AS 16-year-old Tom Auton completed his first press up in the gym he'd just joined, he never imagined for one second he'd own the business within four years.

Tom has just celebrated three years at the helm of Activate Fitness, in Bridge Street, Taunton, which is going from strength to strength, if you get the pun.

After two years as a member, he had been working out in the gym, located over the Coal Orchard pub, when he was taken on as a member of staff.

Then two years later, the opportunity came up to buy the business - at the age of just 20.

"I've learned a lot since then," said Tom.

"There were plenty of challenges to get the place up and running again after it closed for seven weeks while the lease was sorted out.

"I've grown the membership considerably, refurbished the premises and replaced equipment, which is an ongoing project.

"There's a unique atmosphere here - it's very friendly, like a big happy family.

"The membership is a real mixture of all ages and abilities. Everyone is welcome, whatever their background. It's not at all intimidating."

A range of daily classes are run (second pun), including Insanity - don't let the name put you off though, as teaching the energetic sessions is Tom's favourite part of the job - circuits, kettle bells, yoga and boxing.

Staff could also draw up a personalised fitness programme for you to follow or you're free to do your own thing in the gym, which boasts an extensive range of equipment.

Staff and members will be eagerly watching later today (Saturday) when professional boxer Pawel Augustynik, who is sponsored by Activate and has never lost a fight, headlines the card at Torquay's Riviera International Centre.

"I'm delighted to have had the opportunity for Activate to sponsor Pawel for the last three years," said Tom.

"I'm really glad I managed to purchase the gym. I absolutely love it here.

"I don't call it work - it's a lifestyle.

"I enjoy what I do and get to spend my time with some fantastic people."

You can join Activate Fitness without paying the £15 joining fee with the coupon in this week's newspaper edition of your County Gazette.