Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Let's Get Physical Gym Begins Catering to Long-Haul Truckers

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Let's Get Physical Gym Begins Catering to Long-Haul Truckers

Article excerpt

DALLAS --

The parking lot of a Pilot Flying J truck stop in Dallas is home to the first in a chain of fitness centers targeted at truck drivers, whose sedentary careers can lead to health problems.

The facility opened in June and is the first of at least six gyms that partners Snap Fitness and Rolling Strong hope to open this year.

"It's a tough job driving on the interstate all day long without access to exercise or more nutritious food," said Bob Perry, the president of Rolling Strong, a company dedicated to improving the health of the nation's 3.2 million truck drivers.

"The ability to be able to get some cardiovascular training and help control their weight and be able to be in better health and get a workout in" can improve their careers and quality of life, Mr. Perry said.

Snap Fitness, a national chain of more than 1,300 gyms, teamed with Rolling Strong last year to develop the business model.

They will open five more gyms this year inside Flying J truck stops across the country with an initial investment of $100,000 each, said chief operating officer Gary Findley. Another five free- standing gyms will open by April, with initial costs of $200,000 each.

About 60 people have signed up at the Dallas gym so far.

Snap Fitness may open up to 100 gyms at truck stops if the model proves successful, Mr. Findley said.

The free-standing Dallas gym, near the intersection of Interstate 20 and Interstate 45, has six weight machines, cardio machines, free weights and a cable cross machine. All the gyms stay open 24 hours.

Truck drivers who sign up for at the Snap Fitness Rolling Strong gyms will have access to all Snap Fitness gyms. Snap Fitness members can also use the Snap Fitness Rolling Strong gyms. About 55 Snap Fitness gyms have parking lots that could accommodate a semi- trailer truck, Mr. Findley said.

"We need to get a breadth of stores out there so we can see that the trucking community is going to embrace this," Mr. Findley said. "If it's embraced in the way we feel it's going to be, we have no problem putting 100 (Snap Fitness Rolling Strong) locations out there."

Hoos Montes, 37, is in Dallas at least once a week while he travels his route from his home near Knoxville, Tenn. …

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