Ford drive fitness up a gear

Young people seem to make a lot of
negative headlines these days. With many falling into the grips of crime one
young man is on a drastically different endeavour.

Andrew Ford, 24, is a young
Caymanian with a simple goal: to get as many people fit as possible and help
promote boxing and mixed martial arts. Ford has a small training facility in
the MCR building, dubbed the ‘Ford Fitness Centre’, next to the West Star Television
Centre off Eastern Avenue.

There he hosts a number of classes
each week that run the gamut from basic work-out exercises to work-outs that
focus on the tenets of boxing and Muay Thai kickboxing. He usually brings in a
member of the local mixed martial arts community to assist him. Among those he
has used is Flloyd Moxam. As Ford states the centre has been in existence for
barely two months now.

“I got the place about a month ago
and officially opened my doors three weeks ago. I have 12 consistent clients at
the moment. It’s steadily growing as I’ve acquired a few clients over the last
couple of weeks. Up to now it’s been about trying to get the word out through

It has been an interesting journey
for the born-and-bred Caymanian up to this point. Like all young people he says
he went through a phase where he had to find himself and his passion in life.

“I tried to find something I
enjoyed for a long time. Eventually I came to enjoy boxing and did that as a
youngster for a few years. I was always into the exercise thing. I went from
power-lifting to doing nine months in a row of boot camp with marines in the
States and back into boxing. Months ago I started training people on football
fields as part of boot camps. In that time I struggled personally to go
somewhere to train because nothing I saw suited me. I needed somewhere clean,
small and central and that’s when the fitness centre idea hit me.”

In the last 12 months Ford has
steadily gone about becoming properly accredited to be a fitness trainer. To
that end he holds certifications from GB (Great Britain) Fitness in the UK and
the National Amateur Body-Builders Association in New York. He’s currently
working on being a properly accredited nutritionist.

For now Ford is the lone staff
member of the facility which he says is “my everything.” It may only be as big
as a basic living room and kitchen put together but a lot of financial effort
went into starting the gym and keeping it going. As Ford states he has been
very fortunate in that regard.

“The fitness centre has three
boxing bags, a squat rack, Hampton dumb-bells (all made of rubber), an
elliptical trainer, weight bench, floor mats, an Olympic lift bar along with
medicine balls. All of the equipment was given to me by a client. That’s thousands
of dollars of equipment that is brand-name and in good condition.

“My dad Terry Ford (an Englishman)
is the project manager for AL Thompson’s and he handles the rent for the
building. It isn’t cheap because it’s A/C, clean and in a nice part of George
Town. But he wanted to help me pursue a dream of mine and thanks to him I did.”

A great part of Ford’s set-up is
that the prices are quite reasonable. He charges CI$50 per hour for up to three
people (roughly $16 per person). From there the rates increase according to the
size of the group. For example four people can expect to pay $20 per person or
$80 for the group. Ford also offers multi-week and monthly discounts.

Currently Ford is hosting mixed
martial arts training three days a week. Mondays have been dedicated to boxing
basics, Wednesdays to ground manoeuvres and techniques and Fridays to Muay Thai
strikes and basic kickboxing.

* For more information and to
sign-up for classes call Andrew Ford on 924-1226 or e-mail: [email protected]