Christmas is fast approaching.Simple tips to keep you on track over the festive period

THE FESTIVE SEASON is kicking in fast, the lights are now on,the trees are slowly but surely going up and wont be long till we are tuned back into Christmas FM.

Generally speaking around this time of the year you will see the gyms quite busy again and a lot of you are really now back in the swing of things on a good run with your nutrition and training after the summer months.Around the corner and fast approaching is Christmas which means all good things-Good food and drink,late nights and parties with family and friends.

Of course, the priority should be to enjoy the festive season.However,that doesn’t mean you should treat December as a write-off when it comes to looking after your health, fitness or lifestyle goals and wait for a clean slate starting all over again in January.

Some of you spend enough time chasing your goals looking after your health and fitness all year round and now shouldn’t be the time to let that hard work go to waste.

Here are my top tips on how to keep you going over the month of December with the goal to try keep it relatively healthy so you won’t feel like you’re starting all over again in 2018.

Have a plan and stick to it 

December is a month with a lot going on.There are going to be parties and get-togethers almost every night over the festive break for many. And for most Irish people social gatherings tend to involve late nights,alcohol and fast food.Now is the time of the year where you should enjoy yourself but pencil in and choose the gatherings you go to — you don’t need to be attending every social event.

On top of that plan out a training program and the days you plan on keeping going with your training.This could be anything from a new 4 week gym program,a 20 day challenge or even just goal of trying to get in your 10,000 steps a day every day in December.

Get out early and move when you can

Many of us will spend a lot of December nights watching sports, Christmas box-sets or Netflix.What I suggest is to leave some time to get up and move.This could be anything from a walk, run, or even get a home workout in.What helps me in December is training early in the morning and getting that job done first thing- Leave it until later and you probably won’t get around to it and more than likely something is going to pop up later in the day with a Christmas party,shopping trip or a family/friends get together.You don’t necessarily have to force yourself out to the gym nor do you need to do this every day but aiming to try move, stretch or get a little sweat on a few times over the festivities will make everything that little bit easier when you return back to your full routine in January 2018

Don’t deprive yourself

After all, it is Christmas.

Now is a time to be realistic with your lifestyle choices in December.This is a time of the year where you should and can afford to cut loose a little.I have talked about having a realistic approach when it comes to your nutrition and I have always felt that having a 80/20 realistic approach is something that always works in the long run.Let yourself a little loose at this time of the year and go with a 70/30 approach as realistically there is going to be far more nice food around. Enjoy it but just don’t go overboard.

Get the simple things right

At this stage we should know a lot of the simple basic things.Its the basics I always try and write about here on a weekly basis and the reason is because these are the things that work.Believe it or not its the basics and simple things that really are the little BIG things.Here is a little checklist that can help you keep accountable over the month of December.

  • Keep a bottle of water around you at your desk in work and drink at least 2.5 litres during the day
  • Aim to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night
  • Give yourself a goal of exercising at least 2- 3 times a week in December (This could be anything from a 30 minute walk,a 15 minute stretching session,cycle to work,an early morning jog or a gym session)
  • Aim to get enough protein in your day (If you are really not sure on this then check out this article I did which covers What is whey protein and do we need it in our diets
  • Continue to stay on track with your food prep.For the month of December we can easily loose control of our meals,prepping our food or even getting that weekly shop in.My advise is to still use those 1 or 2 hours of the week sitting down planning your shop and weekly meals.An example here below is a simple quick snack of dark chocolate treats that keep me going for when I get a sweet tooth over the course of the week.You can find that recipe and method HEREIMG_7176.JPG

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.

Or you can send me a direct message here.

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Here is a smart and effective training week all mapped out for you

In last months article I gave you an in depth example of how to design an effective and smart 60 minute workout .The feedback from this article was great and was nice to hear quite a number of the readers attempt that particular session.

One of the most common questions I get asked on a weekly basis is “how many times is a good number of sessions to train in a week and what is a good template to stick with?”

This video below is a quick snippet of everything I am going to talk about so perhaps check that out first and if you want to know a bit more detail then follow on and take a few notes.

