The fitness tribes - who you will encounter on your 2016 get fit campaign
Aiming to get fit in 2016? Here Katie Byrne introduces you to some of the characters you may meet…
The treadmill zombie
Barry joined the local gym after a flier came through the door reading 'New Year, New Body'. The introductory rate caught his attention (he didn't read the small print), as did the 50-metre swimming pool where he imagined all manner of bathing beauties doing gentle laps. The reality was a little different. His weekly swim always seems to dovetail with the 50+ swim lessons; it felt like secondary school all over again when he walked into the weights room and he didn't quite know where to look when he saw a woman with her legs splayed wide apart while using the chest fly. His eyes eventually alighted on the treadmill - the easy, uncomplicated treadmill… He spends the latter part of his gym visit in the steam room.
Celebrity fitness icon: Mr Motivator seemed to know his stuff.
Fitness goal for 2016: To work out how to use the piece of equipment that looks like a lifeguard's chair without asking for assistance, and to avoid the gaze of the personal trainer who weighed him in on day one.
Listening to: Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen.
Hashtags: #swim #steamroom #chillax
The competitive Yogi
The Competitive Yogi can still remember the day he took his rightful place in the front row of the hot yoga studio. It was shortly after he mastered Dandayamana Janushirasana - that's the standing head-to-knee pose for those who really ought to know better. The best-in-class position affords him a panoramic view of his glistening biceps and increasingly tight budgie smugglers in the wall-to-wall mirror. The teacher reminds them to leave their egos at the door, but Holy Krishna, it's hard not to notice how good he looks when he sees his reflection! The Competitive Yogi recently enquired about the teacher training. He has also acquired the regulation fractal mandala tattoo. The hot blonde in the purple crop top has one too and he plans to sidle up beside her, coconut water in hand, to discuss it.
Celebrity fitness icon: Bikram Choudary.
Fitness goal for 2016: To perfect his camel pose and experiment with the top-knot look.
Listening to: Bhakti Gita by Masood Ali Khan… and a little bit of Simply Red.
The pavement pounders
These all-female squadrons are commonly spotted power-walking through housing estates in January and early February. The diet started on Monday and they are pounding the pavement as if to prove their very conviction. These ladies know the calorie content of a glass of Chardonnay (125) and half a Kit-Kat (116). They also know the pros and cons of Weight Watchers versus Slimming World and the perils of walking past the local chipper.... Other conversation topics include the last episode of Grand Designs and whether or not the woman who runs the local wine bar has had Botox. The group disbands by March when schedules (Voice of Ireland / Room to Improve) start to conflict. Nuala's Golden Retriever knew it was too good to be true.
Celebrity fitness icon: Davina McCall - her 7 Minute Fit DVD is excellent.
Fitness goal for 2016: To fit into a size 12 dress for the niece's wedding.
Listening to: Run the World (Girls) by Beyoncé.
Hashtags: #walkthewalk #everymilematters #NewYearsResolution
The pilates pin-up
Her arms are lean and lithe; her bottom is pert and she could probably crack a walnut between her inner thighs. Not that she's tried... well… once… The Pilates Pin-Up's pelvic floor is stronger than the Ark Two Nuclear Fallout Shelter, and she knows it. This is partly because she performs Kegels when she's making breakfast, queuing in the bank and sitting in the boardroom, and partly because she implicitly understands what the teacher means when she talks about "imaginary headlights". It's best not to position yourself beside this species in a Pilates class. You'll feel like an earlier ape in Darwin's Theory of Evolution, and you'll wonder why she doesn't look like she's giving birth when she's practising "the hundreds".
Celebrity fitness icon: Miranda Kerr.
Fitness goal for 2016: To get her husband to come to a class with her.
Listening to: Perfect 10 by The Beautiful South.
Hashtags:#lean #long #strong
The fitbit wearer
17,098 steps. 1,954 calories consumed. 899 calories burned. This is not a good day for the Fitbit wearer, whose sense of self-worth is now derived from a gadget that she wears on her wrist. She knows the FitBit thinks she's lazy for not completing the 20,000 step challenge today. She knows he - it's a he - is silently judging her for failing to live up to his expectations. She has no choice but to do laps of the kitchen and walk up and down the stairs to reach her target. Tomorrow she'll watch Netflix while walking on the treadmill. This will get her back in FitBit's favour and maybe even earn her the Skydiver badge.... Her husband wishes he bought her a Nutribullet instead.
Celebrity fitness icon: Iron Man.
Fitness goal for 2016: To join the FitBit fan club on Facebook and book in with a podiatrist.
Listening to: Walk This Way by Aerosmith.
Hashtags: #fitbitaddict #dailyshowdown #serengetibadge
The spinning fanatic
The Spinning Fanatic - she's the one with the monomaniacal gaze and the special disdain for latecomers - is not averse to a 6am class. The early bird catches the worm, after all - or at least a bike in the front row. In the early days she felt a little silly peddling up imaginary cliff edges on a stationary bike. Nowadays she can't cope without her daily fix of dodgy euro-techno, dim nightclub lighting and a perma-tanned teacher who shouts 'COME ON, COME ON, COME ON!' into a detachable microphone as the music crescendos. It makes her feel like a badass Olympian (even if she looks more like a Tour de France cyclist on a pub crawl). The Spinning Fanatic doesn't soft-pedal in the changing rooms either. She somehow showers, blowdries her hair and changes in under 10 minutes. In fact, she's strutting out the door, basking in the glow of self-satisfaction, while the rest of her classmates are trying to put their underwear on without dropping their towels.
Celebrity fitness icon: Karlie Kloss.
Ftness goal for 2016: To increase her resistance and RPMs and reduce her carb intake.
Listening to: Maniac 2000 by Mark McCabe.
Hashtags: #6amworkoutclub #backinthesaddle #nopainnogain
The trend hunter
TRX is so 2015, says the Trend Hunter. This year it's all about HIIT. And she should know: she was the first among her friends to try anti-gravity yoga, Ballet Barre and indoor trampolining. In fact, this early adopter was practising Zumba when the rest of the world thought it was a language. There's a gut buster, a thigh master and an ab roller in her attic. In later years they will be joined by a Magic Circle, a medicine ball and a foam roller. Her research doesn't stop when she goes abroad. On the contrary, that's when the Trend Hunter hits Lululemon and checks out franchises like Barry's Bootcamp and SoulCycle. Her friends find her utterly intolerable at the best of times.
Celebrity fitness icon: Kate Hudson.
Fitness goal for 2016: To experiment with Krav Maga and stop eating avocado (it's just embarrassing at this point).
Listening to: Kali Uchis, or some other Next Big Thing artist.
Hashtags: #firsttotry #nextbigthing #instagood
The crossfit evangelist
Train. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. That's what it says on the CrossFit Evangelist's T-shirt. He has another one reading 'Just Kipping It Real', but he's sick of having to explain it to people. He can do the handstand walk. All WODs lead to the handstand walk... Now he just needs to learn the appropriate scenarios in which to showcase it. He once did it in Nando's after which the manager asked him and his date to leave... a very embarrassing situation for all involved. The Crossfit Evangelist has calluses on his hands, but he likes to think of them as war wounds. And besides, the 3,000+ mg of fish oils he ingests daily should help heal them.
Celebrity fitness icon: Julian Alcaraz
Fitness goal for 2016: To master handstand push-ups and get a tan
Listening to: Stronger by Kanye West
Hashtags: #timetotrain #muscleup #eatclean
Illustrations by Declan Considine