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.

 

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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.

 

 

My top 10 fitness gift ideas for Christmas 2017

THE HOLIDAY SEASON is well upon us and I hope over the last few weeks my Christmas articles have come in handy for you.Like most of us at this time of the year we are running around like headless chickens (or turkeys!?) searching for different gift ideas for family and friends and perhaps are most likely unsure on what to get.

In this weeks article I am putting together this short list of what I consider to be top gifts for the fitness fanatic in your life, hopefully it can help inspire some of you.Some of these gifts are from Irish based shops and will be quite handy to purchase over the next few weeks.Most wont break the bank and a lot of these gifts should come to good use as we head towards 2018.

Protein bar selection box

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A delicious way to say Merry Christmas to your loved ones or even yourself this year! These are a great gift and the perfect stocking filler for the man or woman who wants to maintain keep their protein intake in over the Christmas period.Dublin based nutrition stores Bodyfirst nutrition and Discount supplements have put together these selection boxes which are sure to fly off the shelves again this year.As well as that who cant forget the famous Fulfil protein bars.They have put together this Christmas special selection box which gives you all of your favorite flavors.

Fitness watch

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These are a must-have for anyone who is interested in logging and keeping track of their data.Whether you’re training for a specific race in the new year or just looking to be more active in general, a fitness watch can help you more closely monitor your activity and training. Track your heart rate, map routes, and even receive smart phone alerts on some of these devices.My top favorite brands that I use are Garmin and Polar.My personal favorite is the Garmin Forerunner 235 and 935.

Home workout equipment

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If you a regular reader to my weekly column you will now know how much of a fan I am of small versatile equipment.Fitness equipment like resistance bands,rings/suspension straps and kettlebells are pieces of equipment that are ideal to put full body workouts together as well as tools that are very versatile and wont require too much storage space.This will make a perfect gift this Christmas and best places to get your hands on these are D8fitness or McSport

Gym meal bag

Innovator-300-bagsA new kit bag is always a good way to freshen things up!If you are an individual who spends long days on the road,outside of the kitchen but still finds time to train and look after your nutrition,health and fitness then these bags from Bodyfirst nutrition are really ideal.

 

Mobility kit

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For the regular gym goer this really is a nice little Christmas present package that will come in very handy.It is also very reasonably-priced idea and very easy to get your hands on with Dublin based company D8 Fitness offering a free delivery service too.The pack includes a decent foam roller, travel massage stick, mini resistance band and a trigger-point lacrosse ball.

Books

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A bit unusual for the fitness column perhaps but there really is a good selection of health,nutrition,mindset and fitness books out there this year.

For fitness-Kelly starretts “Becoming a supple leopard” is a great book for all your mobility and movement needs

For nutrition-Our very own David Gillicks book “David Gillicks kitchen” is a good book with plenty of good meal plans and recipes

For mindset-I am a big fan of Timothy Ferris two books this year “Tribe of mentors” and “Tools of titans” or another big one this year for me is Jocko Willinks book “Discipline equals freedom”

If we are mentioning books then of course we should end this off by mentioning our very own first book “Behind the lines” A great book at 10Euro which highlights all of the great irish sporting stories for 2017

Subscriptions

These are handy Christmas presents that can be bought with a click of a button.

There are quite a few subscriptions out there now for the fitness fanatics. I find all of the four below to be very useful:

  • Spotify — for listening to music while working out
  • Headspace — for some daily meditation
  • ROMWOD — to improve mobility and flexibility
  • Audible — to listen to inspiring audio books

Training attire

Perhaps my personal favorite.It’s hard to go wrong when buying some fresh training gear for a loved one or friend.A fresh gym attire can set them right up leading into the new year for attacking those fresh goals.

My favorite gym gear brands are Under Armour and Nike.Both brands have a great selection in their new winter especially great selection of winter compression wear which is great in all environments, lasts long and washes really well.

Gym membership,class passes or a Personal training voucher

The timing might not seem right for talking about the gym on Christmas day but this really is a good gift for someone to get them on the right healthy track for 2018.Working with a trainer on a 1-1 can really ignite that fire one needs to get them going towards that new years goal for 2018.

Stocking filler ideas

My tenth and final idea here is something small to put into the stocking.These are small ideas that will come in very handy and really wont break the bank.

