COLCHESTER’S newest 24-hour gym has opened its doors and I was pleased to be among the first to try it out.

Jetts, in Tollgate West, Stanway, welcomed fitness fans for the first time on Monday.

The new gym sits in the former home of Mexican restaurant chain Chiquito and it has been completely remodelled since its owners Carl Black and his business partner got handed the keys earlier this year.

As a keen gymgoer who’s gone to several of Colchester’s gyms over the years, I was excited by Jetts’ swish promotional content on social media and bit the bullet and joined the club a month before it opened.

Gazette: Welcome - The entrance to Jetts ColchesterWelcome - The entrance to Jetts Colchester (Image: Newsquest)

I headed down to the gym on its launch day at around 7pm. It felt like a good time to visit – it wasn’t heaving but it was busy enough for there to be a bit of an atmosphere.

I was given a great first impression as I was greeted by the gym’s general manager Danny Wilson who guided me and a group of other new members on an orientation tour.

Despite being part of a chain, as I walked around the gym for the first time, I felt like I’d escaped from the usual commercial gym environment.

Gazette: Pumping iron - The dumbbells range between four and 50kg, which is soon to increase to 60kgPumping iron - The dumbbells range between four and 50kg, which is soon to increase to 60kg (Image: Newsquest)

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The equipment was plentiful and left no stone unturned, and more is expected to be delivered in the coming weeks.

Gazette: Plentiful - There are six squat racks inside the gymPlentiful - There are six squat racks inside the gym (Image: Newsquest)

Asked what makes Jetts different from its competitors, the answer was simple for Danny: “Community.”

He explained: “We like to get involved in the area we serve and aim to offer a family feel with regular social events. We really want to get to know people.”

Barbecues, group runs, or even a quick pint at the end of a busy day are all part of the vision.

It's not just the community aspect that feels different, though, as some parts of the gym feel totally different to others I’ve been to.

There’s an outdoor workout area, for instance, where I’ll definitely be wheeling a squat rack into the sun next time I’m in for leg day.

Communal changing areas are a thing of the past, too, with everyone being able to get changed in their own lockable changing room with a walk-in shower, while the parking at the front of the building is easy and, more importantly, free.

Gazette: Vanity area - The changing area is the perfect place to get ready for the day aheadVanity area - The changing area is the perfect place to get ready for the day ahead (Image: Newsquest)

Gazette: Cubicle - Gymgoers are treated to private changing roomsCubicle - Gymgoers are treated to private changing rooms (Image: Newsquest)

The team will start offering classes next week, and with the delivery of even more equipment expected shortly, I can see this fast becoming my favourite workout spot.

I do wish there were more cardio machines. With four treadmills upstairs, I can envisage them being a hot commodity in peak times. But it's early days yet, and the owners seem committed to continuously keeping an eye on the demand for the gym's equipment and making improvements where necessary.