Fitness secrets from Leinster rugby stars

Fergus McFadden, Rob and Dave Kearney and Ian Madigan share their tips for staying in shape

IAN MADIGAN

DOB: March 21st, 1989

Has your diet changed in the last five years, and if so how?

“I was lucky that I was in the academy five years ago and had access to good nutritional advice. I don’t have to eat as much as I used to – my weight fluctuated a lot in my teens. I think finding foods that are healthy and taste good is the key.

What supplements do you take and why?

Fish Oils. For well being / joints, Omega 3. Whey protein after tough sessions.

How much are you allowed to drink during training? And outside the training months? Has the level of drinking gone down considerably in the last five to 10 years?

I wouldn’t drink in season. Enjoy a few drinks in the off season but I always find I have one eye on the dreaded pre-season. It has definitely got more professional over the last five years.

How much sleep do you aim to get?

Eight to nine hours a night, and a nap for one to one-and-a- half hours during the day. It is good planning to get to bed early.

How often do you train and for how long?

Twice a day for an hour each, five times a week.

Your top tip for feeling good?

Planning your week, keeping hydrated, sleeping enough.

Who do you think is the most fit member of the squad?

Dan Leavy. One to watch.

ROB KEARNEY

DOB March 26th, 1986

Has your diet changed in the last five years, and if so how?

There is more emphasis on less carbohydrates post 4pm. Carb consumption early on and post training. I try to not eat food post 8pm and less carbs consumed on a non-training day.

What supplements do you take and why?

Whey protein post gym. Carbohydrate supplement post gym.

How much are you allowed to drink during training? And outside the training months? Has the level of drinking gone down considerably in the last five to 10 years?

Very rarely – maybe a glass of wine if out for dinner midweek / post games. Alcohol affects recovery so it is important to try and avoid it around games.

How much sleep do you aim to get?

Eight to 10 hours per night. I generally succeed. If not I may nap during the day! I get to bed early, read a book and try to avoid phones, computers etc.

How often do you train and for how long?

Six days a week. Monday / Tuesday for four hours, Thursday / Friday for two to three hours. Saturday is match day.

Your top tip for feeling good?

Lots of sleep. Don’t overeat. Always stay hydrated. Early morning walks to wake the system.

Who do you think is the most fit member of the squad?

Fergus McFadden and Eoin Reddan. Ultimate professionals, despite their old age.

DAVE KEARNEY

DOB June 19th, 1989

Has your diet changed in the last five years, and if so how?

Yes, it has changed massively. Five years ago nutritionists wouldn’t play a big role within the club. Now they pick out meds, pick our supplements and give us daily med plans, Pasta and heavy carb foods still do exist, just not as frequently. So the day before, maybe two days before we start to carb load, so that’s when we are most likely to consume those foods.

What supplements do you take and why?

Protein. Mostly for recovering and repairing your muscle, post training. Creatine in pre-season when trying to build up muscle. I also consume daily vitamins, fish oils etc, and Cleanmarine Krill oil.

How much are you allowed to drink during training? And outside the training months? Has the level of drinking gone down considerably in the last five to 10 years?

It is one 100 per cent down. It is not the same drinking culture as before, the game has become more professionalised, as have the players. It can change – the average is zero to one times a month.

How much sleep do you aim to get?

Sleep is very important. It’s important for training and playing levels, along with injury prevention. I average eight to 10 hours.

How often do you train and for how long?

Every day. It can range from one hour to three hours.

Your top tip for feeling good?

Eat well, sleep well, drink well.

Who do you think is the most fit member of the squad?

Martin Moore.

FERGUS McFADDEN 

DOB June 17th, 1986

Has your diet changed in the last five years, and if so how?

Yes. My diet has changed massively over the last four to five years, Nutrition is a hugely important side of the professional game now. Getting the edge on opponents with a better lifestyle is part and parcel of the game now. Pasta is still part of my diet but it would feature more the day before, or the day of, games for carbohydrate energy.

What supplements do you take and why?

I take regular protein post weights session. I would regularly take multivitamins and fish-oil supplements.

How much are you allowed to drink during training? And outside the training months? Has the level of drinking gone down considerably in the last five to 10 years?

The level of drinking has definitely decreased, Now you must carefully choose your windows of opportunity, if you want to enjoy a few beers or a glass of wine. Once every few months it is often a good way to switch off for some guys, but it is a rare occasion.

How much sleep do you aim to get?

I like to try to get from six to nine hours’ sleep. Keeping a routine cycle is the key, going to bed and rising at similar times is crucial.

How often do you train and for how long?

Two to three times a day between weights and pitch sessions. We do that four days a week with a game at the weekend. Recovery is often just as important.

Your top tip for feeling good?

Surrounding myself with family and friends when not in the rugby set up. Feel good, play good, is my motto.

Who do you think is the most fit member of the squad?

Myself.

READ MORE
RECOMMENDED