Holyoake was born on March 1, 1983 in Wellington, New Zealand, and garnered athletic interest from a very young age. As a toddler, young Holyoake took up gymnastics, and was immediately drawn to the vigorous sport. With dedication and focus not often seen in young children, Holyoake remained committed to perfecting the various disciplines of gymnastics. As an “all-around” gymnast, unlike the more traditional method of specializing in one to two routines, Mark Holyoake competed in a plethora of disciplines, including pommel horse, floor routines, vault, parallel bars, and rings. By the age of 10, Holyoake was being invited to participate within elite national development teams, who focused on harnessing the skills of the most talented young gymnasts, with the hopes of turning them into professional athletes.
Upon the completion of his grade school education. Holyoake recognized the importance of furthering his education. Though he had dreams of professional gymnastics on the horizon, the macro-level thinker recognized the longevity concerns most professional athletes face, and understood the need to be able to develop a prosperous career outside the scope of gymnastics. Thus, he enrolled at Auckland University, and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in the field of Exercise Science. While at University, Holyoake maintained a strenuous workout routine, regularly training upward of 30 hours weekly, competing in various regional, and national gymnastics events.
Throughout this time, additionally, Holyoake worked as a Personal Trainer, developing his skills as a teacher, and molding his eventual career path. While at University, Holyoake also became a member of the Tri Star Gymnastics Club in the Auckland Regional Gymsport Centre, where he practiced his craft, and worked with younger athletes to continue their gymnastics development. Surrounded by younger gymnasts, and excelling within his own experiences, Holyoake became a mentor for his peers, who looked up to his exceptional work ethic, and achievements within gymnastics.
Throughout his illustrious professional gymnastics career, Holyoake has received numerous accolades. In 2005, Holyoake placed 25th at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. The following year, Holyoake placed 11th overall throughout the Commonwealth Games, where he also performed as a member of New Zealand’s competitive team. In 2010, the team reigned in 4th place, and Holyoake took 3rd place on the parallel bars independently. Throughout the same year, Holyoake also broke the Guinness World Record for the most double leg rotations on a Pommel Horse in 60 seconds, completing the task with a grand total of 65 rotations.
Professional Life After Gymnastics
Following the completion of his professional gymnastics career, Holyoake reprised his role as a Personal Trainer at Les Mills International, before partnering with Andy Rodgers, a former professional Olympic Weightlifter, to open the Rx Clinic, a specialty gymnastics, and weightlifting clinic. Providing gymnastics lessons to individuals within all levels of expertise, Holyoake also developed Mark Holyoake Gymnastics, a series of gymnastics clinics held at various gyms, including many CrossFit gyms.
Gaining interest in CrossFit as a participant for many years, Holyoake recently decided to join forces with fellow CrossFit trainer Tila Hamad, and the duo opened Carbon Method CrossFit, a gym dedicated to the sport of CrossFit, with specific concentrations within gymnastics, weightlifting, and a mind-body connection with a wellness approach.
(Mark Holyoake Gymnastics - 186 Victoria st west, Auckland...)