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Archive for the ‘Club News’ Category

New Class Timetable

We are delighted to announce that our new class timetable will start next week.  We have added some really great classes including the world’s best HIIT class, GRIT. We have put together an article all about this class which you can read in our news section.

With thanks to your feedback we have made a few amendments and additions to your class timetable. We know we can’t meet everyone’s busy schedule but we think we’ve got as close as possible.

We are super excited about launching your new timetable next Monday 16th September and look forward to seeing you in the classes.  In the meantime, here’s a copy for your convenience.

Group Fitness Class Timetable The Dartry Health club gym in dublin 6

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It’s been called the closest thing to an exercise pill. And while it might take a bit more effort, there is now no doubt at all that high-intensity interval training is just what the doctor ordered.

Anyone who follows the latest in fitness news knows that HIIT is a hit. A big hit. But high-intensity interval training is much more than a fad – it is a scientifically backed way to build cardiovascular fitness, and research is revealing plenty more health benefits it can bestow. Here are five of the top researched reasons to put HIIT on your own workout list:

  • HIIT improves lean body mass and maximal oxygen consumption, while drastically cutting the risk of heart disease.
  • HIIT is extremely effective at cutting stubborn and unhealthy tummy fat.
  • In both young (18 to 30) and older (65 to 80) exercisers, a major study showed HIIT had by far the greatest activation of muscle and fat-burning capacity, when compared with other types of exercise.
  • HIIT has been shown to be much better than other workouts for producing excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), meaning your body continues to use oxygen and burn fat long after you’ve stopped exercising.

There’s no doubt that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) drives amazing results. Several studies, conducted with sedentary adults, provide compelling evidence that HIIT can rapidly build fitness. However, there’s been nothing to demonstrate how HIIT affects those of us who are already fit and active. Until now.
The Les Mills Lab teamed up with Dr. Jinger Gottschall of Penn State, to explore how a specific form of HIIT training, like LES MILLS GRIT™, can transform the fitness of regular exercisers.

The research team measured aerobic fitness, body composition, upper and lower body strength, and cardiovascular risk factors, at the beginning and end of the six-week trial.

After six weeks, those who did LES MILLS GRIT showed a much greater increase in cardiovascular fitness, and a drop in triglycerides, which is the amount of fat we have in our blood. There was a startling reduction in cardiovascular disease risk factors and their strength gains were significant – leg strength improved by 15.7 percent, and back strength increased by an astonishing 21.9 percent. Most impressively, the group who did LES MILLS GRIT reduced their bodyfat by 2.1 percent and dropped their waist circumference 2.5cm.

In another study, Gottschall followed professional athletes. A team of soccer players substituted their usual seven hours of off-season training with just four hours and added two LES MILLS GRIT workouts. Despite decreasing their training time by two hours per week, the soccer players saw significant changes in both body composition and fitness levels.

Together these studies prove that 30 minutes of LES MILLS GRIT twice a week, will create significant changes in your fitness and body composition, lower the risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and smash through your fitness plateau. For a fit and active population, HIIT is extremely time efficient.

“For those people with a good base level of cardiovascular fitness and strength, HIIT will help you to keep getting fitter,” explains Bryce Hastings, Les Mills Head of Research. “For athletes, it can reduce training time and still improve performance.”

Hastings adds that the findings of this second study are not only relevant for soccer players. “It is a very real prescription for maximizing competition performance and minimizing training time across a range of competitive sports.” What’s more, the variety provided with LES MILLS GRIT workouts, could potentially reduce the risk of overuse injuries that can come from traditional conditioning such as distance running.

With this research front of mind the message is clear: it’s not the volume but the intensity that fuels change.

Two 30-minute LES MILLS GRIT sessions a week is all it takes. You’ve now got your prescription, what are you waiting for?

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September Rocks

Have you signed up for our September challenge yet?

It’s still not too late and we know it will help you to stay motivated and on track.  Not only that but you will earn points for joining and attending and we have some really great prizes now added to our member rewards prizes including sports bags, resistance bands, ear buds and much much more.


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Our Swim Team at The Dartry Health Club during their Swim Ireland continued development training

Swim Ireland Swim Programme At The Dartry Health Club

Our new and approved Swim Ireland Swim programme has been a huge success . Over the past number of years we have seen our swim programme go from strength to strength including our Junior Lifesaving programme.


Junior Lifeguards in training at The Dartry Health Club


Our continuous on-going staff training with swim Ireland which has included their new Swim Programme, child protection training, first aid training, lifesaving training and pool chemical training ensures that we are delivering one the best environment for your child to learn to swim in Ireland.






