Valor 3

I neglected to post these up previously.

This is Connor’s fight. The surface gave me nightmares….it was just like the Cage Contender surface I fought and lost on.

This is Rob’s fight.

I think I actually get more satisfaction from seeing my training partners do well than I do from doing well and winning myself.

Apparently I am a crap coach…all the haters were right.

Barry Lost
I can’t believe that I got on my bike and did a 450km round trip from one side of this island to the other in the freezing cold.

450km round trip...for less than 2 minutes of action

450km round trip...for less than 2 minutes of action

Some would say it was a wasted trip…I’d tend to agree with them. Here’s the video…you guys can judge for yourself. I hope Barry will give us a blow by blow…not that there were too many blows. I’m actually hoping he takes a few days off then just hooks straight back in because I want to see him have a ‘proper’ fight. I don’t think the fight really showcased either guys talent with this.

One of the things that I love about MMA is that you can be winning easily…right up to the second you get finished and vice versa…you can be taking a hammering and your opponent makes one mistake or gets slack and you can capitalise and come out the winner. So no win for Barry but I can’t wait to see him fight again.

Just want to wish Barry all the best tomorrow in his fight

He has trained well. Did what he was told and has improved his conditioning immensely…that is no guarantee of success but it sure as hell helps. You can see how much his fitness has improved just by looking at the heart rate data from the sessions that we use as markers. I generally always have a marker sessions on top of the fitness testing that all athletes do so that I can measure an athletes progress. What that session is made up of is dependent on the sport. In Barry’s case he had a condition and weights circuit session…you can see all the details here. He made enormous progress and I couldn’t have been happier with what we got out of him. He was weighing in at 79.6kg yesterday morning which puts him perfectly on target for a 77kg weigh in this afternoon at 5pm…he hasn’t had to to do anything drastic to make weight which takes an huge amount of pressure of a fighter. The thing that I’m most pleased with though is that we’ve tidied up a lot of the issues that we uncovered in his initial screening…they’ve not been completely fixed…that’ll take more time…but they are definitely much much less of an issue than they were. I cut together for comparison some really straightforward footage of Barry doing band pull-a-parts early on when we started working together and from yesterday. I’ll let you judge for yourself whether you think there is an improvement.

There’s never been a better time to blog and I’ve never had less time to do it

I thought I’d start with training stuff and finish with an update on where the new gym is at.

James Norton did his testing earlier in the week…he’s only getting a mention because he broke the gym ‘in testing’ push up record. He got 85 reps…I say ‘in testing’ because to get on the board it has to be done during a testing session.

He scored as follows:
Weight: 90.7kg
Bench: 130kg
Pull Ups: 14 reps
Push Ups: 85 reps
Inverted Rows: 36
Trap Bar Deadlift: 200kg

Jimmy doing what he did best for Leinster

Jimmy doing what he did best for Leinster

I’m going to have him rest up and come in fresh and do 100 push ups in a minute…just so I can film it and put the whole..’100 push ups in a minute is impossible’ thing to bed once and for all.

Jimmy is going to be involved in the new gym along with Conor McPhillip’s. They will both be overseeing the rugby development program along with myself. This will be a non club affiliated program that will be built around preparing ‘rugby playing athletes’ and will encompass all the off field development needs of players.

Conor doing what he does best...levitating

Conor doing what he does best...levitating


These players will be assessed from top to bottom like all the athletes and clients that come to the new facility and their strengths and weaknesses identified and the entire Informed Performance team will set about putting a program in place to make these players as strong and powerful as well as as fast and agile as they need to be.

In future posts I’ll be putting up Jimmy and Conor’s CV’s along with my own and if you are an individual involved in rugby either young or old at a beginner or an elite level and you think there is a gym somewhere else in Ireland that you can find a better qualified and more experienced team to help you meet your goals…please by all means let me know.

I wasn’t even going to talk about the new gym that much….but while I’m at it and just to give you an idea of what is going on. As with the people involved in the rugby program…Informed Performance Muay Thai is going to be headed up by none other than Paddy ‘The Paddy’ Ivors. He is ranked number 1 with the Irish Muay Thai council in both the 61kg and 63.5kg weight divisions. He has a fight record of 16 and 3 with 8 knock outs. He is an active fighter that has trained and fought in internationally.

You can expect the same quality of coaches in all the areas that Informed Performance is involved in…it is actually going to be ridiculous…I look at the people involved and even I can’t wait to train there. The tennis program will be put together in conjunction with James McGee the current Irish Davis Cup member and ATP tennis professional.

