Kind words from the FITographer

Thanks to Trav The FITographer who recently took some shots for our new website and had these nice words to say on Instagram. It means a lot, and is greatly appreciated.

I first started at FW about the end of March 2013.  It has been the greatest 4 months that I have had mentally and physically. Dan Tewson has turned me into a disciplined man and into an animal that wants to get great results in and out of the gym.

I know with the support and guidance of Dan, the FW gym and Steve Dellar from Fortitude Boxing

I can reach my destiny and become the world champion.


Before I had entered the gym my school grades were not so good.  I was sitting on a D/C average, now after

Dan the man has taught me during these four months I have reached an A in English, Maths and

Rec Studies at Nudgee College.


I have gone from 116kgs to 104kgs putting on 5kgs of muscle and loosing 12kgs (of fat).  I could not have done

this without Dan helping me along the way.  I look up to Dan as a big brother and my best mate.  How I could

repay him is to become the undisputed heavyweight world champion in the future. I can say the FW gym and

the people here are my family.  I would like to take this time to say thank you for helping me these four months.

I’m so honoured to train here and to train with the legend Dan Tewson.


Thank you so much my brother and thank you all.


 I just wanted to send you an email because I am feeling SO amazing at the moment. I’m not sure what happened,

if it was the personal 6 week challenge that I put myself on at the beginning of the year that kicked it off,

but I’ve just been smashing the classes, eating up the challenges and extra things you’ve been doing at Function Well,

lifting crazy weights with Nate, and loving every minute of it.

I swear, I have never been this fit in my whole life.  I can’t believe I’m even running, thanks to Matt and his

ridiculous Spartan training regime. I feel fantastic.

Function Well did this, so thanks. I know my commitment is part of it, but it never happened for the brief

moments I was a member of Fitness First, Good Life, Fernwood, YMCA or any other random gym.

You, your staff and your gym are awesome.


I’m delighted with my membership. It has been one of the best things I’ve done! 


I used to work as a Marketing/Sales Manager in the fitness industry and I have worked in a huge

range of gyms – from tiny little box gyms in a warehouse, to some of the biggest and most elaborate

gyms in the world and in all of that time, working in gyms all across the globe, it is very safe to say that Function Well

is by far the most personalised, friendly, welcoming and effective gym I have ever seen.

From the get go, I was welcomed and given the most comprehensive initial induction process that I have seen (by Andy Stevens).

Even with all the experience I have with gyms and training, I was blown away by the astounding knowledge and dedication that

Andy and all of the other trainers have and how in depth the training programs and sessions are.

The classes (especially Metabolic and boxing) are the most exiting and challenging I have done and really get fast results. But the

thing that stands out the most for me is how remarkably friendly and helpful all of the staff are, from reception and all the way up

to club owner. I couldn’t believe how quickly all of the staff were able to remember my name, it really is the little things that count.

All up, Function Well is hands down the best gym I have ever been too in every respect and I will never, EVER leave!


I just wanted to quickly take a moment to say despite my initial fear & doubts for leaving bootcamp and swapping

over to your gym, that I have no doubt in my mind that I made the right decision.I am completely loving the gym

and the culture you and your members have created.  Thank you for taking a risk and creating a gym that basically is a lifestyle/not a task!


Hi Darren

I just wanted to let you know how much I am enjoying being a member of Function Well. I have been a member for less than 2 weeks and cannot believe how welcome I have been made feel by you and your team. Special mention to J.P. and Maddie here.

The 8 week challenge is proving less daunting than expected thanks to the complete support offered by the gym. I feel that the team are monitoring my progress and really care about my results.

I feel completely comfortable in the F.W. free weights section and am really loving doing free weights again when this has previously been an area I totally avoided.

I am quitting my other gym membership and will be spreading the word about Function Well and what an amazing facility it is!

Thanks again for a great experience.

Sarah F.

“Dear Darren,

I thought I’d email this photo. I’m at the top of Mount Ventoux in Provence, France. It’s considered the hardest Mountain in France to climb by bicycle at 21km. I started from Bedoin, this is the route the Pros take in the Tour de France. I completed it in 1hr 55min which is pretty good for an amateur from a locals perspective. I felt strong all the way because of function well in my opinion.”

The quality of the trainers is exceptional and the classes are not your usual aerobics classes – short and sharp and you get a great workout


The trainers are qualified, friendly and hard working. They don’t just focus on the gym side of your fitness, but all of it.


