5 of the best ways to train-legs,pull,push,cardio,core

IF YOU’VE BEEN a regular reader of my column the last 2 years you will know how I tend to keep things simple with regards to your training.The goal of any article I publish is to try educate the reader with as much workout advice, healthy lifestyle tips, nutrition support, right down to mindset and recovery protocols.

Today,I am going to give you five very simple components to a well rounded workout plan.These 5 areas will give you the bones of a session plan and you can even stick with this structure and build on from there every session.

The biggest obstacle I generally see with a lot of people using the gym is not really having any structure in their workout and not really knowing what to do for a general all-round  workout.

-If you are an individual who wants to get in into the gym 2-4 times a week and wants to get the most out of that 45 minute session then this is a sample session that will help for you.

-If you are an individual who wants to train like a bodybuilder,has plenty of time on their hands to train and wants to do tones of isolation exercises,wanting to train small,medium and large muscles groups at all different types of angles then possibly this structure isn’t for you.

Any training program I work with alongside clients always starts with the basics and most of the time, we actually never need to step too far from these areas.Working in the fitness industry the last 10 years I have seen lots of fads come and thankfully go and how the majority of us actually need to be working around simple basic functional movements.Once we do them right and stay consistent the results achieved speak for themselves.

Below is a simple structure for the main chunk of your workout session.Before we start lets briefly cover your warm up.If you are a person who rocks upto the gym and jumps on the crosstrainer for 10 minutes or even does no warm up then you should watch this sample 10 minute warm up video or go scan my column looking for warm up ideas.Moving on from there lets look at the main emphasis of this article.

Today I want you to focus on this simple 5 part workout plan

  • Lower body
  • Upper body pull
  • Upper body push
  • Cardio/Power
  • Core
  • Rest

Ideally,this is how I would structure a session and pull exercises together for a circuit style plan.I would suggest you spend roughly 4 working sets on a plan like this and give yourself 20-25 minutes chipping through this session.

So,lets build this plan.

Time: 20-25 minutes

Sets: 4-5 x 5 minute work sets

In each set I would encourage you to try get through all the aspects of the plan in the order of above starting off with lower body.In this template I am giving you a advanced,intermediate and beginner level .Along with that I attach the movements linked to the exercise which will bring you straight to a technique demo video.

Set 1

Barbell back squat (Adv)—-Goblet squat (Inter)—-Air squat (Beg)

8 reps barbell/10 reps goblet/12 reps air squat

*1 minute for set then move on

Weighted chin/pull up (Adv)—-5 second negative chin up (Inter)—-Ring row(Beg)

3-5 reps/ 5 reps x 5 second negative/10-12 reps ring row

*1 minute for set then move on

Banded push up (Adv)—-push up (Inter)—-Elevated push up (Beg)

4-8 reps banded/6-10 reps normal push up or 10-12 reps elevated push up

*1 minute for set then move on

Kettlebell swing (Adv)—-Broad jump (Inter)—-Squat jump (Beg)

15 reps KB swing/8 reps broad jump/12 reps squat jump

*1 minute for set then move on

Weighted plank (Adv)—-Plank (Inter)—-Elevated Plank (Beg)

45 sec 10-20kg weighted plank/30-45 sec hold/30 second elevated hold

* remainder of plank time to rest +1 minute to rest then start at the top again making some adjustments to load/reps/level as you move on.Overall I would tend to do 4-5 sets.

This is a structure that is going to work full body and will really give you a good bang for your buck for the time that you have to train.Moving on from there into the next session on another day you can absolutley stick with the same structure and a quick example of these movements could be as follows

  • Trap bar deadlift
  • Dumbbell single arm row
  • Dumbbell chest press
  • Ball slam
  • Pall-of press

If you would like the correct rep or need advice with the right load % routine here or even another workout structure similar to this then just follow the links below and drop me a message or if you need any more advice or would like me to cover any certain topics in future articles then would love to hear from you.

David Last is a personal trainer based in Dublin. For more information you can follow him on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Or you can send him a direct message here.

