6 simple habits to make sure you drink enough water

Over the course of my weekly articles I am sure you are aware by now on the importance of getting the basics right when it comes to your health and fitness goals.A lot time I find people will read fitness articles and columns trying to find nuggets of complex information that might just help them out even more but believe it or not if you start to get the basics right while adding in a few extra small tweaks then you are truly on the right track.

Water is essential for life, we need it every day and realistically you should be drinking at least 2.5 – 4 litres daily.I have mentioned before about how you need to dial in the basics first before you start getting more complex and tailored with your goals.Basic things like quality sleep,good basic nutrition along with the right hydration levels are key to get right early doors till they become a ingrained healthy habit.You will be surprised at the amount of people who are going about their day dehydrated and are still wondering why their performance in the gym is poor or perhaps why they haven’t attained their goals.If you are unsure about whether or not you are dehydrated, then you could use a simple urine chart to measure what level you are at.Drinking water is essential if you want to have strong and lean body, but more importantly, it is crucial in just about every human function from concentration, digestion, contraction, relaxation, blood flow, and mood.

A lot of clients I work with are surprised when it comes to the results shown after truly tracking their hydration levels during the course of the week.Most people think they are drinking enough water in the day,however when you break it down and measure you can see many pockets in their day when they are dehydrated.

Here are simple ways you that will help you work up the right amount of water to drink without having to let it take over your every thought of the day

  • Start your day with water

As soon as you get up drink a pint of water. You should be aiming to get at least 2.5 litres of water in during the day and once you do this then you are already one quarter of the way there.Starting your day with water is a good healthy habit that will help activate your internal organs along with aid removing any toxins before your first meal of the day which is something that only benefit you with long term.

  • Buy a big bottle

Get yourself a 1.5-2.5 litre bottle of water knowing how much you need to get through over the spell of your day.Many supplement stores now stock many large bottles which are BPA free friendly.I have also found that using a bottle showing the times and volume needed for your day is another way of creating a good habit below

waterbottlemarkedwithtime3

  • On warm days add some extras to your water

Another important point that I picked up from working with athletes abroad in warm climates was having access to some form of electrolytes for your sessions. Sometimes water isn’t sufficient enough for performance on warm days and you need to bring in some electrolytes such as sodium and potassium.

Some sports drinks are a good option, or even adding sachets of Dioralyte or salt to your water works well for pre, during or post session. Your recovery from a hot summer’s day training session is quite important and will only set you up the right way for your next session reducing the risk of burnout,cramp or injury.

  • Flavor your water

Some people just don’t like water and find it very bland and boring.The likely result here is that you really wont get enough fluids in your day.My advice for those people is simple.Try and change it up a little bit by adding extras like fruit,cucumber or even mint to make it that bit more interesting for you

  • Arms distance away

Throughout your day aim to keep your bottle within arms length.At your desk,beside you in your car or even around you during your session will be a constant reminder to take small sips every 20 minutes throughout the day.

  • Post session/recovery

After your session it is important to measure your weight and sweat loss before and after your session if you are finding yourself training in the heat of the day. The simplest way to know how much you need to drink to recover is to weigh yourself before and after your session.1 litre of sweat is roughly equivalent to 1 kg of body weight loss. You need to drink 1.2-1.5 litres for each kg of weight lost during exercise.

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.

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5 key areas for the field based athlete

Over the course of my career, I have had the opportunity to train a handful of teams and athletes looking for some help with their fitness in relation to their sport.Prior to starting with each team/athlete I have always picked up on one same thing outside from each individual : most people always think they need ‘sports specific’ gym programme for their sport.-My answer to this is always the same.While I would recommend specific training  for certain sports, you need to get assessed right first while being able to master the basics.

The best first step before any program is to get a assessment done and figure out area that need attention like your mobility/flexibility,movement pattern,strength,power,and core strength.All of these areas are vital for a good well rounded athlete and if you can tap into these and improve them it can only lead to a better all round performance in my opinion.I always recommend any body prior to starting any program is to get an assessment from professional working in the field who knows what they are talking about with a proven track record of success working with teams or individuals.

As a fitness trainer who predominately works with people on the gym floor and the odd occasion on the field I may not be able to help you get that goal,try or point but all of this can information below can only compliment and improve your overall game.

