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Archive for the ‘Club News’ Category


Protein – how much is enough?

It’s easy to get confused on protein. So many foods, from Snickers to Weetabix, have some added in. But how much do we need, and from what sources, and if we are exercising a lot do we need more?

Protein is essential to body tissues, we need it for growth and for the healthy maintenance of muscles and bones. Current guidelines suggest we need around 0.75g of protein per kilogram of bodyweight daily with about 10 percent of our calories coming from protein.

So if I weigh 72 kilos then I will need 54g of protein which is equal to two eggs (12g), a chicken fillet (25g) a big handful of nuts (7g) and a chunk of cheese (10g).

If I weigh 60kg I will need 45g of protein which looks like a greek yoghurt (10g), a chicken fillet (25g) and some quinoa (10g). That’s not even adding in the snacks you may eat during the day which will bump up your intake. So you can see it is really easy to get adequate protein from normal sources.

If you lift weights you may need more protein

Some studies have shown that protein can help the body to deal with the demands of intensive workouts. Strenuous physical activity causes tiny tears in muscles that protein will repair and at the same time create more muscle mass.

Last year researchers from McMaster University in Canada showed that eating higher amounts of protein during periods of weight training produced slightly bigger and stronger muscles in adults. The study also said that eating a lot more protein produced no additional muscle gain. If you are doing a lot of training in the gym you will need more to support your body mass. This is around 1.2 g per kilogram daily if you are quite an avid gym-goer. The research calculated that for people who lift a lot of weights there is a limit to the amount of protein that is beneficial, which is around 1.6g per kilogram of bodyweight per day. After that the protein is not going to do anything for you.

No more steak, steak , steak

Back in the old days when most of us didn’t even know a vegan there was a perception you could not get complete protein, one containing all of your essential amino acids, from plant sources. Today everyone is eating chickpeas or at least can point them out in a shopping basket. Soy and quinoa are both complete proteins and if you combine certain foods – like rice with lentils – then you will get all the amino acids then.

Current health guidelines suggest you vary your protein sources and Dr Conor Kerley is a dietitian who recommends this to maximise different minerals and vitamins and also to limit saturated fat which is in animal products and not in plant protein such as beans, lentils, legumes.

“Try to add some plant protein – beans, lentils, quinoa – these are filling and nutritious adding fiber and minerals as well as protein”, he said.

Dr Kerley, who is a lecturer in Technological University For Dublin, advised against protein bars saying that they are not necessary and often represent a heavily processed food.

Whole Grain carbs are fine

Although everyone on Instagram seems to be on the low carbs bandwagon some research is suggesting that diets too high in protein can have a negative effect on our gut flora and there have been some links to high protein intake and colon cancer as well as type 2 diabetes. Also if we only eat protein and no carbs, which are our main source of energy, then when will we have enough power to workout at the gym or go to that spin class after work?

Dr Kerley points out that not all carbs are the same and we should include some of the good ones.

“Carbohydrates such as wholemeal pasta, oats, barley are much more filling and provide more nutrients than refined varieties and there is usually no need to avoid these foods”, he said.

So in summary it’s probably best to ditch the processed foods with protein added and try to vary your sources leaning more towards beans, pulses, nuts and seeds, with some dairy or either calcium fortified alternatives, lean meat and fish.

So you see it is easy to get all your protein requirements, even if you need a bit extra to support for your training.

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Iconic’s hard work pays off as group sweep up at award ceremony

We had another wildly successful year at the latest industry gold standard Nutramino National Health & Fitness awards scooping first prize in four categories and winning all the accolades for Gym Team of the Year.

Hosted by our very own member and ex-rugby star Alan Quinlan, over 300 health and fitness professionals attended the event in Dublin’s Mansion House that aims to highlight outstanding contributions and innovation from the industry. There were in excess of 400 entries across Ireland showcasing some of the strongest talent within the fitness industry.

Iconic Health Clubs had another wildly successful year at the latest industry gold standard Nutramino National Health & Fitness awards scooping first prize in four categories and winning all the accolades for Gym Team of the Year. Hosted by ex-rugby star Alan Quinlan, over 300 health and fitness professionals attended the event in Dublin’s Mansion House that aims to highlight outstanding contributions and innovation from the industry.

We won the overall Customer Service Provider of the Year and our sister club 1escape Health Club in Dublin Smithfield was awarded Health Club of The Year.  Our Club Manager Cian Doyle at the Icon Health Club on Dublin’s Camden street was bestowed with Club Manager of the year.

