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Ben Dunne Gyms offer a brilliant environmen­t in which to realise your fitness goals. Having opened new premises in Waterford and Portlaoise, and conducted a major refurbishm­ent in Westpoint, their popularity is set to keep booming.

- Photograph­y: Miguel Ruiz bendunnegy­

Ireland is getting even tter! That’s the word from Ben Dunne Gyms – and if anyone is in a position to know, it is the king of Irish gyms. The long-time market leader has opened in Waterford and Portlaoise, bringing to ten the number of Ben Dunne Gyms in Ireland – and the reaction has been phenomenal, with locals ocking to what are state of the art premises.

Ben Dunne Gyms are well-establishe­d all over the greater Dublin area too: from Jervis Street in the city centre, out to Sandyford in the south; Blanchards­town in the west; and Santry to the north, each one as successful as the next. Some, like Carlisle in Terenure, Northwood in Santry, and Westpoint in Blanchards­town, have 25-metre swimming pools, as well as Jacuzzis and steam rooms. It is a thriving, successful business – the best in Ireland by some measure and a benchmark for everyone else. If you want great value in top quality gym membership, Ben Dunne Gyms is the place to go.

Locations are chosen where there’s lots of parking. Portlaoise is the most recent new outlet in a campaign that is, step by step, taking Ben Dunne Gyms across the country. The old philosophy has been ringing true for BDG: build 'em and they will come. And so they will continue building – and improving the customer experience.

Westpoint in Blanchards­town has recently undergone a major refurbishm­ent. When

Best Of Ireland visits, it is humming with activity. People are working out on treadmills, horizontal seated presses, cable biceps bars, rowing machines and a host of other impressive looking contraptio­ns, designed to help enthusiast­s and newbies alike to sculpt a stronger, tter, leaner and longer-lasting body. That, after all, is what the tness game is all about: looking good and staying t and healthy.

There are hundreds here shedding pounds and adding muscle. Or if they’re on the lean side, just adding muscle. And there will be every day of the week, from early in the

morning until late in the evening. Like all Ben Dunne Gyms, the place is spick and span. There’s an atmosphere of quiet determinat­ion that speaks of self-improvemen­t through hard graft.

These are democratic places. There is a very simple requiremen­t that you obey the rules; no form of discrimina­tion is contemplat­ed or allowed. It is an ethos that makes sense in the new Ireland – we all aspire to being better. Well, this is a very good place to start.

In every Ben Dunne Gym, there’s a timetable of free classes in pilates, yoga, spinning, zumba and lots more. You can also hook up with a personal trainer, who – for an agreed extra fee from €25 a session – will guide you through an individual exercise programme. It's all about shaping up in exactly the way that you want to.

And then there’s the price. You’d have to take out a mortgage to afford the membership in some gyms. Not here. Depending on the location, membership of a Ben Dunne Gym in Dublin is €19 a month, or €200 for 12 months. Where swimming facilities are available, the all-in fee is €29.95 a month, but even here the annual fee drops to €250. And you can get a 12 month membership for three people, with swimming, for €690.

“Irish businesses that are well run are thriving,” says Ben Dunne. “Our membership keeps on climbing, so we know that we are doing things the right way. With Waterford and Portlaoise open, we have lots of interestin­g plans to grow. But we will keep doing it in a way that allows us to offer the best possible value to our customers. That’s something we believe in passionate­ly.”

BULL AND FIDDLE FITNESS 60-62 Tory Top Road, Ballypheha­ne, Cork Tel: (087) 647 0360

Being both a gym and a tness studio, Bull and Fiddle Fitness offers spinning classes, boot camps and personal training, all under the watchful eyes of ACE quali ed trainer Tony Froggatt. The cardio equipment includes treadmills, cross trainers, rowing machines, exercise bikes and free weights, which will have your physique toned in no time. Prices are €48 a month or €350 for a year’s membership.

N.G.S FITNESS Mullingar, Co. Westmeath. Tel: (085) 157 8347

Founded in 2011 by Westmeath footballer­s Paul Sharry and Shane Flynn, Next Generation Speed offers a wide variety of tness classes, personalis­ed programmes and more. With a focus on speed and conditioni­ng, N.G.S is a stop-off for any midlands native looking to take their tness to the next level. 1ESCAPE

Tel: 01) 485 0700/01

A fully-equipped urban dojo, 1Escape is not your usual gym experience. Their hydrorider class, for example, involves spinning in a pool – a real full body workout. You can learn martial arts, do Body Combat and practice anti-gravity yoga.

SWAN LEISURE CENTRE Rathmines Square, Lower Rathmines Road, Rathmines, Dublin 6

Tel: (01) 496 7908 swanleisur­

For those of you who want to swim as well as work out, Swan Leisure Centre has its own 25-metre pool where you can take lessons from some of Ireland’s top swim coaches. There’s also spin classes, pilates and even triathlon coaching available. Membership is €30 per month. A single swim visit is €6.50 and single gym visit costs €7.00.

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 ??  ?? Lets get physical: Tracey O’Brien & Josh Murray in Ben Dunne Gym Westpoint
Lets get physical: Tracey O’Brien & Josh Murray in Ben Dunne Gym Westpoint
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The Swan Leisure Centre Pool

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