Personal Fitness Trainer Dublin Darragh Hayes

Cover Model Body Personal Training

My Prep for Mr International World Competition Indonesia 2010

Mr International World Competition Indonesia 2010

My preparation

It’s been just over two months now that I won the Mr International Ireland competition, and what a time it’s been!

I have been out the door with work and offers from all over the place which is cool! I have also just launched my website Cover Model Body Personal Training which I am extremely excited about.

It’s a membership website packed full of training and nutrition information. Also offers online and one to one Personal Training in the ABS Gym in Temple Bar. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I will have continuous monthly step by step training and nutrition videos for Members plus online coaching for people who are too lazy to get their asses into me in temple bar! ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s packed full of brilliant content with lots of free advice and reports so get on over there an sign up for free!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

So down to my training and diet preparation for the Mr International World competition in Indonesia this November.

Check out their website –>

Not a huge difference with my diet but definitely a difference.. I will explain as you read through ๐Ÿ˜‰ .I have been so busy with work, training and modeling that I have had to eat on to go a lot of the time!

Not the ideal situation for me but as I’ve said to many of my clients before when they ask this question, there’s always a healthy protein filled alternative to a baguette, wrap or a sandwich!

What’s so bad about a salad bowl? If ever I’m out and about and stuck that’s usually my preferred option. I have to say subway salad bowls and meatballs are EPIC! Love em ๐Ÿ™‚ We all live on them in the ABS Gym!

So generally my diet is clean and mainly carb and the evil “SUGAR” free except for my one “CHEAT” day a week. I look forward to my cheat day every week.

See a lot people think that I am regimented and like a robot when it comes to my diet but hey I’m human after all!

Of course I love the sugar and fat filled bad stuff just like anyone else but I am dedicated to my training and to my physique so I can put aside the cravings for 6 days in the week.

Did you actually know that a “Cheat Day” is a GOOD thing to do!! You actually burn a lot more bodyfat and burn it quicker by doing it!

Pretty damn cool don’t you think? So yeah that pizza or chocolate cake once a week is definitely a good thing to do. I can hear you asking how?.

Well it’s simple when you know! When you’re on a low carb no sugar diet your metabolism can slow right down so what the “Cheat Day” does is stimulate your metabolism and gives it the kick in the ass it needs to speed right up and burns fat QUICKER! Cool ๐Ÿ™‚

Don’t go nuts now and cheat from morning to night because that will defeat the purpose altogether.

You’ve got to structure it properly in such a way that you are manipulating your metabolism and creating an insulin rise in a structured manner.

Taking in too many calories means the excess will just turn to fat! Not cool!!

Always have a calorie deficit day the day before and the day after. This will trick your body into thinking it’s going to get something it craves but will be sorely disappointed thus causing your metabolism to speed right up and burn even MORE FAT even quicker! ๐Ÿ˜‰

It’s also something to look forward to and work towards every week. I sure as hell know I do ๐Ÿ™‚ hmmm what will I have this week?? Melted Belgian Chocolate with Profiteroles or banoffee pie.. Yum yum yum ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway enough on cheat days for now, back to my prep for this competition in Indonesia.

The past three weeks have been tough! I started a new program with structured timed training windows so means you’ve feck all rest between sets and also going for 10 reps on all exercises!..

More metabolic training to get me down to my target bodyfat of 6% before I go on the 8th o November ๐Ÿ˜‰ Still lifting heavy though!!

Staying around the 110kg mark for benching and up to 160kgs squatting so don’t think just because you’re training in timed windows you need to drop the weight..

You do if you’re not getting the 10reps though! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m also doing track sprint sessions 3/4 times per week. 30/40 yard sprints with 2minute rests in between. I usually do this 10 times! Great for burning fat and working your whole body especially your abs! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Diet is always a tough thing to master and when you’re trying to get from 7.5% bodyfat to 6% in a week and a half it can be very tough.

The reason being is you are constantly in a calorific deficit in order to burn fat. I love eating so it’s definitely a very tough thing for me but I’m doing well!

