All posts by James Swan

Autonomic Habits: Piggy-Backing on Success

Trying to create and maintain a new habit can take time, often up to three months for new tasks for lifestyle changes to become habitual.

Here’s a tip you can take on board to fast track your success..

One of the habits we find that our clients  often struggle to keep consistent is taking their daily multivitamin/ mineral, fish oil etc…

Think of a habit that is autonomic, something you don’t think about, like your morning coffee or a glass of water first thing. Simply keep your pill box or supplement tub beside the coffee jar or machine as a gentle reminder- easy.

Hijacking what already works is a no brainer, but we never think of it.

Note: this can be added to any autonomic trait, such as brushing your teeth (hopefully), leaving something on your car seat, leaving your gym bag in the car or your walking shoes beside the front door…

Hopefully this might shape a small little part in forming your success story…

After all, the best plan is the one you can be consistent with.

How important is the environment you train in?

How important is the environment you train in and the general atmosphere where you choose to exercise?

The short answer is very important…

The “culture” of where we spend, what should be a positive experience a few times a week, is essential to achieving results, in a realistic time frame.

Most sporting teams that are top of their game have mastered a winning mind-set through managing the environment the players train in. Everyone in this team; players, managers, and floor staff  are goal-orientated and all contribute to the end result.

This should be the same approach when you start to work with a  new trainer to achieve your results. The trainers, staff and other clients in the gym should ideally be focused on the same goals. Support structures and a close sense of community and belonging are some of the integral reasons why personal training has, without a doubt, turned the fitness industry on its head.

We pride ourselves in offering a genuine, holistic structure of support to all of our clients. Why not take today to reset your goals, shift focus and start afresh before the New Year…

Returning to the Gym

After a summer of travel and holidays, now it’s time to get back into the routine of work, school and all that goes with it. Rather than worry or stress about it, we have you covered to make sure returning to the gym is a seamless transition: 

1. Training Plan – put your training plan in place. If you have missed a few weeks of training, then don’t try jump back to exactly what you were doing previously. You should aim to build up over the course of  2-3 weeks. For example, if you your goal is to train 3 times a week, then you could look at something like this: 

  • Week 1 – 1 gym session and 2 x 30-minute walks 
  • Week 2 – 2 gym sessions and 2 x 30-minute walks 
  • Week 3 – 2 gym sessions and 3 x 30-minute walks 
  • Week 4 – 3 gym sessions and 3 x 30-minute walks 

 2. Don’t go to Hard too Soon – managing your intensity levels when you start back training is important, go too hard too soon and you run the risk of injury. Reduce the weights, increase the rest, reduce the sets to manage the intensity that you are training at. Your fitness and strength will return slowly but surely, but you need to be patient. The rule of thumb for the first few sessions is to leave the gym feeling like you could have done a bit more. 

3. Warm Up – spend time and focus on effective warm up before your sessions. Making sure the body is efficiently warmed up is especially important for those first few sessions back where little muscle niggles are more likely to occur. For extra bonus points, evening stretching, hot baths and good sleep can help ensure you don’t suffer from too much muscle soreness.  

 4. Nutrition – nutrition and training go hand in hand, start to focus on your nutrition to ensure you are adequately fuelled for your session and also post workout to ensure you are recovering from the workouts. A common mistake is to try to reduce calories too much too quickly after holidays and then not be able to perform the way you want or not be able to recover from the session. Think of your nutrition like your training, improving it gradually over time. Being too restrictive too soon will result in a nutrition melt down and you run the risk of giving into nasty cravings on a calorie deficit. 

5. Hydration – Even if the sun doesn’t stick around for too much longer, it is essential that we are hydrating on a daily basis, with the benefits impacting your muscles, joints, energy, skin and even food choices. As a goal, if your fluid intake is around the 2-3lt intake you are on the right track. For extra bonus points, if you are a heavy sweater, we can add some salt to our water to replace some of what we are losing when we are sweating. 

 6. Environment – your training environment is so important to your consistency, and the more you enjoy it the more likely you are to keep it up. Where you train and who you train with can be the difference. Maybe Personal Training suits your needs, or training with a buddy or two, or maybe the group classes are more your style…Find a blend and create what works for you. 

If you would like to talk to one of our trainers today, why not drop us a line to info@theedgegym.ie or call us on 018534091.

Nutrition beyond calories

When we first start to self-reflect with a goal of becoming healthier, the focus is typically on how many calories we consume. While we are great advocates of nutrition in its broader sense, nutrition beyond calories, we do understand the value of starting at a base line and quantifying what we consume, how and when we consume and how often we move.

Understanding calories is a great starting point for nutrition. In its most simple form,  calories  are how we use energy and we need energy to live, breathe, walk, talk and sleep…

Calories are an important first step in taking control of your health. Calories in v’s calories out are the basic fundamentals of knowing whether you are losing or gaining weight- ie: if you eat more than you burn, you will gain weight and if you burn more than you consume, you will lose weight.

Energy In – Energy Out = Energy stored/lost

Once you have a good understanding of the basics of calories, then you can start to look at your nutrition in a more comprehensive manner.

We can look at when and where those calories are coming from, what we are using them for and how to best optimise your nutrition. We look at how your nutrition works with your cycle, your environment, we talk to you about your previous eating habits, your relationship with food and how to make it work for you personally.

The goal is always to improve our clients understanding of nutrition and how to make it work for them to optimise their health and performance, in the gym and in life for the long run…Nutrition beyond calories…

Why not schedule a no obligation free consultation with our team to see how we can get your started on a healthier path to a happier you.

Call 018534091 or email info@theedgegym.ie

The Importance of Sleep

We all know how important sleep in terms of how we feel the next day. But a good solid sleep routine impacts our overall health more than any other aspect of our day to day habits.  A good night’s sleep makes us feel like we can do anything; energy is good, motivation is high, gym sessions are smashed and our food is A1…

On the other hand – a bad night’s sleep and the world is suddenly a darker place. It’s a struggle to get out of bed, forget the gym and pass me that packet of biscuits while I’m four seasons deep on Netflix…

Sleep really is a powerful thing…

Some studies suggest that when we are sleep deprived, our body goes into survival mode. We are merely surviving, not thriving…Then we add in the fact we are trying to diet, trying to lose weight and the body doesn’t know what to be doing with itself!

The lack of sleep doesn’t just turn us all into moody teenagers, it is also associated with a higher risk of obesity, increased prevalence of cardiovascular disease and an increase in our waist line.

One of the ways it does this is by modifying our hunger and satiety, so we suddenly start to crave more calorific (low nutrient foods) sugary food we wouldn’t normally eat,  and  course, once we start, we can’t stop. Studies show that even one bad night’s sleep can warrant an increase of up to 40% in cravings (*based on a reduction of 3 hours for 1 night).

Sleep affects two appetite-controlling hormones, leptin and ghrelin. Leptin will signal to your brain that you’ve had enough to eat, meaning that when leptin levels are high, our appetite is reduced. Ghrelin does the opposite – when ghrelin levels are high, you don’t feel satisfied by the food that you have eaten. Dr. Walker (one of the world’s leading sleep experts) reports that when people are deprived of sleep, these two hormones essentially go in opposite directions – there’s a marked drop in leptin, meaning an increase in appetite, while grehlin rockets up, leaving people unsatisfied.

In a nutshell, sleep affects what we eat and what we eat affects our sleep!

The following are some dietary tips that might help improve your sleep patterns:

1.    Alcohol & Caffeine – It’s a boring one, but reducing alcohol and caffeine can have a massive affect on the amount and quality of your sleep. Alcohol may help you fall asleep but will negatively affect the quality and duration of your sleep. Putting a deadline on your caffeine intake by no later than 2pm, will also help lull you to sleep a little easier as caffeine can stay in your system for 6-8 hours. It’s also notable in that while you may be able to have caffeine and fall asleep, it can still affect the quality and depth of your sleep.

