Stand Strong with fitness

By Ryan Lewis -

A small part of the Stand Strong Fitness gym.

Left, Monica Pryor takes instruction from Jill Richards during a training session.

Twenty-four years ago, Jill Richards got her start in the fitness industry in Charleston, South Carolina. It was something that started from a desire to get healthy and developed into a need to help people attain their own personal fitness goals.

Through three pregnancies, Richards was teaching classes and working on her personal trainer certification. She trained in small and big cities alike before settling back in her hometown of Altus. She trained at Western Oklahoma State College for nine years before getting an opportunity to buy a small building just across the street from where her 20,000-square-foot gym sits now. It was not a fully loaded gym, but it allowed her to establish Stand Strong Fitness and her own brand of personal training.

It did not take long to build her business from there. A short time later, her current building came available and Richards jumped on it, converting an old furniture store into a massive one-stop shop for all things fitness. The facility has enough room to house a nutrition club, a large weight room, an aerobics room, a CrossFit area and much more.

Her gym houses 125 different classes a month. From yoga and step class to high-intensity interval training and kickboxing, they have a class for every age and fitness level. The entire gym staff is certified in some way with six certified personal trainers and 10 certified group fitness instructors. They have also added two level-one CrossFit certified instructors and 31 classes a week from Mad Dog CrossFit — part of Stand Strong Fitness, but also its own entity.

One of the gym’s offerings Richards is especially proud of is the gym’s turbo program. The concept allows a member to fill out his or her own personal fitness goals and medical history before meeting with a personal trainer. A trainer will then tailor a specific personal workout program for that person, showing him or her what to do and how to do it before letting that person work out alone. Once the member has been doing it for 4-6 weeks and has documented any changes, there is another meeting with the trainer and to formulate a new plan. This service is a one-time fee of $25.

If that is not enough, Stand Strong Fitness also offers personal trainers for private or group sessions. One of their six certified personal trainers will work hard to help anybody reach their fitness goals. They push their clients to achieve maximum results and do so with a genuine love for helping people.

A unique aspect of the gym is The Health Shack — located inside the gym and offering low-calorie, high-protein Advocare product meal replacement shakes and bars. They also offer Spark energy drinks packed with B Vitamins.

The Shack is open to the public from 7-10 a.m. and again from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. They are also open during classes on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 5:30-7:30 p.m., and 8-10 a.m. Saturdays.

The facility is a “no contract” gym and offers a basic membership for individuals at $30 per month or one with unlimited classes at $45 per month with both prices including a keycard to get into the 24-hour gym. They also offer couple and corporate rates, a 10 percent discount for military and medical personnel and teachers and a $25 per month all classes membership for students.

For those planning on attending classes, the gym offers complimentary child care so long as they are notified an appropriate amount of time before the classes. Typically that would be by the night before morning classes and by noon for afternoon classes.

For more information, stop by the gym between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the exception of noon to 1 p.m. to speak with the gym’s secretary or call 580-301-6006.

A small part of the Stand Strong Fitness gym. small part of the Stand Strong Fitness gym.

Left, Monica Pryor takes instruction from Jill Richards during a training session., Monica Pryor takes instruction from Jill Richards during a training session.

By Ryan Lewis

Reach Ryan Lewis at 580-482-1221, ext. 2076.

Reach Ryan Lewis at 580-482-1221, ext. 2076.

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