A partnership of friends hopes to bring healthier living to the doorsteps of clients.
One of the biggest complaints you’ll hear regarding working out is that people just don’t have time to do it.
Between work, family life and other obligations, it’s difficult to carve out time for fitness, but a partnership between friends is looking to change that by bringing workouts to clients’ homes.
Three months ago, Eddie and Rene Taubensee (of Winter Garden), and friends Jay and Yvonne Zavada (of Horizon West) saw their franchise of GYMGUYZ finally come to fruition as the brightly colored van donning the company name began rolling on West Orange streets.
“We started in January, and we are off and running,” said Eddie Taubensee, who also serves as the head trainer. “We are busy. … We have exceeded expectations to start, and we have the area west of Orlando — from Celebration, down to Dr. Phillips, Winter Garden and Windermere — covered.”
GYMGUYZ is a modern concept of working out in the current age of convenience — where everyone prefers not to leave the comfy confines of their homes. This idea wasn’t lost on CEO/founder Josh York, who started GYMGUYZ in 2008 thanks in part to a love of fitness and a desire to help people meet their fitness goals.
“We can literally service you anywhere — home, office, pool, park,” York said. “You want to work out in the closet? We can work you out in the closet.”
The business model, along with York’s excitement for his brand, were a couple of the driving factors for the Taubensees and Zavadas — who started the process of franchising last year.
After discussions and deliberation, the four decided to sign on as owners, with each taking on a different role. Eddie serves as the trainer, Yvonne as administrator, Jay as the marketer and Rene as the event/social media manager.
But if there’s one thing at the core of taking on this endeavor, it’s the fitness and community aspects offered by GYMGUYZ.
In Eddie’s case, fitness is second nature. He spent 11 years playing in the MLB for the Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros and Cincinnati Reds. Throughout those years, he spent many hours training and working out.
“Ever since I got drafted at 17 years old, and now I’m 50, I’ve been exercising that whole time, and obviously fitness was a part of my job — the better fit I was, the better ability I had to do my job,” Eddie said. “I’m also on the other side of fitness — I’ve had about 13 surgeries on my body, so I understand the importance of fitness when you get older.”
“We started in January, and we are off and running. We are busy. … We have exceeded expectations to start, and we have the area west of Orlando — from Celebration, down to Dr. Phillips, Winter Garden and Windermere — covered.”
— Eddie Taubensee
Just as the fitness aspect played a vital role in getting Eddie into the franchise, Jay also has that same passion — though his comes from a serious health issue. At age 50, Jay’s doctor diagnosed him with prostate cancer.
“It was a total surprise to me — there was no reason why I would be at any risk for it, but I got it,” Jay said. “And so I had to decide to make some lifestyle changes — to eat better and to really take fitness more seriously.
“I started to go on this health journey, and so when I had the opportunity to go into a new business with Yvonne, I said, ‘OK great, I can spend more time with my wife,’” he said. “I get to spend more time with her, and we never did that before. And then I get to take advantage of the fact that we get a window of opportunity to talk to people about their health and to make their lives better.”
That aspect of community is a big one for both couples, so it makes sense why this endeavor would be an attractive one.
The hope for the friends and three other certified trainers — who will work under Eddie — is that they can help their communities get fitter and healthier. It’s a point of pride for them.
“It’s a privilege to be invited into people’s homes,” Yvonne said. “And just getting to hear their story about why they are frustrated and why they’re reaching out for help is a point of vulnerability, and to be entrusted with that and to help them is a higher calling.”