We’ve already featured Austin Haye on our YouTube channel back in July of 2016 (video added below), but we wanted to sit down with him and ask some pointed questions about his thoughts on the gym and strongman competition. Austin is currently a heavyweight strongman competitor, …destination gym member, and Gasp Inc. Athlete.
Give us a brief introduction of yourself
Hello, my name is Austin Haye. I’m currently working in the financial industry as a Credit Analyst at a bank. I’ve been married to my beautiful wife, Mary, for 2 ½ years now and we’re expecting our first child, a boy, in May 2017.
What brought you to …destination?
I’ve known Greg McCoy for a long time and I used to occasionally train at the old Metro Flex Plano location he started before it became …destination Dallas and moved to the new building. Greg had always gone out of his way to make me feel welcome and include me in any events that were happening at the gym. When he told me about the new location of the gym and rebranding, I thought it would be something cool to get involved with, so I stayed in touch with Greg and helped him connect with people in the north Texas strongman community so that he could promote events to target strongman athletes.
How has the community at …destination impacted your fitness journey?
Just walking into …destination and seeing athletes that have earned the title of “pro” in their respective sport is always humbling. When you’ve been in the game as long as I have been now, you don’t really get motivated from commercial gyms and the kind of atmosphere that’s typical in those environments. But coming into a gym like …destination that’s home to numerous pro athletes, it wakes me up like a shot of whiskey and it makes it easier for me to focus in and get down to business with my training.
What sort of personal fitness goals have you set for yourself, and how has …destination played a part of helping you achieve those goals?
My personal fitness goals have always been more or less to improve on what I’ve already built and (more recently) staying healthy. …destination has given me that environment that inspires hard work and intensity, as well as the equipment I need for training towards whatever goal I’m chasing.
What are some of the biggest obstacles you face in your fitness journey?
Time commitments with family and injuries. While I love pumping iron and getting stronger, my family always has to come first. With a baby on the way, I’ll have to balance my time a little more efficiently to make sure I’m not missing out on anything important at home. Injuries have also been an obstacle I seem to keep running to, especially in 2016. I herniated a disc in my lower back in 2013 and never got it fixed, then it ruptured a year later and I had to get surgery to fix it at the end of 2014. Ever since then, I’ve struggled mentally to work past the fear of re-injuring it.
What has been the most rewarding part of joining …destination?
It’s hard to narrow it down to just one thing, but being around the supportive staff and other members have always been very rewarding. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been beating myself up over bad training sessions and had folks that work there and other members come up to me and say they still admire my effort and the kind of weights I’m moving.
What advice do you have for fellow fitness enthusiasts or those new to fitness?
- Set goals and write them down. There’s a sense of accountability towards yourself when you write goals down on paper and commit to them.
- Find others to pursue those goals with you. Whether that’s joining one of the many group training sessions at …destination or putting together a training crew, it’s always better to train with other people. I’m always encouraged to push myself harder and put more effort into my training when I’ve got other people there with me putting in just as much effort.
- Enjoy fitness – but don’t obsess over it. The point of fitness is to enhance your quality of life, not limit it. Granted, there are times when you’ll have to prep for a show or a meet and you will have to have a very strict schedule/diet, but this should only be for the season. But when you’re not competing, don’t cancel plans with family and friends because it interferes with leg day, or don’t limit the places you’ll go/travel because you won’t have access to boiled chicken and broccoli (that’s a bit extreme, but you know what I’m getting at).
To see how Austin trains for competition, follow him on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/tx_strength/