When National Fitness Centers started, it was more like a gym. Think muscle bound guys pumping iron.
Company president Lee Sloan says a lot has changed since the first location opened up in Tazewell more than two decades ago.
“National Fitness Center has been in business 22 years and is locally owned. We started with a 10,000 square foot facility. It was more of a gym, a personal training studio,” he said. “Now it’s a family-oriented, multipurpose facility.”
The company’s 10th location, a 55,000 square feet facility, is being built at 1644 W. Broadway Ave., down from Food City. Demolition/construction began on the facility in late November. “Were looking at finishing in early fall,” he said.
Sloan said he hopes the center will become more than just a place to work out. “We come into a community and buy and build rather than rent. We buy into the community. We build a facility and want this to be a community gathering place,” he said. “Our clubs are different than most. They have a family atmosphere.”
The company president said NFC has free childcare. “We do programs geared toward kids such as martial arts, dance, tumbling, basketball and summer camps,” he said. “While people are working out their children are busy being active and learning the active lifestyle.”
Sloan said there will also be Wii Fit-type games for children to play that will keep them active, and there will be parents’ night out activities twice a month. “Parent leave the kids at the facility, and they can go enjoy a nice dinner,” he said. “We do our best to make it a family-friendly facility.”
For seniors, Sloan said there will be a senior fitness area, and that Kaiser brand equipment will be featured. This equipment uses air pressure to cause resistance rather than actual weights. “They push a button to add or take away pressure,” he said.
Sloan said there is a ladies-only area connected to the ladies dressing room. There will be a junior Olympic sized pool with six lanes and a large therapy pool, a food court, gym with six goals and a volleyball court.
The company president said something else that will set the Maryville location apart will be the movie theater. “This one is going to have a true movie theater with stadium seats,” he said. “Each floor will have cardio equipment. I can work out, watch a movie and forget I’m doing cardio.”
Sloan said for those interesting in more traditional free-weight training, there is a full range of free weights. There is also Hammer Strength weight machines. Another program the facility will offer is geared toward athletes of all ages, he said. “The Speed, Agility and Quickness Program is specially designed for athletes.”
The company president said there are locker rooms and shower facilities as well as an executive locker room area where individuals can rent their own personal lockers. “We have an executive locker room if you want to have a locker that’s yours alone,” he said.
Sloan said hydro-massage beds will be in place at the facility, and there will be a steam room and a dry sauna room.
The company president said there are plenty of work out facilities throughout the community. “It depends on what you are looking for. Each facility can get you in shape,” he said. “We specialize in family fitness, a lifestyle change versus a quick fix for a family vacation. Once you accomplish your goals, we want to make sure you are maintaining and continuing your quality of living.”
Sloan said membership with National Fitness Center gives a client access to the other nine locations of National Fitness Centers or CourtSouth locations, the CourtSouth Beach at 2934 on Alcoa Highway and 1,200 other affiliate clubs across the country, he said.