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Trucker Talk

26 December 2007
Truck Stops with Fitness Centers – Lookin’ Forward to the Day!

I don’t need to tell you how important it is to stay in shape, especially if you’re a long haul driver.  But like any other working person, how do you find the time and, more importantly when you are on the road, where do you find a place to work out?
As the dangers of out-of-shape Americans and spiraling health care costs is more and more in the news and as more and more employers are providing gyms or discounted memberships to employees to stay fit, what is our industry or the people serving our industry doing to help us stay fit and healthy?  Looking around, I gotta say, not one heck of a lot.

Unless you carry weights to workout with in your rig and have some way to cook and prepare your own food, eating right and staying in shape is pretty tough.  You are pretty much at the mercy of whatever you find at truck stops along your route. 

I read an interesting blog the other day about some guy who wants to open a chain of fitness centers at truck stops across the country.  Seems he’s tried to get financing for his dream of providing places where truckers, or any other travelers for that matter, could work out while on the road.  He was laughed out of the banks he approached for financing.

I, for one, think this is a great idea and my friends agree!  If you’re a banker and can go to the gym everyday to work out, why shouldn’t the people who are the backbone of our great nation’s transportation industry have that same chance?

I just hope that guy hangs onto his dream and is able to find a way to make it happen.  I, for one, would look forward to working out in the gym to de-stress, get in shape, and stay healthy when I am on the road.  A lot of my buddies feel the same way too!

Posted by keep on truckin' at 12:00 AM  |  LINK to this post  |  16 comment s  |  Subscribe

great idea and how about a barber shop
Posted by tracy on January 5, 2008 at 9:51 PM

Why's everything about dieting and losing weight? What about us skinny guys who gorge on the dollar menu and try to gain weight so we can actually get a dock plate to go down? :) Cooking for yourself is fairly easy - with a small, propane, camping grill. Get yourself some nice fat steaks and potatoes wrapped in tin foil. Mmm! Good idea about the fitness centers, though.
Posted by Doug on February 2, 2008 at 12:13 AM

Do you know any truckstops that have a fitness center yet?
Posted by bigdawgtruckin' on February 6, 2008 at 7:49 AM

Hey BigDawgTrucking I have asked around the country and can't find a single truckstop with a fitness center. Maybe if we sell plenty of ads this year we can start one up.(I mean a bunch of ads, tell your friends)Seriously, what a shame!
Posted by TruckerJim on February 8, 2008 at 1:52 PM

Back in late 90's a guy tried some gyms at truck stops. Think last I saw he had four gyms set up, seems like Arkansas, New Jersey, and a couple other locations, called it Rolling Strong Truckers Gym. Memberships were about $400 a year. Had about 1300 members at one time. Can't find anything on it now, so must of folded. This type of thing is desperately needed, but sad to say most drivers wouldn't utilize it. When you combine having access to a facility, and having the time to use it every or every other day, it starts to become a problem to fit it in. Someone will figure out a way to do it someday, and hopefully the major companies would jump on the bandwagon. Read where Celedon and Melton had a couple great fitness programs that one company figured it saved about $10 million dollars. NOW THAT'S SOME SERIOUS CASH.
Posted by rumblestrip on February 21, 2008 at 5:00 PM

omg GYMS at the truckstop what a genius idea.Why all the hurdles it will only benefit like Everyone truckers,travelers,health insurance premiums,and greedy Hmo's I heard Petro has full service gyms now im gonna start getting my gas there.
Posted by joe medina on April 26, 2008 at 8:43 AM

I am not a trucker, however, I am a regular traveler who drives passenger cars. I respect the big rig on the road and always give it the right of way until I can pass. I have even had two truckers block me from speeding, as a state trooper was posted. Thank you. It's like a unified drivers support system on the road when you know that we are all looking out for each other. What if I told you all on this site that I have the perfect idea to help the trucking industry achieve its fitness goals.
Posted by Julieta Wise on June 18, 2008 at 3:53 PM

