Negotiate Your Routine


The Deal is won in the detail. You must negotiate your routine.

The flexibility comes in the detail of what you do and there ARE non-negotiable items which you simply must do.

Negotiate your routine

  • Resistance Training – Don’t try to argue it, trust me it’s non-negotiable. If you’re not lifting weights or training against resistance you really should be.
    • Type of Training – So many to choose from. You can definitely find something you like. Personal training may not be for you but join a class, do cross fit, Olympic lifts, machine weights, kettle bells etc. the list is endless. Try until you find one you like.
    • Frequency of Training – From training once a week to every day, it really is up to you. Be realistic about what you can stick to as aiming for more sessions and not getting to them can be a huge demotivating factor – build it up slowly.
    • Time of Training – Night owl or early bird, lunch time or right after work. Find a time that fits with your lifestyle. Morning training is great but can be difficult to make it work. You need to negotiate a time that works and will work for you at least 80% of the time.
    • Duration of Training – Quick 20 mins or long 90 mins. No right or wrong answer.
    • Cost of Training – – Cost’s much less than most things. But please spend your money in line with your commitment level. Personal Trainers can be expensive so look at what you are trying to achieve, if you’re starting out completely new you may get as much benefit by going to the gym with some friends and when you decide you like it then take the next step. Plenty of free tutorials and work out generators online also if you need inspiration. Once your hooked you can start to add in more items: workout clothes, supplements, PT’s, Group Classes, Home workout equipment, wrist wraps, knee wraps, back belt, giant water bottle, Fitness wearable’s, styling headphones, yoga mats, foam roller, ab wheel, the list goes on and on. Beside listing some of the things around me in my room, the point here is to keep your cost of training as low as possible. There is no point going out buying all additional equipment upfront. You really need very little to start…</
  • Cardiovascular Training – Non-negotiable. You have to keep your heart active and healthy and to do so you need to get that heart rate up. Walks are great to hit your step count and activity level but also ensure that you are raising your heart rate on a regular basis every week.
    • Type of Training – Some people love cardio, some people (like me) hate it. However you definitely dislike some more than others, if you’re like me the trick is to find the one you dislike least. For me that happens to be the cross trainer. Brisk walking, jogging, running, cycling, cross training, skipping, stairs stepper. You don’t have to do all of them, but you have to do one of them.
    • Frequency of Training – 2-3 times a week minimum, please! but you can go even more if you like
    • Time of Training – Despite what some trainers may tell you, for the majority of goals there is absolutely no advantage to early morning fasted cardio. Unless your in an extreme cut, don’t go crazy here. Pick a time that suits your schedule.
    • Duration of Training – Keep your cardio at a minimum to 20 mins per session but after that go as long as you feel
    • Cost of Training – If your road running, make sure that you have a decent pair of trainers, other than that similar to resistance training try to keep your costs low initially and buy the add ons as you go.

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Reset. Go Again.

Another 3 weeks of lockdown in Ireland. The Easter weekend was tough, the May weekend will be equally though and the time in between…well that’s going to be just great. Whatever you’ve done over the weekend or in the lockdown so far, its time to reset and go again.

Maybe you have already started on all of those initial lock down plans. Maybe you started and stopped. Maybe you had best intensions but never got there. It doesn’t matter, you’ve got another 3 weeks (at least), to kick on.

Success on your fitness journey is a result of making the small efforts count, consistently over and over again. You can’t get to where you want to on a lockdown day, but you can take a step in the right direction. Take more steps in the right direction than the wrong direction and you start moving closer and closer to that goal.

Eat less, move more, train hard and sleep well consistently and after a couple of weeks you won’t know yourself. However what ever the lockdown has been so far:

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Most Important Things to Focus on with Reduced Resistance

With home workout suggestions absolutely everywhere given the current unprecedented Covid-19 global lockdown, most of us who are lucky enough to still be training are doing so at a much reduced resistance level using dumbbells, resistance bands, kettlebells, if we are lucky enough to have them or indeed every day house hold items to provide some sort of resistance into our training routines.

With all of this change it can be easy to forget some of the key principles which are the difference between a good workout routine and a great one.

  1. Full Range of Motion of the working joints
  2. Maintain Form
  3. Time under Tension
  4. Activating the Correct Muscles for the Exercise
  5. Rest Time
  6. Exploring Variations of an exercise that work best for you

Important things to focus on

Be safe!

Agile Body Program


Self-Isolation Accountability Planner

Staying accountable to the items that will drive you towards your goals is important at any time, but even more so now that we are entering a really strange period in modern existence. Planning and keeping yourself accountable to the plan helps to give a nice sense of satisfaction as you build up day to day towards your goal.

