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New women’s gym co-op open in Fergus

Workout time - The Fergus Women’s Fitness Co-op is now open in the Fergus Marketplace. The circuit-style gym is located beside the Centre Wellington Food Bank and is accepting new members.  Photo by Jaime Myslik

New women’s gym co-op open in Fergus

by Jaime Myslik

FERGUS - A new gym has opened in the Fergus Marketplace.

The Fergus Women’s Fitness Co-op is a not-for-profit fitness group that opened beside the Centre Wellington Food Bank in July.

“No member gets paid, we all pay equal for our membership which is $50 a month in quarterly increments, we vote, we have a board of directors ... we are also incorporated legally with the government and ... we’re insured,” said Cheryl McKenna, one of the club’s directors. “Because we are all equal owners we look after housekeeping voluntarily and we all have an equal vote.”

The women-only gym offers a 30-minute circuit workout which involves resistance and cardio training appropriate for all ages and fitness levels. Each station involves a 35-second work-as-hard-as-you-can workout using a resistance machine, followed by 35-seconds of cardio training.

Member Edith Denhoed has been doing circuit training for more than 16 years.

“I was finding ... I was getting very sluggish and this really encourages me to use all of my muscles and I feel so good,” Denhoed said, adding that it’s a full-body workout, “It gets all the muscles, which is so nice and I feel so fit.”

The membership age ranges from teens to late-80s.

Betty Gordon, 88, has been doing circuit training for about 15 years.

“I think it’s important that you keep your muscles in shape as you get older,” Gordon said. “Here it targets all your muscles, not just one particular area ... and I think that’s very important.”

Member Christine Simpson said that even when  she comes to the gym feeling some pain or discomfort the workout helps.

“Everything’s loosened up, starting to move more, I think the key is keep moving, just keep moving,” she said.

Sandy McIntyre said the best aspect of the gym for her is that it only takes 30 minutes to get in a full workout.

“Women lose strength and muscle tone as you get older,” she said. “You have to do this.

“If you want to be active when you’re older you’ve got to do something now.”

Although members have brought up the possibility of allowing men access to the gym, McKenna said it’s impossible because of the nature of the machines.

“A man’s strength would ruin these machines,” she said. “They’re all geared up to a woman’s strength.”

The club currently has 70 members, seven of which are on the board of directors, and are seeking new members.

To find out more about the gym or to become a member visit the Facebook page at, email or call 226-383-7777.

“They contact us ... I get right back to them,” McKenna said. “We have ... three people that belong to the club that are happy to train you and when you join up you pay your three month increment and you get free training.

“You have to learn how to use these machines properly.”

The club also offers stationary cardio machines like a treadmill and Zumba is offered on Friday mornings. McKenna said the club is open to offering other classes. Because the door is always locked and access is through a key pad, all members have gym access at all times of the day.

The club is holding an open house on Oct. 21 from 9am to 1pm to introduce the public to the gym.

“It’s a very safe, non-threatening environment to get your workout in,” Simpson said.


October 13, 2017


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