In this episode of the Super Strength Show, Dominic Munnelly takes us on his journey to becoming an Elite Level Personal Trainer and CrossFit Games Competitor. During this interview, Dominic talks about training consistency, mobility, nutrition, and how to build strength for your 40’s and beyond.
Read Full Transcript
[0:00:17.7] RT: What’s up Strength Maniacs? And thanks for tuning in. I’m pleased to welcome back today’s guest, Dominic Munnelly. If you haven’t had the opportunity to listen to our first interview with Dominic, definitely check out Episode 47, which is still one of our most downloaded episodes to date. Great content in that one. In the meantime, here’s a quick recap of today’s guest.
Dominic is a Dublin based personal trainer and the amazing results his clients achieve has made him the most in demand personal trainer in the country and that would be the beautiful, one and only Ireland. After finishing a sports sign degree in the UK, he began working as the trainer’s trainer, otherwise known as a fitness director, for one of the most exclusive chains of gyms in the country.
He has continued to develop his knowledge and educations so he can provide clients with the best methods to drop fat, increase strength, and get fit in shortest time possible. Dominic has spent almost 20 years helping his clients look stunning and this has led to articles in and features on Spin FM, Today FM, Country FM, Two FM, Morning Ireland TV three, RSVP magazine, 98 FM, Off the Rails, Sunday Business Post and corporate lectures for some of the top companies in Ireland.
Dominic is an active competitor in the CrossFit games, placing an impressive 12th in the 2011 European regionals and has qualified for top level European cross fit competition such as the Battle of London. You can connect with him by visiting his website at dominic.ie. That’s dominic.ie.
Dominic, welcome to the show, it’s great to have you back on my man. That first go around, it was no surprise, it’s one of the most downloaded, most listened to shows. You definitely bring the goods so I’m really eager to get into this one.
[0:02:06.2] DM: Anytime dude and I really appreciate having me back on and I just enjoy the show every time I listen to the guest you have on. I love the fact that you’re very interested in what people have to say, there’s no rush to kind of move onto the next question all the time which I always appreciate you know?
[0:02:24.5] RT: Thank you, I appreciate that too. I got to tell you, it’s great having access to the type of guests that we have on the show and it’s amazing just in the course of a conversation, the type of information that will come out, it really does amaze me sometimes. And I try as much as possible, almost to the point of sounding like a broken record, to emphasize the importance of some of the stuff that we hear.
Because as I just mentioned in your bio, it’s almost two decades you’ve been doing this. I mean two decades, that’s coming up on a quarter century man, not to date you or anything, but that is a lot of blood, sweat, tears and years that go into this and when sometimes somebody like yourself will say something that just seems to you relatively routine, nothing really spectacular just because you’ve made that a part of who you are now for such a while.
But to the rest of us who may hear it, it doesn’t seem like it’s being emphasized too much, we may not realize, “Wow, that’s a really important tip.” I just love allowing you guys to talk and saying your thing.
[0:03:26.3] DM: Yeah, I think that’s the thing about somebody that’s, let’s say, at my level is that we don’t need to fluff around in terms of how we say things. Somebody like myself that’s working in the industry, as long as I have, we can be pretty direct and kind of concise and kind of say, “Okay look, this is what’s going to work, this is what’s not going to work. You can try 50 different other ways but I’m going to filter things down and tell you what’s most important to focus on.
[0:03:51.9] RT: Exactly. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the fundamentals, there really isn’t a lot of stuff you have to focus on and I think we’re going to get into this today aren’t we?
[0:04:01.4] DM: Yeah, big time. Just to give people I think the biggest thing within the fitness is, like I had mentioned before, it’s very often it’s driven by youth and driven by the enthusiasm. But it’s actually that kind of consistency and doing the basics and like to question you keep coming back to a lot of your guest is like, “If you were to go back and do things differently, what would you do?” And very often the same stuff comes up.
I’m going to maybe touch on today the things that are going to allow you to get your 40’s, 50’s and 60’s and still actually be able to train. So many people get so broken up by the time that they’re 40 that they can’t do the thing that they used to love anymore.
[0:04:40.6] RT: That’s right, the very true. It’s amazing too because if you pay attention to some of the advanced bodybuilders, for example, who have been around for a long time and you listen to some of these guys and watch how they train, it’s very surprising because it’s not the way that is depicted in the magazines.
And even the guys, the way that it’s depicted in the magazines, there are guys who have said, Arnold and Rick Drayson has a great show that’s on YouTube all the time, Frank Zane, a lot of these guys have said that yeah, they’ll slap on a bunch of extra plates for the photo to make it look good. But the reality is, that’s not really how they were training. They were using much less weight. A lot of emphasis on form and proper contraction of the muscle as supposed to just heaving weight around.
Now are there are guys who do train like that? Of course there are but you can kind of see the difference in the longevity of the two types of training and that applies in any endeavor, not just simply in bodybuilding, it could be cross fit, it could be power lifting, any of that stuff. When your form starts to go out the window and you’re not training correctly, the longevity is not going to be all that long.
[0:05:44.9] DM: Big time, yeah.
[0:05:46.4] RT: But Dominic, before we do get into those, how about tell us a little bit more about yourself because I did read the bio, we gave some highlights there and everybody who is listening, I highly, highly recommend you go back and you listen to Episode 47 with Dominic. Just go to the superstrengthshow.com put in Dominic Munnelly, correct?
[0:06:09.3] DM: That’s correct, yeah.
[0:06:09.5] RT: This show will come up and the earlier one will come up as well. Listen to that one, I highly recommend it but for those who haven’t yet and obviously they’re listening to this one now. If you wouldn’t mind just give us a couple of minutes, share a little bit more about yourself.
[0:06:22.0] DM: I suppose where my fitness journey starts was after I finished a sports science degree in the UK and I came back to Dublin. Kind of struggled to actually apply what I learned because most in the industry, especially in the fitness industry is driven by people who tend to do very short term courses like anything from a weekend to six weeks and they’re fully qualified. That was after coming off spending kind of like five years in college.
Then I started working in commercial gyms and then started applying my trade then for a number of years and just got very burnt out working in commercial gyms because it’s very, very badly paid and your work generally isn’t really appreciated a whole lot and then kind of started my own business, god it must be 15 years ago now, and that kind of has just gone from strength to strength and I now co-own a gym with my brother in Caldera that’s 8,500 square foot.
That’s grown in the last four years from a thousand square foot to one of the biggest facilities in Ireland now. It’s just very well run, I mentor all his coaches there. He is the head coach and there’s three other full time coaches there and these are all guys that wouldn’t be in the fitness industry at all if it weren’t for setting that gym in a fairly kind of country part of Ireland.
Then I obviously own my own business in Dublin and I work with another girl, Siobhan, and we kind of collectively take all of our clients together. And then I recently started some online training for coaches and non-coaches where I would release workouts every Sunday for a week in advance so people can kind of see how I would program things over the course of the week which has a bias towards some elements of gymnastics, some elements of CrossFit, some strength stuff and a specific ram up based on that’s a conditioning piece based on what they’ve already done in their day.
And that has just really gone huge in the last probably four months and that kind of came about from people just pestering me on what I do in my training. And I’m like, “Well, here’s what I do,” and I didn’t really think, to be honest, most people would be that interested but I think as of this week there will be about 25 people in that group and they pay a monthly fee for that.
[0:08:40.6] RT: Beautiful. I got to tell you, you got to be one of the most passionate guest we’ve had on the show and we’ve had some great guests on the show. Each one really brings it one way or the other and with you, what I find that’s interesting is you hear sometimes that term “a trainer’s trainer”, and obviously I said that during the intro but that truly does apply to you.
I’m happy to hear that you’re doing very well with that and it’s something about the way that you deliver your story, your information, your guidance, it almost comes off as, if you’re paying attention, you could tell that your goal is to teach other leaders and create other leaders. It’s just something about that that I kind of pick up on. So again, thank you for making the time to come on the show. I really appreciate that.
[0:09:20.4] DM: No problem. I do always think that you can train people to be more intelligent in what they do with their clients and to understand the process but you can’t train trainers to be enthusiastic. That has to be there already and that’s why I tend to attract other trainers that are maybe failing a little bit on the educational side of things.
But they have the enthusiasm there and that’s what I’m attracted towards and that’s what I think other people, you know, they look to kind of get that guidance then from me because they need to be able to obviously apply that enthusiasm. And I think sometimes they get it wrong and that’s why they’re coming to me to understand that balance.