The idea of a gm at a truck stop has been thrown around since the 90's, maybe even longer but at least as long as I have been in the field. I had to take a respite from driving for a few years and have been a steady member of my local gym and I am now looking at going back to driving(regionally) and I think it would be a great idea to have gyms at truck stops. I spoke of this to one of the trainers at Workout World and he thought it would be a great idea. One of the issues is getting space at the truck stop and of course equipping it and staffing it. To be healthy you not only need the lifting but you need to get in some cardio and I do not think most drivers want to run around the parking lot for a half hour, even a stationary bike would be better than nothing. I am sure if someone could get financing this adventure would surely pay for itself and even make a profit. For now I will just have to spend my weekends in the gym when I am home
Posted by Steve Mason on August 3, 2008 at 9:32 AM

Hi guys and gals! I am a personal trainer with 22 years under my belt who has been working on a way to get fitness centers into truck stops for 2 years. Financing is difficult, but can be done with help. I have investors who would be interested, but they doubt whether the drivers would use it. The way my gym would work would also use a portion of the low membership or pay per use fee and place it in a fund to assist drivers who are out of work due to illness or injury with medical and family expenses. My husband was a driver for 17 years. He understands what you guys go through on a daily basis. He also knows the expensive cost of your health insurance. Having a fitness center available to you would not only reduce your health risks, but your insurance costs as well. I would also employ owner operators to move my equipment and assist in maintenance. I know I can make this happen with your help. I WILL NOT quit until I do! Help me make this happen by proving to my investors that you WOULD use fitness centers if they were available to you! Email me at [email protected] and let me know that you would use them! Tell your friends - the more proof I have, the sooner it will happen! By the way, I am creating a website that will give you some nutrition and exercise ideas to keep you going in the meantime. Check out It has nutrition tips on there now and will have an easy to do strength training routine for you that you can actually do in your truck. It is a work in progress and I will have a newsletter you can subscribe to as well. I will have the exercises and easy to find equipment on the site by October 15th. I know this is not ideal, so help me make your fitness center work!!!
Posted by mlicht on October 9, 2008 at 5:19 AM

I'm previouse military who takes being in shape a must. the only thing that has kept me using my class A licence I've had for the last 10 tears and never used is the lack of fitness provided to drivers and travelers alike. The gyms located througout stops will be hard to do in this economy and I"m sure nothing will be happening in the next 20 years. The only next thing for truckers who would like to stay in shape is in truck gyms, something after market installation. Could be a good investment also for somebody for the right idea. I'm going to start trucking but bringing along dumbells and attempt a fold away weight bench. I liked the little arm setup Sylvester Stallone had in the movie Over The Top. If gyms where to pop up I would deffinatly use them, no matter how many hours I put in how tired I am a gym in the long run will always make you heathier physically and mentally.
Posted by Kevin Thompson on September 4, 2009 at 2:32 PM

Hey Kevin thanks for your words, we ALL should read this part again... "always make you heathier physically and mentally"
Posted by TruckerJim on September 4, 2009 at 2:47 PM

Hi I am about to start my trucking career next week and what has always stopped me has been not being able to work out because i go to the local golds gym 5 days a week and physical fitness is huge in my life. I am hoping that the trucking company will let me stop off at gyms in the evening before shutting down that are close along the interstate, there are golds gym everywhere and the route i will have has plenty right off the interstate. So I hope i will be allowed to pull off into the gym. I notice alot of truckers here at my gym pull into the parking lot, do their workout, then jus sleep in the parking lot and leave the next morning. Do any of you do that? Thats what i hopefully plan to do and if they don't alloow it then I'm walking out of orientation, lol.
Posted by Brandon Jones on September 24, 2009 at 4:52 PM

New to trucking but think this is an important issue. We need to do this for ourselves so that we can remain healthy. Will carry weights in truck. Also, saw something on a bike that folded in a magazine about boating.
Posted by PJ on October 3, 2009 at 12:02 PM

Here's your bike PJ - Folding Bike
Posted by TruckerJim on October 3, 2009 at 12:32 PM

They could have some small indoor track facilities,treadmills,calisthenic space,racquetball,basket ball courts, If I were a trucker I would want to get exercise at every stop-that would be a bid help to truckers who can get so out of shape.
Posted by corey wiley on November 7, 2009 at 8:38 PM

This is a great idea!! I am actually doing a writing assignment on this exact topic!
Posted by collegegirl on May 3, 2010 at 8:05 PM