2.    Late night dinner- This one is a little trickier and may be take some playing around with. Eating a heavy, slower digested dinner late at night may have a negative affect on both sleep quality and the natural release of HGH and melatonin. In saying that, some easily digested carb meals may actually help to trigger serotonin and result in a better quality sleep. Try adding some rice to an evening meal or some porridge as nighttime snack.

3.    Check your calories – Being on a very restrictive diet and reducing your calories can have a negative affect on sleep quality. While most of the research suggests that this only applies after being on a restricted diet for a longer period of time, there is research showing that a very large calorie deficit can have an almost immediate effect on sleep quality.

Some bonus tips for sleep from Dr. Matthew Walker:

1.    Find a routine

2.    Cut the late night cardio

3.    Reduce caffeine & nicotine

4.    Reduce Alcohol

5.    Eat light at night

6.    Talk to your Doc about medication timing & side affects

7.    Leave time to unwind

8.    Baths are best

9.    Check your devices at the bed room door

10.  Get some Sun

11.  Avoid lying in bed for too long

Teen Training & Education Camp

Suitable for 12-16 year old boys and girls, this really is a training camp with a difference! Participants will be in introduced to training in a gym environment, including Yoga, Strongman training, Mobility Flows, Boxing and Pilates.

This fun-filled, energy packed ultimate training experience takes place under the watchful eye of our experienced personal trainers. Your teens will also learn via our Nutrition and Lifestyle presentations, ensuring they finish the week by having fun, staying active and, most importantly, learning what it really means to be ‘healthy’!

WHO: 12-16 year old boys and girls
WHERE: The Edge: Marino
WHEN: Monday 4th to Friday 8th July, 11am – 1pm
COST: €125 for the week

*SPECIAL OFFER: (10% discount for family of EDGE clients – just ask one of our trainers for promotion code!)

PLEASE NOTE:
As spaces are limited, your spot is only secured with payment which can be made through The Edge: App or in either  of our facilities.

Training with your Partner

‘According to Psychology Today’s 2014 article “5 Reasons Why Couples Who Sweat Together, Stay Together,” studies have shown that couples who train together and complete engaging workouts and activities together reported increased feelings of overall relationship satisfaction, and even feeling even more in love with their partner. ”

Benefits of training with your partner for the lead up to your wedding can have many benefits on your own, along with your partner’s mental and physical wellbeing. Not only feeling physically stronger in your own body, but getting to go on this journey with your partner & bringing you closer together! 

Exercising together can benefit the overall quality of your relationship with your partner.  Sharing a common goal with your other half can form a different kind of bond between you both as you are working together towards the same goal. Studies have shown that it can also bring you both closer together romantically. 

Having a partner who is equally committed to training can help keep you accountable even while at home. If you are feeling tired or not up to it, you have a training partner who will give you that kick you need! 

Relationships & marriages are all about working together. As you both work toward your goals, you have a better understanding of the obstacles and victories your partner is experiencing. Just think how powerful that understanding can be in other areas of your relationship. 

Everyone is busy and there is a lot to get done in a day. But working out together can be a way to spend additional time together. Not only do you have the social support you need to complete your workouts, but you also have the time carved out in both partners’ schedules. And you won’t argue about one person always being away at the gym. 

It can be fun to plan active adventures with your significant other. When both parties are active, there isn’t much you can’t do in terms of fun dates and trips. The benefits of working out are also endless — from reduced stress to improved self-esteem. You and your partner can reap the rewards of a healthy lifestyle for many years to come. 

If stress levels are high thinking about the wedding preparations, it is great to be able to have a place to go together where you don’t have to think about anything else and blow off some steam. Most importantly if your other half has pushed some buttons, you get to release some unwanted frustration! 

If you’re planning your wedding or looking to train with your partner, sibling, colleague or parent, why not ask our  trainers about our Buddy Training today!

Training with an injury

Training with an Injury

Being injured is a frustrating situation to be in, whether you’re an athlete, recreational gym goer or just someone that enjoys a small bit of exercise occasionally. It’s frustrating, time consuming and a literal pain to deal with.  Unfortunately, your ability does not mean you are immune to getting injured. While the temptation to refrain from any physical activity while you ‘recover’ might be rife, our Trainer Eoghan is here to help when training with an injury. 

It is inevitable that we pick up little knocks and niggles as we get older or try to push ourselves too hard, but understanding the appropriate way to managing our symptoms is vital for returning back to whatever activity we participate in and enjoy. 

At some point we encounter the dilemma of whether to continue training with an injury or not. Below are some tips on how I handle training with an injury (with clients) personally and advice I give to clients that have had a set back with an injury.

2. Work within your tolerance

If you want to keep exercising, then do it. Just understand that you will have to take a step back. Lighten the load, swap out an exercise, or work the non-injured side. There are plenty of exercises that can help with your injury, talk to one of our trainers about any concerns you have and we can always adjust an exercise to work within your tolerance and help get you back to the level you want to be.

2. Celebrate the small wins

You want to always remain positive. Injuries are something we all deal with eventually, but just because we aren’t at our full fitness, doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate the smaller wins. It’s so important to celebrate each milestone we make on the road to recovery and remind yourself that great achievements are the accumulation of many small steps. So, grab those lighter dumbbells and take each day as it comes.

3. Trust the process

Returning to exercise after an injury can take time and there will be set backs along the way. However, your body is so resilient and is designed to heal itself. Certain injuries need certain exercises that will help with the rehabilitation process so talking to a professional with knowledge in injury prevention and rehab is very important.

If you’re turning up to one of your gym session and have concerns about an injury, talk to one of our trainers. We are always willing to help and will guide you along the way step-by-step. Stick with the plan and you’ll be back to full health and fitness before you know it!

Where has my motivation gone?

So you’ve started your gym program in January and you are feeling electric. Motivation is at its highest, early morning sessions or evening sessions are easy to get ready for, food is on point and your workouts are feeling great. 

Now fast forward a month, you’re starting to dip, energy is lower, small excuses are creeping in. You’re most likely thinking, “where has this motivation gone?”

Well that in itself is the problem- motivation.

Staying hyped for long periods of time is, not only hard to keep up with, but it is also counter to your goals. Motivation is fleeting, but that’s normal with any goal setting. 

This is where a professional program, accountability and a clear path is always a winner. Most commercial gym members (just shy of 70%) stop using the gym after 3 months.

Why? Because they lacked a clear path, didn’t track their goals nor their progress (big and small) and weren’t accountable for any specific outcome.

Working with a personal trainer enables you to set up, manage and track your goals successfully. By bringing clients on a journey together, the difference is palpable in that suddenly you find that exercise is not only enjoyable, but  incredibly effective. With a longer-term adoption and a more optimistic outlook, you can expect a much healthier attitude to maintaining healthy eating and movement patterns. 

Have a chat with one of our trainers about making your training goals smarter, more specific, but enjoyable and effective too. Drop us an email to schedule your free consultation today. 

Returning to exercise after Covid-19

Getting back into exercise after any illness can be a daunting task, but with headlines pointing in multiple directions, particularly for Covid-19, we thought we would lay out a few simple tips for those recovering* from moderate symptoms (*who have finished their isolation period and feel well enough to part-take in physical exercise). 

Note: Cardiovascular and respiratory (heart and lung) issues can continue longer in certain population groups, therefore we recommend that before  your return to exercise that you consult your GP.

Being fit and being healthy are two different things. Staying healthy requires that we tick the boxes of a myriad of nutritional and lifestyle factors.

