Personal Fitness Trainer Dublin Darragh Hayes

Cover Model Body Personal Training

Personal Trainer Dublin – Workout Finisher Renegade Rows

One of my Clients Marc McQuade performing Renegade Rows. 😉

As you can see in the video poor Marc was bunched after this. It was his fourth set though so I’ll let him away with it! 😉

Renegade Rows is an antagonistic exercise working the chest, back and abs with a push and pull motion. It’s when performing the pulling motion that the abs and core come into play, you need to restrict movement by engaging your core!

I would usually use this as a finisher after a heavy chest and back session.. Click on the link to have a read of Mike Westerdal’s Critical Bench program 🙂

The exercise can be performed with bodyweight for beginners or dumbells for advanced trainers. Simply get into a press up position with the dumbells placed vertically, legs shoulder width apart.

Perform a press up using the dumbells or stability, when coming back up pull one dumbell up keeping the arm and elbow close to the body.

Pull the dumbell up in a slightly rounded motion halfway between the hip and shoulder. Make sure to get dumbell up high enough in order to pinch the lat muscle in the back.

Also keep your bum down and try not to rock your hips. Stability is the key to performing the exercise well in order to get the benefit from it, if you find you are rocking while doing it you probably need to use lighter weights! 😉

Enjoy! 😉

Darragh Hayes BBS CPT NCEF
Personal Trainer Dublin | Cover Model Body Personal Training
The ABS Gym Personal Training Studio Temple Bar


April 28, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 3 Comments

Personal Trainer Dublin – ABS workout

The first exercise here is easy bar rollouts. The word easy certainly doesn’t make them easy 😉 they ARE tough!! Grab a mat or a towel to cushion your knees whilst doing them otherwise you will have sore knees! 🙂

Ok the exercise 🙂 Get down onto your knees, lean forward and grip the outer dip of the easy bar. Roll the bar forward keeping your hips up in order to protect your back, if you sink your back whilst rolling forward you will feel like you are hurting your lower back so DONT! 🙂

When at the furthest point forward pull the bar back in towards you using your ABS as the lever, don’t bring the bar all of the way in as this will take the intensity off of the abs!

Leave a slight angle in your body making sure to concentrate on crunching the abs. As you can see in this video I went from a kneeling position into almost a vertical standing position when rolling the bar back in, this is for an advanced trainer so just keep your knees on the ground if you’re not too sure.

If you’re still not sure contact or ask a Good Personal Trainer you trust! 😉

Sets – x4
Reps – x10

The second exercise is Real Rows, a great core exercise as it needs balance using all of the core muscles. For beginners just use bodyweight. For advanced use a set of dumbells, I was using 15kgs each side in the video but if you’re trying more than you’re capable of you WON’T get the full benefit from the exercise!! Get into a press up position with a dumbell in each hand keeping your bum down and your hips paralell whilst doing the exercise. Pull the dumbell up directly towards the chest keeping your elbow close to your body while doing this. Repeat this on the other side 🙂

Sets – x4
Reps – 10×10

The third exercise is the plank, we all love this one 🙂 make sure to keep your elbows slightly forward and pull them back towards you putting all of the intensity on the abs, this is a killer at the end!!! 🙂

Sets – 4
1 minute on

Darragh Hayes BBS CPT NCEF
Personal Trainer Dublin | Cover Model Body Personal Training
The ABS Gym Personal Training Studio Temple Bar

April 26, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 7 Comments

Personal Trainer Dublin – Diet and Training Advice

I recently had an email from a competitive bodybuilder asking me for advice on nutrition and alternative training methods to the one’s he has been doing for years. Have a read below to his questions and my answers.

His Questions

Hey Darragh,

I’m Former competitor in bodybuilding comps, NABBA etc,
was wondering what kind of training splits would you do, if u have any examples set up on ur comp maybe you could maybe forward on, I’m training on a bodybuilding split one bodypart once a week…im tryin to get into something new and do some body modeling here in Dublin, keeping my physique the same but more solid and etc

My diet is high fats, low carbs durin the week and introduce carbs over the weekends if needed…and cardio is 30-45mins a day,

just looking for other ways, routines to meet my goals as i have only known bodybuilding…thanks a mill Darragh

Any suggestions or input would be great thanks

wish you the greatest of success.

