgery to get this kind of result.
If I had to recommend Stu to someone, or describe him and his approach I’d say that he has a special patience and understanding. In the beginning he takes his time to work out the best way to go forward with your training plan. You really notice the benefit to working this way as the weeks pass and you start to see results. You can see after spending only a little time with Stu that he is genuine and a good person.
“Aside from death or severe personal tragedy there was nothing that was going to deter me from working with Stu, and from the first day of my mentor program I was able to implement strategies and movement patterns with clients that helped them improve significantly after even one session"
- Skye W, Docklands
I have been learning from Stu on and off for about the last 18 months and in November 2018 I completed an intensive 3 month mentorship with him.
My goals were around learning and skill development. I wanted to build my confidence as a trainer through learning how to diagnose and identify faulty movement patterns, linking movements to anatomy and physiology, discussing specific client’s needs and unique presentations and exploring different exercises and movements and how they may or may not be appropriate for particular clients. Basically I wanted to become a better trainer for my clients.
I had just finished my cert iii/iv [Personal Training qualification] so was a little lost with how to proceed. The internet is overwhelming and there’s a lot of misinformation that can be spread. I needed someone I could trust to help me filter through all the noise. I knew Stu was going to be a major player in that role for me.
From the start I found Stu really accessible; he was friendly, empathic and approachable. His knowledge was amazing, and the way he explained what he knew made the information accessible too. The difference between Stu and other trainers that makes the difference for me I think, really comes down to one thing - regress to progress. Stu is not afraid to strip down the movement to it’s parts and make sure everything’s working properly before putting it back together. His approach is about quality of life and longevity, for everyone. This is for the general population as well as the trained athlete. His approach is about moving well everywhere, not just in the gym.
What really sold me on Stu we’re two words - “it depends”. These words can be frustrating as hell, but for me they are a symbol of everything that makes The Squat Mechanic Approach so special. They signify the individualised approach Stu takes to training his clients - no two people are the same so no two approaches should be exactly the same; the curiosity with which he approaches his work (every client has something to teach him) and his commitment to continued learning. He just won’t stop evolving! I’ve watched him grow and expand his knowledge so much over the short time I’ve known him, and generously share that journey with as many people as possible. It’s inspiring, and that’s the kind of trainer and person I want to be so it made sense to learn from Stu, because that’s exactly the kind of trainer and person that he is.
When I was making the decision to start training with Stu, I had to do some financial juggling which was made easy by the option to come on as exchange client and a flexible payment plan. Aside from death or severe personal tragedy there was nothing that was going to deter me from working with Stu, and from the first day of my mentor program with Stu I was able to implement strategies and movement patterns with clients that helped them improve significantly after even one session.
My confidence in my ability has been increasing steadily with every session with Stu and I’m looking at movement with more curiosity and discernment. Every time I learn something new it means I can help people more effectively. My clients walk away knowing a little bit more about themselves and what they are actually capable of doing, which brings out an amazing confidence and vibrancy in them! Being able to help facilitate a process by which people can get to know themselves better by paying attention to their bodies is just the nicest feeling. It fuels my drive to be better and makes the work I do incredibly rewarding and fulfilling.
“Within the first session Stu already made a huge difference to my technique, and the difference between the beginning of a session and the end of the session was remarkable. I felt like I developed at each session.”
- Fiona E, Brunswick
I first found out about Stu through my daughter who was completing cert 4 in fitness and Stu was one of her trainers. I had been training for a year with a body sculpting specialist and had completed in the ICN season A as a figure competitor but was having trouble developing my glutes, hamstrings and abs.
When making the decision to train with Stu there were a number of considerations that factored into my decision making, like the cost and working in with my existing training schedule, but within the first session Stu already made a huge difference to my technique as well as identifying problems with my mind and muscle connection and after working intensively with Stu for 9 weeks to identify the root cause, I am now in preparation for season B and can notice a considerable difference in my glutes and abs development.
