A NEW gym, which will really pull its weight with bodybuilders, has opened up in Basingstoke.

Gladiator’s Gym, in Winchester Street at Top of The Town, opened its doors at the end of October.

It was officially launched by former British bodybuilding champion and Mr Olympia contestant Eddie Abbew.

Nigel Snart, the 44-year-old managing director and bodybuilder who runs the independent gym, hopes to tap into the bodybuilding niche.

He believes other gyms in the borough lack the expertise bodybuilders need.

“Basingstoke does not have a specialist gym for bodybuilders or fitness fanatics,” said Nigel, from Old Basing. “While we do cater for everybody, Basingstoke does not have anything for that niche market. The town has not embraced bodybuilders.”

Nigel said he sunk more than £150,000 over 10 weeks into converting the derelict first floor premises into the gym.

According to the gym boss, the rooms had been vacant for the past 10 years and had been vandalised.

“It was a mess,” he said. “Kids had vandalised the place and destroyed everything.”

Following the revamp, the centre, which is above Café Rouge and the YMCA shop, boasts a free weights room, cardio room with exercise bikes, cross trainers and treadmills, as well as a specialist training room.

The gym was given the thumbs up by Mr Abbew, 50, the man who helped turn glamour model Jodie Marsh into a bodybuilder and who runs his own training centre in Hemel Hempsted.

“It is a really good gym,” he said. “People are going to like it and it has got everything you would need. A lot of gyms work for people who want just fitness – this place helps everybody.”