High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) & Exercise Tips

me&my health up podcast episode #10 – Transcript

Anthony Hartcher 0:00

Hello, Me&My Wellness viewers and listeners for another episode of me and my Health Up today, we have with us very special guests. It’s Matt Mazzaferro.

Matthew Mazzaferro 0:13
That’s it.

Anthony Hartcher 0:20

So Matt is a gym owner, a PT, and his gyms cord live well fitness studio based down in Cobra. And he’s about to launch another one in the eastern suburbs.

So, Matt’s got lots of experience around running gyms, you know, having a team of PT’S. And most of all he’s passionate about helping his clients achieve their goals. And he does this through a holistic approach and in terms of how he looks after he clients in terms of understanding their needs, their motivations, and really gets them going so that they achieve their goals without injury and, and do it in a in a way that it’s, it’s a community, it’s like a team going with you.

That’s what I really love about Matt’s approach. Besides that he is  very much a community person, he’s given in order of, I think, a quarter of a million dollars plus back to the Cago region, just through, you know, supporting various community activities. He’s also very keen hiker, actually hikes mountains, and he’s done many of the peaks. So he’s very adventurous and very privileged to have him on today to talk about HIIT training.

So HIIT is a high-intensity interval training. And that’s going to give us lots of insight around it. It’s a bit of a buzzword at the moment, but Matt’s going to give you the, I guess, the hot tips on how to successfully do it and to do it well and why to do it. And why is it such a fad? And so welcome, Matt.

Matthew Mazzaferro 2:10
Thanks Anthony, that was a a JFR intro.

Anthony Hartcher 2:17

Great, you’re a great guy and you know you really love the work you’re doing. So just, just give us some background as to really keen to hear your story about how you became a PT a gym owner, like, for me, it’s all about your journey to finding your passion, that sweet spot your harm your your zone. So tell tell us.

Matthew Mazzaferro 2:40
Cool, um, well, even as a kid like most children, I was a big superhero fan, and I still am. I’ve got a bit of a $5,000 Superman comic books. Story. In my parents garage. So yeah, I’m a big, passionate, comic book, superhero fan. And I mean having a passion. And then my father being a doctor, and he still is a doctor today, He’s a GP. So when I was a kid, I would see my father go to work, and I guess help people save people like a superhero. And then I guess, that inspired me. And going to school I was I guess, they told me I was too bright to become a doctor. So I thought, why not? Why not be the first line defence, which is a personal trainer, where I see doctors as being sort of the last line of defence in helping people’s health.

Anthony Hartcher 3:31
Fantastic, now I love it. Matt, it’s, it’s great here, you’ve got that, you know, I guess aspiration for it. Your father does and you see him as a superhero. And, and now you’re the superhero in the front line of defence, which is the front line. And we need more people like you, right? We label people on the front?

Matthew Mazzaferro 3:53
We do we do?

Anthony Hartcher 3:55
Yes, I was just really keen to hear about your philosophy. And I know you’re very holistic in your approach. But yeah, share with the viewers and listeners your philosophy around health and wellness.

Matthew Mazzaferro 4:07
Yep. Just quickly. So you mentioned that we need more people like me on the frontline. We actually do but the sad thing is, in the show fitness industry, the life expectancy of a personal trainer is someone who does the courses and get’s certified, in only six months, which is quite, quite sad, and they spend all that money, do the studies and then they join the workforce and the last six months. So I mean there is I guess, a missing link in what people perceive? I guess the idea of being a personal trainer is and I hope  more trainers get out there and find their passion and stick with it.

Anthony Hartcher 4:45
Absolutely. Now that’s a frightening statistic to hear that Yeah. So yeah, your underlying philosophy around health and wellness?

Matthew Mazzaferro 4:58
Is I guess the movement is the best form of Medicine, you hear that a lot. But I’m really a true believer of it. And I do have a dream. And I sort of, I don’t question my father. But I do have a dream that one day, some people would go and see a doctor. And they would, I mean, say they got a sore back or they’re, I mean they’re in the cholesterol, or their blood pressure is high. And rather than a doctor sort of writing a script for any inflammatory or drug to sort of reduce the cholesterol, blood pressure, they would write them before they go see a physio for their back pain or a chiro, or they’d get a referral to go see an exercise physiologist or a personal trainer, but to help it they’re out to lose their weight and reduce the blood pressure and cholesterol.

So like that, but you mean, the medical system, it’s this overrun. And the appointments only 15 minutes, so how, how much can actually sort of service a patient, and it’s not going to the doctors, it’s the system that they’re, I guess they’re brought into, I’d love to say that in the not too distant future. But I mean and movement is the best form of medicine. I actually do believe that just seeing clients come in, in their, their transition from being or getting stuck on the couch, and then getting them simply, just by moving it just changes their whole humane approach to life, not just physically but also mentally as well.

