» Train to Win: 10-week programme still having positive results

10 Dec

Train to Win: 10-week programme still having positive results

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

Back in June during the peak of the All-Ireland Championships,’s founder Donal O’Connor and former inter-county Cavan player Sean Brady undertook a 10-week strength and conditioning challenge. The lad’s progress was monitored by Functional Training Ireland and their team.

Four months after finishing the programme, Donal looks back on his time doing the training and how he can still notice the benefits of what he learned and the tests he put his body through.


A couple of months after completing our fitness and fat loss journey, myself and Sean Brady are very happy with our results.

Every GAA player needs to keep fit for most of the year round, but especially so when injured or on their way back from injury.

We began the 10-week challenge back in June. To enter it is an okay club player from St Pat’s in Louth, with an ankle that needed surgery, a bit of weight on and lacking motivation and routine, I can safely say that I am proud of what I achieved after undertaking the challenge.


I can look back now and see the full benefits of what Functional Training Ireland offered us.

When I first started, I weighed 97kg (15.2 stone) and had 22% body fat. When myself and Sean finished the programme, I was almost a stone lighter and had a body fat composition of 16%.

There are a number of people involved with Functional Training Ireland that myself and Sean would like to thank for helping us get through the process. David Hare was a big help during this time.

Strength and conditioning 

David is the Director of Functional Training Ireland and was very knowledgeable on the strength and conditioning side of things. Physiotherapist and Dublin hurler Joey Boland also gave us good assistance.

Together with David and Joey, we tackled each problem head on and strengthened areas through dynamic workouts, as you can see from the clip below.

Thanks to ‘Game of Throw-ins’ for the video



Nutritionist to Kildare and Longford Gaelic football teams Alan Kenny then provided myself and Sean with excellent nutritional advice. Alan’s tips were sometimes undervalued, yet vitally important in getting the programme completed.

Four months on, the both of us are now still actively playing football. Sean will line out for Castlerahan in a League final in Cavan the weekend after next.

Our diets may have slipped slightly (and may slip slightly more over the next few weeks!), but the core fundamentals of what we learned still exist. We now stretch, train and workout specific to our individual bodies. None of this would be possible without the help and guidance of Functional Training Ireland.


A bit of advice: If you do only one thing in the New Year, take your training and your injuries seriously.


With enough professional advice, the road back can be a lot easier for players of all grades, in both hurling and Gaelic football.

The injury and likelihood of injuries happening will not go away though. You should contact your local and nearest sports physio immediately if you’re suffering from a niggling injury or are just after picking up a knock.

If based in Dublin, then why not give the crew at Functional Training Ireland a shout!


Here are a collection of pieces detailing the lad’s progress during the summer:

Article 1:

Article 2:

Article 3:

Article 4:

Article 5:

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