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1 News Room


Graduate Profile


Making News


7 #FitFluential Instagram Accounts Brining Joy to Winter

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Ski Conditioning Exercises

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Endurance Events - Top Tips 14 Corbar - Train Hard, Have Fun


The NCEF are delighted to launch a new layout and format to the official publication of the National Council for Exercise & Fitness. The e-Zine will be circulated four times per year instead of three - Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. It will continue to contain up to date and current articles, to keep the Fitness Professional at the forefront of all that is happening in this industry. As the e-Zine is circulated electronically, it gives the option of clicking within the publication to further links and information. Each issue will feature an exercise related article, which provides video links to view demonstrations of the exercises. For this winter issue, Scott Laidler has focused on Skiing Conditioning exercises - the article can be shared with your clients who are looking to



get ski fit for the winter months. Michael Carmody, Running Coach highlights his top tips for endurance running. Mary Fitzpatrick discusses the joys and challenges of winter and how we need to rise to the challenge and get physically active outdoors. The social media app Instagram has over 400 million active users, Business Entrepenuer Susan McEntegart shares her top six favourite #fitspo accounts worth following. As always we welcome your feedback and if you wish for a particular topic to be covered please email


Below is a list of our events and couress coming up in January and Feburay 2017. On Tuesday 17th January 2017 we are welcoming students to the campus for their official graduation. Marking the end of learning for some and the beginning of a new career or new academic year, this is a very important time and day in your life.

Winter Conferring Ceremony, Venue: University of Limerick Date: Tuesday 17th January 2017


Time: 11H15M Details: Click here

NCEF Personal Training Spring Weekend Course Details: Click here Where: University of Limerick Contact Weekends 2017: ● 4th & 5th February ● 18th & 19th February ● 4th & 5th March ● 25th & 26th March NCEF Pilates & Corrective Exercise Spring Weekend Course - Details: Click here Where: University of Limerick Contact Weekends 2017: ● 28th & 29th January ● 11th & 12th February ● 25th & 26th February ● 11th & 12th March



NCEF e-Learning Modules Spring 2017: Active Kids Active Ageing Facility Operations


Studio Cycling Wellness Coach

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Editor and Design: Maeve Kavanagh - Photographer & Proofreader: Damien Jackson - Phone: 061-202829



NFN is an e-Zine published by the National Council for Exercise & Fitness (NCEF). The opinions and views in the publication are those of the contributors and are not necessarily shared by the NCEF. While every care is taken to ensure accuracy in the compilation of this e-Zine, NCEF cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions or effects arising thereof. However, such errors or omissions may be brought to the attention of the Editor. All material is copyrighted.

Year 1 Higher Certificate in Exercise & Health Fitness students pictured outside the front of the PESS building at the beginning of the 2016-17 academic year

â—? Congratulations to Higher Certificate in Exercise & Health Fitness (HCEHF) student, Eimear Scally who was part of the University of Limerick Senior Ladies Footballers who reclaimed the Senior League Title at the expense of UCD on 30th November 2016. The final score in Ballykelly was UL 1-12 UCD 1-6. Well done UL Ladies Footballers! â—? Congratulations to Jordan Young and Cathal Whelan, both from Tippearary who were part of the University of Limerick Fresher 2 hurlers that were crowned All-Ireland League Champions on 29th November 2016.

NCEF Tutors at the annual Tutor Conference in September 2016 modelling their new gifts.

We love to hear and share our student and graduate achievements. Please share your stories with us by emailing

Philip Ryan Credentials: ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

Currently Studying - Diploma in Exercise and Health Fitness (DEHF) Higher Certificate in Exercise and Health Fitness (HCEHF) (2016) NCEF - Strength and Conditioning for Sport (2015) NCEF – Personal Training (2016) Certificate in Exercise and Health Fitness (CEHF) (2015) FETAC Level 5 in Nutrition (2013) FAI Kick Start 1 Coaching Qualification (2014)

I am from Ardnacrusha, Co. Clare. Since 2007, I have worked as a Sales Representative covering the West and Mid-West region of Ireland for a Sales & Marketing company. My interest in fitness started in 2011 when my New Year’s resolution was to train for that year’s Great Limerick Run. Before this, I had very little interest in fitness and took on this goal like many people do to lose weight. The more I ran, the more weight I lost and the more interested I became in health and fitness. This new interest led me to enrol on the CEHF course in 2014. Since then I have starting to teach my own fitness class and took on Personal Training clients while continuing to study and work full time. I’m currently studying the DEHF and hope to continue to Year 4 and study for my degree.

You completed the Certificate in Exercise & Health Fitness (CEHF) in 2015 at the University of Limerick. What made you decide to choose to train as a fitness instructor? Like a lot of people, I took up exercise in 2011 to help me lose weight. As I started to lose weight and read more about the benefits of exercise, my interest in the subject grew. The more I read, the more I wanted to know about it. I chose to study with the NCEF as a Fitness Instructor because I wanted to know how everything worked. I wanted to be able to understand how exercise effects the body and how to create exercise programmes for myself. Exercise had such a positive effect on my life that I hoped in the future my qualification would not only benefit me personally but maybe I could also encourage other people to lose weight, be more active and get healthy.

