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Dan Makey was born in Akron Ohio, before moving to the San Fernando Valley, where he
became a machinist and supervisor for North American.
Dan then became a major participant and influence in the golden age of bodybuilding.
Dan came to Ventura in 1969 and opened The Gym in Ventura in 1970. He had worked for Vince
Gironda (The Iron Guru) at the famed Vince's Gym in North Hollywood.
Dan was a former golden gloves heavy weight title winner and former Mr. Western America
body building champion; along with other titles such as Mr. Pacific Coast and Mr. USA. Not to
mention, he was a great father as well.
The Gym was one of the first "serious weight lifting gyms in the county."
Dan's vision included women and became one of the first co-ed gyms at the time.
Over the years, the gym produced many champion bodybuilders as well as helping the
community with their fitness needs.
Dan's sense of humor and wit, along with his knowledge of training and nutrition, gave him the
opportunity to become one of the first personal trainers in the county before it was vogue to be
a trainer,much less have one.
Dan trained many athletes as well as high school football students.
From NFL football, beauty pageants, Olympic gold medalists, professional golfer, or just to the
regular memberwho was trying to lose some weight or avoid surgery, Dan was the guy to see.
Dan's expertise extended into working in conjunction with physical therapists in the use of
specialized weight resistant therapy. He fixed people.
There are many people in this community who started at The Gym, and they are now training
The Gym has been in the same location at 2498 East Main Street for 38 years.
Most of the members have been there the entire time. They have a great neighborhood gym,
friends and family, as Dan would refer to them.
He was a man of his word and a handshake would seal the deal.
That was the kind, generous man that Dan was.
His spirit is still alive and well in The Gym.
The Gym has a soul as many of the members refer to it.
He will truly be missed in the physical plane but he is with us everyday, working though his