When you think about the gym and exercise, cookies aren't normally the first thing that comes to mind. But when we teamed up with Forge Athletic in Moorabbin to raise important funds for RUOK? Day, it was a match made in (sugar) heaven.
On September 12, members participated in pairs to complete a gruelling partner workout. In a sea of yellow, everyone gave it their best efforts and supported each other to get the job done. Cookies were sold on the day...raising a whopping $501!! With proceeds going towards helping RUOK? and other charities that support those with mental health issues.
An event like this doesn't just happen over night. Forge Athletic, the brain child of Danny Delcanho and Alister Harley, began at the start of the year and have made a great impression on the fitness industry so far. A positive and encouraging culture takes hard work, with members reaping the benefits on the daily. If you live in the south-east suburbs of Melbourne, we highly suggest you check them out!
We sat down with the guys behind this strength and conditioning gym, to get the nitty gritty on their story. In true fashion, Al gave us detailed answers. Where Danny was more to the point...
TCSC: For all those playing at home, what is Forge Athletic?
Al: Forge Athletic is a community of like- minded people, pursuing self -betterment. There is no bulls**t, it's a place for people who are prepared to put the work in and make good choices. You leave feeling empowered and positive.
Danny: A gym that focuses on group class, strength and conditioning with the aim to build a strong in- house community.
TCSC: How did you both meet? And when did the idea to start your own gym come to mind?
Al: We both met at Crossfit Richmond. Danny was a trainer there and I was just a member. During one of my first workouts there I dropped 40kg barbell into Danny's leg while he was coaching, and I still don't think he's ever forgiven me for it. After that incident I was very surprised when he approached me to open a gym.
It actually started from a pretty quick conversation on Facebook messenger.
Danny - "Wanna start a gym?"
Me - "Sure. Let's do it."
The rest is history.
Danny: Previous employer and I had the idea to start a gym and got Alister on board.
TCSC: Running a business with your friend can be great. What's the most annoying thing about each other?
Danny: Alister likes to ‘waffle’ on.
Al: Danny is insanely jealous of my hair. He brings it up all the time and it's awkward.
TCSC: Seeing people in pain is one perk. But what other positives come with being a personal trainer?
Al: Always a great feeling when you are trying to teach someone something new and it clicks, then they have that skill forever. Very cool.
Danny: Just helping people find the best version of themselves.
TCSC: What's your favourite exercise to burn off those cookie calories?
Al: Sprints on the bike. I personally wouldn't do it but it's what I'd get everyone else to do. Otherwise for me I’d go barbell strength work i.e. bench press, squats, deadlifts etc.
Danny: Anything bodyweight i.e. pull-ups, push ups and yes burpees
TCSC: Why do you think it's important to get involved with charity and community events? Especially RUOK Day?
Al: I think it’s an awesome way to start a conversation that otherwise may not be had. Anything that gives people a chance to talk, listen and show empathy to each other is great for everyone's mental health. RUOK? Day was the best event we've run here at the gym and can't wait to do it all again next year.
Danny: Everyone either suffers or knows someone who suffers from mental health and with our goal of becoming a community gym we want to be there for people when they are struggling. Always happy to help a good cause.
TCSC: And finally, what's the next chapter in the Forge Athletic story?
Al: Just continual improvement of our services. Big focus between now and the end of the year on pushing member numbers. Then have a bloody ripper Christmas Party to go out with a bang after our first year.
Danny: Hopefully enough money so I can move into semi-retirement (age 29) working 10-12 classes a week and spending most of my time by the beach.