Former soldier and creator of Battle Fit Australia Andrew “Pap” Papadopoulos sprints, runs ultra marathons, lifts heavy weights and boasts the flexibility of a gymnast.
Heed his tips on conditioning your body so you, too, can do it all
ATHLETICS OVER AESTHETICS
“Few guys have a clear purpose for exercising. Even fewer have one that’s worthwhile.
“You might be able to flex a muscle in the mirror, but is your training improving your quality of life?
“Shoot for better performance and the physique will come.”
Click here for three workouts that’ll build ultimate functional fitness
TICK ALL BOXES
“I pick events and training blocks for the year and mark them on a calendar. There’ll be an obstacle race one month, a block of strength training, an ultra marathon.
“Your focus may be endurance, but you need to tick off all the other pillars of fitness: speed, strength, power, flexibility and mobility.”
“No weights exercise is intrinsically wrong. But when I see guys training their bis and tris for two hours I’m thinking waste of time: I hit those small muscles while doing all-body moves that replicate stuff you do in life.
“Certain moves should be integrated into everyone’s program regardless of what you’re training for. The squat, deadlift and thrusters are ideal for building total strength.”
“The opposite of pumping out preacher curls are the pack marches through rugged terrain we did in the army: 40 kilograms on your back, plus weapon, ammo and supplies, covering 30 kilometres a day for a week.
“Fashion a workout that approximates a pack march, like a 45-minute bush bash with a load on your back. Post workout, I use Isowhey’s Refuel & Rebuild so I can go again the next day.”
“Hill sprints put a huge stress on your body and I’ll do one session a week just down the road from my house.
“I’ll do 10 x 25-second efforts at 100 per cent. There’s more to be gained from those maximal efforts in terms of fitness and after-burn than running further at an 80 per cent tempo.”
“I get asked a lot how I maintain an 86kg frame with the amount of running I do.
“I balance the kays I clock with three resistance sessions a week where I do all my compound lifts.
“When your workload’s big you also need to hit a surplus of kilojoules every day.”
“In the army you learn a lot about fortitude.
“Next time you want to stop during a soft-sand run, flick a switch in your head. You’re lucky to have the capacity to train – millions would give anything to be able to move without pain.
“I tell my clients to stop feeling sorry for themselves because, one way or another, we’re all hurting.”
“You don’t want to be the guy who can run 100km but can’t swim for jack.
“I’m aiming to do a half-Ironman at the end of the year. The 1.6km swim leg will take me out of my comfort zone – which is exactly where you want to be.”
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