Here are a few tips to help you start on the part to feeling and exercising as normal, along with staying on top of your nutrition:

  1. Recovery is important, so make sure to get your sleep of between 7-8 hours per night, especially during these first few weeks. Give your body the ability to fight and repair by keeping your sleep consistent by the amount you get and the time you go to sleep.
  2. Stay on top of your health supplements, Vitamin D, Zinc and other minerals are part of your daily routine now to keep you healthier and aid your energy levels back to normal.
  3. Light effort to start with; the first 2 weeks of back to exercise should be an exertion of 4/5 out of 10. You will know what your body can do and what you should avoid. General symptoms to avoid should be a higher than normal heart rate and any inability to catch your breath.
  4. Don’t drop your calories! Now is not the time to aim for aggressive dieting- your body will need the best nutrition to repair and restore. Figure out your baseline for calories and get back to your maintenance if you have been dieting. Your body will thank you for it- we promise!

As always, our trainers are here to answer any of your questions- feel free to drop us a mail to schedule a private consultation. If you’re looking to understand the best steps to take for your return to exercise after Covid-19, why not talk to us today and get back on track before the New Year. Email info@theedgegym.ie 

Immune Health for the Winter Season

With colder months approaching, we will be thinking again of how to naturally make the most from our immune systems and what can we do, from a food and supplement perspective to give us the greatest fight to boost our immune health for the Winter Season against colds, flu, stress and indeed day-to-day living.

Here are a few top tips we as a team use to give that extra boost!

Protein intake:

Protein in the diet isn’t just responsible for maintenance and building of muscle tissue, but also for optimal immune health. Protein breaks down in our bodies to amino acids and these individual amino acids are used by our white blood cells to fight off and clean up the body and to keep you ready and able to stay healthy.

Protein recommendations vary, but a good rule of thumb is 1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight, for example a 60kg person (male or female) would want to ingest at least 90grams of protein per day.

Vitamin D:

Vitamin D is a very active prohormone in the body, with 100’s of functions and not least as an immune protectant. Unfortunately, vitamin D from UVB rays diminish from September onwards to April in Ireland so we must either get it from our diet or from supplementation. Dietary vitamin D for most people is hard to achieve, due to the fact we don’t consume wild Atlantic salmon or liver on a regular basis, so a daily supplement of 2000iu of vitamin D takes care of the job nicely. Vitamin D takes a while to build up in our cells, so  we need to start early to reap the benefits.

Stress:

Stress comes in many forms, mental, physical, spiritual, chemical etc… This is something many of us cannot avoid. There are a multitude of ways people deal with all types of stress, but here are a few ways we can proactively deal with all types of stress.

B-complex: B vitamins are used in energy metabolism, breaking down foods into energy, but another function of certain  B vitamins is to repair our adrenal glands, which release our stress hormones. A daily B complex (which is a mix of many of the B vitamins), makes sure you have the building blocks to repair and restore your stress hormones aiding in fighting off fatigue and dips in your immune health.

Talk to any of our trainers about these protocols and get up to date with taking your immune health and well-being into your own hands this Winter season! 

Lime, Chilli & Coconut Chicken

This Lime, Chilli & Coconut Chicken is the perfect little midweek dinner or indeed a nice replacement for your ‘takeaway’ night. Why not give it a try this week?
Ingredients
1 lime- juice and zest
12 lemon- juice of
2 tblsp sweet chili sauce (low sugar option)
12 teaspoon soy sauce
1 large garlic clove finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh ginger (grated or finely chopped)
1 mild chilli finely chopped (seeds removed)
1 tbls sesame oil
3 chicken fillets
Can of light coconut milk
Method
  1. Mix all ingredients apart from your coconut milk and chicken breasts in a big bowl.
  2. Slice chicken breasts and put into the bowl with the marinade and mix well, making sure all chicken strips are thoroughly coated.
  3. Seal the bowl and place it in the fridge for at least an hour to marinade.
  4. Remove from the fridge and heat a frying pan on medium-high.
  5. Remove chicken from the marinade, and scrape all the marinade off. Put the chicken in the pan and once one side of the strips are browned, flip over. Then pour the rest of the marinade onto the pan, tossing around the chicken.
  6. Cook chicken and marinade for a few seconds, then add coconut milk. Allow to boil, then  simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Serve with crunchy veggies and some fluffy wholegrain rice garnished with some coriander.

Kickstart September

How is it almost September already- Time flies when you’re having fun. 

 This time of year things can be a little hectic- and this year probably more than most. Kids back to school, back to work – maybe even back in the office, back to training, back to your regular activities.

After a difficult year, hopefully you’re had a great summer full of fun with family and friends- too much food, too much wine and lots of laughter– it’s good for the soul! 

 Rather than beating yourself up for letting your training slip, your nutrition switch from salads to pizza and your water intake switching to wine, why not accept it was what was needed at the time. It happens to us all and sometimes it’s just needed to rest, relax and restore. With a new season change, we are more motivated now to take control of our health, to really focus on our training and food.  

‘Kick Start’ September is the perfect time to realign your habits with your goals, to check in with how you are getting on, to re-focus the mind and tune back into your health.  

 We can ask ourselves some simple questions and the answers will give us an indication of what we need to do or what we need to change. 

  • Are you training enough? 
  • Are you training too much? 
  • Has your nutrition slipped? 
  • Are you getting enough sleep? 
  • Are you going to bed too late? 
  • Are you getting your steps in?  
  • Are you drinking enough water? 

 

Remember to keep it simple, focusing on just 3 simple things:

  1. Set your training schedule – what’s the minimum number of times you will train a week? Commit to doing at least 2 or 3 sessions a week or 10-12 sessions a month. By targeting the minimum, rather than the maximum, helps set us up for success. We can set a daily or weekly step target to help improve our NEAT.  
  2. Set your nutrition goals – easier said than done! If you track calories and this works for you then this is your go-to tool. If not, then the key is not to over complicate it. Start off simply with 3 meals a day and one snack – focus on protein intake at each meal. This takes time to get back into the habit of doing it right.Consistently good trumps sporadically perfect.
  3. Bedtime – the most underrated and often overlooked aspect. Sleep has a direct impact on all aspects of our life – mood, food choices and energy- so it makes sense to prioritise it. Set yourself a bedtime and work backwards. Set yourself up for a good night’s sleep by limiting screen time before bed and limiting caffeine intake by 3/4pm. 

Remember, it is absolutely ok if things have slipped and it won’t take long to get yourself back on track. Why not use September as a way to ‘kick start’ your path to a healthier you again- But remember- Keep it simple! Oh and of course we are here to help if you have any questions or hit any speed bumps getting back on track…

 

  

gym

Gyms Reopening June 7th- How to prepare for the countdown…

Looking to get back into your fitness groove post-covid with gyms reopening on June 7th? Slow and steady wins the race with our TOP TIPS on easing yourself back in and how to prepare for the countdown…

Whether you have been active with at-home workouts or you’ve taken a long Covid break from exercise, getting back into your fitness groove should be a gradual process. The fastest way to cause injury is to aim to hit the ground running, without any ground work, so to speak.

The good news is that it doesn’t take long to get your fitness and strength back, and with the right training and improving your nutrition, you will  be ready to go in next to no time!

Here are a few easy tips to follow to get back to normal:

1. Increase the resistance gradually. You will want to lift the same weight you were lifting prior to lockdown, but we would advise to start off with lighter weights for the first few weeks, with the help of our trainers, to ensure you can train longer, without injury. 

2. Keep your protein intake high. Higher protein levels (1.6grams per kg of bodyweight) are associated with greater satiety, faster recovery and increased fat loss. The key is to ensure the protein intake is evenly distributed throughout the day; for example 30grams of protein in 3-4 meals per day, versus a large portion of protein for dinner only.   

3. Build your cardio up slowly. Just like your resistance training advice, the fastest way for tendinitis, shin splits etc… is to hit the pavement hard as soon as gyms are open. Our advice here is to build up your distance week by week, allowing the body time to adapt.