Video summary

  • Train 3-5 times a week
  • At least 15 minutes of mobility/yoga/body maintenance per session
  • At least 15 minutes of core work per session
  • Heavy strength work, bodyweight drills and hypertrophy work between 2-3 times per week
  •  2 high-intensity weekly sessions
  • 1 60-minute, easy/moderate session a week
  • 1 weekly session of easy/light active recovery

The goal of today’s article is to give you a really good idea on how you can set up a typical training week.If you are someone who wants to overall have a well rounded approach with their health and fitness then this template is something I know that will keep you on the right track while keeping it interesting and progressive with a long term approach.

The best step is firstly to vary your training.Constantly repeating similar sessions may not necessarily be getting you closer to your target.A big thing I generally see with people on the gym floor is doing the same thing over and over again and still expecting to see improved changes or getting them closer to their goal.

So what is a good template?

In my opinion three-five times per week of 45-60 mins per session is a good target to set yourself.Below is a list of the styles of training I would recommend people to consider when putting together their training plan.

  • Mobility/Yoga/Body maintenance work 

I talk about this a lot.Generally speaking this isn’t the coolest of stuff to be doing.Doing some yoga flow or some basic mobility work might not be seen as cool and a lot of the time you won’t see the fitness industry focus and promote this. However, I guarantee you that if you do spend a little time incorporating this into your routine then its going to pay off in the long term.I recommend people look after their body for at least 15 minutes every day or every time that do a training session.

This could be anything from getting up off your desk at work stretching your glutes, hip flexors or hamstrings for five minutes every couple of hours or even spending time at the end of your session doing some extra work with these mobility tools above.If you are unsure and want to know about the top mobility tools and how to use them then reading this article which covers 5 simple tools that will improve your mobility game is sure to help you out

If you look after these areas I guarantee it will transfer to other elements of your workouts, such as improving your squat or aiding your recovery from training sessions.

  • Strength and conditioning work

Lets break this down into two portions.

Strength training

Strength training is something I encourage almost everybody to have in their gym program.No matter what age,level or gender having some sort of emphasis on strength work is only positive for you.I would recommend doing two or three strength sessions per week. Ideally speaking you could bring in a 20-25 minute strength session into your 60 minute training block and can pair these up with a 15 minute mobility flow,a 25 minute strength circuit and finishing that all off with a 10-20 minute core or conditioning workout to finish it off.In these strength circuits I would focus on big, compound movements first and work from there.Think back to the 3 step approach I wrote about of mechanics,consistency and intensity and go about your strength work the right way here.

Conditioning training

A lot of the time this is where I see people put a lot of focus on their training.The main reason for this is purely because of the response conditioning training gives to our bodies.A increase in heart rate,sweat and intensity makes us feel this is perhaps the best style of training for us.Doing that spin class,that tough HIIT metcon or even that challenging 45 minute circuit class will give us all those feelings.Yes conditioning work is good however I would recommend to pick and choose what style to do and spread out this style of training with different variation in the week.Aim to get 2-4 of these sessions in a week but at the same time vary it up.

This could be anything like a 10 minute HIIT session once or twice a week,a steady challenging 20 minute circuit or even a 60minute long slow distance run,bike or walk as an active recovery day session once a week .If you do want an example of HIIT workouts then go test yourself with these 3 high intensity workouts

  • Keep it interesting and continue to change it up with new skills and core work 

Core work.

Very much like mobility work this is something I encourage people to have in their program.Ideally speaking I recommend people to do core work at least 3 times a week and is something you can incorporate very easily into your 45-60minute session.Doing basic body weight drills is something to start on and get really good at and then progress from there.Movements like planks and hollow holds are drills you don’t need to look to far off from.Going on a little further you can start looking at using bands,kettlebells or ab wheels if you did want to get a little more adventurous with your training.If you do have access to this equipment then go test yourself with these 7 tough core exercises  

