Category Archives: home workouts

Are you up to the Challenge?

My old mate over at Simple Strength, Rannoch Donald has issued a challenge.

At first look it’s a relatively simple task, but with everything Rannoch espouses, it’s simplicity hides a deeper truth.

What he’s asking is that every day, 7 days a week, you do 100 reps of whatever exercise drill you choose.

It could be one exercise, it could be many different exercises. It could be done in a single workout or spread through the day into mini workouts. How you get your daily 100 is up to you.
The “how” isn’t important, the challenge is about the “why”

The why is simple, Rannoch’s home country of Scotland (which is also my home land, although it’s rare I get back these days) now rates number 2 in the Obesity chart. The only country with a greater proportion of obesity is the USA. Although, when I walk around the streets of Dublin, I’m pretty sure we’re not far behind.

The reasons for this alarming rise in the levels of obesity in the population are twofold:

  1. Poor diet.
    Eating processed, prepacked garbage. Snacking on sugary food, which by the way includes your “low fat” yogurt and breakfast cereals. The modern idea of convenience food has created a generation who can no longer cook, who no longer recognise a vegetable and are addicted to sugar.
  2. Lack of Exercise.
    We used to encourage our kids outside to play. They’d come home covered in mud, bumps and bruises, they’d be tired and ravenous, ready for a plate of meat and veg at the kitchen table. These days kids “play” while slumped on a sofa. A football is controlled by a joystick, whereas my generation controlled a ball with our feet.Your granddad, his dad, and his dad before him, they would go to work and actually do some work. You? I’ll bet you sit at a desk for 8 or so hours. While work used to involve lifting and carrying, modern health & safety laws no longer allow us to lift anything heavier than your handbag. As for the modern exercise methods….well they’re a load of crap, imagine a bicycle that’s bolted to the floor? A machine that allows you to lift weights while sitting down, comfortably? C’mon

So Rannoch came to an epiphany. He jumped out of his bathtub and ran naked down the street shouting “eureka!” (He didn’t, but if you met him, you wouldn’t put it past him!)

He came up with the idea that if you did 100 reps of something, as an extra to your regular workouts, it might replace the lost manual labour. It might balance the sedentary nature of your work. It might stretch the muscles, lubricate the joints, release the good hormones and keep the bad ones in check.

The movement will become your medicine.

Right now, as you read this, Rannoch is collecting workout ideas from top trainers and coaches around the UK and Ireland. I’ve contributed a few already, and can’t wait to see what the others add to the mix. After all, we all have differing styles of training, different backgrounds and experiences. But we all are submitting bodyweight only routines that have a total of 100 reps.
When he has collected them all in, he will put these routines together into a free PDF that will be downloadable from his site.

This video is just one of the routines I contributed:

I’ll be posting more videos with other 100 rep ideas shortly.


Dave Hedges
author: No Equipment, No Excuses – Bodyweight Training for the Home, the Office & on the Road
email /
+353 87 672 6090

Can’t Stop, Didn’t Stop

It’s a cold afternoon in Dublin, there’s a fog coming in from the sea, wouldn’t want to be hanging about today.

So we didn’t.

For today’s saturday session I was joined by hard charging Wild Geese member, Ray. He’s an IT type, a computer geek with a penchant for mountain bikes, snowboards and anything that’ll push him to his far reaching limits.

If you subscribe to the monthly Wild Geese newsletter, you may remeber this short peice he wrote:
You Cant Stop, You Wont Stop

So I knew I could have a bit of fun.

Here’s what today consisted of:

A short jog to warm up. Of course it’s never that simple, the part of the park we were in has sevaral small hills in sequence, we jogged over all of them untill we came to a set of Rugby posts that weren’t being used.

Then we got cracking:

5x Burpees with a pull up
25 meter sprint

Walk back to the posts and repeat for 5 rounds.

Then jog over to one of the hills for 3 rounds of:

Backwards running uphill
Spiderman Crawl downhill

The whole thing took around 25 minutes and we were both feeling the pain and breathing hard.

