5 Reasons you Might Not Be Getting Lean As Quickly As you Want to – by Matt Kelly

FIVE REASONS V.2

Here are 5 reasons you might not be getting lean as quickly as you want to (or think you should be!)

1) Inadequate fibre – eat LOTS of fibrous, cruciferous veg – Salads are not enough on their own.

2) You don’t train hard enough – How many of you leave the gym truly exhausted and sweating – It’s all relative. I see clients in Elite Training and Nutrition complaining about how sore and tired they are DURING a set of prowler push – You can’t be working THAT hard so?

In contrast I see one of my colleagues like Lindsey Doyle or Damian Darkar pushing a prowler and they can’t even talk afterwards – Let alone during.

You don’t need to train as hard as a world champion kick-boxer, but you need to find your TRUE limits – This is why personal training is so great ;)

3) There’s no variety in your training – The definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results…. Haven’t ran that body fat off on the treadmill in the last six weeks of repeatedly doing so? Haven’t changed your weights routine in two months….Well, why are you still doing it then?

4) You are too lenient on yourself on the weekend – As (world renowned strength coach) Charles Poliquin always says – Nobody ever ate anything by accident, nobody is going to MAKE you go out drinking, you’re the master of your own destiny, take ownership of that and decide what you really want out of your dietary decisions. A good week of eating doesn’t deserve a night of binge drinking and Domino’s – One will not offset the other.

5) Your body is inflamed and under stress – You don’t sleep enough, drink enough water, your system is acidic and not alkaline – Adequate recovery is every bit important as good quality training, feed your body, let it rest, find ways to reduce stress (see my article on cortisol here http://tinyurl.com/po9yod9) and exposure to toxins.

 

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Matt Kelly – Personal Trainer

mattkellypt@gmail.com

00353876921625

https://www.facebook.com/MattKellyPT

Get more of these interesting articles and plenty of workout programs from pros on the Efit App.
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Knee Pain – An Overlooked Cause and a Simple Solution by Lindsey Doyle

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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 lindseydoyle@gmail.com.

 

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Lindsey Doyle – Personal Trainer

Email: lindseydoyle@gmail.com

Phone number: 00353857218478

Website: www.lindseydoylept.com

Facebook: facebook.com/lindseydoylept

Instagram: @lindseydoylept

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

 

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Matt Kelly – Personal trainer

mattkellypt@gmail.com

00353876921625

https://www.facebook.com/MattKellyPT

Get more of these interesting articles and plenty of workout programs from pros on the Efit App.
https://appsto.re/ie/d39C5.i

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

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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.

 

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Matt Kelly – Personal Trainer

mattkellypt@gmail.com

00353876921625

https://www.facebook.com/MattKellyPT

Get more of these interesting articles and plenty of workout programs from pros on the Efit App. https://appsto.re/ie/d39C5.i

Failing a Rep or Failing Your Body? – Knowing the Difference Between Discomfort and Failure by Matt Kelly

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One of the most important distinctions you can make when training is the difference between discomfort and failure…

The more I have trained, the more I have been able to differentiate between burn or pain, and actual mechanical failure, or the inability to complete a rep.

It sounds simple but if you find yourself leg pressing and the weight is still moving rapidly through the concentric phase (The way up!) but a voice in the back of your head says you can’t do anymore, then your mind is failing, and not your body.

Every set should be an exercise in persistence, an ongoing, consistent reminder to yourself as to what failure really is…

Improving your work capacity is physiological, but deeply psychological simultaneously, it takes time but if you can get yourself to a point where you are trying to complete a pull up and your elbows are shaking violently, side to side, like a phone stuck on vibrate – then chances are you are failing honestly as a result of proper failure!

Develop your training quality by treating every set as an exercise in mental fortification. Take that shit to the next level guys!

 

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Matt Kelly – Personal trainer

mattkellypt@gmail.com

00353876921625

https://www.facebook.com/MattKellyPT

Get more of these interesting articles and plenty of workout programs from pros on the Efit App.
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Growth and Functionality – Striking the Perfect Balance by Matt Kelly

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Most guys going to the gym want to grow, or at least develop their body. The problem with this fixation is that they tend to adhere to a lot of big compound movements, which in theory is fine, but every trainee needs to go through periods where they prioritize structural balance. Potentially throw in some poor range of motion, tempo adherence and even the occasional bit of bad form and there are going to be a lot of tight, inflexible gentleman who don’t move so well. If your movement is restricted, chances are your growth will be restricted. But what do you pump chasers do if you want to address these needs in training variation but maximize your growth potential?

One of the keys to good programming is to specify the exercise selection, reps and rest to the individual needs of each client.