Function Well are genuinely interested in your health. They encourage you not only to exercise but to eat well and offer mini seminars to educate you.


Better than the large commercial gyms. Everyone takes a personal interest in your results  and your training. The metabolic classes are a challenge but fun and I have found every single trainer to be very friendly and ready to offer assistance or advice where required.


I compare Function Well and other gyms as the difference between a Ferrari and a Toyota. The Ferrari is made by people who are extremely passionate and the very best in the industry.


The classes are really functional and the trainers and gym have a great positive and friendly energy/attitude


The classes are really tough, the trainers push you & it’s very different to any other gym I have been a member of in the past


Great team of competent, dedicated professionals


It’s completely different to an ordinary gym. The trainers take a personal approach.

The classes are far better then any other


Join the gym, do what they say and get the results


A friendly personalised gym where you can really achieve results you want, due to the

support and guidance you receive.


Great friendly atmosphere, but everyone goes there to work hard, no slacking,

trainers always on hand with advice and encouragement, enjoyable place to be!


Michael Jordan 

The best club I have trained in in Australia in the terms of the quality of trainers, social environment and the results they have helped me achieve.  Function Well has helped with me recover from a frustratingly long term knee injury and in the process pushed me to recapture the strength and fitness condition I had pre injury.  Now I am excited about the new possibilities I have with a fully functioning body.


Darren has all the recipes for success and growth with his genuine focus on health, nutrition, fitness and now the food/snack ideas. His aim to educate everyone is infectious and it’s hard not to tell others outside of the gym, and for them not take at least a few things on board.  Of all the gyms both in England and here in Oz that I have joined in the past, Function Well is by far the most enjoyable one to be a member off not only for it’s personal touch but for it’s effectiveness.

Jim Munro

The thing that impresses me is the commitment of the owners and the staff to the overall well being of the client. Being an older person, going into most gyms you are often made to feel the “odd man out” but at Function Well everyone is treated with respect and is made to feel part of the family.

Justine Price

It is a personalised fitness gym, the trainers are very attentive to your fitness needs, and  it promotes strength as the key to to keeping healthy and staying fit. The programs are tailored to suit your fitness requirements and the nutritional information I have received has been beneficial to maintaining a healthier lifestyle.

Chris James

I have been training at Function Well with Belinda every Saturday for the past 12 weeks participating in the strongman/woman challenge anithas been fantastic. By combining these classes with my PT sessions, my fitness has climbed to a new level more than I ever expected, and people have commented on how I have changed. The trainers, Dan and Nathan, drive you to smash it out every week while coaching you in correct technique and always pushing you to go harder and heavier. The sessions are always mixed up so you never get bored… well, you actually don’t have time to get bored! The very first time I walked into Function Well, they made me feel extremely welcome, from the owner Darren Bain and his friendly team to the members… everyone says hello and it’s genuine and refreshing. And you can tell they actually care about their clients. I think Belinda is making the right move and will fit in with ease and I look forward to following her to Function Well.

Geoffrey Webb

If you want results, join.

Yesterday was my first visit to Function Well for a Strongman training session with Belinda. Belinda had mentioned they were all really friendly and positive but no words could describe just how friendly and positive everyone was. I felt like I was being welcomed into a friend’s home and that they were really happy to have me there. Gyms can be extremely daunting for females, I think usually due to the disproportionate amounts of chest-baring barbarians! The first thing I noticed was that there was none of this at Function Well. There was a group of women who were all really friendly, a few guys, and some of the trainers walking around. Belinda introduced me to several of the trainers including the owners Darren and Natasha. They are both so down to earth, friendly, warm and encouraging. I was really scratching my head wondering if this was really a gym?! I have never felt more comfortable in a gym. It felt as though all of the trainers and members just want to help you. I’m still

trying to process that this place exists and despite the pain of yesterday’s session I am so excited to get back there next Saturday! Being in this kind of environment when I join up in September is going to take me to a whole new level of strength, leanness, and confidence with the bonus of more positive people in my life! Who can say no to that?!


For a complete health and fitness regime  with professional  trainers there is no better place.

Shirley Stevens

Function Well is the best gym that I have ever attended because the atmosphere is user friendly with a total client focus. The trainers excel in their professional approach with their client base and they “practice what they preach”. Since attending Function Well I have attained a level of fitness that I never thought possible!


