Our greatest achievements are those of our clients and we take great pride in the success of those we have helped achieve and surpass their goals. Below are some client testimonials which we hope we will give you an indication of what we are all about and what we can do for you.
Clodagh Myers - Dentist & Ironman Athlete
"I first attended Sportsmed when I read in the paper that Mark was an ironman athlete. I reckoned he would be able to steer me in the right direction after a few injury riddled years.
I had just completed my first ironman, but had trained incorrectly, and in the process was suffering with a persistant back and hip injury. I had been informed that surgery was my only option.
I was aware that my core strength and training approach were incorrect, and decided to seek out the best advice.
I arrived in Sportsmed and quickly realised that this was no ordinary physio clinic. Mark assessed me, identifying a plethora of weaknesses , and gave me a set of exercises. I set up a series of appointments with Fiona O Friel and started the rehab for my hip and back issues. Not only was Mark's approach different to anything I had seen before, the attitude and competency of all the staff compliment his philosophy of the importance of functional strength training.
Initially I found the training tough and sometimes I questioned the exercises I had to perform, but I quickly saw the benefit. Not only did I not need surgery, I was soon swimming, cycling and running faster and more efficiently than before.
The gains I have made are directly measurable by a number of parameters. Firstly, I can now train for up to 18 hours per week, injury free, which, for me, is the biggest bonus. Secondly, I have won and podiumed a few races since I started in Sportsmed, something I could never have concieved before. Finally, I now have structure to my training thanks to the training program from Endurance State and Sportsmed. Prior to attending Sportsmed, I would train in whatever discipline I felt like doing that day.
Now, each session has a specific purpose and my zones are strictly monitored so I tap into the correct energy source when training. Mark has a depth of knowledge regarding nutrition that is unsurpassed, and this is invaluable for ironman as it is often referred to as the fourth discipline of the sport.
Obviously with the high volume of training, little injuries still develop from time to time. The team in SMI are invaluable to me especially at these times.
I get regular massage, dry needling, physio as needed, and we usually nip any little niggles in the bud. More importantly for me, Mark can then look back over my training as it is all logged, identify what precipitated the injury,
and then we work on avoiding repeating those mistakes. I still have what I refer to as my "muppet moments" where I lose the head and revert back to my old style of training, but thankfully those lapses are becoming less and less!
Mark has brought me on a number of long spins on the bike, introduced me to bike racing, and shown an unbelievable level of patience with me over the past year or two. I know if it wasn't for him, the team at SMI and Endurance State training plans, I would have given up a sport I love, due to the pain and frustration of injury. So I am indebted to them all for their comprehensive and professional approach to sport. It is a testament to their work that I have referred many people in there and they too have only positive things to say about their experience."
Annalise Murphy - Laser Radial Sailor, Olympic Athlete, London Olympics 2012
"I started going to Sports Med Ireland in september 2006, when I was 16, I was completely clueless! I couldn't do a squat and was very unbalanced (no chance of doing any 1 leg deadlifts!)
In the last 6 years I have benefitted massively out of working in Sports Med, I am yet to get any major injury which I put down the strength and conditioning program I have had. In the last 6 years I have had some great events including finishing 5th and 4th at the Youth World and Europeans 2008 respectively, finishing 8th at the senior World Championships 2009 and Under 21 World Champion in 2009 and finishing 6th at the World Championships in 2011 an in so qualifying for the London 2012 games. I have been able to become one of the best in the world by being as strong and fit as possible and Mark and all the staff in Sports Med made this possible, weather it was the 7am sessions I would do before school when I was in 6th year, or getting out cycling on thursday and saturday mornings, having a tailored program that suits me is what makes SMI so good, I have always been pushed more then I thought I was able for!
I now see Sports Med as a second home, as whenever I am home I seem to be in there for most of my time! I have been a full time athlete for the last 3 years which is hard as I have to be very self motivated to train 6 days and week twice a day, but having Mark and the SMI staff has made it easier, I am given a programme and I try to stick to it, thanks to SMI I should be in the best shape of my life come London!"
Keith Barry - Mentalist & International Celebrity
'"Having sustained serious leg injuries in a bad car accident a few years back if it wasn't for the physio treatment I received by Mark McCabe I would probably still be on crutches to this very day. Thanks Mark!!!'
David Killen - Senior Portfolio Manager & Triathlete
"I first attended SMI on the recommendation of a friend as I had been suffering a recurring injury which was preventing me from taking part in recreational running and I wanted to compete in triathlon and cycling specific races. All other treatment I had received up to this point had not solved the problem. SMI not only fixed the problem quickly but put in place a comprehensive pre-habilitation program which prevented reoccurrence of the issue. I quickly realized the benefit of following a structured training program with SMI and completed my first full triathlon season using a tailored SMI program. This covered gym work with their personal trainers and bike, run and swim sets outlined by SMI. I work long hours so the benefit of having a clearly defined program allowed me to structure my week around work, training and family.
I believe I have made significant gains as a direct result of training with SMI. My first ½ Ironman took me just over six hours in 2008. In 2010 I completed two ½ Ironman races in sub 5 hours – on of my season goals and a PB improvement of nearly 30 minutes. I completed Ironman Austria in 2009 and prior to the race would have targeted a time of between 12 -14 hours. I ended up finishing a very tough and hot race in 11hrs 51min. I've qualified for the Irish age-group team traveling to the Triathlon World Championships in 2010 and have signed up for Ironman Lanzarote in 2011. I firmly believe I wouldn't have been capable of even contemplating these races without SMI's assistance and encouragement.
I enjoy my regular strength and conditioning sessions in SMI, I also use SMI for physio, massage, dry needling and for a tailored training program. I would have absolutely no hesitations in recommending SMI to anyone looking to improve their performance in their chosen sport.'
