Lakeside Fitness finds new home in Penticton

Lakeside Fitness settling in at their new location in the Penticton Racquet and Fitness Club.

Jim and Marianne Clarke carry a load of free weights into the Penticton Racquet and Fitness Club

Moving day is over for Lakeside Fitness, but Jim Clarke says there is still a lot of settling in to do at their new location in the Penticton Racquet and Fitness Club.

After nearly three decades at their previous location in the Penticton Lakeside Resort, taking some time to set things to rights is understandable.

“We moved in there on March 11 — don’t ask me why I remember that — 1988,” said Clarke, who operates the fitness club with his wife Marianne. “It was a home there. We moved in there, we got it all together. It was a good run.”

After finding out that the their lease wouldn’t be renewed, Clarke said they had to choose between finding a new home or closing shop.

“Most of our members wanted to carry on,” said Clarke. “I got it down to two or three places, but I found this was the best fit.”

Lakeside Fitness has a reputation for maintaining a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere, and Clarke said creating that same feeling at the new place is a priority.

“I think it will just take time and getting everyone on the same page. I try to treat people like I would like to be treated, that’s all,” said Clarke, explaining that they try to focus on treating clients with consideration and service.

“People come to a fitness club to get in shape, but they also come for social reasons. They come to relieve stress, they come for a bunch of different reasons. If we can help with that, we will,” said Clarke. “We want to make it a place that you want to come to.”

Clarke said he is concentrating on settling in clients at the new location, helping them find the equipment they need and adjust their routines.

“I am trying to book not too many appointments right now, I am trying to just be around for everyone,” said Clarke, adding that moving into the Racquet and Fitness club brings with it some advantages for old and new clients.

One bonus is a personal training studio separate from the main workout area.

“There can just be one instructor, one client, maybe two instructors, two clients,” said Clarke. “It will be kind of private, which I think people will like.”

Over the years, Clarke has helped many people to return to fitness and mobility after injuries or surgery, a personal one-on-one type of work he will be returning to when once the new facility is settled.

“I like working with everybody. I have some athletes I work with and that is fun too. But I really enjoy working with people who have got a big ceiling. They’ve got an injury, they’ve got some problems and they need a place to start,” said Clarke.

Sometimes, Clarke explained, it is more than just a fitness situation for the client; they need someone who understands their situation and can work with them.

“We start from wherever and we work up. The whole idea is just getting back to function, if you have an injury or if you have some other issues,” said Clarke. “We are just getting you to that next stage, so you can just do more and more and more. We will take you as far as you want.”

In addition to offering the same classes and training as at the old facility, Clarke said clients now have access to squash, racquetball, wallyball, pilates, a massage therapist and more.

“This is really diversified. There is a lot going on here,” he said.

The Penticton Racquet and Fitness Club can be found at 201 Okanagan Ave. E.