Fitness with an Irish accent
hello fellow fitness road warriors.
Happy to say I just got back from two glorious weeks touring Ireland. Despite sitting in airports, on planes and in cars for many many hours over a two week period, eating fish & chips, scones, sticky toffee pudding, brown bread, creamy Irish butter, bacon, smashed potatoes, venison, banoffee pie and a Guinness here and there, I did not gain any weight … (But at least if I had, it would have been from good good stuff, not crap).
It was a wee bit tedious finding fitness classes in Ireland, but I did manage to find four and they were were each different and satisfying in their own way.
PILATES IN DUBLIN
The top floor Pilates studio in a federal house on Baggot Road was simply gross! The carpet was stained and not vacuumed. The air was stale. When I laid down on the skimpy mat, little hairs(ew, totally nasty)and particle bits attached themselves to my spanx wear. The rug held a slightly moldy scent.
The Pilates teacher was a stunning, tall and incredibly fit former gymnast from Lithuania. Her warm up of deep breathing and roll downs seemed interminable. Not only did we (there was a young lady and an elderly gent in class) do twenty standing roll downs, she had us do twenty reps of everything over and over and over! Twenty bridges, twenty push-ups, twenty spine stretch forwards,and then repeat the sequence as well as several sets of 100s, planks galore, side kick series in s*l*o*w motion… ok ok ok already. Was she a sweet well meaning instructor, by all means. Am I glad I went? Yup, it’s always good to see what’s out there in the Pilates world. The Bottom line, would I return? Nope. Perhaps this is why Pilates seems a bit obscure in Dublin.
PHYSIQUE FITNESS IN KILLARNEY
I thought I was signed up for a barre class, however it was a Tae Bo class. Tae Bo is a total body fitness system that incorporates martial arts techniques such as kicks and punches. It was developed by Taekwondo master Mr. Billy Blanks.
The owner/instructor Aongus’ enthusiasm was contagious and the more we sweated the happier he was. I was completely drenched, endorphins flying. My body was singing hallelujah praise the powers that be. Would I go back? In a rapid heartbeat.
NRG STUDIO IN GALWAY
The studio is a ten minute walk from Philip Treacy’s glamorous G Hotel. With trepidation, I signed up for the hot Pilates mat class taught by Sharon. There were 15 students in the tightly packed class, the temperature was about 80-85 degrees. Working out in the heat is an anathema to me, the first ten minutes were torture but my inner body thermometer adjusted and the heat was not so noticeable. Yes, I was sweating profusely, dripping wet. Sharon’s cues and flow were smooth and gentle like her lilting accent. Sharon’s class is popular and it is easy to see why.
LIVE & BREATH PILATES IN DUBLIN
Steph Grey owns this stunning fully equipped sunny studio located in a former ancient prison in the Portobello section of the city. She calls it an oasis and I couldn’t agree more. It is newly renovated and the Stotts reformers are brand new. I took a private pilates reformer session and a barre group class both taught by Katrin. Loved this place, they are truly spreading the good word on fitness.