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Celebrity Trainer Pat Henry

I was in Northwood earlier in the week about to knock out an intense lower body training session when a newspaper article about celebrity trainer Pat Henry caught my eye.

I was late for the training session but I couldnt help reading the article start to finish.

On one hand, I shouln’t be slating the article and I’ve already received 2 messages saying I’m jealous that he got in the paper…Please..I’ve been in the paper too… talking SENSE.

Here’s my critique of the drivel… I mean article. These are just some of the statements that Pat made in the article…they actually make my blood boil…some people will actually pay attention to this garbage and ruin their training progress.

‘spinning at high resistance makes your bum bigger’

Sorry but it is still submaximal. There is no hope of someone getting ‘huge bum’ from spinning unless of course the resistance in literally immovable…only then would you get ANY muscle growth.

‘too long on the cross trainer will bulk up your legs…’

This is absolutely ridiculous… unless of course the person has the resistence setting up too high. Have you ever seen someone who has huge legs that ‘walks too much’ because thats all a cross trainer is… a mix between walking and cross country skiing. The Cross trainer and bike can of course be used to perform fat burning intervals which … wait for it… make you bum smaller and help you lose fat.

If spinning or going on the cross trainer was so effective at growing muscles, I know a lot of young GUYS who would be glued to the stationary bike. If growing muscle was so easy everyone in the gym who are plodding along on the cardio machines day in, day out would be lean and muscular…

Careful... Spinning classes may bulk you up 🙂

But they aren’t… Maybe cardio and silly bikes are not the way to go… Just food for thought.

This was the best part of the article. The Do’s and Dont’s were hilarious. they are actually the complete and utter OPPOSITE of the truth.

‘DON’T… keep your feet flat on the ground when tackling squats’

‘DO… Use a wedge to raise your feet slightly off the ground.


He goes on to say, ‘keeping your heels flat on the ground makes you stick out your bum and makes it bigger’
Oh Dear God…

‘DON’T… bend from side to side as it could add 3 inches to your waist and create a thickness’

Im not a fan of ‘bending side to side‘ but if ‘bending side to side‘ (technical term I assume) added 3 inches to your waist i’d have all my male clients do some sort of front to back motion with their upper back to add 3 inches to their upper body…that’d make sense right?


‘DO… Twist as far as you can in alternate directions to whittle the waist down’

Oh right so a side to side motion will make it bigger but a spine-crunching rotational movement will make it smaller…I never knew that…must try it sometime…

‘DON’T lift weights that are too heavy. “I’m not a fan of heavy weights for girls, It shortens muscles and ruins the shape of the arms”
‘DO…A 1kg Dumbbell with exercises like the bicep curl can help banish bingo wings’

This part of the article angered but I’ve already wrote about ladies only lifting light weights and how nonsensical it is here
–> Women lifting Light Weights

That aside…

Even if the 1kg bicep curls did burn fat (which they most certainly do not) I still have to question his exercise selection …Is it just me or is the bicep on the front of the arm and the tricep on the back of the arm? I dunno, I’ll have to consult with my anatomy book… 🙂

There’s a bit of a rant, hope I wasn’t too antagonistic.

Thanks for reading

Bryan Kavanagh BSc. CSCS

February 26, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments


Lets face it, the first thing you find yourself doing when you even think about losing weight is measuring tapes, weighing scales and dress sizes.

What are some of the numbers you find yourself obsessing over?

The number on the scale is the main weight loss indicator people obsess about but you may be surprised that it is probably the last one you should be worrying about. Weighing yourself can be a very good indicator if you are say, 50 or 100 lbs over weight; because there is quite a bit of weight to lose but if you are looking to lose 10-15 lbs for instance then the scales isn’t the way to go. Let me explain.

In the initial stages you will lose weight fast. However, it is not all fat loss. Simple changes in your diet can cause you to stop retaining water and reduce inflammation causing you to drop ‘weight’ and some fat of course but early in the diet dramatic weight loss will primarily be water loss. So if some magical trainer tells you he can make you lose 10 lbs in a week he’s talking nonsense, it’s not fat loss. Contrary to this if you take up a new exercise regime the muscle damage can cause you to retain water. As a result some people can gain ‘weight’ and some people can lose weight in their first week of training but they both definitely lost fat regardless of the change in the number on the weighing scales.

The number of inches lost can be trouble to. Losing inches long term is great, I’m all for it, the problem is people obsess about it and measure their waist daily. It will not change in such a small time scale. I know what’s going through peoples minds when they are performing this crazy ritual…

‘hmm I wonder if I lost weight yesterday’

Even if you stopped eating completely for a day you wouldn’t visibly lose anything so stop kidding yourself. Losing inches is a process and doesn’t happen over night. So put the tape away until the weekend and keep to the programme.

Worrying about dress size now I agree with, because when you have a target in mind like ‘being a size 8 again’ at least you have something to focus on. Buying a dress that is the size you want to be is possibly the best motivational tool you could use. Buy committing to buying that expensive dress you have a clear-cut goal to achieve; to be a specific size…no scales involved, no crap. You either fit into it and it looks great on you or it doesn’t. if it doesn’t then there’s some work to be done period.