After a basic assessment a lot of sports people I train initially fall down in these areas:

  1. Very poor mobility/flexibility
  2. Weak core
  3. Little to no real structure throughout the course of the season/off season

These are the areas below I suggest for sports people to look into in relation to their gym work for either pre,during or off season.

  • Mobility/flexibility work
  • Strength and power development
  • Speed and agility program
  • Develop core strength
  • Recovery protocols

Its all well and good writing down almost every area in the book down here but the trick is to know when and where is best to apply these different areas in your program.Over the course of the season you should have a well mapped out plan on what areas should  are the most important at a certain time of your season.Again,if you are unsure of this then you should seek out someone who can map this out for you.The benefits I have seen in the space of a full off and on season program with the right structure in place have been phenomenal.

Below is a checklist for you that might just be able to help you out a little further into developing your game for improved performance on the field

  • Mobility/Flexibility

Your mobility is key. Whether you are a sports person,gym goer or just anybody who wants to look after their body then you need to stay on top of your mobility.One big problem that I see in gaa,rugby or soccer players is a loss of range of motion,weak mobility/flexibility. This can result in injury to a certain area of the body.Most athletes I have worked with at the start have never really done any specific mobility warm up drill.These are 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 .Generally speaking you are going to fall down in 1 or 2 areas here and if you don’t fix it now you will experience injury some part of your body as the season goes on.Things like stretching along with good activation drills is what is going to work best here.Make use of simple pieces of equipment like resistance,power and mini bands along with foam rollers and lacrosse balls.Ideally you are going to be working on your mobility game all year round and is something to stay on top of almost every training session.

  • Strength work

Forget about doing bicep curls!If you are looking to get stronger for your sport then you need to be working with the best 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.Big exercises like squats,deadlifts,overhead pressing, and pulling are something you really should have locked down.Ideally you should be working on your overall strength in the off season and could be working off a 6-8 week plan testing and retesting where you are at.Below are just some of the benchmarks and drills I would aim to works 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 GHR’s along with other exercises like RDL’s,bridges and x band walks are all areas I would suggest to have locked down in your program

  • Speed and power

A lot of athletes spend time developing muscles on the gym floor which can lead to them moving slower.The reason for this is perhaps this is an easier way to train during a gym session.There comes a point where you have to look at the relationship between gym sessions and the game and this is where you need to get a little specific for your game. Rugby,gaa and soccer involves a lot of acceleration and deceleration, but many gym programs don’t reflect the two patterns.Sure strength and hypertrophy work is important for your program but speed and power work needs to be dialed at a certain point of your season.Heavy strength sessions,weekend matches and long training sessions can make it hard to fit speed work into a training regime. Ideally you need to priortise a time in the week when you are your freshest.Working on power and speed can be worked on after a strength cycle in the off season and is always good to be working on it throughout the season too.Most games will fall on your weekend so perhaps a middle of the week is Ok for a speed session .Below you can read my article which covers 5 ways to increase your power for on the field or in the gym

  • Core and recovery

In a standard above I mentioned the 2 minute plank.This is a good indication of how well your core muscles are functioning. Dr Stuart McGill recommends 2 minutes as a standard that we should all be able to reach.However do planks like you mean them!Not just down in the bottom position pose but  getting as tight and squeezed as possible insuring your braced and locked down in a strong position working towards those 2 minutes.Other super drills I have mentioned are hollow holds and rocks,side plank rotations,turkish get ups and Russian twists.Ideally I would be working on your core all year round and should always feature in your gym program.Below you can read my article which covers 7 of the best core exercises for your gym program 

Your recovery is just as important.In this column I have always talked about areas like listening to your body,slowing down,getting enough sleep and plenty of other protocols for your checklist.The bottom line is that your recovery is going to help you stay on top of you performance.I have found using ice baths,sea swims,active recovery walking/cycling,drinking enough water,doing 15 minute daily body maintenance sessions along with deep tissue massages are all areas that will help you out here and should keep you on track.Ideally you should always be working on your recovery in and around your training sessions throughout the on and off season

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.

 

 

A well mapped out 60 minute workout

OVER THE LAST 18 months I’ve filled the column with everything I feel is related to your health and fitness.

