Dorchester’s longest-running gym has moved to a new home in the old Salvation Army hall in Durngate Street.

gym1Dorchester Health and Fitness club left its former home in Somerleigh Road and its 400 members are settling into the tastefully restored hall.

Debbie Easter (pictured left) and daughter Rachel  work together in running the gym. Debbie says people don’t come here just for a physical change but for a lifestyle makeover, to change both their bodies and mind. They work with clients to develop individually tailored programmes that help them develop into the person they want to be. It may sound like a cliché, but even as a visitor I was welcomed into the family.

The gym is full of the latest equipment, catering for everyone’s needs – from free weights to machines that develop and tone specific muscle groups, from cross-trainers to stepping and running machines and bikes; it’s all there.

There is also a range of classes such as spinning and body pumping, and hydraulics machines specifically designed to help slowly work out the body, for people who have had strokes or ME.

The club’s oldest member is 80, showing that the gym appeals and caters to all age groups. It’s open seven days a week, and they are ready to motivate you in any shape or form.

Walking into the thriving gym, I was greeted by owners and members alike. It was my first visit to the building since I was in the kids club way back when, and I still remember the beautiful architecture – to me it feels more homely than an ordinary ‘chain’ gym, perhaps a reflection of Debbie’s and Rachel’s caring influence.

When speaking both to members who have been going for 20 years and new members alike, all agree that while going to a gym is normally a chore, they actually enjoy coming here.

Debbie and Rachel have worked hard to make the new gym ‘happen’ – at one stage it looked as if they might have to close completely when a previous new venue fell through. But thanks to their hard work and dedication, Dorchester Health and Fitness is good for the next 20 years.

Photos: Laura Gardner

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