Prior to setting up the original Unit 8 Gym in December 2020, I had been a Tree Surgeon and Landscaper for 26 years.
I began training when I was 14 with some weights my uncle had given me. At 16 I joined my first gym, at 17 I drove to Bolton (back when you had to get directions printed out by the AA) I sat my first Focus Gym Instructors course supported by NABBA. Shortly after I would work 3 evenings in the gym I trained at. At the age of 22 I attended a course in Brighton for 12 weeks, to gain my Level 3 Personal Trainer and Sports & Optimum Nutritionist qualification.
Over the years, I enjoyed training and the confidence it gave me (I was painfully shy growing up). Fast forward to 2014, I began to prepare for my first bodybuilding competition for 2015. The diet was a 25 week prep. Tough like you wouldn’t believe! But the experience and knowledge, the physical and mental strength you need and gain is incredible.
I didn’t place at the show but at the age of 40, I looked the best I had ever looked.
I’ve always been a positive person, I try to find the positive in every negative! Surrounded myself with positive people, I truly believe that a positive mind will aid you in achieving anything you want or can dream. This would come in handy sooner than I could have imagined.
3 weeks after competing, I was still on cloud 9 and buzzing for my next show. I used my hero’s as inspiration, Dorian Yates, Kevin Levrone and my family, to drive me to be the best version of me. I’m driven, focused and can push through most situations. Until BANG! I snapped my right Pec Major muscle. Horrific!
Not an easy injury to recover from. In fact it’s probably one of the worst injuries you could have as an athlete.
I went under the knife for 4 1/2 hours of reconstructive surgery. I was told I’ll never train hard again or compete! So I switched my mindset from growing to recovery. I ate to recover, I did my own rehab. After 12 weeks I had full rotation in my shoulder and was ready to start taking light loads on my chest again. I still have the video of that first time back under the bar again bench pressing. The fear of my chest snapping again was enough to make you want to give up. But I didn’t and I took it slowly.
Fast forward to 2017, I was back on that same stage competing and qualified for the British Finals. Better than I had ever been before. Strong positive mindset and the ability to problem solve. 2018, something wasn’t right. I wasn’t enjoying the atmosphere that I trained in and mid set, I put the weights down and left the gym. I bought some Ben & Jerries on the way home and didn’t look back for a couple of years.
I had always loved training and the gym environment. I had worked in a few gyms and helped set up other gyms but to own one seemed like a far distant dream.
November 2020, and after a year from hell for obvious reasons, it had been on my mind for sometime and now was the time to make some life changes. I would rather try and fail then never try at all. So in a bid to get back into shape after letting myself go, I converted my workshop into Unit 8 Gym. 4 weeks to sell everything, build the gym and buy kit and set up supply chains. And then to get customers!
The response was incredible! It was clear I had produced a good product. We endured a 4 month lockdown shortly after opening.
Once we reopened on April 15th, and clients began to come back it was clear I was going to out grow the unit and fast! It was during some PT sessions that Gordon and I became friends and we chatted a lot about the possibilities with the gym. It was clear Gordon was interested in finding out about the industry while we worked on his own physical and mental transformation. He took all the information I gave him and worked hard on implementing it into his lifestyle.
A short while after he approached me and spoke of his interest in working together as partners and making a huge success of Unit8gym. I knew from the conversations we had during PT sessions that he was a smart cookie, so it was a no brainer! We collaborated and what you see now is the formidable journey of Unit8Gym Ltd.
The rest as they say is history. For the last 9 months we have grafted hard in creating the all new gym at Henlake House on the Endsleigh Estate. What we have created is the most superior fitness facility in the South Hams District. Unit8gym is a gym for anyone and everyone, all ages young and old, for all levels of experience from beginners to athletes. We are super proud to be able to include in our facility, the ability to also offer disabled access on all of the levels in the building so no one is excluded.
We hope you enjoy what we have created for you and if ever you need help or advise then don’t hesitate to ask.