JOE meets the two young entrepreneurs behind Kerry's WK Fitness 8 years ago

JOE meets the two young entrepreneurs behind Kerry's WK Fitness

It takes a lot of b*lls to start your own business.

That's especially the case when you're in your twenties, so we wanted to have an in-depth chat with two lads from Kerry who have started up their own fitness centre, WK Fitness.


Shane Finn and Mark Evans are the young entrepreneurs in question and they had some interesting tips and advice to give us regarding both business and fitness.

JOE: So, lads, what were the two of you doing before starting up WK Fitness?

WK Fitness: Well, before starting out at WK Fitness we would put our hands up and say we were both a little lost. We had planned on moving away from Dingle to Galway and even the USA to find better opportunities and some work.

We both had jobs but felt as if we were being held back or being limited. Then it was Christmas 2013 over a pint in our local when we had the light bulb moment!



JOE: So why the fitness market? And how did you go about starting up in the first place?

WK Fitness: At the time we both had a burning passion & interest in fitness. Mark had represented Kerry in football at a number of different levels and Shane was a very keen runner. We both love helping people. We started small, really small.

We both gathered €150 and went off and bought a few bits to do our first Bootcamp in our local Sports Hall. Over the first 2 nights we had trained almost 80 people. We both quit our jobs a week later and had employed ourselves under WK Fitness.


We saw that there was a big need for a proper training facility not only in Dingle but also in Kerry. Fitness, training, strength & conditioning has changed & evolved massively over the years.

The day of white fluffy gym towels and fancy machines are long over. So after our first few initial months of testing things out, trying new things and seeing what worked and what didn’t work, we decided that right now is the time to move.


We set our sights on our new premises. It was a 7,000-square-foot space right in the middle of Dingle town. A big jump from our first space that was 92 square feet!


We took on board the risks & warnings from many people but it didn’t really affect us. We knew ourselves that this was it, and we were going to make it work!

JOE: So what has been your biggest barrier since starting up WK Fitness?

WK Fitness: We’re not sure, maybe time? We both meet for coffee every morning at 6.30 am before the first group workout at 7am and next thing its 5.15pm in the evening.

So maybe we could manage our time a little better, but that’s hard too, because we get caught up in the day and you don’t feel the time pass. It might seem stressful but it never has been. We have some serious laughs and fun every day too! You need that!

And we guess the obvious one starting out was funds. We won’t lie it was very daunting at the start but our local AIB here in Dingle had faith in us and saw our plans and worked with us. Without them we wouldn’t be writing this today!


JOE: Have you had many mentors? Anyone that’s helped you out along the way?

WK Fitness: The best mentors we’ve both had are our parents! They stuck with us from day one and helped us make a few of the hard decisions early on. When our gym was a massive open space last January, there was one Friday night where we were getting a few jobs done in the gym and our fathers were there giving us a hand.

It was 2am and we were sitting on the windowsill drinking coffee and trying to figure out where we would put our 38-metre sprinting track. Our fathers were just finished painting sealant on the 7,000-square-foot floor, it had taken the poor fellas four hours to do, but at least we had decided where the sprint track was going. They got double pay for that night shift!

JOE: What has been your greatest moment since starting up?

WK Fitness: There have been a few! The standout one for us was winning Kerry’s Best Young Entrepreneurs competition! We also did some recording with TG4 for our first couple of minutes on a TV documentary, which aired last month.

And the day to day stuff too, when you see people lose 65 pounds, or you see a guy getting a six pack at the age of thirty-something, having never trained before, or girls deadlifting 100kg, is pretty cool. Can’t forget being listed and interviewed by was a big day also!

JOE: [Laughs] Seems like ages ago now, lads. What about your worst moment?

WK Fitness: Since we have opened there hasn’t really being anything bad (yet)? But before opening it was a different story. When we had our plans in place and we wanted to develop, yet there was so much red tape and barriers put in front of us that we almost lost faith.

It was very frustrating at times but we just hung in there. Every few days there seemed to be a new wall built to keep us out. There was a period before last Christmas and we were kind of thinking that this might not happen at all. But things turned out just fine, we kept at it and it’s all worked out!


JOE: Okay, so what are your three quick-fire tips for someone starting out in business?

1 - Make sure you are passionate about it. Then it doesn’t feel like work.
2 - If you believe that you have a product or a service, go for it!
3 - Don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice!

JOE: And your three quick-fire tips for making life easier around the office?

1 - Make sure you have a coffee machine in your office, it really helps
2 - Have fun and take down time when possible! Your body & mind needs time to recover. Spending time away can help clear the mind and make you more creative!
3 - Treat your clients and customers as you would a friend.


JOE: What's the strangest business-related story no one would believe if you told them?

WK Fitness: Only one standout one here; a male client once told us how the size of this manhood increased since increasing his protein intake. No joke. He was delighted with himself.

JOE: What would be your dream job if you didn’t have your own fitness centre?

WK Fitness: God, not sure? Possibly some sort of a professional athlete on crazy money? Now that would be pretty sweet.

JOE: What is your biggest flaw as businesspeople?

WK Fitness: Coming up with huge ideas and forgetting to write them down, and then remembering them about 10 days later. It happens a lot. Or else it could be letting people get to us. You often hear of people mouthing off or saying things behind your back! But you just have to laugh it off and keeping moving on!

JOE: They’re just jealous, lads. So, as fitness fanatics what's your guilty pleasure?

WK Fitness: Has to be coffee and Cookies & Cream Quest Bars! If anyone hasn’t tried this combination you are really missing out. The odd flapjack too maybe, but that’s for replacing lost calories, of course.


JOE: Okay, so lets talk fitness. What’s your favourite exercise?

WK Fitness: Most defiantly deadlift or squat. Works everything from your toes up to your hair follicles. And of course gives you glutes of steel!!

JOE: And what’s your least favourite exercise?

WK Fitness: There are a few. Any exercise that involves guys “pouting” is highly disliked at WK Fitness. Bicep curls would be one of these. Bicep curls have their place but when guys look at each arm with a “pout” as they rep. Yeah that’s our least favourite exercise!


Don't be this guy

JOE: Finally, lads, what’s the quickest way to lose 5kg?

WK Fitness: Put down the fork, control your portion sizes, drink more water and get moving!

Making the change and trying to lose weight is often dressed up and marketed in different ways. The magic pills and potions don’t work in the long run, they are only a short-term solution to a bigger problem.

Make small changes, train properly and you’ll see the weight fall off. At WK Fitness we educate our clients like this. We don’t just take their money and train them, we help them take control of their whole daily life and help them make the changes.

JOE: Thanks very much for talking to us, lads.

WK Fitness: Thanks guys!

For more about WK Fitness make sure to check them out on the following links...

Official website