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Rugby's Gold Standard

By Team ON Editor 10 months ago 6506 Views

Leinster Rugby and Saracens may be arch rivals on the European rugby stage, but the reigning Champions Cup and Pro 14 winners Leinster and the English Premiership champions Saracens share one key success factor. Optimum Nutrition is Official Sport Nutrition Partner to both clubs and has been providing performance nutrition support to Leinster since 2010 and to Saracens from 2012.

In that time the Clubs have dominated Europe and domestic leagues notching up five European titles and six league wins and bagging the Champions Cup, Pro 14 and Premiership trophies this season between them.


RECOVERY IS THE ULTIMATE PREPARATION.

Due to the intense nature of training, a rugby player has a significantly higher protein requirement to meet their body’s maintenance and recovery needs.

With an average daily protein intake of 210g, equating to 6 - 7 chicken breasts - Leinster and Saracens players can enjoy up to 2-3 GOLD STANDARD 100% WHEY Protein shakes on training days, before and after a session to help repair and rebuild their muscles.

Their tailored nutritional programmes can also include GOLD STANDARD 100% CASEIN for overnight recovery, Creatine to help with strength and performance as well as ESSENTIAL AMIN.O. ENERGY, GOLD STANDARD GAINER, GOLD STANDARD BCAA and Protein Whipped Bites. GPN also works closely with their Nutritionists and has developed bespoke products for partner clubs such as an “Elite Recovery” delivering the optimum level of protein and carbohydrates.

Take a look inside Saracens Training and Performance Nutrition Programme


Big Race Tips

By Team ON Editor 10 months ago 4677 Views

Irish Olympian and European bronze medalist Thomas Barr is the current Irish senior record holder for the 400m hurdles, a four time national champion in the 400m hurdles and has represented Ireland multiple times in underage and senior competition. Safe to say, he knows his way around a race-track.

We caught up with the Waterford-native, who filled us in with his top tips on how to up your game athletically, and allow yourself to train and recover stronger, better and smarter.

1. Make stretching your top priority
Barr couldn’t express strongly enough the importance of stretching your body properly before and after training. And, he practices what he preaches...

“Stretching is key for keeping and maintaining flexibility in your muscles, which in turn then helps prevent injury. It’s a sprinter’s life really. For me, I usually spend 45 minutes to an hour pre-session to get the body completely ready to go and ready to get the hips over hurdles.

Stretching is really key, especially if you’re tight from previous sessions. I usually spend the time foam rolling my trigger points and then doing drills.”

After training, Barr spends another 45 minutes to an hour stretching and cooling down as to not impair his next training session. This involves jogging and light stretching as well as hamstring and calf stretches with foam rollers right after training, this will really prevent injury and make the recovery easier.

2. Don’t scrimp on protein
Barr did a masters in Sports Science, so he understands the methodology and importance of a good diet, something he says really helps.

“Protein is the building block of muscle. In order to grow and repair muscles after a running session, you need to get your protein in. That’s how your muscles grow and recover afterwards.

So, after one training session or a full week of sessions, protein is key after each session to help the body repair, which allows me to maintain intensity in each session as the week progresses which ultimately leads to better training capacity.

Usually straight after I train, I take the Gold Standard 100% Whey, to support immediate muscle growth and repair. I follow this up with some carbohydrates and protein in pretty soon after; rice and chicken is perfect. Simple carbs are key as they digest faster allowing my muscles to replenish the fuel that I have used during the session.

I usually get 125g protein into me across the day. I’d eat eggs for breakfast, double up on ham in a sandwich or chicken in a wrap or a bowl of chicken for lunch, and for dinner I’d vary between beef, chicken or fish like salmon.

On top of my food, I’d make sure I get a Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein shake or two in during the day, which is convenient for me to incorporate into my nutrition..”

3. Make training part of your every day
With his love of athletics and extreme sports, not to mention his infectious enthusiasm for life, it seems that Thomas Barr can do just about anything. However, he remains modest when we broach the subject of marathon running.

“I don’t know how those guys keep going for hours on end. I have massive respect for them.

