gym openings a result
of growing interest in getting fit
provide healthy support
and social network for members
Helen E. McKinney
(February 2011) After having a baby, Madison,
Ind., resident Amanda Johnson-Kitzman decided she was not going to just
sit back and wait for her pregnancy weight to go away on its own. Losing
37 pounds in eight weeks has definitely jump-started her motivation
to slim down.
I gained 59 pounds while I was pregnant, said Johnson-Kitzman,
27. Wanting to learn to eat healthy and feel like her normal energetic
self again, she decided to put more effort into a weight-loss program.
She began working out at Rockstar Gym because Id heard good
things about the owners. The owner, Nick Navas, had been working
with some of her friends by training them to get in shape and stay fit.
Private training sessions with Navas has helped Johnson-Kitzman to realize
she can lose the weight. Relying on the Stairmaster, elliptical equipment
and a healthy meal plan, she is motivated to carry through on her goal
of losing another 30 to 40 pounds.
Originally from Boston, Navas has owned Rockstar Gym since July 2010.
He owns 50 percent of another fitness gym in New Hampshire and has been
in involved in fitness for the last 16 years.
by Don Ward
Lynch leads a Turbo Kick class
at Fit For The King gym in Madison, Ind.
We provide a service and training several notches
above any other in the area, said Navas. He is a master trainer
and fitness judge, having managed other facilities. His wife, Brandi
Navas, is a professional competitor for figure and bodybuilding. He
likes to take people from scratch and bring them up to competition
The people who join his gym are very serious about weight loss,
he said, and they are aware of his successful track record. He spends
30 minutes with each new member asking such questions as, What
are you trying to do? and How can I help you reach your
Each person has different reasons for joining a fitness club and different
goals he wants to accomplish, Navas said. He takes a personal interest
in clients results, while firmly believing, Your success
is my success, youre failure is my failure.
While Johnson-Kitzman is seeing results with Navas, she is also a long-time
member of Fit for the King fitness gym in Madison. This gym provides
her with support through a social network that helps keep her on track
with weight loss.
Fit for the King offers challenges for members, which Johnson-Kitzman
likes. The gym began a program in January known as the Buddy Challenge.
With this buddy system program, you can earn points for your workouts,
said Fit for the King owner Mike Foy. Prizes (points) are awarded and
added to membership time.
Having been an athlete in high school and college, Foy said, Fitness
has been a part of my lifestyle for a long time. He opened the
business with his father-in-law, J.D. Traylor, in October 1994 after
seeing a need for a fitness gym in the area.
Every health club has strength and cardio equipment, but we probably
have more than most gyms offer, said Foy. Amenities include strong
group classes, locker room facilities and a kids clubhouse for
people who need to bring their children to the gym with them.
by Don Ward
of Madison works
out on weights at
Fit For The King.
The biggest part of any business is the people.
I have a base of loyal members and great staff.
RaeAne Lynch has been teaching Turbo Kick classes at Fit for the King
since she became an instructor there in September 2006. This cardio
workout is a higher calorie burning class, she said.
Women such as Johnson-Kitzman take the class because theyre
typically not afraid to try it, said Lynch. But its also
for men and individuals of all ages. Its very effective.
Turbo Kick is something that speaks to a lot of people,
she said. Ten classes are taught six days a week.
The program really exploded by March 2007, said Lynch. We now
have seven to eight instructors. Turbo is so popular people have gotten
into other areas of fitness such as strength training.
Overweight herself at one point, Lynch found out about Turbo Kick while
sitting on the couch watching infomercials. She tried it, lost 45 pounds
and now teaches it to others.
For people who say they dont want to come to class and have other
people looking at them because they are self conscious and may not be
coordinated, Lynch said, I do understand them. Once the class
starts, no one will be paying attention to anyone else because they
are all trying to keep up with the class and concentrate on breathing.
Most fitness experts will tell you that motivation and accountability
are the keys to successful weigh loss. As to the growing trend in fitness
centers sprouting up everywhere, Most gyms fail when people come
in with a goal that they dont reach, and then they leave,
said Navas. He runs his gym on a month-to-month basis, not requiring
members to sign a contract.
You have to have a business plan, he said, to stay in business.
Navas also does management-consulting work for other gyms. Above everything
else, our facility is focused on getting people results.
Tom Runnebohm opened Anytime Fitness in Madison in December 2010. He
sees a growing trend in fitness gyms because of health insurance. Many
companies rate employees on a BMI scale (a ratio of height to weight)
and they are charged more based on what kind of shape they are
by Don Ward
Madison, Ind., said classes such
as Turbo Kick have helped
her lose weight.
Like many others, Anytime Fitness is a 24-hour health
club. It is geared toward the everyday Joe, said Runnebohm.
There are 75 clubs throughout Indiana and 1500 around the United States.
Anytime Fitness has also branched into Europe and China.
If its doesnt become a lifestyle, most people stick with
a program six to seven months, he said. You need commitment and
you need to see results, which are different for everybody.
And fitness isnt just for the young. After years as a physical
therapist, Evan Beattie began her own business, Fit After Fifty. I
believe a lot of folks are becoming sedentary and I want to motivate
Even so, Im not a Jillian, she said, referring to
TV fitness guru Jillian Michaels. I go about it in a gentle fashion.
Beattie, 61, works with individuals to set up any kind of exercise program
they want to do in their own home. She said, I build a program
that works for that person.
Snap Fitness is 24-hour gym that is sweeping both sides of the river.
Erin Strode opened a location in La Grange, Ky., in July 2008 and one
in Crestwood in January 2009. A third Snap Fitness has opened in Prospect.
Morgan and Caren Griffith opened a Snap Fitness in Madison last year.
It has become a busy place, especially in evenings and weekends when
members can come and go as they please, 24 hours a day.
by Don Ward
Kramer (above) and Toni Huff (below) are regulars at the weekly
Turbo Kick class at Fit For the King.
Basic equipment is provided for workouts in addition to
sessions for couples or singles. This time of year we see a lot
of joint membership, said Strode, referring to the husband and
wife members he gets. People are looking for a healthy lifestyle.
Snap Fitness offers a Silver Sneakers program for members 62 and older,
seeing a need to target this age group, just as Beattie does. He said
Snap Fitness also interests a lot of travelers who can use one facility
and then travel to another state and still work out at Snap Fitness.
Many may not realize that the YMCA also offers a variety of fitness
programs. Fitness is 90 percent of what we do, said Karen
Wyatt, Membership and Fitness director for the Oldham County YMCA branch.
Each week, 45 special group programs are offered. With an indoor pool,
the YMCA can hold aquatics classes for additional workouts. An indoor
sports arena is available for soccer as well, for the sports-minded
We have a higher percentage of family memberships, probably because
were in a more residential area, said Wyatt. She, too, sees
a trend toward individuals 60 and over working out.
Between Dec. 26, 2010, and Jan. 19, 2011, Wyatt said more than 400 people
have joined the YMCA. But 40 percent do not stick with a fitness
membership, even if they have joined for health reasons.
Having been in the fitness industry for 25 years, Wyatt said see sees
many people who genuinely want to lose weight to avoid heath issues,
such as diabetes or to pursue personal goals. But just losing the weight
is not a quick fix. She agrees that motivation is the main
thing needed to reach any fitness goal.
Back to February 2011