The Fighter

Nikki Bradley

The Fighter: Getting back to basics

Have fun while exercising.

Have fun while exercising.

I THOUGHT I would spend a little time talking about fitness this week as this is a fitness based column after all. I have been a little distracted with my other commitments of late and have found it difficult to train so I am hoping this week’s column will serve as a motivational tool for both you and me, here’s hoping!

As I sit at my computer I can hear the rain battering against the window and the last thing I feel like doing right now is exercising.
However, I know how easy it is to fall in to a winter rut so I am going to give you some basic training tips and then I am going to get up and exercise!
If you know you want to keep your training up but feel you are slipping then acknowledge that and find a solution. My advice would be to alter your training programme during the colder months. Your main aim is to maintain your level of fitness correct?


Who says that has to involve the same routine all year round. There are some things I love doing while training and I find if I concentrate on these it keeps me motivated.

An exercise that is great for your arms and back involves throwing a medicine ball as hard and as fast as you can at the wall. What’s not to love about that! Sure it’s great craic!

Another exercise I enjoy is the rope. This involves sitting on an exercise ball and swinging the rope up and down. It is all about speed and balance with this one but again it is enjoyable.

Last but not least is the TRX. There are so many exercises you can do with this equipment. I find it great for strengthening my lower body and I always have fun with it at the same time.

Nikki using TRX.

Nikki using TRX.

Having someone with you while you train will make a big difference to your performance, guaranteed. There is a certain ‘we’re in this together’ vibe when you train with a partner. I would recommend you choose your buddy wisely though.

I remember when I used to ‘work out’ with my friend a couple of years ago. We would meet up at our local gym and stand near the treadmill for an hour while we caught up on gossip.


Then, exhausted from all the talking, we would treat ourselves to a nice lunch because we had earned it. I would often wonder why I wasn’t losing weight or toning up!

My advice would be to choose a friend who is genuinely into fitness. Their energy will rub off on you and you may notice that you push yourself more especially if, like me, you are a little competitive!

Reward yourself. 

Reward yourself. 

Setting goals is a great way to trick yourself into doing things. I do this all the time. The idea here is to set small goals. We all want to reach certain targets in life/work but with your workout it is important to keep it small.

The goal doesn’t have to be that you will work out for one hour, it could be as small as ten/twenty push-ups to start with.
Once you reach that first goal have another one ready and waiting. If you spend the hour reaching all of your smaller goals A) you will feel great and B) the hour will fly by. 

Treating yourself to something nice every now and again is a great way to keep morale up. I would discourage food related treats as I think that is a slippery slope.

When my sponsors All Sports in Donegal Town handed me my personalised training gear for the first time I felt wonderful.

I also felt extremely keen to get to the gym to show it off! I wanted to look good in my gear which was an incentive to train harder so I would look good in my new clothes. 

And finally, for the days you really REALLY don’t want to train – Stop beating yourself up! If you struggle during the Winter months please remember this important fact, you are not alone.

There are so many people in your situation. It is not the end of the world if you miss one training session every now and then so be kind to yourself and work that little bit harder at your next session.

Pic 6

My friend and trainer Aoife McGill recently opened her own studio and I wanted to take this opportunity to wish her the very best of luck.
Aoife has been a constant support to me and to Fighting Fit For Ewing’s. She is a great trainer and a lovely person. I popped up to see her new place last week and felt thoroughly impressed. Aoife’s business is primarily centred around one on one training and I can say from personal experience that she is excellent at what she does.

Aoife McGill at the launch of her new business with her granny giving it socks on the punch bag.

Aoife McGill at the launch of her new business with her granny giving it socks on the punch bag.

She also runs classes which are great fun. Hard work but great fun and very rewarding. I remember attending one of her classes during the year, I think it started at 6am. That was a first for me, but it felt good to exercise at that time.

I felt energised afterwards and smug in the knowledge that I had a workout done and dusted before most people had woken up! 
Aoife is running a bootcamp in January starting, Monday 5th, with limited spaces available so booking is essential.

There will be ‘Mums on the run’ classes on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays from January going forward at 9.45am with a resident childminder available for the duration of those classes. There will be two evening classes at 7pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Pic 5

Outside the above Aoife will be busy with private personal training sessions. Her aim is to keep the new premises unique, with no public gym memberships available.

Outside classes it is all solely personal training as privacy and confidentiality is key. So when you train, you don’t have an audience, and can feel comfortable.

If you would like more information about personal training or to book a class, go to ‘Aoife McGill Personal Training’ on Facebook. I wish Aoife every success in her new venture.

Nikki Bradley is the founder of Fighting Fit For Ewing’s, a campaign to promote awareness of Ewing’s Sarcoma. Nikki is sponsored by All Sports in Donegal Town. Support her campaign by giving ‘Fighting Fit For Ewing’s’ a LIKE on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @nikkibradley59

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Apologies for my absence of late, I have been very bold and haven’t done much writing. I hope you'll...


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