1. I was in the national children’s choir and performed in the National Concert hall – I was pretty good too.
2. I was no good at sports really and only starting playing sport at all in secondary school. I was slow at everything sport related, I learned how to ride a bike very late for example. If someone tells me I can’t do something or I’m no good I go into overdrive.
3. I don’t particularly like training that much anymore; I have tried running, cycling, swimming, judo, triathlon, indoor rowing, Gaelic football, rugby and weightlifting. I guess if your job is to push people to their limits it can get stale training yourself. I love weightlifting at the moment but I need to do more cardio. When I hit the gym now I am guilty of paralysis by analysis.
4. I love beer way too much – I blame my rugby days
5. I was once 17stone, I have always struggled with my weight and always will, I waiver from getting slagged to getting compliments. I think it actually helps me a lot understand what works and doesn’t from a fat loss point of view. It’s actually scary how many strength coaches were fat kids. I also hate that the world is so narcissistic even though my business is obviously built on it. I believe in getting people as fit as possible and the looks will come after.
6. I tore my ACL 2 weeks before the senior cup rugby tournament – I can trace doing what I am doing to that, I was devastated I trained so hard to make the team and then an injury stopped me. After that however I met some top people and it sparked my interest in S&C. I will never ever get over missing that game though.
7. I hate early mornings and I love working late – I merely survive getting up early because my job dictates that I have to. I’m getting better at mornings however.
8. I opened my first studio in Ranelagh, I had never stepped foot in Ranelagh before that! I ended up living in Ranelagh for 4 years.
9. I was sacked from my first S&C job – I know it’s hard to believe! Actually it’s sad really as my old boss and I don’t speak anymore, one day I probably would like to change that. He trained and mentored me extremely well it has to be said. What did I do? I built a website trying to promote myself! I didn’t even get a reference and no gym in the Dublin area would hire me – I actually HAD to set up FTI. I remember being in Portugal with Ballymun Kickhams and finding out I lost my job, not a nice experience but character building.
10. I have trained Ballymun Kickhams, Naomh Fionnbarra, Clontarf Rugby club (assistant), Malahide Rugby club, Longford seniors, ladies, under 21s and minors. As well as consulting with the Paralympic rowing and cycling squads. I have probably designed and built 15 S&C style gyms around the country. I love training teams but hate the fact that as an Strength coach your not quite a coach and your not quite one of the lads.
11. I’m a coffee addict, I think deep down I drink it as a hunger suppressant.
12. I support Manchester United.
13. I once played a rugby match drunk in college, I was pulled out of the bar and off I went. I didn’t even play for UL; I ended up playing for LIT as they had no props! Played ok too.
14. I ran the marathon in 2007 and Peter Mathews cycled beside me for most of it, true story he nearly knocked me down in the process!
15. About 3 times a year I sleep in on my 7am Appointments, this is usually because I’m doing crazy hours and I’m chronically fatigued.
16. When I was coaching Longford senior footballers I regularly used to start work at 7am and get home at 12am. I did this for 3 years. I started to get horribly burnt out so I took a year off coaching inter county teams. Also, FTI Longford was a huge mistake. I priced it way too cheap, was horribly over stretched and didn’t have the proper structures in place. I will say however it was an unbelievable learning curve and it’s great to see it continue in a different guise.
17. I love history, if there is a documentary on Ancient Rome, Greece or the world wars I am there glued.
18. I never read fiction; I kind of see it as a waste of time.
19. Recently I got engaged to the lovely Breda, I actually train Breda now but it has to be in a group session or we kill each other!
20. My favourite clients are women getting fit for their wedding; they are more dedicated than any elite athlete on the planet.
21. I absolutely detest snobby people; you get it a lot in our industry. I suppose because we wear a tracksuit people look down on you even though I’m technically more qualified than 90% of my clients. I’m at the stage of my career now that I will actually turn people away if I think they aren’t going to be nice.
22. I’m highly disorganised, I regularly double book things and I’m messy. Bizarrely in my gym I am forever cleaning! If Sinead wasn’t on my team god bless me.
23. I once cycled to Tullamore from Dublin in a group with my best friend (first ever bike ride). On arrival we got absolutely smashed drunk and we were close to dying for the first 2 hours of the return leg. Stubbornness and youth got us through.
24. Training an athlete or a team to a trophy or medal is a great feeling but it makes me sad that S&C coaches in this country don’t get any recognition. For example they don’t get an all-Ireland medal. In America the S&C coaches get the super bowl rings just like the players.
25. I was once Peter and Orla’s intern in a clinic in Malahide. Life is funny.