For someone who’s trying to get into it, I’d say find someone to go with. For me anyway, I find it very difficult to train on my own. My advice is to get a training partner, someone with a similar goal, to get you out there on the days that you’re lacking motivation to do a quick five or ten mile run.

Then it becomes habit and eventually, you almost crave it.”

4. Invest in proper gear
“Get a good pair of shoes or runners. You’re going to be making so much ground contact so these are vital. Get ones with plenty of cushioning and one that suits your feet’s needs. If you’re a sprinter, get yourself a decent pair of spikes.

Whether your feet are tucked in or out, you need shoes to counteract that."

5. Mental preparation is just as important as physical
“For me anyway, I often operate the best when comfortable and confident in myself.

One way I try to get into that state is that I try to tell myself that between now and the race there is no time for me to be able to improve my physical performance. So I should just go in, be confident that I’ve done the hard work and be happy that I’ve done the best I can.

Go into the race with the feeling that this is where I’m at now, and just aim to try and improve from there on in.

Before I race, I’ll head down to the track and walk around the track. If I haven’t been there before, I’ll take in the scenery; where the hurdle positions are, the wind resistance at different stages, where the bannering is right beside you or far away and whether there’ll be a crowd.

So when I get on the track, there are no surprises. I go through the race in my own head before it happens; coming out of the blocks, going all the way around, down the back straight and all that.

Then I’ll also have a set plan from my coach, who’ll tell me to explode out of the blocks, attack from 200m - 300m, stay relaxed with the hurdles and focus on driving for home once it comes to the end.

Also remember, that if all doesn’t go to plan, don’t panic – just use intuition and common sense and take it as it comes.”

6. Give your body time to recover
“As I said, protein is there to repair and rebuild.

Carbohydrates are to replenish fuel stores and protein to repair muscle damaged. Training will lead to micro-tears in your muscles, which need to be repaired before you train again otherwise you’ll pick up a strain injury.

Recovery is just as important as training. It is the ultimate preparation for your next session.

After the gym I take the Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein straight away and that repairs muscles immediately. Even in the evenings, I occasionally take a shake, which will repair my body overnight".

7. Feed your body the right stuff
They say you are what you eat, and no-one knows this better than athletes. When it comes to getting the right amount of this and that, Thomas has a few tricks up his sleeve.

“I drink loads of water. I hate plain water of so I throw in a bit of Gold Standard BCAA Train & Sustain everytime.”

For him, it’s all about balance – and also spreading what you need throughout the day, “grazing”, as he calls it.

“That was one of the things I really learned about in my masters. Before I was taking in way too much food in one or two sittings, so what I’ve done is taken smaller portions throughout the day. I still have my three main meals, but they’re a lot smaller. Other than that I just try to take in all good food with a little bit of variation; meat, fish, chicken, beef, rice, pasta, sweet potato, cous cous or something like that.

As well as that I have a bit of a sweet tooth, nothing wrong with the odd treat here and there. We’re not all angels.”

8. Join a club / Get a training buddy
When it comes to getting out there, Barr definitely believes that there’s strength in numbers.

Try a training group nearby, take advice from the coaches and just get involved. Again, that comes back to not wanting to train alone".

9. Don’t expect overnight success
Barr’s final tip is to just take it all as it comes and enjoy the process, as these things definitely take time.

“Especially with sprinting, it can take a while to get into it or get going.

At the start you can get rapid improvements, but take it as it comes. You have to listen to your body. You will get some muscle soreness in the beginning with sprinting due to the high and intense levels of ground contact, but if you’re feeling muscle strain then pull back from training and ease your way into it – you don’t want your physio to become your best friend.

Like with any sport, the less time you spend at the physio the better.

Enjoy the process, get out there and enjoy it."

The Mental Side of Marathon Training - 7 Top Tips to Help Manage the Big Miles

By Kim Ingleby 2 years ago 26049 Views

Optimum Nutrition Expert: Kim Ingleby, Award Winning Mind & Body Coach, 8 Marathons Ticked!

Running a PB: Recovery is the Ultimate Preparation

2 years ago 6166 Views No comments

Every gruelling endurance session takes its toll on your muscles.

