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Train Hard or Train Smart?

Author: Bryan Kavanagh

Copyright (c) 2009 Athleticbodysystem

Are you training really hard and not getting the results you feel you deserve? Are you one of the 1000’s of people who cram up commercial gyms and train their guts out in an attempt to shed a few pounds, get healthy, get fit or even gain muscle? Do you ‘seek fatique’ and try to make sure you can hardly function when you leave the gym/ do you resemble ‘bambi on ice’ walking down the stairs of the gym? Who wrote your programme? Was he/she a reputable trainer or were they just in good shape themselves? There is a BIG difference!

I read an article in The Irish Times that piqued my interest. In not so many words it said that in order to make a real change to our bodies, lose them extra few pounds, shed unwanted bellyfat and lose that arm fat once and for all ‘you are going to have to sweat’. The article continued to say that you are going to have to change your exercise routine and constantly challenge yourself. Great! This was the first newspaper article on health and fitness that actually didn’t rub me up the wrong way! Then I started to think, what if people take this literally and just do what they are doing, only harder, or they get a ‘new programme’ that doesn’t address their goals?

In order to shed unwanted bellyfat or gain muscle you have to have a programme that addressed your goals! There is no point working REALLY hard on a programme that doesn’t do what its intended! Think about it like this. You need to travel to the U.S.A. but you try to get there using your bicycle, you need a plane, unless you are E.T of course (Stupid joke ignore me). That’s essentially what you are doing if you are on the wrong programme for you! The programme has to be tailor made, just for you. If it is fat loss you desire, then you get on a fat loss programme. If it is muscle gain, then your programme must address that. I have seen trainers doing tricep kickbacks with their clients in an affort to ‘tone’ a woman’s ‘bingo wings’ (that’s what we call upper arm fat in Ireland, it is also known as batwings). My point is; a tricep kick back is not an exercise a middle aged woman seeking fat loss should EVER do. It is a useless exercise at the best of times, and it certainly isn’t doing to burn any fat!

‘Tone’ or ‘Toning’ a muscle is merely the addition of small amounts of muscle and reduction in bodyfat in that area! Therefore metabolic work and full body movements, and increased caloric expenditure are the key! Not silly isolation movements. I cringe when I see this happening. Have you done kickbacks in an effort to burn nasty bodyfat? Well it’s not your fault it’s your trainers!


Bryan is a health and fitness expert based in Dublin, Ireland. For years he has helped people achieve their physical and athletic potential. To learn more about lean body development and social support log on to Bryan’s network
Your lean body coach,
Bryan kavanagh BSc CSCS
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March 16, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Gain Muscle, Lose Fat, Tone Up FAST!

By: Bryan Kavananagh

Are you guilty of wanting any of these things? Well I’m afraid I will have to be the bearer of bad news and tell you this just doesn’t happen! In the real world things don’t happen overnight and anybody that tells you this is lying! ‘Lose fat fast’ is probably the most popular nonsensical label claim made on the labels of fat loss supplements, and in the dodgy sales copy of some online fitness/fat loss experts.Every week I hear a multitude of excuses from people from every walk of life! Young men wanting to gain lean muscle fast, middle aged women wanting to lose their ‘bingo wings’ or lose weight from their inner thighs. ‘I’ve been dieting for 2 days and I haven’t lost any weight’

Just today I received a mail from a traumatised girl who has been dieting for years with no return! Here is a section from her mail:

‘Hi Bryan,

I have been dieting for years over 20 and still look the same 5’4, 120lbs, 23% bodyfat yes i admit i have tried it all tons of cardio intervals, weight training, low carb, low fat, high protein, carb cycling etc. Maybe I lose two pounds but then it just comes right back. . . .’

I immediately responded with an elongated version of the following article as I know how frustrating it can be when you think you are doing everything right but there may be one tweak here, or a little change there that could make the difference. There’s always something. I know you would like to think you are unique and that you cant lose weight, or ‘it’s genetic, so it’s not my fault’. Granted, it is harder for some people to lose weight than others and some people put on weight easier! Well that’s just too bad, we are all unique. BUT, that doesn’t mean its not possible! You are not special in this regard, you can lose weight, and achieve the body you want but you may just have to work a little harder that’s all!

There is a process involved. You must address you lifestyle, not just your diet 3 days per week! You must change the way you approach losing weight. It is not something you have to ‘achieve’ it is your new lifestyle! Deal with it and adopt an ‘athletic mindset’. Athletes do not just take up a sport and hope to be champion in their discipline in 12 weeks, they adopt a lifestyle, set long term goals and ultimately they achieve something.

Setting goals like ‘lose weight’ or ‘gain muscle’ do not make sense. They are superficial. Set goals that are rewarding and not just a number on a weighing scales or measuring tape. Set visual goals, i.e. ‘How do I want to LOOK in 6 months time?’ Or performance goals: ‘I want to improve all my lifts in the gym’. These are a lot more measurable and more realistic and easier to follow.


Bryan is a health and fitness expert based the ABS Gym in Dublin, Ireland. For years he has helped people achieve their physical and athletic potential. To learn more about lean body development and his personal training services email him on

Your lean body coach,

Bryan kavanagh BSc CSCS

March 14, 2009 Posted by | dublin, Health and Fitness, nutrition, training | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Healthy Shopping List, How To Shop In Dublin During The Recession And Stay Healthy – Part 2

Now here’s how a shopping list SHOULD look (its not perfect but its and improvement!) And guess where i done my shopping? Superquinn, Dunnes, Tesco’s? Nope. . ALDI. . Thats right. . the quality of the meat and vegetables in there is unrivaled! im telling you. . if you want to eat healthily, and save money. . go to Aldi for your shopping! you cant beat it! I’ve been going there for over a year now and I have saved 100’s if not 1000’s of Euro since then!

Here’ goes!

Turkey Breasts x 2

Turkey Mince (lean)

Vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower mix)

Roast chicken tikka pieces (diced fillet) (x3)

Cottage cheese (x 4)

Bacon bits (lean cuts for my omelettes)

Frikadellen meat balls

Peppers 3 pack (x 2)

Natural Yogurt

Cashews/ Salted nuts x 2

Salmon Fillets x 5

Total €37.42 ($45)

So whats so special about this? Well there’s. . .

1) Plenty of lean meats

2) Plenty of fresh vegetables

3) Natural yogurt not nuisance yoplait or ambrosia that is full of sugar!

(if you must use artificial sweetener to sweeten it up)

4) Sides like cottage cheese and low fat soft cheese (naturally high protein, low fat, low carb)

5) Nuts (buy small bags so you don’t eat them all !)

Now it is by no means perfect to look at and I did go to another store to get my

1) Blueberries

2) Inulin (fibre) rich sweetener

3) Spinach

4) Tuna

5) Omega 3 eggs

This should give you a few ideas for your next shopping trip!

Thanks for reading!

Bryan Kavanagh BSc. CSCS

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March 10, 2009 Posted by | dublin, Food, Health and Fitness, heathy food, nutrition, Shopping, trainer | , , , , , | Leave a comment