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STORIES-2-INSPIRE #3 - Aaron McGonigle

Updated: Nov 15, 2021

Meet Aaron McGonigle, a guy I've know for years. We first met over 20 years ago because we both played in local METAL bands and I've seen him go through some amazing changes from bulking up through bodybuilding, opening his own gym and in recent times stepping back a little and focusing more on the mind, spirituality and helping others! Read his story below.


NAME: Aaron McGonigle FROM: Magherafelt, NORTHERN IRELAND OWNER at Aaron's Gym + Energy, Mind & Body


1. Iron Maiden

2. Sepultura (Max era)

3. Slayer/Megadeth

Bodybuilder and owner of Aaron's gym magherafelt in tank top

"Growing up music was my life, rock and metal was the air that breathed breath into my life as a teenager. The vibration of roaring guitars lifted my spirits to a greater confidence and energy in all that I have become since. In my younger years I had zero confidence in which my search began which led me to lifting weights in my garage with nothing but a barbell.

As time elapsed I plucked up the courage to train at my local gym during the quiet times, as time elapsed my confidence and size / strength grew. At my heaviest I became a very large intimidating muscle bound looking guy which steered me into a path as a doorman.

This led to the birth of my 1st business Aarons Gym Magherafelt and personal training which grew into a great success. Some years later the realisation came to me there must be more to life than this spiraling into a never ending search for happiness into the good, the bad and the ugly. The good parts were I have seen Iron Maiden over 30 times and many of life’s great rock/metal bands.

The next phase in life’s journey took me to opening my 2nd business “Aarons Gym Cookstown”. After years of building the body I then delved into the mind. At this stage my life was beginning to change in the inside, a search had begun a spiritual journey into the depths of my soul."

Gym owner reaching out and smiling after meditation

"During this time I delved into meditation which I currently practice on average twice a day with breath work. My strength of mind slowly began to change from an inner weakness that was very much hidden to an inner strength.

My passion then turned to the formation of Energy, Mind & Body, a collective group of traditional and holistic therapists to aid the emotional and mental health of the local community with meditation leading the way. From the energy of EMB at the start of the recent pandemic the Mid-Ulster Community Support Network was founded to aid the local community in support services such as e.g. support groups and primarily food bank delivering 1,000s of parcels throughout the local area, at its peak consisted of over 50 active volunteers.

My life’s journey is currently dedicated to building my mental and emotional strength through many practices from cold water therapy, Reiki energy healing and meditation to name a few. My advice would be to put as much focus on building emotional and mental resilience over the body. The mind leads the way and the body follows bringing a unified collective of energy to live, love and laugh all the way home.

Metalhead head wearing born 2 bleed skull t-shirt giving metal horns in the snow

Some of the highlights of my journey so far include 4 Ayahuasca ceremonies in the jungles of Costa Rica with 6 time Mr Olympia Bodybuilder Dorian Yates to more recently a 7 day dark room meditation retreat in my own room were I was shut off from all forms of light for 7 days to go inward boosting my mental strength and digging deeper into the inner healing journey. I currently take meditation classes from EMB, if any of you ladies and gentlemen need any advice at any time hit me up on Facebook or Instagram."

Metal fan bodybuilder wearing born 2 bleed stoic tee in gym with pic of Iron Maiden Eddie

If I was to give a few words on how to create change

to build a stronger version of self would be to:

1: Raise your vibration

2: Take action

3: Continue

4: Review

5: Back to 1


1: I have flown on the Iron Maiden plane with Bruce as Pilot, Flight 666

2: I used to play bass in a rock/metal band

3: I can listen to most genres of music.

4: I rarely eat meat


I'm going to continue sharing inspirational stories from other BORN 2 BLEED customers/followers. These will be true stories of overcoming struggles (big & small), the benefits of making positive changes in your life, having that PMA and proof that you CAN be the person you want to be and that there is ALWAYS a way to IMPROVE and achieve great things!

I want to build a community/tribe of like-minded people through BORN 2 BLEED so if you'd like to share your story email me here at or DM me on Facebook or Instagram and lets fuckin' lift each other up, motivate and push each other forward!



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