Everywhere you look these days, it seems there are new workout routines, new fitness gimmicks, new diets to try. But where is there a gym you can count on? One that is always open, where people are friendly and where everything feels “just right?”
That is the question that Anytime Fitness co-founders Dave Mortensen and Chuck Runyon sought to answer 10 years ago when they opened their first Anytime Fitness in Minnesota in 2002. Since then, the company has become one of the fastest growing fitness franchises in the world, with more than 1,900 locations in the United States and 469 around the globe. Today, Anytime Fitness members can work out at any of these 2000-plus locations worldwide, and El Dorado County residents are thrilled to have their very own Anytime Fitness locations in both Placerville and Cameron Park where staying fit is both convenient and fun.
“Anytime Fitness is a friendly place. It’s like the ‘Cheers’ of gyms,” said Catherine Aisner, co-owner of Anytime Fitness in Cameron Park, who also has her Ph.D. in psychology. “We’re open 24/7 — all Anytime Fitness gyms are — and when people walk in, they are greeted by name and with a smile. We’re all friends here, and our goal is to help you achieve your goals.”
And Aisner isn’t kidding. In addition to being open 24/7, she and her co-owners Greg Brown and Paula Crenshaw — as well as Cathy and Jason Dudley, husband-and-wife co-owners of the Placerville Anytime Fitness location — are serious not only about getting you to the gym but also about helping you make your dreams come true. When clients sign up for a membership, they are given a free fitness evaluation and a tour of the gym, with explanations of each piece of equipment and how to work it. The gyms are about 4,000-5,000 square feet — a “just right” size — and include a full range of cardio and strength-training equipment. There is also a room for classes where, if a class isn’t currently going on, clients can use “Fitness on Demand,” a system where they can choose any class they want and complete it on their own.
“Clients can choose from all different kinds of classes — from kickboxing to yoga to you name it. There’s a large screen that comes down in the room and your class is shown on a video,” said Aisner. “It’s really cool.”
In addition to a free fitness evaluation, clients have the option to sign up for personal training where personal trainers Kindy and John Andermatt at the Cameron Park location and Kelly Mortensen and Sarah Gomez at the Placerville location can help clients take their fitness to the next level. “The most fun thing about this job is just helping people,” said Cathy. “Through personal training, and even without it, you watch people walk in and basically transform themselves. As they start to feel more confident, they start standing taller, smiling more and even wearing different clothes. There is nothing more rewarding.”
Of course, if personal training isn’t your thing, there are other options, too. Whenever you sign up at any Anytime Fitness location, you can also use Anytime Health, a free online program that essentially acts as a fitness and nutrition coach online. There is also a program called “SilverSneakers,” which is paid for through Medicare for seniors, as well as “Stronger Leaner Every Day,” which includes a chart for each client where their progress is recorded and monitored by personal trainers at the gym. “’Stronger Leaner Every Day’ is specific to each client. It’s not meeting one-on-one with the trainer but it’s another way to help clients keep moving forward,” said Cathy.
Another exciting — or, rather, relaxing — option at the Placerville location is the massage-wave water bed, where red lights massage the skin and water jets can massage clients’ aching muscles after they exercise. “It’s very rejuvenating,” said Cathy. “One of our clients who has neck pain and has trouble sleeping says nothing can help her sleep better than a few minutes in our massage bed.”
Clients at both the Placerville and Cameron Park locations praise Anytime Fitness because of how clean the facilities are, and Aisner says the general joy of any Anytime Fitness location is palpable almost as soon as you walk in.
“Research has clearly shown that regular aerobic exercise can do more to lift depression than medication. In my family, there is also a history of cardiac and Alzheimer’s, and exercise can help prevent these, too. That has been a big motivator for me to exercise in my own life and was a big reason I wanted to start this gym. I wanted to help people with both their physical and mental health, and here at Anytime Fitness, helping people is just what we do,” she said.
For more information about Anytime Fitness, visit anytimefitness.com or visit one of their El Dorado County locations: Anytime Fitness in Placerville is located at 3970 Missouri Flat Road and can be reached at 530-295-3600. Anytime Fitness in Cameron Park is located at 3490 Palmer Drive #3E, and can be reached at 530-676-4111.