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  • What Brexit teaches the fitness industry

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness | on April 12, 2019

    Politics and social media….it’s the perfect combination, right?! It’s rare that I let these paths cross. Also, I am no politician and never intend to be. As such, solving Brexit should be a job for them……as competent or incompetent as they may be to do it. I am a believer, however, of learning from mistakes. […]

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  • The importance of home workouts

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Gym, Health | on March 25, 2019

    The vast majority of clients that we train at Dynamic Fitness Training come to us for guidance and to commit to a level of training that they never managed at the mainstream gyms. The model for the mainstream gyms is changing. It’s an industry which relies on the failure of the members. It’s a bit […]

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  • At the start of each of the last few years I have targeted improving my personal bests in running pursuits. Each year this becomes my goal. Over the last couple of years, it’s been listed, but more out of stubbornness than true belief that I would do it. On the car journey from Eldoret airport […]

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  • Why we sleep? And killing the myths that it’s for wimps!

    By Darren O'Toole | In Health | on January 18, 2019

    Although personal training is predominantly about exercise and nutrition in order to improve one’s health, the broader scope of the individual should also be well considered. Sleep, and the quality and quantity of it, is one such area that it’d be foolish to ignore. Having recently read Matthew Walker’s excellent book: ‘Why we sleep: The […]

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  • Final lessons from Kenya

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Health, Marathon training, Outdoor | on December 21, 2018

    So as I wait at Doha airport for my final flight home, it’s the ideal time to pen my thoughts and highlight the lessons learned from the whole Kenya experience. Whilst it was a running joke with my clients that this trip was a jolly, it’s purpose was two-fold. Firstly, I wanted to learn how […]

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  • Home of Champions: part two

    By Darren O'Toole | In Marathon training, Outdoor | on December 15, 2018

    Sunday was rest day. By rest, this meant a 4am start for safari day. Having been stopped for speeding enroute to Lake Nakuru and our bus breaking down when returning, this truly was a ‘Kenyan Experience’. Alas our sightings of lions or leopards didn’t materialise however multiple zebras, giraffes, water buffaloes, rhinos and baboons were […]

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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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