Thursday, March 17, 2011

Am I an expert?

This is going to the be the most open and honest article that I have written to date. So lets begin with this no bullshit article.

There are many of us blogging these days. There are many of us been seen as experts by some. It is becoming hard to know who listen to, and who's information to trust.

This is my story.

I am now 23 years old, going 24 this year. I started in this field when I was 19, but only really began coaching when I was 20. So I am only in this field 5 years. I am very influenced by Coach Michael Boyle, who is and always will be by mentor, along with Martina McCarthy who was the first strength coach I worked under.

At 19 I did a personal training course for a year through the NTC here is Ireland. After I qualified I got a job in a commerical gym at DCU sports club. I hated every minute of it. I use to have to sneak over to the high performance gym so I could get a chance to talk to Martina about strength and conditioning stuff. These conversions would just about get me through the day!

During my time at DCU I decided to do a manual therapy course through the NTC. This quailified me as a Neuromuscular Thearpist. I am currently completing my Higher Diploma in NMT.

At 21 I was so depressed by the job in the commerical gym that I decided to hand in my notice. To my suprise the management refused it! They said they would keep me on part time in the high performance gym. I accepted.

I stayed another year. There just wasnt enough coaching opportunies to satisfy me. I applied for an internship at MBSC for the summer of 2009, but I was not in luck. But I was offered a fall internship which I grately accepted. The internship was a great coaching experience. When I look back on it now I know I didnt appreciate it as much as I should have. I started in September and came back home in December.

When I got home, I had an idea of what I wanted to do. My local GAA club Na Fianna, whom I played with as a kid and teenager had a 800 square foot facility with reasonably new equipment and no head strength coach to run the place. So I decided to volunntee! From January to April 2010 I helped the players who were interested in strength training for free. All two of them!! Then in April I ask the club commitee if I could start training some clients out of the facility. They said yes.

Slowly my clientele begin to get bigger. I am not going to lie my business knowledge is aweful. In fact it is shamefully bad. I have friends that will atest to this.

In the summer of 2010 I re-habbed the knee of Bernie Finlay who at the time was a high profiled Ladies footballer with Dublin. I re-habbed Bernies knee at no charge. Bernie made it back in time to come on in the All-Ireland semi-final and final. In the semi-final she managed to come on and score a point that turned the game in Dublin's favour. This in turn lead me to getting a job as the strength and conditioning coach for the Dublin senior Ladies this year (2011).

My work was starting to get recongised within the club also. I was approached by a few senior players off the senior football panel in the club to be the strength coach for the whole team, and then the senior hurlers also followed soon after.

So as of now I am the head strength and conditioning coach at Na Fianna GAA club in Glasnevin Dublin Ireland. I am the head strenth and conitioning coach for the senior footballers and hurlers within the club, as well as being the strength and conditioning coach for the Dublin senior ladies football squad, and a few general clients also. So I have about 70 athletes that I train and some who I treat.

I am also a geek. I am always educating myself. I just order $388 worth of books off amazon!! And right now while typing this I am sending pdfs to Patrick Ward, and audios to Coach Boyle. Its 11.15pm on St.Patricks day. I am not out drinking. I in my room trying to make myself better. I am up a 8 tomorrow to train my athletes.

So there is my story so far. So does this make me an expert? No. But it gives me credibility in the internet age. I wrote this because I want people to think to themselves when the read my suff, " Robbie Bourke, I can trust this guy. He trains people. He is in the trenches, just like me. He reads. He listens. He watches. He travels. He attends. He coaches!"

Thanks for Reading.

Stay Strong,


  1. Robbie, If its any odds working with with you in DCU was the best crack in the world and since yourself and guns left it hasn't been the same. Your prob not an expert yet but you definitely will be. Never met a man more dedicated to his work. keep posting your educating me lol Anto

  2. Thanks Anto.

    I miss you too man.

    Ah....... The craic we use to have!!

  3. Good stuff Robbie! Keep working hard and success is inevitable. -Bret Contreras

  4. Hi Robbie,
    I had the fortune of meeting you in DCU gym (many meet and train sessions!). Even in the commercial environment, it was obvious that you were not the typical gym instructor and were extremely passionate and knowledgeable about fitness. Delighted to find your blog and see you are a successful coach.

  5. And this is why I like you, because you're someone who "get's it." It's a full time all day everyday profession.

    All the best,