Wednesday 20 March 2019

Sing when your gyming

Having already conquered the world of pop in their respective bands, Shane and Edele lynch are aiming to take the fitness world by storm.

Edele and Shane Lynch training in their new Active gym in Drumcondra, Dublin. El Keegan
Edele and Shane Lynch training in their new Active gym in Drumcondra, Dublin. El Keegan
Edele and Shane Lynch training in their new Active gym in Drumcondra, Dublin. El Keegan

Alison O'Riordan

Brother and sister team Shane and Edele Lynch have shared similar music careers – one best known as a member of Boyzone, the other lead singer of Irish girl group and 1990s chart-topping band B*Witched – now they are fusing their knowledge of fitness.

Both in great condition, the trim duo are the brains and bodies behind a new fitness studio called 'Active You' in the heart of Dublin which gets to the heart of you . . . the Active You.

The hi-tech gym, located in Drumcondra, Dublin 9, boasts state-of-the-art equipment, a friendly and vibrant atmosphere, an array of activities and classes for adults as well as children, fully trained expert staff and, most importantly of all, all at competitive prices.

Edele's husband Michael Barrett, a renowned health and fitness coach, is head trainer at Active You.

With more than 12 years' experience in the health and fitness industry, working both abroad and in Ireland, Michael has trained a wide variety of clients ranging from elite sports stars to pop stars to the elderly client just looking to stay active.

The journey towards the new premises began two years ago when Michael had the opportunity to work with Shane and QVC UK, releasing a DVD aimed at educating the 50-plus age group about exercise and nutrition.

"It was about getting older clients active again, getting their balance back with exercises. There are four stages to the DVD, the first two are for the older market and the last two, if you get to stage four, well you're a serious fitness fanatic. It has just got released here in Ireland.

"It opened up a new area for me surrounding the love of nutrition and fitness, why we fuel our bodies and what foods fuel our bodies for pre- and post-workout, because of this it generated into an idea for a gym as I believed people needed to know this knowledge. Active You is a small space to absorb and receive this information," says Shane.

"I had an MMA label for the last 12 years but it was not very specific to body fitness and nutrition so we wanted to come up with something targeted to those who weren't massively fit but people who were a little more afraid of gyms and training facilities.

"We wanted to get people going with this fitness DVD and two years later we said let's keep going with it and make gyms and fitness studios," adds Shane.

For younger sister Edele, twin sister to Keavy, having qualified in Neuromuscular Therapy it was always a dream to own a gym with her other half who she married in 2006.

The former dancer has worked closely with Michael, co-owner of Active You, for the past seven years and is a prime example to all women of her age that it is possible to have three young kids, a high-profile career and keep yourself in great physical shape.

"I was very young in B*witched but I was fit anyway as I was in dance class every week. I didn't have to think about training but when B*witched finished I didn't have anything and had to think what I was going to do about it.

"When I met Michael I was only coming out of the music industry so I trained in fitness at that point and became a personal trainer. This is our first gym and we intend to branch out to the UK, as Shane is mostly based there."

"The idea is to keep it small as well, that way everyone gets that personal training attitude once they come in the door and tend to get more results," says the winner of the Irish Celebrity Apprentice in 2013.

"Michael is a guru and honestly if you are lucky enough to spend an hour with him, you will walk away having learnt something for life. Also if you ask for a specific outcome he will give it to you. And if you focus you will get it. This is what we are built for, results. It's not about coming in, paying us your money and wasting your time. We want people to come in and get the results they need and leave happy.

"For every specific person, Michael knows what they need and what they should do. He is actually unbelievable, he will get any results you want, so long as you have the body type and the mental attitude," she adds.

The gym caters for all different types of an Active You, from someone who was inactive and is slowly getting back into working out, to fitness fanatics and everything in-between.

"We get to heart of the person and offer classes for everybody including TRX, Strength Training, Active Kids, Active Core, Pilates, MMA Conditioning and HIIT. Get Active is another class we do for anyone 55-plus," says the 35-year-old who trains four times a week to keep in the best shape possible.

"I do loads of different things like TRX, which is using your body strength, Rings, which is an advanced version of TRX and HIIT, which is a high intensity training class. MMA fighters come in and do the HIIT class. I also train the core which is a lunch time class and I would also do some personal training with my husband," said the active mother.

Shane, still a part of one of the most successful pop bands ever to come out of Ireland and one of its most distinctive members due to his body piercings and large display of tattoos, doesn't do any weights whatsoever.

"I'm the opposite, I would do mostly cardio and a lot of my stuff is concentrated on diet and nutrition. Only because I'm nearly 40 years of age now and I've spent a lot of time on motor cross bikes and BMXs. My ankles and knees aren't the best, so to be putting on muscle and size isn't good for me, I'm more the athletic type in a very different way. I try to stay light. I still get the chiselled look from my nutrition and eating the kind of foods that compliment your body," said the motor racing enthusiast who hails from Donaghmede but resides in England with his wife and two daughters, aged five and one.

Unlike other gyms, this Drumcondra fitness hub offers a class called Active Kids which concentrates on getting kids agile and mobile through everyday movements, exercises and games. It also builds confidence and social skills for younger people.

"We do Active Kids which is huge for us, all kids are doing are sitting down playing computer games, it's not like it was years ago, where we would play outside. You rarely see them out on the road anymore because it's not as safe as it use to be"

Active You also intend to branch out from the gym and target local schools.

"I feel PE needs to be moved on to an active point of view. I remember PE as a place where we learned badminton and tennis but that's not what it should be anymore, it should be to get the kids active and it should happen two or three times a week," says Edele.

There are three types of gym memberships available. There is an Active Membership for €50 per month, which gives access to the strength and conditioning suite to train by yourself; an Active VIP membership for €65, where one can attend a range of 40-plus classes per week; and an Active AAA Membership for €100 per month where one can attend all the classes plus avail of the strength and conditioning suite, including one personal training session per month.

"It's not just a gym membership; serious people will stay here and benefit on an individual basis. Personal training costs a lot of money so you get that without spending a huge amount. We also have on offer personal training, weight management and body transformation. You get that personal attention as we keep the classes small. The opening hours are from 6.30am until 9.30pm at night, we try to fit into your day as opposed to you fitting into yours," says Edele.

While Edele is busy getting the fitness studio off the ground, Shane now spends much of his time involved in car drifting, which is a driving technique where the driver intentionally or unintentionally over steers, causing loss of traction in the rear wheels or all tyres, while maintaining control from entry to exit of a corner.

As a motor sport discipline, professional drifting competitions are held worldwide and are judged according to the speed, angle, showmanship and line taken through a corner or set of corners. To date Lynch has become one of the most talked about competitors on the track in the UK.

"It's a relatively new sport. In the last 10 years it has gone to a level of extreme which is so exciting to watch," says Shane.

"In general the fitter the body, the fitter the mind and I realised that while the Boyzone thing is one thing, fitness for me is more to do with motor sport and to get the mind to focus on particular things.

"I landed myself in drifting now for the last seven years. . . It's probably the most invigorating sport you have seen for some time when it comes to visual pleasure. It's very high speed and Mondello would be the best place to go and see it. I want to come over for the Irish Drift Championship this year as the Irish boys bring you to a different pace with a different aggression."

Irish Independent

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