You can also see some of his previous articles here








Resistance band drills to improve your mobility,core and strength

This week I am going to focus on basic equipment for really effective exercises.I am a big believer that you don’t need the fanciest or most complex workout equipment to make significant progress. In today’s article I am going to focus on the resistance power band and mini loop band and show you many ways on how to put a few smart and effective exercises together.I have compiled a selection of videos that will give you everything from mobility,core to strength drills so you are well equipped to do lots of things with a simple set of bands.If you are an individual who is short on time,space or equipment or even likes to do a workout away from the busy gym floor then this article is for you.

Resistance bands are possibly my favorite piece of kit and something I use in nearly every training session when working with clients.The best thing about the bands is that they are relatively cheap, easy to pop into the gym bag and you can do so much with them; from mobility drills to challenging strength and core movements.

Type of bands and best place to purchase


There are a couple of styles of resistance band.My favorites are the power bands and the mini loop bands.Both are perfect for doing lots of different styles of exercises.They come in varying degrees of tension (resistance)Nowadays most good training facilities should have bands on offer on the gym floor.If not and you do want to have a set to have handy for the kit bag then go find the bands are this store here at D8Fitness.They have a great selection and easy to purchase online too.

The best thing about bands is that they are so versatile and can come in handy for everyone.Everybody from the office worker to athletes (particularly golfers and field based players like GAA,rugby and soccer),casual gym goers to even people who are working on the road a lot and can’t commit to a steady gym visit routine.


I regularly highlight the importance of working on your mobility and flexibility. It’s an area that most people neglect as some people don’t see the importance of it or don’t know what to do.Power bands really can come in handy here for working on areas like rounded shoulders and tight hamstrings.If you are a person who sits a lot at the desk and notice you are quite stiff,immobile and tight all the tight upon starting a workout then then I really recommend you check these power band mobility video drills

Warm up 

In all our warms up the bands are featured particularly for the athletes I train on a weekly basis.Mini loop bands are super for glute activation drills and is something I suggest to all my teams and athletes to do especially before games and training sessions.Here is a glute activation video routine that pretty much 99% of all my clients do


Power bands are a great way of testing your strength and making a certain exercise that little bit more challenging.Here are 3 ways you can use 1 simple medium strength resistance band into your workout.


Core work is so important and in general I would consider function and performance to be the priority, not aesthetics.Basic drills like planks, hollow holds, twists and side bends are well known for improving core strength.

However, let’s take a look at smart way on using the bands with this banded core workout below which will challenge you and really help you strengthen your core.

I hope you’ve found this information useful and if you need any more advice you can pop me a direct message from the links below.

You can also get more advice on my social media pages, which are also linked below.

David Last is a personal trainer based in Dublin. For more information you can follow him on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Or you can send him a direct message here.

You can also see some of his previous articles here




My best advice for your GAA/Rugby/Soccer gym program

Throughout my career as a personal trainer I get to coach athletes and many teams.10 years ago I was the other side of the fence plying my trade as an athlete so its nice to see both sides of the coin.

At present I coach and train both GAA and rugby teams along with a handful of athletes on a 1-1 basis.Most players and teams that train under myself initially come in at first thinking they need a ‘sports-specific’ gym programme for their sport. My answer to this is always the same-While I would recommend specific training areas for certain sportspeople, you need to be assessed correctly first while being able to master the basics.

The first and most important point I want to hammer home first is 

  1. If you want to become a better GAA/Rugby/soccer player then you MUST train your sport first.-If its a game of skill you MUST put the work in on the training pitch.
  2. The basis of hitting the gym is to bulletproof your body so you reduce injuries, improve movement and performance and to give you more confidence on the pitch.

All the gym sessions in the world may not make you a better player in your sport without training it.However,over the last numbers of years we really have seen a huge shift on what goes on behind the scenes such as gym sessions,recovery right even down to how to improve your mental/mindset fitness-these are all the extra small percentages that do really count.

