My name is Conor O'Neill and I am the creator and owner of Know Yourself Nutrition.
My journey into the nutrition and fitness world started about the age of 7, when I started playing Gaelic Football, not that I was squatting or eating avocados at that age, that came later.
I really started taking nutrition and training seriously about the age of 18 when I made it onto my senior team, Crossmaglen Rangers, then All-Ireland champions.
At that stage, I was what I'd refer to as skinny-fat, basically meaning that I looked skinny with clothes on, but I still had quite a high percentage of body fat, and no real visible muscle. With that said, I was still pretty fit. I had been training about 7-8 times a week with different teams, including my club minors, county minors and my school team. The time that wasn't spent training or doing school work, was mostly spent sleeping. I was like most young lads that age.
A few weeks into being on the team, one of the more experienced players on the team pulled me aside and asked if I wanted to start going to the gym with him. I didn't want to refuse him, so I said yes, and to dismay, he replied, "Ok, meet me in the gym tomorrow at 6am". I managed to make it to the gym on time, to his surprise, and so began an obsession with getting the most out of my body. He put me through some of his old programs and I started to see results. The previously skinny-fat body, was still skinny, but now there was some muscle on it. The great side-effect then was that I didn't feel I was as easily thrown about by the older boys on the team.
As time went on, I realised that exercise was only one part of the puzzle towards body composition and performance. I then needed nutrition advice, but my quest to find decent nutrition recommendations for GAA players came up short, so I started to delve into nutrition from other sports like rugby, soccer, american football, bodybuilding, strongman and powerlifting, watching videos by guys like Elliot Hulse, listening to podcasts by Ben Coomber, and reading nutrition books. I began to see my health and fitness progress and I really became fascinated with nutrition, and how it relates to performance and body composition.
Fast forward to my final year of University, studying mechanical engineering, and I realised that this engineering really wasn't for me. I wasn't speaking the same language about engines and aeroplanes that my class-mates were. As they discussed the mechanisms of the latest jet engine technology and thermodynamics, I sat in class reading up about carbohydrate-manipulating protocols and muscle protein synthesis, among many other areas of nutrition and exercise. I knew something different was on the horizon for me.
I considered dropping out of university, as I knew I wouldn't go on to be an engineer, regardless of the fact that I had a graduate job lined up in the company where I'd done my placement year. However, I decided I might as well complete the final year, now that I'd come that far. It hadn't crossed my mind at that stage that I could create a career for myself in nutrition!
I graduated and got a job in a coffee shop while I 'decided what to do with my life'. Half a year in, after months of constantly asking myself what I really wanted to do, I realised that what I was really passionate about was the nutrition. After all, that's what I spent most of my time thinking about.
So with that in my mind, I began writing a blog about nutrition and training, publishing it on social media, and I realised that this is something that people really need, especially in the GAA world, where most of the people who follow me seem to come from. So I set about building Know Yourself Nutrition so I could help as many people as possible, and that has led me to this point. My main aim now is to bring the knowledge and application of nutrition from other sports and research to the GAA world.
Most recently, I've been working with helping GAA Athletes to get in shape and fuel their performance through The GAA Lean Athlete Online Coaching Program, as well as my podcast, articles and other programs.
I've also with with organisations including Queen's University Elite Athlete Academy, Offaly GAA, Crossmaglen Rangers GAC, Derrygonnelly Harps GAC, Belfast Running Club and others.
My podcast and blog articles also help 100s of people with their nutrition on monthly basis.
Have a look around the website. There's plenty of free content here, and if you want to get yourself in shape and fuel your performance as a GAA Athelte by coming through my program, click here: knowyourselfnutrition.com/gaaleanathlete
Let me know if you have any questions via email: email@example.com