SAYING 39-year-old Wanneroo personal trainer Zach is a huge competitor feels like an understatement.
Not only is he captain of paintball team Perth Crisis, last year’s pro-division series champions of Australia and New Zealand, but he is a familiar face to viewers of the 2008 Gladiators TV show revival, where he was gladiator Hunter.
“I love a challenge and I love competing, which is why I played Gladiators and why I play tournament paintball,” Zach said.
“I was competing in speed skating when I was five or six years old. We all did sport in my family when we were kids, I’m just the one who never let it go.
“I just don’t feel complete unless I’m competing. I have to have something going on like that, otherwise I feel there’s something missing in my life.”
With support from his wife Katie, Zach applied for Australian Survivor: Champions Versus Contenders with the plan to give the champions a run for their money.
“I just wanted to go in there and compete really hard,” he said.
“That was my goal because I knew I was going to be up against some of the best in the country in football and rugby players. I just wanted to go in and dominate.
“I learnt a lot about myself on the journey and found out I had layers I didn’t even know existed. It was the chance of a lifetime and I’ll be forever grateful.”
The personal trainer at Revo Fitness in Northbridge said Australian Survivor was the complete opposite of Gladiators, where he was treated like royalty with food and luxury accommodation.
“On Survivor I was sleeping in the dirt and trying to kill crabs to eat for dinner,” he said.
“I’m looking for any type of fruit I can while people try to stab me in the back and sleeping with one eye open.
“I have never been on a vegetarian diet in my life and this was pure vegan on rice, beans, papaya and coconut.
“I struggled on the 600 or 800 calories a day. Even when I’m cutting, I’m on 2000 calories. I’m a big guy at over 100kg and had just come off a bulking phase where I was eating over 4000 calories a day, so I was hurting.”
Australian Survivor: Champions Versus Contenders continues on Channel 10.