Health, fitness and performance is not a sprint, it’s an ongoing journey where quality of movement, sustainable training and nutrition approaches will ultimately lead to greater outcomes, whatever your goals.
DAVID SMITH BSc (ExSc), ESSA, ASCA, Co-founder & Head Performance Coach
The higher your energy level, the more efficient your body. The more efficient your body, the better you feel and the more you will use your talent to produce outstanding results.
STEPHEN HISSEY MSc, BSc, ASCA, Master Coach
Give back to your body because it allows us to do incredible things. Put as much effort into looking after your body as you do with any other venture
JOSH GORDON Adv. Dip. Sports Therapy, Soft Tissue Therapist
I strongly believe providing learning opportunities and education to clients can empower them to achieve their best in health and performance through an individualized approach specific to their goals, using the best of evidence based practice with years of coaching experience.
JAMES BALLANTYNE BSc (ExSc)(Hons), BSc (Psych), ASCA, Master Coach
Exercise can be done by anyone, its about finding out what you want to do, identifying the path to achieving your results and establishing yourself within an environment that will help provide the catalyst for your change
ADAM LUTHER M. Clin. Ex. Phys, B. Hlth Sci., ESSA, ASCA, Master Coach, Exercise Physiologist
The best medicine is real food, exercise, and a balanced lifestyle that includes adequate sleep.
Addressing bio-mechanical imbalances through functional movement, in addition to the importance of work-life balance, adequate sleep, stress management, exercise and nutrition are all integral components in optimal health and healing.
ASHLEY GUDGEON MHSc(Osteo), BSc (ClinSc), Osteopath
Every patient deserves to be taught about the nature of their own problem, and be given the tools to manage themselves so they can enjoy life free of pain.
JOEL LAING B.Physio, BSc, Dip. MDT (Mckenzie Method), Physiotherapist
I believe that the road to health and fitness is built by executing the basics well, not by focusing on the 1%’ers. Simple changes made consistently will bring the biggest results.
FINLAY MACHUGH MSc S&C (IC), BA (ExSc) (Sp.Pa.), UKSCA, Master Coach
I want to change the way Australia views and manages pain; I’m committed to empowering people to employ movement and exercise to take ownership of their own health and fitness.
SEAN VAN VELSEN M. Clin. Ex. Phys., BSc Ex.Sp, ESSA Ex.Sc & EP, Master Coach, Exercise Physiologist
The worst kind of challenge is an absence of challenge. Without meaningful struggle against an obstacle we can survive but never grow, therefore never flourish.
TOM DANIEL MSc Ath., BSc (App. Sp. Sci.), Performance Coach
Exercise is the magic pill we need
DR DANIELLE HOPE MBBS, FACSEP, Sports & Exercise Medicine Physician
Our comprehensive sports medicine offering is second to none and includes sports physicians, exercise physiologists, physiotherapy, osteopathy, soft tissue therapy and dietetics, together with wholly customised one-on-one performance coaching and small group training.
We pride ourselves on bringing together, under the one roof, highly qualified and experienced practitioners with a demonstrable track record of getting results for clients.
Our programs are meticulously thought through and highly personalised, designed with both an individual’s training requirements, rehabilitation and lifestyle considerations in mind.
We work with you collaboratively to practically ensure you achieve your health, rehabilitation and fitness goals – within our centres and beyond.
You may have a specific goal in mind, like completing a triathlon.
You may want to maintain a level of fitness that allows you to cycle the Great Ocean Road on weekends.
Perhaps you need help returning to full health following an injury.
Or you want to establish sustained healthy behaviours to ensure you remain fit and active for years to come.
Maybe you want to achieve better balance and improved mental health alongside a demanding professional career or lifestyle.
Whatever your individual health, fitness and rehabilitation goals, we’ll help you get there through our collaborative performance coaching and sports medicine approach.
Absolute Health & Performance’s mission is work with your individual needs, and make sure you achieve, the results you’re after.
With a team of highly trained and experienced practitioners, we provide a meticulous and personalised end-to-end service, from individual performance coaching and small group training, through to sports and exercise medicine, physiotherapy, osteopathy, soft tissue therapy and dietetics.
Each area is applied individually to help you met your individual health, fitness and rehabilitation requirements.
Absolute Health & Performance. Raise the Bar.
