A Quick Primer on Stretching

Stretching is a very subjective topic.
Different people respond very differently to various styles of stretching.

So heres a look at the main styles of stretching (various people/training systems may lay claim to inventing or owning some of these methods. They’re wrong.)

Static Stretching.

Static Stretching has a more appropriate name that is used by Pavel Tsatsouline in his book Relax into Stretch, he calls it “Wait Out The Tension”
And that’s an apt description of what actually happens.
You assume the stretch position and you hang out there until that position becomes comfortable and then you go a bit further.

Dynamic Range of Motion

My personal favourite so if you follow my work, the one you will be most familiar with.

There are two main ways to employ DROM.

Either moving through a full range gradually expanding that range as you warm up as shown by Dave here:

Or if you wish to develop a specific range, go into the stretch and begin gently pulsing to deepen the stretch and then release it.

As shown by Karolina here:

This method can be done for very high reps to get rapid increases in mobility, but as a warm up and cool down anything that gets the joints back moving is adequate.

Contrast Stretching

A bit like dynamic in that you’re moving deeper in that stretch space.
Only for contrast you’re pulling yourself deeper by contracting the opposite muscles.
So for a hip flexor stretch, you will contract and release the glutes, for a Hamstring stretch you’d pulse the quads.
The works on reciprocal inhibition where if a muscle on one side of a joint is pulling, the opposite side will relax to allow movement.

Ballistic Stretching

Basically dynamic range of motion but on steroids.
This is using force to ballisticly load the tissues in their end range, going way beyond your voluntary range of motion.
Leg swings would be an example.
This is very effective but should be built up slowly, start your practice in a range of motion that you can barely feel, them gradually increase both speed and amplitude.

Dynamic hamstring stretches As taught to me by a Wu Shu expert many years ago. He emphasised the downward portion of the movement, you’ll hear my exhale as I do the same This strong contraction from a lengthened position aids in end range strength development. The best thing about this stretch is the feeling that you’re in a kung fu training montage….. Quick word of warning, make sure to get well warmed up for these. While they are very safe to practice, do a few rounds of low kicks before gradually working higher. I can go higher than shown here, but I’ve a lot of tightness in the body from the weeks training so have chosen to limit the height. #wgfamily #ourrescue #hyletenation #hamstrings #dynamicstretch #mobility #flexibility #kungfu #wushu #martialarts #muaythai #bjj #mma #irishfitfam #ikff

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Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation
Which is a real conversation killer if you say it at a party!
This is the physio’s favourite.
In Contrast, you flex the opposing muscle to the one you stretch.
In PNF you flex the one you are trying to stretch.
So if you’re stretching your Bicep, you go to the stretch position and them try to bend your elbow.
This typically sucks, but it does work.

There are more than these, I may add them  to this post as and when I remember them, but these are the key players.

Why do they work?

If I’m honest, we don’t really know, the research changes every few years proving then disproving various theories on why it works.
At the moment we’re pretty confident that we’re simply telling the brain and nervous system that these ranges of motion are safe to access and it can let the muscles allow the joints to go there.
This fact is why using the strength (PNF/Contrast) and movement methods (DROM/Balistic) generally have quicker and longer lasting results than passive or static stretches.

Perhaps a better question is, what do you mean by “Works” ?

Are you looking to acheive a certain position?
If so how much flexibility do you need, and what is preventing you getting into that position?

Are you looking for maximum bendiness?

Are you looking for good all round mobility?

Are you coming back from injury?

As with everything, the best training is found by reverse engineering from your goal to your current status.
So if the goal is to acheive the splits, and right now I can’t even swing my leg over the bar. At least I have my start and end points in place and can begin to plot a journey.

No end goal, even a temporary end goal, no journey.

But for general Joe, what works best?

General Joe just needs to move well. End of.

He needs to work on dynamic range of motion most of the time. Its what we use as our warm ups and is a fair description of the Anatomy in Motion protocols.
After training a spot of PNF or Contrast work to the areas he feels tightest
And maybe a bit of static in the evenings in front of the telly.

Athletes will require more targeted work.

Specific stretches to allow for smoother/less restricted movement in the planed required by the sport. Or to balance and recover from the rigours of the sport.