[0:10:02.3] RT: Definitely, definitely. One thing I wanted to ask you, you mentioned very quickly MetCon. Now some of us are not exactly sure what that means. What do you mean by MetCon?
[0:10:12.1] DM: MetCon would be a term that’s going to be more based around what we would do in CrossFit, that generally how most people would understand is that it’s firstly it’s short for metabolic conditioning. So it’s generally the part of the workout where your heart rate is elevated and a lot of people that are looking at let’s say CrossFit from the outside would look at it and kind of see, “Oh that’s the part where they do crazy things like buries and kettlebell swings and snatches for high reps,” and it’s all a bit crazy looking.
But it really essentially just refers to any part of the workout that has your heart rate elevated. But for some people, that MetCon can be quite simple or it can be quite complex. You should be able to scale more as MetCon based around the individual’s ability. If I have a client come in and she’s 65 and doesn’t move so well, and we have certain things that we want to do and that we can always just modify things based around her ability.
And I do have a strong bias towards getting people to do some element of conditioning, most days that they’re in unless they’re extremely run down and then we would do more assistance work in their training to help with their main kind of common compound lifts. It really is not anything people haven’t done before, it’s just more to give people an understanding as to what we’re looking for from particular MetCons. So if there’s a rest in the MetCons and generally those ones are going to suck a little bit more than MetCons that are just maybe, let’s say 20 minute continuous piece.
I will always kind of tell clients, look, this is what I’m looking for from the MetCon. They understand how that should feel but for us, we tend to place less of an emphasis on the conditioning pieces because most people tend to think that’s where all the good stuff’s happening. But for us, the good stuff happens when you get people stronger and more mobile, the conditioning part of what we do isn’t actually the most important part and that only becomes an important part if the individual we’re dealing with has a very low base of fitness or conditioning to begin with.
[0:12:18.7] RT: Okay, very interesting. So what you’re saying is, the strength, would that be the foundation that you build off of?
[0:12:25.3] DM: Yeah, the strength and mobility is probably the most important thing first because if somebody is moving well first and we can’t start learning on top of that. I was helping a guy the other day, his first day at a cross fit class and he’s got like 60 kilos on the bar and he’s trying to squat and he’s doing half reps, and I tell him, I say, “Dude, you got to take all that weight off, put the bar back to an empty bar and show me a squat with perfect form where you can get down into a full squat with no weight on the bar.”
He wasn’t able to do that. I said, “Okay, here’s what we need to go and fix first.” I broke it down with him and that wouldn’t make a difference if the person was 65 or 16, the same process must apply. But people tend to, one of the topics we were getting in to, they tend to try and kind of cure their consistency in the gym with intensity. So they just think that, “If I just work out really hard, that’s going to cure my lack of ability to get into the gym in a regular basis.”
And we see this in endurance community and we see this in the Yoga community. We see this in ever fitness community that people think that if they just killed themselves and they do boot camp and they do anything that is generally more intense or apply what they’re doing more intensely, like, “Oh I haven’t been in a gym so I’m going to do a three hour session because I feel like I want to punish myself,” and then they can’t do anything for three or four days because they’re so sore. That doesn’t make any sense at all.
So it’s the reps that really count, how can we get the person to 10,000 reps safely as opposed to, let’s get them two or three thousand reps but in the process we’re going to completely break the body down that they can’t even do a squat then two years later or a year later. What matters for us is that mobility foundation that you can pass certain little tests that we would ask people to pass first and then we can layer on some strength and then the amount of conditioning somebody should do is based really about how lean they currently are.
So if the person isn’t very lean, they’re quite overweight then any kind of conditioning is always going to suck. We’re going to do more low intensity stuff where you could just basically move to 20, 30 minute paces, It’s not going to break you up too much, you can still wake up the next day and you might push your slab a little bit, you go on the bike a little bit, do some farmers carry’s. do some bodyweight movements, but it wouldn’t prevent you from going and training the next day. Then we can gradually ramp that intensity up. But the main thing for people to understand is stop trying to cure your lack of consistency with your diet or with your training with intensity. It’s a recipe for disaster.
[0:15:07.6] RT: Yeah, when you say that, you make me think of Lee Haney, Mr. Olympia, great bodybuilder, he said, “Stimulate, don’t annihilate.”
[0:15:15.4] DM: Yeah, big time.
[0:15:16.7] RT: The old school guys like I’m talking pre steroids, pre 60’s, they were really big on three day, usually three day a week training — Monday, Wednesday, Friday let’s say — Full body routine and they would hit like two, three maybe heavy sets per group, they wouldn’t kill themselves and it was the consistency of getting in there every other day and that, they figured, was the best way to speed up results especially when it came to strength and size for them.
They really weren’t too keen on the concept of splits, they found it didn’t work as well unless you are very advanced and you were close to a competition let’s say and you had to keep certain areas more attention. Thinking in a split is, well I’ll just hit the muscle harder but less frequently so once a week kind of deal, once every 10 days.
But they found that that wasn’t as effective as again, getting in there once every couple of days and stimulate, stimulate, stimulate and that consistency provided better results. And I believe today the science is saying that you do have about a 48 hour window roughly, period sorry, after training in which you can get back in and train that muscle again and then growing all over again. You don’t really have to wait a week.
[0:16:35.3] DM: That’s one of the things that CrossFit has completely changed the kind of landscape in terms of what people can accept as normal volume is that we do CrossFit in the sport that I do, every day is leg day. You’re going in and you’re doing let’s say some lower body movement pretty much every single day.
But it again comes back to degrees of intensity, whereas people will go on to Instagram or onto Facebook and see somebody like me doing X, Y and Z but not understand the context in which that we’re doing a certain movement or doing a certain PR. So they’re not seeing the full picture, they just think, “Oh yeah, we’re going in, we’re crushing ourselves all the time,” which is not the case and if we can get in more frequent sessions and live in that 70 to 80% zone and sometimes less, then that’s going to provide us with more stimulus and more reps and get us closer to that 10,000 hours of mastery.
And then your body is very resistant to wanting to change then. I find my body is very — I would have to do absolutely nothing for three months for my body to eradicate change at all. Because I’ve done my 10,000 hours and it doesn’t actually take that much to maintain that then, whereas if you’re in a rush to do it and you feel like, “Oh I’ve got to do this bodybuilding split,” which I feel that from the people that I work with that come and work with me, they become very prone to injury.
Their shoulders are so banged up, their hips are so banged up, their knees are so banged up because they’re following that bodybuilding approach of completely annihilating a certain muscle one day of the week and I tend to feel that that produces overuse injuries. That’s why you’ll see what bodybuilders and powerlifters and certain people to get to my age, like I’ll be 40 this year, and they slowly realize the value of yoga, they slowly realize the value of doing lower intensity conditioning pieces.
They slowly see the value in getting some soft tissue work done every week and they move away from those kind of split approaches because they realize their joints can’t take it anymore. Or they became addicted to pain killers, and they can’t kind of function without being on some medication all the time or ice packs, or whatever it is. So I think if people could really drill down and understand that intensity needs to be something that we need to play with and I would consider that you shouldn’t really be going super hard any more frequently than once per week.
But it depends on the level you’re at, because like I mentioned before where competition starts is where help ends. As soon as you start to be more competitive about what you’re doing then I’m sorry, all bets are off except that there’s going to be a chance of injury, we accept that you could get lasting injuries and you have to accept that. But if your goal is to just look and feel your best then it should really be about that volume and that kind of goes with your nutrition as well as your training.
[0:19:41.0] RT: Yeah, I remember you saying that last time, and I think that’s a really important point. Even Arnold said that in his latest autobiography, you know the question of steroids come up and he said, “Listen, we didn’t know the things that we know today but ultimately we were willing to take risks to win, it’s just like being a race car driver, there’s a chance you’re going to get into an accident and you may die or maybe permanently injured.”
And he said, “When you are in competition, he basically was saying what you were saying. The goal is to win, the goal is not to be as safe as possible or as healthy as possible per se and that is a sacrifice that you make.” And…
[0:20:17.6] DM: We do need to take certain elements of that for the average individual that says, “Look, I want to be in far better shape, I want to have a lower body fat,” yes, there are certain elements of dedication and we do need to make certain sacrifices. Again, it comes down to at what cost? If you want to get in, let’s say the shape I’m in, then you need to understand that that comes at a cost.
