Rory McIlroy hits gym ahead of the Masters

The world number one reveals his workout regime ahead of The Masters

Rory McIlroy ramps up his gym work with fitness trainer Steve McGregor in pursuit of the career Grand Slam at the Masters

By his own admission, less than five years ago Rory McIlroy didn't really have a fitness routine. He could barely balance on one leg. The Rory McIlroy workout routine was limited to, as he put it, “not very much.” He simply didn’t have the muscle strength or stamina to sustain this simple move.

“I had huge amounts of mobility and flexibility — that's never been my problem, but I couldn't stand on one leg for more then 10 seconds. I couldn't hold a plank for more than 30 seconds,” said the 25-year old McIlroy.

Four years, 14 tour wins — including four Majors — later, McIlroy has transformed his game and his body with the help of exercise physiologist Dr. Steve McGregor. In this video released by Nike Golf, it's clear to see his work with Steve in full flow ahead of The Masters, where McIlroy is looking to complete the career Grand Slam and win his third consecutive major.

“Bringing Steve (McGregor) on board has been huge. The education that he's given me about the body combined with his great background…I feel like I learn stuff off him every day,” added McIlroy. The training regime that began as a necessity to strengthen an ailing back has become an obsession for the young golfer from Northern Ireland.

Rory McIlroy dead lift gym

McGregor has been working with McIlroy since late 2010, implementing a progressive program of stability, strength and power. That’s when the transformation began. Over the past four years the two have developed a close working relationship.

The pair related a story from the 2014 British Open that provides some context. McIlroy was coming off of a rough practice round and wanted nothing more than to get into the gym to work off his frustration but he had already agreed with McGregor that he was going to limit training during the week of the tournament.

“So I made a deal with Steve that if I shot a 67 the next day I could work out,” said McIlroy.

His first-round score of 66 not only earned him entry to the gym, but set him up nicely for the rest of the week. He went on to win the Open Championship, his third Major tournament victory.

“Rory has come a long way for an individual who couldn't stand on one leg,” said McGregor, whose background includes work in professional golf, soccer (football), and basketball. “He's doing some really high-end functional work, and that's all credit to him.”


McIlroy says his love for training is grounded in a few motivations.

“If this can help me get an extra two or three years out of my career or help me get one shot a round…whether it’s because I’m more mentally focused, more fit or more confident,” he said. “I feel like getting in here gives me the best possible chance to go out on the golf course and perform to the best of my ability.”

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Joel Tadman
Technical Editor

Joel has worked in the golf industry for over 12 years covering both instruction and more recently equipment. He now oversees all product content here at Golf Monthly, managing a team of talented and passionate writers and presenters in delivering the most thorough and accurate reviews, buying advice, comparisons and deals to help the reader find exactly what they are looking for. So whether it's the latest driver, irons, putter or laser rangefinder, Joel has his finger on the pulse keeping up to date with the latest releases in golf. He is also responsible for all content on irons and golf tech, including distance measuring devices and launch monitors.

One of his career highlights came when covering the 2012 Masters he got to play the sacred Augusta National course on the Monday after the tournament concluded, shooting a respectable 86 with just one par and four birdies. To date, his best ever round of golf is a 5-under 67 back in 2011. He currently plays his golf at Burghley Park Golf Club in Stamford, Lincs, with a handicap index of 3.2.

Joel's current What's In The Bag? 

Driver: Titleist TSR3, 9° 

Fairway wood: Titleist TSR3, 15° 

Hybrid: Titleist TSi2, 18° 

Irons: Ping i230 4-UW

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM8, 54°. Titleist Vokey SM9 60° lob wedge, K Grind

Putter: Evnroll ER2V 

Ball: 2023 Titleist Pro V1x