Pictured above: Eithne and Kieran (centre) celebrated the launch of their fitness centre with many friends, family and wellwishers.
Howling Heart Fitness in Clonakilty is located at the top of McCurtain Hill on the site of the old railway line. These days the first stop at this platform is fitness – something that strength and conditioning instructors Eithne Harte and Kieran Howlin are keen to point out also involves having fun in a safe and relaxed environment.
With varied, high-intensity functional movements, the classes at Howling Heart promote health and fitness in a challenging yet encouraging environment. Classes are deliberately kept small (12 is the maximum in a class) to ensure that clients have fun while safely pushing themselves to the limit, gaining results without injury.
Eithne and Kieran are both experienced and passionate fitness instructors. A native of Wexford, Kieran has a degree in Exercise and Health Studies. He moved to Clonakilty seven years ago to play with Clonakilty RFC and somewhere along the way found CrossFit and became hooked. “I’ve never been so fit or felt so good in my life,” he says.
Eithne, from Clonakilty, is a trained neuromuscular therapist. She got into strength and conditioning exercise almost five years ago and has since earned a place on the Irish weightlifting team. For the second year-in-a-row, Eithne has qualified to compete at the European Weightlifting Championships, taking place this year in Croatia in April. “CrossFit has given me a positive and energising outlook on life,” says Eithne.
The 45-minute workouts at Howling Heart are planned and supervised from start to finish and are easy to fit into a busy schedule. Regular health assessments support clients and it doesn’t take long to see results in body shape, strength and energy levels. “Whatever the goal or motivation behind wanting to get fit – it could be something as simple as wanting to play with your kids – our job is to get people there,” says Kieran.
“Children have great mobility and in order to move better, we need to reset ourselves by returning to movements we did as children, such as squatting,” explains Kieran. “This is what we’re about…functional movements that can be transferred to everyday activities or tasks, promoting health and fitness. There’s no age or fitness limit.”
Eithne and Kieran have transformed a shell of a warehouse into a state-of-the-art facility and incorporating a comfortable chill-out area with tea and coffee making facilities is just one of the aspects that gives a real sociable feel to the Howling Heart Fitness Centre. “We’re not just a fitness centre, we’re a community,’ says Eithne, who will also be offering Neuromuscular physical therapy at the centre.
“Howling Heart has been a great way to re-introduce myself to my old love of CrossFit. Manageable class numbers mean a good deal of personal attention is ensured and both Eithne and Kieran are fantastic coaches who always have a smile on their faces, are very encouraging and can tailor everything to an individual’s level. If you’ve tried this style of training before, you won’t regret joining Howling Heart, if you haven’t, I’m sure you’ll find it an excellent place to start.” Donie O’Driscoll.
“Out of any kind of training for years and just lost interest but I’ve rekindled my love of exhaustion in Howling Heart. There is something new every day and good fun doing it. Ticks all the boxes.” Owen George Crudge
Classes at Howling Heart Fitness run from Monday to Saturday. For more details or to book an intro class call Eithne on 087 414 5729 or Kieran on 087 6637699.