4. Organise a consultation. Although all of our amazing clients receive a consultation prior to commencing training with us, rebooking a new consultation will help us establish new goals, help refocus your training and will allow us to see if there are any ways in which we can help you in achieving your fitness and strength goals. Consultations will take up to 30 minutes via Zoom (we can even fit into your lunch break!). The information we gather is extremely important when tailor-making your training plans.

vitamin d

Vitamin D- Do we need to supplement?

The argument for taking a vitamin D supplement is officially over, with a recent study from Trinity College Dublin revealing that a large proportion of the population are deficient in vitamin D and therefore supplementing or adding high vitamin d containing foods into your diet is a necessity.

Vitamin d can be absorbed from the sun (good luck with this in Ireland!) and through the diet, mainly from organ meats and fish such as wild Atlantic salmon (which is quite difficult to source as most of our salmon is farmed). The sourcing of good quality fish makes all the difference in the levels of vitamin d in the fish itself. Supplementing with vitamin d is an easy and cost-effective way of ensuring your blood levels of same, without compromise.

Why is vitamin d so important?

It has been shown that when your vitamin D levels are deficient you are 10x more likely to pass due to Covid-19 symptoms. The immune properties of vitamin d make this, especially for an Irish climate or indoors all day, one of the most important vitamins on your daily checklist.

Taking vitamin D at a dose of 2000iu per day will, over time, increase your body’s level of the vitamin and increase your ability to fight off invaders.

Our vitamin d is one of our bestselling supplements and with good reason- this is suitable for all of the family and comes in a delicious chewable format that is pleasant and easy to swallow. 

Fish Oils & Why you need to eat Fat

With the exception of coconut oil, most vegetable-based oils are not exactly a good addition to your daily diet. For a healthier happier and leaner life, the type of fats you incorporate have a profound impact on your overall health. Quite simply, fats essentially make up the wall around our cells so that they can communicate and ingest nutrients. A diet that is comprised of trans fats, vegetable oils or rancid (burned) oils make these normal tasks less efficient, so to speak, and therefore detrimental to your health, energy and fat loss goals.

But which fats?

One of the main issues seen in the nutrition of the general public is the overwhelming ratio of omega 6 fats to omega 3 fats, with omega 6 fats for most people being derived from vegetable oils. The negative consequences of a high omega 6 to omega 3 fats ration is high blood inflammation leading to impaired health.

The good fats

Although there are a number of omega 3 fatty acids available, the best sources are from fish oils. These amazing oils are broken into DHA and EPA, both of which are absolutely essential to brain health, lower inflammation and even to help aid your exercise recovery and fat burning abilities. Omega 3’s from flax have also garnished some popularity over the years, but have little to no comparison in the body’s ability to use them effectively.

When and how to include fats in my diet

Fish oils are best taken with meals to aid absorption. The optimal intake is roughly 2 grams per day, with our latest product launch available here, our new high quality fish oil

Why Weight loss Diets Fail

A big part of what we seek to do for our EDGE community is to educate; to help you move better, feel better, be as happy as you can possibly be and, ultimately, to be the best version of yourself. When we introduce a new nutrition approach or are looking to make changes, it is always good to learn from others mistakes!

The top 5 reasons most diets fail:

1. Overly restrictive

By this we mean massively reducing your calorie intake to a level that you are cranky, short tempered and constantly thinking about the food you can’t eat! Sometimes this involves cutting entire food groups, most notably carbs. The aggressive calorie deficit of sometimes 30% or more is just not sustainable for any period of time to enable your body to drop weight. Some people can last a couple of days maybe even a week or more but they end up on a food binge, eating everything in site resulting a massive calorie surplus. This ultimately leads to feeling frustrated, angry and even depressed at a “failed” attempt! While aggressive calorie restriction can work, in our experience it needs to be planned, organised and with a short window of time.

The solution– look at the bigger picture. Look at improving health, improving your intake of more nutritious foods, increase your activity levels and build a smaller calorie deficit that is negatively impacting your life. Fat loss will be slower, more sustainable and have less of an impact on your mental health.

2. Over-estimating Calories “Burned”

Calorie Burners, Calorie chambers and calorie busting classes are very popular and with good reason. We even have our own “ON-BEAT’ – HR monitored class. Who doesn’t like to see when we have burned a “1000 calories in 45 minutes”! The problem with this is that the majority of these systems and HR tracking software overestimates the amount of calories we are burning in a session. This also has the added effect of wanting to do “calorie burners” all the time and can increase risk of injury which can leads to less movement or training which is the opposite of what we want to happen.

The solution – don’t use ‘calories burned’ as a way to increase calorie intake. Instead use exercise and training as part of what you do to feel and look better.

3. Under-estimating Calorie Intake

No matter how good you are at tracking calories, after a while we become complacent, we forget the “healthy treat” we had with our coffee or the portion sizes start to sneak back up. Whatever way it happens, it happens, and subconsciously or not, calories will soon start to increase over time.

The solution – we actually plan this into our approach for some of our clients when moving from tracking calories to eyeing portion sizes or ‘guess-timations’. It is an important part of progressing and allowing you to live your life and still get results.

4. Restricting for Too Long

This is when you overstay your welcome! Restricting calories for too long or trying to diet for too long can lead to a natural decrease in your NEAT (movement, steps daily activity) and training drive, training performance. Also, the impact of trying to diet all the time on your mental health is something not to be underestimated.

The solution – There is nothing wrong with dieting but we no one should be in a deficit or restrictive period all the time. Plan for maintenance phase or, better still, switch the focus to training goals. Whichever approach you use, it is important to schedule it in and make it happen!

5. Short term focus

This is the reason for yo-yo dieting. The problem with the majority of diets is that they have a short-term focus with a short-term goal- 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 6 weeks…So while you may be successful in the short term once old habits come back so will the weight gain.

The solution – Weight gain didn’t happen overnight, and neither will weight loss

We tend to do this instead of look at creating long lasting life changing habits. Changing behaviour isn’t straight forward and we shouldn’t look to change everything at once. Ultimately we want to improve our nutrition choices to lead us to a balanced nutrition approach. As behaviour expert  James Clear says, ‘small changes can have big effects’.

The Benefits of Coffee

Coffee

It may not be love at first sip for coffee lovers out there, but like your first sip of red wine, your love for coffee and more unusual flavours adapt over time.

Taste aside our morning cup of joe packs more than a little punch to keep us focused while we work from home on our laptops our smash out a new exercise program.

What are the benefits of coffee?

Coffee has noticeable benefits, not just in terms of overall health, but also your exercise and performance. Some of the studied benefits are:

Accelerating Fat Loss

Caffeine has the ability to improve our insulin sensitivity which means you’re less likely to store fuel in fat cells and more likely to store glucose in muscles. This means it can be utilised while exercising.

Increased training drive and performance

Caffeine intake pre workout can decrease your perceived exertion, which means you can push yourself harder and for longer with both resistance exercise and cardiovascular training.

Should I limit my caffeine intake?

The timing of your coffee is quite important in order to maximize the benefits. Firstly, coffee has its best effects when taken earlier in the day, by stimulating our normal cortisol rhythm which keeps us using fat as fuel for longer. Inversely, not having your coffee later in the day means your sleeping patterns won’t be thrown off and your recovery, with good restful sleep, will be improved.

Also, as a side note, try not mix coffee with high carbohydrate meals (like a croissant!), no matter the source. Caffeine can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb glucose from carbohydrates, which is a precursor to diabetes. It’s best to have your coffee with a higher protein breakfast or on an empty stomach.

The Edge: Retreat

We are delighted to announce something we’ve been VERY excited about for quite some time now!

The Edge: Retreat is taking place in February 2019, in the picturesque setting of Avon Ri, Blessington, Co. Wicklow.

Our goal for this weekend training retreat is to offer the perfect blend of challenging training sessions, mindfulness yoga and tailored nutrition.

