Q&A with fitness expert Bree Filippone

Bree Filippone is an exercise scientist/personal trainer, as well as owner of group fitness business, the HIIT Project and founder of running collaboration, The FINISHR.

Bree knows that exercise is integral to self-care. But she also knows it can be hard to get started with exercise. She had a chat with Great Health about starting out with fitness, staying motivated and what inspired her to get into the fitness industry.

Do you have any advice for anyone starting or struggling with their fitness journey?
Start small and enjoy the journey. Explore different exercise activities, find something you like and with people you enjoy being around. This will help you stick at it for longer!

What are your five quick tips for someone looking to improve their fitness?

  • Set the bar at a height you know you can achieve without having to drastically up your activity. Then when you achieve it, bump the bar up again. Repeat. This will ensure you progressively overload sustainably.
  • Source a reputable coach or trainer who can give you the extra little push you might need.
  • Find someone to keep you accountable, such as a coach, friend or family member.
  • Don’t take short cuts. Every little thing counts.
  • Make sure you have fun while you’re doing it. If it isn’t fun, you’ll lose sight of your goal.

Can you tell us a bit about how exercise has helped with your mental health?

I truly believe exercise is a form of self-care. It’s a moment in the day where nothing outside of my training session matters. 

I always try to move at least once a day – this might be lifting weights, running or maybe it’s as simple as a short walk. Knowing that I always have a choice to squeeze in some form of movement means that even if I have a bad day, I have still accomplished something.

I’ve found that allowing myself to be fully present in the workout clears my head from all the noise around me and creates space to show up for the day as a better version of myself for others.

What made you get into the fitness industry?

I’ve always been into fitness and played high level sport growing up. Then when I sustained a knee injury in my mid-teens I was soon exposed to the gym, learning how to move properly and strengthen my body for rehab to get back on the court again.

I was so inspired by the coaches and trainers around me in the gym who were so integral to my rehab, that I felt a pull towards the industry. 

From there I completed my Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Sciences, Majoring in Exercise Physiology, and undertook internships and work at leading strength and conditioning facilities in Melbourne. This leveraged my passion to knowing the fitness industry was the right one for me.

What keeps you motivated?

Setting goals and having people to help keep you accountable. It sounds pretty cliché, but if you’re not moving towards a goal, you’re moving in the wrong direction.

Sometimes my goals are as simple as making sure I sweat a few times a week. Sometimes I’m training for an event or to get stronger, faster or be able to complete a movement a little easier.

I’ll be honest, occasionally my motivation dips and goals can seem a little out of sight. That’s where accountability comes into it. Whether it’s booking in a session with my trainer or a group session with friends, it’s an easy way to spark motivation again with a fun challenging sweat!

If someone is interested in running, where should they start?

Come to The FINISHR! Join us for a run/run-walk/walk-run, it’s easier than you think and doing it in a group is far more enjoyable than doing it alone!

There are also great running Apps which a great for beginners such as Couch To 5K and the Nike Run Club App have great programs there too.

If you’re interested in running but get sore joints and avoid it like the plague, a run technique coach might also be a place to start to help clean up your stride.

What are you plans for the future?

To keep enjoying what I am doing, coaching people to live healthier and fuller lives and reach their goals. I’d love to see The FINISHR impact as many people as possible and change their view on running and community. And to always have more fun.