Daves Gym History
Daves Gym was founded in 1973 by Dave Mather in two rooms behind a youth club at Winnington. Supported by Roberts Bakery, friends and enthusiasts with just a few weights benches and dumbbells, the gym was initially only open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 6pm to 9pm for men only .
It soon became apparent more space was required for the ever increasing equipment accumulated. Gradually the youth club allocated more and more space to the gym as it quickly expanded. At that time it cost just 20p to train and was basic with no carpets, bare walls and although there was a variety of equipment this too was basic and nowhere near today’s standards (Cardio-What was that!)
As we entered the 80’s the gym had obtained its 1st sunbed and realized that women also wanted to train in a gym environment. Hence the introduction of ladies nights in 1982 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6pm-9pm. The first floor of the youth club then became available and changing rooms and showers were located with yet more equipment.
Soon the whole Mather family became involved in running the gym. Wife Joyce on reception with daughter Karen and son Neil opening up at the earlier time of 4pm after school.
In the mid 80’s the power lifting background was still very apparent with members competing in power lifting and bodybuilding competitions. In 1984 Dave’s hosted the Northwest countries weightlifting competition.
The gym welcomed visits from Tom Platz, a competitor in Mr Olympia, Brian Buchanan who was Mr Universe and Bill Kazmaier, the world’s strongest man.
Exercise classes such as fatigues, a military style intense workout lasting half an hour were introduced. In 1988, step aerobics, the latest exercise phenomenon swept the country resulting in both Joyce and Neil taking classes which became very popular.
Some of the very first members to participate still attend the current exercise classes. Cardio exercise was running up and down Winnington Hill.
The gym obtained its first exercise bike, a Tunturi, unaware of the imminent cardiovascular explosion. A Charity Day was held in aid of the Scanner appeal at Leighton hospital where members attended classes and exercised for sponsorship and managed to raise just under £8000
1993 the big move.
In 1993 one of the biggest events in the history of the gym came in the form of bigger premises which is where we are currently based.
The main room was 100 foot by 40 foot which was split by building a large wall, into two rooms making an aerobic studio, 40 foot square and the gym 60 x 40foot. Both of these rooms were huge spaces compared to what we had at Winnington and we had so much space we didn’t know what to do with it.
We invested in 20 more steps which meant we could now hold classes for 50 people which Joyce and Neil regularly filled.
In 1994 we invested in two recumbent bikes, a treadmill and a stepper, this was the start of our huge cardio area. The sunbed centre was also opened this year offering 7 state of the art sunbeds. The gym also started its popular sunbed hire service, offering door-to-door sunbed hire.
Four years later we invested in our growing in popularity sunbed centre by adding two Ergoline beds and 6 tansun vertical tanning cabs.
Over the next few years the gym membership steadily grew along with the equipment and facilities, the gym’s capacity was reached and more space was needed. As a result we installed a mezzanine floor. This would give the gym the extra room it needed.
2005 core training
In 2005 Dave’s acquired some of the latest core equipment available on the market in the Power Plate, Flexibar and bosu. This was the first wave of a growing trend towards core equipment featured at Daves.
2006 major alterations
In 2006 Daves Gym made some major changes to the gym. Firstly we built a new studio for all of the gyms classes along with a beauty salon. This allowed the main gym to be significantly extended by knocking down the dividing wall built in 1993 between the gym and the studio.
One again we ended up with loads more space which again was gradually filled with the latest equipment. For the extra capacity the car park was also extended to accommodate the increase in gym users.
This year the new equipment we invested in more Startrac spinners and treadmills and a second Power Plate.
More alterations were made in the form of extending the mezzanine floor even further to accommodate all the abs section, which then freed up much needed space on the ground floor for the Max rack, TRX and a dedicated core area.
2013 40 years old
Daves Gym for raising over £10,000 for Cancer Research on Sunday 24th Feb
To mark the occasion our members got sponsored to complete various
challenges for example:- climb the Eiffel Tower on a stepper, ride a
marathon on a spin bike, to complete a gym triathlon or even to benchpress the weight of a car.
Members were also encouraged to set themselves their own challenges
and make them as exciting as possible, which included such amazing
feats as rowing the length of the English Channel in less than three
hours, leg pressing the weight of a plane, 200 squats totaling 10 ton
in weight and a bench press also totaling 10 ton. We also had a Mega
Class which lasted for two and a half hours in the studio
We would like to thank everyone who took part, donated money and prizes and bought raffle tickets as well as helping out on the day. Absolutely fantastic day had by all who participated and all for such a good cause.
Thank you from Dave,Joyce,Karen and Neil Mather
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And 2 new Star Trac Spinner Blade ION
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For the 1st time in Daves Gym history we are taking Direct Debit. You can join either in the gym or online. Memberships from £15.99 per month with a £15.99 joining fee for unlimited gym and all classes.
The functional area downstairs proved to be so popular that we felt it neccesary to increase that space. We again extended the mezzanine floor upstairs and moved all leg machines up there to create double the space. With more weights, bars, balls and bags this has become a fantastic addition to the gym, especially since the addition of the TRX training zone and the TRX rip trainer. Also at this time we were pleased to take delivery of the Star trac 9 station which incorporates a cross over cable, 2 tricep extension, 2 lat pull down and 2 seated low rows all with lock and load weight stacks.
At Daves Gym we have-
74 Cardio machines
55 Resistance machines
2 Power plate Pro 7
96 Dumbbells (1kg up to 63kg)
179 Olympic discs (1,25kg up to 45kg)
13 Free standing benches
10 Plate-Loaded machines
12 Treadmills (Star Trac)
10 Cross trainers (Star Trac and Precor)
18 Spin bikes (Star Trac)
2 Lateral X (Octane fitness)
2 XT one (Octane fitness)
2 Treadclimber (Star Trac)
8 Rowers (concept 2)
8 Upright bikes (Star Trac)
6 Recumbent bikes (Star Trac)
3 Stairmills (Star Trac and Stairmaster)
2 Steppers (Star Trac)
2 Wave machines (Technogym)
1 Turbo trainer (Star Trac)
Today sees the gym as a hive of activity with friendships that started in Winnington all those years ago still just as strong as ever with new friendships being made all the time. The spirit of the old gym is still carried through to the present day and it’s what makes Dave’s gym what it is today.
We would like to thank everyone for supporting us over the last 43 years here and at Winnington and look forward to the years to come.