You enrolled on the Higher Certificate in Exercise & Health Fitness (HCEHF) in 2016 and completed Advanced Personal Training and Strength & Conditioning for Sport. What did you enjoy most about these courses? I loved the Strength and Conditioning (S&C) course. I found it fascinating and it really sparked my interest in S&C. The course had a case study element to it which gave us an opportunity to train and assess a team over a six-week period. This was a great way of putting the theory we were learning in class into practice. The Personal Training course gave me lots of great information for dealing with clients on a one to one basis. I found the detailed postural analysis and exercise psychology modules very interesting. When I first started taking on my own personal training clients this course really stood to me. It helped my confidence when working with individuals and it really improved my programming skills. What is your current role within the Exercise & Health Fitness industry? I currently work full time in a job that is not related to fitness, so I have only dipped my toe into the water of the fitness industry. Last summer, I invested in my own equipment, ran my own fitness classes out of a local hall and started to take on personal training clients. I really enjoyed this and I have plans to grow the business. How did you find balancing work, home life and study? At times, it can feel like hard work trying to balance everything but I try to give everything the time it deserves. I work Monday to Friday so I try to choose set evenings during the week for study or for catching up on college assignments. I also make sure to have nights off from study so I can relax and enjoy a movie with my wife or just walk the dog. It’s important for me to keep up my own exercise habits too as this keeps my head clear and helps me destress when assignments are due or I have deadlines to meet. I’m generally an easier person to live with if I’ve been running (ha!). I enjoy the contact days on campus in UL, I’m very interested in what I am learning about and the people there are great, so college days generally pass very quickly for me.

How do you stay Proactive and what motivates you to stay working in the fitness industry? I try my best to attend as many lectures relating to fitness, nutrition, or sports performance as possible. UL BEO in the PESS Department in UL put on some great free lectures. In the summer months, I try my best to read as much as possible before going back to college in the autumn. The books I read are usually S&C book or on distance running. It’s important to read about new fitness trends and stay up to date with what is popular at the moment. There is always something new to learn so this keeps me motivated. That is the great thing about the fitness industry, there are so many different areas, there is something for everyone. A fitness professional needs to be creative and collaborate with other healthcare professionals – how do you implement these attributes? I think it is important that health is a top priority when taking up exercise. I don’t like it when the fitness industry overly plays on the importance of how people look. It is important that the lines of communication are open between Fitness Instructors and GP’s. There are lots of medical conditions that are caused by lifestyle choices and fitness instructors have a role to play in educating people on how to make better choices and be more active. Likewise, a fitness instructor is not a Doctor and should refer their clients to a medical professional when needs be or consult with a doctor about how best to proceed with a client that might have a medical condition.

How would you like to see your involvement in the fitness industry five years from now? I am currently studying to qualify as an NCEF Tutor as part of the Year 3 DEHF qualification. I would love to be in this line of work five years from now. I really enjoy the academic side of the fitness industry and have really enjoyed the tutoring experience I have done so far as part of this course. This would be my main goal for the future. If not tutoring, I would hope to be involved in sports development or sports coaching in some way or even possibly running my own fitness business. Would you recommend NCEF courses to a friend? Yes, I definitely would recommend the NCEF to a friend. The NCEF have given me an opportunity to return to college to study something I really enjoy and work towards getting a University of Limerick Degree. Because the NCEF courses are available at weekends, it is the perfect opportunity for anyone who has an interest in fitness, to learn more about it, get qualified and work towards their degree if they want to. With the NCEF you have the option to work part-time in the fitness industry or to completely change your career, all while still working full time. I have really enjoyed my time studying with the NCEF and I hope to continue to 4th Year after completing my diploma in May.

that are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), such as those offered by ACSM. ACSM is one of the largest and most prestigious fitness-certification organizations in the world.

Won’t leave home without your fitness tracker? If so, you’re part of a rapidly growing segment of consumers using technology to collect daily health metrics. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has announced its annual fitness trend forecast and, unsurprisingly, exercise pros say wearable technology will again be the top fitness trend in the coming year. The results were released in the article “Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2017” published in the November/December issue of . “Technology is now a must-have in our daily lives. Everyone can easily count steps taken or calories burned using a wearable device or a smart phone,” said Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM, the lead author of the survey and associate dean in the College of Education & Human Development at Georgia State University in Atlanta. “The health data collected by wearable technology can be used to inform the user about their current fitness level and help them make healthier lifestyle choices.” “Body weight training, high-intensity interval raining (HIIT) and educated, certified and experienced fitness professionals also remained highly ranked on the survey,” said Thompson. “These trends reflect continued strong consumer interest in strength training and functional fitness.” The top 10 fitness trends for 2017 are: 1. Wearable Technology: includes activity trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors and GPS tracking devices. 2. Body Weight Training: Body weight training uses minimal equipment making it more affordable. Not limited to just push-ups and pull-ups, this trend allows people to get “back to the basics” with fitness. 3. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): HIIT, which involves short bursts of activity followed by a short period of rest or recovery, these exercise programs are usually performed in less than 30 minutes. 4. Educated and Experienced Fitness Professionals. Given the large number of organizations offering health and fitness certifications, it’s important that consumers choose professionals certified through programs

