Meet The Family | Zac Perna

Meet The Family | Zac Perna


Can you tell our Gymshark Central subscribers a little about yourself and your fitness journey so far?

It's always hard to write about yourself, but I'll do my best to give you a brief run down on this goofy kid from Australia and share a little about my story.

Let's start with a younger Zac at fourteen-years-old. 

"Picture: a chubby, curly headed bookworm who loves cooking, hates sport and doesn't shut up..."

Not exactly your typical "Athlete in the making" but we'll get there! Like I said, sport really wasn't my thing and being the kid who dreads cross country every year, I wanted to improve my weaknesses and self a result, I started running. 


So, this turned into running over 70km per week for months until I was one of the skinnier kids at school. At age 15, I joined a gym and started my weight training journey. From that first day in the weight room; I fell in love with it.


I spent the next few years training 5 days a week and when I wasn't in the gym, I was at home; researching about diet and training.


Fast forward a few years and I'd find myself in year 12 completing my final year of high school, with the goal of getting into a commerce degree at the best university in the country. 

My training always took priority even with a longer term goal in mind. I would train in the cold, dark early mornings every day before school, cook and prepare my meals every Sunday and complete my studies at night time.

I did this day in, day out until it was finally over and I managed to get into the course I wanted. 

"I graduated from Melbourne University last year with two things: a degree in commerce and the desire to file it away and never use it again."

Fitness is my passion and always has been. Everyday I'm grateful to have the opportunity to chase it and try make a career out of what I love.

In fact, I've been trying to do so for the past three to four years. I remember being an eighteen-year-old with no clue about social media thinking that it would be a dream to be sponsored by Gymshark and have an influence in the fitness industry. I had no clue how I would make this happen but I guess I have my obsessive personality and a lot of helpful people to thank.

Can you tell us what your current outlook on training and nutrition is?

I currently hit each muscle group once per week and train one muscle group per day. 

This is what's known to scholars as a "bro-split". 

I mainly train this way for enjoyment alone as I love the feeling of walking into the gym and blasting one muscle group, getting a stupid pump and walking out not being able to move said muscle. 

As much as I would love to stay lean year round, I don't think it's a sure way to grow muscle. In the past, I would bulk and cut (probably a little too "fluffy" admittedly) and put on a lot of muscle in the bulking phases.

Now, I do my best to not blow out and look like a hippo in a bulking phase, but at the same time, if I'm trying to grow, I need to eat to grow. 

"So, I sacrifice short term satisfaction for long term gains. Luckily, I love all food and actually enjoy cooking, so I make sure my meal plans include a variety of healthy food that is downright delicious."

Whilst I'm aware of macros, I don't obsess over them. I'd much prefer to create a meal plan with certain macros and then eat the same set of meals each day. This saves me from overthinking my diet every day.

I time my carbohydrates around training when cutting and ensure my fats are significantly higher to suppress appetite and keep hormones at a healthy level.

When bulking, I prefer to keep fats relatively low and increase carbs quite high. This enables me to focus on performance in the gym and chasing some seriously sickening pumps.

So, outside of the gym, what does your routine look like?

Outside of the gym, I try to make time for snowboarding in the winter, catching up with my mates, creating content for YouTube, working on my online coaching business, playing guitar and getting my money's worth on Netflix with my dog Bear.

"I'm also a massive food lover with Japanese probably being my favourite and my cheat meal of choice being a seriously good burger."

It's the most common asked question from our GS Community; what about motivation, what personally keeps you going?

At this point for me now, motivation to train never really crosses my mind. I train because I love it and I eat to feel great and healthy. 

When it gets to the ending phase of a diet, when calories are lower than my dogs and I'm walking across the country every day for cardio, I do need to draw on some external motivators to keep me working hard. 

"I find having a set goal in mind helps because no-one puts themselves through such pain for no reason."

For me, I think about the people that support me and I try to lead by example and set a high standard for myself to live by.

Fitness is my passion and I'm doing my best every day to make what has been a dream into a reality. 

Being able to connect and reach thousands of people everyday is a constant reminder that I'm lucky to have the opportunities that I do and therefore not to take it for granted and waste it. 

So, this year, the plan for me is travel, work hard in creating the best possible content I can and continue to grow to hopefully reach one million people and be able to have a positive influence on their lives.

Whether that's educating people on their fitness journey, motivating them or just proving some entertainment to remind them not to taking everything too seriously and enjoy the process. I hope that gives you guys a little more insight into who I am without rambling for one thousand words!

So finally, thank you for reading; I'm super proud to be part of the Gymshark Community with you all!

                                                                                 KEEP UP TO DATE WITH ZAC RIGHT HERE!




Similar Articles

#LiftManchester | 24 Hours To Go

#LiftManchester | 24 Hours To Go

24 hours until Gymshark lands in the 0161. Take an exclusive tour around the venue and see what exactly you're in for this weekend...