Maximising your Strength Session:  Recovery is the Ultimate Preparation

2 years ago 6593 Views No comments

During a strength session you put your all into every set. But

Pushing your HIIT workout: Recovery is the Ultimate Preparation

2 years ago 5766 Views

HIIT athletes know that at the end of one session, preparing for the next begins.

5 tips for setting new year resolutions

By Shaun Stafford & Carly Newson 2 years ago 21779 Views No comments

It's a time of year that we're all setting goals for ourselves, take a look at Team ON's top tips for setting resolutions, and achieving them.

Stay on track over the festive period

By Carly Newson, Jenni Murphy, Shaun Stafford 2 years ago 8779 Views No comments

Christmas is that time of the year where even the most disciplined of people can lost track of their progress. To help you stay on track without missing out on all the festive fun, we’ve gathered 5 tips from our athletes that helps them stay on track and still enjoy time with family and friends.

Leinster Rugby: Recovery

By Team ON 2 years ago 26788 Views No comments

We visited Leinster Rugby, to find out the work that goes into ensuring the team are ready for action.

Gold Standard Workout Experience

By Team ON 3 years ago 9464 Views

Gold Standard Workout Experience with Shaun Stafford, Steve Cook, and Lilly Sabri.



Meet the Winners: Physique

By Team ON 3 years ago 11636 Views

Congratulations to Jason Comley, Emma Rawlinson, and Stephen Grigg; winners of the Meet the Expert Physique category. They each receive a personalised training and nutrition plan from Team ON athlete Daire Curley to help them set the gold standard.

Meet the Winners: Weight Loss & General Fitness

By Team ON 3 years ago 10463 Views

Congratulations to Eve Daeche, James Stringer, and Nathan Prout who have each won a personalised training and nutrition programme with Team ON athlete Tim Chase.

7-day keep going exercise plan

By Team ON 3 years ago 9876 Views

A sample exercise plan for those ready to move to the next level of their fitness journey.

7-day get started exercise plan

By Team ON 3 years ago 8659 Views

Linda Illerstam's suggested exercise plan beginners


5 Quick Tips for Weight Loss

By Team ON 3 years ago 8056 Views

Team ON athlete Linda shares weight loss tips based on her personal experience.

3 key factors when approaching weight loss

By Team ON 3 years ago 7572 Views

Nutrition, training, and consistency. Team ON athlete and bikini competitor Linda Illerstam on approaching a weight loss programme.

Team ON athlete Linda Illerstam shares her fitness tips

By Team ON 3 years ago 7871 Views

Linda works hard to help her clients get in the best shape possible by creating tailored nutrition and fitness plans. As an ambassador for the new Optimum Nutrition OPTI-LEAN range here are her top tips for following a weight loss programme.

When it comes to weight loss there are three key elements they require attention. Firstly though, be aware of the difference between losing weight and losing fat. Attaining a firm and fit body does not necessarily equal losing weight. Muscle development and growth can mean people witness big changes in their physique while maintaining or even gaining weight. Personally I use both scales and body fat percentage measurements to get a more accurate insight into my changing physique. If I lose weight but do not lower my fat percentage it means I am losing muscle mass. This is actually counter-productive as it can slow down my metabolism and make it more difficult for me to burn fat. We’ve all heard it before and it is true: muscle weighs more than fat. So don’t get too preoccupied with the numbers on the scale. If your clothes start to feel loose and your body feels tighter – it’s WORKING!

Take a look at the ON blog for my top 3 factors to address when targeting weight loss, plus 5 quick tips for getting started, a 7-day workout schedule for both beginners and advanced stages, and a sample meal plan provided by ON nutritionist Dr Críonna Tobin.



Joel Corry in Glasgow

By Team ON 3 years ago 9536 Views

Team ON athlete and WBFF Pro Joel Corry at The Club Gym, Glasgow.

Daire Curley, European WBFF ProAm Winner

By Team ON 3 years ago 22464 Views No comments

Team ON athlete and WBFF European Male Fitness Model of the year Daire Curley tells us about what it takes to reach the top of his game.

Bryn Ray

By Team ON 3 years ago 8493 Views No comments

Optimum Nutrition athlete, passionate about the health and fitness industry and a Digital Consultant.

