A Kent-born, Donegal-based fitness instructor is bringing exercise to homes across the northwest with a live dual fitness experience.

Louise Hayden – known to fans and followers as Coach Lou – started operating in-home training sessions online as a temporary measure during the pandemic to help her clients throughout Lockdown.

However, as restrictions began to ease, Louise noticed that some of her clients preferred her online classes, where they could work up a sweat from the comfort of their own home.

Louise in the studio at Pinehill Studios Letterkenny

“Exercising at home has become the norm for so many people over the past few months.” says Louise, “and many of my clients discovered that they actually prefer in-home exercising over going to the gym. At the beginning of the year, so many of our clients were training at an intense pace to prepare for upcoming events that were cancelled. We didn’t want all that hard work to go to waste, so we quickly shifted into a virtual world and set up Zoom classes so we could keep in touch with clients and help them stay on track. It’s really grown from there and we’re now offering a dual fitness experience, whereby anyone that wants to return to the gym can work out in our studio, while those who prefer to stay at home can log in online, join the same class and exercise at home. That way, we’re catering for everyone.” 

Louise has received lots of positive feedback from her in-home workouts.

Carol-anne Houston started doing classes from her home in Castlefinn before re-locating to Essex a few weeks ago. Despite the move, the online classes mean she can still follow Louise’s programme: “I absolutely love it! The classes are so fun and it’s great doing them on Zoom from home, whether I’m in Castlefinn or Essex! I also love that I don’t have to commute and can jump straight into the shower afterwards! Louise helped motivate me again and I feel so much stronger when I am doing my runs. I just feel amazing”.  

Louise believes the online fitness boom is here to stay: “Online training is one of the fastest-growing segments of the fitness industry. In 2015, a study performed by researchers at New York University School of Medicine discovered that more than half of smartphone users had downloaded a fitness or a health app.

“With more people aware of the virtual options for maintaining their fitness and wellness, I think people will continue to include online classes and workouts as a part of their overall wellness routine. The beauty of online training is that you can log in from anywhere, whether you’re on a staycation or work trip, and with the click of a button, you can keep active and up to date with your training programme,” she added. 

Coach Lou is one of only a handful of instructors in Donegal that offers STRONG NATION classes, a combination of high intensity interval training with the science of Synced Music Motivation. However, if working out from home is not your thing, Louise is back operating her classes with limited numbers from her base at Pinehill Studios, Mountain Top, Letterkenny. 

As well as her fitness business, Louise also runs Tréan, which offers strength and conditioning for dancers.

Louise began dancing from the age of six and has many years’ experience in the world of Irish dancing, having achieved great success at a competitive level.

In 2001, she played the lead role of Saoirse in Michael Flatley’s “Lord of the Dance” and went on to tour globally for 11 years with the production of “Feet of Flames” and “Celtic Tiger”.

Upon relocating to Donegal, she set up Tréan to educate and train dancers, dance teachers and choreographers to help them build strength and maintain fitness levels for elite athletic performance.

For more information on Coach Lou’s classes click here: https://www.facebook.com/focusfitnessdance/

For more information on Tréan, visit https://www.trean.ie/