Workout advice, healthy lifestyle tips, nutrition support, right down to mindset and recovery protocols have been covered.

The goal of this column is to keep the content relative to a large audience and get out as much real and honest information that I feel is related towards living a fit and healthy life.

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.

In today’s piece I will give you a basic session giving you a good solid plan and layout for your workout.This is a general fitness program template for anyone looking to improve their overall fitness which will work on some mobility/flexibility,strength,fitness and core work.A lot of people I work with initially are a little unsure on the right structure for a session so I have no doubt this article will be handy for a lot of you.

The session length is 50-60 minutes and is broken down into 3/4 parts.

Warm up-10 mins @50% level of intensity

This is a very important part of your session.The goal here is simple.Get blood flow around the body,increasing the heart rate a little,move joints while stretching and activating muscles in your body that need attention.Pieces of equipment that will come in handy here are resistance bands,foam rollers and lacrosse balls.Most of the time I see people do two types of warms A.Crosstrainer for 10 mins or B.Not warm up at all.If you watch the video below you will see me start off with a jump rope with a little bit of light jogging then into joint movement,foam rolling,stretching and finishing off with some activation band work.

Strength circuit 1 20 minutes @ 70-80% intensity

No matter your age, gender or training level I feel strength training is a must for anyone’s workout program.

I would generally encourage people to pick movements that will give them the best benefit, and to work on their weaknesses.

I would focus on compound movements such as squats and deadlifts along with plenty of pulling, pressing and some core drills.

4 sets of and each set is of the following

Back squat x 5 reps

rest 20-30 seconds

KB/DB single arm row x 8/8 reps

rest 20-30 seconds

KB/DB side bend x 10/10 reps

rest 1 minute+ then repeat another set

*Give yourself 4-5 mins to complete each full set and perform this 4 times.

*The goal is to go relatively heavy in relation to your own strength level.

*Perform 2 warm up back squat sets at 60-70% then go a little heavier for your 4 work set,ideally 80-85% in intensity level.

Extra work/Accessory work 12 minutes @ 60-70% intensity

The goal here is to work on some other lighter smaller movements.Today we will focus on 4 exercises and each exercise I will give you 60 seconds to perform the 1 movement.

It is 12 minutes in length.Here we have some extra lower body and upper body work along with some flexibility 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 1 exercise and ideally should get 20 seconds rest or so before you move onto the next exercise.

3 sets of

Minute 1. reverse alternate lunge x 7/7 each leg

Minute 2.Ring row x 10 reps

Minute 3 Hip flexor pulsing stretch x 12 each leg

Minute 4 Core complex (knee tucks x 5 reps+ hollow rocks x 5 reps) x 2

Conditioning work 10 minutes @80-95% intensity

This portion of the session is where I feel you can make a few alterations and generally can go by feel and base this part of the workout on where you need to work the most.

For some people it might mean doing some aerobic work/anaerobic work, or for others it might be an opportunity to do some accessory work with some extra weight training. Then again, you may need to do some yoga or extra mobility work.

It comes down to what is needed most and how you are feeling on the day.

If you find yourself already burnt out from a long day at work and possibly didn’t sleep well the night before, well then this is a time I wouldn’t suggest hammering yourself in an anaerobic conditioning piece.

Perhaps what is needed here is to be happy with what you have done above and leave your session at that, or do some extra work that wont be too taxing.

This could be anything like some yoga, resistance band work, core work or even just going for a light jog.

If you are feeling good and raring to go, well this is a time I would suggest pushing yourself and getting out of your comfort zone.

This will more than likely mean hitting up an anaerobic piece; getting the heart-rate high and bringing in some intensity like the session below

Every 2 minutes perform 5 rounds of

8 air squats+10 KB swings+150m run + 30 second plank

*The goal here is to get your reps unbroken from start to finish.Ideally males should be using at least at 16kg bell and ladies going with at least a 8kg bell.

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.

 

My top 10 nutrition tips

In last weeks 50th article of the column I gave you my top 15 training tips and basically was a refresher of all the training advice I have given you in the column since the very start.This weeks piece can be treated as a part 2 if you like and will focus on my top basic tips I feel are worthy of a mention in relation to your nutrition.A lot of the time the basics can get brushed to the side and the more complex information creeps in that can make everything a little more confusing to digest.

