Left-Field Fitness

A few months in and it is easy to feel that the novelty of the New Year has worn thin…even if our bodies haven’t. It is a time of year when maybe the resolutions we made for January are starting to slip, but the holidays are still coming nonetheless and the beaches will need their beach bodies. NewsFour went looking for some refreshing alternatives to the sad spectacle of a renewed but neglected gym membership.

Our first stop is the Wild Geese Martial Arts Academy. Located at 14-16 Magennis Place, just off Pearse Street. Wild Geese Martial Arts teaches a variety of classes based around martial fitness and combat training for fun or for competition. NewsFour spoke with Dave Hedges, one of the founders of the academy, “Beginners are very welcome; people of all skills or fitness levels. The thing is, any of our classes would be suitable – everything is applicable to the beginner, it just depends on what your goals are. For developing fitness fast, I’d recommend Kettle Bell Training or Muay Thai Boxing.” Other disciplines include Escrima (south Asian stick fighting), Jud and Brazilian Jujitsu among others. On the gentler side of things, there are Pilates and Yoga classes for conditioning and core fitness.
If Yoga is more your speed than fight sports, but you’re still looking for some intensity and fast results, then due east along Pearse St., crossing onto Ringsend Road you’ll find Init Yoga Studios. Init operate a franchise of Bikram Yoga, a patented high-intensity approach to traditional Yoga training. Bikram was developed by yogi and entrepreneur Bikram Choundary as a results-oriented style. Classes uniformly last ninety minutes, in studios heated to around 40 degrees Celcius to promote flexibility and detoxifying sweating. There are a set number of postures to master and students are obliged to bring water, a towel and dress for heat and freedom of movement. Maybe not for the faint-hearted (or those prone to fainting), Bikram Yoga gets results quickly: Init Yoga Studios also run a 30 Day Challenge – do one lesson a day for thirty days and see the results.

Lastly, at 20 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, west of the Samuel Beckett Bridge, there is Crossfit Docklands. Crossfit Training is a unique, comprehensive strength and conditioning programme. We spoke with Linda Piper-Roche of Crossfit Dublin, “The aim of Crossfit is to always be giving 100%, in a way that suits you. It’s training that can complement any other activity you might be involved in. The focus is functional and the aim is for a full range of motion.” Is it easy on a beginner, we asked? “Yes, we’re very beginner-friendly, and the training is age-scalable, so you could be 16 years old or 83. We try and create incentives for all types of people. So for instance, we offer a 15% discount for military personnel and first responders like Garda or fire fighters. “What’s rewarding is seeing development. You get results.”

by Ruairi Conneely