Aidan O'Shea on gym work, training over lockdown and the importance of younger players bulking up
"You can already see the difference in them in just six months."
Aidan O'Shea is a mountain of man in stature and status - he bears a great weight on his shoulders in continuing to lead this Mayo side year after year, while maintaining high performances on the pitch.
So how did the Breaffy man keep up with his conditioning over lockdown, especially when everyone was so unsure about when the GAA schedule would resume, and in what format?
Speaking during a press event for PAIR Mobile, the repairs group ran by an Irish family that quickly fixed his broken phone, right at the height of the pandemic when connection to his friends and family was so important - O'Shea revealed his lockdown training plan.
"I'm probably at the stage of my career where I'm not trying to put on a huge amount of bulk, if anything, I used lockdown just to keep myself ticking over so I didn't need a sort of big gym in the house.
"I obviously have a few weights, and bits in the house, that can get me by. I can do some bar work, TRX rows, and a couple kettlebells and dumbbells, but nothing that was going to set the world alight in terms of a gym.
"In terms of what I did was pretty straightforward, and just keeping it ticking, obviously it's difficult on your own and you can't replicate what you can do on the training pitch, but it was about not being too far behind the pack when we got back."
For a seasoned star like O'Shea, he understands the demands of inter-county football and has his preparation down to a tee.
However, for those coming through the ranks at Mayo, the midfielder highlights the importance of working on your physical development, in order to cope with strains that senior football has in store for you.
"There's no doubt that when you come out of minor and u20, and into our squad that, physically, you would need to develop at a rate faster than normal.
"This is to help them cope with the rigours of inter-county football and there's some guys we have, where you can already see the difference in them in just six months.
"The bulk and the size that they have put on, it's just a credit to themselves, and it's a lot of work that they have put in away from the group.
"Oisin Mullin is right up there. I was actually reviewing the Galway game from last year in preparation for the Connacht final, and you would fairly recognise the difference in the size of him.
"Himself, Tommy Conroy obviously, and even guys who have came in, Enda Hession, he's still under 20 but he's come in and put in a massive effort.
"You can notice the guys that have made gains in that off-season, which is massive.
"You can see the ambition and the willingness to try and get better all of the time."
"That is pure, total, and utter dung, that's what that is."
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