Stu took videos of my technique during sessions and the difference between the beginning of a session and the end of the session was remarkable. I felt like I developed at each session. Stu is is genuinely passionate about what he does. He is wholly engaged in you and your performance the entire session and provides written notes and videos after each session.
The work Stu has done with me has improved my physique considerably within such a short period of time. I recommend him so highly, I couldn't be any more satisfied and I can't wait to be able to work with him again!
"Stu's eye for how the body works is 2nd to none. It amazes me each time. I joined for 3 months to learn what I needed and then realised I needed him for a lot longer. It has been a great journey so far and I wish I had done it sooner."
- Sheridan R, Richmond
My name is Sheridan, and I’ve been training with Stu for 10 months. I started training with Stu because I figured I had a lifetime of exercise ahead of me and wanted to learn how to do it properly and stop wasting my time at the gym. I also have a back injury and wanted to keep it strong
I settled on Stu because when moving to Richmond I looked for trainers around here and everyone was kinda hard core. I wanted someone caring, understanding a good communicator and who understood my needs without pushing me beyond my limits (not F45)
What sold me on him initially was his manner. He is focused on you, he works you well, but all at a pace your body can handle without not being able to walk for 2 days. He also didn't hammer me about nutrition.
Before I started training with Stu I had a 10-year old back injury that had improved, but would still flair up on occasions. I didn't know how to do exercises correctly, wanted to strengthen my core and wanted to see results from what I was doing. I had, had personal trainers for years and got short term results weight wise, but not strength wise. I would go to the gym and just push machines not really knowing what I was doing. I hated being told what to eat when it didn't work for me and I had trainers with minimal qualifications recommend exercises that would have made my back injury worse. Such trainers always seem to feel like you want to be pushed to your limits. I wanted to work smarter not harder!
Since working with Stu over the last 10 months my core is strengthening up. I can feel it switch on now. I haven't lost weight (not my aim) but I hold my body differently now so I look slimmer. I can do a gym workout in 30 mins and leave feeling like it was worth it. I have more self confidence and I like dressing up to go out. My husband and I went to Europe and walked everywhere with no pain. Oh... And I can squat parallel to the floor. Never in my life would I have thought I could do that. I do a pretty mean deadlift too if I say so myself.
The best thing about working with Stu has been meeting him! He is such a great guy with such an amazing background. His knowledge is outstanding, his dedication can only be admired and he makes it fun and informative. The information he shared will keep with me forever and help me going forward to live a long and healthy life.
If I were to describe Stu and his approach, I am not sure where to start. 1st off when you first meet him he is a really engaging guy who is open, friendly and just wants to teach and help as many people as possible. Such a breath of fresh air after all the trainers I had who were straight out of school. Who even I sometimes knew more than!
Stu is focused on you the whole time and finds the smallest things that are stopping you from performing at full capacity. His eye for how the body works is 2nd to none. It amazes me each time. I joined for 3 months to learn what I needed and then realised I needed him for a lot longer. It has been a great journey so far and I wish I had done it sooner.
Before I started working with Stu I had a lot of doubt as to whether I was going to be able to "make it" as a PT or whether I would just be another statistic. I honestly felt like a fraud, I didn't really have a black and white definition of whether or not what I was advocating and teaching was correct, ideal or going to actually get my clients results. Thanks to 8 months of mentorship with Stu my confidence has gone from 5/10 to 10/10.
- Tim C, Brunswick
I did 8 months of mentorship under Stu to improve my Personal Training skills. Deep diving into movement, rehabilitation exercises for dysfunction, biomechanics and integrating that with foundational strength training principles.
Before I started working with Stu I had a lot of doubt as to whether I was going to be able to "make it" as a PT or whether I would just be another statistic. I honestly felt like a fraud, I didn't really have a black and white definition of whether or not what I was advocating and teaching was correct, ideal or going to actually get my clients results.
