Buck Stowers was once one of New Zealand’s strongest men, but when it comes to strength of heart, mind and character, the 50-year-old father-of-six surely still is. A decade ago, Buck created the Big Boys, Big Girls programme aimed at reducing obesity, which he runs from his Manukau Genetics Gym.
“I’ve trained Warriors, All Blacks, rowers and wood choppers,” says Buck. “All those things were wonderful, but ultimately, it didn’t cut it. For me there was more to life than just working with people who already had abs. The hard job, the real training, was in saving someone’s life. I changed the direction of the business and my mentor told me it was business suicide. I told him not to let the door hit his arse on the way out, because that’s what I was going to do.” The death of his mother from heart disease, too, spurred Buck on.
“ProCare approached me and asked for a meeting,” says Buck. “They said that we were being more successful in helping people lose weight that anybody else out there and they wanted to know how we were doing it. They said that they’d like to make my programme regional, the whole of Auckland, so that all of the 1,200 GPs had the right to refer their patients to me and gave the contract there and then.”