Today I want to cover some recommendations to incorporate and take into consideration for your GAA/Rugby/Soccer gym training program

1.Mobility work/assessment

The best first step before any program is to get an assessment done and figure out which areas need the most attention.Most athletes I work with initially have never really done any specific assessment. If you don’t have access to a half decent coach who is going to assess you then go watch this video and check out a basic mobility test.These are the most common areas that are generally weak: a loss of range and extremely tight shoulders, ankles, hamstrings and hip flexors along with weak and inactive glutes.


Ideally you should spend some time in the gym particularly around your warm ups working on tight areas and to mobilise the primary joints to function better as a human body, let alone in a given sport.

How often?

I suggest a 10-20 minute flow daily is something to do.Ideally it is something I would suggest putting into my warm up or cool down or even just pick a 15 minute slot in your day where you can get down doing some floor work

What should it look like?

Below is a team going through an 8 minute warm up flow that generally works on some mobility work mostly and lots of glute activation work.You can find a lot of those movements here in our warm up video.thumbnail_FullSizeRender (4)

This article covers a lot of the areas you really need to know about improving your mobility and flexibility

2.The training itself

Strength,speed,power and agility are some of the areas that will fall into this bracket.The timing of your season is going to be quite important for when you train a particular goal.Along with that the typical layout of your week should match and work around the main event-your gameday!

Lets talk strength

If you are looking to get stronger for your sport then you need to be working with exercises that will give you the biggest bang for your buck.


Generally speaking, you should be working on a strength program during the off-season. Ideally I would work off a 20-40 minute strength session after a 10-15 minute structured warm up.

How often?

Work off a 4-8 week off season plan while testing and retesting where you are at.

What should it look like?

Big compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, overhead pressing, and pulling are something you really should have locked down.

Below are just some of the benchmarks and drills I would aim to work towards:

  • 10 full chin up
  • 20 full push up
  • 1.5 BW squat 1rm
  • 2 BW deadlift 1rm
  • 2 minute front plank hold
  • 1.2-1.4 BW bench press 1rm
  • Ability to perform a pistol squat
  • Good focus on posterior chain work. Drills like glute ham raises (GHRs) along with other exercises like Romanian deadlifts (RDLs), bridges and x-band walks are all areas I would suggest to have locked down in your program

Here is a few players from a Rugby team I train working on some GHRs. Posterior chain work is vital for any athlete and the exercise they are doing below is something I suggest for you to program in.If you want to know how the correct way of doing this exercise then go watch this GHR video tutorial

thumbnail_FullSizeRender (5)

Lets talk speed,power and agility

Another hugely important area that really are key attributes to a well rounded athlete.A lot of the time we need to train for these specific areas.Rugby and Gaelic all involve a lot of acceleration and deceleration, but many gym programs don’t reflect the two patterns. Strength work is important for your program, but speed,power and agility work needs to be dialed in at a certain point of your season too.


Ideally you need to prioritise a time in the week when you are at your freshest particularly when working on developing power and speed.It could be done after a strength cycle in the off season and it’s always good to be working on it throughout the season too. As for agility drills I feel this is something you can easily tie into a session any time of the year.Pre season or even during the season is all good.Specific sports based drills are good ideas here so even bringing in a ball for some movement specific game based drills would be ideal.

How often?

Most games will fall on your weekend so perhaps the middle of the week is OK for a speed and power session.As for agility work once its really nothing too taxing I am confident saying it could be really programmed any time.

What should it look like?

Here are 5 ways to increase your power for the field based athlete

As for some agility work here is a client of mine who is a rugby player I train working  on some ladder work with a rugby ball in hand as we practice some footwork,reaction and change of direction work

thumbnail_FullSizeRender (3)

3.Putting the plan together

Its all well and good knowing some of the information now but when and where do you dial in certain areas?I came across this template that really is quite simple and easy to understand.This can be something to work off if you haven’t a clue where to start.

Looking to build muscle – 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps

Develop Strength – 3-5 sets of 3-5 reps

Develop Power – 3-4 sets of 1-3 reps focusing on speed of the bar

If your pre-season gym training is say, 12 weeks long, you can look at planning it like this:

  • 4 Weeks of Hypertrophy (8-12 reps)
  • 4 Weeks of Strength (3-5 reps)
  • 4 Weeks of Power (1-3 reps) while still maintaining strength work

Add in conditioning work where you feel you’re lagging behind to make sure you don’t feel like a sack of spuds come the first training session back.

