Our People

“Joe has a knack for tapping into the motivation you already possess to make health-oriented decisions — then adding a whole lot of adrenalin and accountability into the equation to help you meet your goals. His personality and comprehensive experience with general exercise and adventure training, have combined to make me feel like I’m in the hands of a professional who genuinely cares about my wellbeing. This isn't just because his gym benefits — but because Joe is truly passionate about everyday people going beyond the physical limits they think they have, and watching how a new world unfolds for them as a result.”

Sara Moss
“At the start of 2014 I was probably carrying about 15kg more than i needed to be. I was training in facilities that were impersonal and uninspiring. Some friends at work recommended that I tried Joe's, on the promise that it was a great community environment where the emphasis was on achieving personal goals - be that crossing a continent on foot or learning how to do a hand stand. It's now 12 months since I met Joe. He has indeed created an environment which, in contrast to my previous experiences, is extremely personal and inspiring. (And I've lost the15 kgs!) Joe always has time for everybody. He has a wealth of knowledge and an infectious enthusiasm, which makes you believe that anything is possible. From day one the community spirit was palpable, and new attendees made to feel at home straight away. Train here. In July last year I mentioned to Joe that I wanted to complete the Marathon des Sables - a self sufficient 7 day endurance in event in the Sahara desert, which sees competitors cover 250kms on foot. Joe arranged a personalised training schedule for me which has provided the structure required to keep me on track. He has been very supportive in this objective; never doubting or discouraging ( even with those extra kgs on earlier in the piece) - he has just given me the tools I need to complete the task. I feel ready, now i just have to do it......Really, train with this guy.”  Editors Note - Jim successfully completed the Marathon De Sables, a fantastic effort :)

Jim Walker
"The ‘Real Man Maker’…where the hell do you come up with this stuff Joe? That pretty much sums up Joe’s Base Camp though (formerly Joe’s Garage) – the variety and constant challenge is what I love about the place…every day it’s something different. Even after ~18 months of training there, I am still constantly doing and learning new stuff which is a massive motivation to keep up the training…it makes training enjoyable, particularly with Joe helping you to continually get results. Because of Joe, at 35 years old (I know, I look older), I’m the fittest, strongest and fastest I’ve ever been in my life. I thought I was in OK shape when I joined after training at Fitness First for years, but after losing 10kgs (and having to buy new bloody clothes) it turns out I wasn’t as fit as I thought. The training we do is all ‘functional’ stuff which helps you in everyday life (like kettlebell swings for chucking your kids in the air), not standing in front of a mirror doing bicep curls...in fact, there isn’t even a mirror in the whole gym! Being in good physical shape and doing functional training makes life so much easier, particularly being an active parent. Joe has built an awesome community (my wife calls it a cult) around the place too – a community of ‘doers’…people who are always looking for excuses TO DO active and social stuff, instead of looking for excuses NOT to do stuff; be it trail running, obstacle racing or drinks in Manly. It’s not like a normal gym where you turn up, say “hi” to a couple of people and do your own thing – the class aspect makes it fun (particularly with all the joking, banter and stirring that goes on). People are always surprised when I tell them something funny that was said or done at the gym or at one of the nights out or parties and their response is usually; “wow, I don’t even talk to the people at my gym”. I’ve met a heap of great people through Joe’s. Anyway, enough about it from me, come along and check it out for yourselves with this offer…the new gym is massive and even has a rock climbing wall!"

Sean McGowan
2 years ago my mate Steve took me for a free introductory session at Joes Garage Gym. It was cardio day.. Run 3.5km Row 1km Run 3.5km back to back, for time. I didn't know what had hit me... It was the hardest session Id ever done, I hated running. The feeling after however was fantastic & I knew I wanted more. Since that day I've lost count of the number of sessions that have pushed me beyond my limits & out of my comfort zone. Through the support, motivation & guidance from Joe Bonington & the whole crew at Joe's Garage Gymnasium I am fitter, stronger & healthier than I've ever been in my life. Ive completed 10km fun & trail runs which for me is good. I've found I have a love for Boxing, I have learnt Olympic Weight Lifting skills & I now actually go running out of choice! I've met some brilliant people along the way too & made some lifelong friends. There is a friendliness, community spirit & positivity that I've never found in any other gym.. And what with some banter & belting tunes to lift you up & get you going... Ive found that it's one of my favourite pastimes in life. If you live in Sydney & want to try something really really great come down & have your first session.... You won't look back!