How Social Media Influences the Food Message Food Culture: Savvy use of photography and video can improve your business while encouraging healthy eating. Social media serves many purposes, one of which is to share everyday experiences with friends, family, clients and even the wider world. Eating, of course, is one of those everyday experiences. But how much does posting a photo of your homemade quinoa salad or a video recipe for blueberry yogurt parfaits help create better awareness about good eating habits? More than you might think. Experts agree that social media posts can have an impact on how people view nutrition—and even on what they pack in their lunch boxes and set on the dinner table. In fact, social messages around healthy relationships with food are more imperative than ever: A new study published in the showed that young adults aged 19–

5. Strength Training. Strength training remains a central emphasis for many health clubs. Incorporating strength training is an essential part of a complete exercise program for all physical activity levels and genders. (The other essential components are aerobic exercise and flexibility.) 6. Group Training Group exercise instructors teach, lead and motivate individuals though intentionally designed group exercise classes. Group programs are designed to be motivational and effective for people at different fitness levels, with instructors using leadership techniques that help individuals in their classes achieve fitness goals. 7. Exercise is Medicine Exercise is Medicine is a global health initiative that is focused on encouraging primary care physicians and other health care providers to include physical activity when designing treatment plans for patients and referring their patients to exercise professionals. 8. Yoga Based on ancient tradition, yoga utilizes a series of specific bodily postures practiced for health and relaxation. This includes Power Yoga, Yogalates, Bikram, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Kripalu, Anurara, Kundalini, Sivananda and others. 9. Personal Training More and more students are majoring in kinesiology, which indicates that they are preparing themselves for careers in allied health fields such as personal training. Education, training and proper credentialing for personal trainers have become increasingly important to the health and fitness facilities that employ them. 10. Exercise and Weight Loss In addition to nutrition, exercise is a key component of a proper weight loss program. Health and fitness professionals who provide weight loss programs are increasingly incorporating regular exercise and caloric restriction for better weight control in their clients. The full list of top 20 trends is available in the article "Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2017.” Image:

32 who spent the most time on social media were more than twice as likely to report eating concerns compared with peers who spent less time on social media (Sidani et al. 2016). People need balanced guidance from credible experts like you. Read on for thoughts on how your social media posts can influence attitudes toward food and eating behaviors. To read the full article from IDEA Health & Fitness please click here

The rhythm of breathing creates electrical activity in the human brain that enhances emotional judgments and memory recall, scientists have discovered for the first time. These effects on behaviour depend critically on whether you inhale or exhale and whether you breathe through the nose or mouth. Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered for the first time that the rhythm of breathing creates electrical activity in the human brain that enhances emotional judgments and memory recall The study was published Dec. 6 in the . The senior author is Jay Gottfried, professor of neurology at Feinber Further reading here

In the last few years we have seen Instagram explode with #fitfam accounts and images and it seems some of us are getting weary with the same old posts of bikini shots, abs and guns on show. Yes, as a fit pro you are selling a lifestyle and thus need to embody and represent that online but how do you do that without becoming repetitive or boring, how do you maintain audience engagement

Contact Susan: or

#fitspo Number 4

#fitspo Number 1 @catbradleyyoga Lorraine Bradley, an Irish woman based in Mullingar, is a highly regarded yogi having trained with some of the best in the world including Kino Macgregor. Her account is engaging with short videos and images of amazing yoga and calisthenics based poses using props from the basic yoga block to TRX straps. With over 115,000 followers on Instagram I am not alone in my admiration of this inspirational lady!

#fitspo Number 2 @curtiswilliams17 A former NFL athlete, Curtis is now the director of Strength & Conditioning at New York University, a member of the Under Armour Performance Training Council as well as the owner of Training C.A.M.P. Performance Centre. Passionate about functional movement skills his IG account, with over 25,000 followers, offers a blend of images including thought provoking and motivational quotes, short exercise video clips, workout shots as well as images of Training C.A.M.P merchandise.


and grow your profile and your brand? Well I’ve picked six of my favourite #fitspo accounts that are definitely worth a follow for variety, inspiration and motivation but really there are so many out there - do connect with me Coach Suzi @CornerShopGym and NCEF @nceffittness on Instagram and let us know what you think, tag an account we should check out and lets build our tribe together!

