Friday, December 8, 2023

Nick Matthew’s fitness secrets in Men’s Health

Ever wondered how Nick Matthew managed to harness the fitness necessary to reach the top of the PSA rankings?

Well, here’s your answer, courtesy of Men’s Health magazine.

Get ready…

Those who spend half their allotted court-time leaning against the wall and gasping “just…10…more…seconds” will be unsurprised to learn that squash burns 10% more calories than any other sport. But how do the game’s best players train for the barrage of interminable rallies that make up top-flight matches? Well, Nick Matthew, the Commonwealth champion, likes to indulge in “full-body rumble circuits”. Try to match his Herculean exploits – or adapt this chop-and-change session to your own capabilities – to build superhuman fitness fast.

Get steady…

In this workout your total number of reps can be split up according to fatigue and preference, explains Mark Campbell, Matthew’s senior strength and conditioning coach: “For example, you may perform the bench dips as 4 sets of 25, executing a set and then moving on to another exercise.”

Matthew tends to put a time limit on his rumble circuit of 30 or 60 minutes and do as many of the exercises on the list as possible. We recommend you set yourself a (probably shorter) deadline, too, and work without rest through as many moves as you can. Since you’ll be flitting constantly between different pieces of equipment, Campbell advises it’s best to try this workout when the gym is a bit quiet. That way there’ll be no-one around to wonder why you’re struggling purple-faced through body-weight squats, either.

If you’re unsure how to perform an exercise, simply click on it for a demonstration.

Then rumble…

Bench dips – 100 reps in total
Dumb-bell press-up rows (5-10kg) – 50 reps in total
Body weight squats – 100 reps in total
Bar-bell curl and press (20kg) – 50 reps in total
Side plank – 3 minutes each side in total
Crunches – 200 reps in total
Lunges – 50 reps each leg in total
Plate row (10-20kg) – 100 reps in total
Leg lowers – 100 reps in total
Row – 4 x 500m efforts
Treadmill – 2 x 800m efforts
Cycle – 2 x 2km efforts

Do each of the following four exercises for 30 seconds, then repeat without rest (so the whole section takes four minutes)
Bar-bell curls (10kg) – 30 seconds
Bar-bell shoulder press (10kg) – 30 seconds
Bar-bell upright rows (10kg) – 30 seconds
Bar-bell bent over row (10kg) – 30 seconds

Perform 10 press-ups followed by 20 burpees three times through non-stop
Press-ups – 10
Burpees – 20

Repeat the following two exercises three times in a row non-stop
Dumb-bell squat and press (10kg) – 20 reps
Box jumps – 45cm box, 20 reps

Everybody rumble…

We’d love to know how many of the exercises you’re able to get through in 30 minutes – or, if you’re feeling confident, how long it takes you to complete the whole workout. If you’ve given it a shot, leave a comment below…


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