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Dublin: 13°C Tuesday 22 September 2020

Jordi Murphy dropped by this week to check our progress in his gym programme

There’s just a month to go.

AS WE HEAD into the final month of our 12-week gym programme designed by Jordi Murphy, the man himself stopped by The Shelbourne this week to check in on our progress.

BL5Q7145 Murphy with personal trainer Simon Brown. Source: Marc O'Sullivan

The Ireland and Leinster flanker formulated this programme alongside The Shelbourne’s personal trainer Simon Brown and we decided to give it a go all the way back in January.

We’ve reached week eight of the assignment and needless to say the sessions have been tough, hardly surprising given they were put together with a view to replicate that of a professional rugby player’s gym routine.

Of course, it has been tailored slightly to accommodate my needs and fitness levels but the basic principles have remained and that’s meant a lot of heavy lifting.

If you’ve been tracking my (measured) progress, you’ll be aware that I’m trying to bulk up. Easier said than done, and even Jordi Murphy himself can resonate with my struggles.

At the moment he’s in a bulking phase after spending a large chunk of the season out of action through injury. He is working his way back to peak fitness now, however, and has played an integral role in Leinster’s surge up the Pro12 table.


The details of this week’s workout are below but we concentrated on clean lifts with Murphy. As an exercise I haven’t really performed before, mastering the snatch, clean and jerk technique is surprisingly harder than it looks.

But we’ve all had to start somewhere and steady progress was made under the watchful, and knowledgeable, eyes of the Ireland international.

It’s no secret the former Blackrock College student is one of the best performers in the gym and there’s no surprise given his explosive and powerful approach on the pitch.

He offered useful tips throughout and although we didn’t get him involved on this occasion (it was technically his day off), hopefully Murphy will pay us a final visit before the programme is up.

We’ll have a full measurement update next week, plus a few more up-to-date pictures, but the latest number on the scales showed another weight gain this week.

The previous seven diary pieces are available here.

Week 8

  • Warm-up: Rowing machine (1,000 metres)
  • Dumbbell bench press (28kg, 8 reps, 3 sets)
  • Dumbbell single arm row (24kg, 8 reps, 3 sets)
  • Barbell clean (35kg, 5 reps, 5 sets)
  • Front squat (10 reps, 3 sets)
  • Box jump (10 reps, 3 sets)
  • Lat pulldown (55kg, 8-15 reps, 3 sets)
  • Barbell walking lunges (30kg, 24 reps, 3 sets)
  • Kettle bell swing (15 reps, 3 sets)
  • Kettle bell front squat (8-15 reps, 3 sets)
  • Leg extension (10 reps, 3 sets)
  • Jumping squats (12 reps, 3 sets)

More details on The Health Club at The Shelbourne can be found here. Facilities include an 18-metre swimming pool, sauna, steam room, dance studio and gym furnished with modern equipment.

Thanks to Avonmore for providing Protein Milk.

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About the author:

Ryan Bailey

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