Man of Steel is a spacious gym based in the heart of Craigneuk, Wishaw, that specialises in both one to one and couples personal training, fitness, Thai boxing and boxing classes for men, women and children respectively. The gym itself is fully equipped for various training techniques to suit everyone, ranging from losing weight, gaining weight, building muscle, improving muscle tone strength and improving fitness levels.
The gym is pioneered by the 2009 British Amateur Thai Boxing Champion Mark Doyle, who is currently drawing a lot of attention for his action-packed classes and sense of responsibility for the youth within the Craigneuk community.
We caught up with Mark this week to find out where it all began:
ITW: Mark, thanks for taking the time out to speak with us. Can you tell us a bit about your background?
MARK: Erm background from my younger days? I’ve always been from Craigneuk, born and raised, and just ran around the streets when I was younger. I have always been in and out of jobs, really, and I was a lorry driver prior to this. I only began with the martial arts at 30 years old.
ITW: So, how did you end up getting involved with martial arts?
MARK: I don’t even remember. There was a local club down the road and I just joined one day, picked it up really quick – Thai boxing – I went every day for years. I then started fighting through it – in the ring and competing.
ITW: What sort of competitions were you in?
MARK: I won the British amateur championship with Thai boxing, and then fought quite regularly…you win some you lose some. I then took up boxing and then went to get my professional British boxing badge. The British boxing council okayed it however it was too much money – they wanted hundreds of pounds – so I never went through with it.
I then went and studied health fitness and exercise at Motherwell college and got my HND. I left there and started doing some personal training in my mates wee garage up in Netherton. And that kind of kicked off from there.
It was local people that knew me at first, then as time went on I started getting people in and getting folk results. I also had a wee gym before this, but opened this one up about two years ago.
ITW: It’s great to see how you’ve clearly come a long way since doing things out of your friend’s garage, how many people do you have in your classes now?
MARK: It’s hard to say. I’ve got two different kids classes, I’ve also got a class for women. I would say over a 100-folk coming in to the gym each week. I also I run Thai boxing classes, woman’s classes, kid’s classes as well as the personal training.
ITW: You have quite a few bits of artwork on the walls – did you have a role model growing up?
MARK: Bruce lee was my martial arts role model when growing up. Its hard to really say to be honest.
ITW: And if you hadn’t ended up doing Martial Arts, what do you think you would be doing now?
MARK: If I hadn’t ended up doing martial arts, I don’t even know, I think I would have probably been back driving lorries.
ITW: What motivates you?
MARK: I’ve got the kids class, its all Craigneuk kids, I’m trying to give them a different life. One of my wee kids has won the Scottish championships already, and are going to be fighting in the British championships in June. She has also qualified for the World Championships in July as well. She is only 11. I feel that it gives the kids a discipline as well.
I never really planned to open this gym, it’s just something that just happened. It’s something that I love doing. I also wanted to try and change my life, I think coming from that kind of background… it makes me want to help the kids as well.
ITW: You obviously have a lot to be proud of, and your following on Facebook speaks for itself. Why do you think you are so popular online?
MARK: To be honest I think it’s just because I love doing it. I put my all into everything when I am in here.
ITW: Mark, thank you very much.
MARK: Thank you.