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The National Fitness Games is inspiring people to test their prowess against the best the UK has to offer. MF finds out the training secrets that will lead to success– and meets a Games athlete who has shown incredible dedication

Over the past few years, fitness challenges have become increasingly popular. The trouble is, too many of them have been set up as an ego-stroking events by the organisers. The challenges and weights often seem to have been selected as an exercise in topless, chest-bumping, bandana-wearing bravado. Heavy Olympic lifts are impressive but not exactly inclusive.

Photography Jon Surbey

Refreshingly, the National Fitness Games – created by Mark Morgan, founder of events company True Legacy – has been set up with competitors in mind and strikes the perfect balance between challenging and accessible. Last year’s inaugural event was comprised of four distinct zones that tested endurance, strength, speed and power. The workouts were created by top trainer Ollie Marchon (@olliemarchon) and were open to teams of both men and women competing in open and elite categories. For some insight into what it takes to be competitive at the Games, which in 2019 is a three-part series, MF spoke to NFG competitor and Maximuscle ambassador Tyler Saunders. We also got Marchon’s top training tips for the four zones, which you’ll find on p40-42.

Tyler, how would you describe the first National Fitness Games?

It was probably one of the most testing days of my life. A day of really tough competition – it tested all my physical components or fitness. You have to do something with strength, something with endurance, something with explosiveness. And being a disabled participant [Saunders was born with one leg] meant it really challenged me, but it was a really rewarding day and I’m looking forward to the next one.

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