At the time I had to heavily rely on YouTube videos where people would freely discuss concepts and ideas relating to programming, movement patterns (technique), cues etc. A lot of the questions that I had myself would end up not having been answered because it is quite difficult to find the things that you are looking for to practically apply.
So what sold me on Stu initially was having guidance whilst establishing myself as a personal trainer. The peace of mind of knowing that I am on the right track and if there was anything that came up that I wasn't sure about I was freely able to discuss any topic that I liked in depth.
As we continued our mentoring sessions with each session I would get new insights and learn how to improve on myself from Stu's experience and knowledge, and from the personal development that Stu would take on himself. It really gave me confidence that I was on the right track during a time where building confidence to be able to sell yourself is key.
Thanks to working with Stu my confidence has gone from 5/10 to 10/10. I get positive client feedback and by the end of my time with Stu I found myself being able to, time and time again, address any dysfunctions that people had. I developed an eye to be able to precisely improve movement patterns to get my clients better results, and I learnt how to effectively teach a lot of beginners how to move better, build body awareness and understand why we do certain things.
Before I started I had to overcome a few obstacles before I could say yes. Being fully committed to my personal and professional development, and learning to put my money where my mouth is - was something I had to come to terms with. Initially it seemed very expensive - the concept of paying a weekly % (his old payment model) to undertake personalised learning was very scary. But thanks to the first session I attended, the MASSIVE progress I continued to make and the results that I was able to provide and act upon, I continued to feel 100% confident that I had made the right decision
The best things about working with Stu were:
- Having someone to answer any client questions that I had no clue about
- Learning how to fine tune movement patterns
- Having another eye verify the quality of my own movement patterns
- Building confidence in my coaching ability
- Having someone to relate to about the struggles as a rent based PT
I couldn't recommend any mentoring or personal development program higher than Stu and the Squat Mechanic approach. Student mentality, passion for movement, passion for teaching. It really is a very methodical and fine-tuned lens of seeing something that is so fundamental to strength training - movement. Without good movement we could be strength training ourselves and our clients into injury (opposite to our goals as a trainer and their goals as clients). That's why after taking on mentorship under the SM approach, not only has my own confidence in training myself improved dramatically, but so has my ability to teach and feel confident in my VALUE as a Personal Trainer.
All newcomers who don't have a clue about what they are doing, who are itching with questions that have been left unanswered by any internet forum/YouTube video - this method is the place to be - to have a 360 understanding how to approach strength training in a sustainable fashion. To fast track your clients results. To just be the best Personal Trainer in your gym. You honestly won't regret this decision. Jump on board and you'll be amazed at how fast you can build your business with coaching from Stu.
“I initially sought someone like Stu out because for a number of years I had pain and postural issues. I’ve been training with Stu twice a week, and now, 4 months later I am for the most part, pain free!”
- Fowzia H, Campbellfield
That is extremely exciting to say aloud for someone who thought she'd always have pain. Not only am I pain free but my postural issues are so much better. I've had a reduction in my hip to waist ratio. I am now at the healthy range and I have dropped six kilos. My strength has increased significantly and I continue to train with higher and higher weight without fear of injury. That's because he instils that I train with proper form.
Every training session not only am I told what I should be doing but WHY I should be doing a movement a certain way and what it will help me with. I have gained a stronger, healthier body as well as the confidence to lift weight equal to or above my own.
The thing that sold me on Stu was a client testimonial I had come across a year back which led me to his Facebook page. In his posts he came across extremely informative. He was giving out information that most others would have just kept to themselves. The level of transparency and his honesty was what had me sold. To me, he seemed genuinely interested in helping people. There were a ton of golden nuggets he gave out in these posts regardless of whether anyone was training with him or not. That said a lot to me.
There were however, a few obstacles in my way initially - transport, money and time (it takes me a little over an hour to get to Richmond). But when you really want to make something happen, You do. I had already been saving for a car, so I bought one. I asked for an extra shift at work, saved some money and when I signed up, I was able to make my session time fit with my shift so I could go straight to work after and save some gas. Where there's a will … right!
