Knee Pain – An Overlooked Cause and a Simple Solution by Lindsey Doyle


Knee pain is something virtually all athletes, gym goers & runners encounter at some point in their training.

The cause of the pain can be attributed to many possible problems such as a fallen arch or weak outer hip muscles.
However, your vastus medialis (VM) muscle is often a major factor because when it’s weak it can’t hold the patella (knee cap) in its proper alignment.

Faulty alignment of the patella can irritate the patella tendon and cause pain below the knee cap.
This is usually seen in people when their knee travels inwards at the bottom of squats, lunges or split squats.

When a client comes to me with knee pain I prescribe strength exercises for the vastus medialis (VM) to rule out weak VM.

It might not completely rid the person of knee pain because, as mentioned, there can be other factors at work.
However, oftentimes it’s all that’s needed.

Whenever you have joint pain, start with the simplest solution first. Strengthening the vastus medialis muscle should be your first line of attack.

The lowest portion of the vastus medialis, closest to the inside of the patella, is thought to contain fibers that run in a more oblique direction than other parts of the muscle. These vastus medialis obliquus (VMO) fibers are often mentioned in clinical settings as being the ones that are typically weakest and most difficult to recruit.

That’s why specialised VMO exercises are needed to strengthen these often overlooked muscles.

Outlined below is a description of how to perform a very effective VMO exercise which I prescribe clients experiencing knee pain.

  1. Put one foot up on a 45 degree wedge on a raised step, the toes on this foot are turned out 10-20 degrees from straight.
  2. Lower the opposite leg (toes raised) to tap your heel off the floor, keeping all of your weight on the foot up on the step.
  3. Return to the starting position making sure to entirely lockout the lifting leg till straight.

3 sets of 12-15 of these on each leg will set your VMO on fire. Add dumbbells for extra resistance if needed.

For more information on this or any other rehab & prehab exercises contact me via facebook or email


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Lindsey Doyle – Personal Trainer


Phone number: 00353857218478



Instagram: @lindseydoylept

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Food Labeling – A Dog Eat Dog World by Matt Kelly


Oh pistachio-nut-man, is the net weight inclusive of the shells or not? And if so, what is the net weight of the actual nuts?

I’m not a big macros guy. I like to try and balance blood sugar and have my clients aim to have a nutritionally dense diet first and foremost, then a rough idea of caloric intake and macro break downs – I believe this to be a much more sustainable way of living and one which will hopefully stop development of unhealthy relationships with food.

Having said that, you need to read your labels and understand what you’re having – whether you aim for a rough number of calories with a 200 calorie margin for error, or you have 1874 calories religiously etc.

Some guidelines I’ve heard in the past are not to eat any foods that have more than 8 ingredients, or if it has multiple ingredients you’ve never heard of or are mostly comprised of numbers – Steer clear.

I personally believe in taking each food on a case by case basis, you cant live by such a simple rule.

That being said, this level of general awareness is highly recommendable. If you’re not checking your labels when you shop it’s reflective of a lack of interest in your health, and you can have the best trainer in the world but if you don’t independently consider your health, well being and what’s going into your body, it’s going to be hard to change your lifestyle long term.

Unfortunately the vast majority of food companies want your money, not your friendship, they don’t have your back, so you better have your own!



Matt Kelly – Personal Trainer


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Why Paleo is the Way to Go


The growth in popularity of the Paleo diet (also commonly referred to as the ‘caveman diet’) has been one of the most prominent nutrition trends in recent years with millions of people across the globe switching to this diet every year. So what is it about the Paleo diet that has seen it achieve such widespread popularity? Making such a drastic lifestyle change is ultimately done in order achieve a long-term goal and whether your goal is aesthetic-based or functional-based, the Paleo diet can help you achieve it. Listed below are some of the most common reasons people turn to the Paleo diet:

  • Lose weight (in 2013, the Paleo diet was Google’s most searched for weight-loss method)
  • Gain muscle
  • Improve digestion
  • Feel younger
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Have more energy
  • Lower blood glucose
  • Reverse diabetes
  • Eliminate the need for prescription medications

It is important to realize that in order for a lifestyle change to work you need to make it work for YOU. Finding the best way to integrate the Paleo diet into your life so that it still fits in with your life and your personality is integral. This will allow you to sustain this lifestyle change long-term and not fall off the tracks in the early stages. Actively participate in the process, evaluating your progress along the way.

Organic Products – Does it Pay to Spend The Extra Bucks? by Matt Kelly


Are there benefits of organic produce over those which are not oversold? It is a resounding NO from me personally… Do you have to eat exclusively organic produce to maximize your health or training goal, certainly not, but it will help you massively in achieving your goals.

