We’re big advocates of a healthy and fit lifestyle here at The Fruit People, so we’ve caught up with a couple of our favourite Irish male FitFam figures from social media and had a chat about fitness, diet, inspiration, recipes and exercise – next in our series, we catch up with five lads who are killing it online: Matt Lucas, Ryan Donnelly, Cian O’Rourke, Alex Plamadeala and Sean Attley.
Matt Lucas joined a gym aged 17, but his passion really only kicked in 9 months into training when he properly got the bodybuilding bug. A big advocate of watching calories and macronutrients to achieve results, Matt’s experience is that small changes can make a big difference but also echoes the need for consistency, which is essential for progression.
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Matt’s tip for getting more fruit into your diet is a protein fruit smoothie. “whizz whey protein, loads of frozen fruit, fresh banana, milk and ice together. Always tastes amazing!”
His favourite body part to train is shoulders, and he often dedicates a full day every now and then to really working out this muscle group, hitting it with a wide range of movement. His favourites at the gym are plate-loaded low rows for the back (“as the mind-muscle connection with this one is something else!”), dumbbell or kettle bell spider curls for biceps and rear delt flys for an insanely good rear delt pump.
Now a successful Youtuber and social media influencer, Matt trains others on exercise, nutrition and leading a healthy, productive lifestyle. You can keep up with Matt on Instagram, Snapchat (username: MattLucasFit) and Youtube.
“I was always conscious of my weight as a kid,” Ryan Donnelly explains, so he started getting seriously into fitness towards the end of secondary school and is now a qualified personal trainer. Simplicity is key, he says, when it comes to fitness and everything requires balance including a healthy diet, a straightforward and sustainable programme and lots of sleep.
Legs are his favourite part to train whilst, like the rest of the guys, squats and bench press feature all the time in his training routine. Ryan also ensures he gets pull-ups in there too, “the true king of the bodyweight exercises” he calls them as well as being a great lat developer.
“My diet consists of 2-4 pieces of fruit a day, its great as a snack whilst one of my favourite breakfasts is protein oats with banana and blueberries,” Ryan explains. Some of his more regular training meals include wholewheat bagels with almond butter and banana and spicy beef burrito bowls.
The gym cleared the cobwebs and helped Cian O’Rourke to focus and ground his headspace during a particularly tough time and now after achieving his own impressive results he’s a fledgling personal trainer with clients of his own helping others on their fitness journey.
Legs are his favourite yet the toughest portion of every session, but the sense of accomplishment in training them is second to none and his three favourite exercises form an essential strength training trio: squat, deadlift and bench press. For those only starting out, Cian advises to begin slowly and have an overall goal in mind, but then sit and spend some time dividing your long term goal up into smaller, achievable short term goals; this makes even the biggest goals seem more achievable.
Another smoothie advocate, Cian piles his blender full of mango, banana and mixed berries at least once a day with a scoop or two of protein and some peanut butter. Cian says “a lot of trainers out there insist that fruit shouldn’t play a big role in their client’s diets, but they’re just being overly wary of the sugar content. In my opinion, fruit is necessary for well being and over all health – plus, it’s delicious – so I always recommend getting some form of fruit into your daily routine. If sugar content concerns you, why not save your fruit for after your workout when the body needs energy the most?”
Also a keen cook, Cian’s go-to recipe is steamed spiced salmon fillet with roasted Mediterranean vegetables (aubergines, courgettes, sweet potato, peppers, onion). Made with an all-in-one method in tinfoil, this dish is full of natural flavour alongside garlic, chilli and fresh and dried herbs like oregano and basil.
Part of the Youtube generation, at just 18 years of age Alex Plamadeala has an impressive knowledge of fitness and nutrition, having trained and competed in martial arts for the past decade including taekwon-do and kickboxing. Learning the ropes as a teenager, he’s also watched fellow Youtubers to broaden his knowledge and name checks trainers Matt Ogus, Omar Isuf and Chris Jones.
His favourite part to pump is chest and bench press, squat and deadlift are his instant, go-to exercises; “they’re the three powerlifting movements that I train with because they are big compound movements that engage the most amount of muscle groups. Whilst they’re fun, they’re also pivotal to anyone’s training regime”.
From his wealth of knowledge, he has a couple of key pieces of advice for beginners: “Firstly, educate yourself. Learn as much as you can about training and nutrition (and from the right sources). This ensures you actually know what you’re doing and prevents you from spinning your wheels. The second thing is be consistent and develop good habits that become clockwork. Finally, don’t let fitness take over your life, it should only enhance it. Make sure you’re still being social and focused on work or studies or whatever it is you do.”
We like a good fruit supporter and, as far as diet goes, Alex makes sure he gets his five a day and fruit is a priority in his nutrition, saying “ I don’t think I’ve gone a day in the last 5 years without eating at least one piece of fruit, usually it’s more!”
In the kitchen, he makes smart choices that appease cravings but won’t overturn or hide results. Want a pizza? Make it on a tortilla wrap, as Alex does. “Using lower calorie ingredients slashes the calories of typical pizzas by a third, so that leaves more room in my daily calorie intake for things like fruit and other nutrient-dense foods.”
For the past four years Sean Attley has been quietly attacking the gym. A fresh-faced 20 year-old, Sean online coaches and personal trains a number of clients. His favourite body part to train is chest whilst face pulls, squats and deadlifts make up an integral part of his training regime, giving the most “bang for their buck”.
“Stick to the basics,” he says when embarking on a training plan, “stay consistent, track your daily calorie and protein intake and don’t worry too much”.
Like the other lads, fresh fruit and vegetables are incredibly important in Sean’s diet. From bananas to blueberries, they’re the perfect source of fibre and vitamins, great for pre or post-gym energy whilst keeping your metabolism working, burning and filling you with all the right macronutrients and naturally-occurring vitamins.