Creating a women’s only gym was a lifelong dream for Michelle Whittaker.
The 36-year-old first found her love of fitness and training in 2009 when she competed in an Olympic triathlon and London Marathon in aid of OJ’s Care, in Longridge, which supports children with autism.
From there she qualified as a personal trainer in 2011 and she built her business, Motivated Affordable Training, from her Preston home.
But wanting to expand, she found a unit in Tarleton and launched Motivated Fitness, last July, aiming to provide women with a place to train without feeling body conscious.
Michelle says: “I put everything into my training for the charity, raising £15,000. I met some real good friends at the gym I trained at in Preston, and as a result, I really got into it.
“I enjoyed it so much I enrolled at Preston’s College and qualified as a personal trainer.
“I started to build up my personal training business from home in 2012, but I could not progress any further as I could only train two clients at a time in my garage workshop.
“My brother, David Whittaker, who is a builder, found the unit in Church Road, Tarleton, and I launched Motivated Fitness last July.
“The opening was always my big dream, and now with the hard work of myself and the others around me it has become a reality.
“Colin Jones, who owns Absolute Fitness in Clitheroe, was my mentor and helped so much the six months before the gym even opened. If I hadn’t had his guidance and support the gym would not be what it is today.
“Motivated Fitness really is a team effort. I couldn’t do this with out the other members of staff, Colin and my family’s support.”
Michelle, a former travel agent, is hoping to spread her enthusiasm to other women who train at her gym.
She says: “I love being a trainer because I love helping people and want them to feel better about themselves physically and emotionally.
“I want every woman that comes through the door to regain their confidence and enjoy their exercise time.
“We offer a personal training service without a hefty price tag.
“Our customers are aged between 14 and 75, who are local people to Tarleton but also travel from surrounding areas.
“And I am proud to say we are the only ladies-only gym in the area.”
Sarah Nicholas joined the gym after she was trained by Michelle three years ago.
She says: “Michelle’s business venture is truly inspiring and I am super excited to be involved with Motivated Fitness.
“I love working out and all the benefits that come with it.
“I understand why women are intimidated in larger gyms and feel like they can’t go in the free weights area. With our women’s only policy, you will be able to do whatever suits you in a relaxed atmosphere, with no intimidation.
“I am looking forward to meeting new people and helping them reach their goal.”
Kirsty Reed says: “Besides fitness and training, my other passion is dancing. I have organised my own dance troupe, Burst, to compete in competition and in 2014 we came first out of 20 other dance troupes.
“I have also been involved in dancing shows where we performed The Lion King, Annie, Blues Brothers and many more.
“I have studied sports development and fitness coaching at college and am now working towards my personal trainer diploma.
“I want to make people feel better about themselves and achieve their goals.”
Molly Hilton is also a qualified beauty therapist and nail technician and is also a dancer.
She says: “I thoroughly enjoy training in the gym. I love working out and the effect it has on your body and mind. I want to help others feel good about themselves and achieve their goals.”