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According to national trends, those who made New Year’s resolutions and signed up for gym memberships have stopped showing up for their workouts by now. But those attrition rates don’t seem to apply to members of Gb3, says owner George Brown.
“We have very little dropoff,” he says, “a lot of people keep coming to our gym because our rates are really low and we let people freeze their membership; the member is in control.”
Gb3 locations also have more equipment — from cardio machines like treadmills and ellipticals to circuit machines to free weights — than other area gyms. Functional training areas have been added to two of the clubs, allowing members to do CrossFit-style training with pulleys, balls, ropes and and climbing apparatuses.
Plus, members can use any of the five sports clubs spread throughout Fresno and Clovis, and will soon have access to a sixth location, the Gb3 Super Club at Champlain Drvie and Shepherd Avenue.
The 50,000-square-foot club is under construction on 6 acres and is scheduled to open this fall.
“It will have more of everything,” Brown says. “It will have a pool, a huge daycare with a three-level space maze, a first-class locker room and the gym will be equipped with the latest and greatest everything.”
The Super Club will also have 500 parking spaces and be open 24 hours. It will boast seven complete lines of circuit equipment from different manufacturers, allowing members to find exactly the right fit for their body type and desired exercise.
“Some machines are more comfortable for some people, while other people find a different brand more comfortable,” Brown explains. “Each has different angles and different leverage. The other advantage of having so much equipment is you don’t get bored. You can work the same muscles, but use different machines.”
Mounted in the cardio area, containing 80 treadmills and dozens of elliptical and stair climber machines, will be several 100-inch televisions tuned to a variety of channels. A huge range of fitness classes are available at all Gb3s as well, from classics like water aerobics, spin, yoga, Zumba and Pilates to new hits like High Fitness, PiYo and HIIT. All are included in the cost of membership.
Gb3 also offers an incentive to leave your current gym and join their system of sports clubs: a trade-in program. Try Gb3 for free for one week; if you like it, cancel your membership to a competitor club and you’ll only have to pay monthly dues. Gb3 will waive the initial membership fee.
“We make it simple and inexpensive for them to transfer,” Brown says. “We get hundreds of new members upgrading to our club each month through this trade-in program.”
2. Fitness Evolution
3. Fort Washington Fitness
9471 N. Fort Washington Road
1. Weight Watchers
7859 N. Blackstone Ave.
393 W. Shaw Ave., Suite A10, Clovis
What Jean Nidetch started in the early ’60s by inviting friends into her Queens home once a week to discuss how to lose weight has blossomed into a millions-strong Weight Watchers membership and a constantly evolving business.
“We’re continuously adapting to the needs of our members and society as a whole by using scientifically based strategies to help people lead healthier lives,” says Shannon Torres, territory manager for the Central Coast and Central Valley.
All Weight Watchers employees are members themselves, including Torres, who has lost 60 pounds with the program. On average, members lose up to 2 pounds per week while attending weekly meetings and keeping track of their meals daily.
Local meetings take place in Fresno, Clovis, Madera, Visalia, Hanford, Porterville, Kingsburg and Selma, but an online option is available, as well.
“We encourage members to go to the meetings because the support and guidance there is like no other,” Torres says. “We have a caring, empathetic staff who work to create a safe environment where we can all share, relate and support each other. It’s about community building.”
Weight Watchers also provides an app for members to track their food intake and exercise. A program called Connect is “like Facebook for Weight Watchers members to reach out, share recipes and, if they’re having a hard time, the community lifts them up,” Torres says. “We want to be available to our members 24/7.”
New campaigns are launched annually to follow advancements in weight loss research, Torres says.
“This year, it’s Live Fully and Beyond The Scale, which take on that approach of looking at your mindset and what’s causing you to make those food choices,” she says. “It’s also a big push toward being fully healthy instead of looking just at the weight. Take that ‘me’ time; if you don’t take care of yourself, no one else is going to do it for you.”
Members still count points, but the PointsPlus system has been converted to SmartPoints, which highlights the benefits of protein as something that sustains for a longer period of time. It also addresses sugar and saturated fat intake, Torres says. “Our members, within the first two months, lose 15 percent more weight than in previous programs.”
3. Vitamin Shoppe
CVS is not just a winner in among Valley voters, it’s also America’s leading retail pharmacy with more than 9,600 stores nationwide. Its pharmacies serve more than 5 million customers daily.
“Creating the ultimate customer experience through personalization and innovation is something the entire CVS Pharmacy organization is aligned on and committed to,” says Jose Awais, assistant vice president of CVS Pharmacy.
The first CVS store, selling health and beauty products, was founded in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1963; CVS stands for Consumer Value Stores. Since then, it has been a leader and innovator in the pharmacy retail industry.
