Check Out This Alone Australia Contestant's Approach To Fitness

Meet Andreas Lundin, the subsistence hunter braving the wilderness in ‘Alone Australia’

Hit SBS TV series Alone Australia is returning for a second season next week. We sat down with one of the few people capable of taking on the challenge: Andreas Lundin, who hunts 90 per cent of the protein he consumes and says “I don’t see my fitness as negotiable.”

PICTURE IT: you’re dropped into the vast, untamed and freezing cold wilderness of New Zealand’s South Island, stripped of all modern possessions and left to fend for yourself for as long as possible with nothing but a few carefully selected survival tools and whatever nature presents to you. What do you do?

Not everyone will have an answer to that question. Even fewer have the know-how to actually persevere in such circumstances, but that’s the scenario being presented to ten hardcore survivalists on the second season of Alone Australia. Why would anyone willingly subject themselves to abject loneliness, a daunting physical challenge and a supreme test of human will, you ask? A $250,000 prize is why, but even that might not be enough to pry the average person away from the comfort of their home. And let’s be clear, the average person could not handle what the contestants will be facing.

To understand the mindset of someone capable of taking on Alone Australia, we caught up with Andreas Lundin, a season two contestant who might just be Australia’s most self-sufficient man. Originally from Sweden, Andreas is a subsistence hunter who catches or hunts 90 per cent of his protein, ethically butchering and storing his prey himself. Andreas is also an elite personal trainer with a keen focus on his own personal health.

It is difficult to imagine a more suitable person to conquer the wilderness than Andreas, but even he admits that the challenge presented by Alone Australia is not something within his comfort zone. “No matter how much time you spend outdoors and in nature, I don’t think anyone can go into that show without it being a challenge,” he says. “You don’t have a backup. You don’t have a pause button. You can’t ask for a time out or a break.”

Alone Australia Andreas

According to Lundin, the fact that contestants have little room for preparation and planning is what makes surviving all the more difficult. “When I was told I was going to be on the show, I thought it was going to be in Australia,” he says. “I know Swedish and European nature quite well and I thought I would do okay in Australia, but then they threw a curveball and took me to New Zealand. So I was like ‘Oh shit’.”

“If you think back in your life, there aren’t many situations where you’re completely unprepared,” Lundin continues. “If you decide to go and live in the woods for a week, you can prepare for that. It’s not the same as having someone literally take you somewhere you don’t know and leaving you to survive on your own.”

Lundin is buoyed by the fact that competitors are allowed to hunt for sustenance, a factor that benefits someone of his skillset. The hunting lifestyle is one that Andreas has grown to embrace after adopting it shortly after moving to Australia. Growing up in Sweden, fresh meats, vegetables and seasonal foods were mainstays in his diet. But a bad experience with Australian seafood drove him to alternatives.

“I woke up one day and really wanted some flathead, so I went to the supermarket, bought some Flathead, got home and cooked it,” Lundin says. “I’m a decent cook, but it just didn’t taste right. I looked at the back of the packet and saw ‘product of Argentina’.”

The situation forced Lundin to question the logic and environmental absurdity of shipping food across the world to a country already possessing an ocean rich in natural bounty. “I was a bit pissed off by that whole scenario, so I went and bought a fishing rod, went to the ocean and caught two flathead in like 30 minutes,” Lundin says. “Not long after that I got myself a speargun, and once I got underwater I realised there’s a smorgasbord of fresh food in the ocean. I was pescatarian for about a year after that.”

As his passion for fishing took off, Andreas found himself running in the same circles as hunters, specifically, bow hunters. And as luck would have it, Lundin was a keen archer during his childhood. “I bought myself a bow, started practicing and out of pure luck, I got a deer in my first month,” he says. “Everything has just rolled on from there. I’ve always wanted to eat healthy, eat good food and eat in an environmentally sound way, hunting allows me to do that.”

Lundin doesn’t believe that wanting to eat healthy and source your own food means you need to only eat self-harvested meals. “It doesn’t need to be all or nothing,” he says. “If I feel like steak or chicken, I’ll just go buy some.” But Lundin emphasises that being self-sufficient isn’t just healthier, it’s also cheaper. Before the COVID pandemic, Andreas was able live on self-harvested food five days a week, and you don’t need to be an exceptional hunter to do so. “If you take yourself a deer, you’re looking at around 35kg of meat. If you vacuum seal it and keep it in a deep freezer, it will last a long time,” he says.

Conquering the wilderness takes more than a little knowledge of the bush and some skill with a bow. Alone Australia is a test of mental and physical strength as much as it is a test of survival skills. Luckily for Lundin, fitness has always been something he’s prioritised. “I’ve worked in the fitness industry my whole life and got my first job in fitness when I was 14. It’s part of who I am now,” he says. “I’m at the point of my life now where I don’t even see things like my fitness as negotiable. I couldn’t live my life the way I do without being fit and healthy.”

In addition to being a full-time personal trainer, hunting and fishing in his spare time, Lundin is also a keen mountain biker. Evidently, keeping fit isn’t something he needs to strive for, it’s simply part of his extremely active lifestyle. “I’ve realised that it’s not that hard to keep weight off if you actually have a good diet as a base. The fitness side of it is just part of my lifestyle,” he says. “I don’t think about going out to burn a specific amount of calories. It’s more about taking a break from the city, hopping on my mountain bike and riding for a few hours. It’s fun, keeping fit is just an extra bonus.”

For Lundin, the key to keeping fit is easy. “Nail the basics,” he says when asked to describe his fitness philosophy in a single sentence. “Today, it’s so easy to get overwhelmed. You can be counting calories here and doing special exercises there and in reality, most people miss out on the basics.”

Taking into account his skillset, lifestyle and prolific survival experience, Lundin seems like the perfect candidate to outlast his competitors and win Alone Australia. But then again, so does every other contestant. So, will Lundin come out on top? We’ll have to wait and see.

Alone Australia season two premieres Wednesday 27 March at 7:30pm on SBS and SBS On Demand.




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By Cayle Reid

Cayle Reid is a fan of everything sports and fitness. He spends his free time at the gym, on his surfboard or staying up late watching sports in incompatible time zones.

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