At The Edge: Clontarf we have always applied a 3 pronged approach to health and fitness – Training, Nutrition and Lifestyle. This retreat will help reset our clients’ general approach to their own lifestyle choices. We are looking to equip them with the necessary tools and awareness to take away to help them in their everyday life.

We believe that change is all a matter of mindset and inspiration. And sometimes, you have to take a little well-deserved ‘me-time’ to do just that.

When: Friday 1st February – Sunday 3rd February (2 nights)

Where: Avon Ri. Situated against the beautiful backdrop of the Wicklow mountains, Avon Rí Lakeshore Resort is a unique escape for those in search of rest and relaxation, fresh air and outdoor activity. An exceptional venue in a truly unique location.

Cost:

Early Bird €425 (Available until December 1st)

Full Price €495

FAQ

  • What is the accommodation like?

Avon Ri is a 4 star luxury resort. Retreaters will be in shared accommodation. This is a town house style property, capable of sleeping up to 6 people.

  • Beds for up to 6 people
  • Large, open plan kitchen / dining / living area with Cable TV and couches
  • Ground Floor family bathroom
  • Ground Floor double bedroom
  • First Floor double bedroom with en suite bathroom
  • First Floor twin bedroom with en suite bathroom
  • Spacious Hallway
  • Kitchen includes all appliances & accessories
  • Daily cleaning service: Towels, sheets and linens all provided

  • Do I need to be a client of The Edge: Clontarf?

The Edge: Clontarf clients will be given preference to first available slots, but if all places are not filled we will be opening it up to non-clients.

  • Do I need to be a certain standard of fitness?

The training sessions will be suitable for all levels of fitness. All we ask is that everybody who attends pushes themselves as much as they possibly can.

  • What are arrival/check in and departure times?

You can check in on Friday anytime after 3pm. We will have a a team talk and some food at 6.30pm followed by our first training session. Check out is 11am on the Sunday morning.

  • How do I secure my place?

To secure your place on The Edge: Retreat, simply contact your trainer or any staff member at The Edge: Clontarf with a deposit of €50. Call 018534091 for further details.

  • How do I know if this is for me?

If you’re interested in kick-starting your year after the January motivation dwindles and have a passion for feeling good and challenging yourself, then this is for you.

This retreat is a no-alcohol and no- smoking retreat and is focused on group-wide health and well-being, open to both men and women over 18 years of age. If you’re looking for a health or fitness retreat in Dublin or Wicklow, why not treat yourself or someone special to The Edge: Retreat?

The Elimination Diet

The elimination diet is designed to uncover hidden food intolerances, to heal the gut, to bring down inflammation  and to tailor a food plan  that  works  best  for  your  body. Unfortunately this method is often used as a weight loss or fat loss tool for aesthetic improvements  or  elements  of  it  become  linked  to  fad diets  and  short  term  unhealthy  “detoxes”.

While fat loss and aesthetic improvements are absolutely a result of this method, it shouldn’t be the main basis for doing it. The aim is to be functioning optimally from the inside out.

When the body (particularly the gut) is working as it should, looking and feeling amazing is one of the awesome results

What does the elimination diet do?

  • Removes the  most  inflammatory  foods.
  • Includes the  best  gut-healing  foods.
  • Gives your  gut  time  to  heal.
  • Helps you  discover  your  food  intolerances.
  • Starts to  balance  out  your  microbiome(  gut  microbes)

But before we go on, step 1 is to take stock! It’s hard to know where you’re going unless you know where you are.

Do you have skin issues? Digestive issues like gas, bloating, or intermittent constipation? Bad allergies? How’s your energy level? What about your mood? Ever feel like you suffer from brain fog? These are just some potential symptoms of food sensitivities.

So, before you begin an elimination diet, start at your head and go to your toes, and make a list of everything you notice in your body, however subtle or long-standing the symptom has been. This sets you up to notice important changes when they happen. Also tracking physiological bench markers such as weight , circumference measurements, taking a picture.

How  long  is  it  for  and  why?

I  would  ask  you  to  set  aside  28  days  to  comprehensively  complete the  full  gut  reset.

21  days  of  implementation:

The  gut  on  average  takes  21  days  to  respond  to  these  changes,  through  re-balancing  the  gut  bacteria, reducing  inflammation  and  improving  the  guts  ability to  be  able to  absorb  &  digest  nutrients  from  good quality  foods.

7  days  of  re-introduction  of  food  groups:

This  part  is  often  overlooked  and  gets  left  behind  amidst  the  post elimination  blow  out  plans  (  nights  out, alcohol,  celebratory  dinner  etc) however it is almost  the  most  crucial  part  of  the  process.

During  the reintroduction  of  foods  we  can  establish  exactly  what  one  might be  intolerant  to as  well  as  understanding  for each  individual  what  foods  they  respond  best  to.

Why 21 Days?

Antibodies, which are the proteins that your immune system makes when it reacts to foods, take around 21 to 23 days to turn over, so if you don’t eliminate things to which you’re sensitive for at least this amount of  time, you won’t get the full effect of eliminating them.

Also

New habits take 21 days to form,  which is also why we’re doing a 21-day elimination diet! We want to instil and maintain the positive habit changes learned during the elimination phase.

 

Facts  about  the  gut  &  why  it’s  so  crucial  to  our  overall  health

Roughly 80% of your  immune  system  is  located  In  your  gut

•The gut is your  second  brain  ,  it  can  influence  the  chemistry of  your  mood, emotions, immune  function  and long  term  health

•There are  more  neurons  (nerve  cells  that process and transmit  information)  in  your  gut  than  there  are  in  your central  nervous  system (CNS),  which  includes  the  brain  and  spinal  cord

•95% of  your  serotonin(  happy  hormone)  is  located  within  the  gastrointestinal  tract.  So  you  can  see  how much  influence  the  condition  of  your  gut  will  have  on  your  mood day  to  day  or  even  meal  to  meal.

•Your  digestive  tract  is  roughly  nine  metres  in  length,  about  the  same  as  a  double-decker  bus  (this  ones  just interesting)

 

What  results  to  expect  from  the  elimination  diet?

Improved  sleep  quality

Improved  energy  levels

Improved  bowel  health

Improved  mood

Improved  cognitive  function

Overall  calmness  /  zen

Improved  Skin  &  hair  condition

Weight  loss  (  on  the  scales)

Inches  lost

Fat  loss

Clothes  fitting  better

Stabilisation  of  hormones

Less  Pms  / menstrual  cycle  symptoms

What  can  I  eat?

One of the biggest misconceptions  people  have  about  the  elimination  diet  is  that  they  won’t  be  able  to  eat  any delicious  foods.

Let’s first go over all the nutritious foods  you  can enjoy while  on  the  elimination  diet.

Organic meats & fish

Lean grass fed Beef

Free range Chicken

Turkey

Lamb

Salmon

Mackerel

Sardines

Cod

Plaice

Tuna steaks

Vegetables

The Emphasis  is  on green  veg only , in  particular  leafy  vegetables. There  is  no  cap  on  how  much  of  these  you  can eat  in  a  day, the more the better .

Healthy fats

Extra  virgin  Coconut  oil

Unsalted  butter

Ghee

Animal  fats  (  duck  &  goose)

Extra  virgin  Olive  oil

Rapeseed  oil

Nuts  (  Brazil,  cashew,  almonds, walnut, pecan – no peanuts , as these are legumes and a nutritionally poorer quality nut)

Nut  butters

Seeds  (  sesame ,  chia,  flax,  sunflower, pumpkin etc)

Avocado  (  is  actually  a  fruit  but  massive  fat  source)

Eggs (protein  and  fats)

Hydration

Take in as  many  herbal  teas  as  you  like  throughout  the  day, these  have  massive  benefits  alongside hydration.  Green teas have  a  caffeine  content  so  keep  these  to  a  minimum. Also  make  sure  you  take in  at  least  1.5  litres  of  purified  water  a  day

What to eliminate 

Finally, just a reminder of what to strictly stay away from:

Processed food 

Rice

Salt 

Sugar 

Caffeine 

Alcohol 

Root vegetables 

Gluten 

Dairy 

Fruit 

Legumes (beans, peanuts, peas, and lentils)

Why Alcohol?