#fitspo Number 3 @emilyskyefit Emily Skye has successfully created a fitness empire in less than 6 years with a huge global following across all social media platforms. Originally a catwalk model with terrible eating habits she found fitness, trained to be a Personal Trainer, started to eat healthier and shared her journey on social media inspiring women across the world. Today the Australian beauty boasts a whopping 1.8 million followers on Instagram alone, where she shares regular workout videos, delicious clean eating ideas, before and after client transformations as well as a lot of bikini and fashion shots. Her aim is to inspire women, and young girls in particular, to be healthy and happy so her social media is very much aimed at this market.

@emilyskyefit Anna is one of those people who came to the fitness industry after battling her own body. However, Anna didn’t struggle with her weight but rather a poor diet and numerous health problems as a result. In 2012 she decided to take back control and started training regularly and opened an Instagram account to track her progress and keep herself accountable. With hardly any other fitness accounts on this platform at that time she gained a huge following very quickly with people asking her for advice and tips. She decided to retrain so she was qualified in the advice she was delivering and created the Fit Body Guides – a series of 12 week meal plans and workout plans that can be done from home. With over 1 million followers on Instagram her account is full of client transformations, quick workout ideas, funny and motivating quotes as well as a peek into her personal life with a lot of interest in her recent wedding in Italy!

#fitspo Number 5 @progressive_calisthenics This account owned and run by Kenneth Gallarzo is almost addictive. With gravity defying poses filling his feed you can’t help but double tap on almost every image/video as you scroll through. How to describe it? Well, If you like human flag pictures you will love this account packed with nail-biting videos and pictures displaying balance, poise and strength in the gym, on the street and in some stunning holiday destinations across the globe. My favourite are his “partner challenges” which take teamwork to another level.

#fitspo Number 6 @AmyDixonFitness Amy is a celebrity trainer, a fitness educator and the winner of the muchcoveted IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year award for 2015. Her Instagram account is an interesting blend of images from her various roles as master trainer for brands including BOSU & Schwinn Cycling as well as clips from her upcoming fitness DVD’s and online workouts. As the Group Fitness Creative Manager at Equinox Clubs she often shares their promotions as well as inspirational quotes.

The challenge of winter in upon us once more. Every year it approaches us in much the same fashion as the year before. How will we make this one different, more fun, more ‘un’-like winter. Embrace the subtleties, which lie around us, unremarkable by themselves, but invaluable, for this winter season. Our greatest lack during these months, shaded in varieties of grey, is sunlight. There isn’t much of it there in the first place, but our bodies see very little even of that with the shortness of the day. So vital is raw, pure sunlight to us, that without it our Vitamin D processing is very low –a‘D’ for danger when it comes to bone health, vitamin D being central to healthy bone turnover. Sunlight acts also to regulate our serotonin levels, which are vital for mood and brain functioning; here in Northern Europe the Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD) is a very real issue for many in the population.

Rise to the challenge The task thrown to us is acute, and very real. How to make exercise enjoyable, and multi-faceted in its nature and its benefits wide-ranging – when all we really want is to be hibernating? When faced with circumstances we do not like very much, our first reaction is very often to ‘do a complete downer’ on it. Any redemptive qualities of a cold, grey December day are not even looked for. Here’s where to change for the better. If you’re an early morning exerciser, plan your walk/run with your buddy for day – break. Go so far as to check the paper for the time the sun will rise, (and the weather!), to ensure you have your face to the east as the sun makes it’s appearance for the day (you don’t want to be running west, missing the best of the crisp hues as they spread across the skies!). Or in the evening time – do the opposite, for sun-down in winter can be every bit as spectacular as the summer vistas we take so much time to admire. Of course given the timing of these events this time of year, it may just be a weekend treat to catch the sun either side of its daily journey. Making the added effort will be rewarded to you many times over. Use different routings for your walk/jog/cycle, and practice some mindfulness. Taking in the scene of nature as it unfolds around us becoming an exception rather than a norm, with artificial lighting, home entertainment and general world-weariness. But being an active participant in this the bleakest of seasons is fantastic for keeping our place in this world, rather than winter happening ‘to’ us. Be a part of it!! The change of sunlight, the chill in the air, the mighty roar of the stormy sea – surely there’s so much to enjoy in all of this! If only to see ‘how fragile we are’. Baby its cold outside…. So make like an onion and get going with the layers. Thin, multiple layers are a fabulous way of dressing for the chilly Northerlies. And less bulk means you can do what it is you please – from gardening, to walking etc. without overheating. With the progress of indoor heating, and centrally heated offices and homes, the temperature differential between inside and out is very large indeed. This sets up a challenge for your body, which is ‘being’ heated indoors, to having to heat itself when we go for the walk, run etc. So turn down the central heating just a notch (good for energy conservation also), or the office temperature if possible. This will also reduce the water loss of your body, which is a huge issue for the modern heating systems we employ.

