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Fitness'S ARCHIVE

  • I write this blog on the verge of completing my sixth marathon. That’s not just six runs of 42km. It is six batches of four months of long-distance running, day after day, week after week. So, when the inevitable excuse of why people don’t perform endurance training gets thrown at me…… ‘it’s just so boring!’, […]

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  • Do we need to walk 10,000 steps?

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Health | on May 27, 2019

    Over recent years the 10,000 step phenomena has taken full grip. It’s a target for the inactive, it counts as ‘cardio’ for the fitness models who fear their heart rate exceeding 140 beats per minute and their muscles just wasting away, and it also helps to sell a heck of a lot of fitness trackers. […]

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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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  • 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 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

    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 is unparalleled across the year. There is often a feeling that: there is no way that I won’t put on weight over this period, so I might as well enjoy it. […]

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Make this year’s resolution count!

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Health, Nutrition | on December 28, 2016

    You will no doubt be inundated with various articles declaring that they have the perfect way to ensure that you stick to your new year’s resolutions. Unfortunately I cannot guarantee the same, however I will provide some helpful advice so that your nutritional or fitness goals should be more attainable than ever before. First and […]

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  • Marathon training plan

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Health, Marathon training | on October 3, 2016

    The autumn is upon us which for the advanced recreational runner usually means competing in the last race of the year or beginning in earnest the training for a spring race. After a busy summer of work and my wedding, a race in autumn was always going to prove too difficult to train for effectively. […]

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  • The fitness message is not loud enough!

    By Darren O'Toole | In Fitness, Health, News, Nutrition | on June 23, 2016

    At the airport after a short break in the sun, the inevitable delay to the flight has given me a chance to put down some thoughts. With a busy few weeks coming up, I took the opportunity to catch some vitamin D which seems to have bypassed London so far this summer. Also a short […]

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  • The fitness industry is full of myths. Some based on assumptions, others based on clever marketing and some are based on small studies being extrapolated to the broader society. One of the main ones revolves around cardiovascular training – namely, the ‘fat burning zone’. I’ll attempt to clear the wood from the trees in this […]

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  • I was recently delivering a teaching session on a YMCA Fitness Industry Training course to a group of budding personal trainers on the topic of small portable equipment. I posed the question: ‘If you could take just one piece of kit with you everywhere as a PT, what would it be?’ A few suggestions were […]

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