I love giving people the mental, social, physical outlet they need right now

Fitness studio owner Michelle McAteer-Doyle talks about her passion for health and fitness, spending quality time with family, and her love for Rathcormac
I love giving people the mental, social, physical outlet they need right now

Shelly McAteer-Doyle, who known as Shelly Mac, owner of Max Fitness.

TELL us about yourself;

My full official title is Michelle McAteer-Doyle, but I’m known by almost everyone as Shelly Mac! I’m the owner and energy behind Max Fitness — a class fitness studio based in the heart of Rathcormac, Co. Cork!

I opened the doors to the studio eight years ago and it has been such an amazing journey! I have a class studio as well as a Spin studio (all within the same building). With all the restrictions that Covid has thrown at us over the past year, I have managed to bring Max Fitness online, which has been such a fantastic opportunity. It has allowed me to continue to do the work I love and give people the mental, social and physical outlet that so many of us need right now! I’m really excited to continue my online work, even when I re-open the studio.

My passion for health and fitness began many years ago, I started playing camogie from the age of seven and football at 14 and even have an All-Ireland (schools) medal to my name.

I went on to study my Bsc in Sport and Exercise Science in the University of Limerick and since then have also completed my studios in Neuromuscular and Physical Therapy, Pilates and just recently qualified as a Precision Nutrition Level 1 Coach!

I absolutely adore what I do and I love sharing that passion with others and inspiring them to make fitness simply a part of them and what they do.

Shelly Mac.
Shelly Mac.

Where were you born?

I was born in Cork, shortly after my parents moved here with my two older sisters and brother from London (yep — SURPRISE!!) My mother is from Mayo and my father is from Co. Down. They both moved to London for work which is where they met, fell in love, got married and started a family!

When returning “home” they settled on neutral ground in Cork — my mum had family already living here! I grew up in Castlelyons and moved all the way (about three miles!) to Rathcormac when I was 11.

Where do you live?

I currently live on the outskirts of Fermoy after buying our forever home last year!


I met my wonderful husband Eamonn almost 12 year ago and we have two beautiful children — Jessie (aged five) and Keelan (aged three). I am the youngest of four kids and while my parents and one of my sisters live close by, I also have one sister, who is married and living in France with her hubby and their beautiful twin girls, and my brother has lived in Australia for almost 12 years and is getting married there at the end of next year!

Best friend?

It has to be my friend Maria — we met on the very first day of secondary school and she has been my bestie ever since! She was with me on my wedding day as one of my bridesmaids and I even waddled down the aisle at her wedding as her bridesmaid 11 days before I had my second child!

Earliest childhood memory?

Standing up in the cot in my parents’ room and my dad coming over and lifting me out!

Person you most admire?

I don’t think she even knows this, but it has to be my mum. My parents are both amazing and have worked so incredibly hard. But my mum is a fantastic entrepreneur (even though I guarantee she wouldn’t describe herself that way) and ran a successful Bed & Breakfast for the past 23 years. 

Her work ethic has been such an inspiration and her support in everything I have done is incredible! I’m so grateful to her and all she has done for us.

Person who most irritates you?

Luckily there isn’t too many on this list! I like to see the good in people, but when people are continuously rude or bad-mannered, that doesn’t float my boat!

Where was your most memorable holiday?

The memories of my student summers spent in Spain, Australia and America will absolutely stay with me for life, but taking things a little closer to home one of my favourite holidays was actually to Westport with my (now) husband!

Shelly McAteer-Doyle, who known as Shelly Mac, owner of Max Fitness.
Shelly McAteer-Doyle, who known as Shelly Mac, owner of Max Fitness.

Favourite TV programme?

We are currently watching Suits on Netflix — yep, we are totally late to the show, we are only on season 3 but really enjoying it!

Favourite radio show?

Has to be Dermot & Dave on Today FM!

Your signature dish if cooking?

I’m known for my one-pot style of cooking, so a hearty stew of some sort!!

Favourite restaurant?

At this stage I’ve forgotten what the inside of a restaurant looks like!

Last book you read?

Rewind by Catherine Ryan Howard.

Best book you read?

Asking For It, by Louise O Neill.

Last album/CD/download you bought?

Out Of Nothing by Embrace — it’s super old but I hadn’t heard it in years! It’s still as good as I remembered!

Favourite song?

I’m known for loving cheesy pop when I’m in the studio! But my favourite song is I’ll Never Let You Go by Evermore.

One person you would like to see in concert?

I would absolutely love to go see the Foo Fighters in concert!

Do you have a pet?

Yes, we have a little Cockapoo called Honey! She’s over six years old now!

Morning person or night owl?

Definitely a morning person — I’m up by 6.15am every morning except Sunday. I’m so much more productive in the mornings!

Your proudest moment?

From a business point of view, it was winning the Best Fitness Community in Ireland award at the 2020 Irish Fitness Industry Awards. It was amazing just to be shortlisted in the first place and we were up against such big places, mainly from Dublin, so when Max Fitness was announced I was floored!

I always say we may be small, but we are mighty! It is such a reflection of the amazing community of Max Fitters we have!

Spendthrift or saver?

Definitely a saver! I’m definitely a minimalist at heart — having too much ‘stuff’ makes me feel anxious!

Name one thing you would improve in your area in which you live?

I always consider Rathcormac the community that I am part of as that is where Max Fitness is, it’s where I grew up and it’s also where we are sending our kids to school.

There is currently a community field under construction which includes a 1km walking track, a 200m running track and so much more. Our area is so fantastic already, but when this is complete it is going to be such an unreal facility to everyone, young and old!

What makes you happy?

Slowing down when the opportunity arises, spending quality time with family, long lunches that run in to dinners with great friends, walking in woodlands and post-training endorphins!

How would you like to be remembered?

I would like to be remembered as someone who enhanced people's lives in some way. I want my time here to make a difference in the best possible way.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Echo 130Echo 130

Podcast: 1000 Cork songs 
Singer/songwriter Jimmy Crowley talks to John Dolan

Listen Here

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more