Change it up

I always encourage people to change it up every now and then and work towards something new.This could mean anything from taking up a new goal, hobbie,challenge or skill to perhaps even trying to change up your training venue every now and then.Keeping it fresh and new is ideally what is going to keep things interesting.Along with that changing up your training venue is always something that you can consider every now and then and this could be aiming to get off the gym floor once a week by bringing your fitness outdoors.This is something I always tell people to do at least once a week.This could be anything from a park workout to a trail run.In last weeks article I gave you 3 simple outdoor workouts that will keep you going over the Autumn months

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

 

3 of the best Autumn outdoor workouts

Halloween has been and gone,the clocks have changed and there is a sense of winter in the air.Daylight is getting a little shorter and there is a slight more of a chill about however its one of my favorite days of the year to get out and exercise outside.There is something special about a cold evening walk,a crispy conker filled train run with or even a park workout.

With the December silly season fast approaching I have aimed at getting a Sunday morning workout in.Lets face it December Saturday nights can be a distraction full of good things like nights out,Christmas parties and catch ups with family and friends so the last few Saturday nights I have found myself chilling out holding out for the December nights and getting a light sweat on Sunday mornings.Come Sunday I have already clocked at least 30 hours on the gym floor working with clients so the last thing I want to do is head back down on Sunday myself and workout here.So I take myself outside.

I am huge fan of bringing workouts outside so I’ve put together some routines that you can do outdoors with little or no equipment.Like I’ve said before, you don’t need the best, most up-to-date equipment or gym to perform an effective workout.

Suspension trainer park workout

I am a big fan of the suspension trainer.A simple set of gym rings or a TRX suspension trainer is a good brand but there are plenty of other affordable suspension trainers.It’s a a very easy piece of equipment for home or the local park and is even something you can throw into your suitcase if you find yourself on the road a lot

.I did this workout in the local park in the kids playground.I simply hooked the straps up to a climbing frame and was good to go.The routine below is another full body routine and all you need is 15 minutes so give it a go.

Kettlebell park workout

If you are a regular reader to my work I am sure you know by now how much a fan I am of the kettlebell.The kettlebell is an excellent exercise tool and is something I recommend everybody to have about the house.It’s perfect for a home or park workout, versatile and quite easy to bring on the road as you can perform so many movements with it.

I combined the bell with running intervals and lots of bodyweight movements paired up with the bell like deadlift high pulls,push ups and russian twists which gives you a really effective full body workout with only one piece of equipment needed.

Ideally I would recommend you to go through this full circuit and once it’s complete take a two-minute rest and repeat again for three to four rounds.

Create your own gym equipment workout

For this one you dont need any equipment what so ever just a little bit of imagination.Working in a shed in the early days with little to no equipment really developed my coaching thinking cap on how to create different workouts and movements with no equipment.Most parks noadays have benches,climbing bars and even some outdoor gyms and this is how I created a 30 minute workout below.

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

How to design a smart and effective workout

Over the last number of weeks I have given you plenty of information with regard to the different stages of your training.Every detail was covered starting off with a movement mobility test ,simple basic movements that people need help on, tips to help you keep consistent along with a sample of challenging high intensity workouts.

Its all well and good now knowing a lot of this information but how do you mash all this information into an effective 60 minute session?Working with clients on a daily basis a big focus from me is not only to train the client but more importantly educate them on the whats and whys of their training session.The goal of any trainer should be to guide their client the right way and a really good sign of a top class trainer is to see a trainer educate their client with regards to their training plan so that they are well equipped and a lot more knowledgeable when their trainer is not around them any more.

Can they now train and design a correct training structure themselves?

Does the client know how to warm up correctly?

Can they structure a session that really is focused on how they are feeling on that particular day?

Are they continuing to make progress when that trainer isn’t around?

Is there training structure a smart and effective longevity plan?

A lot of the time when I get a new client in on their assessment session I listen to the goals they have,their typical weekly lifestyle along with their current training regimes or programs they have been working under.Most are coming from a commercial gym background and a lot are coming in looking for very similar goals.