Let me start by re-emphasising that I am not a nutritionist, dietitian or affiliated with any supplement store or brand. Instead, I will try and cover the basic information in an honest way and give you the advice I offer to my clients.

Nutrition can be a minefield for most.Over the 10 years of working in the fitness industry I have seen many fat-loss fads and myths lead people down the wrong path.From different diets,quick fixes,magic pills and certain supplements you dont need the routes are really endless people choose to go down and a lot of these choices are never really sustainable and wont get you far.

  • 80/20 rule always works

I have talked about this area before in the column and its the best approach to living a realistic fit and healthy lifestyle.80% of the time we should eat real nutritious healthy food or #JERF as I like to say.-80% of the time JUST EAT REAL FOOD.Fresh meat,fish,green leafy vegetables,some fruit,nuts and seeds some starch and some sugar.Allow yourself to let loose a little and 20% have certain foods that we all know at this stage that should be treated with some moderation.Certain foods shouldn’t be forbidden or banned from your daily life, food intolerance’s excepted of course.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 that pizza or ice-cream, just don’t overdo it.

  • Context matters

What works for me or you, may not be ideal for someone else. We all have different goals, body types, hormonal systems, activity levels, lifestyles and surroundings.Don’t be fooled by going down the same avenue just because it seems to work for someone else.We all need different training regimes depending on our goals and your diet should be treated the same.Just because a certain diet or approach worked for one individual doesn’t always mean it will work for you.Sure,if you both get some of the basics mentioned below right together that’s a great start but you may need a few little tweaks to your own personal plan.

  • Application is the problem

Most of us should know at this stage the basic information on how and where to start in relation to living a healthy lifestyle.The biggest obstacle I see is that people know what they need to do most of the time with the basics but a lot of the time they don’t apply it to their daily life.I am not talking the more confusing things like how much macronutrients you need each day or what supplement is useful to look into but really more the basic stuff.We all know at this stage what junk food is,that water is good for us and we should be getting some form of exercise into our week.A lot of the time we hear excuses like eating healthy is expensive and not having enough time to prepare healthy meals.You can eat healthy cheap these days and time isn’t and shouldn’t be a factor to looking after your health.If it is important to you then you will make the time and effort.

  • Calories matter

This is pretty basic.Measure your recommended caloric intake using any an online calculator. It’s simple –eating lots of calories with little to no activity will lead to weight gain. So get working on that — figure out how many calories you should be taking in with the correct macro-nutrient breakdown your goals.

  • Your protein intake is too low

This is very common with most clients I initially work with.I don’t blame them for this as a lot of the time we are quite unsure on macronutrient breakdown.My role of a trainer is not only to train my clients but it is to educate them a little better on how they can live a fit and healthier lifestyle.Let me start by saying that we all need protein in our diet.Its not just for the lads and doesn’t always mean its going to make you look big and bulky!A lot of the time we just don’t get enough protein into our day.I have wrote an article called all the basic information you need to know about protein and I have no doubt it will help you out.

  • Stay on top of your hydration

This is a pretty obvious point but you will be surprised at the amount of people who are going about their day dehydrated. If you are unsure about whether or not you are dehydrated, then you could use a simple urine chart to measure what level you are at.

  • Drastically cutting carbs all the time wont work

This is something I come across quite a lot with new clients coming into me.A lot the time they have been cutting carbs from their diet in hope its going to help them drop body fat and look a little leaner.Generally within some time they crash,fall back into a binge and have to start all over again hoping its going to work next time around. For some reason we think that drastically cutting carbs from our diets is something that will work.What I suggest here is carb cycling and calculating the amount of carbs you need on certain days.Days you are a little more active that others can be a day when you can bump up your intake and days you rest and move less can be a day you can cut down a little.But bottom line is that carbs are good and should be included for most of our goals.

  • Supplements isn’t the answer initially

Time and time again I see people going down the route of buying certain supplements with the hope it can help them drop a little more body fat, improve their performance in the gym and aid their chances of losing weight.From working in the industry for the last 10 years, I can safely say that yes, some supplements do have a place for certain individuals but they should only be looked at once you have the basics covered when it comes to your nutrition and other lifestyle factors.

