'I hated the gym' says model mum-to-be Aoife Coogan as she uses pilates to get ready for motherhood
MODEL mum-to-be Aoife D'Arcy has said her dislike of the gym got her addicted to pilates - and led to her new career running a successful exercise business.
The pregnant 31-year-old, who made a name for herself as one of Ireland's top models, has seen the reformer pilates studio Form School which she launched with her rugby star husband Gordon go from strength to strength.
"I didn't like the gym. I got into reformer pilates by chance," said Aoife.
"Gordon did it as part of his training and I just got completely obsessed. I did it for years to maintain my figure and I really wanted people to know about it."
Pre-pregnancy, Aoife took four classes a week. Now that she's expecting, with the baby due in May, she takes two.
"When I passed 12 weeks I started doing prenatal reformer classes which are modified for pregnancy," she said.
"I've discovered a whole new world of things I need to know, like the importance of strengthening my pelvic floor."
Reformer is a pilates system that uses a piece of resistance exercise equipment that moves back and forth along a carriage.
"The Victoria's Secret models do it," said Aoife. "It's very much about strengthening the core. It works the muscles lengthways, so there's no bulk."
Form School, which opened in late 2013, is in Dublin's Grattan Street, and Aoife said she loves going to work there every day.
"I'm done with modelling. I'd done 14 years full-time and I had so much fun, but it's physically hard and the hours are long," said Aoife.
"I wanted to retire on my own terms. I wanted to set up a business in something I believe in 100pc."
A lengthy interview with Aoife appears as part of a 32-page Stellarfit special in Stellar magazine's April issue, which is out on Wednesday.
The magazine's website, stellar.ie, is going live today.