4.Final say

  • Have a big emphasis on improving your mobility first-If you start loading weight on top of a dysfunctional movement patterns then you’re asking for trouble.
  • The gym alone cannot make you a better player, however, it can help you build on certain elements that carry over to your sport once done effectively.
  • Your recovery is just as important.Adequate fuel,rest and recovery is just as important as a good heavy strength cycle-if not.perhaps more important!
  • Its never one size fits all.Its extremely time consuming to look after a team the right way.Different players do need certain tweaks and changes.If you unsure what you need my best advice is to source a trainer who knows what you need.

David Last is a personal trainer based in Dublin. For more information, you can follow him on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Or you can send him a direct message here.

You can also see some of his previous articles here.

5 tips to help you stay consistent with your 2018 goals

January is done and dusted and right around now is when we see many people start to see their New Year goals and aspirations become a little more challenged and perhaps even drift away.

A lot of these goals really are health and fitness related and having worked in commercial gyms for years I have seen this trend repeat itself time and time again.

Suddenly the busy January gym floor goes back to normality,the parks that were full of joggers gets a little more quieter and the fitness classes seem to have gone back to normal mode-There are a lot of reasons for this — boredom, a lack of accountability, not knowing what to do, or purely just having little to no enjoyment with your new regime.

Keeping it going with your new years resolutions is something we can all struggle with so don’t feel let down with yourself if you are going through a little dip in form with your new goals at this time of the year.

So this week I’m going to give you some tips,advice and assistance with mapping out your plan which can only help you stay strong sticking to your goal for 2018

Plan and pencil it in

Put your goals into your diary the same way you schedule your work commitments.I usually sit down every Sunday evening and pencil in everything I want to get through for the week ahead. I am a big believer in writing down your goals for the week or even day ahead and I like to use daily reminders to keep me on track in getting after those targets.

I have talked about using a journal and logging your daily progress or even having a visualisation board to put all your goals on show for the year as another useful way of helping you out.

Log your weekly goals and every day write down what went right and what could have gone better. Remember the goal here should be to get 1% better each day, you don’t need to be perfect every single day.

Make yourself accountable 

At least once or twice per week pencil in a time where you will do a certain activity with someone else that is in and around the goals that you are chasing.If its health or fitness related partner up with a friend and train together,sign up to a fitness class or even go work with a personal trainer for a while.Having someone there to show up to is going to help you continue to show up especially when you are going through those testing days.

A small win every day

Forget the bigger picture and the “end result”.I always like to say and work off the mantra that “success is a journey,not a destination.The doing is often more important than the outcome” I am a big fan of small wins,habits and achievements.All these small wins over time can lead to big changes in the long run.Remember its not 100% better you should be chasing all the time.1 is greater than 0 and this is something you should remember when taking on the day-1% better each day,every day.It could be something as simple and easy as taking the stairs over the lift,getting outside for a walk and fresh air on your lunch or even aiming to make sure that you start your day with a healthy breakfast.

Weigh it up

We all go through testing times.As of right now we might be struggling to stick with our new years resolution-thats perfectly normal.We might not be moving as well as we were compared to the first week of January-thats normal too.My best advice here is to measure how far you have come on and look back to where and when you first started.Compare to where you are now compared to that first day. Reassessing your progress every 4-6 weeks is something I like to do with myself and my clients.This could be something simple as a before and after photo,a bodyfat measurement or even a bench mark workout.I guarantee if you do look back on those 6 weeks you will have lots of wins in there which in turn will help you to ignite that fire again and get back on the goal.

Reward yourself

If you are going to work hard on those new goals working hard and making sacrifices then eventually rewarding yourself every now and then along the way.Smashing a new goal,hitting a milestone or simply achieving something new what you thought was impossible all deserves a moment for you to reward yourself with.If its fitness related this could be anything from new training gear,a break away to heck even a night out on the town at the end of the week.If you have worked for it,earned it,made it happen,then you deserve to treat yourself to something you want.

