FREE weekly exercise class? No way, I’ll call the police! – A tale of two vastly different communities.


I write this post in disbelief about the short-sightedness of many and the reality that this world is suffering more and more from political corectness, bureaucracy and too many people wanting power.

I will first of all declare my hand and my business interest. I run my own ‘mobile’ Personal Training business – . It is a niche’ and rather unique and specialised level of service with a focus on Sports Science and Education. I truly believe that we offer the best service in Melbourne with respect to helping clients achieve lifestyle balance, long-term behaviour change and achieiving results. We are busy, we are at the slighly higher end of pricing and we employ only University and Tertiary degree trained Personal Trainers (note: a Certificate 3 or 4 in PT is the bare minimum standard accepted). We come to you and we are simply passionate about changing peoples lives and improving one’s life in a wholistic manner. One of my clients prefers the term “Health and Well-being custodian” over the term “Personal Trainer”, as I/we simply provide more than that.

Now that I have explained that side of the story, the other side is that whilst we do what we do in a one-on-one nature for the majority of our daily job and our career that we are very passionate about, we also try to offer many out-of-the-box initiatives to distance ourselves very much from generic PT, bootcamps and the crossfit (max reps, poor form, quickest time, heaviest weight) approach to exercise prescription. We are thorough, we teach and educate correct form, how to engage musculature not taught in the vast majority of PT studios or gyms and we work everything back to the individual, their needs and based around their posture, lifestyle, career, family, sleep, their genetic make-up and their behaviours.

So I came up with an initiative to give back to the community, yes there is exposure to our ‘brand’ but may I add that we are offering our “Personal Best” group sessions weekly for 10 weeks as a trial to the Southbank (where 70% of our PT business is conducted) and Sanctuary Lakes (where I and one of our trainers reside)  communities for FREE. Anyone within those communities are FREE to attend and must just register by completing a pre-exercise questionnaire and then we are giving of our time (1 hour on-site and more behind the scenes) to conduct a unique session that involves the education and teaching of the key features and movements required for optimal posture and effective exercise programming. We focus on scapula depression, retraction, pelvic tilting, abdominals and glute activation, balance, core – you name it – but it is far from generic and the same as nearly EVERY fitness class conducted in the wider fitness industry.

(Here is a link to the video I made to verbalise what we were offering and our motives to Sanctuary Lakes direct from our YouTube channel).

Now Southbank and in particular the Boyd Community Hub (207 City Rd, Southbank) couldn’t be more encouraging, supportive and helpful in allowing us to do this. They have allocated a room for us to use as a back-up if raining/inclement weather; have advertised our classes within the centre and on their very own Facebook page and are nothing but a pleasure to deal with. Why? Because quite simply they are open to helping people improve their health, encouraging of helping engage and bring the wider community together in what has been deemed a positive and beneficial concept.

Whilst at the other end of the spectrum, our own residential community at Sanctuary Lakes (within the suburb of Point Cook beside the golf course) where all participants as well as my trainer and I are rate-paying and body corporate paying residents have asked us three weeks in a row to stop and not conduct our service. The classes are conducted in an area where I am free to roam with my family any day of the week, others are allowed to sit and converse on the 2 provided park benches and the local gym actually use this space for some of their fitness classes. In fact, the first three sessions that we have taken, we have been met by a security guard forbidding us to conduct and participate in these classes. Most notably last Thursday (March 19), the security not only threatened to call the police if I would not move and cease conducting the class (with no actual official reason I might add), but actually did and I then later in the day I received a call from the Werribee Police!

Now for someone whom has only had one run-in with Police back when I was 17 for riding a bike at night from my ex-girlfriends house and with no lights and a helmet (and fined $60), that is pretty disappointing.

I submitted an email less than 1 hour after the first class on March 5 to the Facilities Manager when I was first alerted that this was an ‘issue’ and to this very date have yet to have any sort of reply. I have even called and spoken to the Facilities Manager and I was spoken to like I had committed the darkest of crimes after the Police incident and instructed to send another email to get a reply.  As I write this blog I am still yet to have any correspondence.

So the purpose of writing this? I really don’t know? I just really want to get a simple message out there that when someone is offering of a positive and beneficial service to the community and to help others that surely sanity should prevail and ultimately I should not need to back down and succumb to an inane request from a security guard telling me that I cannot help do what drives my passion and has done for many years and will for many years to come. To then take that a level higher and have the Victoria Police whom I have the utmost respect for wasting their valuable time and resources to call me and almost feel compelled to be seen to take some action when they could be dealing with some really serious issues affecting the wider community like drug use, violence against women, terrorism and the like has me left in dismay.

I will leave you with the feedback that I was individually emailed from one of the attendees at one of the classes (to protect the anonymity of the participant they shall remain nameless and was at either of the Southbank or Sanctuary Lakes sessions):

“Hi Justin

I just wanted to say a massive thank you. I’m trying to get fit again and this seemed an idea way to start gently. I really enjoyed it – you and (Sarah/Daniel) were both really engaging. My normal sized human self is in here somewhere and ready to come out again, so hoping this kick starts me. Was really good and will certainly be bringing you guys up to anyone that will listen.”

Another lady and frequent attendee kindly made this post on the Sanctuary Lakes Residents Facebook page:

“The group is fantastic and we are all residents of Sanctuary Lakes. There is no “business” being conducted as there is no money being exchanged. We are a group of residents meeting in our own suburb and enjoying some exercise time. It just so happens that one of our group is a fully qualified PT which we are extremely grateful for. I genuinely do not see any harm in what we are doing, and see it no more or less different to the joggers or walkers that meet and go out and run together around the Boulevard. Again, we are all residents of Sanctuary Lakes enjoying our own facilities that we pay for. I find that the whole thing has been sent to the police actually laughable. We struggle to get police to respond to incidents of importance and five or six of us doing some stretching and movement really does not strike me as being something that the police should be spending time doing. Very disappointed with the security on Sanctuary Lakes and also the fact that the committee don’t see fit in responding to Justin Moran and his request”.

So in closing, whilst Personal Training can be seen as an expense and not a necessity, it can be filtered down and offered at little or no cost but surely as a community we should be embracing those that are willing to go above and beyond and give back to help others.

Thanks for reading and please help me spread my goals of helping as many people improve their health, fitness and well-being and on the bigger scale to help change the way the fitness and Personal Training industry can do better than just churn out poorly qualified and poor client focussed PT’s just to line the pockets of supposed industry leaders and various course providers.

There is a better way!


Justin Moran

0411 798 934


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