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A Healthy Upgrade

A Healthy Upgrade

What’s New at Gainesville Health & Fitness 

By Ryan Walsh  

At one of Gainesville’s most popular gyms, there is always something new to be excited about.  

The expansive facility, a staple of the area since its founding in 1978 by Joe Cirulli, has been growing to meet the needs of the community ever since. In addition to its main location, GHF operates a women’s center and a smaller satellite location in Tioga.  

Over the years, GHF has expanded to provide amenities such as indoor pools, steam rooms, saunas, fitness classes, an outdoor facility, smoothie bar and much more.  

They look to keep up this pace with new plans announced for 2025. Amenities include a new hot yoga studio, a functional fitness training area, an outdoor studio and a free weight studio, among several others. In the words of Chief Marketing Officer Debbie Lee, “It is about giving people more spaces to do the things they love.”  

“We’re hoping to create these mini studios all throughout the gym that each have a specific purpose,” Lee said. 

Lee, who has been with GHF in some capacity for nearly 40 years, is excited for the next phase of GHF. 

“We grow into ourselves every year trying to figure out what else can we offer,” she said. “We think, ‘how do we become that one-stop shop for everything related to your wellbeing.’” 

Well-being, as opposed to strictly fitness, is the driver behind much of GHF’s ‘why.’ While physical health and fitness is key, the mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of health are what GHF makes strong efforts to incorporate.  

“We think of it as moving away from being a gym category, where you just work out with weights, and evolving into the more modern concept of a wellness center,” Lee said.  

Owner and founder Joe Cirulli keeps a finger on the pulse of what his customers want. When problems arise, Cirulli not only looks to solve them, but puts the appropriate resources in to do it right.  

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These upcoming renovations strike at this core philosophy. GHF has always been about community – not just a gym, but a destination for people to socialize and connect. Previous additions like the J Bar smoothie bar, free babysitting service and sitting areas have all been in service of this goal.  

“Back in 2012, we built in more social nodes for people to talk,” Lee said. “We didn’t want every space to just be jammed with equipment. You have to have an architectural design that allows you to address the changing marketplace.” 

The main center is not the only location seeing an upgrade. At the Tioga center, plans are in place for both an expanded outdoor workout area and a roof over it to provide shade. This was conceived to eliminate a noticed bottleneck in the indoor free weight area.  

“There’s an attitude, initiative and practice of always looking ahead and always saying ‘what can we do next?’” Lee said. “You know when you join, your membership is only going to grow in value.” 

The GHF upgrades and renovations will begin mid-year 2024 and plan to be completed in mid-2025. Much like a wellness journey, it certainly will not stop there. 

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