Food for the Body & the Soul The need for warm, comforting food is in your head at this time of year. And your head in this case is leading you in the correct direction. In

Chinese Medicine, particular foods are incorporated into meal preparation in order to support the body and its systems with the varying challenges of the weather, work and life stress. This ancient wisdom is also very real in our own culture. Take some time to jot down the foods and meals our mothers served up to us, or her mother served to her when the chill of winter stole in. Think of the warming soups, stews, broths, with good quality proteins (meat fish egg etc.) and fats (organic produce will contain high quality fats), as opposed to salads and sandwiches – if at all possible. These foods and dishes may require more preparation than what we tend to eat during the summer, but what’s more important – feeding your body the best way you can, or watching the extra hour of TV in the evening??? Choose life! Plan an evening or weekend slot to pre-cook a batch of soup, stew etc for the week ahead. Just a little effort in the planning and you will be delighted when you arrive home of a cold, wet, Monday night with a bowl of honest to goodness home cooking just waiting to be reheated. It is that simple.

Home Workout If you’re not a gym-rat by choice, and now the cold and wet spoils your outdoor activity, take it indoors. Home workouts are fun! Are fast! Here’s how… - Warm up with a couple rounds of ‘stair bounding’ - walk (with purpose) up and down the stairs for 5 mins (make sure everyone else knows they’re out of bounds!) OR - Get out the skipping rope into the kitchen or hall way. Remember to follow the abdominal rule of ● Lower ● Oblique ● Upper - when performing your routine, or if training on consecutive days, Day 1 – lower, 2 –Oblique etc. Cool down with gentle skipping, or jogging on the spot and remember to stretch! Level 1

Level 1

Level 3


Regular Outdoors – anywhere!

With Hand weight

One leg

Press up

Box Grass is good.


Ball/Feet on step of stairs

Lat Pull with Band

Sit on chair Ball Outdoors – bring your band wrapped round your waist! Standing/on park bench

Calf Raise

Off stair step, One leg –hook both feet one foot around Outdoors – off other ankle step/kerb(not one close to a road!)

One leg, with hand weight – hold in hand of ‘hooking’ foot

Tricep Dips

Knees bent, off Legs Straight edge of chair Outdoors – park bench

Legs Raised on step

Rest is important Because it is the season of hibernation, why not take that tack with your training schedule for the next couple of months. A change is as good as a rest! You don’t have to do the hard slog of intense training all year round; your body would like a rest and change of pace, just as much as your mind does sometimes. Get active in a slower sense with a class you’ve always ‘meant’ to try but never got around to – Pilates, one of the many strands of yoga (the HotYoga class will take your mind to sunnier climes for little while!), Tai Chi, the list is endless. If you’ve had a nagging twinge, or an old injury that creeps up on you from time to time, take this season to get yourself checked out. Head to your Physiotherapist, get those massages, get assessed and corrected with your local CHEK practitioner to ensure that your new season of vigour in the spring is truly an enjoyable and niggle free one.

and there, any outdoors time is vital. Make the trip a moving one! Kids love kicking around in the fallen leaves, pouncing in puddles, play ball – hang the mud! Remember for yourself what it felt like to be a carefree kid – whatever the weather. Try out an energising Class of Pilates, Yoga, or Tai Chi, something that will energise your whole body with slow, gentle, mindful movements. Be in touch, body and soul with this amazing season. Do as you would, or do something completely different. Bring a new joy to winter – all is not doom and gloom. For spring is just around the corner.

Family Fun

Mary FitzPatrick B.Sc., CHEK Practitioner L1, NLC 1

Factoring family time that is active and outdoors may seem a total impossibility. ‘Well the weather is bad, it’s cold, it might rain….’ STOP. Get everyone layered up, and get out those bikes, or wellies, or both. The kids won’t shrivel up in a bit of a cold snap, and given how much more time they’re likely spending indoors in general now, and being transported here

Mary is the Director and Owner of Healthfitz Personal Training Consultancy and is based in Mayo

University of Limerick Campus Saturday 4 & Sun 5 February Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th February Saturday 5th & Sunday 5th March Saturday 25th & Sunday 26th March th


€1295.00 FPI Members Discount: €1250.00 Fri 20th January

Final Assessment: 8th April

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Each exercise shows the start and end position of the exercise and there is a video link icon to view a demonstration of the exercise.

Introduction Injuries are common on the slopes – not least because skiing uses completely different muscle groups to other more conventional types of cardiovascular exercise. Doing some simple preparation in the weeks leading up to a ski trip as well as doing exercises while on your holiday can help improve your ski performance and may help avoid injuries. For the purpose of this article we will look at 5 exercises that will help strengthen the leg muscles used in skiing. It is important to note that in preparation for skiing one should also work on their cardiovascular fitness which will enable you to ski for longer periods of time without breaks. You will need to work on your core strength and flexibility to improve your balance – this enhances your technique and good riding style. EXERCISE NO.1 Wall Sit

The wall sit is an isometric strength exercise. The wall sit motion stimulates the same forces that your body experiences while you ski. Teaching and Safety Points Directions: Stand with back against the wall with feet shoulder width apart and several inches in front of your body. Bend at the hips and knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor and ensure your back remains against the wall. Maintain good posture and ensuring that your knee joints are over your ankle joints. Hold position for 30 seconds and increase by 5 seconds with each session.

