Harpenden gym rewards 94-year-old

Allan Caplan is more than Arnold Schwarzenegger’s equal

HE may not have the famous Kennedy connection but it when it comes to muscles, 94-year-old Allan Caplan of Harpenden is more than Arnold Schwarzenegger’s equal.

The nonagenarian is quite a star at his local gym, Harpenden Leisure Centre, overlooking Rothamsted Park, where he has been working out regularly since early 2008.

The gym has honoured Allan, who is described as one of its most valued members, by awarding him with its only lifetime membership, which means he can use the facilities every day.

Despite being just six years shy of hitting the big 100, most days you’ll find Allan hitting the rowing machine, one of his favourite pieces of gym equipment, at Harpenden Leisure.

There among the neatly piled cone-shaped water cups, pumping modern music and perspiring younger fitness fanatics fine-tuning their physique, Allan said he is determined to keep fit, as he has done for decades.

He added: “On a rowing machine you are using your arms, legs, stomach and back.”

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Andrew Smithard, business manager at the centre said: “Everyone here is utterly impressed with Allan’s dedication to fitness. He’s a sterling example of how leading a fit and active lifestyle can lead to a long and healthy life and is an inspiration to many people, young and old.”

Sarah Wardley, membership advisor, said Allan always has a twinkle in his eye.

She added: “He will say with a chuckle, ‘I’m not 94, I’m 49.’ Everyone knows him. He is the oldest person to come here. Nothing seems to faze him.”

Sarah said that Allan was at the centre most days at 8am. He tells others they are never too old to go to the gym.

The centre is owned by St Albans district council and operated in partnership with Leisure Connection.