Area gym garners international recognition

World Gym in West Chester Twp. is oldest franchise with 26 years.

The West Chester Twp. location of World Gym — owned and operated by Kenneth and Ruth Reynolds — was awarded “Best Pro Shop” and “Oldest Franchise” in the world at the 2012 World Gym International Convention this year in Las Vegas.

Kenneth Reynolds, 65, said he’s been involved in the world of fitness since age 13, when he first spotted American bodybuilder Steve Reeves on the cover of a magazine. He opened his first gym — a $5 key club — out of his garage.

After a few ventures with other business partners, the Reynolds’ opened a World Gym franchise in 1986. Now in its third space along Princeton Glendale Road, the facility has grown to 16,000 square feet with personal training, 100 workout stations, on-site daycare, tanning beds and retail.

Ruth Reynolds said their fitness business started modestly — with her husband drinking protein shakes to buff up and herself “dancing to burn energy” — which progressed into an aerobics program.

“We instruct every member ourselves; it’s in our soul,” said Ruth Reynolds, who was named Ms. Cincinnati in 1987.

Ruth Reynolds said she manages the bookkeeping, while her husband designs the facility and creates original workout rigs, such as his outdoor boot camp using weights, chains and ladders.

“Old school fundamental exercise,” Kenneth Reynolds said. “No machine can replicate natural movements,” from lunges, free weights and compound movements.

Kenneth Reynolds — named Light Heavyweight Mr. Cincinnati in 1986 — said they’ve developed a three-tiered system for weight loss, dieting and nutrition. He said healthy adult males should maintain a daily intake of no more than 2,000 calories; the amount decreases to 1,600 calories for women.

“You can’t out-train a bad diet,” Kenneth Reynolds said. “We love helping people match their goals; you really can change by the hour.”

World Gym — located at 9481 Princeton Glendale Road — is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Monthly membership fees are $12 for women; $19 for men.

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