Business Irish

Thursday 14 November 2019

Personal training goes a step further - to plan your eating

Health conscious Dubliner Gillian Hynes (39) has turned her passion into a thriving startup
Health conscious Dubliner Gillian Hynes (39) has turned her passion into a thriving startup

Sarah McCabe

Dubliner Gillian Hynes (39) knows how to get people feeling and looking their best - she worked as a personal trainer for a decade before launching her new business Body Project. It provides pre-prepared healthy food alongside personal training classes to help keep clients on track.

"I worked in public relations for several years before I moved into fitness but it just was not for me. I wasn't happy working in a corporate environment, I felt caged.

I found I was constantly advising colleagues on their fitness routines and talking to friends and families about it.

While at Ryanair I even started a work walking club. I decided to make it official and did a personal training course at night. I haven't looked back since. I have freelanced for the last ten years, working with clients in their homes.

The biggest stumbling block anyone trying to lose weight comes up against is eating consistently.

People are more time-poor than ever and very few have the time to cook nutritious meals from scratch.

For those buying lunch it is very difficult to find healthy, filling lunch choices in the shops.

This is where my new business Body Project, founded six months ago, comes in.

Our programme provides three personal training sessions a week in a fantastic Dublin city centre studio, alongside calorie-controlled pre-prepared meals.

The food is paleo, meaning gluten and wheat-free and low in sugar and saturated fat, prepared by a fantastic Italian chef based in Dublin city centre using fresh and nutritious ingredients cooked from scratch. Clients receive enough for three meals a day, six days a week.

It hands people everything they need to lose or maintain their weight on a plate, no pun intended - it makes the whole process easy. The meals have to be collected from my new studio in Dublin 2, where the training sessions take place, giving clients double incentive to show up!

It is 100pc owned by me, mostly self-funded though I also have a loan from a family member.

There have been a few hitches so far - I had to change my original food supplier when he put up his prices overnight, for example - but overall it is going fantastically.

I am marketing it through social media, a billboard outside the studio and flyers, but most people have come to Body Project via recommendations.

That is really encouraging, it shows how happy clients are with the service.

I am nearing capacity and will probably have to take someone on in the new year.

My ambitions are much bigger than one studio though.

I would like to open up several more and start offering group classes, which would bring down prices for clients.

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