David Last is a personal trainer based in Dublin. For more information, you can follow him on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Or you can send him a direct message here.

You can also see some of his previous articles here.


5 training tips that will compliment your running

January is a time of the year where many of you start to get going again; eyeing up New Year’s resolutions and goals.For a lot of us these goals tend to be focused around health, wellness and fitness.The last few weeks its really very noticeable the large amounts of people who have taken up running into their new years training regime.I am a big fan of seeing people bring their fitness outside away from the gym floor and running is certainly a good option to look at.

Running will build and strengthen your aerobic base,burn plenty of calories and just a good way to get outside getting clearing the head and getting some fresh air.A lot of us in January use running as a step in helping us loose some weight while others use it as eyeing up certain events for the year ahead like the Dublin marathon.

If you are someone who is running at least twice per week then perhaps take into consideration these few tips that will help compliment your running and your health and fitness goals even more for 2018.My best advice is yes keep the running up however bring in a few little tweaks and changes that I mention below.

Assess your mobility then go work on those tight areas

Over the last number of years I have worked with plenty of runners.At times I have noticed people who do large amounts of running can pick up silly niggles and injuries along the way.Sadly,in any training plan you can pick up silly knocks and niggles but you really shouldn’t be picking up anything too serious once you do look after your body the right way.People who run a lot really need to assess their mobility and then go work on areas that are tight and inactive.Mobility work isn’t generally seen as cool and a lot of the time you won’t see the fitness industry focus on this.The most common areas I see are below.In a previous article I gave you my top 5 basic mobility drills you should be doing

Do plenty of activation work

Very similar to mobility work.A lot of people who run should really be doing lots of glute work in and around their running session.We spend so much time in the seated position which in turn forces out glutes to become a lot weaker and inactive.My best advice is to bring in this 10 minute glute activation drill below before your running session.I buy my mini bands in D8 fitness and the mini loop bands are whats work best for the drills below.

Do plenty of core work

Very similar to glutes a lot of people are quite weak when it comes to their core strength.One of the main reasons people are suffering from low back pain today is due to inactive glutes paired up with a weak core which in turns forces your back to do a lot more of the work required resulting in a few issues down the line.My top tip here is to have at least 1 core routine paired in with your running plan.This doesn’t have to be a 10 minute routine of 100s of sit ups.I would advise something a little smarter like a 10 minute routine consisting of planks,holds,and variations of twists and rotations.

Do some strength work

Strength training is something I encourage almost everybody to have in their gym programme. No matter what age, level or gender having some sort of emphasis on strength work is only positive for you. If you do find yourself running at least twice per week then I would recommend doing at least one strength sessions per week.Drills like barbell squats,goblet squats,single leg drills like lunges and step ups or hip hinges drills like deadlifts are all great exercises that will keep your body strong during those runs.

Bring in some variety into your running

Keep changing it up.If you are someone who is running at least 3 times per week and perhaps training for an event in 2018 then change up the stimulus of your run.My best advise is don’t just stick to the same track,time,distance and intensity.Keep it varied and bring in sessions where you are doing some long slow distance but then the next session increase the intensity by cutting the distance and increasing your speed or totally changing it up by bringing in some interval running like hill sprints or timed 1ks

I would like to finish my first article for 2018 in wishing you a healthy and fit 2018 ahead and I am looking forward to helping you along the way with lots of tips and advice here in my column.

I hope you’ve found this information useful and if you need any more advice you can pop me a direct message from the links below. You can also get more advice on my social media pages, which are also linked below.

David Last is a personal trainer based in Dublin. For more information you can follow him on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Or you can send him a direct message here.

You can also see some of his previous articles here.