Eliminating alcohol is partly for the detox factor. But alcohol also has a lot of sugar that helps things like yeast and harmful bacteria in your gut thrive. So when you eliminate alcohol, you may feel better in a few weeks, not just because of the absence of a sleep disruptor and a depressant, but because you’ve actually changed the flora in your gut that are critical to keeping you healthy!

How do I reintroduce foods the right way?

This part is really very simple, On day 22, pick one thing you eliminated—like dairy,gluten or  eggs (but no more than one) and eat it.

See how you feel over the next 48 hours. If you have no reaction after two days, eat that same food again, and for a second time, notice how you feel. From there, it’s up to you whether to re-incorporate that food into your diet on a regular basis.

Once you’ve made a call on the first food you reintroduce, pick another one and follow the same steps.

Finally benchmark your results

Throughout the diet and the reintroduction process, notice how you feel. Maybe you’ll see changes you weren’t expecting. Maybe your sleep quality or your energy level is better. Maybe the redness in your skin is gone, or your belly is flatter.

No blood test or doctor can tell you what life without a particular food will be like. When you find out for yourself, you could be saving yourself a lifetime of inflammation, annoying symptoms, and in some cases, even life-threatening diseases.

Please be aware this is a basic template  protocol ,there is more than one way to skin a cat,  and are many ways to modify this to suit specific individuals.

Good luck and Enjoy

Clódagh

The benefits of Intra-Workout Fuel

Should you be taking an intra-workout fuel?

Taking an intra (during) workout supplement is not something most trainees do, focusing more on the post workout protein shake, but is there much validity to taking some form of nutritional supplement during your workout.

The Edge Personal Trainers started to take intra workout nutrition from  advice via the legendary strength coach Charles Poliquin, who recommended adding high dose BCAA’s (Branched Chain Amino Acids) for many potential positive effects (including increased training drive, increased MPS (Muscle protein synthesis) to name a few.

If you’ve trained in The Edge you would have noticed the majority of our trainers and clients carrying around the luminous coloured drinks 🙂

Has much changed? Well yes!

More recently, research has pointed towards EAA’s (Essential Amino Acids) as a more appropriate intra-workout fuel. A study was conducted using randomly assigned groups.

Group 1: Were given a placebo (Artificially sweetened water)

Group 2: Were given a carbohydrate drink

Group 3: Were given EAA’s

Group 4: Were given EAA’s and the carb drink.

The 4 groups were made train for 12 weeks and the difference in between groups was quite significant.

The EAA and Carb drink group doubled the lean mass gains of the next group, increasing muscle tissue by a whopping 4.1kg! In terms of adding muscle, that’s pretty huge.

The reasons for this is that the mixture of EAA’s and Carbs decreased the amount of cortisol the body produced as a consequence of training by an enormous amount, and helped repair tissue and build new lean muscle more rapidly. After every training session you do, your body increases its stress hormones, which, when elevated, has a negative effect on muscle tissue formation and bodyfat production. Adding in this mixture negated this effect and, not only preserved muscle tissue, but added in some new tissue too!

In terms of EAA’s Vs BCAA’s what’s the better approach to take?

Well, muscle tissue needs a huge variety of amino acids to make new proteins so the EAA’s trump BCAA’s on sheer quantity and variety of amino acids., but the body uses huge amount of one the BCAA’s especially when exercising.

The Edge: Performance

The Edge has developed a Mixture of EAA’s and BCAA’S called Amino Fuel.

1 scoop equates to the required dose to get the biggest bang for your buck.

Our recommendations are if you are looking to add muscle mass, add our Amino Fuel to a carb drink like lucozade, roughly a carb drink with 25-30grams of carbohydrates.

Or if you’re looking for more of a muscle sparing fat-burning effect, leave the carbs out of the mix. You can top up here!

 

The Importance of Sleep

Most of our clients are probably sick to death of The Edge: Clontarf personal trainers driving home the importance of sleep and how detrimental good sleep is to, not only your training goals, but also healing injuries (in fact, all of your healing is done as you sleep) and your overall mental performance each day.

As seen with many health issues at the moment, these include joint pain, colds, fatigue etc we have actually started to normalized them. As we have with bad sleeping patterns, you develop bad habits-  going to the bathroom 2-3 times per night, restless leg syndrome, various sleep apneas. When we sleep, our bodies are paralyzed and for a good reason, our bodies only heal when we are not moving, so if we are tossing and turning at night how are we suppose to fully recover??

Neurologist Dr Stasha Gominak has explained that when bad sleep occurs we stop repairing our genetic weaknesses, she explains that bad sleep increases the likeliness of Cardiovascular disease, lower testosterone levels, decreased immunity and so much more.

 
Here are some great tips we use to ensure our clients get the most restful sleep possible:

Caffeine intake: If you are sensitive to coffee, limit your intake to 1-2 cups per day pre 1pm. Caffeine has a long enough shelf-life, (roughly 9 hours) so if you can’t excrete it fast enough, you must take your dose early!

Time your carbs: Taking in some carbs with your last meal of the day can aid sleep by building some precursors to the calming neurotransmitter serotonin, try some starchy varieties like sweet potato, rice and beans.

Make sure your vitamin D levels are adequate: Low vitamin D levels are a sure way of having bad sleep and everyday fatigue. Vitamin D blood levels should be roughly (60ng/ml). If we can get your vitamin D levels to this optimal range, sleeping patterns should improve. One of the main reasons for Vitamin D aiding sleep is that this Vitamin has a high affinity for the area of the brain associated with sleep.

Be consistent: Your body and brain love consistency, especially when it comes to sleep. Getting to bed by 10:30/11pm (without a phone, laptop or TV) each night teaches the body to wind down at the same time and develops a healthy sleeping regimen.

Exercise: Sedentary lifestyle is associated with altered sleep. We don’t need to train everyday, but our bodies are designed to move. 20-30 minutes of activity every day should be plenty for most people to lower your stress hormones and help to heal your body with good sleep.

Adding these tips to your daily routine can positively affect your health and well-being but also make a big difference to your training goals!

Why women need to weightlift

As the Edge’s only female personal trainer and from my experience within the industry I can identify with the many fears women have when it comes to lifting weights.

These fears can include “lifting weights will make me bulky and masculine”, “it’s dangerous for women to lift heavy weights”, “I don’t know how to lift weights and I’m too embarrassed to try”, “Weightlifting is very masculine and I’m not going into a gym full off men” and “I need to lose weight first as weights don’t help you to lose weight”.

To undo all your misconceptions, I will explain in detail why women need to lift weights no matter what age, shape or level of fitness they are in order to stay fit and healthy.

1. Lifting weight will promote a curvy feminine body

Lifting weights does not lead to the misconception that many women have which is that lifting weights is masculine and that you will start to resemble a man if you start to lift weights. Putting it simply female hormones are not the same as male hormones. We simply do not have the level of testosterone in our bodies to compete with the size of our male counterparts unless we are supplementing with additional testosterone as a performance enhancing drug which I’m presuming 99.999% of us aren’t!

Cardio alone on the other hand will make us lose our curves as we will lose both body fat and muscle mass making us lose our sought after hourglass shape.

2. Women have less muscle mass than men and have to work harder to see results

This gives us all the more reason to incorporate weights into their training. Although Cardio can keep your weight down lifting weights is most effective when it comes to building muscle and getting lean. The more muscle you have the more fat you will burn. Weight lifting increases your metabolic rate faster than cardio meaning more calories are expended during and after you weight train in comparison to cardio exercises.

