SEXISM AND THE HEALTH AND FITNESS INDUSTRY: DEAD OR ALIVE?

So its international women’s day today, the 8th of March 2017. I have already posted my obligatory ‘na mná abú’ post and photo on my social media accounts this morning, but things have just not been right in my head today. I have been pondering the difference between men and women, and the opportunities that arise for both sexes. Does sexism exist in this day and age? Do men and women have equal rights in today’s society in Ireland? Do men get paid more than women? Is it tough to be a woman today?

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An Alternative Way To Approach Food Than A Diet

Owing to my sport and exercise scientist credentials, this article should probably consist of a scientific breakdown of the optimal breakdown of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins that you should consume on a daily basis, along with a precise calorie prescription based on your body type, gender, and activity level, an inch perfect meal plan, a little recipe book, and a 10-minute-per-day exercise routine that will help you get rid of your excess baggage. Fortunately for you, I wont be inflicting any such pain on you in the following paragraphs should you choose to continue reading.

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Is The Gym Enough To Build A Healthy Body and Mind?

Funny story. Circa 2009 I was bringing a class of undergraduate sport and exercise science students through some basic strength training techniques at the University of Limerick. '...and this is the back squat', I said as I demonstrated a back squat with an empty bar in the elite training room in the University Arena. I was no sooner at the bottom position of the squat than i heard the almighty tear from my pants splitting in two at the crotch. The students will not forget that session in a hurry!

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The Dual Battle of Losing Weight While Dealing with Pain

It is possible to feel like you are in a vicious circle of dealing with an injury and trying to loose weight. You might be making progress with your fitness, and all of a sudden the old back injury flares up. This causes you to have to rest up for a while, and in the meantime you start to loose the training gains that you build up. Being inactive makes it more likely that you will get injured again, and so the circle continues.

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Real Health, Motivation, and Injury

Overall, getting in shape/ losing weight/ body transformation/ becoming healthier, whatever you want to call it is gawd darn hard to do, and is a mental game more than a physical game. I mean, you can download any kind of program you want online some place. You can even get the basics from the ACLAÍ website totally free. Its not the program that creates success, its your adherence to it, and the support structures that you have around you to keep you on track when things just seem like they are turning to shite. Add this to the mental torture of not being able to be as active as you would like due to an injury or some ailment and you have some major mental battles to overcome. 

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A Guide to Effective Goal Setting

Goal setting. What is the point? Most of the time you end up setting some great goal for yourself, write it in your diary or on some random piece of paper, set it aside, and forget about it until a later date where it pops into your head and you feel a sudden pang of guilt for not staying the course. In this context, goals setting is more harmful that beneficial, as time spent worrying about things that never happened is time wasted. However, with a bit of know-how, you can set yourself up for real success if you hit the right notes with you goal setting. Here are three steps to setting good goals that will help elevate you to you highest ambitions.

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The Birth of Internet 'Experts'

The internet has spawned a new type of coach: the online coach. Like any industry, profession, or trade, there are examples of good, bad, and terrible practitioners to be found. I think that one of the main problems in this uber-internet era, is that its too easy to fall into the trap of following the superficial half naked social media post and mistake this for an indicator of a great coach.

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Eating According to Values, Not According to Diet

If there is one thing that I think I know after my 31 years on earth so far, its that having a standard and a set of values is a useful way to navigate the endless possibilities and choices in this information rich age. For me, what to read, how to spend time, who to spend time with, what path to follow, and what decisions to make, most of the time come down to me putting the question at hand in front of the mirror of the things that I have decided I value the most. Of course the things that I value now have evolved over time, and I am sure they will evolve further as I meander through life, but at the minute, I hold integrity, anti-fragility, and enjoyment of life as my main values, and find that running my big decisions through my the filter of my core values generally helps me make decisions that I enjoy and are a good fit for what I believe in.

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Parents, Teenagers, and Steroid Use

Last week I featured in the Evening Echo in a piece by journalist Padraig Hoare about steroid use in teenagers, and as it is a very serious and unfortunately popular subject these days, I wanted to expand a bit on the bit that was published. Hopefully this can be a very basic useful guide/ advice for parents of teenagers who are starting out with the gym, and teenagers who want to get into great shape. Its not something that has been discussed on this blog at length, or one that I spend a lot of time on, but it is a serious issue that needs to be discussed openly, as anecdotal evidence certainly suggests a growing culture of anabolic steroid use in young people. This is not some far-away problem on another land. It happens right here in Cork and probably every other town and city in Ireland.

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A Different Type of Personal Training in Cork

Did you ever look at something and just think to yourself; 'that does not feel right'?

Well that's what happened to me when I finished a degree in Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Limerick in 2007. I entered the big bad world of the so called 'fitness industry'. I was set to take the health and sports performance world by storm with all my degrees and high ambitions. Shortly thereafter, I started to work as a gym instructor, only to leave disappointed and disillusioned after only a couple of months. I spent most of my time cleaning toilets and gym equipment and hoovering the floor.

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Keeping Your Gym Gains in Festival Season

You have been working hard to get into shape once and for all. Your making progress. But you know you have a busy social schedule ahead between weddings, festivals, and gigs you want to attend. You know the basics of what you should be eating, and you are on a roll with your training, and you want to enjoy your social life over the summer as well as keep the gains going. With festival season, usually comes consumption of more fast-food, and more high-sugar, or alcoholic drinks.

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The Zero-Thinking-Required Diet

The biggest challenge that you face when trying to lose weight is not learning HOW to cook, or WHAT to cook, but getting INTO THE HABIT of preparing and cooking regularly enough to make a meaningful positive change in your body composition. Making an effort once in a while is a good start but wont cut it if you want to make real progress. The main problem is not even knowing what the habits are, but the actual implementation of them. So many times in the past have people told me; 'My diet could be better. I know what to eat, and I like cooking, I just dont do it that often'.

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Ever thought it wasn't your fault you didn't lose weight?

Have you ever tried to lose weight through personal training, going to a gym or dieting? If you have, then you know how frustrating is to be putting in a lot of effort for very little to show for it, or a short term weight loss followed by putting it all back on again. This also means that you know how bad it makes you feel when you think that you are just going to be overweight for the rest of your life and that you are a hopeless case as you look on at all the skinny people on Instagram and Facebook.

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