Wagga's 73-year-old Sue Hunter a gym regular and a mega-fit nan

EYE ON PRIZE: Sue Hunter shows her strength as she deadlifts 50 kilograms and gives others in the class a run for their money. Picture: Emma Hillier
EYE ON PRIZE: Sue Hunter shows her strength as she deadlifts 50 kilograms and gives others in the class a run for their money. Picture: Emma Hillier

A Wagga grandmother has smashed the old-age stereotype out of the park with biceps to rival half of the city's top gym junkies.

Sue Hunter is preparing to celebrate her 74th birthday in a few weeks, and spends most days inside a gym with weights in hand.

"I started at the gym when it was still down on Murray Street, around the late 80s or early 90s, so it's been more than 25 years at least," she said.

Keeping fit and healthy has always been a big part of Ms Hunter's lifestyle since she was a young girl.

"I come off a farm and I married a farmer, so I've always led an active lifestyle," she said.

Ms Hunter is a member of Workout Wagga where you will find her almost every day of the week doing everything from circuit training to weight lifting and anything in between.

"I normally always do 13 classes a week, I obviously am lucky I have a lot of time to do that though," she said.

Finding the time for a workout was always high on Ms Hunter's priority list though, even with a busy work schedule.

"I did used to do classes around work though before I retired, and it was shift work too so I'd either have to come in the morning or at night but you make time for it," she said.

"Even with the grandkids too, I lived out of town so I would drop them off and head straight to the gym."

FIGHTING FIT: Sue Hunter, 73, is a familiar face at Workout Wagga. Picture: Emma Hillier

FIGHTING FIT: Sue Hunter, 73, is a familiar face at Workout Wagga. Picture: Emma Hillier

COVID-19 has thrown a spanner in the works for the passionate gym-goer, who said she sustained an injury in the middle of lockdown.

"I hurt my back during this pandemic too, I had a slipped disk, so I couldn't do anything or barely get out of bed for three weeks," Ms Hunter said.

"It was the first injury I've ever had, so I'm just getting back into it again now.

"I can't do as many classes now either with coronavirus though, because I feel like we all need a turn and spaces are limited in the classes now so I don't want to hog all the spots, but as soon as it's all over I will be back to my 13 classes a week."

While the fitness aspect is a large part of why Ms Hunter is so eager to exercise, she said there is another benefit that keeps her coming back.

"I love the friendship," she said.

"We have a very social group, we always have coffee after the classes, and when you get older, you need that interaction with everybody."

A typical class at Workout runs for between half an hour to an hour, and can involve cycling, boxing, running, muscle focused training, balance and flexibility.

Ms Hunter said times have changed over the years, but weighted workouts have come to be her favourite.

"I like the weights, when I started we didn't even have them," she said. "We had little yellow bars, about 15 centimetres or so long and it was all aerobics.

"As the time changes, the gym programs change too and you don't see aerobics done anymore so I slowly just got used to the heavier weights and now today, I deadlifted 50kgs."

IN ACTION: The keen gym junkie demonstrates a Russian Twist, lifting a 10 kilogram weight plate from side to side, testing her core strength. Picture: Emma Hillier

IN ACTION: The keen gym junkie demonstrates a Russian Twist, lifting a 10 kilogram weight plate from side to side, testing her core strength. Picture: Emma Hillier

While not for everyone, Ms Hunter said her best advice to those interested in building muscle or getting fit was perseverance.

"Just keep at it," she said.

"Keep coming. Even if you only come once a week for six months, keep doing it and stick to the plan.

"Then, start looking at how you might be able to fit in two classes, or three, until you get better and better.

"You will be sore afterwards every time at the start, but just push through."

Her words of advice applied outside of the gym too, but unfortunately, the tip was not for everyone.

"I see people drop out all the time, so many people I have known throughout the years, you never see them again," Ms Hunter said.

"My motto is always keep at it, and that's with anything in life."

Ms Hunter is a strong advocate for the old adage that age is just a number, and encouraged anyone and everyone to take the leap and give the gym a go.

"Come and do something, it doesn't matter if you can't lift the weights or you tire quickly, it's lots of fun and it's social, and you can enjoy the coffee afterwards," she said.

"I go to coffee with different people everyday, we're all from different backgrounds and ages and we just have a good time."

Workout Wagga is currently open for business amid the pandemic, but with strict restrictions in place including sanitising all equipment after each use, sticking to patron limits under the Public Health Order and providing hand sanitising stations on site.

This story Age is just a number for this mega-fit nan first appeared on The Daily Advertiser.