Declan Ryan - Managing Director, Fitness Instructor

Declan Ryan - Managing Director, Fitness Instructor

I originally trained as a Mechanical Engineer at Southampton University over 20 years ago, but since qualifying I have spend all my almost all my working life in the health and fitness industry. Over the years my life has changed in many ways, but my enthusiasm for this industry and desire to help people achieve a healthier life has only grown. I started the Stevenage club in 1999 and have watched it develop into active4less. I firmly believe that as one of the first “high value” clubs in the UK, active4less has shown a new an revolutionary way to run health clubs, offering unbelievable value and a constantly growing range of service.

There have been some real low points and challenges, but I’m a firm believer that you only grow stronger and wiser when you overcome and learn from these hurdles. Twenty years ago I seriously broke my back and spent a year off work. I learned to accept what I have, but not to be defeated in the face of tough obstacles. I think in live to have to be prepared to take calculated risks to progress.

Today I love my work; I run a highly successful club surrounded by a professional and experienced team of fitness experts. We share a common goal to educate our clients and help them achieve a healthy, happy balanced lifestyle.

What inspires you?

I love to life my live at 100mph. When I was younger this meant sport and travel. As I have grown older and taken on the responsibility of a family, personal pursuits have been replaced by those of my wife and kids, but I still try to fill every minute of the day. I love to have new challenges and always love to have projects on the go to keep me active and thinking.

What do you do at active4less?

You mean what don’t I do. I am the Managing Director and one of the owners, so the burden of responsibility is resting heavily on my shoulders. I also take classes such as indoor cycling and especially enjoy circuit based classes.

What makes you smile?

I love it when the sun comes out as spring arrives and we can get outside. I enjoy watching my children grow up and the antics they get up to; their attitude reminds me not to take myself too seriously.

What is your favourite holiday place?

If the weather is good, I family holidays in the UK. It has some beautiful and varied scenery, wonderful history and I can understand what everyone is saying. Of course if money was no object I would love to take the family diving in the Maldives or on a yacht around the Greek Islands. I just love being by the water. For now Arlesey Pits will just have to do.

What is your favourite food?

I love almost all food, in fact one of the reasons I love exercise is because it means I can eat more. I love chocolate and have a real sweet tooth, but my favourite meal of the day is breakfast. I could eat a breakfast buffet any time of the day. Granola, bacon, eggs, croissants!

What is your idea of a perfect day?

I love warm days! Exercise early in the morning, a lovely walk out with the kids, where they don’t complain that their legs are tired. Relaxing afterwards with great food, drink (preferably alcoholic, but I love leaf teas) and family. Maybe a good movie in the evening and then who knows?

What are your favourite 3 songs?

I just love rock music, as many of those in my spin classes will know, so AC/DC – Whole Lotta Rosie. However I also love music to chill to, so anything by Ennio Morricane and Natalie Merchant especially a song call Break Your Heart.

What are your favourite 3 movies?

Most films with Clint Eastwood like High Plains Drifter or The Outlaw Josey Wales. I loved the new Bond film Casino Royale. I also love fantasy films I can watch with the kids. I really enjoyed Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief.

Favourite books?

The Conn Iggullden trilogy call Emperor, about Julius Ceaser, I love historical dramas. A Perfect Storm, the book about the freak hurricane off the coast of New England. Finally I read a book years ago call Daddy by Loup Durand, which I would highly recommend if you like thrillers.

What is your favourite type of exercise?

I love all watersports, but rarely find time for them now as the kids are young and demanding. I love to workout hard and push myself. Triathlons are a great challenge and running early on a Sunday morning in the first rays of sun with my IPod is hard to beat.

What are your pet hates?

I get frustrated by people who always put barriers in the way or look for reasons why things can’t be achieved. I also hate having to finish off a job, I’m always far more enthusiastic at the start.

How do you motivate yourself?

Try to dream a little every day. It is only by taking time to think about where you would like to go, that you can set goals that inspire and motivate you. But remember in every dream somebody still has to collect the refuse, clean and work weekends!

Classes: Spin Circuit, Studio Spin, TRX Toning

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