What Happens When You Take Pre-Workout Before A Game: The Role of Caffeine in Sports Performance

Caffeine forms the base of the fitfam food pyramid. It is also the blood type of all Instahuns (myself included). The great Irish philosopher Rob Lipsett once said: “that’s what happens before you take pre-workout before a game”. But what did the Lipman mean by this iconic statement? This article will run through the basics of caffeine and its role in sports and exercise nutrition.

Exercise, Shift Work & Circadian Disruption

Shift work is like a bad Tinder date: it sounds dodgy, is rarely worth the hassle and there’s a risk it might kill you. Similarly, for some of us, it is a necessary evil. We have already discussed the impact of chrononutrition, and how optimal meal-timing and shiftwork tend to be mutually exclusive. Now, our focus shifts (lol solid pun) onto exercise and whether it can help mitigate or exacerbate the disruption to our circadian rhythm posed by shiftwork.

The Effectiveness of Glute Activation

Any gym gal worth her Gymshark leggings will likely have some form of glute activation as a precursor to leg day. I myself love a good banded warm-up, but I haven’t actually looked into how effective it is. So, I thought I would investigate the literature to determine whether the Instahuns have led us down the path to glute gains or not.

The Accuracy of Fitness Watches

The fitness watch is like a tracking bracelet for fitfam: it makes us easy to identify, and keeps us on the straight and narrow. You may be considering purchasing one, have one already or just have some concerns about how accurate they are. We’re going to run through some common misconceptions and delve into just how accurate they are.

The Half-Life of Gains: The Rate of Muscular Atrophy with Injury

As per my previous nine million posts and my forehead tattoo, ya girl has had yet another ACL reconstruction. So as I prepared myself for the immediate loss of glutes, and all my Alphalete leggings to be confiscated from me by the gods of Instagram, I thought I would delve into the reality of muscle loss (atrophy) and just how quickly those hard fought gains will disappear.

BCAA Supplementation: Placebo Juice

Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) hold a special place in my heart. AS THE BIGGEST WASTE OF MONEY EVER. This coming from the girl who once bought apple cider vinegar because it uPs uR mEtAbOLiC rAtE. So you know this shit is serious. I have seen a few PT’s posting on Instagram about the benefits of BCAA supplementation, and it occurred to me just how much misinformation there is out there. And, given the amount of money I wasted on them in the past, I hold a personal grudge against these glorified Boleros, as in my case I didn’t need them at all.

The Hip Thrust & Its Potential for Injury Reduction in Female Field Athletes

In my opinion, the hip thrust is one of the most underutilized weapons in the arsenal of training female athletes. With potential transferable benefits in performance, injury prevention and lower body strength, it is hard to believe that it isn’t the cornerstone of most female strength training programmes.
This article will discuss the biomechanics that predispose us lowly girlos to lower limb injury, and how the hip thrust may address these.

Resistance Training, Radiography & Reducing the Risk of Injury

Radiography is a growing profession, particularly in Ireland. As of 2019, there are 2,301 practicing radiographers in Ireland[1]. As the profession has grown, so has the demands placed on the health service, and consequently, radiographers. In this article, I will outline the main musculoskeletal injuries (MSK) faced by radiographers, and why I think strength training can benefit almost all radiographers.

Preparing Yourself for Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction As A Female Athlete

A common injury (unfortunately) amongst female field athletes, tearing your ACL is every bit painful psychologically as it is physically. It is common to feel helpless and overwhelmed after suffering such an injury. Whilst you cannot untear your ACL, you aren’t powerless to help yourself. I thought I would put together this article to give you an indication of what to expect. Having torn my ACL twice, and had three surgeries, I feel I have a wealth of experience on the subject, and I wish I had something like this to help me when I was going for surgery.

Avoiding Injury & Returning To Training

In my last article, I discussed returning to training from an infection control perspective. With the immediate threat to life reduced, I wanted to run through another potential danger, absolutely wrecking yourself during your first couple of sessions back. We will cover the return to the gym, common pitfalls and suggested methods of easing yourself back onto the gain train

Infection Control & Returning To Training

The hallowed halls of the church of iron are finally open again in Ireland. The harsh, gainless spring has ended and it is now time for the return of gains and memories. However, the danger of being weak and having lost all your gains is no longer the biggest threat to you. There is now the threat of contracting COVID-19, which is killing people and also by proxy, their gains. Obviously, if you don’t feel well or have a temperature, do us all a favour and stay home. But if you’re ready to become the pinnacle of health once again, is the gym the safest place to be right now? I thought I would run through a few common misconceptions around infection control and good hygiene practices to prevent spreading the ‘Vid.

Feminism & The Female Fitness Industry

The female fitness industry is akin to a night in Coppers. Largely unregulated, full of creeps and a means to an end for many. I am a firm believer that the female fitness industry is vastly flawed, and as consumers, service providers and actual human beings we have a responsibility to educate ourselves and demand better. I love fitness and the empowerment it gives women. It is not simply picking things up and down again (as cool as that is), or eating salad (salad is never the answer). Handled correctly, fitness will challenge you, and everything you stand for, for the better. But you have to be ready for the bullshit you will encounter.

Chrononutrition & Shift Work: Research versus Reality

Chrononutrition marries the study of circadian biology and nutrition. It is a rapidly evolving field of research, with many interesting papers coming out in the last few years alone. Our internal biological clock can hugely impact upon our nutrition. However, nothing will fuck with your internal biological clock like some good old-fashioned shiftwork. Having done my fair amount of shiftwork (and currently typing this from a 20 hour shift!), I thought it would be interesting to compare the recommendations from the research against my own reality.

Ring Training For Absolute Thicks

Over the quarantine period, and sans gym, much like the general population, I have been forced to get creative with my training. I became quite fed up with high repetitious, low weight work (I am an 8-10 rep girlo, and that is the cross I will die on) and fancied a new challenge. I decided to change my training to incorporate movements that I would never normally devote time to training in the gym environment. Specifically, bodyweight movements. And then, because that gets old fast, I wanted to learn to do cool shit. And rings training is full of cool shit.

The Danger of the Dogma

Dogma: A principle, or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true. One of the most detrimental ways to hinder your progress in your health and fitness journey, being dogmatic and fixed in your ways is to be avoided. Right?

Every Book I’ve Read Since Covid Ruined Everything

It is no secret that I am a massive nerd, who eats up books like they’re salted pretzel chocolate. I have been using my newfound free time and inability to travel and see family and friends (#blessed) to indulge my inner bookworm. This list is non-exhaustive, and the links to each book will be inserted too.

Should You Track Calories To Lose Weight?

“The only way to lose weight is to track calories.” Another dogma you will see thrown around in the fitness realm. Tracking calories can certainly be effective, and educational. But it’s not for everyone. And it’s certainly not the only way.


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