I keep training with Stu because every time I train I know there will always be something new to take away from our sessions. In training with him I feel empowered in my ability to train safely with the right form in an encouraging and supportive environment. He has gone above and beyond in helping me be the pain free, strong person I am today.
I would recommend Stu to others beyond a shadow of a doubt! Stu is someone who is truly passionate about the work he does. Week after week he is able to guide me in not only setting goals but achieving them, even surpassing them as the weeks go by. I've literally been given the best quality care there is.
I came to Stu to figure out my postural issues but ended up getting so much more. Not only has he helped me with my posture and pain. He has sent to medical and nutritional experts to help treat me in other areas. I have lost kilos and centimetres and I'm still going. I am provided with life coaching from Lauren, who is exceptional at what she does. It has literally been such a pleasure. I have been so cared for and looked after. It is so worth it. I'm really glad I took the chance. Give him a try and see for yourself. You'll be glad you did!
“Stu's knowledge and the continual feedback has kept me progressing further and further. I always learn something new from him no matter how many times I attend workshops or training sessions.”
- Jess W, Yarraville
Hi, I'm Jessica Wolter and I have worked with Stu on and off since late 2016. Stu was one of my teachers at Sage Institute. After I completed my Diploma of Personal Training there I did some personal training with him and later attended the odd Q&A session and his Squat Mechanic Core 4 Workshops in Core, Squat, Deadlift and Push/Pull.
In the beginning, training with Stu was the most effective way I could learn and understand more about the body, how it moves efficiently, how it best responds to different ways of training, how fueling affects your training and mindset. Being able to directly apply it to myself and feel the changes either instantly or further down the track was the best learning tool at that stage. I really set me up to pass this information on and really relate to my clients and their restrictions.
Personally Stu helped me with some postural work including correcting my tight shoulders and winged scapular. He helped me activate my lower traps, release pec minor and overall strengthen my back so I could get the most out of my pull ups. Stu also helped me perfect my Squat and Deadlift by teaching me about internal core activation and how important that is to stabilise the hips and the lumbar spine while lifting. We also activated and strengthened Glute Med and Adductors to stabilise my legs/knees during my lifts. Activating and strengthening these areas was so effective at generating strength, balance and stability in my two major lifts that I was able to build up my 1 RM's much faster and with more confidence.
When I was being taught by Stu at Sage I could see he was very passionate about what he does and I really appreciated the fact that when we went through movements he had so many more reasons, and communicated how to do the movement and why in so much more detail. I saw his wealth of knowledge and I wanted to learn more than what was taught in the curriculum.
The Squat Mechanic Core 4 Workshops and the odd Q& A sessions he’s run over the last few years have been great opportunities to do exactly that. I’ve always been happy to hear of all Stu's knowledge and the continual feedback has kept me progressing further and further. I’ve always learnt something new from him no matter how many times I attended the workshops or training sessions.
Before I met Stu I hadn’t started to think about personal development in any serious way yet. I had only read a few books on personality traits that taught me about myself and how to utilise traits like introversion to my advantage. If I wanted an opinion I would ask my friends or my previous personal trainer. Since starting with Stu I have found myself wanting to develop my skills further in a more structured and serious manner to build up my own business and personal brand.
What has kept me working with Stu is his attention to detail, the way he explains the HOW and WHY of what he teaches, and his supportive and caring nature. His passion really shows through his work and whether you work with him as a client or a mentee, he will find a way to help you move better, lift with confidence and explain things in a way that you will understand - even if you're not from a gym background.
Stu is passionate about helping people move well with confidence and without discomfort or pain. He strives to educate his clients and mentees on how the body works, and why it is important to move well and keep your body strong and mobile. I feel his approach is to create a healthier mentality toward exercise and to create a WANT for a healthier, stronger and more mobile body with long term benefits. I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to learn from him and support his ideas and ethos.