Pass the parcel

I got this email today:

You know what you shouldn’t try? Paired plate shifting on AstroTurf. My fucking elbows are torn up.

That’s why we do them on a mat…and do you know what…if you are willing to go crazy you can even do it as a threesome or a foursome…nothing like sharing the pain around.

8 laps one way and 8 laps the other way...3 sets...2 mins between sets

8 laps one way and 8 laps the other way...3 sets...2 mins between sets

Fitness Testing
The funniest bit of my day today was when we were laughing about our new fitness testing method and Jimmy who hadn’t been ‘tested’ want me to test him…I told him to got get my tape out of the drawer. He came back with this…

A little optimistic don't you think?

A little optimistic don't you think?

I meant my girth tape and he comes back with a 30 metre measuring tape…now Jimmy has a good set of guns on him but they aren’t even close to 30 metres in circumference.

They were all chasing Andy’s temporary record of 16 3/4 inches…

Unfortunately for everybody Logi came in and unsheathed his 17 3/4 inch pythons and ended all the arguments. So that’s it for testing from now on…every 6 weeks we’ll get out the tape measure and see who really is the fittest.

Session of the Day
A bunch of the gals that were in today all did this:

Bike – 5 mins
Row – 10x100m with 30 sec recovery
1A Leg Press – 5 reps
1B Lat Pulldowns – 5 reps
1C Push Ups
10 minute work block…as many laps as possible.
Row – 10x100m with 45 sec recovery
2A Step Ups – 5 each leg
2B DB Row – 5 each side
2C DB Shoulder Press – 5 each side
Row – 10x100m with 60 sec recovery


Hurry while stocks last…

…and then there were 8…7 people have said that they want to are take up the ‘preferably shortened lifespan plan’ memberships and be involved in what Barry and I are trying to do. The offer is €1000 for 5 years membership of Informed Performance. The thing is wanting to be involved is one thing…over this weekend 3 people have already forked over the cash…which is absolutely brilliant…considering that we don’t even have a gym and they don’t even know where it is other than a general area…they unlike the other 4 of the 7 who have said they want memberships are totally committed to what Barry and I are doing. These memberships will be going to the people who are committed…the ones that fork over the cash…we appreciate the people who want to be involved but the rewards will go those that pay on a first come basis.

Being involved is one thing but being committed is something else all together…think about the contribution that the pig and the chicken made to your bacon and eggs that you had for breakfast this morning…sure the chicken was involved but the pig was totally committed…are you are chicken or a pig?

While we are talking about being committed…
I just wanted to say well done to the girls who beat Scotland yesterday 23-0 in the 6 Nations and in the process guaranteed their qualification for the World Cup. You can read the match report here and see Fiona trucking up ball with what appears to be the entire Scottish side hanging off her. I’m going to make her carry me around the gym all next week…it’ll be much more functional…I read again this morning that apparently squatting is bad. Hasn’t seemed to do the girls performances much damage though.

Cheaters never prosper…except in our gym…where they always end up on top

The girls have been doing some good work over the last few weeks. Tonight’s session looked like this:

5x2mins cardio + stretching
1A Hurdle Steps
1B Scap Push Ups
1C Over’s & Under’s
1D Scap Pull Ups

Single Arm DB Snatch – 2 w/u sets of 8 reps, 5 work sets of 5 reps

Box Squats – 2 w/u sets of 5 reps, 5 work sets of 3 reps

Plate Shifting – 5 sets of 4(2.5kg) + 4(5kg)
Band Pull Ups – 2 w/u sets of 12 reps, 5 work sets of 8 reps with 5 sets of 8 elevated push ups.
Torque Press – 4 sets of 8 reps + 30second isometric hold.

Now the form isn’t perfect…but I can live with that…you learn by doing…not by talking every exercise to death. I know a lot of coaches seem to have a problem with DB Snatches…I think the main reason for this is because one particular coach who makes his name by being a contrary has a problem with them. That aside I’ve always liked them and have never had any problems with them.

Practical Principles of Sports Nutrition and Fat Loss – Sunday April 5th
The seminar will be on Sunday the 5th and it will cost €55 as stated…there seemed to be some confusion there. If you want to help make this seminar a success feel free to take the link from the actual seminar thread and post it anywhere and anywhere you think it might be of interest to people.

Shoulder Stability and Prehabilitation Variations
These are a couple of the many, many things that I meant to post last week that I ran out of time to do.

The Bet – Update
Remember that bet from back in November? The one where these guys bet me I couldn’t bench 180kg’s…which I did after 3 whole weeks of training. Well here’s where it stands at the moment.

Brophy – €75 (Paid)
Nasher – €25 (Paid)
Jimmy – €50 (Paid)

Bushy – €100 (Unpaid)
Penguin – €75 (Unpaid)
Logi – €75 (Unpaid)
Killer – €25 (Unpaid)
Louis – €25 (Unpaid)

Want to say a few well dones

Firstly congrats to all the J1’s lads who wrapped up the league early this season by beating Clontarf last night. I know none of you will be reading this as I’m sure you are probably all still in Coppers but well done. Winning the league 3 times in 4 years is no easy feat and it was won well again this year.

