TD Noel Rock drops 3 stone to give Leo a run for his money

Fine Gael’s youngest TD Noel Rock is giving his party leader and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar a run for his money in the fitness stakes having shed over 3 stone in weight since he joined his local FLYEfit gym in Drumcondra.

The Dublin North West politician found that the real price of being a rookie T.D. was not the long working hours but the excessive weight he gained having piled on two stone as he adapted to the demands of a new life in Dail Eireann.

He is now fighting fit and explains that his new trimmed down look is not only helping to improve his energy and stamina for the rigours of political life but that it hasn’t gone unnoticed on his bus journey to work!.

“I was turning 30 and things were only going in one direction. I knew that if I didn’t take action to address it there and then that I never would,” said Noel who has the distinction of once beating the Taoiseach in a 10km running race.

“I ran the Dublin Night Run 15 seconds faster than Leo two years ago. He’s a lot fitter now, but so am I. I ran the same event in 52:09 minutes a few weeks ago, breaking the hour for the first time, so Leo might have some work to do to catch up with me now,” quipped Noel.

“I started gaining weight from the time I was elected in February 2016. I put on two stone very fast. The real manifestation of that is how you look in print and on TV and there is nowhere to hide the gain when you wear a suit every day. People don’t want to see an obese or overweight politician,” he added.

“My constituents expect me to run through walls for them every single day, so a basic requirement for that is simply being able to run. Stamina, determination and fitness are incredibly useful tools for the modern politician,” said Noel.

“I am working upwards of 80 hours a week. My working hours are weird and my diet was terrible. The lifestyle is about meeting people and networking too, so pints in the evening is part of the job. All told, it adds up very quickly,” he continued.

“Half the battle is making time in your day-to-day schedule for the gym, so FLYEfit couldn’t have opened at a better time for me in Drumcondra.

I knew the brand, thought it could make a difference, signed up and I haven’t looked back,” said Noel.

The popular politician discovered that FLYEfit’s ‘RealRyder’ spinning classes were the perfect cardio and core workout for him, helping him to steadily claw back the two stone he had put on since the 2016 General Election before going on to knock another stone off his bodyweight.

“Spinning is great and I enjoy the process. I used to train by running but I had a tendency to overrun which led to injury, which stopped me from making progress. Spinning is better all round and the classes keep me motivated,” said Noel.

“I found that being overweight can affect performance. You feel bad and lethargic and you run out of energy faster. FLYEfit helped me to become more regimented and disciplined about my exercise routine and the results show in work,” he added.

“I plan for seven days a week and if I go the gym five days out of the seven then that is a result. There is always something to throw you off schedule, like the other day when Radio 1 rang with an invite to do the Sean O’Rourke Show. I missed my morning routine but I made up for that with an evening gym session,” he continued.

“No one day is the same as a local TD. I’m out and about every evening and every weekend. My schedule this Saturday, for example, includes attending a local university alumni ball, judging a school baking competition and canvassing around the referendum,” he said.

“It’s funny. Constituents know you and recognise you and some worry for you. Someone came up to me on the bus to work and said ‘I see you lost weight’. They were wondering was I okay. It reminded me of just how much weight I had gained, so people do pay attention and some care,” Noel remarked.

“Some people want to know how I lost the weight. I always tell those who ask that I’m not a martyr for it. I took the decision to be more active and to make exercise part of my routine. It balances out all the other stuff. If I can do it so can anyone else. The thing is to start,” he added.