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INDEPENDENT
US
OPERATOR F
OC
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HIRST WELFARE CENTRE, ASHINGTON, NORTHUMBERLAND
t
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e is
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e
s
a multi-use community
c
a
T
he Hirst Welfare Centr
facility that offers both
Olympic weightlifting and
powerlifting. The club has several
regional and national champions,
with some of their elite lifters also
competing internationally.
Business at the centre supports
the argument that the popularity
of weight training is growing.
Rob Story, health and fi tness
development worker at Hirst
Welfare Centre, says a lot of new
users to the centre have stated
they have only joined due to the The Hirst Welfare Centre counts
extensive range of free weights several weightlifting and powerlifting
compared with other local centres. champions among its members
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d
HIREP GYM, FOLKESTONE
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u
of a lot of Olympic sports with far
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e
s
fewer people involved,” he says.
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a
H
irep Gym is a 280sq m
(3,014sq ft), traditional weight
training gym owned by Alan He adds that Britain has had more
Collins, himself a world champion and world champions in powerlifting
world record holding powerlifter. than in any other sport, yet they
The gym has a mixture of old get the least recognition. That is
Nautilus kit, Hammer Strength and changing, though, with the British
other similar machines – more than Championships now being picked up
70 stations catering to bodybuilders. by Sky TV.
There is also Strongman kit such as
the Raask stones (more commonly
known as Atlas Stones) which are
synonymous with the World’s
Strongest Man Super Series.
Competitive powerlifting requires
equipment engineered to a high
specifi cation. There are different bars
depending on the federation, and
Collins says the weights have to weigh
exactly what they say to be used in
competition: “We have some Ivanco
weights and a full set of Eleico plates –
around 10 tonnes of plates in all.”
The gym also has a power
rack, which uses rubber bands in
conjunction with weights, enabling
variable resistance over a range of
movement. Hirep Gym also uses big
heavy chains on bars, and ball pressing.
Powerlifting is enjoying a surge Hirep offers a wide range of strength
in popularity, according to Collins. kit, including 10 tonnes of plates
“Powerlifting is not as small as people
tend to think. It’s often referred to
as a minority sport, but I can think guy brown
healthclub@leisuremedia.com
january 2009 © cybertrek 2009
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