  • The guessing game

In a previous article in relation to your training I mentioned the phrase “If you are not assessing then you are really only guessing” Testing your skinfolds or even retesting benchmark workouts is something I suggest to clients every 6-8 weeks just to measure any progress and this goes for the same with your nutrition.If you have a body composition goal or performance goal in mind then initially once you start your new plan you should asses the number of calories you need each day along with figuring out all the grams of macronutrients you need to hit your targets. Guessing macronutirents and eating what you like with the hope that all the training you’re doing is sufficient, or even cutting out carbs, are areas I have seen people try but not sustain over a period of time.

  • If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is

We have all seen it at this stage.The quick fixes, fat loss pills,14 day transformations food plans and the wonder supplements that will change your appearance in weeks-Welcome to the world of fitness marketing.The truth is almost everyone in fitness is trying to sell you something. A product, programme, a diet pill or a magic quick-fix.My advice here to you is -“If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is”Very rarely someone tries to sell you the truth — that there are no shortcuts. You can’t beat the basics — patience, hard work and consistency. It may be boring but it’s true.There are no magic pills, quick-fixes or special training programmes out there that will have you dropping body fat within a week or two.Nothing worth having comes easy. If you are persistent, you will achieve your goals. If you are consistent, you will hold on to those goals.

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 15 training tips

In this weeks article I hit article number 50 to the column.From the first piece to today’s I have given you as much information as possible with regard to helping you health and fitness goals.The feedback throughout has been great and any ideas for future articles has been and will always be considered.I have covered everything I feel is related to your fitness from workout advice,nutrition tips right down to a summer series of articles.For article number 50 I am going to give you 15 of my best tips from all the training articles I have put together since starting the column.This article can act as a refresher from all the other pieces if you like and all these tips are what I consider the best since starting in the fitness industry almost 10 years ago.

TOP 15

  • The primary goal for anyone should be to move more

A lot of the time we can get bogged down on certain gyms to join,programs to try or even different classes or ways to train.I see many people stall and think about it and almost put this or that training on hold for a while.My advice to anyone here is to just get going with anything that gets you moving and off the sofa aiming to live a healthy and fit lifestyle

  • Aim to exercise at least 3 times per week

If its important to you then you will find time.Most people should be able to find slots in the day to exercise and if you cant find a full 45 mins try and find little pockets or habits in the day that will help you out.From cycling to work,going for a walk on your lunch break to maybe even training with friends or a trainer that will hold you accountable to your regime

  • Keep it varied,yet effective

Having a variation to your training is key.A well structure training program will not only keep it challenging for you but once you have all the areas covered and is relative to yourself then it can only help you achieving your goals.Vary your training by having some mobility work,strength work along with different variations of conditioning work

  • It shouldn’t be a chore

If you are a person who joins the gym in January and is no where to be seen on the gym floor come March then you need to assess what you might actually enjoy.Time and time again I would see people sign upto 12 month memberships and have lost interest a few weeks later due to boredom,lack of interest or just not really having a clue on what to do.The list is endless on things to do nowadays and you dont need to focus your fitness any more around a packed gym floor.From park workouts,to outdoor sports clubs to a whole variety of fitness classes and trainers the options are now really endless.Find some that you will enjoy and make it a part of your day that you look forward to.

  • Your mental fitness

Your physical fitness is important,however your mental fitness is just as or if not more important .To me, fitness isn’t always about lifting weights, running or going under the bar to hit a heavy squat.Spending time on your mindset is something I would encourage everybody to incorporate into their fitness routine. As a personal trainer I have seen the huge benefit with some clients who are treating exercise as a path to help them with their own personal battles.This article I did last year gives you 3 great ways to improve your mental fitness

  • Assessment is key

Like I have said before “If you are not assessing then you are really only guessing” Its good to measure things in relation to your fitness.From body fat scores to repeating benchmark works to even reassessing your range of motion or mobility is something you should consider testing every 6-8 weeks.Any new client I work with from day 1 will always get a mobility assessment first so I can see where they need fixes on focus so we can find the right path for them. Remember any trainer can make a workout and make you sweat but its good trainers who will pinpoint the far more important areas that need attention first to build a good solid foundation.

