Mr Muscle just won’t slow down

Ken McGarrity
Ken McGarrity

VERY few could make claim to living their lives as dedicated to taking care of their bodies as Ken McGarrity.

Ken, a former Mr Scotland, has recently celebrated his 75th birthday in the only way he knows how – by shifting steel at his favourite gym.

Bodybuilding has been a lifelong passion for Ken, who told the Mail he has no intention of slowing up at 75 and still hopes to be visiting Dowies Gym and Fitness in Leven, where he is a popular face, for years to come.

During a break in one of his regular training sessions, Ken reflected on his early days as a sportsman.

He said: “In my younger years, when I turned to competing, I had a fair degree of success, winning various area competitions, the main one being Mr Scotland.

“I competed in Mr Britain in London, then I was invited to compete in Mr Universe, but due to work commitments I was unable to be at my best so didn’t enter.”

Ken was introduced to Dowies by his son, Kenny, where he now works out three times a week.

“I’d been working out in my garage gym for years, ever since Deanbeath Miners Welfare Club closed down, until my son introduced me to Anton Putka and his gym,” he added.

“I handle weights well within my limits; the whole idea is enjoyment not punishment.”

Ken, who was born in Cairo where his father was in the Irish Guards, took up weightlifting in 1958 after finishing his National Service.

He worked in the construction business most of his days and even built his own house in Randolph Street, Buckhaven.

“I had a few seasons competing in the Highland games,” he added.

“My best day was at Ceres; they are the oldest Highland Games on record.

“That day I came second in tossing the caber. Sandy Wallace was the Fife champion who won most events.

“However, I came away with something like £22 and 10 shillings, which was a week’s wages at that time in 1972.

“Through regular exercise and being extremely well looked after by my wife, Jean, I can still enjoy all the things I used to do, maybe just a tad slower.

“The next 25 years may be a bit harder, but we are going to enjoy the journey.”