EXERCISE NO.2 Single Leg Squat Skiing requires regular shift of weight from one leg to another so single leg work is vital and eliminates any strength imbalances. The squat is key to build strength in your knees. Teaching and Safety Points Directions: Stand with your weight on one leg and bend at the hip and knee, lowering your body into a squat position until your left thigh is parallel to the floor. Extend your free leg out in front of you. Push down through your foot to return to the starting position. Repeat on the other leg. Ensure that at the bottom of the squat, you keep your knee from extending forward of your toes. 5-8 reps per leg and 3 sets.

Scott Laidler is a personal development coach who writes about fitness for Telegraph Men. Contact Scott at for personal training and online fitness coaching.

EXERCISE NO. 3 Weighted Pump Squat This exercise builds muscular endurance in the lower back, glutes, and quads which is crucial for skiing. Squats in particular work the quadriceps which are probably the most used muscle in skiing as they provide protection for your knees whilst holding you in the ski position. Directions: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, with your knees in the same direction as your toes. Hug a heavy medicine ball (or weighted object) to your chest and bend at the hips, lowering into a squat position. Staying low, perform short pump squats (pulsing up and down about an inch or so) without coming back up to start. Your muscles should always be contracting. 3 sets of 30 seconds. Increase by 10 seconds each session.

EXERCISE NO. 4 Single Leg Deadlift Again single leg work is vital to skiing and eliminates any strength imbalances. Deadlifts work your hamstrings and glutes both of which are responsible for stabilizing your body and holding your body in the flexed position when you ski downhill. Directions: Stand with your weight on one leg. Keeping the knee bent, bend at the hip, extending the free leg behind you for balance. Continue lowering until you are parallel to the ground, and your free leg is parallel to your back. Then return to the upright position and repeat on the opposite leg. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions. 5-8 reps per leg and 3 sets.

EXERCISE NO. 5 Clam Exercise This exercise works your glutes and thighs which help to keep your body stable and skis together. Directions: Lie on your side with your hips and knees bent as if you were in a skiing position. Keeping your ankles together and hips steady, lift your top knee up (like a clam opening and closing). Once your knee has reached the top slowly lower back down. 20-30 reps per leg.

Endurance events such as half marathons, marathons, 70.3 triathlons, ironman triathlons, adventure races, etc., have experienced a boom in recent years. The numbers participating in such events has never been greater and so too is the level of information available to participants. However in the era of generic programmes and the advent of social media, it has become increasingly difficult to distinguish information that is of relevance from information that is of no relevance. The following 11 points provide a short synopsis of what you need to bear in mind when preparing your clients or yourself for endurance events.

3. Sometimes softer is better It is scientifically proven that soft surfaces i.e. grass and trails, significantly reduce your chances of getting injured. The reason for this is that these surfaces absorb and dissipate greater amounts of the shock generated as we come in contact with the ground. Harder surfaces such as asphalt have a greater propensity to rebound the shock up through our bodies. Grass is the best surface to run on. Trails (dirt/cinder/gravel) are the next best alternative. Concrete is at the bottom of the list. It should only be used as a last resort and even then it should be used in very small volumes.

4. Raise the threshold 1. Recovery is key All improvements in human performance are derived from the process of adaptation. With regard to running this process has two stages, (a) training and (b) recovery. Training is what breaks the body down and recovery is what builds the body back up. If the two are combined effectively then improvements in performance will be obtained. Overtraining occurs when there is an imbalance between training and recovery. More often than not it results in illness or injury. Key aspects of recovery include: good nutrition, a sufficient quantity and quality of sleep, adequate hydration, maintenance of suppleness and the avoidance of stress.

2. Easy peasy Easy training runs are a prerequisite in order to establish a firm aerobic foundation. Moreover the process of adaptation stipulates that we need to ensure that we schedule a sufficient amount of recovery time after every hard session. This means that in order to avoid overtraining we need to ensure that our easy training days are kept sufficiently easy. As a general rule of thumb, at least 80% of our training volume should be done at a relaxed, conversational pace. Some top run coaches preach that if you cannot complete your easy runs while only breathing through your nose, then you are not running easy enough.

The term anaerobic threshold is a hotly contested one. In essence it refers to the effort level beyond which your body is no longer capable of efficiently clearing lactic acid form your blood. While the only way to accurately ascertain your anaerobic threshold is to undertake a lactate test, there are a number of rough indicators which can be used to determine it. Generally speaking it corresponds to the pace or heart rate that you would sustain in a 60-70 minute all-out effort or the pace beyond which your breathing would start to become laboured. Raising the pace of your anaerobic threshold through effective training is one of the primary factors determining improvements in performance from 800m right through to an ironman triathlon.

