They say a picture speaks a thousand words so if the before and after shots that cover the walls of Educogym are anything to go by there certainly have been some phenomenal results achieved by the many clients who have turned to the trainers here to help them get into the best shape possible.
Now in its fourth year Educogym in Oranmore has developed a reputation of getting results, in fact according to owner and Clare native Tara McFadden this business is focused on helping clients achieve their goals, providing them with the best possible service, and educating people to a higher level of understanding about nutrition and health.
The story of Educogym Oranmore began in February 2000 when a 21-year-old Tara McFadden returned from her travels in Australia to find that she had put on a extra few pounds. “For the first time in my life I couldn’t get into shape. I was going to the gyms but I didn’t know what to eat. I met Thurston Pym, the CEO of Educogym, and I talked to him about needing to shift the weight around my waistline. He told me about his 12 day programme, asked me to do it, and I lost nine pounds of body fat in two weeks and I gained two pounds of muscle. Before that I used to go out seven days a week, but I gave this 100 per cent and I was transformed. At the time I trained on the smartgym and with Thurston my trainer, he was all about mind technology, nutrition, and focusing on muscles in training.
“I’ve always been fascinated about health and fitness. I graduated as a sports therapist and I also studied massage and reflexology. Thurston Pym asked me if I was interested in Educogym and I got involved. I remember going to a personal trainer a year later but I didn’t lose a pound, I didn’t have the discipline to do it on my own. It was then I realised that this system was really going to work. Several years later I did training for Educogym and 2007 was the year I was fully qualified. I believed in this concept, that it was the future. I opened in January 2008 and it has been an interesting journey, we have met a lot of people and many lives have been changed,” said Ms McFadden.
In its first week of opening Educogym Oranmore signed up to 50 clients for the 12 day programme which was the only option at the time. However it soon became apparent that more options and pricing plans were needed to fully cater for clients’ needs which were all so different and varied. Today a built up and deserved reputation for getting results has meant that up to 100 people per day take part in training sessions, monitoring, and consultations with the five experienced and friendly trainers.
At Educogym it is the waistline and not the scales that is the important thing. Ms McFadden explains: “It is the inch loss. Are you losing fat or muscle? Our main focus is to try to re-educate people and to get people to commit. Most clients want to lose that stone but they don’t realise this is about changing your lifestyle as well as having a balanced diet, eating food in moderation, and to stay training. What the body doesn’t use in energy it stores in fat, you can’t get away from that. Here you are getting a supervised personal training experience for the quarter of the price and education on nutrition which gets results but you have to commit to it.”
The programmes available to clients include the 12 day programme, which works out at €25 per training session, the six week programme which is €22.22 per session with 18 sessions ), and the unlimited monthly training programme (Minimum contract of three months, 20 sessions in a month, €10.95 per session ). It is recommended that clients embark on the unlimited monthly training programme so that they can get into the best shape possible and completely change their lifestyles.
According to Ms McFadden Educogym is the most updated version of training available and utilises an exercise machine which has been given the name ‘The Time Machine’. The machine, which took up to 10 years to design, isolates your muscles to make sure they are getting the best possible work out.
“Every year, past aged 30 onwards, we lose half a pound of muscle a year, no-one escapes that. This can lower our metabolism by up to 45 per cent between the age of 30 and 60. The key factor, that most people don’t understand, is that 90 per cent of the calories we burn on a daily basis are burned by our muscle tissue. This muscle loss therefore causes a slow-down in our metabolism, the rate at which we burn food and body fat for energy. If our food intake remains the same every year and our metabolism slows down, we tend to gain weight.
“We specialise in rebuilding the muscle through the machine. The average client doesn’t have the knowledge, they are confused about nutrition from what they read in magazines and books. If people do not follow it properly they lose weight but then they gain it again. All these diets and all this excessive aerobics might help you drop a size but you’re probably losing more muscle than fat, you’re still left with fat around the waistline,” said Ms McFadden.
Educogym Oranmore places a lot of importance on education and Ms McFadden hosts monthly talks on nutrition. The guest speaker at the most recent event in December was Martin Forde, the president of the Irish Association of Holistic Medicine. This expert advice on nutrition is also passed on to clients who get tailored programmes which are designed to work for them.
“Our business is to get results, if we find there is a problem we rectify it. We work out a doable plan for individuals, we try to revert people back to a natural diet, to foods that come from nature, natural foods such as meat, fish, eggs, nuts, vegetable and fruit. We have to be understanding that people are human and that we have to work with what the supermarkets provide us. We have a proven scientific system which involves one to one consultation, nutritional plans to suit the individual client, a 20 minute intensive training which is supervised by an instructor to make sure it is done correctly and that the client gets the most out of the training, and mind technology.
“The machine helps to work each body part separately, you can do the legs on day one, the chest and back day two, and the arms and shoulders on day three. This gives the body time to rebuild and repair muscle tissue. The mind technology element is one hundred per cent a vital ingredient to get into great shape. It helps you set out clear targets, how to focus and concentrate while training. I could put you on the best diet in the world but you’ll never get into shape if you’re not completely clear on what shape you want to get in. The trainer helps snap you back into focus. If people can focus some of the transformations we have seen here have been phenomenal and they are still here with us and they are here for a reason, to get into the ultimate shape so that they never go back. Even if a client is 80 per cent with their nutrition they still say that their shape changes.
“Galway has so many facilities, but we differ in that we have the machine and nutritional advice all in house, and we have a price system which is designed around getting results. We’re busy for a reason. It might seem like a lot, we have to request the money upfront so that people are committed. It really is training for €50 per week if you break it down, and that’s for up to five sessions per week which is supervised, you couldn’t get anyone, a personal trainer, to do that for that price. It could cost between €50 and €100 for a session with some personal trainers, with us it works out from €18 per session down to €10 per session depending on the programme you are on. You have to ask yourself ‘how much is your health worth?’ recession or no recession.”
Ms McFadden explains that when clients book their sessions it is by appointment only. This is to make sure that appointments are kept and that the client is getting results. Listening to customer feedback, working to improve the quality of service provided, and changing people’s lifestyles for the better have been the ingredients of Educogym’s success.
“We’re in the business of getting results. We have testimonials and photos a mile long and we can show them to prospective clients. Educogym is getting stronger and stronger, we’re worldwide. We came in during the recession and we will be here long after the recession. I believe health comes first, without that what else do you have. Why wait for your health to decrease, why not help it while you can. With Educogym you can literally turn back the clock,” says Ms McFadden, who added that there are plans in motion to open up a second Educogym in the city in the near future.