Journey Of Keegan Smith
Where RealMVMT began…
Overcame bad brain and bad gut (doctors can keep the labels).
6 Years in top level Rugby League - Premiership + All-time record.
Personal coach to Sonny Bill Williams.
100kg snatch, standing back-sault, 5-ball juggle, 90 second handstand.
Coach to 100’s of coaches via RealMVMT.
I was born into a sporting family. My dad, uncle and brother are professional rugby league coaches. I wanted to play hockey in the olympics.
I studied exercise science to pursue my own journey and because I didn’t know what to do with myself as an 18 year old.
By 3 years into the degree I’d drunk a lot of beer and learned that I didn’t know much about life and wasn’t getting much closer being at uni.
In my last year I spent more time reading about political history in the uni library than performance.
I quit after 3.5 years (graduating with distinction from Sci Ex. Sci rather than Ex Sci. + rehabilitation) having done my work experience with Parramatta Eels. The work experience became a role with the JETS (junior elite talent squad) and completing a massage diploma at nights on the side got me some work with that also at Parramatta.
Just before I moved away I played in the Australian U21’s championship where my team (NSW) won but I missed out on Australian selection.
I moved to England where I played hockey and did some massage work for the London Broncos where my brother worked.
From there a job as assistant in S&C presented itself at London Broncos together with the massage role. I ended up running the gym most of that year and running extra conditioning + weights sessions for the injured players.
I was learning about the world in London. Mostly when I was dragged to concerts with my brother Rohan. We’d meet people from around the world and I recognised more of my ignorance.
At the end of that season I moved back to Australia to have one last go at becoming an Olympian with hockey. I lasted 6 months working in the gym with the Parramatta Eels and fighting for a place in the NSW Hockey team.
By this time I had a burning desire to understand the world experientially.
Why is it the way it is?
Food, education, money… what are the options?
I sent my few thousand member mailing list a manifesto. I was off to see the world and find some truth. To find something real.
I got a reply from that email saying why don’t you come play hockey in Germany first. Hockey in Netherlands was on my dream list when I was 12, Germany was close enough, so I took it. Two and a half months with Dusseldorf hockey club was a great life experience. I learned quite a bit of German and saw another culture beyond Anglo.
I also met my future with Katharina soon after arriving to Germany.
After that I did get on and travel for a month in Central Europe (Croatia, Slovakia, Czech Rep, Poland, Bosnia).
Then on to Latin America. 8 months from Mexico to Chile almost all by land. Including 2 months at an orphanage in Guatemala.
Guatemala had more helicopters per capita than any country on earth at that time. It shared the history of most of Central America with foreign intervention and extreme wealth disparity.
I wanted to help these kids who’s parents had died, been killed or been abandoned due to the economic and social challenges of our current structure.
I also gained faith in the goodness of humanity hitch hiking and couch surfing across the continent. I was vulnerable and humanity cared for me. I will be forever grateful for that experience.
I came home a vegetarian with a changed view on the world.
I lasted a few months at home then went back for over a year living in Venezuela, Colombia and Mexico. I applied for medicine in Venezuela to study the cuban community medicine model but I wasn’t well organised and stumbled back to Australia not knowing what was next.
I bought a 1985 Toyota 3-speed auto and went to see the reality of Australia.
I drove to Darwin and then Alice springs over almost a year working on a feed-lot, fruit picking, delivery driving and as a youth worker out in the desert. I had now seen and understood more of Australia’s history and current reality.
By this time I really wanted to make some changes in the world.
I went back to Mexico on a mission to not just spectate and comment on the reality but to shift it.
I worked in Chiapas and then Oaxaca starting with learning the language and moving into agriculture projects. “With quality food and food security people can make decisions about what they really value in life and choose how they want to spend their time,” was my thought process.
A bunch of different projects and initiatives around chickens, rabbits, vegetables, sewing and shops got off the ground and I even contributed a decent portion of my own riches at that time to get things off the ground. Still I realised that Mexican development was complex and I wasn’t achieving much there.
I moved to Ecuador with no plan. I became an English teacher and thought about settling there. I looked at Real-Estate and thought, “If i can get $10k together I can get a base here and stay out of this mess I’ve just explored for the last 4 years.”
That didn’t work either so I came back to Australia, as lost as ever.
I jokingly offered my services to Trent Robinson one day after he was appointed the head coach role with the Catalans Dragons.
Soon after he accepted and I was head of performance for the first time.
I moved to France, unsure if I could stay in the one place let alone lead the physical performance of a team.
The team did well and I learned a lot from Trent and the team. I’d just hired Fred Marcerou (later head at dragons and in the Top14 and leader of RealMVMT France) to be my assistant when…
Trent got “head-hunted” by the Roosters. I applied to move with him in the role of Strength, Speed and Nutrition. I got the role. Not much was expected of the team that year. We weren’t tipped to make the finals. Sonny Bill Williams was signed late and we went about our business.
I implemented a “Westside Barbell” style approach as I understood it from having spent 10-days with Phil Richards just before coming home. There was also a big influence in there from the emerging ”movement culture” that I was about to dive into.