It is actually quite funny…I’ve been getting emails this week from people saying that €79 a month is an ‘outrageous’ price for a gym membership…I say ‘outrageous’ in brackets because that is exactly the word used. I can only assume that some people really just don’t get it. I’ve actually not bothered replying to them and I’m not going to justify a thing. It actually just makes me laugh out loud.

Back to training…

Damian also tested this week I took these results from his blog results were as follows:
Weight – 110.9kg
Bench Press – 115kg (1RM) +5 kg (Not Happy)
Pull Ups – 10 No Change (Not Happy)
Push Ups – 59 (1 Min) Chest to Floor +15 on previous (Want to Improve)
Inverted Row – 31 (1 Min) No Change (Not Happy)
Trap Bar Deadlift – 180kg +10kg (Not Happy)

That’s him saying he’s ‘Not Happy’ by the way not me. He’s recently back from serving in Kosovo and has basically been meandering through his program and this shows in his results here in testing…if you asked me how I felt about his performance I suppose I’d say I was ‘not happy’. The thing is though…you can’t set the world a light 24/7/365…so hopefully he’ll turn his unhappiness into rage then channel it back into his training.

I may as well put a bit of pressure on Damian here and now on the blog to ensure that he gets his act together. I’ve been training Damian for a long time now and like most athletes that I’ve been training for a long time he probably knows and understands more about training than a lot of the ‘coaches’ out there. I’m encouraging Damian to get his Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist certification because I want him to start paying me back for the time I’ve put into him. We’ll be running some ‘Boot Camp’ type programs in the new facility as well….what a complete novelty it will be to have a Boot Camp actually run by a serving military officer who actually knows what a real Boot Camp is.

Barry’s training is coming along well…I won’t go into a heap of detail as he’s described things pretty well on his blog if you want to check out his thoughts on it.

The session we did yesterday was as follows:
Bike – 5 mins
Rowing – 10x150m with 30 second recovery
Rest – 2min 30 sec
The 4 rounds of the following
Trap Bar Deadlift – 80kg (30 seconds)
Assorted Box Jumps (24in, 30in, 36in) – (30 seconds which was basically 3 rounds…the boxes were arranged an various orders each round)
Rest – 30 seconds
Leg Kicks – 60 seconds work
Rest – 30 seconds then begin the next round.
Rest – 2min 30 sec
Rowing – 10x150m with 45 second recovery
Rest – 2min 30 sec
The 4 rounds of the following
Bench (Board) Press – 60kg (30 seconds)
Elevated Bosu Ball Push Ups – (30 seconds)
Rest – 30 seconds
Striking Combinations – 60 seconds work
Rest – 30 seconds then begin the next round.
Rest – 2min 30 sec
Rowing – 10x150m with 60 second recovery

If I had time…which I might later I’ll show you how much Barry’s conditioning has changed…I was looking at all his heart rate profiles. It is actually quite incredible…his times on his rows yesterday were similar to one of his early sessions in November. Just to give you an example I was looking at his 10x150m with 60 seconds recovery at the end of both sessions. Back at the end of November his maximum heart rate on these intervals was 192bpm and the average for the entire duration of the intervals was 160bpm. More importantly….the lowest his heart rate got during these intervals was 147bpm and that was the only time in the entire set that he got below 150bpm…his worst was 160bpm. In the same intervals yesterday done in roughly the same time…his maximum heart rate on these intervals was 179bpm and the average for the entire duration of the intervals was 143bpm. If you look at the recovery between intervals the lowest it got down to was 120bpm and the worst it was it was down to 129bpm…do you know what all this means? Neither do I…well actually I do but I don’t really have time to explain it to you.

I’ll break it down for you one over the other…
Maximum Heart Rate
Before = 192bpm
Yesterday = 179bpm
Result = A 13bpm lower max heart rate.

Average Heart Rate
Before = 160bpm
Yesterday = 143bpm
Result = A 17bpm lower average heart rate.

Lowest Recovery Heart Rate between Intervals
Before = 147bpm
Yesterday = 120bpm
Result = A 27bpm better recovery heart rate.

Highest Recovery Heart Rate between Intervals
Before = 160bpm
Yesterday = 129bpm
Result = A 31bpm better recovery heart rate.

It’s only a little while now till we see what this means come fight time…because the thing is in fighting…one mistake and it can be lights out for either fighter. But if it goes at least one round and I know that walking to my corner with my heart rate at maximum…that after sitting for a minute I’d much rather be getting back up with it at 120bpm rather than already at 160bpm.

