Client Spotlight – Tom

Tom began his training with D.N.A S&C back in 2014 with an ongoing goal to increase his size, strength and his athletic performance playing right back for his university football team. Tom had already reached a decent level of sports performance, being involved in premiership football academies and successful university teams, but he felt that to push on even further he needed to increase his size and strength. Tom sat down with us and we discussed his goals and any concerns he had about resistance training.

3 years on, Tom is still smashing his goals, and whilst they may have shifted slightly after university finished, it is safe to say that he achieved incredible results with his hard work. Here’s 5 things that Tom would say are most important for anyone starting out in the gym.


Start small but dream big

Break your goals down into smaller chunks that are manageable. It is easy to try and push yourself beyond your limits when you start but this will likely put you off after a month or two. Set small continuous goals that will add up to your overall aim and you will achieve it in a safe and effective way.

Get a program

Having a program helped me stay focused throughout all of my training. The coaches at D.N.A used the analogy that training without a plan is like driving in the dark, and they were so right. It gave me a structure to work off so I knew exactly what I should be doing and when, and more importantly, when I needed advice and coaching, my coach knew exactly where I was in my program and that made the process a hell of a lot easier.


 Don’t stress over the little things

Often people focus in on small details when they’re starting out on their fitness journey. A classic one is if you don’t get enough of one of your macro nutrients on a single day. If you miss out on 5g of protein one day, that’s not going to effect your gains. If you miss targets consistently then that may need looking at, but focus on the big picture!

Eat quality food

No matter what your goal is, proper nutrition is key. For me, I had to increase my food intake, which was awesome, but for the people that have to reduce their food intake, it can be a bit trickier. Eating less is not always best so you should focus on consuming quality foods on a ‘little & often’ basis. Make sure you get your protein on board.


Enjoy it

As much as exercise can be horrible sometimes, the results are so worth it. Enjoy the process and it becomes a hell of a lot easier. After all, you’re making so many positive choices towards a healthier lifestyle that it should be a positive experience. If you can give me a way of enjoying burpees, I’d really appreciate it though.


Check out Toms Instagram here to keep up with his progress. If you want to start on your fitness journey but don’t know where to start, the rest of our blog has handy tips to get you going. For coaching and training programs, head over to our website to view our full catalogue of packages which cover many training goals.


For exercise demonstrations, check out our FREE app (click the picture below) to view videos, pictures and exercise cues for over 250 exercises!


If you liked the blog, comment, share and subscribe to our mailing list on our website for more quality information every week.


6 Easy Tips For When You Start Lifting Weights

Whether you’re trying to shred fat, increase muscle size or maintain your general health, resistance training in the form of weights should be a vital component of your training program. The benefits of lifting weights are well documented for various fitness goals, from burning a higher amount of calories in sessions to effecting hormone secretion and ‘sculpting’ a toned, athletic look.

If you’re new to lifting weights or if you’re thinking of starting, here are 6 easy to implement tips for when your start lifting weights.



Focus on movement

When you start lifting, it’s tempting to try and lift as heavy as you can as quickly as you can. Take a few weeks to really master some key movements before you start lifting heavier weights on them. Some good exercises to start with are squats, deadlifts, chest & shoulder presses and rowing movements. You can find all of these with full videos, pictures and exercise cues as well as alternative exercises on our exercise database app.

Split your workouts up throughout the week

Whilst it can be advantageous to plan full body workouts, another good way to start training is to split your body into different areas. A good beginner split is a push, pull & legs session, once per week. This allows you to rotate through all the major muscle groups in the body, whilst leaving enough room in the week to do any cardio/conditioning sessions you may want to implement.

Keep your exercise selection low

Start by focusing on mastering 5 exercises per session. The last thing you want to do when you start training is give yourself DOMs to the point where you can’t walk the next day (check out our blog here on 10 tips to reduce DOMs). If you do 5 exercises with perfect movement, tempo and weight, you will do more than enough to work your muscles enough to force them to grow.

Don’t over complicate things

When you start lifting, your body doesn’t need as much of a stimulus to grow as someone who has been regularly training for 10 years. You won’t need advanced and complicated training systems, just stick to straight sets with adequate rest and recovery and you’ll be ready to step it up in no time.


