PERSONAL trainers do a lot for their clients' self-esteem and quality of life by helping them achieve their fitness goals. However, very little attention is paid to the trainers themselves or how committed and efficient they would have to be to keep their clients motivated.
Fitness instructor Randy Myers spoke candidly with All Woman about starting his fitness business and how it has changed his life, the lives of his clients as well as his community members.
“I started Myers Fitness Centre out of my bedroom when I was just 20 years old — with just a little home-workout machine and two clients. That was 17 years ago,” he recounted.
After watching his mother struggle with her three children — of which he is the youngest — to make ends meet, Myers was determined to make a better life for himself.
Having left Tacky High School in his hometown of Gayle, St Mary, without successfully completing his Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) subjects, he re-enrolled in school to attain passes in the core subject areas and to learn a marketable skill.
“Then I went to Adams [Training and] Catering [School], where I learned how to be a waiter,” he shared.
This was Myers' ticket to his first and only experience as an employee, as he started working at the then Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort shortly afterwards. He started out as a housekeeper, but as he furthered his studies, he moved to working in the dining room then eventually left to start his own fitness centre.
“Then I studied fitness and nutrition with the American Council on Exercise. I also did a diploma with Penn Foster College in fitness and nutrition, and I also got certified with Caribbean Exercise and Fitness Association, where I also did my yoga and Pilates qualifications,” Myers said.
His bedroom gym has grown exponentially since then.
“Then I rented a house and got married one year after. We moved to a three-bedroom house, where we used two sections for the gym, and one bedroom to live in. We were very passionate about what we were doing and we got favour from Odeon Wilmot, an investment advisor from ScotiaBank, who gave us a contract and never left us,” a grateful Myers said.
As his clientèle outgrew his home, Myers moved his business to Island Village Plaza in Ocho Rios, where he remained for three years before relocating to Columbus Heights, in the same town. This has been the home of Myers Fitness Centre for the last 10 years.
“We are now ranked as the third-largest gym in Jamaica. We have over 400 members and we are a 24-hour operation,” he beamed. “We are one of the leading gyms in terms of weight-loss and results.
“I came up with a fitness programme two years ago called 'Triple D', which stands for 'Discipline, Dedication and Determination'. It is working very well for us. It's a very strict programme, but it is definitely a sure-results programme.
“We interview clients before we put them on it to ensure that they can stand up to the discipline aspect of it,” he shared.
He shared the experience of one of his clients, Sandra Pottinger, who used the Triple D-approach to achieve her weight loss goal in just four months.
“She was trying everything to achieve her weight loss goal, and nothing worked. When she saw the Triple D results online, she called me and we set an appointment to interview her to be qualified for the programme. She was so genuine about wanting to be a part of the programme, and she was very dedicated. She hit all the scores and achieved her goal. She started in January of 2018 at 209 pounds, and by April she had reached her goal and completed the programme at 168 pounds. She lost a total of 41 pounds in four months , and continued even after then, and is now working on her body mass index,” he shared.
Not only does Myers lend a helping hand to his clients on their mission to optimal health through exercise, but he makes it a point of duty to give to the less fortunate in their times of need. He uses his signature fitness event, Gym Expo, as a fund-raiser for charity.
“Gym Expo is a fitness event that we started nine years ago. It is now our main charity event. Last year we gave $100,000 to a young lady who was diagnosed with a neurological disorder. This year we are helping a gentleman who has a tumour on his face. We are funding the surgery for him, as well as somewhere for him to live,” he said.
“We are a part of the Ministry of Health and Wellness' Jamaica Moves islandwide campaign for one year now, and they have come on board with Gym Expo as well,” Myers said.
Myers believes that he is fulfilling his life's purpose in his career, and enjoys it thoroughly.
“Even as a child I was always interested in testing physical strength. I made weights from objects around the home, and made punching bags from stockings. I was drawn to action films, and actors like Arnold Schwarzenegger, for their agility in movies. This is just my destiny and a part of my mission here on earth — to bring fitness to people,” he said.
Reflecting on his youth, Myers is grateful for being blessed enough to change his life's narrative. He has now been married for 15 years and fathers three children with his wife.
He hopes to continue to improve the lives of others through fitness, just as it has improved his.
Of Myers Fitness Centre, he said: “Our vision now is to become a fitness complex, and to eventually have franchises in other locations.”
— Candiece Knight