Candice Warner’s wild body transformation

When Candice Warner was preparing for SAS Australia she had her work cut out for her.

While the 35-year-old competed in her first professional ironwoman tournament at just 14, she admits that giving birth to her third daughter Isla Rose last year meant she had “pretty much lost all my strength”.

But now Candice says she’s never been stronger or more confident and has stuck to the exercise routine she undertook to prepare for the Channel 7 reality show, where she and other celebrities underwent the real challenges involved in SAS selection.

Candice gained five kilos in muscle for the show but also dropped from a size 10 to a size six, making her the smallest — but also the strongest — she’s ever been.

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Candice trained with Kevin Toonen, head programmer and strength and conditioning coach at 98 Gym in Sydney.

Kevin has 18 years military experience, meaning he could definitely put her through her paces when it came to preparing her for SAS Australia.

It was just two months after Isla Rose was born that Candice started working with Kevin and found her skills when it came to strength conditioning were “pretty basic”.

Candice said she could “maybe got five push-ups out and half of a chin-up” and simply didn’t have the strength she needed.

“When I first went to him I had literally just two months earlier given birth,” she told

“I’d pretty much lost all my strength, my abdominals were still separated, I was pretty basic. I had a reasonable level of fitness for someone who had just had a baby but I wasn’t strong, and I wasn’t in any way ready to do SAS selection.”

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Candice would train with Kevin and her husband, Australian cricketer David Warner, three to four times a week with every workout having a strength element.

“For me it was heavy weights, less reps but lots of sets,” she said. “Then when we were really fatigued throwing in some cardio, high intensity cardio.”

The workouts were not for the faint-hearted and included a weekly “pack march”, where Candice would walk 10 kilometres with 25 kilograms on her back.

“That was always challenging and I often did it before a session with Kevin or straight after a session. So when my body was fatigued or I would train under fatigue,” Candice said.

“That was always quite tough, but I enjoyed it.”

Other workouts included 45 minutes of just lunging while Candice held a weight over her head, or 360 push-ups, with sets broken up by chin-ups.


The intense sessions have left Candice the leanest she’s ever been and “feeling really strong”.

“I was always a good size 10 but I’m now about a size six,” she said. “I’m a lot smaller but I’m a hell of a lot stronger than what I’ve ever been.”

The show had originally been slated to film in New Zealand in March this year, however, had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But the delay didn’t mean Candice slacked off — instead she did what most of us did when gym were closed by the government.

“I, like everyone else, frantically ordered all this gym equipment and set up a makeshift gym in my garage and that’s where we did a lot of my work and my husband’s work with Kev,” she said.

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During lockdown Candice put on five kilos of muscle to prepare, for SAS Australia, weight that she shed easily while filming the show’s gruelling challenges.

Since filming ended Candice has kept on training with Kevin and says the sessions have given her a new-found confidence and appreciation for her body.

“I love what it does for me mentally, it’s my little break from the kids each day,” Candice said.

“Some people like do go for walks, some people like to get their nails done or get their hair done to relax.

“For me I like to go to the gym because it gets my endorphins going, it makes me feel better about myself.

“And it’s not so much what I look like, it’s what it does mentally so I’ve kept up pretty much all of the training purely because I love it.”

Catch Candice Warner in SAS Australia when it premieres on Monday night 7.30pm on Channel 7

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