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The who & why of CONTRAST FITNESS

Welcome to Contrast Fitness! I’m Sam Higham, and I founded Contrast Fitness in 2015. I started Contrast Fitness to help people improve and then maintain a high quality, happy and fulfilling life. I’d seen and researched the damage caused by depression, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and I knew that exercise was effective in treating and protecting against these conditions.


Though many of us know about the importance of regular exercise for both mental and physical health, most of us struggle to exercise regularly. Kids, work commitments, and a lack of time, motivation, enjoyment, or knowledge can be major barriers to exercise. I wanted to help people overcome these by providing exercise training that fit into their personal lifestyle and goals, empowering them to make long-term changes to their health and wellbeing.


I’ve worked with shift workers, mums and dads, retirees, university/tafe students, business owners, and others. Each person with their own unique circumstances that have required a tailored approach to training.


Sport provides a great way to exercise without realising you’re exercising…

The social, skill and outdoor aspects of many sports provide a healthy outlet for busy lives.


Personally, I’ve been an avid rock climber for over 10 years. I love the friendly climbing community and the outdoor nature of the sport. However, I noticed the use of strength and conditioning to improve performance and reduce injury risk was not common in rock climbing. I think this is a missed opportunity given the effectiveness of strength and conditioning in improving performance and reducing injury risk in other more mainstream sports such as rugby and football. I wanted to provide professional strength and conditioning coaching to rock climbers so they wouldn’t miss out on the benefits that this provides to people in other sports.


I love the rewarding feeling that I get when a client achieves their first ever pull-up or push up, reaches a personal best with a deadlift or chest press, completes their first marathon or reports that getting out of bed and playing with kids or grandchildren has become significantly easier.


Contrast Fitness allows me to follow my passions in health and fitness and make a difference to people’s lives – hopefully you can experience the difference.

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  • PhD. in Sport and Exercise Science.

  • Honours in Sport and Exercise Science.

  • Accredited Exercise Scientist.

  • Certificate III and IV in Fitness.

  • Higham, S.M., Mendham, A.E., Rosenbaum, S., Allen, N.G., Smith, G., Stadnyk, A. & Duffield, R. 2022, 'Effects of concurrent exercise training on body composition, systemic inflammation, and components of metabolic syndrome in inactive academics: a randomised controlled trial', European Journal of Applied Physiology, pp. 1-12.

  • Higham, S., Mendham, A., Rosenbaum, S., Allen, N. & Duffield, R. 2022, 'Effect of Concurrent Exercise Training on Stress, Depression and Anxiety in Inactive Academics: Secondary Analysis of a Randomised Controlled Trial', Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, vol. 25, p. S58.

  • Allen, N.G., Higham, S.M. & Duffield, R. 2019, 'Recovery Strategies to Optimise Adaptations to Concurrent Aerobic and Strength Training', Concurrent Aerobic and Strength Training, Springer, pp. 213-27.

  •  Allen, N.G., Higham, S.M., Mendham, A.E., Kastelein, T.E., Larsen, P.S. & Duffield, R. 2017, 'The effect of high-intensity aerobic interval training on markers of systemic inflammation in sedentary populations', Eur J Appl Physiol, vol. 117, no. 6, pp. 1249-56.

Research publications


  • Founder of Contrast Fitness.

  • Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science.

  • Over 9 years as a personal and group trainer.

  • Over 2 years as an AFL and Touch Football coach.

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