My Appalling Wardrobe
I just wanted to thank Sully who sent me a brand new Jägermeister polo shirt all the way from Las Vagas….which automatically made me think of this…

It’s all about the bench

Here’s Barry’s warm up set from today. We sorta kinda did a testing session.

I wasn’t going to test him today but he picked up a little niggle in his hip training on the mat last night so decided to take it easy today and let it settle over the weekend. I was thinking of just doing a heavy bench session with a view to doing his testing next week…but once we got started I thought we might as well test today so as to not waste another days training next week.

So we benched…last testing session he got 60kg….went for 80kg and got stapled to the bench…he didn’t even get close to moving it off his chest…today he did his first proper warm up set at 60kg for a triple, 70kg easy for a double, 80kg for an easy single….missed 85kg and this is why I need a cameraman…I did my whole coaching thing…I’ll let Barry tell you how complex and detailed my coaching points were and next time he got 85kg easy. His technique is really unrefined…but that is basically because he really hasn’t benched since he’s been training with me…it is way down on my priority list…his imbalances in his back was a much bigger issue as far as I was concerned and injury minimisation has been one of my major priorities. If we focused on it there’d be another 5-10kg there fairly readily and if we made it a priority he’d get a 100kg bench I’d say pretty confidently.

Then we did his inverted rows…like I said I wasn’t going to do a full test…just wanted to see how he’d go…he got 6 reps in 60 seconds last time. That isn’t a fantastic score. Well today he got 30 reps…that on the other hand is a great score.

I figured at this stage we might as well finish testing…he got 39 push ups, 8 pull ups and 170kg on the trap bar deadlift. So all in all I’m pretty pleased with his progress…a lot done and yet more to do.

The Seminar
The money is already rolling for Lyle’s Seminar on the 5th of April and the first of the names are on the list. Lyle obviously has much better drawing power than I have…but I suppose that’s a given…. after all Lyle’s American and that’s where Lindsay Lohan was invented so he must also be fantastic. I’ll be working out the capacity for the venue this week and putting a cap on the numbers attending. I’m secretly hoping that we’ll hit the number before hand just so I can tell the people who turn up and think they’ll be able to just pay on the day to attend to piss off. I’ve worked out that if I can sell another 36358 places than Lyle and I will both be millionaires…I have counted the chairs…but it may be pushing it.
So if you want to go be sure to send me an email and arrange to get the money to me soon and make sure you get your name on the guest list.

I saw this gem of advice from Lyle just then:
Originally Posted by Lyle McDonald
If you check the macros on a standard donut, it’s actually not that bad. At about 250 calories, like 8 grams of fat and the rest carbs. Two donuts plus 30-40 grams of protein will be about the same as a clean meal macro wise. And taste better. And leave you hungry again in 20 minutes which facilitates the eating needed to get huge.

How could you not want to come and get advice from a genius like that?

How far we’ve come

Barry did a great session today. This is the third time he has done this exact same session. I do this a lot with athletes…it is a marker session…a way of measuring progress and hopefully improvement other than the results that you get from testing. I’m really pleased for Barry for a few reasons mainly because he works for a living like most people…he’s not a professional athlete…he’s got a family and a job and has done what he’s done on the back of 2 or 3 sessions a week in the gym along with the other sessions he’s been able to do on the mat. It is really a matter of optimising your time. What you see here is the difference between pissing around in the gym thinking you know it all…not that I am saying that Barry is like that but lots of athletes are…and having someone who actually knows what they are doing put together a proper program for you…Barry is going to step on the scales at his weigh in without having to starve himself, without having to dehydrate, without having to drain himself in a sauna…on the day of the weigh in he’ll skip breakfast and that’ll be that. I was just looking back at video of his first session…it almost killed him…quite literally. Today on the other hand he just motored for it…it wasn’t even a hard session for him. He was controlled and paced himself throughout.

This is the session:
Bike – 5 minute (Level 5)
Rower – 10×100m with 30 second recovery between efforts.
5 minutes – Lower Body & Upper Body Mobility Work.
Block 1
1A Trap Deadlift (80kg)
1B Pull Ups (BW)
1C Push Ups (BW)
Time=10 minutes complete as many sets as possible.
Set Ratio: 2:1:4
Rower – 10×100m with 45 second recovery between efforts.
Block 2
2A 20kg KB Squats
2B Inverted Rows
2C KB Overhead Press (each arm)
Time=10 minutes complete as many sets as possible.
Set Ratio: 2:1:1
Rower – 10×100m with 60 second recovery between efforts.

