Over the course of 16 weeks WatchFit Founder and CEO Parisa Louie will be discovering exactly how athletic she can become.

Working one-to-one with GB athletics coach, Ultra-FIT Magazine publisher and author John Shepherd, Parisa will be put through her paces and we will be following her progress right here.

The aim is not to attain elite athlete status and if any ticket is booked for Rio 2016 it will be as an Olympic spectator. But the idea is to see exactly what happens and what can be achieved when and averagely fit and healthy person with no formal sports background trains like an athlete. Using the principles and protocols of Track and Field training, under the guidance of a highly regarded coach, Parisa will find out exactly how her body shape changes and how her speed, endurance and strength improve.


And once it is all over and the facts speak for themselves, you will be able to benefit too! John Shepherd plans to harness the experiences of Parisa’s 16 week programme, the techniques employed and the gains made and develop a downloadable WatchFit plan. So look out for this in coming months and you too could be getting faster, fitter and stronger in 2015!


Over the next four months I am in the lucky but potentially daunting position of having one-to-one coaching with GB Athletics Coach, Ultra-FIT Magazine Publishing Editor and author of 7 books, John Shepherd. John has been there, done it, coached it and written about it!

There will be no hiding place over the coming weeks as I work with John to see what I can get out of myself physically. This is not about major body transformation or significant physical metamorphosis. I am 5ft6, tip the scales at around 58kg, enjoy active pursuits like cycling, running, waterskiing, gym classes and hiking and I guess I am in OK shape by average standards.

However there are definitely improvements to be made (aren’t there always?), I do want to shed excess fat, tighten, tone, lift and lighten and achieve what might just be my fittest ever state. I believe my optimum weight is perhaps 2-3kg lower than my starting weight, however I am aware that with the firming and toning of muscles there can actually be weight gain whilst the fat is stripped.

This is going to be a challenging 16 weeks. I have no illusions about that and it will certainly represent the most concerted period of focused training in my life. At this point I am not sure what will unfold. It’s like nothing I have done before and, if the mental exhaustion doesn’t overtake the physical fatigue I know I will be learning lots. The unpredictability and uncertainty is actually very exciting. It’s not going to be a comfortable ride but – If we never raise the bar, we will never know what we are able to accomplish!!

Over the coming weeks I will blog our activities and my progress, pain, pleasure and on-going results.

We are basing ourselves at the legendary Crystal Palace Sports and Athletics facility in London. A place renown the world over for major moments in Track and Field by the greatest names to grace the sport. If I can’t get inspired here it is never going to happen!

Crystal Palace Stadium

Week One sessions were very much a case of John finding out who and what he is working with. Of course he did not want to do me in, but he needed to push me to a reasonable extent to gauge my condition, fitness and resolve. We worked in an Active Dynamic sense with plenty of explosive, powerful kinds of exercises – the sorts of thing John applies to his sprinters and jumpers.

John is used to working at the upper end of the athletic scale with elite sportsmen and women whose mental and physical attributes are attuned to this kind of dedicated activity. I wondered how he’d cope with a ‘normal civilian’ however willing she might be! I need not have been concerned, John is patient and engaging and actually quite a calming presence in amongst all the exertion. It feels like we are really working together rather than me trying to meet the demands of a drill sergeant. I certainly work better this way!

Warm up jogs around a football pitch led into exercises such as calf raise strides, short stride sprints, knee lift sprints, spiderman crawls forwards and reverse, single leg squats, core work on the floor and steps climb runs followed by two more laps of the football pitch to conclude. We even did a couple of sprints which was interesting and quite eye opening. I don’t think I am a slouch by any means and sprinting was my best natural discipline. John would set me off and tell me to sprint hard over 50m, he let me go for 20-25m and then came hurtling after me and is convinced he beat me with his dip on the line. I am not so sure, but wow……he is quick!

Parisa Louie training with Ultrafit magazine John Shepherd

I had survived my first week under John’s guidance and had genuinely enjoyed myself. It was educational, energising and quite testing, however I have suggested that I could handle an increase in intensity. Was that a mistake and something I will soon regret? Lets see what Week 2 brings!

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