Better Living with Ezra Taylor

Concrete Training

As I mentioned in my last Better Living’ post, the bro Ezra Taylor will be doing a regular health & fitness feature here to help keep us motivated, keep us on the right track with our own health & fitness and to give us some tips on both.  Before he starts I thought I’d catch up with him to see what he’s been up to since the last time I featured him here and find out how his own health & fitness journey has been going.

Me:  Last time I caught up with you, you were in the middle of rehab from a rugby injury and you said intense rehab and getting into top shape again was your priority.  Have you achieved this, as in finished rehab and are you now in top shape again?  What was that journey like for you and how long did it take?

EZRA:  I did the exact same injury in my 2nd year at the Highlanders but on my right leg early 2008 so I sort of knew what to expect. Its never easy coming back from a serious injury and to be totally honest it’s a serious mind screw.

injured ezra

Injured in a game 

It’s a 7-9 month rehab period for this type of injury depending on the surgeon and help you have for rehab. I was let go by my club in England as I was contracted for a year and it is a major injury.  I moved back to Brisbane and began the long road to recovery. I had always planned to return to rugby and for the first 6 months prepared in that way.

I had support from ex Reds physios, thankfully.  I had completed some Certificates whilst playing Rugby and have had a massive interest in training, function, strength and athletic development.


Concrete training

I’d had more experience in training at a professional level than most Personal trainers out there so I thought, why not?  I’ve got a bit of time, don’t have an income and this is a passion.  So I applied that knowledge.

I didn’t have the business experience but I’m a very social person and make connections easily.  I get pumped about helping other people achieve goals and it’s real rewarding work.  I started to PT out of Go Health Gym in Brisbane and this is where “Concrete Training and Fitness” was born.  Momentum built very quickly. I gained a good client base and was getting results.  I couldn’t have done it without the support of my wife though, who helped me with the business side and a few of my experienced friends along the way.  During this period I jumped into some pretty hardcore power and strength training and enjoyed it.

Ezra with his Concrete Training bootcamp clients 

I always had that little voice in my head though, lingering like “what about Rugby, don’t you want to fulfil your potential, dont you want to represent the Manu again?” etc …. I’m big on no regrets and preach this to my clients so I was kind of being a hypocrite.  Early June I made a connection with Tony Brown in Otago and expressed that I wanted to make my return.

He made it clear that I would have to prove myself in a few club games and if successful a couple of preseason games.

I hadn’t played any Rugby for over a year but luckily I had the Athletic base from all of my training.

** Check out the IV he did with Pani & Pani and Tofiga about his Concrete Training business on Fresh TV after the jump **
Ezra in his Manu Samoa team travelling uniform  

I made the decision and am now based back in Dunedin, New Zealand with Otago for the ITM.

This decision wasn’t made  without sacrifice though. I was leaving a momentum building business, a stable Income , my wife who is contracted with WNBL basketball team The Thunder in Brisbane and just starting a new role in a job.
We knew we would be apart for 3 – 4 months.  It wasn’t an easy decision but my wife is an athlete and understood where I was coming from.
Ezra & his wife Natalie Taylor 

Its been tough but like I said No regrets and I’m really enjoying being involved with Otago. It’s where I started my career, the boys are great and we have a good mix.  All the youth makes me feel a bit younger too (laughs).   The management & coaching staff headed by Tony Brown are doing well and have created a pretty awesome team culture.

I’m doing a bit of PT work in Dunedin as well at ‘Lets Go Fitness’ which is keeping me on my toes.

Ezra holding up the Ranfurly Shield 
Me:  I’m always impressed with people who’ve maybe experienced a setback like you have with your rugby career but don’t just sit around feeling sorry for themselves – were there times where it was really hard to be motivated & what did you do to snap yourself out of it?

EZRA:  Not really.  I mean I’ve had to come to grips with a lot of set backs in my career through injury but I got to where I did because I didn’t give up.  A lot of people are like, “oh man you are so lucky to be able to play Pro Rugby”Lucky?  damn! I worked my ass off and I sacrificed so much to achieve what I did or have even though it ain’t really JACK!

It was tough, but I’ve always thrived on the challenge.  I look back on all the set backs as experience and character building just as I would the successes.

Snap myself out of it?  I dunno I guess I had no other choice, you only have one life on Earth right?

Ezra back when he played rugby for the Worcester Warriors in the UK.

Me:  I can tell by your IG and twitter posts that you’re very health conscious.  Have you always been health conscious? and if not what brought about the change?

EZRA:  Not always.  This again I put down to experience.  What I thought 5 years ago was healthy is totally different to what I perceive as healthy today.  Change???  I know one thing – there is no Black and White when it becomes to healthy living and lifestyle.  Everyone is different.  I work on the view that if it makes you happy and you feel good it’s working.

