It’s all in the title! This week I had the honour of not only making history with #NikeTraining but working up a little sweat with Nike athlete and professional Golf player, Rory Mcilroy.
Ahead of the release for Rory’s new ‘The Power Club’ workout on the Nike+ NTC App, myself and fellow fitness fanatics were invited down to the Third Space on Tower Bridge, to take on the challenge and train with the man himself.
With events like this you never know what to expect, you just pray to God you’ll be able to walk the next day! We arrived at 10:45am, picked up our Nike training gear and was ready to hit the floor by 11am. The 45-minute session, delivered by Nike master trainers, Faisal and Alex featured a selection of plyometric and body weight exercises from ‘The Power Club’ workout. Which included actual drills Rory and his personal coach Dr. Stephen McGregor would go through in training or in preparation for a big game!After the session, I had the opportunity to sit down with Rory’s personal coach Stephen McGregor to get his thoughts on the Nike NTC App, the challenges top Golf players face in comparison to other sports and what it takes to become a top Athlete. Stephen comes from a rigorous sporting background, with some of his past clients including Manchester City F.C, Aston Villa, and Leeds.
The first question I have is around the comparison in regards to training between other sports such as football and Golf. So for example, when you think of the type of training in football, there’s a lot more emphasis on sprint training, endurance and strength work. Is that the type of training Rory would be doing, or is it more focused on the more mobility aspect like some of the stuff we’ve done today?
Well, I worked in the premier league and continue to do so. I actually work closely with Man City now. What is interesting, is that as a midfield player you cover 10-12 kilometres per game, so does a golfer. Now, a golfer does that over 4 hours but actually the calorific requirement is still there. Then the explosiveness which takes place over the flexion, rotation and impact of a golf swing, is in itself a hugely demanding activity. So, although when you first initially look at it, you do think they’re two different challenges, yes potentially aerobically, but in terms of power, explosiveness and the components within it, you could argue that you need more power focused work in golf, but there are a lot of similarities. However, Rory would do endurance based work as you do in football, he also does speed and power work, plus flexibility work to increase his range of motion, working his upper-body and lower-body. So in summary, yes at first hand, but when you really break it down and look at the movement patterns, there are a lot of similarities.Ok, so focusing on the new NTC ‘The Power Club’ workouts, for an entry level person, who’s seen Rory and Nike promoting it and say “yeah I’m up for the challenge”. What do you think the main benefits would be for them / what changes do you think they will see immediately?
Well, the great thing about the App is that it has that spectrum, with beginner programs, intermediate and advanced. So the Rory inspired sessions that we’ve put together are fairly advanced workouts, so if they’re new I’d encourage them to take on some of the general beginner activity workloads. There is some generic crossover with the app, you can look at it and see that you’ve got basic exercises for lower body, upper body or core stability, and once you’ve progressed through them you can start to look at some of the more specific exercises. Definitely, there are core elements from the workout you’ve done today and on the App that we incorporate into a combination with Rory and which you can do as a beginner. So, as someone who’s been playing around with the App now, whatever stage you’re at, I think there’re some good fundamental exercises in there for your fitness level.
Finally, what would say are the 3 key attributes for someone to become a top athlete?
Undoubtedly, it’s that robustness mentally and physically. To have that continued drive, that’s what distinguishes all the elite athletes. I’ve been fortunate enough to work across a lot of sports, NBA basketball, tennis, premier league football, rugby and the key component that stands out with them all is that, the best of the best are the ones that have that self-desire and self-drive, they don’t need me or another coach to come in and work with them, they’ve got that drive anyway. But, to have that mental robustness week in, week out, whether they’re playing or training is vital. A second would be the technical, you need to be technically skilled and that component again is vital when put together with the robustness. Another, is that they also have a balanced lifestyle, so yes, they’re geared and focused on what they’re trying to achieve but at the same time can have that balance and know where they are in that position. Individuals that get too caught up in other aspects, whether it be social, the media or nightlife, they tend not to have that longevity that someone else would have with a more balanced lifestyle. So, tricky to pin it down to three but I think that’s the main three.
Thanks to Rory, Stephen and the Nike team for such an awesome event. The NTC App is available for download for iOS and Android devices. For more information and to download the app visit; Nike.com/ntc