From October onwards the following will be introduced into our Swim Programme:

      • Our swimming programme and private lessons will only be available to members.
      • Swim Passport for all kids to track and keep their certspassport
      • Parents will be able to check online their kids progress on a weekly basis
      • In house trained designated liaison officer children first safeguarding (Dave Tyrell)
      • Lessons will break from 21st December 2019 to 6th Jan 2020
      • Lessons will break from 1st Aug 2020 to the 7th September 2020
      • A freeze fee of €10 will be charged to DD if you wish to freeze lessons during term time
      • From 1st October 2019 Prices will increase to Members €50 p/m

We wish to thank you for your continued support with our swim programme and we look forward to seeing the kids progress further as they learn a hugely valuable life skill.

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Dartry 2

Manager’s Corner

On behalf of the team at The Dartry Health Club, I’d like to welcome all our members back after the summer.  We’ve been very busy behind the scenes getting ready for your return and we are really excited about seeing you all back at the club.

Club maintenance

Throughout the summer we carried out a number of upgrades and essential works to the club.
The showers areas in both changing rooms have had new ceiling tiles fitted with new LED lights being fitted. The shampoo dispensers and shelves in the male changing room have been replaced also.

We always strive to have the cleanest and best facilities possible for our members. Often we have to put investment into areas that might not be visible at first glance to our members but which are hugely valuable to our member experience.  One such example of this was in August when invested €8k on 3 tonnes of sand to pool filtration s

Price changes

Over the last two years the business has invested over €750,000 in upgrading the club to bring it to it’s full premium potential.  Having been with the club myself for over 11 years I am so thrilled to see the club excelling in terms of the value we offer and the experience for our members. As of September the fee for new members has been increased, inline with our sister club at €80 per month. Current members will not be effected by this price increase and can still avail of their current rate.  This is a very positive step for the club and it’s future and I am so proud to be involved in it’s continued success.

National Quality Standard

In August we completed our Annual Audit for the National Quality Standard for health clubs. This rigorous audit ensures we consistently adhere to only the highest standard in health club management, safety, hygiene and customer service. We are confident that once again this year we will achieve the Outstanding award for our three clubs.

Class timetable

Our fitness manager Alex has just completed our new class timetable which is due to start from September 16th. We received some valuable feedback from our member surveys and I’m delighted to announce that we will be launching Les Mills Grit from this September. These HIIT classes are broken into three categories which are Grit Strength, Grit Athletic and Grit Cardio. Our trainers have been studying GRIT for the last few months and can’t wait to introduce it to your workout. Make sure to book in for these classes through our mobile app, Iconic Health Clubs which is available on Android and IOS. In the meantime here’s a quick glimpse at our new class GRIT and why we believe it is the best HIIT class in the world.

National Fitness Day 2019

On September 26th we will be running eight additional classes as part of National Fitness Day 2019. The initiative is to encourage more people, to get more active, more often. These classes will be open to both members and guests and bookings can be made at reception from September 23rd.  So grab a friend and colleague and bring them down on National Fitness Day.

Staff Changes

I would like to welcome two new staff membersto the team. We have a fourth Dave who is joining the fitness team. Dave Ryan has been working in the industry for a few years now but has wanted to join the team at Iconic Health clubs for some time now and we are delighted to have him on board.

We would also like to welcome Pedro Candido from Sao Paolo to our club care team.

Finally, would also like to congratulate our trainer Suzanne Cantrell who is on maternity leave. She gave birth to her daughter Aoibheann earlier this month and both mum and baby are doing great.

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Intermittent Fasting: What’s the hype?

A lot of our members have been asking us about Intermittent Fasting and if it works.  As fitness professionals we refrain from prescribing fad diets but we have done some research into this trending topic and liaised with nutritionists for their thoughts so that we might share it with you.

The magic of the 12-hour fast

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey fasts for 22 hours in the day and has regular “water only” days as he claims this hones his ability to focus and work harder.

Because Iconic Health Club members are not billionaire techies obsessed with productivity (well most of them anyway!) we won’t be discussing that kind of fasting here but rather take a look at more sustainable options for people with lives to lead and spinning classes to get to.


I met up with a friend last week I had not seen in months and she looked fantastic. Her skin was glowing and had she lost weight?

She told me she had lost half a stone since she had decided to fast for 12 hours a day and, as she is asleep for most of it, there is little pain involved.

She said it had made her re-examine her attitude to food and realised the evening for her was prime time for unhealthy snacks.