Organic is an expense of course, a worthwhile one, but an expense nonetheless. If you have a budget that can’t facilitate a lot of organic items I would advise you to attempt to get as much of your fat intake from organic sources over other products. Why? Health risks from heart disease to cancer are increased by, and arguably widely caused by fat intake imbalance in our diet.

Meat, nuts, oils etc. which are produced poorly will invariably contain a greater degree of omega 6, contributing to this imbalance in the diet. Organic meats, nuts, avocados, oils etc. will contain a better balance of fats and less harmful additives and contaminants then their overproduced counterparts. That’s not to say there isn’t a massive advantage to organic vegetables etc. but if budgetary concerns are the issue then make sure the fats you consume are quality ones, preferably organic ones in order to stay healthy, lean and energetic!



Matt Kelly – Personal trainer


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Efit App Trainer Section: How it Works

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Once you have purchased a program that suits your ability, all you need to do is go to the ‘TRAINER SCREEN’ and select your workout.


Trainer Screen - Play & Log

For a more detailed tutorial and an overview of the additional features on the Efit App, please continue reading.


Getting Started

Once you’ve downloaded a program that suits your ability, tap the ‘MORE OPTIONS’ button on the far right of your screen and select ‘PROGRAMS’ from the bottom of the list to select your current program. From there, follow the three simple steps as outlined below.


Trainer Screen - Step 1 - Day Selection (5)


Trainer Screen - Step 2 - Begin Workout (1)


Trainer Screen - Step 3 - Log Scores


Trainer Screen - Rest Timer (1)


Trainer Screen - Tutorial (2)


Select the ‘MORE OPTIONS’ button on the far right of the trainer screen to access the following additional features:


Trainer Screen - More Options (1)

The best thing about the Efit App is that the programs WORK – What better way to track your progress than with regular progress pics?

Results and Profile (1)


Be Healthy, Be Happy, Be Fit…

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Chest Training – Three Top Tips for Tip-Top Pecs by Matt Kelly

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Monday – ‘International Chest Day’….Apparently…. But who am I to argue? So I bring you three top tips for tip-top pecs:

1) Pressing isn’t always the answer. Flyes and dips are far better for thickening the pecs. The pectoral fibers run horizontally so flyes are a superior way of lengthening and shortening the fibers. Pressing is an important part as the loads are invariably larger, but flyes (and dips depending on your ability level) train the muscle through a far different anatomical function and greater range of motion

2) Manipulation of tempo is an incredibly under utilized tool. Pausing in the bottom position of dips, flyes and presses allows for a very specific and strong contraction. Slow concentric (the way up) reps really allow for a good blow flow, squeeze and burn – Take 2 full seconds to press your dumbbells! Vary your training to stop your body adapting!

3) Sacrifice load for squeeze. Pressing 40’s is all well and good, but if your goal is to grow you MUST ensure you’re not just moving a weight from A to B – Consider the anatomical function of the muscle you are training and ‘squeeze it like it owes you money!’ You must be goal-specific; growth and strength are not necessarily the best goals to pair!

Here are some of my favorite ‘pec activators’ – exercises that stimulate the proper use of the pecs for growth:

-Paused Incline DB Press
-Paused Dips
-45 Degree Incline Flyes with an external rotation in the bottom position
-Supine cable Flyes (Lying on a bench)
-Guillotine Press
-Low to High Cable Flyes
-Dumbbell presses – rotating the dumbbells inwards at the top so the pinky fingers face in

Try these to mix it up!



Matt Kelly – Personal trainer


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Matt Kelly Bio

Efit Team Profile - Matt Kelly

Matt Kelly is an ITEC certified personal trainer and fitness instructor, PICP strength coach and biosignature practitioner.

He comes from an athletic background, competing for Ireland in basketball at underage level, with 10 years experience playing at the highest level domestically.

Matt has trained everyone from athletes, body builders, bikini class competitors, to fat loss, injury rehabilitation clients, and countless others who have improved their general health and energy.

Having been diagnosed with diabetes at a young age, Matt has an acute awareness of the importance of how you treat your body and as a result, has spent his life learning about nutrition for both health and performance.

Matt’s strong passion for education is not limited to improving his own knowledge of health, training and nutrition, but the knowledge of his clients and all those seeking his guidance.


