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  • Breakfast – the most important meal of the day

    By Darren O'Toole | In Nutrition | on September 3, 2015

    It’s the meal that is most likely to be skipped. An extra half hour in bed or an inability to eat first thing means that the most important meal of the day is often the most missed meal of the day. I am of course talking about breakfast. But why is it important and more […]

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  • Why we should do strength training

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Gym | on August 24, 2015

    Being strong and with muscular definition has been a source of admiration and awe for a long time. In days gone by when free weight rooms or even the concept of gyms were but a mere pipe dream, strongmen would be paraded around at circus events to the bemusement of an astonished crowd. It seems […]

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  • Do we need supplements in our diet?

    By Darren O'Toole | In Health, Nutrition | on August 11, 2015

    Supplements are big business. Everyone wants a quick fix and in the UK, and more specifically, London, where a large proportion of people are money rich and time poor, supplements are viewed as the easy nutritional choice. Of course they are aided by clever advertising invariably listing the faces and bodies of fitness models showcasing […]

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  • How to search for a personal trainer

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Gym, Health, Marathon training, Outdoor | on June 28, 2015

    In addition to personal training with my fantastic clients at Dynamic Fitness Training, I also spend time tutoring and assessing on fitness industry courses for YMCAfit. The more vigilant amongst you will recognise that I am essentially developing my competition in years to come – probably not the wisest move I guess! However, in reality, […]

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  • As I write the second blog of my marathon week, I am sitting on a train returning from Edinburgh, knees sore but feeling smug. I had achieved a personal best time and exceeded my earlier predictions. Without question I am learning from every race. Foolishly, prior to my first marathon in Dublin in October 2013, […]

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  • Training for running events can be an arduous task but training for two in the same week is bordering on madness. That’s exactly the challenge that I set myself and over the next two blog posts, I will outline: how I trained; how I tapered; and how I got on. Realising that I haven’t updated […]

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  • Resistance band workout

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Health, Outdoor, Workout | on March 18, 2015

    The lighter evenings and warmer weather are no doubt encouraging thoughts of the summer ahead. Envisaging the sun, tanned skin and, of course, the beach body. However most of us strive for the beach body in a panic with just a few weeks to go until the big exposure. Instead, let’s change our approach this […]

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  • Outdoor fitness in north London

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Health, Outdoor | on February 23, 2015

    As I write this blog on a rainy Sunday evening, it would seem strange to be talking about the joy of training clients outdoors – but that is definitely the case. I’m not going to pretend that I love being out in the rain – I don’t – and invariably I’d conduct personal training sessions […]

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  • Why hire a Personal Trainer?

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Health | on January 13, 2015

    A recent enquiry asked a fairly simple question: ‘What does hiring a personal trainer offer that a gym membership doesn’t?’ It’s a question that my business is based upon, but one that I haven’t answered in any of my blogs…..until now. For anyone reading this blog who works hard alone in the gym and believes […]

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  • The 5:2 diet – what is it and does it work?

    By Darren O'Toole | In Health, Nutrition | on November 29, 2014

    I don’t profess to being a nutritionist or being able to provide extremely in-depth diet information. However over the coming weeks and months, my blog posts will include information about popular diets. What they entail, their reported benefits and areas of weakness. The more I train people, the more I am acknowledging the power of […]

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  • Top tips for surviving the Christmas party season

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Health | on November 24, 2014

    December is the calm before the storm for any personal trainer. Cancellations begin to rise as sickness kicks in and, more so, the Christmas party season. It is a time of lots of drink, copious amounts of food and a period where important things like sleep and training take a back seat. The New Year […]

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  • High Intensity Interval Training

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Health | on October 19, 2014

    Any follower of fitness trends will have undoubtedly observed the rise and rise of high intensity interval training, popularly known as HIIT. Whether it’s the Tabata style sessions, or low rest interval training commercialised initially in the US with DVD releases such as P90x and Insanity, the fitness phenomena is most definitely alive in the […]

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  • Not everyone performs an effective warm up prior to exercising. Spending time performing low intensity pulse raising and stretches will help you to get the most from your session and decrease your risk of injuries. But, as it turns out, you could be getting a key factor in your warm up wrong. I’ve attended a […]

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  • Thoughts on National Fitness Day

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Health | on September 26, 2014

    National Fitness Day is a UK Active initiative to get more people involved in regular physical activity. I am a fitness enthusiast and make my living out of getting people into better shape – so I’m sold! However the levels of obesity continue to rise at a faster speed than these initiatives launch. Are we […]

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  • The benefits of endurance training

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Marathon training | on September 23, 2014

    Endurance training is pivotal for anyone looking to complete a long distance event, be it a marathon, cross country run or even an Ironman or an Ultramarathon. We do more training and then we get fitter – simple, right? Well as you train, the body is undergoing very intricate changes which are enabling you to […]

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  • Guide to getting fit

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Health | on September 15, 2014

    How much exercise should we be doing in order to stay healthy, lose weight or get fit? What intensities should we be exercising at to achieve all of these goals? If you read one article it is likely to give you a completely different viewpoint from the next. For a definitive guideline as to what […]

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  • Set your fitness goals

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Health | on August 8, 2014

    Getting fit shouldn’t start in the gym. The key is to work out your fitness goals and motivations which will help you to stick to their training programme. Essentially those of us who train in gyms, studios, at home or outdoors will all have some element of motivation for undertaking the activity. Experience has shown […]

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  • Why you should exercise

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Health | on August 3, 2014

    The benefits to training are well-established, wide and varied. Whether it is for physical and mental health or sporting performance, I’ve always believed that everyone understands the benefits of physical activity, and then it comes down to a personal choice of whether the time and effort is worth it. If that is the case, then […]

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  • 5 top tips for a good night’s sleep

    By Darren O'Toole | In Health | on July 20, 2014

    The impact that any personal trainer or conditioning coach can have on improving performance is predominantly focused on three key areas: exercise, nutrition and hydration. However an oft overlooked area is that of sleep. I came to write this blog after a couple of days of poor sleep. This time of year often results in […]

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  • Get out to get fit

    By Darren O'Toole | In Outdoor | on April 6, 2014

    The weather is now turning and we’re enjoying lighter evenings and generally drier and warmer days (I appreciate if you read this a couple of days after posting, I may look foolish – it is Britain after all), so it seems the perfect time to exercise by embracing the great outdoors. One area that is […]

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  • Healthy eating plan

    By Darren O'Toole | In Health | on February 19, 2014

    Getting in shape, feeling better about yourself and becoming fitter and avoiding injuries all require a well-structured and varied training programme but they also need to have a solid nutritional base. Nutrition can be a tricky topic with so many different people saying different things. Your nutritional requirements will also differ depending on your overarching […]

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  • Boost your resolve

    By Darren O'Toole | In Gym, Health | on January 24, 2014

    Motivational tips to keep you training in 2014 So we’ve now reached the stage where the resolve for change which kick-starts each New Year is beginning to fade. The reality of the hard work and the sacrifice are becoming more evident with each passing day. The temptation to miss the gym, eat some chocolate or […]

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  • A marathon task

    By Darren O'Toole | In Outdoor | on November 20, 2013

    For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to run a marathon. I’m not entirely sure what triggered it, whether it is the boost to self-esteem and mood that results from overcoming long runs, the visible changes that occur within the body following an effective bout of endurance training, or possibly just the naturally […]

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