I was fortunate enough to have been under the supervision of Mikey at International level for close to 7 years. In this time I saw huge improvements to my physical strength and fitness.Brian O’Driscoll – Captain of Ireland and Lions 2005
What made him stand apart from other fitness coaches was his ability to motivate players, the variety in his sessions and his responsiveness to feedback we'd give him. He was constantly learning new techniques and drills to stay ahead of the times.
The biggest compliment I could give him was that he gave me an interest in going to the gym, at a time when I saw it as a chore. Short sharp blasts were his forte and I still use his sessions now, even though he's moved on to pastures new.
I've been involved in boxing for 25 years now. I always felt I was on top of all my training and everything was in place. I suffered my first defeat and reassessed everything. I had a chance meeting with Mikey McGurn and a lot of my ideas towards training changed.Bernard Dunne – WBA Super Bantamweight World Champions
He taught me about weights. When done correctly they won't slow you down but could actually make me faster and more powerful which was exactly what I needed. He showed me how to do this without putting on weight as my sport is weight orientated. Maximising my strength and speed while maintaining my weight were vital for me to achieve my ambition of winning a World Title.
Working with Mikey has more than helped me achieve this goal. It has also educated me on the different types of training methods. Mikey has a great knack of being able to get what he wants done while being able to explain it so you know what your doing and the purpose for doing it.
Mike was my strength and conditioning coach with Ireland from 2002 until 2007.Paul O’Connell – Irish Rugby International, 2009 British & Irish Lions Captain
During that time I always felt I was getting the best, most up to date and innovative coaching I could get. I always felt he could get the best out of me in training and was able to train me in such a way that it was reproduced on the field – the most important reason anyone trains.
Mike's own solid beliefs in how I should train were always intermingled with new ideas from himself and the best Strength and Conditioning coaches in the world. We are now firm friends and I would recommend him to anyone looking for the best Strength and Conditioning coaching they can get.
As captain of the 2008 Compromise Rules Squad I was delighted to get the opportunity to work with Mickey. Sean Boylan and his backroom team ensured that the 2008 Ireland squad were well prepared for the series. Before the first game in Perth, I said that no stone was left unturned in the preparations of this team. It was well documented with the likes of Mickey McGurn coming in.Sean Cavanagh – 3 All-Irelands, Captain of the Irish International Rules Team in 2008
Mickey McGurn is a top-class trainer with his rugby background and all our guys really went at it hammer and tongs. Watching four or five minutes of the training sessions with Mickey you would see that his sessions are something special.
In terms of our success in winning the series by five points on aggregate you would have to praise Mickey for the role he played in preparing our fitness. He deserves special mention. We had a couple of tough sessions with him and he 'broke us down'. There's no easier way to get to know lads and bond and gel when you have a tough session.
Over the two gamesI began to enjoy the tackle, actually enjoy it, because we did a tremendous amount of work with Mickey. At the start we were rushing into tackles, going flat out, but Mick showed us how to slow down, make a few small steps and then hit. I thought tackling the Aussies would be harder, but when you get to tackle right, you can put them down.
Mickey is a fine example of how good coaching, hard work and inspiring confidence in players can ultimately lead to success.
I would be happy to recommend Mike to any serious athlete or person keen to make progress and train with the best.Geordan Murphy – Ireland and Lions International
Under his supervision my strength and fitness improved greatly and has helped my game immeasurably. He is by far the best conditioning coach I have worked with.
I feel honoured and privileged to be able to say a few words about Mike McGurn.Mike Ford – England Rugby Union Defence Coach
We both come from similar backgrounds and got to know each other during our days in Rugby League when Mike was Head Conditioner at St. Helens and I player coach at Oldham RUFC.
The fact that St. Helens had won everything there was to win in League and were the current world Champions prompted me to go and find out why the players under his regime were the fittest in the world. That's were our great friendship began.
Our friendship flourished through our love of rugby and our shared philosophies on how the game should be played. We are in constant touch debating various subjects on the game, challenging each other and constantly pushing the boundaries to discover new ways and methods on how to train, play, coach and manage.
