A GYM owner has built an outdoor training facility meaning fitness fanatics desperate to get back pumping iron can do so in a safe environment.

Lewis Jones, 30, is the owner of Ironworks, in Clacton, having acquired the keys to the eye-catching red and black building roughly five years ago.

Since the start of the coronavirus lockdown, the gym has been closed to the public, and it remains unknown when indoor gyms will be given the go-ahead to reopen.

Outdoor workout sites, however, are now once again permitted to be used, so Mr Jones decided he would construct and install one behind Ironworks.

In just a few days, Mr Jones concreted, decked, and laid AstroTurf on the 92-square-metre space, before positioning a variety of heart-pumping exercise machines.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

At the back of the covered outdoor gym, fitness buffs will find wash basins and hand sanitiser, and social distancing restrictions, of course, remain in place.

“Where people haven’t trained in three months, I think anything is going to feel great, but being outside is a new thing and there is a new buzz about it,” said Mr Jones.

“It is obviously a good idea and we have already had so many people come along and try it out, even a member of the Great British bobsleighing team.

“Anyone can come and use it, but I am taking on just five people at a time, and then once they are finished, everything is sterilised before the next clients come in.”

Mr Jones admits the last few months have been hard for the business but says he has been able to make use of some of the financial support on offer.

But, as much as the company has struggled due to the closure, so have the people who use the Ironworks gym as a release or way to help their mental health.

“The gym is a big part of everyone’s life, and if you suffer with mental health problems, and don’t know what to do, it can really help,” Mr Jones added.

“There has been a couple of people come back who have problems with their mental health who I have even given free sessions to, and even an a 73-year-old.

“Working out is great for keeping your immune system higher, which is what people need right now, so I don’t understand why pubs are being put before fitness.

“Everyone is worried about what they could catch touching gym equipment, but I dare say there will be a lot more chance of catching something in a dirty pub.”

To find out more about Ironworks visit facebook.com/ironworksgymclacton.