Function Well differs to other gyms. It offers a personal approach that is genuine and has PROVEN results.


Only week 2 I know but…. just wanted to let you know how much I am loving Function Well and my sessions with Nayte! I was really disappointed when our trainer  said he couldn’t continue to train 3 of us together as I had really loved the work we were doing there, I felt I had gotten stronger and he was a really nice guy.

I was very, very hesitant when Chris suggested Function Well as I haven’t been in a gym since I was 21 years old (yes that’s a little while ago!) and I wasn’t sure about classes.  But I was up for giving it a go and I am so glad we did. I have seriously been super excited about exercising since we joined – loving the Performance Coaching sessions, loving the classes, even the early starts in this cooler weather! I am aiming to exercise 6 days this week and hit it super hard for at least 4-6 weeks to get myself back on track.

Whilst I can’t talk for Tony & Chris – I do know that daily we say to each other how much we love the place or how much we’re looking forward to the next session. Thanks heaps for providing such a positive and energetic place and we’re looking forward to the challenges ahead (though maybe not the prowler or bear crawls so much)!

P.S. not sure about the meat for breakfast thing but who knows I might be brave enough to give it a go!

Jason Adams

Hi, my name is Jason Adams, I started training with Darren at Function Well 8 weeks ago. Initially I started training with Darren because my fitness and weight levels had plateaued and my body was beginning to get really run down; I was very lethargic, my muscles and joints were aching, and I was always sick with a sinus infection.

Once having an induction with Darren it became apparent I was doing too much training and my diet needed correcting because my body had actually become acidic, thus my aching joints, muscles and fluid retention. I then started on Darren’s 10 day DETOX program and within 4-5 days I noticed a huge difference with my body. By the end of the 10 days there were major improvements to my body and general health. My mind set was more focused and positive, I dropped 8 kilograms of body fat, I was not as sore and my energy levels had improved. As well as this my sinuses were starting to clear as I had less mucous production.

Since then, I have followed Darren’s programs and have lost a further 5 kilograms and noticed considerable improvements to my physique. Cheers Darren and thanks for the help and guidance.

I just wanted to say thanks again for getting me onto the Poliquin detox a few weeks ago!! I was really sceptical about the value of doing a detox, I’ve tried a few over the years and can’t say I really noticed any difference at the end, but this one is different.

As you know I’d been training consistently and eating pretty well for a while and had done the 8 week challenge a few months ago as well but my weight was stuck around the 70/72kg mark. I did the detox and stuck to it completely for the 7 days…it definitely wasn’t easy and I wanted to give up a million times but I hate to quit anything and I can 100% say it was worth it now!

In the 7 days I was on the detox I lost 2.9kg and have lost a further 3.1kg in the 4 weeks since I finished it so I’m only a couple of kilos off my goal weight. All my measurements have gone down as well – even my thighs, which for me is the hardest place to lose weight.

The biggest benefit for me after doing the detox is that it has completely changed my eating patterns and tastes. I’m on the paleo diet now, with a cheat meal here and there, and my weight is still gradually dropping. I’m not craving sugar, carbs or fatty foods since I did it either. I feel the best I’ve felt in ages and I’m back in my skinny jeans!

I’d definitely do it again and I’d recommend it to anyone who needs that kick start to get them on the right track with their diet and weight loss.


I have always led a reasonably active lifestyle playing competitive sport into my mid 30’s. I am a senior executive with a large waste management group and found it difficult to maintain a reasonable level of fitness. I made a conscious decision 8 years ago to put more effort into health and fitness and was introduced to Darren.

Darren has helped me a lot over the past 8 years. Within the first 6 months of training I noticed significant improvement in my strength, stamina, physique and my executive belly is somewhat smaller than it used to be. Darren’s advice in relation to my diet has seen me adopt better eating habits and made me more conscious of what I eat and drink in general. Whilst I have some gym equipment at home I do not get the same workout as I do when supervised by Darren who always seems to manage to get an extra rep out of me.

Having a personal trainer has made a large difference in the way I approach exercise. I find that I am more likely to keep an appointment with Darren than I would if it was something I had committed to do myself like a run or exercise session at home, it is all too easy to put it off until tomorrow.

I have four sons and can still match it with them in most sporting endeavors, something I am sure would not be possible if I had not opted for a healthy lifestyle. Too many people take their health for granted & it is not until they suffer a serious illness that they realise how important good health is.

