Bon Voyage Macker

…that would of worked better if Macker was heading off to France…he’s off to the Ospreys in Swansea, Wales and I thought saying ‘Da bo chi’ might go over peoples heads.


Long time between drinks

Opportunities to make time to blog have been few and far between so I figure I better bring everyone up to speed.

Informed Performance – The New Gym
Due to orders from the Business and Operations Manager (from here on in referred to as simply The BOM) of Informed Performance I’ve not been able to talk about the new gym on pain of death…well not real death but I know if I was talking about it he’d bore me to death with his objections…so I’ve not been able to talk about all the great equipment we’ve bought…I mean…we are going to be able to sell tickets…because people are going to travel miles to see this stuff. Honestly…I’m amazed myself…I mean seriously…how many full on Olympic Lifting sets have you seen in real life. I don’t mean just bars and plates…I’m talking bar and plates that are used at THE Olympics…as in…on the stage at the Olympics…well when you come to Informed Performance you’ll see 8 sets…are you following me? 8 complete Olympic lifting sets…stands, platforms…the whole shebang. That is just to give you an idea…believe me…I don’t think anyone is going to believe what they see when they walk through the door. So anyway…I’ve already said too much…suffice to say that just because we’re not talking about it doesn’t mean that nothing is happening…quite the opposite…the fact that I’m not getting time to blog very much should tell you that lots is happening….and it most certainly is. There will be more news to follow in the next couple of weeks and things should move incredibly quickly after that.

Cookies Training Continues
Since I’ve had a few enquiries about his training I thought I might give you some more updates.
Monday is his heavy day….this week he did all the usual…warmed up, did some hip mobility work then squatted heavy after a couple of warm up sets he worked up through 5 heavy triples then did some supplementary hamstring work, some ab work…the some shoulder mobility work, warmed up on the bench and then worked up through 5 heavy triples followed by some supplementary back work then some more ab and lower back work the fired off his gunz.
Tuesday was a conditioning day…we warmed up in the gym then we did 5 conditioning blocks which went like this:
10 KB Squats then a sprint block…this involved linear sprinting, lateral sprinting, hard backward running, a certain amount of ‘hitting the deck’ and sprinting off followed by a walk back to the beginning where he then did 10 Push Ups and then the sprint block. Then 10 Inverted Rows and a sprint block. Then 10 KB Presses and a sprint block. At the end of his last sprint block he got 2 minutes recovery before beginning his next set. He did 5 of these sets in total and it had this effect….
Cookies Session
Wednesday was a rest day. Today we did a ‘bodybuilding’ session….Cookies, Sextoy and I did it together and it went like this:
Mixed Cardio Warm Up – 5 mins Rowing, 5 mins Jogging and 5 mins Cycling.
Shoulder Mobility Work
DB (slight) Incline Bench Press – 1×12 @ 20kg, 1×12 @ 25kg, 1×8 @30, 1×8 @35, 3×8 @40kg
Hi-Lo Cable Flies – 5×12 @ 35kg
Hanging Leg Raises – 5×10
Hip Mobility Work
Leg Press – 1×12 @ 100kg, 1×12 @ 140kg, 3×8 @ 180kg
1A Leg Curl – 3×15 @ 50kg
1B Leg Extensions – 3×15 @ 50kg
Ab Roll Outs – 5×10
Shoulder Mobility Work
Lat Pull Downs – 1×12 @ 60kg, 1×12 @70kg, 3×8 @ 80kg
Single Arm Cable Rows – 3×15 @ 35kg
45deg Back Extensions – 5×10
We pushed hard through the entire session…the rest periods were literally as long as it took the other 2 to finish their sets and we went at it from start to finish.

Who Loves Sports Technology?
I sure do…next week on Thursday the 14th of May at 11am my mate Dan Rutger is coming up from the boglands (basically anywhere in Ireland outside of Dublin) to demo some incredibly cool sports technology kit at the gym…St Mary’s College Rugby Club, Templeville Rd. Tempelogue.

