As he launches his new online fitness programme, sportsman and qualified fitness trainer Simon Dunn talks about male body image, sexy body parts and more.
We all know that Simon Dunn isn’t shy about flashing his body. And why should he when he looks so good. But sculpting his stunning physique hasn’t come easy. Although he has a sporting background as a former bobsleigh athlete and a Kings Cross Steeler, Simon also spends his every day working out in the gym. Not because he wants to look buff, but because he wants to be as healthy as he can be and strong enough to participate his chosen sports.
Since his move to London last year, Simon has been quietly working on a project that will help guys like you live happier and healthier lives. BySimonDunn.com offers anyone wanting to overhaul their lives a handy online training and coaching programme that is easy to follow.
We caught up with Simon to chat about his new venture and to get serious about male body issues and why he thinks gay media has turned against men with buff bodies.
Congrats, Simon, you are a qualified fitness trainer – why the career change?
As a former athlete, health and fitness have always been things I’ve been passionate about. Over the years I’ve learnt a lot so being a personal trainer will give me the opportunity to share that knowledge with others
So what is it you are offering us?
Initially I’m offering online programming training and coaching via my website. I’ll be providing more online resources to help people achieve their fitness goals. Moving forward 1-on-1 training session are available for those with more specific needs or that need that little extra push.
Can anyone follow your regimes?
Definitely, I’ve tailored my online programs to be progressive over time. Moving through the program the exercises will develop, which will not only increase the results but also the physical literacy of my clients.
So how long would it take to get a body like yours?
I don’t believe in putting time frames on things, rather putting the effort in with your diet and training.
Is it just about fitness or is it about what we stick in our mouthes – what is your daily diet?
Diet is the most important part because you’ll never get any benefit from the training if you’re not eating correctly. I have a large calorie intact because of my chosen sports. I live by the rule “eat better or eat less” what this means is if you’d like to eat more, eat healthily if you eat poorly obviously you eat less. I’d rather have four to five healthy meals a day which benefit me over three unhealthy meals which don’t assist me training.
Did you always want to achieve a great body?
I’ve always wanted to be fit and healthy. Growing up in Australia I had a very outdoors and sporting lifestyle. Because of this and my passion for fitness I’ve always been drawn to getting the most out of my body. I’ve played rugby from a very young age and later in life I competed in bobsleigh, therefore I’ve never really trained to have a “beach body”, more to push a sled or make a tackle. Even post retiring from bobsleigh I continue to train this way because I actually enjoy doing it.
There’s been a lot of criticism lately that gay guys in particular are obsessed with having the perfect body. Do you think that’s true? If so, why do you think we are obsessed with people with muscles?
I think we tend to compare ourselves to those we are attracted to and sometimes try to emulate that. In some cases if you see a buff shirtless guy being admired for the way they look you might feel you want that attention too. But I think in most cases, a lot of guys simply find a toned body aesthetically pleasing. However, others find softer or leaner body shapes attractive. We all have different tastes, which is what makes the world a wonderful place. That said in recent years I think we as a society have shifted towards fitness, which is a good thing, bearing in mind there’s been a rise in obesity. But then on the flip side, we are bombarded by guys on apps like Instagram flashing their bodies and we do find ourselves constantly comparing ourselves with others and sometimes that can lead to negative thoughts, insecurity and obsession.
Have you met any guys that are?
I have, unfortunately I see a lot of irony in the fact that a lot of these guys although visually pleasing aren’t concerned about their health internally.
Do you think having a good body for some is a way of masking issues in their lives?
I feel a lot of gay men’s desire to be muscular falls down to their own insecurities about their sexuality. A lot of us seem to be desperate to been seen as someone who is hyper masculine, and the easiest way of doing this is to be muscular and fall into the “traditional” notion of what a man is. But I think people need to focus on being happy with who they are before they try and achieve superficial happiness and if you want to feel macho, it doesn’t get much more manly then two men having sex!
There’s been a rise in male eating disorders, do you ever feel in any way responsible for that as you are seen as a man flashing his ‘perfect’ body?
I understand but I don’t feel responsible. I’m not someone who just trains to have the “ideal” body. I am someone who trains for their sport. This was my career path I’ve chosen and this has given me a lot on life, the majority not being related to my body. I want people to be healthy and enjoy fitness, this is reflected in my programming. What a lot of people don’t realise is that the people they’re looking up to aren’t doing it naturally, therefore these disorders develop when they’ve not be able to achieve the goal as quickly as their idols have. This is snowballing the use of steroids amongst young men and I think 20-30 years down the line we’ll see the repercussions.
A lot of gay mags – DNA aside – no longer seem to publish sexy pics of guys anymore and have lost readers as a result. Are men with good bodies being wrongly attacked bearing in mind ‘sex’ or ‘sexy’ still appeals to gay guys?
I do feel like there’s a witch hunt going on within the LGBT community. There have been many people who have openly criticised gay magazines and whenever they have used people with muscular bodies in their pages and the publications have in turn reacted by not running as many. I definitely understand their rhetoric and applaud these mags for showcasing a more diverse body range, but people need to remember that selling a magazine is a business and traditionally physically fit guys are those who tend to sell more copies or attract more online clicks. The argument is focused so much on excluding men with sexy but ultimately healthier bodies that they’re doing exactly what they’re arguing against for men who aren’t as muscular.
What’s your favourite part of your body and why?
I like my shoulders, for the simple reason is they put on size easily. My upper body is proportionality a lot stronger then my lower body. Which was frustrating as a bobsledder.
What’s your favourite body part on another guy?
Always the eyes, but when it comes to physique I don’t really have a favorite. Just someone who is healthy and looks after themselves. Unfortunately, given my career choice I tend to notice the little details about how someone trains upon meeting them.
Which of your body parts do your fans love the most?
I think my quads and gluteus maximus (bum), little do they know this is the hardest area for me to put size on. Therefore once I stop working on those areas the weight tends to fall off.
So bottom line – does a good body equal a sexy man – what makes a man sexy?
No not at all, your body is the last thing linked to being “sexy”. Personality, charm, a good smile are seen a lot sooner than your abs.
Head to BySimonDunn.com to get your HALF PRICE program.