A pair of fitness instructors have bought the gym where they work and now plan to give the business a makeover.

Duncan Edwards, 30, and Tony Douglass, 29, who were staff at Bodyguard in Jesmond, Newcastle, have taken over from Steve Denby as owners.

They say they want to take a more strategic approach to the management of the business and on providing private one to one personal training to high performance athletes, injury and illness rehabilitation programmes and individual weight loss plans for people with health problems.

Edwards said: “We have exciting plans ahead for the future of Bodyguards and are certain that customers will soon begin to see the effects of our enthusiasm.

“We have already improved the overall look of the gym by installing new high-quality functional equipment such as squat racks and cable machines as well as more specialist machines designed to specifically improve skiing endurance and ability.

“Also the gym walls have been re-decorated with iPod style imagery painted by local artists. These improvements will help to enhance the atmosphere in the gym, as well as improving the level of service we can provide.”

The duo also plan to bring in new technology, including software packages that will hold all client and trainer information in one place, to make the running of the gym smoother and more efficient.

And they plan to provide a number of specialist services such as pre- and post-natal exercise, postural correction, lifestyle and nutritional programme design, cardiac rehabilitation, back and neck injury rehabilitation and sports specific training which includes golf, racquet sports, martial arts and skiing.

They also intend to work with local chiropractors, physiotherapists, podiatrists and orthopaedics to help clients with illness and injuries. They also have a connection with a local organic food delivery service to help with nutritional advice.

Douglass has worked as a sports massage specialist at Bodyguards since 2005, he has an international diploma in personal training and has more than seven years’ experience in the fitness industry, having previously worked at various health clubs, including David Lloyd.

Now Tony trains a wide variety of clients and works with athletes and local sports teams.

Specialising in the biomechanics of sports and injury rehabilitation, Edwards joined Bodyguards in 2001 after gaining an honours degree in sport science. He has worked in clubs across the country.

Douglass said: “The success of changing people’s lifestyle and confidence levels for the better is what made me passionate about taking over as joint manager when the former owner decided to emigrate.

“Recently one of our clients became the number one shotokan karate senior in Great Britain due to the high performance training he received at Bodyguards and we have seen clients over 60 years old with health issues get themselves back to full health by training with us.

"It is examples like that which urged me to take over Bodyguards and take it in the direction of helping professionals and people who used to be fit get back on track.”

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