When you get people to train in the way I suggest and maybe they follow it for a month or two and kind of go, “You know what? This isn’t actually as easy as I thought it was going to be you know? I just thought it was a matter of putting in the time.” No, the sessions that matter are showing up and doing the recovery work when you do feel broken, when you do need to spend that 40 minutes of low intensity activity followed by a lot of mobility work, that’s where the real growth in my opinion happens. That’s the growth that’s going to give you that longevity.
[0:21:13.1] RT: Right, it’s like some of the guest we’ve had on who said things like, John Anderson was on a while back and he said, “When I go on vacation, I make sure to incorporate things during family vacation that will benefit me, even when we’re “having fun” I make sure it’s things that yes, the whole family has fun but at the same time it’s ultimately benefiting me. So type of meals that I have access to, some of the activities that we will do, I make sure that they either help me recover better or whatever it may be to help me ultimately reach my goals.”
That’s the kind of thinking you need to put in to this, depending on where you want to go. Other guys are like, “Sleeping is part of my training.” A lot of people don’t’ realize it. I for the longest time, when you’re a young kid, you don’t know the difference of getting in there and training and it’s so much fun and then there’s all the other boring stuff, making your food and getting to bed on time and sleeping enough and getting all your water into you. Whatever. The training is the fun stuff but the reality is, that all counts, it all makes a difference and what you do today is what your body’s going to operate on come tomorrow.
[0:22:17.7] DM: Big time, yeah.
[0:22:18.6] RT: If you don’t have that taken care off, come tomorrow, well if you’re sucking wind and not doing real good, dragging ass, well that’s because the day before you did not take care of things correctly. Therefore, your training session is not going well because you didn’t prep yourself for it. I think, just that slight mind shift and then people start to realize, “Okay, yes, all of this other stuff is important,” and I think you mentioned a couple of points where people start to break down when they get older, I think you were saying in terms of being fit at 40 plus because that’s where you are now. What do you have for us there?
[0:22:54.3] DM: I think as you get older, you shouldn’t have to spend — kind of back track a little bit. But most people that say that they’re in their teens, their 20’s, they can afford to spend two and three and maybe four hours in the gym and there’s a lot of fluffing around. As you get older, there’s going to be certain commitments, there’s going to be children, there’s going to be just your inability to spend that amount of time in the gym.
So you need to have built up a base of strength and of mobility that’s just always there for you. Even on the point you were making about the guy going away on holiday, I think that’s a great example of how effective your training and nutrition really is because if you can’t go away for a week or two and not have access to a normal training facility and just tip away while you’re on holidays, not going too crazy in your diet but having a little of what you fancy every single day.
And if you can’t come away from that experience and not be in relatively the exact same shape that you were before you went away, then that says more about the rest of your training throughout the rest of the year than it does about that let’s say, seven to 14 day holiday. You should be able to go away and have a little bit of what you fancy and not have to train that much, then your body will not change to a great degree.
Otherwise that says a lot more about your training, and especially your nutrition, for the rest of the other 50 weeks of the year. I think most people as they get older need to spend a lot more time working into mobility, that’s why especially in the last year or two, you would have seen a huge growth in the work of people like Ido Portal and that whole movement culture.
Because people realize that if you simply cannot do a simple exercise like hang from a bar and you don’t have funky stuff going on your shoulders or do even a supported pistol squat without feeling like your knees are going to explode, then I’m sorry but you have serious problems that you need to address.
And people need to realize that if you can’t do simple things like that then you need to look at the next year as being, “Okay, I got to spend the year in recover mode now, I need to spend a year or two getting all these basics nailed down because if I don’t, it’s not going to give me any degree of longevity in the game of fitness at all. And I’m going to get to 50 and this stuff is going to get worse the older you get because stuff just gets more and more stuck.
That’s what we tend to see with the clients that we’re dealing with that. They’re in their 50’s and 60’s where there’s just no going back, we can’t fix this stuff anymore. So spend way more time on mobility and t hen just really nail your nutrition. Work with somebody if you need some help on that, get some body fat testing done on a fairly regular basis, just to keep you honest and just calculate how many calories do I need? And then on a hierarchy of needs, what matters most when it comes to nutrition are your calorie intake and your macro nutrient intake.
Everything beyond that does not matter unless those things are nailed down in a consistent basis. Again, that’s what we see in our work that we do and with clients on a regular basis whether it’s to gain muscle or to lose weight and simply either your people are massively under reaching or overeating and maybe not spending enough time at maintenance calories as well which I think is a huge problem is that people might spend six weeks or eight weeks, running a calorie deficit and losing some body fat but they don’t just maybe sit for a month at like maintenance calories where they’re not gaining, they’re not losing, they’re just letting their body adjust to that new level.
And then some people can freak out because nothing’s happening. So then they go completely off of the rails again as opposed to just, “No be okay at that level, let your body adjust down or up to that new level so your body hasn’t a chance to adjust.” We would have that as part of our program all the time that we would say to people, “No, no, you’ve done your six to eight weeks running a deficit,” because otherwise what happens is you deal with, especially with women who are coming to us in they say, “Well how long have you been trying to lose weight?” The typical answer is, “All my life.”
That’s the most depressing thing that I ever hear and I would say to that female client, okay, we’re going to spend a couple of weeks, maybe a year fixing this and that’s it. We’re done for life then. We know how to do this properly for the rest of your life so you don’t have to struggle with this anymore. And a lot of this is explained on my website, it’s completely free, you just go on, calculate your calories, plug it into a macro nutrient calculator and then get some sort of fat testing if body fat is one of the things you want to work on and if it’s to gain muscle, I think most people, they’re absolutely shocked at the amount of calories they actually need to take in in order to gain any kind of degree of muscle at all.
So I think as you get older, nail your nutrition a little bit more. Most people will tell you they wish they would have eaten more vegetables, they wish they would have eaten a little bit cleaner because all that sort of stuff starts to affect your joints. So if you’re eating a diet that’s pro inflammatory because it’s got a lot of junk food in it or a lot of grain based food especially some people are hyper reactive to wheat, then that’s going to have an influence on your body in the long term. And then just work a lot more, be a lot more honest on your mobility work, so that when we program, that’s factored in to every single one we ever do with clients.
We force people to do that on a regular basis and we use certain things like loaded stretching to speed that process up. That’s why we’re not a big fan of people spending 10 or 15 minutes on a foam roller at the start of a work out because we feel that kind of deflects from just getting them into better position whether that’s through using weight or non-weighted movements to almost four step new range of motion we’re looking for.
[0:28:45.6] RT: Okay, Dominic, how about this? Let’s go to a break and when we come back let’s dive in to more specifics when it comes to nutrition and staying fit at 40 and over. Sounds good?
[0:28:55.6] DM: Perfect.
[0:28:55.7] RT: Okay. All right guys, you’re listening to the super strength show and today’s special guest is Dominic Munnelly. Highly recommend you guys go check him out, he’s got some amazing things going on, as you could hear, his information is second to none. So the website is dominic.ie. All right guys we’ll be right back, hold on to your dumbbells.
[0:29:16.9] RT: The world of working out is seriously confusing at first. It punishes uneducated lifters with years of poor gains and injures, and reward smart ones with slabs of lean muscle and superhuman strength. If you don’t know if you’re using the right form, have hit a plateau, or things just seem a whole lot more confusing than you thought they’d be, I want to help you out.
Let me save you from wasting time and money on BS advice and sweating away in the gym with little-to-nothing to show for it. Head on over to www.Instantstrength.com to get access to your free report titled Instant Strength: The One Little Trick That Will Instantly Boost Your Strength by 10 lbs or More in Your Main Lifts.
Whether you’re a novice lifter or have years of experience in the Iron game, this is a very helpful resource that you can either apply to your own training or use as a helpful guide to teach others. Stop wasting time and effort in the gym and get the info you need to maximize your gains and minimize your risk for injury. Visit www.Instantstrength.com and get your free report today.
[0:30:23.1] RT: All right guys we’re back with Dominic Munnelly. Ireland’s, I would say, well it’s top trainers if not the top trainer. And every time I have a conversation with Dominic, you will see if you go back and listen to the prior episode which is — prior interview, which is I believe Episode 47? Just the quality of information coming from this man is fantastic and the articles that he puts out the same thing.