The most common goal I hear from people want they want is to feel fitter,healthier and stronger and that the current training regime they have been doing just hasn’t been working for them.This can come down to a lot of reasons and is something I will write about in a future article but for today the goal is to give you a layout that you can carry over onto the gym floor.Ideally this will be a 45-60 minute session where I am going to layout the order of a  session I do with clients that just want to get a good smart and effective workout in.

Lets start with the warm up

This is an important part of your workout.You should set aside 10-15 minutes and have a certain layout that is going to increase your temperature and blood flow around the body.The goal here really should be to move,stretch and activate different muscles,joints and bodyparts along with working on areas of your mobility that might need some attention.

Ideally speaking I will break my warm session up like this.

Raise temperature/Get the body moving first.This could be anything from jumping on a bike,doing some easy skipping or even getting warm on the rowing machine.All of this should be easy intensity and nothing too taxing.From there I focus on movements and this can vary from basic leg and arm swings or perhaps bringing in a little power movement like swings or broad jumps to get that central nervous system a little more alert before we move on further into the session.While doing this I will go back and forth with some activation and stretching drills that my body needs on that particular day.This could be anything from working with the lacrosse ball,doing some x band walks or even just spending some time hanging out on a bar.

Here is yesterdays structure and I chipped through 2 full rounds of this which took a total of 15 minutes.It was nothing too taxing and was perfect for what I needed on that particular day going forward into my next portion of the session.

IMG_6553

Strength work

No matter what age,gender,goal,fitness level and so on I have always said that everybody some have some emphasis on strength work in their training plan.Generally speaking I suggest you set aside at least 20 minutes for this portion of your workout and you pick exercises that generally are the so called bigger movements.I am a big fan of seeing compound movements in peoples programs and this a part of the session I suggest you pick out movements such as squats,deadlifts,big pressing or pulling movements along with 1 or 2 mobility or core drills in this phase.

This could look like this

6 sets (2 warm up deadlift and pressing sets at 50-60% load and 4 full work sets).Ideally get through these 4 drills in 1 whole circuit and take your time chipping through this 20-25 minute routine.In each full circuit give yourself 4-5 minutes to complete and start again at the top of each 5th minute.I always recommend using a clock in your strength workouts as this will train you to control your training time and  tempo.A lot of the time I see people rushing through this part of the workout when there really is no need.

Trap bar deadlift

4 work sets 75-85% load and went with 3-5 reps each set

Half kneeling single arm landmine press

4 work sets 70%-75% load and went with 8 reps each arm each set

Banded pass through

4 work sets using a PVC or band and went with 12 reps

Hollow rocks

4 work sets and went with 15 reps

Extra/Accessory/Conditioning work

This can vary from client to client on what is needed on that particular day.In this portion I am going to bring in a EMOM which means every minute on the minute.The goal here is to work on some other lighter smaller movements while spiking the heart rate a little. Today we will focus on 4 exercises and in each exercise, I will give you 60 seconds to perform the movement.

It is 16 minutes in length so that means it is 4 rounds long. Here we have some extra lower body and upper body work along with some conditioning and core work. The goal is not to go heavy and focus on getting some higher reps in so the load should be 50-70% of your strength level

At the top of every minute, perform one exercise and ideally you should get 20 seconds rest or so before you move onto the next exercise.

So there it is a fully equipped training session to keep you going.I hope this information has helped you out and all the video detail has come in handy for you.I have compiled an exercise directory which is filled with plenty of upper and lower body workout ideas along with mobility,power and core drills that might just come in handy for your program.

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 top tips for your Dublin marathon 2017

The 2017 Dublin marathon takes place this Sunday the 29th of October.With the change of day from bank holiday Monday to Sunday it has seen entries hit a sold out race capacity at 20,000 leaving Dublin now the fifth largest on the continent behind the likes of London, Berlin and Paris.

With less than 7 days to go I am sure at this stage you have dialed in a lot of the hard training for the big day.By now you really should have clocked in the miles,broken in the trainers and even perhaps have done a few of the Dublin marathon series with the lead up to the main event.

