Picture of owners.

Bend the Bar Fitness can help you achieve your fitness goals in 2024

Come the first day of every new year, many people make resolutions that THIS is the year they will make their health a priority (again). They lace up the sneakers, hit the gym or walking path and are off to a great start. But by February, the routine can become hard to keep. 

Part of making a plan to become a healthier you is to make it convenient. With two locations (Freeport and DeFuniak Springs), various classes for all fitness levels, as well as workout coaches, Bend the Bar Fitness is an ideal spot to get your sweat on.

Class taking instruction

Except for his college years, owner Jamey Goddin has lived in Walton County his entire life, first in DeFuniak Springs and later Freeport.

“I played every sport you could play growing up, plus two years of college basketball,” Jamey says. “I got into working out and fell in love with it.” 

Upon returning from college, Jamey slowly bought used gym equipment, putting it in storage until he had enough to open his own gym. He married the love of his life, Ilyssa, in March of 2015. And in June they opened their first gym. “At first we just taught classes because we didn’t have a lot of equipment,” Jamey explains. “Over the next year we moved to a bigger space. And after eight years we opened our second location in DeFuniak.”

Cycle Class

The two locations, just 15 minutes apart, make it convenient for weekday commuters who want a closer drive on weekends. Plans are in the works for a third location in Santa Rosa Beach.  

Jamey and his staff offer strength and conditioning classes, including a ladies-only boot camp, and soon, athlete training for teens and an indoor cycling class. “We have personal trainers on site,” Jamey adds. “And the classes give you access to the gym. If you miss a class you can still come to the gym.” 

As the key to maintaining your fitness goals involves consistency, Jamey suggests that the best way to keep from falling off the wagon is accountability. “Find someone who can keep you accountable. A group, a coach, a friend,” he adds. “Classes are a great option, as people form Facebook groups, in which so may friend groups develop. And if you have the resources, get a personal trainer or online coach. Also you’ve got to know your why – maybe it’s your kids, your health, whatever your motivation, remember the why.” 

For newbies to working out, Jamey assures that the gym is not a scary place. “Most people want to help you,” he says. “Sometimes it’s the most fit people, those that might look intimidating, that will happily help you.”  

Jamey and Ilyssa celebrated the arrival of a son, Parke, born in September of 2023. So owning his own gym gives Jamey the time to spend with him. Plus seeing people enjoy the fitness community is satisfying.

“The best thing about owning the gym is seeing relationships form, seeing people’s social media posts,” he says. “People are moving here all the time, and this is where they are meeting and becoming friends.”

Trainer explaining workout.

Fitness in 2024 – Jamey shares what to do and what to ditch

Eat Right – the number one thing you can do is improve your nutrition. This doesn’t happen in the gym, but it’s the most important thing. Our coaches offer meal plans and nutrition advice. 

Get Strong – some people think they have to spend an hour on a treadmill to lose weight. Try strength training as your main workout, while implementing some cardio too. Strength training benefits all ages and fitness levels, and we’re seeing more and more women lifting heavy weights.

Ignore the Instagram Influencers – I’ve seen people on the stair stepper add a kick back with a leg because they see the latest Instagram star doing it. That’s worthless. Instead, do lunges or squats. They’re not flashy, but they work. 

Learn more about Bend the Bar on their website, https://bendthebarfitness.com/

Photo credit, Galina Wells Photography, https://galinawellsphotography.com/


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