All posts by David Mulqueen

the edge clontarf x fit

X FIT- New Group Classes to kick-start your 2014

New Year, New you at The Edge: Clontarf

Results-focused Fitness, Strength & Conditioning Classes

Starting at 8pm on Jan 14th 2014








About The Edge: X FIT

This is a monitored course whereby individuals will track their progress and focus on constantly improving their strength levels and their cardiovascular fitness.

This, combined with the Pillars Nutrition Plan will result in an improved body composition ie: lower body fat and increased lean muscle tissues. The class will be specifically designed to ensure each and every participant is able to improve from week to week. The course is broken down into phases to ensure that individuals are capable yet challenged at each level and have a sound foundation of each exercise and a clear progression from week to week. Just 3 hours per week is all you need to see results meaning this is one of the most efficient ways to spend your time in the gym.

The course will run on a Tuesday and Friday evening, with participants also receiving FREE access to The Edge to do an additional gym session at the weekends, which will be specific to their personal needs and objectives such as strength, fitness and mobility.

the edge clontarf x fit

X FIT will commence in January 2014 to kick-start the New Year on Tuesday the 14th at 8pm and on Friday the 17th at 7pm. The program runs for a total of 10 weeks with the first session on the Tuesday as an introduction session, with a brief chat about nutrition and the weeks training plan. Each participant will also be given a free Training Logbook to monitor their progress over the 10 weeks and is theirs to keep after the 10 weeks. This is an excellent tool to monitor and track progression and see what has really made the difference.

To register your place on this course, contact our team now on 01 853 4091 or email Places are limited to 12 people and this price is only available for the introductory offer. Find out what X FIT means for you in 2014.


christmas stockings

We’ve got Christmas covered at The Edge: Clontarf

If you’re stuck for ideas for your healthy loved ones, we can help relieve the stress of a visit to town to stock up on stocking fillers.

Pop into the gym and choose from a selection of gift vouchers which we can tailor make for your needs and budget:

christmas presents

Christmas Gift Ideas

3 Personal Training Sessions + Nutrition & Lifestyle Consultation €150

7 Personal Training Sessions + Nutrition & Lifestyle Consultation €300

12 Personal Training Sessions + Nutrition & Lifestyle Consultations €500

christmas stockings

Christmas Stocking Fillers

5 x Female Fitcamp Classes €50

1 x PT session €50

Supplement voucher for €50


For more information about our Christmas vouchers of if you are interested in speaking to one of our team, call 01 853 4091 or email

women drinking

The Side Effects of Alcohol and Binge Drinking

men drinking

Alcohol and the effects on our Hormones

Alcohol is, without doubt, one of the most widely abused drugs in Ireland. Although it helps us loosen up and feel more relaxed and helps break down barriers socially, there is a darker side to this widely accepted drug that we feel is necessary to highlight.

Alcohol is a neurotoxin; this means it poisons your brain and disrupts your hormonal balance. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, women who drink two or more drinks a day increase their risk of breast cancer by more than 40 percent!

Other types of cancer linked to excessive alcohol consumption include cancer of the:

  • Mouth, larynx and esophagus
  • Liver
  • Colon
  • Pancreas
  • Lungs


Alcohol consumption also inhibits your body’s natural stress response by reducing a key stress hormone, known as corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF). CRF is produced by your hypothalamus and helps trigger your body’s reaction to stress. 

If your stress response is impaired, your immune system will also be inhibited, which can have any number of health implications, from reducing your ability to fight infections to increasing your cancer risk.
Thyroid function may be disrupted by alcohol consumption, and as a result, affect other bodily functions. The thyroid is a complex gland that creates hormones with the help of iodine. These hormones are vital to many body functions, including metabolism, brain function, menstrual cycles, temperature regulation and organ function. If the thyroid gland is suppressed, then it cannot function properly, thus disrupting these bodily functions. A suppression of the thyroid hormone production is known as hypothyroidism.


As alcohol is a depressant, it can affect the thyroid by suppressing its functions, resulting in the thyroid gland not producing enough hormones. This can be worse for someone who already has an under-active thyroid and may disrupt any hormone replacement medications that are being taken. However, alcohol also suppresses normal-functioning thyroids as well.

* Alcohol should be avoided completely during pregnancy. The myth behind Guinness being ‘good for you’, or the odd glass of wine being OK is not good enough. Everything you consume, your growing foetus consumes too. They are not exactly in a position to make a choice, so it’s up to you.


Alcohol and it’s affects on men & women
Women are much more vulnerable than men to adverse consequences of alcohol use.
Women absorb and metabolize alcohol differently than men; in general women have less body water than men of similar body weight, so that women achieve higher concentrations of alcohol in the blood after drinking equivalent amounts of alcohol.
Women have smaller quantities of the enzyme dehydrogenase that breaks down alcohol in the stomach. A Woman will absorb about 30% more alcohol into her bloodstream than a man of the same weight who has consumed an equal amount.