I’ll go into specific stretches for specific muscles in another post.

Most people have some awareness of the common stretches, so start there.

Whatever position you assume take a minute to explore within that position to find the tightest line or lines and that is where you will put in most of your time and energy.

Now, get to it!


Dave Hedges

We’re finally ONLINE!

I’ve been promising it for to long, but finally here we are delivering on that promise.

For the longest time I’ve been wanting to take what we do in Wg-Fit online.
Mostly because we have so many former (not “Ex”) members who have moved away, but still keep in touch.
Facebook is great for this, we get regular messages from Italy, France, Australia, Mexico, Florida, Canada and so many other parts of the world where our Wild Geese have flown to.
And so often they ask for the workouts we are doing in the gym so they can do them wherever they are.

So Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, here it is, the WG-Fit Workout of the Day, which is being hosted on the excellent TrainHeroic platform:

Join WG-Fit Workout of the Day!

As a special Launch Promo if you enter the code: ” WGFitLaunchOffer ” you will get 50% off for first 3 months)
This expires in 1 month,  so don’t think to hard…..

The Train Heroic platform has almost everything I’ve been looking for in order to get this service running, including an easy and convenient message service where you can brag, complain, ask for help and offer support.

I’d love to see you on it.

Click here to go to the App and find out more:

Join WG-Fit Workout of the Day!

There will be more programs from our training floor added soon.
Including our infamous Bootcamp program, Kettlebell Sport programs and of course individualised training plans as we get to them.

Exciting times are ahead


Dave Hedges

Recovery, Medals and Snow

As Ireland is slowly thawing out after an unprecedented snowfall, we had our doors open again and the regular members getting back into action after a few snow days at home.

Those few days off were timely for our Kettlebell Sport lifters and Aneta from Irish Karate Kyokushin.

They’re all recovering from various competitions the weekend before.
Here they are showing off their medals:

Kettlebell Sport and Martial Arts tend to attract similar types of people (fun fact: a great many who took up kettlebells in the early days were martial artists, and many old martial artists have tried Kettlebell sport)

The sports are both incredibly tough, often lonely and require a strength of mind like no other.

The people that do well in these sports are the same people that tend to ignore their limits and just keep on pushing.

Add to that the lack of a “season” in these sports and we have a recipe for burnout.

So a heavy dump of snow that shuts the country down and forces people to take a breather, well that’s a good thing.

Pushing on is a good thing. It is a necessary thing.
But so is recovery
Recovery must be prioritised as much as training.

Workshop Announcement: Indian Club Swinging

It’s about bloody time!

But here it is, an Indian Club Swinging Workshop.

We talk a fair bit about Indian Clubs, we show them Instagram and Facebook, we offer a class and implement them into certain client programs.

But it’s about time we taught them to everyone, especially since the problem of sourcing good quality clubs has been solved by the lads at Heroic Sport over in Denmark.

They invented the Pahlavandle, a plastic handle that fits onto pretty much any plastic bottle allowing you to create the perfect club for you up to around 3kg that is.
And 3kg is plenty for most.

So here are the details of the workshop, which you’ll be pleased to know includes a set of Pahlavandles for you to take home with you.

Have a look, book your place (there’s only 15 available) and tell your mates

Indian Club Swinging Workshop


Learn to use the original Strength Training tool

Rehab, prehab or simply mobilise those shoulders in a holistic manner

Participants will receive their own Heroic Sport Pahalvandles so they can start practicing immediately.

Elite Fitness & Performance Academy
5 Brookfield Terrace, Blackrock, Co. Dublin
April 28th 2018
1000 – 1300

10 in stock


Who Should Use Indian Clubs?

First, let me ask you a question.
Do you have shoulders?
If the answer is yes, then you should use Indian Clubs.

They’re ideal for anyone who lifts heavy, plays an overhead sport, racket sports, martial arts or simply wants to keep the upper body healthy and mobile for the rest of their days.

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What Are Indian Clubs?

Simply put they’re a club that you swing in various patterns.
They originated in the Persian Empire and were used along with various other club like and stone tools to develop fearsome strength in their warrior classes.

