Islington gym owner on training like Arnold Schwarzenegger
- Credit: Jimmy Wormser
After nine months of lockdown sloth and the usual Christmas overindulgence, many of us will already be thinking about getting back into shape come January.
But the benefits of hitting the gym go far beyond looks and are more important than ever, world champion bodybuilder and former Mr Britain Ian Dowe told the Gazette.
“By being fitter and healthier your immune system will be stronger, so if you do catch something, your system can fight it,” Ian said. “It’s not just about being Mr Hunky Dory – it’s about wellness and keeping your body youthful.”
Ian founded his personal training business, Dowe Dynamics, 26 years ago after a multi-award-winning career. He has taught celebrities and budding bodybuilders to pump iron in his Archway gym, using techniques developed by the man who trained Arnold Schwarzenegger.
When lockdown forced the gym to close, he took the opportunity to refurbish it for the first time in years. It will now focus more on teaching people the importance of wellness and a healthy lifestyle.
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The facelift did not extend to the equipment, however.
Although some of it is decades old, his regulars would complain if he replaced it. “Because I've been a former champion…I know exactly what to buy. Whereas these commercial gyms, they just buy whatever, and 90 per cent of it doesn't work.”
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That sums up his ethos: don’t overcomplicate it. He said fancy techniques might get Instagram likes, but are often not that effective.
“With fitness, once you have something that works good, nothing can be better. The sun comes up every day: do we need a better sun?”
Despite weightlifting’s macho image, Ian said many of his clients are now women over 35 who are getting serious about their health: “I find women more determined than the men today.”
And even though the gym has not fully reopened yet, Ian has seen an uptick in interest for his training regimens.
He says that is why gyms should have been exempted from lockdown: “Stopping and closing the gyms made it more possible for people to catch [coronavirus] because it’s not a healthy lifestyle to be at home doing nothing.
“I'm not hyping up gyms, I'm not hyping up people who go to gyms, but it is one of the healthiest lifestyles you could ever find.”