For me, some of the key elements of an appealing gym such as Fitness on Frankfort are a competent, friendly staff, a pleasant ambiance and likeable clients. I really don’t enjoy working out around arrogant, self-centered, “muscleheads” in other gyms who strut around like peacocks, talking to no one. Though the gym is small, the atmosphere is very cozy, comfortable and the members are very laid back. Sure there are some people who enter “a gym zone private space”, but the vast majority are quite friendly.
The wonderful staff–Rick, Jody, Sylvester, Lauren, Kyla and Julia–are always very helpful, particularly if you do not understand how to handle a particular machine. In addition, all the personal trainers are competent professionals who work out a program best suited for your personal needs and who show that they care about your person al progress.
Besides providing helpful gym advice, Rick, in particular, is a flowing source of information on a variety of subjects: bicycling & competition, cars, sports, travel, motorcycles, motocross biking, nutrition, jogging, and island travel. He has nudged me into nutritional choices and paths which I would have never chosen on my own.
I was miserable …
231 pounds at 5 foot eight and I was miserable. January of 2006 I weighed the heaviest I have ever been. I lost about 15 pounds and then started back to regular cardio and resistance training. As of today I weigh 168 pounds and I have lost seven pant sizes! I started back at Fitness on Frankfort in June of 2006 where I had worked out regularly for three years. I had quit working out and immediately started my weight gain in 2004. What has helped me greatly is the laid back, friendly atmosphere and neighborhood feel of Fitness on Frankfort. Those elements helped motivate me. Jody and Rick along with all the staff bring a positive attitude and a helping hand which assisted my loss of over 60 pounds and put muscle on in the place of fat. You are not a number at Fitness on Frankfort but rather part of the community. Jody and Rick and the staff encourage you and offer advice as they watch folks working out. This low-pressure style fostered confidence so I could work harder and not feel intimidated. I owe a lot to the folks at Fitness on Frankfort.
I had worked out with a personal trainer unsuccessfully at my old gym prior to joining Fitness on Frankfort. Needless to say when Jody (Swimmer) recommended that I train with Sylvester to enhance my workout I was a little apprehensive.
I gave it very little thought at first but after a couple of follow-up questions from Jody asking if I’d talked to him, I went ahead and called to get her off my back-LOL. Like who says no to Jody…right.
After two weeks of weight training with Sylvester (three days each week) there was a noticeable difference in my waistline, strength, stamina and flexibility. I was hooked and the rest is fitness history. It has been a year now and both Sylvester and I have come a mighty long way. Myself with my physique and “Sly” with his overall confidence and fearlessness as a personal trainer. I must admit I initially joined the gym strictly out of vanity. However after a year of working with Sylvester I changed my entire outlook on fitness and learned to appreciate the health benefits as well as to view exercise and fitness as a lifestyle and not just a quick fix.
Each day I come in I am greeted with a “good morning Ronita,” sent off with a “See ya tomorrow,” and many jokes and laughs in between thanks to Rick. I get compliments on my progress followed by a challenge and encouragement to push myself to the next level from Jody…and a warm grin, wellness education, technique tips and a much needed lecture on my diet from my trainer Sylvester Davis.
I stumbled into 2726 Frankfort Avenue the last week in December to resolve yet again to lose that 30lbs. I lost the weight but what I have gained far surpasses what I’ve lost. I now have a fitness family that I look forward to seeing everyday. Yep I go to the gym almost everyday. Whodathunkit? Sylvester, Rick, Jody and the rest of the Fitness on Frankfort staff have changed my entire outlook on health and fitness through constant encouragement and most importantly by their individual lifestyle examples and for that I am truly thankful.
