AFTER a difficult lockdown that saw gyms closed for such a long period, Urban Fitness owner Anthony Fennelly is delighted to be back in business next week.
Although he may have had a quiet 12 months, he plans to busier than ever as he begins a new role also as Gym Manager of the Dean Hotel.
“Life during Covid was very frustrating on a personal and professional level,” said Fennelly. "I contracted Covid myself just after Christmas and it really shook me taking six weeks to fully recover and I would be fit and healthy.
“Having been out of work for so long with gyms being closed it can impact your life in so many ways mentally, physically and financially and they can put a massive strain on your life, however, I’m now glad to be on the other side of things and looking forward to getting back to normality and to start my new role.”
Fennelly, a former goalkeeper has been involved in the fitness industry for a long time starting his own business 14 years ago and since has built up a great clientele and that’s down to his superb personality where his emphasis’ is always on helping each individual.
In his new role as manager of the Dean Hotel he hopes he can put his stamp on creating an atmosphere that will attract many.
“My ambitions for Power Gym is to create an amazing atmosphere for number one my staff to work in a place they love to come to work in where I am very open and approachable and they all have an opinion and a say in the direction we go that is very important to me.
"And I want to create an amazing experience for our hotel guests and regular clients that they will have an amazing facility in the Dean Hotel, a top-class gym, world-class studios and a beautiful pool to relax in but also top-class trainers who want to help inspire people lives.
"From all sports such as soccer, rugby, GAA, athletics, triathlon we want to help all sportsmen and women so if any club would like to come talk to me please get in touch and we can set up training plans for any sport.
“In my new role as manager of the Power Gym, I will be running the gym, personal training and the studio classes and leading the fitness team."
Laura Haring Will be managing the front-of-house side of the business and leading the front-of-house team.
"We both compliment each other very well and she is excellent at her role dealing with the memberships and all front of house matters and we will both work very closely in Cork with Dean Hotel manager Shane Fitzpatrick and Ben Leonard-Kane who I'm sure we will learn a lot from on this journey.
"Ben is overseeing all the power gym projects at all the Dean hotels that are opening in Ireland in Cork, Dublin and Galway so it’s all very exciting at the moment.
“I was doing a very similar role in Coral Leisure in Cobh where I loved my job and working with some great people and built a fantastic bond with the clients in Cobh. This offer came and I felt it was a great opportunity to progress myself professionally.”
So what does Fennelly feel stands out at his gym as opposed to all the others around Cork?
“The gym concept is very class-based where we will bring in some amazing classes. We will have two studies that will not have been seen in Cork before. The lighting and music systems in the rooms are amazing.
"Power Pedal is a spinning class while Power Climb is a versa climbing, low impact, full-body exercise class.
"We will also have a state of the art, fully equipped gym and personal training will also be available.
"All members will be supplied with a 'my zone heart rate' and training tracker belt and will be able to track all their sessions and results of every workout.”
The Knocknaheeney man has a strong work ethic and a huge passion in helping others.
“I have a massive passion for helping people reach goals in life that they never thought was possible.
"Whether it be a small personal goal to get a fit and healthy lifestyle or complete marathon or ultra-marathons or Ironman events I’ve worked with people from all levels.
d"My family has a very strong sporting backround with my brother John being an excellent hurler with Cork and my sister Trish also plays football in the women's league of Ireland. I’ve always had that winning mentality and playing sport always kept me focused and grounded.
"I love training setting goals and reaching them I was very lucky to live my dream as a professional footballer but some serious injuries definitely stopped me from dseeing my full potential.
“I am now loving life as a long-distance endurance athlete where I love doing ironman triathlon and running marathons as it gives me that buzz I missed when I finished playing football it punishes the body but you can't cheat it.
“I can’t wait for the gyms to open again and for us all to start feeling good doing something we love.”