Anthony Hartcher 6:17
Absolutely. It’s, I love that approach. You know, I very much have that, food and lifestyle medicine, and you know, you have that exercise is medicine, it’s just really, it’s really embracing these basics. And, you know, if we do that and do that consistently, we can avoid the need for this more second line medicine, which is, you know, the drugs that are over the body, so really, I think that that underlying philosophy of yours is fantastic. And I love your vision and your dream. And absolutely, we’ll make it come true. We’ll get out there and educate people and help help the PT stay in the industry. Yeah, yeah. Support the community. So how do you help your clients achieve this? You know, exercise is medicine, what’s your approach with working with your clients?

Matthew Mazzaferro 7:16
Because we’re an independent facility. So all our programmes are sort of personalised. Every client that comes in we do obviously an extensive initial consultation. In that consultation, we go through in a lot of detail what their goals are, what they hope to achieve, and then obviously what level they’re at. And then we’ve just designed a programme specific to them. So we don’t have like a generic programme for a male who wants to lose 10 kilos or a female who wants to lose 10 kilos, or 60 Plus adults, all our programmes are pretty much personalised and having that approach has allowed us to work with quite challenging clients.

So you mean twice a week we run Parkinson classes, and we get referrals from from doctors and hospitals. With that, which is quite a it’s quite amazing and seeing them come in with their walking frames, I do the class and they have a lot more competent and balanced when they leave. So yes, it’s fantastic.

And especially with the older people, it’s so important for them to you mean just to continue to be active and to keep lifting, when I say lifting like lift heavy things. Because as you know, as you progress through life, muscle density does reduce, because our body doesn’t release enough testosterone. So we need to, we need to keep lifting to  keep that muscle density. And you mean, it’s never too late, like even 60 year olds, even 70 year olds can you mean can continue to put on muscle, so it’s never too late.

And in some countries where the fall rates are zero, it’s because they’re getting down and up off the ground most of the day. And that can be because they’re going to sleep, they’re going to toilet, the playing on the ground, eating on the ground. And therefore before the fall rates are pretty much zero. So it makes sense. You’re in that burpee which I’m sure you love doing all that Turkish get up. As much as you can get down and up off the ground.

It’s very important, especially if only people like a simple get down and up off the ground. And I remember I heard a quote, he said, saying ” if you’re struggling to get off the ground, you’re already halfway into your coffin”.  Because even if a senior has a fall, and they can’t get off the ground, then they lose competence and the family pretty much put them in a nursing home.

Anthony Hartcher 9:25
Yeah. Yeah. Wow. That’s really great insight. I haven’t heard that tip around, encouraging people to get on the ground and get off the ground and that’s why we have burpees, and that Turkeys get out that’s not easy.

Matthew Mazzaferro 9:45
It’s not.

Anthony Hartcher 9:48
Is it the turkey or the Russians? Because I’ve heard that.

Matthew Mazzaferro 9:54
Probably, yeah.

Anthony Hartcher 9:57
I just started the the topic of exercise and, you know, helping people, I guess, continue the momentum from, I guess, adolescence in the, you know, adulthood and then, you know, adulthood into more your senior years. You know, there’s this buzz theme out there around hit and his latest craze and everyone’s doing HIIT sessions and Everlink. And yes, I really am keen to get your insight into HIIT and the usefulness of it, you know, is it for everyone? Should everyone be doing it?

Matthew Mazzaferro 10:31
Yep. So obviously, it is for those high intensity interval training, is it for everyone? Yes, it is. But the most important thing about HIIT is technique. So you mean, he’s like your high intensity can be high, low to being heavyweight, or moving through a movement as fast as you can. But in doing both of them, technique is very important. It’s like me putting you in a race car and say, I want you to go around this track as fast as possible. But you go on the track, and you’re smashing the walls and into the corners, and you’re going to come out or banged and bruised, same thing with your training, you got to have proper techniques, get your technique, and then slowly build up your speed. Anyway, that there is a sport where training can cause injuries. And it happens because people aren’t doing it properly. And that’s why, you know, I do recommend you mean having a coach to I guess, guide you and to watch your technique. You mean being in a large class, you can lose that sort of  personal touch? You mean, I’ve owned multiple CrossFit facilities. And it is hard to sort of keep an eye on everyone while they’re lifting heavy things at a fast pace. But it is very, very effective if done properly.

Anthony Hartcher 11:46
Right. Okay. Yeah. So that’s the key, it’s a great form of exercise, it’s for everyone, but needs to be done well, and ideally under supervision, to make sure you’re doing form and doing the exercise properly. So it’s not just Googling HIIT programmes, and then just looking at a HIIT programme, and even a YouTube. Because, you know, you need to be able to see yourself and actually know what the correct form is. And there’s no better person to do that other than, you know, a qualified person such as a PT.

