WALLINGFORD — When Meriden resident Terrace Johnson left his full-time job to pursue his dream of expanding his fitness gym, he hoped the location could provide a space for all ages. After 10 years, the gym instructor is celebrating its success.
Body Temple Fitness, located at 20 North Plains Industrial Road, offers clients access to gym equipment, a variety of classes, and personal training. The 4,000-square-foot space has been renovated over the years to create separate spaces for kickboxing, showers, a yoga studio and a juice bar. Co-owner Johnson, who runs the gym with his wife, said when the gym first opened it had some exercise equipment in one large space. But he had a dream to expand.
“I knew that I wanted to do something in a bigger capacity,” Johnson said. “Throughout the years just adding more team people that I felt had the same passion as me, the same drive as me and the same focus, that helped me to do more.”
With the success of the business in its initial years, Johnson added more trainers to his team and classes were incorporated into the gym’s services. Johnson began providing group training for corporate and community-based groups like teachers and volunteer firefighters. A majority of the renovations to the gym began in 2010, with the addition of bathrooms and showers to the facility. Although the addition was a “huge project,” Johnson decided to continue renovating in the years that followed, adding hardwood floors for a yoga studio and a juice bar that serves protein shakes and healthy juices.
Trainer John Derek Zvonek has known Johnson for the past 10 years and worked at Body Temple Fitness for the past seven years. Zvonek, who was working different jobs at the time, said he was completely out of shape and couldn’t run a mile when he first asked Johnson to train him. Zvonek has participated in two Ironman triathalons, multiple Tough Mudders, marathons and has trained people who themselves have become trainers.
“I just wanted to be a trainer and Terrace made that dream come true,” Zvonek said.
Following his success in the Wallingford location, Johnson opened a location in Durham three years ago. After opening the location, Johnson was diagnosed with cancer. Despite the challenges of running two gym locations while fighting cancer, Johnson said neither location closed at the time and both remain thriving businesses. Today Johnson is cancer free.
At the Record-Journal Reader’s Choice Awards Wednesday, Body Temple Fitness was awarded first place for gym and fitness center and placed third in weight loss, yoga, and family-owned business categories. In the last four years, Johnson said the gym was always a runner up for different awards from the community but hadn’t won. Now, he is excited to see that the gym has been recognized and that his goals all came together.
“Sacrifice hard work and commitment brings about a reward,” Johnson said. “My clients are healthy and successful and they’ve helped me to become healthier and successful.”
Johnson hopes to continue growing his business by expanding the Wallingford location or opening another gym. Trainers, clients and family members will celebrate 10 years of the business at a block party Saturday, Oct. 19. from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. The public is welcome to attend and enjoy food, music, fitness demonstrations and raffle prizes.