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Woman's personal fitness journey inspires approach at specialised gym in Sudbury

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Fed up with the dynamics of a conventional gym, Sarah Archer joined a fitness group, which adopted a unique approach to boosting health with weight loss.

After dropping three dress sizes at Gymophobics, she was inspired to launch her own business venture in Sudbury.

“It was my dream to open my own gym,” said Mrs Archer, who became a qualified fitness instructor with the franchise, before opening her own branch on Market Hill in August.

Sarah Archer who runs Gymophobics in Sudbury..Pic - Richard Marsham. (20910712)
Sarah Archer who runs Gymophobics in Sudbury..Pic - Richard Marsham. (20910712)

“It’s going really well,” she said. “We have 136 members who have joined so far.”

Unlike traditional fitness facilities, the centre – which is a women-only gym – provides 30-minute circuit sessions where members take turns on specialist exercise machines.

Each session is designed to boost all-round fitness, while focusing on any medical conditions that members may suffer from.

“It’s about changing women’s lives – it’s not just joining the gym; we try to improve their health, too,” said Mrs Archer.

“We take a holistic approach; we help women of all ages.”

The centre provides air-powered resistance exercise machines, which help to reduce pressure on the joints compared to traditional fitness equipment.

“We don’t use machines like other gyms, so women can exercise in their lunch breaks if they want to,” said Mrs Archer, adding that the sessions provide social benefits for members.

“We’re like a home from home,” said the 53-year-old. “There’s a café area if they want to socialise.”

Noticing a dramatic improvement in a large number of members has been a rewarding experience for Mrs Archer.

The centre’s oldest member, who is 85 and a full-time carer to her husband, was reluctant to join at first, but has since reaped the benefits.

“Her mobility and confidence have grown in a short space of time,” said Mrs Archer.

The team wear smart clothes as opposed to sports gear, which helps to create a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

Mrs Archer added: “We don’t want our members to feel intimidated in any way.”