But I want to give you a quick insight into a broad idea on how to program for upper body structural balance and also get a swell on somewhat, thus making it more sustainable for all of you who just normally bang out reps… I’m gonna meet you all half way…. Here is an idea of a recent program I did to address some tightness in my upper pecs, lats and strength my external rotators and scapular retractors…

A1) 45 Degree Incline Dumbell Flyes (with external rotation) 4 sets 12 to 15 reps 3110 tempo 60 seconds rest

– High reps to loosen out the pecs, the angle will not only help grow the upper pecs, but loosen your pec minor and increase your range of motion

A2) Dumbbell Pullovers 4 sets 12 to 15 reps 3110 tempo 60 seconds rest

– Too many back exercises are performed poorly (the dumbbell rows I have seen people do…) A dumbbell pullover gives your lats a stretch you can’t avoid, and unlike chinups there is little force through internal rotation, pause and you will stretch the external rotators of the shoulder massively, it generally opens up the whole torso for many other movements

B1) Bilateral Prone Dumbbell Arc Row 3 sets 12 to 15 reps 3011 tempo 10 second rest – straight into…

B2) Prone Dumbbell Row 3 sets 15 to 20 reps 2011 tempo 75 seconds rest

Anyone who has done an arc row in their time, and done it properly with a pause at the top of the movement, knows what humility is. Done correctly this is TOUGH and really improves the range of motion of your scapular retraction, while also strengthening it greatly. I have found this movement to really give me greater tightness at the top of my pull-ups and chin-ups…. Moving directly into the more mechanically advantageous prone dumbbell row allows us to extend the set out, to get a little sweat going, but also to recruit a variety of muscle fibers and really teach the shoulder blades to retract and improve posture. This will develop finer details in the back but it will just make it…work better… too!

For your C series one should get specific to your smaller muscles and structural imbalances, now is the time for dumbbell external rotations with your elbow on knee, mid pulley external rotations, lateral raises, trap 3 raises, lean away lateral raises, or some elbow flexor and extensor work… As you can see we want to address the shoulder primarily at this stage, get good range of motion, stability and balance – All essential for hypertrophy also!

So you see you don’t need to just bang out barbell bench presses all day to grow, at times it should be quite the opposite, big compound lifts have a massive role to play, but if you can’t reach behind you without feeling like you’re pecs and external rotators are moving through drying concrete then maybe it is time to change your approach!

Train to grow AND function, to make your growth function – Enjoy the free program and let me know how you find it!

 

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Matt Kelly – Personal trainer

mattkellypt@gmail.com

00353876921625

https://www.facebook.com/MattKellyPT

Get more of these interesting articles and plenty of workout programs from pros on the Efit App.           https://appsto.re/ie/d39C5

Taking Your Time to Perfect the Beat – The Importance of Tempo by Matt Kelly

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There is a reason why you are prescribed a tempo in every Efit program and a reason why you should stick to it…. Far too often you see clients training with zero semblance of tempo when they perform an exercise, especially in the eccentric phase (lowering the weight).

Even more laughably – far too many trainers let their clients away without performing an appropriate tempo, do not insist on implementing it properly, or simply want to either thrash their client, or boost their ego by putting a pointless amount of emphasis on the numbers on the bar.

If you want to get leaner, tempo is essential. If you want to get stronger, it is arguably even more essential. Lifting less in the short term to a correctly prescribed tempo WILL make you stronger in the long term however, you will have to check your ego for a while in some cases.

Bart Simpson once said with frustration, when placed in a remedial class:
“Let me get this straight. We’re behind the rest of our class and we’re going to catch up to them by going slower than they are?”
Well…actually, in this case, YES!!!

Now, I don’t want the point to get clouded here, I am not discussing the finer points of tempo prescription for maximization of strength. The crux of the issue with tempo liberals, whether they be trainees or trainers is that they are making a massive oversight in terms of the basic science of training… So let’s say I can do 10 reps, of a given exercise, with a given weight. This could take 10 seconds…. or 100 dependent on the manipulation of tempo. It may be very inconvenient, but your body doesn’t simply identify a number of concentric muscle contractions and go ‘Wait, okaaaay…GAINZ!!!’ or ‘She just hit the magic rep number for fat loss, oxidize that shit’. It is in fact the TIME SPENT UNDER TENSION which is going to largely dictate the training outcome.

**N.B.**  A rep is an arbitrary unit of measurement, it represents little or nothing without a tempo, in terms of how it effects your body. The tempo in Efit programs are there for a reason!