The off centre balance and the swinging patterns load the entire musculature of the shoulder girdle in all directions.
As the load is largely centrifugal in nature, it provides a stretching force, as opposed to most conventional strength exercises which are compressive in nature.

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Will I be able to implement the information straight away?

We will teach from the most basic techniques, assuming no prior knowledge. There will be breaks for you to take notes and ask questions and the Pahlavandle Indian Club you will use during the workshop, you will be taking home with you.

The workshop will be hosted by

Elite Fitness & Performance Academy
5 Brookfield Terrace, Blackrock, Co. Dublin
April 28th 2018
1000 – 1300


65.00Add to basket


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Dave Hedges

Smarter not Harder

This weekend is a big weekend for the #WGFAMILY 

Aneta is on her way to Lithuania for a big Kyokushin full contact Karate tournament 

And my Kettleheads GS Team are heading down to Cork for the Kettlebell Sport Irish Nationals 

There was supposed to be 5 going down. But one lad picked up an injury.

Feel free to drop these guys a message on our Facebook page or closed Group

If you’ve watched in our window as these guys train, mostly in the early mornings, you’ll notice they all do things differently.

Even the Kettlebell Sport guys, who all do the same lifts have different looking training

This is because there are no magic exercises.

What suits this person, might not suit that person

What his body needs might not be what your body needs.

Her training history isn’t the same as your training history.

So we need to look at where you are, where you want to get to and then plan the journey.

This is the magic.

It’s not just working hard.

You can work hard in the wrong direction

It’s about working smart.

It’s about being efficient, selecting exercises and protocols with the help of Occam’s Razor

Understanding that more is often just more.

That is magic

That is how you win


Dave Hedges 

Running is NOT The Devil – Maria

Running is not the Devil, but that doesn’t mean it’s your salvation either!

Lots of people turn to running in a effort to get fit or lose weight, only to end up dreading every workout, getting injured and eventually deciding running is pure evil or that they’re ‘just not built for it’.

I’ve done a 3 part blog, (I like to waffle), discussing some reasons why you might not like running if you’ve tried it, and detailing some of the stuff I’ve played about with over the last few years that might help you improve your running, or your attitude to it.

Below are some of my thoughts on why you and running may not be the best of friends.

Zero fitness
Whether you want to admit it or not, and whether you’re aware of it or not – you may basically have stopped moving apart from the essentials.

This could well have been the case for years.

If so, any attempt to start moving again will Suck Monkeys.
Capital S.
Capital M.
It may continue to suck monkeys for quite some time.
Calculate how long you’ve been doing basically nothing (2 weeeks? 10months? 4 years?), and allow yourself that much time to reacclimatise to a life of movement before you denounce all movement as evil and get back into your butt groove on the sofa.

(The lovely thing is – it won’t actually take as long to get back into the habit as it did to get out of it, but at least it you set that as an expectation you can be pleased with yourself when it happens ahead of schedule.)

Killer thoughts
You think your body is the enemy. A worthless piece of crap, that’s trying to sabotage you and undermine you at every turn with niggles and aches and injuries.

You think of running as a way to punish yourself or your body for whatever sins you’ve committed. Having that lie in, eating that cake….

You think running is supposed to feel awful all the time. That that’s the point.

If this is you – any exercise will suck, not just running. Mindset plays a huge role in how you approach something and how much you enjoy it while you’re doing it. If your thoughts around exercise are negative and if your motivations for exercising are negative – well, it ain’t much of a surprise you don’t like it.
If you can adopt a mindset of gratitude, maybe you’ll stop bitching long enough to let yourself enjoy what you are at.

Having a healthy body and mind is a priviledge.
Plenty are not so lucky.
One day YOU won’t be so lucky.
So, think I GET TO, not I HAVE TO, and enjoy being able to move under your own steam for as long as you’re able.

Goals and rabbit holes
Ugh, it’s so boring and monotonous and tedious!

Maybe you need a reason – sign up for a race and find a plan that you like.
Join the Park Run gang each Saturday and work on your times. Having a goal or a target will give running a purpose.

If you’re doing running as cardio to support your ‘main’ sport, maybe there are other options you could explore – like swimming or circuit training or kettlebells.