Athletes

RSS Feed

Rugby's Gold Standard

By Team ON Editor 10 months ago 6506 Views

Leinster Rugby and Saracens may be arch rivals on the European rugby stage, but the reigning Champions Cup and Pro 14 winners Leinster and the English Premiership champions Saracens share one key success factor. Optimum Nutrition is Official Sport Nutrition Partner to both clubs and has been providing performance nutrition support to Leinster since 2010 and to Saracens from 2012.

In that time the Clubs have dominated Europe and domestic leagues notching up five European titles and six league wins and bagging the Champions Cup, Pro 14 and Premiership trophies this season between them.


RECOVERY IS THE ULTIMATE PREPARATION.

Due to the intense nature of training, a rugby player has a significantly higher protein requirement to meet their body’s maintenance and recovery needs.

With an average daily protein intake of 210g, equating to 6 - 7 chicken breasts - Leinster and Saracens players can enjoy up to 2-3 GOLD STANDARD 100% WHEY Protein shakes on training days, before and after a session to help repair and rebuild their muscles.

Their tailored nutritional programmes can also include GOLD STANDARD 100% CASEIN for overnight recovery, Creatine to help with strength and performance as well as ESSENTIAL AMIN.O. ENERGY, GOLD STANDARD GAINER, GOLD STANDARD BCAA and Protein Whipped Bites. GPN also works closely with their Nutritionists and has developed bespoke products for partner clubs such as an “Elite Recovery” delivering the optimum level of protein and carbohydrates.

Take a look inside Saracens Training and Performance Nutrition Programme


Big Race Tips

By Team ON Editor 10 months ago 4677 Views

Irish Olympian and European bronze medalist Thomas Barr is the current Irish senior record holder for the 400m hurdles, a four time national champion in the 400m hurdles and has represented Ireland multiple times in underage and senior competition. Safe to say, he knows his way around a race-track.

We caught up with the Waterford-native, who filled us in with his top tips on how to up your game athletically, and allow yourself to train and recover stronger, better and smarter.

1. Make stretching your top priority
Barr couldn’t express strongly enough the importance of stretching your body properly before and after training. And, he practices what he preaches...

“Stretching is key for keeping and maintaining flexibility in your muscles, which in turn then helps prevent injury. It’s a sprinter’s life really. For me, I usually spend 45 minutes to an hour pre-session to get the body completely ready to go and ready to get the hips over hurdles.

Stretching is really key, especially if you’re tight from previous sessions. I usually spend the time foam rolling my trigger points and then doing drills.”

After training, Barr spends another 45 minutes to an hour stretching and cooling down as to not impair his next training session. This involves jogging and light stretching as well as hamstring and calf stretches with foam rollers right after training, this will really prevent injury and make the recovery easier.

2. Don’t scrimp on protein
Barr did a masters in Sports Science, so he understands the methodology and importance of a good diet, something he says really helps.

“Protein is the building block of muscle. In order to grow and repair muscles after a running session, you need to get your protein in. That’s how your muscles grow and recover afterwards.

So, after one training session or a full week of sessions, protein is key after each session to help the body repair, which allows me to maintain intensity in each session as the week progresses which ultimately leads to better training capacity.

Usually straight after I train, I take the Gold Standard 100% Whey, to support immediate muscle growth and repair. I follow this up with some carbohydrates and protein in pretty soon after; rice and chicken is perfect. Simple carbs are key as they digest faster allowing my muscles to replenish the fuel that I have used during the session.

I usually get 125g protein into me across the day. I’d eat eggs for breakfast, double up on ham in a sandwich or chicken in a wrap or a bowl of chicken for lunch, and for dinner I’d vary between beef, chicken or fish like salmon.

On top of my food, I’d make sure I get a Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein shake or two in during the day, which is convenient for me to incorporate into my nutrition..”

3. Make training part of your every day
With his love of athletics and extreme sports, not to mention his infectious enthusiasm for life, it seems that Thomas Barr can do just about anything. However, he remains modest when we broach the subject of marathon running.

“I don’t know how those guys keep going for hours on end. I have massive respect for them.