Dan runs what is pretty much Irelands most experienced sports technology company Redback Biotek ( ) and he’s going to be demonstrating a GPS athlete tracking system called Catapult GPS. This was developed by the Australian Institute of Sport and is now used all around the world by top teams and athletes.

It was originally developed for rowing but has now also gained wide aceptance in a multitude of sports. This is some of the stuff it does:
• GPS ; position and speed of movment of all players on a pitch – or anywhere (even when they go to the loo) !
• accelerometers (with collision intensity and event marking) – acceleration of movement or how hard players are being hit. (I so want to strap this to Nasher and Pottsy when they have their ‘Worlds Collide’ showdown)
• gyroscope (inclination – with bend down algorithm). Is the player bending down to pick up a ball or moving the trunck sideways
• magneto (gives orientation – ie is a player running backwards or forwards in direction X)
• heart rate pickup and transmit
The system can also use local trackers(antenna) if GPS is not available.

This is an open invite to anyone…if you want to see some pretty cool stuff come along…check out Dan’s site…it looks like it was designed the day after they opened the internet but he has some great kit….a lot of which we are going to be buying for the new gym.

Southside for Rugby Players

Don’t worry about the title…it’s a joke for my own amusement more than anything else.

The rugby season has come to an end…and the new one already seems to have begun. Some players are resting up, some players are getting ready for sevens, some are getting ready for yet more rugby with internationals up coming. Here is what one of the latter players is doing this week.

Maximum Strength Session
Warm Up – 30 mins low intensity cardio. This is slow steady state type stuff 110-120bpm. 10 mins on the bike, treadmill and rower.
Hip Mobility Work – You should know what this entails by now.
Trap Bar Deadlift – 2 warm up sets of 8 reps easy, 1 moderate set of 5 reps, then 5 heavy sets of 3 reps
Leg Curls – 3 sets of 12 reps
Shoulder Mobility Work – band pull a parts, band dislocates, scap pull ups, scap push ups
Bench Press – 2 warm up sets of 8 reps easy, 1 moderate set of 5 reps, then 5 heavy sets of 3 reps
DB Rows – 5 sets of 8 reps
Cool Down – 30 mins low intensity cardio. This is slow steady state type stuff 110-120bpm. 10 mins on the bike, treadmill and rower.

Conditioning Session
Warmed Up then did some KB Overhead carries.

1st Block – Mixed Conditioning
Sprint – 10m out and back 20m out and back
10 KB Squats
Sprint – 10m out and back 20m out and back
10 Push Ups
Sprint – 10m out and back 20m out and back
10 Inverted Rows
Sprint – 10m out and back 20m out and back
10 Sit Ups
Sprint – 10m out and back 20m out and back
Then he got a 1 minute break…we did 3 sets of these back to back then he got a 2 minute break.

2nd Block – Sprint Conditioning
10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 metres…the jog out was at recovery pace…the player turned and dropped at the line face down on the ground and placed their hands behind their head then broke off the ground and sprinted to the start line. 10m first then 20m and so on. They got a minute after each complete set. We did 3 sets and then he got a 2 minute break.

3rd Block – Mixed Conditioning
Same format as the 1st Block only all the exercises were replace by punching combinations on the pads. So 10 and 20 metre run followed by a jab, punch, upper cut and hook…10 of these the first time, 8 the second, 6 on the third and 4 on the forth. We did 3 sets with a minute between sets and 2 minutes rest at the completion.

4th Block – Sprint Conditioning
This was a repeat of the 2nd Block.