Each one is — I mean, you had that one recently Dominic, a few months ago now. Fix my shoulder, I think it was. That was, I mean it’s like a little seminar, it’s that good. Definitely go see what he’s got on the go with a lot of great information. Now Dominic, let’s get into more specifics and let’s start off with nutrition. You had mentioned a few things, you had said, “Staying away from inflammatory diets,” what does that mean?
You were saying “eating cleaner” because that can affect your joints and how about you give us some specifics here as we said at the beginning of the call. Fundamentals that kind of the 80/20 rule. That 20% that gets 80% of your results. I believe in a lot of things in life if not everything in life, there’s only a few things you need to focus on that will really give you the bulk of your results.
[0:31:37.5] DM: I think for me the best thing that happened in nutrition in the last probably two years is a very simple pyramid that I would often put up on my website by a guy called Eric Helms and another friend of mine Danny Lennon who runs another very good podcast called Sigma Nutrition, kind of popularized as well. But the base of that pyramid when it comes to nutrition side of things, for people to understand from a scientific perspective, is not whether you’re vegan, it’s not whether you’re paleo, it’s not whether any kind of like dogmatic approach to nutrition.
Because all of those approaches, regardless of — that’s basically just referring to food types and food quality. So it’s like looking at a recipe book and that’s all great but it’s not helping you understand what does nutrition really come down to? So nutrition comes down to fundamentally understanding how many calories do I need based on what my goal is?
Your goal basically for a lot of people is maybe three different options. One is to maintain the shape you’re already in, two is to run a deficit meaning taking less calories than your body needs. So let’s say if you’re maintenance calories, you’re an average guy, let’s say and your average level of activity is 2500 calories, your deficit then is normally about 500 calories less than that.
So we’re running at let’s say 2,000 calories and then if that same guy wanted to gain muscle, he’s normally going to run and excess and that’s our third option of let’s say another 500 calories so you might be running at 3,000 calories. So knowing where your calorie intake should be based on your height, your weight, your gender and activity level is absolutely critical because otherwise people are just basing their food choices around, “Well, it’s really good quality, I’m eating paleo.”
Right now I’m dealing with a guy actually whose name is Ray. He’s about maybe 130, 140 kilos, he’s a big dude and he exercises regularly, started working with him recently and one of the things that he came back to me is that once he started counting his calories and knowing where everything was coming from, he was sitting at about three and a half thousand, 4,000 calories every day. But it was often clean food.
But his fat intake was off the charts because he’s eating avocados coming out of his ears and lots of coconut oil and lots of butter, lots of really what most people would think as — I call those “clean eaters”. So people who are eating really, really clean but they’re still fat, they’re still overweight, because they’re simply consuming too many calories. This exist within the vegan community, exist within every single approach in nutrition that really has a center food quality.
All of the different communities whether you believe in eating a certain way, they all have one thing in common, they’re all going to agree in one thing, it’s just eat high quality food. Very simple, just eat real food. But that’s not enough for most people because most people then need to understand, “Well how much of that food should I eat and then in what micronutrient ratios?”
Once we move away from, “How many calories do we need?” Which you can go on and you can find on my website and there is some debate as how much exactly people need but that’s why some body fat testing should kind of come in to it as well, he then need to plug that number into a micro nutrient calculator and there’s only three micronutrients, carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
Then we would normally get most people to follow like a 40, 30, 30 split — that’s 40% carbohydrates, 30% proteins, 30% fat — initially, just to kind of see, can you just follow that simple approach initially and then we might kind of do a little bit of cycling of some lower carbohydrate eating, just based around their tolerance for carbohydrates. Their tolerance basically means, how do they feel looking perform when they’re consuming less or more carbohydrates.
But for us, I would generally base their tolerance around what’s going on with their upper back measurement. So I would take a skin fold measurement on their upper back and some of this comes from the work of Charles Poliquin and his bio signature modulation work where he would correlate that upper back measurement to your tolerance or how well you do in carbs.
For example yesterday, I do a body fat testing for two girls and if you’re visually to look at them, you’d go, “Wow, they’re both in great shape, low body fat, can move really well, can both do pull ups and pushups to beat the band, not a problem.”
So their tolerance for how well they’ll run and how their micronutrients should be made up would be of a higher percentage of carbohydrates than somebody who obviously, if I’m looking at them, like our friend Ray, I mentioned earlier, he would have a lower tolerance of carbohydrate because simply he’s quite overweight.
So that’s how we would determine the micronutrient ratio intake and beyond that, supplements, micronutrients, timing of your food, it’s not really going to make a big difference compared to the other two areas.
[0:36:35.8] RT: Yeah, again, back to these fundamentals, that’s the thing. When you focus on those, it’s kind of like the idea of supplements right? Your meal, your nutrition plan, whether it’s gaining size, losing weight, I know marketing wants to make you believe that supplements are the key but the reality is, the majority of them could be argued whether or not they’re effective and some of them are outright just scams.
Those that are effective, the end of the day, they are still supplements. So if you focus on the fundamentals and then you ad some of these extra kind of more specialized, whether if it’s supplements or ideas or techniques, whether it’s your nutrition or training then you’ll get some benefit out of them. But if your fundamentals are not there and I mean, if you listen to what Dominic is saying. It sounds fairly straightforward for the most part to a degree.
Now, you had mentioned some things that, Charles Poliquin, some of his ideas, I mean there’s obviously a lot of science behind them. But the reality is, these core fundamentals, if you focus on them and you get really good at them, it’s kind of like you’re training, if you focus on the main type of movements, some type of a squat, some type of a pull, some type of a press, some type of a row. You just focus on those few movements to get really good at them, you’re going to get much better results in long term.
[0:37:52.1] DM: Yeah. I think Ray as well, there’s almost an inverse relationship with the people who focus on necessarily on their nutrition and how well they perform in the gym. What I mean is that, people who are really over analytical about their nutrition, that’s generally not where the falling down and our whole training and life. Where the falling down is that, when we watch what they do in the gym, they basically suck.
They’re never making progress, they’re still quite weak or they’re very immobile. They feel that like, “Oh if I just kind of get over worried about this nutrition side of things, that’s the reason why.” When we get them into a gym setting, you go, “No, that’s not why. You’re fundamentally quite weak, you’re fundamentally lack any decent mobility,” and when it comes to any condition pieces where their heart rate’s going to be elevated, the wheels come off unbelievably quickly.
So a perfect example of it is you take any 20 year old guy and he’s probably taken five or six different supplements. Show me the same guy 20 years later, 30 years later and ask them how many supplements they take? I would say, half if not — for a lot of guys and girls I know that have been in the game a long time, they take hardly anything, barely take a protein shake. If they realize that the key here is actually just is just real food and the training and recovery and all of those elements matter way, way more.
[0:39:19.3] RT: If anything, they’ll probably tend to take more real food type supplements like an omega 3 fish oil or something like that that’s actually could be argued, it’s more “food” than “supplement” or some type of a really crazy supplement, super scientific ordeal. And you’re right because they realize over time that, “You know what? I’m wasting my money man, this is not the stuff that’s giving me the results ultimately.”
Again, if you are at the edge of what you can potentially, what you’re capable of, you’re training very hard, your body fat is extremely low, you’re really pushing the limits of things. Okay, a supplement that may give you a fraction of a percent of a benefit, at that point in time, you’re probably going to get that benefit out of it. Although, keep in mind, it’s a slight one.
But again, when you’re that close to the edge of your performance capabilities then it could be argued, “Okay now if you’re going to use some supplements, all right, now this kind of makes sense.” But anything prior to that, you’re just fooling yourself and you end up — the issue that occurs is when you start thinking, “By taking this supplement, I’m actually achieving something,” or by even doing some type of crazy exercise that’s really something that should only be done, again, if you are super elite, just prior to a contest of some sort, maybe do this thing.
What ends up happening is you think you’re actually doing something productive and it takes away from the reality that what you really need to be focusing on is back to what Dominic is saying which is these fundamentals, that’s really when you’re putting in real work that’s going to result in real benefits, it’s going to give you real results. It’s so easy to fool ourselves, we got to be very careful of that.
[0:41:00.4] DM: Yeah. Well I think people like to live and hope, they just kind of think that, “There must be something special that I’m doing that is secret that are not letting people in on.” No, secret is consistency, secrets in taking 20 years to become an overnight success, that’s where the real work is. A lot of people just simply can’t do that, they cannot do the, “I need to go in and train, I feel the broken up book, you know what? I’m going to do 40 minutes of active recovery work and some mobility work and I’m going to feel a whole lot better.”
