Matt Adams: Co-Founder Exercises.com.au
Matt Adams is the Co-Founder of Exercises.com.au, Work Stress & Anxiety Expert, Health Hacker and Digital Nomad.
Matt was born in 1977 on Norfolk Island, a small island 1400km off the east coast of Australia. It’s the second home of the descendants of the Mutiny on the Bounty. Matt is a 7th generation direct descendant of John Adams, one of the mutineers from the Mutiny on the Bounty. Matt lived on Norfolk until age 7 when his family moved to Sydney after his Dad received a work transfer.
Matt then lived in Australia until April 2018, leaving Australia as a digital nomad, and living in Vietnam, Moscow and now permanently living in Florence, Italy.
From childhood Matt was involved in sports including rugby league, soccer, karate, squash, BMX racing, basketball, volleyball and has tried just about every other sport at some point.
After finding basketball and playing from age 14, he’s been a passionate fan ever since. At 15 he started collecting Michael Jordan memorabilia, and at it’s peak his collection included 30 pairs of Air Jordan shoes, hundreds of basketball cards, hundreds of magazines, hats, jackets, jerseys and just about everything else. He sold the entire collection in 2007.
In 2001 Matt watched Michael Jordan score 51 points at the MCI Center in Washington DC.
Matt’s dream is to follow the NBA for an entire season, visiting every stadium and watching every team play.
Getting Into Fitness
Matt’s journey with gym and weight training began in his early teen years with his Dad introducing him to ‘the springs’, ‘the bullworker’ and ‘hand grips’. And this lead to a bench press and dumbbell set being permanently located in his bedroom as a teenager.
Matt would rep out on the springs every day, morning and night with bicep curls and rear delt flys as well as doing the hand grips till failure.
He didn’t join a gym until 1998 when he trained at a gym for the final year and a half of University.
Putting Work Before Health
Matt completed a Bachelor of Business (Information Systems) in 1999 then worked in the IT industry for a year and, hating being stuck behind a desk 9-5, Matt wanted to learn sales, so he entered the real estate industry and found quick success.
He went from being a Salesperson to a Senior Salesperson in his first 10 months, then was promoted to Sales Manager at 11 months. Four months later he was promoted to Sales Manager of a second office.
At age 24 he was managing two real estate sales offices, running sales meetings, hiring new sales people, mentoring salespeople, listing properties, selling properties and bought a brand new car as well as buying his first house.
After neglecting to exercise due to intense work commitments and running on adrenaline, Matt started experiencing symptoms of stress in May 2002.
At that time, for Matt, stress equaled ‘weakness’. So he kept pushing himself.
Ignoring the symptoms for next 3 months, he eventually crashed.
He resigned within 48 hours.
While the resignation felt like a huge weight had been lifted off his shoulders, the damage caused by pushing himself for the last 3 months wasn’t as easy to get rid of.
The cellular memory of the stress and burnout he experienced never left. He continued to suffer with work stress and work related anxiety.
But that was nothing compared to what came next.
Life Changing Moment
It was August 2006, he was driving his car on a busy road along the Brisbane river when out of nowhere, his heart started pounding like crazy.
Gasping for breath as he pushed himself back in his seat, his heart was pounding a hundred miles an hour.
He thought he was having a heart attack.
This was all happening while still driving as he was unable to pull over to the side of the road.
The ‘attack’ lasted around 8-10 seconds.
Immediately afterwards he had a layer of perspiration over any exposed skin and the tip of his tongue was completely numb.
After a “what the hell was that” moment he composed himself, and with a doctors office just a few minutes drive away, Matt drove straight there.
They connected him up to an ECG machine, and…
No sign of anything.
All was normal… supposedly.
But things only got worse.
The panic attack happened in August 2006 and the next 4 months were the toughest 4 months of Matt’s life.
He experienced up to 100 heart palpitations per day, lightening-shock feelings in his heart, death feelings, and ended up taking a manual labour job to ensure he had no stress to deal with.
Even still, he only worked an average of 4 days per week, taking sick days off regularly as the thought of going to work bought up feelings of “I will die“. He was almost fired, but managed to explain his past stress experiences to his manager and was allowed to stay.
In the two weeks after the panic attack however, despite the heart palpitations and lightening shock feelings in his heart, Matt knew he had to do something to change the symptoms and feelings he was experiencing.
He started a self-rehabilitation program that became the main driver of the person and lifestyle he lives to this day.
As stage one of his self-rehabilitation, Matt started running. Starting with one lap of a local soccer field, then two laps, then four laps, eventually working his way up to running 6km (3.7mi), five times per week.
He also started meditating and went organic.
An avid reader of personal development books since age 21, he started to focus in on reading books on health, self-healing, nutrition, alternative health therapies and techniques for change including NLP.
It wasn’t until 4 months after the panic attack in December 2006 that he experienced a breakthrough that literally changed his life.