Your passion, drive, and love for what you do shines through in your character, training, and the way you run an incredibly successful business. You always strive to be up to date with the latest evidence and knowledge, and get the best methods for your clients.
Dave you are truly one of a kind and thank you will never be enough for how you have impacted my life. I appreciate who you are and grateful for all you have done for me (and continue to do!)…… I wouldn’t be where I am today without your support, guidance and putting up with all my freak outs, texts and emails. You have a heart of gold and are a serious talent in the health, medical and fitness industry!
“Sometimes people come into your life for a moment, a day, or a lifetime. It matters not the time they spent with you, but how they impacted your life in that time.”
David is a truly exceptional coach. I should know. I have been training for 30 years. I am a qualified weightlifting coach (and former competitive weightlifter) and a Les Mills RPM instructor. After all of those years of training (and several personal trainers) I had literally tendonitis coming out of my glutes, not to mention elbows, Achilles and shoulders.
David quietly, forcefully and expertly put together designed training and remedial programmes. It was not the standard rest, ice, compression and elevation. It was a challenging but manageable programme. My shoulder is coming right (the worst injury). The glutes are good. The Achilles are progressing well. Elbows are out of the way. Plus, this has all been implemented during the most challenging of times (c19).
There are as many trainers as I have had injuries but in my (expert) opinion you are best served by getting the best. If you did an ACL, you would want the best surgeon in town. If you had a bet the company piece of litigation, you would get the best QC available. The same applies to injury management and training. David is the best of the best.
I came over to Absolute from the University of Glasgow for an 8 week summer placement. My time there just wrapped up a few days ago. To be concise, I found the time spent there incredibly enriching.
From the outset I felt at ease. There was a day-to-day structure set in place by performance coach Finlay MacHugh, based off of my goals…. The staff collectively went out of their way to put my learning first. Finlay, David, John, Steve, Jarrad, Adam, Joel, Atlanta & Jonny, thank you especially.
If you are a student, potential client, or currently a practitioner looking for experience, under the guidance of experts in the field, I would look no further than AHP. Without a doubt at the forefront of sports medicine provision in Melbourne
I started training with Dave and the team at Absolute Health & Performance in late 2018 following arthroscopic surgery on a ACL deficient knee. Dave has developed a program that specifically addresses the problem with my knee and also focussed on building overall strength. His program quickly got me back playing competitive tennis (after a few months following surgery) and has made significant improvement to the stability of my knee and my ability to move. The strength component of the program has resulted in substantial improvement in my overall body strength.
Sessions with Dave are challenging and the sensible progression of loads and intensity, along with proper coaching in technique has now got my strength and movement at a level it hasn’t been at since my 20s!
Andrew C - 50
I was referred to David by my knee surgeon. To avoid surgery, it was decided to try & strengthen my knee & surrounding muscles. From the get go, David had my best interests at heart. He was upbeat, positive & full of encouragement for me. The program David designed for me held me accountable. It was user friendly too!I’m now enjoying dance classes & have full confidence in my knee. I’d recommend David to anyone who is serious about strengthening their body & having a instructor who has their back!
As someone who has incorporated running into my weekly fitness regime since I was a teenager, I figured it would be good to have my technique professionally assessed. Over the course of three sessions with Ash, my movement, speed, balance, flexibility and mental state were assessed, deconstructed and then rebuilt in such a way that I don’t know how I managed to run the way I had been all these years. At each session Ash took the time to examine every aspect of my approach to running, identified issues, discussed them and then built strategies for me to improve outcomes. As a result I have made conscious changes to my technique and personal strategies which have improved my speed, reduced my injury rate and increased my recovery time noticeably. What is more, the aftercare following the assessment has been fantastic. Ash is available at any stage for me to seek guidance and support. All his work with me was documented in an informative and comprehensive report that I can refer to at any time. Additionally, Ash and my performance coach, Dave regularly liaise regarding my overall training plan and fitness progress to ensure the strategies they have both put in place for me align and support my own personal fitness goals. I can’t recommend the running assessment more highly for those who run, regardless of the frequency or intensity of your training.
