The exact workout that helped Candice Warner gain 5kg of muscle

Former Ironwoman Candice Warner gained 5kg of muscle and dropped four dress sizes to prepare for SAS Australia. Here, her trainer and founder of 98 Training Kev Toonen, reveals all the secrets behind her transformation.

There’s no doubt SAS Australia is one of the most mentally and physically challenging shows to be on.

Personal trainer Shannan Ponton experienced memory loss and severe frostbite being on the show, describing it as “the most confronting” process. Even cricket legend Mitchel Johnson’s mental health was put to the test in one episode, which led him to revealing his long battle with depression.

So, when Candice Warner was approached to be on the shown, she knew she needed to get mentally and physically fit.

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After she gave birth to her third child Isla Rose, Warner says she’d “pretty much lost all [her] strength”.

In an interview with, the former Ironwoman says she could get through “maybe got five push-ups and half of a chin-up” two months following her pregnancy.

But after undergoing intense fitness training as part of SAS Australia, the mum-of-three says she’s stronger and more confident than ever. In fact, she’s gained 5kg of muscle and gone from a size 10 to a 6.

Body+Soul spoke to the man behind Candice’s incredible transformation, founder of 98 Training Kev Toonen, to find out exactly how he managed to get her in tip-top shape.

Exactly how Candice Warner gained 5kg on muscle for SAS Australia

With Candice, we looked at her strength – both lower and upper body – and her aerobic energy system. Once I had a solid idea of where she was, we set about making her body bullet proof to complete the task. I worked heavily on her lower body strength (this added in her ability to carry heavy loads over long distances and varied terrain) as well as her upper body strength and strength endurance so she could tackle the physical training over long periods.

I was mostly concerned with injuries – and by that, I mean I wanted to ensure her body was up to the physical strain the show would throw at her. When I say injuries, I mean things like when you are tired and fatigued and you fall or take a bad step. Someone with strong ligaments, tendons and relative strength (strength/size ratio) will be able to get back up and keep moving, and someone who isn’t will have a course ending injury.

As well as the physical preparation, I needed her to adapt to the volume and workload that she would undertake whilst on the show and that is as mental as it is physical. There were programmed sessions and weeks in the preparation where I wanted her fatigued, sore and exhausted. Athletes train and perform when they are at their best. For example, the military need to perform at their best when they are at their worst, physically and mentally – you don’t get to have a bad day in combat.

I also got her doing what we in the Army call “pack marches” – carrying a heavy backpack over long distances and hilly terrain. So, Candice used to pack march to the gym and then train for 60-90 mins. We did this for a few weeks just so she could “feel” what it’s like to be tired, sore and then have to go in for more work.

Now the best thing about Candice is she works hard all the time and was – and is – the easiest person to program and train. The accolades for all this should be with her. I programmed it but she was attentive and gave her all each day for months. I guess that’s why she was a pro-ironwoman at 14-years-old and was able to do all this training while being a mother of three. It’s hard to understand just how exhausting something like this is unless you have done it and I am very proud of her because it’s a huge accomplishment.

Here’s an example of Candice’s pre-SAS workout.

Candice Warner’s SAS Australia workout

Warm Up

  • 5 Rounds 25 x Barbell/KB Squat
  • 25 x Banded Good Morning

*No break between sets and reps.

*Add weight to the bar / increase band tension


5 x 40m Sprint

60 seconds rest between sets

Then 5 x 3 Back Squat 60%/70%/80%/85%/85%

* 5 sets all up with these percentages applied to the sets in order

Then 5 x 8 Barbell RDL 60-90 seconds rest between sets


10 minute AMRAP 8 x Ground To Shoulder 200m Run

You can get Candice Warner’s SAS workout regime with the new 98 Training app, available for iOS and Android users.