That night we were tucking into tapas at 10pm and she was lowering her second glass of red wine so was she breaking her diet?

No, tomorrow she won’t have breakfast until 11am and then is back on track.

Most evenings she would not eat anything after dinner at 7pm until breakfast twelve hours later and had lost the weight without changing her diet ; apart from cutting out the 11pm toasted cheese sandwich.

Many ways to fast

Intermittent Fasting (IF) is everywhere but until now I had filed it away as drastic behaviour but now I was not so sure. So, what is it exactly?

Well, it is simply only letting yourself eat for a certain window each day.

For instance if you do IF for 12:12 this means you fast for 12 hours and the other 12 is when you eat all your meals.

If you are fasting for the much more unsustainable 16:8 you have to squeeze in all your meals into an eight hour window.

That means no calories from drinks during your fasting window. So water, herbal tea or black coffee is ok but, sadly, no alcoholic beverages.

The good news is you can take a flexible approach (within reason), and say if you do have a glass of wine and hit the crackers and cheese at 11pm one night,  then it’s black coffee for breakfast and you would delay eating anything until 11am.

You can also do the 5:2 diet which means you eat fairly normally for five days and then have two where you only consume 500 calories for women and 600 for men.

Dr Michael Mosley’s Fast diet is a well known example and if you think you could manage the two days where you are very strict with your food, this could be for you.

Eating window not a free-for-all

Irish dietitian Conor Kerley says there are many ways to fast intermittently but remember that to maintain good health you can’t just eat anything you like when you get the green light.

“There are many ways to fast intermittently for example skipping breakfast, or eating breakfast late, which means fasting since dinner the previous day. Another example is having an early evening meal. Intermittent fasting can be beneficial (for weight management) if it suits your schedule and preference but remember, the amount and type of food eaten when not fasting will always be important!”

Kerley would advocate trying to lower red meat consumption, as there is evidence that eating a lot of red meat can lead to health problems, and instead increase plant sources of protein such as legumes (such as lentils, peas), beans and nuts.

He would also recommend including enough fibre in your diet which makes sure your body releases energy slowly and will keep you fuller for longer.

Foods high in fibre are not processed, and as you do not actually digest fibre it means you can eat quite a lot, but still keep the calorie count low.

We need 30 g a day but many of us don’t get that.

This looks like an apple and a banana at 4g each, a cup of raspberries which is 8g, the same amount of broccoli will get you 5g and a cup of peas 8.8g.

Could you hack two meals a day?

The food we eat is broken down by enzymes in our gut with refined carbohydrates quickly broken down into sugar which our fat cells use for energy. If our cells don’t use all of this we store it as fat.

Sugar can only enter our cells with the hormone insulin so between meals if we don’t snack our insulin will go down and fat cells will release stored sugar as energy.

I know the approach of eating twice a day would not work for me as I would not be able to cope without either lunch or breakfast, but many health professionals, such as running guru Eric Orton, swear by this and say not snacking gives your body a chance to burn fat.

The Wyoming based running coach trains runners for marathons and ultramarathons and told me he believes fasting is very good for you and having your blood sugar constantly elevated is not a good thing.

He suggests you skip breakfast and eat only two meals a day.

“This intermittent fasting will do wonders for your body to recruit fat burning capabilities for your running and your marathon performance”, he said.

His other diet suggestions for good health include eliminating all refined sugars and carbohydrates, with a focus on lots of fish, vegetables and good fats.


Proponents of the aforementioned 5:2 diet include increased life span and cognitive function and protection from chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes.

Speaking recently on the Healthy Beast podcast Dr Micheal Mosley discussed how cutting your food intake could help those at risk from diabetes.

“Your body is constantly having to produce insulin and this ultimately causes insulin resistance. This causes your cells to rebel and you need to pump out more and more insulin and that takes you down the road to various cancers and particularly type 2 diabetes, “he said.

He also talked about the process of autophagy which is when your body starts to break down old cells and repair itself . This only starts to kick off 7-8 hours after you have stopped eating.

So the message here is the less often you eat, the less often you raise insulin levels. Insulin is the main hormone associated with fat storage so you are likely to lose weight.

Some diets such as the keto diet avoid insulin spiking foods and keep insulin low this way so the body switches to using stored fat as its main fuel source.

Fasting – the reality on the ground

As research for this piece I tried the 16 hour fast so had an early dinner one day at 6pm with no breakfast or any other food until 10am. This was not too bad. I did have a couple of coffees with milk (that was cheating). I did this for one day and it became way too much hassle and I didn’t like the fact that I had to eat my meals on my own.