I recently had a running assessment at Absolute Health & Performance. I was unaware of how poor my running technique was and how this had likely correlated with several injuries over the years, including 2 knee surgeries. My running assessment package included slow motion filming of my technique, a range of exercises to address strength and movement, along with a structured and easy to follow plan moving forward. We have now come up with a strategy to address my technique and strength issues, with these changes being relatively easy to implement. In the past month since making these small changes I have recorded my best 2km time trial time, and feel confident leading into this football season that I will remain injury free. I would strongly recommend the running assessment package at Absolute Health & Performance for not just runners, but people in team sports that involve high amounts of running.
I am a huge advocate of Absolute. I first discovered them through seeking soft tissue therapy for an injury. In discussion with their massage therapist, I learned that my programme at my local gym was not structured to achieve my goals, and was actually the cause of my fatigue and back pain.
This led me to trialing a coaching session with Steve, and I have never looked back. Steve constructed an Olympic weightlifting programme for me that was interesting, varied, and I started to see consistent improvement. I am now 4 months into the programme and it has been the most successful 4 months of training in my life. I exceeded the goals I originally set for myself, and I have never enjoyed training more.
Having had coaching at many different gyms, I can confidently say the team at Absolute are a level above everyone else. The team are personable, the gym has a great atmosphere, and above all, there is a strong culture of care for their clients. That care translates into achieving goals while minimising risk of injury, which to me is the most important thing for an athlete. Give them a go, you won’t look back!
I began at Absolute Health & Performance with Dave almost a year ago to help with my recovery after spending a month in hospital. I had lost a significant amount of my lean muscle with autoimmune encephalitis and going in to a coma. Since then he has continuously supported me with his extensive knowledge and holistic approach to my health. I am now 20 kg heavier with muscle than when I left hospital and stronger than I have ever been. I particularly notice the differences in my physique and when I play hockey. Absolute Health & Performance feels like a family every time I go in, everyone is so pleasant. I would thoroughly recommend them.
After extensive hospitalisation and surgery I commenced rehabilitation training with Dave Smith in late March. At the time I was still wearing a hard collar, had limited mobility and neural deficit and pain down my right side.
With Dave and the team at Absolute Health & Performance Group’s support I commenced a mobility regime and pursued a rehabilitation program to address the neural deficits.
During the course of the last 9 months I have regained full use of my right side, have regained a significant amount of the muscle which had wasted and am now able to run, do condition training and perform a similar range of activities to those I previously performed.
I am incredibly grateful to Dave Smith and the team at Absolute Health & Performance Group for the assistance they have given me both physically and psychologically, as I have pursued this complex path.
I am 76 years old, fairly set in my ways, and I used to HATE exercise. A short daily walk was all I needed – or so I thought! But a fall on the walking track made me question my fitness. I found myself at Absolute under the charge of Adam Luther.
Three months later I’m a new person….I am developing core strength and balance. I have learnt to walk properly; I have lost inches where it counts; my posture is improving, my clothes fit me better; my shoes don’t hurt; I am more alert and positive. I FEEL GREAT.
The crucial factor has been my one-on-one sessions with Adam and the program he has designed to address my needs and my age. His expertise and experience of working with older people assured me that I was in good hands…. Not an over-strained muscles or pulled hamstrings in sight!!
Adam easily won my confidence with his friendly approach, carefully graduated exercises, praise and encouragement. But he’s no pushover! He has hawk eyes and watches every movement to ensure that I do the exercises PROPERLY and continually raises the bar before I have time to rest on my laurels. I started doing the practice exercises at home simply because Adam said I had to (he can be quite firm), but now I do them by choice because I can feel the benefit.
Weekly trips to a city gym seemed daunting at first, but now I combine it with lunch with friends, and this makes it my special day of the week. It also helps that the atmosphere at Absolute is welcoming and the entire staff are friendly and engaging. A little old grandma walking in off William Street didn’t seem to faze anyone. I hope I am the first of many.
I feel like I have wasted so much time in gyms over the years (literally decades wasted with inefficient technique and ridiculous self-designed programming). Now you have me doing the right exercises with the right technique at sensible loads and progressions, I feel like I am getting stronger at a faster rate than I ever have. Plus I am recovering from knee surgery way better than I thought was possible. Thank you Dave!
I’ve been training with Jonny, one of the performance coaches at Absolute, for over 12 months and I love it! He’s designed a great personalised programme that’s challenging and fun. His encouragement has given me much more confidence and he definitely knows how to get the best out of me!