Iconic Health Clubs had another wildly successful year at the latest industry gold standard Nutramino National Health & Fitness awards scooping first prize in four categories and winning all the accolades for Gym Team of the Year. Hosted by ex-rugby star Alan Quinlan, over 300 health and fitness professionals attended the event in Dublin’s Mansion House that aims to highlight outstanding contributions and innovation from the industry.

Our fitness teams dominated the Gym Team of The Year category, which we also won last year, with Iconic Health Clubs taking all three awards in this category – The Dartry Health Club came first, 1escape was awarded silver and Icon took bronze.

Iconic Health Clubs had another wildly successful year at the latest industry gold standard Nutramino National Health & Fitness awards scooping first prize in four categories and winning all the accolades for Gym Team of the Year. Hosted by ex-rugby star Alan Quinlan, over 300 health and fitness professionals attended the event in Dublin’s Mansion House that aims to highlight outstanding contributions and innovation from the industry.

Iconic Health Clubs was also was awarded silver in the Group Operator of the Year.

Katherine O’Riordan, a spokesperson for the awards, said “We were proud to acknowledge Iconic Health Clubs as winners across such coveted categories. Iconic Health Clubs stood out for the range of classes and programmes, the impressive accreditations and facilities across all sites and their strong customer focus”.

“With the right balance on quality and driving up customer satisfaction it feels like Iconic Health Clubs have a clear strategy and a plan to deliver’, according to the judges.

Director of sales and marketing Ciara Lefroy said the Iconic Health Club team were beyond delighted that they had done so well, especially since so many of the awards recognised the personal touch that the our teams pride themselves on offering.

“I am so proud of our teams and thrilled to see them get the recognition for all the amazing work they do.  We all truly love working in the health and fitness industry and the awards will only inspire us to keep doing what we are doing and encourage more people to get more active more often”, she said.

We’d like to thank all our members for the amazing response and we are so proud to bring the trophies home to share with you.

The group dominated the Gym Team of The Year, which it also won last year, with Iconic taking all three awards in this category - Dartry Health Club in south Dublin came first, 1escape was awarded silver and Icon took bronze.

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St Patrick’s Weekend Bank Holiday

the Dartry Health Club (1)

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Gym Dublin, The Dartry Health in Dublin 6.  Includes swimming pool, fitness classes, free weights, spinning classes, yoga, personal training in dublin. Welcome! If you’re looking for the best gym in Dublin look no further – we have what you need. Our exclusive, private members health club is dedicated to helping YOU achieve your health goals. We are conveniently located between the neighborhoods of Rathgar, Milltown and Rathmines. As fitness and health professionals we understand what it means to achieve optimum wellbeing and fitness. And we know how difficult it can be to fit exercise and wellness into your busy urban life. We’re here to help.

Managers Corner

Firstly, I’d like to say a huge congratulations to our teams after their success at the National Health and Fitness awards last week.  We were thrilled to win 4 National Awards including Gym Team of the Year and Customer Service Provider of the Year. None of this would have been possible without the great team we have working with us and of course our members support. Also, I’d like to congratulate Jess our trainer for making the finals for Fitness Instructor of the Year.

The group dominated the Gym Team of The Year, which it also won last year, with Iconic taking all three awards in this category - Dartry Health Club in south Dublin came first, 1escape was awarded silver and Icon took bronze.



Club investments and maintenance

In February we continued the improvements to the reception area with new seating and signage.  We are thrilled with the way it has turned out and thank you all for the terrific feedback.

Lounge area in The Dartry Health Club Gym dublin

I’m sure our new Costa Coffee machine will be a great addition to the club. Treat yourself to a Cappuccino or an Americano and grab a seat in our lounge area, relax and enjoy!  Payment for your coffee can be made at reception.










Our BMS that controls our heating is due to be fully operational by the end of March. The coils which were ordered at the end of January are due to be delivered on Tuesday 19th and the engineers will start working on it on the same day.

Canali machines update.

We are delighted to be able to update you about our machine weights.  We have finally had confirmation that the Canali machines will be collected next Wednesday 20th March to make way for replacement equipment.  I am excited to announce that I have ordered lots of new machine weights for the gym floor that will arrive in May. This will mean that every single machine will have been replaced with a brand new model by the worlds leading fitness equipment provider Freemotion.  I have taken on board all your recent feedback about the machines and I am confident that you are going to love the new equipment.  In the interim we have organised a loan of a leg press, leg curl, chest fly and a rear delt machine from our fitness suppliers and they will be arriving on Thursday.

Class booking changes

As always, we ask that you respect the code of conduct for classes and the use of the app. We have increased the cancellation period from 30 minutes to 2 hours. This should mean that people on the waiting lists will not be added to the class 30 minutes before it commences and will give them enough time to attend the class or call reception to cancel if the cutoff time has passed.

