June 8, 2014

Raising the barbells

ELIZABETHTOWN — While some gyms, now referred to as “fitness centers” and other appellations, are loaded with electronic state-of-the-art apparatuses, Wayne’s Gym relies on old-fashioned muscle power.

Proprietor Wayne Shepard, himself an award-winning bodybuilder, likes to keep things simple and discourages the use of cell phones and other electronic gadgetry while patrons work on their biceps, pecs and abs.

“I opened the gym in 1981. Prior to that, I worked out in a friend’s, Skip Luppy’s, basement, he said. “Skip and I wanted to take that next step and so we opened what was initially called E’town Body Shop, and when I took it over, I changed the name.”  


He said he prides himself on nice equipment.

“As far as my philosophy, I feel consistency and proper form are the most important things,” Shepard said. “Many people get off on the wrong foot. They read things in magazines or the Internet and think they know what they are doing. I want people to get good results and be safe.” 

There are no TVs to watch, although a basic boom box belts out Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary” and other oldies from the ‘60s through the ‘80s, which adds to the ambiance and keeps exercisers motivated.

In some ways, Wayne’s is patterned after the original Gold’s Gym in Venice Beach, which was featured in the 1977 film “Pumping Iron.” Shepard visited there in the 1980s and exercised along with notables such as Charlie Sheen, Lyle Alzado and Hulk Hogan. He has also associated with bodybuilders Tom Platz, Mike Christian and Gary Strydon.

The building’s exterior also emphasizes its Spartan-like philosophy. There’s no flashy neon, just a muscular arm contained within a circular sign proclaiming the business’ name.

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