Kev Toonen, Author at 98 Gym
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Kev Toonen


  • Strength and Conditioning Coach for SOCOM
  • 18 Years Military Experience
  • Diploma Exercise Science
  • Powerlifting Coach
  • Founder of Strengthelite


Kevin is a strength and conditioning coach with ten years direct experience coaching athletes, soldiers and coaches alike. With over fifteen years serving in the Australian Military, five of which were managing a high performance program, Kevin’s skills and experience are rooted in training with purpose, to achieve the mental toughness to never quit – to always find a way.

He currently sits on the board for the Tactical Strength & Conditioning Association in Australia and has presented to Police, Military and S&C coaches across the country. He is also the founder of Strength Elite.

Kevin believes in humility and the pursuit of excellence. His training is science-based and he is happy to work with anyone who possesses the grit and determination to improve themselves, get uncomfortable, knowing that nothing worth having ever came easy.

The program is designed to be done with no equipment needed. You’ll need a pull up bar at some point. Be creative if needs be. If you can’t find one, use a towel and do towel pull ups, do them off some goal posts, back of stairs, wherever you need. You all have access to the warm ups in the movement library so follow them as you need. If you need more of a warm up, then make sure you do it. On the run days make sure you are warm, do a 5-10min run/walk to make sure you are prepared to run.

All these sessions are to make you get outside, have a bit of fun with it. If you have any questions just ask.

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The testing will run over 2 days and its important to understand that these sessions are not workouts but all out efforts. This is the part where you find out where you really are compared to where you think you are.

Day 1
– 1RM Deadlift
– Max BW Pull ups
– 30 second effort  on the Assault Bike (Max Calories)

Day 2
50 x Box Jumps for time
2km Ski/Row or 8 min time trial on the Assault Bike (Max Calories)

Below is how I would run my two days.

Deadlift 1 rep max
I have a plan or a no. I want to hit and I work backwards from that number…usually about 6-8 sets depending on how I feel. Below is a breakdown of how I would plan my 1RM attempt of 260kg.  My rest is breaks are between 3-5 mins between sets…longer rest the closer I get to the doubles and singles.


All my lifts are technically correct, I don’t want any gym fuckery here, no dragging the bar up like a limp crane. When your form breaks, then that’s where you sit. Take note of what gave way, was it grip, trunk, upper back, lower back etc.

Max Body Weight Pull Ups
This one is pretty simple, obey the movement and record the number correctly, if it’s a maybe, it’s a no.

30 second Assault Bike Effort
This one should break you for the day. All out, nothing left in the tank…when 30 seconds is up, feet off the peddles and wait until the bike comes to a complete stop. Then record the calories.

50 x Box Jumps for time
Refer to the movement library for the movement. Remember its jump up and step down, not jump down.

2km Ski/Row for time/ 8 min Assault Bike max calories
You get a choice of one of these three. It’s a max effort for the time or distance. Record your score.

The rest you have between all of this is up to you. 15min – 30min should be enough for most if this is your first time testing.

Harriet has written a great article on how to ‘Nail Your Testing Nutrition’ HERE. Give it a read to help optimise your testing week.

Good Luck!

Training for a sport requires you to look at your goal or the sport and deconstruct it so you can improve in areas that may weaken your game. In this video 98 Gym’s Program Director Kev Toonen talks over the finer points of The 98 Program and the reasons behind its focus on sports performance.