  • You cant beat the basics

I have been around the industry a long enough time to know what is useful and what is absolutely rubbish.Training fads come and go but its the basics that have always stuck around and work.Basic movements like squats, push-ups and pull-ups are things you should be looking to work towards getting right initially.These exercises will help you build a solid foundation from which you can build once you get consistent and stronger at these movements.Other areas like basic flexibility/mobility standards are also very important. Being able to touch your toes while in a seated floor position, perform a basic couch or pigeon stretch, or complete shoulder dislocates correctly are all important standards I like to see clients meet.My previous article here covers how dialing in the basics can make all the difference 

  • Quality beats quantity

You are far better off getting 3 quality sessions done right as opposed to 5 sloppy sessions in the week.The fitness industry is constantly selling you youth,intensity and pretty much going all out with your workouts yet believe it or not in order to get the best results you should be listening to your body more and doing things that you truly need work on first.Most people think they need to be training constantly in order to achieve their goals when really they might be better off doing active recovery sessions,aiming to getting good quality sleep or even managing their stress a little better. Keeping it quality will keep you on track and will lessen the risk to burnout,fatigue or even loss of interest.

  • Slow down to speed up

Something I am constantly telling my clients.Incorporating things like yoga,mediation or even a simple walk is something that you should try.It might not sound much but believe or not it will help you out in the long run

  • Hard work,consistency and patience

Nothing is easy to achieve and it was then it perhaps wasn’t a goal that challenged you enough.We are constantly being surround nowadays to fitness marketing,magic training programs and quick fixes.In my opinion if it is too good to be true then it probably is.I have been around the industry a long time now and any goal achieved or positive change to peoples health and fitness generally all comes down to hard work with some consistency over certain amount of time.It wont come easy within 14 days and if it does its 100% not sustainable in the long run

  • Mechanics,consistency then intensity

This is a 3 step approach I like to train all my clients.Upon assessment we then move into this area and this is something you should consider.Before diving into the deep end into high intensity workouts asses your movement first before ramping up your workout with extra load,volume or intensity. Don’t get me wrong high intensity workouts are great but not all the time.Learn the new movement,fix it and get better at it then progress.

  • The squat

The squat is the king of all exercises and is a movement I would have in almost everyone’s program.For a movement that is quite basic and very functional that we generally do on a daily basis it gets a bit tricky for most in a gym environment.If you want to fix your squat then this article and video will help you fix your squat

  • Do some form of strength training

No matter your age, gender or training level I feel strength training is a must for anyone’s workout program.I would generally encourage people to pick movements that will give them the best benefit, and to work on their weaknesses.I would focus on compound movements such as squats and deadlifts along with plenty of pulling, pressing and some core drills.I have previously highlighted five of the best exercises for your gym programme and you can bring all of these into the strength portion of your session.

  • Do some form of mobility work

This is a very important part of your session. I’ve seen many approaches over the years; from those who do nothing at all,to the 15-minute foam-rolling session The goal here is to set aside 10-15 minutes for getting warm, loose, working on some areas of your body that is inactive,stiff or immobile.Having access to tools like resistance bands, foam rollers, lacrosse balls and plenty of other mobility tools will help.If you are unsure on what to do then find a trainer who will guide you down the right path

  • You dont need the best equipment

Like I have said before you dont need the best equipment for the most effective workouts.A simple set of resistance bands,gym rings,along with a kettlebell and you are pretty much set up to train yourself in some shape or form.My article here gives you some 5 excellent full body workouts with limited equipment needed

I hope these 15 tips have helped you out in relation to your training.

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 common hurdles to overcome in your training

In each article my aim is to provide you with as much information that I feel is useful towards living and fit healthy sustainable lifestyle.To be quite honest the fitness industry nowadays is perhaps full of more misleading information more than ever and my goal from starting this column was to give you real honest truth about fitness.Like I have said before in previous articles fitness to me isn’t just about lifting weights,going for a run or even eating your broccoli. There is a far more bigger and broader picture to it and that’s what I try to cover each week.As I approach my 50th article in the column I have broken down almost everything the past while from nutrition advice,the most effective training styles,plenty of summer series articles to the even the best and healthy ways to living a healthy lifestyle.Each week the feedback really is great and is something that gives me plenty of motivation knowing that its helping a good few of you out.