Keep your bucket full

This is a great analogy for balancing your nutrition, rest/recovery and your overall energy expenditure so that you don’t over train and you can stay injury free and on track. At the top is a tap pouring water into a bucket, which has a tap at the bottom letting water out. The tap at the top is your sleep, nutrition and recovery, the tap at the bottom is your exercise, stress and work. The bucket in the middle is your body. If the tap at the bottom empties quicker than the tap pouring in at the top, you will eventually end up with an empty bucket which will leave you tired, depleted and most likely injured. The aim is to keep your taps pouring in/out at a similar rate so that you can train continuously without having to take extended breaks away from training (outside of your planned de-load weeks). To take a look at the original post, click here.

Take a de-load

Every 4 to 6 weeks, let your body have a week off to recover and repair. Linking back to the previous point, periods of heavy training during a periodized training program can leave your bucket slightly emptier, so allowing your body to catch up is very important for long term success.


If you need help with anything to do with training, contact us on Facebook, Instagram or email us through our website. We also have some great programs designed for people starting to lift weights, check them out here.


For exercise demonstrations, check out our FREE app (click the picture below) to view videos, pictures and exercise cues for over 250 exercises!


If you liked the blog, comment, share and subscribe to our mailing list on our website for more quality information every week.


8 Tips to Keep You Motivated

Everyone one struggles for motivation when training at some point. Make sure you don’t quit. Try some of these tips to help keep your motivation levels high during training.


Set small, achievable goals

It’s easy to say that you want to run a marathon in 12 months or lose 2 stone in a certain time frame. But it’s important to set more realistic goals along the way. Aim to run half a km further or to squeeze that extra rep on a day to day basis.

Try a new exercise routine

Try a routine that sets weekly challenges and constantly progresses your workouts with a realistic approach. This will help give you a reason to push yourself harder and to supplement your hard work with good diet and nutrition. If you need help, head over to our website to check out our range of programs.


Record your progress

Make sure you track your progress daily. This can be done in a number of ways. Firstly, take progress pictures. You see yourself in the mirror everyday so it’s easy to miss the minor improvements, but the camera won’t ever miss your progress. Try to use the same spot and the same lighting for weekly progress pictures. Check out our members before and after photos here to see what kind of photos to go for. If you are trying to getting stronger, make sure you track each exercise and constantly write down your weights so you can look back each week.


Choose a motivational playlist – make sure you select something upbeat and up tempo and get to work. It has been scientifically proven that exercising to music can help boost your performance in the gym.



Try not to allow your fellow gym goers to catch you talking to yourself, maybe keep it in your head. But talking to yourself, raring yourself up to smash your next workout and a quick pep talk before each set to focus on the exercise is a great way to make sure you get the most out of your training.

Reward yourself

Make sure that if your succeeding with your training, you reward yourself. Treat yourself to a cheat meal, a meal out with friends or new clothes etc. A treat is a great way to keep your motivation high by having that extra motivation to achieve your goals.


Have a Training Partner

There can be huge benefits of having a training partner. Having a partner will push you harder and keep you on track when you start flagging. You can also challenge each other. Having someone to talk to and compete against will also make your workouts much more enjoyable.

Surround yourself with motivation

Hang up motivational pictures on your mirrors, like your favourite athlete or a celeb or just good motivational quotes. You can also have your target goals written in places —refrigerator, calendar, etc. — so it’s a constant reminder to work towards them.


For exercise demonstrations, check out our FREE app (click the picture below) to view videos, pictures and exercise cues for over 250 exercises!


If you liked the blog, comment, share and subscribe to our mailing list on our website for more quality information every week.


5 reasons your fat loss might have slowed down

A lot of  people come across a stage in their life where they struggle shift those last few pounds. Even body builders and athletes will struggle sometimes and this can be due to a stressful lifestyle, bad eating, incorrect training or even prescribed medications. If you are eating healthily and working out correctly but still can’t seem to shift that stubborn belly fat, here a five tips that could help you.

Excessive portion sizes

A common error people make with their nutrition is having excessive portion sizes. It is very misunderstood that how much you eat is just as important as what you eat. Oversized portions are synonymous with an oversized belly because when you eat a lot, your stomach expands and you can become bloated. Research has shown that people will often finish what has been put on their plate, regardless of the portion size. Try using a smaller plate to keep your portion sizes down.


