WHENEVER we as journalists are given the chance to review something, it is always reassuring to have a basic level of knowledge about the subject.

So after agreeing to pop along to Falmouth's new gym on the block Evolve, I began to wonder exactly what I had let myself in for.

My exercise - such as it is - has always involved a ball and almost always is undertaken outside.

So to step inside the shadowy, sinister, sweaty world of a gym was like eating a bar of chocolate with the wrapper on. Unpleasant.

Except, except - it was nothing like I'd remembered it.

The last time I attempted to "pump iron" was in dungeon-like squalor, with little ventilation, ancient equipment (I'm talking about the weights, not me) and a dodgy CD player which didn't work, so we had to put up with intermittent radio.

Rowing/cycling/shunting to a crackly Radio 1 is enough to put anyone off a gym for life, believe me.

By contrast, Evolve is fresh, state-of-the-art, spacious and inclusive.

Almost all of the equipment is accessible to everyone, regardless of fitness levels, mobility or any other potential limitations.

I even managed to do two "chin-ups" (or should that be chins-up?) for the first time in my life, albeit with the aid of a giant elastic band.

Jamie, my host for the session, explained each piece of kit in turn and also their information-giving capacity. These bad boys come with some serious intelligence.

My leg power was measured by the cycling machine, before my endurance was recorded based on how long I could sustain maximum effort (not long, was the inevitable answer).

I have on-going knee issues - old football injuries which are now arthritic, limiting movement and causing pain and stiffness from time to time. In fact, most of the time.

So the squatting machine did not look like being my friend, until I stepped on to it and realised that the angle at which my ankles were positioned, enabled me to squat further than I could ever remember - even with good knees.

The place had a feelgood factor which I'd never experienced in previous gyms.

An outdoor balcony area provided a great place to temporarily cool down and there is plenty of room between each machine, so you are able to withstand an attack of "wobbly legs" without risk of ungraciously falling into an innocent third party.

Evolve is part of the shiny new complex at Falmouth School. For all those wrestling with their conscience about getting fit for the new year, I'd urge you to give it a go. It is friendly, relaxed and if you like a statistic or two, great for monitoring your progress.

A gym for your brain, as well as your body.

Evolve Gym, part of the Falmouth Sports Hub, is open Monday to Thursday 6am-9.30pm, Fridays 6am-8.30pm and Saturdays and Sundays 8am-5pm.

Call them on 01326 371399 or email evolve@falmouthsportshub.co.uk

Visit www.falmouthsportshub.co.uk for more details.