Enthralling documentary reveals David Pocock's monstrous gym routine
'Determined, dogged, determined, obsessed. But he just does it, does it and does it right'
David Pocock knew he wanted to be a professional rugby player from the moment he took up a ball, after school in Zimbabwe, and set off up a hard-worn patch of grass.
The Zimbabwean youngster set off for a new life with his family in Australia but his passion for rugby came with him, and flourished. Today, he is one of the world's best back-rows and is back in super Rugby and with the wallabies after a lucrative stint in Japanese rugby.
True Grit, a documentary of Pocock's life to date has aired on Australian TV and is a captivating watch.
Pocock's father, Adam, explains how his son's desire to make it in rugby seeped into family life, and holidays. When Pocock was 14, Adam explains, he refused to go on a trip to the Whitsunday Islands unless his gym gear made the trip:
"The only way we could get David on the yacht for the week was by renting a trailer and bringing David's whole bench press and weights on putting it onto the back of the yacht.
"He would literally be doing bench presses on the back of the yacht, every day, as we sailed through the Whitsundays. I mean who does that?"
Pocock's obsession with gaining lean muscle mass extended to his family traipsing around town(s) to find low-fat meals on days out. Within two years, according to his high school rugby coach, Pocock had jumped from 78 to 95kg.
Pocock in 2005
Now established as a world great, Pocock is not quite as drilled into what he can and can't eat. He simply keeps it healthy; keeps it clean. He reasons that the obsession to be in control of matters stemmed from his fear of going into the unknown:
"It wouldn't have been until 2012 when I started seeing someone on a regular basis to try and work through some stuff, to make peace with that scared 12-year-old who lay awake at night, wondering what was going to happen."
Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham marvels that Pocock is physically defined in all the right areas and 'doesn't have an ounce of fat on him'.
Successive knee injuries in 2013 and 2014 pretty much scuttled two seasons in a row but he worked even harder to quell the doubts - external and personal - and come back.
Pocock in 2014
Of course, where Pocock is concerned, he came back better than ever.
Part One: TRUE GRIT
Check out part two of True Grit right here.
First published in March 2016