In this weeks Dublin marathon special series I am going to give you my top tips that will help you prepare for the final lead up along with my best advice for during and after the main event.I will share with you my top tips that helped me and a lot of my clients who have competed in many marathons and numerous other endurance events all around the world.

Lead up advice

The days leading up to the main event is important.Making your marathon debut can be a daunting task.I know that the days before hand is a time where you might be questioning yourself along with hoping everything will go according to plan.Am I ready?Hows the body feeling?Should I be carb loading?How much water should I be drinking?Should I run much this week?At this final stage for most people the excitement is building,the nerves are starting to becoming a little more real and generally speaking all you want to do now is just for the big day to appear so you can get out and run.

Are you ready?

Yes you are!You have prepared well for this and have paced yourself nicely for the lead up to the big day.You have done the long Sunday runs,the race series,recovery sessions,interval sessions,the tapering down and even some gym work.You are well equipped at this stage and ready to roll.

Hows the body feeling?Should you make any adjustments?

At this stage you more than likely have picked up a few niggles along the way-Thats normal and it really is all part of marathon training.My advice for the final lead up is to listen to the body and make the right choices with your training,nutrition and preparation.The final week is certainly not the week to cram in long distance or even make too many changes.My advice is to aim to get a 1-2 light runs in roughly Wednesday and Friday clocking in 2-4 miles per run.Generally speaking I would aim to try rest in and around the other days while getting in some light stretching.As for your nutrition now is not the time to start trying new things with your food.Go with what your body knows and what has worked the last few months.It’s good to increase your calories slightly before race day however you don’t need to get too carried away on carbohydrate loading or cycling.Yes, carbs and loading is important, but sometimes taking on too many carbs can lead to people feeling bloated on race day.Staying hydrated is going to be crucial.Make sure you are well hydrated and topped up with water and some other fluids.Anytime I do go out for long endurance events I will always have enough water the days before along with having access to drinks such as a lucozade or even a diarolyte to keep my body in check.However,there is no need to drink 4 litres+ the day before and another 2 litres+ the morning of the race.This will only lead to you feeling bloated and perhaps wont agree with the body too well.The goal for you is to keep it simple,consistent and topped up!

Make a list,visualise the course and do a dry run

Making out a list will keep everything in check along with keeping you focused and organised.The last thing you want to happen is to travel up from the country realising you left your running shoes at home.List down everything that you need.-Your race number,training gear,along with all the other smaller bits and bobs like your training gels,spare socks or even some vaseline that might come in handy on the day.With regards to your race day attire stick to what has been tried and trusted over the course of your training months.Get a map of the course and visualise parts of the run or even the final days before the marathon, do a two- or three-miler in your marathon day gear if you can.Getting to grips with parts of the course is crucial and its good to have an idea of what the course layout is like.-It might just be good to know where certains stations are located.Besides boosting your confidence, this run will provide one last little bit of conditioning and will help you lock in to race pace on marathon day.

The race itself 

My advice here is keep it simple and go with the plan you set out with-Your morning feed,your timetable,your warm up,race pace,your plan.The morning itself will be filled with lots of emotions,distractions and so on.Now is time to stay relaxed and focused but still enjoy it at the same time.

Stick to the plan and pace yourself

Give yourself plenty of time to find the right wave and start time on the day.Stick to the same warm up that has worked for you in the past.Now is not the time to change it up going with a group lead warm up performing movements that you really haven’t done before.Keep it simple and go through the motions of everything you have been doing to the build up for this big day.As soon as your off my advice here is to pace yourself.At any event I have taken part in I always see waves of people getting carried away going all out at the blocks.If you are doing a marathon distance you will know all about it at mile 15 if you do start too quick.My advice here is to stay calm and stick to your pace that you have planned for.If you start off too quick you are going to struggle a lot more and really enjoy the race.

