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Grantham ladies-only gym is making great strides

Nathan Newton-Willington and Mum Jilly Poulson
Nathan Newton-Willington and Mum Jilly Poulson

The operators of Grantham’s first women-only gym say exercise need not be intimidating.

Nathan Newton-Willington launched LOS (Ladies Only Studio) six months ago, with mum Jilly Poulson and girlfriend Laura Donaghy.

The 29-year-old is from Grantham, though he attended St George’s School at Sleaford. He initially trained as a mechanic but as he grew older, found he lost his enthusisasm for cars as the work was sweaty, dirty and involved little interaction with people, which he loves.

Nathan retrained as a personal trainer and worked at various gyms in Grantham and elsewhere for six years.

Last year, his mum decided to close the nursery school she owned for 20 years and become an ‘off-road’ driving instructor, leaving suitable premises at 135 Dudley Road for the studio gym.

Nearly all Nathan’s work as a personal trainer involved one-to-one training sessions with women. Many would be given a routine to follow but after a while they decided not to follow it.

Nathan blames this on the “offputting and intimidating” nature of larger gyms.

He said: “Here, everything is smaller. It’s for people who are new to it or who have done very little exercise. A lot of people find it refreshing to be in an environment that is not so daunting.”

Nathan denies it is sexist having a women only gym, adding men who see the sign that it is a women-only just walk away. One of his ‘customers’ is mum Jilly.

She told the Journal: “I went to a gym many years ago and had such a horrendous experience which put me off. Through meeting and talking to the ladies here, I decided to come along.”

Nathan cites Cambridge University studies which claim one in seven people have a gym membership but only one in ten use it weekly, despite paying for it. Almost 90 per cent give up after two weeks.

Instead, his business offers monthly memberships, which he says gives him the incentive to give members the support and encouragement they need to keep up with their exercise.

He added: “Some people who come feel unsupported at the bigger gyms. They need to raise their game as they keep losing people.”

“I’m not out to get the most members. I’m trying to get the right members.”

Call Nathan on 07775 691929.


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