Leading Personal Trainers: 477-479 Glen Huntly Road, Elsternwick

Sassi: “I’m leaner, way stronger and I feel really body confident.”


Name: Sassi Pragnell

Born: 01/03/83

Profession: Finance Executive

What was your training like before coaching with Gordon? My training was regular, but lacked variety to challenge my body, strength and flexibility as my program was limited by what I knew and I lacked confidence in my program and body, as I was often injured.

What is your training like now and what do you value most about it? My training is consistently challenging and varied (in terms of pace, exercise, and style) so I am always getting either stronger, fitter, leaner, flexible or more agile, even after more than a year with Gordon. I most value how good I feel – especially after training – I rarely have injuries, I eat better (and more), I’m leaner, way stronger, and I feel really body confident.


(Sassi and husband Ferg both looking on point at the Formula 1 Swisse and Ferrari event.)

What are you training goals for this year? Continue to increase strength, fitness, and flexibility, with a focus on activating weaknesses so my body feels even.

What advice would you give to your 20 year old self? Maintain your core strength and flexibility – it’s a hard journey to get back.

Your personal motto: Nothing worth having comes easy.

What’s your advice on work/life balance? Work/life balance only exists if you make it happen – be it changing jobs, getting up earlier, making plans and sticking to them, or knowing when to rest. The right balance is different for everyone, but most of the time it’s a choice, and it’s a virtuous cycle if you get it right – the more balance you get, very likely the better you’ll perform at your work and the better your relationships will be.


You use to represent Australia in Rowing how’s your training different now compared to then and what did you learn from that experience the most? Rowing training was more endurance whereas my focus now is more on strength and stability. I’m also over 10 years older, so I’m much more aware of how lucky I am to be able to train and how essential it is to keep moving. My husband thinks I train harder in the gym now. I have less time to devote to training so I think I just use my time better. Rowing taught me to how to fit a week into a day and push myself physically – 2km ergo tests will do that!

You’re a busy person with a lot of responsibilities at work and at home. What keeps you driven to keep going and keep excelling? I don’t know really. Maybe I was just bought up that way. I am never satisfied unless I’m challenging myself. As soon as something becomes comfortable I feel stagnant and start looking at other ways to improve, be it my work, health, or relationships – I like to think of it as a healthy obsession.

What’s your #1 advice on career and professional development? Find a job, employer or profession that values your attributes. In this day and age there is no point in conforming.

Sassi completing 80X8 deficit deadlifts on one of her lower body training days.

Sassi will be the first person to tell you that she didn’t start training this athletic, fit and strong. We assessed her, kept her engaged with her nutrition and training and she did the work (which was only 3-days a week).

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