Tactics, Routines & Habits with Hayden Quinn

Hayden Quinn

Since being a contestant in series three of MasterChef Australia, Hayden Quinn has become a regular face on Australian television, including as a judge on Family Food Fight; co-host of Surfing the Menu – Next Generation. He is also the author of cookbook Dish It Up; host of Hayden Quinn South Africa and co-owner of The Cube Gym in Sydney.

What inspired you to open The Cube Gym?

It came out of necessity. The gym evolved from a backyard in Collaroy: I had an unreal group of mates who would train there (about 10 to 12) and when winter would come around it would get cold and wet, so we thought: ‘we have all the equipment, we just need a space’. We found a warehouse in Brookvale, convinced our mates to pay some money to cover the rent, and from there we just grew and grew and continue to grow to this day.

What was the biggest challenge?

Navigating and finding the right property for our needs and securing a lease that works with our 10-year-plus plan.

Functional based training is such a big thing these days. How do you stand out?

Our biggest asset is the professionalism, qualification and experience of our trainers and coaches. We only work with the best. Safety and correct technique is the focus. 

What was the biggest challenge?

It’s exciting but it’s incredibly challenging. A gym has a lot of moving parts and requires an amazing team to make it function every single day. Seeing our growth from where we started to where we are now is amazing – we have taken a core group of health and fitness lovers and turned it into a massive community of nearly 200 people. I am incredibly proud and I am grateful for our team and my business partners Lewis and Sam. Lewis is the lifeblood of the gym and runs the place day in, day out.

Which moments do you cherish the most, from the moment you opened until now?

I think it’s meeting new members and seeing new faces in the gym, plus watching people achieve their goals and hearing about their success stories. We also have a lot of relationships blossom and a lot of little Cube babies come into the world, which is very exciting (they say our water fountain is a fertility source…)

The Cube Gym allows us to employ local people, which is one of the best things about business; being able to give someone a job, a purpose, a community and a place where they can grow and develop. 

What does your morning routine look like?

Wake, wash teeth, scrape tongue (which is an ancient Ayurvedic ritual), train (mornings are normally swimming or bike ride) then a big feed, normally some type of eggs and toast plus some muesli with coconut yoghurt and choc chips. 

What new belief, behaviour or habit has most improved your life?

Developing, practicing and understanding mindfulness as best I can – there’s lots of ways to practice this, and it’s a useful way to reduce stress and stay focused in the present moment.

What are one to three books that have greatly changed your life? 

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown 
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts 
Brilliant NLP by David Molden and Pat Hutchinson

When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, how do you get back into alignment?

I normally do some form of strenuous exercise: run hard, ride fast, swim long, a crazy session at The Cube… something to rip me out of the moment. I also enjoy a good massage; physical touch is important and can bring you right back.

What is the best or most worthwhile investment you’ve ever made? 

People. Taking time to communicate, engage and connect with real people in the real world. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know, and you should always have time for others.

Looking for more interviews like this? The Wellness Guide features fascinating conversations from experts in fitness, nutrition, mindfulness and motivation, with practical advice on how to ground these lessons in your own life.