A key reason I recommend Absolute is the allied health professionals all under one roof. Jonny, Joel, the physio, and James, the massage therapist, coordinate an holistic approach to my health and fitness so that I am now virtually back pain free! Great joined-up service.
I also do Absolute Endurance, one of the small group classes, which are small enough that you get individualised coaching but also good fun to train with others.
The environment at Absolute is super friendly, with great facilities and equipment too. And importantly for us girls, good showers, nice changing rooms, all toiletries provided and a hairdryer so no lugging around the contents of your bathroom!
I’ve been trained by co-founder David Smith for the past 12 months and I’ve learnt so much about how our bodies work and how you can (with the right guidance) push through your own physical and mental barrier. I don’t think I’ve seen such progress in meeting my goals. Thanks Dave mate!
“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do.Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” -Aristotle
The above couldn’t be truer for the Steve and the team at Absolute for the service provided is of excellence, something that comes of ease due to the dedication and hard work they have all put in over the years. I trained with Steve Hissey for a bit over a year and achieved results I didn’t think I was capable of achieving. As well as being pushed hard I’ve also been taught how to train smarter. In addition, the business model of the gym means elite services are available to anyone with no contracts required which means any individual can have world class health professionals at their request.
I came to AHP after tearing my hamstring for the third time in a season. Together Dave and James worked out the root causes of my issues which related to being seated for long periods of time due to Uni study and my running technique which placed an unworkable amount of strain on my hamstrings. Working closely with both I worked on flexibility, lower back issues and completely changing my running technique. I am now injury free and able to play football again.
I am a 78-year-old retired Plastic Surgeon. I have spent my working life either standing up all day in an operating theatre or sitting all day in my consulting room. Hardly the ideal for a strong, healthy body !
About 6 months ago my son, Michael, who is a close friend of John Caldwell, who is one of the owners of Absolute Health & Performance, said to me – ” Dad, I am going to give you a present that you will probably not like.” A strange question I thought. It was that Michael had paid for ten sessions at his mate’s facility. How could I say no? So, I decked myself out in the appropriate clothes so that my son would not be embarrassed and off I went. There I was, by far the oldest in the gym and amongst the strongest a fittest group one could ever see.
Jonathan was assigned to me. He quickly assessed me and my fitness short comings. Slowly, ever so slowly we progressed. For the first few weeks I hardly raised a sweat. Then the work increased. After 6 month’s I can lift weights that were previously beyond me. I am far more flexible, but still I can’t stand on one leg. I will someday soon. It is an intelligent program that has been designed for me. Jonny tells me he is impressed. I take him at his word for that! Once started, one should never stop. I have a farm and so many jobs on the farm that were beyond me now are pushovers.
Thanks Jonny. You are a legend.
The exercise program James developed started to deliver observable results in a very short period of time. I was surprised at how quickly the knee was recovering, and how my overall strength and stability was improving. For me personally, the consistent week-to-week improvements highlighted the real value of working with a highly qualified performance coach as opposed to just going to the gym. I have been working with James now for almost six months. The knee fully recovered several months ago and I have resumed my Aikido training without any restrictions on my freedom of movement. More importantly, I am no longer worried about needing to protect the joint thanks to the progressive build-up of confidence in the strength and stability of the joint as a result of the program. While the injury has now fully recovered, I have continued to work with James on new performance goals and objectives and my personal coaching sessions with James, coupled with the small group classes I now attend, continue to deliver real results. For me personally, working with James and the team at Absolute Health and Performance has been, and continues to be a very positive experience, and it is one that I would most definitely recommend to anyone that is recovering from an injury as I was, or who is just looking for genuine results
The most comfortable and at home I’ve ever felt in any gym. Great crew of supportive staff who know your name and your preferred workout music. They welcome people of all abilities and moderate for your skill level. It’s all about getting the basics right and making sure you’re lifting properly before chucking any additional weight on. Very patient with new starters and flexible when it comes to working around life/job commitments. Can’t recommend this place highly enough, especially if you’re not the “gym junkie” type. Did I mention how good the music is?