Matt Kelly – Personal Trainer


The Quest for Size – Things You Should be Doing to Get ‘Them Gainz’ by Matt Kelly


Gaining muscle mass and size is a world (often hilariously) corrupted by an increasing level of ‘broscience’. The first realisation you need to make if you want to put on some size, ahem….unassisted…is that you are NOT Ronnie Coleman, Jay Cutler or another pro bodybuilder. 2 a day workouts, 8000 calories and ridiculously specific training splits are practices which are either unpractical, inapplicable or simply needlessly complex for the average trainee. What follows is a list of tried and tested methods for gaining size, many of which are inescapable, unmissable basics including a few home truths that too many want to ignore!

Get lean –

So you want to get big right? You’ll need to be absorbing those delicious calories and various macronutrients efficiently, and arguably, the best way to turn over all your nutrition intake and get all those essentials into your cells is to get leaner. Leaner individuals are more sensitive to a variety of fuel sources (fats AND carbs) and being lean makes you look bigger. No matter how much size you put on you will eventually gravitate towards wanting to be lean – so don’t get caught in the bulk/cut trap – This is NOT essential, and in fact, can prove counter productive. UP guru Nick Mitchell treats getting lean as the first step anyone should take in trying to gain mass, and he is a man to trust….

Eat like a person of the size you want to be –

Calories in and calories out count, you need a surplus to gain size. Far too many of those seeking to grow, underestimate exactly how much they eat, tracking macros and growing your appetite are two simple yet effective tactics. Avoid getting too caught up in the frenzied need for carbs…. Carbs are important, sure, bumping up calories, facilitating nutrient uptake etc. but establishing a protein intake baseline, eating 4 times per day and thus upping protein synthesis deserves more of your attention – At the end of the day protein builds muscles!

Rest –

Boring…. BUT quality sleep is to muscular growth, what the watering can is to a house plant. Admit it to yourself, accept it, and don’t feel hard done by that ‘all your hard work in the gym isn’t paying off’ if you are going to bed late and feel tired. This is something which is hard to accept in the internet age, especially for younger males. Get your laptop out of your room at night, turn your phone on flight mode and don’t charge it. Take a look at any classic body builders…. Not only are they serial nappers, resting at all costs when not training or eating, but they are some of the most mellow and relaxed individuals you will ever encounter. So a reduction in all physiological AND psychological stresses will be a must if you are a poor sleeping, edgy, high stress type who wants to pack on some meat.

Variety in your programming and progression –

Your friends program may not work for you like it does for him, everyone is an individual, and you need to find out what works for you and then keep progressing and varying your training – Lifts, angles, tempo, reps all need to be varied to stimulate a cross section of muscle fibers and keep your body stimulated. Having routines that you do for months on end simply won’t work, your body will adapt, and you will feel this as you will eventually wake up the next morning after a workout completely unscathed! Vary your rep ranges, higher reps will also help get you leaner and increase work capacity, so you can do more quality work!

Remember that training for hypertrophy is about creating tension against weight, you have to get quality, controlled contractions, if you are just merely moving weights from A to B – You are limiting the potential quality of your workout. Check your ego at the gym door and remember the goal at hand.

Get stronger –

How many truly strong people who you have seen that don’t possess a good deal of muscle mass? Not many….You can’t spend all your time just doing ‘Reps for Jesus’ as Dom Mazzetti might say! If you are struggling with a plateau, give the higher reps a break, do multiple sets of strength work, six reps or lower, followed by a few sets of assistance movements. This will stimulate growth of myofibrils, basically giving you more actual muscle fibers, making you denser and allowing you to lift heavier loads for better stimulus moving forward.



Matt Kelly – Personal Trainer


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Cortisol: Why Stress Control and Reduction = Belly Fat Reduction (and so much more!) by Matt Kelly


Often the best way to lose a client is to delve into deeply scientific terminologies which are of no practical use to them on a day to day basis. People love practical: Tell the ladies to drink 6 cups of green tea a day and it will help them attain leaner legs… Like a drop of blood in a piranha tank…

In this sense I suppose I am risking losing a lot of you by using the term ‘cortisol’ as the subject of this post.
However, I have seen too many committed clients and trainees do all the ‘right things’ to improve their health, or reach a fat loss goal, and fall short because of factors external to exercise regime and/or nutrition. Without needing an in-depth understanding of certain chemical processes in the body you NEED to accept their presence and how they may inhibit you from getting what you ultimately want – this is why you NEED to understand cortisol’s role in your body.

Well – What is cortisol?
It is a hormone, produced in the brain. It deals (mostly) with blood sugar control, and metabolism, as well as the immune system. So you can guess its important for fat loss….
Now, let’s continue to be practical.

