Anytime Fitness plugs in the treadmill

By Posted on Feb 01 2019 | By

Warrenton gym up and “running”

What’s your most prized possession? A classic car? Lush lawn? Beautiful home? Sleek boat?

None of the above. The most precious thing we all possess is our body. Without health, lives suffer. Even those struggling with disease and handicaps seek to maximize health and enjoy life.

So it’s good news that the fastest growing gym franchise on the planet has chosen Warrenton as its next location. It’s an auspicious event for those seeking to maintain optimum physical conditioning.

Of course, heading off to a gym to get in shape is just one of several ways to stay healthy. But the discipline and support available at a professionally run health club offers an edge to achieving the often-elusive healthy body.

The force behind the new venture is the Parsons family. Richie and Carissa are the parents of four children ranging in age from six years to two months. The family lives in Leesburg and owns four other Anytime Fitness gyms; two in Pa. and two in W.Va.

Richie Parsons, 34, hails from W.VA. and grew up learning the gym trade from his father. “My dad owned a gym and I became interested in owning and running a business in high school. This is our first business foray into Va.,” said Parsons.

The new facility is located in the former RadioShack store in the Warrenton Village Center but has been expanded by converting two adjacent stores into one 6,400 square foot emporium to health.

The concept behind Anytime Fitness is underscored by its name. Whenever a club member wishes to work out the facility is open; 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year-round.

Sounds like any excuse not to exercise just evaporated.

Entry into the gym is through the use of a key chain fob used to scan the lock. The door remains unlocked for about five seconds so only one person at a time can gain entry.

“It’s a very secure facility. A member could come out at two o’clock on Christmas morning and get a workout in,” said Parsons. More often members elect to train during conventional hours. Once it’s up and running up to 200 member visits a day are anticipated.

In addition to individual exercisers, trainers and coaches will run group training sessions throughout the week. Employees are typically on site from around 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. “Staff is usually present about 15 hours a day,” said Parsons.

The facility has four private bathrooms with two equipped with showers, the most of any of their other gyms. “We decided to add an extra bathroom to make sure there would be no waiting time.”

To ensure members get an optimum workout a host of equipment stands ready to accommodate faithful exercisers. In addition to hydromassage, tanning beds, a heart rate monitor, and body composition scanner there are a number of cardio workout machines.

“We will have 15 to 20 cardio machines, 15 to 20 plate-loaded weight trainers, eight power racks, lots of dumbbells and kettlebells. Whether you are a serious lifter looking for heavy weight training or just a casual exerciser, you’re going to find something to keep you busy.”

To emphasize the safety features built into the facility, Parson’s explains both security cameras and panic buttons are located throughout the gym. “We’ve only had one safety issue in our other gyms. A member fell once while training alone and hit our panic button. We were on site quickly.”

The cost of club membership depends on the level of services a user seeks. Basic access to cardio and weight equipment runs $17.45 biweekly. The company synchs the debit withdrawal to a member’s payday.

To access all of the club’s services including tanning and hydromassage a premier membership is $45.69 biweekly. There are also a variety of customized payment plans based on workout goals.

Agreements are for 12 months but after the first-year memberships can be extended on a month-to-month basis. “There is a cancellation policy but we try to make it less cumbersome.”

Parsons emphasizes 16 percent of Americans have a gym membership but only half of them regularly workout. “It’s important to join a gym but it’s even more important to actually go and train, even if it’s just for an hour or two a week.”

To help encourage delinquents the club sends out email reminders to members who have slacked off on their training routines. “Statistically people spend more on health care costs than they would on a gym membership. Such costs often dwarf what a membership would run.”

Parsons emphasizes Anytime Fitness seeks to become part of the community they serve. Last year one of his clubs in W.VA sponsored a fundraiser to support a local activities group.

“We ran a fundraiser in Charles Town and committed to donate a penny for every calorie the members burned in one day. Collectively they burned 40,000 calories and we wrote a check for $400 to the charity.”

Becoming an integral part of the local community is Parsons goal. “Warrenton is a great town. We are really excited to be opening here. The response has been fantastic.”

Next year look for Parsons to open another Anytime Fitness in Bealeton, further extending their commitment to the Old Dominion.

For more information on the club’s facilities and membership plans visit:  https://www.anytimefitness.com/gyms/4257/warrenton-va-20186/?upu_uid=c1bf57e7f0cc&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI8fSTtOHo3wIVA8DICh0gHQMcEAAYASAAEgJQ7vD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Or better yet, drop by the gym and introduce yourself to Richie Parsons. He’s waiting to greet you at 251 West Lee Highway.


Published in the January 27,2019 edition of the Fauquier Times.  


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