It’s easy to train in summer time, it’s easy to train when the weather’s nice. But that’s not what we’re sowing the seeds. We’re sowing the seeds in the winter, in the autumn. People need to kind of get used to that idea of what’s going to give you the biggest bang for your buck and it generally is supplements. People will gladly spend more money on supplements, they will on actually looking at their training program and go, “You know what? Is the training program right?” Because it’s going to cost you a whole lot less for decent training program than it is for a new supplement that you think is going to make 0.5 of an overall difference to your overall physique. And as I said, the stronger, more mobile, more conditioned that you become, the more resistant the change of body will be.
So you can have some deviation, you get to play around and get to mess up your diet, a little bit more and it’s not going to make a significant difference, you’ll still essentially look the same. You’d have to completely go completely crazy on your diet for two, three weeks in order to really ruin any of the major progress that you’ve made. If it’s making as big of a difference as that then, as I said before, it’s telling me more about what you’re training is like for the rest of the time. What I teach is not to get people ready for a contest for two days, we’re getting people ready for life here.
[0:42:52.5] RT: Yeah, exactly. Just to go back and touch on what you originally mentioned which is stop trying to make up for lack of consistency with intensity. I think that thinking kind of lends itself to causing you to go to the gym less frequently because it’s like this big event, this big battle every time you go. Whereas, if you’re really focus on the consistency, quality workouts, get in there, get the work done, as we mentioned earlier, “Don’t annihilate, stimulate.”
You start to realize that this just becomes part of your almost daily routine. I mean I think it should be your daily routine, there’s going to be some days where you go to the gym, your “gym training sessions where you push it harder” and then there’s going to be other days where it’s more of a recovery rehab type of thing as you mentioned and the intensity level’s obviously less.
But ultimately overall, you’re not trying to just smash your head against the wall and go bananas and go insane. Every now and then a workout where it is balls to the walls. I think there is a merit to that but to make that the norm, I don’t think that’s a very good idea.
[0:43:50.0]DM: That’s not a training principle, that’s not a way in which, you know, we’re not teaching that’s how we work. That’s something that needs to be applied based on what’s gone before in that training session. So if this training session has gone quite well and okay, squat numbers are good today, bar is moving quite well, then we can start to do a conditioning piece that has a higher degree of intensity to it because of what we’ve seen previously.
But if we’re not getting that feedback then how are we supposed to know? That’s why a lot of people will go onto Instagram and they’re looking for this kind of magical fairy dust of motivation. And you’ll never always be motivated. What you need to develop is discipline and that discipline is going to give you freedom where as constantly looking for motivation is a trap.
[0:44:37.8] RT: Exactly, exactly. It’s kind of like writers. Writers get into this habit, a lot of them talk about just waking up either grab a cup of coffee, getting their breakfast in, whatever it may be, maybe first thing and sitting down and writing whatever it may be, 500 words, thousand words, 2,000 words, every single day. Whether they feel motivated or not, they just get going and then eventually the motivation will catch up and some days…
[0:45:00.2] DM: The harder you work, the luckier you’re going to get.
[0:45:02.6] RT: Exactly and some days, you know what? They may not write anything great, maybe not until the very end, maybe nothing at all but then the next day, the get good. And eventually what ends up happening, the mind just realizes, “This is part of the routine, this is what I’m going to do this time.” It becomes essentially a habit, that’s kind of the concept I think we’re trying to get across with, you’re training with your nutrition, with all of the stuff.
If you just kind of make it a part of your daily routine, again, I personally think you should do something every day. Now, that doesn’t mean an actual “weight workout/gym workout”, every single day necessarily, unless it’s a very short one but three days a week, four days a week, you have your regular workouts and then on the rest of the day just do some light recovery.
It could be something as basic as going for a walk. But do something. But again, like what Dominic has been mentioning, the mobility work and whatnot, maybe if we could touch on that because we’re coming up to the end of the show here.
Maybe a few more specifics for those who want to keep up their mobility, you mentioned the individual at the beginning of the call that had this issues with squatting. I know there’s a fair amount of people that have ankle mobility issue. As a specific point, how about we touch on that? How can we address that for people?
[0:46:07.8] DM: Like again on my side, I’ve kind of gone through like how to improve ankle mobility but there’s probably two things in ankle mobility. One I think is that some people just won the ankle mobility lottery. They’ll walk in, day one, squat perfect, because they just have good ankle mobility. I see this all the time where I’m going through kind of like joint test and kind of, the hip flexors are tight, their glutes are tight.
And I think that when they’re going to go and squat, I say, “Hey, hey just do an air squat there,” a squat with no weight, just their own bodyweight. And I think they’re going to be really tight, they’re going to be pitching forward, they’re going to be up on their toes and it doesn’t happen. And I’m kind of a bit shocked and I’m like, “Well why? That doesn’t add up.” Then you realize, they’ve got amazing dorsiflexion.
They’ve got a really good ability to shift that shin out over their toe and that’s what a lot of the squat kind of comes down to for me is that dorsiflexion. If you don’t have that, it’s going to take a lot of work to improve your dorsiflexion or some people may choose to put a heel lift into their shoes or wear Olympic lifting shoes.
In the meantime, they can obviously still work on their dorsiflexion and one of the ways in which we do that is getting people to hold to a pose and then sit in to a deep squat where their butt’s pretty much down at their ankles and then just work on a single legged pistol. So you’re sitting in that deep squat, you point one straight out back and lay on the floor and just sit in to that deep pistol squat because then it’s shifting all the weight over into one side and you can move around and see what’s going on.
But again, it depends on the individuals of the persons coming in and they’re really struggling just to get into a deep squat at all then the next month’s going to look like an awful lot of mobility work until we get that nailed down first. Because that’s a movement you’re going to have to be able to do for the rest of your life. But I do think there are certain people out there that just win that lottery. Other people just really have to work at it.
[0:48:04.1] RT: For those that have to really work at it, what should they expect? Two months, three months, four months? I mean what do you think?
[0:48:11.4] DM: I think sometimes it can take up to a year to get people to the point where they can sit in a proper squat, it just depends in how much damage has been caused? How much of a problem it just to get into a squat holding into a post from day one, “Hey, not so bad.” Okay, well then it’s going to be quicker than somebody, like I had a 65 year old lady last week or the week before last and just for her to break parallel while holding onto like a door frame or a post was a big problem.
So we’re probably going to look, we’re probably going to need a full year to get her to the point where just doing a squat in the middle of the room with no assistance at all is not a problem for her and it’s pain free. So yes, we’re using a lot of movement based exercise to help that out and we’re doing some soft tissue works with foam rolling as well but we’re just using whatever tools we have available to us. We’re using like a car buffer to loosen out her quads and her hamstrings and her gluts.
Anything at all to increase blood flow and increased range of motion in that whole area of the ankle which should be mobile, the knee which should be stable, the hips which should be mobile and we work in that stable-mobile, stable-mobile all the way up the chain because that’s how you’re body should be working. We don’t need expensive toys to do that. That’s one of the famous quotes from people like Ido Fortal, is that, “The more expensive the toys, the cheaper the mover.”
[0:49:36.5] RT: Interesting.
[0:49:38.9] DM: What do we honestly need? 65 year old lady, cannot break parallel, holding on to a post, honestly, we don’t need a lot of expensive toys to get her. But she might be talking to her friend and her friend tells her, “Hey you need this orthotics, you need this, you need that.” No, we need to get you to the point where we’re doing some fundamental movements that a child could do paid at all are normal for you.
And as I said, unfortunately, I think when it comes to squat mobility, there’s so much that hinges on that doors inflection and that if you don’t have it, it’s going to take a lot of work and for a lot of people it’s actually just sitting in a deep squat every single day. Whether that’s holding on to something and eventually not having holding on to something, whether that’s elevating your heels very slightly, maybe a lot to begin with, a lot less to stand a line, just slowly working on it.
Once you have it, again, it’s like what I mentioned earlier, it’s never going to leave you. It gives you all the freedom, it gives you the freedom for that 65 year old lady to be able to go and do walking tours with her friends and not worried about falling over and getting an injury. Why do we wait so late in life to work on the areas that are actually more fundamental to us and toys we need to in order to be able to correct that are very little.