Matthew Mazzaferro 12:21
Yeah. Like, I’m sure you wouldn’t jump in an f1 car and jog on the track without being coached upon car.

Anthony Hartcher 12:28
It’s very true. And that’s a great analogy, actually. Why around the cars going from wall to wall? Yes, so, yes, high intensity, what’s the definition of high intensity? So at what point do we know we’re doing high intensity training.

Matthew Mazzaferro 12:51
Like I said, it could be the load, or moving through a particular movement at a fast pace. So obviously, you want to get your heart rate at a maximum level, but it’s all about we need the intensity, it’s also about the intervals. So you can do simple things like a two bar like 20 on 10 off, or you can do as many rounds as possible. We can do like a motion every minute on the minute, your particular movement, there’s various ways you can do high intensity, you can even just be doing like a triplet sort of exercise format. So it could be something simple, like say, do 10 Push Ups into 10 squats into 10 Pull Ups, try and do it as fast as possible, rest 20, 30 seconds and then do it again. So that’s a form of high intensity training. But obviously, technique is, is important.

Anthony Hartcher 13:36
Okay, and it’s, it’s maintaining an elevated heart rate.

Matthew Mazzaferro 13:40
Exactly, And also with, with the hind, like with this style of training, it also it’s very good for those who have sort of plateaued. So if they’re trying to lose weight and they hit a plateau, it does, it does get you over that sort of hump with it, as well, science has shown that it does, you mean help produce and encourage the growth of natural hormones, which you mean, as we age does slow down. Also with women, you’re in the whole thing, I don’t lift heavy things, because I’m going to get big muscles, unless they’ve got a pair of testicles. It’s, it takes years and years and years for them to get actually big big muscles.

Anthony Hartcher 14:23
Okay, so you mentioned the benefit,  if you’re trying to lose weight, you’ve played out to hit high intensity and then you know, shift that plateau so that you continue on that downward journey in terms of weight loss. Yes, any other key benefits for HIIT training?

Matthew Mazzaferro 14:43
A key point that you’re training, that you don’t want to do it too often. Okay? Okay, especially for the average person. They do HIIT session. They’re going to be quite sore. They might not feel but it takes their body, two, three, sometimes four days to recover from it. And with the whole HIIT style training, people are just  overtraining and burning themselves out, especially moms and dads, they wake up and probably didn’t have a shitload of sleep because the kids kept them up, they get a full day of work, then I’ll quickly go to the gym, do a HIIT session, and then go home and they go feed the kids, do this and that and it’s burning themselves out. So you mean, I truly believe during a sprint workout, they barely HIIT workout? You mean probably once a week, once every 10 days. Okay, yeah. But then you should be lifting heavy things at least two times a week.

Anthony Hartcher 15:34
Okay. That’s great advice. Because you often hear about people doing these, you know, four to five HIIT classes a week. And I think because they’ve heard about it, you know, it’s really good for weight loss or something like that. And the more I do, the more weight I’m going to lose, or, yeah, that’s so valuable that feedback is,

Matthew Mazzaferro 15:53
And I’m sure as you know, they’ll do a HIIT session, and then the energy levels will just be plummeted down. And then their body just craves energy, being sugar, and I’ll just go to have a big smoothie or they’ll go you might have a coffee or chocolate bar and it just says going through this roller coaster ride.

Anthony Hartcher 16:14
Okay, so your recommendation is sort of once a week, once every 10 days. And then outside of that doing a couple days a week of Strength Conditioning, training, you know, weights?

Matthew Mazzaferro 16:26
And play, play all the time. Play is very important. As adults, we forget how to play.

Anthony Hartcher 16:32
Okay. How do you? What do you do for play?

Matthew Mazzaferro 16:40
In the park with the kids kick the ball, go on the play set with the kids go to the park with the dog and throw a frisbee. Just get out there on conditional play and unstructured play.

Anthony Hartcher 16:49
Yeah. It’s just encouraging movement essentially.

Matthew Mazzaferro 16:53
Yeah, exactly. Go for a walk, go for a run. Go for a swim. Go for a surf.

Anthony Hartcher 16:57
Yeah. Okay. And, yeah, in terms of the hit session itself, how long? How long do you suggest a hit session should go for ideally?

Matthew Mazzaferro 17:11
You mean video longer than, say 1015 minutes, then it’s too long. Because how long can you know how long  you can sprint for? Yeah. Okay. You could do say 20 seconds on, then rest, 40 seconds, 20 seconds on press 40 seconds, when you get to 10 minutes, your form is going to be shy. So you got  to pull it up there. And that’s what having a coach is, they can they can monitor your form.