3. Increase in strength /bone mass

According to the International Osteoporosis Society one in two women over the age of 50 will develop a fracture due to a brittle bone disease known as osteoporosis. Osteopenia the onset of osteoporosis is on the rise in Ireland particularly amongyoung women. The root of this condition includes hormonal imbalance in females due to a withdrawal of estrogen, a lack of sunshine (vitamin D) which understandably Irish people lack due to our adverse weather. Smoking and drink excessively is also a major factor in the rise of the disease among females in Irish society. Incorporating weight bearing exercises into your program is highly recommended to help you to avoid the onset symptoms of osteoporosis.

4. Heart health

Weight training has long been acknowledged as a means for developing muscular strength, endurance, power and muscle mass however it has only been identified in recent years to be beneficial to individuals with chronic heart disease. Resistance exercise (such as lifting weights) produces a different pattern of blood vessel responses than aerobic exercise, suggesting that weight in addition to cardio is recommendation for sustaining a healthy heart.

5. Sleep and mood

Research shows that exercising regularly with weights delivers significant mental health benefits including a reduction in the symptoms of depression, anxiety and fatigue.

6. Confidence and Physical self-reliance

Although many women feel extremely intimidated at the thought of lifting weights, The Edge offers a very different environment. Over three quarters of our clients are female. All clients are encouraged to lift weights and one of the best parts our job is observing the confidence women gain from weight lifting. In my opinion, the physical self-reliance gained by women while weight training in The Edge is very powerful, and it bleeds into other areas of their lives.

The following are a number of tips I would give anyone contemplating doing weights:

1. Ask an expert: If you want to lift weights but feel too embarrassed come along to a The Edge where you will experience a friendly, caring environment. A personal trainer providing you with clear instruction could be all you need to get you started.

2. Concentrate on form as opposed to size of weights: At the beginning concentrate on your form as opposed to the size of weights you are lifting. This will prevent injury and ensure you reach your goals safely.

3. Begin with full body workouts: Concentrate on full body workouts as opposed to certain muscle groups as this will help increase your overall strength which will prepare your body for more compound exercises as you progress.

4. Incorporate rest periods during sessions/rest days: Allowing your muscles time to rest between sets will enable recovery and muscle growth. Clients can be very militant at beginning and sometimes overdo it. Listen to your body. Soreness is fine, pain is not.

5. Work on imperfections: We all have imbalances when we first start training and will notice we are stronger in some areas and weaker in others. It is therefore important to incorporate isolating exercises into your program to strengthen up areas of weakness. For example one leg may be weaker than the other and you may need to include split squats to work solely on the weaker leg.

6. Leave your stress at home: Personal trainers within The Edge are not here to judge, embarrass or make fun of you. Understand that mistakes are an inevitable (and valuable!) and part of any learning experience. Be yourself, enjoy the atmosphere and most importantly give it a go as I promise you will never regret starting.

Good luck and I look forward to meeting you on the gym floor!

Yours in fitness and health,

Jen

5 tips for supplementing your diet

There are many products that are advertised to have ‘amazing’ effects for health and performance but what are the right supplements for general health and performance on a daily basis to ensure you are working at your optimal.

1. Fish oils or Omega 3’s: Fish oils are a staple for  all of our trainers and clients. Fish oils should be added to the diet of the wider public. Benefits include expressing (switching on) genes associated with fat burning, aiding in blood sugar control (paramount in lowering bodyfat), helping the body recover after workouts- the list goes on. You can purchase our high EPA/DHA omega 3 fish oils here.

2. Whey protein:  Whey protein is broken down in the body to amino acids especially those responsible for workout recovery, preserving lean muscle tissue and also aiding in performance during the your workout (if you can do more during the session, you get results faster!). Whey also helps increase your daily protein needs. Most single servings are around 25-30grams of protein equivalent to 120grams of chicken. You can now pop into our gym for a selection of premium protein- both whey and casein are in stock or can be ordered.

3. Vitamin D: Vitamin D seems to be the wonder supplement at the moment, and there are a myriad of reasons for this. All vitamins are obviously important, but the main difference with this vitamin is that it needs sunlight to be activated or through high concentrations through the diet. One way to find out if you have adequate vitamin d is to look out your window- typically little to no sunlight. If you don’t receive weekly doses of sunlight or eat a diet that contains higher level of vitamin d i.e. liver, fatty fish then you will need to supplement. Vitamin D helps with 100’s of genes that help with health, fitness strength, joint health and mental health. You can stock up here.

4. Infinity Fuel (greens drink): We all know the benefits of vegetables but how much do we regularly consume? The Edge developed Infinity Fuel for this very purpose. A super high concentration of mixed veg, berries, probiotics and oils makes sure you are getting the optimal from your body. We developed this product with a leading microbiologist to make sure the strains of probiotics are potent enough to keep you healthy year round so you can train hard and recover much more readily, session to session. They are our top-selling supplement with very good reason, so get yours here while you can.

5. Magnesium: Magnesium is one of those minerals that if low can cause cramps, low energy and bad sleeping patterns. Adding a dose of magnesium to your pre-bed meal can have significant effects on your sleep. Sleep is where the REAL magic happens- try training hard or losing body fat with a lack of sleep- it’s near impossible. Start off with 400mg of magnesium, take this for 5 days and add in another 200mg if needed. Here you can grab our blend of highly potent magnesium.

Again this is a very simplistic approach to supplementation, so should you have any questions at all regarding your own nutritional supplementation and what might be best for your goals, email: info@theedgegym.ie

5 Habits of highly successful gym goers

1. Ask the expert: One of the most beneficial things a new or experienced trainee can do is find someone who knows what they are talking about. Without going on a rant, social media which has led to many great opportunities in the fitness industry has also led to an environment where anyone with a “six-pack” is now a nutritional and training expert- something you don’t find in many other industries. Finding a good trainer nowadays is a hard task, but there are basic qualifications you should look for to ensure you are getting a safe, effective and, most importantly, a specific program tailored to your needs. “One man’s meat is another man’s poison”.

2. Write down your goals. When we start with any new client, or are re-evaluating goals with a current client, we get very specific in terms of their personal goal setting and so too should you. We find those who are the most specific with their goals, by writing them down, keep focus and determination for longer periods of time into the new year. A sample goal could be; I will to add 10kg to my deadlift by X date or I will keep my food diary so I can drop X body fat by X date) and so on…

3. Know your calorie intake. The single most important variable to either dropping body fat or adding muscle tissue is knowing your optimal calorie intake. Start off by downloading the free app myfitnesspal, this allows you to count your calories and also know what your macronutrient numbers look like (carbohydrate, protein and fat intake).

An easy calculation for men (24xBW in KG), women (22.4xBWin KG) this gives you an estimated basal metabolic rate. Now we add in your goal, if you want to add weight you multiply this figure by 1.2-1.4 and if your goal is to lose body fat you multiply by 0.80.

Example. A 70kg women wanting to drop bodyfat, 70kgx22.4 =1568 BMR, minus goal = 1255 calories.

There are exceptions to this rule however. Never allow your calories to drop below 1200kcals. Allow for your cheat meal every 5-6 days. Diet cuts should be for a maximum 8-10 weeks for most people. Before starting any weight loss program make sure you have not been on a calorie-restricted diet before hand.

4. Plan your cheat meals. Cheat meals have their place in your new plan. Allowing yourself to have whatever you want for a meal or two has a few positive functions. A large increase in calories and, in particular, carbohydrates every 5-6 days aids in resetting your metabolism, by aiding in turning up the “heat” of your thyroid gland. An influx of calories also helps lower stress hormones like cortisol, which in higher levels stumps your body’s results, if in a chronic state. Also from a psychological point of view, cheat meals can help motivate you for the following weeks training and nutritional plan.

