Transfer of ownership to bring gym new equipment and programs

Senior OM&IS major Luis Montenegro works out his biceps at 9 a.m. by using the barebell Wednesday at Fitworkz, 1690 Sycamore Road, in DeKalb.

By Taher Zeitoun

DeKALB — Fitworkz in DeKalb transferred ownership to locals who will be remodeling everything from training programs to floor layout and equipment.

It was announced Jan. 10 on the Fitworkz Facebook page by owner Ray Binkowski that Fitworkz, 1690 Sycamore Road, would close. In addition to announcing the closure, Binkowski put his equipment up for sale online.

DeKalb residents Peggy and Terry Hopkins noticed the listed gym equipment and reached out to Binkowski. After reviewing facts regarding a transfer of ownership, a contractual agreement was finalized Jan. 23, and the couple became the new owners of the gym and its equipment.

Binkowski declined to comment on the transfer of ownership.

Terry Hopkins said he will be bringing in new equipment and training opportunities around the end of April. He said he is completely rebranding the gym because he wants to start something new and Fitworkz is Binkowski’s.

Hopkins said he is excited about the new training programs being brought in with the re-branding. Martial arts or fighting fitness as well as a self-defense class will be two of the new training opportunities featured after the restructure of the gym.

Hopkins said he will continue running everything as usual under the Fitworkz name for the next couple of months. During that time, he will survey members to get an understanding of what they do and don’t like.

“The questionnaire will consist of ‘Why are you here, and what do you want?’” Hopkins said. “Right now, the gym is the same. We want to keep it the way Binkowski had it because the way he had it works, and we want to keep the people happy.”

Junior meteorology major Brent Brock, who has been a member of the club for over a year, said he was relieved after hearing the news regarding the transfer of ownership.

Brock said working out in a familiar environment is important, and Fitworkz provides him with a culture unmatched by any gym in the area. He said having Fitworkz remain open through new ownership will allow him to retain familiarity when working out.

“I feel comfortable working out [at Fitworkz], and I’m extremely happy I can continue to do so over there,” Brock said.

Gary Ellison, senior physical therapy major, said he learned about the transfer of ownership after talking to Binkowski.

Ellison said he has been a member of the Fitworkz community for over two years and is extremely happy DeKalb residents will be continuing to serve the fitness community.

Ellison said he was prepared to workout at another gym after hearing about the alleged closure. He said he will have to pay a cancellation fee at the other gym, but he doesn’t mind spending money if it means remaining a member at Fitworkz.

“Quite honestly, I’m relieved,” Ellison said. “I did sign up at another gym and was dreading the switch. Fitworkz has the best equipment, and I enjoy that they are always open.”