Summer season boosts Augusta area gyms' traffic, membership

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Some Augusta gyms are looking forward to the upcoming hot weather.

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Employees of area gyms say traffic changes in the summer because people take vacations and kids are out of school.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Employees of area gyms say traffic changes in the summer because people take vacations and kids are out of school.

Darryl Richardson, a trainer at Premier Fitness in Gold’s Gym, said he sees gym traffic in the area pick up rather than die down during the summer.
He attributes that to many factors, but primarily the high temperatures. In cooler climates, people might choose to do their workouts in the fresh air, but Augusta’s steamy summers make that uncomfortable, if not dangerous.

Richardson said that more people choose to work out indoors and that college students are home from school and high school athletes have more time to keep fit because they are out of classes.

Brad Martin, the manager at Gold’s Gym in North Augusta, said most of the new members join with a goal in mind.

“People really want to look good for vacation,” he said.

At LiveFit Augusta, owner Austin Tashakori said the pattern is the same every year. The first quarter is busy with New Year’s resolution workouts, and Masters Week sees gym members all but disappear. Gym traffic picks up in April after the Masters, but slows down again in June and July because of vacations and school vacations.

“It’s an odd trend, but it’s the same every year,” he said. “While we don’t wind up losing as many because of the heat, other towns don’t have a Masters Week where everyone leaves.”

Tashakori said hot weather is a gym owner’s friend in Southern cities such as Augusta, where exercising outside could result in heat stroke.

Richard Iannacone, a co-owner of Oxygen Fitness Studio in Surrey Center, however, said summer is his slowest season.

Customers go on vacation, Iannacone said, and even the customers who maintain their regimen often change their schedule.

“Many of our customers are women who come very early during the summer while their husbands are home and the kids are still asleep,” he said.

Though some regular customers might show up less frequently because of summer schedules, specialty classes and concentrated boot camps can attract those wanting to tone their bodies for the beach, he said.

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