Riley Byrne: PectusPT
Riley Byrne grew up in a small country town in the Southern Highlands. Since finishing school he's lived in the Gold Coast and has since moved to Wollongong. Riley is definitely a sporty guy and basically loves anything and everything sports related. If he's not surfing, playing touch footy, basketball, or tennis, he'll be working out or planning his next venture...
Have you always been into health & fitness?
I have always been obsessed with fitness but health is more of a new passion. As a kid I played sport 7 days a week, so fitness has always been my go to. However, I was an extremely fussy eater, and my family didn’t know too much about nutrition so I pretty much grew up eating lollies, chocolate, bread and sugary juices. It was only in the last two years that I started to understand more about nutrition and then became obsessed with the nutrition aspect just as much as exercising.
What motivated you to become a personal trainer and start your own business?
I have always been passionate about sport and business. As a child I was always scheming of ways to make money (such as not spending my mums lunch money and going hungry just to save a few more bucks). This mentality has progressed into my adult life and I am always trying to think of new ways to be successful and have an impact. I have wanted to be a PT since I was about 15 years old when my sisters boyfriend became one. Watching the biggest loser as a kid also kickstarted my aspiration for becoming a PT.
I have combined my two passions of business and sport which has enabled me to start up three sports related businesses. My first Business was an active wear company called ‘valesco’ which failed but taught me so much and I think starting this was the best move I could of ever made..even though it didn’t work. My next two businesses ‘PectusPT’ and ‘Byrne Fitness Training’ are successful, which is great. I love my job!
What was it like growing up with Pectus Excavatum and what positive message or piece of advice would you give to individuals with the condition?
Growing up with Pectus Excavatum was incredibly hard. I was terrified of taking my shirt off at swimming carnivals and pool parties. I remember at night I used to cry about it and try and poke my fingers under my ribs and try and pull the indented chest out.
Tell us more about your business ‘PectusPT’...
PectusPT is an Online Business I have in which I design programs for people with a condition called ‘Pectus Excavatum’ to help them improve their bodies. (Pectus Excavatum is a body deformity in which the chest wall caves in and the ribs protrude) I was born with Pectus Excavatum and it was a massive burden on my life. I was depressed about my body and it led me to having horrible self-esteem.
As soon as I could I joined a gym and tried everything possible to improve my body. Four years later I realized that I had drastically improved my body to the point where the pectus was hardly noticeable anymore. I was now so confident in my body that I was doing topless photo shoots. That is when I decided that I can help other people with Pectus and created pectuspt.com.
What's it like working with clients who went through the same thing you did?
Helping people with Pectus is the greatest feeling I could ask for. When people write to me saying I am their inspiration and motivation, it is absolutely humbling. The transformations my clients get are a massive motivation for me and I cannot wait to see the transformations for my future clients!
We know you’re not a local but you come here often, so what attracts you to Bondi and If we saw you around Bondi, what’s the one thing you’d probably be doing?
I love Bondi due to the positive and healthy vibe, basically every one is fit! And more importantly everyone’s happy, the beach is beautiful and the shops are amazing.
Is it a place where you’d set up base?
Yes I plan on moving to Bondi in the next couple of years. I cannot wait for it! I just want to save some more money first as city living is quite expensive.
What do you love about the outdoor culture and training in Bondi? Do you think it offers something different?
I absolutely love the whole fitness culture of Bondi, it is amazing how many ripped people walk around Bondi and in particular at the Bondi Bars. It is so great and acts as a massive juxtapostiion to the rest of the world with such high obesity rates now-a-days. It is a breath of fresh air and I hope that the rest of the world jump on the Bondi fitness and training culture.
What’s on the cards for this year?
For me this year, I have a few goals and plans. Business related i'd like to aim to get over 150 Online PectusPT Clients and attract 20,000 youtube subscribers to my channel. I would also like to grow my social profile, acquire a larger following and have more of an influence in the health and fitness industry.
Personally, I want to travel Europe for six weeks and make a youtube series on keeping fit while travelling and partying.
If you could sum up Bondi in a sentence…
Fresh, fit & fun.
In Bondi, where do you go for:
Food? Earth food store
Coffee? I like to try different places, I'm yet to discover a favourite!
Fitness? Bondi Bars