You don’t need to train for hours at a time, unless your sport calls for hours of work. Which unless you’re a triathlete or runner is unlikely.

Short sharp shock workouts ought to leave you feeling like you’re ready to take on the world, not wasted for hours (like I used to feel when I trained for the marathon a while back)

Shorter workouts take less time to recover from, they take less time from your day, less time away from your family, so you can do them more often
2 x 2 hour workouts can be split into 4 x half hour workouts. You’d be able to go harder, get a higher boost to the metabolism and really turn your fitness up to the next level.

Try it

You won’t be dissapointed


Kettlebell Basics Workshop – 7th Feb

IKFF & IUKL-IKSA Kettlebell Coach Dave Hedges will be teaching the basics of Kettlebell lifting.

This compressed 2hour workshop will cover:

  • The Kettlebell Swing
  • The Press and variations
  • The Front Squat

No experience is necessarry to participate in this workshop.

Numbers will be limited to ensure quality of instruction. The cost of the workshop will be €20 (discounts for WGMA members) which we will donate to the Breaking For Lia fund in accordance to this post :

  • Location: Wild Geese Martial Arts (see for map to location)
  • Date: Sun 7th Feb Time: 1600 – 1800hrs
  • Cost: €20, discounts for WGMA members.
  • All procedes will go to the Breaking for Lia fund (

See you there

When You go down to the….

Bushy Park on a Saturday morning, you’re sure for a big surprise!!

This weeks “Saturday Session” was in Bushy Park, a place where I’ve often been to do my own conditioning work, but never on a Saturday morning. Boy was I missing out!

The park was heaving.

There were:
A Running Club
A Bootcamp

A Football Team

and a huge amount of Dog Walkers.

And I have to say, with the exception of the dog walkers, everyone was, well, jogging.

What’s wrong with that?, you may ask…
And my answer would be, nothing at all. Unless, you’re training for fat loss or any sport other than distance running.

I could go into what each group was doing, or should have been doing, but that would be unfair. They were all out getting exercise and fresh air, and fair play to them.
The running group would most likely be the only group to achieve their goals (better running times), the rest, well, keep trying.

I was there for my Saturday Session. This is for me a deload, no pressures of teaching and instructing, no heavy weights to lift, or bags to hit, just me, my body, the fresh air and maybe a bit of your company.
Today I was joined by a long time client of mine, who also helps out with some of the boring paperwork jobs at Wild Geese, Nicola.

So after watching the “Bootcampers” scurry about like a herd of sheep, admired the work ethic of some of the runners and spoke to a few of the Dogs, we got to work.

We started at the bottom of the hill, looking up at the kids playground, a distance of maybe 25-30 meters, of wet grass and mud. Sweeet..

I set my countdown timer for 15 minutes, we then knocked out as many rounds as possible of the following workout:

1. Single Leg Deadlift (or Airborne Lunge) x 5 L/R

2. Sprint to the top of the hill

3. Press up, any variation x 10
(learn more about these exercises by clicking here)
Jog down and repeat until the buzzer goes.

Short, brutal and effective. We both had shaky legs and were gasping for air at the finish.

Too warm down we wandered into the wooded area and practiced a little Chi Gung. Nicola is a keen student of Tai Chi and I believe that Chi gung is one of the fastest ways to recover after a hard session. My legs were feeling fresh again and I felt energised and ready for anything.

If you wish to join the fun next Saturday, make sure to check in on my Twitter and Facebook pages for updates.

Till then, keep working hard


This week’s Saturday Session

Hello again, it seems to have been a while since my last entry here….

While I may have been a bit quiet updating the blog, believe me I’ve not been sitting idle.

I have officially started my own training program for the next few weeks, I ‘ll have a couple of videos up for your enjoyment shortly. Needless to say I’m keeping to my usual simple but effective formula.
Plus we are making good progress on the redecoration of our Dublin City Centre headquarters.

In the very near future we aim to be able to offer full treatment services including Oseopathy and maybe a couple of others. Keep an eye open right here for further updates on that.