Perhaps the problem is not running – maybe it’s that it requires you to do nothing else except run.
Maybe that time alone in your head is difficult. Our lives are busy – sometimes we make them this way to avoid things we would rather not deal with.

The solitude of running gives space and quietness inside which may mean you hear the thoughts you have been working so hard to squish down and drown out.
Or maybe it’s simply that after doing 7,000 things all day, doing one is just too different.
It’s too hard to shift gears from the mania of everyday life, to the peacefulness of a run.

Dave once described running as moving meditation.
I get that.
I cherish that.
I love the chance to be alone with my thoughts and often said that if you went out running with a problem, you’d have it figured out by the time you got home, or you’d be too tired to give it any more energy.

If this is why you find running difficult though, perhaps building up your exposure to stillness, quietness, and your own internal world would be a way in.

The Holy Grail
I can’t think how many times I’ve heard someone saying, with complete dread and contempt, they’re about to start running. Ugh, DRUDGERY!

Who said you had to run? Where did this idea come from?

Running can be great fun, can help you achieve things you never thought possible, can take you places you never thought you’d see, help you meet new friends, get fitter, get slimmer, and get happier.
It can help your self worth, self confidence and self esteem sky rocket.

Guess what?

So can tonnes of other sports and pastimes.

Your body wants to move. It doesn’t really care if you are doing prancercise, pilates, acrobalance, running, horse riding, sky diving, downhill skiing, tree climbing, breakdancing, curling, or pole dancing. YAY!

Find something you enjoy, that way you’ll actually go do it. That’s all that really matters – that you get off your hole and do something. Anything.

In the next part I’ll chat a bit about running and posture. Stay tuned!

Maria “The Unikitty” Moran

What if….

What if


What if we could roll back the clock to when people respected each other


What if we could go back to a time when elders were respected


What if we still tried to earn respect by first offering our own


What if we took responsibility cor our own failings, our own wins


What if we took a deliberate step each day to better ourselves


What if we looked at ourselves as the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with and did our best to raise that average


What if we reached down to help somebody up instead of reaching up to drag somebody down


What if we set standards to rise to


What if we took responsibility for ourselves


What if we made ourselves stronger than we need to be


What if we recognised that strength is not just about your physical attributes


What if we remembered that it’s discipline that frees us


What if we never expected anything and instead simply got on with it


What would you’re small part of the world look like  then?



Maria on Jack Of All Trades

I heard the saying ‘Jack of all trades’ when I was pretty young. It sounded like a superb idea altogether. Imagine being good at everything! It was some time later before I heard the full thing ‘jack of all trade – master of none’.

Wait! Say what now?
I sort of like the idea of being a ‘master’.
Of all of the things.

Did this mean I had to choose between doing a lot of things ‘OK’, or a small few things ‘great’?
Shitballs! Mega decision time!

Fast forward a fair few years, to a discussion in the WG private FB group about this very thing. The author of the article was celebrating those who focus in on one thing. He said it took a special kind of crazy to dedicate years of your energy and life to one skill or idea.

I commented that it’s something I still ponder on a frequent basis.
Does doing lots of things, at a low level of commitment, indicate that you lack focus or commitment, and a huge fear of failure, or is variety the spice of life? Will doing one thing to near perfection make you boring & narrow minded or a supremely fulfilled individual?
Dave challenged me to a blog off on the topic. My prediction is that we both say more or less the same thing but he uses less words, rainbows and unicorns to get his point across. Let’s see!

Doing all of the things:
Let’s face it – life is never going to be boring. You’ll be meeting new people and learning new/varied skills on a frequent basis. This is obviously a win – mentally, physically, and socially – both right now, and as you swan gracefully through life. You’ll never forget what it’s like to be a beginner so it’ll keep you humble, open minded and unafraid to try new things.
Because you don’t get too invested in any one thing the fun factor remains high, and if you don’t stay at any one thing for too long – you’ll avoid those pesky plateaus that can plague and infuriate! Everything is Awesome, FOREVER. Right?
Mostly. Depending on the gear needed for each new venture, it may turn out to be an expensive way to live. It may also be exhausting to have your mental/physical energies going in so many different directions at any one time. You may make lots of new friends through all your endeavors, but do you never stay around any of them long enough to have a meaningful relationship?

