WE RECENTLY CAUGHT up with Ireland internationals and Under Armour ambassadors Craig Gilroy and Jordi Murphy to discuss gym routines and the importance of sleep.
How many days a week would you be in the gym?
Gilroy: “We would be in the gym three days, doing different things. Monday and Tuesday would be the main work load days, we get all our stuff done.
“Wednesday is a bit of a down day, there’s pilates or physio or massage, and Thursday is our captain’s run and then the game normally Friday.
“It’s pretty chocka block at the start of the week but as you get on, there’s more of an onus on the guys to do what they need to do to keep things right come Friday night.”
Murphy: “We’re in the gym three times a week, lower body and two upper bodies, and you would be out on the pitch three times.
“You want to try and do as much work as you can during the week but you also want to be built up and have a bag load of energy for the game at the weekend. The routine is simple but effective.”
Do you now have to enjoy that side of the game because it’s become so important?
Gilroy: “It’s your job, it’s your career, it’s your lifestyle. If you don’t enjoy it, there’s probably not point in doing it. I love it, I love doing it, I love my job all round and you need to have that love and passion
“I’d be generally pretty good with my diet but I don’t think I need to worry about it too much, I burn it so quickly, I’m always running around like a headless chicken.
“I like to keep on top of myself and recovery and sleep is so important and I’m always working on my speed, looking to keep it up.
“The head S&C at Ulster, Jonathan Davis, is a former sprinter so I love working with him and doing drills, always trying to improve my speed.
“Over the years, I have got heavier but at the same time got quicker that’s massive, especially someone in my position, you don’t want to put on weight and get on slower.
“A couple of weeks ago, I got a new PB in one of my speed tests and that’s always a confidence booster going into games.
“I think I still have a couple of records with Ulster. We haven’t done 40s in a while now, it’s more fives and tens to be honest.
“I don’t know about Ireland training. It’s never really been tested straight up. We have the GPS with Ireland during the World Cup pre-season but as far as I’ve been there we’ve never actually been tested but there are some quick guys there obviously with Lukey [Fitzgerald] and Simon [Zebo] and Keith Earls very quick as well and Sean Cronin as well believe it or not.
Murphy: I enjoy it, I’m not going to say it’s my favourite part of rugby, playing is.
“It definitely does make a big difference, over the last ten years it has gone through the rough. The amount of emphasis being put on it.
“We’ve a seriously impressive back room staff at Leinster so it makes it a lot easier.”
How competitive is it on the gym floor?
Gilroy: ”There’s always going to be competition. I don’t think the guys would be where they are unless they were competitive.
“It’s a professional environment and all these guys are athletes and you have to be competitive with each other and yourself. Really brings out the best in a player.”
Murphy: “It does get competitive. It’s one of those things, when you have 15 lads in a gym pushing weights there’s always going to be a little competition but there is a bit of banter.
“But I’m not going to lie, I’m not one of the heavyweights.”
How important is sleep in the recovery process?
Gilroy: ”All the guys know by now that it’s massive in the recovery process, especially after a long training day to get a good night’s sleep and it’s one thing I’ve trying to be doing more, getting more sleep throughout the day after a session, power nap or whatever.
“You take in so much during the week, physical and mental stuff to take on, plays etc. You need your mind to digest it and shut off.”
Under Armour athletes Craig Gilroy and Jordi Murphy were on Dublin’s Great South Wall training in Under Armour Storm performance product. Storm’s dynamic water repellent technology means every athlete can always stay dry in any wet weather situation. For more info go to: www.underarmour.eu/en-ie