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James Newbury home Workout

Australia’s Fittest Man’s Ultimate Home Workout

Do you ever just look at someone and think how in god’s name they got to be so ripped? No? Well, neither had we until we came across James Newbury. The Adelaide-based fitness addict is one of the world’s best athletes and he has a rig to match. But like all of us, Newbury has been forced out of the gym by the recent restrictions, and while we’re all taking it as an excuse to skip leg day, arm day and every other day, spare a thought for the entrepreneurs that make their livings from fitness.

The muscle-bund CrossFit athlete has become one of the biggest fitness stars on the planet, so we were interested to hear about how his life has changed since the walls came up. What we found was that the CrossFit athlete hasn’t taken any time off;  in fact, he’s turned things up a notch, thanks to some pretty creative home workout management. But before we launch into how he keeps his figure, there are some important things you should know about James Newbury.

James Newbury lifting a barbell
Who is James Newbury | Image: James Newbury

Who is James Newbury?

Starting out as a semi-professional rugby player in both Queensland and New South Wales, Newbury made the jump to CrossFit a few years back. A promising start to competitive CrossFit saw him finish every Pacific and Australian Regional in or near the top 10, but it was in 2016 when things really took off. Newbury qualified for the CrossFit Games, taking out 24th place in the world in his rookie appearance. Since then, it has been a wild ride for the fitness fanatic.

Newbury recently signed on as an Under Armour performance athlete, adapting his training, eating and recovery mode to be in-line with the sports brand’s vision. It paid off. In 2019, Newbury claimed the Australian CrossFit championship on the Gold Coast, making him officially Australia’s Fittest Man for the fourth time. He then went on to compete at the 2019 CrossFit Games, where he was just edged out for a podium finish, coming fifth.

If there is one thing that James Newbury knows, it’s fitness. So, with the lockdown restrictions forcing us out of the gym, we wanted to know how he was coping. James was good enough to not only have a chat but provide an exclusive home workout, just for Man of Many.

James Newbury’s Home Workout

The home workout that James Newbury has put together for us is super simple and involves only a set of dumbbells. If you don’t have dumbbells, you can easily substitute for heavy cans, water jugs or a carry bag filled with books. This home workout is essentially split into three sections. They are;

  • Part 1: 7-Minute AMRAP
  • Part 2: EMOM
  • Part 3: Core Finisher

The workout should only take between 30 and 45 minutes. It’s important to note that every good workout starts with a solid stretch session. As this is a home workout that involves complex muscle movements, elements of HIIT and CrossFit training, failure to do proper stretching can cause some serious issues. Let’s begin with part 1.

Part 1: AMRAP

The first part of James Newbury’s home workout is a seven-minute AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) session. This is in order to get the blood flowing, heart rate up and your muscles activated. While only one exercise, part 1 of this at-home workout will be challenging.

James Newbury doing line facing burpees workout
Line Facing Burpees | Image: Man of Many

1. Line Facing Burpees

We all know how great burpees can be for your overall health and fitness, which is why James Newbury has added them to this home workout. The high-effort, full-body exercise will get your heart racing immediately, so it’s a fantastic place to start your at-home workout. This is also a key element of any good bodyweight workout as it requires no equipment to exercise. Newbury suggests opting for line facing burpees, which are a subtle variation to the classic movement. “Mark out a line in the ground, draw one in crayon or use your dumbbells,” Newbury says. “Line facing burpees mean you always have to be nice and straight and perpendicular to that line.” Newbury recommends the ‘chest to ground, step over’ method. Here is how you do line facing burpees;

  1. Stand perpendicular to your line with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms at your sides
  2. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body into a squat
  3. Place your hands on the floor
  4. Shift your weight onto your hands
  5. Jump your feet back into a plank position
  6. Drop your chest to the floor
  7. Jump your feet back into a crouching position
  8. Step into a standing position
  9. Jump over your line
  10. Turn around
  11. Repeat

Time: 7 minutes
2 minute rest

For this particular exercise, Newbury suggests working on an AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) system for the full seven minutes. While that doesn’t seem like much, we guarantee you’ll be huffing and puffing after a minute or two.

Part 2: 7-Minute EMOM

The second part of James Newbury’s home workout is an EMOM (Every Minute On the Minute) session. This form of training is particularly useful when you want to lose body fat and lean up. The consistently high heart-rate activities will burn more calories over a longer period. You achieve EMOM training by beginning a prescribed number of reps of an exercise at the top of a minute and then resting for whatever time you have left until the next top-of-minute.

