Personal Trainer Zone: Q&A with James Ronan

James Ronan is under the Personal Trainer Zone spotlight this week. Find out who inspired him to start a career in fitness and some of the ways he helps his clients achieve their goals.

1) What was your inspiration for beginning a career in the fitness industry and becoming a Personal Trainer?

I was inspired by my father. He was a fitness enthusiast/boxer when I was growing up and he showed me the ropes, literally! Skipping, boxing, weight training, and occasionally running!

I was lucky to have a father that kept me and my sister active growing up. We would go for evening bike rides, walks with the dogs, and playing football in the garden. All these things laid the foundations to my career.

2) How many days a week do you recommend working out?

Personal Trainer Zone: Q&A with James Ronan | Training | Linked Fitness CommunityIt’s hugely dependant on what your health & fitness goals are. However, generally I would say:

Beginner: 1-2 days

Intermediate: 3-4 days

Advanced/Experienced: 4-6 days

As training/workout frequency increases, always be mindful of having enough rest between sessions to allow recovery and progression.

3) How long should you rest between workouts?

Again, this is heavily dependant on your training experience, goals, and your training program. However, I would suggest having at least 24 hours rest once a week, ensuring you are getting plenty of sleep daily, and being a little more aware of when you are perhaps over doing it.

Generally when your performance in the gym starts to suffer, you should back off a little. If you don’t there is a danger of ‘overreaching’ or ‘over training’ which can potentially lead to injuries. If you feel you are over training, you should start allowing yourself more time to recover.

Be smart.

4) What is your favourite piece of equipment in the gym and why?

A Kettle bell, because it is so versatile and you can use it for a huge variety of exercises for the whole body. Pushing, Pulling, Carrying, and Swinging.

5) What do you recommend to eat before and after a gym session?

Personal Trainer Zone: Q&A with James Ronan | Training | Linked Fitness CommunityIt depends on the individual and their goals.

Some people prefer not to eat before training and some do (I’m one of those people).

If you do prefer to eat before, I would suggest eating a small meal around 1 hour before training, made from some protein, fats, and carbohydrates. This will provide energy to fuel your workout.

After your gym session, depending on the time available (e.g. if you have to dash off to work), I would suggest a protein shake until you have time to sit down for a meal.

There’s no right and wrong with this, its purely down to the individuals goals/preference.

6) What is your top piece of nutritional advice for weight loss?

Energy in < Energy out = Weight Loss

As long as you’re consuming (reasonably) less calories than you’re burning over a prolonged period of time, you’ll create an energy deficit which will lead to weight loss.

You can create an energy deficit through exercise and nutrition.

7) What is the most common injury you see with your clients and what advice can you offer for prevention?

The most common injury or complaint I see with my clients and most new clients, is lower back and shoulder/neck issues.

My advise would be to consider how you’re holding your posture at work. When sat at a desk for 6-8hours (or more) 5 days a week, month after month, year after year, you’ll develop muscle/skeletal imbalances. These can or will cause issues later in life.

Personal Trainer Zone: Q&A with James Ronan | Training | Linked Fitness CommunityMy advice for prevention would be:

  • Review your desk/work station
  • Get up as often as possible and move around e.g. get a drink of water or a coffee, go outside to get some fresh air
  • Put a reminder on your desk or computer to ‘SIT UP, SHOULDERS BACK’
  • Don’t call or email colleagues in the same building/office. Walk over to them where possible
  • Follow a regular strength and conditioning training program that works to improve your posture

8) How do you develop individualised training plans for your clients?

I develop individualised training plans for my clients from having an informal conversation or a 1-2-1 assessment session, looking at the following:

  • Training experience
  • Fitness and health goals
  • Work life balance e.g. how often they can train
  • Additional health considerations e.g. old injuries/ongoing injuries
  • Family/support network
  • Training frequency e.g. how often they can get to the gym or workout per week

9) What are the benefits of online personal training?

There are many benefits of online personal training including:

  • Cheaper than 1-2-1 personal training
  • Good for individuals that have a solid foundation of exercises and training
  • Provides training structure
  • Ensures training progression, and more likely success in achieving your goals
  • Flexibility to train when it suits you and no cancellation charges
  • Continued contact and support when needed
  • Adherence and accountability

10) You appeared in the Top 10 for best online PT services in both The Telegraph and Coach Magazine. What are the main services that your PT packages provide to your clients?

Personal Trainer Zone: Q&A with James Ronan | Training | Linked Fitness Community

Coach Magazine

I endeavour to provide the best services I can by continuing to develop as a personal trainer and coach.

As part of my further development, I’m currently completing a 12 month nutrition course with Mac Nutrition University to become a fully insurable, evidence based nutrition practitioner. This will allow me to use the best information available from all current research and use that research in combination with my experience/knowledge to develop solutions suitable to the individual, ensuring their success in achieving their goals, and also ensuring duty of care to their health.

To summarise the main services are as follows:

  • Skype or FaceTime Consultation
  • Training Programs that are easy to follow and bespoke to your lifestyle and goals
  • Flexible nutrition plans designed to fit in with your lifestyle
  • Continued support available via Phone, Text, and Email
  • Weekly Check-ins, keeping you on track to achieving your goals
  • Injury Advice & Treatment Recommendations

About James Ronan

James is a Certified Personal Trainer and the owner of Ronan Personal Training.

He is dedicated to helping people achieve their desired body composition goals, through a healthy balance of nutrition and exercise.

In 2016, Ronan Personal Training was featured in the Top 10 for the Best Online PT Services in both The Telegragh and Coach Magazine.

Ronan is also a Personal Trainer at The Sporting Club where he offers group training and 1:2:1 sessions.

To find out more about Ronan and his services, head over to Ronan Personal Training


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