Doing one thing, TO THE DEATH:
This requires effort, focus and dedication. What part of your life won’t be improved by honing these skills?
Even if you are naturally passionate about something, doing it for extended periods will present fun challenges. You will be asked to find ways to keep it fresh so you stay interested. You’ll need to cajole yourself into continuing when the initial enthusiasm for a new goal wears off. You search deep into your soul for answers to WHY THE HELL? when you feel like it’s all madness and you should just quit. You develop perseverance and the ability to endure.
These challenges help reveal your personal thought patterns, triggers, motivators – both good and bad – and you can end up knowing yourself on an epic scale.
If you know your topic inside out, and upside down – you’re a valuable resource. If you’re interested in sharing the information then you could affect huge change peoples’ lives, in the world, and potentially earn income from it. Plus there’s a huge sense of personal satisfaction in achieving a level in something that the majority of the population don’t have the attention span to do. Win, win.
Deciding to pour all your energies into one or 2 simple ideas means you can get ruthlessly efficient. Distractions are fun, but if you have a specific focus, then they may be a waste of precious time and energy.
This ‘no bullshit’ attitude can result in huge inner calm if you’re someone who gets overwhelmed as to the best course of action in a world full of inputs and options. Whatever comes your way simply ask ‘does this help me in my goal to’….become kettlebell world champion (for example). No? – bin it. Deliberation over. Simple.

OMG this all sounds so fulfilling – being a highly sought after, calm, best-in-the-world-at-something totes amazeballs person – where do I sign up?? Not so fast – everything has a price.
The flip side can involve living in a fairly small world, rarely exposed to new people or different ideas. You may be mentally less agile, as a result. You might become afraid to try new things because you lost the habit, or because of ego – you’re not willing to be rubbish at something new when you can stay in your comfort zone and be awesome.

When something goes wrong in your world – your whole world is shite, because you only have that one thing. From a mental health perspective, this is a top concern.
There’s no way specialise without developing some (if not tonnes of) mental and physical training scars. Plus, specialising requires single minded focus and a lot of time – this means less time for family, friends, other pursuits/skills. Some of these things and relationships you can pick up again in the future, some won’t wait for you. Only you can decide if that’s a sacrifice and if it’s worth it.

So what’s better?

Ultimately, I believe the world needs both the jacks of all trades, and the masters of one. The masters cultivate a phenomenal level of information, skill, and expertise in their chosen discipline. They make scientific discoveries, break sporting world records and provide building blocks of information that the future will be built on. They are inspiring.

The jacks, because they dabble in many different things, provide perspective and cross pollination of worlds that might otherwise be separate. This can lead to all sorts of awesome – Pahlavhandles for example. They show how to keep perspective and get a lot of things done. They are inspiring.
I think it’s up to each individual to do whatever the fuck they want. I decided long ago, that I would, for the most part, do each thing I chose to do, as well as I could, for as long as I enjoyed doing it. This has lead to both the most fulfilling moments in my life, and to some of the hardest and loneliest ones.
Of course I struggle with missing out on the fluff and frivolity of a less focussed life, but I feel a desire to test my limits and see what I’m made of, so that’s just how things are for now. In the future that desire may become less intense and the balance will shift again. Maybe I’ll branch out into 70 new hobbies. Who knows?
So do whatever is most appealing at any time. Do it to the level you enjoy. Be open to changing track once your enjoyment stops. The end.

It’s a short life, it’s ok to knock as much fun out of it as you possibly can.


Why you should try Kettlebell Sport by Maria

Here’s a fantastic post from Maria on what Kettlebell Sport is and why you should give it a go.
Read and enjoy, but then drop us a line either by email or facebook if you want to know more.
Over to Maria:

“You can do competitions in them cowbells?? Really?”


“How does that work?”

“Pick one of the lifts (Snatch, biathalon, Long cycle), do as many reps as you can in ten minutes, against people in your weight category, and change hands once. Whoever does the most, wins! Unless, of course, you’re doing doubles, then you don’t get to change hands.”

“You cycle with the bells?”

“No. That’s just what it’s called.”

“That sounds hard, why would anyone want to do that?”

Hmmm… why indeed?

