Gym Habits: Building better habits to take you to the next level

Posted on: 5th September, 2016

Category: Sport & Fitness

Contributor: West Cork People

Originally from Clonakilty, Colin Murphy is a fitness professional, workout specialist, founder of the fitness website, certified personal trainer, author and blogger. He is an Ironman, sub 3-hour marathon runner, occasional CrossFitter and all-round fitness fanatic. Each month, Colin will look at a different fitness topic and how it affects our performance. Using fast and effective workouts, his monthly tips and advice will help you gain more knowledge, shorten your workouts and increase your intensity, thereby getting stronger, fitter and leaner in less time. This month, Colin looks at seven things you can do in the gym to reduce the amount of time spent there and get much better results. He examines preparation, focus and intensity and how these issues have a critical role to play in getting the most from each workout. Let’s get in, get out and make every moment count.

Messaging, chatting, watching TV and reading should all be left at the door of the gym before you start your workout. This is your moment to move and challenge your body. We have limited time and focus so now is not the time to multitask.

If you’ve read the excellent book ‘The One Thing’ by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, you know that multi-tasking is an efficiency myth. According to a quote from Steve Uzzell in the book, multitasking is merely the opportunity to screw up more than one thing at a time!

Jumping from one task to another slows the completion of all those tasks and also reduces the quality of the work. Focusing on just one thing until it is completed massively increases productivity and efficiency.

This is our challenge in the gym, to focus on one thing at a time.

Here are seven things you can do to perform better and get the most out of your gym time:

1. Mentally Prepare: I get nervous before all my gym sessions. Why? It’s because my body and mind know that something challenging is about to happen. A little more adrenaline starts to pump in my veins and my breathing elevates. My body is preparing and this helps reduce the chances of injury. Think about the workout that you are about to do. Visualise it a little before stepping through the doors of the gym and enjoy the feeling of being ready.

2. Limit Phone Use and Conversation: Unless you’re using a training app or listening to music on your phone, it’s best to leave it in your locker. In the gym a phone is a distracter or an interrupter. Both waste time and both mess with our focus. To limit conversation, put on your ‘Do not Disturb’ sign in the form of your earphones. Get in the zone and don’t let anyone take you out of it. Having a barrier up prevents you from getting caught up in chit-chat and allows you to totally focus on your body position, breathing and effort.

3. Warm up by Mirroring your Workout: Move your body in a way that prepares it for the movements that are to come. If you are going to lift weights, warm up with weights by doing the same or similar exercises with little or no weight to start. It’s about bringing your body up to speed. Try to limit this phase to be no more than ten minutes.

4. Form Check Please: The trainers that are floating around the gym are there to help you so please use them. Ask them to check your form and range of movement in all of your exercises. They will be happy to give you some tips and feedback. This helps you get the most out of every rep, which, overall, will give you faster gains.

5. Break a Sweat: Sweating can be a good indicator of how intense your workout is. I often use it to gauge if I need to increase my intensity. I often sweat the most during the first two weeks of a new programme. My body wrestles with the change and works hard to cope with it. Take things up a notch and see how your body reacts.

6. Tone your Arms and Strengthen your Legs: attack those arms ladies! Unless you’re lifting very heavy weight (as in you can only lift to five or six reps) and training like a woman possessed, you will not add bulk to your arms. Aim for 10 to 12 reps with a weight that has you struggling on the final two reps. Toned arms are beautiful, so go get them!

Men, you need to work on your legs. They prevent the rest of your body from collapsing in a heap on the floor. Many of us neglect these large muscles in favour of smaller muscles like biceps. Attack those legs with big compound movements like back squats, front squats and lunges. Give me bulging quadriceps instead of big biceps any day!

7. Use the Power of the ‘High Five’:  Need a little boost before you go for your next set? Grab a high five from someone close by. Few people can resist a high five, even from total strangers! My brother (who was kind of illegally cycling beside me) got me through the last six miles of my first marathon on the power of high fives. Each one is a little energy boost. You get an immediate zap of electricity that acts like a spark to push you forward while putting a smile on your face. Two big positives from one small action.

For more fitness articles, tips and excellent workouts check out Want some great free 12-minute workouts? Check out Properly Built’s YouTube channel and get moving today!

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Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
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It will be delivered by John Sheehan, senior lecturer in the Archaeology Department, UCC and a former member of the Heritage Council and the Board of the National Museum of Ireland.

The Vikings were an important presence in Ireland for over two centuries. As well as inflicting great terror they were also responsible for introducing urbanism and new economic systems to the country.

In this talk the focus will be on the economy, looking at the gold and silver hoards that were buried in Co. Cork. It will also explore how these hoards were discovered, what happened to them, and where they are now!
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