How to choose the right excercise class for you – Karl Henry

Hi #MyIrishlife readers! I thought I would bring you a checklist so that you can ensure you are going to the right type of class for you and that you are safe while getting the best results from the class too.

Hi myIrishlife readers! I thought I would bring you a checklist so that you can ensure you are going to the right type of class for you and that you are safe while getting the best results from the class too.


When you get qualified as an instructor you must get your insurance before you start training anyone. Different policies will have different terms and conditions. My own says that I can’t work with more than 30 people for a class, for me that’s not an issue as I don’t do groups but if you’re in a class of more than 30, you should ensure that their policy covers them.

Class size

This I feel is one of the most important elements. No matter how good you are as a teacher, if you have a big group you can’t give everyone attention. As a participant it’s the attention you want, as this means you are doing things correctly. So look for smaller classes as opposed to bigger ones, smaller classes will mean that you get lots of attention and attention is good!!


The second most important thing in finding a good class is who is taking it. Do they look fit? Is their physique one you would like? Are they friendly or a bully? Are they giving individual advice to each person in the class or just doing their own workout? Are they qualified? How long have they been teaching? All of these questions are things you should be asking yourself, as they are really important!

Class physique

Now here is the surprising point.Different exercise styles will give you a different result in terms of physique and the results that you get. Kettlebells and trx will give you more of an athletic look, weights and bootcamp tend to give you more of a toned look. Now there are many different factors that will affect the results you get but that’s a pretty good guide. When you go in to the class, look around you at the physiques of the people who have been there a long time, how do they look? Is their physique one you would like yourself? If not, then this isn’t the class for you.

Can you try one for free?

We allow potential members to try our classes in our gym for free as we are confident in our product and the fact that the classes are really good. So if you are interested in a class you should ask to try it out before you pay , then you will be able to see exactly what type of class it is, what the instructor is like and if you like it or not.

First Aid

Another important point is whether or not the instructor has a First Aid qualification or not. The basic fitness qualifications do not have first aid as part of the course so instructors need to do another course to get it. We also have to renew our first aid qualification every two to three years depending on what qualification it is. In the industry we are in it is obvious that we will have to deal with sprains, strains, fainting and various other injuries too at somestage in our careers and possibly, but hopefully not some more serious conditions too, so check if the instructor for the class has a first aid cert or not. Also it is no harm to ask if they have a defibrillator onsite too, while not a legal requirement, it can be something that will help incase of an emergency, so it’s no harm to ask.

Any tips we might have missed? Let us know your best exercise routines on social media by using the hashtag #myIrishlife

Karl’s 3 simple excercises and some health myths to avoid

Exercise is something that so many people consider as an activity to be done several times a week, but while this may be true, I firmly believe that you should also get as much exercise into your day as is possible

Exercise is something that so many people consider as an activity to be done several times a week, but while this may be true, I firmly believe that you should also get as much exercise in to your day as is possible, such as getting off the train a stop earlier, going out on your lunch break, using the stairs as opposed to the lifts. Basically any small change that you can make to increase the amount of movement in your day will keep you fitter, slimmer and happier day in day out due to the improvements in circulation and hormone response to exercise.


Here are some simple tips you can do right away to get started:

Wide foot squats

This is my other favorite exercise for the legs. It’s super for the inside of your legs, that soft part and the outside of your bum, the part that you always want to lift. Start the exercise with your feet wider than your shoulders, the wider the better. Turn the feet away from the body and lower your bum towards the floor and hold it there. This is your starting position. From there simply lower your bum towards the floor and pulse it around 3 inches. It’s this pulsing motion that is doing all the toning!


Step Ups

These are for the fit person only but they are also fantastic for toning the bum and the legs too. Stand in front of a park bench or a solid chair and ensure your back is straight. Place your hands on your hips, stepping up with your right leg and back down. Repeat for twenty on the right leg and then switch to twenty on the left leg. Keep your hands on your hips and ensure your posture is good, especially towards the end of the set when the legs get tired.


Pelvic floor kicks

Another simple exercise that is incredibly effective for the bum area and lifting the bum as well. Start by lying on the floor on your back, with your knees bent, hands lying by your side. From here just push your pelvis towards the ceiling using all the muscles in your bum, return to the floor and push back up to the ceiling. If you find that it’s too easy for you then just bring your heels towards your body. If it’s still too easy then hold for thirty seconds between sets.


Let’s take a look at some of the common health myths that you should be avoiding:

Cutting out carbs

Probably one of the most popular ones, many of last years and I am sure this years diet books will advocate just eating protein, or protein and nuts or some combination of no carb diet. Will this work? Yes, you will lose weight initially. But eventually the tiredness will overcome you, the craving for carbs will kick in and you will eat more than ever. Carbs are your fuel source, that’s where your energy comes from. By cutting them out, your body is forced to burn fat as fuel, also called ketosis. But you can only do this for so long, side effects can also be bad breath, dry skin and nails etc. You are also seriously tired! Carbs are not the enemy, but the type of carb is. White carbs have very little nutritonal value so opt instead for brown carbs such as brown rice, brown pasta and brown bread. Full of fibre and health, these are great for your energy and digestive system. Cut the white carbs out and you will lose weight as well as having lots of energy.


Training every day

Another classic, you aim to train five, six or even seven days a week to get in the best shape possible as fast as you can. While great in theory, for most people this means that you will run out of steam, over train and stop training altogether normally by week 3. It is so hard to maintain such high activity levels, especially when curtailing your diet too, and you simply tire the body out, losing motivation to train and end up putting on more weight as a result. Instead why not try to balance it all out, aiming to workout 3 or 4 times a week if that fits into your schedule, or less. You need to look at your schedule and work from there. What ever you feel you can do consistantly all year round is a much better approach.


Meal replacement shakes

My pet hate. Why would anyone, who is thinking properly, think that cutting out real nutritious food and replacing it with a very low calorie processed powder three times a day is good for you? You take less than half the recommended daily calorie intake, for several weeks, losing huge quantities of weight, depriving your body of the essential nutrients and wreaking havoc with your metabolism, eventually rebounding to eat real food again and regaining the weight, often more , with the health consequences of your foodless time. Before you get tempted to go down this route, have a proper think about it, does it sound healthy?? Why not eat healthier, walk more and lose more weight over the course of the year and keep it off. It will be cheaper, healthier and actually work.


Run ,run, run

Another common one. People run for all sorts of reasons, but the only reason to run is because you enjoy it! If you don’t enjoy it then it isn’t going to last.You can burn the same amount of calories fast walking as you can jogging so if that’s your motivation then why not walk instead. I am a runner , I love the stress release and the challenge of races. That’s how I run all year round. No matter what sport you choose you need to enjoy it, so choose carefully and watch the difference it makes!!

Have a question ? Let us know on social media by using the hashtag #myIrishlife

Karl Henry’s simple tips for injury prevention and stretching

So, if you have been following our series of videos from top fitness instructor and Brand Ambassador, Karl Henry, you will have learned all the basics you need to kickstart your exercise journey.

But how do you avoid picking up injuries along the way?  In this latest video, Karl gives us some simple tips on injury prevention and stretching that will save you some pain in the long run.