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  • Home of Champions: part one

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Marathon training, Outdoor, Workout | on December 8, 2018

    Following an insanely long journey which involved choosing to stay awake on the first 7 hour flight (when I had three seats to myself) so that I can sleep on the second six hour flight (where I was stuck with two parents and their one year old boy, crying for the duration), I then had […]

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  • Christmas caution

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Health, Nutrition | on November 26, 2018

    As I am leaving most of my clients for pretty much the duration of December I am more conscious than ever of providing helpful tips to help avoid the Christmas excesses. It’s the time of the year where it feels like all bets are off! The parties or social gatherings accumulate at a rate that […]

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  • What is BMI?

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Health | on September 27, 2018

    The rising trend in people becoming overweight and obesity isn’t solely based on visual observation. In fact, living in London, there seems to be less of a visual prevalence compared to other parts of the UK. Instead, it is through a measurement called Body Mass Index or BMI. Body Mass Index (BMI) is calculated as […]

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  • Reflections of a Personal Trainer

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Gym | on September 27, 2018

    It’s the start of my fifth year running Dynamic Fitness Training, my Personal Training company based in Muswell Hill and north London,  and it feels like the right time for a little bit of reflection. Why I started Dynamic Fitness Training? I was in an office job, albeit with fitness industry links, and was personal […]

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  • The importance of goals

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Gym, Health, Marathon training, Workout | on August 27, 2018

    I’ve been writing blog posts pretty consistently since 2013. I’ve covered a host of topics ranging from nutrition to fitness; mindset to marathons and a host of others in between. One topic that I have touched upon on a few occasions is goals. In life and in fitness, they are pivotal in getting you to […]

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  • What to eat before a workout?

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Nutrition | on July 23, 2018

    A common question that we get asked is: What should I have to eat before workout? The rather unhelpful answer which is often delivered: ‘It depends’, but there is a valid reason for this retort. Let’s start with some nutritional basics. We consume carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We then use or store these for various […]

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  • Healthy Eating Week 2018

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Health, Nutrition | on June 12, 2018

    Do we need to gain a greater awareness of the health benefits of eating less and moving more, or is it that we know, but it’s the effort which is holding us back? The week of 11-15 June has marked the British Nutrition Foundation’s ‘Healthy Eating week’. BNF #HealthyEatingWeek is a dedicated week in the […]

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  • Whey too much rubbish available

    By Darren O'Toole | In Health, Nutrition | on May 19, 2018

    There has recently been the major fitness expo in the UK – BodyPower. If you’re not sure what it is, to put it in a nutshell, it’s the cliché of the fitness industry that everyone has in their heads when they think ‘Personal Trainer’ or ‘Bodybuilder’. That is, over-tanned, scantily-clad or topless fitness ‘names’ who […]

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  • Rotterdamned! Review of the Rotterdam marathon

    By Darren O'Toole | In Marathon training, Outdoor | on April 17, 2018

    I wrote this marathon blog whilst waiting for my delayed flight out of Rotterdam airport – so my body was still sore, and to a degree, so was my pride! For Rotterdam marathon, my fourth, I wanted to change up my training in order to achieve a personal best time – my current being 3:19. […]

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  • The Big Half review

    By Darren O'Toole | In Marathon training | on March 7, 2018

    Keen to pester clients at Dynamic Fitness Training into booking onto local races, the weekend just gone, I competed in the inaugural half marathon race run along the streets of the Capital. Won by Sir Mo Farah, the race began on London Bridge, taking in the sights of Canary Wharf and ultimately finishing at the […]

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  • Marathon motivation

    By Darren O'Toole | In Marathon training | on January 16, 2018

    There are two peak running periods for half-marathon and marathon runners – Spring and Autumn. These are the times that races are many in number and the conditions allow for personal bests galore. The number of races in winter and summer dwindle because, in the case of summer, people travel and the conditions can be […]

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  • Are we actually stressed?

    By Darren O'Toole | In Health | on November 12, 2017

    I consider myself fortunate. I would rarely declare myself to feel ‘stressed’. If I am, it tends to be self-imposed rather than the true feeling of the word that others may experience. Stress seems to be on the rise. Mindfulness, yoga, meditation are all ready to help us to de-stress! But are we really stressed? […]

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  • The protein shake phenomena

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Gym, Health, Nutrition | on October 19, 2017

    We’ve all seen someone in a work office, sitting down with their tub of powder and water, shaking away before guzzling down a concoction which if left unattended for just a few minutes will start to elicit the smell of a corpse. This isn’t to judge, because for a long-time, I was that guy. It […]

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  • How to find your perfect personal trainer

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Gym, Health | on September 18, 2017

    Working in the fitness industry – both as a personal trainer and a tutor for new personal trainers – I have seen the development of this profession over the last decade. You may only now be seeking information on what a fitness professional can do for you and may have been struck by how everyone […]

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  • Lifting weights to lower weight

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Gym, Health | on September 15, 2017

    “I don’t want to get too big”, if you’ve lifted weights, you’ve almost certainly said or thought this during a session. It’s a concern that spans gender and age. If those concerns were voiced in a session at Dynamic Fitness Training, you may have been reliably informed to not worry, as your trainer has been […]

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  • Getting back to exercise after summer holiday

