Business partners Judi Fuller and Sarah Potter have recently taken over the Edinburgh branch of Training For Warriors (TFW), an existing gym that was set up three years ago.
Branding their Jane Street premises a “dojo” rather than a gym, the pair are adamant that this is more than just a fresh start with new owners.
“It’s a place of enlightenment,” said Judi, 63. “You’re students, not gym members. That’s one of the hardest parts to get across to people.”
The Training For Warriors franchise was devised by New Jersey-born athlete and fitness addict Martin Rooney in the early 2000s.
Rooney’s “familia” of TFW affiliates is now almost 300-strong and spread throughout more than 20 countries worldwide.
Previously a women’s only club, the Leith dojo closed abruptly in July this year, prompting Judi and Sarah to take over.
Prior to signing the lease, former NHS Lothian phlebotomist Judi attended the TFW summit in Utah earlier this year, where she said she realised the Leith premises were not being run properly according to the principles set out by Martin Rooney.
Judi, from Bonnyrigg, said: “This was Training For Warriors, the way it should be run.
“Every session has a motivational component, a nutritional component and an exercise component. You’re not just coming in to lift X amount of weight. It’s not cheap. We’re charging £100 a month when you can get a £10 a month deal elsewhere, but the point is we are offering the service.”
Treating members as more than just numbers, the “familia” helped Sarah, 40, battle back from depression when her previous career came to an end.
“I used to be a police officer,” she said, “but I got injured and had to take early retirement.”
This year Sarah gave birth to a baby boy, Finlay – a delightful addition to her life she says was made possible by the health benefits engendered by TFW.
She added: “TFW has massively changed my life. Medically, they never thought I’d have a child but I’ve managed it since joining up.
“Physically, I’m as fit now as when I first joined the police.”
Judi and Sarah say the dojo is open to anyone over the age of 16 who wants to improve their physical and mental health.
Judi added: “The benefits are not just physical. People have come in who have been on anti-depressants and have come off them.
“Training For Warriors is literally saving lives around the world.”
Judi and Sarah will host TFW Edinburgh’s grand opening on Saturday with a charity event to raise money for the Citadel Youth Centre.