Tag Archives: tips

Hitting the Writing Wall

It’s been a while since I’ve sat down here to write a blog. As something I planned on doing more regularly I have not gotten off to a great start! I have hit a kind of wall as to what to write about on here, and I still don’t really know what content to put up or what not to put up. For something I planned on doing for myself I have quickly fallen into the trap of overthinking about what to write to look sh*t hot on here. Instead I should just be focusing on what I myself want to write about. After all this is a personal blog!  I’ve began to look at some great writers in this area to gain some inspiration and I have to say there’s some great content out there. If you look at the likes of Stuart McMillan, Bret Bartholomew, ALTIS, Dan John… You will not be disappointed. The stuff these guys write it’s just outstanding! Anyway enough rambling about my shortcomings of being more frequent on here! I’ll work on that..

Random Ramblings

Athletic Development

When it comes to athlete development there is no perfect way to programme design. Yes there will be similarities but its hard to give a one size fits all programme to a group of athletes and expect the same result from each and every one on that programme.

This is something that really struck home with me over the last few months. Especially from coaching the fantastic Rebel Wheelers Multi-Sports Group. A lot of the kids here have the same disability but by god are they all unique in their own way with what they need.  Athletes are individuals and they should be coached that way. Well no scratch that. Every single person you meet is an individual and each and every one of them should be coached that way. You cannot take a one size fits all approach to fitness. It may work in the short run, but long term it will not workout.

If you’d like to see a better insight into the work we do with this group at ACLAÍ have a look at the video below:

Ladder Sets

I have been playing around with these for awhile now after reading Dan Johns post about them a while back. They are a great way to up the volume of your sets without adding more sets in.  They are best utilised on alternate exercises to keep the tension on the resting limb while the other one goes to work.

Give this a try for your self and see!

Alternate Dumbbell Bench Press

Set 1:

2 – 3 – 5 -10 on both Limbs

Straight Arm Front Plank

Set 2 :

New weight

2 – 3 – 5 – 10

Straight Arm Front Plank

Set 3:

New  / Same Weight

2 – 3 – 5 – 10

Straight Arm Front Plank

Oh and it is best advised to leave our ego at home when your are trying this. They are a lot tougher than they look.


YOU’RE A FAILURE. SAYS WHO? SAYS YOU?

“As a coach there are two ways I can deal with results. I can tell you that you got 7 out of 20 or I can tell you that you got 7 right. If you get 8 right the following week that’s an improvement on your previous self. That should been classed as success. Unfortunately we want to rank people, particularly kids, to label them, put them in boxes. The challenge is that we potentially destroy them by constantly grading them against a higher figure.” 

I went to a talk in Setanta College a few years back where Dr. Dave Alred was speaking and it was an absolute pleasure to listen too. In the above article he speaks about how we shouldn’t be so quick to brand ourselves as failures. How that people think just because they are not where they think they should be or what they want to achieve that they are a failure, but they do not look at the margins needed to get to where they want to be. how these margins go out the window once you consider yourself a failure.

5 Things to Cut Out if you Want to be Successful

  • Give up multi-tasking

Most of the time spent switching between tasks is time wasted. Focus on the task at hand and then move onto the next one.  (Side note: I feel this is where I fell short on when it came to my blogs, I was trying to do them in between college work and it just didn’t work)

  • Give Up the Unhealthy Lifestyle

Take care of your body, try and get some form of exercise in everyday. think of those 10,000 steps! After all, the body is the only place you 100% have to live in!

If you want to be successful it starts with a healthy body, as the saying goes. “healthy body equals a healthy mind” 

  1. Quality Sleep
  2. Healthy Diet
  3. Physical Activity

Your body will thank you in the long run!

  •  Give Up Believing In The “Magic Bullet.”

“Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better”

— Émile Coué

  • Give Up Your Need To Be Liked

“You can be the juiciest, ripest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be people who hate peaches.”

— Dita Von Teese

This is something I have definitely taken on recently. I have noticed that I may not be everyones cup of tea or whatever but I’m ok with that now. I think this works both ways too, as you grow older and become wiser you are going to change, nobody stays the same throughout life.

  • Give Up Wasting Time
“The trouble is, you think you have time”
— Jack Kornfield 
Procrastination is an awful thing. To counteract this I’ve recently began setting out to-do lists for the day ahead. Especially on my days off as I will tend to just be a sloth on those days and do as little as possible if I do not have a plan.
More of these here

Podcast of the Week

Glutes, glutes, and more glutes w/ Bret Contreras “The Glute Guy” — 297

https://daily.barbellshrugged.com/contreras/

To say I’m not fond of a hip thrust myself would be an understatement! So it would be rude not to give the man himself a mention…

Tips to Stay on Track With Your Fitness Journey

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!

99 Broken Bones on the Wall

Since birth I have suffered with a disease called Oseteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) or to the everyday person, Brittle Bones. To this day I have had 99 fractures. This may seem like a lot, but when it comes to Brittle Bones its far from a lot! This is  a disease that causes bones to be brittle and break easily. OI is caused by a defect in the collagen in the bone. Collagen is what causes you bones to be strong. A lack of collagen will mean that the bones are weaker. OI can also cause your teeth to be brittle and affect hearing. In the more extreme types it can also effect muscle strength.

OI is caused by either being inherited from your parents or if your (un)lucky like me a gene mutation.  This happens when a gene dominant  mutation is paired with a ‘normal’ gene. When a mutation occurs it only has to be one faulty gene to have the genetic disorder. For most people with OI this is the case. They will have one faulty type 1 collagen gene and one normal type 1 collagen gene.

Over the years I’ve had numerous fractures. 99 to be precise! I’ve come to realise that with these fractures usually comes a sort of grieving process.

  • Denial
  • Anger / Frustration
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

The denial is pretty short-lived when it comes to breaking a bone. For me, I’ll hear the crack of the bone and think ‘Oh sh*t, did I imagine that or did it actually just happen?’ Then you’ll get a bit of an adrenaline rush, (weird I know) and then the pain kicks in and you realise that yes, it did actually just happen.

Anger, Frustration and Depression. Ah the terrible three’s as I like to call them! The three of these sort of go hand in hand with one another.  When I was younger, before I started my medication I was nearly coming out of one cast and would be back into another one before you could blink. That’s how regular my fractures would have been.  Thinking back to then, I would have gotten frustrated a lot with my breaks.  I felt as if I was always on my back foot. I would make the slightest bit of progress and then end up going back two steps. I always felt as if the world was against me so to speak. It was very debilitating, as a kid being bed bound at some stages for weeks on end was absolute torture!

The depression of breaking a bone did not really hit me until recently. Fracture #97 and #98 were definitely when I realised that I was not ok after breaking a bone. These fractures happened in the build up to European Championships and it completely wrecked my mind-set. Not so much the fact that I broke my leg, but it was the sense of I worked my ass off for months on end to have it all taken away from me in a blink of an eye.

Acceptance, a bit of a weird one for me. I accept that it has happened as soon as I break a bone, but I still go through the other stages at the same time.

From realising that this was happening, I came up with a routine I go through now to try to counteract this from happening in the future.

  • Set Goals
  • Create a routine to go through every morning
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Eat healthy
  • Continue training and exercising to your ability

There is no point in getting worked up over the things you cannot change. I’ve come to terms with this and that I will almost certainly have more fractures to come in my life. But I will not let them get the better of me, life, in my view is too short to keep getting down and knocked backwards after every upset.

Memento Mori 

If you would like more information on OI here are a few links to check out.

http://www.oif.org/site/PageServer?pagename=fastfacts

http://www.brittlebone.org/