The Irish Club International Team played out a 13 all draw with the England Counties side this evening with Hugh and Brophy both having good games…or so I’m told.

The girls played England tonight and lost. The English girs were BIG…they were a very strong and well drilled team. The Irish girls ran at them the whole game but went down 29 to 13.

Friday is going to be a big day

Ireland Team Announced For AIB Club International

I just want to pass on some congrats to Hugh Hogan and Phil Brophy who were named in the starting side for the Irish Club International Team to play the England Counties Team on Friday afternoon.

Hugh who posts here for your amusement is captaining the side.

Hugh who posts here for your amusement is captaining the side.

I guarantee if they win you’ll see a ‘Hogan’s Heroes’ headline. I think they named Hugh captain because he is so much more photogenic than Phil.


No wonder the ladies love him

No wonder the ladies love him

I think they also went for Hugh because they know what a strict disciplinarian that Phil is.


You don't want to get on his wrong side

You don't want to get on his wrong side

I hope both the lads enjoy the game and play to their potential.

Ireland Women’s International

I also want to wish the girls all the best in their game against England this Friday night. The game is being played at St Mary’s on Friday evening at 6.30pm for those that are interested in getting along.

I know that you all want photos of the girls as well but I am way more scared of them than I am of Hugh or Brophy.

The Seminar – The Practical Principles of Strength and Conditioning (7th & 8th of February)

I have to say I am really looking forward to it. I think it is going to be genuinely different from any seminar that any of the attendees have ever been to. I say that because I don’t think anyone has been to as many of these things in as many countries over as many years as I have and I’ve never been to one like this. I am going to keep everything seminar related in this single post so I’ll just update it as needs be over the weekend.

The weather has already effected attendees trying to get over for the seminar unfortunately so we’ll have to wait and see who makes it to the starting line tomorrow morning. The show however will go on even if I end up talking to myself. I will write a brief summary of what we cover on the Saturday and will do the same on Sunday after we wrap up.  We are going to try to video as much of the seminar as possible so well see how that works out.

Seminar Weekend

Well things are off to a good start. I tend not to mention scores or performances of athletes on the blog…the main reason being is when I was starting out coaching Harry Wardle who was at that stage one of the head Strength and Conditioning Coaches at the Australian Institute of Sport grabbed me by the back of the neck when I was crowing about the success of one of my athletes and said…’Don’t take the credit for the wins unless your willing to take all the blame for the losses’…which coming from a legend like Harry was close to the word of God to me at that stage. It is something that I’ve always kept in mind throughout my career. I do want to say well done to the Irish Women’s Rugby team who defeated France last night.

Fi in the blue shirt here praying for a match winning try

Fi in the blue shirt here praying for a match winning try

I thought when the girls were doing this that Fi was muttering something under her breath along the lines of…’Will you’re really some sort of prick!’… but I realise now what I heard her say was that ‘getting over the line for a winning try would do the trick!’…or words to that effect. So good work to Fi for getting the winning try and all the glory…show off…for what was a hard fought team victory and hopefully one of many to come for the girls this international season.


I’ve got 5 minutes to write a recap of Saturday before it’s actually Sunday…I some how don’t think I am going to make it. I’ve decided not to just put up the seminar notes. I was really please to see so many people travelling from so far afield to come to the seminar. I am going to give them all the notes from the seminar. If they want to post them…so be it. If they want to write about what they got out of today…then that is fine as well. I figure I’ll leave it to them…they paid to get here and paid to listen to me talk way too much so as far as I’m concerened they own this seminar and the material presented so they can do whatever the hell they like with it. To give you an outline though…today was all about the strength side of strength and conditioning. What we covered  was basically as follows:

I did an introduction to the field of strength and conditioning and discussed the basic principles that I try to abide by in my work. We spent a good while discussing functional movement analysis and the role of critical observation in coaching. A big part of which was examining athlete evaluation and screening in a practical sense. We looked at mobility and stability issues both at a joint by joint basis and as a whole. Then we assesed and tested an athlete. This particular athlete is going to be used for the Training Project so I will fill in all the details we gathered on Monday. This was followed by the best session of the day…lunch. After which we went over testing and discussed the strengths and weaknesses of different tests and their applicability to different sports. Then we finished with the actual fun stuff…we looked at exercise selection and program design and construction which took up the best part of the afternoon. We wrapped up only 30 minutes over time and preceded straight to the bar and then off for more beverages and dinner. So esssentially it was a series of coffee breaks and a great lunch and dinner with some unfortunate rammbling in between.


