Virtually every sportsman and woman who has spent some time in Grand Cayman has used the excellent facilities at the King’s Sports Centre, particularly the expansive Powerhouse gym.
Cayman’s national footballers and Olympians have worked out there and all levels of athletes from elite to beginners regularly pump iron there.
Powerhouse Gym offers well qualified trainers, state-of-the-art equipment, aerobics classes, steam rooms and a smoothie and supplement Store – City Blends Smoothie Cafe.
King’s owner Rex Ebanks is proud of his establishment. He says: “The gym was opened in 2002. Originally, it was called King’s Gym and we later converted it to Powerhouse Gym which is still part of King’s Sports Centre.
“Most of the big bodybuilding boys, including myself, came through King’s Sports Centre.” Barry Ramoon was a champion bodybuilder some years ago and is still in magnificent shape thanks to regular workouts at Powerhouse.
Ebanks was an avid competitor two decades ago and testament to that is the huge painted image of himself in competition pose on the wall leading up to the gym.
He was Cayman Islands champion middleweight bodybuilder in 1991 and also competed in the Caribbean Games in Barbados, didn’t place but was noted as a very good poser. “I’ve been a poser all my life,” laughs the 47-year-old father of three.
“We’ve got good long term membership and commitment from our gym members. A lot of it is about respect. I workout here in prime time too and know pretty much everybody in the gym, say hi to them and socialise during peak hours. That’s very important for the business.
“Same thing at five and six in the morning. There are 40 to 50 people in the morning who use the gym for an hour and in the evenings it’s normally packed.”
There are 2,500 Powerhouse Gym members. Although a large percentage do not often use it they nevertheless renew their annual membership automatically.
“It’s very affordable,” says Ebanks. “Right now our base membership is around $450 a year and corporate is $300. We have a smaller gym, the Express for those who don’t want to use the larger one. That is located at Galleria Plaza on West Bay Road.
“We are a multi-purpose facility with hockey, a bowling alley, five-a-side football and I’m about to open a sporting clothing store here along with City Blend Smoothie which we had before.
“Powerhouse is very multi-cultural, like other gyms on the Island, but we probably have the most nationalities out of all of them. It’s very helpful, friendly with state-of-the art equipment.
“We’ve just invested over $100,000 in new equipment, including treadmills, Ellipticals and TVs. We’ve also got huge posters with the legendary bodybuilders and local champs too.”
Rex is still in pretty good condition. “I try to keep in shape to show the young boys and can still bench press 300lbs. I work out sometimes twice a day on my cardio. All the guys in the gym are always asking questions and I like to give them advice, show them the right way of doing things. That’s what’s good about King’s, we have a nice community vibe. We’re the people’s gym, No.1.”
Carli Dubuisson and her husband Codus Pietersen have been using the Powerhouse Gym for a year. She said: “It is very conveniently located because we live across from Hurley’s and enjoy coming here.
“We come three or four times a week. We play squash now and again and I use the treadmills here because I run and once or twice a week we come for weight training.”
Sharon Bryan has been a regular Powerhouse user for seven years, since she arrived from Jamaica. “I pretty much come here every day,” she says. “It helps relieve stress.”
Well toned Bryan is tiny, has a winning smile and temperament but don’t try to take advantage of her size and warm nature – she used to play rugby and is a black belt in karate, first dan.