James Newbury’s use of EMOM training in this home workout is minimal but highly effective. most EMOM workouts are short in nature and allow for increased strength training and cardiovascular endurance. This specific workout utilises your dumbbells for added resistance.

James Newbury doing goblet squats workout
Goblet Squats | Image: Man of Many

2. Goblet Squats

A basic function that adds front-facing resistance to your average squat, the goblet squat is a key movement for most home workouts and HIIT training. The lower-body exercise works out your quadriceps, hamstrings and core, and involves holding a kettlebell or dumbbell in front of your chest like you are supporting a heavy cup or goblet. The slow movement can help to improve squat technique and hip mobility, but also aids in muscle-building for experienced athletes. “You can use one dumbbell or if you have two light dumbbells, you can use two at the same time,” Newbury says. Here is how you complete a goblet squat;

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart
  2. Hold your dumbbell vertically beneath your chin with your elbows tucked in tight to your hips
  3. Slowly push your hips back, bend your knees and squat
  4. Hold the squat position at the bottom
  5. Explode through the balls of your feet into the starting position

Time: 1 minute (EMOM)
Remainder of minute

While a fantastic exercise on its own, the goblet squat can also be used in combinations, such as swings, presses, and cleans. Once you’ve finished your 18 goblet squats, use the remainder of your minute for rest before getting started on the next exercise. “If you get those 18 goblet squats done in say 40 seconds, you’ll have 20 seconds rest before you need to begin the following exercise,” Newbury explains.

James Newbury doing devil's press workout
Devil’s Press | Image: Man of Many

3. Devil’s Press

A relatively new movement to the fold, but one that CrossFit competitors like James Newbury have embraced, the Devil’s Press is essentially a combination of a dumbbell burpee and a double dumbbell snatch. The full-body movement started making the rounds at CrossFit sanctioned events recently, so it has the official tick of approval, meaning it’s worthwhile adding to your home workout routine. For this exercise, you will use the same dumbbells you utilised for the Goblet Squat. Here is the correct Devil’s Press method;

  1. Start each repetition with the dumbbells on the ground
  2. With your hands on the dumbbell, perform a burpee, with chest making contact with the floor
  3. From here, jump to your feet without taking your hands off the dumbbells
  4. Snatch or swing both dumbbells from the floor simultaneously
  5. Finish with both locked overhead, with hips, knees, shoulders, and arms at full extension
  6. Repeat

Time: 1 minute (EMOM)
Remainder of minute

Just like with the Goblet Squat, the Devil’s Press follows the EMOM protocol. Once you complete the 12 reps, you will have the remainder of the minute to rest before beginning your Goblet Squats again. This superset will be repeated until the 7-minute mark is completed.

Part 3: Core Finisher

An often under-appreciated muscle group, your core requires the most attention, particularly in a home workout environment. “In my opinion, if you’re exercising for health and overall wellbeing, core workouts that incorporate full-body exercises will serve you best,” Newbury says. Putting the attention into your core is the best way to kick-start sore real growth while in isolation.

Core workouts are incredibly important for reasons other than just having rock-hard abs. A strong core can provide better balance and posture, with some studies suggesting it may even reduce back pain. Your core is made up of several muscles. These include the rectus abdominis (what we know as “abs”), transverse abdominis (the deepest internal core muscle that wraps around your sides and spine), erector spinae (found in the lower back), and the internal and external obliques (the muscles on the sides of your abdomen). The best core exercises are those that workout several of these muscles at once, rather than targeting a select few. The final part of James Newbury’s home workout is the core finisher; a series of movements that do just that.

James Newbury doing v-snaps workout
V-Snaps | Image: Man of Many

4. V-Snaps

A compound core movement, V-Snaps work multiple parts of your core while also challenging your balance. This aspect of the home workout is critical as it helps to strengthen your key muscles for stability and overall strength. Newbury mentions that this is one of the best core exercises you can complete. Here is the correct V-Snaps method;

  1. Start in a hollow-body position with hands outstretched above your head and feet extended
  2. Contract your abdominal muscles by meeting your fingers with your toes directly above your core
  3. Retract
  4. Repeat

Time: Until completion
No rest

James Newbury doing hollow body flutter kicks workout
Hollow Body Flutter Kicks | Image: Man of Many

5. Hollow Body Flutter Kicks

Like V-Snaps, Hollow Body Flutter Kicks target the larger muscle groups in your core region. Newbury says that these easy core exercises build muscle and strengthen this critical aspect of your body; Here is the correct method for Hollow Body Flutter Kicks;

  1. Start in a laying down position with your hands just underneath your glutes and your feet and shoulder blades are off the ground
  2. Kick your legs off the ground in an alternating fashion

Time: Until completion
No rest

Once you have completed the 60 Hollow Body Flutter Kicks, you will go straight back into another 30 V-Snaps, before finishing with the final 60 Flutter Kicks.