 

Soak it all up (As much as you can)

Like I said earlier the day itself is full of emotions and excitement.There will be times you are going to feel great and times you will want the ground to swallow you up.You have been training hard for this day so go and enjoy it(You might just not do another event like this).Keep the head down at times when you have to grind it out but then sometimes when you have a wave of adrenaline and start to feel a little comfortable look up say hello and give that push to the others who also are taking part.The support on the day itself is great so make sure to give back energy to them when you can-Say hello,thank them and even cheer back to the other people who make this event just as special.Everybody from the public support,the aid stations,marshals to the volunteers are all important people who also make this event a great success.

Post marathon

Its a great feeling.Crossing that finish line is something perhaps you never thought you would experience throughout parts of the race.Your body will be sore and more than likely you are going to be feeling like you hit a wall at some point.Its all part of race day.Get that finish line photo with your medal and go enjoy the celebrations.

Dont get me wrong your body goes through a hell of a lot over the course of the day so it is very important to recover the right way.The hours and days after will be important for you to fuel your body with plenty of food and fluids.As for recovery my advice is to gradually do some light recovery drills such as a dip in the sea,a massage,stretching session, or even a cool down walk/jog.This will make everything that bit easier when it comes to getting back into training after a short break.

Most of all enjoy the day,have a laugh and don’t take it too serious.Let me take this opportunity to wish you the very best of luck on the big day and I hope all this advice has set you up the right way for the main event.Thanks for taking the time to read this article and If you felt it can help you or a friend feel free to tag,share or send it to someone you know who is doing the Dublin marathon this year.

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

 

 

5 key areas for a smart and effective training plan

In last weeks article I mentioned that “mobility work isn’t generally seen as cool and a lot of the time you wont see the fitness industry focus and promote such ways to train” 

Lets face it the fitness industry is booming.There are gyms,classes,personal trainers and so on at practically every street corner.We now have so much access and availability of different ways of getting us into shape.However more often that not I am constantly seeing misleading information that really is guiding some people down the wrong path.The goal of this column since starting my first blog entry was to use this platform to put out sound and solid information that people can take on board with hope that it will help them out bringing sustainability and longevity into their health and fitness goals.

Over the last 10 years of working in and around this industry I have seen an awful lot of ways to train come and go.As a trainer I find it just as confusing as my clients when I see some of the information being pushed about.With time the good trends stick around and the bad move on eventually. However, it can take some time for the bad trends to depart, usually after causing confusion.

The truth is almost everyone in fitness is trying to sell you something. A product, programme, a diet pill or a magic quick-fix.Very rarely someone tries to sell you the truth.So this is what this piece really is for today.Quitting all the nonsense and giving you 5 tips that are real,honest and useful which have always proven to help peoples training plans out.

Here are my top 5 useful tips to consider when implementing a smart and effective training plan for the average gym-goer.

  • You don’t need high intensity ALL THE TIME

High intensity or increased volume and load are now the only and best way to train it seems.We now are encouraged almost every workout to push our bodies to the limits and extremes until we really cant go any further.Blood,sweat,tears along how sore you are the next day seem to be the markers we are going on by rating that particular workout.The fitness industry will constantly sell you intensity but believe it or not the best way to get the best results is listening to your body more and doing things that you might actually need to work on at that particular day.Focusing on quality will keep you on track and will lessen the risk of burnout, fatigue or even loss of interest. Don’t get me wrong intensity is not always bad and that it should feature in parts of your training program but with variance of course and that leads me into the next point.

  • Keep your training varied

The best approach to being well rounded in your fitness includes having a structure in place which will cover a broad range of areas and everything you need to work on.Vary your training keeping it fun,challenging and relative to your goal. Constantly repeating similar sessions may not necessarily be getting you closer to your target.A good example of a well structured training template is one that first assesses your mobility which  should highlight areas to work on then possibly having a good emphasis on strength/resistance training,core work along with different variations of conditioning work.

  • Have a realistic approach to your nutrition

Let me start by re-emphasising that I am not a nutritionist, dietitian or am not affiliated with any supplement store or brand. Nutrition can often be a minefield and in the last ten years of working in the fitness industry I have seen fat-loss fads and different myths leading people down the wrong path; diets, quick fixes, magic pills and certain supplements.The bottom line is moderation wins and having a realistic balanced approach is something that cant be beat- 80% of the time, just eat real food; fresh meat, fish, green leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds while allowing yourself to let loose a little with foods which should be eaten in moderation. Eating 100% ‘clean’ is a path that is actually quite unnecessary and has proven to lead to a crash and binge down the line.So go have those beers,that pizza or ice cream, but just don’t overdo it.

