Category Archives: Kettlebell lifting Dublin

Warm Ups

Warming up.

Not something I’ve ever been really good at.

So what right have I to write a post about it?

Simple. Just because I hate doing the warm ups, I force myself to. I wasn’t always this way and I’ve had the injuries to prove it.
My philosophy was always to start doing whatever I was going to do but at a nice easy pace and slowly ramp it up.

What this meant was I’d jump onto my mountain bike and be in top gear standing on the pedals within 100 meters. I’d tie my shoes on for a run and as soon as I was out the front gate I’d be at full tilt.

I wasn’t much different when it came to lifting.

As I got a little older, I started to wonder why the knees, hamstrings and back were always at me. And then one day BANG!

There goes the back. One misaligned Sacroilliac joint and one herniated disk. 6 months of having to warm up to merely get my sock on.

Now, I warm up for everything.

But how do you warm up? there are so many conflicting stories and evidence that it’s difficult to make heads nor tails of exactly what to do.

Over the years I’ve reached the conclusion that a warm up should be quick and simple. It should tell you how your body is performing today, does it need special attention in any particular areas and is it rested enough to go hard in the days training.
In other words a warm up is not merely a thing you have to do before the meat of the program, it is more like a systems check.

Are the shoulders tweaking? Warm them up more, or maybe leave out pressing today.
Is the hip stiff? Spend longer mobilising, perhaps even stretch.

Learning to listen to the body is a vital skill.

So how do we warm up?
Simple, take a 10-15 minute time slot and break it down. Start by elevating the body tepmerature, skiping or jogging is good here. Then mobilise each and every joint, start with the major joints, the hips and shoulders. Move to smaller and smaller.
Then get active. The following video is one of my most effective warm up routines.
It’s5 minutes of kettlebell work.

I’d already spent a few minutes skipping. This was followed by:

Hand to Hand Swings – warm the hips and hamstrings, elevate temperature
Kettlebell juggling – Wake up the nervous system and boost hand eye coordination
Over head Squat/Windmill – Open the chest and shoulders, stretch the hips
Circular Cleans – Great for the shoulders, gets them nice and warm, also loosend the waist.
Halo’s – For shoulder mobility and core activation

That just about hits all the bases, but the proof is in the pudding. The day I filmed this I hit 2 new PR’s in my strength program. Now thats a good warm up!

Here’s the vid:
Let me know how you get on


And Don’t forget, on the 7th Feb I’m running a Kettlebell Basics Workshop in aid of the Breaking for Lia fundraiser. You’ll get a full joint mobility session at the beginning as your warm up!

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

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

A Fast-er way to lose bodyfat?

See what I did there?

Ok, so it was a bad pun.


A few days a go I tweeted that I’d just been sent some info regarding the health benefits of Fasting by my old mate over at Simple Strength. It’s something he uses, and advocates, and if it’s good enough for Rannnoch, it’s worth a road test by myself.
So Tuesday just gone was the my first ever voluntary day of fasting, so how did it go?

I approached the concept with some trepidation but also excitement, I’ve grown up in the martial arts world and know of many systems and styles that actually encourage fasting on a regular basis. I’ve travelled in the Middle East and Asia where fasts are not uncommon. But it’s never been something I’d been willing to try out, or something that I thought would hold much in the way of health benefit.
Then in a conversation with Rannoch via Facebook, he let it slip that he fasts and since he started, he feels better than ever.
I got the book he recommended, Eat Stop Eat, and immediately read it cover to cover. It all sounded pretty convincing, here are a couple of bullet points from the book:

  • Decreased Insulin Levels & Increased Insulin Sensitivity
  • Increased Lipolysis and Fat Burning
  • Increased Glucagon Levels
  • Increased Epinephrine and Norepinephrine levels
  • Increased Growth Hormone Levels
  • Increased Weight Loss and Increased Fat Loss

Not a bad list, all good so far.
The concept is simple, take a 24 hour period and don’t eat anything. Drink plenty of fluids, but otherwise run a normal day.
So thats what I did, after rising on Tuesday morning I had a good breakfast and that was it till Wednesday morning.

The whole day was easier than expected, I had plenty of running around to do, so was kept busy. This helped in the times where the hunger set in.
What really got me was how quickly the hunger pangs would disappear again. I was expecting to be chewing the furniture by dinner time, but as the day went on it actually became easier.
in the afternoon/evening I get busy with personal training and classes. I usually train with the Tuesday evening class, but numbers on this day prevented me from doing so, but I still do the warm up with them, and joined in with the finisher.
I really expected a slump in energy levels after this, but again, once I made sure I stayed hydrated, I was fine. A little tired but all good, in fact my mood was very positive.

The night time came, and here I was worried, going to sleep on an empty stomach, would hunger wake me in the night?
Again no, all was good and i slept like a baby.
Up early the following morning for my first Personal Training client, then sort myself out with a proper Break-Fast. This was a simple smoothie made with frozen berries, porridge oats, milk and a scoop of protein. It went down a charm.