A night out planned?Here are my top tips this Christmas

Its the week before Christmas and by now I hope you are in full swing with Christmas parties,late nights,sore heads and perhaps even running around picking up last minute gift ideas.If you are still stuck then go check out last weeks article where I gave you my top 10 fitness gifts this Christmas

Over these last few weeks I have stuck with the Christmas theme and each week I have given you my top tips from quick effective workouts to squeeze in,gift ideas, along with a quick checklist to keep you ticking over the festive season,The biggest message I want to pass out in these Christmas articles is yes enjoy yourself firstly but if you are someone who wants to get off the ground running into a fit and healthy 2018 then you should bring in a bit of balance over this period.Sure,the main priority should be to enjoy yourself with good food and drink and use the holidays to switch off and spend quality time with family and friends however I am big believer that you can do still a bit over this festive season to keep you ticking over.

With the week that’s in it I am sure you have a big night out planned-Heck you might have 2 or 3 big nights planned!So what I decided to do this week is to give you a quick list of tips and advice on how you can maintain and look after your health,fitness and wellbeing over this particular party week!Generally speaking this is the week we are going to be drinking alcohol,nice food (which generally are a lot more in calories) perhaps getting less sleep and a little less exercise (unless you are planning on lighting the dance floor up)

So this week I am giving you some tips that should be able to help you out over these next few days and perhaps they can keep you that little bit fresher on your feet!

Eat before you drink

Drinking on an empty stomach is a bad idea.If you eat before ingesting alcohol, your body will thank you later on.On the day of some festive cheer before a night out planned make sure you eat something that is slow digesting which also has a good source of protein and slow digesting carbohydrate.This helps slow down the rate at which food leaves the stomach. The longer food stays in your stomach, the slower the alcohol gets absorbed into your bloodstream.A quick example here could be a dish serving some sweet potato and chicken/beef or perhaps some salmon and avocado with brown bread or wrap.

Avoid fizzy mixers or sweet alcoholic drinks

The list is endless now on what alcohol to go with and the most common question I always get is “What is the best choice of alcohol or drink to have on a night out?” My best advice is always to try and avoid fizzy mixers and sweet alcoholic beverages.OK, it is Christmas after all and you need to enjoy yourself and perhaps you should just go with one or two of your true favorites and then keep it in moderation. However, the best choice I say is sticking to lighter beers and clearer spirits.As well as that drinking plenty of water on the day and in between drinks, will always help you out.

The take away home

I will admit,this is my downfall too at times and no doubt a lot of us have fallen into this bracket.At the end of the night this is a very easy way of picking up an extra 1,000 calories that you’ll barely remember!If you are someone who has a few parties on the town lined up this Christmas then my best advice is to try and steer clear away from this habit as much as you can and have some food already planned before you head out so when you head home it will keep you away from those late night greasy calories.On top of that when you do return home my best advise is to get a glass of water and start the hydration process!

The morning after

We have all been there.Its a tough task and can be tough 24 hours ahead for most of us.A lot of these tips can be easier said than done but I find if you can manage to bring yourself to get these done then this will help you get back up and running again.Upon awakening you should be looking to re-hydrate and stabilsise your blood sugar levels.Some fluids that have electrolytes,some water and a little bit of a cordial mix or even a dioralyte will help you out here.Soon after,the best step is to seek out food that is going to help you bring down the inflammatory responses in your body after a heavy night out.Of course for a lot of us the first food port of call generally involves a Christmas fry or even the turkey leftovers.However if you can start the day with a super smoothie that really can be a great choice to get you back up and motoring again.

Get out and move (even just a little bit)

I know its hard!We have all been there before and the last thing we want to do after a night out is move and exercise the next day.What we generally do is stick on the netflix and park ourselves in front of the couch for the next 5 hours.My advise here is yes stick to some netflix but try and give yourself 30 minutes to do some form of physical activity.This will help everything from clearing out those toxins,getting blood flow around the body again and overall just help you come back around to normallity. I had a big night out last Saturday and didn’t want to do much on the Sunday but I did and this is what I did below.

I’d like to finish this short article by wishing you a very happy Christmas.

I appreciate you reading my blog and taking an interest in my content and I look forward to continuing to help you out with advice in 2018

I hope you’ve found this information useful and if you need any more advice you can pop me a direct message from the links below.

You can also get more advice on my social media pages, which are also linked below.

David Last is a personal trainer based in Dublin. For more information you can follow him on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Or you can send him a direct message here.