[0:50:55.6] RT: Exactly. That’s where having the experienced person like yourself comes in because again, the guidance and I think, not only is it beneficial to have somebody to tell you what you really should be focusing on but what you should not even be bothering with, whether it’s a waste of time or it’s just not the right time to be focusing the specific thing at this point. “Here’s where you are, here’s where you want to go, therefore this is what we need to focus on right now.”
That’s how you really make progress, very quickly, safely, intelligently because you’re not expending energy, resources and time on things that aren’t really going to get you what you need. Not only that, like you said, making sure you’re doing things in order so again, getting the mobility down before you start trying to add weight and movement when you really had no business doing it because you’re already setting yourself up for problems.
Again, ultimately, people may look at that and go, “Oh jeez, I got to spend a year to get that fixed? Six months, whatever it might be?” That’s all the more reason why you got to get in there with consistency as supposed to trying to focus on intensity number one. Number two, long term, this is ultimately going to be better for your because once you get this down path, whether it’s getting your nutrition right or getting your mobility correct, now you can do proper form.
You’re not going to setting yourself for problems down the road. If your mobility is not proper, you’re either going to A, get injured or limit the progress you’re going to make. It’s eventually going to stall one way or the other. You take care of it properly in the first place and then it just sets you up to speed along and you will eventually bypass those who haven’t done that.
Dominic, we’re pretty much at the end of the call here and on that note, where can people find out more about you, I know you had mentioned the gym, your brother’s gym, you have a few different things on the go. Where can we find out more about you?
[0:52:43.1] DM: Honestly the easiest place is, as I said, all of the stuff that I put up is completely free and the easiest place to get me is just dominic.ie and it will have the various links to my various social media channels, I put up a huge amount of free content all the time and if people have questions, just feel free to pump me an email but there are over 400 articles on the site so it might be answered there already.
[0:53:05.3] RT: I’m assuming there’s a search function?
[0:53:07.6] DM: Oh yeah, there is and people can plug in, find what they need. And if they cannot find what they need just send me an email and I’ll help them find it a little bit quicker and I think if it helps people kind of direct their training and direct what’s actually really important in what they’re doing then I’ll be pretty happy then.
[0:53:25.8] RT: Okay, maybe Dominic what we can do is have you provide us with the top five or 10 article links that you feel — yeah, like starter package and then I’ll provide the links or the link on the show notes page. Maybe we can do something like that? That will be great.
[0:53:40.0] DM: Yeah, some of that is already in the section on my site called most popular articles so you can read through those as well. We’ll link in what I would consider like, “Here are some really important stuff that you really need to kind of focus on in your training and your nutrition.”
[0:53:55.8] RT: Excellent, yeah. A lot of times guys, the stuff that you have to focus on in the beginning ultimately is the stuff that you continue to do right up until the very advanced levels. It’s interesting how that kind of works out. So Dominic, thank you so much. Guys, broken record time, as I always say, the only shortcut or the closest thing to a shortcut is doing it right the first time and that’s pretty hard to do when you don’t know, you know, when you haven’t done something before.
Therefore, how do you do that? You find a mentor who has been there, who has done that, who has taken others like you to the Promised Land, could come back and take you there as well. Without a doubt, Dominic is definitely somebody who can do that and if you are a trainer and you really do care about your clients and you’re passionate about what you do which trainers in general tend to be people who truly want to help people. I would highly recommend getting a hold of Dominic.
He’s really got things figured out and I mean, you can just tell Dom by listening to you, the way you deliver your information, there’s just this level of confidence there and it’s just, you’re sure that this stuff had been proven time and time again, this is the kind of stuff we need to focus on and just your delivery is just very pleasant to listen to.
I don’t know, at least with me, it just seems to really resonate. So if it does the same thing with you who is listening right now or if you think there’s somebody who may be a able to benefit from what Dominic does, I highly recommend passing on the information, going to the website, checking him out and then going from there. Whether it’s seminars — Dominic, you do put on seminars don’t you?
[0:55:23.7] DM: Yup, we do. Yep.
[0:55:25.2] RT: You maybe got a couple of seconds to just kind of tell us about those very quickly?
[0:55:29.1] DM: Before Christmas I called it like “The Way of Dom’s Seminar”, we do this series of those. We might pick those up again and maybe in next month or April but I suppose the big thing for me is the online training that I’ve setup now which kind of gives me the chance to program for people on a day to day basis and then provide feedback.
So we’re probably putting a little bit more energy into that than just the seminars but maybe on the next seminar I do, I’ll have to video it and make it available for people to download to see from anywhere in the world.
[0:56:01.8] RT: All right, there you go guys. A lot of good information. Definitely check him out, dominic.ie. Very simple to find him, he makes it real easy. So dominic.ie. When you go to superstrengthshow.com, in the search bar, you simply type in, again Dominic Munnelly, The two episodes will come up because there’s this second one now.
If you haven’t listened to the first one, do that, great information there as well, on the show notes page we’ll have lots of goodies and links to all kinds of good stuff including Dominic’s various information that he has ways to get a hold of him that will all be on there. You guys can find out more about him and connect with him.
You could also re-listen to the interview there, you can download it, the social media share buttons there so if you share it with others, we’d really appreciate that. There’s links to the various podcasting platforms we’re on, highly recommend you go there, you can listen to it there again as well as on the show notes page but in my opinion, and I mean this is self-serving to a degree if you sign up for iTunes, Stitcher, whatever podcasting platform you listen to that we’re on It’s great because then they come directly to you.
So you don’t have to remind yourself to constantly come looking for them, we’re releasing shows all the time. That’s a great way to do things. You can download the episode as well on the show notes page, there’s a “leave a review” option there. Now, that connects to iTunes. You can either do that through our website, through your device, through the app on the desktop and stitcher, you can leave reviews there.
But if what we’re doing is resonating with you, if you appreciate the quality information that the guest are sharing, if you could leave a five star review on iTunes, that goes a very long way for us, we really appreciate every one of you who have done that for us already. Not only does it bring the show up higher in the rankings which ultimately means more people find out about it and it is better obviously for the show.
But it works well for you as well because guys like Dominic and gals that we’ve had on the show that have some fantastic and amazing, hard earned experience and wisdom, they’re more willing to come on the show because they feel that this is a platform where they could share their information. So five star reviews if you think we deserve it, we really appreciate it.
Next up, firstname.lastname@example.org. Good bad or fugly guys, let us know, we take it all into consideration and we need to know from you what you need from us to help you get to where you want to go. So again, email@example.com.
If you have any before and after photos, photos of your home gym, maybe videos. Whatever it may be, if you wouldn’t mind sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org we really appreciate that because we like sharing it with everybody else that’s a part of the community. So it’s great when you do that.
Then I think other than that, when you’re on the website, don’t forget to sign up for the email, newsletter, don’t forget the free report while you’re there, all kinds of goodies and other than that, thank you one last time Dominic. I’d love to have you back on.
[0:58:43.6] DM: Thanks again Ray. All the best.
[0:58:45.3] RT: Thank you so much. Okay guys, as I always say, put this stuff to use and until next time, train smart, train hard.
More Specifically in this Episode You’ll Learn About
- Consistency and the basics
- Dominic shares how he got started in the fitness industry
- You can’t train trainers to be enthusiastic
- METCON – Metabolic Conditioning
- Move well first and then layer strength on top of that
- Don’t cure your consistency with intensity
- It’s the reps that really count
- Work on your mobility foundation
- Base your conditioning on how lean you currently are
- Stimulate don’t annihilate
- Your body is very resistance to change
- Intensity needs to be played with
- Where competition begins is where health ends
- Know what you’re willing to sacrifice in order to achieve your goals
- Eric Helms Pyramid
- Understanding how many calories you really need
- Clean Eaters
- The importance of developing discipline
About Dominic Munnelly
Dominic is a Dublin based personal trainer. Famed for the amazing results his clients achieve has made him the most in demand personal trainer in the country.
After finishing a Sports Science degree in the UK he began working as the trainer’s trainer (Fitness Director) for one of the most exclusive chain of gyms in the country. He has continued to develop his knowledge and education so he can provide clients with the best methods to drop fat, increase strength and get fit in the shortest time possible.
His has spent almost 20 years helping his clients look stunning and this has lead to articles and features on – Spin FM, Today FM, Country FM, 2FM, Morning Ireland TV3, RSVP magazine, 98 FM, Off The Rails, Sunday Business Post and corporate lectures for some of the top companies in Ireland.