For someone who’s trying to get into it, I’d say find someone to go with. For me anyway, I find it very difficult to train on my own. My advice is to get a training partner, someone with a similar goal, to get you out there on the days that you’re lacking motivation to do a quick five or ten mile run.

Then it becomes habit and eventually, you almost crave it.”

4. Invest in proper gear
“Get a good pair of shoes or runners. You’re going to be making so much ground contact so these are vital. Get ones with plenty of cushioning and one that suits your feet’s needs. If you’re a sprinter, get yourself a decent pair of spikes.

Whether your feet are tucked in or out, you need shoes to counteract that."

5. Mental preparation is just as important as physical
“For me anyway, I often operate the best when comfortable and confident in myself.

One way I try to get into that state is that I try to tell myself that between now and the race there is no time for me to be able to improve my physical performance. So I should just go in, be confident that I’ve done the hard work and be happy that I’ve done the best I can.

Go into the race with the feeling that this is where I’m at now, and just aim to try and improve from there on in.

Before I race, I’ll head down to the track and walk around the track. If I haven’t been there before, I’ll take in the scenery; where the hurdle positions are, the wind resistance at different stages, where the bannering is right beside you or far away and whether there’ll be a crowd.

So when I get on the track, there are no surprises. I go through the race in my own head before it happens; coming out of the blocks, going all the way around, down the back straight and all that.

Then I’ll also have a set plan from my coach, who’ll tell me to explode out of the blocks, attack from 200m - 300m, stay relaxed with the hurdles and focus on driving for home once it comes to the end.

Also remember, that if all doesn’t go to plan, don’t panic – just use intuition and common sense and take it as it comes.”

6. Give your body time to recover
“As I said, protein is there to repair and rebuild.

Carbohydrates are to replenish fuel stores and protein to repair muscle damaged. Training will lead to micro-tears in your muscles, which need to be repaired before you train again otherwise you’ll pick up a strain injury.

Recovery is just as important as training. It is the ultimate preparation for your next session.

After the gym I take the Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein straight away and that repairs muscles immediately. Even in the evenings, I occasionally take a shake, which will repair my body overnight".

7. Feed your body the right stuff
They say you are what you eat, and no-one knows this better than athletes. When it comes to getting the right amount of this and that, Thomas has a few tricks up his sleeve.

“I drink loads of water. I hate plain water of so I throw in a bit of Gold Standard BCAA Train & Sustain everytime.”

For him, it’s all about balance – and also spreading what you need throughout the day, “grazing”, as he calls it.

“That was one of the things I really learned about in my masters. Before I was taking in way too much food in one or two sittings, so what I’ve done is taken smaller portions throughout the day. I still have my three main meals, but they’re a lot smaller. Other than that I just try to take in all good food with a little bit of variation; meat, fish, chicken, beef, rice, pasta, sweet potato, cous cous or something like that.

As well as that I have a bit of a sweet tooth, nothing wrong with the odd treat here and there. We’re not all angels.”

8. Join a club / Get a training buddy
When it comes to getting out there, Barr definitely believes that there’s strength in numbers.

Try a training group nearby, take advice from the coaches and just get involved. Again, that comes back to not wanting to train alone".

9. Don’t expect overnight success
Barr’s final tip is to just take it all as it comes and enjoy the process, as these things definitely take time.

“Especially with sprinting, it can take a while to get into it or get going.

At the start you can get rapid improvements, but take it as it comes. You have to listen to your body. You will get some muscle soreness in the beginning with sprinting due to the high and intense levels of ground contact, but if you’re feeling muscle strain then pull back from training and ease your way into it – you don’t want your physio to become your best friend.

Like with any sport, the less time you spend at the physio the better.

Enjoy the process, get out there and enjoy it."

The Mental Side of Marathon Training - 7 Top Tips to Help Manage the Big Miles

By Kim Ingleby 2 years ago 26049 Views

Optimum Nutrition Expert: Kim Ingleby, Award Winning Mind & Body Coach, 8 Marathons Ticked!

Running a PB: Recovery is the Ultimate Preparation

2 years ago 6166 Views No comments

Every gruelling endurance session takes its toll on your muscles.