5. Go long, go smart Regardless of the distance of your event, the long run will retain a core role within the weekly training regime. The length and intensity of this training session will be directly dictated by the nature of the event that you are training for. Those training for distances of 10k or less have little need to go beyond 90 minutes for their long run. However for those training for a marathon or an ironman it will oftentimes be necessary to run for up to 3 hours and in some cases even longer. These events will also require you to do a significant number of long runs that are comprised partly of race pace efforts or are completed in a pre-existing state of fatigue.

6. Fasted for fat burning Running pre-breakfast or fasted is the most effective way of training the body to utilise your fat stores as fuel and to lose weight. However it is paramount that such training is done at a low intensity. Otherwise you will not be effectively burning fat and your body will look to tap into your glycogen stores for fuel. Furthermore training intensely first thing in the morning can place undue stress on both the endocrine and immune systems. As training fasted can take a little bit of getting used to, I recommend starting with 30 minutes and gradually progressing to a maximum of 70 minutes. 90+ minute runs can be beneficial for experienced marathon runners, 70.3 and ironman competitors. However such training efforts need to be very closely monitored.

7. Embrace the hills Whether they are short max effort hill sprints designed to recruit new muscle fibres, medium length hill repeats designed to build strength endurance or long runs over undulating terrain designed to build overall conditioning, hills should form an integral part of any training programme regardless of the duration of the event. One of my favourite types of session is to perform long intervals of 1-2k in duration over short rolling hills. This type of session allows you to simultaneously work on your speed, strength, stamina and stability. One word of caution though, the body fatigues quicker on hills than it does on the flat. Therefore it is essential to start off very cautiously when performing hill repeats and to wear a heart rate monitor (if you possess one) for easy/long runs in the hills.

8. The brain is the most important muscle of all Psychology is probably the most underrated and neglected component of endurance performance. In order to be successful in long distance running, triathlon, etc, an individual must be able to focus and make rational decisions in the midst of prolonged periods of discomfort. Psychological strength, will power and effective goal setting are all crucial in this regard. Furthermore there is significant research to suggest that most people cannot focus on a specific task for longer than two hours. Therefore the ability to switch off or to unwind in the middle of a long distance event, while still possessing the ability to maintain your rhythm, take on board food and fluid at the correct times, position yourself correctly on the road, etc, is a skill which needs to be honed. Visualisation can be a very useful strategy which can be used to develop this skill.

9. Relaxing at race pace Scheduled efforts at race pace intensity are the most important component of any training programme for an endurance event. The only way to make yourself comfortable and efficient on race day is to regularly train at race intensity in the build up to it. While it’s not essential to train at this intensity all year round, it is vital that it encompasses a crucial portion of your overall volume in the last 2-3 months before the big event. I am a firm believer that marathon runners should often complete the last part of a long run at race pace. For ironman competitors it can be a very good idea to incorporate blocks of race pace efforts into your long rides and to regularly run for an hour or more at race pace at the end of a long spin.

are (a) reduce the volume and (b) maintain the intensity. For marathon runners I recommend going with either a 2 or a 3 week taper, with the key determining factor being the overall length of the training build up. For a half ironman I recommend a 2 week taper. While for a full ironman I recommend a 3 week progressive taper.

11. Rest, recover, reassess I always strongly encourage anybody that I advise to take an extended recovery period after any endurance event. The benefits of such a recovery period include: the opportunity to recharge the batteries from not only the race but also the intense training that preceded it, the opportunity to take a psychological break from the rigorous training schedule and the opportunity to take time to focus on your next plan of campaign. Furthermore the risks associated with rushing back into racing or hard training cannot be understated. Post-marathon, I recommend a 3 week recovery period. While post-ironman, I recommend a 6 week recovery period. It is generally OK to continue training immediately after a half marathon once you do not undertake a really hard training session within 10 days or a race within 2 weeks. It is also important to note that complete abstinence form exercise can stress the immune system and lead to low mood. Therefore it is important to keep doing some form of gentle exercise throughout this period.

10. Tapering is priming This is oftentimes the most difficult aspect of the training programme to execute correctly. Unfortunately it is all too common for people to do all of the hard training correctly and then compromise their performance on race day by inadequately or improperly tapering. The key points to remember