Today began with a recap of yesterday. Nothing like stalling with old material when you’ve run out of things to say…as everyone knows…I was my normal quiet self and was struggling most of today to find anything at all to talk about…being the unprofessional I am I managed to struggle on. We discussed program construction, exercise selection and technique next. Then the attendees had a group project to complete…this was the construction of a strength and conditioning program for an entire squad. Then they got to implement it…

This was the middle of the 2nd Strength Conditioning Block

Afterwards we discussed the pros and cons of the session before spending the afternoon discussing conditioning training in practice. I am going to spend my downtime this week writing up all the seminar notes. There was so much stuff I wanted to cover that I didn’t get the chance to but I am going to try and make up for it by covering it all in the notes.


You'd think we were at a bar...some of the lads sure smelt like it

You'd think we were at a bar...some of the lads sure smelt like it

As I said on the Sunday part of the seminar involved the group designing a workout for a team of Under 20’s rugby players. This is what they put together:

The lads were divided up into teams of 3. They had 3 conditioning blocks and 3 strength conditioning blocks to complete. There were 6 strength block variations of which the lads had to complete 3 in the session. 


6 different strength conditioning blocks

6 different strength conditioning blocks

The conditioning blocks were done like this…all the group had do 8mins on the bike, 8 mins on the treadmill and 8 mins on the rower in their session. The way these blocks worked is that they had to do the 8mins as a team in a relay style. I like making training as competitive as possible and besides its so much more fun watching athletes screaming at each other about how lazy and pathetic they are than me having to do it constantly….it really takes a lot of pressure off me. Points were awarded to teams according to how far they got in 8mins…the team that got the furthest got a point…and last place got 5 points. I really like conditioning work that makes guys uses the brain as well as their brawn. Different teams took different approaches….some teams had each member set a pace and as soon as they drop another team member jumped in. Some teams went 30 second each and some a minute…and some teams were so chockablock full of morons I have no idea what the hell they were doing and I guarantee they didn’t either. 


The results of the conditioning work

The results of the conditioning work

A big win by Team 3…they got the prize…3 muffins. Team Tom and the Fantastic 5 were the biggest losers and there was a sudden death showdown on the last block to decide who really sucked the worst.


Strength Block Results

Strength Block Results

So unfortunately Team Tom and the Fantastic 5 beat each others respective scores in their respective strength block showdown at the end. In fairness to both these teams…the reason they were at the losing end is because for the majority of the session they were both down a member due to the copious amounts of vomiting that their team members were doing in the toilet after the first conditioning block. There was a fair bit of puking going on…different people employed different tactics…some raced out puked, came back and trained before racing out again…interval style puking. Some though went more steady state spewing…in that they went and were gone for a fair bit of the session. Because Team Tom and The Fantastic 5 were all tied up at the end it was decided that they should have a Pull Off…it was the only fair way to decide the real losers.

I think in the end though I couldn’t really decide who was the worst.

It was a tough session and the lads did really well…even the pukers who tried to get back in the action as soon as they could.

Run Forrest Run

Two running groups tonight…one group doing primarily fitness and the other doing speed work (which was actually fitness…but don’t tell them that). Here are the two sessions.

3 minutes easy run…the 2 minutes of mobililty and flexibility work

40 seconds hard run 20 seconds recovery run

30 seconds hard run 30 seconds recovery run

20 seconds hard run 40 seconds recovery run

They did 3 of these sets back to back for a complete block then they took a 1 minute water break.

They did 3 of these blocks in total….so that’s 35 minutes in the session in total.

Logi's response to his pitch conditioning session

Logi's response to his pitch conditioning session

The other session looked like this:

This session took about 30 minutes as well.

This is what I think conditioning work should look like…if I sent these guys out to run for 35minutes they’d be bored to death. The intensity would be rubbish. I’ve also never seen a sport played at a single velocity…these sessions had constant changes in velocity…acceleration, deceleration and changes in direction. I bet if I took a 100 athletes that I’ve coached that have done these conditioning sessions and who’ve just ran laps…I bet every single one of them would actually rather do my sessions any day…I bet if any of you did them as well you’d rather do mine…the other thing I bet is that doing my sessions you’ve no idea how much time has passed and how long you have to go…you are just counting intervals down and doing a 35min run you’d feel every second passing. As I think we’ve established…each to his own. Maybe you’d prefer to just go out and run 35 minutes. I know what I think my lads prefer and what I think provides a better bang for my buck time wise.

The Womens Rugby

500m row/Stretch/500m row/Stretch

1A Chest Supported Scap Rows – 2×8

1B Inverted Shrugs

DB Floor Press – 2 w/u x8, 5×5

Band Assisted Pull Ups – 5×12

Straight Arm DB Sit Ups – 5×8

Elevated Split Squats – 4×8 each side

Leg Curls – 3×8

Rower – 10 sets of 100m effort with 45 second recovery between efforts.

Damian Tested

Weighed in a 110kg and benched the same. The did 10 pull ups, 44 push ups, 31 inverted rows and trap bar deadlifted 170kg.