The Lunchtime Kettlebell sessions seem to be gather a good bit of momentum, at the current take up rate I may have to cap them. Wild Geese is exclusive, we don’t want hundreds of people mindlessly going through the motions, you’ll find that at every commercial gym everywhere.

Down at Wild Geese central we only take the people that are genuinely prepared to put the work in, and I’m on hand to make sure that they do.

Right I’ve gotta run as my kettlebell lifting warriors are starting to drift in the door, all smiles and enthusiasm….so far…….

Now before I go, this weeks Saturday Session will take place in Bushy Park, Terenure.
If you wish to attend, simply turn up at the kids playground for 11am.
As I say, this is my training, you are invited to join me, do not expect a “Bootcamp” thing. I take no responsibility for attendee’s, and why should I, you’re all adults…

Better not keep the gang waiting, they get impatient.



You Are Cordially Invited

Last summer I started to send out Tweets (which also appear on my facebook) inviting people to come and join me for an open air workout on the Saturday afternoon.
I called it my Saturday session.

I let this slide due to some issues at home and never really started again.

Well here’s the good news, From this sat (the 16th jan) I’ll be inviting anyone that’s interested to coma and train with me.
Just to clarify what is involved:

You are training with me, not being trained by me
I will be doing an outdoor conditioning workout – dress appropriately
You are responsible for your safety, I am not
There is no charge, as I am not acting as a coach
The times and places will be announced by the evening of the Thursday before, and are subject to change.
If I fail to arrive, don’t wait, get on with it. I wouldn’t wait for you….
This IS NOT one of them Military bootcamp things, I’m not in the military so don’t train that way….

Most of the sessions will be centred around Dublin city, although there may be forays into the Dublin Mountains or down to the beach. Just depend what I feel like on any given day.

The aim of the Saturday session is simple – Get out, refresh the blood, get some fresh air into the lungs and come home smiling.

It’s an open invite, sign up to my Twitter and/or facebook and I’ll maybe see you next weekend..


+353 87 672 6090

Last class of 2009


This week was the last week of training I’ll be doing in 2009, also we took everyone out with a bg!
particularly the groups. The Tuesday MMA conditioning group and the Thurs Kettlebell group pushed themselves through some very tough work, no questions, no quitting, just pure grit and determination. They really do make me proud.
So what did we do with them?
Well I’ll tell you now.

Tuesday is the day my MMA group are in, they train most days and this is the only day I get them all to my self so we try to make it count with a good conditioning session, last Tuesday was no different.
We set up a circuit of 8 drills, performed each drill for 20 seconds and took 10 seconds to switch. Basically using the Tabata protocol.

Here are the drills:
1- Ring Push ups
2 – Explosive Medicine ball push ups
3 – Ab wheel Roll outs
4 – Double kettlebell burpees to the rack position
4 – Towel Pull Ups with knee raise
5 – Heavy swings
6 – Shoulder and squat with the heavy bag
8 – Sledgehammer slams

3 rounds of this had everyone breathing hard, a good mix of strength based and explosive based movements.
To finish we performed 90 sec of hindu push ups, 3 min hindu squats and 45 sec neck bridge.
A job well done!

Then on Thursday my Kettlebell group were in, which included some of the Tuesday guys, always nice to see.
I’ve just been reading through some articles I have by Boxing and conditioning coach extraordinaire Ross Enamait ( so we adjusted one of his workouts as our year-end special.
To start we worked the Turkish Get up to a 1 rep max, looks like I’ll be getting in some heavier bells next year, they flew up!
This was followed by the Ross inspired circuit:

12 Burpees
24 Push Ups
36 Squats
48 Swings (here Ross would have you run a 400 meter, but as I’m slap in the centre of Dublin, it’s little impractical, the swings did just nicely though)

This was repeated 4 times round with the finish times recorded.
A race against the clock.
It’s with some relief that I finished first, but the others were snapping at my heels, I’d better do some work over the holidays to stay ahead!!

