Students short on time or money will soon have access to state-of-the-art exercise equipment 24 hours a day at about half the monthly cost of a larger health club. Anytime Fitness is preparing to open a second location within walking distance of ACU.
Abel Pena, who manages the Anytime Fitness center on South 14th Street, said he expects the club to open no later than April 1.
“There has never been a gym of our caliber on the north side of town, and we are the only one in Abilene that is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Pena said. “As small as Abilene is, the 10-minute drive is basically too far for them to travel so we wanted to make it convenient.”
In addition to round-the-clock access, the new club will feature high-speed tanning beds, group classes, individual showers, private changing rooms and personal trainers. Televisions will be mounted above all of the cardio equipment, allowing members to plug in their headphones and watch cable or local channels, Pena said.
Although Anytime Fitness staff leaves at the end of the workday, several features are in place to maintain member safety at each club. Members receive a card that electronically unlocks the doors after business hours, and all of the equipment has built-in safety features for those who choose to work out alone.
For example, a safety rail on the bench press will hold the weight of the bar if no spotter is available. Members also may wear a safety lanyard that will summon emergency personnel at the touch of a button; another emergency button is installed on the wall inside the club.
Chris Fernandez, freshman biology major from Abilene, is a member of Anytime Fitness and said he is very excited about the new location.
“When the new one opens up, whoever has a gym membership to the other one can get into both,” he said. “I’ll probably switch depending on where I’m at in town and if I have my stuff with me because I work closer to the mall.”
Daniel Connell, senior psychology major from Abilene, is looking forward to the new location and plans to become a member once it opens.
“I live in the Grove apartment complex, which has a 24-hour gym, but it’s small and doesn’t really have everything I need,” he said. “Having access to the gym any time of day makes it easy to fit a workout into a busy day.”