As a personal trainer, Denny owned his own gym on the Gold Coast in Australia, but found he was called to return home and returned to the Cook Islands with his partner Chrystal, who is also a personal trainer.
“I grew up as a kid here and always wanted to come back,” Denny says. “I really feel that here on the island we need our health.”
His main focus is to get people active. “I don’t want to take food off them. At the end of the day it’s about creating healthy habits, incorporating exercise into your routine, becoming strong and fit and healthy. And in the end it’s the tape measure that speaks.”
Denny says women especially can carry too much weight around their middle. “That’s dangerous and can lead to trouble further down the road.”
He talks about diabetes as being of epidemic proportions, but says that this and other diseases can be avoided with exercise.
Denny’s long-term goal is to work alongside the health department. “If they give me 30 to 40 clients for six months, I would love to work with them, turn them around, and show them results and how their health can improve,” he says.
Denny’s previous 12-week programme at Raro Personal Trainers saw participants lose an average of 30cm from around their waist and hips and about 10 kilos of weight.
“But that’s not the most important, it’s the tripling of their health and fitness. That’s what matters.”
He finds a 12-week programme is enough to get people motivated. “We get new members interested in creating a short-term goal for themselves, but former members also just keep coming. They want to continue their journey and keep up their routine.”
Denny says new members come because they have seen the results in their family members or friends who have already done the programme.
As well as the 12-week box-fit fitness class, Raro Personal Trainers also does one on one training, with all ages and all sizes participating.
“It’s especially good for bigger people,” says Denny. “There are other programmes on the island and what we do is build up people’s fitness in a safe way so that when they are strong and fit enough it will be safe for them to go on and do other programmes if they want.”
With 200 members and 30 box-fit classes a week, Denny says people can just come and go as it suits them. Look up Rarotonga Personal Trainers on Facebook.