Mainly staying with lean meat like chicken and greens like broccoli, spinach and salads. My last cheat day before I go was last Sunday so I enjoyed that! Haha I had a Chinese and a rocky road for desert! YUM ๐Ÿ™‚

So I’ve six days left now and I’ll continue the way I’m going. I keep updating my Facebook fanpage with pics so keep looking to see how I am progressing over the next few days!.. Indonesia here I come! ๐Ÿ™‚

Darragh Hayes BBS CPT NCEF

Personal Trainer Dublin | Cover Model Body Personal Training

The ABS Gym Temple Bar, Dublin 2


November 3, 2010 Posted by | Lifestyle Management, Nutrition, Personal Training | , , , , | 2 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! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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! ๐Ÿ™‚

Training like an athlete with structured compound movements is cardio in itself! ๐Ÿ™‚ 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! ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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” ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ it’s a killer! ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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! ๐Ÿ˜‰

It’s a great exercise.. Give it a go! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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! ๐Ÿ™‚


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

ABS Circuit Finisher

So what does it take to get the perfect set of ABS?

Can you tell me? Thousands of crunches I hear you saying.. Well I can tell you you’re wrong!!!

The Perfect set of ABS Starts in the kitchen believe it or not! You can do sit ups and crunches for hours per day but unless you drop that bodyfat you wont see anything. The only way of achieving that is through diet firstly and then you can start working on your ABS!

Trust me if you change your “diet” you WILL see your ABS so cut out the bad carbs and sugary foods from your diet, start introducing the “good fats” and you will even without exercise see your bodyfat drop somewhat and therefore you will then be on the “right” road to the perfect set of ABS! ๐Ÿ˜‰

As a personal trainer I am constantly repeating myself about diet to anyone who will listen and not only to my own personal training clients in the ABS Gym.

So onto the video I’ve put together for you…

Here it is, a high intensity fat burning finisher ABS circuit. Remember the more intensely you train, accompanied with a good diet the more FAT you WILL burn!!

The first exercise is called the Russian Twist. Explosively Rotate the Olympic bar from side to side whilst quickly changing your feet with each rotation. Remember not to lower the bar too low on each twist as this will take the intensity off of the abs!

Reps – 10×10 on each side

Sets – x5

Go straight from this into the knee tucks with the ball or you can do the roll outs, whichever you prefer. With the knee tucks keep your upper half up off of the bench and concentrate on crunching the abs by tucking the knees into the chest.

The roll outs are a little more difficult to execute as it requires balance, that will come with repetition and strength. Let the body roll fully extended outwards and pull yourself back in concentrating on using your abs and core muscles as the lever.

Make sure not to bring your legs fully into a vertical position and leave a slight angle as this will keep the intensity on the abs!

Reps – x10
Sets – x5

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

March 22, 2010 Posted by | Nutrition, Personal Training | , , , , | 2 Comments

How to Squat

Anytime I go to a commercial gym I always end up being asked questions about training and nutrition, which I entice, and the fact that I am a personal trainer helps too but please people not while I’m training!! ๐Ÿ™‚ That’s why I hate going to commercial gyms, they’re like zoo’s full of treadmill personal trainers and clients on them! The treadmills that is! haha

Personal Trainer Dublin - Monkey on a treadmill

Please don’t get me wrong I do love being grilled about training and nutrition but not while I am in the middle of my own training hence why I haven’t stepped foot in a commercial gym in over a year! Another thing that annoys me when I step foot in one of those places is squatting on a smith machine… aghhhhhhh… it drives me nuts!

Smith Machine Squats are NOT Recommended

I do not recommend squatting in this machine at all and I see so many people doing it. You know what, I don’t recommend doing anything in this machine other than inverted rows! This restricts the natural movement of your body whilst squatting and you will never get better at the exercise doing it in a smith machine. Trust me! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Yeaaaaahhhhh Buuuuddddyyyy

Who better to learn from but the master that is Former Mr Olympia Ronnie Coleman.. yeaaaahhhhh Buddddyyyy

Ain’t nothin but a peanut ๐Ÿ™‚ Sorry That’s all I can hear when I see or think of big Ron! and look, not a smith machine in sight!!!

So I decided to do a video of myself Squatting 150kg’s showing the technique involved. It was somewhat proving a point to a few people in the gym who were saying after 4 sets on that weight that I wouldn’t be able to keep my technique! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Of course I proved them all wrong! ๐Ÿ™‚

The bar should rest on the traps, head looking upwards for balance, feet shoulder width apart with a slight turn outwards of the feet.

Your bum should nearly hit the floor with each rep. Ass to the grass people ๐Ÿ™‚ If you can’t get all of the way down and back up DON’T BE A HERO AND LIGHTEN THE WEIGHT! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Darragh Hayes BBS CPT NCEF

Personal Trainer Dublin | Cover Model Body Training

The ABS Gym Personal Training Studio Dublin

March 17, 2010 Posted by | Lifestyle Management, Personal Training | , , , , , , | Leave a comment