He came across a personal development book that shared a technique for creating change in the mind, body and emotions. He implemented the technique immediately and saw results.
For the next 7 months Matt reduced his heart palpitations to almost zero, completely eliminated the lightening-shock feelings in his heart and only had one day off work.
After 10 months Matt was ready to return to full-time work in his chosen field of expertise and took a new job.
Rehab Stage 2
Just over a year after the panic attack in November 2007 Matt joined a local gym to complete the next phase of his self-rehabiliation, with the focus to build muscle and strength.
Dedicating himself, he found a training partner and started lifting heavy weights 4 times per week.
Over the next 4 years he gained 15kg (33lbs) of lean muscle, going from 78kg (171lbs) to 93kgs (205lbs) between 2008 – 2012.
This was as much a mental achievement as it was physical.
He also started yoga as a way to balance out his gym training, taking long walks in nature, continued eating organic and improving his overall mental, physical and emotional approach to health.
Throughout this time he also continued to discover or create various mental, emotional and physical hacks to eliminate any residual feelings and symptoms he was suffering as a result of the panic attack.
Despite the panic attack and the severity of the associated feelings, sensations and suffering, Matt never took any pharmaceutical drugs to relieve or treat the stress and anxiety.
Instead, he focused his attention and effort on mind techniques, exercise, meditation, healthy foods, herbal supplements and alternative healing modalities to achieve permanent healing.
Matt continues to use these techniques to this day to maintain optimum health and well-being.
Matt’s currently writing a book about his journey with work stress, burnout and anxiety, and the techniques he used to overcome it. The book will be available by April 2020.
Sharing a Passion
These experiences led to the inspiration to create exercises.com.au after purchasing the domain name in 2015 at auction.
Matt and business partner Dmitri Simons spent a year conceiving, planning and filming the 523 exercise demonstration videos that form the foundation of the website.
Matt and Dmitri would spend weeknights and weekends filming exercise demonstration videos.
Fueled by snacking on chicken breast, cucumbers, carrots, mixed nuts, protein bars, coconut water and protein shakes, their filming sessions would last anywhere from a few hours up to a 9 hour session where they filmed 60 exercise videos.
Having a tonne of fun, a lot of re-takes and plenty of bloopers, Matt filmed over 600 exercise and workout videos with Dmitri and other trainers during 2015 and 2016. His personal favourites being the weird car exercises he filmed with Dmitri.
Exercises.com.au is the culmination of experience, hard work and passion, with the end goal being to share the value of exercise and healthy living locally in Australia as well as internationally.
Matt’s bedroom/home gym (1993-1995) 🙂
Matt celebrates the launch of Exercises.com.au in 2017
Fitness, Fun And Travel Adventures
Here are just a few of Matt’s fitness and fun adventures in Australia and internationally…
- Did pushups on the glass floor skywalk over the Grand Canyon
- Watched the USA Basketball ‘Dream Team’ twice at the Sydney 2000 Olympics
- Watched Michael Jordan score 51 points against the Charlotte Hornets on 29th Dec 2001 at the MCI Center in Washington DC
- Watched the championship winning Ice Hockey game in the KHL (Kontinental Hockey League) in Moscow, April 2019
- Duck walked through an underground tunnel at the Cu Chi Tunnels, Vietnam
- Watched the brutal Calcio Storico (Historical Soccer) in Florence, Italy
- Did 60 pushups in 60 seconds in a competition at his local gym in 2016
- Shadow Boxed in the snow in Moscow
- Dislocated his shoulder(s) playing basketball, volleyball, squash, and motorbike riding
- Watched the Harlem Globetrotters in Sydney (1986) and Adelaide (1992)
- Did a set of squats at Golds Gym in Venice Beach, California
- Did pull ups on an old Vietnam war cannon
- Hiked up Mt Kosciuszko, Australia’s highest mountain
Matt during his real estate stress days (2002)
Matt’s first apartment project as a salesperson
Matt at the summit of Mount Kosciuszko, Australia’s highest mountain (2,226m)
Matt tries his hand at Standup Paddle Boarding
Attending a Lakers game at Staples Center, LA.
Matt at Muscle Beach Gym, Venice Beach, California
Canyoning in Tuscany, Italy
Pull ups on a Vietnam War cannon
Skiing on Mt Ruapehu, NZ
Watching the USA ‘Dream Team’ play Basketball at the Sydney 2000 Olympics
Watching baseball at the Sydney 2000 Olympics
Attending a KHL Ice Hockey game in Moscow, Russia
Watching the KHL Championship winning game in Moscow, April 2019
Just a few of the 30 pairs of Air Jordan Shoes from Matt’s collection from 1992-2007.
Matt, a digital nomad, lived in Moscow in early 2019
Matt outside the Krelim in Red Square, Moscow
Matt now lives in Florence, Italy