I first went to Absolute Health & Performance in about October 2017. At that point in time I was unable to play golf or basketball without taking pain relief before during and after those activities. I was also suffering from pain in my knees and back during normal day to day activities. I also signed up to two half hour, one to one training sessions with Dave Smith and have never looked back, seeing him each week. The improvements have been significant. The day to day pain in back and knees has almost disappeared completely. I am now able to complete games of basketball pain free. The movement on the basketball court has increased considerably from almost hobbling to now actually taking part! I highly recommend Absolute, Dave is a fantastic Coach, my Osteo there is great…
Put simply: in all my years of playing elite sport, working with elite athletes and high-performance professionals (which spans almost 3 decades now), there is no-one I would rather work with, or be trained by, than Dave Smith.
Andrew Willett, Australian Rugby representative, Super League player & former CEO of Pure Sports Medicine
I have been training at Absolute for almost a year now and my health & fitness has improved significantly under his guidance. A few months ago I suffered a serious ACL injury requiring rehab. The team at Absolute have been fantastic in supporting me, taking a best practice approach to my rehab, having Dave prepare & oversee the program, Mike assisting me with training, and having physiotherapy & massage therapy which I attended weekly. I felt very secure having the whole team to support me through my injury and I was confident that I was receiving the best advice from a highly qualified team of professionals. They take such a caring & personal approach to their work, it has really helped me progress through my injury. I am very grateful to the team!
When I came in to see Dave Smith at Absolute I had severe pelvic rotation with a lot of pain and I was struggling to walk or sit in a chair all day. Knowing my big trip to Europe was coming up in June I was determined to get back to walking and not let this injury ruin it. Dave has been incredible! He gave me a comprehensive program to focus on strength and flexibility. He kept me focused and challenged my limits. I had the best holiday in Europe walking everywhere and pain free….There is no way I could have achieved this without him. I can’t thank him enough and I love training at Absolute Health & performance, it’s an amazing space.
So happy I walked past these guys and enquired! I love that they not only have a holistic approach to health and fitness, but a genuine personalised approach too. I have been training consistently for 5+ years, the last two with chronic back pain. Two months ago I found Absolute Health & Performance. I had my first physio appointment with Joel and received my first program from Stephen and WOW! The progress I have made with my fitness and rehab in such a short time is amazing. I love that the Performance Coach and physio work together to ensure you’re doing the right thing for YOU.
I used to regularly injure myself while playing sport and Dave has taken that from 4-5 times a year to 3 times total since we started training. I have also had some osteo done by Ashley who fixed up my neck, and some massage from James who has been working to release my tight quads and shoulders and have been comfortable at all times in their care. Dave, Ashley and James all share notes so my treatment and training compliment each other. I confidently, without hesitation, recommend my friends, teammates and coworkers whether it be a small niggle or a major injury .
Excellence. The quality of the training and professional advice, the ancillary services, the facilities and most of all the friendliness of the staff are second to none. Once they they welcome you into the AHP family you feel a genuine care and concern for your physical and mental well being. They take the time to understand your goals and challenges and tailor the programs and advice specifically to your needs. Your are constantly pushed and supported to be your best and the results speak for themselves. My fitness, health and sense of self have never been better. What’s more, I am having fun while working on them.
I cannot speak highly enough of the team at Absolute. The depth of knowledge and experience is evident in everything they do – whether it be 1:1 PT and working with clients to achieve personal goals, small group classes, injury rehabilitation and injury prevention, corporate presentations, massage therapy, etc. I love that Absolute can fulfill all of these requirements for me. The staff are professional, friendly and attentive – from the front of house to the coaches and practitioners. It’s incredible to have such a wealth of knowledge and experience so accessible. The team at Absolute really are a cut above – I cannot recommend them highly enough!
Professional, extremely knowledgeable, supportive and fun. These are the words that immediately spring to mind when I think of Absolute Health & Performance, co-founder Dave Smith and Absolute’s team of professionals….The holistic approach adopted by the trainers, osteopaths, physiotherapists, massage therapists and myotherapists has been most beneficial for me, particularly during times when I have needed some forms of therapeutic support or treatment.
I cannot recommend Absolute highly enough.
I am 56 and I have never been as physically strong as I am now! He keeps my training program interesting, protects my back and drives me for the extra rep. Dave’s expert knowledge has been instrumental in helping to keep work around injuries when then arise……
The combination of an osteopath working in combination with my trainer has me back on the running track after several years off through injury. If you are looking to improve your strength and fitness, I cannot recommend Dave Smith and the team Absolute Health & Performance highly enough.