Dymphna Morris - ICT Co-Ordinator & Swimmer
"I went back swimming in January 2009 after a six year break. Like most people who go back to Masters' swimming, I did so to lose weight. To help motivate myself to do a bit of work, I set myself a target to break a number of Irish Masters' records.
In March I broke two Irish records and injured my shoulder shortly afterwards. My swimming coach wanted me to see Mark straight away but for a number of reasons I was not keen on the idea. I saw a local physio a couple of times and rested the shoulder for 10 days but as soon as I started swimming again the shoulder packed in. Based on this experience, initially I was'nt keen to use Sports Med Ireland. The only information I had was Mark's (McCabe) first name and a contact phone number. The Internet threw up all sorts of things about Sports Med Ireland and Mark, all of which, without exception, were complimentary. However it was the profile of his clients that concerned me. They all appeared to be young, very enthusiastic even fanatical about their given sport and male. As I do not fit this profile in any shape or form I did think that perhaps this was not the place for me and only that my coach was so insistent I would have cancelled my first appointment. In hindsight that wouldn't have been the smartest move I'd ever made!!
I had no idea what I was letting myself in for the first evening I went into Sports Med Ireland. I thought I was going to see a physio who would hopefully work some magic on my shoulder and I'd go back swimming and that would be the end of it. Instead I started out on an amazing journey.
The first appointment Mark took me into a gym, I was both horrified and amused. There I was surrounded by barbells and dumbbells and other equipment that I couldn't even begin to name but looked as though it did unspeakable things! I had never been in a gym like this in my life and hadn't done any kind of gym work for over 30 years.
When I was a real swimmer back in the seventies we believed that swimmers trained in the pool and any gym work we did was always unstructured and used to fill up time between pool sessions during the summer months. So in April 2009 I firmly believed that no amount of work in a gym was going to improve my swimming but I was prepared to try it if it was going to fix my shoulder.
I left my first appointment with a list of exercises, another appointment and the knowledge that Mark was not the 'massage and sympathy' type of Physio. After that I came prepared to go the gym. I was fascinated by the progression of exercises that Mark took me through over the next few sessions and even more amazed that I was able to do them. I often watched Mark demonstrate a new exercise and cynically thought "He doesn't seriously think that I'm going to be able to do that!" But he hasn't been wrong yet; I've managed all of them in some shape or form although in some cases it has taken a bit of time.
Mark encouraged me to swim while he was treating my shoulder. He gave me some advice about what I should be doing in the water and some exercises to do in the pool. I was able to incorporate this into my swimming training easily enough. I soon realised that not only was my shoulder improving but my swimming times were too.
I had been working with Mark for eight weeks when in June I swam in the British Masters' Long Course Championships. The first event I swam was the 200m Freestyle. I had already broken this Irish record in March, I knocked 13 seconds of my previous record and swam a six second personal best – a pb I swam in 2001. I was shocked. The following day I broke three more Irish records all in personal best times. I didn't need any more convincing that the work I was doing in the gym had made a huge difference to my swimming – I was converted!
During the last year I have broken more than 30 Irish records, some of them several times. Although I would now consider myself a distance swimmer I have broken many 50m and 100m records – which is quite impressive for someone with the reaction time of a snail! When I was a real swimmer the 100m Freestyle was my main event but as a Master I never swam faster than 1.10.00 and never held an Irish Masters' Record in this event – that is until I met Mark. Since September last year I have broken this record three times and now swim a 1.04.80.
Working with Mark has allowed me to train much better in the pool. The two in combination has allowed me to swim times that I still can hardly believe. I was recently awarded Best Female swimmer at the Irish Masters' Open Long Course Championships – I won five events in five Irish records all in one day! And I was ranked 10th in the FINA Top 10 World Rankings 2009 in the 800m Freestyle short course. I had hoped that when I changed age group in 2011 I might make it into these rankings but it has happened much sooner than I thought!
Finally, I said at the beginning that I went back to swimming to lose weight. After 20 years of yoyo dieting I'm delighted to say that I'm the envy of all my friends because now I have to work hard to keep the weight on!!"
Since Dymphna wrote this testimonial she competed in the 13th FINA World Masters Championships where she had a very successful campaign talking Silver in the 800m and 200m Freestyle and Gold in the 400m Freestyle. She also had top ten finishes in the 200m Backstroke and 200m Individual Medley. All five events were personal bests and include three new Irish Records.
John Oram - Engineer & Cyclist
"My first experience with strength and conditioning / coaching was a frustrating one. It brought me to a certain level but I seemed to plateau and I never seemed to improve thereafter. Looking back on it this was due to my then coach's lack of expertise which I was'nt aware of at the time. So I moved on, only to end up with the opposite, a trainer who would prescribe a massive volume of quality training at precisely the wrong time of year. This got me very fit but I left it somewhere on the road in January when my season started in May, not good at all!
Then a good training buddy recommended the team at SMI. They said they had gotten very good sustainable results from Mark and the team. I decided to give them a try and have been with SMI for nearly three and a half years now. In that time I have come from "also ran" to consistent class winner.
In the time I've been under SMI's instruction I've won two national time trial medals and I'm the current National Veteran Time Trial Champion. I hold three IVCA national records over ten, twenty five and fifty miles. I have won numerous time trials races and national league titles also.
What SMI did for me was help me realize my true potential. I guess my ability was always there but until SMI showed me how to train correctly and effectively structure my training I was not getting the most out of myself. SMI is not the standard generic personal training, gym class health centre. It is a professional, personalized centre of performance improvement. The only advice I can give you is to listen to what these guys say and do it to the letter. Don't go off on tangents and ignore their advice. It just won't work!!!"