Wednesday 16 January 2019

WATCH: Mum-of-three leaves career as surveyor and transforms 250-year-old farm buildings into unique fitness centre

New exercise regime on your 2018 wishlist?

Anna Syme pictured at ‘The Stables’
Anna Syme pictured at ‘The Stables’
Anna Syme Credit: Kyran O'Brien
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

Dragging yourself to the gym after a day's work can be tough work but this new concept in fitness aims to challenge the monotony of regular exercise.

Tucked away up a leafy avenue in converted farm buildings in Co Wexford, The Stables Fitness & Wellbeing is the brainchild of mum-of-three Anna Syme.

Six years ago, the trained chartered surveyor faced the challenges of a daily commute to Dublin - and the impact of the recession.

"After I had my little boy (the eldest), jobs were scarce locally, and I knew wasn't going to get a job in the property industry in 2011 in Gorey," she said.

"It was just going to be too much for me to go back working full-time in Dublin so I decided to look into other opportunities that I could do, based here."

Anna made the brave move of qualifying as a personal trainer and converted one of the 150-year-old unused buildings on her husbands’ family farm.

"When I first moved here, a lot of the buildings were not really being used, full of old machinery and old redundant stables being used for dog kennels," she told

"I thought that it would be lovely to give the buildings a new lease of life, and change it into a studio where I could offer personal training to individuals that didn't want to go into a commercial gym environment".

The business - Anna Syme Personal Training - initially started out as a personal training business, customers would come and take part in sessions with one trainer in the small studio.

As the clients seemed to enjoy training in a different environment and in a different style, Anna saw the opportunity in doing up a second building to accommodate small groups, and continue training them in a different capacity.

"The barns have been converted into two open-sided larger studio areas where we now can provide people the opportunity to come and train in boot camps (groups up to 10)," she said.

"We use tyres, we use logs, the real raw materials."

Under re-branded "The Stables", the transformed venue offers a mix of classes and workshops, which promote physical and mental wellbeing.

It boasts its own running track, a climbing wall and various studios for Fitness Training, Yoga and Pilates. Recently added classes include Mother and Baby fitness classes, after school Kids Fitness Classes and Men only Pilates.

This year has been significant for Anna who currently employs three people on a part time basis.

The construction of a trail running track and obstacle course for the use of her regular and corporate clients "The Steeplechase" has been her latest project.

The 5km and 8km courses offer a unique trail run with some challenging obstacles - and will be launched to the public in June 2018 as an annual fitness event.

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