Many people feel threatened or intimidated by who or what they’ll encounter in a gym. However, everyone has a right to use and feel comfortable in one, which is what Iain O’Driscoll and Simon Van Cauwenbergh aim to achieve with Absolute Health and Fitness Personal Gym in Clonakilty.
As experienced fitness instructors and personal trainers (24 years between them) Iain and Simon have both worked out in a lot of gyms over the years, they’ve trained a lot of people and along the way they’ve helped a lot of people get over their fear of exercise and the gym.
“It’s about education,” explains Simon. If someone walks into a gym and they don’t know what to do or how the equipment works, of course they’ll feel intimidated.
“You don’t have to use everything in a gym, but if you know how it works, you’ll feel more comfortable and at ease in your surroundings.”
Everyone who joins Absolute Health and Fitness gets a free induction and advice and personal attention whenever they need it.
“It’s also about the personality of a place,” says Iain. “If you walk into a gym and you’re greeted with smiles and someone is available to offer you advice and guidance, of course it will make the next hour easier. We see our role as making the gym experience as enjoyable as possible for our members.
“There are people who work out because they ‘have to’ and people who work out because they enjoy it. Our goal is to create a feel good factor in the gym so that the people who find working out hard will get over their initial fear and become the people who work out because they enjoy it. Once you enjoy something, you’ll automatically feel more motivated and find it easier to commit to it.”
“It’s also about having realistic goals,” says Simon. ‘Without goals, there’s no focus, so whether you want to lose weight, tone up, increase your stamina or strength, decide on your goal and stick to it. Iain and myself are there to encourage and help you to reach that goal.”
Both instructors have learned a lot from their own training over the years, using this knowledge to create fitness programmes that work for their clients.
“I spent eight years lifting weights with the aim of growing muscle and increasing strength and eventually I peaked with the amount of weight I could lift,” says Simon. “I wasn’t seeing results any more…until I added isometric training to my programme. Within six weeks of isometric (strength exercises in a static position) my strength increased significantly. Static exercise provides an excellent base to start any programme on and will complement ‘explosive’ exercises, for example kettlebells, and also weightlifting.
“Habit, cardio, isometric and learning about the exercise and muscle group you’re working should all be a part of your programme.”
“Building a habit is incredibly important,” Iain emphasises. “It’s far better for your long-term health and body composition to train two to three times a week ‘for the rest of your life’ rather than training hard for short periods of time and taking long breaks. I’ve had a gym membership since I was 16; I don’t find it’s an effort to train because it’s been part of my weekly routine for such a long time and, as I get older, I realise how more and more important it is for my physical and mental health.”
Call in to see Simon and Iain, see the new gym and find out more during the Open Day on Saturday, March 11. All welcome.
Absolute Health and Fitness has something to suit everyone. Gym memberships, personal training packages and gym and class packages available.
Located at Clonakilty Rugby Club. For more information call 087 763 1663 or just call in.