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Crunching to fitness

New gym's popularity grows

Crunch Fitness offers a wide variety of exercise options. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

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Lakewood's Crunch Fitness gym offers members of the Joint Base Lewis-McChord community a great opportunity to stay fit and have fun.

Crunch Fitness opened in July of last year in the Lakewood Towne Center. It has been a hit with servicemembers and their families.

"(More than) 33 percent of our membership is (composed) of active-duty or retired military members," wrote Vittorio Favati, the franchise owner of the Lakewood gym, in an email.

"It is a massively critical part of our club's demographic breakdown," added General Manager Tony Auriemma. "We value their service greatly, and we work hard to earn and keep their trust."

The facility is an immaculate warehouse of exercise machines, weight machines, weights and experienced, professional staff who provide advice about exercise and nutrition.

"No matter your workout of choice, we want you to feel good while reaching your goals.  Join the fun," Auriemma continued. "There are no judgments here."

He emphasized his point by relating a story about a retired colonel who has an aggressive degenerative muscle disorder. The veteran's doctor advised him to perform fundamental muscle movement through an exercise program in order to sustain quality of everyday life. The gentleman found Crunch Fitness, liked what he heard and saw, and joined. He now comes to the club three times a week to work out.

"The activity he does at our Crunch Fitness has allowed him to stay active and persevere under tough odds," said Auriemma. "Just the act of walking from his car to the club with his walker is a major feat ... he is an inspiration to us all and a warm part of the Crunch family in Lakewood."

Johnny Walker, an Army veteran, is the general manager at the Lakewood gym, and he has created a welcoming environment to both military and non-military members. Some participants have commented on the natural lighting, the platform for power lifting, the circuit training equipment, the turf area that allows for sled pushing and pulling, and the cleanliness of the facility.

Crunch Fitness began as one small gym in a basement studio in New York City's East Village in 1989. Since then, it has grown globally to more than 220 locations.

In combining fitness with fun, Crunch Fitness offers workouts called "Chisel It," "The Ride," "Mind Body Burn," "Cardio & Dance," "Action Sports" and "Something Different," to say nothing of the individualized programs members can create in order to achieve fitness.

The gym also offers a "Crunch Live" program that allows members to go online at anytime and anywhere to complete a workout.

"We owe it to our members to generate results," Favati said.

"We seek only to encourage, empower and entertain," Auriemma said. "There is no one type. There is no one reason. There is no one way."

Crunch Fitness, 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., Monday-Friday; 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 6111 Lakewood Towne Center Blvd. SW., 253.240.3240,

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