TIMES are hard for gyms as Coronavirus restrictions take their toll on footfall but one owner is thankful for the support he has received from the public.

Lee Butterworth, owner of Xtreme Fitness in Workington has expanded his business thanks to ambition and the support of his community who continued to pay their memberships when Covid-19 restrictions were in place.

Lee said: “It’s going really well, through lockdown we’ve had people still paying memberships which has really allowed us to grow.

“We’ve been really well protected by our members.”

He added that traditional body building gyms will have struggled during the pandemic as many rely solely on cash payments. The business has opened a car wash and meal prep service, expanding at a difficult time for gyms.

The gym owner is happy to provide more jobs for the community with the new services. Xtreme Fitness has worked with the job centre on their Kickstart Scheme when opening the new car wash at the site.

Now that the gym, which is now based at the old Border Cars site, has reopened, Lee has noticed the benefits of fitness for the community who have been unable to attend during lockdown restrictions.

“Since we’ve opened back up, every person we’ve spoken to has suffered in this last lockdown.” He has noticed an impact of the isolation on his patrons.

“It’s going to take a while for people to get back to normal within themselves.

Lee said: “A lot of people are still unsure of if we’re going to go back into lockdown.”

Restrictions are still in place for some facilities such as the showers which Lee thinks leads to reluctance in some people to train as they would.

His message for the fitness community is a hopeful one.

“I think June for gyms and leisure centres will be massive.”

Lee said that he has always been an ambitious person and more plans are in the works for Xtreme Fitness including taking their meal prep service national.

“A lot of people think about things too much. People just won’t take the risk.

Lee said: “A lot of people don’t follow their dreams.”

To test demand, Xtreme will start delivering meal prep in Carlisle before a national rollout.

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