…And oh ye, if your knees crunch when you do your version of a squat aka “a speedy slut drop”, your tempo probably isn’t so tidy, and your cartilage is taking an absolute pounding. Tempo helps to strengthen joints, ligaments, tendons, and connective tissue too… Health is paramount, it doesn’t matter how strong or sexy you are if your joints are shot.

Get a proper program, from a proper trainer – like the ones designed by Efit, with some thought put into these finer details, then go carry it out PROPERLY. You’ve gone to the trouble to go train, so it makes sense right? Who cares if you have to squat 20kg less to carry out the prescribed tempo, are you there to get leaner, bigger, stronger or to be seen lifting x amount?

Either way, if it sucks in the short term, your results will be your reward in the long term. If your training needs a kick start with a program with more attention to detail like this, you could benefit from Efit programming – these smaller insights are likely exactly what you need. Remember, hard work only gets you so far…..

….If you have the option of “working hard” or “working smart”, CHOOSE BOTH!!!

 

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Matt Kelly – Personal trainer

mattkellypt@gmail.com

00353876921625

https://www.facebook.com/MattKellyPT

Get more of these interesting articles and plenty of workout programs from pros on the Efit App.           https://appsto.re/ie/d39C5

 

 

The 4 ‘P’s’ : Prerequisites in Achieving Your Fitness Goal by Matt Kelly – Part 4

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These are concepts and issues which you need to address if you wish to optimally begin and achieve any fitness goal, none of these are a magic fat loss diet or workout plan, but more so issues that require reflection and consideration. Think ‘Psychology’, not ‘Performance Enhancers’ or ‘Pills’!

Part 4 – Progression and Personalisation –

We all need to feel or experience progress to keep ourselves motivated. This is why progress photos or statistical measurement of your progress is so important.  Results can be measured in more than aesthetics, lest we forget. An increase in energy, sleep quality, digestion and even mood are all well documented benefits associated with a healthier, more active lifestyle. REMEMBER – Having a six pack doesn’t necessarily make you healthy, but becoming truly, internally healthy places you in a more advantageous position to achieve your given goal (maybe it’s having a six pack!?) – Just keep the faith!

It is equally important that there is the necessary progression in both your training, and your nutrition. If we take it that strict dieting is a process which will inevitably fail, one needs to better understand how to optimize a diet plan, when to restrict, as well as slowly reintroduce the appropriate foods, and ultimately come to a point where you have a sustainable nutrition plan that will last long term.

In terms of training, variety is essential. Your body is constantly seeking equilibrium, and is extremely adaptable – Do you ever wonder why those people in the gym who have a ‘regime’ they’ve been doing for two, ten or twenty years don’t progress so much? Well, now you know why we need to vary the types of strength training we do, when to introduce cardiovascular work, HIIT etc.

This is where a proven and knowleageable personal trainer can become an invaluable investment. More training isn’t always better, carbs are not always your enemy, calories don’t need to be reduced, cardio isn’t always evil, but sometimes it also isn’t even neccessary. These are the sort of issues which constantly confuse those on a fitness journey. Your progress is ONLY limited by the quality of your guidance both in terms of nutrition and training.

 

What can we conclude when we consider these points? Success in a fitness related goal is something which requires desire, consideration, planning, focus, and well informed guidance. The issue is that most people roll out of bed on the 1st of January and purchase a year long gym membership at a discount out of panic and desperation, having considered little of what it will truly entail – and then say ‘I can’t do it’ when they meet stumbling blocks which they had never considered – not that shocking is it? The truth about limitation is that it is almost always self imposed. Considering the reality behind what it may take to get to where you want to go can be daunting initially, but psychological preparation, alongside good planning will put you on the path to success. Put your mind on autopilot by focusing on what you want, and how it will make you truly happy when you achieve it.

 

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Matt Kelly – Personal trainer

mattkellypt@gmail.com

00353876921625

https://www.facebook.com/MattKellyPT

Get more of these interesting articles and plenty of workout programs from pros on the Efit App.             https://appsto.re/ie/d39C5

The 4 ‘P’s’ : Prerequisites in Achieving Your Fitness Goal by Matt Kelly – Part 3

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These are concepts and issues which you need to address if you wish to optimally begin and achieve any fitness goal, none of these are a magic fat loss diet or workout plan, but more so issues that require reflection and consideration. Think ‘Psychology’, not ‘Performance Enhancers’ or ‘Pills’!

Part 3 – Patience and Perspective –

This is where things like progress photos and measurements can become helpful reference tools. Most people have a habit; no matter how lean or overweight, skinny or muscular, of warping how they appear in their own minds. Pictures don’t lie. It is essential to continuously consider and reflect upon how far you have come during your journey. This will keep you focused and motivated.

