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Building fitness, community in Danville | News

William Crowder describes himself as the guy who didn’t like his day job and considered going to the gym the best part of his day.

So what did he do?

He opened a gym. The first Fit Club opened six years ago in South Hill, followed last year by another in South Boston.

When Crowder noticed that a large number of people were traveling from Danville to his South Boston location, he decided to open a third gym here. The Danville Fit Club, located at 121 Piney Forest Road, had a “soft opening” in June and will host a grand opening on Aug. 6.

Crowder said what makes his gym unique is the wide range of equipment it offers, particularly higher end cardio machines and power lifting equipment. Crowder said there simply wasn’t another gym in Danville offering the type of equipment he has available, and that lack was causing folks to drive to his South Boston location, or as far as Lynchburg and Greensboro.

Danville’s Fit Club, at 28,000 square feet, to include a basketball gym, is the largest in Southside Virginia, he said.

The Fit Club doesn’t just have the basics, it has everything that someone would want and ask for, said Crowder.

The power lifting area, which is separate from the other areas of the gym, has Atlas stones, specialty barbells and thousands of pounds of calibrated plates. Crowder said his power lifting equipment is the same that people set world records on and plans to host competitions at the Danville Fit Club location.

The Fit Club is also a place where a power lifters family could also enjoy going to, as it offers exercise classes, personal trainers, a supplement and accessory store and a made-to-order smoothie bar that is open during staff hours. The facility also boasts private lockers, showers and changing area.

“Anyone who came in and walked around would have a hard time going anywhere else,” he said.

Crowder said he wasn’t planning to open a gym in Danville so quickly after his South Boston location, but was surprised that there wasn’t already a facility here that offered his level of equipment. With the casino coming and the surge in economic development, Crowder wanted to be on the ground floor of everything going on in Danville before a big corporate entity swooped in and cornered the market.

The Danville location is where the former Perfect Bodies was located, and its manager and instructor, Amanda Wiles, now works for The Fit Club.

Crowder said staff members are on hand to answer questions as well as members.

“For people in the gym world, it’s their second home. You feel a sense of community, seeing people day in and day out working toward the same goal,” he said.

The Fit Club is open for guests during staff hours, 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Members have access 24/7.

Membership rates begin at $45 a month for a single membership and $80 for a couple. For more information, visit

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