Speaking of the Holidays, this is where I believe the Eat Stop Eat program I’m currently trying out will come into its own.
I have to say, Tuesday was a very tough day for my Fast, I hadn’t eaten a great deal on the monday before even though I worked on some heavy deadlifts and snatch, so even though the fast didn’t start till after my breakfast, I was struggling against the hunger pangs all day. I still felt very sharp and focused, but the tummy was growling…
Then, joining in with the MMA circuit may have been a mistake, I was strong right to the end and had a cracking workout, but very soon afterwords the shakes came in, I felt hypoglycemic and had to reach for the fruit bowl and a recovery shake fro fear of loosing the run of myself.
This just about sorted me out along with a stack of water, but by bed time, I was hanging. I felt rough so I had to cave in and eat something. I kept it to fruits and nuts, but still it wasn’t a full fast, I managed 17 hours (yes, Tuesday was a looong day…)
After a good nights sleep, I was back to normal and good to go, I’d expected to wake up starving but this wasn’t the case, I was fresh as a daisy and ready for the day ahead.

The moral here I think is to avoid any seriously intense training on the fast day, otherwise, this second week has been great.
With the excesses of the Christmas period coming, I can see having a fast day as being a bit of a life saver. I’ll be staying at my parents so there will be lots of food around, plenty of cake and tons of drink. Taking a day off will actually come as a relief I think. I might not come back with a spare tyre……

To wrap up, I want to wish all the gang a Merry Xmas and Happy New year and I look forward to training with them again in the new year. In the meantime try either of the two workouts listed above, they are short and sweet, and will raise your matabolism to seriously counter the inevitable christmas pudding.

See you in 2010


Tis the Season…….

It’s the countdown to Christmas, many of you will have already started the celebrations with work parties and social gatherings.

This is traditionally the time of year where people pile on a few pounds, with all the rich food, sweets and alcohol, promising themselves that they’ll shift it when January comes.

We’ll get back on track in the new year, you know, make a resolution, and this time, THIS TIME, we WILL stick to it!!

This time it’ll be different.

Oh yeah!

This time…….

Well, that’s grand, your on the right lines at least. As a fitness coach, I may be a little unusual, I love to know that my clients are enjoying life, there is more to living than training and being a size 0 (I don’t even know what size 0 looks like, but it’s in all the papers, so must be the new benchmark?!?). I firmly believe that once a week you should have a blow out, go nuts. You’ve worked hard during the week, eaten well, trained and done everything right, now on the seventh day, go nuts.

Your body and your mind will thank you for it. Rewards are motivating, if you’ve something to look forward to later, you’ll be more disciplined now. December is a bit like that cheat day, only it’s a month.

A lot can happen in that month (think of all the people you know with birthdays in September, my own Son included, funny how it’s the ninth month……..) you can and most likely will put on a few pounds, but seriously, don’t sweat it.

It’ll go on quick, but with a concerted effort, it’ll come off just as quick. If, and only if, you put in the work.

Make your health and fitness a priority. You always say you’ll join a gym, some of you actually do, most of you have stopped training 3 or four weeks later.


Simple. It’s hard work. Even harder is motivating yourself to do the hard work.

And gyms are incredibly boring soulless places (unless your lucky enough to join one of the independent gyms that are dotted around, if a little hard to find..), the classes are mind numbing and impersonal (how can it be personal when there’s 25 of you?) and the results just don’t come fast enough.

So whats the alternative?

Have you heard of Wild Geese? They have a few options……. (Can you tell I’m no marketing guru?)

Here’s a reminder of what you can get from us in the new year. Now remember, we aint a commercial gym, we’re only mildly interested in you cash, unlike the “Fitness clubs” that are actually trying to rob you blind. We are however a small, independent training facility that DOES give a damn about you getting results.

And to get you there we have:

Personal Training
Semi Private Training
Group Training
Online Training

AND some of the best martial arts classes available….

(is that a bit obvious as a sales pitch?)