Mike has always had an undeniable enthusiasm and drive to make himself a better coach and person and this 'rubs off' onto the people he meets.
Fast forward to 2002 and Eddie O'Sullivan, the then IRFU head coach, appointed Mike and myself to his management team at the start of the Six Nations. Our Partnership lasted 4 years until in November 2005 I left the Irish set up to coach Saracens.
Working everyday with Mike during those 4 years confirmed what I already knew, that he is the finest conditioner I have ever worked with during my 26 years in professional rugby.
The players are always the best judge and the respect Mike commanded when he walked into the Gym or training field was great.
Before our trip down under with Ireland for the International Rules series in 2008 training had been going quite well but it was not until Mike came onboard that all the lads got a great feeling about it all and most of all we gained a lot of confidence from his training.Stevie McDonnell – All-Ireland Winner 2002, Represented Ireland in the International Rules Tests
We went down to OZ as sharp as we could have been and after a long hard season this sometimes can be quite tough. As a team we all thought that Mikes training was excellent and one of the things that was so good about it was that he was able to adapt the training to suit the game we were playing.
On a personal level I have worked with some top class trainers throughout my career and Mike is certainly well up there with the best of them.
Mike McGurn is one of the world's best strength and conditioning coachesShane Williams – Wales & Lions International, 2008 IRB World Player of the Year
He has a way of making training tough but enjoyable. When he was fitness coach at the Osprey's he made a major contribution to my development as a rugby player.
Mickey McGurn revolutionised the strength and conditioning with the Irish National rugby team as Head of Fitness. Starting from a position were Ireland could not compete physically with the top nations, Mikey through his programs and motivation, developed Ireland into one of the best conditioned outfits in world rugby.Shane Horgan – Ireland and Lions International
It is no coincidence during his time with Ireland we won 3 triple crowns which set the basis for a Grand Slam.
Mikey was a huge factor in my career, allowing me to develop as an athlete utilising the most up to date methods of strength and conditioning available in the world. Mikey also helped my career significantly by getting me back on the pitch after injury with his rehabilitation programs.
Mikey's strength is his ingenuity and his ability to be on the cutting edge of sports fitness while always keeping his workouts interesting for the athlete.
It is this along with his natural ability to motivate that has placed him at the forefront of elite strength and conditioning in the world.
When I started working with Mike through Queen’s University in 2013 I had just finished reasonably successful seasons with both NI netball and Armagh ladies Gaelic. I felt in good shape physically. Whilst I had performed at a high level for a number of years, I was a novice in terms of structured strength and conditioning.Caroline O’Hanlon – Armagh Ladies GAA & Netball NI
It didn’t take long to figure out through Mike’s gym sessions that I had not yet reached my physical potential. I was consistently able to see and feel strength gains throughout my season. With his tailored sessions over the course of the year, he enabled me to reach new levels in strength and power which ultimately resulted in improved personal performances as well as team success.
A busy season ensued with both sports including reaching an All-Ireland semi-final after a seven year gap with Armagh while at the same time leading Netball NI to exceed all expectation at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. At times I struggled managing the two sports given that the seasons overlapped so much, but Mike was crucial in ensuring that I got the balance right between competitive sport, training and recovery.
Mike’s personalised sessions were central in ensuring that I peaked at the right times throughout the year, resulting in a number of personal accolades in 2014 including a ladies Gaelic All Star and all Ireland player of the year.
When I was appointed Manager of the Irish International Rules Team in 2010 the first person I asked to join the management group was Michael McGurn.Anthony Tohill – Manager of the Irish International Rules Team
I knew that if Ireland were to have any chance of competing against our full time Australian Rules opponents, our amateur players would need to be in first class physical condition.
Michael prepared collective training sessions and individual conditioning programmes for the squad which were tailored for each player and to the specific needs of International Rules. He is a total professional and everything he does is meticulously planned and implemented superbly.
There are many conditioning coaches and trainers out there but I doubt if there are any with the knowledge and the ability to apply it like Michael McGurn.
My only regret is not getting the opportunity to train under Michael when I was still playing.