From one of Australia’s pre-eminent fitness gurus, Chris Feather…
Chris Feather has plenty of eye-catching lines on his CV — 12 years as a professional rugby league player in Europe, founder of the notorious 98 Riley St gym in Sydney owned by Russell Crowe, and trainer for the stars — so he knows a thing or two about fitness.
But what are the signs of a rig that possesses true GPP (General Physical Preparedness), and training for a “bikini body” that looks nice and shiny on Instagram? Being able to hit all 10 of these measures, according to Chris.
- 2000m row in sub seven minutes
Why? “This is a great indicator of cardiovascular fitness, endurance and strength in your lower body, upper body and core,” Chris says. “It will also test your mental resolve as a 2000m row is challenging enough, especially when aiming to finish in seven minutes.”
- 2 x bodyweight deadlift one-rep max
Why? “A properly executed deadlift is a great indicator of pure strength as it engages everything from your calves to your hand grip,” Chris explains. “Recent research is finding the grip strength may be a good measure of heart health, so that being the case, you should work on improving it.”
- 1.5 x bodyweight back squat
Why? “A well-executed weighted squat produces a level of muscular stimulation and growth that you can’t get from a machine. Furthermore, it requires good lower body strength and it works your core and balance, which are important elements for not only your health and fitness now, but for your longevity into older age.”
- 75% bodyweight strict overhead press
Why? “This exercise is mainly an upper body strength exercise. However the fact you are standing and pressing over head you need to engage your full lower body for stability and balance. The strict overhead press is a full body movement — you can’t fire a cannon from a rowing boat!”
- 1.25 x bodyweight benchpress one-rep max
Why? “I use this because it is a fairly low skill, functional, compound movement,” says the former English Super League star. “There was a heavy emphasis on this movement while playing footy. I enjoyed it and found a lot of benefit from it, which is why I have it as one of my standards.”
- 15 x strict dead hang, no kip pull-ups
Why? “This is a true measure of the strength to body weight ratio — you need to be able to move your own engine. There’s nothing cool about being able to lat pull down 100kg if you cant do a pull up.”
- 100 burpees to target in sub seven minutes
Why? “Again, this is about moving your own engine,” Chris says. “I’m 196cm and 119kg, and I can pull the shit out of a rower, as someone of my size should be able to. Unless my sport is rowing, if I can’t move my own engine what is the point?”
- 50 box jumps in sub three minutes 30 seconds
Why? “This is a full body test of speed and power endurance — how fast can you move your full body repeatedly?”
- 10km outdoor run in sub 50 minutes
Why? “A good test for cardiovascular endurance,” Chris offers.
- Five-minute front leaning rest (hold at the top of a push-up)
Why? “This is a good test of isometric core, shoulder strength and stability, as well as mental toughness.”
To qualify for one of 98 Riley St’s gruelling work-outs, you need to complete at least six of these standards — visit chrisfeather.com for more info.