Here are the posts relating to the previous 2 sessions that Barry completed previously:
Session 1 – November 26th 2008
Session 2 – January 7th 2009

So here is Barry’s progression:

Here are the totals from the strength blocks from all 3 sessions

Weights Block 1 – November 26th
Total = 22 Trap Bar Deadlifts, 11 Pull Ups and 44 Push Ups.

Weights Block 1 – January 7th
Total = 36 Trap Bar Deadlifts, 18 Pull Ups and 72 Push Ups.

Weights Block 1 – March 10th
Total = 48 Trap Bar Deadlifts, 24 Pull Ups and 96 Push Ups.

Weights Block 2 – November 26th
Total = 40 KB Squats, 20 Inverted Rows, 20 KB Shoulder Presses (each arm)

Weights Block 2 – January 7th
Total = 52 KB Squats, 26 Inverted Rows, 26 KB Shoulder Presses (each arm)

Weights Block 2 – March 10th
Total = 64 KB Squats, 32 Inverted Rows, 32 KB Shoulder Presses (each arm)

Heart Rate Comparison – Weights Blocks
Weights Block1 Session 1 

Weights Block 1 Session 1

Weights Block 1 Session 1

Weights Block 1 Session 3

Weights Block 1 Session 3

Weights Block 1 Session 3

So in the his session today he did an extra 26 more Trap Bar Deadlifts, 13 more Pull Ups and 52 more Push Ups than in his first session of this type and he did so at a lower average heart rate as well as a lower maximum heart rate.

Weights Block 2 Session 1

Weights Block 2 Session 1

Weights Block 2 Session 1

Weights Block 2 Session 3

Weights Block 2 Session 3

Weights Block 2 Session 3

So in the his session today he did an extra 24 more KB Squats, 12 more Inverted Rows and 12 more KB Shoulder presses on each side than in his first session of this type and he did so at a lower average heart rate as well as a lower maximum heart rate.

Rowing Intervals
Session 1 – November 27th
Row 1: 10×100m with 30 second recoveries.
17.1
17.3
17.9
18.5
18.8
18.9
19.0
19.8
19.3
19.5
Time = 3:05.8

Row 2: 10×100m with 45 second recoveries.
18.9
19.2
19.0
19.6
19.3
19.7
19.3
19.6
19.4
18.9
Time = 3:12.8

Row 3: 10×100m with 60 second recoveries.
18.7
18.6
18.2
19.0
19.0
19.1
19.9
19.1
19.0
18.6
Time = 3:09.3

Session 3 – March 10th
Row 1: 10×100m with 30 second recoveries.
18.0
18.1
17.8
18.1
18.2
18.4
18.4
18.5
18.5
18.8
Time = 3:02.8

Row 2: 10×100m with 45 second recoveries.
18.4
18.3
18.1
18.3
18.0
18.8
18.5
18.6
18.6
17.4
Time = 3:03.0

Row 3: 10×100m with 60 second recoveries.
17.9
18.0
17.5
18.0
18.3
17.9
18.5
18.0
17.8
17.4
Time = 2:59.3

Heart Rate Comparison – Intervals
Row 1 Session 1 – Total Time = 3:05.8 & Average Heart Rate = 160bpm

Row 1 Session 1 - 27th November 2008

Row 1 Session 1 - 27th November 2008

Row 1 Session 3 – Total Time = 3:02.8 & Average Heart Rate = 157bpm

Row 1 Session 3 - March 10th

Row 1 Session 3 - March 10th

Row 2 Session 1 – Total Time = 3:12.8 & Average Heart Rate = 160bpm

Row 2 Session 1

Row 2 Session 1

Row 2 Session 3 – Total Time = 3:03.0 & Average Heart Rate = 157bpm

Row 2 Session 3

Row 2 Session 3

Row 3 Session 1 – Total Time = 3:09.3 & Average Heart Rate = 160bpm

Row 3 Session 1

Row 3 Session 1

Row 3 Session 3 – Total Time = 2:59.3 & Average Heart Rate = 157bpm

Row 3 Session 3

Row 3 Session 3

I won’t go into too much detail but suffice to say I am really happy with Barry’s fitness and his massive improvement…the fact that he knocked 10 seconds off his row in the last of his rows and did it at a lower average heart rate and a lower max heart rate is more impressive than it sounds. These are 100 metre intervals think of it as if they were 100m intervals on the track and then have a think about what it would be like to knock 1 second off your best sprint time on each interval. It is a massive improvement especially when you consider the work that he did before in the session…have a look at the difference in the numbers in work blocks 1 and 2 in each of the respective sessions.