In an exclusive interview with Felicity Harley, the fitness trainer reveals the exciting new project she’s been working on with a new guy in her life.
Michelle Bridges is fiddling with the zip on her soft pink sweater. She’s perched on the side of her dining table, a vibrant painting of flowers commanding the wall behind her. Her wave hello is almost as big as the painting.
On the opposite side of my computer screen, Todd Liubinskas, Bridges’ new lead trainer, is in the front seat of his car and close enough that I can see his perfectly straight white teeth and healthy growth that radiates to Mars. I’m telling you, jumping on a Zoom call with these two fitness aficionados makes me want to drop to my study floor and do 100 burpees. Well, for about 10 seconds that is. In their first “official” interview together, via Zoom of course, their collective enthusiasm for the “secret project” they’ve been working on for a year is overwhelming … in a good way.
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The secret project is a program for blokes only. For men, you ask? Just men? Yes, it’s hard to believe that despite the tsunami of six-week programs swamping our social media feeds that there isn’t a standout for blokes.
Their new Blokes Only program is part of Bridges’ uber-successful 12 Week Body Transformation (12WBT) online program, and aims to empower and support Aussie men to drop weight, get fit and optimise their wellbeing.
Men’s health has gotten a bit lost in the explosion of the fitness scene over the past five years. Sure, many blokes have come along with women for the ride, and tried and tested everything from healthy home food delivery to yoga apps, but if you look at the stats, the men still need attention.
Three in four Australian men are overweight or obese, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. The same report, The Health of Australia’s Males, found men have a shorter life expectancy of 80.5 years compared with women, 84.6 years. Men die from coronary heart disease and lung cancer at twice the rate of females, found the National Men’s Health Strategy, 2020-2030. Pretty grim, really.
“I feel like (women) have had their time in the sun, and rightly so and it needs to continue, but the health of the men in our lives is critically important,” Bridges says. “These are men – dads, uncles, partners, brothers, cousins – that are a pivotal part of our families and work lives and need to be looked after and given some love.”
A BIT ABOUT TODD LIUBINSKAS
OK, before we go any further let’s set one thing straight – Bridges and Liubinskas are good mates who train together. (Liubinskas blushes when I ask him if he has a girlfriend before confirming that yes, he does.)
Bridges pipes up: “I’ve known Todd for years – he was at the hospital the day after Axel (her four-year-old son with former partner, Steve Willis) was born. I admire Todd for working grassroots, holding…