When it comes to businesses that are essential to a community, most people think of a hospital or a grocery store. However, for the past five years, Edwardsburg Fitness has shown just how indispensable a fitness center can be.
Like almost any local gym or fitness center, it has its fair share of competitive lifters and high school football players, but Edwardsburg Fitness also serves young families, senior citizens and weekend lake dwellers.
“Because we are such a diverse gym, we don’t really cater to one type of person,” says Brendan Pozskgai, a trainer and general manager at Edwardsburg Fitness. “I would say it’s more of a health club than just a gym.”
Because it is open 24 hours a day, the fitness center is able to serve people with almost any occupation or schedule: from physicians who want to run on the treadmill bright and early to shift workers who need a gym that is open at all hours.
“We have a lot of law enforcement members and medics that belong here,” Brendan says. “When they get off work, they’ll come in here at five in the morning after they’ve been up all night.”
The fitness center features a main room for workout equipment, including treadmills, stationary bikes, workout benches and machines, and an impressive collection of weights.
“We have the biggest dumbbells in the area,” Brendan says. “They go all the way up to 140 lbs. I know of two people here that can actually use them.”
There’s also a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu dojo for children and adults, a massage therapist, a multipurpose workout studio and two personal trainers. Just about the only thing Edwardsburg Fitness doesn’t have is a locker room — and leaders say that is actually a good thing.
Instead, there are several lockers available near the entrance and four personal bathrooms, each with its own shower. That way, members can still keep their belongings safe and have privacy while they change and clean themselves up.
“We have a good amount of people who will work out and then get ready for work. It’s a big part of their day,” Brendan says. “One thing people have told us is that we don’t smell like a gym. We try to keep this place as clean as possible.”
Its central location at 69855 Rolen Dr., Edwardsburg, also significantly contributes to its ability to serve the community.
“Honestly, I believe the location is great. A big rule for gyms is that your average person isn’t willing to drive longer than 12 minutes,” Brendan says. “Twelve minutes is the magic number.”
Of course, Brendan says what Edwardsburg Fitness is really trying to offer its customers is health care. They provide one of the few workouts facilities in Edwardsburg and there are several people who have used its equipment and its staff to improve their life.
For some, that might be as simple as putting on the extra weight needed to make the varsity football team next year or start exercising, like the doctor has been asking them to do for years. For others, it might mean getting stronger in order to keep their independence.
“[Being active] is so important at every phase of life,” Brendan says. “I train an 83-year-old gentleman, and he has doubled his strength from the day that he came in. He’s the sole caretaker of his wife — they live at home together. She needs devices to walk. One day she fell, and he didn’t have the strength to get her back up. That’s why he started coming in.”
Edwardsburg Fitness may be just a gym to some people — a place where they can get in shape for the summer, but staff members like Brendan are happy to make it much more than that.
“It might sound cheesy, but I feel like we can really actually help the community here,” Brendan says. “I mean, we’re just picking up weights, but it made a difference in [that man’s] life to point that it was so noticeable. … It’s the difference in someone being able to keep his wife at home versus having to live in a nursing home together. That’s a big part of what we do here.”
Photos by Emily Sobecki