At the same time, one needs patience. The 21st century gave birth to the entitlement generation, living in the era of instant gratification, in an instagram fueled, before and after photo, instantaneous result driven online fitness culture. Once again we need to remind of ourselves of the importance of the process. For every incredible before and after photo you have seen consider that there were probably dozens of photos in between…. Rome wasn’t built in a day etc. – value the process!

Remember, especially in the case of fat loss that it’s like emptying a swimming pool, the shallow end empties first, the fat you put on last, comes off first. The deep end, or the fat you have accumulated over longer periods of time will, inevitably, take a little longer. Increasing fat loss from specific areas CAN be possible to a certain degree through protocols, but ultimately, you can’t completely empty the deep end first!

Stop and consider how long it took you to gain excess body fat, was it years? Chances are it may take a little time to get where you want to go then. Unfortunately peace needs to be made with this fact to stay focused and driven. It can be daunting to think ‘My god, it is going to take me 10 months to get where I want to go’. Timescale itself is a difficult thing to calculate, as everyone is so individualized, and the variables are so many that a very accurate number of weeks or months is either inexact, or a lie someone told you!

Either way, no matter if it takes 10 weeks or 10 months – that time is going to pass anyway! Whether you spend the 10 months working towards your goal or not, the time is going to elapse! (Barring apocalyptic events or a dismantling of the Gregorian calendar!) This realization makes dedication to a cause seem a little less daunting, and gives you a healthy shot of ‘might as well’ too.

 

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Matt Kelly – Personal trainer

mattkellypt@gmail.com

00353876921625

https://www.facebook.com/MattKellyPT

Get more of these interesting articles and plenty of workout programs from pros on the Efit App. https://appsto.re/ie/d39C5.i

The 4 ‘P’s’ : Prerequisites in Achieving Your Fitness Goal by Matt Kelly – Part 2

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These are concepts and issues which you need to address if you wish to optimally begin and achieve any fitness goal, none of these are a magic fat loss diet or workout plan, but more so issues that require reflection and consideration. Think ‘Psychology’, not ‘Performance Enhancers’ or ‘Pills’!

Part 2 – Passion –

Examine those who have had great success, have risen to the top of their field, or have overcame supposedly insurmountable odds… they all have something in common. Sure they may all have an undying work ethic, unbreakable self belief and a relentless drive but this is all fundamentally fortified by a passion for their goal. This passion fuels an unshakable focus which allows them to stay on course to achieving their goal, avoiding obstacles along the way as if they are on some kind of auto pilot.

Whether you want to get ripped, gain lean mass and be huge, drop body fat, become a bikini competitor, a great athlete, or become incredibly fit – you have to want it. This isn’t to say you have to sacrifice all else like a Schwarzenegger, but you cannot resent the process. (not one of our p’s but still important!) You must embrace it to at least some degree, love the battle with yourself, and pursue your goal despite the fact it may not always go according to plan. Even if you have a weekend where you have a few drinks with a visiting friend, or a busy day at work where eating becomes a disaster, this passion and focus will get you back on track and keep you there long term.

Constantly reminding yourself what is truly valuable and important to you can be a very positive psychological process and a self validating one too. Far too many people struggle with a cycle of guilt with food, or alcohol etc. – weigh up what is really important – the night out with friends will slow the process of attaining your goal, but is it what you want? Will it make you happy? These are all important questions! If having the body you want is what truly will make you happy, you will gravitate towards the choice which will best facilitate this outcome. If going out occasionally and slowing the process down is what you choose to do, that is ok! Maybe it is sub optimal, but that is what you wanted, and valued more at that given time – once you truly consider it in these terms, you can begin to make decisions with more clarity and more importantly, feel a greater sense of self validation. This is what Phil Learney refers to as ‘Cost Vs. Value’ – if you made a ‘bad’ decision, but made it for an enjoyable, measured reason, there will inherently be a decreased amount of guilt, and an immediately easier climb to get back up in the saddle.

Layne Norton often refers to ‘dieting’ as a system designed to fail, you will inevitably hit a period of sub optimal eating, it is how you react to this that will define your outcome in the long term. We can so often transition a ‘bad’ period into a really great stretch of training and eating, it all depends on mind set. Be happy in your decisions, not guilty wallowing in the consequences.

Remember you are more likely to be driven by your most sincere and deepest wants and desires – decide what really makes you happy and want it every day! Be passionate about what you want!

 

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Matt Kelly – Personal trainer

mattkellypt@gmail.com

00353876921625

https://www.facebook.com/MattKellyPT

Get more of these interesting articles and plenty of workout programs from pros on the Efit App. https://appsto.re/ie/d39C5.i