I through the kitchen sink at the players, I think all the staff did.
They survived and we won the regular season, the grand-final, the club championship and the world club challenge together with breaking the all-time defensive record for zero score-lines.
As strength coach you just have your numbers. You don’t really get to know what worked in terms of performance. The numbers got better. The performances got better and I felt I’d contributed.
After 3-years working my way to the best job in Rugby League S&C (the best job in sport for me), I wanted to move on. I stayed for money and ego, and we had a baby on the way with Katharina who I reunited with at the end of the time in France.
2014 season wasn’t the same. I was part time most of the year after an off-season conflict with the club.
The 2014 highlight was working with Pat Lane and Sam Kennedy, together we worked on ourselves and our athletes. I snatched 100kg that year and got in the best shape of my life. All the while I had an eye on what was next.
By this time I’d invested in mentoring from Charles Poliquin done a private internship with Ido Portal, Phil Richards and lots of other smaller workshops.
I wanted to coach coaches. Not just to win like I did. But to challenge the status quo. To take on what I was taking on in Outback Australia and in the mountains of the South of Mexica and at the orphanage in Guatemala.
I started Real MOVEMENT Project with Drew Slater late in 2014. Pairing with one of the most determined humans I’ve met was a great move. Real MOVEMENT boomed. We sold out workshops around Australia and teamed up with a couple of hundred coaches who really wanted to make a difference in the world. We had a higher rate of success in taking people from little hope, skills and income to gym owners than any program I’ve seen.
We were creating a revolution.
The revolution was not being televised.
Individual micro-gym brands weren’t creating a collective impact.
All my life force was going into this project but the model was wrong.
So I tried to change it by creating RealYOU gym franchise. I also had a ketones business that I thought would make me zero money blow up and change our financial future.
At this time I’d had nearly 7 years of consistent success and growth.
Well… RealYOU tanked. Mostly because we all gave up on it pretty early and didn’t have the model right. Still for a few months there were a half-dozen “hubs” fighting the good fight to create a global alternative in health and performance.
I’ve been clear about this. The world needs better systems of living. If we can empower individuals to perform, live & think in the way they’d like to perform, live & think. And if we can connect them to each other, locally and globally…
Well this possibility is what’s been driving me since I first decided to travel the world.
What systems of living create the best quality of life?
How can we evolve from the challenges of our time?
If someone decides to upgrade their experience of life I want them to have a place to grow. That place is RealMVMT.
The new brand was reborn in 2019.
A fresh start on the same mission.
The plan this time is to have affiliate and franchised gyms and to really make a dent in the world.
It starts with world-class coaches.
Regardless of whether coaches work with RealMVMT or under other brands there is little argument that the current education for coaches / personal trainers is a LONG way from what the world needs.
The same could be said of medicine.
Where does a citizen turn if they decide it’s time to focus on wellness rather than self-harm?
Alcohol addiction, slave food addiction, drugs (legal and illegal), sex addiction (tinda), gambling addictions, debt to government & bank and low self-worth are the norms of today.
The mental and physical health statistics are clear.
YES we live in a time of MASSIVE opportunity that humanity has built towards for millennia.
The statistics say that we’re not using this time to make life better.
So what’s the alternative?
I know that RealMVMT has made life more liveable for hundreds of coaches and thousands of members.
We need to grow and spread and influence other movements.
The time to stand up and live your worthy ideal, targets and freedoms is now.
We have a system of living far superior to what is being taught in an major institution.
Leading athletes are acknowledging this. In the last 6 weeks I’ve worked with Sonny Bill Williams (10 days), Sydney Roosters (ongoing), Western Force (6 hours), Aussie Sevens (5 sessions), Hong Kong Sevens and Basketball players (6 days) and over 40 leading performance coaches.
We have begun.
I have many flaws and challenges that hold back this process.
I’m not alone on the journey although often it feels this way in a time where encouraging collaboration and lifting up your brothers and sisters is a growing challenge.
My work is to unite great coaches and create a global solution for the athlete in all of us.
Yes I want to help athletes succeed, make more money and win the olympic medals I gave up on.
My travels also taught me to believe in a humanity.
We generally want the best for each other.
We have massive potential when placed in the right environment.
RealMVMT is about creating that environment.
>> and that’s my story so far.
Keegan Smith, 2 Aug 2019 the day before our 3rd RealMVMT1 event at Exalto Hub. Created by a coach with a powerful story of his own Jordan Potts (and his lovely partner Nic)
Performance Influences I Value:
Phil Richards - 10 days
Coach Sommer / GB - 11 days
Charles Poliquin - 7 days
Poliquin Institute - 7 days
Ido Portal - 12 days
Martin Harlowe - 10 days
John Broz - 2 days
Sebastian Oreb - 2 days
Martin Rooney - 2 days
Mindset Influences I value:
5 Days with Bob Proctor
2 Days with Warrior Program (Garret J White)
3 Uncommon Resources Worth Your Time
There is a full reading list within the RealMVMT Team
As A Man Thinketh - James Allen MIND
Nutrition And Physical Degeneration DIET