You can also see some of his previous articles here.


4 tips to help you plan for a healthy 2018

First of all, I hope you had a lovely Christmas with family and friends.This week marks the finale of 2017 which also makes it my 52nd article for the year.A big goal for me this year was to publish 1 article a week and developing The42 as the number 1 online column for health and fitness advice.Throughout the 52 weeks I am delighted to see me hit that goal of publishing everything and anything that I felt was related in helping you out along your health and fitness journey.The feedback each week really has been very encouraging so let me start this piece by thanking all the readers and support throughout my 2017 column.

Its now the week after Christmas and by now we are all partied out and perhaps full to the brim of food and drink.I hope the couple of tips I have given you over the Christmas series helped you out a little.

Generally speaking these last few days of the year can be a little slower than most.Its perhaps my favorite time of the year.For me it means some time to switch off spending good quality time with family and friends.A time to relax and unwind after a very busy year for us all.This year was perhaps my busiest yet and I look forward to the break.From early gym floor starts,late finishes,working with corporate clients,schools and radio stations to even working along side The42 this year working on my weekly column.

Today’s entry really is about going forward into 2018 and doing a little planning over the last few days of this festive season if you can.It wont take long for you to plan and it will really set you up the right way for the year ahead.My advice is to not let this time of the year suck you up and trample your stress levels and while it’s easier said than done, try and bring in a couple of different ways to control your stress.Physical fitness is very important but how you train and look after your mind is just as, if not more, important.

Over the final few days of 2017 allow some time to work on your mindset.A healthy mind helps a healthy body.Doing things that help the brain slow down, de-stress and unwind are vital and this could be anything like doing some yoga, meditation,journaling/planning or even a 15 minute home workout.

  • Sit down once over the break make a plan and set some goals for 2018

For me,now is the time to get the ball rolling here.Not the first day of January when we might not be as clear headed while nursing that new years day hangover more than likely.My best advise here is to set a real goal for 2018 and perhaps break it down from short-long term.Having short- to long-term goals is something I believe works very well. Like I said before, build your foundation and develop from there.Sit down over the Christmas break and invest in some time writing down goals that YOU want to achieve and map out a plan that is going to hold you accountable and assist you reaching them goals.

  • Stay fresh and fit doing some form of physical fitness over the break

Easier said than done for most.Yes I know its still Christmas and there is a few more parties to attend,nice food and drink to get stuck into and boxsets to start and finish!However,can you do 1 workout over these final few days of 2017?-Yes you can!Doing a little bit of training is going to make everything that bit easier once January kicks in.This could be anything from a walk or jog,a home workout to even just getting outside and getting some fresh air in to clear the head.

  • Keep your mental fitness in check every now and then over the break

Perhaps a point here to consider implementing for the new year but no harm thinking about it over the Christmas break.List down three things at night that YOU are going to work on the next day.This should be a small step but this daily step of action will lead you to the big goal. There is a lot to be said for that sense of achievement, no matter how small it may seem. It could be a goal working towards your fitness, health, anything.Being grateful for your health, your fitness, the people around you motivating and encouraging you, is something I believe is also great for your body and mind.I have used this five-minute journal in the past and it has really helped me focus more and keep me on track.

  • Visualise and put your goals out there

I am a big believer in writing down your goals for the year ahead and using daily reminders to keep you on track in getting after those targets.I have talked about using a journal and logging your daily progress or even having a visualisation board to put all your goals on show for the year as another useful way of helping you out.Log your weekly goals and every day write down what went right and what could have even gone better.Remember the goal here should be to get 1% better each day, you don’t need to be perfect every single day.

As I close off my  final article for the year I’d like to finish this article by wishing you a very happy and healthy new year ahead.I really have appreciated you reading my weekly column and taking an interest in my content and I look forward to continuing to help you out with advice in 2018

I hope you’ve found this information useful and if you need any more advice you can pop me a direct message from the links below.

You can also get more advice on my social media pages, which are also linked below.

David Last is a personal trainer based in Dublin. For more information you can follow him on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Or you can send him a direct message here.

You can also see some of his previous articles here.