That’s the conversation I had most often, after Kazakhstan last year. My mum, super proud of being MOTHER OF THE CHAMPION OF THE WORLD, had told anyone that would listen about my exploits.

Most people don’t even know what a kettlebell is so I had some explaining to do!

Even for those that train with them, the idea of the kettlebell competitions, or Girevoy Sport, ranges from curious, through ridiculous, to insane. Of course, you have all the usual “choose a challenge, break it down into small steps, keep focused, achieve your goal, feel AMAZINGLY smug. See new places, meet awesome people” stuff that goes with so many things in life, but are there reasons to do GS in particular? (Joanne, don’t worry, I hear you shouting HELL NOOOOOO!)

To be fair – you can train with bells for years, never do GS, and be perfectly happy. Then there are the nuts who only ever train GS, and all the ones in between – like us Wild Geese KettleHeads – who train GS for part of the year, and do tonnes of other fun stuff the rest of the time.

Many ex martial artists and gymnasts end up excelling at GS. I think it appeals because it offers a similar type of training regime. It’s physically and mentally very tough. It requires focus, determination and guts. It is structured and demanding. If you have already competed in those other sports, GS will tick all the same boxes for you, only you won’t have to get broken up. Most likely you will also already have a strong and flexible body, and a steely mindset – perfect for excelling GS.

But is it not tediously boring? The same lift, day after day, week after week – potentially for most of the year? Well, of course, that depends. It can be. If you’ve tried it and that’s how you feel, cool! GS is not for you. In good news, there are about a bazillion other things you can do with your life, so crack on with them!
Ya pussy
Just kiddin’
(totally not kiddin’).

Obviously, I really enjoy the GS world. I love the structure, the extreme physical demands, the intense mental challenges, seeing progress, and being successful. I love how even at the highest level of competition; it feels like you’re competing against yourself because it’s just you on that platform.
I love how all the skills I’ve acquired getting this far in life, help with my lifting.
I love most of all how all the new things I’ve had to learn to enable me to lift well, are transforming my day to day life. It’s like the opposite of a vicious circle!

Doing GS gives you the time and space to explore the lifts in more detail. There are a lot of nuances in there that you never discover doing 10-12 reps of snatch in a workout. Of course, there are many days where it feels painful and stupid and you wonder why, but then you have a magic session where something clicks, and you love it all over again.

When something clicks it’s like completing the end of a world in Super Mario. You defeat the big baddie, save the princess and then the door opens, and you toddle into a whole new world that begins where the other one left off, skill wise. It’s up to you to build on that and see what’s next.

Everything has a cost. Specialising in anything comes at a very high cost. Getting really good at THE THING means neglecting a lot of other things because there’s not enough time, energy or they detract from THE THING you are trying to perfect. Working in the same way, for long periods of time, leaves you open to injury and boredom.

It’s important to shake things up as much as you can with other movement patterns. Climb some trees, play a musical instrument, swing Indian clubs, do animal flow, take a dance class, WHATEVER! It doesn’t have to be hard. It doesn’t even have to feed into your GS training in some obvious way. It only has to be something you enjoy and as different as possible from the competition stuff.

Careful now! Be aware of the gaps left by specialising. Know which gaps are ok and which ones are timebombs – ticking away, waiting to sabotage a training session, a competition, or perhaps your entire physical health. There’s enough information out there for you to mind yourself. If you really don’t know – ask Dave, he knows everything about everything.
I was injured a lot when I first start GS. My neck used to always pull on the left hand side, and I had tweaky shoulders. You might think this is because I specialised and didn’t plug my gap, like a fool! I think it was because I had dodgy posture before I started. A multitude of minor imbalances, compensations, and gaps in my mobility that most people who have lived 30+ active years will have acquired.

GS requires you to load the body again and again in the same way. It’s mentally intense too. It’s going to highlight all the little problems you work around and hide from. The whole structure needs to be sound to persist through that type of training. Maybe people give up GS for this reason – I get injured all the time, there’s no point! That’s fair enough. Chances are if they do circuit training, they’ll be ok – the variety will be easier on the body and mind.