Anthony Hartcher 17:34
Right. Okay. That’s good to know. And in terms of tips, for those that want to do it at home?

Matthew Mazzaferro 17:48
Just just keep it simple. Keep it very simple, like a simple Tabata can work. Like you could do say 20 on 10 off of just  simple air squats, or push ups, or even the burpees, Indiana off of the ground. And that’s even a form of training. And a little tricky to deal with as well is, if you want to sort of track how you’re going to do burpees, four minutes, 20 on 10 off, and then record your lowest repetitions within 20 seconds, right? So say because your first 20 seconds, maybe nine, sorry, maybe like 4,4,5, 6, whatever. And then when you get towards the end, you want to try and be consistent. So towards any others doing the same one, but being in the middle. You want to keep up that intensity. Okay.

Anthony Hartcher 18:34
Okay. That’s a great point, particularly will the gym still open? Yes. Shortly, I knew what you’d be very excited to hear. I’m going to do it. Anyway. One more week, counting down. There’s only so much zoom, you can do isn’t there?

Matthew Mazzaferro 18:53
I’m all zoomed out.

Anthony Hartcher 18:55
Yeah, I think this generally is the society we assumed that it’s actually become a coined phrase on Zoom. So I won’t hold you too much longer given that it’s a Friday afternoon, A week worth of zoom already. What’s your number one tip for viewers listeners in terms of staying healthy?

Matthew Mazzaferro 19:21
I guess what I mentioned so lift, sprint, and play with regards to movement. So lift you mean twice a week? Sprint, you mean once every seven to 10 days, and then play play often as much as you can. But you mean don’t get caught up with oh my god, I’ve got to exercise I’ve got exercise every day. So I gotta smash muscle. Because you mean if your goal is weight loss then I mean 80% of the key is, as you know is food. And linked to that food is your mindset and the right mindset around on changing your eating habits. Exercise is like 10% of it so don’t get caught up in the whole part of movement. And you mean, I’m saying that and as you know, I make money from training? Yeah. So I tell clients, I need to see you once a week. And that’s one of my biggest products is the one hour per week programme that clients come in and sees once a week, we do a HIIT workout. Yeah. And then we provide them with you mean a programme to do on their own, where like, it could be simply just doing a programme at home. Or if they’re a member of another gym, they do a programme there, and then we get them to play often as well.

Anthony Hartcher 20:31
Fantastic. And so how can our viewers and listeners get in touch with you to take you up on your you know, your 1 hour a week session plus, you know, a programme to do thereafter? It sounds like a great offering. And those that may just want to do some, you know, HIIT session with you once or twice a week. Yeah, how can viewers best get in contact with you?

Matthew Mazzaferro 20:54
Probably just start by jumping on our websites at or you or they can just email Okay, and also got Facebook, we’ve got the Facebook liberal fitness studio.

Anthony Hartcher 21:10
Yep, yep. Fantastic. So I’ll include those links below, wherever this is posted for views and listeners so that they can get directly in contact with you.

Matthew Mazzaferro 21:21
Yeah, sounds good.

Anthony Hartcher 21:23
I really appreciate your time today, Matt. And just your philosophy around keeping it simple and basic and for me, it was really insightful, you know, just around that one HIIT session every seven to 10 days, you know, and then a couple of strength and conditioning sessions and then play. I mean, it’s, I think you’re right, as adults, we, we forget, and there’s so much fun in it. And I think in that play, you can just once you start doing you just want more of it. Right? It’s just you do. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You know, that increases that incidental exercise or, you know, way it’s not really considered exercise, because it’s enjoy. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, it’s it’s fun. Yeah. Awesome. Fantastic. You got what are your plans for the weekend Matt?

Matthew Mazzaferro 22:18
Just preparing for the reopen. It’s also it’s actually my, my fifth wedding anniversary. So try and find some way to go out for a nice lunch.

Anthony Hartcher 22:27
Awesome. Congratulations, Matt on the  fifth milestone and yeah, it’s good that things are open that you know, or somewhere it’s either so yeah, yeah, definitely. Awesome. Yeah. So thanks. Thanks again, Matt. And really appreciate and we’ll definitely have you back to wait you know, we’ll have another specific focus session on that you know, depending on what viewers and listeners come back with in terms of what they want to know more about. We’ll get you on to talk further about exercise and how we can do it well and successfully.

Matthew Mazzaferro 23:00
Sounds good to see you face to face.

Anthony Hartcher 23:04
Absolutely can’t wait to catch up. I’m sick of doing these. Take care mate

Matthew Mazzaferro 23:12
Thank you

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