Dominic is an active competitor in the Crossfit Games , placed an impressive 12th in the 2011 European regional’s and has qualified for top level European crossfit competitions, such as, the Battle of London.
You can connect with him by visiting his website at Dominic.ie
FREE Report – Instant Strength: The one little trick that will instantly boost your strength by 10 lbs or more in your main lifts.
Training Resources Mentioned in this Episode
Articles from Dominic
The top 5 articles People Really Need to Focus On
25 handstand press ups
Backbend with hands elevated
Connect With Dominic Munnelly
Every person that we interview on The Super Strength Show has an opportunity to answer some extra questions that aren’t asked in the podcast. It’s a chance for our listeners to learn a little bit more about our guests and to get even more value from our show. Check out the answers that Dominic Munnelly provided below!
Can you share one of your habits that contribute to your success in the gym? Meal preparation. I never leave the house without a few bottles of filtered water and snacks or full meals. I listen to my body in the gym but sometimes i do have to tell my body to shut up!
What are your favourite exercises? None really because in crossfit you get punished for being a specialist. I enjoy running strangely enough and have run a 3hr 12mins marathon
What are your favourite muscle groups to train? As above.
What are your favourite pieces of equipment? The barbell, kettlebell, rings, pull up bar, oly lifting shoes, my wraps, my Valeo belt and my Reebok nanos.
What is currently on your workout music playlist? Irish band called Kopek and my playlist is varied and here – https://soundcloud.com/dominicmunnelly
How do you psych up for a workout or set? I remind myself that calm yet explosive is whats needed to maintain form and hit that rep.
What was one exercise or routine that gave you great gains in muscle mass and/or strength? Bringing back my weight on the squat and running a simple 5,3,1 Wendler program one day and pause and slow eccentric reps on a second day per week. Strength is a factor of frequency and muscle mass is a factor of simply doing the battle with the knife and fork which most people are absolutely terrible at.
What’s your favourite way to speed up recovery between workouts? Foam rolling, ice baths, massage, using a car buffer (i kid you not) better nutrition, more sleep, 20-30g glutamine upon rising in the morning and before bed.
What’s your favourite meal? Anything my wife cooks, she has an amazing food blog here – http://oliveoilandlemon.ie/
What’s your favourite cheat meal and how often do you indulge? Anything with dark chocolate. I never frame it as a ‘cheat’ meal. Its just food to be enjoyed. I just NEVER eat wheat and very little sugar
What supplements do you feel work well for you? Whey protein, glutamine, creatine, digestive enzymes, fish oils, probiotics etc covered it all here – http://www.dominicmunnelly.ie/2011/03/my-top-5-supplements-you-should-be-taking/
What do you do to relax? Flip through my magazine, its where I put all the cool stuff I find and things I want to read/watch later. Thats here – https://flipboard.com/section/eat%2C-train%2C-inspire%2C-sleep%2C-repeat–bPiVXq
Check Out What Others Are Saying on iTunes!
- Awesome PodcastApril 21, 2017 by Brooke Craven from United States
Ray, host of Super Strength Show, highlights all aspects of fitness and nutrition in this can't miss podcast. Ray and his expert guests offer insightful and inspirational advice on how to live a healthy lifestyle!
- Un canal de lo mejorcito en la materiaJuly 17, 2016 by Pipiripiii from Spain
Un canal con contenido muy completo e interesante. Gracias ppr toda la info!
- Informative, deep and instructionalJuly 9, 2016 by Charles M R from United States
That Frank Zane interview!
- awesome fitness podcast and great varietyJuly 7, 2016 by jskoosh71 from United States
Really glad I found this. Lots of care into each podcast, Ray walks the walk and really understands what is being discussed. I really just have one request- stop the Delorean story.
- 51 and going strongJune 22, 2016 by Canvas back from Canada
I used to lift heavy in my late teens and into my 30s and then other thinks like kids,job, house etc took over and I lost motivation. I'm 52 now and starting to show the signs of aging so I thought I better get back at it. It was real tough. Slower gains, easy injuries, slower recovery. Tough to get back into the grove. While searching for some motivating pod casts I came across the SSS pod casts. I listen daily and I can honestly say that it has changed my life. It's more motivating that a gym full of people. I have learned more in 2 months than I learned in 20 years. The host is great to listen to, is very knowledgeable and keeps me wanting more. The guests are great. I look forward to listening. We have a wellness committee at my work and I think I have the entire group as fans of the SSS. Please don't ever stop!
- Physical Autonomy = Personal LibertyJune 18, 2016 by Mrsborch from United States
Ryan inspires me to change my fitness mindset from just doing more reps to creating a body to live the life I want.
- Lucky findMay 16, 2016 by Keith3187 from United States
Stumbled upon this podcast and very glad I did, fantastic guests with tons of evidence based information, highly recommended.
- Tier 1May 14, 2016 by Dragon 1-5 from United States
Truly a great pod cast very informative and 100% applicable.
- Great interviewsMay 5, 2016 by Adamdv18 from United States
Ray has some very interesting guests on here and does a good job of getting some useful information out of them.
- Intelligent, interesting interviewsMarch 25, 2016 by Clown puncher 5000 from United States
Really. Smart guys.
- Killer PodcastFebruary 26, 2016 by RidgeWC from United States
Ray puts out a really great show—every episode is top quality!
- Great work!January 14, 2016 by NotMattDamon from Canada
Impressed by the content and guest - keep up the great work!
- THE Super Strength ShowDecember 14, 2015 by Oastorga from United States
I came across this podcast through another great podcast (the RDella Podcast) and I must say I'm hooked. I like the action items that are revealed for us to do rather than just taking in more info. I especially like that is simple but not simplistic. I'm 58 years young and shows like this reafirm that I'm doing the right thing. I use Kettlebells, Sandbags, Barbells, Indian Clubs and body weight in my training. I don't look like a fitness model but I feel pretty good. Knowing more and refining techinque has been very important for me. The idea is not to just listen but to do something with the information. The format allows that. Thanks for your hard work.
- BOOM!December 1, 2015 by Getusomemore from United States
I listened to the entire interview with Danny Kavadlo while I was cooking dinner. VERY good podcast! I give it a ?!!
- Highly recommend this showNovember 30, 2015 by Altruistic? from United States
I love this show. Thoughtful host. Interesting guests. Since listening it, I have been giving more consideration to the mental side of training. It's a very encouraging show.
- Great show!November 14, 2015 by Rmolson from United States
I started training at the age of 41 obese and intimidated. The guests are an inspiration and encouragement toto keep moving forward on this journey.
- Amazing ContentNovember 13, 2015 by MattTucker93 from Canada
Love listening to this podcast. Amazing information and I always learn something from all the great guests. Thank you!
- Great showSeptember 15, 2015 by unadjective from United States
Some really cool guests that I wouldn't otherwise come across and Ray does a great job getting into their expertise. Almost always wish the show was longer.
- I love thisSeptember 12, 2015 by Mvecdi from Canada
Please don’t ever stop,i really enjoy it. Wish i found it before. I listen to it while working out or driving etc. Just wanted to tell you to keep doing what you are doing. And would love to see more of people like Mike Israetel etc. Such as Brad Schoenfeld. Anyways love the show, thanks for making it.
- Very professionalSeptember 7, 2015 by Ayrshire Lad from United Kingdom
Always learning something new from Ray and his well selected line up of guests. Sometimes feels a little repetitive as Ray asks all the tried and tested questions to ensure the listener always has a takeaway..its laid back but focused and very professional !!
- I love thisSeptember 3, 2015 by Mvecdi from Canada
Please don’t ever stop,i really enjoy it. Wish i found it before
- The best podcast in the strength/ fitness industry!August 28, 2015 by Powerlifting101 from Canada
I recommend this podcast to anyone that trying to physically and mental better them self in every aspect.
- Excellent ResourceJuly 25, 2015 by J. Steinmann from United States
Some great interviews with a wide variety of people. I've listened to a number of episodes, and there's always some great information in every interview. If you're serious about strength training, health and fitness, or just want some good life philosophy, this podcast is worth a listen.
- Must subscribe!July 9, 2015 by Roddygo from United States
This is one of the best fitness podcasts. A lot of big names from various backgrounds and Ray asks good questions. He also knows when to ask follow up questions without getting too out of subject and having the guests share some more secrets
- Great Show!July 8, 2015 by Wes Kennedy from Canada
Ray is a great host and has a wide range of quality and professional coaches that have a TON of experience to share with you. Check it out!
