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"Training and Optimal Health for Sports" covers all aspects of athletic training from the physical to mental preparation, from Nutrition for Optimal Health to Nutrition for sports performance.

Shane shares his life long passion and knowledge of training principles in his book. In doing so he has produced a most important easy to understand resource which I can wholeheartedly endorse and recommend to everyone involved in sports from recreational athlete to Olympic athlete including teachers, coaches, athletic trainers and indeed for anyone interested in improving their health and fitness.



Gerard Hartmann


Physical Therapist to Olympic Council of Ireland Sports Medicine and Sports Science Team.

Physical Therapist to 67 Olympic medal winners including world record holders.

Director Hartmann International Sports Injury Clinic, University of Limerick, Ireland.


Hi Shane, I finally got a copy of the book, I had to go to Galway to get it thou , lol I'm on a weeks holiday here so I didn't mind, just to say I haven't been able to put it down since I got it , I find it a very easily read and informative book and I can't wait to try out your ideas. I would recommend this for all to purchase if they are serious about their training.

Simon Michael Quinn

Having seen Shane Fitzgibbon’s work, I know that athletes, martial artists and anyone interested in diet, exercise and health should read this book. All sports people need sound training and dietary advice. Poor training regiments have hampered the success of many top class athletes over the years and this work offers reliable and indeed accessible information which is a prerequisite for all serious sports people. Shane Fitzgibbon has completed a thoughtful and intelligent work. I believe that it will be an essential training aid due in part to its practicality, and user friendly nature to both the amateur and to the top professional.

One of the outstanding features of this book is the clear explanation of sensible and safe training routines to both daily life and in preparation for competition. In doing so, the author has produced an invaluable tool which is highly relevant to everyone- sports athletes, coaches, trainers and the general public. I wholeheartedly recommend this book which will undoubtedly prove to be a ‘must have’ for every person interested in general health and fitness as well as high performance sporting activity.

Master Don Dalton, MA, H.Dip. VII degree Taekwon-do black belt

Coach to 20+ Taekwon-do/Kickboxing World/European Champions

European Taekwon-do Team Coach 200


When Shane Fitzgibbon asked me to review his book, “Training and Optimal Health or Sports”, I was honoured.  I hoped I was qualified to do so as Mr. Fitzgibbon is an acclaimed expert himself in the field of health and fitness.  He is an elite world class athlete who epitomises health and fitness.  He is a self-starter, goal achiever and huge inspiration to all who know him.

“Training and Optimal Health for Sports” is an extremely useful book.  It is easy to read and flows nicely using clear and concise language.  It engages the reader from the start, with the Author’s confident and upbeat style of writing.  Photographic images used throughout are instructive.  The reader can feel that the advice given has been tried and tested to the letter.

The training principles outlined are examples of current best practice.  I particularly like the emphasis on posture and activation of core muscles when training.  Safety and injury prevention have been addressed well.  Nutritional and psychological aspects are thoroughly discussed.  Anatomy and physiology are presented in an interesting way, with studies that are well referenced and which back up the theory and practical training methods demonstrated.

I enjoyed reading the book in its entirety.  It also lends itself to be easily used a source of reference, which one can dip into and out of as needed.

I particularly liked the sections relating to exercise while pregnant.  Safety was addressed well and advice given is in line with international standards of best practise.  Good references are made to the effect of strength training and increasing bone mineral density for women.  Osteoporosis can unfortunately be common in elite female athletes and post menopausal women.  Bone loading exercise is particularly beneficial to these women but men and children will also protect themselves from brittle bone disease through strength training.

It was great to see the section advising children and young athletes.  The principles highlighted can be a tool for parents and coaches to guide their children in optimal training for whatever sport the child or adolescent may be undertaking.

I will be using my copy of the book for reference and will look forward to recommending it to my patients and colleagues.

Aoife Ni Eochaidh, BSc, Post grad in Women’s Health, M.I.S.C.P., A.C.P.W.H.

* Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist (Women’s Health) Galway Clinic, Doughiska, Galway,

* Board Member Irish Osteoporosis Society,

* Former Physiotherapist to Royal High Premier league Rugby Team,

* Former Physiotherapist to Visiting West Indies Cricket Team

* Former Physiotherapist to Galway Marathon des Sables Team.

“Training and Optimal Health for Sports” is a marvellous read for sports enthusiasts at any level. Regardless of level of ability or what sports you might participate or coach in, this book has so much to offer you.

The Author takes you on a journey from start to finish. You can do your initial self-assessment, plan your goals and set your targets. It then progresses on to proper biomechanics, posture, warm up and cool down routines, flexibility, strength training etc. The absolute necessity of having a strong core is particularly well addressed.

Good nutritional advice, training tips as regards periodisation and lifestyle management makes this a great reference book for all sports people/athletes.

I particularly enjoyed the section on core training – the kernel to any successful exercise programme.

I would like to compliment Shane on his holistic approach when writing this book. He has drawn on such a wide range of topics extremely well. Excellent pictures, charts, glossary, this book has it all.

Great read – highly recommended!

Niamh O’Sullivan,

- Physical Therapist M.I.A.P.T

- Athletics level 3 coach.