Food that has the number of calories pasted all over it is the worst food you can possibly eat. Simply because it’s the sugar and processed crap has a negative effect it has on your blood sugar levels and your metabolism that causes insulin spikes, fat storage and weight gain, not the amount of calories that’s in the food itself which, admittedly is quite low. You will gain more fat as a result of eating those foods than if you ate twice the amount of calories in a healthier unprocessed form because your metabolism is still firing on all cylinders and churning out calories uninterrupted.

I cringe when I hear people say

‘I done 30 minutes last week on the treadmill so then I did 40 minutes this week…<how great am I>’

Probably a bit harsh but all that person has done is taught their body to burn less calories. That’s right, endurance exercise like running on a treadmill/going on a cross trainer for a set amount of time at a reasonably constant pace is an endurance exercise. The only difference between me, you and an endurance athlete is that they are really good at sparing calories; they ration them out and use as little calories as possible doing exercise. If we put that into perspective, your goal when you go to the gym is to burn calories, right? Well, why train your body to burn less each time you go? Soon you will have to run for three hours to burn off thirty minutes worth of calories.

The most frustrating thing I have come across is the fear women have of picking up a weight that doesn’t look like a baby’s rattler. They gravitate towards the pink rubber dumbbells and then knock out about fifty mind numbing repetitions. Seriously, an average handbag weighs twice that of the silly pink dumbbell. A baby is four or five times the mass of that ridiculous ankle weight and some women carry both these around for a day simultaneously. Doing a light weight for high repetitions will not tone anything. If the muscle was capable of doing something with ease before you went to the gym it see no need to adapt and ‘tone’ so it just stays the same, it’s a waste of time. The same is true for burning calories, the muscle needs to be challenged every time you train in a different manner. If the exercise you are doing takes two hours and is as boring as hell then you might as well be at home to be honest. I know you have heard of the term ‘No Pain, No Gain’? I won’t go that extreme but I will say you have to step outside your comfort zone of little colourful ankle weights and take a look around at everybody who is training like that and getting nowhere and do the opposite to what they are doing and you might just make some progress.

January 10, 2010 Posted by | Health and Fitness | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Eat Fat…Lose Fat…


It’s the enemy right? Sure it’s the 1st thing you say when you go to eat something;

‘Is this fattening’



proper fats

It is almost ingrained into people to check how much fat is in their foods and as a result a ‘fat free’ cereal bar suddenly becomes a health food and cereal is an acceptable breakfast to eat. After all it is fat free. .you can’t get fat if its fat free right?


In the 90’s and early 00’s dietary fat got a really bad reputation.

1 gram of fat = 9 calories
1 gram of carbohydrate = 4 calories
1 gram of protein = 4 calories

In the majority of cases it is not the excess fat or calories that people are taking in that makes them gain weight and/or prevents them from losing weight. It is the damage to the metabolism and the constantly elevated insulin levels caused by the poor quality, high sugar diet that they used to follow.

Long story short, it’s not the fat that’s causing you to store fat. Truth be told your intake of fat helps you lose fat.

Take omega 3 fatty acids, ALA (alpha linoleic acid) and fish oils for example.

If you look at the container of any food rich in these ingredients you will probably be put off straight away!

Take flaxseed for example, rich in ALA (a precursor to omega 3) but it is pure fat too. 10 grams is 90 kcals. 10 grams of any fat, saturated, unsaturated, sideways, upside down, doesn’t matter its fat and it has 9 kcals per gram of the stuff.

Confusing you again aren’t I?

It really is the source of the fat that matters. Not the calories.

Trans fats and most saturated fats are too complex and stubborn and tend to be stored easier. Some will be utilised and converted into hormones etc. Not to get too technical but eliminate trans fats and try minimise saturated fats as they still have their uses.

Omega 3 and ALA (plant version of omega 3) and basically most oils (omega 6&9) are good in moderation. Thing is, you more than likely get enough omega 6&9 already…but you definitely don’t get enough Omega 3. I know that because I probably don’t either. It almost is like the more the better with this wonderful fat… I don’t want you going and buying a bottle of pure fish oil and drinking it up but I will say take in more.

My recommendations are extreme and I get funny looks when I give them. Begin introducing a sprinkle of milled flaxseed on your scrambled egg or a table spoon in your shake or in your natural yogurt in the morning.

Begin taking fish oils properly, not one capsule a day. For a 180-200lb guy I’d suggest 6-8 capsules a day. For a 130lb woman 4-6 capsules per day. These are minimal requirements. Just make sure they are fish oils and not multivitamin cod liver oil.

Here are some of the benefits of taking in more fat:

Increase insulin sensitivity (opposite if insulin resistance)
Reduced belly fat storage
Decreased inflammation
Increased nervous function
Increase reaction time
Cognitive ability (your brain works better)

The list goes on

I guess what I’m trying to do here is convince you that it isn’t fat that is the problem here, don’t fear it!

Thanks for reading!




Check out the ABS cookbook for some FATTY meals 🙂


November 9, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment