New fitness studio rescues forgotten Altrincham building



Before and after: Abi Jeffrey, one of Nicholas Griffin’s Atlas Physique clients

On Saturday 19 March another new business opens its doors in Altrincham – Atlas Physique a personal training and fitness studio run by popular local trainer Nicholas Griffin, at 1 Market Street in the town centre.

Starting his own business is a dream of Nicholas’ ever since he left the Army in 2012 and found a new career in fitness. ‘Being able to empower people to change was what I really loved about it,’ said Nick, who’s trained more than 500 clients in Hale and Altrincham.

One of those clients, businesswoman Loren Taylor, believed in Nick so much she encouraged him to set up on his own, with her backing and advice. Nick, who’d worked at Hale Fitness and Total Fitness, Altrincham, started scouting around for local venues and Atlas Physique was born.

Forgotten building revived


Listed building 1 Market Street, during the refurbishment for Atlas Physique

Atlas’s launch is also a success story a piece of Altrincham’s heritage that was edging towards dereliction. No 1 Market Street is a grade-two listed building just yards from the popular Market hall. It had not been occupied for four years and was on the council’s ‘at risk’ list, says Nick.

Attempts to establish a restaurant there had failed and it looked like its lovely period oak-and-brass saloon doors could remain shut forever.

Nick admits that managing the restrictions that come with a listed building were ‘a nightmare’. But by reviving it as a gym, he’s glad to breathe life back into the building and ensure that anybody can visit and use it (once they’re one of his clients, of course!)


Inside the new Atlas Physique studio

Atlas has a team of three personal trainers and signing up is as easy as a phone call or popping in. Clients can use the studio as their gym for a small charge during the week and on Saturdays.

The interior is as simple and modern as you’d expect a gym to be, with all-white walls and black-and-red equipment. To accentuate the contrast between modern and old, Nick has brought in Manchester artist Buber Nebz Graffiti to create a mural for the interior (below).


In addition to fitness training, Nick and his team have plans for regular seminars that anyone can attend.

“It’s an education establishment rather than just a fitness studio. Going through the motions isn’t good enough. We want to offer sessions on diet and fitness.”

Atlas Physique officially launches on Saturday 19 March at 5.30pm, with a launch party that’s open to all.

Atlas Physique, 1 Market Street, Altrincham WA14 1QE. Tel 07907 014178. Normal opening times for clients are 6am-8pm, Saturday 7am to 3pm.




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Better, simpler, faster is a digital principle that I’d love to apply to the way I manage my home life. Bea Johnson’s book, which hit shops last year, certainly ticks the ‘simpler’ box. Her core message is a green one: Western households can’t keep producing waste at the levels we have been if our children are to enjoy the same world and way of life that we have.

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Eight things I learned about Google Glass from someone who’s got one

Bob Schukai

Bob Schukai

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Game on: Fraggers gaming cafe in Altrincham, Manchester

Playing Sims 3 at Fraggers, Altrincham

Playing Sims 3 at Fraggers, Altrincham

Altrincham boy Mike Hardman has packed in his software developing job in London and returned to his hometown to bring joy to the gaming-hungry youth and grown-ups of the North West.

Fraggers, at 6 the Downs in Altrincham, Cheshire, opened its doors in late February 2014 and offers two floors of game heaven, with 25 PCs stations and four console stations complete three large-screen TVs and leather sofas. Players have access to nearly 300 games and pay by the hour, either up front or via an account.

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