In this weeks piece my aim is to try and breakdown some areas that will give you a little checklist helping you out keeping you on track.

  • Pick something that you will enjoy first

There really is no point in doing something that is going to be a chore for you.Over the last 10 years of working in a gym I would see people join in the new year signing into yearly long memberships already knowing that hate gyms and they pretty much have done this route before and have gotten nowhere with it.The goal for you to do something exercise related that will be a part of your day that you actually will get enjoyment from.

  • Training matches the goal

I’ve seen all sorts of training programs over the years including strength, sport-specific, bodybuilding, weight-loss and weight-gain routines.A pretty big thing I come across quite often is training programs not matching up with the actual goal intended.I don’t always blame the individual for that.There is a lot of misleading information out there nowadays.It’s great that you are following a fitness plan but make sure whatever goal you’re working on matches well with the training you’re doing, and that it’s at your fitness level.If you are unsure the best thing is to seek out a trainer that has a good pedigree and a proven track record of working with clients face to face not some instagram trainer selling their programs who might look shredded but really has little to no experience when it comes to helping different individuals needs

  • Don’t get sidetracked

A lot of the time I see people saying this or that program didn’t work for them.Any time I get clients in who seem to hop from trainer to trainer or program to program I get a red flag.To be honest a lot of the time its not the trainer,gym or program that didn’t work but its that you didn’t actually put too much work in for the approach itself. I have always said if you are working with a good trainer for instance that’s its always a 50/50 approach with client and trainer or if you are working on a certain program yourself and it hasn’t really worked its perhaps because you didn’t stay long on it and really weren’t consistent enough when it came to sticking to the plan.There is so many avenues nowadays from paleo to CrossFit,spinning to vegan but the bottom line is anything will really work once you just stick to the plan,enjoy it and put in the work required.

  • Have a smart and realistic approach

We should be taking a long term health approach to exercise yet too many want the ‘easy’ quick fix.The quick fix isn’t realistic a lot of the time and perhaps not the smartest or best approach either.Your fitness is something to be working on for the rest of your life and in order to be living a fit and healthy lifestyle means its something that you should be constantly working on.Big deal if you fall off the wagon a little bit.Get back up and go again aiming to get to grips with all the basics that will work long term keeping you in check.

Sleep: Shooting for eight hours is a good start.

Stress: Invest at least 15 minutes each day to yourself, slow down, breathe, stretch and just switch off. It could be doing some yoga poses, going for a walk or playing with your kids.

Hydration: Aim for 2.5-4 litres daily. Little and often throughout the day.

Nutrition: There is no single diet solution for everyone. We have different metabolisms so it is really important to work out a diet plan that works for you. Focus on getting the basics right first; cut out the junk food, go easy on the wheat, gluten and sugar, and keep alcohol and caffeine in moderation.

  • Don’t rule it out until you have tried it

This is an area I was guilty of in my earlier days.A lot of the time its the basic stuff we really need and not the most fancy,intense or complicated training plans.Things like yoga,doing some mobility work,practicing some meditation or even bringing in basic low intensity active recovery sessions into my gym work were always ruled out until I seen the importance of it eventually with time and experience.Growing up I always felt that quantity always beat quality and that high volume/intensity was the best approach for my training.When your younger your a little naive.I guess I didn’t always appreciate the other areas that might just be more beneficial to me and this is a common trend I hear a lot from people being around the fitness industry a while.Normally these areas spring up when its a little late or a time you actually need it most.If I could turn the clock back I would try to listen to my body better,structure my training week a little better leaving out a high intensity piece and bringing in some yoga or mobility work instead.Vary your training up or try things that totally bring in a new fresh approach for 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top tips to take on board this summer

I hope you survived the heat wave last week and my previous Tuesday article covering my top tips training in hot weather helped you out.The hot summer months can be a time where we fall off the wagon a little bit and get a little sidetracked with our fitness regime.From summer holidays,festivals and sunshine in the beer garden the gym might not be the one of the places on the top of your list.Like I mentioned in a previous summer series It is good to take that 1 or 2 week break and come away from your routine letting loose a little bit.Drink that beer,eat that burger and forget about your daily workout.Go on holiday and let you body recharge.Get some rest,some vitamin D,nice food and drink while spending good time with family and friends then try incorporate some of your fitness training back into your routine by ticking the boxes that actually do work.