  • Liquid chalk (For the guy or gal who needs that bit of extra grip during that tough workout)
  • Valslides (These are a perfect little gift that can slip right into the Christmas stocking and for those who want to do a core workout anywhere)
  • Headphones (The best and most comfortable headphones I’ve used are the Sennheiser sports range)
  • My cooling towel  (In the last while, cooling towels have become one of the most popular running accessories. They’re convenient, light and can keep you cool for hours)
  • Shaker (Lets be honest we can all do with a new shaker every now and then)

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas checklist to keep you ticking over into a fit and healthy 2018

THE festive season has kicked off and for most of us that can mean a little bit more of overindulgence.Christmas parties,late nights,food and alcohol really can take over for the month of December.Like I always say every year,this is the time where you should enjoy the festive season with good food and drink, taking time to switch off and mostly spending quality time with family and friends. However,my best advice today and over the last few articles in my Christmas series is BALANCE.

Sure,now is a time of the year to enjoy ourselves and let loose that little bit more with our lifestyle but it shouldn’t be a time of the year where we completely loose control fall off the wagon and have to start all over again in January.

My best advice is to do what you can and still allow some time with your fitness plan.This is a time of the year where you can get sucked in and 4 weeks later you can find yourself easily gained half a stone, a clothes size and feeling terrible about yourself suffering with January Blues.

Below is a quick checklist that I stick to myself and I hope this can help you tick over nicely keeping you on track over the next few weeks.

Breakfast smoothie

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In last weeks article I mentioned “starting your day strong”. This is the time of the year where we can pick up colds and flues quiet easily. Late nights, overindulging and partying, it’s more important than ever to stock up on your vitamins and minerals to help you stay in good health; fresh smoothies, multivitamin drinks or even just a glass of water are ideal to start the day.Every morning in December I have been starting my day with a kick start smoothie to ensure I am getting some of my nutrients in early as lets be honest most of us get through the entire Christmas period without eating much fruit and veg.Below is a really simple breakfast smoothie recipe which takes 5 minutes to make and ticks all the boxes with all the right macronutrients you need to start your day

  • Handful of raspberry’s
  • Handful of brocolli
  • Handful of pineapple
  • 2-3 ice cubes
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of nut butter
  • 1 and half cup of almond milk or water
  • 1 scoop of vanilla whey protein power

   Method

Add all ingredients into the Nutri Bullet and Blend

Home workouts

Its a time of the year where the gym floor gets a little quieter,class numbers are down and overall a month where we don’t see as many people have as much focus on their workout regime compared to previous months.Like I said before its a time of the year where you should still have some sort of focus on your exercise plan.It doesn’t have to be 4 times a week nor does it mean you need to get through those gym doors.My best advice for the month of December is to do what you can and make time to get at least 2 workouts in.My goal for this month is to get 2 thirty home workouts in a week,1 long walk at the weekend along with 1-2 twenty minute yoga or stretching sessions.This is a nice variance that really isn’t too taxing on the body will keep me ticking over nicely and set me up nicely for 2018.I am a big fan of home workouts.You don’t need any fancy equipment nor do you have to leave your home.Below is a really effective 20 minute home workout that covers everything from mobility work along with some upper and lower body exercises breaking a light sweat.

HIIT workouts

Its a time of the year when there is a lot on and we might not have the full time to squeeze in a well rounded 60 minute workout.High intensity workouts is something you should add into your weekly plan in December.Aim to get one or two of these short burts over the course of the week.All you need is a 10-20 minute window here and doing these style workouts will help keep your metabolism high,keep that fitness topped up and it will help you burn off those excess calories over the Christmas break.Below is an example of one of the HIIT workouts I have planned for this week or go check out these other 3 HIIT style workouts to add to your plan.

Below I have included a few more of my top tips that will help you as a good steady checklist over the Christmas period.