My reply

Hey man,

Sorry it’s taken so long to get back to you, I’ve been up to my eyes in the ABS Gym Personal Training Studio.

Like you I too used to train like a bodybuilder because at the time I knew no better than that method of training. I too wanted to take a different route or explore new avenues of training and nutrition. Lucky I was playing full time football at the time because I certainly wouldn’t have been as half as lean as I was training the way I was! 😉

Don’t get me wrong training like a bodybuilder is not a wrong way to train. As I said I trained that way for years, isolation, isolation, isolation = BOREDOM, it works for a lot of people but the human body is built for athletic movements not the other way around.

Look at an olympic gymnast for instance, they are RIPPED to pieces and have muscle mass, do they sit there doing isolation and weighte exercises, NOPE! Its all bodyweight movements, athletic movements! 😉

I have nothing against that way of training but it is for a completely different result or goal than training like an athlete and not only that, to me it was getting soo boring and repetitive. I now train half as much ( more time to enjoy ) with better results and know how to manipulate my body to burn fat quicker and a hell of a lot easier. All good if ya ask me! 🙂

My week of training consists of virtually no isolation exercises, it’s all vertical and horizontal push / pull exercises, compound exercises and very little cardio. Such as chest and back together with structured training windows (Horizontal) shoulders and back (vertical) biceps and triceps which I haven’t done in six weeks but because I do so many pulling exercises such as bodyweight and weighted chins, rows etc etc my biceps are bigger than they ever were!

With the type of workouts I do you are constantly hitting the legs but I still have my legs day! 🙂

Training like an athlete with structured compound movements is cardio in itself! 🙂 Ya don’t need to be spending 30-45 minutes on cardio a day, I would go mad if I was doing that! If you want to do cardio make sure its HIIT cardio (HIGH INTERVAL INTENSE TRAINING ) .

For instance quick shorts intervals or bursts of speed such as sprints with short rest periods in between! Look at how sprinters are built ( Linford Christie for example ) Shredded and LEAN! SPEED is the KING! That goes for weight training and Cardio.

In regards to diet I would be of a similar frame of mind with very low carbs all week, I take in my fibrous and low GI carbs through vegetables, salad, nuts, berries, rolled oats etc and my good fats such as Omega oils through oily fish such as Salmon, Mackeral and also tablet form…

I do however have one day per week where I have what I like ie ; Chinese, Indian, pizza, ice-cream, cookies or whatever takes my fancy, once its full of carbs and fat! 🙂 why you ask? Its simple when you know how and why. Increasing leptin and insulin levels once a week re jigs the body’s metabolism and therefore makes the body burn fat a hell of a lot quicker when you deliberately have a calorie deficit day the day after with an anabolic and aerobic workout with weights and HIIT.

Strategic lactic acid based workouts burn huge amounts of calories and glycogen (energy) and stimulates the release of important fat burning hormones. Even the day after your body will still be burning fat to supercompensate 🙂 It makes so much more sense, you are manipulating your body, getting to enjoy some things you crave, love and probably have restricted yourself from having for years and it WORKS.

Give it a go!

Hope this answers a few questions for ya. 😉

Darragh Hayes BBS CPT NCEF
Personal Trainer Dublin | Cover Model Body Personal Training
The ABS Gym Personal Training Studio Temple Bar

April 20, 2010 Posted by | Nutrition, Personal Training | , , , | 4 Comments

Personal Trainer Dublin ABS Circuit – Seratus Crunches/Jacknives

Being a Personal Trainer I am continually asked, “how do you really work your ABS?”

Give these exercises a try and you will surely feel the “burn” 🙂

Seratus crunches can be performed on any flat surface whether it be on a flat benchpress as I am in this video, decline bench or on the ground.

