A Tower of Strength
Ironworks Gym in Point Edwards, Ontario
By Shay Bapple
When success was looking like a thing of the past for Ironworks Gym in Point Edwards, Ontario, drastic change was needed to ensure the business' survival. Then the so-called "fountain of youth" was discovered for the gym, creating a new beginning and revival with the simple introduction of Ontario's elderly community.
When Cam Davies bought Ironworks in 1992, the gym had a prototypical "muscle-head" membership that emphasized bodybuilding and power lifting.
"I belonged to the gym since its opening in 1984 and was asked to buy it in 1991," Davies said. "I bought the club in 1992 when it was a place for a group of 235 people who focused strictly on weightlifting."
After three years of running Ironworks, Davies began running into issues that made him question whether he would be able to keep the facility up and running. He thought at the time that he was going to lose the business.
That is, until he began teaching strength training courses to senior citizens between 70 and 79 years old at an outside facility. Seeing promise in that program, Davies asked some of the students of the course to come over to Ironworks to continue their training. When half of the students agreed to try out the gym, the growth in the business quickly followed.
"We started educating seniors who had different health issues—anywhere from new hip and knee replacements to diabetes," Davies said. "Things really grew for us. We started doing community functions for seniors, hired personal trainers and built a rehab fitness program."
Ironworks has rehabilitation programs that include core training exercises that people of any age or ability can take part in, as well as ailment-specific exercises. Some of these exercises include stroke victims using balance training with stability balls and half-dome balls while the gym offers weightlifting programs for people confined to wheelchairs.