Oh, hey there new Fitster!

Hello and welcome to Perfect Fit Land

Before you start

Let me show you around

A wop bop a loo bop, a wop bam boom! I am tutti frutti excited that you’ve decided to join me on this 8-week journey and I couldn’t be more ready to help you on your way.

But first, before you start sweating, grab a cup of tea (or an orange) and have a read through this introduction. This page will be like your gym buddy on your first day of PT. It holds everything you need to know before kicking off and will explain how many of the workouts roll. Please refer to it at any time throughout the coming weeks.

The Perfect Fit Approach has been constructed with much love and attention to detail. When training at home with limited equipment, it can be a challenge not to do the same exercises over and over. This will not only get boring very quickly, it will also put you at risk of muscular imbalances associated with over-working certain parts of your body. Tight pecs and poor posture associated with endless burpees and push ups can be counter-productive to what you’re trying to achieve.

This program ensures you work your body in a balanced fashion and takes the thinking out of the programming for you. Let’s face it, we already have enough on our plates without having to conjure up inspiring and fun workouts for ourselves. The Perfect Fit Approach will do the thinking for you!

Some things to consider as you work through the program.

Warming up

Before every workout, it is critical you warm up to prepare the body for exercise and prevent injury. Warming up generally consists of cardiovascular exercises, coupled with the stretching of muscles. By increasing the heart rate and circulation, blood will flow to your muscles, causing them to loosen. In doing so, you will be less likely to develop injuries such as strains and tears.

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Perform 5-10mins of general cardio vascular movement such as jogging or stationary bike to increase heart rate and blood flow.

Complete some stretching specific to the muscles you will use for your workout or simply focus on some areas that might be tight or troublesome for you. The older you get, the more time you will spend here.

Complete a few repetitions of all the movements that are featured in your workout and if weights are involved, perform a few sets gradually building up to your workout weight.

Keep in mind

Quality over quantity

I can’t stress this enough. Quality of movement is right up there next to consistency as my number one rule when it comes to training. Always strive to achieve the best posture, technique and range of motion on any given exercise. Prioritise this over doing your reps fast or in high volume. Sure, adding speed and volume can be effective ways of adding intensity to a workout, but these should only be considered once good technique is established and won’t fail under respiratory distress.

If your joints or mobility only allow you to achieve a certain depth, that’s okay. But if you can squat full depth but revert to “halfies” because you have to do a set of 50, then that’s a big no no.

You will get more value out of doing better quality repetitions, even if they take you longer, than you will from cutting corners just to get a set over with as fast as possible. A good way to ensure your movement standards remain high is to ensure the last repetition of any set looks the same as the first. Doing this may mean breaking your set of 50 into smaller chunks. This is still better and will allow you to develop the strength and stamina necessary for that movement. Do it this way and one day you’ll be able to knock out 50 unbroken full depth squats.

This theme of quality over quantity will be repeated many times in the coming pages because completing a high volume of work with sloppy or poor technique is a major pet hate of mine.

AMRAPs

AMRAP stands for ‘as many rounds/reps as possible’ and is a workout protocol used often throughout the training program. It basically means you complete a prescribed circuit as many times as you can within a given time frame. AMRAPs are a great way of pushing yourself to achieve as much as you can and in doing so, will add intensity to any workout. They are also ideal for those who are poor on time but rich in enthusiasm!

EMOTM

Every minute on the minute (EMOTM) workouts add a running clock into any programmed set of work. This workout protocol is a fantastic way of keeping you focused and accountable to your work and rest periods. While it’s similar to an interval style training session, where you might work for 45 seconds then rest for 15 seconds, the difference with EMOTM is that it demands a certain amount of work be completed in each minute. This puts you under pressure to get the prescribed work done as fast as possible so you have the remainder of the minute to rest and recharge for the next round. Move too slowly and you get no rest. That ticking clock acts as your own personal coach to keep you motivated, on task, moving quickly and efficiently.
You can use this method to form more complete conditioning workouts using multiple exercises and modes of training. For general fitness and body composition, training several strength movements in a given session can yield great results.

Click here to see an example:

EMOTM for 8 minutes
ODD MINUTE: 15 goblet squats
EVEN MINUTE: 10 pull ups + 20 double unders

REST 3mins

EMOTM for 8 mins
ODD: 10 KB forward power lunges
EVEN: 10 KB swings + 5 burpees

REST 3mins

EMOTM for 8 mins
ODD: 10 DB press + 5 broad jumps
EVEN: 5 push ups + 20 lunge jumps

Enduro session

Most of the workouts contained in this program are short, snappy and achieve their desired effect in 20-30 minutes. This is the HIIT or high-intensity interval training protocol which demands more energy over a shorter workout period.

A few years ago I was doing a lot of CrossFit style training consisting of 8-12minute workouts. I got very good at achieving an immense amount of work at an incredibly high heart rate and energy output thanks to an increased anaerobic capacity. But despite this, I found I was struggling to run 5km comfortably which was something I’d previously enjoyed doing a lot of. This was because I wasn’t spending enough time working on my aerobic energy system. This is the system that delivers oxygen to working muscles and keeps them going at lower intensities over longer periods.

Nowadays – usually on weekends – I like to go a little longer. I drop the intensity to a more moderate level and maintain that level for a prolonged period of time. I like to call this my enduro session and I always feel fitter when I do these. This can still be in the form of a longer workout or it might just be a trail run for 45-60mins.

Interval runs

Never underestimate the power of a good run. Whether your goal is to lose weight, de-stress, or even to solve stubborn problems, try reconnecting with that free and most simple of movements that is part of our DNA.

“If a problem is too hard I keep breaking it down until the essence of it becomes clear. And if that doesn’t work, I go for a run,” managing director of Google Australia and NZ Maile Garnegie.

It’s no surprise that the list of habits of highly successful people is packed with presidents, prime ministers, CEOs and managing directors that rise a dawn to put in 5K before breakfast. If they have time, we have time too! Your workout program will include twice weekly runs or walks. One will be an interval style session to help you build your fitness though intensity. The second will be a longer and more easy-paced run. In conjunction with the cross-training workouts, the running will compliment your fitness training and assist with weight-loss.

If an injury prevents you from running, you can apply the interval protocols to biking, rowing, swimming or even walking. Where there’s a will there’s a way!

The Kettlebell swing

The kettlebell swing is a strength and conditioning exercise which features throughout my 8-week training program. In this short video, I discuss and demonstrate the correct swinging techniques as well as common mistakes that can occur.

The kettlebell swing can develop strength, it's an all-round fitness and conditioning movement and is also particularly good at integrating the muscles of our posterior chain, being the glutes, hamstrings and lower back, which are classically weak in many people.

If you have never been correctly shown or instructed on how to deadlift or kettlebell swing and you don't feel confident with your own technique in performing it, I do recommend seeking some assistance from a trainer specifically qualified in kettlebell techniques. If this isn't possible, you are encouraged to sub out the kettlebell swings for other movements. Performing this movement incorrectly or with sloppy form can not only be ineffective but also potentially dangerous.