It was the first national pharmacy chain to remove cigarettes and tobacco products from its shelves — a move made in September 2014. It was also the first national pharmacy retailer to offer a loyalty program. CVS saves its customers money by rewarding them for purchases and offering exclusive discounts using the ExtraCare card. With more than 70 million members, the ExtraCare loyalty program is now the largest retail savings and rewards program of all drugstores.
“We understand that our customers want convenient and personalized access to products that support their health and well-being,” Awais says. “From offering access to personal deals and savings with the CVS Pharmacy mobile app and ExtraCare Rewards program ... to our latest shopping conveniences like CVS Curbside and CVS Pay, we are truly committed to creating an innovative retail experience that delivers value for all our customers.”
A number of tools and programs have also been implemented on the pharmacy side of the business.
“Through our nationwide network of more than 30,000 trusted pharmacists, we are able to offer innovative pharmacy care services like Pharmacy Advisor, which offers counseling to individuals diagnosed with chronic conditions, and Maintenance Choice, which allows individuals to choose to fill 90-day supplies of medications through mail service or at any of our CVS Pharmacy locations,” Awais says. “These core CVS Pharmacy services, coupled with our growing suite of digital offerings through the CVS Pharmacy mobile app, like the Drug Interaction Checker and Pill Identifier, allow CVS Pharmacy to offer the most accessible and personalized expertise in our industry.”
3. Rite Aid
Eye Care Group
1. Fogg, Maxwell, Lanier & Remington EyeCare
For local patients who seek improved and restored vision, many turn to Fogg, Maxwell, Lanier & Remington EyeCare. The group has kept pace with rapid development of new eyecare techniques and advanced technologies that have revolutionized eye surgery, says spokeswoman Pattie Turnbull.
“Our surgeons are well-versed in the use of lasers, microsurgical instruments and other leading-edge technologies,” she says.
Fogg, Maxwell, Lanier & Remington EyeCare was established in 1980 and serves the Valley with five locations, including two in Fresno, one in Clovis, one in Madera and one in Oakhurst. Each doctor in the practice has his or her specialty, providing a wide range of options for patients.
Dr. Steven Fogg, son of Dr. Gary Fogg, who was a founding partner, has focused his interest in adult eye care and treats diseases of the aging eye, as well as general eye care health, Turnbull says.
“Dr. Andrew Maxwell is one of the country’s innovators in refractive surgery and is a leading investigator of intraocular lens implants for cataract surgeries, as well as general eye care health,” she continues. “Dr. Andrea Lanier is one of the few fellowship-trained, board-certified members of the American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus in the Central Valley. Dr. Rodney Remington is a glaucoma specialist, focusing his practice on the medical, surgical and laser treatment of glaucoma, as well as cataract and general eye care health.”
The practice also includes seven optometrists and ophthalmologist Dr. Daniel Prescott, a retina specialist.
“The vision experts at Fogg, Maxwell, Lanier & Remington EyeCare are skilled in detecting the many possible disorders that can affect the eye, often long before they impact your vision,” Turnbull says. “We offer a comprehensive range of services that extends from vision testing and dispensing of glasses and contact lenses to the diagnosis and treatment of eye disorders and diseases.”
2. Eye Q Vision Care
3. Eye Medical Center
1360 E. Herndon Ave., Suite 301, Fresno
1122 S St., Fresno
1. Clovis Community Medical Center
2755 Herndon Ave., Clovis
Clovis Community is transforming how patients experience health care, says its CEO Craig Castro. From private rooms and state-of-the-art surgical suites to fine dining and serene landscaping, every detail of Clovis Community has been designed with the patient in mind, he says.
“While every award makes us proud, the No. 1 reason we strive every day to be the best is for our patients,” Castro says. “We have nearly 2,500 talented physicians, employees and volunteers who come together and provide exceptional patient care every day.”
Clovis Community opened at its current location at Herndon and Temperance avenues in 1988 and the Clovis Outpatient Care Center, one of the busiest outpatient surgery centers in the area, was built in 2002. To meet the area’s growth, Clovis Community underwent a $300 million expansion and renovation in 2008, nearly doubling its capacity to 208 private rooms.
Clovis Community is home to premier programs such as the Marjorie E. Radin Breast Care Center, which set a new standard for care of breast health with advanced technology and medical leaders offering screenings, diagnostics and treatments.
The Leon S. & Pete P. Peters Future Generations Center, Clovis Weight-Loss Surgery Center and Dedicated Endoscopy Center also draw patients to Clovis from all over the Valley.
Each year, the hospital treats more than 60,000 patients in its emergency department and delivers more than 5,000 babies in its labor and delivery unit.