5th Block – Mixed Conditioning
This was a repeat of the 1st Block

Body Building Session
Warm Up – 10km on the bike…easy…25 mins at 110-120bpm.
Hip Mobility Work – Hurdle Steps, Leg Swings and Leg Sweeps
Leg Press – 1 easy set of 12 reps, 1 moderate set of 12 reps then 2 hard sets of 12 reps and 1 mental set to finish. This consisted of 140kg on the 1st set, 180kg on the 2nd set, then 220kg for the rest…squeezing out 30 reps on the last…less than 60 seconds recovery between sets.
1A Leg Curls – 3 sets of 10 reps
1B Leg Extensions – 3 sets of 10 reps
2A Ab Roll Outs – 3 sets of 12 reps
2B 45deg Back Extensions – 3 sets of 12 reps
Shoulder Mobility Work – Horizontal Band Pull-A-Parts and Band Dislocates
Incline Bench Press – 1 easy set of 12 reps, 1 moderate set of 12 reps then 3 hard sets of 12 reps
Lo-Hi Cable Flyes – 3 sets of 10 reps
Band Assisted Pull Ups – 5 sets of 12 reps
Single Arm Cable Rows – 3 sets of 10 reps
3A Hanging Leg Raises – 3 sets of 12 reps
3B Natural Reverse Hypers – 3 sets of 12 reps
DB Bicep Curls – 3 sets of 12 reps
DB Overhead Tricep Extension – 3 sets of 12 reps

Sprint Conditioning
I had a change of plan today. Instead of doing shorter higher intensity intervals I had Cookies do longer intervals instead. His session went like this:
Warm Up and Dynamic stretch
Training Block
Sprint 150m walking recovery of 50m by 4
Sprint 300m walking recovery of 100m followed by 2 minutes rest
Sprint 50m walking recovery of 50m by 4
Sprint 300m walking recovery of 100m followed by 2 minutes rest
Cookies did 3 of these blocks back to back. I want to say well done to Barney as well who joined Cookies for this session….well he sort of joined in. Barney did the Warm Up and edged Cookies out on the first 2 efforts…was maybe 20m behind him on the 3rd effort and then gave up…outstanding lack of effort all round.

Explosive/Bodyweight Session
Warm Up – 5 sets of 500’s on the rower at 1:45-1:50 pace with 60 second recoveries
Cascade Box Jumps – 24in, 30in, 36in by 3
Hang Snatch – 40kg 3 sets of 3 reps
Cascade Box Jumps – 24in, 30in, 36in by 3
Hang Snatch – 50kg 3 sets of 3 reps
Cascade Box Jumps – 24in, 30in, 36in by 3
Hang Snatch – 60kg 3 sets of 3 reps
Blast Strap Fallouts – 3 sets of 10 reps
Elevated Blast Strap Push Ups – 3 sets of 10 reps
Elevated Blast Strap Inverted Rows – 3 sets of 10 reps
Turkish Get Ups – 3 sets of 10 reps 20kg
Natural Reverse Hypers – 3 sets of 15 reps

So that was Cookies training week. He has the weekend off and then we get back work next week.

Liars and cheaters

I have them all…I suppose it’s only right since I pretty much made them that way and athletes end up being a reflection of their coaches.

I thought I would post another different type of session for you….most of you won’t get to try it as it requires three people and I know if you are reading this you are most likely a friendless loser who spends more time reading about training than actually doing it but I’ll post it anyway.

Team Conditioning Session
This is a high intensity sort duration muscular endurance session…very much power orientated and done in groups of three.

Warm Ups – 10 mins of cardio along with some hip and shoulder mobility work…you know the deal by now.

Work Block 1
100 KB (20kg) Squats
100 Push Ups
50 Pull Ups

Work Block 2
100 Step Ups (30 inch box each leg)
50 Inverted Rows
50 DB Presses (18kg each arm)

Work Block 3
50 Trap Bar Deadlifts (100kg)
100 Bench Press (60kg)
50 DB Rows (30kg each arm)

Work Block 4
100 Box Jumps (30 inch box)
100 Floor Presses (25kg each arm)
100 Sit Ups

Work Block 5
50 Elevated Split Squats (each leg)
50 Push Press (60kg)
50 Barbell Rows (60kg)

Work Block 6
100 Natural Reverse Hypers
100 Back Extensions
100 Hanging Leg Raises

So…the way it worked is the lads break into groups of three. All the groups had different strategies…I don’t care how people do these sessions because they always end the same way…bloody hard…the groups are timed on each block and the times go up on the board and the cumulative time is calculated at the end.