- Excellent interviews!July 8, 2015 by another anatomy geek from United States
Ray does a fantastic job of asking articulate and interesting questions. I always really enjoy his podcasts and learn useful info! Keep up the good work!
- has become the best Strength podcastJune 21, 2015 by SuperHuman YYZ from Canada
I think its overtaken superhuman radio and motivation + muscle as the top podcast for those who love physical culture and the iron game. Ray does a great job interviewing, just the right amount of interjecting his ideas and opinions. The guest list is incredible, the who's who, past and present.
- The fountain of youth.June 10, 2015 by rroxanne from Canada
Very good . I love the article. I listened to it 3 times to write everything down. Lol. Bad memory. Oh and love Rays voice.
- just pure MEGA, Pig Iron all the wayMay 25, 2015 by Strongman1981 from United Kingdom
The Super Strength Show is an amazing and extremely informative resource for anyone involved in physical culture. With an enthusiastic and highly intelligent host and a who’s who’s line up of guests, a must for anyone to sit down, eat grapefruits and enjoy. great work chaps
- On another level! Once you hear one episode you will have to hear them all!May 22, 2015 by Chuck Osswald from United States
Super Strength Show starts with top performers/coaches/trainers from around the world and chunks down all the important pieces, directed towards any audience. Ray Toulany is unparalled in his ability to make information easy to understand as well as tease out the unspoken gems. You will be glued to your speakers for the entire episode and find yourself eagerly waiting for more. The care put into each episode is clear with a show notes page that helps the curious learn in any medium. Keep up the great work and thanks Ray!
- A fountain of Strength and training knowledgeMay 14, 2015 by HCF82 from United Kingdom
After searching for an age to find a good strength podcast I discovered the super strength show through Chris Duffins interview and have been hooked since. The format is excellent with some of the best voices in the world of strength and conditioning appearing. No nonsense straight talking, this really should be one of your first resources to go to if you are a coach or an average joe looking to improve in the weight room.
- fantasticMay 10, 2015 by gena_wallis from Australia
i enjoyed your session.looking forward to more staff.Victor from the Youngpreneurs Podcast!
- Well structured, interesting, and informative.May 2, 2015 by TEEJ888888 from Canada
I just listened to the first two episodes of the podcast. It's really good. The questions are solid, there is lots of good advice for lifting and for life, and Ray does a good job at interacting with the guest but keeping things on track and flowing. Ray is articulate and the guests seem professional and smart. Overall, I'm very impressed.
- My top 5 favorite show!April 16, 2015 by mrcdmag from United States
Great show with lots of valuable information! I always have my notebook open and writing.
- Top strength showApril 16, 2015 by Alastair7890 from United Kingdom
Very informative. Top guests
- Great Show!April 10, 2015 by SloneStrength from United States
Well prepared show. Amazing professionalism! Keep up the great work.
- AWESOMENESS CONTAINTEDMarch 4, 2015 by jamie729 from United Kingdom
This is an awesome podcast the format, the guests & the topics disscussed are all truely infomative. No BS contained the show always opens up new schools of thoughts and ideas to the listeners. keep up the good work.
- Subscribe, instantly addictiveMarch 2, 2015 by thebroadkaz from Canada
This show is amazing to listen to it motivates you not only for the gym but for setting and achieving goals in your every day life. Very motivating and positive. Truly helps to get you in the right frame of mind for life and for the gym.
- An absolutely ace show everytimeFebruary 24, 2015 by Tommy Eggleton from United Kingdom
This show is phenomenal! The format and repeated questions for each episode keep the show driving forward, the guests have had ample time to prepare excellent and considered opinions and yet the show never feels like anything but no-BS conversations on building seuperhuman strength and mighty bodies. The host, Ray Toulany, consistently does a marvellous job of drawing out even more from his guests than the material they've prepared and some of the stories that are teased out are superb. I wholeheartedly recommend this to anybody that trains, thinks about training, or simply admires strength sports and bodybuilding in general.
- Great ResourceFebruary 4, 2015 by Velvet Jones81 from United States
For someone new to the strength sports like myself this show has been a great resource. Thanks for doing this show. It has helped a lot.
- Paul McIlroyFebruary 2, 2015 by Paul McIlroy from United Kingdom
I've been an avid aficionado of all things strength and physical culture related for the vast majority of my entire life. As a former world champion powerlifter and trainer of world champions in different strength sports I can honestly say that Ray Toulany's Super Strength Show is an absolutely INVALUABLE resource for those wishing/needing to maximise their holistic understanding of strength, what it is to be strong, why that is important and how to best achieve it! The list of guests reads like a star studded "who's who" of strength and conditioning ROYALTY! Plus, more than anything the interviews are a ton of fun and provide a fascinating insight into the very best in the business and what makes them tick. It was my complete pleasure and privilege to be a guest on this amazing show (episode 37). If YOU claim to be serious about strength training and are not currently subscribed to THIS show, my honest advice is do so immediately...if not sooner!
- Super Strength ShowJanuary 26, 2015 by Joeino from United States
I love this podcast as I seem to pick up valuable information from each guest. Listing to this is a fun and productive use of my time
- Excellent InformationJanuary 26, 2015 by TaylorrrrNB from United States
These guys obviously do their homework, work hard to create an excellent show and know who to interview in the world of strength and fitness! I’m very impressed by what they have created and the quality of what they do. You need to subscribe! TODAY!!
- by Brandon RicheyJanuary 22, 2015 by Great Work SSS from United States
The Super Strength Show is a fantastic resource for all things concerning strength, fitness, and life. The multitude of guests provides tons of information and perspectives that every listener will appreciate. If you’re serious about strength and the physical culture this is a resource that you just can’t pass up!
- Very glad I stumbled across this podcast!January 22, 2015 by rk102 from United States
Great info from big-time guests in the strength and conditioning world. Keep up the great work, Ray!
- Awesome showJanuary 13, 2015 by Bonjower from Canada
The Podcast is the best I’ve encountered in the fitness/bodybuilding sector. The host has a great ability to pull the pertinent information out of his guests. The topics are great and you seem to be able to get useful information out of every interview! Awesome podcast!!
- Do yourself a favour and subscribeJanuary 1, 2015 by GameOverBoss from Canada
The amount of info and resources in the SuperStrengthShow is just incredible. All of this coming from guests that are the best of the best in their fields. Great questions are asked to these guys and some really insightful answers given (along with a few laughs). I hate wasting time and i'm always looking to evolve and refine my training. This podcast has saved me hours of digging through the crazy crap on the internet to find valid info. It has also introduced me to things i would have never thought to look up. Really can’t recommend enough.
- Master SFGDecember 24, 2014 by X-Fab69 from Italy
Awesome Podcast! A whole lot of great and useful information provided by very accomplished athletes and coaches with an extended experience on the ground!
- Charles CDecember 22, 2014 by CharlieConnely from Canada
Very impressed with the quality guests that the Super Strength Show is interviewing. Loaded with with actionable and inspiring information. Great production quality and daily episodes!
- Well done RayDecember 19, 2014 by Matt McWilliams from United States
Wow…Super Strenght Show Podcast is flat out awesome. Good production quality. Easy to listen. Very impressed Ray. Keep bringing it.
Before You Go – Rate, Review, and Subscribe In iTunes
Reviews for the podcast on iTunes are greatly appreciated (especially 5 star reviews) and will allow us to get the word out about the show and grow as a community. We read every single review on iTunes and believe that each one goes a long way in helping us make the show even better! Good, bad, or ugly, we want to get your feedback. It would mean the world to us if you participated in rating/reviewing our show in iTunes. Here’s how you can participate….
Step 1: Follow this link: Rate/Review Super Strength Show in iTunes
Step 2: Make sure you’re signed in using your iTunes username and password.
Step 3: From here, you can provide your honest rating and review of our show.
Step 4: Finally, if you would like each episode automatically downloaded to your iTunes, hit the subscribe button on the iTunes page.
Thanks For Tuning In – Share With A Friend!
Thanks again for listening to the Super Strength Show! If you enjoyed this episode and think that others would too, please use the social media buttons at the bottom of the page to share with friends.
Got A Comment or Question?
If you listened to this episode, tell us what you thought in the comments section at the bottom of the page. Additionally, this is a great opportunity for you to ask us any questions that relate to this episode. We want to hear from our community and look forward to connecting with you!