Urban Fitness in Cliftonville celebrates its first anniversary on Tuesday (April 12).
The former Olympia gym was bought by Alistair and Lizzy McPherson in November 2020 but just four days later Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced another covid lockdown with businesses including gyms required to close.
As it became clear that business was not going to return to normal for some time to come Alistair and Lizzy set about employing local tradespeople to carry out a total refit and rebrand.
Lizzy said: “We wanted the gym to be welcoming for everyone. Urban fitness is in the middle of a unique and diverse community and we wanted the gym to be somewhere everyone could come together and feel comfortable doing so.
“We added ‘The Pump Room,’ a bar and social space for people to enjoy post workout smoothies and protein shakes and a timetable of classes in our studio which has doubled in size over the last year.”
Urban Fitness, in Northdown Road, now has seven members of staff, seven self-employed class teachers and three self-employed personal trainers.
In January Alice Fusco was taken on as gym manager and is taking the venue from strength to strength.
She said: “We listen to our members and are continually making tweaks and changes to improve their experience, our latest change being a dedicated boxing area.
“We want the anniversary of the opening of Urban Fitness to be a celebration and a chance to give back and say thank you to all of our members.
“Over the week we will have cake and decorations, DJs from our gym community providing a party atmosphere to workouts on Tuesday, team teaching in classes to ramp up the energy as well as competitions and giveaways from merchandise to chances to win a free months membership.”
Urban Fitness is also charging just £1 for guest passes throughout the week for anyone who wants to try out the gym.