I chose to see it as a chance to reorganise and rebuild myself. If there are weaknesses, gaps, or sticky bits, then can I address them? If I do, what will I be able for then? Cue working my way through most of the body workers in Dublin: massage therapists, physios, acupuncturists, rolfers, zero balancers, AiMers, and chiropractors.
Doing all of that has been expensive, of course, but my body is the most valuable thing I own so it’s worth the investment. Plus, moving is what I love to do, so I sort of see it as research. I dropped out of college, so this is like my degree, Phd and Masters. Topic: me and how my body works. Now that’s useful study material!

Going through all of those experiences has helped bring my body awareness to a high level, and there’s still plenty of room for growth. It’s helped me figure out more of the things I need mentally and emotionally to be happy and motivated. It’s revealed how I process the world and some of the things that make me sad. It forced me to address my nutrition issues. All of this came simply from trying to see how good I could be at lifting a kettlebell. Magic!

It’s all invaluable information that I can now use to train better, mind myself better, and to guide my ‘Keep Maria Together’ team more effectively, and to help anyone else I see having similar problems to what I’ve had. It’s a blog post all on it’s own that!

If you enjoy competition, tackling challenges, self improvement; or if you have a touch of perfectionist or masochist about you, then what are you waiting for? Try a 5minute competition, just once. You never know what you might discover! At worst, you’ll be like Joanne and say NEVER AGAIN. That ain’t so bad!

Maria Moran

If your interest is piqued, get in touch:


Dave Hedges

Good News, Bad News, and Legs that Never Quit

Got some good news, some bad news and some training tips today.

Don’t blame me….
blame google images…

Which would you like first?

Ok, bad news.

The Kettlebells for Coaches Workshop has been cancelled.
Don’t worry excessively its going to be back on later in the year.

I have to pull it as I’ve booked myself onto the NKT course running the same weekend. This course which will further enhance the day to day service my clients receive, so that takes priority.

I’ll talk more about NKT and how it will intergrate into our existing services another day.

Good News

(good news memes are all so boring….)

I’ll be teaching a Lower Body Mobility and Strength workshop in the In Balance studio, Westport, Mayo.

Here’s the poster:

Email Ciara at inessence@mail.com to book your spot.


This will be a busy day, open to anyone who wants to know more about training their lower body to be able to take on any challenge that comes your way.

As with the Upper Body Mobility and Strength workshop, the day will be principle lead, not reliant on equipment .

Most of the exercises shown will be bodyweight based, but we’ll explain how the use of external load can be used as well.

Principles offer understanding, the workshop aims to give attendees a springboard from which to launch from in whatever direction they choose.  And of course, there’s online support from me and my #wgfamily online if you want it.
Email Ciara at inessence@mail.com to book your spot.

And finally, on the same theme:

This was on Facebook last week:

“Legs kill lungs” – Mark Reifkind (via one of his clients)

This beaut of a comment was dropped in a discussion about how its not always poor cardio that gets you, but lack of conditioning in the lower body.
Especially in fighters.

Consider the sheer size of the musculature below the waist:

  • Huge glutes (hopefully……)
  • Monster Quads
  • Huge Hamstrings
  • And those calves

All big, thirsty lumps of meat.

And if they’re not trained to be efficient, if they don’t have Strength, Mobility and Endurance beyond what is necessary. Keeping those muscles in action can become very costly from an energy system point of view .

You absolutely must train your legs

And train them in multiple planes for multiple rep ranges .

And do so frequently.

Heavy leg work, ie Squats, Deadlifts and a loaded Lunge at least once per week .

Higher rep light work pretty much daily.
That can be lunges in all directions, bodyweight squats, kettlebell swings, cossacks, Dragon Lunges, whatever.
Just move.

Try this for example:

It is my experience that most people who train regularly and move well can easily meet the following standards:

  • 100 bodyweight squats for a warm up
  • 500 squats doable on any given day
  • Loaded squat with at least bodyweight, ideally more for reps

And more importantly be able to recover well.

Last point, Sled work, ie pushing and dragging a weight is also superb, I just can’t have it in my gym with the Tatami floor we use.

Much of this will be discussed on the Lower Body workshop, which as I said you can book onto by dropping Ciara, my host, a line on  inessence@mail.com


Dave Hedges


…………Improving Human Efficiency