What I portray in Social media isn’t 100% me –  it’s a little to help those who are interested in bettering their lives,  sharing a bit of knowledge and a bit of me.

I’ll be the first to admit – I’m real, I’m no saint and enjoy a bit of indulgence now and then.  If I do, I know that I’ll have to work twice as hard, pay it back and realize the hard work shouldn’t be wasted.  That’s what being Concrete is all about.

Ezra working out his core – my abs are feeling sore just looking at that exercise lol

Me:   What would be the most important health and/or fitness tip or lesson you’ve learned that you like to pass on to clients?

EZRA:  That’s a tough one as it’s a huuuuuge field with so many aspects.   At the mo Im big on natural supplements, organic food and the benefits.  I’ve never been big on body building etc so I guess that leads me to maintenance.

If you can stay as healthy as you can through natural means, without drugs and injury free with a well balanced training lifestyle incorporating all aspects of fitness e.g Strength, power, aerobic fitness, flexibility and mental wellbeing etc you are doing well.

I think trying things is the best advice. Give something a go. Dont let fear drive your decisions.  Yep thats it……. For now ….


Organic bananas even!  Who knew?

** So at this point I got off the health & fitness side of things and because I know Ezra is a huge hip hop head and really knows his music I thought I’d see what he’s listening to these days.  He did me a playlist the last time I featured him on here too so figured I’d see what he was listening to these days.  I know it’s a bit off topic but hey!  Maybe you can check out what he’s listening to and update your own workout playlist lol **

Me:  Getting off the health side of things for a minute – I know music is a huge passion of yours & you really know your music – you said you’re always looking out for new talent in the industry.  Have you found any you’re really enjoying at the moment?  local talent as well as international?

Oh man I been crazy busy & havent had as much time to do as much digging as I like but………..

Locally off the top of my head Im liking the latest stuff from Rizvan.  It’s refreshing to hear a positive twist, some story telling and a different aspect coming out of the scene.

I like what Team Dynamite did with “Shepard’s Delight”.

David Dallas keeps hitting us with bangers.

Internationally – Underachievers, Joey Bada$$, Action Bronson, Stalley, MGKs latest.  Dizzy Wrights.  Wales “The Gifted”, Statik Selektah’s latest, Tech N9ne, Danny Brown ….. I could go on.

I think Hip Hops heading in a good direction.  I just really like the socially conscious theme in Hip Hop thats becoming featured.  I mean it’s always been in Hip Hop but MCs are making this underground aspect of rap the new hip and it’s appealing to the masses.

You’ve got kids actually listening to the substance and lyrics which is cool.  Don’t get me wrong I bump money raps but I cant relate to that music so it doesn’t mean anything to me.  It just nods my head.  I havent had the time of late.

I tell you one thing I do make time for and thats the bros on Full Clip Radio especially Rex’ Side Hustle Hip Hop show.

Rex (Mareko) is on point with his show and I really like what he’s doing.

(Me:  Yup agree 100% on Rex – in case you missed the post you can check out more on the Side Hustle Hip Hop show here)


Ezra & DJ Shan

Me: I know it’s only September but what would Ezra Taylors personal pick for Album of the Year be?  Track of the year?  Gig of the year?

EZRA:  It’s sad but I haven’t been to a gig in over a year.

I’ll tell you one I wish I was at and thats that @PEACE one they filmed a lil behind the scenes mini doco on.  Can’t remember where I saw that Vid online but that intimate setting and the music was pretty cool.  Off the top of my head I’d say have to say Good Kid, m.AA.d City.

Me:  Top 5 tracks on heavy rotation on your ipod right now?


Tech N9ne – Fragile (feat. Kendrick Lamar, ¡MAYDAY! & Kendall Morg) 

Wale Ft. Sam Dew -LoveHate Thing 

The Underachievers – The Proclamation ( Official Music Video )

Dizzy Wright – Killem Wit Kindness (Prod by AF $upreme) 

WC, Daz Dillinger – Stay Out The Way ft. Snoop Dogg 

Me:  And lastly – What are you currently working on and whats next for Ezra Taylor?

EZRA:  Right now Im focusing on my team Otago and the ITM.

I’m also doing a bit of PT work in Dunedin and doing some cert study in Sports and conditioning.

I’m constantly thinking of new ideas for Concrete Training but my heart has to go into my biggest goal and at the moment that’s getting the body right and playing. I’ve got big ideas for Concrete Training and am looking forward to putting all my heart into TEAM CONCRETE taking over the fitness world!


Me: Thanks heaps bro!  Looking forward to checking out your health & fitness tips soon!

And as promised – Ezras Fresh TV IV with Pani & Pani and Tofiga

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