HEALTH Meet Mr Motivator


Enda Coyle
SIMPLE FITNESS?Trainer Enda Coyle believes the business of fitness has become over-complicated.?Pic: Conor McKeown

Meet Mr Motivator

Ciara Galvin

AS the clock chimes midnight tonight and ‘Auld Lang Syne’ is collectively sung in hostelries, restaurants and gatherings, the talk will turn to resolutions for the coming year. Thoughts of kicking bad habits and taking up new hobbies will be mulled over, and weighing scales will be looked at through entwined fingers as a new year dawns.
So what is the secret to sticking to a New Year’s resolution? Well, first off, don’t start on January 1. Personal trainer and fitness instructor Enda Coyle stresses that for those planning to get fit and lose weight in 2014, the right mindset is paramount, and it’s important to be realistic about when to start.
“Do not do anything on New Year’s Day. Keep it a couple of weeks away. Start thinking about things maybe the 15th of January, it will help improve whatever you’re going to do,” says Coyle.
Coyle, who is originally from Athlone but has spent many years in Donegal, has recently re-located to Westport. He says a plan for getting fit and creating a healthy lifestyle should be simple, and that the business of getting fit has been ‘over-complicated for years’.
The 53 year old has been a sports enthusiast from a young age, and went on to pursue his passion for fitness later in life. He then built up an extensive fitness-training business for a number of years in his adopted Donegal, gaining national fame for helping former Tánaiste Mary Coughlan lose weight and achieve a trim silhouette.
Unfortunately, Enda’s business was one of many to be affected by the recession, and he moved to Spain for a time, where he continued to be a fitness instructor and taught English. The move created a media frenzy at the time, as the irony of the former Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment’s personal fitness instructor being forced to emigrate was not lost on the press.
Happily, Enda has now been able to return to Ireland. Having moved to Westport in October, he’s looking forward to changing the mentality and approach to exercise of people who seek his help. But why Westport?
“Well The Irish Times had it as the best place to live in Ireland!” he laughs, adding that his brother and family live there and that the town is vibrant and has ‘excellent facilities’.  
Enda’s approach is one of tough love, but one that shows results with a tailored plan to suit the busiest client. Rather than just prescribing an exercise routine, Enda puts an emphasis on change. His ‘Fitness for Life’ programme combines nutrition, weights and cardio in order to give his clients the independence to change themselves both physically and mentally.
The programme uses the natural amenities around Westport and encourages people to use the most basic things at home, from a yoga mat to an affordable set of dumbells.
“I try to fit it into their lifestyle. They don’t have to go and get someone to mind the kids, they can sit on an exercise bike and do some exercise at home while the kids are doing their homework,” he explains.  
When it comes to changing people’s approach to food, Enda is again straight talking: “Food is 70 percent of losing weight.”
During his time in Donegal, Enda became very well known throughout the county, and had a high profile in the local press. He recalls how even his presence in a supermarket would affect the way people shopped.
“It was quite amusing at times. If I was in the queue at the shopping centres or anywhere else,  they’d be all scattering in the other aisle you know! You could just see what people had in their trolleys!”
Does Enda practice what he preaches? Absolutely. Daily runs are mixed with weight training, and he sticks by his own dietery advice. “No cow, no beef, no pig. Keep on lean meat as much as possible, and nuts, seeds and natural stuff. Carbohydrates are fine, so long as they’re the right kind – like wholemeal bread and the wholegrain versions of rice, cous cous and pasta. Carbohydrates are essential for energy and these examples keep us feeling full longer.”
Enda also reckons that for optimum daily intake, people should be aiming to eat six times a day, depending on how active they are. He suggests porridge in the morning with some blueberries, a whole meal sandwich for lunch, grilled fish or lean meat with steamed vegetables for dinner and possibly a bowl of healthy soup and wholemeal bread in the evening. To ensure you are never fasting, Enda also suggests snacking on nuts and adding pumpkin seeds to meals.
Enda Coyle doesn’t champion himself as a miracle worker, but his ten years of experience has shown him that exercise and determination can yield miraculous results. How’s that for motivation?

Enda Coyle also hopes to give motivational talks for schools and groups. He can be contacted at 087 1254612 or at