min read
May 7, 2024

Get Well With: Dane McCarthy

Get to know the founder of The Athletic Clubs.

Lanby Team
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About The Lanby

A primary care membership for patients who want more. Primary Care. Nutrition. Wellness. All under one roof.

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Meet The Founder 

1. What are your daily wellness non-negotiables? 

I sweat with my mates. Ideally a run or strength training. 

2. Outside of your work, what are your interests or hobbies that bring you joy and inspiration? 

I’m a bit of a history nerd. I love reading biographies of past & present leaders and entrepreneurs. 

3. How do you find balance between running your own business and avoiding burnout?

I have an amazing team at The AC’s. They do the heavy lifting and do an amazing job. I’m very lucky…and grateful. 

4. What is the most rewarding part of being a founder/creator? 

Playing a small part in helping people achieve their health and wellness goals. The AC’s have also helped people find life long friends (and partners). That’s really cool. 

5. What does it mean to you to get well, better? 

Proactive, small steps every day. Doing it all with mates makes it easier and more fun. 

The Athletic Clubs and The Fitness Industry

1. What led to the creation of The Athletic Clubs? Can you share the story behind the brand's inception? 

When I moved to NYC in 2019, I missed training with my mates and so I invited some friends, and friends of friends, to come train with me in a park on the WSH. It was an eclectic group of people. The variety and diversity of experiences made it really fun and it quickly became the best part of my day. Initially we thought it would be just us but after noticing the impact it was having on people’s fitness and mental health (all during covid) we got really excited about finding squads for more people. We have kept the basics the same (two training sessions a week at the same time and place, with a dedicated squad and coach) but moved into a studio in 2021 in West Village and really focused on the programming (strength and conditioning). In 2022 we opened Greenwich Athletic and in 2023, we opened Williamsburg Athletic. 

2. How would you describe the mission and values of The Athletic Clubs? 

At The AC’s we really believe everyone should have a squad and it’s our mission to help as many people as possible find theirs. Our core values are; Welcoming, Accountable, Intentional, Attentive and Consistent. We use these values every day to make decisions about how we operate and more recently how we grow. 

3. The Athletic Clubs is known for its unique approach to fitness. Can you elaborate on the distinctive features or philosophies that set it apart in the fitness industry?

At the AC we believe health and wellness is a function of habits. For us, the best way to develop a healthy habit is to do it with people you like and to have a stable routine. That’s why our members train in squads; 15-20 people that meet at the same time and place twice a week to train together. They are led by a dedicated coach that gets to know their squad over time. As a result our coaches can provide very specific and personal guidance to each member. 

4. How does The Athletic Clubs integrate a holistic approach to wellness beyond physical fitness? 

While we are a gym and have great programming, our focus is on developing incredible networks for people. Exercise is such a great vehicle for fostering genuine, organic friendships which we have found leads to holistic health outcomes particularly when it comes to mental health. 

5. Community is a significant aspect of The Athletic Clubs. How do you foster a sense of community within your fitness spaces? 

The squad model allows people to integrate deeply into their local communities because they get consistent exposure to people from all walks of life.  Outside of that, every Squad has its own WhatsApp group so people can connect before and after class and we have partnerships with local cafes (shout out Bluestone Lane) and restaurants so that our members have a place to go together after their classes. We also host monthly events for our members ranging from Happy Hours to Black tie galas. 

6. Can you share the most gratifying piece of feedback you have received from one of your members? 

In 2021, unknown to us, one of our members was really struggling with some serious mental health issues and depression. He was having some tragically dark thoughts and had started planning his own death. He later told me that the network he developed at WVA and the consistent fitness routine saved his life. That’s when we decided to really double down and grow The AC’s as much as we could so that we could help as many people as possible find their squad.

Ready to get well, better?

If you're curious to learn more about The Lanby, book a free consult call and we'll chat about how The Lanby can be your personalized long term health and wellness partner.

The Lanby Editorial Team