Michael Carmody is an athlete and coach. He can be contacted on 085-7572692 or

My Introduction to Corebartm Every summer I spend a couple of months in southern Spain. My normal training programme continues in a small little gym in Estepona. In 2014, due to serious injury, I had to give up running and I really needed something to replace it, a tough cardio something that would challenge me. The class schedule in the gym is quite varied and I had noticed something that I hadn’t heard of. The noise/energy/excite ment coming from the CoreBar class sounded interesting so, I decided to try Corebar Petra, the instructor, lives in Spain but is from the Czech Republic. She is bonkers! in the way that Fitness Instructors tend to be, very motivating and engaging. Having introduced myself, I enquired about the weight of the bar and was told 1kg for the red which is what Petra recommended I use. But of course, ‘hey man, I work out! ‘, so I took the blue 2kg bar. About 5 minutes later I had to do the ‘walk of shame’, ditch the blue bar and use the red 1kg. My training schedule is 5 days per week and I work hard, some cardio days, some resistance, some cross-training – but always mixing it up. As a result, I consider myself fairly fit. I started on a Friday, which in Spain meant the toughest class of the week (Corebar HIT) – I nearly died, the breakfasts of days past came back to haunt me, I was ‘bleeding from the eyes’, arms hanging out of their sockets, jelly legs, heart pounding in my chest faster than the beat of the music! That was just Part One of the Cardio section. Then there was the ‘Active Recovery’ which involved balancing on one leg (very difficult on jelly legs) and moving the bar overhead, and lifted leg at same time, challenging the core. Then before I knew what was happening, we were into Part two of the Cardio section, super high intensity/impact

intervals, more up than down. I cannot describe what was going through my mind, I was working on keeping up while keeping my breakfast down! At some point, we transitioned through a cooldown to complete a floor work section. Planks, Side planks, burpees, press ups, sit ups, roll backs and much more. Finally, a stretch. The bar is used throughout the workout, for cardio, balance, strength and mobility. Imagine doing the plank, but not with hands on the floor, but rather on an unstable bar! Afterwards, I was buzzing! Such an energetic, fun, Cardio/Core workout. The following morning, I wasn’t too bad……or so I thought! As the day progressed, I was reminded that abdominal muscles are instrumental when laughing, sneezing, getting on and off the Loo, in fact every single movement. Arms were dead, legs too! I felt great! At the end of my two months I was loving every minute of it and had progressed to using the blue bar for the conditioning/strength section. Target – by summer 2016, blue bar all the way! Target 2017 – the new 3kg Black Bar!

Where did it come from? The CoreBar Training concept was developed in Norway, by Anita Tonne in 2006. (Founder of the The CoreBar®) The concept is now an international training system. USA, Greece, Spain, Italy and soon to be Ireland (Spring 2017).

The Bar The bar is ergonomically designed, with three different weights. Red 1kg/2.2lbs, Blue 2kg/4.4lbs and Black 3kg/6.6lbs. The weight is evenly distributed throughout the bar - the heavier the bar, the harder the workout. The recommendation is to start with 1kg, especially if previously sedentary. You can also do as I did for a while, used the lighter bar for the Cardio overhead stuff and the heavier bar for the strength & conditioning section.

The bar is used throughout the entire workout, in the Home position (behind the back) for cardio and as an intensity builder when extended (front of chest or overhead). It acts as an unstable base for certain floor work exercises i.e. press up, and as a stabiliser for balance and mobility exercises. The shaped bar fits over the shoulders, allows for alternative placement of the hands and works well with long or short arms. Click on the link below to see a sample of what it’s about. There is some dialogue at the beginning of the video in Norwegian, just forward past it!

Four different Corebar Training Formats Corebar Vitaltm, Corebar Fittm Corebar HITtm and the recent addition Corebar Strongtm are the pre-choreographed group workout releases that includes cardio, strength, conditioning, mobility, balance and agility, with a focus on core musculature. All workouts include an interval based cardio section, divided in two, with an active recovery section in between. 1. Corebar Vitaltm Corebar Vital is a 45-50 minute, low impact, fun workout with a relaxation section at the end. Ideal for beginners but can be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of level of fitness. The level of intensity can be adjusted by the participants themselves.

2. Corebar Fittm Corebar Fit (Functional Integration Training), involves mobility, flexibility and core strength exercises. This class lasts 50 – 55 minutes and involves small amounts of high impact, with the mobility/flexibility section being dynamic and intense. 3. Corebar Hittm Corebar Hit is 55 – 60 minutes of high intensity/high impact cardio. This class involves 4 boosts (high intensity) in two sections. 4. Corebar Strongtm Corebar Strong is 55 – 60 minutes of strength workout. Not so much choreography, but solid core training.

Opportunity Initially, I considered travelling to Norway to do the Instructor training, but, I discovered that there were other people in Ireland interested as well. The first Irish Corebar Instructor training course takes place in Spring 2017 and I will be among the first batch of instructors to qualify…..exciting times ahead! If this is an opportunity that you would like to be apart of please contact me directly by using my contact details on the advert below.

Saturday & Sunday 4th & 5th March 2017 Citywest Leisure Centre, Saggart, Co Dublin Linda Gaynor Mobile 086 1715876 Class size limited On-Line booking essential - please click the link below

Closing date Friday 17TH February 2017

National Fitness News e-Zine Winter 2017  

Welcome to the National Fitness News e-Zine (Winter 2017 edition). The e-Zine features articles on current research and fitness trends withi...

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