Check out a podcast I did with friend and mentor Ainle Ó Cairealláin from Rebel Matters a few weeks back. I talk about how I dealt with my disability growing up, recovering from broken bones and my international wheelchair rugby career.
Are you struggling with your grip strength in the deadlift or other grip exercises? Performing a hang can improve your grip strength and cause a great stretch in your latissimus dorsi while also improving your shoulder mobility. This exercise is such an easy one to add into your routine, it takes little time to set up and its a good way to recover in-between sets. All you need is a a chin up bar or a set of rings to complete the hang.
There are a variety of hangs to complete but I would start off with the Passive Hang.
Once you can complete this for over a minute without your grip going, then try a more advanced hang.
The other hanging exercises I would attempt are an Active Hang and Active Hang Reps. These two exercises work on scapula movement which is an added bonus!
It seems that if you’re on instagram these days you’re just a click away from someone selling their souls or willing to promote anything to do with a supplement company or a clothing company for a ‘discount code’.
Unfortunately this leads to a huge amount of wrong information being put out there for people to read and try. It’s quiet upsetting to see being honest. People out there trying ridiculous diets and workouts that are more than likely causing more damage than anything because they saw this guy say its what got him his washboard abs in 48 hours, or that girl that built her butt to perfection in 3 weeks by doing this glute focused workout.
Here’s a little secret for ye building a physique or getting strong takes time. Time is the best thing to give yourself if you want to achieve these goals. Unfortunately we live in a world where we expect everything to happen straight away, almost at a click of the fingers. If only we all had that big blue genie like Aladdin eh?!
Just today I saw a girl go on about protein benefits on a post and she said before getting her protein right and to produce hormones she did not have a period for two years. TWO YEARS! Now a quick google search will tell you that eating protein (which is consuming Amino-Acids) is used up to produce specific hormones in the body, such as insulin, Female sex hormones are not on this list. (Oestrogen and Progesterone).
To a complete newbie into the realm of health and fitness they might believe that her problem of not having a period is actually nothing and can be solved by increasing her protein intake. The truth is, amenorrhea (missing one or more periods) can be a serious thing that needs medical attention. Not an overnight personal trainer stating she solved all her problems by taking her wonderful pornstar martini flavoured protein shake. (Yes, thats a thing now). Whatever about taking shakes to increase your protein intake, but imagine all the other crap thats inside that shake! Absolute madness.
Continuing on with her spiel, she used all of this scaremongering to advertise for a “nutrition” company. I myself have never heard of this company but they seem to be a female focused supplement company selling absolute muck to people.
I don’t get how these people can get away with calling themselves personal trainers but yet put out the wrong information out there constantly. Then because they have this big following on all the platforms people think that these people are the bees knees, these are the people to follow. Putting out wrong information the whole time, misleading hundreds if not thousands of people out there just so that they can feed their own ego with this massive following of theirs.
I cannot stress how important it is for you to consult the right people when in doubt with your own training or nutrition. Someone who cares for your steady progress, not a quick fix fad diet or whatever. Look for a coach that has credibility within the industry. This does not always mean the person with the biggest following or the flashiest of abs. Some of the best coaches out there have a very small following. This is due to the fact that they are devoting all of their time and effort into their athletes, the ones who actually matter.
Setting new goals in your health and fitness journey is a exciting process. It keeps you motivated and it makes sure you have something to work towards. A reward so to speak. New Years Resolutions are usually a time where you will see a lot of people set goals to improve ones self image or to run a marathon etc. Setting these expectations are good for yourself but you need to set smaller goals to help you stay on track in the short term.
Set a Long-Term goal and smaller goals
Goal setting is key to staying on track and achieving your goals. Ideally you should set maybe 3 long term goals. (Over the space of 6-12 months). This might be to lose a certain amount of weight, run a marathon, cycle Malin to Mizen. These are just a few off the top of my head! But they should be the end goal.
These goals should be something that excites you. This way you will be motivated a lot more to achieve this goal. Make sure that these goals are realistic. I would also give myself a time frame to achieve this goal by.
Don’t Restrict Yourself
Restricting yourself too hard when it comes to nutrition and eating is a recipe for disaster. Unless you have a goal of competing in a bodybuilding competition then there is absolutely no need to restrict yourself to boiled chicken, rice and kale. Fad diets work in the short run but they are not sustainable. Nutrition is an easy thing made to look difficult by companies so that you will buy their “Weight Loss” products… It’s pretty simple. Eat like an adult.
Find a Workout Partner/Group
If you have trouble working out alone then having a workout buddy is a good way to help keep you motivated. Share your goals with one another, workout together all of these things will help you stay on track with your goals.
If your goal is more running / outdoor activity based, there are plenty of running/ cycling/ walking groups out there that are always welcoming new members who want to take up running to keep fit and healthy.
Work with a Coach
Working with a coach is another good way to kickstart your journey. This is vital if you are new to going to the gym and lifting weights. A good coach will work with you with your goals in mind. They will show you how to complete the exercises correctly with good form and make sure that you will progress in a linear fashion.
Enjoy the Process
The most important thing is that you completely enjoy the process. There is absolutely no point in doing something if it feels more like a chore than anything else! As I’ve said already, pick goals that excite and motivate you. Get up, get moving and enjoy life!