Maximising your Strength Session:  Recovery is the Ultimate Preparation

2 years ago 6593 Views No comments

During a strength session you put your all into every set. But

Pushing your HIIT workout: Recovery is the Ultimate Preparation

2 years ago 5766 Views

HIIT athletes know that at the end of one session, preparing for the next begins.

5 tips for setting new year resolutions

By Shaun Stafford & Carly Newson 2 years ago 21779 Views No comments

It's a time of year that we're all setting goals for ourselves, take a look at Team ON's top tips for setting resolutions, and achieving them.

Stay on track over the festive period

By Carly Newson, Jenni Murphy, Shaun Stafford 2 years ago 8779 Views No comments

Christmas is that time of the year where even the most disciplined of people can lost track of their progress. To help you stay on track without missing out on all the festive fun, we’ve gathered 5 tips from our athletes that helps them stay on track and still enjoy time with family and friends.

Leinster Rugby: Recovery

By Team ON 2 years ago 26788 Views No comments

We visited Leinster Rugby, to find out the work that goes into ensuring the team are ready for action.

Gold Standard Workout Experience

By Team ON 3 years ago 9464 Views

Gold Standard Workout Experience with Shaun Stafford, Steve Cook, and Lilly Sabri.



Meet the Winners: Physique

By Team ON 3 years ago 11636 Views

Congratulations to Jason Comley, Emma Rawlinson, and Stephen Grigg; winners of the Meet the Expert Physique category. They each receive a personalised training and nutrition plan from Team ON athlete Daire Curley to help them set the gold standard.

Meet the Winners: Weight Loss & General Fitness

By Team ON 3 years ago 10463 Views

Congratulations to Eve Daeche, James Stringer, and Nathan Prout who have each won a personalised training and nutrition programme with Team ON athlete Tim Chase.

7-day keep going exercise plan

By Team ON 3 years ago 9876 Views

A sample exercise plan for those ready to move to the next level of their fitness journey.

7-day get started exercise plan

By Team ON 3 years ago 8659 Views

Linda Illerstam's suggested exercise plan beginners


5 Quick Tips for Weight Loss

By Team ON 3 years ago 8056 Views

Team ON athlete Linda shares weight loss tips based on her personal experience.

3 key factors when approaching weight loss

By Team ON 3 years ago 7572 Views

Nutrition, training, and consistency. Team ON athlete and bikini competitor Linda Illerstam on approaching a weight loss programme.

Team ON athlete Linda Illerstam shares her fitness tips

By Team ON 3 years ago 7871 Views

Linda works hard to help her clients get in the best shape possible by creating tailored nutrition and fitness plans. As an ambassador for the new Optimum Nutrition OPTI-LEAN range here are her top tips for following a weight loss programme.

When it comes to weight loss there are three key elements they require attention. Firstly though, be aware of the difference between losing weight and losing fat. Attaining a firm and fit body does not necessarily equal losing weight. Muscle development and growth can mean people witness big changes in their physique while maintaining or even gaining weight. Personally I use both scales and body fat percentage measurements to get a more accurate insight into my changing physique. If I lose weight but do not lower my fat percentage it means I am losing muscle mass. This is actually counter-productive as it can slow down my metabolism and make it more difficult for me to burn fat. We’ve all heard it before and it is true: muscle weighs more than fat. So don’t get too preoccupied with the numbers on the scale. If your clothes start to feel loose and your body feels tighter – it’s WORKING!

Take a look at the ON blog for my top 3 factors to address when targeting weight loss, plus 5 quick tips for getting started, a 7-day workout schedule for both beginners and advanced stages, and a sample meal plan provided by ON nutritionist Dr Críonna Tobin.



Joel Corry in Glasgow

By Team ON 3 years ago 9536 Views

Team ON athlete and WBFF Pro Joel Corry at The Club Gym, Glasgow.

Daire Curley, European WBFF ProAm Winner

By Team ON 3 years ago 22464 Views No comments

Team ON athlete and WBFF European Male Fitness Model of the year Daire Curley tells us about what it takes to reach the top of his game.

Bryn Ray

By Team ON 3 years ago 8493 Views No comments

Optimum Nutrition athlete, passionate about the health and fitness industry and a Digital Consultant.