Gym Of The Month: E-Fitness And Wellness

Fitness isn't easy, but the hard work makes life easier. E-Fitness serves to inspire and assist people of all ages, to make life livable. Learn to lift, live!

Name of Gym: e-Fitness and Wellness
Owner: There are 38 owners comprising physicians, nurses, and health-and wellness-minded local business owners
Address: 1735 Richard Avenue, Biloxi, MS 39532
# Of Members: 5,000
Sq Ft: 140,000
Facebook: eFit
Hours Of Operation: Weekdays: 5 a.m.-10 p.m., Weekends: 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
Trainers On Staff: 12

How did the gym start and why did you decide to begin (or work within) the gym business?

As health care providers, we constantly treat symptoms of diseases that could be prevented if patients would adopt a healthy lifestyle. We wanted to try to address the root causes at their source, to create patients who are partners with us in health care.

Can you give us a description on what went into opening your awesome establishment?

The entire operation has been a labor of love, from its inception pre-Katrina; to its fruition a year after the devastating hurricane destroyed the region.

There's plenty of space to exercise and no one has to fight for machines.

What makes your gym different?

We are about so much more than fitness. We have a full array of Wellness Programs, all physician designed and supported, and administered by certified and degreed Wellness professionals. In addition, we are a "1-stop shop" for so many things: we of course have active childcare in our e-Kids department, but we also have an on-site Dry Cleaner, Café, Bakery, Urgent Care Clinic, Physical Therapy, Competitive Gymnastics Facility, Karate, Parisi Speed School, and are introducing an Elite Baseball Academy and Premiere Golf Academy soon.

What sort of people do you attract into your gym?

We welcome and have programs for ages 6 weeks to 106-years old! We have a fantastic "Senior and Silver Sneakers Program" with daily chair yoga, chair aerobics, Zumba Gold, AquaFit, etc. for seniors. We encourage serious bodybuilders with our heavy weights and Olympic lifting equipment (our current assistant manager has won several bodybuilding competitions and leads by example). We will soon have serious high school baseball players and professional golfers looking to up their game.

What inspires people to train at you facility?

The energy is so positive and welcoming. Our staff and members are warm and engaging. There's something for everyone to do: no matter how they feel, they will feel motivated walking through our doors.

Do you have any top trainers and why are they so good?

Jason McGeorge has been our Personal Training Director and recently became the Assistant General Manager—he recently took home top honors in local bodybuilding competitions.

What special services do you provide?

Specialized wellness programs addressing everything from Smoking Cessation to post-operative knee, back and heart programs, to comprehensive weight loss programs. We have a competitive weight loss program, known as "Shape Up the Coast," which has awarded $1,000 to the man and woman with the highest percentage of weight loss for the past 4 years.

Who are your most notable present and past members?

Melanie has cerebral palsy, but she works out every day, and Mabel lost her leg due to diabetes and poor circulation, and she swims for an hour 3 days per week to make sure she doesn't lose the other one. We have so many members whose doctors sent them to us because they needed to be more active, and who swear e-Fitness and Wellness has literally saved their lives.

What was the hardest part about operating your gym?

Finding good management. With over 30 doctors and otherwise "full-time employed" owners, a dedicated, honest, hard-working manager who is on the same page regarding the direction of the club is crucial.

Recovering from injury or disease can be stressful, but with the help of physicians and recovery specialists, you can get back in action!

What makes you competitive over the other gym chains?

No one even comes close! And our pricing is very competitive for what we offer (memberships start at 19.95/month, so why would anyone go anywhere else (unless they absolutely had only $10/month for a gym membership and were able to hold in the grunts while working out)?!

How have you been able to remain so successful and how do you hope to remain so?

This facility is the result of a clear vision to bring about lifestyle change to an area that desperately needs it. We have been embraced by the community and continue to change and improve lives daily.