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Body Works to relocate to larger facility

By Bryan Marshall

Changing lives.


That’s the number one goal for Justin Baker at Body Works Gym in Dry Ridge.

“We know since day one God has been at work with this,” Baker said. “We have changed so many lives. The thing that we do that is different than any gym anywhere is we will bring a person in and we’ll train them for free. You come in the door and join this facility, we will give you the attention you need to be able to train and understand what you’re doing and change your life.”
With already 1,100 members, Body Works Gym will have the space to help even more Grant County residents as it relocates soon to a location more than twice the size with expanded services and features.
The current 5,000 square-foot facility on South Main Street in Dry Ridge opened in Jan. 2006.
After seeing membership increase, Baker has decided to move Body Works Gym to the old Liz Claiborne building (1130 Fashion Ridge Rd.) next to Crack Barrel in the Dry Ridge Outlet Mall.
Construction of the 12,000-square-foot gym is well underway and Baker said he expects to open sometime between July 30 and Aug. 15.

There will eventually be a grand opening event with a DJ and other activities to celebrate the opening.

“During our peak months, we couldn’t really hold the amount of traffic that was in our facility,” Baker said about the motivation behind the move. “We wanted to be able to provide the county with an area where we could continue to touch people. We have done some things here that we never dreamed we would do. So, we didn’t want it to be limited in our capabilities of what we could do by the size of our building. We ran into an opportunity to purchase this building. God was there all along working for us.”

Along with more space, the new location allows the gym to have more exposure right off of Interstate 75, said Baker.

While the variety of equipment and classes Body Works Gym offers will remain, there also will be several additions.

The new facility will have full locker rooms where members can change and take a shower whereas the current location has a restroom and one small room for a shower separate from the restroom.

More space also allows Baker to have more equipment as well, along with a larger version of the gym’s cardio theater.

“The biggest feature we’re pumped about is that we’re going to have a smoothie bar,” Baker said. “It will provide us an opportunity to actually individualize a person’s drink or shake in a healthy manner and give them that nutritional value that they need. That’s a big deal for us.”

Baker said he would like to have churches and other groups book sleepovers at the facility, along with birthday parties and after-school programs.

Long-term, the goal is to have saunas and a rock climbing wall.

Baker also is looking at offering physical therapy and basketball courts further down the road.

Another new feature will be the addition of Shelley’s Gymnastics located inside the facility.

“What’s cool about that is that Shelley has a lot of kids whose parents are members,” Baker said. “That allows the parents to work out while Shelley is teaching.”

There will be cameras in the gymnastics room that can be monitored by parents outside of the room while they exercise. The camera system also can be utilized if members use the child care room the gym will have during set hours.

Baker also will be expanding his 15-person staff by hiring eight to 10 employees to help with the added space and features.

Born and raised in Lexington, Baker has lived in Grant County for about 11 years.

He got introduced to weightlifting and training while playing sports growing up.

His interest grew as a student at the University of Kentucky where he met a friend who was into personal training.
“It kind of made sense because it was something I understood,” Baker said. “It was neat and allowed me to make extra money while I was going through college. That’s how it all started..”
Baker trained with the UK staff while attending college and also worked at Urban Active Fitness Center in Lexington and smaller gyms.

He is a certified personal trainer and has a degree in nutrition from UK. Baker’s wife, Amanda, also is a certified trainer.
Eventually, Baker decided to open his own gym in Dry Ridge.
“It was one of those things where my whole life I had been a personal trainer and I have a degree in nutrition and I aspired to do something like that,” he said. “When I got here (in Grant County) there was nothing here to what I was looking for from the standpoint of a fitness center. So, it was like, we’ll try this and go from there.”
Since opening, Body Works has collaborated in many community activities, including being a partner in the Biggest Winner Challenge by offering free memberships, classes and a personal trainer for participants during the program.

In a time where a slow economy has forced local businesses to struggle or close altogether, Body Works is bucking the trend by expanding, a fact not lost on Baker.
“I literally have people who have been with us for the six years we’ve been open,” he said. “We’ve taken hundred of pounds off of several members of ours and kept it off. The idea behind our business being successful while others are struggling is because our hearts and souls are in everything we do and we believe in changing lives. We’re not here to sell something and walk away. We’re here to support that person and be by their side.”
For more about Body Works Gym, call 824-0636 or go to www.bodyworksgym.net.