-Ronita P. Ross
I’ve been a member of Fitness on Frankfort since the beginning. * I’ve joined a lot of health clubs in the past, but upon opening, FOF immediately won me over with it’s laid back ambience, helpful (but not intrusive) staff, and overall feeling of hominess. Even though it’s officially a ‘health club,’ (and a smartly laid out one at that) it’s got a pub-like atmosphere; friendly, no frills, and yes, everyone knows your name. I made the horrible mistake, once, of leaving for a year, thinking that a new gym, the kind of place with multiple television monitors, a zillion trainers, and so much equipment that you needed a map to get around, would be a nice change. Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to get back to FOF. The minute I returned, it was like I never left. Sorry Jody and Rick; I won’t make that mistake again. Fitness on Frankfort is, now and for always, my neighborhood gym.
*and I would STILL be the all-time visits member if not for that ‘computer crash’ a few years ago…
“Going to Fitness on Frankfort is like coming home for me some days. No matter how I feel, I know that if I can just get to the gym I’m going to find friendly and supportive people – in both the staff and the other members. It’s a neighborhood place and the familiar faces make me feel as if we’re all in it together. The FOF staff is always there for support, advice, or just a laugh. I wouldn’t consider working out anywhere else.”
I feel better…
Growing older, my reliable five foot tall, 100 pound frame changed subtly yet radically. I never exercised, had indulged in doughnuts, and late night pizza. Slowly, that person became encased in pasty heavy fat, well hidden within loose clothing, and, slowly, her face would blush in the afternoons with heights of blood pressure. Each winter, jeans became more impossible to zip with a surprise overhang of abdominal fat and thighs as big as her waist had been.
That was me about two years ago. I stepped on a scale and gasped at the 152 I saw. I had deluded myself by not weighing; meanwhile I had “graduated” to a size 14 jeans and was now hypertensive every afternoon at work. I knew what I had to do. I had a new job so I said, “this will be where I invest my money-myself”. I had seen Jody Swimmer train others before. Admittedly, I was a little frightened of her rigorous methods; but I saw in her a role model-a woman of my height, yet physically and mentally strong with a great well-defined body. (Upon hiring her I requested she “kick my a___”!) Working out with Jody twice a week with interspersed cardio days, and eventually a change in my eating habits led to a gradual positive change. At first, I just wanted to rapidly look better. What happened, however, was that I slowly began to FEEL better. It felt better to walk a flight of stairs without gasping for breath, to pick a heavy object off the ground and have a spring in my lift. I felt powerful and healthy. After about a year I finally realized that in order to be more trim (in addition to my added strength) I would have to dedicate myself to regular cardiovascular workouts. That was hard because I enjoyed the stress release of low repetition heavy weights. I soon learned, however, the fun of endurance through brisk walks, a little jogging, and high repetition weight training.
The final piece came when I changed the way I had been eating. This was by far the most difficult task. It wasn’t so much what I ate, but why I ate. I would eat out of loneliness, depression, or boredom. By changing my habits, I realized I could enjoy eating, but didn’t have to stuff myself to the point of sedation!
I feel great now. My body is still something I have to work on and nourish—we require care, just like a garden endures seasons and has changing needs with time and age. As a result, I love myself and want to take care of me! My perspective has also changed. I am now 128 pounds, but I’m stronger and leaner. I actually enjoy exercise, and, more importantly, I feel fantastic in a pair of jeans! Now that’s worth celebrating!
-Billie Buchanan, M.D.
Still manage to have a lot of fun in the process
I started training with Jody three months after the birth of my second baby. Not having done any weight training in years, I wanted to regain my strength and tone my body. I feel like I have come so far. I have gained muscle, lost body fat and felt better and stronger than I have in years. I would never workout if I didn’t have an appointment because I have horrible self-discipline. Meeting with Jody weekly has been wonderful for me – it’s my therapy. She is such a professional, but has also become a good friend. We get our workouts done and still manage to have a lot of fun in the process. The atmosphere in the gym is invigorating – you really get to know the other people in there and it feels like a true neighborhood spot. All in all, my time at Fitness on Frankfort has been wonderful and I can’t imagine not having that release now that I’ve experienced it.
Plus, you get to go in there and tease Rick every week and what could be more entertaining than that?