Father and son are new owners of Extreme Fitness

— By APRIL ARNETT

Democrat Staff

Father and son Jim and Chris Winkler are the new owners of Extreme Fitness, located at Village Green Shopping Center (1021 W. Buchanan, Suite 12), California.

This isn't the first time the family has ventured into the business of fitness.

"My dad was the first person to bring something like this to California back in 1979 or 1980," Chris said. "He got into weightlifting and body building, then he opened Body By Jim Exercise Center. Back in those days, that's when Schwarzenegger was getting started at Venice Beach. You couldn't buy exercise equipment for your home, you had to make your own. You might see some in the big cities, but it wasn't easy to come by."

Chris said his father built all of his own equipment for the fitness center.

This is the first time Jim and Chris have gone into business together. Chris said the idea evolved from the two working out together at Extreme Fitness the last two years. Both share the same passion for exercise and physical health.

"One thing about fitness is you never accomplish your goal," Chris said. "You set one, then you meet it, then you set another goal. It's a lifelong commitment that you have to maintain, a lifestyle change. If you can dedicate an hour three times a week to exercising, you'll see a difference. Things will start to change, then when you see the results and other people see the results, it will motivate you to do more."

While Jm and Chris became owners of Extreme Fitness Oct. 4, they never didn't close the business for the transition of ownership.

"We started running things two to three weeks before we were actually the owners, and we've honored all existing contracts. We want the transition to be smooth for everyone."

One improvement the Winklers have implemented is related to the monthly membership fees.

"We offer a discounted rate for yearly memberships," Chris said. "We also offer different fees for students couples and seniors. A normal monthly membership fee is $35, but for instance, our fee for couples is $60, or $30 each. Also, city employees are going to get a $20 monthly reimbursement through their insurance. Many insurance companies are giving reimbursements for employees who are gym members because they are less likely to be sick. Their cholesterol is down, their blood pressure and weight are down. They are more healthy."

Also new to the fitness center is personal trainer Lance Johnston, California.

"Lance will be starting at the fitness center around Dec. 1," Chris said. "Anyone can call me for an appointment to get set up with Lance."

The facility offers internet radio and free wi-fi, and boasts four flat screen televisions, and locker rooms for members.

"Our goal is to make customers feel comfortable," Chris said. "Nobody ever has to feel out of place here. We have people of all different ages working out and exercising. There's no profanity or dropping weights. We don't want any customers to feel intimidated."

Chris' girlfriend Tasha Duncan, California, whose business is in-home health care, will also be on hand at the facility, which will benefit elderly customers.

"I can help them feel comfortable and safe on the equipment," Tasha said. "I understand their capabilities and limitations. Taking care of elderly people is my passion."

The Open House for the grand opening is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 7, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

"We're going to barbecue pulled pork and will offer free sandwiches and tea from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.," Chris said. "Both my dad and I will be here to show everyone how to use the equipment."

Extreme Fitness is open seven days a week, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., with easy keypad access for members. Staff will be on hand 3-8 p.m. to assist customers.

For more information, or to set up an appointment, call Chris at 573-645-0895.

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