David is one of Ireland most successful sprinters of all time, winning the European indoor championships in 2005 and 2007. He became an Olympian in 2008 and in 2009 finished 6th in the Berlin world Championships. He is the first Irishman to run under the 45 second barrier for 400m and was the first Irishman to make a global final for 83 years.
In the summer of 2013, the nation got to know David a little a bit more, not on the track, but in in RTE 1’s Celebrity Masterchef Kitchen. David beat 7 other well known Irish faces to become Ireland’s first winner of the Celebrity version of the hit TV show. David interest and knowledge came to the fore in the show, and of course went down well with the judges. Following his succes in the masterchef kitchen David put pen to paper in 2015 and wrote his own best selling cook book “David Gillick’s Kitchen – Good food from the track to the table”.
David has been kind enough to share his top fitness tips with us. Over to you David....
One essential part of training is about variety and it is very common to see people putting in all that effort every week doing the same routine but not reaching their goals! Changing things on a regular basis is extremely important on a number of fronts.
Firstly, it is important to change exercises and keep your muscles guessing. Muscles will become very used to the same movement and therefore you will not reap the rewards. This is relevant to whatever sport or exercise you are in to. If running or cycling is your thing don’t be afraid to add in intervals along with long cardio runs.
In the gym, vary with legs and arms, include different ways to target the same muscles, for example squats are great for glute (bums) maybe try single leg squats for a challenge.
Don’t forget, it’s not all about joining gyms or classes. Simple bodyweight exercises can be done at home, park or local pitch
Secondly, it helps keeps thing interesting and fresh. You don’t want things to become monotonous and boring. Exercise should be fun so change the environment now and again, maybe that’s doing an outdoor bodyweight circuit session or a run on the beach or a hill sprint workout.
Simply put, don’t get stuck in a routine, variety is the spice of life!
So many people start an exercise regime with no target and after a few weeks they lose interest and it all falls by the wayside. The cornerstone of any exercise programme should be built around a target, what is it that you want to achieve!
Targets and goals are not just for the elite, if you want to achieve something you have to put your mind to it. Ask yourself what is it you want to achieve, it could be related to your body, improve performance, a competition or simply to be fitter and healthier.
Write it down and remind yourself of it on an ongoing basis, this will help keep you motivated to put the effort in on the days you don’t feel like it.
A key to this is a routine, aim for consistency in your training. Two workouts this week and none next week will not help you reach your target, so when planning your week pop it in the diary as a non-negotiable, more likely to stick to it.
Here are my top tips
1) Target – It is so important to have a target in mind when you start exercising as it will help keep you focused and will motivate you stick to it in order to achieve your goal. Be realistic but don’t be afraid to challenge yourself, but make sure it’s clear. A target can be a performance, body composition related or a number of workouts per week. The main thing is that it is personal to you.
2) Plan – Make sure you plan your training, don’t just arrive at the gym or the park with no idea of what to do. You will not maximise your training and it will get boring. Write down the days and times that suit you to train and then write down what you are exactly going to do. What is the focus for today’s session, is it legs, upper body or maybe cardio? For example, a 5km run, a spinning class or a circuit which will include press up, squats and lunges.
3) Intensity – If time is of the essence make sure you make the most of your training. If you only have 30 minutes to train plan it and then hit it…hard. Make sure you get the heart rate up and really challenge yourself by taking short breaks in between exercises, for example 30 to 60 seconds. Be ready to go, have all the equipment in front of you that you need to save time.
A 30-minute workout is ample time to complete a great session, but it relies on your application and realizing that it is only a half an hour!
4) 3 Areas – If getting a training session in twice or three time a week is realistic, then aim to hit these 3 key areas in one session. Cardio, mobility and resistance. The most time efficient way to hit all of these is by doing a circuit. Take short recoveries between exercises as this will get the heart rate up. Add in some weights using equipment or simply body weight, working upper body and lower body. Finally add in movements like lunges and hip rotations to increase range of mobility
5) Make it social - rope in a friend that wants to get fit, join a team, group or a class. The more people the better to make it fun and social so the workout will be a laugh.
6) Eat – finally one key area that is often forgotten about is food. It is very important to consume both protein and carbohydrates in the 20-minutes post hard exercises. Simple recovery snack includes flavoured milk, yogurts or fulfil protein bars.