Elite athletes have a certain aura about them

I have had the privilege in my career to be around a lot of elite athletes from track stars to professional golfers. For those of you who don’t know me my name is Michael McAuley and I am the founder of Exsto Apparel. However this blog is not about me it’s about my most recent encounter with Pentathlon star Suzie Cave.

Some of you may have read about Suzie in a recent blog post we covered however this time we got the chance to go behind the scenes and join her for a training session.

I first met Suzie about 10 years ago at a local fencing club in Belfast. I was doing some S&C work with the club that Suzie was a member of. The club asked me had I ever fenced before and did I want to give it a try. Having never held an epee before and knowing nothing about fencing they thought it would be funny to pair me with Suzie. Suzie might argue this but If memory serves me I scored the first point. For context I am 6ft3 and Suzie is about 5ft6. She then proceed to do a demolition job on me and I knew this girl was a “proper athlete”


Fast forward to 2024 and we got the opportunity to catch up with Suzie once more. Suzie was a customer of Exsto apparel and we reached out to see if we could join her for a workout to give you all an insight into an elite athlete.


I travelled to one2one training in Ballygowen owned by Peter Strain, if you are local to there you seriously need to check it out. Really class set up and Peter knows his stuff really nice guy with a wealth of knowledge. You know he’s doing something right when he is training National Athletes. Peter is responsible for programming Suzie’s workouts and getting her into top condition for her upcoming events.


The First thing to note when you meet Suzie is you are not prepared for just how nice she is however behind the smile and constant laughs you know this girl can go dark and full send at the flick of a switch. A trait all elite athletes have, this amazing  ability to focus and get the job done.


Suzie took up the Pentathlon at a later age and so proper warm ups and activation drills are at the cornerstone of every workout, “ The boring stuff” as she called it but you know this never gets skipped even when the cameras aren’t watching.


She started the workout with some glute and calf activation stuff followed by single leg plyometric jumps. Depending on time of season her training will change up to focus on endurance or power. At this current period Suzie is working on her power and with the addition of obstacles now being made part of pentathlon Suzie’s workouts have been adapted to focus on upper body to help pull and haul herself over the obstacles.


If you think pull ups are impressive you should she someone do them with 20kg tied around their waist a new PB I might add. Of course it’s because she was wearing the new Exsto Empower range. 😂


Suzy’s admits during season she doesn’t focus much on her leg training as the legs are getting hammered with runs. However she then proceeded to show us a video of her split squatting an eye water 80kg for 16 reps! Having done the very same exercise the day before with what seemed like my 2 year olds weights in comparison I had to try it. I did manage it with minimal tears and only a few deafening screams. So I will chalk that up as a win.

Something else you see when Suzie trains is the level of focus during each exercise then the switch off during her rest. You can physically see her face go from beast mode to smile and back again during each set.


Unfortunately Suzie will miss the Paris olympics due to being sick during qualifiers so she is taking this opportunity to go beast mode for the new season.


I of course had to take this opportunity to ask Suzie why she chose Exsto Apparel as her go to workout gear “ I was just so sick and tired of the big brands quality getting worse. I pretty much live in gym gear and when leggings that cost £80 start falling apart it’s time to find a different solution. So I saw a track athlete I’m friendly with in Exsto gear and had to check it out. I haven’t looked back since. I used to have to get leggings for running and then different ones for the gym but with Exsto I can use the same pair for both.”



I want to thank Suzie for letting us join her and wish her good luck for the new season. Stay tuned to follow Suzie’s season in Exsto Apparel.


Checkout Suzie's favourite