Who We Are

Meet John Ralph

Dr John Ralph heads up Ascent Fitness.  He’s a qualified Personal Trainer and holds degrees in Sport Science, Biomedical Science (Honours) and a Ph.D. in Chemistry.

That’s an unlikely background to creating a niche personal training business but, as you will quickly pick up when you meet him, passion drives him. Walking fitness is one of John’s great passions.

John has worked with a wide range of clients, from school mountain camps, walking groups for people living with physical and intellectual disability, people returning from significant illness and injury and elite mature-aged athletes.

A Unique Tasmanian
Fitness Company

Ascent Fitness is a personal training company in Launceston, Tasmania. We’re a bit different as we have a strong focus on walking fitness.

In urban, trail and mountain environments, you will find our footsteps, improving people’s fitness and enriching their exercise and life experience by walking in some of the World’s most stunning places.

There’s no place to walk like Tasmania!

We are really passionate about The Outdoors – for fitness, for exploring the great outdoors and far away places, or your local environment.

Exercise in some great places – even some right near your front door. There is no limit to where we can take you. We will show you circuits you can go back to again and again!

Why Ascent Fitness?

  • Ascent Fitness focuses on walking fitness and wheelie fitness. If you can move, we can help you move better.
  • Our time-poor clients tell us that the opportunity to exercise with a minimum of preparation time is a real bonus.
  • After broadening our clients’ horizons on what walking for fitness is about, it’s an improved skill they can take with them anywhere.
  • On top of that, exercising with Ascent Fitness means the opportunity to join with like-minded people experiencing places they would not have gone to by themselves.
  • We love helping people get fitter and enjoy life.
  • We are really passionate about walking – for fitness, for exploring the great outdoors and far away places, or your local environment.
  • Getting yourself there and back with guided walking tours is what we help you do, then we help you do it better!
  • We partner with organisations who are doing charitable work in our community with day walks and other activities.
  • We can help you train for overnight walks like the Overland Track, and walking events like Point to Pinnacle.
  • We have a number of walking programs from urban to trails to mountaineering. Contact us to find out what might be your next walking/wheeling challenge!




Send John a message today and he'll help you work out what's your best starting point.

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Ageing well, improving my fitness and shedding some kgs are important issues for me. With John’s help, I’m on my way to achieving my goals. I love my new way of life, getting out, walking up hills, and hiking up mountains. It’s great being challenged.”

“I wanted to increase my fitness, with a goal of being able to climb a mountain or two. Ascent Fitness has helped me do this with great support and fun along the way.”


“With John’s help I have gone from barely fit to hiking mountains. And it’s been fun the whole time!”


“Out and about in the great outdoors, up and down hills and mountains…my fitness has improved out of sight!! Motivating and fun!”


“With the help of Ascent Fitness, I’ve been able to increase and maintain my fitness level and lose weight, all in a fun and supportive environment!”


More about John

John has had an interest in mountaineering since he was a lad.  After retiring as a multiple national champion in Weightlifting, it took a “mid-life fitness crisis” to re-awaken his mountain climbing legs.  Since then, John has successfully climbed hundreds of Tasmania’s biggest mountains and has taken groups on mountain day walks for many years.

The urban environment is where most city-dwellers will do most of their walking. Launceston born and raised, John has designed and walked hundreds of urban and trail walking circuits in and around Launceston.

This process has resulted in conceiving the Launceston Urban Fringe Trail – a fully-connected 100km pedestrian trail that goes around the entire edge of Greater Launceston. This work has earned him membership to the Launceston City Council’s Pedestrian and Cycling Access Committee.

John has demonstrated ability in designing interesting, challenging and fun walking programs. He produces a variety of walks for urban, trail and mountain environments that can be adapted to suit a wide range of fitness levels and abilities.

A key to the ongoing success of Ascent Fitness is his passion for the activities and a genuine interest in people.  A skilled communicator, John manages communication effectively with walking groups via social media and informal settings over a post-walk coffee (of which there are plenty!).

John’s personality comes through from first contact: amiable, energetic and keen for some fun! Ascent Fitness’ mantra – ‘Climb your own mountain’ – is a tilt to John’s philosophy that everyone has their own goal in mind and he’ll bring his years of expertise to help empower individuals to achieve what they came to do.

It’s a dull person who doesn’t have a hobby, or so it is said! John’s other passion is performing on the highland bagpipes. Combining his passions of mountaineering and piping can happen from time to time. Scale the peaks in Tassie with John and it might come with its own little bit of Outlander!

Trestle Mountain
Frenchmans Cap
The Pap of Glencoe
St. Patricks Head

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