If you’re to do it as I am here you need a flat benchpress using an olympic bar with or without weight depending on your capabilities 😉 don’t try more weight than you’re capable of, if you do your technique will suffer and you won’t get the full benefit of the exercise 😉

Lie down flat on the bench with feet elevated (on the bench if you don’t have the foot rest. Lift the bar off of the rack keeping the back of your shoulders tucked in, push the bar directly towards the ceiling only lifting the shoulders towards the ceiling, don’t lift the entire back off of the bench while doing the crunch 😉

Sets – 4

Reps – 10

To perform the jacknives you need the workout ball or a slippery surface with towels or pillows. Elevate yourself up onto the ball. Make sure your feet are near the back of the ball and roll your body to a fully extended position. Pull yourself back in usin your abs and bring your feet back up onto te rear of the ball crunching the abs 😉 it’s a killer! 🙂

Sets – 4

Reps – 10

Darragh Hayes
Personal Trainer Dublin | Cover Model Body Personal Training
The ABS Gym Personal Training Studio Temple Bar

April 19, 2010 Posted by | Personal Training | , , , | Leave a comment

Personal Trainer Dublin – Stiff Leg Deadlifts & Single Leg Raises in the Plank Position.

I was in the personal training studio in temple bar the other day when a client asked me about the technique of a stiff leg deadlift so thought I’d throw this up..

The stiff leg deadlifts is mainly targeting the hamstrings but also is an all over body exercise as it brings your back and abs into play..i generally do this on the day of a lower split or with a full body day.

Make sure you have a true grip of the bar with your thumbs wrapped tightly around it. It’s important to keep the natural curve in the spine in order not to hurt your lower back.. If you feel it’s hurting you LOWER the weight and get the technique right, it will benefit you so much more than trying to be a hero 😉 keep the shoulders back, this will help to keep the curve in the spine.. Drop the bar to the Knees or just below keeping the bar close to the legs all of the time.

Come back up keeping that curve in the back and repeat 8-10 reps with 5 sets!

I mixed in some single leg plank raises for some core work and active rest! 😉

It’s a great exercise.. Give it a go! 😉

Darragh Hayes BBS CPT NCEF
Personal Trainer Dublin | Cover Model Body Personal Training
The ABS Gym Personal Training Studio Temple Bar

April 13, 2010 Posted by | Personal Training | , , , | 3 Comments

Metabolic workout finisher – Personal Trainer Dublin

Do you usually find yourself stuck for an idea for a good workout finisher? Be stuck no more 🙂

I love giving my personal training clients in the ABS Gym finishers at the end of their training sessions! It completely breaks down your muscle fibres at the end of the session and sets your body up for prime fatburning when you’re sitting at home watching tv! Your muscles then have to work even harder to repair and therefore burns more bodyfat in the process..

That’s what we all want right? Well start doing some workout finishers 😉

Give this torturous finisher a try! Obviously as you increase the weight the harder the exercises become but with this I recommend using a lighter weight so it can be done with maximum intensity so then becoming a metabolic fat burning exercise( your goal with this is reps)

There are 5 exercises with ten reps in each so making 50 reps in total for each set. Perform four sets of 50 = 200 reps 🙂

1.The first exercise is a military shoulder press (make sure to keep your chest and butt out keeping the natural curve in your spine)

2. The second is a front squat performed again with high intensity (make sure to keep your elbows up and have your bum nearly touch the floor)

3. The third is the bent over row. Again performed with the chest and butt out keeping the natural curve in the spine.

4. The fourth is a stiff leg deadlift again with the chest and bum out. Make sure to keep the bar close to the Legs with a slight bend in the knee.

5. The fifth is the killer haha – burpees. Everyones favourite at the end of a workout! 🙂


Darragh Hayes
Personal Trainer Dublin | Cover Model Body Training
The ABS Gym Personal Training Studio Dublin

April 8, 2010 Posted by | Personal Training | , , , | Leave a comment