According to Chris Feather, Australia’s first fully qualified Gym Jones instructor and founder of notorious Sydney gym 98 Riley St, the key attribute to building stunning physical prowess is granite mental strength.
“I see so many people who have incredible physical attributes,” says Feather, “and I think, God, you should be smashing this weight and trampling this rower. But they’re not. And that’s because they don’t have it in the head; they can’t push past the point of suffering.”
Feather dismisses the notion that your pain threshold is immutable. For him, a willingness to suffer is something to be honed.
“You’re not born mentally tough,” he says. “It’s built through environment, it’s built through experience.”
Want to boost your pain threshold?
Start with this brutal workout Feather calls “The Leveller”.
5mins easy pedalling on an Airdyne bike
30 secs overhead press, 30 secs overhead hold x 4 (6kg dumbbells)
30 secs air squat, 30 secs wall sit x 4
Directions: select your level and complete the workout for time, aiming to finish in less than 25 minutes.
If you complete the workout in less than 20 minutes, move up a level.
The technique for the burpees is chest to the ground at the bottom, feet 15cm off the ground and hips fully extended at the top.
200 calorie row
Every minute, on the minute do 3 burpees
250 calorie row
Every minute, on the minute do 4 burpees
300 calorie row
Every minute, on the minute do 5 burpees