Throughout Wednesday I felt mildly hungry, but I ate as normal. A friend was coming over to train with me and we spent a good while playing with various kettlebell drills, my energy and strength levels were fine, so no hunger hang over.

All in all I’d say the Eat Stop Eat, fasting day wasn’t too bad, I’m going to continue to fast each Tuesday, to see how the long term effects work out.

Check back or contact me for further updates, or beter yet, give it a go yourself.


Strength Training and Cancer

I was just pointed to this article over at Clarence Bass’ website:

I would like you to take a moment and read it.

It seems that common sense is finally coming to the medical industry, they have finally cottoned onto what we in the fitness industry have known for years.

Keeping yourself fit and strong will greatly enhance your quality of life. Spending a little time in the gym will keep your life outsiKettlebell swingde the gym healthier, happier and hopefully, longer.

It also pints to the fact that Strength or Cardio on their own are less effective than the two combined. Again, this points to the all round picture of health and fitness promoted by many of us in the industry.

We’re all familiar with the marathoner that can barely lift their kit ba above their heads and powerlifters that can barley walk up a flight of stairs. But these are specialists, and any specialist is lacking in something.

Here at Wild Geese we opt for a non specialised approach to strength and fitness training. Yes, we harp on about kettlebells, but I’ll come to that shortly. In the bigger picture we use a Continue reading Strength Training and Cancer

Steve Maxwell in Ireland 2010

Steve MaxwellIt gives me great pleasure to be able to announce that Mr Steve Maxwell, the “Maxercist” has been in touch.

He is in Europe next year and asked if I’d like to set up a seminar with him.
Of course I agreed, Steve has been a huge influence on my own training ever since I came across his work several years ago.

So, just who is Steve?
He’s a man with around 40 years in the Strength& Conditioning industry
He’s one of the 1st to gain a black belt from the Gracie juJitsu school
He was one of the first Americans to win the Brazilian juJitsu world championships
He was one of the first kettlebell coaches in the US
He’s the Go-To guy for UFC fighter, Diego Sanchez
He’s in his 50’s yet shows no signs of slowing down, he can still out perform most lads less than half his age.

He knowledge of Bodyweight training, Kettlebell Training, Joint Mobility and general fitness is unparalleled.

And he will be at Wild Geese HQ, Pearse St, Dublin for the weekend of July 3rd and 4th 2010.
This is a video teaser from one of his other seminars, but you’ll get the idea:
Here’s another video showing Steve training UFC fighter Diego Sanchez:

Please register your interest by emailing with Steve Maxwell in the subject line.


Dave Hedges

The Heaviest Weight in the Gym

Whats the heaviest weight in your gym?

Is it the 20kg plates, the 50kg dumbells, that fat bloke on the crosstrainer?
At Wild Geese, it’s this:

The heaviest weight in the gym

It’s only 1.25kg?!?! How can that be the heaviest?!?! We’ve seen you deadlifting a big bar and doing silly things with large kettlebells?!?!

Ok, so maybe it’s no literally the heaviest. But just like the proverbial straw that broke the Camels back, this is the beast that stops the bar from moving..

5 days ago I wrote about the deadlift workout and how proud I was to finally be getting back to strength. Well today I repeated the workout but on the bar I added one of these mo&h$rf?cker’s to each end.
On the last lift of the last set, it refused to lockout. I just couldn’t hold it long enough and the hip wouldn’t extend fully.
The heaviest weight in the gym had done it’s  job. In another 5 days time, I’ll get the little bugger, you’ll see.

Continue reading The Heaviest Weight in the Gym

The Stability Bell

Everyone has their pet lifts, the drills and exercises that are the most fun to do.

For blokes it’s usually bench pressing and bicep curling, women it’s those daft inner thigh (adductors) machines and anything involving those paperweights called gymsticks.

And while this is fine, it does leave the question asked, could my pet lifts be improved by training other areas of the body? Or even more importantly in my book, can my main skill set be improved by working on specifics of that skill?

The answer is a resounding yes. If your in any doubt look up Louis Simmons and his legendary Westside gym. He’s famous for having his lifters work on their weakest lifts while almost ignoring their strongest.
His gym is known as being one of the strongest gyms in America.

Continue reading The Stability Bell

Why use Kettlebells for Brute Strength and Toughness?

Here’s a guest post from the Under Ground Strength Coach, Zach Evan-Esh.
Zach has built a reputation for producing strong, athletic and enduring athletes using no bull training methods. Here he is talking about Kettlebells, and he describes a few training methods that members of the Wild Geese Kettlebell Fitness group are already familiar with.

Read and enjoy

I’m here in Louisville, and on the way out here I stopped through Ohio to meet some friends of the iron game, took a trip through Westside Barbell club & recorded 15 minutes of it for Underground members.

Spent a few hours in the Elite FTS Compound with Jim Wendler and AJ Roberts.
We unleashed hell on how to get stronger, bigger, faster, develop mental toughness, how to optimally train athletes, how to train as you get older, avoiding injuries and tons more. 

It was pure gold and I LIVE for that stuff. 

Continue reading Why use Kettlebells for Brute Strength and Toughness?