This Is How the Australian Survivor Castaways Prepared for the Show

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It’s no secret that Australian Survivor is one of the most challenging reality shows out there, and this season has been no exception.

We’ve watched as our Castaways have taken on gruelling physical challenges that require immense strength, physical endurance and the ability to solve puzzles on very little food and sleep.

At times, the challenges have tested our contestants. Just this season, we’ve watched as Shayelle Lajoie and Sam Gash required medical attention during endurance challenges, with both women suffering from fainting spells.

Of course, there are some things no amount of preparation will help with, like when Nina Twine landed on her ankle in a challenge and fractured it, cutting the frontrunner’s time in the game short.

So what can you do to prepare for Australian Survivor? We went straight to the source and asked the contestants themselves. Read on to find out what the cast of Australian Survivor: Blood Vs Water did to prepare for the show.

Jesse Hansen

“My brother [Jordie Hansen] and I did put in a lot of effort,” he said. “We were so honoured to get the opportunity to go on the show, we weren’t gonna go on unprepared”.

Jesse said that the brothers played down the amount of preparation they put into getting themselves physically ready for the show, but would laugh privately that they “worked so hard to prepare” beforehand.

As an endurance athlete who is “generally quite lean”, Jesse’s main preparation involved bulking up.

“I put on 5kg before the show and I worked a lot with my strength and conditioning coach to help increase my power and build some muscle,” he said, “and yeah, put on a lot of weight working with my nutritionist.”

The brothers also rewatched “past seasons of the show” and “had fire-making down to 13 seconds each” in case they found themselves in a fire-making challenge.

Michelle Chiang

For Michelle, COVID presented a lot of challenges when it came time to prepare for the show, but she found ways to work around it.

“I was in Sydney and we were in lockdown,” she explained. “In terms of fitness, I didn’t wanna leave the house too much because of Covid, so I did most of my exercise using a FitBit on the Nintendo Switch.

“I did that quite a lot,” she said.

Jordan Schmidt

For Jordan, preparation was all about knowing the game and putting on weight beforehand.

“Training wise, I ate a little bit more and then studied the game, I went and rewatched pretty much every season, just to have a look and see how other people were playing,” he said, adding that he increased his strength training, as well.

Jordan said that once he was actually in the game, however, he realised that “you can’t really prepare” for what it will really be like.

“Once you get in there, you might have studied and all of that, but once the heat hits you and you’re not eating and sleeping, those plans go out the window,” he said.

Sam Gash

At only 152cm, Sam was one of the most petite players in the game, so strength and bulk were her focus when she was preparing to go into the game.

Sam “did a lot of Crossfit style training” to put on muscle and “build up [her] size” beforehand, and when she came out of the game, had lost over 7kg.

“I think if I hadn’t done that preparation, I just can’t even imagine,” she mused. “I’m glad I took the time to build up my size and to try to do those kinds of physical challenges.”

Physical training aside, Sam said that the most important thing you can do to prepare for the game is to “know who you are as a person”.

She explained: “How are you in social situations? We all operate well in situations where we’re surrounded by like-minded individuals and are our best friends in everyday life, but how do you cope when you’re around people who you might not necessarily choose or have the opportunity to be around on a daily basis, 24/7?”

Sam’s advice was: “Don’t be so fixated on yourself, spend time observing other people and how you fit into that social equation.”

Australian Survivor airs at 7.30pm, Sundays and Mondays, only on 10 and 10 Play on Demand.

Want more Australian Survivor? Read all of our stories here.

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