‘Weights don’t make you strong enough to wrestle crocs’

By | November 3, 2018

IF a professional boxer trains in the ring and an Olympic skier trains on the slopes, how exactly does a full-time crocodile wrestler stay in shape?

That’s the unique problem faced by Outback Wrangler Matt Wright, whose successful National Geographic TV show might see him taming a giant 17-foot crocodile one week and wrestling a muscular water buffalo the next.

The stakes are sky-high, too. Wright faces more than a standing eight count or a bad judge’s scorecard if things go wrong in the field.

“You always have to be fit, healthy and focused on everything we’re doing out there,” he says.

“But … it’s hard to train for.

“If you get lazy and you fall behind or you’re not focused, then it becomes very dangerous. And that’s something we just can’t afford out there.”

Wright’s TV show, which sees him tracking and capturing dangerous animals before relocating them to safer areas, has seen the mild-mannered former horse wrangler and helicopter pilot shoot to international fame, with Outback Wrangler now beamed into more than 130 countries.

But with its success has come an increasingly busy schedule, with Wright just embarking on a global promotional tour to announce the third season of his show.

His media duties, along with his shooting schedule, mean regular trips to the gym are out of the question.

But for a bloke who has spent most of his working life making use of the great outdoors, that was never going be a problem.

“You don’t need a gym,” he says.

“There are always parks with benches and that sort of thing, and using your body weight for fitness is really all you need.

“Weights don’t make you strong enough to wrestle crocodiles, but using your body weight does. Lifting weights hones one muscle, but using your body weight trains everything.”

And if the snapping jaws of Australia’s crocodiles aren’t enough to keep him motivated, there was another important event last year that inspired him to step up his fitness routine; fitting into his wedding suit for his nuptials to his fiancee of two years, Kaia Hammond.

“I just got married and like most blokes as you get a bit older a few extra kilos had sneaked up on me, so there was some last-minute hard training going on to shape up a little bit so I could fit into the suit. Maybe lay off the Great Northerns for a little bit,” he says.

“It’s exciting times for me. I’ve got to be fit, healthy and ready to roll.”


There are few people more qualified to recognise a croc when they see one, and that’s exactly what Wright thinks of fad diets.

“Most people unfortunately fail on diets because many of them are just to restrictive and hard to fit into your everyday life,” he says.

Instead, his food philosophy is simple: keep it clean and lean, and lay off the sugary snacks.

“I only have my three meals a day; a good breakfast, a good lunch, and a light dinner. If I do need to snack I make sure it is something high in protein and not sugar,” he says.


Matt believes that while having goals in life and striving for success is important, many of us are missing out on being happy today.

“It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle of life and chasing the next best thing but this often happens at the expense of enjoying life now. So my advice is to enjoy today and make sure you make the most of it,” he said.


1. Favourite healthy food?

That would have to be poached eggs.

2. Favourite unhealthy food?

Probably a chicken burger from Hungry Jacks — but I know it’s bad.

3. Favourite drink?

Great Northern beers. Wait, are they healthy? OK, make that the unhealthy one.

4. Favourite exercise?

Burpees. You hate them, but you know they’re good for you.

5. Favourite motivation tip?

Just take one step at a time.


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