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24 May 2022

Rushe Fitness - a gym that is about a lot more than fitness

There is a sense of community once you enter the doors of Rushe Fitness

Rushe Fitness - a gym that is about a lot more than fitness

The Rushe family

An ethos of creating a strong sense of community and engagement exists among gym members at Rushe Fitness - an ethos which is more important than setting unrealistic goals or becoming lost in what the true purpose of fitness is.
Emmet and Maria Rushe have cultivated great friendships, as have their coaches, at their Lisnennan-based gym in Letterkenny. Emmet and Maria live in Newtowncunningham, and are parents to two young girls, Julia, 10, and Danielle,6. Maria teaches at Coláiste Ailigh. A former carpenter, Emmet retrained over a decade ago and has been involved and working in the fitness industry since.

Bringing experience home

Driven by enthusiasm Emmet has visited gyms in New York and London to garner information, techniques and training which he has integrated into the gym which the couple established seven years ago.
“The goal was always this type of gym, I always wanted a facility that was all inclusive and it was personalised in that everybody was being coached,” he said.
Emmet said one of the biggest issues that people face when they begin their training journey, is that they take a membership, attend the gym but don’t really know what they should be doing and leave after a short period of time because they can’t see progress or don’t have any direction or guidance.
“Everything that happens at Rushe Fitness is coached, be it the fitness classes or Small Group Personal Training,” he explained.
“For everybody that comes through the door, there is a coach looking after them to guide them to where they want to be on their journey and establishing what route they need to take to get the results they want to get.”
Both Maria and Emmet say training is only one aspect of their fitness experience. “We know a lot about our members, we see them as part of the family when they come through the door.”
Emmet said one of the positive aspects gleaned from the lockdown was that people began to appreciate and understand how important their health is.

Online community

He said that when the gym reopened, following the second lockdown, there was huge enthusiasm among people to get back into the gym and train among other people.
“There is a strong community aspect to it, for a lot of our members, the two or three hours they do in here is possibly the only two or three hours they get away from work or away from their kids in a week,” he said.
Some of the people that visit their gym are working in demanding jobs or are working parents who run busy homes so the only hours they get free every week is used in the gym.
Emmet and Maria understand how much these few hours mean to people and want them to get the best experience possible at Rushe Fitness.
“It is important for them to get in with other people and just switch the mind off – it’s an hour of stress relief where they are not thinking about other things,” he said.
Emmet and Maria appreciate that those who attend the gym have their own goals and they help them with their goals, as much as possible.
However, the couple see more to their service than training alone.
People who joined the gym, who did not know each other at first now they meet outside the gym.
“They have created their own little communities and that is what we want at the gym,” Emmet said.
“We are training people, not robots.
“Our community aspect works better in that we want people to feel at ease here, we want people to feel part of this gym community.
“That is what we have created here - it is more of a community rather than a gym where people train and leave again.”
Alongside the training, Emmet has continued to upskill and learn the best way to coach the clients and he has introduced ‘the special service side of things’ to the gym.
Emmet and Maria have added little touches throughout the gym that they feel are important and aesthetically pleasing.
Coaches in Rushe Fitness also continue to upskill and they know a lot about their clients - the coaches have a genuine interest in members and in how they are both inside and outside the gym.

Real people - real results
Coaches are trained to see past the training aspect, they empathise with their members and can tell when members have something else on their mind and when they feel appropriate to change the training to suit that member’s mood.
The team introduced two more coaches to their close-knit team last year. The gym opens at 6am and is open until 8pm. All the hours are coached and people are always guided in order to get the best from their time at the gym.
The pandemic had a massive impact on gyms across the country. Rushe Fitness was open for a mere 16 weeks during the entire period of the lockdown.
Emmet, who is described by Maria as being driven and ambitious, decided to move classes online and they began with a six-week period of free classes during the first lockdown.
“It got to the stage where they announced that the lockdown was going to be longer. We had to move online as a product and I think at the start of the lockdown and throughout the first lockdown we had 250 people with us online,” he said.
They ran daily classes from Monday through to Saturday. The couple kept people busy as well by giving them tips and help through social media.
People who cannot get to their gym continue their online classes with the couple's online company, Habifit. Please go to Rushe Fitness website and check out their social media platforms for more information www.rushefitness.ie

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