Check out the Macpherson Fitness Client Area

Every Macpherson Fitness client has individualised access to the ptEnhance client area where their exercise programs, videos of exercises and history and other reports of their training are available. There’s also a schedule of Mark’s availability (so you can request training times) and your own training schedule is there too. Lots of other stuff.



Personal Training sessions

Contact me on 0414 842 584 or email


Posted May 6, 2014 by Mark in Fitness News

Physical and Functional Assessments



Steve King (Physiotherapist and Osteopath) and I will be performing Physical and Functional Assessments at Goodlife Chelsea in December. The sessions are free. Register your interest by filling in the form at Goodlife Chelsea reception or contact Mark on 0414 842584.


Everyone has muscle imbalances. Many are caused by everyday living. However, they are a precursor to injury, if they become severe or long lasting. At the least, they reduce your ability to get the most out of your training. Whether it’s lifting or running or riding or, even, walking.

Imbalances can be small and your body will compensate for them. That is until you’re going for that 1RM, or that high volume session or during a HIIT workout or, they surface as chronic pain and injury as the result of long endurance workouts.

Fixing imbalances is an investment in your fitness. It’s hard finding the time to workout, don’t reduce the effectiveness of those workouts. Fix your body before injury forces you to. And often imbalances are easy to fix and take little or no extra training time. A few exercises as part of a normal warm up routine can often reduce imbalances significantly. But you can’t fix them until you know what they are.

Testing can take only minutes to identify some of the issues with your body.

On Monday 8th December and Wednesday 10th December physical assessment testing will be conducted at Goodlife Chelsea. The testing will be done by Physiotherapist and Osteopath Steve King, and Strength and Conditioning coach Mark Macpherson.

Register your interest and a preferred time at Goodlife Chelsea reception or contact Mark Macpherson 0414 842584.


Posted November 26, 2014 by Mark in Fitness, Fitness News

Cardio vs Strength Training and Workout



Here is an interesting article comparing the effectiveness of cardio workouts and strength workouts. Strength wins out in most but not all cases.

And here’s a great circuit workout to try. Many of my clients have commented that they liked this one!

10 Pushups
20 Box Jumps
20 Bodyweight Squats
20 Mountain Climbers
Run or Row 400m
10 Burpees
20 Plate Overhead
20 Deadball Slams
20 Step Ups
Run or Row 400m
10 Reverse Crunches
20 Sideways Lunges
20 V sit plate touches
20 Lunges
Run or Row 400m


Each circuit could take nearly 20 minutes. Run through it 2 or 3 times for a very solid 40 or 60 minute workout.


Posted November 26, 2014 by Mark in Fitness

Barefoot Running

Great video from Nature about the research into barefoot running.

If you’re going to give it a try my suggestion is to start slowly, REALLY slowly!

Although you may be able to run 30+ kms I would suggest your first barefoot outings should be 1 km tops. Most people’s calves (and other lower limb muscles) aren’t strong enough to handle the changed stresses in the legs and, like all smart people who train, we have to build strength and muscle endurance before attempting heavy workloads. Right? It’s all about patience, remember?



Posted May 10, 2014 by Mark in Fitness

Partial Reps vs Full Reps, or Both?



Great article on the Bret Contreras (the Glute Guy) web site. Explains the current research results (with references). Well worth a read for the serious exercise enthusiast.


Posted May 7, 2014 by Mark in Fitness

Turkish Getups are tough (but awesome)!

Turkish Getups are tough to do well with a smooth and seamless motion. But they are an awesome full body workout just on their own. However, like any exercise, they require practice and patience and regression.

Practice them in stages and perfect each stage. A tip: The placement of your points of contact with the ground will be subtly different for each person, practice the movements and perfect them without weight to find what works for you.

As with most things in life, there are people who are better or more advanced than you. That’s not a problem, as long as you’re willing to learn (critically) from them.

Here’s Gray Cook teaching the Turkish Getup.


Posted May 6, 2014 by Mark in Fitness

Box Jumps done right

Box jumps are a triple extension power movement. They’re not a test of how high you can raise your knees. They’re great for training, using just your own bodyweight, the same movement pattern to use when doing Cleans and many other powerful movements.

Your box jump height is (truly) measured by how high you raise your hips, not how high you can get your feet off the ground.

However, instead of me rambling on, this discussion has already been done well by master trainer Dave Donatucci from the Florida Institute of Performance. Dave’s an awesome trainer, I’ve seen first hand the results he’s been able to achieve.

And here’s the link to the complete article Dave wrote.


Posted May 6, 2014 by Mark in Fitness

Life is not sagittal

Life is not sagittal? What?? What does sagittal mean?

These are the usual responses I get when I talk to people after they’ve seen me training myself and/or clients.

There is a component of “Writing 101” about using that phrase. i.e. Write positively, don’t be conditional. The phrase should be “Life is not only or solely sagittal”. I don’t mean to imply that there is no sagittal component to life at all.