You are NEVER left to train alone (unless you are an online client…duh!), we are ALWAYS on hand, you are TOLD to ask us questions.

Get in touch with us now to talk about your plans for the new year.


Dave Hedges

author: No Equipment, No Excuses – Bodyweight Training for the Home, the Office & on the Road


+353 87 672 6090

Shoulder Health & Improved Posture


Take a look at the picture.

While it maybe humorous, it is alarmingly close to the truth (as all good humour is..)

The last image, the guy sat at the desk, hunched over a keyboard is how many of us spend 8 hours or more every day. Imagine the havoc that will play on your posture.

Now, ok, you go to the gym, but really is an hour in the gym going to undo 8 hours of sitting at desk? And is your program helping or is it hindering your progress?

I’m not going to go inot the ins and outs of program design here, but I will pass on a tip I have on good authority with regards to program design:

Pull more than you push – Eric Cressey (

That means all you bench press addicts better add in some chins, Dumbell/Kettlebell cleans and rows into your routines quick sharp.

But for ongoing general shoulder health we have to take basic good habits out of the gym and into our daily grind. We Continue reading Shoulder Health & Improved Posture

How to Create Your Own Workout

Getting in a structured workout routine can be tough if you’re life is as hectic as mine.

I’ve a wife, baby, martial arts studio, a contract to a premier fitness company, online and personal training commitments and am a partner in a fledgling security training & services company.

So when you tell me “I’ve no time, man” Guess what my response is?

No, go on, guess.

You got it in one.
Time is not an excuse. An irregular schedule is not an excuse.
You just need a little knowledge and a sprinkling of imagination.
The knowledge I can give you, the imagination, well that’s your own business.

Here’s the knowledge.

  • Balance pushing and pulling exercises, if anything, emphasise the pulling. For example press ups and bodyweight rows.
    If we pull more than we push we may just undue the postural imbalances caused by long days sat at a computer/in the car/on the sofa. Plus if you’re a fighter you’ll need a strong back, it allows for better grappling and stabilises the shoulder for more powerful punches. Yes, a stronger back will up your punching power.
  • Use full body core drills. Planks rule, as do bridges. But if you really want to get strong, incorporate core work into the upper body drills, try U-Push ups and spiderman crawls, add a knee lift to your pull ups
  • Work the legs. Plenty of squats, vary the style from workout to workout and don’t forget the single leg work. Every man that ever joined a gym joined to build big arms and forgot about their legs. Squat, lunge, jump and/or sprint. No chick will ever dig chicken legs. And girls, you have to go full range, forget these silly half squat things your aerobics instructor showed you.
  • Use full body conditioning drills.
  • If time is really short, circuit the drills. It allows for maximum impact in minimal time. eg:
    Pull ups x5, Push ups x 10, Squats x 20, Plank x 30sec, repeat as many times as possible in your given time frame.
  • Stick to the big guns. I see women doing the most useless isolation drills in the name of “toning” It doesn’t work, especially if you’re short on time. Now these drills do have their place, usually in a rehab program, certainly not as part of the main workout. So get up from the side lying leg lift and instead do a single leg deadlift, quit the fire hydrants and replace with burpees.
  • Try to train 3-5 times per week, but don’t worry if you miss a session. Vary the intensity, some days go balls out, other days chill a little emphasise strength on some days, conditioning others. Likewise vary the exercises, press ups one day, hindu push ups the next. This way you’ll keep making the progress without over using any particular movement pattern.
  • Avoid failure, unless you know you’ll not be training again for a while. There’s no point in burning out on squats if you plan on doing Pistols the next day.
  • Don’t be afraid to split your workouts into mini workouts. Eg in the morning work upper body for 10 minutes, later that day you may find half an hour to work the lower body. Maybe you can do 5 minutes of Hindu push ups before breakfast, 2 minutes of bridge at lunch and 10 minutes of squats after work.

Apart from that, do what you like, just as long as you do.

Hit the comments button and let me know your stories.

Dave Hedges /
+353 87 672 6090
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