Great news for shift workers as local gym opens every day of the year apart from Christmas.
Lifestyle Fitness Ballymena is to become the town’s first 24-hour training facility from January 21, 2019.
It means the Ballymena gym, located at 23 Pennybridge Industrial Estate, will now be open seven days a week, 364 days a year – with the only exception being Christmas day.
The family business, which also runs a gym in Clonoe Community Centre, Coalisland, owns numerous gyms in England and Wales.
The Ballymena outlet is the third branch amongst the popular chain to embrace 24-hour opening, following huge success in Middlesbrough and Carlisle.
Chris McQuillan, marketing manager at Lifestyle Fitness, believes the initiative makes is a first. “I believe we will be the only gym offering 24-hour opening in Ballymena and one of only a few across Northern Ireland.’’
Chris reveals: “We had huge success in our Middlesbrough and Carlisle branches, and knew 24-hour opening would work extremely well in our Ballymena branch, which with almost 3,000 members you could probably describe it as being one of our ‘best kept secrets’ if you like.
“We took over almost six years ago, and spent £250,000 on a terrific refresh last year so we have the best of kit available.
“We expect 24-hour opening to be hugely popular amongst shift workers, taxi drivers, students – and people who simply cannot sleep.
“We also envision it will be great for those new to the gym who may feel slightly less self-conscious by making use of the 24 hours-opening by coming in at times they know it will be less busy.’’
He added: “The reaction on social media was absolutely fantastic, we thought 24-hour opening would work really well here and the reaction really confirmed that. A lot of comments expressed just how much they welcomed the new opening hours due to their working patterns, which mean they need to train at anything from 4am. Many people were even joking that they had no excuse now!
“We understand that we must adapt to people’s changing needs and lifestyles as not everybody is the same and running on the same schedules.’’
And for anyone feeling insecure about joining the gym, or perhaps even going for the first time, the family business continues to promote its core values.
“Lifestyle Fitness was and continues to be a family brand – with accessibility and family friendliness at its core. We want to help empower people on their fitness journey by giving them the tools, resources and knowledge of how to create their fitness goals,’’ Chris explained.
The brand was founded by Carl Gripendstedt in 1982 with a simple message – fitness available to everyone at an affordable price.
“He felt passionately that people should be able to enjoy a perfect gym environment – exercise on the best equipment, have access to the most highly-trained staff – and still pay a perfectly reasonable price.
“And 30 years later, Lifestyle Fitness continues to offer the most contemporary gym equipment, personal training and classes, for a purposefully competitive price,’’ Chris explains.
Still owned by Carl’s family today, that ethos continues. Chris said: “What differentiates us from other gyms is we want to help maintain people’s fitness and achieve their goals – whatever they may be – every single person who walks through those doors is different.
“We believe in providing the skills, knowledge, tools and resources to achieve their goals – all at a realistic price but using the very best state of the art facilities.’’
Everyone who joins Lifestyle Fitness is entitled to a free personal trainer session, which Chris explains is “more of a consultation’’.
“We are keen to help you achieve your goals, familiarise yourself with all of the equipment, and understand what you should be doing in order to get the results you are hoping to achieve. So often, people simply stick to the machines they have always used, rather than getting the complete benefit - that can be frustrating when you don’t get the results. It is about increasing understanding through education, providing the tools, resources and knowledge for you to achieve and maintain your own personal fitness goals.
“We’re all about the entire fitness experience, which is why our Ballymena branch has a sauna, spin studio, cafe, a quiet gym and so much more,’’ he adds.
“We’re all about building partnerships within the community, working with Ballymena United as well as local gymnastic clubs and more.”
Lifestyle Fitness Ballymena offers a series of offers including a 30-dayrolling contract membership and an annual membership.
Other incentives include the ‘Earn While You Burn’ scheme, which sees members join for free for 12 weeks, agreeing to weigh in three times a week, where at the end of the scheme you will receive a cash incentive if you have achieved your fitness goal up to £45 – the national recommendation for weight loss is no more than 2 pounds per week.