The bulk of my tasks with Whero is post-production. Editing for hours on end on the high-tech trillion-dollar editing suite. So to mix things up and get out of the office I do enjoy taking-on the odd photography project. Compared to animation, motion graphics, making a film or a 30" TV spot, photography can be a quick and enjoyable process. So documenting Ben and Owen from a visual aspect was an easy call, but it was the writing 10,000 words about the Franks philosophy that was the tough bit.
I definitely don't feel like a writer. Thankfully the publisher Warren Adler and the team at Hachette were amazingly supportive. Half of the staff in the office exercised regularly, played rugby, or were training for a New Zealand woman's powerlifting record. So the staff were excited to help me out with proofing my copy 10 times over. As for genuine content - thankfully I had been training under Ken Franks during my last two Basketball off-seasons and have been involved with the Franks Brother Gym since it was based in the old location on Moorhouse Ave. Combined with a decade or two of reading books starting from Arnie's bodybuilding bible, Bruse Lee's phillophy through to reading and noting Andre Agassi's life-long training habits, Training Tough was a great project to have humming in the background of 2012.
Usually when filming athletes doing the kind of sports I love I like to get involved. When filming Tim Duncan to promote adidas under armer I enjoyed getting some time with the athlete, throwing Timmy the ball on set as he bounced off the abs of Dwight Howard Mannequin. While touring and filming with the Crusaders, SBW was training for a boxing bout while we were in Cape Town and I was lucky enough to talk khoder into letting me enjoy a few rounds with the champ. But never once did I ever consider warming up and joining-in with either Ben or Owen Franks for any of their workouts.
I've seen those boys literally bend and break barbells in half. Even when comparing the Franks lifts and numbers with the likes of infamous gym-buff Brad Thorn; even Thorny swallows his man-pride and admits the boys are "freaks" unto themselves in the weight room.
But back to the book. Asides from a great insight into Ben and Owen's journey into becoming world class athletes, in a nutshell, Training Tough is a training tool written for beginners. This book is an A-Z guide designed for aspiring athletes who want to learn all about the required commitments and steps needed when beginning the journey into becoming a professional. Not to mention an easy read to instantly transform your otherwise soft looking book collection or coffee table into a intimidating feature-piece.
Training Tough explains how the Franks brothers were never really expected to reach the peak levels they have, but with a clear plan and some serious determination - you can do anything.
BEN & OWEN FRANKS: TRAINING TOUGH BOOK RELEASE (2013) from Red McLeod on Vimeo.