“This gym is a bit like the Tardis,” Lynsey tells me as we climb the stairs to its second level, “from the outside it looks pretty small, but we fit a lot in here.”
Lynsey, Mac and Mac’s mother Susan run Hiscoe’s Gym on the corner of Crown Street and Miles Lane. The family run operation dates back to 1981 when the building was purchased by Australian squash champion Ken Hiscoe, Mac’s grandfather. Windsor, Ken Hiscoe’s wife, started the business and kept it running with her daughter Susan after Ken left.
“Windsor was a tough bird,” says Lynsey, “we have a long history of strong women in this business. Mac is next in line to take over, but I’m not sure he has as much weight as his mother and grandmother.” Stepping into Hiscoe’s isn’t like stepping into one of the big name franchise gyms, or as Lynsey calls them, “bro-gyms.”
“I think Hiscoe’s is more relaxed. People aren’t here in little crop-tops and active wear and it’s not packed with guys with massive muscles. We’re a bit old school, which I think is a lot more inclusive.”
The gym houses four squash courts, as well as spinning and boxing studios, group fitness studios, cardio machines and weight training areas. “Squash is definitely the most social aspect of the business,” explains Lynsey, “if you come on a Thursday night or Saturday afternoon when we do our in-house competitions, people are hanging out drinking beer and chatting. It’s got that old, club kind of feel to it.”
Retro-Sweat, an authentic 1980s freestyle aerobics class, is for Lynsey a welcome perk of owning a stand-alone gym.“We wanted to try something different, and because we’re not a chain we have the freedom to make those choices. The leg warmers aren’t mandatory and neither are the G-string leotards,” laughs Lynsey, “but people still like to wear them.”
The importance of community runs deep at Hiscoe’s. Aside from its history, Lynsey and Mac live upstairs, their children go to the local school and the senior personal trainer has been with the gym for over twenty years. “The kids come down sometimes and play on the treadmills or the courts, and some of the older members remember when Mac and his sister Tegan used to do that too,” says Lynsey, “family really is everything to this business.”
This article was originally published in Urban Village