  • Embrace nights out and enjoy them firstly-Dont dread them for fear of setting your fitness goals backwards
  • 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.
  • Stay well hydrated with water in and around nights that involve alcohol
  • Clearer spirits and lighter beers can be better options than darker beers,sugary mixers and ciders-A pint of beer has about 220kcals, a vodka & soda water has about 80kcals
  • Avoid fast food at the end of the night-Its an easy place to pick up an extra 1000 calories that you’ll barely remember!
  • Get out and move the next day after a night full of festive cheer-This could be anything like a 60 minute walk that will help you dust off the cobwebs and get back into that fresh headed routine again.
  • 80/20…75/25…or maybe 70/30.I have talked about the 80/20 approach when it comes to your nutrition.Cut loose a little this time of the year but just don’t go overboard.Moderation is the key for the month thats in it.

Along with these tips above you can find out a few more in this video below that is sure to help you out

I hope this article has been useful for you and that all the information I have been giving you in this years Christmas series is something that you can apply which will help you stay fit and healthy with the lead to January 2018.In next weeks article I am giving you my top Christmas present ideas for the fitness fanatic in your life so standby for that piece.

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 healthy habits over the festive season

Last week I kicked off my Christmas series articles which I hope will give you some smart ideas and tips for over the festive season.The main emphasis with these articles is to pass on the message for you to have balance over these next few weeks ahead.Like I said last week the main priority over the Christmas period is to enjoy yourself switching off ,relaxing,and spending good quality time with family and friends.It should be a time of the year where you should bring in some amount of control that’s if you do want to hold onto all the progress with your health and fitness goals that you gained in 2017

 

Here are my 5 healthy habits that you can bring in over the month of December that should keep you on track over the festive season.

Look after your mental fitness

Christmas is a great time of the year for most.As they say ‘tis the season to be jolly’ however its a time of the year where we can all stress a little too much over silly things.Around this time of the year I have seen Christmas bring on stress, fatigue, burnout and so on.Overspending,shopping,nights out,crowds of people,traffic and so on can all be at the height of it all at Christmas.All this stress built up can really effect our health and wellbeing with time. My advice is to not let this time of the year suck you up and trample your stress levels so try bring in a couple of different ways that might just help to control that stressful environment.Physical fitness is very important but how you train and look after your mind is just as, if not more, important.Over the festive season 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 or even a 15 minute home workout.

Start your day strong

In last weeks article I mentioned making a plan and aiming to get your exercise routine out of the way first thing in the morning if possible.On top of that I would encourage people to start the day with a healthy kick. Let’s be honest, most of us get through the entire Christmas period without eating much fruit.It just doesn’t really feature on the Christmas menu. But at this time of late nights, overindulging and partying, it’s more important than ever to stock up on your vitamins and minerals to help you stay in good health.This could be anything like a fresh healthy smoothie,a multivitamin or even just a pint of water.

Make some of your own snacks

Its a time of the year where we might have a little more extra time on our hands around the house on the 24th,25th and 26th of December.I am always encouraging my clients to try make their own healthy snacks just like my famous Christmas chocolate slab below.Sure its time to open the celebrations,the roses or even the cadburys but perhaps try get creative in the kitchen baking some raw ingredient,real food healthy snacks to nibble on over the Christmas boxset. If you want to go ahead and make this simply chocolate Christmas slab then go read this 8 step easy approach to make the best chocolate snack

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Control the controllable and don’t go overboard

This is easier said than done for most but it is important.There are going to be parties and get-together’s almost every night over the festive break for many. And for most Irish people social gatherings tend to involve alcohol.Now is the time of the year where you should enjoy yourself but pick and choose the gatherings you go to — you don’t need to be attending every social event.If you do find yourself drinking a lot my goal is to go with the drink you truly enjoy for one or two and then keep it in moderation.On top of that, try keep to clearer spirits, avoiding sweet mixers and too many dark beers.Simple tips that we all should know are also very helpful. Eating a well-balanced meal with carbs, proteins and fats before your night out, and drinking plenty of water on the day and in between drinks, will always help you out.

Clear the head

After a late night of festive cheer try get out and clear the head the day after.This could be anything like a 60 minute walk that will help you dust off the cobwebs and get back into that fresh headed routine again.With the silly season fast approaching, I have aimed at getting a Sunday morning workout in. December Saturday nights can be 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  holding out for the December nights and getting a light sweat on Sunday mornings.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.If you want to sweat it out a little more instead of walk then go try these 3 short and effective outdoor workouts

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.

 

 

 

 

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.

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.