Louise McCagh- #MyFitness

How did you get into fitness?

I have always had a huge passion for sports and fitness. As a child I was a complete tomboy and played all kind of sports. I decided I wanted to make my passion a career so I studied hard and went on to receive a degree in Sport and Exercise Science. During the course I had two excellent placements with NADA (The National Athlete Development Academy) and the Sport Psychology Department at the University of Limerick, during these placements I found it was my one on one sessions with athletes that I enjoyed the most. This is what led me to pursue a career in personal training which I am currently doing at The Edge:Clontarf and absolutely loving it.

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What kind of sports do you enjoy and why?

I have always been an extremely competitive person. As a child I played every sport around from GAA to gymnastics to basketball and dancing but the one I always enjoyed most was Tae kwon –Do . When I started to compete a little more seriously and my training increased all other sports fell by the wayside bar a bit of club level camogie. Any fighting sport I love really I have also tried my hand at boxing , muay thai , kickboxing and MMA  I love the adrenaline that comes with the sport . Fighting sports are very demanding both physically and mentally and are great for building character. I also love the opportunities to travel and meet new people that come with the sport. I have visited Argentina, New Zealand, Slovenia, Finland and many others but my favourite has to be Spain as it was there I won the World championships.

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What are your tips for women who might be afraid to lift weights?

I often hear of women being afraid to lift weights. This is generally for two reasons:

1)      The common misconception that lifting weights will make them bulky/manly

Women do not have the same hormonal make up as men . Men have much higher levels of testosterone which enable them to put on muscle mass and size. For a woman to put on size in this way is near to impossible to do naturally. Lifting weights is much more likely to give women that toned lean figure the majority of us desire. Lifting weights is the most effective method of burning fat, the more muscle you have the more calories that are expended and it also increases your metabolism and allows you to burn calories after exercise as well as during. It is a great way to improve sleep, stress levels and bone health something many women suffer with as they age.

2)      They find weights intimidating/Don’t know what they are doing

 If your are new to lifting weight I would recommend hiring a good personal trainer who can teach you to weight train the safe and correct way. Walking into a male dominated weights room can be quite daunting for anyone but in reality people are too focused on their own workouts to notice you and fortunately women training weight is becoming much more commonplace.

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What are your favourite exercises to do yourself in the gym?

My gym program varies depending in which stage of the competition season I am in. At the moment I am really loving chin ups, squats and Olympic lifts. Can’t beat a good abs finisher either!

What tips do you have for clients looking to stay motivated?

  • Be accountable to someone whether that’s a friend, trainer or coach. It’s always good to have someone to keep you on track and push you .
  • Set goals so you have something to aim for in the short medium and long term
  • Record and track all your sessions to monitor , evaluate and progress

What do you love most about your job?

It would have to be seeing peoples delight at getting results and seeing people achieve what they thought was not possible.

What are your goals for 2016 in terms of strength, health and fitness?

My main aims this year are gold at the European championships in April and the World cup in October and to increase strength and explosiveness.

I always set short medium and long term goals and which cover tactical, technical, mental and physical goals in relation to my Sport. Tactical would include things such as using ring space, feints etc, technical would be specific techniques I feel I need to improve, mental would be all the psychological side of things such as visualisation, imagery and dealing with nerves and then physical would be subdivided in to sections such as strength, speed, explosiveness as well as the likes of recovery etc.

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 If you’d like to speak to Louise and meet for a free personal training consultation, email info@theedgeclontarf.com with the subject line : LOUISE.