CINCINNATI -- YEP! Fitness is a gym meant for everybody in an underserved Queen City neighborhood that just moved to a new location at 1821 Summit Road.
When Bond Hill native Kurt Billups opened Your Exercise Platform about five years ago in Roselawn, he said his goal was to be more than a gym, whether that means helping patrons deal with diabetes, autism or mental illness.
"Everybody's not necessarily at a fitness mindset when they come through the doors. Some people come here to lose weight -- others to release stress and anxiety, so we meet people where they are," Billups said.
Billups, who has worked in commercial fitness for more than 15 years, said there is nothing else quite like YEP! in Roselawn.
“There as a void there. I noticed there's nothing of quality in that area in our communities," Billups said, noting he ran into roadblocks when trying to found YEP! "People were telling me, 'Don't do it. The education's not there -- the credit's not there. You're not going to be able to turn the corner in that environment.'"
However, Billups jumped that hurdle and people began to show up. Retired nurse Cora McGuire started coming about six months ago when her friend convinced her to join.
"With some of the seniors, I came, and I looked at them and said, 'If they can do it, I can do it, too," McGuire said. "I was one of them that would say exercise is not for me -- but then all of a sudden, I got this addiction of walking and working out, and I said, 'I have to lose weight.'"
But YEP! is about more than just dropping pounds. It's about health, wellness and motivation for people of all ages and mindsets.
"We have clinical psychologists on deck that are here for behavioral issues," Billups said. "That's rewarding beyond any dollar amount that you can stick on."
Patrons like McGuire are happy to have YEP! in Roselawn.
"They could've easily left the community," McGuire said. I know if they had left, I probably would've not gone to another gym because I don't like some of the others. I felt like I was a minnow in a big school of fish, so I didn't want to be there."
Basic memberships begin at $15 a month with access to all the cardio equipment, group exercise and free weights. Premiere memberships at $19.99 allow access to free Zumba and yoga classes and offer half price on all drinks.
YEP! Is open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. Give YEP! a call at 513-761-9371 or visit its website here.