Monday, 2 April 2012

Northern Ireland Deadlifting Competition

My weekend consisted of a bit of training, eating plenty of junk food and drinking plenty of beer.

This is not a normal weekend for me so I decided to make the most of it and get back on the healthy ways on Monday.

Also this weekend, the N.Ireland dead lifting Competition was on, which I was very excited about. I expected to see some things including

1. Bad ass dudes lift some bad ass weight, (which I did)
2. Some of the scariest dudes you would not wanna met in a dark alley.(which I did)
3. Poor technique (which I didn't)

I thought because of the guys were going for their heaviest weight that technique would take a back seat, but most of them did really well with it. And if there was any ''hugging the bar'' then the judges scored it a non-lift. I was really pleasantly surprised.

I was excited to watch the show, but in particular, two of the local lads, Mark Robinson and Miles Hutchinson.

I had heard alot about these guys coming up to the competition so I was pumped to watch them perform.

They both lifted their first and second attempt which I think was a PR, but narrowly missed the third lift. The determination was class though. It really pumped me up, it has made me super excited to get dead lifting in the gym this week.

Everyone needs something to drive them on, and this has lit a fire in me, I want to be up in the numbers with strong lads like these guys.

You have to find your motivation, no matter what it is, and really attack it full force.

Get after it.... Today!

Here's the video from the comp

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Sample full body session

Saturday Session

This is what I did today. Felt good from training all week so thought i'd hit a full body day.
Try it and let me know how you did, and what weights you used.

Warm up

Dynamic warm up including some rolls, jumps, skips, high knees, butt kicks and side ways etc


(a) Squat                                   6x3 reps
(b) box jump or vertical jump    6x3 reps

Squat has to be performed to thighs are at least parall unless you mobility restricts you. And make the weight about 80% of your one rep max
Take your time with each jump and perform them as eplosively as possible


(a) Bench press      4x5 reps
(b) Plyo press ups  4x3 reps

Start with an easy set of 5 in the bench, then continue to go up in weight until the last set, where there should be no more than 5 left in the tank
Plyo press ups are done fast and explosive, so get moving


(a) walking lunges     4x20yards
(b) Kettlebell swings  4x12


(a) Press ups x12
(b) Pull ups x6
(c) squat jumps x10/10

Get as many rounds as possible

If you need help with knowing any of the exercises let me know


Friday, 23 March 2012

Top 8 points that run Shiels Gym

Creating a gym atmosphere can either be a good thing or a bad thing.
If the gym is buzzing with excitement, comradery, and a will to win then the results will speak for themselves.
On the other hand, if you've got guys posing in front of the mirror, distracting you when your performing a big lift or texting on their phone every few minutes, it can take away from the intensity that the gym deserves.
Nobody wants to be at the gym for 3 hours, when you can get the same results in under an hour.
Here is my top 8list of what I believe creates a great atmosphere within a gym

1. Get a training partner

Everyone needs one, regardless if there on the same program or not. Watching someone else push themselves will instantly make you perform better

2. Reach a common ground in music

If it was up to me, it'd be straight up gangsta rap all the time, but running a gym with different personalitys, the right song can make that person finish those last few reps or want to hit some hard sprints at the end. So whether its metal, rock, or rap find something for everyone.
I personally recommend 'Girl talk'
If you dont know, now you know

My pick

3. Plan your training sessions

At my gym, everyones program is designed for them, meaning when they walk in they know exactly what their doing for the full week. It can be extra motivation knowing that you only have 2 more sets of chins, and some sprints and your done.
Don't be that guy that doesn't know what he's doing next, wondering what machine looks nicer to sit on

4. Leave the phone at the door

Let's be honest, we all know 'that guy' who, after every set, is over at his phone texting or replying to such nonsense. It breaks the momentum, and you should be focused on your next set. Your only there for an hour, so give it up for 60 minutes

5.  Come in focused on what you have to acheive that day

The good thing about knowing your program, or having it up on the wall, is you know what has to be achieved that day, whether it be a new PR (personal record), or just getting through the session without getting your ass completely kicked.
If your surrounded by like minded people it will be easy to be focused

This man certainly had a game plan

6.  Enthusiastic coach

If nothing else, there has to be energy and encouragement brought to your training, If you have no one telling you that you can go heavier, run faster, or do more reps, then you might not believe it yourself. The coach most know what your goals are, then activity help you achieve them.

7.  Results

Goal setting is a must in any gym program, you need to know exactly what you want to achieve and then you have to know how to get there. Once you start to reach your mini goals it drives you to get more and in turn this also drives your team mates (training partners) to work harder as well when they see what can be done

8.  The guys in the gym

No doubt, one, if not the most important point is having the right guys with the right attitude in the gym. This breeds intensity, and comradery and friendships are made. You always want to see your friend succeed along with you and you will help them even more than if you didn't know the guy at all.