- International athlete: represented Ireland at World and European cross country championships.

Training and Optimal Health for Sport by Shane Fitzgibbon:

This book is a go-to training aid for anyone interested in health and fitness, and covers everything from initial assessment and mental preparation to injury prevention. What struck me most about this book is its accessibility and how it manages to address issues that are relevant to both amateurs and professional athletes alike. This book will remind you of how you can get stuck in a rut with your fitness regime, and empower you to readdress what you are doing in order to get better results. It also explains why being a “weekend warrior” and over exercising just at weekends can lead to little progress. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in achieving optimal health.

Reviewed by Aileen Moran for January Edition Natural Life Magazine


I've just read Shane Fitzgibbon’s book, “Training and Optimal Health for Sport,” and I'm very excited by it! In my opinion this needs to be put in the hands of every adolescent (upwards) sportsperson! 

Think about it! How many kids never "graduate" from directed sport (where their coach tells them what to do) and never get to a stage where they have the know how to confidently set goals for themselves? Too many! This reflects in a lot of unfortunate ways! Obesity, diabetes not to mention depression and frustration from lack of expressed potential! 

This book, in a very accessible way, bridges the application of the physical to the application of the mind! That applied intelligence could transform a life from early "burn out" to continued lifelong achievement! I'm excited for what this book will do for the lives of sports men and women around the country! In fact, What could this book do for a nation?

Shane is someone who walks the talk like no one else i know! Therefore i know everything in this book is researched meticulously and you can have comfort in its effectiveness!

I'm very happy to recommend this excellent work!

John Murphy

Former Irish welterweight Boxing Champion

Despite the author’s extensive and successful martial arts background, it is his sports science qualifications that shine through in this impressive manual. The mission statement of the book is presented in the first paragraph of the introduction, and is essential to understanding and evaluating it.

"The remit of this book is not to be an encyclopaedia of training methods but a guide to a safer and smarter way to train and eat. The relevant topics, while explained clearly, are kept simple so as to be accessible to everyone. There are many extremely detailed books about the various topics that the reader can refer to if more detail is needed. … This book is aimed at most of the population, most of the time."

The author’s intention is to promote longevity in sport, specifically in how to train and eat, with a “just-enough” overview of what he considers the main topics. Given that the first impression is one of a huge amount of ground covered, the obvious concern revolves around just how well he manages to do so in such a slim tome (167 A4 pages - in digital download version). In this reviewer’s opinion, he does this in a professional and comprehensive manner, logically presented, scientifically grounded yet approachable.

Mr. Fitzgibbon begins with chapters on Initial Assessment, Warming Up & Cooling Down and Principles of Exercise. This, I feel, sets an appropriately cautious and methodical tone, establishing the trainee’s starting condition, ensuring safe practices and laying out the groundwork for identifying and reaching objectives. There is a great deal of valuable and detailed information in these three chapters alone.

The next four chapters deal with Flexibility, Endurance, Training for Strength & Power, and Core Training. Each is a rather comprehensive examination of its subject. It is worth noting here that the Endurance chapter deals with the nature of and relationship between aerobic, anaerobic and muscular endurance. Also, the Strength & Power chapter, by far the longest in the book, is an excellent stand-alone introduction to a vast subject.

The remaining six chapters are dedicated to Nutrition (three chapters), Sleep, Mental Preparation & Conditioning and Injury Prevention. These are something of a departure from standard exercise manual subject matter, and one which fits in nicely with the global approach that the author clearly wishes to promote.

Really, my only complaint – and it is a minor one – is a matter of presentation or formatting. The book is just 167 pages long (around 140 pages if we exclude acknowledgements, foreword and the impressive 10 pages of bibliographical references), not due to a paucity of material, but to the density of information packed on to each page. I feel that by using a slightly larger type size and spacing, thereby increasing the page total to around 250, the book would be much easier on the eye.

In summary, my opinion is that the author far exceeds both the casual reader’s expectations and his self-imposed remit in this excellent book. As a reader with a reasonably extensive knowledge of the material, I found the book very useful both as a means of contextualising and expanding upon familiar concepts and introducing new ones with a clarity and level of detail which make for a thoroughly informative read. I consider Training & Optimal Health For Sports to be a highly worthwhile text for anybody interested in optimising athletic performance and health.

- An Honest John Review, on behalf of Totally Taekwon-do Magazine (http://www.totallytkd.com/)

Hi Shane, I finally got a copy of the book, I had to go to Galway to get it thou , lol I'm on a weeks holiday here so I didn't mind, just to say I haven't been able to put it down since I got it , I find it a very easily read and informative book and I can't wait to try out your ideas. I would recommend this for all to purchase if they are serious about their training.

Simon Michael Quinn

Shane Fitzgibbon has done it all for us. There is no need to trail the web for hours blindly looking for information and trying to piece things together. “Training and Optimal Health for Sports” has everything you need to know about up to date theory and practice of training in a concise and detailed manner. It should be part of every athlete’s training knowledge and for me it has filled the gaps that were missing and I feel empowered with the up to date knowledge. Thank-you Shane, it's a great piece of work!

Cat Murphy, B.Sc Food Since, M.Sc. Physical Education