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Gym, Health, Outdoor | on August 8, 2017

    Following a little rest, relaxation, perhaps some over-indulgence and, predictably, limited exercise, the focus will soon be returning to getting back into shape for the next continental hiatus. To assist in this process, here a few top tips in getting your fitness mojo back: Start slow – but not too slow You’ve had a holiday, […]

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  • Tips for staying fit this summer

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Health, Outdoor, Workout | on July 15, 2017

    Summer is a time for a little rest and relaxation, perhaps even a little indulgence. However, this doesn’t mean that all of your fitness needs to fall by the wayside. Tip 1: Start a day with a pint of water and a power walk Working out on an empty stomach will require the body to […]

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  • High-time to get hydrated

    By Darren O'Toole | In Health, Nutrition | on July 15, 2017

    So as Team DFT plan for another sojourn to pastures warm, the issue of hydration becomes very prominent. Hotter weather, an increased penchant for alcoholic beverages and air conditioned environments which suck the moisture out of the air and your skin all contribute to the risk of dehydration. So let’s start with step 1 of […]

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  • The role of fats in our diet

    By Darren O'Toole | In Nutrition | on June 6, 2017

    Nutrition is a confusing topic. Partially, it’s because best-selling diet books need to say something controversial in order to shift copies – but also because, quite frankly, there is no perfect diet for anyone. Our hormones, activity levels, upbringing, tolerances, fat distributions are all different and as such so are our caloric needs. However, the […]

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  • How exercise boosts your mood

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Health | on June 6, 2017

    Well, I write this article in the week of the election and by the time this is being read, the results will be in. It’s fair to say that the whole process has been a rather depressing one to observe. Rather than promoting any true message of positivity, debates and discussions have centred on: ‘if […]

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  • Lessons for marathon runners

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Health, Marathon training, Outdoor | on May 12, 2017

    It’s the end of another marathon training programme. After the elation of completion, with the pain beginning to subside, for me, the most important element is learning – what went well, what went wrong, how can things be improved. This is my fourth marathon training programme. I have completed races in Dublin, Edinburgh and now […]

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  • Obesity is a real problem

    By Darren O'Toole | In Health, News, Nutrition | on May 12, 2017

    Two years ago, an outrage amongst some with too much time on their hands, led to an advert getting banned. Was it photoshopped? Yes, probably. Was it showing an unattainable figure? Nope! No more so than the hair on a model modeling shampoo; or the skin on a model advertising moisturising cream!  So what was […]

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  • High intensity workouts

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Workout | on May 12, 2017

    If you are short of time and want to fit quick-fire but effective workouts into your lifestyle, then high intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts are perfect. They torch fat, raise metabolism and have you buzzing for the rest of the day. Here are three different workouts which you can crack on with on your evenings […]

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  • Ab attack workout

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Gym, Health, Outdoor, Workout | on April 15, 2017

    Abs are made in the kitchen – so they say – but without also doing a variety of different abdominal exercises to target the rectus abdominis and oblique muscles from different angles, then you’ll never see that elusive six-pack. This ab attack workout, to be performed twice per week, will help you to develop a firmer torso, […]

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  • 6 top tips for tip-top shape this summer

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Health, Nutrition | on April 10, 2017

    The clocks have sprung forward, evenings are lighter and before we know it, summer will be here. Whatever your starting point, the truth is, all of us like to feel a little lighter, firmer and ‘in shape’ once the glass of Pimms and summer shorts make an appearance. Whilst it’s not super easy, there are […]

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  • Put back problems behind you

    By Darren O'Toole | In Health | on March 16, 2017

    Back pain seems to be a growing issue amongst office workers and new mums. Time spent in hunched positions and the effect of carrying loads causing uneven spinal deviations are leading to this increased prevalence of pain. However, this isn’t something new. We are finding out more about it due to a broader range of […]

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  • North London half marathon 2017

    By Darren O'Toole | In Marathon training | on March 16, 2017

    Sunday 12 March was the north London half marathon and my first race of the year. Beginning and ending at the iconic Wembley stadium, it is one not to miss. But would I run it again? I’m not so sure… It is the hilliest race that I’ve done. Well, actually, I’ve completed this course twice […]

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  • What is insulin and why is it important?

    By Darren O'Toole | In Health, Nutrition | on February 16, 2017

    For those looking to lose weight from a position of being overweight or obese, the term ‘insulin’ and variations such as ‘insulin sensitivity’ and ‘insulin resistant’ may crop up when discussing why a specific nutritional plan may need to be initiated for your health. But what is insulin and why does it matter? Insulin is […]

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  • Returning to fitness for new mums

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Health | on January 19, 2017

    Waking up at 4am for the third time in a night, eldest child running wanting to run and climb when you thought you had found a 20 minute window for a nap and added to this the expectation that you should be out ‘exercising’ too. Not my thoughts, but those of a friend, previously a […]

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  • Everyday changes for a healthier 2017

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Gym, Health | on January 2, 2017

    Hello New Year! Hello the January brigade. I’ve missed you. It must have been eleven months since I last saw you in your new gym kit and it seemed I saw you super often and then you seemed to disappear. As ever, this January you’ll be bombarded with the diet and fitness industries each trying […]

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