Ex-Irish League Footballer on Latest Fitness Craze



  • Abu Dhabi
  • Al Ain
  • Al Khobar
  • Dubai
  • Jeddah
  • Riyadh
  • Sharjah
Please select city

Former Irish League striker Vincent Sweeney has stated that he is in the best shape of his life after participating in the Hyrox World Championships in France.

The 43-year-old finished in the top 15 of his age group (40-44) among a field of elite athletes at Nice's Palais des Expositions.

Sweeney, who previously played for clubs like Cliftonville and Ballymena United, is a huge advocate of Hyrox, a fitness competition that combines running and functional workout stations.

Participants run 1km followed by a workout, repeating this sequence eight times.

"I competed in Dublin last year, then went to Dubai and qualified second in my age group. Last month, I qualified for the World Championships," Sweeney said.

"I ranked in the top 10 in Ireland for my age group and in the top 15 globally for the 40-44 age category. The experience was incredible.

"I am fitter now than I have ever been. I have more knowledge about strength and conditioning.

You can achieve amazing levels of fitness if you have the right mindset and guidance. I enjoy helping people in that regard.

"Knowledge is vital, and I wish I had this understanding when I was playing football. Nutrition and sleep are crucial, especially as you get older. Many people underestimate the importance of sleep.

"I interacted with athletes from America, South Africa, and Japan at the World Championships and learned a lot from them.

Competing against such athletes was a great learning experience.

"Hyrox demonstrates that you can be a top athlete even in your mid-thirties and beyond.

Fitness is a lifestyle, and Hyrox is inclusive. I train two clients who participate while using wheelchairs. It’s not just for elite athletes."

Sweeney added, "There are many former athletes who have lost their way both physically and mentally. Hyrox caters to this market, including retired Irish League players.

"I suffered an ACL injury at 26 or 27 but always stayed active. Hyrox offers overall physical fitness, combining running and cardiovascular exercise. It's all-around fitness for athletes.

"Even after retiring from sports, many athletes maintain a competitive mentality. I’ve met rugby players, runners, triathletes, and more who participate in Hyrox. It keeps them motivated.

"Some have even said it saved their lives, which is significant, especially considering men's mental health issues after 30. This is why I’m passionate about spreading the message.

"Exercise benefits your health immensely. At the gym, we say everything feels better when you work up a sweat.

Most people can participate in Hyrox since it involves basic running and exercises with various competition categories and age groups.

"It’s phenomenal."

Sweeney runs his gym in Derry and is no stranger to physical challenges. In 2020, he ran the equivalent of four marathons in 24 hours to raise money for mental health charities.

He is now focusing on Hyrox and has organized a major competition in Derry on August 3.

The Maiden City Hyrox will take place at Sean Dolans GAC, attracting 250 athletes worldwide and selling out quickly.

"We’re hosting the event on August 3 at Sean Dolans, a top-notch facility," he said.

"We’re charging half the price for our event to make it more affordable, and we have 250 competitors. It sold out within weeks, attracting people from all over the world.

"This event promotes Derry, bringing people together from everywhere.

"Sport and exercise unite people. It fosters team bonding.

"Hyrox is fantastic, and the community is incredible.

"I have competed worldwide, including in Dubai and Malaga, and reached the World Championships.

"Hyrox has gained immense popularity over the past few years, far beyond my expectations.

"I’m also bringing World Elite Champion Alexander Roncevic over on September 21-22. I’ll show him around the north coast and Donegal, and we’ll conduct workshops on achieving elite levels.

"The Worlds were among the best sporting events I’ve experienced. These are ordinary people with jobs competing at such a high level."


Source: belfastlive

The opinions shared in the GymNation blog articles are solely those of the respective authors and may not represent the perspectives of GymNation or any member of the GymNation team.