Log in Subscribe

Fitness is a snap with 24-hour access


BRADENTON - It's that time of year again when back to school and careers take the focus away from health and fitness. Everything in life becomes a priority, and by the holidays people are stressed, out of shape and making another New Year's resolution to hit the gym.

Snap Fitness
Tom and Sherry Wilson at a local health expo promoting their business, Snap Fitness. Members get 24-hour access.

Does this cycle sound familiar?


What: Bradenton Snap Fitness

Where: 8194 Tourist Center Drive, off University Parkway near I-75. See the map.

When: Staffed times, plus 24-hour access.

Snap Fitness in Bradenton is open around the clock and, with a swipe of a key card, members can adjust their workouts according to their schedule and make time for themselves. Plus, it's affordable and you don't have to sign a contract.

Sherry and Tom Wilson own the gym and they have made a point of creating a boutique-styled environment where members enjoy their time getting fit at all hours.

"I think people put all other responsibilities first," Sherry Wilson said. "Children, jobs, home life - and what suffers is our health."

Wilson said she's done the same thing, but making time to take care of yourself is possible with their center's 24-hour access.

Steve Fayette has three young children and owns multiple businesses. He's working out in the mid-afternoon on this day, but may come after 9 p.m. the next day.

"I put my kids down at night by 9 p.m.," he said. "If I need more time to work out I can easily do so at night."

Fayette can be found doing his fitness rotation at least five days a week, and the 24-hour access was the original selling point for him when becoming a member.

"I've noticed a big difference in my health," he said. "I dropped my cholesterol."

Getting good results

Sherry Wilson smiles big at Fayette's testimony and sits back at her desk, where she greets members during the day and helps them with their membership and fitness needs.

"The fun part about this job is when people come in and say they went to the doctor and their cholesterol was down or their blood sugar was down," she said. "Sharing what this club has done for them makes my day."

The Wilsons opened their gym to the public in December 2007. Their goal was to sign up 100 members in a month and they had that number by day 16.

"We knew we could run this because it was something we both enjoyed," Sherry Wilson said. "Health and fitness has always been an important part of our life and family."

Snap Fitness
Steve Fayette, a member of Snap Fitness gym, works out. He says it's sometimes easier for his schedule to work out at night.

Since they were both college athletes and their children were college athletes, the Wilsons commitment to creating a clean, modern and safe fitness center was natural.

Their story has grown out of life changes, and in 2005, neither was prepared for a series of events that led them where they are today.

Sherry Wilson had just made a decision to take a break from teaching health and physical education when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

"I had a bilateral mastectomy and my main fear was dying and leaving my family behind," she said. "I think that's what everyone feels."

The next 12 months were packed with immediate reconstruction, expanding breast tissue and healing.

Then in June 2005 during an annual family vacation in North Carolina, Tom Wilson was rushed to the emergency room after a deep-sea fishing boating accident which almost left him dead.

Waiting and hoping

Sherry Wilson recalls getting a call from her husband as they passed under a bridge on the way to the dock. The next hours were a living nightmare as her son broke the news to her.

"I was waiting on the dock and then I see our son Todd running over to tell me Dad's OK, but you can't cry," she said. "He's worried about you and doesn't want you to be upset after all you've been through."

Fitness expert and Snap Fitness staffer J.D. Doyle, left, watches John Maben, a Snap Fitness member, in a private training session. Maben lost 30 pounds in a six-month training program.

Tom Wilson landed in the trauma ward with a lacerated liver, 13 broken bones and a possible perforated colon.

"It makes you look at things a little differently," Sherry Wilson said. "What's important is spending time together, not putting things off."

So the college sweethearts, married 38 years, are living for the day with an eye for the future, and Snap Fitness is their testimony to a healthy lifestyle.

Snap Fitness is also the home of resident trainer and nutrition and fitness expert J.D. Doyle. He has a master's degree in health and science from Wesley College and is one of the most knowledgeable people at the gym.

"If you don't make time for yourself, your stress levels build up and if you are not healthy you can't take care of your family," Doyle said.

He is a new father and he understands firsthand what it means to make time for family and health.

"I have a huge advantage because this is my job," Doyle said.

With a 9-month-old girl named Daisy, Doyle knows he can't stay at the gym late at night. So after working with eight members in private training two to three times a week and running a weekly boot camp, he still finds an hour a day to exercise.

He most recently launched a six-week body transformation program for people serious about changing their lifestyle.

Doyle's a clinical exercise specialist and an NSPA Certified Fitness Instructor, and an adviser for Healthexcel Advanced Metabolic Typing. So for members willing to invest in themselves and interested in a total health, nutrition and fitness makeover, Doyle is the answer.

"I've been using this successful program for four years and it teaches people to understand everything about training and nutrition," he said.

Since health and fitness is about diet and training, both have to be fully understood and implemented to see ultimate results.

But for a six-week body and life transformation, $768 seems a small investment to make for a lifetime of healthy living.

Doyle also recommends his boot camp for those looking for another successful fitness option.

"It's highly educational and a clear picture of total health," he said.


No comments on this item

Only paid subscribers can comment
Please log in to comment by clicking here.