Catherine Gardiner
Awesome bunch of people, great atmosphere and a massive new location.

Alex Cope
Inspiring, tough, fun, sweat, hurt, ouch. Great people awesome coaching Joe Bonington the best I have had. And now an even more awesome space ... Yeeehaaa !

Richy Whitbread
Joe's gym has grown and moved locations! It's now Joe's Basecamp!! Joe's the best trainer I've ever had and through his training my body toned incredibly - he got me to places I never new were possible e.g. a rebel sport model!! Doesn't matter what your fitness level is I can promise you you'll get so much out trying Joe's!! If your goal is to get head strong and body fit/ strong with an amazing group of people - jump on this offer

Ang Barnes
This guy is a legend and got me ready for Kilimanjaro with awesome training sessions, motivation and one on one help from adjusting back packs to walking with poles! I met my wonderful friend Heather Rickard through the gym! It's a great team, give it a go!

Jessica Lauppe-Guy
Joe's Garage Gym and now Joe's Basecamp is a lifestyle change not just a gym. Joe is a ‘hands on’ leader who has a passion for life and people. He wants everyone to challenge themselves and enjoy every experience. How he keeps doing this is a mystery to me but his positive energy, continual encouragement and huge outgoing personality may have something to do with it! If you want a challenge – no matter how big or small. Training programs that are never dull, challenging but fun. An environment that is caring and helpful. Personal one on one attention and an encouraging friendly team environment then this is the place for you. I have never felt healthier and fitter but have especially notice how I am so much more toned which was always my weakness area. It is an amazing feeling when your friends and complete strangers stop you to say how fit and healthy you look. Thank you Joe for letting me be part of this outstanding training family. I have many more goals to achieve and I know you will get me there.

Nadine Leckie
30 years ago I had a dream, that dream was to climb the highest mountain on the planet. 5 years ago that dream became real when I was offered a chance to join an Australian team that was going. At that point in my life I was 20kg overweight, I hadn't climbed for over 10 years, I had just gotten divorced (lost most of my assets and most of my access to my daughter) and so financially/ mentally wasn't in the best position - yet I grabbed the team slot. In just 11 months lead up Joe transformed me both physically and mentally into the shape of my life. On the 23rd May 2010 at 8:30am I stood on the summit of Mount Everest and I owe that to Joe Bonington. Interestingly Joe coached the entire Australian team and we put all 5 on the summit. Joe, you should be damned proud of yourself - that was the most successful Australian team ever in the history of Australians climbing Everest (to put 5 on the summit in one team). The world is full of talkers....very few walk the talk...you do and your results speak louder than any words could. Joe - thank you, I am forever grateful for your guidance, wisdom and for kicking my arse to 29,028ft.

Stephen Bock
Come down and talk to Joe . I started almost 3 years ago, I still can't wait to get down there each day and I'm fitter and healthier that I have ever been. There are people from all ages and experiences and they are all supportive and encouraging.

Anthony Jacobs
Today I went to a gym that I've never been to before (in the UK) and showed a guy in his 20s how to do a bodyweight kipped chin up. He did one and fell off the bar, I did eight. I can only do this because of the support and encouragement I have had from Joe Bonington specifically and Joe's Garage Gymnasium generally since I joined 18 months ago, unfit, self conscious and barely able to hang off a bar let alone lift myself above it. I'm stronger and fitter than I've ever been, I've been challenged more than I've ever been, I've made amazingly supportive friends I would never have met. I don't always enjoy it but I have learnt that (most) of the time, I CAN do it.