Below is a slightly modified template that I use for planning during a prep. Every day I hit my plan for the item, I mark the item green, everyday that I don’t I mark the item red, planned rest or non training days also go green. Looking back on a week worth of all greens is extremely satifisfiying and motivating for the week ahead. Nerdy but effective stuff.

  • Training – Home and Body weight workouts are the norm for a lot of people at the moment, one a day?
  • Cardio – Getting out for a run, cycle, or walk. Very important to keep your cardio up during this isolation period
  • Steps – Definitely more challenging to hit 10000 when working from home and isolating, a big challenge here but important to stay active.
  • Planned Meals – Plan you meals for the day and stay on track for them, isolation snacking definitely has it’s appeal. try to stay accountable.
  • Something New – Should have more time on our hands, try something new every day?
  • Add your own – Plan activities, new workouts, new hobbies, whatever you want… Plan and do.

Download links – 4 week Planner:

Accountability Planner Pic

Agile Body Program


More than just a GYM

More than just a GYMThe gym can be a huge mental leveller for a wide range of stresses and worries. While home workouts can help to tide you over physically, they may or may not give the mental outlet which is often so much more beneficial. There may not be much we can do during the ‘social distancing’ phase when our gyms are closing but you must find replacement activities to help you to mentally switch off.

I am acutely aware that many of us use the gym as a type of therapy. You take yourself out of your own mind by lifting heavy weights which force you to focus on them alone. And about an hour later, everything feels a little bit better and easier to manage.

Please don’t make the mistake of thinking that the gym is unique in this. Everyone has a different thing; going to restaurants, going to the pub, hotels, booking mini breaks, visiting friends and family, watching sport on tv or attending, going to the cinema, going for walks, going shopping, the list goes on and on. Your family and friends may have a different outlet to you and it’s important to realise that everyone may respond to it  a little differently, remember to support each-other as much as possible and in whatever way possible over the next few days and weeks. None of us can do everything, but we can all do something.

Some things which may help:

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Remember Your Why

I first produced these graphics for a presentation at back in 2016. That day I was presenting on ‘Customer Experience’ and how you can easily lose sight of your goal as you try to run a project through to completion. External opinions and a mountain of different information designed to drive you towards your goal can also distract you from achieving it. You have to Remember your Why at times when other distractions set in. It was as relevant then when we were trying to design a superior banking experience as it is today in any goal that you want to achieve yourself, especially in personal fitness.

Remember Your Why - Lose WeightYour Why could be anything, Losing Weight is common is most peoples fitness journey and at the very start of the process you are nothing but excited about getting started. You have only one clear focus, Losing Weight.

Remember Your Why - The Rest

Carbs, Weight Training, Rest days, Check In’s, Cardio, Supplements, Cheat Meals, Meal Prep, Steps, Training Split, Protein to name but a few. Very quickly you can become distracted by the very items which

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G.R.O.W.T.H model for Personal Fitness


  1. Goals
    • For You – Goals need to be thought about and defined clearly. No obligation to share widely, but you must know your own goals. If you have none, start here now! If you’re not working towards your own goals, your only working for someone else’s.
    • Your Coach – Understands your fitness goals and agrees them openly with you. Where a client does not have strong medium to long term goals, your coach should help you to define shorter term goals in fitness and health to help you begin your journey.
    • Level – Goal definition, understanding and agreement is the base level of coaching which should be expected. If you have clearly defined goals, although still at a low level, your personal fitness journey has taken it’s first step into maturity.
  2. Reality
    • For You – You must gain an awareness of your current state in the context of the goals you wish to achieve. Personal awareness of the reality is one of the most difficult steps in maturing your personal fitness journey. It is extremely rare that anyone can gain an objective sense of self from themselves alone. Over confidence and under confidence cause havoc in equal measures. Hard pills may need to be swallowed in this phase for the over confident, while a healthy push in the right direction and support is needed for those less confident. It’s a vulnerable phase, but key in maturing and moving forward in the right direction.
    • Your Coach – must at all times provide the objective view and help you to understand your own reality in the context of your goals. Some coaches may already fall down here in favour of quick profit. “Sure I can get you ‘-insert unrealistic goal here-‘ in 8 weeks. Incidentally here’s my 8 week challenge package”. The best coaches will help you understand your reality and form a realistic plan for helping you to achieve your goal based on where you are currently at. Trust and honesty must become the base standard between the two of you.
    • Level – Coaching which is honest and helps the client to understand their reality is key if goals are to be achieved. As a coach this is an uncompromising principle.  If you have made it to an awareness and acceptance of your current state, and still have a burning desire to achieve your goal, you have taken a very important step in maturing your personal fitness journey. At this point you know where you are and where you want to get to. By the way, this step never really ends, soz.
  3. Options
    • For You – You must be open to the options available to you to achieve your goal. This is a time to be honest with yourself and your coach about

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