At the start of a new year, one of the most common resolutions worldwide is a renewed focus on personal health.
Though that goal can take many forms, Mountain Muscle Fitness Center in Oakhurst, formerly known as Fitness Zone, has new owners who promise to help make that a reality, whatever it takes.
“We’re one big happy family that enjoys working out and fitness,” said George Mullins, an Oakhurst native and co-owner with his wife Meloni. “We’re all helping each other out, in any way we can. Nobody has an ego here.”
“It’s a really good atmosphere to help people who walk in and have no idea what a barbell is to those who are training to compete in weightlifting competitions,” said Meloni, a longtime competitor in the “figure” rank of bodybuilding. “We welcome everyone.”
That mentality, and the changes brought by the Mullins in only a few months of tireless work by themselves and their staff, are notable from top to bottom.
Inside the two-story gymnasium, located at 40118 Enterprise Drive, almost everything is new, including the blue paint that represents Yosemite High School, George’s alma mater of 1983.
There’s new flooring, new equipment for both cardio and strength, refurbished bathrooms, even the new televisions now have channels like ESPN for those minded towards sports and exercise.
“We are very community based and want to know what the community wants,” Meloni said. “We will do what we can to implement any of those needs and serve our members as best we can.”
It didn’t take long for regular members, with their own histories at the fitness center, to notice the changes after the Mullins took over.
“I’ve never seen it looking this well kept before,” said Pauline Williams, who met her fiance and competitive weightlifter Joe Mass inside the gym. “I mean it’s all clean, it looks spruced up, it’s just nice to see how seriously it’s taken care of now.”
“There’s a completely different atmosphere,” Austin Snyder added. “It’s clean now, everything is new, it’s 100 times better than it looked when I came here in September. I’m absolutely thrilled to see all the new changes that are coming, and the ones that have already happened.”
Those future additions include a primary project for George, a baseball coach at Elk Grove High School south of Sacramento.
By the end of February, he said one of the gym’s racquetball courts will be replaced with a batting cage open to members as well as baseball teams or others throughout the Mountain Area.
“This is going to serve the community because there is no batting cage in this area,” George said. “It’s going to be high end, and help everyone from those in little league through adult leagues.”
That batting cage will be ready by the end of February, George said. Dependent on the need, he said the second racquetball court may also be similarly replaced.
As well as new equipment, including an additional six bikes for a total of 12, the Mullins said they’re approaching the potential for sessions in CrossFit, boot camp, and other high-intensity workouts.
Numerous other changes are planned as well.
“We’re very hands on and we’ll make future changes depending on what our members and the community tell us,” Meloni said. “Anyone that has compliments, complaints, suggestions, we absolutely want them to let us know so we can best serve everyone here.”
Manager Sean Gillilan, who suggested the purchase to the Mullins many months ago, perhaps best summed up the gym’s new perspective and its vision for the new year.
“We take good care of you, we always have,” Gillilan said. “And if you have any questions about fitness, nutrition, life coaching, even if you just have things on your mind, we promise to take care of you here.”
Classes, hours, and prices
Mountain Muscle Fitness Center offers classes in everything from yoga to spin Monday through Friday, with many also available for seniors in the Silver Sneakers program.
Perhaps true to the nature of New Year’s resolutions, there’s a deal available in January as well.
At a price of $35 per month for a yearlong contract, the first month is free as part of the New Year’s deal, but the monthly price will remain the same after the deal ends Jan. 24. Month-to-month payments are $40.
Discounts are available for seniors, students, businesses, and veterans.
Being open 24 hours a day has also been changed to keep the facility staffed at all times, George and Meloni said.
New hours are 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Details: (559) 641-7255 or visit http://on.fb.me/1VCZKCG.