An additional factor is hormone differences. Research suggests that the menstrual cycle and the use of any medication that affects the liver (because of the change in hormones) may intensify a woman’s response to alcohol. Women have been shown to develop their highest blood alcohol concentrations immediately before menstruating, and their lowest on the first day of menstruation. When men and women of the same weight consume equal amounts of alcohol, women have higher blood alcohol concentrations. Women have proportionately more body fat and a lower volume of body water compared with men of similar weight (Romach and Sellers 1998). As a result, women have a higher concentration of alcohol because there is less volume of water to dilute it.


Physiological effects of alcohol
Alcohol has been proven to have negative affects on:

  • Liver and Other Gastrointestinal Disorders (Fatty Liver, Alcohol Hepatitis, Cirrhosis, Liver Cancer, Ulcers/Gastritis, Pancreatitis, Diabetes)
  • Cardiac-Related Conditions (High Blood Pressure (hypertension), Cardiomyopathy, Stroke, Arrhythmia)
  • Nutritional Deficiencies (Malnutrition, Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies)
  • Reproductive Consequences (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Fetal alcohol syndrome, alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD), partial fetal alcohol syndrome (pFAS), and alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND), Low Birth Weight, Miscarriage, Painful/Irregular Menstruation, Underproduction of Hormones)
  • Cancer, (Breast Cancer, Throat and Mouth Cancer, Stomach and Colon Cancer)


Some clients may argue that alcohol is “good for you”. This is probably based on resveratrol in some alcohols. One of the most widely accepted health benefits of alcohol comes from resveratrol, an antioxidant found in red wine, which acts as a:

  • Cancer-preventing agent
  • Blood thinner
  • Vaso-expanding agent
  • Blood pressure lowering compound
  • Anti-aging chemical

But resveratrol cannot explain the health benefits ascribed to the moderate consumption of other types of alcohol (ethanol & methanol). The negative affects on large consumption of alcohol, far outweigh any ‘medicinal or health-giving’ benefits.


We do recommend you to have fun over the holidays but everything in moderation. At least, after reading this article you are aware of the risks associated with binge drinking.

Try and alternate your drinks with some soda water or still water and remember to pace yourself on nights out.

post partum body

What kind of exercises should I do in the first few weeks after pregnancy?

Should I exercise in the first few weeks after pregnancy?
Gentle exercise is perfectly safe in the first few weeks after having your baby. Gentle lower tummy exercises and pelvic floor exercises are all it takes to help your body to slowly start to recover.

Although exercise may feel like the last thing you want to do while adjusting to life as a mum, it does have some amazing benefits. It can:

  • Boost your mood by increasing your happy hormones (endorphins) in your brain.
  • Help you to lose weight and regain your pre-baby figure, if you eat sensibly.
  • Protect you from soreness, aches and pains
  • Give you more energy, if you are feeling lethargic of tired if you are awake for feeds every two hours!
  • Improve your overall strength and stamina, giving you more energy to spend time with your newborn.

post partum body
The most important exercises in the first few days after birth are your pelvic floor exercises. Start doing them as soon as you can. Strengthening your pelvic floor will help to protect you against having accidental leaks! 

Pelvic floor exercises will also help your body heal more quickly because the exercises improve circulation to the area, helping to reduce swelling and any bruising that may have taken place..

If you have stitches, exercising your pelvic floor won’t put any strain on them so there is no need to worry about that.

You may find for the first few days or weeks that you can’t feel your pelvic floor muscles working or that nothing is happening. Keep going, as the feeling in your pelvic floor will return after a few days and it will be working even if you can’t feel it.

Once you feel a little stronger, try going for gentle walks, pushing your baby in his or her buggy. Make sure the pram is the right size for you so you are not leaning forward too much to push the handles.

Start with short walks as you will feel uncomfortable, swollen and heavy. Start with short walks of between 10 and 15 minutes and build this up to 20-25 minutes. If you try walking with your baby every morning or evening it will become routine very quickly and is a great habit to get into, particularly if you plan to start exercising more vigorously in a few short months.

newborn baby
The key to healthy exercise is to start slowly and listen to your body– Do not overdo anything- Take your time and do not push yourself. Try a nice mix of gentle walks and mini naps with the baby to keep you hormones nice and balanced. 

If you are unsure about exercising at all, speak with your midwife or GP- Many recent studies have shown that regular exercise can actually help prevent post natal depression by keeping your moods balanced and your hormones regulated.
Can I exercise after a caesarean?
The gentle exercises mentioned above are safe for you if have had either kind of birth. 

