New fitness centre offers all-ages workouts on the rock

On The Rock Fitness Center co-founders Denise and Jeff Graham say their gym is an excellent complement to a healthy lifestyle.

LITTLE CURRENT—On The Rock Fitness Center is now open in downtown Little Current, offering classes for all ages and fitness levels. The facility opened its doors following the Thanksgiving holiday and co-owners Jeff and Denise Graham have paused to reflect on what this new business means to them.

“We were followers of the previous owner, Elite Training. When he decided to close the gym, we had nowhere to work out so we decided to take it on as a venture,” says Mr. Graham.

The facility joins the Manitoulin Community Fitness Centre in offering a workout space within Little Current. Ms. Graham says she and her husband are both certified personal trainers with connections to the community. Ms. Graham also has taken an online course to become a certified 2B mindset nutritionist, a type of nutrition plan.

Mr. and Ms. Graham have each worked with the gym in its previous iteration as Elite Training. The two have changed the existing layout in order to put weights in a central location that increases ease of access from any portion of the workout space.

Mr. Graham says he has been teaching classes in the same location for over two years and has been a karate instructor for seven years. He has a background in playing competitive football.

“We’ve tailored our workouts to our style,” says Mr. Graham. That means a focus on free weights instead of machines, the latter of which Ms. Graham says are often misused and can cause injury.

On The Rock Fitness Center specializes in high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts, designed to boost core strength. It also offers beginner classes for those looking to get started with this type of training, as well as a movement and mobility class that provides a lower-intensity workout suitable for participants of all ages.

“Our aging population has had nothing like this for them,” says Ms. Graham. “We have a population of people not as active as they should be. For us to offer something from ages eight to 92 is really something.”

Mr. Graham says the gym offers one-on-one personal training classes. The classes cost $30 per half-hour session, or a set of four for $100.

The couple also offers open gym memberships at a price point that matches the town’s prices for its gym. Ms. Graham says her facility can comfortably host 12 people but, if required, can hold over 20.

“(The town gym) is functional and good and I’m glad we have it, but this is a more open space,” she says.

Community is important for the Grahams—Ms. Graham is from Little Current and the two moved back to the Island from the Toronto area to raise their children in a safe environment.

“We want to keep it a family business and keep it local,” says Mr. Graham. “We have a monthly draw for people who buy punch cards and the prize will be a gift card from a local business.”

In the community mindset, the couple will be starting a kids program on November 1 for children aged eight to 13 years old. It is not designed to be a high intensity workout, but rather a way to get children to be active and focus on their speed, agility and strength.

“It’s about things that kids will have fun with and not realize they’re exercising,” says Ms. Graham.

Due to the expected demand, that program will be only available for pre-registration.

The couple says they cannot wait to see how their gym will grow and develop.

“I’m very, very excited for it. We’ve been planning for the better part of the year. It’s something the community needs,” says Ms. Graham.

Schedules are always posted on the On The Rock Fitness Center Facebook page. For specific inquiries, Mr. and Ms. Graham can be reached through the Facebook page, by emailing lcontherockfitness@gmail.com or calling 705-282-4647.

“We just want to make people happy and change their lives. We encourage well-balanced, healthy lifestyles,” says Mr. Graham.