With top-notch facilities and employees, it’s no surprise that the food at Clovis Community Medical Center is fantastic as well. The Grove Cafe at Clovis Community Medical Center has become known as a hidden gem among Valley residents. Boasting a top Yelp rating, the cozy cafe serves up made-to-order sandwiches, a full salad bar, fresh-baked pizza made from quality ingredients and milkshakes made with Superior Dairy ice cream.
2. Saint Agnes Medical Center
1303 E. Herndon Ave.
3. Kaiser Permanente Medical Center
Women’s Fitness Center
Gb3, the People’s Choice in our Athletic Club category, is also the top pick for Women’s Fitness Center because of its low-key environment, says owner George Brown.
“Some women who have only been to a ladies-only gym will come in and you can see they’re kind of nervous,” he says. “But after about a week you look at them and they’re so comfortable. Our members are men and women of all ages. There are ladies in their 80s coming in every day. People are just doing their own thing; you don’t feel like anyone is watching you.”
Many women tend to gravitate toward group workouts, and Gb3 has kept up with the trend by offering the latest classes, such as HIIT, High Fitness and PiYo. Zumba, spin, yoga and Pilates classes have a huge following, as well. Classes are included in the price of membership and can be taken at any of the current five sports clubs — with a sixth planned to open by October.
Classes are held in expansive rooms with spring-loaded hardwood floors that provide extra cushioning for joints.
“It’s the best floor you can get,” Brown says. “It’s a hardwood floor, but there are different layers and springs underneath it; it’s good for your body.”
About 90 percent of the machines and equipment in Gb3 sports clubs are adjustable, so women can adapt them to their bodies and desired workout, Brown says. All members also receive three free personal training sessions to get them off to a good start based on their goals, needs and medical history.
“There’s no cookie-cutter workout. We make a custom program for them and every six weeks we offer a follow up,” he says.
Many of Gb3’s machines have Bluetooth capabilities to transmit data to free apps on members’ smartphones, allowing them to track their workouts and chart their progress.
“You can also hold your phone up to a machine and a free app will show you how to use the machine,” Brown says.
Daycare offered at all locations is also a huge draw for parents, Brown says.
“We have the nicest daycares in town,” he says. “The daycare at the new Super Gym is going to be almost 4,000 square feet. We’re spending a quarter of a million dollars on daycare equipment and activities to keep the kids happy. The moms love it and the kids don’t mind going to the gym.”
2. Curves for Women
3. Rhonda’s Fitness
686 E. Bullard Ave, Suite 102
1. Perfect Balance Yoga
5091 N. Fresno St., Suite 133
Perfect Balance Yoga was born 15 years ago from a husband and wife’s love of practicing yoga. Giovanni Pivirotto and Joanne Bazarian ditched their corporate jobs to open a studio in central Fresno where people of all ages and fitness levels could share their adoration for the practice.
The studio hosts a dozen instructors, and a few more on-call, who lead a plethora of yoga classes. There’s something here for everyone, Bazarian says.
“If you don’t have balance, or you’re older, Gentle Yoga is a good place for you,” she says. “If you need healing, Restorative Yoga is the place for you. If you want a kick-your-butt workout, you have Gio’s Yoga and Abdominals class or Heated Vinyasa.”
A Back To Basics series has been ongoing since the studio opened, offering an in-depth practice of the hows and whys of traditional yoga poses for newbies and practiced yogis alike.
“We want to make yoga affordable and accessible to everybody; it doesn’t matter what your body shape is or whether you have new or old injuries,” Bazarian says. “We want to make it accessible to someone who needs slower practice or really intense ashtanga yoga.”
The heated vinyasa class, where the indoor temperature is raised to about 90 degrees, has a huge following, but it seems the closest friendships are formed in the gentle class, popular with seniors, Bazarian says.
“Older people discover yoga because they’re not feeling flexible or strong and you watch them transform their bodies,” she says. “They’ve formed a community. We send ‘get well’ cards to those who are out of class for surgery. A couple in their 70s had their first dates in the yoga studio and when they were going to get married, we threw them a ‘yogagement’ party.”
Prenatal classes have been ongoing for about 14 years, giving instructors the pleasure of watching families grow.
“We’ve lost count on how many moms and babies have come through the program,” Pivirotto says. “It’s so fun to see the babies grow; sometimes they come to the kids yoga classes we hold on some Saturdays. It’s really rewarding.”
Pivirotto and Bazarian say they’re always thinking about how to best serve the growing yogi population in Fresno.
“We always want to encourage our students and help them to better their lives through their yoga practice,” Bazarian says.
2. Blue Moon Yoga
1144 E. Champlain Drive, Suite 104
3. Coil Yoga
292 W. Shaw Ave.