Anytime Fitness Looks to Bring the Future of Gyms to Fairmount
Anytime Fitness at 1640 Fairmount Avenue may be the future of gyms.
Located in a newly renovated building with 24/7 access, personal trainers and WellBeats programming that allows members to participate in virtual classes without an instructor, a gym has never seemed to tailor to one’s personal needs so well.
Anytime Fitness also has an advanced security system with 13 cameras and an infrared scanner at the door to ensure no members bring along an extra friend and guarantee safety at all times for members.
Laura Magni, assistant manager at Anytime Fitness, said the gym’s convenient hours leaves little room for excuses to work out.
“In reality, it’s not about having a time,” Magni added. “[Working out] literally should be a mandatory thing… Your body is all you have. I think making time for it is pretty much essential.”
Owners Jeff Bruno, Stu Goodman and David Waxman recognized Fairmount’s growing residential scene as the ideal environment for a new gym.
“Fairmount is just the perfect venue for this type of gym,” Bruno told the Spirit News. “The community is just so good. We’re a real community-driven gym.”
Anytime Fitness in Fairmount, which opened in May 2016, is the first gym located in Center City to participate in the Sweat Angels project. Sweat Angels makes a donation to the cause of the month each time someone checks in at a participating gym on Facebook. For July, Anytime Fitness is working to donate to H2OpenDoors, an organization working to increase accessibility to clean water worldwide.
Starting in the fall, the owners plan on interacting with the community by collaborating with local organizations and holding events like Netflix movie nights.
Bruno, Goodman and Waxman’s goal is to open two more gyms in Philadelphia within the next year and a half at locations on South Street and south Broad Street.
The owners’ hope for growth reflects the company’s ambition as a whole. The first Anytime Fitness opened in 2002 in Cambridge, Minnesota. The franchise has since established 3,000 locations — 1,000 of those outside of the U.S. — and was named “#1 Top Global Franchise” for the second year in a row by Entrepreneur Magazine.
“It’s to build a community but be healthy about it too. That’s our big thing,” Bruno said.
In an effort to help members obtain a well-rounded healthy lifestyle, Anytime Fitness offers access to anytime health, an online tracker for calorie intake, workouts and more. It also has a “library” filled with information on the basics of diet and exercise to educate members.
When Anytime Fitness’s head personal trainer Anthony Garifo began working out and making healthy changes, he admits he didn’t know much.
“I was that guy that did everything wrong but I thought I was cool,” he said.
Through research and personal experience, Garifo learned proper ways to adapt to a healthy lifestyle and began seeing results. He thinks lack of knowledge is the main reason people can’t achieve their fitness goals.
“So many people want to get there but don’t know how,” Garifo said. “If I can get the results for myself, why can’t I help other people get them?”
Helping others make strides in their fitness journey requires more than expertise about the basics of healthy eating and workouts. Garifo has to personalize the workout in accordance to each member’s goals and hindrances.
On the day the Spirit News visited Anytime Fitness, Garifo had trained 3 very different clients: one 65-year-old with serious injuries, a very athletic 25-year-old and an overweight 45-year-old.
“When you have a class instructor, they’re pampering to a larger audience,” Garifo said. “When you have just a personal trainer going one on one, they break down everything and pamper completely and directly to you. … You have to be flexible.”
Anytime Fitness’s arrival in Philadelphia comes at a time when America has never seemed more health-conscious. According to the Physical Activity Council’s 2016 Participation Report, 56 percent of Americans over age six participate in at least one “high caloric burning activity.”
Euromonitor International also reported in April 2016 an increase in American consumers concerned with food being natural and unprocessed. Major companies are more focused on removing artificial ingredients and dyes from food rather than cutting fat or calories.
Garifo thinks more people focused on making healthy changes is a positive thing.
“You can do more,” he said. “In the long term, being healthy is always better… You feel better throughout the day. You can wake up in the morning and feel good about yourself. You know you’ve made progress toward a healthier lifestyle.”