One of the great things about running a gym is, you can have whoever you want in it. I set attributes that the person has to have before they will be accepted onto a programme. This keeps motivation high and everyone reading from the same sheet.

We have some of the best guys in at the minute, and the results speak for themselves

    Tuesday, 20 March 2012

    50% April


    I've been thinking for a while now about how I can offer people the chance to come and train at my gym and experience the way we do things here.

    I already offer a free trial session, even a week free, because i wanted people to see that our training kicks ass and are results speaks for themselves. I wanted to show people that I know what I'm talking about and to give them a chance to take their training and their health to new levels.

    So, with all that, I'm now offering a months membership at half price for new members. This gives them a full month to take part in one of our programs and get the full quality of the workouts. I am a coach dedicated to technique so I take my time with everyone teaching the proper movements instead of just throwing them under the bar. This prevents injuries which is crucial.

    Allow the months training is open to everyone, not everyone is accepted onto the program after their trial month. We will see if they are the right fit for the gym. The qualities you have to have are
    • Hard working
    • Great attitude
    • A desire to be the best person they can be
    • Encouraging to your training partners
    • Always on time
    • Willing to go the extra mile
    I have worked hard getting people in the gym with these attributes and the guys have created a great atmoshere for results. If you think you fit the bill and want to take on the months challenge then get in contact and find out.

    You will be more than welcomed.

    Mark Shiels


    Tuesday, 13 March 2012

    X factor for the octagon

    Unless you've been living under a rock, or up in a cave for the past 7 years, you know what MMA is. Are more specifically UFC. MMA stands for Mixed Martial Arts, and it was started in hopes of finding out what was the supreme Martial art. It includes everything from Boxing, muay thai, kickboxing, jiu jitsu, wrestling, sambo, judo and karate among others.

    In the early days, it was very much discipline versus discipline where a boxer would square off against a jiu jitsu pratcitioner or a karate guy would test his skils against a local bare knuckle champ.

    Fast forward 12 years, and now you've got guys who are all very well rounded and practise all the disciplines on a weekly basis. They need to be comfortable wherever the fight goes, on the ground, or on the feet.

    If a guy needs to be better at his submissions..... he trains jiu jitsu
    If a guy needs to be better at his boxing/muay thai.... he trains his stand up
    If a guy needs to be better at wrestling...... he wrestles

    Get the point!!

    If a guy need to be stronger, more explosive and better conditioned
    He needs to train Strength & Conditioning!!
    This man gets trained by 2 of the best S&C coaches in the UK.  
    Half of the reason why he was so strong against Chael Sonnen

    Too many fighters these days see the UFC countdown show, see a few exercises with ropes and kettlebells and instantly start doing them and think its going to get them better.

    A fighter who is preparing to go to battle needs a carefully designed program starting around 8-12 weeks away from the date of the fight. First of all they need to be stronger, no question about it. When you have two guys who are pretty even regarding striking, submissions and wrestling, its the strongest guy who will win, PERIOD!
    After about a 4 week program of strength, you then lead into developing explosiveness which you should have a level of at this stage anyways, and maintaining your conditioning, all the while dropping those extra pounds to reach your fight weight.

    Everything NEEDS to be perfectly designed to help the fighter peak at the right time

    If you are a fighter, who needs help improving his strength and explosiveness then get in contact and become a beast in the ring/octagon.

    Shiels Gym


    Sunday, 11 March 2012

    Running a different kind of gym

    My name is Mark Shiels and I am an aspiring strength coach. I am obsessed with everything regarding strength and fitness. I subscribe to about 8 different strength coaches newsletters, have spent thousands of pounds on furthering my education, and I read and study about 3 to 4 hours everyday. There is always something new to learn. I run a gym out of my garage dedicated to making people stronger, faster and better conditioned, and overall improving their way of living.

    I set up my gym in hopes of getting people away from all the phony commerical bullshit that is out there at the minute. In my opinion, too many Personal trainers are just telling people what they want to hear so they can keep lapping up the money while you never get anywhere. I am fully dedicated to helping you achieve your goals and making you the best version of yourself you can be.

    Although the gym is a friendly atmosphere, I only want to train the fully committed. I have no time for people who say they want to change but are too lazy, and are full of excuses. Nothing worth it, is going to be handed to you.

    You wont find any machines in the gym. In my opinion machines will make you lazy, everything that is done on a machine can be done in a better way without one, and anyone who says it can't is an idiot!! We train all the compound movements i.e deadlift, bench, squat, military press, along with bodyweight movements including chins, dips, rows, crawls. Then we throw in some strongman training, including tyre flips, sled drags, prowler runs, and farmer walks to develop a kick ass program with highly effective results.

    This, along with a tailored eating plan, will turn you into a beast, in a good way :)

    Until next time,

    Train hard, eat right

    Mark Shiels