When Judy Day stepped through the gym doors more than a decade ago, she says the trainer “thought I was nuts”.
Then aged 67, with hip replacement surgery on her horizon, she admits it was something of an apt description.
“You didn’t see that many people around my age [in the gym] back then, but nowadays it’s becoming quite common,” said the now 77-year-old from Ardlethan.
Nevertheless, a recent study by the CSIRO found that 87 per cent of people aged over 71 are not undertaking minimum weekly resistance exercise.
Originally Ms Day attended one-on-one sessions at Club Lime.
She took only a three-week post-surgery hiatus. Her group has since grown to five members, ranging in age from 66 to 77.
They all attend for separate reasons.
Ms Day’s first recruit, Sandra Hall aged 69, started attending within six months of her friend.
She came because of her frozen shoulder, but she continued her training in the wake of her breast cancer treatment in November 2017.
“I wanted to come back as soon as I could after the surgery, but I had to be careful,” she said.
“I think coming to the gym, having that social and physical activity helped my recovery.”
Ms Hall also brought her husband, Gordon Hall, who has had four separate surgeries on his shoulder.
Andrew Rasmussen, aged 71, began coming three-and-a-half years ago when he sustained a knee-injury.
“I wanted to get the mobility back because I was just so unfit, and I was seeing friends drop off, so I knew I had to do something,” Mr Rasmussen said.
Since beginning is five-day training regime, he has lost 46 kilograms.
The final member of the ensemble is Velia O’Hare who began attending after she had a pacemaker installed.
With the diversity in injuries and ailments, trainer James Hay is kept busy tailoring their workouts.
“He begins every session by asking us, ‘what’s wrong with you this week?’,” Ms Day laughs.
Primary, Mr Hay focuses on strength training.
“As with everyone, they all have different strengths and abilities, so age does not really factor into that,” Mr Hay said.
“If you know what the problem is you’ll know what to avoid to make it worse, and what to do to help it.”