Written by 2:47 pm In the News

Man turns church into gym

A beautiful church in the UK has been transformed into a gym; the crucifix has been removed and swearing is banned.

41-year-old Joe Newbold bought Culmstock Methodist Church in Devon for £93,000 and transformed it into his gym, called Mypremcoach.

He said those that come to exercise are asked to keep cursing “to a minimum” because he still views the building as a holy site.

When you hate exercise

The building has not been used as a church since 2018, as membership dwindled.

Joe lives in Culmstock with his wife and two teenage children. He started the business five years ago and now trains around 50 people weekly.

He told SWNS, ”Of course people are used to grunting or cursing under their breath in the gym when their trainer makes them do some extra reps, but I guess we’ll have to try and keep that to a minimum now we’re in a church”.

The gym, which opened in the first week of  2023, still looks very much like a church. Joe wanted to keep a lot of its features to offer something unique.

“We still have touches of the former chapel, such as memorials and carvings in the wall, and stained glass windows, as trying to keep the unique features was a big part of it,” he said.

Joe told Devon Live: “I’ve been in the industry for nearly 25 years and always wanted my own personal training facility. I’ve got a lot more space here, which allows me to use bigger, more commercial equipment. Training in the chapel will be no different to anywhere else. Hopefully, we’ll keep the curse words to a minimum, but outside of that, there’ll still be plenty of blood, sweat and tears going on and hopefully not too much screaming.”

Beating the gym blues

Joe’s love for health and fitness dates back to his teenage years when he was growing up in the Midlands. He started as a lifeguard at a leisure centre before becoming involved in a gym. The friendly and warm trainer says that as well as the physical side of keeping fit, he hopes to support people to achieve their goals mentally.

“A big part of my training and coaching is the physical side, but not just the physical side,” he explained. “It’s the psychological side as well”.

(Picture Courtesy: Mypremcoach)

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