Thankyou Darren for rekindling my interest to get healthy!

Harold Grandell

I have been training with Darren for four years. In that time I have had a lot of laughs, sore muscles, and most importantly results. I finished studying last year and decided over Christmas that it was time to get serious about my health and fitness. My liver and I were very excited about the possibilities. My enthusiasm was matched by Darren’s and I started my new training program.

This year has proven to be very successful, as I have made changes to my diet, lifestyle and exercise regime, all of which have helped to make me feel great! Darren and the other trainers are friendly, fun and seemingly intelligent, however their inability to count at times can be a concern. But in all honesty, I have learnt a lot about health and fitness which has educated me to make the right lifestyle choices for my long future ahead

Lesleigh Toohey

Thanks Darren! Like most people I can easily find an excuse not to exercise. 9 years ago I had a gym membership but was uninspired and was therefore it had little impact on my fitness level. I decided a personal trainer might improve my motivation and therefore my fitness. Darren was exactly what I needed, I began to lose body fat and see improvement in my muscle tone. Not only was I receiving exercise programs and goals but also nutrition advice – suddenly I had direction.

A year later my partner also started with Darren. Whether we are unmotivated or motivated at different times we are constantly supported by Darren. He and his team organise group outdoor sessions as well as health retreat weekends dedicated to our health and fitness.

Function Well keeps us on track to achieving our health & fitness goals. As much advice as you need to live a healthier life, it’s best decision I’ve made.

Llian Godfrey

When I first started training with Chris I thought I was quite fit, however he has taken me to a new level of fitness and health I didn’t think I was capable of. Chris has provided me with inspiration, encouragement and energy in an environment that is a whale of fun. I now feel like no physical challenge is beyond my reach. I have been training with Chris since November 2006.

The results and more importantly the improvement I have experienced has been nothing short of dramatic. Chris consistently changes the programs to challenge you, never one to let you rest on your laurels and combined with his focus on technique, the experience has been overwhelmingly positive and has had the effect that I desired at the outset. I have had no hesitation in referring friends and colleagues to Chris for those very reasons.


I started training with Chris in August 2007 and my friends didn’t think I would stick it out! Well it’s now over seven months later and I’m still training and enjoying every minute – well almost every minute! Chris knows exactly how far he can push you and what you are capable of, he ensures every session has a good combination of hard work (sweat), variety and fun.

He has a never ending supply of encouragement and information providing me with an overall approach to my fitness and health which is paying off. I feel healthier and fitter than I have in years and somehow find the strength and energy to do one more rep or go faster, further or longer.

I now actually look forward to challenging myself physically and enjoy the results. There is no way out of slacking off when training on your own either, as the first question Chris always asks is… ‘so what have you been up to?’ And he doesn’t mean on the dating scene! He makes me accountable for my activity and health even when not at FW, which provides me with great motivation and support in achieving my lifestyle goals. Oh… and if he tries to tell you bear crawls are fun, don’t believe him!


I have trained with Matt for over three months and he has greatly transformed my life for the better. Within the first year I was the healthiest, fittest and leanest I’ve ever been, losing up to 11kg of body fat in the process. Matt’s unfailing good humour and endless commitment and dedication to my health and fitness is impressive and commendable and so I have no hesitation in regularly recommending him as a trainer to others. He has the emotional intelligence to know exactly how to push me, as a feisty, strong woman, to my absolute limits, and then some.

It is, in part, his background and training as an elite athlete and his understanding of how mind over matter can transform your life which makes him such a good, learned trainer. What’s more, our sessions are always varied, and so are interesting and even fun (at times!) so I’m never bored. I feel empowered and strong and am now addicted to our sessions. Matt is a top bloke first and excellent trainer second.

Nicole Carrington

Most Brisbanites start their Thursday mornings with a small sleep in, repeated snooze button hits, coffee and a quick breakfast before work. Dedicated Function Well clients are up early for a 5:30am wake-up workout!

This metabolic class not only has given me a positive shift in momentum for an amazing day to follow; but also re-instates my healthy outlook and genuine desire to maintain continual healthy habits.