The rules regarding bookings and classes are in place to ensure that all members can attend the classes of their choice. Current statistics show that class attendance is on average at 75% which means there is plenty of space for everybody but if the rules are not respected then members may lose out.

Staff changes
Our new trainer Dave Cunningham joined our fitness team at the start of February. Dave has a huge wealth of experience in the fitness industry having first started as an instructor 15 years ago. He is also a level 2 swim instructor and has already slotted in for the Wednesday group lessons. We are thrilled to welcome Dave to our team and I am confident that he’ll be in big demand.

As always, I am available for any questions you have regarding your membership and I look forward to seeing you soon.

Sean Gavin

Club Manager

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100 Mile Paddy Pedal

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love your heart

Love your heart

Time to #loveyourheart this February as we welcome Healthy Heart Month. Sign up for our February challenge today via our mobile app and show your heart some love ❤️

Don’t forget to log your workouts, ask a member of our team for details today!


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Get with the strength training programme

If you were promised a magic potion would let you burn calories while decked on the couch, make you feel stronger mentally and physically and improve your long term health would you be interested?

You have probably already heard about strength training – it’s everywhere!. But have you actually listened? By the way it’s not just for older people (and hey we are all getting older), everyone needs to be doing some form of this exercise.

It’s basically any exercise you do working your muscles against a weight or a force – such as free weights, weight machines, resistance bands or your own body weight – in order to increase your muscle strength.

It’s sooner than you think

Lean muscle mass diminishes with age and your body fat will go up if you don’t do anything to replace this.

You really need to be doing this kind of exercise in your twenties and even younger.

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Even the Irish Rugby Union’s website says this kind of resistance training enhances fitness and reduces the risk of injury with young players.

Strength training is anabolic meaning it can stimulate muscle growth and is the only type of exercise that can address age associated decline in muscle mass and strength.

Research has shown that strength training can help develop strong bones, reduce the symptoms of many chronic conditions such as arthritis, back pain, obesity heart disease, depression and diabetes. It can also sharpen your thinking and learning skills.

From age 30 muscle mass function goes down

According to physiotherapist Dominic Hoban not only will strength training help with muscle mass decline it will also enhance your quality of life and improve your ability to do everyday activities.

“Muscle mass, and associated strength and function declines after the age of 30, especially so after the age of 50.


Resistance training is a proven, and recommended, way to minimise this and will improved people’s function whether it be for sport or day to day life”, he said.

He warned that you need to start slow and built it up.

“Like any exercise program, injury can occur with overload. It is important to get advice on technique and start with lighter weights 2-3 times a week and aim for gradual progression”.

Burn baby burn

Jess Demicoli, a fitness instructor at Dartry Health Club, says “lifting weights will increase lean muscle mass and reduce body fat  which means you will burn calories more efficiently for days after a class such as our Body Pump class”.

High Res JPG (3)

“ Lifting weights speeds up your metabolism. In a class like Body Pump you get the rep effect – repeating exercises with weights that build strength and get the heart rate up. You burn more calories doing this type of training”, she said.

Other classes we provide in the club such as Kettlebells and TRX are great for strength training. Ask at reception if you need advice.

Running on Empty

It’s really not enough to just do cardio anymore, whatever age you are. When you run you just use leg muscles and buttocks. With resistance training you will recruit a lot of other muscles.

Running coach Adam Jones says it is crucial runners do strength training.

“It is essential that all runners do strength and conditioning training in order to avoid injury”, he said.

Jones, who is an athletics coach, advises that the content of any strength training plan be put together by a qualified trainer.

How to get started

The good news is that you don’t have to slog all morning as research shows that a single set of 12 repetitions with the proper weight can be as effective as three sets of the same exercise.

To give your muscles time to recover, rest one full day between exercising each specific muscle group.

According to the Mayo Clinic you need to choose a weight or resistance level heavy enough to tire your muscles after about 12 to 15 repetitions. When you can easily do more repetitions of a certain exercise, gradually increase the weight or resistance.

You could do a class that incorporates strength training a couple of times a week. Or you could exercise in the gym yourself with machines and free weights.

It could be useful to get a personal trainer to show you how to do this. You could work with them on a regular basis or just get one session to be shown the ropes.

Technique is so important to avoid injury and get maximum benefit so before you add weight in a class make sure you can perfect the move.

Anna Barry worked out with a personal trainer for two years at The Dartry Health Club and loved every minute of it.

“For about two years I exercised 3 times a week with a personal trainer at The Dartry Health Club doing weights and resistance training which I felt strengthened my body for cardio exercises like running which then left me less prone to injury”, she said.