Liz Gearing
It's not often, I don't go a day without talking about Joe's.. my happy place that I'm so lucky to have found just a couple of years ago. Trying to find a good gym where I could continue my new found love of cross fit & get fitter after breaking my leg, I found Joe's. Not only did I find a no bullshit, no ego gym that has pushed me harder than any gym or PT session ever, I found a fantastic, inspiring man in Joe, who I count as a great friend & mentor. I also got real lucky & found a ton of people who are also now my friends (the JGG Crew!) - especially the 5.30 am crew who get to see my 'just rolled out of bed' look! Of course I joined up to get fit, but without the support of this gang of awesome people, I wouldn't be able to achieve the things i have - handstand push ups (they are an absolute favourite of mine, so much fun), double unders (not a favourite), lifting my heaviest deadlift at 87.5KG (the only one I can remember!) and setting myself new goals (aiming for a bodyweight chin up this year). It's not just about the physical either, working out at Joe's has made me so much stronger mentally too! If you count yourself as one of my friends, then I will have no doubt already tried to sign you up for Joe's, but this could be they year to try it! Come & play, work hard, have fun & best of all, you get to see me in my gym kit (that's not a benefit of course!) plus, I can guarantee you'll see awesome results & you'll meet a new set of amazing friends. If you're really lucky & do well, you'll get to take home Joe's special badge AKA blisters on your hands from all the chin ups!

Andie Tickner
Part 1 Let me tell you a short story Three years ago at Sam and Jake's engagement I was ecstatically happy for both of them however deep down inside I wasn't feeling comfortable in my own skin, at 52 I felt I was on a Roller coaster to old age  A little later in 2012 , I decided to do three things join Joes Garage Gym start using Isagenix Products and climb Mount Kilimanjaro Now at 55 I achieved my goal of reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro I feel totally comfortable in my own skin and younger than ever before There is more to my story but that can wait till the next post Right now just know That at 52 you can 'restart' your life Part 2 Part two of my story is Why Joe's Garage Gym now named Joes Basecamp When I set the goal of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro I knew I needed to connect with experts and so I was referred to Joe Bonington as a specialist in training people for altitude as 5895 meters is no walk in the park !! When I joined Joe's I got far more than I expected, definitely far more than a gym membership A great community A specialist trainer/mentor in Joe who was there for me every step of the way A program that I was able to stick to Every bit of knowledge I needed to successfully achieve my goal of summit I was clearly better prepared than anyone in the group Thanks Joe you are the best and everything that you are planning to provide fellow adventures this year is so exciting !

Heather Rickard
For those of you who know me quite well, you are probably already well aware of the passion I have for Joe Bonington, Joe's Garage Gymnasium and now Joe’s Basecamp. It’s been a journey of 2 years during which my body and mind were transformed. I have never been a fit or sporty person, I could never motivate myself to go to the gym or for a run. I have probably also been a person who would have needed a little extra attention in PE cause I was always a bit of a klutz. Training at Joe’s is tough as it is, but from being a non-fit person who did zero exercise it was insane. The encouragement from Joe and the trainers and also the “crew“ got me through some tough first weeks and continue to create an unbelievable environment where you archive things you never thought you could. Yes, I have lost weight since I joined, but that wasn’t the reason of joining and shouldn’t be yours. I wanted to become fit and strong and healthy. Since the 2 years I have joined I ticked many goals. Now these goals weren't climbing a mountain or running a marathon, but they nonetheless where big mile stones for me. I have run my first 5 k. I ran my first 10k (and in under 50 mins), I have finally got a body weight (kipped) chin-up, I got off my knees on pushups and I have deadlifted over 100k. If you feel like you are in a fitness rut, nothing every works for you and you sometimes feel a little down, I suggest you come join us a Joe’s Basecamp. It’s not a gym it’s an awesome community of people training hard together and getting results.

Ulrike Schoening
'I spend most of my time wearing a suit, which I do so I can keep climbing mountains. The word on the street in Kathmandu was that Joe Bonington is the ‘go to’ guy in Sydney to get you ‘Everest fit’. I’ve been training at Joe’s Basecamp for a couple of months, and never before has my fitness improved so much so quickly with so many laughs. Joe completely understands the physical, mental and emotional demands of being at altitude, and how to help you meet them. He’s put together a stellar team and decked out Joe's Basecamp with state of the art kit. If you have 8000 metre ambitions, Joe is the guy to get you in shape to top out.’

