Jack Hanrahan: Mission to Put Health Back Into Fitness
Meet the newest sporting elite to join our team of Prevayl Pros! Jack Hanrahan is a certified fitness trainer and strength coach on a mission to help people get stronger, fitter and move better. Throughout his career, Jack has worked with clients from world-class athletes to Hollywood actors, and it’s led him to this point: a Prevayl Pro.
Following his visit to the Prevayl HQ, we caught up with Jack to discuss his fitness inspiration, his vision for the industry, his pro tip for every fitness beginner and much more.
Q: What’s your first impression of Prevayl after meeting the team and trying out the kit?
A: My first thought was “How is this even possible?”
It’s amazing how far technology has come. Especially when I think of how the fitness tracker industry has been static for such a long time, I think Prevayl is something that pushes the boundaries and takes performance data to the next level, so I find it very exciting.
When it comes to SmartWear®, I really like the fit and the feel of the garments. The Sensor is tiny, which is great because it’s discreet and easy to integrate into the clothing. The app is very easy to use as well, and tells me what I want to know. Generally, the first impression is very positive.
Q: How have you integrated Prevayl into your training?
A: It was fairly straightforward. I’ve been using it mainly for cardio because for me, I find that that’s the best use case in my own training. I want to see real-time HR data and to be able to adjust the intensity of my session accordingly. Sure, you can use a rating of perceived exertion but the live HR in the Prevayl App tells you exactly what’s going on metabolically, which makes it very useful when you’re trying to perform a session as accurately as possible.
Another feature that really stands out to me is Goals. My goal around cardio is very much based on time – the amount of time I spend training in each Training Zone so I quite like that. I can simply type my goal in the app and split that across my sessions to achieve that goal. It helps to keep me accountable and on track to reach my target for the week.
Q: So, what inspired you to get into fitness in the first place?
A: My passion for fitness goes back to my school years. My PE teacher was an international high jumper. She was a strong, fit, very impressive athlete herself and I was really inspired by her. She got me into track and field athletics, and I just really enjoyed training and pushing myself. I love that training has the power to literally change your body, make it train better and become more athletic – it’s all on you, you have that control. So that’s where I fell in love with training and fitness in general.
Q: Fast-forward to the present, how do you balance your life as a CEO, a founder, a fitness coach, an influencer, etc.?
A: Balance… I’m glad you mention balance. It’s a really important word for me. I’m all about balance in my training, my nutrition and my life in every aspect.
I’d say it’s hard because when you’re ambitious, you tend to have big aspirations and goals, and you want to work really hard and push yourself to achieve all of them. It’s a working progress but what I’ve come to learn is that if you push yourself too much in a certain direction, it knocks you off balance and the output suffers as a result.
My job has really changed quite significantly in the last two years. In the past, I spent most of my life as a coach working one-on-one with people but now that I’m bringing that to a much bigger audience, I can’t just be a coach anymore. I also have to be a CEO and I have to understand business, how to work with people as a team… and I have to learn lots of new skills. Basically, I’m a Jack of all trades now… Hopefully I’ll be a master of all of them one day. It’s tough, but it’s exciting and it keeps me engaged!
Q: How do you stay motivated every day with all that’s going on?
A: It’s the purpose. I really want to impact the industry and people’s lives on a big scale because I see a lot of problems and I know I can help people. It’s knowing that you can make a big difference that really drives me.
Now, how do I actually manage the day-to-day stress, that’s where training comes in. At first glance, looking at someone like me, you might think all of this is to look good but, for me, the physical and mental health aspect of exercise that stands out as the number one reason why I train. It keeps me balanced, clear-headed and focused, and I would not be here if I didn’t have that as an outlet.
Q: What do you love most about your job?
A: Engaging with our members. When I hear stories like “I had this lower back pain for seven years, now I’m pain-free,” or “I’ve really learned how to train in a way that’s sustainable in my lifestyle. I have a child, I’m very busy and I haven’t been able to find that before.” That, for me, is the best part of my job. Empowering people to gain control of their health through smart and sustainable fitness habits.
Q: Looking into the next four, five years, what are your ambitions?
A: At the moment, growing PRGRM is my biggest focus. I’d like to make the programmes more holistic. I mean, we already have very balanced training – it includes strength training, cardio and mobility, which is one of our USPs – but eventually I’d like to include nutrition as well as coaching and content around stress management and recovery, like meditation and lifestyle habits. I think to really offer full support to help people moving towards their health and fitness goals, we need to involve all these different areas of health because that’s how we make the maximum impact. That’s definitely not two or three years away, probably much further down the line. In the meantime, I’m focusing on improving the app itself, including the features, level of guidance and coaching.
Ultimately, my goal is to put health back into fitness. When I started in the industry, strength training was more straightforward but I think it’s become confusing over the years with social media. More and more people are winding up injured and burnt out, so I really want to help reorient people to the big picture of fitness and see it as a powerful tool to improve your quality of life. I want to challenge the status quo of unbalanced methods that are so common in the gyms and get people to replace that training with a more well rounded and more sustainable approach.
Q: Do you have any tips for anyone who aspires to get into fitness?
A: If someone is a complete beginner, I’d recommend that they should start with something that’s easy to commit to and integrate into their life. Because the goal is to make exercise a lifestyle habit that’s sustainable long term, which is the key to consistency. It’s not about “I need to get in shape for summer”, that’s not the right mindset to have. That’s why we need to move people away from just thinking it’s all about aesthetics; fitness is something that can change your mental health and many aspects of your life beyond your looks.
So yeah, start with something very easy, like training at home for 30 minutes twice a week. Whatever you start with, just make sure it’s something you can do. You can always build on that over time as you start to see how it has a positive impact on you.
Q: Finally, what’s one thing people might be surprised to learn about you?
A: Something people might not know is by the age of 18, I’d had three knee operations over four, five years – and the surgeon told me I’d never play sport again, which completely destroyed me.
It got to a point where I had to stop competitive sports – it just wasn’t going to happen for me. But the good thing is it kickstarted my whole journey of learning about fitness. I’m now 33, pain-free and feeling stronger and fitter than I’ve ever been!