  • Instead of guessing your far better off assessing 

“If you are not assessing then you are really only guessing” is a quote I use quite a lot when working with new clients.Most new clients initially come though my doors  having been chasing goals in the past but not necessarily always hitting them or staying on the right track.The main reason for that is they need to asses what needs work the most.Is it their nutrition,their training plan or perhaps even their overall structure of their lifestyle-There could be many reasons and this is perhaps where a trainer can step in and add in some expertise and knowledge with the hope it can only help you get closer to reaching your goals.Generally speaking I like to measure and asses clients every 6-8 weeks in most areas.This could be anything from a body-fat test,assessing a typical week of food and drink,retesting a benchmark workout, or working off an eight-week strength programme and then retesting your old 1RM (one-rep max).

  • Nothing comes easy

There are no shortcuts and more than likely for anyone who has a challenging testing goal they want to achieve then it wont come easy.Nothing is easy to achieve and if it is you haven’t set your goals properly. We are constantly being told about quick fixes but if it’s too good to be true then it probably is.Making positive changes to your physical and mental health all comes down to hard work, consistency and patience. It won’t come easy within 14 days and if it does it’s 100% not sustainable in the long run.You can’t beat the basics — patience, hard work and consistency. It may be boring but it’s true.

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 me a direct message here.

You can also see some of his previous articles here.

 

 

Can you pass these four simple mobility tests?

If you are a regular reader to my weekly Tuesday column you will know how I value basic exercises executed with quality under the structure of a smart and effective program.Over the past few weeks I have really honed in on the 3 important pillars when it comes to your training and those are mechanics (technique),consistency and intensity.The previous 2 articles we went a little further into depth and talked about consistency and intensity.The feedback from these 2 articles was great and it was super to see quite a lot of readers get plenty of value from both articles and put some effort in from the information I put out.

Today,I am going to give you a simple 4 movement mobility test which really should feature in the early stages of your training and can possible fall under the mechanics(technique) stage.In a previous article I highlighted the 5 most common mistakes people are making in the gym and one of them was that I see people not placing enough emphasis on mobility and flexibility work and instead constantly wanting to ramp up their heart rate at the start of every single session.

Mobility and flexibility standards are always the first thing I assess when working with a client for the first time.Stats shows that the majority of us will experience back pain,hip issues or knee injuries at some point in our life.One of the main reasons we are experiencing issues with our joints when we train is simply because the lack of time,effort or value you put into doing some mobility,flexibility or even body maintenance work.

Mobility work isn’t generally seen as cool and a lot of the time you won’t see the fitness industry focus and promote this. The industry rarely sells patience and a lot of the time its attention is on youth and intensity.However the more mobile you are the less restricted you will be when it comes to performing certain movements such as hip hinges, squats, and other staples of a training program.

Can you pass these four simple mobility tests? 

This video above is not to show you how poor your mobility is but to help you combat them and give you that little bit more guidance with your training.There are 4 tests.Two of them directly relate to the hips – couch stretch with shin against the wall and the pigeon stretch with the shin going straight across the body while lying face down on the floor while the shoulder dislocates will tell a lot about your shoulders/upper back finishing off with the downward dog can find a bit more about your calves/ankles/hamstring flexibility.

*Disclaimer* If you have difficulty passing these tests then avoid forcing your body through discomfort or pain.On each position know what your limit is and find which area needs that bit more work or attention.If you do fall down on any of these movements then my advice is to follow some more of the information I provide below.

I have compiled a article here in this mobility column that gives you a lot of the advice you need to know if you fell down on any of those 4 drills above.In this column I provide you with 5 simple stretches to do every day along with a couple of fitness tools to use that will help you improve your overall mobility and flexibility.

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 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.