If you want to take your training to the next level, Nike trainer Marie Purvis will take you there. Purvis is one of Nike’s first trainers and has had a leading role in helping Nike to reach female fitness enthusiasts. She has helped to bring fitness to new places with her role in making the Nike running and training clubs a reality and she features extensively on the Nike+ training app with some seriously brutal workouts. Purvis understands the way women train, what works, what doesn’t and she’s a seriously impressive motivator. We spoke to Purvis ahead of the NTC tour in Sydney and she gave us some insight into how she pushes her own fitness limits and those of millions of women across the globe.

 
On being new to resistance training…

“Start as soon as possible,” says Purvis. “Strength training is an essential part of a holistic program.” Purvis is all about diversity when it comes to training and believes that resistance work plays a vital role. By making you feel stronger, healthier, developing muscle and preventing overuse injuries, resistance training has a heap of benefits that work toward improving your overall performance. Plus it’s a pretty good way to achieve your badass goals too.

On the best moves to challenge your entire bod…

“Any compound movement, which are the ones that work multiple joints at once, is going to be an amazing exercise. They’re efficient and challenging,” Purvis explains. If you’re looking to put together moves that are as effective as they are efficient, these are Purvis’ faves:

  • Squat press: A deep squat into an overhead press with dumbbells. This move helps to build explosive power while loading up your lower and upper body.
  • Walking lunge with rotation: A walking lunge is a runner’s favourite because it hits all the important muscles (especially the glutes) by adding a rotation with a weight plate you also get core activation.
  • Pull ups: Those big muscles in your back aren’t just for show, pull ups are the king of upper body exercises and they’re great for posture improvement.
  • TRX push up to knee tucks: A push up performed with your feet in TRX handles requires much greater control and more muscle recruitment. The knee tuck added to the end makes this move a tough core challenge.
On ways to improve lower body power…

If we want to build more powerful legs for explosive movements, Purvis recommends introducing plyometric and strength drills. If you’re looking to become a better runner, become stronger, jump higher and go for longer, these are the moves she recommends:

  • Squats: Weighted squats are fantastic for building more powerful legs. Keep a neutral spine, your chest proud and drop as low as you can to recruit more muscle fibres
  • Step ups: Step ups get all of those big leg muscles working. Add a weight on your back or held at chest height to make them more difficult.
  • Dead lifts: If you want stronger legs, a stronger posterior chain will help this. The dead lift is a lower back strengthener as well as a leg exercise.
  • Box jumps: These can be scary to begin with so start small. Thinking about squatting deep and exploding upwards, moving your feet quickly to jump onto the box.
On the exercises that are wasting our time…

Using our time wisely inside the gym is pretty important, we want to make sure we’re making the most of the time we set aside for a workout. According to Purvis, there are a few exercises that we might want to scrap from our training program. “In my opinion any specific ab exercises like crunches, roman chair leg lifts and decline crunches are a waste of time,” she says. “Also I think any isolated single joint movements aren’t necesssary for performance, unless you are training for a show or a weight lifting competition.” Exercises like bicep curls, triceps kick downs, seated leg curls, seated leg extensions and calf raises really aren’t doing you any functional favours. Leave them to the body builders.

Her advice when your session didn’t quite push you far enough…

“I like to give my athletes what I call a ‘finisher’. It’s five minutes of high intensity training where I ask them to do some kind of max effort work for 15-20 seconds then have them recover for equal parts,” Purvis says.

Here’s one of Purvis’ special finishers for you to try:

5 minutes total (15 seconds of max effort, with 15 seconds of recovery. Total of 5 rounds of the 2 drills repeated)

  1. Tuck jumps
  2. Burpees