The South Florida fitness entrepreneur who created the budget-minded Youfit Health Clubs has already opened 45 clubs in several states. On Thursday, his 46th club –- and 18th in South Florida –- will open in Kendall at the Crossings Shopping Village at 112 St. and 132 Ave.
Founded by Rick Berks in 2008 with one club in St. Petersburg, the rapidly expanding Youfit Health Clubs offers no-frills gyms that require no long-term contracts (you pay by the month). Fees are typically only $10 a month, less than a third of what most gyms charge. Youfit clubs are also environmentally friendly, with energy-efficient features and floors are made of recycled tires or Nike “grind” (i.e. old sneakers).
“We’re building clubs for people who don’t want to deal with the trauma and drama of the usual health club,” says Berks, a former Broward sheriff's deputy who owned a Gold's Gym franchise and co-founded the Planet Fitness chain before launching Youfit. “We’re getting people here in South Florida off the couch. We’re creating new businesses here and we’re creating them in a way that’s good to the environment.”
The Kendall club will be followed by seven more openings in the next two months, including another Miami location and its first club in California, the company said.
(Photo of Rick Berks, above, is from the Tampa Bay Times.)