Tag Archives: rick berks


Chandler, Gilbert Youfit starting fitness classes for seniors

Seniors in Chandler and Gilbert stand to benefit greatly from Youfit Health Clubs’ partnership in the nationwide “SilverSneakers” program.

SilverSneakers encourages seniors to take control of their health by enjoying more physical activity. It provides free fitness-club memberships for seniors at any participating club across the country. And many health plans are now offering it as a benefit.

As a result of Youfit’s participation, seniors with healthcare plans such as Humana, AARP, AvMed, and Universal Health Care can now enjoy free membership in any of Youfit’s 10 clubs in the Valley. And they’ll have access to specially-trained SilverSneakers Advisors.

“We’re really excited about our involvement in the SilverSneakers program,” said Rick Berks, President/Founder of Youfit Health Clubs.

“It’s a win-win situation. For seniors, it’s a great chance to get in shape, and enhance their overall health. And for us, it’s a chance to give back to the folks in the Valley of the Sun, who’ve supported us enthusiastically.”

In addition, two Youfit clubs in the Valley – in Chandler and at one of the two Gilbert locations (870 E. Williams Field Rd.) – are now starting free exercise classes for seniors as part of the program. Seniors can move to the music as they increase muscular strength, range of movement, and stamina for daily living activities. The SilverSneakers class uses hand-held weights, elastic tubing with handles, and a ball for resistance training.

“We’re very interested in helping seniors adopt a program of ‘active aging,’” Rick Berks said. “It helps them live healthier and more-active lives, and there’s a very beneficial social aspect, as well. And seniors are not restricted to seniors-only classes – they can also take classes given to the general membership, such as zumba or yoga.”

YouFit in Scottsdale, Photo: YouFit Health Clubs

YouFit Health Clubs Take A New Approach To Fitness

Upon walking into the newly opened YouFit Health Club in Scottsdale, I was taken back. All it took was for me to open the door to know this place was unlike any other gym I had ever been in.

With a bright green and purple color scheme, the gym seems ideal for people, like me, who get bored of staring at white walls while they cycle away on a stationary bike. Something about having more to look at kept me motivated.

“We wanted to be different and distinctive,” says Rick Berks, owner of the YouFit franchise, which now has five locations in the Valley, with about five more coming soon. “Part of the goal is to create a non-intimidating environment. The colors lend to that. We aren’t after the bodybuilder guys. If he feels threatened because he sees our lime green equipment, we are okay with that.”

I have to agree with Berks. The vibrancy does create a very non-intimidating environment and no scary bodybuilders were to be found.

In addition, YouFit, which first opened in St. Petersburg, Florida in 2008, has jumped on the environmentally friendly bandwagon — something I greatly appreciate. The lighting and water heaters as efficient as they can be, and the floors are made from old tires and old sneakers, called Nike grind. YouFit is paperless, as well. Berks says these are the kinds of things that ultimately make the gym more financially friendly.

Perhaps the biggest plus to YouFit is the lack of salespeople. Memberships are month-to-month and only $10. Berks says the gym sells itself, but if you ask me, the price and the lack of salesmen at the door is what sells it. The gym manages to keep their price point so low by eliminating things that standard gyms have that few members actually use. These wasted amenities include basketball courts and swimming pools that take up space, time, maintenance and, therefore, money.

Once I actually got into the gym and started exploring, I loved it even more. To be frank, it was clean and didn’t smell. To me, that’s huge. The equipment was nicely spaced out and organized. I didn’t feel confused when I was looking for the leg press in a mess of machines. There weren’t free weights lying on the floor in areas that weren’t dedicated to said weights.

I was in the building around 2 p.m. on a Friday afternoon. I didn’t have to wait for a single machine nor did I feel the need to scoot over several inches to get away from the person next to me. I can’t say it is always like this in there, but I do believe that it would take a lot more people for it to be considered “crowded” in my book.

Lastly, when it comes to gyms, I am a self-proclaimed “germaphobe.” Gyms are the ultimate melting pot of germs. YouFit had automatic bathroom essentials, which only added to my level of comfort. Also, and possibly most important to me, the water fountains were clean. When I refilled my water, I didn’t feel like I was drinking what other people have left behind. It was clean, cold and, again, comforting.

Overall, I would recommend this to my friends. Mostly because you can try it for a month for such a small cost. It’s convenient and it’s how business should be done. It’s evident Berks has created an environment that is focused on customers.

For more information about YouFit Health Clubs, visit youfithealthclubs.com.

4827 E. Greenway Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
(602) 732-4022