Alasdair Lawrence
What do I love about Joe’s Garage Gym in Balgowlah? Great atmosphere, community feel, effective, great trainer/s, supportive and lots of nice people to train with.

Jayne Larkins
It’s inclusive, supportive and you’re encouraged and valued no matter where you’re at in your fitness journey. Being very overweight and unfit there was always going to be an element of self consciousness from my part but everyone is so supportive and wants you to succeed.

Dannielle Mackenzie
I love the atmosphere first and foremost at Joe’s Garage Gym, it’s a great community that you’ve built. The variety of the workouts, the flexibility of the schedule & the opportunity to learn kickboxing from the pros at Bulldogs.

Liz Kerr
Its a really positive atmosphere. Joe gives you the personal attention but there’s also the “team effort” feel that makes you find something more in yourself. It changes your whole perspective and it makes you want to keep going back.

Kate Cooper
I love that joe makes me feel that i’ve always done fantastic! its a great space to work out in and always a friendly atmosphere. Also, that Joe takes time to show you everything the right way.

Kate Goodwin
Educational, inspiring, safe, fun, motivating, real life exercise and movements that help you get fit and healthy for real life

Ben Humphries
I love coming to the garage to a friendly group of people with similar passions. I love walking in knowing that regardless of the training discipline, i am going to be pushed to meet new goals. There are no limits to what can be achieved at the garage which can be attributed to such an inspring trainer :)

Megan Bowman
Firstly the gym is brand new and the location is excellent, secondly Joe obviously is an expert in what he does, he is really able to tailor a program for each individual. Lastly there is a certain dynamic or culture that has been created amongst the people that attend this gym, everyone is there for the same reason and really happy and focused – all three of these points make you want to get up each day and attend even the most gruesome workout (and there have been plenty) Lizzie

Elisabeth Sewell
Many of you know that this is the place I have been training at for the last few years. Before it began, I trained with Joe at his Sweat & Tears group trainings. I've always loved group training, there is something about everyone being in the same amount of pain pulling each other through. The camaraderie and the friendships that I have made whilst at Joe's has been priceless. On the physical side, I have become fitter, stronger, healthier and happier with my performance. I have been entering endurance races these last few years, something I never thought I would do. Last year I was the 2nd female to cross the line in a 50km event. Not only was I fit enough to do this event as a result of training at Joe's, but the guys I was with pushed me along to the finish line, amazing team. I've always been sporty, doing triathlons etc, but now I feel like I am prepared for each event I enter, not just winging it. I have also come through a period of rehab in the last two years after having a knee reconstruction. With physio combined with modified workouts at Joe's, I was placed back on the track where I left it. So, don't let injury hold you back from achieving your fitness goals. Come and trial the gym, the people and the trainer that make the place the best gym on the Northern Beaches.

Tam Dougherty
• knowledge • experienced trainer • fun • variety of sessions • training time. • personal attention • friendly training buddies. And most of all joe has the ability to get me up off the floor when I feel I can’t keep going, push myself to beat my PB’s and came back when I’m sore, tired and don’t want to go to training.

Steven Jackson
I am really enjoying the greater intensity of the workouts at Joe’s Garage Gym. I am also getting into the weightlifting like never before.

Gary Followill
What is it that I like the most about working with Joe’s Garage Gym? Quite a few things. The flexible training times which allow me to plan my training around my work diary. The variety in sessions stopping predictability and boredom. You think you’re getting there and then Joe takes it to another level. And the people a really good bunch to train with. A really good Sydney gym with a really good atmosphere making you want to turn up. Awesome work Joe, the best gym on the northern beaches.

Zoe Nicholls
I love the fact that it’s something different every time you train… Its great being able to rock up and have every training session organised for me… the gym itself has such a great atmosphere and vibe you want to come in and push yourself hard and try to better yourself every session. I cant believe how strong I have got in such a small amount of time… I also like the fact that Joe is not a steroid munching, abusing yelling, post pictures of yourself shirtless kind of trainer… he is such a sweetheart who is very kind and makes you feel like you have done an excellent job after every training session… finally It has been great to meet so many new people… everyone who I have met that trains as Joe’s Garage has been awesome… I think its great that you also organise social catch ups as well away from the gym in Balgowlah. I have found the place I will continue to train at indefinitely I even now plan my working week around being able to come 5-6 times a week… am I a loser?? Ha… LOVE IT!

