» Train to Win: One Wedding and My Funeral

31 Jul

Train to Win: One Wedding and My Funeral

Posted by Keith Nulty in Features,Train to Win | Jul 2014

LiveGaelic founder and erstwhile club player Donal O’Connor, along with former Cavan Intercounty player Sean Brady, embark on a ten week strength and conditioning challenge under the watchful eye of Functional Training Ireland’s David Hare.

In this week’s segment of the Train to Win segment, Donal is over halfway through the 10 Week Challenge.


Approaching the last four weeks of the challenge, we had our weigh-in with the nutritionist Alan Kelly. It was the second of three weigh-ins and I was delighted to drop from 22% to 17% body fat, but here is where the easy game ends.

Next up I went to my good friend and Louth goalkeeper, Neil Gallagher’s wedding, and with this I knew I would have a day of drinking pints in the sun and eating more than I could fit. I was well aware that the cheat day(s) would certainly be used to its full.

Only after this weekend’s craic did I realise and remember how tough it was to maintain a healthy lifestyle, both diet and exercises wise, after a night out. It reminded me of the pitfalls that we all face week on a week basis and the excuses we use to find a reason not to live to a healthier lifestyle: I’ll go after this game, the gym closes at six, sure one slice wont do any harm, etc.

I’m sure there are many sitting reading this who can identity with this mini crash in diet, but at the end of the day we are only human and these things can happen. So following on from a great wedding and one minor funeral (me dying a death), we’re back on track to finish the last 3 weeks strongly.

Sean is currently on a two-week holiday in Greece where he assures us he’ll be sticking to some form of exercise and rehab regime. And I have a foray to England for the long weekend to visit friends. After this we’ll be on the home straight with two weeks to go and diets will be to the absolute extreme in the hope of finishing strong and really making a statement for this ten week challenge.

Towards the end of today’s session, I put on what looks like kevlar bullet proof vest but what was actually a body weight to go accompany most of my body weight exercises. Although it was only 8 kilos, which is about twice the weight I’ve lost already, it really had me out of breath and noticing the difference. To think I was this weight months previous makes me realise how far I’ve came and also had me wondering what kind of strenuous exercises Sean was doing whilst lying on a beach in Greece.

It’s absolutely great to go into physical exercise and to have the injury worries of a previous week no longer in my mind. Whether it’s my ankle initially, lower back pain, middle back pain or overall sore muscles from activity where beforehand there was very little, the help that Functional Training Ireland are giving us is invaluable. Especially Dublin hurler Joey Boland who deals with us week-in and week-out.

It’s great to see how an injury can be fixed, a strength and conditioning program can be set and adjusted specifically based on exact recovery and finally how complementing these with a basic and very livable diet that such a healthy turnaround can be achieved.

Over the next few weeks we’ll have a few words from Sean Brady, fellow participant and ex-Cavan footballer, Dublin hurling star Joey Boland, nutritionist Alan Kelly and David Hare,the man behind Functional Training Ireland. If you have any questions about any of this or would like some professional advice, please comment below, on our social media or by direct mail and we’ll ensure we’ll get back to you.

Check out how the previous weeks went below.

Week 1:
Week 2:
Week 3:
Week 4:

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