Home Workout Routine

As we mentioned, James Newbury’s home workout is an interesting one that includes a number of interesting and innovative fitness protocols. The majority of movements are performed within a superset, so to make things easier, we’ve put this schedule together. The exercises in James Newbury’s home workout should be completed in this order;

1. AMRAP – Line Facing Burpees
2a. EMOM – Goblet Squats
2b. EMOM – Devil’s Press
2a. EMOM – Goblet Squats
2b. EMOM – Devil’s Press
3a. Core – V-Snaps
3b. Core – Hollow Body Flutter Kicks
3a. Core – V-Snaps
3b. Core – Hollow Body Flutter Kicks

Best Dumbbells to Buy for Home Workout

If you want to get a physique like James’, you’re going to need to get the gear. Luckily enough, this home workout only involves one piece of equipment, the humble dumbbell. These are easy to pick up, generally inexpensive and incredibly useful. Here is a list of the 5 best dumbbells for a home workout.

Product image of Amazon Basics Rubber Encased Hex Hand Dumbbell Weight with plain white background
Amazon Basics Rubber Encased Hex Hand Dumbbell Weight | Image: Amazon Basics

1. AmazonBasics Rubber Encased Hex Hand Dumbbell Weight

Sold as a single dumbbell, this Amazon Basics weight allows for focused, dedicated repetitions on one side of the body. It comes in a variety of weights so you can move up as your strength grows.

Buy it here

Product image of ATIVAFIT Adjustable Dumbbell with plain white background
ATIVAFIT Adjustable Dumbbell | Image: ATIVAFIT

2. ATIVAFIT Adjustable Dumbbell

This adjustable dumbbell set allows you to increase the weight as you get stronger, without needing to purchase new gear every time. This space saver is ideal for the home workout.

Buy it here

Product image of Therasoon Set of Heavy Rubber Dumbbells with plain white background
Therasoon Set of Heavy Rubber Dumbbells | Image: Therasoon

3. Therasoon Set of Heavy Rubber Dumbbells

These rubber coated dumbbells are a safe addition for your home workout. They come in a range of sizes and weights and are available as a set of two.

Buy it here

Product image of CAP Barbell Cast Iron Hex Dumbbell with plain white background
CAP Barbell Cast Iron Hex Dumbbell | Image: CAP Barbell

4. CAP Barbell Cast Iron Hex Dumbbell

These versatile, cast-iron dumbbells have that vintage, bodybuilder aesthetic made famous by Arnie and the gang.

Buy it here

Product image of Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells with plain white background
Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells | Image: Bowflex

5. Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells

These adjustable dumbbells from Bowflex are ideal for those looking to boost their trap sizes from home. You can set the dumbbells to your preferred weight and incrementally increase them as you strengthen your muscles.

Buy it here (US) Buy it here (AU)

Home Workout Advice

There you have it. Turns out all you need to get as ripped as Australia’s Fittest Man is just a set of small dumbbells. Obviously, there is an element of strength training involved in James’ ridiculous physique, but with limited access to a gym and weights, this is the workout that is helping to bridge the gap. The most important thing to remember is that health isn’t necessarily about being the strongest or most-shredded version of yourself, even James can attest to that. “In my opinion, ‘working in’ is the most forgotten aspect of wellness,” he says. “Providing yourself time to work in ie stretch, breathe, grounding, sauna etc will serve you the best and help you stay sharp and balanced.”

Is it effective to workout at home?

While those who are used to strength-training in a gym might find it difficult to replicate their workouts at home, home workouts are still highly effective. Focus on core exercises and cardiovascular activities.

How can I workout with weights?

Bodyweight exercises are some of the most effective for fitness and maintenance. Sit-ups, push-ups and pull-ups are highly effective.

Who is Australia's Fittest Man?

CrossFit competitor James Newbury is a four-time champion, laying claim to the title of Australia's Fittest Man.

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