Cassie Nichol
I love the fact that i am pushed every session i go to. I love to train hard and have always trained alone, or with my P.T. The group environment brings out my competitive side which helps me to push myself. Even tho i am part of the group. Joe Bonington makes me feel like i am still getting individual attention when i need it. Even tho Joe pushes us, he NEVER sacrifices form for speed/power… and because of this i am getting stronger and stronger every week. Thanks Joe!

Sharon White
I been training now with Joe on and off for over 5 years, I started with his sweat & tears boot camp training, however having my first child I was finding early mornings were a bit tough to get to. After having my 2nd child I thought it was time to get my arse into gear, I thought the best person for this was Joe! I tracked him down and we commenced a 12 week training & eating plan. Within the first week I saw immediate results and this was due to a great natural eating plan and a mix of cardio and weight training. I am now a member of Joe’s Garage Gym and I am really enjoying this new style of fitness with a mix of cardio, weights & technique. I now realise that dieting doesn’t work and you need change the way you look at food. I also know now that cardio workouts are good however weight training is equally as important. At Joe’s Garage Gym it doesn’t feel like it’s a chore and the workout’s are unpredictable and fun, thanks Joe. Love It!

Emma Martin
Training with Joe at Joe’s Garage Gym has really helped me to break through a plateau that I was experiencing with both my strength and conditioning training and has greatly improved my cardiovascular endurance. My cardio training in particular had been neglected over the past couple of years but now with the sessions that I have had at Joe’s Garage I feel ready to take on my first triathlon this year. Every session at Joe’s Garage is different and unpredictable which always keeps the body guessing. Without knowing what to expect before turning up at a session it keeps training interesting and far from monotonous. After training solely in a gym for the past 10 or so years, starting up at Joe’s Garage was the breath of fresh air that my training needed. Joe’s vast and in-depth knowledge of training techniques, body functionality and nutrition are such an important resource for my training and everyday living.

Michael Bowman
The Sweat and Tears group fitness program is the best kick start and maintenance program I know for peak fitness. The variety keeps me interested, and I really like Joe’s approach to coaching.

Margot Smith
I have not been to a gym class for more than 12 years and I have never had a personal trainer. I travel a lot with my work and that’s one of the reasons I have given up gyms. I like to run and I play soccer and beach volleyball – when I travel, I go to the gym at the hotel (I have a few routines that I use – and now I think I can do them a lot better!) and/or I go running. I try to keep active and overall I do enjoy exercising. I have only had the chance to attend two of Joe’s classes so far (freestyle and cardio). It has been really really really good to understand the intensity level I should be working at in order to really benefit. That has been the best learning so far – it has also been very good to work with someone so knowledgeable and so keen to help people feel better. It has not been a walk in the park, that’s for sure! I am sure one of the reasons why Joe picked the location was because of the ramps! Having a limited number of people per class has also been really good – Joe has the time to pay attention closely to each on of us and keep pushing each of us.

Cristiana d’Agosto
I have been training with Joe and the Sweat+Tears group for over 12-months now. Although it is tough I have enjoyed every moment. Great way to start the day, blow off some steam, and do it with a bunch of people all looking to better themselves. Always a positive, encouraging and friendly atmosphere. Thanks Joe, for helping me try and replace my Pectoralis minors with Pectoralis Majors!!!!! (as forlorn a task as it seems…)

Adam Hobbs
I have been training with Joe for 18-months now and I will not go to anyone else ever again. He has gained me results beyond what I could have ever hoped. After training with him for only 2 months, I was already getting compliments from strangers and friends about how healthy I looked. Joe knows his stuff!!! Whether it is nutrition or fitness, he has extensive knowledge. Working out with great people makes getting up for 6.00AM sessions so much easier. Being pushed by everyone and Joe Bonington helps feed my competitive edge :) The Balgowlah gym itself is a great place to work out. Getting results is what it’s all about and they are quickly achieved at Joe’s gym. I am now being considered for sporting photo shoots by a Sydney Agency! Thanks Joe!!!

Angela Barnes

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