Physiotherapist Derek Haysom (left), who grew up in Mackay, with Eddie 'The Beast' Hall.
Physiotherapist Derek Haysom (left), who grew up in Mackay, with Eddie 'The Beast' Hall. Contributed

The physio and The Beast

A PHYSIOTHERAPIST who grew up in Mackay is helping the World's Strongest Man, Eddie "The Beast" Hall, stay in shape.

Derek Haysom grew up in West Mackay and went to Mackay State High School. He now lives in Crewe, in the north of England, where he runs OzFit Physiotherapy.

Daily Mercury reporter and former neighbour of Derek's, JONATHAN REICHARD, asked him what it's like working with the World's Strongest Man.

Tell me about the work you've been doing with Eddie The Beast?

I started working with Eddie early last year prior to his world record deadlift - which was the first and only time to date a human has deadlifted an incredible 500kg - in Leeds at Europe's Strongest Man event. I was primarily working on his hips and lower back mobility enabling him to get low (for deadlifts) whilst feeling strong and comfortable.

I was using mostly soft tissue mobilising and releasing techniques and mobility exercises during treatment coupled with a program he had to follow in the gym and at home. This intensified somewhat leading up to World's Strongest Man event in 2016 (3rd place) and on to this year for Europe's Strongest Man, where he came second to Thor, and on to World's Strongest Man, which he won.  

How did you come to work with Eddie?

Eddie was doing cardiovascular training with a personal trainer mate of mine at the same gym I was training at. He introduced me to Eddie. Myself and Ed then talked about how I could help him with his mobility, stiffness and range of motion issues. We agreed a plan and off we went.

What's it like being the physiotherapist for the world's strongest man?

It is a workout every session with Ed as he is so massive and muscular - 197kg at time of treatment. Elbows, knees, a few machines thrown in and a ratchet and strap to hold him to the bench while I stretch him. It's also got me thinking on new techniques due to his size and weight as he is a BEAST! A great bloke to work with and a true gent!

I certainly feel honoured to work with such a powerful, enthusiastic and committed athlete   

Tell me about OzFit and how you got established in the UK. It was once called Eungella, right?

I was a locum physio travelling around the UK from my arrival in 1999 before finally ending up working in a town called Crewe in early 2000, working within the NHS and also private sector at the time. I then worked as first team physio for a football club called Crewe Alexandra for a few seasons and then set up my clinic in Crewe. Eungella Physiotherapy (after Eungella National Park, my favourite place as a kid) was my initial name but no-one could remember it and it had no relevance to what I was doing, so I changed it to Ozfit Physiotherapy.

Any message for the Mackay youngsters at school who might be wondering if they will ever go places after growing up in a regional town like this?

I had a strong psychological drive from my teen days as a nationally ranked swimmer. Always thinking that I could beat these blokes from the big cities - and I did. This mindset continued onwards. I am always looking to improve my skills and to better myself personally and professionally. Just because you come from the sticks doesn't mean you can't do things you put your mind to and focus on.

Do what you want to do in life and aim high. Don't listen to anyone telling you that you can't do this or that because of your situation. Go and do it. Be strong and win.



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