Keith Connolly was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at birth.
“When I was born, the life expectancy was about 18 years old,” Connolly tells CityBeat. “The doctors said, realistically, you probably won’t expect a lot of [me] from a physical capacity-wise because of the nature of the disease. Thankfully, my parents didn’t listen to [the doctor].” Exercise ended up helping Connolly keep his symptoms under control.
Connolly is now 35 years old. The Cincinnati native and Xavier University graduate is a competitive weightlifter and will compete in the Masters World Championships next year. And now he's sharing his love of fitness by bringing GYMGUYZ to Cincinnati residents.
GYMGUYZ is a mobile fitness brand that uses a fleet of red vans to bring personal trainers, equipment and workouts to customers’ doors.
“There’s nobody out there that can beat [GYMGUYZ] on being the most convenient, customized, creative option you have [to exercise],” Connolly said. GYMGUYZ launched in Cincinnati after first arriving in Columbus.
The red GYMGUYZ van features more than 300 pieces of workout equipment like dumbbells, kettlebells, slam balls, resistance bands and step-up boxes.
“We will arrive at the client’s home either in our branded GYMGUYZ van or a car marked with GYMGUYZ magnets,” Connolly says. “Our trainers will have all necessary equipment for the session in a bag that they will carry with them.”
That's exactly what Josh York, the CEO and founder of GYMGUYZ, likes to hear.
“We’re gonna bring a lot of positive energy [to Cincinnati],” York tells CityBeat.
York started the business with a laptop in his parents' New York dining room in 2008 with a laptop. He began franchising in 2014, and today he says it is the largest personal training franchise in the world. GYMGUYZ has reached 32 states, the United Kingdom and Canada.
Because the company brings the trainer and equipment, Connolly says clients are able to exercise safely without fear of large crowds or overused exercise machines. Most clients will work with their personal trainer in their own home or backyard, with masks worn by the trainer and client during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the GYMGUYZ website affirms.
Ohio gyms and other fitness centers closed down in March 2020, along with other businesses deemed “non-essential.” Gyms reopened that May after winning a legal battle against state closure orders, according to an article from ABC News. While many gyms are still open, they've increased safety measures such as temperature checks, decreased capacity and mask requirements both for employees and for those working out.
According to a recent statement from GYMGUYZ, going to the gym is an “uncertain prospect” right now, which is why the company brings the trainer and equipment to the client.
“You can get your pizza delivered, and you can get your cleaners delivered, [but you’ve never been] able to get your workout delivered until now,” York says. He also says that GYMGUYZ has already seen incredible support from Cincinnati residents.
With the success he’s seen thus far, York feels like he’s on the right track.
“By the way I look at it, success is making sure everyone around me is happy and making sure we’re able to put a lot of smiles to people’s faces and change their lives. So that’s what we’re doing. And that makes me very happy,” he says.
Clients connect with GYMGUYZ by scheduling a free virtual or in-home initial assessment, where a trainer helps establish goals and provides a body, fitness and nutritional review, according to the website.
Some of the training services include cardio fitness, pre/post-natal exercise and sports conditioning. GYMGUYZ also provides nutrition counseling and virtual classes, which are an hour long and can be one-on-one or as part of a group of 2-5 people.
Pricing ranges from $78-$90 per session for individuals and $48-$60 per person per session for small groups.
Learn more on the GYMGUYZ website.