Over the past 10 years of being around this industry I have seen many fads,myths and total nonsense that has creeped into the fitness industry.Not only are my own clients confused about certain things but I guarantee there are many fitness professionals including myself who are also scratching their head seeing some of the stuff that is out there today.A lot of these myths can encourage people to go down these avenues and it is pretty normal for people to try them,get nowhere and then totally fall off the bandwagon.From quick fixes,fat loss pills,steroids and supplements to the wild and wacky online Instagram trainers promising you their special formula workouts to their discount codes on the products you dont need.

What I will include today is a checklist of things that actually do work,things to be wary of and hopefully everything here will come in handy for keeping you going nicely over the summer months.A lot of these things are really basic but believe it or not its basics that will work all the time along with consistency,some hard work and patience .

  • If its too good to be true,then it probably is

We have all seen it,quick fixes,magic fat loss pills,14 day abs,guaranteed results with this certain program along with certain supplement pyramid schemes that get you on board to sell and take outlandish products that you don’t need.Your health and fitness is something that you really should be treating as something quite important for the rest of your life.Signing upto a 14 day program or taking quick fix fat loss pills for a beach holiday next month wont work in the long run.What will work is accepting your health and fitness is a lifestyle where you should live well by eating real food,drinking enough water and getting regular exercise.

  • Just eat real food

I have talked in a previous article about balance and the 80/20 approach.Having a realistic approach when it comes to your nutrition is what works.70-80% of the time aim to eat real food full of protein,carbs and fats.Things like meat,fish,eggs,green leafy veg and fruit.20-30% of the time have that cake,beer or take away enjoy it and allow it to be in your plan.We now live in a time where options are endless and you need to do paleo,go gluten free or even cut your carbs in order to achieve and sustain your goals.Time and time again I see people drastically cutting carbs in hope it can help their fitness levels or weight loss goals.Pretty much any client who has comes in before starting working with me has removed carbs from their diet fell off the wagon and always rebounded.Carbs are good and we need them.Protein too is something we all need and its not just for the lads!In a previous article I highlighted everything we need to know about Protein Most people underestimate the power of staying hydrated and drinking enough water. Believe it or not this is one of the most important things to have ticked off whether it comes to your weight loss goals,improving your fitness or performance to even controlling your nutritional habits and cravings.My top tip here is start your day with a half pint of water and during the day always have water not too far away taken little sips every 20 minutes.

  • You think you need to be sweating during a session and be sore the next day

This is something I hear every single day.The fitness industry will constantly sell youth,intensity and generally going all out with your routine.It doesn’t seem to be cool to slow down,stretch and listen to your body any more.Believe it or not you don’t need to be sweating and you certainly don’t need to be sore all the time after your workout.From being around the gym floor a long time now I actually see that people need the quite opposite to this.Lots of people have poor movement and mobility while being constantly tight in their body.What people should really make sure that have nailed down in their sessions is some mobility work on the areas that need attention,doing some yoga or stretching sessions every now and then.You might not need to be hammering the heart rate each training session and its good to back down and listen to the body every now and then. Believe it or not but doing really simple things like incorporating a long walk into your week,managing your stress levels by doing some light meditation to even a dip in the sea or even treating your sleep as priority is what you need to be worrying about.Every now and then its good to get the heart rate up or even some weight training so that you might be sore the next day but its not always at the top of the agenda

  • Do what makes you happy

That trip to the gym,class or program should never be a chore and a part of your day that you dread.Time and time again I would see people 3/4 months into their new training regime totally fall off the band wagon purely down to boredom,little to no results and perhaps something they truly didn’t enjoy.Sadly we now live in a time where self image is all around and some people regard on what why your body looks is perhaps the most important at the top of the list.A lot of the time people follow the trend for this goal,join the gym,cut the carbs and so on going all out for 3 months getting nowhere,feeling crap and not liking the whole process.There is far more important things on your image.Those 6 pack abs,big biceps or chizzled chest really isn’t that important.How you feel on the inside is far greater and doing things that you actually enjoy and make you happy is what its all about.I have always said its not about going to the gym.The choice is now endless and we can really go down any route here that will help your goal.

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.