I ended up snacking all day anyway and taking in the same calories. So that was that ; the 16 hour fast would never work for me.

The 12 hour fast was more sustainable as you could eat a late dinner at 9pm and then just delay breakfast until 9am the next day. Or eat dinner at 7pm and breakfast at 7am. That’s not too much hardship.

And if you do succumb to the popcorn and maltesers at 11pm then you have to skip breakfast and have eat again at 11am.

I tried this for a few days and actually it was nice to feel hunger for breakfast as previously I would unthinkingly eat a huge bowl of porridge no matter what time I had eaten the night before. It felt right to wait for 12 hours.

The 5:2 diet I could not manage for even one fast day. I had gone to a power pump class that morning, arrived home starving and gobbled up the 500 calories in minutes. There was no way I could not eat for the rest of the day.

In conclusion the 5:2 idea could be sustainable for you if it suits your lifestyle ; though it won’t be possible for many people to cope with the low energy on the two fast days.

The 16 hour fasts is quite drastic and I would suspect would be impossible for a lot of people to follow. But the 12 hour fast is quite doable and fits in easily with an active lifestyle.

Simple equation

Expert nutritionist Ian Marber is not convinced on the need for fasting and maintains it’s a question of physics – energy in and energy out and the reason fasting works is that you have less chance to eat.

“In my day not eating breakfast and having coffee instead was considered worrying, maybe dieting too hard.  But, call it fasting and suddenly it’s ok?  All these methods cut calories by creating an artificial window for eating, hence the success.  Fasting for 12 hours or 16 hours ; it’s all the same!”.

So it’s not the fasting that is making you lose weight but rather all those opportunities that present themselves outside of your allowed eating window.

Which makes me think perhaps the fasting 12 hour approach would work well for most people.

You still have your well balanced three healthy meals a day but it just cuts out the night time snacking which I suspect is a question of habit.

Are we getting so caught up in the dieting spin and the fitbits these days that it’s a distraction from calories in and calories out.

Figures show that nearly six in ten Irish adults are overweight or obese ; we are going wrong somewhere and perhaps giving your body a fast of 12 hours a day which will tackle the night time nibbles makes sense.

And with some flexibility once or twice a week as life is something that cannot be managed all the time and it’s important to give yourself a break.

Mary McCarthy is a freelance journalist writing for a number of publications. @maryknowsbees

All material in this document is for information purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice or instruction. These materials should not be relied upon as an alternative to any advice given by a medical practitioner or registered dietician or nutritionist. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of these materials and it is recommended that readers consult appropriate health care professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.  


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Bank Hol

May Bank Holiday Weekend

Come in down to us this May Bank Holiday Weekend and bring a friend.  We are open all weekend with some special classes on Monday.  Don’t forget you get double the rewards this weekend with our double points.

May Bank Holiday Weekend (10)

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430Easter bunny

Easter Opening Hours

Dartry Classes and Easter Opening Hours

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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

Club maintenance

Throughout March and April we have continued to improve the quality of our facilities. Our new BMS system has been installed and has proved to be a huge success so far particularly for the temperature in the changing room and by poolside. Over the past few weeks we have made a number of fixes and upgrade in the club.

We have made also a number of repairs to our gym equipment including to the treadmills, leg press, zero gravity runner, watt bike and the assault bike.

Please note that tomorrow, Good Friday, that our car park will be closed from 6am – 4pm to allow us to carry out some maintenance works.  On street parking will still be available, however as always we ask that you respect our neighbours and take care not to cause any obstruction to their access routes.

New equipment

Have you tried our new Nautilus Glute Drive machine? This glute machine helps build power through a strong hip bridge motion, to improve hip and core stability, and ultimately create stronger and toned glutes. Inspired by the increasing trend of glute exercises seen in various and dangerous executions in other gyms today, the Nautilus Glute Drive piece safely and smartly isolates your glutes. These benefits are universally desirable, important for a wide variety of sports and exercises, and are arguably the most important muscles for total athleticism. The Glute Drive gives you the full benefits of the hip thrust exercise, simply, safely, and with good form. The machine is designed to promote good biomechanics and balanced weight curve. A comfortable padded belt secures the user to the back pad which supports the full length of the spine for added safety. You can load up to four plates on each side, which gives the machine a max weight load of 360 lbs.

Check out the video below from our instructor Jess on how to use the Nautilus Glute Drive machine.

