November 16th 2007
Now for some definition
Magnetic Island is a great place to see hot bodies. They appear on our beaches with almost monotonous regularity but, chances are, those bods may well belong to visitors and not locals. Fortunately such a flabby state of affairs could be changing for at least thirty locals since the opening of a gym at the Island Leisure Resort in Nelly Bay.
The gym is the brainchild of the resort's new Manager and triathlete, Mark McKeon, who noticed the room, which had been used for storage but contained a number of large wall mirrors, and learned that it had once been used as a gym. Mark decided to restore the room to its former glory as he thought there was a business opportunity and somewhere, no doubt, he could keep in tone too.
Now the gym has thirty paid-up members who are coming in weekly to use the equipment and, one who we spoke to, Shannon Reed from Base Backpackers, whose muscle tone was an excellent advert for the gym, was full of praise. "It's fantastic of Mark to put it on the Island. There's a lot of thankful people who don't have to go to town gyms anymore."
But if you thought the gym was a hangout for Island beefcake then Mark will tell you otherwise. "There are young guys but also lots of mature aged women - probably more than men."
"They are more consistent and I find it interesting but the women seem to be more conscious of health and fitness," says Mark.
Mark is also scathing of advertisments which claim, "Three minutes a day on the machines will change your body shape. "Lots of people want quick results but saying things like that is emotional blackmail."
Mark however sees great benefits for a wide range of people. "There are young guys want to impress the girls and there are clients over 60 who just love it too. Weights are particularly good for helping with osteoporosis."
Shannon Reed pumps iron
As for machines, the gym has a wide range which Shannon thought compared well with those available at the big city gyms. They include a 'Body Maker" weight lifting machine which Mark says "Gives safety without a spotter. If you lift too much there's a safety bar in place."
Other equipment includes: a multi-function cable fly machine for tri and biceps as well as pectorals; a multi-station where two people can work on legs and chest muscles at once plus one running and two riding machines.
Visitor Josh Coles works out
"We could have up to sixteen people doing seven different exercises at a time," says Mark McKeon. Who offers to place the uninitiated on a program once he has given them an orientation. "I'll work with them until they are confident and can work alone." says Mark who urges older clients and people with existing health conditions to consult a physician first.
The hours for the gym are very accommodating: from 6.30am to 10.30pm daily except for Sundays when the gym closes at 1.30pm.
Costs to use the gym are by all accounts quite inexpensive. Mark offers a $30 per month fee for regular users or $5 for once-off use for visitors.
Story & photos: George Hirst
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