WHO IS OLLIE BAZIN?
I think the slightly cliché summary of - full time finance professional & part time fitness enthusiast - probably sums it up. I love a challenge, to be put under pressure and see how I can perform. I believe hard work pays off and that sacrifice & discipline are often the key(s) to success, but also that working in a high calibre team is better than solo. My favourite downtimes, outside of training, are: travelling, going to gigs (usually hip-hop), rugby matches & spending time with my family as we are very close.
WHERE DO YOU WORK AND WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING?
I work as a fund manager for an investment management firm, having previously worked in investment banking and initially working on the grad scheme at a Big 4 firm. We invest in the stock market with the goal of generating strong investment returns. This means I spend a lot of time analysing companies in a wide variety of sectors, meeting management teams and Board of Directors to try and assess if a stock is undervalued & therefore may be a good investment opportunity for inclusion in one of our funds. It is a pretty demanding job at times (especially through COVID!) with swings up and down in the stock market, there are few jobs where your performance can be measured so precisely second by second, but I love it for the challenge. I am constantly learning and being tested on such a wide variety of pieces of information, I have to have my own view & I can directly see how my work impacts the outcome. I also really enjoy getting out and seeing different businesses, there are a lot of spreadsheets but there is also much more to it than that - a highlight was getting to go on one of the UK’s nuclear submarines last year.
DID YOU PLAY MUCH SPORT GROWING UP?
Yeah, I loved playing rugby all the way through school and university, it was (and in a slightly different way still is) a massive part of my life. I also played a lot of tennis as a kid.
WHAT DOES FUNCTIONAL FITNESS MEAN TO YOU?
Constant challenge. Doing biceps curls and bench press doesn't inspire me. Training like an athlete, where you have to take a step back and look at the bigger picture and all of its facets appeals to my analytical side - technique, training, nutrition, rest & recovery - it's somewhat endless. You also get measurable feedback of your results (times, lifts, reps etc.) which means you can continually push yourself to be better. I also love the community which comes with it - I have met some awesome people.
HOW DID YOU DISCOVER TURF GAMES?
I broke my shoulder whilst on rugby tour which resulted in surgery and a painfully long recovery process during which I debated whether it was worth the injury risk of playing again. But I missed the training, competition & social side which rugby had given me since I was a kid. Whilst rehabbing I watched one of the CrossFit documentaries on Netflix and was intrigued so I did some googling and came across Turf Games. I found the intro sessions you were holding on Clapham Common summer 2019 and (slightly apprehensively) signed up. Turns out I loved it. But the real hook for me was watching Fittest In The City at CrossFit Putney in 2019 - the energy was absolutely electric and made me want to take this seriously and compete. So the first competition I did was the 2020 Winter Games and now every Turf event I can get my hands on!
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL WEEK'S TRAINING LOOK LIKE?
An hour of training typically 5-6 times a week. I am actively trying to cut it to 5 days and rest/recover more as I look to improve my performance.
WHERE DO YOU NORMALLY TRAIN?
COVID has turned this upside down now my office has been closed since March last year & I used to train nearby. My favourite spot is CrossFit Putney. I am also lucky to have built a pretty decent home gym for lockdowns with the help of my old man's epic DIY skills.
HOW DO YOU JUGGLE WORK HOURS AND TRAINING?
It's tough sometimes but for me it's about priorities. My previous job was 8am-2am most days so you learn how much can be achieved in a day when you go through that. I have better control of my time now but I do envy people who work in/around fitness. I think the biggest challenge for me is balancing the sometimes demanding nature of the job with training and recovery - there really is only so much the body can take!
WHAT MAKES TURF GAMES DIFFERENT TO OTHER COMMUNITIES OUT THERE?
Two things: 1. Accessibility: the sessions are really accessible to anyone who has been to the gym before & do not require you to be a PT/Crossfitter, it can seem intimidating at first but you quickly find it is very welcoming and scaled to everyone's capabilities. 2. People: Whilst it is competitive it also really feels like a team environment where people support & shout for each other - I have made great friends through it & feel like I am part of a community. On the event days part of the excitement is competing and testing my limits but it's also about seeing the Turf community & cheering my mates along whilst meeting new people.
FITNESS GOAL FOR 2021?
Can I have a few? 1. A 200kg 3RM deadlift 2. Improve my focus on recovery 3. Get to one of the overseas Turf events.
WHAT IS YOUR GO TO EXERCISE YOU LIKE DOING?
GO TO PRE/POST WORKOUT SNACK?
Overnight protein oats
ONE PLACE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE TURF GAMES IN THE FUTURE?
Miami (Although Angelique's suggestion of Cape Town would be unreal)
WHAT HAS BEEN THE BEST THING OF BEING PART OF THE TURF GAMES OVER THE PAST 18 MONTHS?
When the Summer Games were cancelled I was devastated as, at the time, it seemed like the light at the end of a long dark tunnel. But when the multiple 'Combine' events were announced it was a game changer for my year. I was lucky to get to compete at all of the London Combine events with my awesome team mate Caley. It gave me my "why" for 2020 - something to work towards and focus the mind whilst everything else was apparently falling apart. Not to mention one of the few ways the community could get together and have a sense of normal. I am incredibly grateful to everyone behind Turf Games.
QUICK FIRE1. 3RM Squat or 3RM STOH? Squat
2. If you were hosting a dinner and had 3 invitations to send - who would receive them? Barack Obama, Jay-Z & The Rock - unbelievably successful within their own rights but also up for a party.
3. Drink of choice? Old Fashioned
4. 5km run or 5km row? Run
5. What super hero would you be? Tough one, Superman
6. James Bond or Jason Bourne? Easiest question of them all... James Bond
7. What is your favourite piece of fitness equipment? A barbell, so many variations can be done with it
8. One non - negotiable on a long haul flight? Good headphones
9. Who was your childhood sporting hero? Jonny Wilkinson
10. Favourite movie? The Big Short
What one piece of advice would you give to anyone who is thinking about signing up to a Turf Games competition or Online Training Programme?
Rather simplistically - do it! It will likely feel daunting at the time, especially if it is your first one, but you will not regret it. Everyone is so welcoming and the ability levels range widely so you will fit in.