Most fitness centers rarely open early or stay open late. Even fewer fitness centers open their facilities for use by teens, 14 and older. Next month, 24Seven Family Fitness & Tanning Center will open its first Hinesville gym, making a good workout possible for the whole family around the clock.
The new fitness center, which will be in the Magnolia Oaks shopping center at Highway 196 West and Airport Road, is expected to open for business by mid-March. Manager and personal trainer Justin Huitt said 24Seven has nine other facilities in the Savannah area and one in Richmond Hill.
“There are no other gyms that offer 24-hour access like us,” Huitt said. “Another big benefit we offer is free child care while you’re working out.”
The facilities are only staffed until around 8 p.m., he said. For late-night and early-morning use, members are issued a keychain access card they can swipe to enter the facility. The member has about two seconds to open the door after swiping the card.
Teens who are 14 and older are allowed to use the facilities, which have weight-lifting equipment, treadmills, stationary bicycles, an aerobics studio and more. He noted, however, teens under age 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
Huitt emphasized that all 11 fitness centers are owned by military veterans who understand the difficulties of squeezing in a good workout around their long duty day. He said they also understand the stresses of military family members, who have to squeeze in their exercise time between their own work hours and taking care of children. The child-care option would be a big drawing point for these family members.
“We expect the majority of our customers at this gym to be military or military family members,” Huitt said. “Soldiers whose units don’t conduct daily (physical training) can come here before they start their duty day or in the evenings to work off the stress of their duty day.”
Huitt said he is helping to manage three other 24Seven facilities, including the one in Richmond Hill. However, when the 5,000-square foot Hinesville facility opens, he will give his full attention to that gym.
“We really don’t want our members coming in the gym and not being greeted by a staff member,” he said, explaining that he expects to put in a lot of hours for several months. “These first few months are going be very important. We want to build a relationship with our customers as we build our membership base.”
Customers already are able to sign up for membership, Huitt said. They can use one of the other facilities until the Hinesville center opens. One of his newest customers, Elyssa Spicer, said she is looking forward to the fitness center opening.
“I’m interested in joining their fitness center because it’s so close to where I live and work,” Spicer said. “(Their membership) rates are very reasonable, too, and they’re open 24/7. Oh, and I like the idea of child care available right there at the gym.”
As a personal trainer, Huitt said his first objective in working with new clients is to “clean up” their diets before working on cardiovascular exercises or weight lifting.
“I’d say about 70 percent of results in a workout come from your diet,” he said. “The diet I put my clients on — you could stand in a corner and lose weight. One thing I emphasize is no processed foods. Most people don’t even know where to look for healthy foods, but they’re usually the ones on the outside perimeter or produce section of a grocery store.”
Huitt said he’s looking forward to working with and serving new clients and community members at the Hinesville fitness center.
For more information about 24Seven Family Fitness & Tanning Center, call Huitt at 912-428-8647.