Friday 23 March 2018

'We listened to his new album in the gym and it was amazing' - Dublin-based personal trainer reveals relationship with the late David Bowie

Pat Henry Photo: Marc O'Sullivan.
Pat Henry Photo: Marc O'Sullivan.

Jane O'Faherty

A Dublin-based personal trainer has revealed his professional relationship with the late David Bowie.

Pat Henry first welcomed the icon of pop music to his gym for a number of weeks in 2003, and said he left a lasting legacy on the training centre.

Speaking to, Pat said he couldn’t believe the news of Bowie’s passing, which broke on Monday morning.

“Only a few days ago, we were listening to his new album in the gym and it was amazing,” he said.

“He would always chat to the clients in the gym.”

“He used to go on the sunbeds – that was his down time,” Pat said.

The singer came to the renowned fitness centre for various types of training, including light weight training and cycling.

But his initial visit to the facility didn’t quite go to plan.

“The first time he came to us, he felt really faint after his first training session,” Pat recalled.

“He had low blood sugar and he didn’t eat very much. He had an extremely busy routine.”

“We had to give him lots of grape juice to get his sugar levels back up,” he added.

While Pat endeavoured to ensure the musician had as much privacy as possible, word soon got out about the ‘Heroes’ singer’s whereabouts.

“There was one guy waiting at the door for days in lashes of rain, with all his Bowie albums,” Pat said.

When gym staff asked the young boy what he was doing, he explained he just wanted to see his hero going into the gym.

After talking to Bowie’s bodyguard, Pat managed to arrange a meeting between Bowie and the young man. “He went over to him and spent a good while chatting to him,” he said.

“He signed all his albums as well. The young lad couldn’t speak.”

“He was really nice and chatty. He had a really fantastic body – he looked like he was in his twenties.”

David Bowie remains one of the centre’s most iconic clients, among a series of famous faces such as Bruce Springsteen, Helen Mirren and Gabriel Byrne.

But Pat believes the musician’s diligence and determination, in both his training and his musical achievements, set him apart.

 “I remember asking him what his favourite track was,” Pat said. “He said: ‘My favourite track is the one I haven’t written yet.’”

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