Poor food choices

Remember healthy foods are not calorie free.  For example, almonds, nut butters, coconut oil and avocados are all nutrient-dense foods and are a great addition to a healthy diet but you still have to be cautious of the amount you eat. This is the same for what you drink – especially alcohol. If you’re eating clean all through the week but then load up on alcohol at the weekend, all your hard work will have been for nothing. The odd drink may not derail your progress as we all need a little treat from time to time, but be careful not to over indulge as half a dozen will undoubtedly affect your progress. You can find all the information needed to structure a clean and healthy diet in our nutrition guide included in all of the program packages found at our website

Poor training programme

Training for fat loss is a very misunderstood concept. Fat loss requires a lot more than just cardio and building up your miles running on a treadmill. Weight training is great way to help you achieve your fat loss goals. Keeping your rest under 60 seconds and including training systems such as supersets are a great way to boost the intensity of your session. You can also try HIIT workouts, another great addition to your training routine. HIIT workouts are great at elevating your heart rate and also keeping your metabolic rate increased throughout the day. Our weight-loss program uses a mixture of conditioning/HIIT sessions, weights and a full nutrition guide – check it out by clicking the picture below:


Lack of motivation

If you are struggling to lose fat, it is easy to start losing that motivation to keep going. Losing motivation can make you skip workouts and make poor eating choices. To keep your motivation, to set yourself challenges/small and achievable goals that will keep you focused. Record your workouts so that you can see your progress. If you’re struggling find motivation, hiring a coach/PT can make a real difference! Check out our coaching packages here:

Lack of sleep

Sleep is vital when training. When you don’t get enough shut-eye, your cortisol levels go up, testosterone levels go down and insulin sensitivity decreases. These factors can lead to stress, weight gain and muscle loss. Sleep needs to be made a crucial component  alongside your programme – aim to get least 7-8 hours sleep.



For exercise demonstrations, check out our FREE app (click the picture below) to view videos, pictures and exercise cues for over 250 exercises!unspecified

If you liked the blog, comment, share and subscribe to our mailing list on our website for more quality information every week.


5 Reasons To Front Squat

The front squat is often a misunderstood exercise and is likely to be left out of a training program because people can’t lift as much weight as they do with the back squat.

Here are 5 reasons why you should change up your squat routine and use the front squat.



Front squats target your quadriceps more than the back squat

The front squat is one of the key exercises I give to break through a training plateau with someone who has been spending way too much time performing the back squat. A back squat puts a higher emphasis on your glutes, hamstrings and lower back.

This can be seen in the quad development of high level Olympic weightlifters. The front squat is a key movement during the clean & jerk, so after years of training they develop much more athletic quadriceps.


More emphasis on the upper back

Front squats require a more upright posture, minimizing flexion in the lumbar spine and increasing core stabilization. The forces on your spine are made far lower by this upright position, without negatively impacting on the muscle recruitment. They also develop your back as you need a ton of back strength to support a high weight across your neck and shoulders.


Front Squat – Cross Grip


Easier on your knees

Because you have to keep an upright position to perform the front squat properly, the sheer forces on the knees are far lower without negatively impacting on the muscle recruitment.


Improves your flexibility

To front squat properly you need to have good flexibility, especially if you are using the clean grip (see below). You will need good flexibility in many joint from the ankles through to the wrists. An athlete’s mobility can determine which lift is better suited to him or her.

The positive: it forces you to improve your mobility and flexibility, which can help to prevent injury in the long term.

The negative: you won’t be able to lift as heavy at the start, which may delay strength gains.


Front Squat – Clean Grip


Front squats can carry over to Olympic lifting

The biggest difference between front squats and back squats is its transfer to Olympic lifting. Front squats have a high transfer into the clean & jerk and is often used as a regression exercise to improve people’s form when Olympic lifting. If your’ cleans have plateaued, then try adding front squats into your next training cycle.


For exercise demonstrations, check out our app (click the picture below) to view videos, pictures and exercise cues for over 250 exercises, including the front squat and various alternative exercises.



If you liked the blog, comment, share and subscribe to our mailing list on our website for more quality information every week.

D.N.A S&C Website