Tag Archives: online personal training

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!

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?

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
www.wildgeesema.com / wildgeesema.blogspot.com
+353 87 672 6090
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Bring the Fun Back To Fitness

Look around the gym, how many people are smiling?
How many are getting results?
Here’s an alternative to the hamster wheel workouts we’re all getting bored with.

Gyms have become soulless places. I spent much of 2008 in a couple of gyms belonging to an Irish chain and some of my time in a privately owned “lifters” gym. Guess where I had most fun?
That’s right the lifters gym.
Why, you ask.

The atmosphere in most commercial gyms has gone the way of effective training. The free weight section is small and unkempt, machines take up more floor space than necessary and at least half the floor is made up of Treadmills, Steppers, Stationary bikes, rowing machines and those silly cross trainers.

And then there are the people that use them. IPods on, eyes glued to the many TV screens, these people look like a scene from Orwells classic novel, 1984. I think the contracts these people sign forbid them from any social interaction and frivolry within the confines of the gym.
If anyone smiles or makes eye contact, never mind conversation, they get removed and shot.
Get down to the lifters gym and you’ll see complete strangers looking out for each other, helping and encouraging each other, cracking jokes between sets and generally building camaraderie.

Which gym produces better results?
The modern Orwellian gym 101 or the old school lifters gym?
No question really, thers IS no school like the old school.

Would you be comfortable training near this guy?

Now I have an admission for you, I have never held a commercial gym membership. I prefer to train either at home, outdoors or at Wild Geese HQ. Minimal kit, no IPods, no TV screens. I always get results.

Why? Because making training fun, making it interesting, taking the chore away from it means you’re more likely to stick to it, to work hard and to make progress. And what’s the point of paying some commercial giant a small fortune if you aint going to get results. Many of you reading this may have just spent up on a new membership, if so, sit and rethink. Would you be better in a smaller place, a little of the beaten track, less shiny but with a smell of sweat and an atmosphere of determination, grit and camaraderie?
The chances are you would, plus you’d save a few quid and have more fun.
Failing that do what I do. Buy a kettlebell or two, make yourself a sandbag and learn some bodyweight drills. You may now train in your front room, back garden, the beach, the park or one of my favourites, the kid’s jungle gym.

Yes I said it, I go to kid’s playgrounds and workout. Obviously not when it’s full of kids. Sometime I take the kettlebell or sandbag, otherwise I just use bodyweight. Every time I go the workout is different, sometimes it’s simple circuit of squats, press-ups (do these with your feet elevated on the slide) and pull ups from the monkey bars. Other times are super sets of Pull ups, sandbag clean & press or dips, hanging leg raise, pistol squats.
I may use the swing set for jackknife or pike push-ups. The swing set provides a thick bar for really challenging pull ups.

The slide is for incline or decline push ups. The monkey bars are for pull ups, chin ups and all kinds of hanging abdominal work. The hopscotch gives you agility work, the fireman’s pole can be a tough no feet hand over hand climb, the bridges provide bodyweight rows and dips, benches can be jumped onto, imagination is your only limitation.
And all that is without taking any kit with you. Add sandbags and kettlebells to get really brutal.
Training outdoors, even here in rainy Ireland, is fun, the fresh air is great for you, you’re not sucking in recycled air conditioned muck and there’s never some skinny-fat twerp with an ego bigger than his biceps getting in your way.
Give it a go, bring the fun back. Even better again, get some mates together and compete a little.

Here’s an outdoor partner workout:
You need a pull up station and some markers, these may be bags, jumpers or other bits of playground kit.
Assign each marker an exercise, for example:
  • Monkey Bars – Pull ups
  • Slide – Push up
  • Swing – Jackknifes (for the abs)
  • Bench – Bodyweight squats
Here’s how it works:
  1. Partner A is on the pull ups, as soon as he starts his set partner B sprints to the first station, e.g. the slide and does 10 pushups.
  2. B then sprints back to A where they swop over and A runs to the slide. When A returns to the pull-up station, B runs to station 2, the swing. After his set of Jack knifes he returns to the pull up so A can sprint to the swing.
  3. The pull up guy must do as many as he can until the other guy runs to his station, does his set and runs back.
The obvious incentive here is for you to be as quick as possible. If B dawdles while A does pull ups, I’d say A will take his sweet time to punish B with a whole heap of pulls!!
That’s only an idea. Get out there and do something different, just enjoy it!
www.wildgeesema.com / noequipment.blogspot.com
+353 087 672 6090
subscribe to our newsletter simply send a blank email to:

Get out of the Gym and Become a Warrior

Training outdoors, or at home beats the commercial gym any day of the week.
You’ve no ques, no waiting for kit, no crowds of people, no idle chit chat, no artificial fluorescent lights and no air conditioning.

All day most of us a cooped up in and artificial environment with air conditioners sucking moisture from our lungs and fluorescent tubes giving us headaches.
We’re surrounded by people talking, chatting, wasting time, moaning and complaining, sucking away at our energy.
Is it any wonder that at the end of a long day driving a mouse around a computer screen we’re all exhausted?

This I why the No Equipment, No Excuses lifestyle is more relevant now than ever before.
We have more choice now than any other generation in the history of man. But where is it getting us?
Technology has given us ergonomically designed machines in which to train our bodies, yet we are fatter with poorer posture and more bad backs than ever before. Something is just not right.

We need to take a step back. To a time where we had to use our bodies to survive. We need to start doing the moves that our ancestors would use in their daily battle to make it through the day.
They had no fancy kit and they certainly had no excuses!

Getting outside in the fresh air either before or after a day in the office can have a massive effect on your health and well being.
Fresh air, sunlight, nature. These are all things the body needs. Get into your garden or the local park and get busy.
You can get a complete session done in as little as 10 Min’s, and rarely is their need to go longer than 45 Min’s, and believe me, once you get cracking, you won’t notice the wind or the rain!!

You’ll feel like a warrior of old. You’ll be mentally and physically refreshed, ready for anything.


Dave Hedges
Author: No Equipment, No Excuses – Bodyweight training for the Home, Office or on the Road
+353 87 672 6090
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