Alex Kierdorf-Robinson has had a far from easy life. With parents suffering from addiction in her home country of Sweden, she had to grow up early – and fast. But rather than weakening her resolve, Kierforf-Robinson used these challenges to her advantage, and is now a Swedish-qualified physiotherapist, group fitness instructor and personal trainer for her own business, 360Health. She spoke to WH&F about fostering a positive attitude in the face of adversity, finding love, and working to create a healthy and fit lifestyle.
I have always loved sports and training. It began with my passion for figure skating as a child, followed by soccer in high school and then I joined the gym for the first time when I was 17. I remember walking into my first group fitness class and thinking that one day I’d like to be an instructor on stage. It looked like so much fun to teach, motivate and train with a room full of people.
After school, I did a bit of travelling and working before finally deciding to study physiotherapy in Gothenburg, Sweden. I had always been fascinated by the human body and movement; by its musculoskeletal and physiological systems. It was during my years at university that I started my career as a group fitness instructor. I started out teaching old-school freestyle aerobics and step, but have since moved more toward Les Mills pre-choreographed classes such as Bodypump, RPM and Bodybalance. I also teach yoga, which I absolutely love!
ON FINDING LOVE
It was during a study abroad in 2006 that I met my now husband, Mark (@healthmanmark). We did long distance for three years while I completed my physiotherapy degree before I finally made the move to the Gold Coast, Australia. These days I work as a personal trainer for our own business, 360Health, that Mark runs with business partner Rob Quatro. I train people of all ages and fitness levels, and enjoy helping clients rehabilitate and prevent injuries. I also train clients preparing for bodybuilding competitions, as well as providing online coaching services.
ON PASSION & PURPOSE
My aim and goal in any field – whether it be during PT, in the cycle studio or in a yoga class – is always to promote the benefits of physical exercise. In a society with so many lifestyle-related metabolic conditions, and abundant healthcare and medicines to aid almost any condition, using exercise to promote health is sometimes forgotten. I want to spread the knowledge that training can help treat and prevent a whole range of ailments.
I love what I do because I get to see so many lives completely transformed in this industry. And I’m not just talking about the physical transformations (which of course are rewarding) but the changes to a person’s quality of life: improved confidence and motivation, better energy levels, and a better social and family life too.
ON AN AVERAGE DAY
I get up early – usually by 4.30am. I train clients or take a class or two until about lunch. Most afternoons I teach group fitness as well.
ON ‘SUMMER BODIES’
I think it’s great that people want to get fit for summer. It’s a great time to start a new fitness regime given you will likely have more energy thanks to the light and warmth outside. However, I always try to promote staying fit and training year-round. Making your healthy nutrition and training part of your routine 365 days a year will ensure it feels natural and you will never have to struggle making drastic changes to your physique because of one season.
Make the commitment. Set pen to paper and write down your plan of attack. Set progress goals and when you want to achieve them by. Make sure you stick to the plan and keep yourself accountable – either by hiring yourself a PT or coach, or telling your friends and family what you hope to achieve.
I’d describe my personality as happy and positive. I try my best to support and inspire friends, family and people around me. I put a lot of pressure on myself to perform, but I am learning that I also need rest and time to look after my body and mind.
My childhood was a tough one. I had loving parents, but both suffered from addiction – so I had quite a chaotic life growing up and I pretty much looked after myself from a very young age. I lost my mother when I was 18 and my father has since passed as well. I like to think these life experiences have made me persistent, strong and determined in life rather than weakened me.
ON MY FAVOURITE EXERCISE
It would have to be teaching a crazy, tough RPM class! But I also love participating in group fitness and hot yoga classes.
ON MY FAVOURITE ‘TREAT’ MEAL
A big bowl of pasta, I love it! And for a sweet treat anything including chocolate, lollies and ice-cream works!
ON MY ROLE MODEL
I think Roger Federer is an absolute legend! He is so much more than the greatest of all time (GOAT) on the court, but also a humble, intelligent, kind man with absolute integrity.
Short term, I am looking forward to getting back into a full training load. I have been dealing with an injury in my elbow for about six months now and it is continuously getting better with rest and very specific rehab training, but I can’t wait to lift some heavy weights again.
Long term, I would like to become a person who inspires health and physical activity nationally and globally, through face-to-face meetings, coaching and group fitness. Becoming a master trainer for group fitness instructors has always been a dream.
Model: Alexandra Kierdorf-Robinson // swedishalex.com // @swedishalex
Photographer: Jessica Apap // jessicaapap.com // @jessicaapap_photographer
HMU: Cynthia Smyth // cynthiasmythmakeup.com.au // @cynthiasmyth_makeup