Currently in the midst of its 18th birthday celebrations, Genesis Health and Fitness opened in September 2003 to create a non-intimidating community and culture for people keen to embrace (or maintain) a healthy body.
Founded by Mel Tempest, the business was initially known as Body & Soul, opening with no members in the church hall on Bakery Hill.
In 2007 the gym moved to its current location in Humffray Street South, and in 2019 became part of the Genesis Health and Fitness network, enabling members to access more than 40 clubs nationally.
There are now 22 people involved in the Ballarat gym, from frontline leaders and group fitness instructors, to personal trainers, exercise physio and rehab staff.
"In a world full of YouTube clips and Instagram posts, consumers need to ask fitness professionals what qualifications they have, (as) the wrong information can cause injury and incorrect nutrition advice," says Mel.
The fully equipped gym offers personal training, group fitness, older adults and veterans programs, wellness classes and a private functional fitness studio. There's also a sporting club and school group workouts.
Mel is an advocate for the fitness industry and many of the team are involved in school sports, so naturally, people of all shapes and sizes are welcome.
"We're not about crop tops and selfies, we're about social interaction and staying healthy," says Mel, "our doors are open to all".
Providing a mature approach to health and fitness, the family-owned business has embraced current trends such as circuit workouts and of course, online classes.
More women of all ages are working out and members aged over 50 understand the importance of fighting chronic illness.
Wellness classes such as yoga, pilates and barre are also popular and men are attending more of the boxing circuits that are available.
Indeed, Mel says she loves all the different personalities she meets.
"Everybody has a story to tell, yet we all have the same agenda and that is to live a long life and stay healthy," she says.