When WH calls them the steve original fitness power couple, Michelle Bridges, 46, and Steve ‘Commando’ Willis, 41, laugh. There’s no disputing it, though: they’re two of the best-known faces in the biz, working with the likes of Garmin, Woolworths and Big W, not to mention Michelle’s successful 12WBT program.
“We’re blessed to have been in the industry for as long as we have,” says Michelle. “I was a contributor to Women’s Health’s first edition! It’s become so mainstream now for people to train and take care of themselves, which is what I always wanted. I love how much training variety there is now – pilates, CrossFit, yoga hanging from a sheet from the ceiling!”
The couple (parents to Axel, nearly two) mentor younger trainers – but how do they motivate each other?
“I try to keep things as simple as possible, then add details within the simplicity,” says Steve. Michelle adds, “Steve will train at 8pm when it’s freezing, but he’ll get it done and that’s inspiring. As a couple, we always try to be gentle with each other, too. It’s not easy, especially when you’ve got kids and businesses as well. You can sometimes be harsh or cut and dry, but we just go, ‘Hang on, this is someone I really love’.”
Steve credits Michelle for helping him adjust to being in the public eye, while he’s helped her appreciate being in the moment more. “I think Axel does that, too,” he reflects. The pair laugh as they recap a playground trip: one of the kids (Steve has three older ones) sat on Steve’s back during pushups, which made Axel jealous.
“So he’s getting agitated, and all you want to do is say, ‘Stuff it, let’s give up’ – but then it’s like, ‘No’. Even in the chaos, we can get caught up in the smaller picture,” says Steve. “But to connect as humans first is more important than anything.”
And Michelle’s top wellness tip? Know yourself.
“The more I do that, the more I can make better choices,” she says. “From the kind of woman and mother I want to be to knowing if I go to the hotel buffet, I’ll turn into Homer Simpson, so I’m better off ordering to my room! Different ends of the spectrum, but both about knowing who you are.”
For more from our power couples shoot, check out the 10th birthday edition of Women’s Health, on sale now.