BTW, the sagittal plane is one of the three planes of movement. It’s the forwards and backwards plane (there’s also the frontal plane, side to side movement and the transverse plane, which is rotational movement).


So much of what is done in the gym is sagittal and, while it does lead to strength and endurance gains, it is not, on its own, sufficient to keep us  out of harm’s way in our day to day activities. Performing a non-sagittal movement under excessive load can lead to injury. That movement could be as simple as twisting to retrieve something out of the back seat of a car.

My suggestion is that if we’ve made an effort to get into the gym to train (and this article is directed at those fitness enthusiasts who already get themselves to the gym) then, with little or no extra time we can reach our normal training goals as well as be strong enough to handle the unexpected non-sagittal events life sends us.

Athletes already know this. Golfers, pitchers, bowlers, runners, etc know they have to work on lateral movements as well as rotational movements to improve in their sport. However, I’ve seen too many people working out in the gym training in one plane of movement. This is an injury waiting to happen.

It’s easy to include non-sagittal components to your exercises. Really.

When working on your upper body, some push/pull exercises could be replaced with cable push/pull with added rotational movement. These can be progressed to single leg and on to unstable surfaces. You don’t have to do these exercises all the time but some of the time is better than nothing.

Lower body workouts can be augmented with lateral lunges or squats. Rotational squats, just bodyweight, can be really tough even for people who back-squat heavy loads.

As an efficient time use example, when you’re bench pressing don’t sit there and check social media during your rest periods, why not do a set of single leg, single arm dumbbell RDLs and then get straight back into your pressing? Or throw in a set of kneeling Pallof presses in between your heavy rowing exercises. Simple, really.

The possibilities of combining exercises into continuous sets is unlimited. You can get your non-sagittal work done in the gym in the same amount of time you currently spend in the gym. And the rewards are plentiful.

As an example, for the older fitness enthusiast, engaging in vigorous play with a squirming two year old grandchild is possible without the risk of injury.

Life is not sagittal, it’s more than sagittal. We should train accordingly.

Posted May 6, 2014 by Mark in Fitness

Why you must workout

A regular workout is good for many well documented reasons: you look good; you feel good afterwards; you live longer; the chances of succumbing to many modern diseases is reduced; exercise has been shown to grow neurons; stress caused by uncontrollable events in other areas of your life can be alleviated by regular exercise.



The list goes on.

This second list is much longer than the first. However, the number of items in a list does not make that list more important.All this is well known and advertised, then why don’t more people indulge in physical activity on a regular basis? This is another long list, but this one is often full of excuses. This list is dominated by time constraints, and many of those time constraints include  pressures from family and friends. For example, having to work for a living, spend time with spouse, children (or grandchildren), or just not having enough free time to workout or the inclination to workout when time becomes available.

There is one overriding reason why you must workout regularly and that is to live a healthier life. The only way to achieve that healthier life is by applying consistency to your health just as you apply consistency to everything else you do.

You already apply consistency to your work, your studies and your family. You go to work/school when you don’t really want to and you complete tasks that are not to your liking. You apply consistency to your family life as a role model/supporter/bread winner for your spouse, children and, perhaps, grandchildren.

A regular workout is as important to others in your life as it is to you. A regular workout is not an indulgence, it is one of the ways to contribute to the success of your family and the relationships with your friends. It is as important as any other mandatory aspect of your life. The trick is to be flexible in your planning and balanced in everything in your life while maintaining consistency.

Taking care of yourself is not a selfish act, it’s a way of helping others in your life. Having a balanced mind, body and spirit allows you to successfully tackle the problems and difficult situations of friends and family. Direct involvement in the affairs of others is not always necessary, a person who is strong in mind and body can be a direct influence on others they know and meet.

Each workout you complete is one step on the way to being the best person you can possibly be and, hopefully, influencing others to also be as healthy as they can be.

Live a healthier life, for you and your family’s sake, by regularly working out.

Tony Horton, “The Big Picture: 11 Laws that will change your life”

Posted February 15, 2014 by Mark in Fitness

The Tragedy of Euan and Kate published

EuanAndKateCover1I decided to finish and publish The Tragedy of Euan and Kate first, as part of the Version 2.0 project.

Some character alterations were required. As well as some of the plot items. The ending was a bit weak, I thought. It was based on some real life things that happened to me but I felt it was unrealistic (funny how that is. Real life seems unreal when written down). So, the ending has been re-imagined.

However, overall there was not a lot of work required for these changes and it’s always nice to finish something and get it out of the way.


And now it is out of the way.

BTW, links to purchase the book are in the side menu 🙂

I’ve now almost finished re-writing ‘The First Genesis’, which will be renamed ‘Flawed Gods’. There are substantial changes to the second half of the novel. It’s much more than the back-story the original book was. And Hachakyum’s brother makes an early entrance. And the Earth is almost destroyed. But apart from that…

I’m hoping for a 2014 release.


Posted September 9, 2013 by Mark in Books & Writing