Spit and Spirits

Turning Into a Caveman

with 3 comments

Caveman Training

Are you scared yet? You should be.

I get a varied response when I tell people I go to Caveman Training. The first is usually one of confusion, understandably, and then it’s often a jump to believing I attend some kind of new-age, men’s group where we dress in nothing but a piece of bark over our junk and try to reclaim our lost masculinity. And while dressing like that does sound kind of fun, although a little drafty now that winter is drawing close, Caveman Training isn’t a new-age men’s group, it’s a place where I go for motivation, inspiration, hardship, pain, euphoria, tears, sweat, satisfaction, mateship and maybe a little bit of vomit. And the reason I’m telling you about this is because it’s changed my life.

Caveman Training is a fitness class.

All those emotions at a fitness class? Yep, every single one, and all during half an hour, at a gym called The Tough Spot, West End. I know, Caveman Training? The Tough Spot? It all sounds pretty hardcore, and it is. It’s probably the hardest exercise training all us regular-Joe-non-professional-athletes will ever do. And it’s also freaking awesome. The Tough Spot offers a heap of different classes, like boxing, tabata, kettlebells and martial arts. Caveman and Cavewomen Training however is what they’re best known for.

When I try to explain Caveman Training I find it difficult to give a full sense of a class to someone who hasn’t been to one. It’s a whirlwind of moving, sweating flesh, grunting, heavy metal music and motivational yelling. Essentially it’s a high intensity circuit training class that runs for about 20 to 30 minutes – and that’s 20 to 30 minutes nonstop, by the way. It doesn’t use regular gym equipment, and isn’t in a regular gym environment. It’s on the roof of a building and the ‘equipment’ is anything from your own body weight, to free weights, to old tyres, to ropes, to sledgehammers. When I first joined about 14 months ago it was explained that Caveman Training is all about exercising your body in the way it was built for. Running, carrying, jumping, lifting, and pretty much every other movement you can think of. It’s old school, you get a bit dirty, there’s sweat on the mats and the exercises change every single class. You’re paired up with another class member and you move around the circuit at the same time, changing stations every 45 seconds while the trainers circle around shouting motivation.

Oh, and did I mention The Tough Spot’s catchphrase is ‘Train till you puke?’ It is, and believe me, it happens.

Caveman Training funny

The many faces of the modern Caveman.

Why would someone want to put themselves through this? My training history is pretty straightforward. Back in highschool my nickname was Sticks McGregor. Sticks, because I had very skinny legs, and McGregor because… I’m not sure, who knows the thought process of bullies. Most of my life I had a pretty major complex of how skinny I was. It’s hard when you’re a skinny man. It mightn’t sound it but it is. You get told it all the time. Relatives greet you by exclaiming that you’ve lost weight. People say things like ‘Wow you must have a serious case of worms’, and wankers at pubs try and intimidate you because, well, they’ve been doing it back since highschool. I tried joining gyms but it never took. I’d pay for a membership and go for a month out of the 12. After about 10 years of that I finally started seeing a personal trainer and nutritionist and amazingly within a year and a half I had gained almost 20 kilos, and also gained a love for training ever since.


A little more hardcore than yoga.

However in saying that, I wasn’t fit and healthy. Sure, I’d gained the weight I wanted and felt a whole new world of confidence, but I still got puffed walking up a flight of stairs. It was all strength and no fitness. After a while I stopped going to the personal trainer because of expense and went back to sporadic training on my own, which of course didn’t really do much. During all that time, in my 20s and early 30s, I worked as a DJ around Brisbane. I drank a lot. I smoked a lot. I partied hard. Finally my body told me to smarten up in the way of a massive pancreatitis attack that slammed me in hospital for just over a month and caused a weight loss of over 10 kilos. It got me thinking about my future. I was 34. I had a wonderful lady who I wanted to marry as soon as possible. I also new that I was going to be an older Dad, when the time came, and wanted to be around for my children as long as possible. All this time I’d been worried about how big my muscles were when I should have been making life choices about how healthy my muscles were.

And that’s why something like Caveman Training at The Tough Spot works so well. I’m not the kind of person who lives to train. More like I train to live. Fitness training complements my life. It makes my life more enjoyable and healthier. As a member at The Tough Spot you place your name down for a class and you’re expected to turn up. And as much as it sounds like a confronting place to train at, it’s not. All the other members are just like me. All ages and all fitness levels. There’s no muscle bound machine hogs taking over the area like other gyms. No one is in their own little solo cocoon. Everyone turns up, has a chat, trains the hardest they ever have and then a little harder, then gives a big clap at the end congratulating each other on the session. It’s friendly. The trainers are friendly, and definitely the most motivational characters you’ll ever meet.

Meet one of the trainers:

I’m 37 and am the fittest I’ve ever been. I’m also the happiest and most confident with my body goals I’ve ever been. I have The Tough Spot and the trainers to thank for that. Caveman Training has also changed the way I feel and approach fitness, and my life in general. Most guys I know sit around and play x-box. Screw that. It’s about being ‘peak physically capable’, which means if I need I’m ready to use my body in the way it was intended. I know I can carry an injured person back from a hike, my full wheelie-bin back up the driveway when I’ve mucked up the collection day, or all the groceries up from the car in one go so I can impress my wife. I stand taller, straighter. The training complements my life, which is what we’re all here for, really, aren’t we? To live.

Taco Fleur

Taco Fleur

For a life changing fitness experience or to continue your goals at one of the toughest training sessions in Brisbane, contact the operators of The Tough Spot, Taco Fleur and Anna Junghans at

The Tough Spot, Level 3, 51 Mollison Street, West End.

Ph: (07) 3844 1881





3 Responses

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  1. Ha! Wow, that sure is a great video! Haha.
    Great read Jake, made me feel like what I do can be valuable, no greater feeling!
    Keep at it mate, you’re one of the great stalwarts of TTS


    April 23, 2013 at 2:23 pm

  2. Mind, body and soul my friend…


    April 25, 2013 at 5:56 am

  3. I have found that myre then the training it’s the people that make me drag myself back 🙂 being fit has never been so fun


    May 13, 2013 at 10:56 am

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