5. Measure your progress. Find a way to measure how your progress is moving along. If you have tried and failed at different attempts to start a new healthy lifestyle or gym program, you may just be lacking motivation. Keep yourself in check and measure progress- no matter how small. Progress might be adding 5kg to your squat, holding an isometric chin up for 10 seconds or dropping a kilo in body weight. Note: We measure using a body fat analysis tool; this allows us to differentiate between losing fat, water, adding muscle or for women separating between the phases of the menstrual cycle. Taking progress photos is also a great way to keep yourself on track.

Should you wish to discuss any of the above, email info@theedgegym.ie and ask about our FREE consultations.

New Christmas Bootcamp

Looking to look and feel your BEST in time for the festive season?

Why not give yourself a little TLC & the health-kick you are looking for to beat those New Year gym bunnies! Our brand new Christmas Bootcamps are ideal for those of you looking to lose unwanted body fat and increase your strength and fitness in just a short few weeks!
 
Night Owls Christmas Bootcamp
4 Weeks of evening classes
Start date: 22nd November
Time: Tuesday @8pm & Friday @7pm
Cost: €99
 
Early Risers Christmas Bootcamp
3 Weeks of morning classes
Start date: 29th November
Time: Tue and Thurs @ 6am
Cost: €75
 
To sign up for your place, simply email info@theedgegym.ie or call us on 01853409.
 
Alternatively you can speak to your trainer!

Skin health and the importance of nutrition

Pursuing a healthy lifestyle has many benefits, including more energy, feeling more mentally balanced and having a leaner and more toned body. However, one thing that is not commonly discussed are the effects of exercise and nutrition on skin health.

One of the most defining ‘feel-good’ factors for people is their appearance- not how well they dress but how well they naturally look- how their face looks when they wake up in the morning; from wrinkles, sagging and fine lines to issues with spots, blackheads and uneven complexion.

Here are a few tips to improve your skin health:

Vitamin D: Taking in Vitamin D from the sun or from your diet or supplementation is a super way of increasing your vitamin D intake. Skin has a high fat percentage and looking after yourself with fat soluble nutrients like Vitamin D will aid in how protected your skin is.
Note: When sitting out in the sun, try adding a good sun block around the eyes as the skin here is quite delicate and responds poorly to excess sun.

Oxidative damage: Although cardiovascular exercise is essential to health, excessive amount without the diet to support same, causes what is known as, free radical damage or (oxidative damage); other lifestyle factors like smoking causes a similar oxidative damage to skin which processes damaging free radicals, resulting in the skin to age much faster.
A healthy diet high in antioxidant rich foods, especially the green foods like spinach, kale and broccoli, are very useful nutrients used for maintaining youthful skin and fighting off these free radicals.

Omega 3 fats: If you find you have dry skin, this can be usually attributed to low levels of omega 3 fatty acids. Taking in up to 3 grams of a good quality Fish oil per day, will bring your omega 3 fatty acid ratios to a healthy level.
If you find you have slight damaged skin, adding pomegranate oil to the skin will increase the collagen make-up of the skin, giving it the ability to repair itself. Shea butter is another collagen stimulating nutrient you can use for your fine lines.

In relation to acne, most treatments are antibiotic based, these anti-bacterials target infections on the face and can be very useful but some of these medications have known health risks attached i.e. Accutane is known to cause birth defects, and these drugs don’t treat the underlying cause just the symptoms, which is important to note.

Here are some strategies we use in helping with the causes of acne:

If you are prone to acne, lowering your levels of insulin raising foods such as refined carbohydrates, high grain and wheat products, sugary snacks is a must. These foods cause growth factors to increase, these growth factors will further exacerbate your acne symptoms. By lowering your intake of the aforementioned foods, you will lessen the impact on your skin along with the added benefit of lower body fat. Increasing your vegetable intake until your symptoms are under control will prove most beneficial.

If you have been given antibiotics, remember to take a good probiotic which help reestablish the good bacteria in your gut which will again aid in, not only your skin health, but also your overall energy and relieving that bloated feeling.
Vitamin D also helps establish a healthy immune system, this causes an increase in your bodies own ability to fight of infections and bad bacteria.

If you would like to talk to one of our staff members on how to improve your skin through diet and exercise, contact info@thedgeclontarf.com.

Weight training for children and teens

Over the past number of years since weight training has become popular, there has been a divide on whether it’s healthy or not for children to partake in resistance training.

Pre-Puberty weight training/resistance training

Heavy Lifting can put too much strain on young muscles, tendons and growth plates, especially when proper technique is sacrificed, in favour of lifting larger amounts of weight says Edward Laskowski M.D, a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist at the Mayo Clinic, Minnesota.

In that case it would make much more sense to, instead, focus on a specific strength training program for a child, rather than focusing on anything remotely connected to weightlifting, bodybuilding or powerlifting. These specialised types of training can be implemented when a child has reached puberty and the body has developed a reasonable level of strength.

Is it safe for children to weight train?

According to both the American College of sports medicine(ACSM) and the National strength and conditioning Association (NSCA) pre-pubescent children can safely engage in resistance training, with certain limitations;

* They should be mature enough to respond to coaching advice.

* Weight training should only form part of their exercise regime, other sports and activities should also be included.

* They should avoid maximal lifts opting for more reps with a lighter weight.

* Perfect technique and supervised at all times.

There are many different benefits to your child partaking in weight/resistance exercise.

* Increased Muscle, strength and endurance.

* Sports performance improvement.

* Better cardio respiratory function

* Help to protect the child’s muscles and joints from injury associated with other activities.

* Stronger bones

If you would like to speak to us about strength training for your children or teens, give us a shout on 01 8534091 or email info@theedgegym.ie.

Tired of being tired?

What are Branch Chain Amino Acids( BCAA’s)?

When protein from food gets broken down in the body it gets turned into Amino Acids. These Aminos are the only substance that the body uses for muscle repair and growth. In addition to repair and growth they have been shown to delay fatigue, support mental focus and even boost fat loss!

We can also take Aminos in shake from called BCAA’s and are extremely easy to get into your system pre-training.

So when is the best time to take Aminos?

Studies have shown that the best time to take amino acids is 30-45 minutes pre training. Not only to they Act as a direct energy source for the muscle during your workout but when your workout is over they have been shown to help build muscle.

Each time you take BCAA you should go with a dosage of around 5-10 grams and should be taken in and around your workout.

Result! SO if you want to have more energy, increase your training drive and have decreased soreness in the days after you train, why not give our new Amino Acids a go?!

Raspberry: https://www.theedgeclontarf.com/product/amino-fuel-raspberry/

Apple: https://www.theedgeclontarf.com/product/amino-fuel-green-apple/

 

Group Fitness Classes at The Edge: Clontarf

Motivation:

Group fitness classes are a great way to kick yourself into gear on those days when all you really want to do is plant yourself on the couch. From  enthusiastic personal trainers to some fresh, pumping, motivational music, group classes can really help increase energy levels. Group classes are ideal for individuals who consistently find themselves skipping the gym for beers with co-workers or opting for the comfort of the couch and Netflix. You really do start to feel more obliged to attend and to spend your time with a group of like-minded people.

Accountability:

Skipping your own workout has very few consequences, but ditching your friends or co-workers may lead to some social animosity. Meeting friends for a sweaty gym session makes you much more likely to head to the gym as you don’t want to let them down. The guilts set in quite easily and your colleagues at the gym do want to see you at each class. you become part of a little team and you find that everyone wants each other to succeed.

Variety:

Doing the same old routine over and over can get a little boring and may lead to you skipping workouts. Our classes change regularly every couple of weeks so the maximum times you’ll do one program is four and this is only to track improvement and progress. We vary exercises, tempos, reps, sets and program structures to keep them fun and interesting as well as being challenging. As instructors usually vary from session to session, even an “identical” class can seem unique depending on who’s teaching.

For further info on our classes, or indeed to pop in for an initial consultation, email info@theedgelontarf.com or call 01 8534091.