Matt Fuller Takes on a 24 hour Grind for Telethon


This weekend our awesome fitness blogger Matt Fuller will participate in his sixth 24-hour physical challenge to raise vital funds for Telethon in Perth. Last year, Matt's 24-hour cycling challenge raised over $50,000 for the 2014 Telethon, and now he's raring at the bit to do it all again. Is he mad? Possibly... but what a hero! We caught up with man himself to see how he's feeling in his final hours of training...

Hi Matt! It's Telethon time again. Can you give us a brief description of what your “24hour Grind” includes? 

This weekend I'll be doing my sixth 24-hour non-stop physical challenge, this time on the ergo grinder, for Telethon Perth. The grinder is an upper body piece of exercise equipment – a bit like a hand cycle or winch grinder as used on yachts. Over the course of 24 hours I will hand cycle more than 500kms non-stop, burn around 14,000 calories and do more than 57,000 revolutions during that time.  This year I'm also teaming up with Soa "The Hulk" Palelei, the UFC's current top-ranking heavyweight fighter, and we'll be doing this challenge side by side. 

Can people donate to your fundraising effort?

Yes absolutely! The link to donate online is and the last time I checked, we'd raised just over $10,000 so far.

How do you prepare yourself mentally and physically for this?

Physically, I have been preparing now for 4 months completing around 15 -20 hours per week of cross training. The grinder is very demanding on the back, shoulder and arms. To be fully prepared for the challenge of 24hrs non-stop, I set and complete training goals of 4, 6, 8 and 12 hr spikes with stints non-stop on the grinder. Once I’ve completed the 12-hour non-stop training session, I know I am physically ready for the event.

Mentally, I shut out all negativity and only focus on what I need to do to succeed. My three key elements are commitment, dedication and sacrifice. I don’t let anybody distract me from my training and I often draw on my own life experiences (good or bad) and channel that into motivation. Having played a physical sport over the years being a former professional NRL player has prepared me with the mental toughness and determination I need to succeed.

Can you give us an example of your typical training regime prior to the Telethon? 

For the four months prior to Telethon, I cross train for 15-20 hours per week. My weekly routine includes:

  • Ergo grinder
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Boxing
  • Weights
  • Power walking
  • Rowing
  • Core work

What does your nutritional plan consist of whilst preparing for Telethon?

Leading up to Telethon I make sure I eat a balanced diet consisting of proteins, carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables. I limit my junk food intake and cut out all alcohol. During the 24 hours of the actual event, I will drink only water and Gatorade, eat boiled potatoes, small tins of spaghetti, glucose snakes and ginger cubes.

What are your motivational techniques in the run up to the Telethon?

Telethon makes a difference to so many beneficiaries each year in WA.  My motivation comes from being a parent of two beautiful healthy kids, I feel extremely blessed. Meeting the Telethon kids and other sick kids each year at Telethon is both rewarding and motivating – especially the heartfelt gratitude I receive from the families. I have always been a proactive person and fundraising for Telethon is my way of making a small difference to those families less fortunate than my own. Over the years my team has raised over $300,000 of which I am extremely proud. 

Do you have a favourite workout track?

Although I enjoy music and find certain songs motivational I don’t train to music. I get stuck in and get the job done. I’m fortunate that I love training and get a buzz after I have completed a workout. As a kid I was a massive Rocky fan – so if I were to choose an all-time favourite motivational training song it would have to be Eye of the Tiger.

What’s your favourite motivational quote? 

My own – "Doubt whoever you may but never doubt yourself".

Why is Telethon so important to you?

Seeing the community pull together to raise in excess of 20 million each year is phenomenal and to know that so many families will be assisted by the funds raised. For one weekend it is an event that unites the state and it makes you feel very proud to be a West Australian.

Photo credit: Community News

Category: Fitness

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