Gentle exercise of your tummy muscles can help them to recover from the operation. You will probably feel a slight pulling sensation as you start to exercise but this is totally normal. Remember, however, that a caesarean is still an operation and you need to be gentle with yourself.

Are there exercises I should avoid for first six weeks?
Try to avoid any strenuous exercise for the first 6 weeks and avoid swimming if you have had lots of stitches until after you have had a review. Avoid any hands on knees exercises as clots may form where they placenta was attached.

How do I exercise my lower tummy muscles?
Your lower tummy muscle is the most important area to exercise after you have had a baby. It works with your pelvic floor muscles to support your back and pelvis. Exercising your lower tummy muscle may help you to lose your post-pregnancy baby tummy.

Try this exercise, either lying on your side or on your back with your knees bent up. If you have had a section, you may find it uncomfortable to lie on your side for the first few days, so lie on your back.

1. Breathe in and as you breathe out, tighten your pelvic floor muscles like a squeeze and lift. Imagine that you are stopping yourself from going to the toilet. Once you’ve tightened your pelvic floor, gently pull your belly button inwards and upwards. You should feel your lower tummy muscles tighten.

2. Hold this while you count to10 without holding your breath (this is the hard bit!). Then slowly relax your muscles. Wait at least five seconds and then repeat again. Try to avoid moving your back or over-tightening the tummy muscles above your waist.

You may find that you can only hold a squeeze for a second or two in the early days. This is totally normal. Aim to hold your tummy muscles in for 10 seconds by the time your baby is about six weeks old. Give yourself a goal.

mum with a pram

You can also try lower tummy muscle exercises sitting on an exercise ball once you can do them lying on your back or side:

1. Sit on an exercise ball with both feet flat  on the floor, preferably on a carpet to ensure the ball does not slide away from you.

2. Squeeze your pelvic floor and lower tummy muscles and then gently lift one leg off the floor. Remember to breathe! Hold this for up to five seconds, gently and slowly lower your foot and relax your muscles. Repeat between five and 10 times on both legs.

What can I do to strengthen my pelvis and back?
Pelvic tilts are useful exercises that gently move and stretch your back and exercise your tummy muscles. They can also help to alleviate post-pregnancy back pain or discomfort.

1. Lie on the floor and a pillow under your head. Bend your knees by sliding your feet up towards your bottom.

2. Tighten your pelvic floor and pull in your lower tummy muscles, before pressing the small of your back down into the floor. Hold this for a count to three and then arch your back away from the floor or bed. Repeat this 10 times. Try not to hold your breath at all- breath as normal.

What can I do to strengthen my upper back?
Whether it be breastfeeding or simply holding your new born, you will often find yourself sitting in a slumped position when you’re a new mum. Try these simple exercises to stretch and move your upper back and neck.

1. Sit up very straight with your arms crossed over your chest. Twist to the left and then to the right. Repeat 10 times each way.

2. Sit and link your hands behind your neck, but without straining yourself too much. Twist to the left and then to the right. Repeat 10 times on either side. 

3. Sit and link both hands together in front of you. Take your arms up in front of you and above your head, stretched up as far as you can. Hold here for two or three seconds and then slowly lower your arms down again.

If you are a new mum, our team at The Edge would like to wish you all the best for the first few weeks. It’s time to sit and relax and enjoy all of the wonderful moments ahead. It’s also time to take care of yourself, gently recover and build yourself back up again.

If you are interested in meeting with one of our team to have a private chat about Post-Natal exercise, give us a call now on 01 8534091 or write an email to

Orla Mc Donagh

Personal Training Success Story- Client Testimonial

Orla Mc Donagh

I have been training with The Edge since March of this year and am feeling fitter, healthier and stronger than I could ever have imagined. I had tried Ballet, Kettlebell, Circuit training, Aerobics, Bodypump- you name it, I’ve tried it…but since I started with the personal training with The Edge, my whole body shape has transformed.

I feel lighter, more toned and my lifestyle and habits have all improved. I don’t crave sugar and have a healthier relationship with what I eat and how and when I chose to eat. I carry a bag full of healthy snacks and have become really interested in cooking fresh new recipes and planning my healthy shopping for the week ahead.

I can see a huge improvement in my overall energy and well being. I have more get-up-and-go and have no difficulty bouncing out of bed at 6am every morning now!

I really enjoy each session with Ray- I have also trained with James and Steve in the past– and he knows when to push me, when to encourage me and when to have the chats- He is serious about seeing progress and chats with my regularly about my own goals and what I want to achieve from my sessions with him. He keeps tabs on my eating and explains why certain foods are better than other, and what to use as a healthier substitute-

In a nutshell, I am delighted with my choice to train with the guys from The Edge. Call them today- you won’t be disappointed- Grab a buddy and get moving-

Don’t wait for your New Year’s Resolution- Do it NOW.

Orla  🙂