Why is controlling it important?
Put simply, an excess of cortisol and other stress hormones leads to an inability to metabolise fat, or FAT STORAGE (especially around your belly!) Oh ye, by the way, good luck trying to add lean mass with elevated cortisol….

Remember you are not that different at all from our prehistoric counterpart, on a physiological level that is! In times of high stress e.g. getting chased by a mountain lion, or a long period without food. Your body, in all its wisdom would have used things like cortisol, or adrenaline, to elevate your blood sugar…keep you going, and essentially keep you alive! Now since not much of this has changed over the many, many years…. You guessed it, this still happens!

At a meeting and you didn’t eat lunch….
Went straight to the gym after work, no dinner….
Skipped breakfast…. (an all too common SIN!)
Prolonged Elevated Cortisol…. The net result – your body actually begins to waste muscle and activates processes which lead to you storing fat, it begins to panic! This is harmful to many processes in the body!

So, you might ask:
Why do I have this cortisol stuff if it’s so bad?

We do need cortisol yes:
It controls the body’s natural rhythm in terms of sleep
It carries out and facilitates many important processes during exercise
It helps control the immune system.

But, as mentioned above the issue is
Which is an unfortunate symptom and reality of modern society, and modern living.

So what can we do Matt?
What? Apart from train with me and receive all the advice and solutions one could ever need?? Well….

In my experience, the worst culprits for elevating cortisol and thus inhibiting fat loss (or just quality of life for that matter!) are:

Too much caffeine
Not eating (/eating correctly) regularly/ calorie restriction
(The two above in combination seem to make each other even worse, coffee, a meal does not make!)
Lack of sleep – DON’T DODGE THIS ONE!
Exercise without the proper nutrition, or extended cardio especially!
Any psychological stress!!!

Here’s some ways to help:

Sleep more
Eat breakfast (cortisol wakes us up in the morning – when it is high, so you have to eat to normalize it!)
Create a more alkaline environment in the body
EG More green veg, more water (add some lemon and lime juice!)

Take any of the following supplements:
Magnesium – at night on an empty stomach
Vitamin C – as above or post exercise
B vitamins – support your nervous system, it will be less nervous!
Phosphatidylserine – what?? Who cares about the name it’s an excellent cortisol blocker, great to take at night and wind down the system for rest and repair.

Lastly, try to relax. This is where it gets a little ‘airy fairy’…. sorry, but relaxation, yoga (which i have found to be very effective) and just having a good ol’ laugh have been shown to reduce Cortisol levels time and time again. So get down to the cinema and see that new Adam Sandler film…. Although, wait… doesn’t that increase cortisol…?

Bad jokes aside, the bottom line is if you want to ramp up your fat loss, have a generally firmer body, lose fat around the middle especially, sleep better and feel generally better and happier –

Take the steps above, It’s not that hard to make a difference, and it becomes even easier when you see the results!

Listen to your body, care for it, work within your means to the best of your ability for it’s sake – It is, without a doubt, the best thing you will ever own – hate it or love it!



Matt Kelly – Personal Trainer


Get more of these interesting articles and plenty of workout programs from pros on the Efit App.

James Cummins Bio

Efit Team Profile - James Cummins

James has over 15 years’ experience in the fitness industry. He started out aged 19 working his way around Dublin’s big name gyms eventually working for himself as a group fitness instructor and personal trainer. After doing many courses including Pilates and various Personal training courses, he felt they weren’t fulfilling his thirst for knowledge, so aged 23 he began a 4 year degree to become a physical therapist. James now lectures for the college in advanced rehab. During his degree he also came across renowned strength coach Charles Poliquin. He travelled to 4 different countries attending Poliquin’s highly regarded courses. He also realised the necessity to understand nutrition and studied functional medicine during that time.

Always an entrepreneur at heart, at the young age of 25 he opened his first gym. A small personal training studio. He ran his own personal training and physical therapy business for 3 years building up a substantial client base before opening Elite Training & Nutrition a 3000sq ft commercial training facility in 2011. He was at that time the only trainer and employee. Now Elite boasts 11 highly sought after personal trainers and over 100 members. He is looking to expand to a 9000sq ft premises in early 2016 and bring informative fitness information to the masses via Efit and another exciting “secret” app that James and Eoin plan to release in 2016.


B.Sc Applied Health Science

Physical Therapist

Level 3 P.I.C.P Strength Coach

Level 2 Biosignature Nutritional Coach


James Cummins - Profile Picture

James Cummins –Personal Trainer & Co-creator of Efit App


Phone number: 00353876293973