“I think it’s very important as we get older to do this kind of exercise to stave off osteoporosis. If I hadn’t been going to a personal trainer I would never have gone!”, she added.

So get a plan to incorporate some strength training into your exercise regime today. Putting a little effort in will mean you get a lot more out of life. We are here to help you every step of the way.

Personal training costs at Iconic Health Clubptslide

1x 30 minute session €35

3x 30 minutes session  €99

10 x 30 minute session  €299

1 hour session €65

3 x one hour sessions €180

10 x one hour sessions €550

get with the strength training programme

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Aqua Run at the Dartry Health Club

Have you tried our new aqua run class?

Get ready to change your walking and running routine. Aqua Run is exclusive to Iconic Health Clubs and gives you all the benefits of running without the heavy impact on your legs.

You may not be able to walk on water, but you can run in the pool. Aqua running has long been recognised as a rehabilitation exercise for injured athletes, but it’s also a wonderful workout in its own right.

This class allows you to get a great cardio workout without the impact, giving your body and joints a nice break from the pavement.

Pushing your limbs through the resistance of the pool water helps to strengthen muscles and joints, while the buoyancy water provides will allow you to complete a tough “run” with little recovery time.

This class is suitable for all ages, shapes and sizes and we know you’re going to love it.

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Working out with the best

There was huge excitement in Dartry Health Club on Wednesday January 30 when five lucky members, who had won a competition, got to work out with their favourite rugby stars including Michael Swift, Malcolm O’Kelly, Des Dillon, Mike Ross and many more.

The workout was led by our talented trainers Cliona and Joe. It kicked off with a gruelling boxfit session and then it was upstairs to do tough circuits in our dedicated training suite which we installed for the retired rugby players. This is a replica of the IRFU training suite, which is available any day of the week for all members to use.

It was also a chance for the retired rugby stars to get a last workout in ahead of the Ireland V England Legends match on Friday night which they won. Well done guys. All proceeds go to Charity – it’s a fun night for everyone before the seriousness of the 6 Nations.

One of the lucky winners Eleanor Nulty who said it was great fun if a little tough.

Mike Ross said it wasn’t an easy workout and the competition winners kept their end up.

“It’s not an easy circuit and they really kept up”, he said. Malcolm O’Kelly said it was a fantastic session. “It was really good fun and we will do it again”, he said.

Simon Keogh, CEO of Rugby Players Ireland, said the wellness partnership was going great and that the past players really appreciated working out at Iconic gyms.

Rugby Players Ireland Richard McElwee said “The club is a great touchpoint, it’s a good social network and we benefit from the great facilities at Iconic Health Clubs”.

So next time you think someone on the treadmill next to you looks really like a rugby player now you know why.

rugby image 4 rugby image 1

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dartry pool

Exciting Changes at Dartry

We held a whopping 6 days of training for our team for our current and Exciting new water based classes. We are committed to maintaining the highest standard of classes with monthly team training and up-skill days. These new classes will begin in January and we are confident that these will add extra benefits to your current training regime. As always we ask that you book in using your Iconic Health Club app.

dartry pool

We are undergoing a number of exciting new changes to the club in December.

Building work on our new reception area is starting this weekend, with new lighting and furniture being delivered throughout January. The gym will be closed from Sunday 16th – Tuesday 18th December to allow for this work to commence. Works on the BMS system is almost complete and it has already made a huge difference to the pool air and water temperature.

Our new treadmills will be delivered soon. We have received the first of these treadmills this week and seven more are to be delivered next week.

We have also invested over €50k in new machine weights. This equipment is being made by the Italian manufacture Canali System. From as young as 16 years to advanced age, from the Olympic athlete to the amateur, and women who don’t want to bulk up in the gym, the Canali System offers a training system that is suitable for all.

We have also ordered new mats for the stretching area, additional 4kg dumbbells for Studio 1, extra benches for the weights room, new dumbbell weights and an abdominal bench for the weights area also. To be shown how to use these pieces why not book in to meet with one of our trainers. Did you know that you can meet with one of our team every 4-6 weeks to ensure that you are on track to achieving your goals. Ask at reception today.
Heading into the new year, we would ask all members to maintain proper gym etiquette while in the club. Returning weights after use, carrying sweat towels, wiping down equipment and sharing machines are just some of the small habits that make The Dartry Health Club an enjoyable place to train. Let’s work together to keep these practices in place.

Finally, the team and I would like to wish you and your loved ones a wonderful Christmas holiday and as always we look forward to working with you in 2019 to achieve your health and fitness goals.

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