To give you some idea of the way it is supposed to work…I put these blocks together to last 5 minutes each if they are done well and done flat out…so the total work time is 30 minutes for the blocks. All the groups start at once and there is a minute recovery between blocks timed from when the last group finishes the particular block they are on.

Now to the reason for the liars and cheaters remark in the title. I came in this morning and looked at some of the times on the board…one thing in particular struck me…many of the lads are liars and cheats…I looked at the times for Work Block 1….earlier yesterday Nasher, Pottsy and myself did this entire session before all the other lads did it in the afternoon and evening…it took us 6 minute to do Work Block 1…now keep in mind that Pottsy and myself are exceptional athletes of the highest calibre and even though we had to basically carry Nasher through the entire session as he was constantly out of breath from crying and moaning about his sore toe.
So anyway…one of the groups had a time of 1 minute 38 seconds on the board and another had 1 minute 50 seconds. Just think about that for a second….100 KB squats, 100 push ups and 50 pull ups…in 1 minute and 38 seconds? Give me a fucking break! As I am sure you realise…1 minute and 40 seconds is 100 seconds…so even if they were just doing the KB squats they’d have had to do them faster than 1 rep a second….ignoring the fact that they had to also slip in 100 push ups and 50 pull ups in their downtime between the 1 rep a second they were doing on the KB Squats. Thankfully about 10 minutes after I walked in this morning 3 of these liars and cheats walked in…these 3 were 2 members of the 1 minute 38 second group and 1 member of the 1 minute 50 second. After telling them that they were totally full of shit I got €100 out of my wallet and offered it to them if they could do it in under 2 minutes.

They didn’t even get close…I didn’t count all the push ups or pull ups (and I’m positive they cheated anyway) but they took more than 2 minutes to get the 100 KB Squats done…so they didn’t get rich this morning.

More brilliant emails

I got an email today asking about whether the fact that I wasn’t blogging so often was because I’d lost my job…which I though was funny since I am self employed and that would basically involve firing myself. Now don’t think I haven’t come close a few times…I do make myself mad sometimes but no the reason that I’ve been blogging a little less is not because I have been sacked its because I’ve been busier than normal…not much busier…just a bit busier.

Real live athletes training in a real live gym
I thought I better put up a bit of training stuff as well…this is what they got up to tonight.
So in case that is all as clear as mud…they did two blocks of cardio with a short sharp strength block in between and did three of these in total.

Denise is trying to get back in my good books
This looks like an apology to me?

Seminar matters
I sent out all the PDF’s of Lyle’s seminar this morning so if you didn’t get them and you were at the seminar you better email me and let me know. I am going to write a full seminar review as soon as I get time…it might have to wait for the weekend though. We’ll see how we go.

You have to go to the 4 minute mark in this video

I know I have a heap of work to do and I’ve approximately a zillion emails to answer…but I just wanted to put this up first.

It is nice to see someone I coach contributing something worthwhile to society…the Cookie Monster strikes again.

The surprising thing is that Cookies is always so concerned with safety in the gym…I mean this is a guy that uses safety collars on the leg press for God’s sake…he didn’t seem to concerned with safety when he tackled that guy in the video.

Cookies is always worried about the Leg Press tipping over

Cookies is always worried about the Leg Press tipping over

In other news…Damian’s updated his blog
You can find it here. Yesterday he basically designed his own program. I thought some people might find it interesting and as far as program design goes and might want to talk through the thought process behind it.

Disciplinary Action

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…