If you would like any further instruction or if you have set yourself any summer goals why not book in with one of our personal trainers for a programme review or a PT session. A full list of our personal trainers and their profiles can be found on our website or on the PT board which is beside the stretching area.

Summer timetable

Myself and Alex will be working on the Summer timetable over the week. We have already received quite a few suggestions since the new year and if you have any please forward them to Alex’s email;

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Eggs. The smart post-workout snack

The Easter egg is a huge temptation and whilst we know some of you are going to treat yourselves this Easter, don’t forget to include the natural egg in your diet all year round. Eggs pack a nutritional punch and are great for muscle recovery after a workout. They are affordable and best of all tasty!

Bord Bia say eggs are a great source of natural protein and are packed with nutrients such as: B vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin D, iron, selenium, zinc and iodine. Also, they provide vitamin D – the sunshine vitamin which most Irish are lacking.

Eggs contain all nine essential amino acids, including the amino acid leucine which is effective for stimulating muscle building.

Eggs – health insurance for vegetarians

The presence of all the amino acids means eggs are a complete protein and could be important in your diet if you don’t eat meat as while though it is of course possible to get all your amino acids from a plant based diet you need to be careful to eat different foods offering complementary proteins. Lentils and rice eaten together will do this but on their own don’t contain complete amino acids, though some plant foods like quinoa and soya beans do.






Cholesterol – eggs are not the villains

So why on earth did eggs get such a bad press in the past? Well, the yolk is high in cholesterol and too much of this in the bloodstream can accumulate on artery walls raising the risk of heart attacks and strokes. This is why in the past we were advised to limit eggs to a few a week.

However, scientific consensus now is the cholesterol in eggs has little effect on us and rather it’s the higher consumption of trans and saturated fats in the wider diet from foods such as fatty meat and fried foods, confectionary, processed refined foods that affects the heart.

Last year a team of University of Sydney nutrition scientists reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition  that a 12 eggs a week diet or a low-egg diet (less than two a week) made no difference to cardiovascular risk.

Super post-workout snack

Not that long ago athletes used to eat only the white and leave the yolks because they had concerns about the fat in the yolk. However, now it is known that egg yolks contain healthy fats and other nutrients that boost muscle recovery.

Recent research at the University of Illinois researchers showed how the post-workout muscle-building response in people who ate whole eggs after a weight-training session was 40 per cent greater than in those who ate the same amount of protein from the whites alone. The study also found there is protein in the yolk that seem to enhance the muscles’ ability to use that protein for growth and recovery.

med mood food








The consultant dietitian Paula Mee, whose excellent new book ‘Mediterranean Mood Food’ is out in April, says that although eggs do contain some saturated fat, approximately two thirds of the fat found in an egg is either monounsaturated or polyunsaturated.

“If you’re eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, eggs are  not the problem; it’s the umpteen other sources of trans fat and saturated fat that are. Take the Japanese for example: they are among the biggest egg consumers in the world, yet have the lowest rates of Coronary Heart Disease. Their overall diet is lower in saturated fat and higher in polyunsaturated”, she said.

Paula says eggs are good complete proteins, with one egg having 7g of protein and that high protein foods are good choices for athletes and for older adults especially, as aging tends to reduce lean body mass.

“Good news for slimmers, as the average egg contains just 87 calories so for most of us involved in recreational exercise eggs are a good food to include any meal of the day”, she said.

Paulaʻs new book Mediterranean Mood Food contains is available now in all good bookshops and has some great ideas how to cook your eggs. Here is a taster below.

Baked egg with spinach and tomato

Serves 4


  • 100g bag spinach
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Lots of black pepper to season


  • Heat oven to 200C/180C fan.
  • Put the spinach into a colander and pour over a kettle of boiling water to wilt the leaves. Squeeze out excess water and divide between 4 small ovenproof dishes. (You can take a short cut and just let the oven do the wilting).
  • Mix the tomatoes, garlic, with the chilli flakes and some seasoning, then add to the dishes with the spinach. Make a small well in the centre of each and crack in an egg. Bake for 15 mins or more depending on how you like your eggs. Serve with crusty whole grain seeded bread and salad, if you like.

Serving suggestions: cube of melted goat’s cheese, drizzle of chilli oil, sprinkle of black olives or handful of capers.

Energy (kcals) Total Fat (g) Sat fat (g) MUFA (g) Poly (g) Protein (g) Iron (mg) Vitamin D (ug) Salt


Per Portion 116 7.3 1.9 2.7 1.2 9.6 2.61 1.08 0.4


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