The environment and energy in the personalised Health and Fitness centre is energized and invigoratingly infectious! I am a qualified Personal Trainer and Darren’s group sessions (Function Well group sessions as a whole) are just what a novice/moderately fit/performance excelling individual needs. The trainer’s guidance is crucial in these sessions. However, throughout the session, it is ultimately up to you how much you want to put in and as a result, receive in dividends at the end.

If you are looking for a metabolic rebirth/kick start for the next 24 hours/new outlook on 2010, come to the Metabolic Sessions here at Function Well!

Alanna Dall’Alba

Thank you for helping me reach my peak’ – Cara

Well Done Cara!! Congratulations on conquering Mt Everest Base Camp


U-turns permitted!
Gradually over the past 5 years I have been helping my brain and body perform a u-turn on health and fitness – it only took 30-odd years to do it, so better late than never! The beginning of this so called u-turn happened when I decided to join a local gym so that I could start to become a little fitter. In early 2007 I made the decision to start what was then termed, personal training. Back then I believed I needed someone to not only physically and mentally push me, but also make me do those damned exercises. After a few months of this, although it hurt, I knew it was doing something good for my body and me as a person. Skip forward to June 2008 and along came an opportunity to switch training facilities on a permanent basis. Both Darren and Matt already knew me from my previous gym, the change to be with these boys also brought about a change in my mindset. Somehow, way back in the far reaches of my brain, a little spark that flickered became a bigger spark. To this day, I don’t know what it was, but whatever changed was a good thing.

Not only have they dragged that inner “personal coaching client” well and truly out of me, they’ve managed to get me thinking about a number of aspects in this health and fitness caper. We attended a seminar that Darren ran on Bribie Island just over 12 months ago and that was the day the health part started to kick in. I thought I was doing ok with the fitness side of things and then during the day at Bribie, started to realise that there were a few more things in my daily routine I should/could change. It was either following day or the second day after the seminar I started implementing those changes.
I made my own decision in 2008 that my two-sugared coffees should become one sugared and then from the seminar with Darren, I knew I had to totally ditch the sugar. I also started to become friends with things like Vital Greens, higher quality protein powder, cleaner food (eg organic, less fat, higher fibre, lower sugars, less processed etc) and now had a much clearer idea of what I should be doing to complete my u-turn. By no means am I a goodie two-shoes in terms of food/exercise. There are days where we go out and I have a couple of beers or wines, maybe chips with a steak, eggs benedict or I don’t feel like that run/bike ride. But those types of days are far less than more now! Although I’ve never been a big drinker or massive fan of fast food, I still had changes I felt I wanted to make. Oh yeah, I still road test the occasional chocolate or ice cream too.

Since grasping this health and fitness idea and running with it, I’m proud to say that being conscious of what I eat and doing some form of exercise is no longer “something I’ll get around to later”, it’s something I now do without too much thought. This combined with Darren and of course Matt pushing us harder and further than before, I’ve managed to get the u-turn completed faster than I could have done on my own. They’ve put up their fair share of challenges for Nat and I, some that we thought at the time couldn’t be done but somehow they knew we’d succeed. Now when I finish the Bridge to Brisbane or a mini triathlon, I contemplate what my time will be in the next event – something that years ago, I would never have thought about until moments before the start of the next one.

Strangely I’m enjoying it all now and can’t thank Darren and Matt enough for their guidance and supervision. Of course there are some aspects that should be tweaked a bit more, but right now I’m very happy with what I’ve managed to achieve.

So if you are wondering if you can or should do it, just try it, you’ll be surprised at what you can achieve if you try! Good luck with your own challenge.

Brett Coughlan

My body shape has changed dramatically & I am a lot stronger. I have lost 15cm around my waist and can do 4 times the number of push-ups I used to be able to do. I feel great.


When I started at Function Well I was unfit, overweight & unwell. Dave has helped me reach goals with my fitness and health that I didn’t think would be achievable. The program has taught me how to focus on what to eat & how to train away from Dave, as well as making me believe and expect to achieve new goals each and every week. Thanks everyone at Function Well.


Since joining Function Well we’ve noticed a great improvement not only in our training but also our mental approach to it – thanks to Matt and Darren. All the trainers have respect for all of the Function Well clients and vice versa. I think this goes a long way in allowing us as clients to achieve our personal goals as well as the ones set by our trainers

Laura Dodds

      Just wanted to say thanks for continuing to invest in our fitness and health Darren. You run         the best health facility I have ever experienced and my life has changed only for the better           since I joined the FW family.


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